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November 30, 2020

Ganga - Soul of Indian Culture

Puranic Cosmology Updated, No. 8, March,2010

In discussing Form and Essence, my intention was not to minimise the outstanding art that has come down to us from the Puranic period, a comparable quality of which surfaced in Europe only many centuries later. Rather, I would like to demonstrate how the direction of the quest – the Journey in the Veda – was reflected in art itself. To illustrate, I reproduced in Update 7 the exquisite Ankhor Vat bas-relief of the Churning Myth, certainly one of the finest sculptural renditions of its kind, as the grandest of all myths merits. Then the same tale is retold in our century/millennium in the form of what could almost be described as graphic art, in the sense that the artistic refinement of the former Age has been set aside in favour of the more graphic representation. Art today has certainly undergone a change from both the oriental and the European styles of times gone by. In itself this displays the ‘levelling’ process, if you will, a universalisation such as Aquarius demands more clearly than anything else.Art as a representation of the collective experience and level of consciousness in any given age, we observe through this expression the same levelling in the ideologies that surfaced right at the turnover from Pisces to Aquarius. With the demise of monarchies after World War 1 as effective means of governance, and the surfacing of movements demanding larger and more comprehensive participation of the masses, the indications were that the Aquarian Age had begun. Noblesse oblige came to an end as the new Age set in; and with that we witnessed the gradual elimination of colonialism that was a natural corollary to the monarchic system, both being justified as having a sort of divine sanction that could not be questioned.The direction of the cosmic evolutionary process has been more than clear. But equally clear is the shift of the cosmic contest to the world stage today; and, in one form or another, we observe that the struggle for supremacy between Gods and Titans has moved into a position of pre-eminence, as it were: witness totalitarianism and democracy, for example. Both advocate rule of the people (democracy), or for the people (communism). To solve the conundrum, on which the future of Earth societies hinges, understanding the cosmic sense and purpose of the Harmony provides clear lines we can follow if we truly wish the Daivic/Asuric struggle to be resolved.To return to the Churning Myth and its various depictions – at the height of Puranic glory and its contemporary version – it is noteworthy that the two examples provided have come from lands beyond the actual Indian landmass and in what have become Buddhist nations. However, the reach of Puranic culture was so widespread and penetrating that we have a Muslim nation, Indonesia, honouring the very backbone of Vedic civilisation through the formal adoption of the Ramayana as its national epic. How else can this be explained except to state that Myth and Epic speak with the language of the Soul which is universal?Further to be noted is that the Vishnu abode at Ankhor Vat itself finally fell into disuse and was ultimately covered over by the tropical jungles of the region not long after Buddhism had displaced Hinduism as the national culture. It was predictable in that the Soul is not given pride of place in Buddhism – if it is given a place at all; therefore, its ‘language’ cannot receive the revitalising sustenance Myth requires from time to time, as we find on the Indian subcontinent where it is alive and well even today. The contemporary graphic rendition of the Churning Myth, though of lesser artistic value is precious in that occupying centrestage at a main international airport in a Buddhist country (ironically, an unthinkable occurrence in secular, socialist India), again drives home the point that the Cosmic Spirit envelops the entire Earth and is boundary-less. It is our modern concept of Nation that has to evolve further so that we may embody the highest ideals of the Age we entered in 1926. Indeed, during the former Piscean Age passports were not required to travel from one point of the known world to another, as we demand today. Rather than drawing closer to the Aquarian one-world ideal we seem to be moving in the opposite direction.Further, hidden in the Puranic artistic renditions of this sublime myth is a clue to the shift that was taking place at the time it was formulated, and as it has come down to us today. To put it in perspective, we need to appreciate that the very same tale is the essence, if not the form, of the Vedic ‘journey’ on the backdrop of the Sacrificial Year. In the earlier Age the question of universalism had not figured. Its time had not yet come.This may explain the stand taken by governments in adopting restrictions which seem to close borders even tighter than had ever been done in the past, precisely as an indication that this ‘knot’ in human consciousness had to become tightened in the extreme before release can come. (In one’s individual sadhana in the practice of Integral Yoga, the same situation is often experienced: when the Yoga Shakti has decided that it is time for a certain breakthrough, the issue in question seems to arise more vehemently than ever. Then we know that with her Grace its hold over our consciousness is nearing its end, the ‘knot’ is about to be undone if we participate in the required action.)Thus, in Vedic times the Journey was, strictly speaking, reserved for the Initiate-Warrior; the masses were not involved, except insofar as the struggle of the Initiate reflected the condition of each soul participating in the evolutionary process. But knowledge was restricted to an elite, as the Cosmic Order of the day demanded. That Knowledge was, however – and this is the point to note – passed on to the whole of Vedic civilisation through the calendar formulated by the Sages to implement the cosmic scheme, thereby uniting the energies of ALL members of the society around the Cosmic Truth (the central Axis) which is the sense and purpose embedded in the Sacrificial Year. The Initiate had to realise that Truth of the Year, that realignment, make it his or her own conquest, if the masses at large were to benefit from the struggle. But the very same process is displayed in the later Puranic Myth, though its subtlety reveals the gradual directional shift to otherworldliness that was then taking place. It seemed to be presented more as the Ideal rather than the actualisation process of the Vedic period.Thus, the vertical/horizontal axes in the Puranic sculptures clearly reveal the ideal of a harmonised, balanced world. Moreover, placing Mt Meru as the central axis makes the position even clearer. Mt Meru is the tool without which no ‘churning’ can take place. However, equally if not more indispensable is the presence of none other than Mahavishnu to control the action according to rhythms the Time-Spirit sets in motion. Mt Meru resting on the Tortoise (Kurma Avatar following Matsya), apart from all else, indicates that the churning displayed is a movement of the Cosmic Ages – hence the perspective as mirrored in the precession of the Earth’s equinoctial plane over ‘tortoise-like’ slow-moving vast cycles of time. In this myth the question is not the individual’s transformation and participation; it is the cosmic angle almost exclusively. More particularly, it is Vishnu’s ‘play’, the understanding of which must come from Vishnu Himself through the periodic avataric appearances of his emanations.Kurma, the avatar as Tortoise, is one of the most significant stages in what Sri Aurobindo has referred to as ‘a parable of evolution’. This second appearance is not just evolution per se. It is Order out of Chaos, the Cosmic Order. Kurma Avatar initiates the quest for the Nectar of Immortality for which the churning is required; its various stages describe with great exactitude just how order finally emerges out of a primordial Chaos. The task of Vishnu’s Avatars is to guide the evolutionary process according to the rhythms set by the Time-Spirit toward this end. No other myth presents such a superb exposition of deep cosmic workings as this one.Vishnu is obliged to take the form of the mythic Tortoise, an amphibian creature, to prevent the Meru-churning stick from sinking relentlessly while the Devas and Asuras seek to carry out their labour of ‘accelerating Time’ – that is, to allow evolution to reach higher stages in this round of 25,920 years on the road to a full apotheosis. Kurma supports the churning stick from below, while Vishnu/Garuda enters the operation from above by restraining the measure of the rise of the churning stick until the perfect measure/stability is reached for the success of the endeavour: Time’s orderly march is established after which evolution cannot fail to manifest what is contained in the original ‘seed’ (of the Veda) that Matsya Avatar had hidden in that very Ocean for its protection. The Ocean acts as protective covering of the Seed; it is both covering and medium within which or by which the subsequent Churning can ensue.What is clear in this mythic formula is that the Vertical is the Axis of the Avatars, in this instance involving Kurma and Matsya; the myth is clear on this point. Moreover, the link of the Vertical with Time is further corroborated because the Avatars are offspring of the Time-Spirit. We will observe further on how immaculately this arrangement has played itself out in contemporary India (Meru) with the appearance of the 9th Avatar in the last millennium, and how by the use of Number and the universal calendar (not the Hindu Calendar), and more particularly the number system India bequeathed to the world, we can APPLY what until now has remained mere ‘myth’. In the process Myth comes to be understood differently, at least in the Indian context: it is actually recurring history. Mt Meru holds the key to the past, but more specifically to the future of the evolutionary process. No other Myth in the Puranic lexicon presents such an accurate description of the cosmic process as the Churning of the Primordial Ocean, nor is there any other as prophetic. This is proven, however, only when the updating of the old cosmology takes place. But the new cosmology is not prophecy as we understand the term today. This will become clear in the course of the updating exercise centred on the Puranas.

We must view the vertical/horizontal axis in the terms laid down in Update 7: Asuras and Devas, time and space. What is displayed is the orderly harmonisation of the two in the course of the year, Cosmic or Earthly. In the Vedic Age it was the latter primarily; in the Puranic the focus was Cosmic. The sacred task of our present Age is the lived experience and APPLICATION of that harmonisation which we do experience on Earth in the progression of the year across the solstices and equinoxes. But the issue is to become conscious participants, thereby fulfilling the dharma of the Age: universal transformation.

Some in the academic world hold a similar view regarding the progression from equinoxes to solstices. For example, we note that the mid-20th-century conservator of Angkor, Maurice Glaize, along with Eleanor Mannikka, a scholar who specialises in East Asian art and religion, hold the view that the difference in the number of Asuras (92) and Devas (88) depicted in the Ankhor Vat bas-relief represents the number of days between winter solstice and spring equinox to summer solstice; certainly numbers chosen not randomly but deliberately by the executors of the temple’s sacred architecture in appreciation of the cosmic vision prevalent in the Puranic period. The Ankhor Vat plan uses the Tropical Solar Year as the Measure with its equinoxes and solstices, just as in the Vedic Age and well into the 12th Century, the time when the Ankhor complex was constructed.Interestingly, it was at this very time that Al Biruni, the Arab scholar, was travelling in India and translating Hindu texts on astrology and cosmology into Arabic. The undermining of the Vedic prescription seems to have begun then, for we have his own words to substantiate this statement: ‘The solstice has kept its place, but the constellations have migrated, just the very opposite of what Varaha has fancied.’ (India, II, p.7). Al Biruni implies what post-Vedic astrologers sustain today: Capricorn is ‘not there where once it was’; but with their floating constellations they are chasing a phantom because Capricorn is not ‘out there’, disregarding the Earth’s harmonies and rhythms. What is even more interesting to note is that through his translations of the Hindu texts Al Biruni was responsible for the adoption of the Vedic method of horoscopy in the West, while suggesting the sidereal method for pundits of the subcontinent! But the final, total eclipse of the Vedic Tropical Year in India occurred closer to our times. This was the definitive adoption of the Nirayana system in lieu of the Vedic. Interestingly, it was supplanted on the subcontinent just as Science gained the upper hand over the sacred and the division was then complete.Advantage in carrying out the universal transformation seems to lie with the West not the East this time around, because though the subcontinent preserves a vast treasure of Myths, all of which describe the Cosmic Truth, and incomparable examples of sacred art and architecture which display that same Truth, the masses are left out of the experience. Or at least as in contemporary India’s case, 80% of the population is excluded from participation through the mis-calculation of the Hindu calendar. Originally it served to unify and draw the energies of the population into the yearly Sacrifice through the celebration of certain outstanding landmarks in consonance with the cosmic harmony. Two are of are primary importance, Mahavishuva (March Equinox) and Makar Sankranti (December Solstice), the establishment of which would ensure the right temporal insertion of all the other celebrations, festivals, pilgrimages, and so forth. These commemorations continue and are noteworthy because they make identification of the unbroken Thread traceable into our times. But equally significant is the distortion of the Vedic measure of the year, the chief protagonist of the Sacrifice, which speaks volumes of the condition of the Dharma today.Given the present conditions, it would appear that the West is better positioned to make the process consciously lived. But what we find lacking in the occident is the age-old tradition that the subcontinent carries over from the hoary past into the present via the unbroken Thread. It is for the reader to judge which pole, oriental or occidental, would have a better chance at actualising the Dharma of the Aquarian Age: the West which experiences the solar year as it was known in the Vedic Age, but which lacks the foundation in myth and cosmic sense and purpose that we find alive and well in the subcontinent. Or the eastern end of the pole where treasures lie buried somewhere beneath the coverings of the ages. Thus the conscious participation is denied to the masses because of errors in transferring that cosmic measure to the populace. The means to do so, the proper calendar for the purpose, is opposed by those who hold the power to determine which system is to be used, Nirayana based on the constellations, or Vedic based on the Earth’s own measure.

The constant reference I am making to the erroneous Measure used for the computation of the Hindu calendar of observances is extremely important, though it might appear as a tedious repetition to readers. Be that as it may, its singular importance is twofold. First and foremost is the fact that the Cosmic Truth cannot be perceived, much less actualised or applied, on the sidereal backdrop of the current post-Vedic Nirayana system. Simply put, that Order, that Cosmic Truth vanishes in the post-Vedic system. It remains submerged in the Piscean Ocean, or imprisoned beneath coverings and ‘cobwebs’, as I call them, which demand removal if that Sense and Purpose is to be restored and the Churning Myth is to be made a reality of our contemporary world.Next is the effect of this mis-measure on the subcontinent: 80% of the energies of the majority population continue to be dispersed rather than unified via an enlightened calendar, whose primary purpose is the fulfilment of the great ideals of Aquarius, for which the subcontinent plays a central role, as the Thread itself reveals through the Capricorn hieroglyph.

Ganga - Soul of Indian Culture

Culture and Cosmos, The Vishaal Newsletter, volume 8, no. 1, April 1993

Indian sacred architecture of whatever
date, style or dedication goes back to some-
thing timelessly ancient and now outside
India almost wholly lost, something which
belongs to the past, and yet it goes forward
too . . . to something which will return upon
us and is already beginning to return, some-
thing which belongs to the future.

Sri Aurobindo
The Foundations of Indian Culture

I have written that what is especially inspiring in the Vedic Way is the consistency of the Knowledge, or the manner in which certain essential elements have been spread throughout the fabric of the civilization which for many millennia has been housed in the Indian subcontinent in an unbroken line. I have used the Capricorn hieroglyph, superimposed on the subcontinental landmass as a focal point, or as a means to demonstrate this consistency. Indeed, the hieroglyph is especially revealing for this purpose, insofar as the Knowledge I refer to centres on this tenth sign of the zodiac.

 This is carried over to many aspects of life, many cultural expressions. In modern India it is seen to be relevant given the fact that Makar, the Sanskrit name for the sign, is the most auspicious period of the year. It is the time when pilgrimages are made throughout the breadth of the land, to numerous particularly sacred places established as far back as in the Puranic age and even earlier. The national highways are flooded with pilgrims making their way on foot to these sacred sites in this auspicious Capricorn month.

Indian astrologers made a special effort to determine the correct beginning of this segment in the 12-month year. Of very special importance in connection with this timing was the exact Solstice measurement. A perusal of the old texts does indeed reveal that the establishment of the solstice axis – Capricorn/Cancer – was one of the main concerns of astrologers of old. And we also note that at a certain point in the passage of the Ages it was precisely this measurement, so central a part of the cultural life of the civilisation, which was ‘lost’, as I have pointed out on many occasions in these pages.

But in what way was it ‘lost’? And how could such an easily verifiable measurement have been missed or overlooked when so much emphasis had been placed on its correctness from time immemorial?

Given this factor of central importance, with a number of festivals needing to be located within this time-frame with exactitude, it is clear that the loss of accuracy was itself central to the unfolding destiny of the civilisation. It was not a lapse of one astronomer, or one school imposing its views, or a mistake of some sort which somehow crept into the calculations and then went on compounding itself to the present-day when we realise that the solstice axis is something like 23 degrees off the mark.  And furthermore, that it will go on compounding and before long there will be no correlation with the Capricorn/Cancer axis at all, or the shortest and longest day of the year.

At the same time, I have shown in this series the overwhelming importance of Capricorn in the cultural fabric of the civilisation to the point where the hieroglyph even delineates the specific landmass wherein this sign would fulfil itself, at it were, where that Swar, or Heaven, would ‘descend’ upon Earth. The landmass exists and verifies the accuracy of the hieroglyph’s design and the astounding proficiency of the Seer who gave the civilisation this particular symbol. But we find that similar to the time demarcation, or the accurate location of the beginning of this very sign/month in the Earth’s yearly trajectory around the Sun, there has been a ‘loss’ regarding the geographical measurement relating to the same symbol. We note that India looks to her future of independence from foreign subjugation with this loss figuring not only in the time dimension but in space as well. Indeed, as we all know after Einstein’s contribution to physics, the two are interconnected and cannot be separated. Similarly, I contend that the loss of the exact position in time of the Capricorn solstice point resulted in the same disfigurement in space when at the birth of the new India that sacred landmass delineated by the hieroglyph was torn asunder, and at crucial places in the design.

The important point to note is that, as stated, there is a consistency even in the loss. And that it too serves to confirm the immense importance of all things Capricorn in Vedic civilisation from time immemorial. For, while dismembering of the symbol occurred in contemporary history, the dislocation of the time-axis occurred in the early part of the first millennium of our era.

Exactly when this dislocation was first rooted in the cultural fabric is not so easily pin-pointed. But we do have a clear indication of the approximate time in the work of the noted astrologer/mathematician, Varahamihira, and his famous treatise, Brihat Samhita, compiled around 500 AD.

Perusal of this text is a fascinating exercise, especially for students of the New Way. Indeed, the Brihat Samhita appears in many ways to be a precursor of The New Way. The latter is a synthesis of a number of disciplines; and it is the fact of this synthesis which places it out of bounds for academicians. Yet, the Brihat Samhita is a similar synthesis. Moreover, it reveals that this holistic approach was common to the ancient way. The fact that this new Way is incomprehensible or unappreciated by scholars, especially those of the spiritual path today, is logically revealing of just how far removed we are from a poise of consciousness enjoyed by the ancient Seers but lacking even in representatives of contemporary society who are supposed to be descended from those early Rishis.

In fact the problem does indeed lie in the spiritual domain. For it was in that dimension of the ancient civilisationa where the ‘loss’ was first registered. Varahamihira simply carried over into the astronomy of the day that spiritual transgression.

But I must clarify that in those days this designation did not exist. That is, spiritual in contrast or in opposition to material; just as astrology was not divorced from astronomy. In fact, it is this split that engendered the loss of the divine Measure and  specifically related to the sign Capricorn. And this severance occurred in the domain of yogic realisation. The time frame was the last 500 years of the millennium before Christ – or the period initiated by the appearance of Gautam, the Buddha. As I have pointed out in the course of my work, the crux of the problem lay in a dissolution (nirvana) of the element which had been serving the human being in his quest, or in the realisation of the inherent purpose of evolution on Earth. As indicated earlier, birth on Earth and into the cosmic process was understood to be an aberration which had to be corrected. This could be done by rejection of the material world of the senses which were responsible for the accumulation of karma and served to chain the human being to the round of birth and death and rebirth. The trick was to sever the chain somehow, to snap one’s ties with this material existence which seemed to be a trap for the seeker of ‘liberation’. The sense-world was a deceptive web which at all costs had to be dissolved. And that was in part accomplished by a process of undermining. The web itself was undermined by decreasing its importance gradually, and finally equating it with the fallen sister of the Divine Maya of the Veda – the temptress and lesser Maya whose name then became synonymous with Illusion.

The web was thus a filament which had no intrinsic reality or real substance, truth-essence. It was simply a tissue of lies fabricated by our imperfect sensorial  instrument. Its numerous flaws resulted in a world of suffering and samskaras. This could be dissolved, and along with it the suffering and grief which characterised the lesser world of Maya, by simply undoing the central hub or axis of that unreal web. This axis is known as Skambha in the Atharvaveda. The point of this ‘pillar’ which connects the subtle dimension (Swar) to the physical is known in the spiritual lexicon as the individual soul.

When the sacred Pillar was snapped, it is not that the soul ceased to exist. It is simply that everything connected to its purpose in the evolutionary process suffered. Skambha/Agni up-pillars the worlds, the material dimension from less dense to densest. A severance in that ‘support’ was akin to a corroding process eating into the foundations of life, as if one’s base in this material dimension were being eaten away by termites. Collapse of the structure is the result of a very long process of just such undermining, though to the lay observer only the final caving in is apparent. But the sage and yogi understand the process and some are able to prop up the structure by the specialised knowledge they possess.

This may be done individually with no essential difficulty. The real problem is found in the collective experience. A critical threshold is finally reached when the mass in the periphery outweighs the substance in the core and the civilisation, gradually at first and then at a more accelerated pace, begins to show the very clear signs of imminent collapse. It is when the undermining reaches specific areas of collective life that we know the degeneration has set in irrevocably and has the power to bring the civilisation to an end.

In India’s case these elements are easily identifiable because of her special mission in the Earth’s evolution. I repeat, they involve the space and time dimensions, both of which are centred on the Capricorn hieroglyph. It is this symbol that reveals the root of the problem by exposing the dualistic/separative poise of consciousness which sets in and overtakes the consciousness of the people, where once the overall vision was of the essence of unity.

The diagram below helps us to see the problem very graphically and therefore diminishes the abstractness of the matter. At the same time, it helps to establish once again the position of Capricorn in the nation’s destiny.

Certain features of this important diagram need to be highlighted. First, it is divided into four parts similar to the diagram I presented earlier in the study (see TVN, 6/3 & 6/4) which revealed the cosmic foundation of the caste system, already in evidence in the Rigveda where verses appear which do indeed link the system to the cosmic harmony. Equally, this fourfold dimension of the zodiac draws in the four planes of reality we find in the Veda as also cosmically rooted. That is, the same celestial sphere, sometimes referred to as Agni Vaishwanara, or the Cosmic Purush, and divided into four castes as parts of his ‘body’, is also indicative of the four planes of existence.

In tracing this correspondence – as above, so below – the important feature is the material/evolutionary rootedness of the vision or postulation. This celestial harmony is the 12-part division of the ecliptic. That is, it is part and parcel of our planetary existence. We are an intrinsic element in the design; our planet is one in a family of 9, and as a single unit this family expounds in its orbit of the central Sun the exquisite raga we know as the cosmic harmony. Again in this analysis, I am able to demonstrate that ever and always the dharma and its laws can be traced back to this single figure: the circle or ecliptic divided into 12 parts – our 12 months of the year. Thus we establish that two numbers are especially significant: the 12 (signs) and the 9 (planets). Together these form the Gnostic Circle. In the company of the 0, they offer us one of the most revealing diagrams in the corpus of higher knowledge of the integral and supramental Yogas.

Being the image of our actual cosmic abode there is, by consequence, nothing otherworldly in this design and its correlations. The four planes of existence of the ancient Vedas are measurable in this cosmic harmony, or reflected therein. As intrinsic elements in this design, we are that very harmony in each cell, in each atom. In other words, ‘above’ is ‘below’, and the ancient yogic path offered a means to realise this intrinsic oneness. It is the path described in hymn after hymn of the Rigveda. The Aryan warrior was its champion, who, in the course of the year, forged this oneness in him or herself, and thereby in the entire civilisation.

I wrote in the last VISHAAL that Swar, or ‘heaven’ had descended upon Earth. This diagram helps us to appreciate the measurable character of the statement and its practical application. Swar of the Vedic fourfold division covers the last segment of the zodiacal wheel, comprising the signs Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. The ‘gateway’ to this fourth and highest plane is Capricorn . Is it any surprise then that the date of the Makar Sankranti, or the Gateway of Capricorn, has always been celebrated throughout the land? Moreover, we cannot now fail to appreciate, by means of the correspondences I am drawing on the basis of this multidimensional diagram, that in introducing a yogic realisation into the collective experience which undermined the reality of that sacred harmony and its oneness with all of creation, this undermining had to affect the most important portion of the wheel: the Makar Sankranti. Or else, the solstice axis points of Capricorn and Cancer, or the Sun’s farthest reaches south and north of the Equator.

When the undermining had reached a substantial degree of effectiveness, Swar was then otherworldly. It could not simply cease to exist, but it could be diminished in material, tangible relevance. This is a most important point to bear in mind. The celestial wheel itself was dismembered. That is, three of its four segments, demarcated in time and space by the four Cardinal points, were Earthbound; but the fourth was in heaven, beyond this existence. Consequently, the measure of that segment was lost. The Gateway to Capricorn being located ‘in heaven’, was gradually seen to lose its connection with the solstice axis so easily determined by the Sun’s northern and southern reaches, or the longest and shortest days of the year. Insofar as the sign Capricorn can be proven to be the underlying ‘note’ of the civilisation, expressing itself through numerous cultural modes and yogic realisations, this phenomenon could not fail to leave an imprint on the national psyche for many years to come.

The decay manifested in a shift, dramatic and deadly. The Gateway was no longer pertinent to the Earth and her yearly orbit of the Sun – i.e., her Divine Maya of 365 days. Undermining the Earth-oriented reality was reflected in precisely the ‘position’ of that sacred Gateway. It was no longer to be determined by the actual physical southernmost reach of the Sun. It was to be hereinafter established by the constellation of fixed stars BEYOND our solar system. And yet we find such key importance given to determining the longest and shortest days of the year – i.e., the solstice points. But this effort was rendered futile when Capricorn was measured beyond the ecliptic.

Varahamihira played a central role in fixing this new method, this new Gateway. To him the history of science attributes the new calculations: rectification of the Hindu calendar. He concluded that the constellational gateway to Capricorn was the true point to measure and that the calendar had to be brought into line with that outer circle beyond our solar system. Anything less would be inaccurate and scientifically untenable. Or at least if he was not the originator of this idea, he was perhaps the one most responsible for the ‘respectability’ it attained.

It is to be noted that when Varahamihita was carrying out his empirical observations, the two points were nearly coinciding. That is, in 234 BC the start of the zodiacal wheel, 0° Aries, or 21/22 March in calendar time, was aligned with Aries of  the constellational sphere in the far reaches of our circumscribing space. Thereafter, at the slow pace of 72 years per degree of celestial longitude, the two circles or their respective 0 points, began to drift apart due to what is known as the Precession of the Equinoxes. By the time Varahamihira entered the scene the distance between them was considerable but not easily visible (and even today their exact location varies from school to school). In the intervening 700 years or so, the separation was less than 10°of celestial longitude. Today it is a full 30 degrees: the sign of Pisces plus 1 degree into the constellation Aquarius. In calendar time it is 2160 years plus 67, which brings us to 1993, the 2160 of the Age of Pisces and the first 67 years of the Age of Aquarius from its inception in 1926 to the present date.

This contribution of Varahamihira is celebrated by a contemporary mathematical historian, George Gheverghese Joseph, in his recent publication, The Crest of the Peacock (Penguin Books, 1992). Perusal of this book provides interesting reading in view of the emphasis in our study on the Euro-centric perversion which has done such great damage to the Hindu psyche. Gheverghese has focussed on this same point in his discussion of the contribution of the orient to the evolution of mathematics. His work also establishes that biases in scientific quarters have diminished Asia’s indisputable position in the formation of contemporary scientific thought.

However, the similarity in our focus ends there, insofar as Gheverghese makes no attempt to rectify certain long-standing errors regarding the origins of this civilisation and its time frame. Whereas, in this study I have demonstrated that without clarifying this particular aspect of the perversion, the rest is immaterial. Indeed, Gheverghese Joseph considers the period marked by Varahamihira, and then Aryabharat and Bhaskaran to have been India’s golden age of science and mathematics. In the light of the new cosmology, however, it is seen as the beginning of the decline, or in a certain sense its peak.

Science, Veda, and Centeredness

What is extremely interesting about the public discourse now in progress in India (to the limited extent that any discourse can be public with much of the media so heavily controlled), generated by the Ayodhya affair, is the way in which central premises are being strengthened either by negation or assertion. One important premise is related to the so-called Aryan Invasion Theory.

As I have discussed in the October, 1992 issue of VISHAAL (TVN 7/4), this theory can honestly and scholastically be considered nothing more than that: a theory. In fact, there is sufficient reason to campaign for the total rejection of this theory, largely because of the almost entire lack of supporting evidence. I do not wish to re-open the issue at this point. My intention is to focus on a particular problem the debate highlights. It has been my contention for a long time that this sacrosanct theory is a key element in any sound and secure divide-and-rule policy. Indeed, in India’s case it can be argued that the colonial hold over the subcontinent could not have been as effective as it was without this theory. I further contend that if at all the desired renaissance of the Vedic spirit and culture is to ensue, the first element to be dealt with must perforce be this theory insofar as its existence prolongs that divisive rule in the psyche of the population.

My reasons for making this statement are many, but I will deal with one aspect considering that it is the most relevant to our present discussion. This is the centredness of India’s destiny. That is, its destiny of being the Earth’s centre, from where certain influences emanate, spread out to consecutive peripheries beyond this centre-most point on the globe, which we have seen to be delineated accurately by the Capricorn hieroglyph. If there is a movement called Hindutva in India, which literally means Hindu-ness and which is gaining in popularity by leaps and bounds, we may also call our new Way centredness. For both mean the same thing under deeper scrutiny.

The meaning of centredness is that the circle or periphery is held together by this Point; and more importantly, that it is a growth, a continuous evolution from within, from the centre outward. There are indeed two movements, expansion and contraction, in any cosmic process; and this is also relevant where this special centredness exists. Outside influences, whatever they may be and from wherever they may emanate, are drawn into the area of the Symbol by contraction. But given the existence of the Point, the Centre, they do not precipitate a destructive process and cause collapse, simply because there is no central void into which such a collapse can ensue.

Regarding invasions, for example, whatever enters or is drawn into the area of the Symbol has to find its place in the periphery given the existence of the Centre – or rather, given the fact that there is no ‘void’. In other words, conversions of the indigenous population in such a circumstance could not be entirely successful; at least to the degree where the entire character and spirit of the civilisation would be irreparably altered. In-roads were made, but ultimately a counter movement, a wave, must arise by virtue of the laws governing the centredness we are describing. A balance of intake and output exists in such a system. And Time regulates the mechanism.

Earlier in this study I have described this system as an ecliptic, similar to that of our solar system. This Vedic ecliptic base is an unchangeable fact of Indian civilisation. Periodically, regulated by laws governing the mechanism, the counterbalancing wave arises, generated from within, from the Centre, and each thing that had entered the system, or the ecliptic base, from outside the symbol delineation is perforce put in place within the system. It is not even a question of an attempt. It is an irrevocable fact of destiny, given the seed of the Veda which lies at the heart of the civilisation. Or better said, which stands as the central Sun, holding this cosmos together and preventing collapse.

However, a key feature of centredness is the very element which is so ferociously being attacked at present by the presiding intelligentsia. It is the question of the validity or not of the Aryan Invasion Theory. For if such an invasion, migration and colonisation did take place, the very first premise of this destiny of centredness would be invalidated. And with its abolition the entire structure or cosmos would be doomed to collapse.

In the above cited VISHAAL, I wrote that the continuity of the nation seems to hinge on maintaining this theory in place in the educational system. Indeed, in view of the fact that the Hindutva movement brought changes into text books in some northern states of the nation, rectifying the assumption of a ‘foreign origin’ of the civilisation, there has been a ferocious response from the intelligentsia and all such rectifications are now to be undone and the modified text books are to be returned to their original state – i.e., a further cementing of this great scholastic hoax.

The reason is evident. The Aryan Invasion Theory is to Indian civilisation what the premise of the Void is to this new cosmology. In the latter the theory of the central Void explains the nature of the Cosmic Ignorance. Similarly, the Aryan Invasion Theory implants this concept of central emptiness – which, it goes without saying, can be filled by any usurper; that is, invader or coloniser.

The essential feature of the cosmic Ignorance is the inner Void, causing collapse. It is the same with the Aryan Invasion Theory, and similarly it cannot engender a system that endures. If this theory were even minimally correct, long ago Vedic culture, still alive in the subcontinent, would have become diluted by each and every wave that had  moved into the nation through its western flank. Finally, it would have been dissolved.

We do see the effects of incoming waves in the north, where much of the culture was ‘influenced’ by these invading waves. But they were arrested before they could overtake the area that matters most, – the south. However, these were obvious intrusions, easy to identify. The more serious invasion was in the educational system. A key perversion in this domain refers to the origins of the civilisation.

Now that the Centre has exerted its power as of 1983-84, it has become possible to chip away at this apparently firmly set theory and begin to dislodge it from its commanding throne in the mind of the intellectual elite and its hold on the educational system.

But the hysteria generated by the first attempt, which was predictable but never expected to reach the shrillness it did, is nowhere better demonstrated than in the 5.2.1993 editorial of The Times of India. I quote,

‘…The unproven and indeed completely unhistorical assertion about Aryans being the original inhabitants of India echoes the Nazi attempts artificially to Aryanize Germany racially…’.

The editor continues by citing another ‘wild proclamation’ and the need to eradicate any vestiges of these ‘fascistic’ notions:

‘…In the Indian context, the assertion that “the country’s freedom struggle began 2,500 years ago” is menacing as it threatens to tear asunder the very culture and civilisation of India and pit the so-called “mainstream population” against the Adivasis, a constructed majority against minorities, and so on…’.

I am not aware of the origin of the ‘threatening quote’ the editor cites regarding the actual beginning of the freedom struggle as ‘2500 years ago’. But I must admit that whoever has made this statement was certainly inspired by a true understanding of the root of India’s subjugation which indeed can be located at about 500 BC.

I have referred to the consistency of the Vedic Knowledge. It is nowhere more clearly demonstrated than in a scrutiny of the history of mathematics of Indian origin such as Gheverghese has presented. There we do find proof that about 2,500 years ago a shift occurred, something very profound, deeply wounding the very heart and soul of the civilisation. The wound gradually produced the severance of so-called religiously-based geometry of the Vedic order from the secular which was first noted in the Bakhshali Manuscript, dated around 200 or 300 AD. The ‘secular’ system this manuscript presents, the manner of its presentation, indicates that it is a compilation of older texts, and therefore we can safely assume that the shift to this form of emphasis was firmly in place some centuries before the actual penning of this particular text.

The wound in question was undoubtedly of the Vedic Dharma. The realisation of Nirvana (‘dissolution’) which surfaced in the civilisation precisely around 2,500 years ago, was one aspect of the undermining. It diminished the validity of the cosmic manifestation to the point where the central premise of Vedic civilisation was shaken to the core: that is, as above, so below, to borrow the Hermetic aphorism.

In other words, the salient feature of every single cultural expression of this unique civilisation hinged on the recondite knowledge of equivalency. Or, what I have termed, the Laws of Correspondence. That is, the Vedic Seer not only had the deepest insights into the nature of Reality but was cognisant of the laws whereby ‘heaven’ was brought down to Earth. Thus, prior to the undermining, the whole point of Vedic sciences was to recreate the cosmic harmony either in music, sculpture or temple architecture, for example, and thereby to establish an intrinsic oneness with the Cosmos as the foundation of the civilisation.

With the 2500-year old undermining of the reality and validity of the Cosmos, this orientation suffered almost irreparable damage. Thus we find a clear gap in the historian’s analyses of the development of those sciences of approximately 1000 years – from 500 BC to 500 AD. During this time the Divine Measure was lost and this became reflected in the shift from ecliptical to constellational measurement of the Capricorn Gateway. This miscalculation was then carried over to all facets of cultural expressions where time played a part – i.e., the entire collective life.

The Vedic foundation was never dissolved by the undermining. It was simply clouded over, veiled, driven underground, as it were. This was made especially easy by the divide between astrology and astronomy, for example. Science was measurable. Pseudo-science (astrology) was not. And the gap widened to our present times where, as an example of the extremes this attitude has produced, we have a ‘secular’ architect in Auroville in charge of building a Seer’s vision and plan of a temple grounded solidly in Vedic science and tradition, and whose demolition of that Vision is fiercely upheld simply because it makes no sense to him and all others of his ilk who are in positions of power and able to continue inflicting the same critical damage on the civilisation as of old.

There are traces of sound knowledge of complicated mathematical and geometric processes in the ancient Vedic culture earlier than about 500 BC. It is interesting that no one can account for the proven existence of such knowledge given the assumed primitiveness of the race that was supposed to have migrated into and colonised the land. I will quote from Gheverghese once again in his discussion of the Sri Yantra of Tantric tradition:

‘Many of the accurate constructions of sriyantas in India are very old. Some are even more complicated than the one shown [here]. There are those that consist of spherical triangles for which the constructor, to achieve perfect intersections and vertices falling on the circumference of the circle enclosing the triangles, would require knowledge of “higher mathematics [which] the medieval and ancient Indian mathematician did not possess” [Kulaichev, 1984, p. 292.). Kulaichev goes on to suggest that the achievement of such geometrical constructs in Indian mathematics may indicate “the existence of unknown cultural and historical alternatives to mathematical knowledge, e.g. the highly developed tradition of special imagination”.’ (The Crest of the Peacock, p. 239.)

This ‘special imagination’ was of course the sound tradition of the Act of Seeing as the method to garner knowledge about anything worth the trouble. But though it seems to be a lost art, there is evidence of the practice, even in contemporary Indian society, for example in the work of the noted South Indian mathematician, Ramanujan. He is known to  have reached certain conclusions by great leaps in logic, overstepping usual procedures, clearly akin to the ‘special imagination’ referred to above by the historian. Even years after his death mathematicians continue to grapple with Ramanujan’s conclusions which are known now to be accurate but the processes leading to the final results are often bewilderingly foggy. It is also worth mentioning that Ramunajan dealt with numbers in a way reminiscent of this new cosmology and the ancient tradition. They were for him ‘beings’, invested with ‘personalities’. In addition, he is reported to have received his highest inspirations from the Goddess. Again true to the ancient Vedic tradition.

The editorial of The Times of India goes on to label the new wave in education as reflective of ‘divisive, unscientific and prejudiced ideological underpinnings’. And further on he states that …’It is reassuring, therefore, that the country’s intelligentsia has finally woken up to the mischief that is sought to be done through such abuse of the educational system’.

The only ‘mischief’ sought to be done is simply to rid the educational system of its colonial biases and set in its place the true indigenous culture so that the student may feel secure in his roots laying deeply in the soil he treads and not in a shallow top- soil brought from the Middle East and Europe. But this is unacceptable. Just as the Mother’s Vedic Temple was unacceptable and the western architect was allowed by all the powers-that-be in Auroville and the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry to dismantle that Vision in each and every detail, leaving in its place a meaningless, purposeless structure whose only notoriety lies in its ‘technological’, ‘unsuperstitious’ and ‘secular’ character.

The rise and establishment of Separatism

Following closely upon the heels of the separation between this world and that, this Earth and that Heaven beyond, the same distinction was played out in certain key areas of Vedic sciences. Astrology (jyotisa) was the first and most important. With the contribution of the scientific trio, Aryabharat, Varahamihira, and Bhaskara, among others, the split between astronomy and astrology became fixed – similar to the fixed and unchanging point in the sky which was the reference point of all subsequent astrological calculations after Varahamihira’s rectification of the calendar. Thereafter astrology began to suffer from an increasing subjugation to science. And this was separate and apart from the Vedic cosmological paradigm. Science could measure with accuracy what the other was able to establish only through the Act of Seeing, or via the yogic realisation of oneness or knowledge by identity. This was too ‘vague’, too much subject to error and not verifiable empirically. And these early scientists were in a position to expose the errors. In the process, because the yogi was not equipped to deal with the impositions, science succeeded in imposing its measure and relegating the yogi and the seer to the other side of the fence separating ‘reality’ from illusion. With the passage of time it became increasingly easy to label the Vedic approach as mere superstition. This condition has peaked in our century.

Again I must draw the discussion back to the original point made: the entire exercise centres on the accuracy of the Gateway to Capricorn. By the time that Gateway will be reached not in the yearly passage but in the long movement of the Precession of the Equinoxes determining the astrological Ages, covering two more signs, the distance in Hindu reckoning between these two 0 points will be one full quarter of the wheel. That is, all of ‘Swar’ will have been relegated to the cosmic dustbin, swallowed up by the Black Hole of otherworldliness.

But this, of course, in an impossibility, given India’s unalterable destiny; the reason being that very mechanism we are dissecting, described by the ecliptic itself and which harbours within its own method of rectification; or in this case of reestablishment.

Thus, the Vedic tradition sustains that periodically the Avatar incarnates to do the work of the Time-Spirit. The tales describing the missions of those who have passed and those to come, explain the work as a struggle between good and evil ostensibly. But, conditioned as we are by the latter-day religious consciousness which accompanied the split I have discussed in these pages, we are unable to appreciate the true character of these appearances and the connection the unfolding of their lives has with the evolution of the planet’s species and the fulfilment of its deepest purpose in the family of 9. Interestingly, the specific details of these appearances and the nature of the work accomplished or to be accomplished, can be read in that very celestial sphere we are dissecting at present with regard to the Capricorn Gateway. By the time the 10th Avatar appears, Kalki as he is known, the work is done. And that work is entirely described in the Capricorn hieroglyph, the 10th of the zodiacal 12. The reestablishment in question is the rectification whereby Swar is drawn down to Earth, rooted in the planet’s soil and in the area on the globe where that hieroglyph is embodied in the substance of our earthly mass. In other words, when oneness comes to replace duality and the perception of unity replaces the separative.

The importance of a text such as the Brihat Samhita lies in the fact that it reveals unequivocally the Earth-oriented character of the Vedic spirit. I am not concerned with the ‘science’ it is supposed to explain, but simply that this and similar texts indicate in no uncertain terms that for the Vedic Seers ‘heaven’ was not removed to another dimension accessible only through the practice of Yoga which was necessarily out of bounds for the ordinary mortal. It was a reality of our planetary abode – I repeat, a measurable space on the body of the Earth herself. These texts therefore display this intrinsic perception of oneness by the fact that they document the sense the sage was able to perceive in everything that went into the composition of his culture and civilisation.

Thus on page after age of the Brihat Samhita we find innumerable examples of what we have come to call ‘omens’. Or else there are many chapters dedicated to the study of physical features, both in animals and humans, which mean something or other. Naturally our present-day scientific culture ridicules these prescriptions, labelling them all ‘superstitions’, particularly because, as I have written earlier, these texts are not discussing ‘symbols’ and we cannot take refuge in the comforting phrases of all modern treatments of ‘symbols’ – i.e., one thing standing for another. Varahamihira, as others of his epoch, simply states facts: This IS that, it does not ‘stand for that’.

The fact is that we are far removed from such a consciousness, therefore we can only consider its expounders superstitious. But essential to note is not the truth or falsehood of the ‘omens’ but the fact that for some now inexplicable reason, the ancient Seers believed it was possible to read the forms of Nature as one would a book and discover meanings which are lost to us today. In other words, Nature’s manifold display was rendered sacred by this factor of deciphering a message hidden in form, a meaning completely lost to the eye of the contemporary scientist; and in most cases even to the eye of the modern yogi.

For both have become victims of ‘otherworldliness’. Swar is beyond, not here. And it is that truth-conscious Sun whose rays (cows) instil each and every element of our material creation with the seeds of this divine Purpose. Thus two of the most compellingly attractive deities of the Vedic pantheon are Usha, the divine Dawn, and Agni her ‘steed’. These early rays of the rising Sun are the first display of that truth-conscious Solar World, spreading its beneficence throughout the physical dimension.

The world of Varahamihira was already considerably removed in time from the epoch of the ancient Seers. In his period we are already into the decline of the Knowledge. This is revealed precisely in the chapters of the Samhita which deal with the means to accurately locate (in time) the solstice of Capricorn, or the shortest (and longest) day of the year. He reveals in his treatment of the subject that already in his day the divine Maya of the Veda was lost. Nonetheless, his emphasis on this particular point is especially important in that it helps us to locate the truly relevant portions of such studies and the prominence this solstice Gateway has always enjoyed.

In addition to the above, Varahamihira’s compilation from older texts shows us that the synthesis of various disciplines, various features of the culture, was possible because the backdrop was always the cosmic harmony, then as now.

For this is the salient feature of the eternal Dharma: it is eternal by virtue of the fact that it is grounded in that eternally unfolding cosmic harmony. As long as the cosmos lives, this Truth lives on.

When creation became a meaningless web of illusion, a tissue of cosmic and Earthly lies, forms of this creation could no longer be ‘read’; for the measure by which this was accomplished had been lost as a predictable outcome of the realisation of Dissolution. That which was dissolved in the experience was the pivot which provided the central position or poise from where any such ‘reading’ could ensue. That is, from the centremost Point, from soul to soul, or the deepest depths of every created thing. The direction, as I have pointed out time and again, was inward, a plunge to the Centre – not outward and beyond.

But this was a realisation known only to the earliest Rishis. Thereafter the direction changed. And even today when we speak of the soul, it has little resemblance to that Point of the Vedic realisation. The wonder of it all is that in spite of the relentless attacks on this Point, India has managed to preserve its high truth. But a deeper scrutiny of its history of the past two thousand years helps us to appreciate that first the attack was so-called spiritual, or in the realm of the yogic realisation proper. Then it passed on to the more tangible aspects such as the astronomical/astrological divide, the life of renunciation in contrast to the ‘worldly’ life, and so on down to our times and the division of secular and non-secular and all the confusion this separation engenders in societies which have something of those ancient roots intact.

In the vision and lived experience of Unity and Oneness, these stark divides are non-existent. Another example is the Ashramas, or the four stages of life: childhood, youth, householder and recluse, or retreat to the forest and a life dedicated to the inner pursuits. This simplified version of life was again a means to convey an integral realisation. After all, the stages were taken from the cosmic sphere, as all else in the Vedic Seeing. And in that wheel we do find the four quarters related to these very stages. Therefore, while utilising the circle as the backdrop, divided into these four periods of one’s life, again the message was driven home that time held the key, but that each segment was contained in the one vessel. As time unfolded the inner essence from the seed, these different stages found expression.

Important to note, however, is the fluidity of the design, a key feature which has become lost over the ages and the usual hardening has crystallised the moving sphere into a set and fixed pattern, more often than not presenting the individual with an ‘ideal’ which he or she cannot possibly attain.

Gheverghese’s book gives us a rather clear confirmation of my contention that the spiritual realisation preceded the subsequent decline which became visible in various areas of the collective life. This is especially confirmed precisely by the time factor. From his reading of the situation, based on the approximate turning points in the evolution of science in the subcontinent, we are able to appreciate that something occurred right at the time I have pinpointed on the basis of an understanding of what that new realisation brought into the civilisation. This period was the time of Gautam the Buddha, as well as the rise of Jainism. But it was also the beginning of the Age of Pisces, or 234 BC. It is important to note for our study that this is considered to be the period, covering perhaps half a millennium, when, as Gheverghese explains, ‘…The resulting decline in offering Vedic sacrifices, which had played such a central role in Hindu ritual, meant that occasions for constructing altars requiring practical skills and geometric knowledge became few and far between. There was also a gradual change in the perception of the role of mathematics: from fulfilling the needs of sacrificial ritual, it became an abstract discipline to be cultivated for its own sake.’ (Ibid, pp. 250-251.)

Thus, we note that when that earlier central perception was lost, around which hinged the geometry and mathematics of those days, the emphasis shifted and mathematics became more ‘secular’. It was no longer oriented to the construction of the Vedic altar (‘vedi’). And it was most probably during this period that the shift from the Earth-oriented measure of the solstice to the constellational sphere took place, in exclusion of all the rest. Thus, in the 6th century Varahamihira corrected the Hindu calendar, according to scholars, so that the precessional point would be more ‘accurate’. But this accuracy lost sight of that earlier perception, and with it an entirely different orientation.

The rediscovery of what has come to be known as ‘Vedic Mathematics’, which I have discussed earlier, highlights a very important shift that came about in the period we are analysing and which has become fully consolidated in our times. I refer to the fact that in the ancient system the striking aspect of the sages’ mathematics is its character of Unity. That is, the underlying principle of all Indian philosophy and yoga was reflected in that earlier arithmetical system by the fact that sums or other processes were carried out on the basis of a reference to a whole and undivided factor. As Gheverghese points out in his analysis of Vedic Mathematics, ‘…There are benefits from looking at a number not just as itself, but also in relation to a suitable base’ (ibid, p. 248, italics mine). This means that an operation was always carried out by referring to a whole, a unity, clearly reflecting the then consciousness of unity enjoyed by those who engaged in these sciences for purposes other than just as an ‘abstract discipline’.

To my knowledge, no one has cared to draw the connections I am making here. Perhaps because there is a rejection a priori of the idea that these more material and practical processes were preceded by the spiritual realisation. And that this yogic shift had the inevitable result of producing its effects in many areas of the civilisation’s cultural expressions. Indeed, most would consider that the shift I refer to was actually a progress and reduced the ‘superstitious’ content and paganistic animism to some extent; or that this signified a greater sophistication. Or else we read time and again that this development which was introduced or accentuated by Buddhism, was the answer to a growing predominance of the Brahmin caste and its suppression of those lower down on the echelon. However, if we study the matter deeply on the basis of the effects such a spiritual realisation necessarily produces, we realise that superstition must follow in the wake of a loss of an ‘eye that sees’. For it is when the ability to read the forms Nature produces on the basis of the true and higher Knowledge that those empty shells, as it were, become the property of the Cosmic Ignorance – i.e., the undivine Maya, or the lower Prakriti divorced from Purush, or Form devoid of sense; and this ‘empty space’ is then usurped and becomes the habitat of the Cosmic Lie. This separation, this divide is what characterises the Cosmic Ignorance. It is what produces rigidity and the fluidity mentioned above is lost. That hardness then becomes the fixed denominator of caste and affects so many other crucial areas of life. We see this clearly reflected in Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita, a text which carries all the characteristics of that hardening, for by then that Vedic realisation had become a thing of the past.

There was one area, however, that retained much of its pristine quality. This was architecture, namely of temples.

The Eternal Mountain

I doubt that it is possible to find an architectural form which reproduces in stone with such exactitude the deepest essence of a philosophy as we find in the Hindu Temple. Every aspect of the structure illumines the profoundest contents of the Veda. Insofar as the axis is the most important feature of the structure, along with and correlated to its alignment, I shall discuss this aspect of Vedic sacred architecture in depth. In so doing, the  purpose will be to highlight the precise manner in which these paramount features of the art have been carried over into our times. This transposition involves not only the Mother’s vision of a contemporary version of the ancient Seeing in precisely the plan of a temple, but also a certain mythological content with its equally exact symbolism. For the two go hand in hand in the true Act of Seeing.

The main focus is on the central axis of the temple and around that ‘churning stick’ the mountain takes shape. The Hindu temple is thus a most exact description of one of the most important of all Puranic myths, the tale of the Churning of the Primordial Ocean. Each Hindu temple, constructed anew today or standing in our midst from antiquity, reproduces this tale, with all that it signifies for a Capricorn-rooted civilisation.

Thus that axis is the pivot of Mount Meru, the churning stick with the serpent Vasuki wrapped around and tugged at by the Asuras and the Devas, the titans and the gods. Again, this appears to be a simple tale, primitive and quaint. Yet I am obliged to state that it contains the highest content of cosmological knowledge of our Age. And furthermore, that it is practical and applicable. On the basis of a comprehension of its multiple meanings we can discover our true purpose as a civilisation founded on a Vedic content, and the role India must play in this and the next millennium.

But this axis is not reserved for temples solely. We find the same content in all the ancient art forms of the subcontinent which are still practised today. It is found preeminently, so easily recognisable, in music where the drone is the axis, or the silent Sound out of which all sound arises and sustains itself. The drone is the churning stick, the immobile Centre which supports the action and movement of the raga, which permits a controlled expression to evolve. Or rather, which roots the experience (the raga) onto or into this Earth, just as Mount Meru is the physical India, the immobile centre of the globe, without which the same control in the evolution could not exist. Time could not function for us in the manner I have demonstrated in these pages without the axis of Mount Meru as a physical reality rooted into the planet’s very being.

I repeat, this was carried into all the other major art forms. In iconography it is especially evident but no less in dance. Bharatnatyam, for instance, is entirely based on this fact: the function of axial alignment. S. V. Rajee Raman has mentioned this in an article on the subject of Indian dance in the 14.2.1993 Sunday Mail.

‘Indian dance seeks to depict the perfect point or moment of balance along the vertical medium (brahmasutra), so much so that all movements emerge from and return to the sama or point of perfect balance akin to the samabhanga of sculpture. Indian dance concerns itself with movements of the human form in direct relation to the pull of gravity. No one has dared to challenge or change this.’

Clearly, given the fact that it is the same Mount Meru the dancer is called upon to reconstruct, and that this is the essential message of the Veda, it is obvious that to be faithful to this singular cosmic content the dancer must respect this feature and indeed it cannot be changed.

Dr. Stella Kramrisch, in her comprehensive study, The Hindu Temple, has also emphasised the special importance of the mountain symbol and its central axis in her analysis of the content of the Hindu temple. I shall quote extensively from her chapter, ‘The Image of the Mountain and the Cavern’, to help the student appreciate the manner in which the new cosmology has incorporated the most ancient Vedic knowledge which we still find preserved in India today. As far as temple architecture is concerned, this is especially true of Tamil Nadu where Aeon Centre of Cosmology is located. Kramrisch writes,

‘Meru, Mandara and Kailasa are the first three names amongst the twenty types of temples described in the early texts, the ‘Brihat Samhita’ and the “Matsya Purana’; all three are names of the Mountain, which is the axis of the world; that is Meru, the pole of this earth; Mandara as churning rod, planted on Vishnu, the tortoise, during the Satya Yuga, the first world age after the great commotion; and Kailasa, seat of Shiva, in the Himalaya. In these names rises the temple, the image, the aim and destination of this world edifice.’ (The Hindu Temple, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers)

In a footnote to the above, Kramrisch mentions a series of inscriptions, dating from the 5th century of our era, which extol certain important temples as the Mountain. Of particular interest, specifically related to our study of the importance of Capricorn as the high noon point, or the Cosmic Midday, is an inscription at Deopara in which, to quote Kramrisch, ‘the high temple of Pradyumnesvara is compared to the (central) Mountain on which rests the sun at midday [italics mine], and this is the only Mountain worth mention among all the mountains’ [Ibid].

Indubitably, this provides proof that the cosmological content of the Hindu temple rested on knowledge of the zodiacal sign Capricorn, the sign of the ‘sun at midday’, and its singular importance in the destiny of India, given its revered place in the body of Vedic knowledge. But what is important to note is that Mount Meru, representing India and Capricorn in the Hindu temple, is not just a geographical location. Its primary significance is its connection with the cosmos. That is, what is really being depicted is the uttarayana, or the higher hemisphere of the celestial sphere. The peak of the Mountain would thus be the uppermost northern sign of that hemisphere, Capricorn. And within the sign the peak is the 15th degree of the full 30 which each sign of the zodiac contains. In other words, the Hindu temple was concerned with capturing this cosmological fact in stone, with connecting the structure to that heavenly sphere, or with bringing that sign to Earth, with all that this act signifies in the ‘marriage of Heaven and Earth’.

Mount Meru is also Kailasa which is Shiva’s abode. In his marriage to Parvati, a hierogamos still celebrated with great fervour throughout India today during the main festival to Shiva, the Shivaratri, Shiva is that ‘heaven’ and Parvati is that ‘earth’ made sacred by this divine commingling.

Kramrisch discusses at length the ‘verticality’ of the superstructure of the temple which is devised in such a way as to emphasise the mountain imagery. Then, she passes on to the interior, as if one were penetrating the mountain itself, to discover in its innermost recesses ‘a cavern’. In the Vedic terminology, this is known as the Garbhagriha, the womb-house. She writes,

‘Within it and below the superstructure is the Garbhagriha, the ‘womb of the house’, a small chamber, square, in the majority of the preserved temples, and dark as a cave in a mountain. It is the innermost sanctuary…’ (Ibid).

The author stresses the fact in her penetrating analysis and compilation of the ancient texts that from this ‘womb’, similar to the seed or bija, the entire temple develops:

‘The seed is deposited at night in the womb of mother Earth, as Garbha, a germ of the temple… In the vertical, in the upward direction, which is that of growth, from below,…the power of germination lifts as it were the lid of the Garbhagriha… The Garbhagriha is the nucleus of an all sided increase on the outside, in the horizontal, a stepping forth from the dark interior into expanding bulk and multiplicity of form and meaning . . . ‘  (Ibid, p. 165).

The two important universal directions are emphasised here – vertical and horizontal, or contraction and expansion. In the new cosmology, contrary to the connection Kramrisch seems to be drawing here, contraction is related to the vertical direction by way of Involution; expansion relates to  the horizontal and the Evolution. But the important point to note is that in the Vedic temple we find centrally incorporated these two directions. In the original plan of the Mother’s temple, the same directions are emphasised.

In the next section entitled, ‘The Superposition of Shapes along the Vertical Axis’, Kramrisch turns to the fundamental importance of the vertical axis in the temple design; indeed, she makes it clear in her analysis that the question of the central axis from the Garbhagriha, cutting through the peak of the superstructure – or the apex of ‘the mountain’ – is common to all Hindu temples and that it is the single most important element.

‘On this vertical axis are threaded the levels of the building, its floors (bhumi) and profiles, their projections and recesses. Expansion [in this instance equated with the horizontal] proceeds from the central point of the Garbhagriha, in the horizontal, in all directions of space; this spread with its particularisation is gathered up towards the apex; the broad mass with its many forms is reduced to a point,…beyond its total form… Its mass diminishes while it is drawn along the vertical to a high point, straight above the centre in the dark small space of the interior…’ (Ibid, p.167).

Further on she writes,

‘Symbols such as the vertical axis or pillar along which the varied forms are threaded on different levels or the cave in the mountain, and architectural forms such as the convergence of ascending lines which connect the perimeter of the building with the end of its vertical axis, or the various shapes of the superstructure, these and other images and forms constitute the symbolical and concrete structure of the temple. The temple under the name of the mountain resembling it by its peaked form, is always the One Mountain, an image of manifestation in its hierarchy along the central axis of being. This axis passes through all the strata of existence and shows them linked to the highest point, at different levels. From the highest point the line passes in the centre and pierces the ground in the middle of the Garbhagriha where the Linga or image is. From the perimeter of the (temple) towards its highest point rises the bulk of the building, a vesture of the central axis, in its folds and throughout its extent, it is an exposition of the total meaning of the temple in the particular application to each single spot.’ (Ibid, p.168)

My purpose in quoting Stella Kramrisch in detail on this particular aspect of the Hindu temple is the need to establish certain focal points of reference so that we may recognise these same elements in the contemporary experience. My intention is to demonstrate factually the precise manner in which the Vedic Dharma is reestablished. As stated earlier, this is achieved exclusively on the basis of that same Act of Seeing which the ancient Rishis made use of in their foundation-laying of what we know as Hinduism today. The temple which ultimately emerged from this act, reproduced throughout the centuries and across the breadth of the subcontinent, is veritably a Book of Knowledge. Each one contains the detailed Knowledge of the most essential features of the Vedic experience.

For the Hindu, therefore, the temple is not merely a place of worship, a place for congregating, a stronghold of the priesthood, the Bhramin caste, or whatever. The Hindu temple is a vibrant documentation of the seed of the Veda, and the power, it is most important to note, which is generated from a scrupulous adherence to the sage’s specifications regarding the measurement, design, orientation and materials employed in the man-made construction which allow it to serve as the vessel for certain cosmic energies of a particular order to be deposited on Earth.

There are thus several elements to be noted for the purpose of demonstrating the manner in which a true reestablishment comes into being. First is the Mountain symbol, then the Cave, or garbhagriha at the centre of the Mountain, and finally the Vertical Axis rising to the top through the centre’…like a hollow reed… This hollow reed passes through its centre. The pillar inheres in the (temple) which is the universe in a likeness. The Pillar of the Universe, the Axis Mundi, inheres in the World Mountain…’ (Ibid, page 175). And, of course, this ‘pillar’ is Skambha.

The reestablished ‘Mountain Axis’

In 1970, I wrote The Magical Carousel. The book was the fruit of an ‘act of seeing’, a veritable projection onto the point between my eyebrows, as if there was a screen therein on which this vivid projection took shape. The result was a contemporary myth, conforming to all the demands of this type of oral and literary creation.

I will quote portions from Chapter 10 of this story, precisely the chapter describing ‘the land of Capricorn’. In so doing, the student will be able to appreciate that indeed the Veda is based on an Eternal Truth, a sanatan dharma, in as much as the Act of Seeing occurred well beyond the borders of subcontinental India and at a time when I had no knowledge of all the intricacies of the Hindu temple, much less its relation to the Mountain, and, above all, to the zodiacal sign of Capricorn. Yet it will become more than clear from the portions quoted that a certain timeless dimension opened its doors, or drew aside its veils and allowed me to see. In so doing, an act of reestablishment occurred in the domain of myth, so essential a feature of Vedic culture.

Chapter 10 is entitled. ‘The Universal Mother, Conquest and Crystallisation in Matter’. It begins when the two protagonists, the children Val and Pom-pom, are transported by the heroic Centaur of the previous sign-land, Sagittarius, and deposited ‘at the border’, beyond which he is not permitted to go. It is the special boundary which the Aryan Warrior of old sought to cross in his quest, in his ‘journey’ to the top of the Mountain in the tenth sign-month. (We shall discuss the nature of this ‘border’ further on and its relationship to the Supramental Creation.) Once across the border and in the land of Capricorn, the children come face-to-face with ‘the Mountain’:

‘An enormous steep mountain rises before them, a majestic sight that juts up from the plains and stretches to the heavens. Silhouetted against the bright sky it would seem as if the mountain were living, actually breathing, for the shadows formed by the crests and crevices make it appear as the face of a very ancient and wise person.’ (The Magical Carousel, p.103)

This first seeing establishes certain facts which are contained in the Veda and in the New Way. To begin, we have the land epitomised in the Mountain symbol. Added to this is that it [this it?] is equated with the ancient sages, the ‘wise person’. This is the ‘One Mountain’ Kramrisch refers to in her analysis of the Hindu temple, the ‘only Mountain worth mention among all the mountains’.

The children begin to scale the Mountain and when they stop to rest, surveying the land below in the far distance they see a vast bed of water. There is a splash and ‘some sort of animal emerging from the water (which) they suspect to be a crocodile’. When this strange animal reaches the children, they realise it is a Goat with the tail of a fish – or the traditional animal-symbol of Capricorn. But mention of a crocodile in connection with the sign is significant in this type of spontaneous seeing. The Sanskrit work for Capricorn is makar, which is translated as ‘crocodile’. Referring to Kramrisch’s text once again, we shall see how pointedly this ‘crocodile’ surfaces in the garbhgriha of the Hindu Temple, and its precise relation to Capricorn, the apex sign of the uttarayana, or the ‘northern hemisphere’ of the ecliptic. In a footnote Kramrisch refers to the ‘water in the cave’,

‘The ‘water in the cave’ is in the Garbhagriha the water with which the Linga or image are laved in the daily rites. It passes from the image to a drain on the floor which traverses the middle of the north wall of the Garbhagriha, and leaves through a spout carved in the likeness of a Makara, etc. The water in which the Linga or image has been bathed is sanctified and therefore is made to flow to the north. The Ganges too is most sacred where its course turns northward. The northern direction implies an upward course, back towards the origin – high up in the mountains and higher still in the celestial region.’ (The Hindu Temple, p.171, italics mine.)

It does not require much special insight to recognise that this is specifically Capricorn emerging once again in a most precise manner in the interior ‘cave’ of the Hindu temple. Both the sign’s symbol (Makar), as well as the position of the spout in the north wall so that the sacred water is made to ‘flow northward’ echo two of the most important elements of the sign. But it is curious to note that in spite of these very obvious clues, indicating to the researcher where  to seek for the temple’s deepest significance and purpose – that is, the sign Capricorn – Kramrisch does not do so, similar to other researchers and scholars. Ignoring the Capricorn connection makes it impossible to render temple architecture a living art and eternally renewable. For it is Time, and in India’s case, Capricorn or the Makar Sankranti which hold the key to this renewability.

To return to our contemporary myth, the Goat-Fish (makar) carries the exhausted children further up the mountain and finally deposits them before a door which leads into the heart of the Mountain. They protest. They had wanted to reach the peak, but the Goat-Fish explains, ‘You cannot reach it by the outside. It is only through the inside that you may come to the peak’… (The Magical Carousel, p.105).

In view of the extensive description from Kramrisch’s work which I have quoted, precisely regarding the interior and the vertical axis leading to the top of the temple, or the peak of the mountain, these lines reveal that in penetrating the deepest recesses of the sign Capricorn, on which the Hindu temple is based, anyone, anywhere can see the form of the Hindu temple as devised by the ancient Seers, and that in its most essential details, the contemporary act of seeing will coincide perfectly with the experience of the earlier Rishis. But let us proceed with the story and the ‘ascent’ in the interior of the mountain.

The children do indeed experience the ascent once inside the mountain. But instead of reaching the peak, propelled by the Force they come into contact with, they find themselves.

‘….thrust into a solitary, isolated chamber of bare walls…Val and Pom-pom are at a point of utter despair when an insistent, continuous ticking is heard through the heavy silence. The sound increases and increases, becoming louder with each tick until it is right upon them and apparently in their very presence. They begin running round and round, passing their hands along the bare walls to make sure there are no secret doors and are soon at the point of exhaustion and collapse to the ground.

‘Lying there in complete stillness they become aware of a hole in the middle of the room, which seems to have been there all the while. The children crawl up to it, peer over the rim and down below they see an old, old man with flowing beard and long white hair, seated at a table with a huge book open before him. Behind him stands a great clock, unusual and unique for there are only three symbols drawn on its face: a minus to the left, a plus to the right and a circle in the middle. But there are no hands pointing anywhere as one would normally expect. The ticking is loud and strong now for it comes from this very clock.

‘As they gaze at the scene below, the old gentleman, table and clock slowly rise into the centre of the room through the hole.’ (Ibid, p.109-110.)

The essence of this Mountain chamber, so obviously the garbhagriha of the Hindu temple, also constructed on the basis of the mountain symbolism and Capricorn, is the Time-Spirit, or Mahakala of Vedic tradition. And this is Shiva. In the footnote from Stella Kramrisch’s book quoted above, the water which had been used in the inner sanctum of the Hindu temple and made to flow northward, was to bath the linga, an image sacred to Shiva. In our contemporary act of seeing it is precisely Shiva whom the children encounter, in the form of Mahakala, the Great Time.

In the desire to make this study non-speculative, I have quoted the above portions of The Magical Carousel in order to emphasise the point that in any attempt at reestablishment, the first prerequisite is the ability to carry out the same yogic process which produced the original Seeing. And this must be a spontaneous and non-mentalised approach. One cannot mentally create a myth, insofar as myths emerge from the fount of the soul and can be transcribed only on the basis of a plunge into this ‘cave’ in the mountain of one’s inner being, similar to a penetration as Val and Pom-pom have done into the interior of the Mountain where they meet the Time-Spirit who deciphers the script of their soul, that is, their destiny, by finding their page in the great Book of Life.

When this is accomplished, the Time-Spirit encourages them to continue their journey, to reach ‘the top of the mountain’ and the coveted vision of Omanisol, or the Universal Mother, essence of the very mountain itself. Or, the essence of creation. But to reach this Presence the children must do so through a shaft, a ladder of 99 steps, which carries them through the centre of the chamber to the top, as if it were indeed the ‘hollow reed’ Kramrisch describes as the vertical axis of all Hindu temples, leading through the ‘mountain’ of the superstructure from the garbhagriha to the peak. Likewise, in our contemporary Act of Seeing, there is a vertical axis which is the only means to reach the top of the Capricorn Mountain, and the divine Mother.

‘A woman sits before them.

‘She is clothed in robes that blend in colour with the mountain, in fact she herself appears to be a continuation of the mountain itself. She sits on the ground with legs crossed and covered by the robes, immobile and breathing ever so slightly, in a manner which makes one feel the physical life in her is suspended. Her face is not old but rather ancient, and her half-closed eyes reveal an understanding that is of the nature of the mountain over which she presides. Omanisol is cloaked in an aura of serenity and strength, of timelessness and intensity, which become a part of the children merely by being in her presence…

‘The mountain peak is enveloped in the rays of the brightest midday sun, which, however, Val and Pom-pom cannot locate in the sky. This vivid light makes it possible to see over an enormous distance, an unending stretch of land on all sides, revealing every type of landscape – dominated by the abode of Omanisol…’ (Ibid, p.111-112.).

What is described here is the land of Bharat Mata, our Omanisol, who is the centre of the World Mountain and from which central point one can see ‘an unending stretch of land on all sides.’ This is indeed India, Mount Meru, or the ‘churning stick’, that immobile rod or Axis Mundi. The analysis of the Hindu temple, presented by Dr. Kramrisch with many compilations from the ancient texts, tallies in almost every detail with the essential elements of the Capricorn chapter of The Magical Carousel. Inasmuch as my Act of Seeing was via the zodiac, a ‘journey’ through its twelve signs in the course of the year, I came upon the same Knowledge of old simply by penetrating the deepest recesses of the ‘sign-land’. What I discovered was the fundaments of the Hindu Temple in virtually all its details, at a time when I had no knowledge at all of Hinduism and its places of worship. Nor did I have any knowledge of sacred architecture of sacred geometry then. This too proves that the first step is the Act of Seeing, rather than the dry study of architecture and geometry. That is, devoid of that Vision, that Sense, these disciplines are simply academic exercises. They arise in the mental plane and bear no resemblance to the Vedic experience.

The point of the above is of course to demonstrate how the act of reestablishment of the Vedic Dharma takes place on the basis of a renewal which respects the essential Seeing but has the power to carry that experience into the present in an organic, harmonious process which is bereft of even the slightest tinge of dogmatism, rigidity and fossilisation. Time moulds the vision into the contours of its eternal present and  influenced by the circumscribing conditions at any given moment. But central to the experience is the Evolutionary Avatar.

In The Magical Carousel it is the Avatar whom the children meet in the person of the Time-Spirit, for indeed the Avatars of Hindu tradition are known to be offspring of the Time-Spirit. But in this myth the form taken is specifically that of Mahakala because this is indeed the 9th Manifestation and therefore the Evolutionary Avatar of this sacred period of the eternally revolving Wheel is the 9th, who embodies the essence of that very Time-Spirit, or Shiva. And indeed, true to the Act of Seeing, it is Sri Aurobindo who appears before the children, the ‘old, old man with flowing beard and long white hair’.

The vertical axis, or the ladder of 99 steps, offers another clue to the Avatar. Apart from being that central shaft of the Hindu temple, in this case the ‘measure’ is 99. Indeed, when I did come to India, to the very abode of that Time-Spirit in the form of this 9th Avatar, it was in 1971, or in Sri Aurobindo’s 99th year. Joined with him in this renovation of the Divine Veda is the Mother. In our contemporary Act of Seeing it is Omanisol, the essence of the Capricorn Mountain. These two Beings are connected in the story by this ‘measure’ of 99. And indeed, the only way to the mountain top is through the centre, the interior dimension of being, a truth captured in every Hindu temple from time immemorial.

We have seen how reestablishment is carried out in the dimension of myth, so essential a feature of Vedic culture and contemporary Indian society. Now let us turn to the other facet of this Reestablishment, that of the actual temple plan. Or the Vedic Temple made new for this 9th Manifestation, respecting, however, every aspect of the old and ancient Way. Indeed, carrying that earlier Seeing to unimaginable heights of unparalleled splendour. This is not a fundamentalist’s imposition or a revivalist’s frenzy. It is simply Veda, the eternal Truth, eternally renewed by the Evolutionary Avatar – a phenomenon unique to India.

Ganga - Soul of Indian Culture

Myth, the Vision of the Real, The Vishaal Newsletter, volume 1, no. 2, June 1986

‘Religion…by putting God far above in distant heavens made man too much of a worm of the earth, little and vile before his Creator and admitted only by a caprice of his favour to a doubtful salvation in superhuman worlds. Modern thought seeking to make a clear riddance of these past conceptions had to substitute something else in its place, and what it saw and put there was the material law of Nature and the biological law of life of which human reason was to be the faithful exponent and human science the productive utiliser and profiteer. But to apply the mechanical blindness of the rule of physical Nature as the sole guide of thinking and seeing man is to go against the diviner law of his being and maim his higher potentiality. Material and vital Nature is only a first form of our being and to overcome and rise beyond its formula is the very sense of a human evolution. Another and greater Power than hers is the master of this effort, and human reason or human science is not that Godhead, but can only be at best one and not the greatest of its ministers. It is not human reason and human science which have been working out their ends in or through the tempest that has laid low so many of their constructions. A greater Spirit awaits a deeper questioning to reveal his unseen form and his hidden purpose.’

 Sri Aurobindo
‘The Unseen Power’ c. 1918
War and Self-Determination
CE, Volume 15, page 594

‘Twelve books to an epic is a classical superstition, but the new Savitri may extend to ten books – if much is added in the final version it may be even twelve.’

Sri Aurobindo, 1936
Letters on Savitri

On the subject of East/West intermingling, for students of the new cosmology perhaps it would be of interest to present an example of a thoroughly eastern inspiration that was received in the West in early 1970, when I began writing The Magical Carousel. At the time I was unaware of this connection and was not at all familiar with the material which dated back to India’s remote antiquity. My inspiration invoked certain key elements of the nation’s most ancient scriptures, the Vedas, though it is unlikely the pundits would accept the connection I am now able to make between the two. Thus, by presenting the details of this experience, students will bear witness to the manner in which one can unveil truths that in the Indian scriptures themselves have been hidden for the past several thousand years, in the very land of their origin. In this review it will be seen how the East/West barrier disintegrates when true inspiration comes; but more than that, how in reaching the truer essence one is able to rend the veils that obscure the vision in the two hemispheres, by uncovering mysteries ignored by both.

In writing The Magical Carousel I was taken up by a flow of inspiration in a certain sense unrepeated in any of my later works. Indeed, it seemed to be a sort of seed-vision which thereafter blossomed in a host of different ways in all my other writings, in which I have always been able to find traces of the original seed-vision. This is what pundits sustain about the four Vedas of Indian tradition. It is held that all of India’s subsequent spirituality, schools of yoga, philosophy, ritual and so forth, have their roots in the Veda and can be traced to this remote source. Thus these ancient scriptures stand at the heart of Indian wisdom, and one may find verification of any experience in these most sacred and ancient texts – in fact, the most ancient sacred texts the world knows. Furthermore, they are not fossils of a defunct civilisation. Rather, they are still alive and vibrant. Each day in fact, priests, pundits, laypersons chant hymns from the Rig Veda – the Gayatri, for instance, at the start of the day – thereby keeping the ancient tradition alive.

In 1970 I was living in Rome, Italy, and I knew nothing of the Rig Veda, nor had I any conscious knowledge of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, for that matter. My attention at that time was focused on certain methods of self-knowledge and transformation that paralleled their work in a sense, by virtue of an emphasis on the integral nature of the processes. One of the systems I used for objective knowledge at that time was the ancient zodiacal tradition. A source of objective knowledge, always of capital importance, was all the more necessary since I was alone in the quest in the midst of an environment somewhat alien to this type of endeavour.

From the first moment I came upon this branch of ancient lore, I realised that there was far more in the study than anyone realised; and from that moment I set about delving into the art’s sacred mysteries until I reached the core of their wisdom. The twelve hieroglyphs of the signs were, for me, storehouses of higher knowledge, though this seems to have been withheld from seekers over the millennia. Having perceived early on the unity of the signs, the coherent and progressively connected development from the first through the last, I was able to extract from them what had for so long remained hidden. I realised that those sacred symbols were very ancient, far more than we are encouraged to believe by historians and archaeologists. Moreover, the exact origins of the glyphs and pictographs of the signs have never been pinpointed with accuracy, either in space or time. They seem to have been always present among us, in the midst of our civilisation and deeply rooted in our collective consciousness from the dawn of time. However, after moving to India in 1971, I soon came to discover that the accepted thesis of a Mid-Eastern origin of the zodiac is unlikely, insofar as I was able to find indications that the zodiac was not only known in India in very ancient times, but finally I discovered exact references to it in the Rig Veda, which, as we know, is older than any document or other extant evidence pointing to a Mid-Eastern origin of the zodiac. (See, The New Way, Volume 2, Chapter 10.)

To illustrate, I would like to present a few lines of verse that Sri Aurobindo composed at the time he was deeply engrossed in translating the Rig Veda from the Sanskrit, in an effort to unravel its mysteries, much as I had spent years in a quest for the true secrets of the zodiacal language, as part of the discovery of a new synthesis of cosmic harmonies. The following is a translation of Rig Veda I, Sukta 52, Riks 1-5. Sri Aurobindo translated this particular hymn in rhymed couplets. And the astonishing fact is that these few lines disclose, or rather confirm, that in writing The Magical Carousel I had touched the same source of inspiration or had seen into the same plane as the Rishi who composed this hymn. Sri Aurobindo’s poetic translation came to be published only in 1984 for the first time:

‘A hundred perfect births surprised my sight,
Then I beheld the visioned Ram of light
Whose two gold horns have rent the burning gates
Of the Sun-world’s felicitous estates.
He is the Lord who thunders on my eyes
And comes a galloping strength to sacrifice
And like a hastening chariot runs to me
When he has heard my sacred poesy…’

Sri Aurobindo Archives & Research, December 1984

Those who have read The Magical Carousel will immediately recognise ‘Ram of the golden horns’, the personified Aries symbol, whom Val and Pom-Pom meet in their entry into ‘Zodiacland’ (Chapter 1). The concordance of this exact image in both texts, ancient and new, is not an isolated element without an overall significance pertinent to the deepest essence of the Rig Veda as a whole, as a complete system of Knowledge. And the same can be said for the zodiac. “Ram of light/Whose two gold horns have rent the burning gates/Of the Sun-world’s felicitous estates” is of course the God Indra, to whom the hymn is addressed, the Lord of the Heavens in the Vedic Pantheon. I have drawn attention in my writings to the fact that Indra, who is eulogised throughout the Rig Veda as the Ram or the Bull, is connected to the first two zodiacal signs, Aries and Taurus, whose pictographs are precisely the Ram and the Bull. And Indra’s two eyes, the Sun and the Moon, are known in zodiacal tradition to be ‘exalted’ in these two signs: the Sun in Aries, the Moon in Taurus. The very root of the Sanskrit name Indra is associated with the Moon.

However, when I wrote The Magical Carousel I had no conscious knowledge of Indian scriptures and in particular of this most ancient one, no knowledge of any of their Gods, much less of any relation they may have had to the zodiac. I repeat, I was simply following the thread of a vision, allowing the inspiration to flow on and on. Yet it was not a random and uncontrolled flow, with a product conveying a disconnected and hence incoherent vision. Having a background format to guide the seeing – the twelve zodiacal signs – the result was a distinctly unified vision, a development through the signs progressively unveiling the path of the soul in this sublime odyssey, the basic theme of the Vedic hymns in fact: the ‘sacrifice’ or ‘journey’ that was carried out within the measure of the Year, – the Earth’s orbit of the Sun, or its ‘divine measure’ and hence the sacred module for the soul’s unveiling in the prime species that the planet houses. This is essentially the heart of all myth. We can understand by this that in the Rig Veda, as in all other ancient mythologies and systems of Knowledge, the Earth is revealed to have a special mission in the solar system. The evolution she supports allows a conscient being to come into existence, who can participate in full awareness in this journey of discovery, amidst all the glories of the multiple world of form in which this Sacrifice takes place, a witness as well as an active participant of this magnificent unveiling, whereby the Absolute, through the human instrument, knows and enjoys Itself.

The connection is therefore very precise: the 12 signs covering the twelve months of our Earth year were known to the Vedic Rishis, who placed this same Year, divided into 12 and bearing the same symbols for the most part, on the central altar of their sacrifice. Even more specifically, the hymns inform us that the Rishis considered the months to be gateways to the highest summit: ‘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 in the other, and it is these that Brahmanaspati [Jupiter] has made manifest to knowledge…’ (II.24-5). These ‘doors’ are the same ‘gates’ that Ram (Indra) of the golden horns is said to rend in the Sun-world, and the same gates that Val and Pom-Pom open with the special keys they are given when they journey ‘into the Sun’.

In The Magical Carousel, without knowing the ancient text, I presented the same vision. In it, ‘Indra’ appears in the same form of a Ram with golden horns:

‘Suddenly from the distance a horn sounds and they [Val and Pom-Pom] hear the thunder of great galloping hoofs, interrupted every now and then by the loudest of bangs; the horns bellow out, then the hoofs, next the bangs, – all sparked by the cracking sounds of a whip.

‘The children rush to hide, or at least to get out of the way of whatever is coming, for they don’t even know what it is or where its path lies. But all too soon through the crimson wilderness a great majestic ram with golden horns and fiery eyes comes dashing forth. He pulls a chariot within which is a huge man in primitive hunter’s dress, of furs, leather and knee-high skin boots. He cracks a whip in the air, setting off sparks the same colour as his flaming red hair that falls in masses to his shoulders. But most incredible of all are his eyes, luminous tongues of fire! He spurs the animal on and the ram knocks down everything in the path of the chariot with the bash of his horns…’,

The Magical Carousel, pages 7-8.

The purpose of this crashing drive is so that Ram may open ‘the pathway of the Sun’. It is evident that in my vision I had entered that same ‘Sun-world’ as the Rishi who sang the glories of Indra in the verses Sri Aurobindo has translated. However, there is more to analyse in this cutting across time and space, and it will cast some definitive light on the great body of Knowledge contained in the Rig Veda, which, lamentably, has not been properly understood by either Indians or Westerners. Indeed, in a recently unearthed and hitherto unpublished piece, ‘The Gods of the Veda’, Sri Aurobindo wrote ‘…for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Veda.’ (Sri Aurobindo Archives & Research, December, 1984.)

I propose in this article to show how and why this has been so, with exact examples to render concrete and devoid of abstraction the knowledge here put forth. This analysis will assist the contemporary pundit, as well as the Western Indologist, to understand a methodology that is ancient yet modern, a system of knowledge whose foundations lie in that ‘Sun-world’ of the Vedas. It is an eternal plane, but one which is involved in a progressive manifestation in time on our planet. If I could enter that Sun-world today and unknowingly come upon the very same images as the Seer who composed these hymns to Indra some 6000 or more years ago, it is proof enough that the knowledge is one and eternal.

But there are certain details of this concordant vision that must be analysed, for they throw light on various hitherto perplexing areas of thought and aspects of a synthetic seeing with which the contemporary human being has lost touch. This concerns dual and even multiple images that extol or explain the same Godhead. For example, in The Magical Carousel, I describe the Ram of the Golden Horns. This we now know is the same Ram of the Vedic Rishi’s vision of Indra. In The Magical Carousel I have also presented a humanised form of this Godhead, who would be comparable to the more humanly recognisable Lord Indra of the Veda – in these particular verses portrayed as the Ram. In my vision they appear together, as often they do in the Rig Veda by including the God’s vahana or animal carrier. This method of expressing certain profound truths of creation, its powers or the energy flows of our world, our solar system, the many subtle as well as physical dimensions, is unsurpassed. This same system has been carried over to the later Puranic period. Therein we find that all the Gods have a specific carrier, ever connected with their appearances; for example, the Peacock of Kartikeya, Ganesh’s Mouse carrier, Brahma’s Elephant, the Eagle of Vishnu, and so forth.

Why is this imagery chosen, and what is its real significance in each case? It is simply that the humanised form expresses the conscious element, the ‘seeing-eye’ or the aspect of Consciousness emerging in the vision; while the carrier expresses the dynamic Energy and its mode of manifestation. The carrier describes that energy as it is channelled and experienced on Earth and in the conscious act of evolution within the very specific framework that Time provides as a gestating power: the Spirit at work through human evolution. In zodiacal tradition these energy ‘qualities’ are threefold, as they are in Indian systems of knowledge. Thus, to provide readers with a specific example, in the Aries chapter of The Magical Carousel, this energy flow is conveyed in the story in the fact that the adventures experienced in ‘Ariesland’, the land of Ram and the Hunter who are meant to open a pathway for the Sun, occur in fits and starts, we may say. This expresses the Cardinal quality of the sign, or its Rajas nature, according to Hindu psychology. But being the very first sign, it stands that this terrific burst is as yet uncontrolled, less refined; and therefore the image coupled with the Ram is that of a primitive hunter, precisely to convey this experience of a Consciousness-Energy as yet in its initial and more chaotic stages of manifestation, a sort of chaos out of which order (‘cosmos’) is to emerge. Scientific cosmology would call this the Big Bang and similarly describe for the macrocosm an emergent order out of that primordial Chaos.

I have referred to the Puranas wherein we find elements of the Vedic system transported to this more recent mythology. Throughout my written works, in fact, I have consistently drawn a connection between these two sources of wisdom, the Vedic and the Puranic. It may be argued that in so doing I have overlooked what is universally considered the highest India has to offer humanity in sacred texts of knowledge, – that is, the Upanishads. But I must state that my spirit has found immense fulfilment in a penetrating quest into the truths contained in the Veda and the Puranas, rather than the Upanishads. I have always felt that far more is contained in the former, and that indeed in India and the West these two sacred texts have not only been disregarded but often ridiculed. It seemed to me that a rediscovery and reinstatement were called for. And this is what I have done.

In this context, I must point out that Sri Aurobindo came to the same conclusion, that from these two founts the future renaissance of Indian wisdom would be drawn. Thus, in the same essay, ‘The Gods of the Veda’, he wrote,

‘If Purana and Veda cannot be rehabilitated, it is yet possible that our religion driven out of the soul into the intellect may wither away into the dry intellectuality of European philosophy or the dead formality and lifeless clarity of European Theism. It behoves us therefore to test our faith by a careful examination into the meaning of Purana and Veda and into the foundation of that truth which our intellect seeks to deny but our living spiritual experience continues to find in their conceptions. We must discover why it is that while our intellects accept only the truth of Vedanta, our spiritual experiences confirm equally or even more powerfully the truth of Purana. A revival of Hindu intellectual faith in the totality of the spiritual aspects of our religion, whether Vedic, Vedantic, Tantric or Puranic, I believe to be an inevitable movement of the near future.’

Ibid, pages 134-5.

I have written time and again that the fount of myth is the soul. Today, unlike in Sri Aurobindo’s time, it has become fashionable to undertake studies of comparative mythology and to seek thereby to establish a connection between East and West via investigations into the mythologies and epics of ancient cultures. However, I must admit that these studies have never satisfied me. They seem to suffer from the same insufficiency Sri Aurobindo describes regarding an over-intellectualised emphasis that disregards the more soul-inspired texts. Myth is a soul expression. But more than that, it encompasses a very precise system of Knowledge. Without an understanding of what that ancient system of Knowledge is, it is virtually impossible to come to the true heart of Myth, whether eastern or western. Indeed, it is because this system of knowledge and transformation has disappeared from the Indian tradition and only what has been carried over into later schools of thought and to a certain degree preserved in the Puranic myths, has survived, that no truly sound interpretation of the Rig Veda has come forth, – except, I must clarify, what Sri Aurobindo has contributed to this subject. But inasmuch as his interpretation evokes this most ancient wisdom, now ignored, his work in this field has been largely disregarded by contemporary scholars and pundits.

The same could be said for zodiacal wisdom: inasmuch as it embraces a system of knowledge and a ‘path of yoga’ now lost, this tradition has also remained a veiled mystery.

The studies in comparative mythology we find in abundance today, even the best of them, are dry intellectual exercises, devoid of any direct experience and insight in the soul, and hence are unable to throw any real and meaningful light on the subject. Furthermore, and this is by far the most important point, it has been my experience that there is only one way to discover the truth of the past and the real method and purpose of the ancient teachings devoid of romanticism and fanciful extrapolations, the fragments of which we find in myth, sacred architecture and all the extant scriptures and epics from the earliest Ages. This is, to discover that same truth in the present. The arguable point is, however, What is meant by a discovery of this nature in the present, and in what manner can it be experienced? What is the method?

In order to support this statement I have offered examples of this very process in these Newsletters, as I have done in fact in all my published works. The example presented herein is one such clue to the process. Thus, The Magical Carousel can be called a modern myth. And this is the important point. The fount of its inspiration was the soul, as it has been in the composition of any other myth. The soul is an eternal source of Knowledge, and hence if one taps that source, one sees perforce into the same plane of truth (‘eternal worlds’ the Rishis call them) as has been done in other ages, other times. Certain thinkers have realised this; for example, the psychologist Carl Jung, to name just one. But when studying the work of these men, I am left dissatisfied, insofar as it is invariably fragmentary. There may be glimpses of the truth, but the essential psychic element is lacking, and this would reveal that one had indeed entered into that sacred dimension of the soul by virtue of a unity of vision that emerges, accompanied by an Earth-oriented focus. The soul of the Earth is one with the individual soul, as well as with the collective soul of the species. Inspirations which are connected to this soul fount display a oneness whereby all the elements of our world, and in particular the planet on which we live, are encompassed: a true harmony of spirit and matter. The biological laws that describe our physical beings, our ‘vahanas’, have come into existence as conditions imposed by the planet’s constitution, her position in the solar system, and, above all, the measure of her orbit of the Sun. Hence in epic, myth, and the psychic seeing these elements are prominent and are conveyed by unforgettable, striking symbolic imagery.

In true myth – and when I use this word I mean the method to transmit this higher knowledge – the centre one touches in the human being is not the mental, or the intellect. The process is psychic and is directed to the higher emotional centre. In the human brain it would draw into action the right hemisphere, the visual-emotive part. Therefore myths are often considered simplistic – in this age of over-emphasis on mental functioning and development – but invariably they display a capacity to evoke a profound sense of pathos, drama, deep emotional responses, by a direct impact through the centre which by visual stimulation, as in dreams, carries the message to very deep strata in the being. The higher vital is activated, a close companion of the soul.

The question is therefore to present a visual impact that sets off a process that is not intellectual per se. It stands to reason that in order to do this one cannot feign a ‘soul’ experience or mentally set about ‘creating a myth’. Once the intent is mental and not supported by a direct seeing in the soul, the process is aborted. I have come across attempts of this nature and the flaw is immediately evident. The same may be said, though to a lesser degree, of fairy tales.

In the modern myth of The Magical Carousel, the children enter that solar region or dimension the Vedic seers sang of. The story relates how they ‘plunge into the Sun’ in their cosmic odyssey. Once they have gone through the first ‘gate’ of that Sun-world, the same as the Rishi’s, they encounter Ram of the golden horns. Inasmuch as my vision was the product of a spiritual experience, by this direct seeing in the present (and indeed The Magical Carousel is written in the present tense, almost as if to stress this lived experience in the present), I was able to confirm and rehabilitate, to use Sri Aurobindo’s expression, the ancient truth-seeing. This cannot be done solely by intellectual means. It can only be fully accomplished when the truth is made to express itself once more in our lived experience of the present, to merge into this present from the eternal plane of the truth-consciousness. In so doing, we can come to appreciate that eternal element not disconnected from our world, and thereby the eternal Word is given a new body consonant with the realistic and actual poise of the evolving consciousness in time and space. Body and soul cannot be separated, for indeed the soul’s truth is its poise in material creation, that spark of the Divine in matter.

This is an essential factor to bear in mind, and I hope that the example I have furnished will suffice to bring this point home: one cannot bring about a renaissance, true and lasting, by focusing on past forms UNLESS they have become absorbed into our experience in the present, as living eternal truths of our spiritual and psychic realisations in this present. This, I must add, is the real foundation of any renaissance and the only way to avoid a catastrophic plunge into fundamentalism, bigotry, fanaticism, or the dryness of intellectualism that Sri Aurobindo has referred to in the passage I have quoted.

This has been the method I have employed in all the branches of higher knowledge I have treated in my books. For example, whatever I have revealed in sacred geometry and sacred architecture came in the same manner as the mythic experience. I focused on the Mother’s vision and plan of her Temple – a product of this century, this epoch – and not upon a relic of antiquity whose secrets we may seek to unravel notwithstanding the most impenetrable veils the Time-Spirit has drawn about them. Seeking to move into the past for such a discovery is a useless and uninspired mental exercise which can only produce a lifeless intellectual statement with no immediate truth pertinent to our times. In consequence, it does nothing to initiate us into the sacred recondite world of these profound mysteries, because the conditioning circumstances of time and space are part and parcel of the overall significance, and above all, of the monument’s purpose. To disregard these is to make our quest infinitely more difficult and the inner meaning far more obscure.

However, if one has a model that is a product of the present, conveying those eternal truths of which all real sacred architecture is a product – and I must stress the word ‘real’ – , revelatory insights based on that contemporary model will come amidst the total circumscribing circumstances that condition its form, thus casting light on the totality of those conditions. That is, a holistic, integral understanding will emerge, bearing an irrefutable, immediate significance. And at the same time, with this model of truth-seeing one can begin to discover the real significance and function of the models of antiquity. But needless to say, the existence of such a model, the product of a truth-conscious experience, is a rarity. In fact, the Mother’s vision in the plan she left is the sole example we have of such a structure for the past several thousand years.

Regarding myth, The Magical Carousel is a product of this same method. Therefore it can help to establish the zodiacal foundation of the Rig Veda, or at least throw light on the fact that this knowledge was so widespread at the time that the then spiritual elite made easy and free references to it throughout the sacred texts. This knowledge, once so extensive, is now lost, and therefore I can agree with Sri Aurobindo when he writes ‘…for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Veda.’

In The Hidden Manna, I have also discussed at length the zodiacal references in St. John’s Revelation, the last book of the New Testament. These references are just as precise as the Vedic. Yet it is quite amazing to observe that there is a fanatical denial of any connection between Christian scripture and belief and this ancient body of knowledge, by Protestants and Catholics alike. One is forced to ask, what is the purpose in denying the undeniable?

As a final example of the mythic experience there is Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri. Its subtitle is ‘a legend and a symbol’. Sri Aurobindo used the Vedic story of Savitri and Satyavan as his theme, concerning the death of Satyavan exactly one year after their betrothal and the Goddess’ subsequent pursuit of the Lord of Death into the underworld, in order to bring Satyavan back to life, back to the Earth. Interestingly, the format Sri Aurobindo has given his poem is equally a development in twelve stages, and for the most part these stages correspond to and follow the same sequence as the zodiacal sign/months. For example, the 5th Book of Love, corresponding to the 5th sign of love, Leo; the 7th Book of Yoga, corresponding to the 7th sign of ‘union’, Libra; the 8th Book of Death, corresponding to the 8th sign of death, Scorpio; and, above all, the victorious conquest of the Lord of Death in the 10th Book which is equivalent to the tenth sign/month Capricorn, known precisely as the Divine Mother’s victory. These are just a few of the correspondences between the poem and the zodiac, but they will suffice to illustrate once more that an Earth-oriented vision of this specific type will follow an almost identical pattern and produce the same results, whether consciously undertaken or not. The reason is more than clear: the soul cannot fail to present a vision that incorporates its journey through time as a gestating process that details the soul’s unveiling in consonance with the Earth’s position in the solar system, a reference that cannot be overlooked or minimised if the quest is Earth-oriented and not otherworldly. Time’s function is precisely to make manifest what is contained in the Seed.

Therefore the Rishis sang of the months of the year as ‘doors’ that had to be opened in order to enter those ‘eternal worlds’. The point of this essay is that by realising this connection and by rehabilitating this ancient body of Knowledge in consonance with our present stage of evolution and in the midst of the great transition we are experiencing as a species, we are in effect collaborating in the manifestation of the truth-essence of those higher planes. This is the proverbial marriage of Heaven and Earth – and more specifically, to use the Vedic and Biblical phrase: a new Heaven and a new Earth. It is this newness that we are concerned with, a rediscovery in the present which alone can make ‘all things new’.

Ganga - Soul of Indian Culture

A Message for Astrologers, 3 March 2012

I am often outspoken about the poor level of astrology practiced today, particularly in India. But now my criticisms take on a different character. Because of recent calendrical developments, I find myself defending these ‘errant’ astrologers, perhaps better than they could do themselves. The question these calendars raise is which system is Vedic or closer to what the Rishis intended. Interestingly, though the so-called Western Astrology is lambasted by certain sections of Indian astrologers who consider themselves ‘vedic’, and with exclusive rights over the title, ironically it is western astrology that must be seen to be closer to the ancient roots when both are analysed on the basis of certain fundaments of astrology. Astronomy has no place in this discussion, it must be established from the outset. In the course of this message, I will provide a few illustrations to prove the point.

My reason for sending out this message to astrologers is that calendars have appeared which are held by their creators as the true and only Vedic calendars; yet in my view their shortcomings are very serious and will necessarily contribute to distancing the art from those roots to an even greater degree perhaps than the Nirayana system. As you all know, the Nirayana system uses the distant sidereal circle of the heavens to construct a horoscope or to determine the time for rituals. In my experience while discussing this aberration I have come to realise that I stand perhaps alone in realising this simple digression from the Vedic path: measurements are done in the wrong circle, thereby throwing the entire exercise off its Vedic moorings. It may be that the confusion arose some centuries ago when astronomy decided to name the constellations the same as the signs of the tropical zodiac. Be that as it may, the fact stands that the tropical/solar wheel has been set aside in favour of the very distant constellations (of the same name unfortunately). My main protest in this regard is that the measure the Earth offers to the system is completely ignored and rendered irrelevant.

There are two areas of western astrology that reveal its Vedic roots more significantly. One is called the Progressed Horoscope (still in use today); the other is the Mansions of the Moon – a division of the zodiacal wheel in 27 parts, each segment measuring 13 degrees 20; or the annual mean motion of the Moon. In India these sections have been given the names of the Nakshatras; they are not known as the Mansions of the Moon at all, though the 13degrees20 is still honoured. I will return to this particular topic further on in discussing the ‘vedic’ calendars in question because this development is the main theme of my message in that astrologers are criticised for these equal divisions by astronomers who measure them in the constellations, rather than in the tropical zodiac of the ecliptic. In the former we do find that the famed Nakshatras, without a doubt the most important feature of Indian astrology, do not measure an even 13degrees20. My complaint is that no astrologer in India today is able to counter these criticisms cogently, based on the Vedic approach to astrology. This is surely because they have moved very far from the Vedic methodology, but not in the way the champions of the ‘true Vedic Astrology’ would have us believe.

In the distant past, when astronomy separated from astrology, astronomers gave an imaginative twist to the zodiac. They projected the twelve signs onto the constellations of fixed stars in a fanciful exercise that is totally arbitrary. Astronomy used the stars as dots with which to draw the zodiacal figures in the heavens, similar to the children’s game of ‘joining the dots’, but far less real. Naturally any such image is non-existent; but the fact remains that in so doing these contrived figures when completed do exceed the even 30 degrees of the traditional signs of the tropical zodiac, or fall far short. This excess or shortcoming is sought to be corrected by the ‘true Vedic astrologers’. I will return to this subject further on when discussing the Mansions of the Moon.

The Vedic approach is essentially one of equivalency and correspondences. I never tire of explaining this self-evident fact. The Hermetic axiom is of the same order: As above, so below. Therefore, the question would be to understand these laws and how to apply them. One such law is more than clear in its character of equivalency: One year for a day. I know that even the champions of Hindu astrology, which they hold to be superior to the western counterpart, must acknowledge that this axiom/law comes directly from the Veda and though not employed in India it is a firm pillar of western astrology. Most predictive astrology is based on this single Law. A horoscope is ‘progressed’ after birth with one day being equivalent to one year of life – i.e., the tenth day after birth would provide details of the life of the individual in his tenth year. Of course astronomers cannot appreciate this basic nature of astrology and Vedic methodology. They have a hard enough time trying to understand how planets can ‘influence’ anything or anyone at all; hence this question of a totally non-physical relationship is beyond their scope. And yet we do have nuclear physicists telling us that particles are related even at vast distances, or have their counterpart many light years away. However, when it comes to astrology that millennia ago realised these basic truths of our universe, they cry PSEUDO-SCIENCE!

In an interview given to Unesco Courier in May 1993, the French scholar, Charles Malamoud, refers to this practice of old and distinguishes it from the Buddhist approach:

‘…Such correspondences exist, but it is up to humans to discover them, to become aware of them, to formulate them – and in so doing, to confirm them. Solving the Vedic riddles…involves linking similar elements from the different levels of existence… A ritual object, a particular moment in a ceremony, is thought to have a replica or counterpart in some specific spatial or temporal element of the universe…
‘This network of correspondences is not static. The Vedic authors…gave much thought to finding new, more refined and complex equivalences. Several Sanskrit words convey this idea, words that mean “connection”, “link”, even “kinship”. In Vedic India the idea of correspondences is more important than the concept of causality – whereas Buddhism insists on sequence of cause and effect…’

The correspondence between a day and a year is simple enough to explain. It concerns the axial rotation of the Earth in 24 hours and her annual rotation around the Sun in 365 days. Within both measurements, the Earth’s relation to the luminary by correspondence and equivalency is the same in terms of experience.

Regarding the Nakshatras, the problem lies in the fact that similar to the double up of names for the signs of both the tropical zodiac and the constellations, confusion has arisen. A ‘star’ of the Nakshatra is taken as the name of that particular segment of 13degrees20 of the wheel. So naturally astronomers howl – and along with them the ‘true’ Vedic astrologers howl: The Nakshatras OUT THERE are not an even 13degrees20 of the full celestial wheel as they figure in the constellations. They vary enormously in size so that this neat 13degrees20 cannot possibly be ‘science’. But anyone who knows the laws of equivalency has no difficulty in understanding the division. Moreover, and this is most important to note, the place in the zodiacal wheel where each segment ends is known as a ‘critical degree’. A planet or other important feature of a horoscope must be within one degree of these 13/20, as measured from Zero Point Aries, through to the 360th degree of the zodiac, the last, to be considered ‘critical’ – i.e., having significant importance in the life of an individual. Only a proficient astrologer can make use of the system of equivalency adequately, and such an astrologer can verify that planets falling on these critical degrees are extremely significant when analysing a person’s horoscope. It is not a question of influences emanating from planets – which plays no role in Vedic Astrology; rather it is simply the Harmony of Measure.

The real issue is not at all astronomical measurements of the zodiac figures projected onto the constellations and how large or how small they may be, which in any case is relative and arbitrary. Rather, the real Vedic astrology deals with the various divisions of the ‘one circle’ extolled in the hymns. There is the basic division of 12 (equal to 30 degrees of the circle), of 9 (= 40 degrees), 144 (= 2.5 degrees); or else 27 (= 13+ degrees) as in the famed Nakshatras. These magical divisions of the one wheel display the brilliance of the Vedic methodology. They have nothing to do with the arbitrary ‘zodiac’ of astronomers projected into the Beyond. To seek to impose this fiction on astrologers in India is to move definitively away from the Vedic poise in favour of a relativism that was absent when the fundaments of astrology arose in the consciousness of the Rishi.

Twelve spokes, one wheel, navels three.
Who can comprehend this?
On it are placed together
Three hundred and sixty like pegs.
They shake not in the least.
(Rig Veda 1.154.48)

One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;
three are the hubs – who can understand it?
Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition
have been hammered therein and firmly riveted….
(Atharva Veda X, 8)

The Rig and Atharva Vedas insist that all measuring must be done in the one circle. Then only can equivalence and correspondence form the basis of Vedic astrology. But with that comes the real question: Where does that one circle begin? What is its Zero Point, its ayanamsha – that ‘shakes not in the least’, that is ‘firmly riveted’? To discover what is permanent, and eternally valid, we need the Equinoxes and Solstices – which do not exist in the constellations. This is the only item that requires immediate reform: the coincidence of Makar Sankranti with the solstice, and the beginning of the zodiacal year with the Equinox. All the rest is superfluous and meaningless with this basic reform that does away with the arbitrary 23-day late Sankranti imposed by astronomers and that finds no sanction in the Veda.

Thus, the issue of 13degrees20 is not to be brushed aside so lightly, as Shri Briijendra Shrivastav has done in the SMKATP calendar recently issued by Shri Lokesh Darshaney. He emphatically states ‘…Thus equal division was adopted by the then lazy [sic] forecasting astrologers who never look at the sky for verification even in the modern days of telescopes and it is time to correct and update it now.’ This statement is as given here, in bold, to make sure his message comes across. Lamentably the Editor of the calendar has added his bit by upholding the noted scientist’s views ‘…These notable lines have come out from a learned personality in the field of astronomy. I hope astrologers will take a serious note of it and deny acceptance of all (only 27 instead of 28) nakshatra’s [sic] being equal and equal to 13°20.’

I beg to differ. We may have here a ‘notable’ astronomer, but he is definitely not an astrologer. What he states is correct in terms of the imaginative measurements he makes in the constellations, but it has nothing to do with the zodiacal wheel on which all astrology – and especially VEDIC astrology – is based. Further, what he states shows ignorance of the very basis of Vedic astrology which is this question of equivalency and the harmonies of our solar system.

For this reason I have stated time and again that the real problem arose in astrology not when its practitioners went ‘lazy’ as the noted astronomer claims, but when they were faced with the onslaught of an emerging astronomy SEPARATE FROM ASTROLOGY. The entire world suffered the same scourge. We live with the results of that separation even today when a completely materialistic consciousness has displaced the wisdom of the ages to the extent that astrologers themselves have been undermined and are no longer in a position to defend their sacred and noble Art. The problem became solidified when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru established a Calendar Reform Committee in 1953 to set matters right for Hindus, seeking to bring the faithful under the umbrella of a more ‘scientific’ perception which, he felt, would eliminate the prevalent superstition and inaccuracies – such as the noted astronomer Briijendra Shrivastav has supplied. In closing his message to the Committee, Pandit Nehru wrote, ‘I hope that our scientists will give the lead in this matter [calendar reform]’. The problem of interference from those in total ignorance of the sacred sciences was compounded by his and other authoritative statements. But again my complaint is, where were the astrologers at the time who could defend their Art from the onslaught of men in total ignorance of astrology?

And so, we have Shri Lokesh Darshaney evidencing the same confusion though he seeks to correct the current reliance on the Nirayana system with its 23-day late Makar Sankranti, when he interprets the Veda according to his convenience. His efforts at reform are to be applauded, but to some extent he downplays the role Equinoxes and Solstices play when he insists on establishing the beginning of the year in February (Chinese influence?) which he contends is the beginning of spring and therefore more in line with the Veda which, in his view, uphold a seasonal calendar. The seasons are certainly important but where I live in India spring is not in evidence in February, as his interpretation reads. We are in March and there are no signs of the ‘Vedic Spring’ he believes should initiate the calendar! And if ‘observation’ is the call of the hour, to quote the learned Shri Shrivastav, in the effort to eliminate superstition, then simple observation indicates that February is mid-winter across the northern hemisphere.

Shri Darshaney does emphasise that Makar Sankranti and the December Solstice introduce Uttarayana, or the northernmost point of the year. But then he sets aside the Cardinal Points, of which Makar Sankranti is the fourth, when he starts his calendar on 20-21 February. The reason why this cannot hold, particularly if you are advocating a seasonal calendar and holding that alone as ‘vedic’, is because astrology is very clear on the issue. A season is introduced by the Rajas Guna. It cannot begin with a Sattwa or Tamas Guna, as his calendar advocates. The real seasons fall in line perfectly with the Gunas, or Qualities as they are called in the West. These are three in number and are repeated four times in the course of the 12-month year.

But here is the rub: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable (the astrological Qualities) in their cosmic application must be established (seasonal and cosmic) in this corresponding order: Rajas, Sattwa, Tamas. Today the order is commonly recited as Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. We are free to do so when we want to emphasise the Sattwa Guna as superior to the rest; but for a cosmic application that order is not appropriate. Indeed, we cannot apply the formula to the cosmic harmony if we do so. We would never think of saying Preservation, Creation and Destruction. At least we hope and pray that this cosmic aberration never takes place because it would mean the dissolution of our world! Why then do we commit this aberration in our review of the astrological arts?

Perhaps the most important dimension of zodiacal wisdom lies in the application of the gunas in a horoscope, or in reading the destiny of nations and individuals. This formula is widely understood in the West; in India I know of no astrologer that makes use of the Qualities or that understands their relationship to Rajas, Sattwa and Tamas, or to the Trinity creation, preservation, destruction. Therefore I say to Shri Darshaney, rethink this issue. Begin your calendar and the year on Mahavishuva – the March Equinox. That is the beginning of the zodiacal ‘journey’ as it figures in the initiation documented in the Rig Veda.

However, there is more to this aberration than a simple misplacement of the seasons. The noted astronomer would be pleased with this development because according to him it is observation of phenomena that is the issue – completely ignoring the real Vedic premise of equivalency and correspondence: The Rishi looked within and there he or she found the entire universe with which he could identify. No matter how deeply the astronomer peers through his telescope, no matter how potent these become, he can never identify with the harmony of the cosmos and the cosmic consciousness of the Seer whose vision is based on unity ever and always, on interconnectedness and on a perception of Oneness. The astronomer’s observation is always external and into the past. On the other hand, the Rishi’s inner universe offers the seer trikaladrishti, a comprehensive perception of simultaneity: past, present and future.

Humanity has been bearing the weight of this loss ever since the sciences were divested of their sanctity in favour of a meaningless and purposeless ‘observation’ that sees nothing but shouts the loudest. Astronomers must stay out of astrology which is far beyond their purview. They criticise, issue statements, condemn everything they do not understand as ‘coincidence’ at best and superstition at worst. But the real cause of superstition is precisely because astronomy poked its nose into sacred matters and divested them of all meaning. They proclaim that astrologers are only after money for which they fleece a gullible public. But I hold that scientists are the real culprits because knowing absolutely nothing of the sacred they are bent on undermining those who do.

It is time for astrologers to stand up straight and defend this Mother of all Science. She is the favourite child of Mahasaraswati. We must never forget that.

My heart goes out to the astrologers of this country – the land that gave the sacred art to the world millennia ago, only to have it become veiled and hidden in the place of its origin. Now they must find the sacred once again because only that knowledge can inform us what the divine Measure must be; in lay terms, what exactly must be measured and why. Currently this is the reigning confusion: what should we measure, where and why? Astrologers have the right form of things; but, as Sri Aurobindo stated so well, the soul of knowledge has fled from its coverings.

It is time to remove those coverings and re-appropriate what was once India’s own. Not in the way of a fanatical capture that isolates and divides and cuts India off from both cosmos and world, but through love of Mahasaraswati, thankful for the grace she has showered on this land. Those forms are the right ones – be not fooled by those who do not know. But the duty of the astrologer is to reach the heart of Knowledge that gives meaning to those chosen forms.

Astronomers are not Initiates; the real astrologer is. The scientist needs to see the shape (form) of the zodiacal figures projected far beyond into the heavens, in a fanciful imagery that has no basis in the reality that is. The seer finds those figures within, where reality lies. The Rishi did not project those figures which describe his initiatory rites into a distant Beyond, unrelated to the divine Measure of the Earth. They exist within. They are etched in the soul and can be accessed when we enter that secret chamber using the right Keys the Earth herself provides: the measure of the year, as we follow the Sun with our inner Eye, one month leading into the next along the Initiate’s way.

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 in the other, and it is these that
Brahmanaspati makes manifest to knowledge.
RV, II.24.5.

Ganga - Soul of Indian Culture

The Choice of Cosmic Truth or Superstition – Message to India – 3 -1 February, 2013

There have been responses to my message pleading for a revision of the Hindu Calendar and the need to re-establish the cosmic connection Hindus have lost. These responses are predictable; they can be summed up in a few words, ‘The constellations have shifted and Makar/Capricorn is no longer there, it has moved by 23 days.’ It is as if the entire Samaj had been programmed to repeat endlessly and unthinkingly the pat reply astronomers have for a ‘shifting zodiac’. None seem to care if this programmed response is right or wrong, so no questions are asked.It is this ‘shift’ that is causing the 12 signs to move backward, to slip away from alignment with the 0 degree March Equinox of the tropical zodiac, they claim. The amount of slippage is 23 days according to astronomers who are determining perhaps the most important factor of the Sanatana Dharma – the timings for rituals and horoscopes and marriages, and just about everything that takes place in India, for all communities, even those who are proclaimed non-believers. Furthermore, the slippage continues, if we follow their dictates to the letter. This means that regular adjustments have to be made, hence a need for the pundits who in turn need the astronomers – and so it goes. The rationalist has seen through it all. He realises that these rituals mean nothing or very little, because he finds no valid reason to believe that there is anything beyond what science can prove – even though it is more than obvious that regularly new discoveries are made, more powerful telescopes and probes are devised which are forcing a re-evaluation of what were once proven scientific ‘truths’. Our science and history books are full of the details. However, the question we must ask is if the foundation of the Dharma lies beyond the physical – and certainly none will dispute this fact – and if certain rituals and mantras can bring us into contact with that beyond – the common belief – why is it that we turn to men for guidance who are, for the most part, declared atheists? Why have we come to trust them more than our sages and the scriptures they have left – I refer to the Vedic Seers, of course. The scientist has no means of proving the existence of what lies beyond the threshold of physicality, however rarefied it may be. At the most, the closest science has come to accepting that the physical is not what it appears is the recognition that it is all really a play of energy. Some are convinced that this has carried science to the doors of Indian spirituality and is proof of the sagacity of the ancients. But in approaching these matters from the foundation of contemporary science without the realisation of unity, these energy/matter equations have left us with tools to destroy ourselves. This would not be possible if the wisdom of the sages had been governing matters on this planet.
 I am not advocating the naïve belief that turning the other cheek is the answer; as things stand, nations have to defend themselves and protect their people. Nor am I appealing to a certain type of fundamentalism in making a case for the ancient wisdom because time moves on and there is a method to the current madness. The Sanatana Dharma has an in-built system of renewal, provided certain ‘laws’ are adhered to. On that basis we can move forward from an original core as if on a spiral into an ever wider sphere, embracing more and more layers of energy/conscious-ness. This is the objective of a process that lies beyond the purview of contemporary science.
We know that our moral and ethical codes are crumbling and a decisive crossroads of destiny has arrived. When certain nations are set upon spreading this mechanism of destruction far and wide, to suit their own hegemonic purposes, it is reasonable to assume that sooner rather than later some nation or group or individual is going to let the genie out of the bottle. Then what? As individuals we have no way of halting the madness. What is required is a collective breakthrough that can counterbalance these destructive forces. The power of destruction is so colossal now that the counterbalancing also has to be colossal; hence, my call for the millions who attend the Kumbha Mela to insist on the correct alignment with the cosmic truth. This is one aspect to consider in the apparent hopelessness of over-population, for example. With 80% of the Indian population aligned correctly to facilitate the emergence of the cosmic truth once again, there is no limit to what this civilisation can accomplish for the world. It cannot happen in churches and mosques or even in temples as things now stand because the connection I refer to is factual – it either exists or it does not; it cannot be feigned or believed to exist on the basis of romantic notions of an eternal right of possession. But if it is truly made then collectively we can make a difference because correct alignment that counterbalances allows us to connect with the other side, which places us within the ambit of a different set of laws: we are here but elsewhere due to different ‘laws’ operating. We are ‘accessible’ only when the same formula for unity is followed which alone permits ‘access’.
This means that the cosmic connection, when real, establishes a poise, individually and collectively, where unity and oneness are in command. In other words, a society in such a poise is in contact with or is approachable only by those of the same poise. It is a process of attracting and repelling: when alignment is done and centering is secure, then ALL must serve the purposes of the One – negative or positive.
There is a world in a state of collapse. It is the product of an old and dying consciousness. It carried us as far as it could on the basis of its ‘laws’ – that is, to the decisive threshold of creation or destruction. If we continue according to its dictates we will destroy ourselves. But if, on the other hand, we realise that the cosmic connection was effectively lost and contemporary scientific cosmology can do nothing else but carry us farther and farther away from alignment, then the creative mode is set in motion and for all intents and purposes the decadence that surrounds us can be carried away with relative ease. The new alignment can open the doors to a new world that awaits the inhabitants of this planet.
Hindus have to cast off the burden of an unregenerate tamas/inertia they have been carrying for centuries. They must realise that astronomers are not astrologers. However, a qualification is required. In my view there are not many true astrologers among us. This is why I refer to my own work as cosmology – more particularly an applied cosmology – to avoid confusion. When a person writes to me that the Hindu Calendar is both sidereal and tropical, I know that he does not understand the difference – i.e., when the constellations enter into the equation and when they do not. The applied cosmology allows us to appreciate the difference, to distinguish one from the other and when to apply each yardstick. Moreover, in this new age we are in a period of climax, of culmination. This is the 9th Manifestation (a knowledge arrived at by an enlightened understanding of the sidereal and tropical combination). This tells us that it is the time of birth. Whatever we have known until now – and in this I include both science and spirituality – has been unreal in the sense that it was only a foetus in gestation. Now, after passage of approximately 50,000 years, gestation is complete, the Child is born. We are blessed to have taken birth at this unique moment in evolution.
We do bear a certain responsibility which we are fleeing from when we leave the sacred to the profane for validation. For the astronomer the constellations alone are of value because he believes he can measure them, he can ‘see’ them, he gives them shapes and uses them as determining elements in his calculations. For the astronomer/scientist the tropical zodiac of the ecliptic plane, which we divide into 12 sections of 30 degrees each, does not ‘exist’. It is simply a somewhat convenient inherited formula. At most he acknowledges the existence of equinoxes and solstices, but only because they cannot be ignored: the Sun will not allow Earthlings to dismiss the fact of equal and unequal days and nights. But as for the arcane signs of the zodiac and their hieroglyphs, the scientist can be entirely dismissive: they are relics of a past bereft of the enlightenment an astronomy separate from astrology has brought to the world. The 12 are clubbed together with everything else that cannot be ‘measured’ according to the yardstick of science.
Lamentably for Hindus, this attitude has prevailed. The 12-stage process of the Vedic Rishi, the ‘journey’ as it is called, has lost all meaning – even though every temple across the country preserves this sacred knowledge, along with the myths we tell our children to keep the flame of the soul burning brightly in spite of the dominance of those ignorant of these sacred truths that give meaning and purpose to life on Earth, and which the course of evolution itself can prove.

To simplify the issue and eliminate all speculation as to the correct starting point of the Journey, we have the March Equinox of equal days and nights. From that point in time, when the undisputed balance exists between the temporal and the spatial – also preserved in all temples by their orientation to the Cardinal Poles – the Journey commences and the Vedic traveller on the path (of the Sun) undergoes the initiation that can refashion his or her consciousness by producing (or earning) the same alignment the Poles provide as part of the solar system. He or she BECOMES THAT.
It is only an individual who has lived through the initiation and returned to tell the tale that can affirm what needs to be measured and what needs to be discarded. A university degree does not come even close to granting this right.
In the constellations, beloved of astronomers, there are no such balancing poles, no unequivocal starting point. Because of this, in the constellations everything is RELATIVE, the bane of our contemporary society that has been milked on this half-truth. The Equinoxes and Solstices the Earth experiences are her contribution to the System. We have discarded this truth and in the process we are destroying everything that is most dear on the planet.
 The Rishis were not so foolish as to leave an amorphous circle (the sidereal) for us to meander through in a futile search for a starting point in order to correctly locate the Age we are in which covers thousands of years; much less would they allow that amorphous circle of constellations to be the basis for a calendar to regulate sacred Vedic practices, ignoring the foundation enshrined in its own verses:

One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;
three are the hubs – who can understand it?
Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition
have been hammered therein and firmly riveted.

Take heed, O Savitr.
Six are twins; one is born singly.
The Twins desire to unite with the one that is born alone.

Though manifested, it is yet hidden, secret,
its name is the Ancient, a mighty mode of being;
in Skambha is established this whole world;
therein is set fast all that moves and breathes. (AV X, 8)

 Hinduism prides itself in carrying on an unbroken line of knowledge from the Vedic Age to the present. But as things now stand that line has been effectively severed because we cannot find a beginning in the constellations where there is no Equinox to guide us. The pundits are left to speculate endlessly because there is absolutely no method to mathematically and objectively determine an ayanamsha in the amorphous constellations of our imaginings.
Astronomy may insist that the approximation is close enough and the discrepancy is not worth troubling ourselves over as far as the Hindu Calendar is concerned – after all, the atheist and pragmatic rationalist considers it all to be superstition, so why be concerned if the ayanamsha of one pundit differs from that of another by a fraction of a second of a degree of celestial longitude. What the faithful are not told is that the fraction amounts to hours and days and months and years on Earth! But, so what? It is all mere superstition, we are told; hence, the scientist is absolved of all responsibility.
On the contrary, the farther the alignment goes the less likelihood of accuracy in the astrologer’s predictions. He must therefore be thrown back on his subjective intuition, adding more fuel to the science versus pseudo-science debate. When intuition rules the day then of ‘science’ there is none. And by this I mean a cosmology that embraces past, present and future in a continuum on the backdrop of a fabric of oneness. In such a case the believer is never isolated from the all, just as the individual is never disconnected from the collective body when oneness dominates – not sameness but an equality born of a diversity contained within the all-embracing cosmic harmony, a connection which has been effectively lost. Our objective must be to use the sacred sciences based on an applied formula to express the true integration which the cosmic truth offers, irrespective of caste or creed or wealth or poverty, or the colour of one’s skin. The cosmic truth does not distinguish in this surface manner, but it does, by the grace of Mahasaraswati, put each thing in its rightful place.

 The 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is being celebrated; various aspects of his life and times have been in the spotlight. He was seriously critical of Hinduism – but for different reasons than I have been and with a different focus. However, we have both advocated reforms. The Swami wrote, ‘…Finally everyone must become his image in full…and then in reality everything will become one. Religion is nothing but this. The obsolete and lifeless rituals and notions regarding godhead are but ancient superstitions.’1 And further, to his monks he instructed, ‘…Teach them that they must bow to all deities, but we worship only Ramakrishna…The other deities have become old and obsolete. We have a new India now, a new deity, a new faith, a new Veda.’ Sri Aurobindo was born nine years after the Swami. He had a similar lament. In his seminal work, The Secret of the Veda, he wrote: ‘…The letter lived on when the spirit was forgotten; the symbol, the body of the doctrine, remained, but the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings.’ But while recognising the degeneration that had set in he did not throw the ‘baby out with the bathwater’, as some sought to do. He was passionate about the source of Hinduism as revealed in his major opus cited above. His aim was to reveal its psycho-spiritual ‘secret’ in the effort to restore that ‘soul of knowledge’ in those new foundations of Hinduism which Swami Vivekananda had foreseen.
I have followed Sri Aurobindo’s lead, not because of any ‘Aurobindonian orthodoxy’ which has been rearing its stifling head of late, but because my own yoga drew me along the very same path until I returned to the same source (The New Way, Vol. 2, Chapter 10, ‘Integrality and the Return to the Source’, Aeon Books, 1981). In so doing I came to realise just why that soul of knowledge had fled and the ritual was merely an empty covering. Finally, with the new cosmology in place, the way was found to restore vibrancy and life into the entire system just as the Veda explained. To do so it was necessary first to recognise the reality of the situation and then to unmask dispassionately the real culprit – the disease of superstition and how it is present only when knowledge is absent. In the days of Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, it was widely believed that science, as it was evolving largely in the West, would be the tool to eliminate superstition, but Sri Aurobindo followed a different path and held a different view, similar to my own. That is, there is a ‘third thing beyond science and spirituality’, as the Mother explained. His whole life was dedicated to establishing in the Earth’s atmosphere the broad lines of that ‘third thing’. My cosmology is a part of that effort.
 In the course of my yoga I soon realised that the conquest of Time, to render Time an ‘ally’, lies at the heart of the Hindu destiny, at the core of its Dharma. But I saw that this was impossible under the Nirayana system. Sri Aurobindo never used the Hindu Calendar in his Ashram, though Time was his obsession in a sense. He followed the calendar of the ancient pagan, pre-Christian world which has now become the universal method, officially adopted by India as well. In that system his own credentials can be read. It was obvious to me which should prevail insofar as it is the Vishnu Avatar’s duty to ‘re-set the cosmic clock’. But in their nationalist fervour my critics have labelled my work anti-Hindu, largely because I want to do away with the current Nirayana system and to re-establish a method of time reckoning that alone can dissolve superstition because it is founded on Vedic Science – i.e., knowledge not ignorance. Needless to say, as with all such matters, vested interests are at the forefront of the objection.. These critics would do well to heed the Swami when he treats the issue of parochialism: ‘…Does our master belong only to India? India’s degeneration is the result of such narrow attitudes. Any beneficial outcome is impossible unless these are destroyed.’
He was a man and an Indian, as was Sri Aurobindo. How much harder is the task for a woman and a mleccha? It would seem, however, that matters have been carefully arranged to ‘press buttons’. Perhaps only in that way can we succeed in putting each thing in its rightful place, as Mahasaraswati, the reigning Goddess of our Age, commands. A universal consciousness of oneness and unity is the answer. India has to outgrow a constricting nationalism which is an understandable reaction to centuries of colonial rule. But what was once an aid to attain freedom from the invader is now a bar: it is the primary obstacle to overcome if she is to be unveiled as the Earth’s soul-centre. 

Ganga - Soul of Indian Culture

The Time Has Come: Message to India – 2, -17 January 2013

Starting with The Gnostic Circle (the alphabet, so to speak, of the new cosmology), and more particularly with the series The New Way, Volumes 1-3, very precise details have been given on this question of India’s duty to humanity and the contours of the new world order she is to introduce. This order is not a political or diplomatic initiative. It was set in motion before Independence, even before the appearances of the 7th and 8th Vishnu Avatars. We are simply called upon to recognise its existence and to be conscious instruments for its deployment.This order is cosmological, as explained in all my publications. It became established not with the help of politics but in spite of political systems. The politics and diplomacy India engages in today is an understandable attempt to accommodate her inalterable destiny of Centreship within an old and dying framework. This is because, barring only a few, none have turned to the Source itself for guidance – that is, to the incarnate 9th Avatar of Vishnu and his Line – so that in a smooth and largely peaceful manner India could consciously embrace Centreship and thereby serve as a beacon for the comity of nations to usher in the new order as painlessly as possible.Some amount of destruction will come about regardless of India’s role; there is too much resistance to the New for it to be avoided. Destruction is caused by hardened crusts which make it inevitable that Shiva is experienced as Destroyer rather than Dissolver when these obstacles must be eliminated. The third and last Guna, tamas, can be either. It can signify destruction as a tool in the gunaic process, which then carries us many steps backwards and hardly any forward; or it can be an experience of dissolution whereby hard encrustations are not allowed to form, and therefore far less resistance is offered to the Aquarian Wave that is intent on re-structuring life on this planet. Given the nature of the destructive capacity the Earth has been saddled with after the Second World War, such resistance at this perilous juncture can result in only one avenue: destruction – but this time total.It is important to be specific now because a sombre turning point has been reached on the subcontinent, precisely one where this Knot is to be either tightened to a point of strangulation, or loosened and finally undone. Centreship is thus not an enviable destiny because for good or for bad the final Kurukshetra is Akhand Bharat.We need to analyse practical situations in these pages to avoid abstraction. This is not a time for polite niceties in the hope that this meek approach will once again carry us through the present turmoil. Only a conscious awareness can redeem the situation at this major crossroads of destiny. Therefore straightforward analysis is the best way we can assist the nation in weathering the storm – victoriously and conclusively.I wrote in On the Nature of Centreship that fundamentalism has many guises. I need to describe one such guise, using a current happening that is in the news at this very time. I mentioned the Kumbha Mela in my last message. This celebration is meant to be the occasion for India to re-vitalise not only herself but the entire world through those blessed ‘waters’ of the River Goddesses. But instead, what do we have? Contact has been lost with the channel through which the grace may flow and bathe the entire world. Having lost its cosmic scope, the mela at Allahabad can only serve the individuals who attend. It is no longer true to its original purpose, true to its Dharma; objective knowledge of the Vedic order is now absent. In a word, it has been transformed into a purely religious function of Hindus at the service of their personal salvation. Any pretence otherwise reveals a certain lack of understanding of the true nature of the Kumbha Mela which is zodiacal and solar. In its essence it is entirely geo-cosmological as explained in The New Way, Volume 2, Chapter 9.This sacred-most event is the pre-ordained means for the Earth and her societies to become re-vitalised by the waters of the Truth-Consciousness. It is a thoroughly solar event, and therefore to be faithful to its own dharma it must follow the Sun, faithful to it and not to the dictates of the pundits who have never experienced the Vedic Truth – i.e., the shattering of Vritra, Coverer of the Sun, or witnessed the unveiling of the luminary’s most resplendent Rays (cows), and their release from the cave of the obstructers of Truth, the dreadful Panis, minions of Vala. There seems to be no respect for that Sun of Truth. We may chant the Gayatri Mantra day in and day out till the proverbial cows come home, but the exercise has brought us no closer collectively to that luminous, shadowless Truth. I repeat, it involves the individual only, isolated from the cosmos and the rest of humanity.This civilisation is vedic – that is, it is founded on Objective Knowledge of the highest scientific order because of its sanctity, first and foremost; not ritual devoid of science which is the definition of superstition, but the true way, the sacred way that imbues every ritual with true sense and purpose. Today superstition abounds precisely because we have been left with a shadow and not the light of veda.To provide a practical example involving centrally the theme of this message, I attended a conference at Tirumala in December 2010, ostensibly a gathering to determine and agree upon the correct ayanamsha (zero starting point) of the Hindu Calendar, because presently there are a dozen opinions on the subject, and by consequence a dozen ayanamshas, each offering different timings for rituals.What I discovered at that gathering, much to my dismay, was that not one real astrologer was in attendance, at a meeting which was supposedly called to bring ‘order’ into the current chaos of astrological and ritual matters! There were astronomers in abundance, but, according to my understanding, no astrologers, those centrally concerned with Time and Cosmos. Naturally my voice – the only woman speaker, I might add – was sought to be stifled. How could it be otherwise? How could my message be grasped by attendees who had never been initiated into the sacred sciences?

While some present might have vibrated to the message I carried, the organisers made every attempt to silence me and to make sure my attendance would pass unnoticed and ignored, as if I had never been there. But photos do not lie, and thus was the plot foiled!

The conference served only one purpose: to further cement the status quo. And to this end the attendees from Tamil Nadu contributed their part – Tamil Nadu, the very land revealed by the new geo-cosmology as the preserver of the Tradition! The meeting had one objective and furthered only one purpose:  politics, not objective truth-seeking. It is far more honest to dismiss as irrelevant the cosmic/temporal connection entirely, than to mislead. This is unacceptable when dealing with sacred matters that influence crores of people throughout the world.But how could it be otherwise? The aim to begin with had nothing to do with truth and cosmos. It was entirely focussed on reaching an ‘agreement’ (pre-planned, to be sure) between one flawed postulation and another – all neatly packaged within the current Nirayana system of astrological computations; whereas the only constructive goal should be to press the delete key at the earliest on the whole system –  lock, stock and barrel –  for the sake of all concerned. Considerable time, money and energy were spent and a precious opportunity was lost.
Thanks to the current Nirayana system the Conference endorsed a Kumbha Mela converted into a religious function which is exactly what those agents who seek the disintegration of India have in mind. If India does disintegrate, as pre-ordained Centre so goes the world. While this solar event continues to be based on Nirayana (sidereal) calculations, which have no grounding in the astrological sciences that honour the Sun and the true Vedic cosmology, the Kumbha Mela cannot play its destined role for India and the world. The ‘waters’ of the River-Goddesses, which the Aquarian Water Carrier dispenses from his kumbh when the cosmic connection is made, are those of the supramental Truth-Consciousness. It is indeed intended to be a celebration of diversity, of those ‘many names’ of the Absolute wherein Exclusivism finds no footing. The sacred Waters do not provide sustenance to Religion as part of those ‘names’ which were non-existent in the Vedic Age; and certainly not the Spirituality of Escape which India has inherited from the Age of Darkness we exited in 1926.It was in that very year that the 9th Avatar withdrew to his chambers for an intense and supremely difficult tapasya – not for himself but for the world. He did not emerge for the next 24 years. In the meantime, World War II took place, certainly the Earth’s most dire moment. It must not be overlooked that once again the sacred sciences were central, its symbols usurped by an adversary intent on moulding the dawning new age in his own image. However, unknown to all Vishnu’s 9th emanation was intent on the Earth’s salvation and the Shadow’s dissolution. However, nearing the end of the War, science left the world with a weapon that has brought us to the present crossroads of destiny: creation or destruction. The stage was set for the next act of the drama and the final solution, this time centred on the land that produced Vedic culture, Akhand Bharat.   With that task completed, the next was to carry out the now-forgotten Vedic tapasya, ‘the 9 becoming the 10’ in an unbroken line of time. This 10th is the last Avatar of the Vishnu Line. He is the last because there are only two possibilities available to us when he appears on the scene – appropriately for the 10th who comes as Mars, the War God: indeed, creation or destruction. If the passage 9 to 10 could not carry the day, the backbone of Hindu society – the Vishnu dasavataras – stands effectively broken. On the other hand, if the 10th Warrior-Son is victorious, the objective of the Solar Line is fulfilled and no further appearance is required: the Satya Yuga has arrived. (See The New Way, Volume 2, Aeon Books, 1981.)
When the Kumbha Mela is timed to connect with the cosmic harmony, there is no dispute about the ‘correct’ ayanamsha – for there is only one, not many. Vedic cosmology is based on the balancing poles of Equinoxes and Solstices, the Earth’s own contribution to the system. Nor is there any discussion as to what the celebration is really intended to accomplish because its function is clearly explained in that very Cosmic Harmony, provided the true starting point is honoured. Hence I wrote in my last that when the new cosmology is set in place, grounded in the unchanging ecliptic balance, only then has the Earth been allowed to express her own true dharma. If not, no sense can be made of anything, much less a happening as pivotal for the Samaj as this sacred gathering. I repeat and emphasise once again, it is more honourable to dismiss all concern about Time and Cosmos entirely than to go down in the sacred annals of the world as falsifiers.The Mela must honour the River-Goddesses, therefore their source must be located in the zodiac and transcribed into our calendar time on the basis of calculations that even a school child can master. For the exact timings of Equinoxes and Solstices we do not need the services of any pundit. Hinduism has come into being with an in-built method of up-dating. When this is allowed to function there can never be a fossilisation or its usurpation by Agents of the Falsehood as is presently the case because of the loss of the correct cosmological key that opens the door to the mechanism of change within stability – a method, I might add, that is found only in the Vedic tradition. Those Agents have converted this great revelation into a shadow of itself simply by successfully severing the chord that had kept it wedded to the cosmic harmony from time immemorial. The cosmic disconnect affecting the contemporary Hindu Samaj – covering no less than 80% of the Indian population – must give way to an enlightened movement forward in step with the Time-Spirit. Yet, the staunchest upholders of the Veda may well be the most resistant to this ever-recurring cosmic truth. To prove the point, the so-called Vedic Astrology was included in college curricula by a government order over a decade ago. The intention was noble on the surface: to preserve the ancient culture in perhaps its most important expression. Instead, what has been the result of this well-meaning gesture? Institutions of higher education have been regularly churning out proponents of the defective Nirayana system that dares to hold itself up as Vedic. We could label the system post-Vedic and that would be acceptable and correct. But no, it must be camouflaged because the aim is to appropriate the title, just as the Swastika had been, and thereby to distort the matter at hand in such a way that the false premise is protected by the  dharma it purports to uphold – but yet to destroy!We see this happening all the time when right before our eyes news channels expose the strategy. In these very days those agents have sought to usurp even the mechanism of the Aquarian Wave that had swept over various areas on the globe as the ‘Arab Spring’, or else the Occupy Wall Street movement; in India it has been experienced in the Anna Hazare campaign against corruption, or else in the more recent and long-overdue anti-rape movement. Wherever there is a spontaneous uprising of the people for a just cause, meticulously tailored according to the needs of each nation, we can be sure it is the Aquarian influence pressing for change. Whereas, in an attempt to manipulate the media and the masses, the usurpers adopt the same strategy but in an exercise which serves only vested interests. Such emboldened attempts can only succeed in converting the Wave into a massive self-defeating tsunami.
However, though the situation appears hopeless it is nonetheless easily rectified. Indeed, when over ten million gather at the sacred confluence, believing one thing but encouraged to engage in another, rectification does appear beyond hope. But, I repeat, a shift to the Cosmic Truth can come about in a day if the ‘lens’ is refocused through which we observe the cosmic surround, in search of our true place in its vast immensity. And if in the process we exclude astronomers from matters Vedic once and for all, there is every reason to believe that the victory stands right before us. The essential cosmic connection needs to be restored to set the geo-cosmological wheel in motion from the ayanamsha of Fullness and not the emptiness of the currently-used wobbling and unstable Nirayana ayanamsha scientists have foisted on us though they have never experienced the true Zero and the Fullness it holds. Yet to them we turn for the Vedic light! In continuing to do so we forfeit the right to Centreship, for neither science nor spirituality of the old moulds can help us now.The cosmic credentials of the Vishnu Avatars, from the 7th to the 10th, are verifiable only when the true solar ayanamsha is established on the March Equinox each year, the starting point of the wheel. That is, the zodiac of the ecliptic plane, balanced on the four Cardinal poles, does not shift as scientists contend. They are the four balancing poles of the Dharma – unchanging year after year, millennia after millennia, because of which that shadowless, pristine Dharma is eternal. The Nirayana system wobbles and promotes a shifting zodiac out of synchronisation with the Cardinal poles. It offers no stable constant, and in a gross travesty of the core purpose of Vedic Cosmology it cannot provide the civilisation with the stability within change that is demanded in order to fulfil Centreship.  How is it that hardly any realise this simple, easily verifiable truth?Nothing makes sense in the Nirayana-sidereal system, and certainly nothing to do with Vishnu’s descendents from the Sun. For this reason the solar wheel with its 12 zodiacal symbols has been largely displaced by the pundits and the 27 Nakshatras are given pride of place as part of the plot to disconnect Hinduism from its solar moorings. Higher, initiatic Knowledge has been vested in those 12 symbols from ancient times as proven by the Kumbha Mela itself; the 12 alone offer us proof and verification of the cosmic credentials of the Avatars, and not the 27 which in any case are arrived at by dividing that circle of 12. The latter provide stability and embrace all the lesser sub-divisions of the 360-degree circle. One such sub-division, the Nakshatras, can never usurp the role of the 12. The appearance of the Vishnu Avatars reasserts this fact yuge-yuge. On the Nirayana-sidereal basis any and every guru can lay claim to avatarhood with no validation possible because we are dealing with chaos, while the Avatar brings cosmos, order. It is only through the Cosmic Order that the distinction between false and true can be known and Hinduism can be reconnected to its Vedic roots.The 9th in the line comes precisely to re-set the cosmic clock which he does by his own coming, his own birth in Earth time. If we UN-FOCUS our lens of perception, naturally we can no longer recognise the Avatar. But we must never lose sight of the fact that without the backbone support the Vishnu Line offers, the Dharma is no longer sanatana.These are facts supported by scrutiny of those very credentials: the new world order is written in the details of the Avatar’s coming which is exactly what the Tradition has always sustained. While we struggle against the relentless onslaught of enemies of this cosmic truth and all that is Vedic, we should bear in mind that a re-set cosmic connection with the Makar Sankranti celebrated on the only permissible date – the December Solstice, or the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and an ayanamsha start of the wheel exactly on the March Equinox, Bharat Mata need never fear an aggressor howsoever powerful he and his legions across the globe may appear. She would enjoy an uninterrupted, foolproof protection by virtue of Centrality and the re-vitalising currents she receives from her source in mighty Kailash, a replenishing of the civilisation through the millions of souls who gather at the Confluence in a conscious offering of self at this correctly-timed dispensation of the Grace by the River-Goddesses for the whole world. They participate not for their personal salvation but to offer themselves for the change that the Aquarian Water Carrier is intent on bringing to the world. This is the dharma of Bharat, her people, and the Kumbha Mela.The resulting protection engendered by re-connection is a mathematical certainty. Verification is come upon by knowledge of the laws governing axial time-space alignment. India is dharmically destined to re-establish this alignment for the entire globe. Specifically, her dharma lies in the conquest of Time, in contrast to Egypt whose destiny was centred on the spatial and not the temporal – as can be verified by the monuments that ancient civilisation has left behind as proof for future generations. We must therefore ponder over the fact that if India is to be brought down (and with her the whole world) what better strategy could there be than to strike at the very heart of her Dharma – that is, to set her cosmic moorings in disarray? The result is an unforgivable act of using Time against itself. A nation that seeks to manipulate the cosmos to this end can only suffer the consequences with Time as Destroyer and not Ally.For India the time has come, the time for change has arrived.