‘My soul is the captive of God, taken by Him in battle; it still remembers the war, though so far from it, with delight and alarm and wonder.’
Aturning point in Hindu civilisation has been reached. The choice is as clear as the indications given by the conditions surrounding this formidable moment.
In previous articles and in my books, I have discussed this question of choosing – or, as I call it, the act of choosing. It is an essential ingredient at the turning point because the mechanics of the act involve a release of energy. Indeed, the act of choosing is simply for the purpose of carrying out this release. The energy that ‘escapes’ is the new addition which alters the alchemy of forces in turbulent interaction. But in reality there is no choice as such; the entire mechanism is artificial when seen from a higher plane of perception. This becomes obvious when the ‘right’ choice is made and miraculously a shift occurs transforming the entire panorama, in some cases instantly. Yet at a lower level, or rather on the plane where the issue is being played out, the choice is not at all fictitious. Hard facts accompany our act of choosing – deaths, bloodshed, nations disintegrating amidst turmoil and confusion. These are the realities we live with today, at this momentous time of choosing. Nonetheless, they are not real issues and we are therefore permitted to call them fictitious in that the real exists only in the heart of the process. From there waves are thrown up and out which create a ‘field’, and it is in this field that most of the issues apparently of central importance can be located. Their function in the process is quite other than what is imagined and is important in its own ways which this article will attempt to clarify.
When a turning point is reached circumstances conspire to create conditions which force us into a position demanding an act of choosing; in other words, which force us to release energy. This is what is now demanded in India: an act of choosing for the purpose of releasing energy. When it is an unconscious act, it will be accompanied by destructive manifestations proportionate to the degree of unconsciousness prevailing. When awareness of the real issues is present, the process is one of dissolution and not destruction. That is, outer sheaths where the energy had become compacted into hardened masses are dissolved, dissipated. In unconsciousness entailing destruction, blows are inflicted on the sheath to force a breakthrough. This is transposed onto the human stage as acts of violence, bloodshed, death. Or else, in the economic sphere we may witness the collapse of economies, or in politics the complete collapse of systems or, in more extreme cases, revolutions with their attending turmoil, agitation and death.
India has reached such a turning point. But the sheath to be dissolved is a residue accumulated over 2500 years. Ignorance of this fact is what encourages a focus on issues which are irrelevant at worst and peripheral at best. In other words, we must view the state of a civilisation as a growth of many layers; these are indeed sheaths – but formed of TIME ENERGY. This process is the experience of individuals as well as groupings of collective consciousness – for example the Hindu civilisation. The more mature a civilisation, the easier it is to perceive the process, or the more starkly defined its turning points.
Thus we perceive a residue accumulated in the sheath surrounding the core of Hinduism. The truth-essence of that core is the Sanatan Dharma, the eternal truth or law. But being eternal does not mean fixity of form which implies fossilisation. Indeed, this lies at the heart of the issue and is the crux of the turning point. Eternal in time (and there can be no concept of eternity which does not include time) implies a ceaseless flow; that is, a truth which evolves NEW forms in a process that is entirely true to the essence. In Hinduism this is very clear, unlike what we encounter in religions. The Sanatan Dharma contains an in-built system of renewal unique on this Earth in that it forms the undisputed core of the Dharma or the backbone of the structure. This is the Line of Ten Avatars.
Hinduism’s Alliance with Time
The Line refers to an evolutionary mechanism which USES Time for the action of evolving new forms around a truth-core. The Avatar’s purpose is exclusively this: he or she takes birth under certain time conditions which allow the Avatar to evolve, by the aid of Time in the evolutionary process, these new involucrums. In the process and if there are hardened crusts of impacted residue, this Agent of Time must undo those crusts.
Two factors may complicate the matter. One is when the Avatar is not recognised and society opposes his evolutionary/revolutionary work; the other is when very special conditions prevail which result in unusually hard crusts, or extreme masses of compacted energy residue. Both these situations describe the happenings surrounding the work of the present Avatar in this 9th Manifestation.
The second of the two is worth elucidating: the Line consists of ten, it is known. But what is not known is that they are a string of births stretched over many millennia but nonetheless thoroughly linked through the substance of the missions to be accomplished. The Avatars’ work, though spread out over vast aeons, is one process with one finality: the establishment of the reign of Truth, or the Golden Age. In Hinduism it is known as the Satya Yuga.
Thus, and this is fundamental, the movement works through the Line toward a culmination. This is supremely clear if we know the heart of evolution’s purpose. We observe then how each Avatar has added a portion to the mosaic. Sri Aurobindo has carefully explained this in his writings on the Ten Avatars. However, he dwelt primarily on the specific contributions of the 7th and 8th Avatars – Sri Ram and Sri Krishna. Interestingly, he had less to say about the 9th, except to state that Kalki would come ‘to correct the error of the Buddha’. On the other hand, we have the Puranas which refer to this 9th Avatar Buddha as the ‘ruse of the Supreme’, meant to ‘mislead the asura-seekers’.
These references have been made use of to support the contention that Buddhism was a persecuted faith in India and pursued by the Brahminical caste to its final ejection from the country. It is a debate which has surfaced forcefully in this decade due to two factors: one is the Ayodhya Temple episode with the intelligentsia seeking to convince the nation, for its own designs, that the mosque occupying the site was built over the ruins of a Buddhist shrine which had been destroyed to give way to a Hindu temple; that is, that the Hindus had been the first to destroy and build; and second, the caste debate which has been brought to a tragic extreme by the policies of the former prime minister, V.P. Singh.
Regarding the first, certain points need to be clarified. It is doubtful that a Buddhist shrine occupied the site where the mosque now stands, but what might be the deeper purpose in casting this contention into the cauldron already replete with contentious forces? The purpose is to add substance to the theory of Brahminical intolerance and persecution of Buddhism out of a desire to maintain a hold over the out-caste masses as well as the lower echelons within the system. However, it has to be pointed out that if this desire of subjugation truly existed, Hinduism would not have evolved as it did over these past ten thousand years. It would have provided for itself the proper tools for suppression and dominance such as we find in religions. In Hinduism it is true that a degeneration set in, but this has little to do with Brahminical despotism as it has been elaborated by historians.
In the Dark Ages, the priests and men and women of Knowledge in Hindu civilisation knew that the Buddha was ‘the ruse of the Supreme’ and that though circumstances forced his insertion in the Line as the 9th Avatar, he was nothing of the sort. But exactly what his role might be was not understood, though it was clear that he was indeed connected to the Line in a most essential manner. Clarity could not prevail simply because this discovery involved the deepest essence of the true 9th Avatar’s mission, Sri Aurobindo, whose appearance was due many centuries into the future.
According to the cosmic harmonies, which provide the ‘credentials’ for the Line of Ten, the 9th could not have appeared at the time of the Buddha: time would not have permitted it. The Avatar appears in the portion of each Manifestation (consisting of 6480 years each) which belongs to Vishnu [see The Gnostic Circle]. Thus they are known as ‘Incarnations of Vishnu.’ This description is misleading unless one knows the fundaments of these harmonies.
Suffice to say, those persons of Knowledge who described the Buddha as the ruse of the Supreme were not far from the truth – however, it was a truth which would take over 1500 years to be clarified and proven. Those ‘Brahmins’, often a euphemism for realised souls or persons of Knowledge, were not persecutors of Buddhists; they were simply preceptors of something of the Cosmic Truth and the deeper workings of the Time-spirit. At the same time, the entry of an erroneous incarnation as the 9th created its own problems. To put it succinctly, in itself this act became the reason why the perception of the Cosmic Truth and its issuing harmonies was lost. The vision became clouded to the point where decisive links were missed, great chunks were subtracted from the greater mosaic that is Hinduism. Certain essential portions remained, indeed a CORE, but the veils began to collect around this core becoming denser as the Manifestation’s clock ticked away in its relentless and irreversible march into the Age of Vishnu, the period of culmination in this 9th Manifestation and the real time of appearance of the 9th Avatar. To be precise, Vishnu’s period in this 9th Manifestation began in 1926. His period prior to this was more than 6000 years ago. Thus, 6480 years separate the appearances of each Avatar in the Line. At about the midway point between the birth of the 8th, Sri Krishna, and the 9th, Sri Aurobindo, the ‘ruse of the Supreme’ appeared as a ‘shadow’ cast before the figure of the real 9th. This Shadow describes the residue. In that tenebrous sheath energies are accumulated which demand to be dissolved if at all the core-truth is to survive and continue propelled through the aeons by the Time-Spirit.
Questioning the Unquestionable
Yet there is far more to the matter and it will reveal just why a situation such as a ‘strategy of ruse’ arose in the course of the Line of Ten. That is, tradition does not refer to any other incarnation in this rather shocking fashion; or if it had proven necessary as a tactic, it is baffling that this should have centred on an incarnation of the spiritual status of the Buddha. This fact has left Hindu culture quite vulnerable in the face of attacks from a number of luminaries in different intellectual disciplines. There have been Asuras along the way, Rakshasas, and all sorts of embodiments of evil whom the Avatars have had to battle in the course of their missions. But there has never been a ‘ruse’ – that is, a truly SPIRITUAL figure of superior accomplishments as a false avatar yet universally accepted by Hindus themselves as one whose position as the 9th stands unquestioned. Indeed, to do so might appear as blasphemy to many, such has been the ingenuity of the ruse. But this questioning is part and parcel of the work of the true 9th. None before him, or indeed before he had victoriously accomplished his work, could hope to unravel the mystery or even realise and accept its existence.
At this stage, there is hardly a person in India who dares question this fundamental proposition: Gautam the Buddha was not the 9th Avatar and his insertion in the Line did indeed constitute a ruse, – or better said, a strategy.
The point is the Buddha was essential to the process described in the beginning of this discussion. He planted seeds in the collective consciousness of a movement which would result in the hardening of the crust, or the amassing of residue in the time-energy sheath of Hindu civilisation, destined to reach its maximum degree of density at the time of the appearance of the last Avatar in the Line.
The Satya Yuga is expressed by the 10th. Everything before that is a temporary circumstance to aid in the arrival of the Age of Truth. But let us be more specific.
Like the gestation of a cow, or a human being, 9 is the measure. Similarly, the Line of Ten follows the same measure: at the 9ththe birth occurs. This means that everything or everyone prior to this 9th was simply a ‘month’ of the gestation (or stage in the evolution of consciousness on Earth). When we reach the 7th and 8th ‘months’ (Avatars), the foetus is quite well-formed – but it is still a foetus, ergo, unborn; nonetheless, it begins to reveal a character, it is able to house a soul and to serve as a form-vehicle at the time of birth. Well-formed though it may be at the 7th and 8th stages of the gestation, it is nonetheless a foetus. Time must fulfil itself and the gestation must be completed. Nine is the measure and sacred is the cow because she parallels the process: the progressive densification of the Light (‘go’ in Sanskrit, or ray). Furthermore, nothing can truly be known of the ‘body’ or the individualised attributes of the new-born until the actual birth. The time of this birth, gestated for a period of approximately 51,840 years, was the present period of Vishnu which started in 1926.
As pre-eminent instruments of the Time-Spirit, it is only in Vishnu’s periods that the Avatars can appear, for these are the Ages of Preservation. This particular and special Manifestation – the 9th of this Manifestation, was struck in 1926. It was the year Sri Aurobindo formally initiated his work: he withdrew to his room in that year and for 24 thereafter did a yoga of supreme concentration in order to see the ‘birth’ through successfully. The period of the true 9th had dawned upon India as the new Age had dawned on the cosmic horizon. This means that what Sri Aurobindo’s coming signified was the birth of the true and only real form of Hinduism. Or else, after his coming and this successful passage, his mission would produce an India that would be able to ‘see with NEW EYES’, for that is the meaning of the Coming.
The Birth of Guha, or the New Way
As time fulfils itself the involucrum surrounding the foetus begins to exert pressure; the waters press upon the foetus from all sides, contractions begin at a predetermined time and the ‘child’ comes forth. This Child is the 10th in the Line, the male-child Kartikeya, or Kalki. He comes as the War God, or with sword in hand, because the condition of the sheath requires this extreme power. The conditions accompanying his arrival are such that the crust is hardened to its maximum point of destiny. That point is reached in the second half of this century, culminating in the last three decades of the millennium, particularly in the 1990s. Only the power of the Sword will break the sac and permit the Birth. It is a cosmic process, a cosmological phenomenon. What this means is simply that the Age of Truth, the Satya Yuga, is ushered in by the Warrior of the Sanatan Dharma.
The reasons are obvious, the circumstances surrounding the Birth explain the position well; they do not lie. But the point is that when Knowledge does not illumine the path a stillborn creature may emerge due to the intensity of the force employed, in keeping with the cosmic process. In other words, the baby may be thrown out with the bath water. This, above all else, has to be avoided, for it is another ‘tactic’ in the strategy of the agents of Darkness: if the victory cannot be theirs, success will nonetheless attend their efforts by provoking a holocaust which will reduce Hindu civilisation to a shadow of itself, if it will survive at all. This can only be averted when the true and full process is known, which in turn informs us of the identity of these forces and how they operate.
Indeed, this is the key feature of the Satya Yuga: it is no longer a reign of ignorance, falsehood and half-light. Knowledge, the supreme Gnosis prevails, triumphs, forms the basis of the new order. Thus, to pretend to be instruments for this Birth without the mind and heart illumined by this truth-seeing is to delude ourselves pathetically. Our unknowing will simply prolong the reign of Ignorance and falsehood and may even be used to hasten the final collapse.
These are the veils that are pierced by the Sword of Truth which Kalki wields. Kalki is the symbol of the victorious Birth. The ‘ruse of the Supreme’ clouded this cosmic process in veils – protecting it as a foetus is protected by the maternal sac until its moment of birth arrives. At the same time, the veils themselves are the focus of an ever-increasing residue which must now be dissolved.
But is it to be done by DISSOLUTION or DESTRUCTION? This is the only question we may legitimately ask. Because the victorious birth has already taken place. Therefore it is no longer appropriate to question if the Child will be live or stillborn because Sri Aurobindo has already successfully accomplished his mission. The only ‘unknown’ at present is what means must be employed to allow for that Child, and no other, to emerge from behind the veils which continue to cover him in his form of Guha, the Hidden One.
Darkness before the Dawn
At a certain point in the evolution of Hindu society the correct deciphering of the cosmic script was lost. The result was adoption of a system of calendrical reckoning which threw the civilisation’s time measure off substantially. Hinduism could no longer locate the periods of Vishnu and by consequence determine the exact time of the appearance of the Avatar. It is safe to assume that the adoption of this inaccurate astronomical formula occurred around 300 AD. It is also safe to assume that this adoption was accompanied by the insertion of Gautam the Buddha into the Line of Ten: ‘ruse’ and miscalculation of time go hand-in-hand.
The time residue began to accumulate from that point onward; in the West during the same period, or 396 AD to be precise, there was a symbol-reflection of this lost measure in the cessation that year of the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries in praise of the Divine Mother and her daughter, the Kore (a counterpart of the Hindu Kumari).
The adoption of this inaccurate cosmic reckoning, accompanied by the insertion of a false Avatar in the Line, had the desired effect of weakening the foundations of Hinduism. Soon after invasions began in a civilisation weakened from within; Hinduism no longer had the power to ward off these forces since its binding energy had been dissipated. India was a united civilisation in the cosmic dimension of its collective expression and experience long before it became a united nation during the British Raj. And this unity resided in Hinduism and its oneness with the Cosmic Truth. But having lost that connection, the pillars of both the civilisation and the physical nation were attacked and the momentum increases, just as the wrong measure permits a time residue to accumulate with each passing year.
Thus we note that by this wrong formula India marks its cosmic age at an interval of 1656 years behind the rest of the world. In other words, according to these calculations with respect to the true cosmic dial, India’s reckoning became frozen in the year 270 AD. The measure is a colossal 1656 years off the mark, into the past. It is during this span of more than 1500 years that the Hindu civilisation has been experiencing a slow and steady decline, with no hope of immediate reprieve since the period of Vishnu is not expected to dawn until the fourth millennium of our era!
Throughout these centuries Hinduism has not been able to express new forms of itself and make use of its in-built mechanism for change. Until, that is, the arrival of the true 9th Avatar and his mission as Mahakala began in the early part of this century. His foremost aim was to set on its way the process of ‘correcting the error’. However, correction is not simple insofar as the wrong formula affects the passage of the cosmic year as well as the Solar/Earth year. For example, this dislocation is an annual feature of Hindu celebrations, one of the main ones being the Makar Sankranti, or the Sun’s entry into India’s ruling sign, Capricorn. This is celebrated on 15 January, or 23 days late. In such an atmosphere of confusion the really inspiring fact is that Hinduism has managed to survive for as long as it has under these conditions which affect the very heart and soul of her culture – that is, the cosmic harmonies which form the indisputable basis of the civilisation.
The formula is precise: when the Shadow’s arena is the play-out destruction is the method. In terms of the cosmic process, that Shadow means the past. In view of the above discussion of the lost time-measure, it can be appreciated that at the heart of today’s struggle lies an attempt to draw the hands of the cosmic timepiece to their correct position in the Time-Spirit’s clock of the passage of the Earth’s Ages and bring about a perfect harmony of time and space, or the experience of the Satya Yuga. This can only be done through the knowledge provided by the Avataric Line.
Thus, the turning point of our times – today, not tomorrow, urgently upon us in these very days – is the choice: destruction or dissolution as the way. Must the Sword be used to cut the sheath vehemently, violently and perhaps fatally; or is it to be used simply to pierce the veils which hide Guha and through this opening to allow an infiltration of his Light to dissolve the shadow in the tenebrous corridors of Time’s residue.
It is clear that the necessity to use a symbol of the past as the rallying point for the reestablishment of the Dharma indicates a regression. Time moves on. Ram was the 7th Avatar. His mission was fulfilled many hundreds of years ago – nay, thousands, in the 7th Manifestation. Therefore, to speak of or fight for a ‘Ram Rajya’ is a contradiction in terms. It can never come to pass. It is not destined to come to pass. The Time-Spirit will simply not permit it.
But the Time-Spirit may use the symbol to AWAKEN SLEEPING ENERGIES. This has indeed transpired. However, it is at this point that the dramatic moment of choosing is revealed in its true light or purpose: focus on a symbol of the past within the context of Hinduism is, lamentably, a denial of the core of the Sanatan Dharma. It indicates that the ‘ruse’ was successful and still holds sway.
The Line of Ten means precisely a forward march, always stabilised on this Truth-Core, an experience of immobility in the midst of the hurrying pace of Time’s formidably accelerated mobility, as the years unwind and the millennium nears its end. That is, with a firm foundation upholding the progression which provides the mechanism of renewal for the harmonious experience of stability and change. It is a process which alone produces harmonisation and integration required for unity in diversity.
The Ayodhya issue may be a rallying point; it may serve to awaken energies dormant for the past 2000 years; it may even help us to focus our attention on the most vital feature of Hinduism: the Line of Ten Avatars. It may serve to revitalise the Hindu spirit and soul now weighed down by the thick layers cast upon it by invading ideologies far removed from its own truth-core. And this may instill the courage needed to cast those crusts aside definitively. But it cannot be the finality, the goal. It is merely a tool, the result of a totality of prevailing conditions which imposed this regression into the past.
If the Time-Spirit were to permit a plunge into the cosmic residue of frozen energies, Hinduism would not be the Sanatan Dharma. It would be a religion and hence entirely time-bound, with no inbuilt mechanism for renewal. Religions have no such mechanism for authentic change which respects the original substance – especially those that uphold their God as the one and only. Thus they must invariably experience fundamentalist upsurges which are the only possible responses to the pressure for change and progress in the absence of a cosmic mechanism. Similar to all religions, under those shadowy conditions Hinduism would be subject to fossilisation if it sought to preserve its truth-core.
With the exception of the evolutionary process itself, Hinduism is one of the rare expressions on Earth of a progressively unfolding cosmic Truth. Indeed, because its soul is that very Cosmic Truth, it is one with the deepest purpose of the planetary evolution. Hinduism can therefore be identified as the vahana (vehicle) of the Earth’s own soul, a truth exquisitely conveyed in the ancient Vedic symbol of the white steed, Agni, carrying Usha, the divine Dawn, across the horizon of the Earth’s awakening cosmic day.
What is transpiring in India today is not a sudden development catching us unaware. The cosmic harmonies have been indicating the arrival of this turning point in the present decade. These harmonies go very deep in their indications, deeper than is hinted at in the surface happenings. That is, they illumine our understanding to the degree that we see a nation caught up in peripheral struggles. Even the present disintegration of India is peripheral insofar as it is simply a reflection of a missing link between the nation’s outer political, social and economic forms of expression and the innermost truth-core of Hindu civilisation. The absence of that link is the sole cause for the present turmoil and permits the periphery to spin off in every direction. It is not held together by the power of the Core.
Similarly, the questions being asked by intellectuals in many different disciplines and by people in all walks of life concerning secularism, minorityism, majorityism, democracy, communalism, fundamentalism, or national integration, caste and all the rest, are simply further ‘ruses’. The choice before India is only one: the past or the present, the old or the new. The 9th and 10th Avatars hold the key to the new future of Hinduism, as the Line of Ten has always held the key to the reestablishment of the Dharma.
‘It is for man to know her meaning, no longer misunderstanding, vilifying or misusing the universal Mother, and to aspire always by her mightiest means to her highest ideal.’
‘Life, not a remote silent or high-uplifted ecstatic Beyond – Life alone, is the field of our Yoga.’
The Synthesis of Yoga
Cosmic Harmonies in Hindu Civilisation and Society
A few words must be said about a certain characteristic of planets in orbit of the Sun on the foundational plane of the ecliptic. They too bear axes similar to the Sun. But they are not central. They develop their axes and shapes, including their rotation on these axes and then around the sun, from their position on the ecliptic. That is, each planet’s distinctive nature evolves on the basis of its relationship to the luminary it orbits, given the location of that orbit on the ecliptic or foundational plane.
In the context of the Vedic foundation – which is the ecliptic extending from the Sun of gnosis, or Veda – the planets are akin to the numerous paths of Yoga or the philosophies which came to inhabit the vedic cosmos over the millennia. Each can boast indeed of its own ‘axis’, but it accepts its location on the Vedic base and realises that it owes its very existence to that base and can never deny the inherent oneness of their relationship. Moreover it knows that its own individualised existence ENHANCES the glory of the Sun by this process of multiplication but entirely individualistically. No two planets are the same, yet the essential laws of their being are the same. In other words, they vibrate to the same central Pulse.
A distinguishing feature of these civilisational ‘planets’ is an axis which implies a centre. That is, the planet itself expresses the fundamental Vedic principle of a central FULLNESS, or a compact inner ‘seed’ by virtue of which the process of growth is evolutionary and organic. It is that innermost core which determines the contours, never the reverse. Thus, native to this civilisational expression is always a core of fulness. All aspects of Vedic culture display this basic law.
On the other hand, other cultures have moved into this cosmos and their principal characteristic is the absence of the innermost core or that principle of Fulness. They are founded on another principle, the ‘void’. This is the most marked difference or the clearest proof that the invading culture was indeed an EXTERNAL imposition, bringing into the Vedic cosmos a creation that did not draw from the foundational base for its evolution.
The Taj Mahal is an example. It is indubitably one of the world’s most renowned architectural creations and certainly one of the finest products of Islamic culture. Thus this adds substance to my premise that the special nature of the Vedic ecliptical foundation will compel anything that enters into its midst to produce the best of itself at some point in its development or its interchange with and in the base.
If the Taj Mahal were not a tomb and housed a core of Fulness rather than the void of death, we would be encouraged to believe that it had drawn into itself some of the ‘stuff of the Sun’ as it were. Since this is not the case, the Taj is a shell, an exquisite encasement around an inner void. For this is another feature of a creation which establishes its position within the whole in the act of defining leading to integration: its ‘purpose’ is enhanced and revealed. The extreme beauty and magic of the shell pins one to that exquisite surface. It does not draw within because there is no magnetic core of fulness to create this inward-bound attraction.
What then is the Taj expressing in terms of ‘purpose’, of principle? Its inspiration was, history records, a human love. In the echelon of existence human love is an experience of the heart centre or chamber. Deeper within, in the soul, there is a spark of what no human love can equal: Divine Love. In that innermost chamber, deeper within than the heart, the individual encounters a ‘spaceless’ point. That is, in that centremost inward ‘space’ there is no room for a dual expression of the Pulse of creation. There is only THAT, and it is the solitary experience of the seeker possessed of the Divine, in a perfect union of identity – a fusion similar to the operations in the core of the Sun.
As explained in the VISHAAL solstice Special Issue (included in TVN 6/5, December 1991), Sri Ram drew before the evolution of the species this acute problem or choice: the human or the Divine. India, as a civilisation, chose the divine. Because of that ‘choice’, made thousands of years ago, we can continue proclaiming that India is the ‘cradle of spirituality’, that spirituality, or even religion, is what makes the nation tick.
Indeed this is so, the proof is that the very next Evolutionary Avatar to appear after Lord Ram was Sri Krishna who mercilessly drove the race inward, ever deeper into the temple of Yoga until it could only dissolve its individualised being in the arms of the Divine Lover. As a race, a nation, a people, this was Bharat’s choice. The consequences of such a phenomenal civilisational concord are in evidence everywhere in modern India, in the accumulated expressions across the ages of that choice in the cultural body of the nation.
Distinguishing Features of the Hindu Temple
Every element of the Hindu temple is designed to draw the seeker into that sacred innermost precinct. We may compare this creation to the Taj Mahal in that regard and we realise that the massive profusion in the temple’s exterior has the paradoxical effect of driving us inward and away from the profusion in search of and compelled to seek that spaceless Point where there is nothing but the Divine in that ‘hidden chamber closed and mute’. The shell of the Taj never forces this penetration. Indeed, its irresistible magic lies in the singular fact that its beauty acts as an hypnotic potion which rivets one to that external sphere. It can only do so by not housing an inner core.
It may be argued that the Taj does not pretend to be a religious or spiritual expression and that it is simply a mausoleum and a memorial. This is only partially relevant because we are selecting items which reflect a cultural content. In India’s case, all art is religious, – or better, sacred. Music, dance, sculpture, architecture, painting, and so forth. What can be held as true expressions of the indigenous culture all have this ‘purpose’. And they all reveal a central Fulness – as well as an obsession with axes.
If we turn to the immediately religious symbols we may study the nature of the mosque in this light. The mosque appears essentially to be a prayer hall. That is, its central portions are filled not by any deity – indeed, Islam is vehemently opposed to idol worship of any sort. Rather, it is the congregation that provides an inner fullness. And then there is the question of alignment or direction which we must discuss. In the Christian church, to my knowledge alignment of the edifice does not follow a fixed prescription. Similar to the mosque, the church is the refuge of the faithful, the congregation. But there is a further revealing element in the Christian church which adds another dimension to the symbolism. It is the position of the raised altar, separate and apart; and the fact that there can be no service, no worship without the commanding presence of the priest.
In the Hindu temple the emphasis is entirely on the centremost idol because that alone must be the focus. The devotee or worshipper is not encouraged in any way to rely upon or to accept that the priest has any legitimate commanding place in the experience of the seeker. The murti or idol as the innermost Divine requires no mediators. Indeed, this is born out by Hindu culture in that no priest has any final authority over the devotee and he can be eliminated entirely when the devotee performs his own ritual or puja, as it is called, without the need of the priest at all. Even women are free to serve in this capacity. Nor is there any pulpit or any other symbol of an ecclesiastical or kingly power above the Divine. The Hindu is constantly thrown back upon the only true source of ‘authority’: his or her direct experience of the Godhead in whatever form this may take consonant with the temperament of the devotee.
In this too we see the third power of the individual Divine reflected, India’s inner ‘pulse’ of destiny. The inner Divine may be any one of the thousands of Hindu deities, for indeed there are thousands upon thousands of individual worshippers. The precise form it takes is not the issue. The real issue is described in the overall form or design of the Hindu temple. In other words, the temple is the Hindu’s Book of Knowledge. By ‘opening’ this special book in stone – which implies the practice of a yoga or discipline which opens centres normally closed and which then permits the seeker to ‘read’ this book – he or she can understand the single most important truth of Hinduism and compare this with all other cultural expressions: Fullness versus Void. The design or concept of the temple forces the devotee to live the Vedic experience each time he or she enters the temple. One is compelled to plunge deep inside to the core and into the precinct of the innermost Divine regardless of the particular form. This is expressly manifest in the preliminary circumambulation of the edifice, and then within the building around the sanctum sanctorum, and so on, ever moving INWARD, ever converging upon that central Point, that inner Divine. Thus again we observe that the Third Power or the Individual Divine is the foundation of even the a Hindu Temple. The form is manifold. The Vedic experience is one. And it is lived in the intimacy of the soul’s inner chamber, concentrated abode of the Third Power.
The very name given to the Hindu temple’s sanctum sanctorum reveals that it is the abode of the Third: garbhagriha or womb-house. This further emphasises the essential message of Hinduism – the triumph of fulness over the Void, or the birth (from that womb) that fills the void.
Let me quote from Prof. S. K. Ramachandra Rao’s book, The Indian Temple: Its Meaning, IBH Prakashana publishers, for a concise description of the significance of the garbhagriha, albeit a rather exoteric one:
‘The sanctum is technically known as the ‘garbhgrha’ (‘the womb-house’)… It is insisted that this part of the temple must be constructed first, and before the construction a significant ceremony known an ‘impregnating’ (garbhadhana or garbha-nyasa) should be performed. This ritual involves letting into the earth a ceremonial copper pot, containing nine precious stones, several metals and minerals, herbs and soils, symbolising creation and prosperity. The building which contains this ‘womb’ is said to prosper, and not the one which lacks it… After the completion of this ritual, a stone slab (adhara-sila) is placed over the spot where the copper pot has been buried. This stone slab will be the foundation for the installation of the icon. The copper-pot symbolises the womb, and the icon the soul. The sanctum that is built round is the body. This is the significance of the sanctum being called ‘the womb-house’. Texts like Silpa-ratna, Tantra-samuccaya and Isana-siva-gurupaddhati give an elaborate account of this ritual.’ (pages 55-6)
To express this concept, which has become ritualised in the construction of the Hindu temple, in more esoteric language but far closer to the highest Vedic truth, the ‘fecundation’ of the Womb is equivalent to the VERTICAL direction described by the new cosmology. This is the penetrating shaft from the ‘other dimension’ whereby the Point comes into being, which is the ‘seed’, the sperm, if you will. In the above ritual the same process is conveyed using precious stones and metals and soils and herbs, – clearly all symbols of elements most material, most ‘earthly’. Revealed in this is the explicit Earth-orientation of the Vedic quest. Once that Womb is in place and its fecundation assured, the edifice develops from that central Fulness, never the reverse.
To render our study less abstract, I would like to relate this process and concept to two contemporary episodes revolving around temples. One is the Matrimandir in Auroville, and the other is the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Mosque in Ayodhya.
Regarding the construction of the former, it is to be noted that rather than follow the prescriptions of the Vedic culture, the Matrimandir construction observed the reverse: the architects started from the exterior, the four supporting pillars, and set in place a central Void. This was not even a camouflaged or esoteric symbolism. It was a hole measuring three metres in diameter. In addition, the inclusion of this centremost hole or void, which, it must be noted, did not exist in the Mother’s original plan, increased the cost of the construction enormously. It was set in place a few years after the Mother inaugurated the construction in 1971. From that time onward the history of Auroville and the Matrimandir has been anything but ‘auspicious and prosperous’. There were even accidents and one instance where a young woman, it appears, fell through that very hole and was paralysed completely. (She later suicided.) Auroville was finally taken over by the Government of India when internal disputes could not be solved otherwise. It would appear from this that regardless what those in charge of the construction put out, or how much of a stiff upper lip the residents of Auroville put to the Government take-over, these facts indicate that perhaps the ancient Vedic prescriptions were most profoundly wise. The construction of the Matrimandir has been entirely un-Vedic, and I shall deal with this in the next part of this essay. It may be argued that the Mother and Sri Aurobindo did not intend their work to follow the old patterns and that therefore the Matrimandir construction, even if it can be proven that it did not follow those ancient precepts, has every right to deviate from the norm. Further on in this series I will provide evidence to show that it was precisely through the plan the Mother gave for that temple that the Dharma was to be ‘reestablished’. I shall also discuss what exactly is implied in such an undertaking.
The other contemporary example of the ‘fecundated Womb’ vis-à-vis a temple refers to Ayodhya. The fear exists in certain quarters that soon construction will begin of the temple to Ram which is meant to replace the Babri Mosque. It is sustained by Hindus that the site of the mosque was formerly a temple which had been demolished in order for the Emperor Babar to build this mosque. Furthermore, it is held that the site is especially sacred insofar as tradition considers it to be the actual birthplace of Sri Ram.
I have dwelt on this to a certain extent in the Solstice Special Issue (included in TVN 6/5, December 1991). At this point I would simply like to refer to this question of Fullness versus Void and the hallowed formula for the proper construction of any Hindu temple which is that first the Womb (fecundated) must be installed and then all the rest arises out of that. In Ayodhya, if prevalent fears are to be played out, it would appear that the reverse has been the case: Hindus are preparing to start construction, it is believed, encircling the existent mosque and moving inward, pressing the mosque out perhaps. If such were the case, it could be held by the purists that the Vedic formulas are not being respected and misfortune will result. However, this state of affairs adds a deeper dimension to the surreptitious epiphany of the Ramlal idol in the mosque at the December solstice of 1949. The ‘void’ was then filled. The rest is academic.
It may also be pointed out that according to the true and profound Vedic tradition, the icon would not have ‘appeared’ where it did had there not been the prior womb-fecundation ritual in some form, as Prof. Ramachandra Rao describes, somewhere along the line. In my view this is the firmest proof that the site did indeed once hold a Hindu temple to that very God, or that the precise location was ‘fecundated’ by Ram’s very birth, corroborated now by the appearance of the icon. Given the nature of what we are treating, it is understandable that such matters are difficult to adjudicate in courts of law.
In addition to the above, there is then the question of measurements, proportions, and so forth, which conspire mathematically, geometrically, to create an atmosphere conducive to the lived Vedic experience. Foremost is the question of alignment. Every Hindu temple must respect a certain alignment. This is marked by the stumbha (skambha) or cosmic pillar positioned carefully before the garbhagriha. I do not intend to discuss this element in any great detail, though I would like to refer again to Prof. Ramachandra Rao’s text to illustrate that this Cosmic Pillar is perhaps the least understood of the adornments of the Hindu temple. He makes this clear when he writes… ‘The symbolism of the flag-staff is not clear in the textual accounts, probably because it was a late innovation and not a necessary involvement of the shrine’… He goes on to state that the staff was perhaps an addition brought in by the royal families or patrons of the temple. But further on he writes… ‘The flag-post is also magical in its significance. The texts assign Siva to the bottom of the post, Brahma to the middle portion and Vishnu to the top.’ (Ibid, pages 106-109.) My position on this is that this ‘skambha’ is indeed the least understood of the temple’s symbols because it holds the key to the Rigvedic yoga of alignment – a knowledge long lost.
A hint is given in the text, it would appear, to a far deeper significance of the stumbha when Prof. Rao mentions its connection with the Hindu Trimurti or trinity. Let me add to this that these directions and alignments are COSMICALLY oriented, and that is the point I wish to make here. The entire science of temple building is cosmic or drawn from the cosmic harmony. Thus in this, above all else, is demonstrated the entirely universal character of the Vedic Dharma. The devotee is thrust into a cosmic alignment and harmony when he or she enters the temple. This is no earth-bound direction such as Mecca, one of the most important features of the Islamic mosque. The mosque must be positioned in such a way as to permit the worshipper to turn toward Mecca during his prayers; and even when he is not praying in the mosque, he is obliged to respect this direction. Thus, a worshipper west of Mecca would face eastward, while a worshipper east of Mecca, say India, would face westward. Only Mecca is important as a direction, and it has no cosmic connection. If we add to this the importance of the brotherhood, which the mosque concept emphasises, we observe that two features of Islam separate it from Hinduism. This is the prominence of the brotherhood, and the orientation toward Mecca whenever and wherever it meets for prayer – that is, a point on Earth. In this light it is quite simple to deduce that the goal would be a brotherhood across the globe directed to this hallowed location, in contrast to the Hindu temple which focuses not at all on the congregation or the clergy and any earthly direction, sacred though it may be, but solely on the inner Divine, centre of the cosmos from any point in the universe where the individual stands who houses in his or her body a soul, a ‘garbhgriha’.
Thus we may very confidently state that the Vedic Dharma has spawned a galaxy of ‘exalted individuals’. Each such being is sacred. Each is holder of an inner ‘spark’ or Godhead, as the temple holds in its garbhgriha the divine Murti. On this basis alone it should be obvious that the Vedic Dharma is truly and compellingly universal by virtue of being so utterly riveted on the individual and the human soul. Similarly, to exclude a member of a caste or non-caste or foreigner or whosoever from entering such temples presents something of an incongruity. But even for the native of Bharat to fight for such a right is equally incongruous for the very reasons I have given above: in the Vedic Dharma ultimately there is nothing higher than the individual soul as the encasement of the Supreme. The Hindu temple simply reproduces this fact of existence. In one’s secret chamber, anywhere, any time, the Lover is one with the Beloved.
This is not to say that temples should be obliged to open their doors to everyone, that distinctions should be dissolved. The point is only that the right of distinction, while being a prerogative of the Third Principle, should not be exercised on the basis of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’, ‘best’ or ‘worst’. They are simply manifestations catering to the great galaxy spawned by the Dharma. And finally, nothing is ‘higher’ on the horizontal circular plane of the Dharma’s ecliptic. Everything, in a perfect equality, converges on the Centre and owes its being to the single central Sun or ‘point’.
That Mysterious One, or the Axis Mundi
In all artistic expressions of India’s culture we observe the prominence of what I have called an ‘axial obsession’. This is to be noted in dance very clearly, in particular India’s purest expression, one of the most ancient forms of temple sacred dance still preserved on the subcontinent. This is Bharatnatyam, the ‘Dance of India’, native to Tamil Nadu where the dharma is ‘preserved’.
This special art form is obviously an enactment of certain specific alignments which are cosmos-inspired. That is, the human figure is used to express a certain relationship between the Earth and the heavens. But we cannot separate Bharatnatyam from sculpture in our analysis insofar as the human figure in dance takes the poses which we find to be the cosmic foundation of sculpture and adds to it movement. The two forms together offer a sort of complementation between rest and motion, essential components of the Truth-Consciousness whereby these opposites are harmonised in creation.
An interesting debate surfaces now and again in contemporary Indian society. It centres on what came first, dance or sculpture? That is, was it dance and movement that inspired the numerous sculptures we see gracing Hindu temples which are so obviously linked to dance, or vice-versa.
To illustrate, an article appeared in the Sunday Review of the Times of India, dated 5 January 1992, by Arahiya Sethi, entitled ‘Movement in Monument’. Reference is made by the author to an exhibition organised by a sculptor-dancer, Ramabali Kant. The issue the exhibition brought up was the above question. To prove that it was probably dance that inspired the sculptured sacred forms, the author refers to the Vishnu Dharmottara Purana in which Rishi Markandeya advises King Vajra ‘to learn first the laws of dancing before attempting sculpture, for only when the technique of movement in the living form is mastered can it be arrested in the plastic media.’ Sethi goes on to note that…
‘The sculptural quality of Indian dance is a reflection of the dancer’s aim of achieving the perfect balance as the climax to a series of movements. On the other hand, the profusion of dancing figures in Indian sculpture testifies to the sculptor’s fascination for the kinetics of Indian dance. In fact, one could go as far as to say that a relationship also exists between dance movements and poses, on the one hand, and architectural forms on the other. This view regards architecture as an extended form of sculpture. Hence while circular kinetics of Mohini Attam are mirrored in the rounded and squat temples of Kerala, the majesty of the gopurams of the temples in the south, is captured in the linear expression of Bharat Natyam. This brings up the question of inspiration – was it sculpture that inspired dance, or dance sculpture?’
I would like to state that the answer is not one or the other. Rather, we must inquire what spiritual realisation served to inspire not only dance and sculpture and architecture, but possibly every other facet of Indian culture and civilisation. This realisation, or yogic process to be more exact, is carefully noted down in the Veda; for example, in the hymns to Skambha, the cosmic pillar or axis mundi which I have quoted earlier from the Atharvaveda. But what is the reason for this ‘obsession with axes’? It is simply that axial alignment is the obsession of the Creator – or, as Hindu lore would have it, of Vishwakarma, the Divine Architect. We may be so bold as to state that being fashioned in His/Her image, it is only natural that a civilisation which has made the choice to live for that Principle and that alone, would seek to display this essential aspect of the Divine in all facets of its collective and individual existence. We note here a direct parallel with the philosophies of pre-Christian Europe and the Mediterranean area, for example Plato’s exclamation that ‘God always geometrises’ or that all is simply Number. Basing our analysis on the cultural works of the Vedic civilisation, the same conclusion must be reached.
To carry the analysis into wider vistas, we find that axial alignment, or indeed the coming into being of an axis in the first place, is the principal feature of the cosmic manifestation. This is to be verified in smaller cosmic bodies such as the planets, and in larger, i.e., the Sun. It is also the distinguishing feature of the very centre of our galaxy and indeed the supreme centre of all galaxies, in fact, wherever we find bodies in orbit of a central mass. This is simply because Skambha, that One, is the great secret of creation, the centremost principle of all that exists. It is, in fact, because of that centre, that Point, that any alignment came into being at all. Material creation begins with the Point which in turn is simply a crossing of cosmic directions. More specifically, it is the intersection of the vertical and horizontal dimensions. This means that it is the centre of the compressed 9/6/3 which forms the vertical direction and emerges in the material universe as the One from where that compressed essence extends, evolves, expresses itself in the material plane through time and space. More importantly, and this is the profound Secret of Secrets, or what in the Gita is called the ‘Secret Science’, the convergence and then the emergence of a centre indicates that a connection is made between this plane and ‘the other’, the Transcendent. The Point is thus the Immanent Transcendent, the Vast compressed to a point, a ‘seed’. The whole of material creation is then the organic evolution of That, of the triadic essence which is the basis of all material creation.
I shall quote some verses from the hymns to Skambha of the Atharvaveda to demonstrate the exactitude of the ‘science’ in those ancient times. The translation is Raimundo Panikkar’s and not having the original Sanskrit I must rely on his work. He has used the word ‘Support’ whenever ‘Skambha’ appears in the text:
‘…Toward whom does the rising Flame aspire?
Toward whom does the Wind eagerly blow?
On whom do all the compass points converge?
Tell me of that Support [Skambha] – who may he be?
‘Where do the half months and months together
proceed in consultation with the year?
Where do the seasons go, in group or singly?
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘Toward whom run the sisters, day and night,
who look so different yet one summons answer?
Toward whom do the waters with longing flow?
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘The one on whom the Lord of Life [Prajapati]
leant for support when he propped up the world –
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘That which of all forms the Lord of Life
created – above, below, and in between –
with how much of himself penetrated the Support?
How long was the portion that did not enter?
‘With how much of himself penetrated the Support
into the past? With how much into the future?
In that single limb whose thousand parts he fashioned
with how much of himself did he enter, that Support?
‘Through whom men know the worlds and what enwraps them,
the waters and Holy Word [Brahman], the all-powerful
in whom are found both Being and Nonbeing –
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘By whom Creative Fervor [tapas] waxing powerful
upholds the highest Vow, in whom unite
Cosmic Order [ritam] and Faith, the waters and the Word ‘’
Tell me of that Support – and who may he be?
‘On whom is firmly founded earth and sky
and the air in between; so too the fire,
moon, sun, and wind, each knowing his own place –
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘In whose one limb all the Gods,
thirty and three in number, are affixed –
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘In whom are set firm the firstborn Seers,
the hymns, the songs, and the sacrificial formulas,
in whom is established the Single Seer [the mystical sun] –
Tell me of that Support, who may he be?
‘In whom, as Man, deathlessness and death
combine, to whom belong the surging ocean
and all the arteries that course within him;
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘Of whom the four cardinal directions
comprise the veins, visibly swollen,
in whom the sacrifice has advanced victorious –
Tell me of that Support – who may he be?
‘Those who know the divine in Man
know the highest Lord; who knows the highest Lord
or the Lord of Life knows the supreme Brahman.
They therefore know the Support also.
‘The branch of Nonbeing which is far-extending
men take to be the highest one of all.
They reckon as inferior those who worship
your other branch, the branch of Being.
‘Great are the Gods who were born from Nonbeing,
yet men aver this Nonbeing to be
the single limb of the Support, the great Beyond.
‘The limb in which the Support, when generating,
evolved the Ancient One – who knows this limb
knows too by that same knowledge the Ancient One [original Principle]
‘It was from this limb that the thirty-three Gods
distributed portions among themselves.
Thus in truth only knowers of Brahman
are also knowers of the thirty-three Gods.
‘Men recognise the Golden Embryo [Hiranyagarbha]
as the unutterable, the Supreme.
Yet it was the Support who in the beginning
poured forth upon the world that stream of gold…’
Vedic civilisation is the only one in the world, from ancient times into the present, which has been audacious enough to strive to establish an entire society of this profound basis, this ‘support’, this Skambha. Panikkar’s translation of these splendid hymns lacks the insights the direct yogic experience gives which would permit a far more precise translation. Nonetheless, even a simple, literal version such as the above, suffices to help us in making the connections between the India of today and the ancient world as recorded in the Veda. As I am demonstrating, every aspect of India’s culture was a conscious, knowledgeable (and successful) attempt to reproduce, to recapture this axial fact of our existence in the numerous facets of collective and individual living. Everything else we know in the world is a lesser attempt, never having reached the purity of the Vedic inspiration. But preceding the actual visual, audial and plastic arts, there stands that supreme yogic achievement of Skambha and Agni, the axis mundi. This is the yoga detailed in the Rigveda. It is a knowledge long lost and which has resurfaced in this century with the appearance of the 9th Evolutionary Avatar, Sri Aurobindo, who was to initiate with his birth the reestablishment of the Vedic Dharma – that is, the restructuring of Indian society on those eternal and indestructible foundations. For this the Avatar, as Sri Ram and Sri Krishna before him had done, had to LIVE THE YOGA. In other words, to imprint this eternal truth on the evolutionary matrix of this 9th Manifestation. Sri Aurobindo had to rediscover that Vedic Yoga. His appearance as the 9 in the Solar Line was in the form of the Transcendent. His ‘sleep’ and awakening as the One is in the form of the Immanent Transcendent, or the Point, the One, the Centre, Agni. To render the realisation possible and complete, the powers of 6 and 3 were conjoined to the 9. And out of that Third the One was born.
This is the most profound mystery of creation. I have written earlier that it constituted the quest of the Alchemists of the West. This is clearly evidenced in the following Hermetic formula, taken from the dialogues between Maria Prophetessa and Aros (Isis and Horus?): ‘One becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the One as the fourth.’ Translated into the formula of the new cosmology, this is the 9, 6, 3, and out of the 3 comes the l, who is the fourth in the Line.
The question therefore – What came first, dance or sculpture? – is meaningless. It is that yogic process of alignment and creation of a centre that is the seed-realisation and inspiration of everything we know in the Vedic universe. Similarly, when measures are lost and knowledge is obscured, it has to be the same Vedic process re-lived within the circumscribing conditions of this 9th Manifestation which is to form the basis for any correction or renewal of the things distorted or lost over the ages in between this 9th and the last, the 8th Manifestation of Sri Krishna, when he graced this planet in order to carry out a similar process. When there is talk of renewal in music or any of the other art forms in India, it must be understood that if we are to undertake a renewal, respecting the cosmic structure and processes of old which were the foundations of the things desired to be remade, then we can only do so by first living the Yoga of the Veda. We cannot expect to ‘put the cart before the horse’.
And inasmuch as alignment and centre arise from the fulness of that compressed Seed, again I must repeat, Indian civilisation, founded on the Veda, must struggle to fill the void ever and always. It means that in order to be in a position to function as a true civilisation held together by that mysterious and elusive Point (as ever it had been until the onset of this 9th Manifestation), it must accept that the Yoga of the 9, and 6, and 3, leading to the birth of the One who ‘fills the void’, is the essential ingredient for that to come about.
It is in this light that we are obliged to assess the condition of contemporary Indian society and the realistic possibility of ‘holding together’ when we are faced with a series of expressions on the subcontinent which cannot, by the rightful law of their being, find any point of convergence in the stream of the Vedic foundational plane. The question is then, Do we abandon that plane in view of the fact that there exists this apparently unreconcilable situation as a product of history which cannot be erased? Or do we proceed a step further and ‘put each thing in its place’?
To do this effectively we must recognise what is truly indigenous and what has come ‘from outside’ in, for example, some of the more popular expressions of dance and other forms of art. Kathak, for instance, is remarkably reflective of certain aspects of Spanish Flamenco Dance. Spain, as we know, was greatly influenced by Arabic/Islamic culture, Flamenco being perhaps one such product. It is not surprising therefore that, to a careful observer, Kathak of northern India, also influenced by Islamic culture, should bear some profound resemblance to Flamenco, both have been exposed to the same stream of inspiration. Or else we may take Hindi, officially adopted at the time of Independence as India’s national language. I have always felt that Hindi is to the subcontinent what Spanish is to Europe. They both give evidence of a certain virility and vital quality which distinguishes them from the other languages of their respective areas. The aspirated ‘j’ (jota) of Spanish recalls certain sounds of Arabic, for instance. We find similar sounds in Hindi which sets it apart from the languages indigenous to the subcontinent such as Tamil and Sanskrit.
But what exactly is the distinguishing feature of these particular modifications and influences, brought about by an Islamic wave which moved into the two countries at about the same period? It is that the expression is centred in the vital being (collective or individual, in the yogic sense) rather than the mental or even the physical. This indeed is the quality of Islam, and it can be traced to the Old Testament and the story of Abel and Cain, or the mental and vital principles and their eternal struggle for supremacy. Sri Aurobindo has expressed something of this order in his Thoughts and Aphorisms…
‘Christ came into the world to purify, not to fulfil. He himself foreknew the failure of his mission and the necessity of his return with the sword of God into a world that had rejected him.
‘Mahammad’s mission was necessary, else we might have ended by thinking, in the exaggeration of our efforts at self-purification, that earth was meant only for the monk and the city created as a vestibule for the desert.
‘When all is said, Love and Force together can save the world eventually, but not Love only or Force only. Therefore Christ had to look forward to a second advent and Mahammad’s religion, where it is not stagnant, looks forward through the Imams to a Mehdi.’
But we need not hark back to remote history or legend or scripture to assess the prominence of the vital centre in Arabic/Islamic culture. The contemporary scene is perhaps a better verification. For there is the question of energy, for example, the prime ‘purpose’ of the vital centre in the being of civilisation or in the individual constitution. This is clearly borne out by contemporary Arabia’s contribution to the world economy, its abundance of oil and the role this creates for it in international affairs. But for this commodity, Islamic civilisation would have been forced to play a far less significant role in this 20th Century. Thus, oil (energy) is vital to its international persona.
But there is another example of the vital-oriented structure of the civilisation, far purer and closer to the realm of the symbolic and the ‘symbol being the thing symbolised’. I refer to the Horse which is the animal symbol in almost all occult and esoteric traditions most expressive of the qualities the vital contributes to creation. The Veda makes this symbolism abundantly clear. Indeed, in ancient times the Horse was as sacred as the Cow, since together they represent the basic pillars of creation: Consciousness(Cow)-Force(Horse).
For the horse to fulfil its symbol role it must express its essential nature or its true dharma. This is speed, movement. In the cosmic harmony it is that formidable motion of all creation, because of which forms emerge and are held together. Thus speed is its attribute. There is no finer example of that quality than the English Thoroughbred, for centuries the only horse used for high-quality racing, – the ‘sport of kings’. But it must be noted that the foundation stock of the thoroughbred was entirely Arabian. The horse we know by that name today can be traced to a breeding experiment involving three of the finest Arabian horses in the second half of the 18th Century. It is also worth noting that this inter-civilisational mix which went into the production of this superb animal and highest expression of the Horse Dharma, was the same combination that entered the Vedic plane, Arabic and English. I may add by way of a clue to the future denouement, the Horse symbol and the vital centre hold the key to the resolution of the conundrum India faces in seeking to integrate these strands from beyond her borders.
Defining Hinduism, an exercise long overdue
Scholars and theologians have great difficulty in describing or defining Hinduism. We are all agreed that it does not follow the patterns all other religions follow, hence the difficulty in even labelling it a religion. But we persist in doing so simply because there is no other term or bracket in which to fit this unique manifestation of the human spirit. Most authorities on the subject offer banal definitions, in the West emphasising the Hindu belief in reincarnation as being one of the chief feature of the religion. This is entirely misleading but it is understandable since the yardstick for the assessment is always the known and well-structured Middle-Eastern religions, Judeo-Christianity and Islam, with which Hinduism has little in common and none of which believe in reincarnation. Hinduism is thus measured on that limited yardstick. In the process nothing of its true character is known. This is not only a problem in the West. In India itself one has difficulty in locating a real authority on the matter, for the reasons which I have been describing in this series: the principal features of the Vedic Dharma have become quite obscured over the centuries.
Sri Aurobindo stands perhaps alone in this century in giving a nearly perfect description of Hinduism, but not many have appreciated his work in this area or its import for the reestablishment of the Vedic Dharma. This may be due to the fact that his revelations reach back to the true Vedic foundation which is now to be rediscovered before anything of his writings can be properly comprehended. I shall quote portions from his Foundations of Indian Culture, Part III, Chapter l, where he defines Hinduism. It will then be more than evident that his definition follows meticulously the basic formula of the new cosmology, 9-6-3-0/1, which in turn is the formula revealing the birth-pattern of the Solar Line of which he is the initiator.
His definition begins with the overall unifying Principle, the Transcendent, which in this cosmology is the 9; from there he passes on to the Cosmic Divine, the number 6 in the cosmological formula, and then finally all converges on the Individual Divine, the 3. For Sri Aurobindo the core of Hinduism consists of this ‘formula’ and constitutes what he describes as a… ‘synthetic character and embracing unity’ which, if it is not grasped impedes us from understanding… ‘the whole meaning of Indian life and the whole sense of Indian culture’:
‘…And if we are asked, “But after all what is Hinduism, what does it teach, what does it practise, what are its common factors,” we can answer that Indian religion is founded upon three basic ideas or rather three fundamentals of a highest and widest spiritual experience. First comes the idea of the One Existence of the Veda to whom sages give different names, the One without a second of the Upanishads who is All that is, and beyond all that is, the Permanent of the Buddhists, the Absolute of the Illusionists, the supreme God or Purush of the Theists who holds in his power the soul and Nature, – in a word the Eternal, the Infinite. This is the first common foundation; but it can be an endless variety of formulas by the human intelligence. To discover and closely approach and enter into whatever kind of degree of unity with this Permanent, this Infinite, this Eternal, is the highest height and last effort of its spiritual experience. That is the first universal credo of the religious mind of India. ‘Admit in whatever formula this foundation, follow this great spiritual aim by one of the thousand paths recognised in India or even any new path which branches off from them and you are at the core of the religion. For its second basic idea is the manifold way of man’s approach to the Eternal and Infinite. The Infinite is full of many infinities and each of these infinities is itself the very Eternal. And here in the limitations of the cosmos God manifests himself and fulfils himself in the world in many ways, but each is the way of the Eternal. For in each infinite we can discover and through all things as his forms and symbols we can approach the Infinite; all cosmic powers are manifestations, all forces are forces of the One. The gods behind the workings of Nature are to be seen and adored as powers, names and personalities of the one Godhead… One may approach the Supreme through any of these names and forms with knowledge or in ignorance; for through them and beyond them we can proceed at last to the supreme existence.
‘One thing however has to be noted that while many modernised Indian religionists tend, by way of an intellectual compromise with modern materialistic rationalism, to explain away these things as symbols, the ancient Indian religious mentality saw them not only as symbols but as world-realities, – even if to the Illusionist realities only of the world of Maya. For between the highest unimaginable Existence and our material way of being the spiritual and psychic knowledge of India did not fix a gulf as between two unrelated opposites. It was aware of other psychological planes of consciousness and experience and the truths of these supraphysical planes were no less real to it than the outward truths of the material universe. Man approaches God at first according to his psychological nature and his capacity for deeper experience… The level of Truth, the plane of consciousness he can reach is determined by the inner evolutionary stage. Thence comes the variety of religious cult, but its data are not imaginary structures, inventions of priests or poets, but truths of a supraphysical existence intermediate between the consciousness of the physical world and the ineffable superconscience of the Absolute.
‘The idea of strongest consequence at the base of Indian religion is the most dynamic for the inner spiritual life. It is that while the supreme or the divine can be approached through a universal consciousness and by piercing through all inner and outer Nature, That or He can be met by each individual soul in itself, in its own spiritual part, because there is something in it that is intimately one or at least intimately related with the one divine Existence. The essence of Indian religion is to aim at so growing and so living that we can grow out of the Ignorance which veils this self-knowledge from our mind and life and become aware of the Divine within us. These three things put together are the whole of Hindu religion, its essential sense and, if any credo is needed, its credo.’
Reestablishment of the Dharma
Similar to the difficulty in defining Hinduism, we encounter a similar problem when assessing the true nature of what is known as a reestablishment of the Dharma, considered by Hindu tradition to be the work of the Ten Avatars. After this review of the foundational base of the Veda, it becomes easier to understand this most important feature of the tradition. Most assess the issue in moralistic or religious terms, according to the standards set by the structured religions of the world – a better human being and a better society, law-abiding, dutiful, responsible, caring, compassionate, and all the rest. But these qualities are not the issue at all when the time comes for this very special ‘reestablishment’. Indeed, the moralistic assessment is the way Mohandas Gandhi came to look upon the ‘Ramrajya’ (‘rule or reign of Sri Ram’) which he aspired to establish in India. Or else the present political and cultural organisations which have also adopted the Ramrajya slogan as their platform. But none of this is pertinent to the reestablishment of the Vedic Dharma; and, to be more precise, there can never be an establishment of the reign of Sri Ram since his period was the 7th Manifestation of 10,000 years ago. Time does indeed move on. The reestablishment must take place in the soil of the contemporary India we know and in consideration of the accumulated experience of the civilisation over the past 2,000 years.
Neither Ram nor Krishna had to face the question of Fullness versus Void. In their respective Manifestations, this was not the central issue. After the rise and supremacy of Buddhist and Mayavadist philosophies and spiritual realisations, this acute problem lies at the root of the reestablishment simply because these avenues of experience have struck a blow at the very heart of the Veda itself, – that Core of Fullness upon which the entire edifice of the civilisation was built.
Whenever we encounter a target or goal that is ‘otherworldly’, then we know the void is its sustenance and it is an expression un-Vedic in essence. Every religion in existence today houses this Void by the mere fact that the goal is a heaven ‘above’, or ‘beyond’, and that life on this planet is but a passage through the fire, as it were, in order to reach that supreme Heaven. The position is one of a denial of the Earth herself, contingent upon which is a denial of the Goddess. Thus the movement is not inward, converging on the Core of fullness or garbhagriha. It is outward, dissolving in the Beyond. Hence we say that all these religious and spiritual postulations and realisations harbour the Void. And there is only one which does not. It is the Vedic Dharma.
For India, when the time of the appearance of the 9th (and 10th) Evolutionary Avatar arrives, it is the signal that the civilisation has reached a momentous crossroads and that the work to be done will not resemble that of the former Evolutionary Avatars but will conform to the demands of the Time-Spirit and the circumscribing conditions of this 9th Manifestation. Furthermore, and this is the most important point, we have reached the end of the Line. We are at the 9th and 10th stages of the Puranic Line of Ten. We understand by this that the Dharma has come full circle. All that has intervened from the time the first OM was chanted until today has resulted in a joining of the Serpent’s head and tail. That is, the reestablishment now, unlike in Ram and Krishna’s time, involves the very heart and soul of the Dharma. It lives on if the reestablishment is done and the real Satyayuga or Age of Truth (not Ramrajya) begins for the civilisation, or it perishes. There are only these two ‘possibilities’.
It must further be stated that a work of this order is carefully arranged. Nothing is left to chance. All is controlled, planned, foreseen. Let us then explore the avenues which have been given to the civilisation and its wisemen and women in order to secure the Victory. In so doing we must bear in mind that this closing of the circle implies that the reestablishment hinges in part on the resurrection of the Yoga detailed in the earliest Veda, and that without the successful accomplishment of that process there can be no question of any reestablishment. For India’s destiny is spiritually oriented, which means that it is on the basis of these yogic achievements first and foremost that anything beyond that can begin to express itself in the civilisation and society. I have demonstrated this regarding the arts and the necessity of a basic yogic realisation if any form of renewal is to come about in the ‘limbs’ of the yogic civilisational Body. The same may be said of any aspect of contemporary Indian life. And if a crossroads has been reached and we stand amidst tumbling ruins of all that appeared to be the ‘solid’ edifice of the new India, we must accept that what is collapsing is not founded on that original and indestructible Base. Therefore, we must make contact with That and allow it to reveal the contours of the true new India.
I propose in the next part of this series to dwell exclusively on the strategy and mechanism arranged for India in this 9th Manifestation to ‘reestablish the Dharma’. In the process we will explore more thoroughly the question of Alignment and Measure, by virtue of which ‘all things are made new’, to use the Biblical phrase.
The state of the world according to the New Way Cosmology, in view of the events of 11 September 2001
by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Collapse of the Old Part I
September 15, 2001
In the midst of the tragic circumstances of our times, I have received a number of communications, different appeals put out by different people across the globe, even from a prominent spiritual leader of Indian origin in the USA. But I see these documents as appropriate and valid only on a certain level, a more superficial level, I might add. They do not go deep or wide enough. There has to be a more total vision at this point, more all-encompassing. This is what has not been in evidence.
A specific and lengthy preparation is required to attain a poise that can allow one to ‘see’ in the midst of upheavals such as the world is experiencing. One has to be centred and realigned. From this new poise, perception can come about that is not influenced by these very legitimate and understandable human emotions, those waves that are thrown up from the vital and cover the higher centres. It is only when that poise can be attained and maintained that the play of forces on the world stage can be assessed in this new vision. It requires immobility, amidst the mobility of our physical world, as it has been described in the Rig Veda. I do not refer to particular groups or individuals, but rather to a cosmological process. Individuals, groups are the instruments for this Play. As such they do bear a responsibility for the events they set in motion. There is certainly accountability for the acts of terrorism, regardless of historic reasons that have extracted such brutal responses from certain individuals and groups. But to understand the purpose of the present happenings, which takes us far beyond the scope of the ordinary consciousness, there has to be a very different poise. To an extent, this poise has been described in the Bhagavad Gita, mainly by the circumstances or the setting of that Scripture. Its contents are valid of course, but even if we ignore the text itself and observe the setting provided to Sri Krishna to express perhaps the most profound thoughts ever recorded, this observation can explain this new poise of consciousness. Krishna instructs his friend and disciple, the Pandava Warrior Arjun, in the midst of a raging battle, on the plains of Kurukshetra. There are several salient points to his teachings that are affected by this setting, all of which are profoundly applicable to our present circumstances. The first to bear in mind is that Arjun is expressing to his mentor the very sentiments I have noted in the various appeals put out during the tragic happenings in New York. Like Arjun, all, especially those who are considered to have attained a high degree of spiritual achievement, express abhorrence at what is transpiring; not only the acts of terrorism but the anticipated ‘response’ from the affected nation, the United States of America. They preach PEACE; or else that we must all recognise the part we have played in the present happenings, be this either historical, at the level of government policy; or else individually by nurturing the emotions that spiritual leaders believe have resulted ultimately in those very policies. On a certain level this is indeed true. There have been policies of governments as abhorrent as the acts of terrorism we have been witnessing for the past 30 years; and those policies have been devised by individuals put in their positions of authority by other individuals who feel an affinity with the minds that have created these policies. In other words, the people get the government they deserve. Or rather, governments are an outcome of the reigning collective consciousness. Once more, this is true, but only partially. Individuals gather in groups and communities and nations because they have been drawn into this cosmic cauldron of forces to serve a certain purpose; they cluster together in groups, such as the Pandavas and the Kauravas of Krishna’s Mahabharat Age, for reasons that can be known only through a very deep understanding of destiny. That is not the purpose of the present analysis. This document will deal with the larger play of forces and the goal of the present play-out. What truly lies at the bottom of the happenings on the world stage, and how can we cope or contribute to a resolution that will fulfil the highest destiny of the Earth? This brings me to the second point made in the Gita. Krishna instructs his pupil to engage in the War in full consciousness; it is his duty to do so. Further he tells him to ‘slay, because they are already slain’. On the higher plane of destiny, it has already taken place, it is written, decreed. That is, it is their destiny to die at his hands, in that battlefield, on that day. Arjun is simply the instrument for this play of destiny. He cannot shy away from engaging in the war, but, above all, he must not be attached to the results or the outcome. He must simply do his duty, fulfil his dharma. This must surely appear to be unspiritual in the eyes of many of the world’s spiritual luminaries. To set the teachings in the midst of a battlefield is in itself unconventional in terms of our traditional ideas of where a spiritual discourse might best be given. Or else, as some have done, there is an attempt to give the setting only a symbolic significance: the battlefield is the field of the human consciousness with all its conflicts and destructive tendencies. But a more profound understanding of the Gita and the body of knowledge that gave rise to this exemplary document indicates that the ‘symbol’ is the very thingsymbolised. The war is a physical war, the battlefield is a physical battlefield. But this does not exclude the other applications. It simply means that all is one. There is no separation between material and spiritual. If it were otherwise, there would be no sense to the confirmed experience of so many realisers throughout the ages of unity and oneness. The third message is that Arjun, when he asks Krishna to reveal his true Self, his Godhead, cannot accept the vision Krishna presents of himself as the Time-Spirit, the Destroyer and Creator of the worlds. Or rather, he cannot bear the power of the vision and its implications. Again, he reveals an all-too human poise, a tenderness of heart and softness of nature that rejects the highest vision of God, the secret of Secrets that Krishna grants his pupil. He begs his Lord to stop, to take back the vision and to become again what he knows of his more human friend and mentor; for that is what his consciousness can bear. What we gather from this episode is the understanding that the full impact of God as Time-Spirit can be grasped perhaps only by the warrior of another, future age. Indeed, that future age is upon us. The Avatar in this 9th Manifestation embodies the attributes Arjun could not accept. This means that we have to exceed the qualities of even the noble Arjun, if we are to be conscious instruments in this new Age. It is therefore an entirely new spirituality that is required. Or rather, a knowledge that carries us beyond both spiritual and material, that carries us to an entirely new seeing, a seeing in understanding, as the New Way envisions. We must stand in the midst of the battlefield as immobile instruments of Knowledge; ignorance cannot carry us through this phase of evolution. To attain a higher level, a perception beyond what the known spirituality of all schools offers, has to be our tool.
Let us apply these points to the present happenings and the different responses that are surfacing. Let us also apply the laws of the New Way to the current crisis and see in understanding what lies at the root of the present terrible play of forces in these final stages of its activity. One of the foremost ‘laws’ of the New Way dictates that the negative and the positive serve the purposes of the One. This means that there is a plan, a control, a divine strategy, behind these horrendous occurrences. It is a divine Plan. But we must understand that the field is one. This means that this higher Purpose has to operate within the one field that is presently the home of the Ignorance. It is still the contaminated field of the old; and it is that old world within that One Field that is collapsing. To bring this about the method adopted must operate within the limitations of that old consciousness. This means that negative instruments and mechanisms have to be employed; but they will also serve the purposes of the One, just as the positive does. The difference between the two is to be noted, however. ‘Positive’ as opposed to‘negative’ in this context has a very specific meaning in the New Way. An instrument is ‘positive’ when it is conscious. An instrument is ‘negative’ when it acts in darkness, in ignorance. But, we do not judge actions as positive or negative – for example, violence/negative, non-violence/positive. It is simply the poise Krishna calls forth, that very special awareness and the courage required to fulfil one’s dharma. Again, conscious in this New Way does not mean the awareness extolled by most spirituality, or a particular belief system. Or even a belief in God. It is an instrument that acts in knowledge. In the present context, what is required to be in the positive scale of the balance is that ability to see. When this special vision is attained, one stands together with Krishna in the battlefield, and one does not shy away from the forces of destiny that we may be called upon to serve. One is able to contain the vision of God as Time-Spirit, or Mahakal. The Avatar of this Age is Siva as Time-Spirit, as the devourer and creator of the worlds. Sri Krishna gave Arjun the vision of the next avataric descent in the 9th Manifestation. He was a central element in the 8th, the Manifestation of Scorpio, eighth sign of the zodiac; over 6000 years ago. Hence, the setting for the highest teaching of that Manifestation was a battlefield, and war its central theme. For these are indeed attributes of Scorpio, ruled by Mars. The evolutionary process that is described in the twelve signs of the zodiac – or what in the Rig Veda is called ‘the journey’- carries us through these different stages of humanity as it moves up the scale to the attainment of the highest heights for the human species. Humankind stands poised to exceed itself. This achievement is central to the present travails and must not be lost sight of. But the Kurukshetra of our times is overtaken by the forces of Ignorance and Falsehood. We must take back that field; we must dislodge those forces from their commanding hold over the physical dimension, a plane that had been relinquished when spirituality and religions across the globe chose the heaven beyond material creation, rather than the realisation of oneness that respects the sanctity of the Earth and her place within the divine scheme of things. In so doing, they forfeited the right to guide future generations into the light of the new consciousness. In this new Mahabharat War, while weapons of destruction may be used, there is only one ‘weapon’ that will finally conquer. This is the Power of Knowledge and Truth on which the new supramental consciousness stands poised. With these, one becomes that positive instrument. Gradually, as the knowledge spreads and dispels the darkness, the negative will be transformed and nothing but the Light will occupy the one material plane or field.
It is imperative to have a wider understanding of the forces at play in this trying moment. If not, despair must necessarily plague the observer because of the dangers that loom very large and very real before us. We are dealing with irrational forces that do not respond to any mental logic or reasoning from that plane. They are largely driven by vital, not mental, impulses. But if one has a clear perception of the goal humanity is striving to attain in the midst of these painful periods of history, that light can be our guide and we can weather these moments in a different poise of consciousness that will allow us to be true instruments of the New Way. From all that has been written, together with the appeals for measured or non-violent responses from spiritual leaders, it is quite obvious that none are acting with knowledge of that goal. What we are experiencing is a critical moment of evolution. It is not even an historical moment but a passage that is stamping a new principle in the evolutionary fabric of the species. In this critical passage, or ‘crossroads of destiny’, as Sri Aurobindo has called it, we must understand what this truly means for the entire Earth. To do so, it is necessary to see the entire planet within this evolutionary passage, as a conscious being herself. Nations on this Earth have specific roles to play. Similar to individuals, nations can be instruments of the positive or the negative. The divine Plan will play itself out, this is certain. But nations can be positive elements in this great change, or they can be negative – while still serving the purposes of the One. Needless to say, when we observe the actual state of affairs, no nation can be said to be a positive instrument at this junction. None are governed, led forward in this singular march to a higher destiny, by leaders with knowledge of this Supramental Manifestation they are nonetheless a part of. It is a ONE EARTH we are discussing. There is no nation with a separate destiny. There is only one destiny for the planet because the Earth has a special role to play within the solar system. The more aware we become of her role, her place within the System and the demands placed upon her during this crossroads of her destiny, the easier will the passage become and the more certain we can be that destruction will not be the method used to attain those lofty goals before us. The only choice we have is whether or not we will reach those peaks of destiny via destruction, or else through its higher expression, dissolution. Regardless of the means, baggage must be shed at this point. We have encumbrances which are impeding a forward thrust according to the pace imposed by the Time-Spirit. Destruction comes about when the pace exceeds the capacity available to nations and individuals because encumbrances hold the movement back. These are the forces of Inertia. In critical crossroads such as the present passage, those tools of Inertia have to be either dissolved or destroyed. They have no further purpose in the play of energy that constitutes the planet’s evolution to a higher level. Thus, by one means or the other, they will be shed at this point in time. The only question is, will this be through the process of destruction or dissolution. The symbolism in the vaporisation of the Twin Towers as they collapsed to the ground would indicate Dissolution as the way ahead. Dissolution implies a conscious action. Only in this way can wholesale destruction be avoided. During this passage, to be conscious implies that special knowledge of ‘supermind’s application for Earth use’, as Sri Aurobindo had envisioned. When that knowledge is the foundation of all action, it constitutes the ancient Vedic realisation, the Immobile amidst the Mobile. In the battlefield, or wherever one may be called upon to serve, positively, the divine purpose of the One.
Collapse of the Old Part II
The birth of the New
September 24, 2001
I have chosen to use the Mahabharat Age of the 8th Manifestation and Krishna Avatar’s teachings on the battlefield of Kurukshetra in discussing the present conditions in the world. True, its war setting makes it relevant and applicable. But beyond the obvious there is a deeper level involved. The 8th Manifestation covered many thousands of years. Krishna’s appearance on Earth took place within that Manifestation, during the Age of Taurus about 6000 years ago from our present Aquarian Age. As of 234 BC, we are within the 9th Manifestation; and, as in all cases where the cycle of 9 is involved or somehow prominent, ours is a time of ‘birth’. That is to say, the prioreight Manifestations the Earth and her civilisations have experienced were simply the long and laborious ‘gestation’ of this Child that is being born in our very times, in our Manifestation, and in our own Age of Aquarius. Nothing of the true, legendary Golden Age could be known before this age of Birth. Our religions and spirituality, our more mundane advances in technology, or our ideologies of a political, social and economic order, have been nothing but a gestation of the ‘foetus’ to reach the critical moment of Birth in the midst of an attendant labour. Though cosmic in nature, this has nonetheless been a gestation; and like all gestations the foetus is covered as it were in veils until it emerges, and protected by its dark habitat. This means that we have not yet ‘seen the light’. The Child is only now in this Age of Aquarius beginning to emerge from the darkness of its cosmic Womb. The Mahabharat, India’s great epic of the last avataric appearance, describes conditions the Earth’s civilisations would have to endure surrounding that Birth. Indeed, we note that darkness fell during that Manifestation of the sign Scorpio, eighth of the zodiacal twelve. Or better, what had been until then known as the sign of the Eagle fell to its lower symbolism and became the lowly and poisonous Scorpion. Until that time, as evidenced in the world’s oldest sacred text, the Rig Veda, the 8th was known as the sign of the Eagle. The labour pains of these intervening 6000 years, between the Age of Taurus and our Age of Aquarius, explain the cosmic process of transforming the lesser symbol to restore the higher. Until the Age of Taurus in the last 8th Manifestation, men and women of wisdom were carrying forward a very ancient teaching. During the previous seven Manifestations, covering approximately 45,000 years, the full Knowledge was not a part of our evolution as a guide for humanity. We have only known fragments. In some cases, as we find in Hinduism, those fragments were and are significant and voluminous. But still they are only fragments. However, what was common to all ancient schools was a single cosmic language and base. It is this foundation that has been preserved and that constitutes the Eternal Truth, – or the Sanatan Dharma, as it is known in Hinduism. But it must be clarified that India, like all other ancient civilisations, lost that Knowledge at about the same time that this misfortune overtook all the old civilisations across the globe. It was lost in India to such an extent that none in her contemporary halls of learning, of either the sacred or the profane, have detected this Script in the Rig Veda though it is unmistakably present (see the verses to Vishnu, RV, I, 154); its wisdom permeates the entire text. I have dealt with this issue in numerous publications, which can be consulted if more details are desired. I may simply add here that the ancient-most Knowledge is still alive in India in that it is the only ‘pagan’ country on the planet, in the fullest dimensions of this Western label. That is, it is the only civilisation that actively worships the Gods and Goddesses that constitute the cosmic energies which are related to that same Cosmic Script. It must be emphasised that there is no nation or civilisation on Earth today that can be looked upon as a leader on this path to the supreme Light. Nor are there any schools of wisdom, Vedic or otherwise, that contain this Knowledge in its undiluted form. All contain only fragments, the Vedas included, because the Birth of this cosmic cycle of thousands of years is meant to reinstate a Knowledge that belonged to an earlier round of 77,760 years. Thus, the ruins of ancient civilisations, which so obviously point to a very different consciousness having inhabited our planet, are simply means to keep alive the Cosmic Script from generation to generation in different systems across the globe, and are themselves only fragments. The civilisations that created these extant fragments never had the full Knowledge. Hinduism is a case in point and serves us well as an example. The message of the Mahabharat, the epic of the Manifestation prior to ours, is that a great darkness would befall India (and indeed the entire globe). The Eagle would be replaced by the Scorpion at the end of that Age when, as the Epic describes, relatives, kinsmen turned on each other, compelled by complex cosmic imperatives. There was total devastation from a war that was the mother of all wars. This indicated that India, which was destined to preserve the sacred thread of that long line of Knowledge, would herself fall into darkness because after the 8th Manifestation the luminous Child would be born in the 9th. Indeed, the darkest hour before the Cosmic Dawn. Only thereafter would the Earth come into the full Light and fulfil her highest destiny. India lost the Cosmic Script then, as predicted in the Mahabharat, where the Eagle became the Scorpion as kin turned upon kin in the most dramatic and compelling tale of destruction and devastation the world has ever known. After that cloak of darkness fell, the Script was lost. It returned to the subcontinent with Greek travellers in the first millennium, it is believed, as a thing alien and new, though more likely it was India herself that in previous Manifestations had sent the sacred knowledge with all its symbols and hieroglyphs beyond her borders. In India it was as if a great sleep had descended, amnesia of sorts. But the ‘pagan’ system survived and the knowledge took refuge thereafter in myth, the language of the soul, where it is still to be found today. The reason is that the Birth of the 9th Manifestation would take place in India. For this, the cosmic foundation had to survive in some manner. This ‘pagan’ foundation has been uprooted everywhere else on the globe. There have been numerous attempts by new-age groups to revive this paganism. For example, by devising rituals in worship of the Mother Goddess; or else by referring to God as ‘she’ in order to convey a more all-encompassing belief system, somehow liberated from the constrictions imposed by an immature patriarchal dogmatism. Many today recognise these limitations to which survivors of the Sleep are subjected. Yet these attempts are artificial, mental constructs. They are not born of Knowledge, hence they have no power. They will therefore change nothing of the old, much less be the harbingers of the Birth. In India, however imperfect, we do encounter a truer expression, a real cosmic connection – though the more complete Knowledge has been lost. This is noted by the loss of the Divine Measure (of time) without which true power cannot attend the Vedic rituals that have been handed down through the centuries. At this point in time, India stands on the brink of a total collapse into the abyss of the ages; the threat of a complete submergence in darkness of this only survivor from ancient times is very real. It is the secret operation beneath the travails our civilisation is experiencing. In other words, the outer cannot be successful unless the deeper, determining processes are carried out successfully. That moment of Truth, decisive and final, is upon us. There is, however, a specific reason for the cloak of darkness to have descended after Krishna’s time. Without that deep sleep India could not give birth to the divine Child. This Manifestation will not produce a creature pieced together with fragments of the old ways. It is a new Birth. A new Way. Without that sleep India could not fulfil her destiny as the ‘womb’ whence the Child would be born. I am stating in this brief summary that India is the centre of our 9th Manifestation; and because in the cosmic harmony she represents the soul of the Earth, the final stage of labour pains have drawn the play-out directly to her shores. This development was foreseen as early as 1976 – with all its ramifications involving the nuclear dimension as well. Indeed, as a major component. But ever central to this play-out, at the root of the entire cosmic birth process lies the question of the Divine Measure she lost so many centuries ago. Let us deal now with specific details, pertinent to our own times. This necessity of ‘sleep’, if it may be so-called, is also reflected in the fact that the Avatar of the 9th Manifestation, Sri Aurobindo, spent 12 of his most formative years, from 7 to 21, in England. At the express wish of his father, he was entirely shielded from any contact with Hinduism, or even India’s native languages. When he returned to India at the age of 21, the discovery of his roots began, but within this virgin soil of his consciousness, as it were. Likewise the Mother and the Third of the same Line were born and raised in the West. They too brought a virgin field into the play at the momentous time of the new Birth. This virgin soil was a fundamental piece in the cosmic design so that a true new way would take birth on Indian soil, which for millennia had been nourished by the Sanatan Dharma. Though the Thread was maintained, her deep slumber did allow for critical encumbrances to accumulate, which cannot form a part of the New Way and which must now be shed. Only then can India fulfil her higher destiny. The analysis thus far can help the reader discover an important feature of our times, so central a component of the new cosmology. It is that all the details attending the Birth have been meticulously arranged. There is a patent control in evidence; but a familiarity with the new way cosmology is required to be able to follow its mechanisms. Because of the existence of this controlling power the Birth of our times presents a cosmos and not chaos. The tragic circumstances of today can be used as visual examples of this power operating in the world. The key to this operation is found in the New Way dictum, the symbol is the thing symbolised. The appropriately named Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre are a perfect example of this control, as well as the above-mentioned dictum. To illustrate, it must be borne in mind that central to everything that is now transpiring is the collapse of the old. But what exactly is that oldness, which we realise is crumbling by every headline that appears in our newspapers, just as the Twin Towers crumbled before our eyes? Succinctly, it is the end of the Binary Creation. This is what the total collapse and vaporisation of the twin buildings indicates when the symbol is the thing symbolised. In 1983-4, a new balance came into being as a result of a realignment and centering process involving the cosmic forces of contraction and expansion. To be brief, this set in motion an undermining of the structure of our world, as it had been evolving for thousands of years. Our human species is a binary construct; hence it bears all the limitations attendant on this specific polarity: a central void, because of which the ego can usurp the commanding position of the soul, while the sex centre imposes its atavistic drives in place of a ‘higher purpose’. Examples of the Binary Creation can be found throughout our society, from its loftiest products to its lowliest. Our justice system is an example of that Binary Creation. Our morals, our codes of conduct, and even our wars, are its products. In a word, everything that we know is born of that binary consciousness. Indeed, everything that now seems threatened with collapse. This is so because the Binary Creation has come to an end. At the time of that yogic process of centering and realignment there was a definite hardening of the structure to the point where some great nuclear holocaust seemed likely. And yet, we must again refer to that controlling power because the Binary Creation was protected by the weapons of mass destruction of its own inventiveness. The two superpowers, the USA and the USSR, formed an axis of tension that safeguarded the Earth. A nuclear holocaust could not occur while the structure was binary and balanced on this pole of tension. In 1976, the formulas of the New Way were largely completed. On that basis it was then seen that no such holocaust would come about since the two-nation system protected the Binary Creation by the tensions that maintained the structure intact. A very delicate ‘balance’, needless to say. But what was seen then was that India would be the future centre of the nuclear play-out, whatever that would be. The backdrop for this pre-vision directly involved the Divine Measure India had lost thousands of years earlier. This has been the subject of numerous books and articles I have written over the past 30 years and need not detain us at this point. Eighteen years ago, through the act of centering and realignment, a dramatic shift was felt. This yogic process reverberated throughout the globe, as if the Earth’s subtle axis had been shifted. It produced a precarious situation and carried the Earth to the brink of her destiny. The world was entering the final 13.5 years of a 27-year ‘action plan’ that began in 1971. At the exact midpoint, the end came about of the Binary Creation. Thus from 1983-4 onward, only a new way, a new structure, a realignment of forces corresponding to an entirely different formula could save the planet and her civilisations and carry the world to a new consciousness and the threshold of a new world. We must note that immediately following this centering and realignment of 1983-4, which I had recorded in The New Way, Volume 3, in November of 1983, events on the world stage confirmed this process. For example, the collapse of the then USSR and the consequent dismantling of the binary pole of tension. The ‘purpose’ of the species had changed. It was no longer subservient to a binary compulsion. Rather, a unitary component had been introduced with a divine Purpose at its core. This means that no solutions that do not take this factor into account can carry us through the final stages of the great Labour. Indeed, the Binary Structure has collapsed just as the Twin Towers indicated. That image of collapse and vaporisation will be forever engraved in the consciousness of humanity and will be known someday for what it was: the collapse of the old under the aegis of an impeccable power of control. In other words, a contained area within the One Field, at the heart of the old binary system. They were indeed symbols of America’s economic might whose devastating and almost instant collapse revealed the fragility of the old balance. Thus, a sacrifice of some for the salvation of the Earth and a furthering of the birth of a new world. This has its repercussions all the way down the line. Our world affairs will indeed never be the same after 11 September 2001. But we can survive this passage if knowledge accompanies us, a knowledge informing us that the Avatar of this 9th Manifestation is Mahakal, or the Time-Spirit, the great Controller. The Child lives on though in its infancy as yet. But it nonetheless has the power to bring down the old merely by its sacred presence on Earth, in the midst of this new Kurukshetra:
‘Europe prides herself on her practical and scientific organisation and efficiency. I am waiting till her organisation is perfect; then a child shall destroy her.’
What did Sri Aurobindo mean in his 76th Aphorism? For Europe’s ‘organisation’ indeed seems now to be complete. Is this destruction as of old, as in the Mahabharat Age, to be followed by a sleep even deeper than before? Or is this descriptive of a power in its infancy that will demolish the structures of the Old World and introduce the new? We must not lose sight of the fact that the New World is leading the Old World in this perilous passage. Indeed, all the details in this Birth are significant and sustain the dictum, the symbol is the thing symbolised.
A New World is BornPart III
September 27, 2001
Except to state that our 9th Manifestation is the period of Birth after a long gestation of approximately 50,000 years; and to refer to its Avatar as an embodiment of the Time-Spirit, little has been discussed about this Manifestation, and in particular of our present Age of Aquarius within that period. Before all else, it must be pointed out that the signs of the zodiac describe a single, connected ‘journey’, as it was called in the Veda. The development, be it for an individual or the evolution of the species, begins in Aries ruled by Mars, and ends twelve stages or signs later in Pisces. The wisdom of this arcane script is not grasped unless this unity is perceived. The transmutation of Mars from its destructive properties such as war to a higher expression must be dealt with in passage through Scorpio. It is then no longer the sign of Death but that of a new life, a second birth according to many ancient traditions including the Vedic. Even today in India, Brahmins are known as the ‘twice born’, according to this same path of Knowledge. Then the Eagle arises and the poisonous fumes from the Scorpion’s haunt are dissolved: from pivoting the sex centre, the twice born raises the axis of being and experiences a new poise. The Eagle soars to the mountaintops in a majestic flight of freedom leaving below the old and the diminished energy base. Applied to the work of the Zodiacal Ages, our 9th Manifestation is the critical span of 6480 years for this special transformation, of which more than 2300 have already passed. But only since 1926 could the actual birth process begin to take shape and reveal itself as an accomplishment affecting all of humanity. Since the Mahabharat provides us with details of an unredeemed Scorpio, we must study the 9th sign, Sagittarius, to learn what can be expected of this 9th Manifestation. We have an Epic for the 9th, similar to the Ramayana and the Mahabharat of the 7th and 8th Manifestations respectively. The 9th Avatar himself has left us the Epic for this Manifestation; and it too, similar to the 7th and 8th, is zodiacal in structure and content. Apart from the obvious fact that it contains twelve Books/Chapters and that these can be easily related to the twelve signs, the entire theme of the Epic is most revealing for it explains the evolutionary leap that is to be made in our very times. Scorpio, as tradition holds, is the sign of Death. In Sri Aurobindo’s epic, Savitri, the 8th Book is also the Book of Death. Faced with this dark finality, the Goddess Savitri pursues Death into his realm where mortals must not venture, since from there they can never return. This realm would be the Sagittarius 9th stage after the Scorpio 8th. Briefly, the theme of this new-age epic-poem is her indomitable courage and determination to retrieve the soul of her beloved Satyavan and to bring him back to life, back to Earth. This poignant myth explains one of the most important features of Sagittarius: extension of the boundaries. The species as a whole must exceed its limitations and venture ‘where humans have never gone’. Our space exploits are one example of this 9th Manifestation characteristic. But the true adventure, which allows for all the rest, is the acquisition of a new level of consciousness-being. In examining the characteristics of Sagittarius more closely, we can discover the goal of this 9th Manifestation for the human species, stretched over 6000 years and ending in the traditional Golden Age of Capricorn, after Aquarius. There is a duality in its symbol – the Man/Horse, or the Centaur, as it is commonly known. There are two signs connected by opposition to each other on the wheel, forming an axis; they describe a critical flaw of our species. Or rather, those ‘boundaries’ that have to be exceeded. At one end of the pole is Gemini, also a dual sign, and at the other, Sagittarius. The duality of Gemini is vertical, as its hieroglyph indicates: o, a split down the middle. Whereas the duality of Sagittarius is horizontal, upper and lower as its Man/Horse symbol depicts. Or else, a NORTH and SOUTH hemispheric divide. Gemini is the sign of MIND and whereas there is some sort of integration albeit split in two, this is not the case with Sagittarius. Gemini presents a diminished energy base by this vertical division or polarisation, so typical of the mental function; indeed, so typical of the brain itself. But being the sign of Mind, which in turn is characterised by duality, there is a certain harmony in Gemini’s duality. Whereas in Sagittarius the divide is between lower and higher, with apparently no connection between these two hemispheres of being. The (higher) mental and (lower) vital are disconnected. This is important to note because it can explain certain aspects of the present unfolding in a clearer light. For example, earlier I used the Twin-Tower Collapse as a universal symbol in that it has imprinted on the human consciousness, the frailty of what were thought to be our most solid structures. Our entire existence is ‘balanced’ on fragile foundations, which we believe to be unassailable. This image of the ‘twin’ collapse (Gemini/Mind) describes the human condition better than a thousand words: we orbit a Void and function in life on the basis of ego and not the soul as the central pivot. Realignment and centering are the means to correct this flaw of the species in evolution. The Twin Towers, as reproductions of the symbol for Gemini (Mind), indicate the limitations of its duality as the guiding faculty of the species. We must go beyond Mind now. In contrast to the vertical, the hemispheric split of Sagittarius is veritably a NORTH/SOUTH divide. And this is what was also captured in the collapse and dissolution of theNorth andSouth Twin Towers. It was truly the 9th Manifestation symbol of a dying world, second only in imprinting power to the first photographic images of the Earth from outer space, with its undivided wholeness that inspired an entire generation, and many to come. In Sagittarius the incongruous situation arises that the lower does not know what the higher is doing! There can be a complete, almost schizophrenic split. Indeed, we note this in our dealings among nations involving the same NORTH/SOUTH divide. So-called globalisation is not able to bridge the divide between the rich (North) and the poor (South). Many believe that this is what really lies at the heart of the present unrest. The hardening of these two distinct positions, between developed and developing nations, seems to have reached a point of no return. Some call it a civilisational crisis, and in a sense this is true. But there is more involved which zodiacal wisdom can help to clarify. If there was a need to display this Collapse so poignantly, so dramatically, in a way that will remain forever engraved in our collective memory, then we must go deeply into the symbolism. The emphasis in this unified perception is thus on Mars – the transmutation of that special energy. Our entire human saga of this zodiacal round of the 12 Manifestations is centred on an alchemy involving Mars. Indeed, it is Mars at the forefront of the present tragic happenings because the critical moment has been reached for a definitive breakthrough. When the President of the USA states that it is ‘a new war’ to be fought, he is stating a greater truth than he may realise. The ‘old war’ was the theme of the last Manifestation, the 8th or the sign Scorpio, also ruled by Mars. In other words, the zodiac begins with a sign of Mars rulership (Aries) and, eight signs down the line, it becomes the ruler of Scorpio, traditionally the sign of Death. Aries, the first Mars sign, is of the Fire Element; Scorpio is Water. Clearly this indicates a conflict. Mars, the red planet, would have affinity with Fire, not Water. It is precisely this transmutation that must occur: the Water/Mars combination leaves the stamp of mortality in our cells, primarily composed of water. Carried further, it is the combination that produces some of the horrors we are now experiencing due to improper energy balance, release, utilisation. Accordingly, at the level of the human species, another function of Scorpio and untransformed Mars comes into play: the sex drive. The atavistic evolutionary drive of procreation can survive as the ‘purpose’ of the species only on the basis of an untransformed Mars. This same wisdom is found in the Rig Veda, the oldest sacred text in the world. The ‘journey’ starts with Agni, first of the Gods and leader of the Aryan Warriors on the path to Immortality. In Hindu tradition even today Agni is known as Mars, his colour is red, his carrier (vahana in Sanskrit) is the Ram. Above all, standing in the forefront of the Gods, leading the way as he does, Agni is the first of the stages or signs. And this of course is Aries, the Ram. One of the Rig Vedic references to Scorpio is interesting. In the myth, Aditi, the supreme Goddess, bore twelve sons. Her eighth in the series is named Martanda, literally meaning the ‘dead egg’ in Sanskrit. And it is from this 8th, this dead egg that our human species is said to have sprung. However, Scorpio/Martanda is not the end of either the Vedic journey or the zodiac. There are four more signs in the progression, four more ‘sons’, – Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, all of which comprise our 9th Manifestation. (See The Gnostic Circle, The New Way, Volumes 1 & 2, Aeon Books.) This ‘new war’, the President says, has to be fought with new weapons. The conventional armaments, as deadly as they now are, cannot conquer the threat civilisation faces. This too is truer than the President realises. The momentous saga we are living – as a global experience due to contemporary communications media – is the final and decisive transformation of that Mars energy. The 8th Manifestation left the imprint of its deadliest aspects before the great Sleep. We awaken now to find ourselves in this 9th Manifestation Sagittarius, faced with the residue of that deathly experience and the obligation to move forward to a new way, not necessarily a new war, if at all the human species is to continue its evolution into a higher expression of itself. In the yearly progression the signs are experienced in a counterclockwise series, whereas because of the phenomenon known as the Precession of the Equinoxes, the Manifestations/ Astrological Ages are clockwise. They are the same signs and the same symbols and hieroglyphs; but due to the Earth’s different rotations, these clockwise and counterclockwise directions create a sublime harmony or music of the spheres. But it is the zodiac that provides a meaning, a sense and indeed a goal to this ‘journey’: the cosmic musical score has a particular theme, a ‘libretto’, whose language is universal. The zodiac is our map of the evolution of the human species. With its help we can know our place and role in the saga of life on this planet, the work accomplished thus far, where we now stand in this on-going voyage, and indeed how to cope with the immensely difficult circumstances we face today, demanding an ‘extension of the boundaries’. (Visit the website www.aeongroup.com, section The Map of the 12 Manifestations, where the relevant diagram is found.) One point needs to be stressed. We cannot get off this forward-moving wheel of Time. However many escape mechanisms we devise, such as obliteration of the consciousness in nirvanas, in samadhis, or somniferous illusions of heavens after death in some nebulous zone beyond all this suffering and tribulation, humanity’s task is to complete the journey. It has to evolve beyond this Dead Egg affliction, for that is its destiny. This is the essence of the 9th Manifestation’s divine ‘purpose’ which, it is hoped, this analysis will make clear. In this light, we can better understand that the experiments in biotechnology, genetic manipulation, cloning, and the like, are responses to this pressing evolutionary ‘purpose’. Procreation as we know it is under stress. The ‘dead egg’ indeed needs to be transformed. The question is what is the correct method and what is the final goal? Speed, a key feature of Sagittarius, is the issue. While we extend and exceed our boundaries, we need to assure that certain devices control the pace. To avoid destruction, this ‘speed’ must take into account the consciousness factor, first and foremost. If not, genetic manipulation, for example, will produce the same result as our nuclear energy manipulation: we will produce further tools for our own destruction. Earlier, I mentioned that humanity, as the custodian of this evolutionary purpose, bears encumbrances, which slow down its forward movement. In a sense they can be understood as regulators. They control that speed. I also mentioned that at certain critical points, a readjustment is demanded so that these encumbrances can be shed and the forces of Inertia, which were utilised for regulating the movement, can be superseded. I also stated that destruction is often the only means at our disposal to introduce a different ‘speed’, so to say; or else to balance out the two forces, contraction and expansion. That is the message of the Mahabharat and the Great War; and true to the imperatives of the sign Scorpio, humanity’s higher perceptive capacities were put to sleep. During that period of ‘sleep’ a very different course was taken by men of the Spirit, traditionally the custodians of the ‘consciousness factor’. It was during this long slumber that numerous methods of Escape were devised, not to extend our boundaries but rather to deaden consciousness. The human consciousness could not deal with Time, Circumstance and Destiny. To bear the full vision of the Time-Spirit as both creator and destroyer, all the faculties have to be awakened. Thus all spiritual paths from the time of Sri Krishna devised methods to carry practitioners into greater degrees of sleep with the promise of ‘enlightenment’ in a realm beyond the physical. This coincided with the gradual denigration of the ‘pagan’, and finally the total abolition of the Goddess from the prominence she had always enjoyed. With this, the material plane was left void of precious energies and this abandoned field was overtaken by the ignorant and the false. This has been our ‘spiritual heritage’, the reason for which we stand on the brink of annihilation and the physical plane has been the arena of so much destruction, strife and pain for such a very long time. It was also during the period of Sleep that organised religions came into existence, all born in the same area on the globe. The rise of these young and zealous proselytising faiths and their affinity for war in the name of God attests to a critical moment having been reached in the evolution and the need for a radical transformation of humanity’s energy base. Indeed, Mars is the planet in the scheme representing energy. In the Middle East we observe ‘knots’ in the subtle energy sheath of that area. Civilisation’s main energy support comes from the area where this ‘knotting up’ is perceived; and this is so indicative of its insoluble problems, as well as an inadequate resource. ‘Black Gold’ too is a part of the dying old world. From the Age of Krishna to the present, humanity has known nothing higher than the mental principle as a guiding tool. Together with Aries and Taurus, Gemini (Mind) forms the three of signs of that 8th Manifestation. But Mind cannot withstand the impact of the Time-Spirit as Destroyer as well as Creator. It has to die to itself, obliterate itself in trance, samadhi, nirvana, or the other ‘escapes’. That incapacity, as the Gita informs us, was the legacy of the Manifestation of Scorpio. Everything we know today, every aspect of our civilisation is a product of a species that has had any light higher than Mind blotted out, put to sleep, closeted away so that this principle could rule the day; and in so doing to exhaust itself. This is not the place to enter into any greater detail regarding the connection between the Mental Principle and Mars. In my published works the subject has been treated extensively. Suffice to state that the 8th sign is ruled by Mars – but it is Mars of the ‘dead egg’ humanity. It is Mars as yet untransformed. When the journey ends in death and the 8th stage, there is no higher principle, no greater light than the Mental. The result is kin turning upon kin and a total destruction followed by a deep sleep, the oblivion of death, and spirituality divorced from the material. The scourge we bear today, cause of all our woes, is this separative consciousness, legacy from the former Manifestations. However, if indeed the zodiac is a map of humanity’s evolution, we know then that the task of the signs beyond Scorpio is to introduce or to establish that higher principle as the new power governing evolution on Earth. In other words, Mind is not the highest principle. There is another at our disposal. Indeed, this is the new power that controls the happenings of our times, to all appearances so deeply tragic, yet in a more all-encompassing vision, they are the very signs indicating that we are ready for a great change. I have described something of a new alignment and a centering that occurred in 1983-4. Centering, dislodging the binary, is the first step in opening humanity to a higher principle and light. The Binary System and its ‘dead egg’ species cannot embody that higher principle’s power because it requires a spherical and not a linear poise. The axis in question, Gemini and Sagittarius, third and ninth signs respectively, in opposition to each other in the wheel, are contained in the Twin Tower symbolism. While the ‘death’ of Scorpio prevails and the Eagle does not rise, we can know only Gemini, the vertical, and Mind as the inadequate highest principle of a ‘dead egg’ human species. When the labour of the 9th (Sagittarius) succeeds, an entire new range of possibilities opens before us because Sagittarius marks entry to the hitherto unexplored last quarter of the zodiac, thus completing the circle of 12. This completion can be attained when centering and realignment are accomplished. Until then the final quarter, though known and accounted for, was simply a nebulous region humanity could never reach in its binary condition. In religions and even Eastern systems of yoga, it became ‘heaven’, life after death (Scorpio). To enter that region in full consciousness without succumbing to the Death imposed upon humanity by Scorpio, centering and realignment producing a spherical consciousness and being, are the only way. This sphericality then influences every aspect of life – subtlety, quietly transforming everything. It is this ‘new way’ that is operating in full in the world today. The circle is complete, hence we can state, a new world is born. Out of the development in 1983, it was ‘seen’ that world wars similar to the two of the last century would no longer be the tool for that regulatory mechanism to balance speed and availability of energy. They were a part of the old creation, as it were, prior to the turning point of 1956. From that time, a process began that would gradually establish a principle higher than Mind, which Sri Aurobindo has called Supermind, or the Truth-Conscious Gnosis. The Mother called the singular event of 1956, the Supramental Manifestation. This process entered an accelerated phase in 1971, covering 27 years thereafter, during which period the foundations of this new creation were completed. However, the transmutation of Mars being incomplete, it was ‘seen’ in the realignment and centering experiences of 1983 that constant eruptions would be required to ‘let off steam’ as it were. These would be relatively minor, regional conflicts, rather than global. It would be similar to regular volcanic eruptions by which the planet itself releases a pent-up energy into the atmosphere, easing an inner tension. The key feature in what was to follow was the unmistakable presence of the great Controller. In other words, in a spherical system, contrary to the linear, all serve the purposes of the central One.All lines converge on a single Centre. Nothing is excluded, everything is contained in theOne Field where harmony and integration are the key words. This treatment of the tragic events of our times may be considered too arcane, esoteric, or even illusory. Nonetheless, let us continue to apply the formulas of the new way Cosmology to demonstrate that this newness is now affecting every aspect of life. It is particularly evident in the current events occupying the world’s attention. The question looming before us is will the ‘response’ anticipated from the Coalition trigger a Third World War. The unequivocal answer is no. There is a different mechanism now, indeed a ‘new war’. To understand this fully it is necessary to refer to the basic formula of the new Cosmology:
This simple string of numbers represents ‘Supermind organised for Earth Use’, which Sri Aurobindo anticipated as a fundamental necessity for the coming transformation. It has many applications. If we apply it to the last century’s wars, for example, we must draw a line between the first two numbers, 9 and 6, and the last two, 3 and 0-1. The reason we do this is because they are indeed paired in the descending equation in this manner when the formula is applied. (The full method is explained in my books, The Gnostic Circle and The New Way.) On this basis, let us carry these paired numbers over to the World Wars of the last century in the descending order. The 9 and the 6 would be the two World Wars of the 20th Century. As students of the New Way know, these numbers refer to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, respectively, in the formula. They form a part of a descending Solar Line, as it is known in the new Cosmology. And as number powers, they are related to each other. Indeed, the two World Wars of levels 9 and 6 were also related in that the common enemy in both was Germany. It would appear that what had not been concluded in the first was done in the second. We entered the Aquarian Age in 1926. The new Supramental Creation could begin to take shape only then. AsI have explained in many of my published works, the Evolutionary Avatars can only appear in the Astrological Ages of signs of FIXED QUALITY – i.e., Scorpio, Leo, Taurus, Aquarius. Indeed, in the Rig Veda we find confirmation in the ‘three steps’ of Vishnu by which he ‘measures out the universe’, each of which is one of these three signs, first Leo, then Taurus, and last of all, the ‘highest step’, Aquarius of our times. Thus, the First World War occurred before the new age set in. However, in this cosmology it is to be noted that 9 years before a turning point of a year of 9 number-power (1926, for example), and 9 years after, are all part of the same turning point. If the turning point were 6 it would be 6 years, 3 would mean 3 years; for example, the turning point of 2001 would begin to be felt as of 1998. Applied to the entry into the Age of Aquarius in 1926, it means that as of 1917 elements of the new Age would begin to surface. These will be examined further on. The First World War came at the very end of the Age of Pisces, in a sense a final ‘release’. This ‘release’ played itself out through certain key features of the sign: sacrifice, self-giving, self-undoing, a strong component of destruction and waste, on its more negative side. Pisces as the zodiac’s closing sign involves a shedding of residue. It was thus a war of elimination, of closure. This was a massive human sacrifice the likes of which had never been known. Scores of young men were sent to the frontlines as plain and simple human fodder. They were massacred by the thousands. It was, to be exact, Sri Aurobindo’s war because the 9 is his number in the scale of the descending Solar Line. It could be termed the first-level war (of a four-level transformation of Mars). He faced it alone since the Mother came to him in India in 1914, only to leave in 1915 because of the outbreak of the war. It was a release and sacrifice essentially to clear the atmosphere and prepare the soil, at least partially, for the coming new Age. Exactly on schedule, nine years later in 1926, and after a major yogic breakthrough, Sri Aurobindo withdrew to his room to ‘bring down the Supermind’, the next evolutionary principle. He spent the remaining 24 years of his life in seclusion, concentrated on this endeavour. However, he was always concerned with world affairs and the ‘new order’ that he knew would come to replace the old, once this principle had penetrated the atmosphere. He was born under the sign Leo, which astrologers know to be the sign of kings, monarchs, and royalty. If there was any clear result of his ‘first-level war’, it was the crumbling of monarchies throughout Europe, so central to Leo. Those that remained were in large part rendered impotent. The new times were about to dawn, the new Aquarian Age which would demand a different political structure to accommodate the Aquarian ideals which indeed have come to shape our world since its onset in 1926. When the war came to an end, the Mother returned to his side in 1920, and together they gave a formal structure to their work as of 1926, exactly when the new Age had dawned. Not only was a joint mission indispensable, but an entire string of births was ordained, in order for the work to be completed. As the Mother once remarked, a line of births in time and space. As for 1917, the last 9-power year of the Age of Pisces, it was then that the decisive element surfaced which would shape the entire century. Namely, the rise of Communism and the Soviet Union. However, massive release was still necessary. There was yet much to be done to liberate the Earth from the clutches of certain powers that threatened to impede civilisation’s march into the Light. The four-level transformation of Mars was just beginning. Thus, the Second World War was, according to the descending formula, the Mother’s War, or the 6, the second-level war. Though physical, its main sustenance was from the occult planes. It was in that dimension that the victory came about, to then play itself out in the physical. The 6 in the scale corresponds to the Cosmic Principle. These two World Wars of the 9 and the 6, or the first and second levels, were still part of the old creation, as indeed both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had taken birth before the new Age commenced. Their joint mission can be viewed as a digging, deep and profound, through the many layers of soil that have accumulated like a mantle, covering the Earth in ignorance and falsehood, the mantle of Time’s energy as a residue of inertia from the deep Sleep and abandonment of the material plane. The movement through the Ages is a constant progression without any disconnection. The 9 and 6 of the Solar Line had the onerous task of digging foundations in that very soil of the Ages into which the new foundations could be laid. This hard task is beautifully depicted in Sri Aurobindo’s poignant poem, A God’s Labour. In the Mother’s second-level war the powers of Light defeated the forces of Darkness. Since the Mother embodied the 6 in the scale, equivalent to the Cosmic Divine, certain characteristics in the Second World War were indicative of a cosmic component. This is a contrasting dualism, a stark divide: Light and Dark, the light and its shadow. The Second World War was notorious for this display of a clearly definable good and evil. Such is the cosmic nature of things and all that it spawns when integration of all the planes is absent. Then ‘things fall apart’, for there is no common ‘centre to hold’. These two World Wars had certain characteristics in common. They were indeed global conflagrations. The entire world was drawn into the destructive processes of Mars, unlike at any other period in history. This is because we were entering the Aquarian Age of universality and the lofty ideal of a united humankind. The term ‘coalition’ would take on an ever wider and deeper meaning as we progressed deeper into the new Age. The League of Nations arose and fell, perhaps because it belonged as yet to the Age of Pisces. Indeed, only when the full Aquarian Age was in progress could the United Nations emerge; in spite of its imperfections and weaknesses it endures because it is in accord with the Time-Spirit’s Aquarian goals. As mentioned, a great turning point was reached in 1956, the Supramental Manifestation. Thereafter a new principle began to work itself into the evolutionary fabric, with clearly visible signs from 1971 onwards. This date was significant in that it marked the beginning of a 27-year ‘action plan’, as I have referred to earlier in this series. It would be completed in 1998. The first 72-years of the Aquarian Age came to an end that year, completing passage through one degree of the 30-degree sign. As mentioned, after the Second World War a balance was maintained by the two Superpowers. Another global war was avoided on this basis. But in 1971 the process began that would bring about the new alignment and centering. The work of those 27 years had another outcome: everything was drawn into the physical, compressed into the One Field. Whatever was to be played out would be experienced in full view in the physical dimension, since the key to our existence on this planet is to redeem material creation by uncovering its inherent divine Light. In other words, Supermind had been rooted in the consciousness-soil of our Earth and on this basis the formulas for its application on Earth could be revealed. By the halfway mark into those 27 years a ‘new war’ could be waged. Thus, the Gulf War of the third level of the transformation of Mars was the Third’s War, coming as it did after the 1983 breakthrough of the Third. The present contest is the Fourth’s. That is, they correspond to the 3 and the 0-1 levels on the descending scale, 9/6/3/0-1. The last two, 3 and 0-1 belong fully to the new creation. The work of the Third has been to lay the actual ‘foundation stones’, composed of this new cosmology and the body of knowledge surrounding Supermind’s applied usage for the Earth, in the trenches dug by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother during their years of hard labour. The 27-year ‘action plan’ can be visualised as the period during which that indestructible foundation was completed. By 1998 the edifice proper began to rise above ground level, visible to all who choose ‘to see’. While the first and second levels of the Descent are taken as joint components; the same holds for the third and fourth. We have noted that the adversary in the First and Second World Wars was the same, indicating a work carried over from one conflagration to the next. The same can be said of the Third’s War, and now the Fourth’s. Indeed, as a confirmation we note that George Bush Senior was involved in the first, and his son, George W. Bush, the next. Certainly an unusual happening in politics, though ‘logical’ when seen in the New Way Cosmology. Indeed, in spite of all the confusion surrounding his election, it would seem to have been a foregone conclusion that Bush Jr. would be President to complete a task his father left undone, according to the new Power operating in the world. At the same time, both conflicts harbour similar characteristics where the word ‘coalition’ has been central. The ‘enemy’ is also the same. But while energy was the issue in the third-level war, because the Third’s ‘field’ or domain of action is the vital dimension, supplier of our ‘energy’ – the fourth-level is the physical proper. More on this in the next and final part of this series. However, there is another important difference involving all four levels. It must be borne in mind that the formula 9/6/3/0-1 stands for a descent, or a vertical, axial shaft. To be precise, the first three numbers are the vertical axis. Two have completed their mission and have left. With the present level of the 3 and the successful completion of that work (1971-1998), the 0 then comes into play. The Third constructs the bridge for this purpose. At which point the direction shifts. It moves from vertical to horizontal. From the compact fullness of that Zero, the One is then born, expressed in the formula as 0-1 (It may also be noted how significant a numeric symbol of our times this 0-1 has become, since computer technology is based on these very digits.) In metaphysics, this 1 born from the 0 is the principle of the divine Son, while the 3 is the divine Daughter. Both Principles have been active in our times in an unmistakable manner. Their work involves the keywords harmony(3) and integration (0-1). Thus, applied to the present circumstances, the Third’s (Gulf) War in which Bush Sr. was the commander-in-chief, was a part of the vertical, descending axis. At its successful completion the interesting phenomenon arises that reaching the 0 of the equation we hit rock bottom, as it were, and the end of the vertical. The Third’s ‘bridge building’ has allowed for the shift, or from contraction to expansion. The 1, or the ‘son’, arises in a field of expansion/horizontal. It is a connected process demonstrated so accurately in the father/son team, but the forces operating are different for George Bush Jr. in this question of direction. Thus, son Bush can experience a greater success in drawing in coalition partners than father Bush did because the horizontal direction in the play allows him to do so by virtue of its inherent nature of expansion. Circumstances must conspire to fulfil this design based on the new way Formula of vertical/contraction, horizontal/expansion. There cannot be a more accurate and indisputable example of the application of this cosmology and the control in minute detail of all elements involved than this pattern Third/Daughter, Fourth/Son, their connected missions and the wars corresponding to their levels in the scale; and then a similar connection carried over to the unusual circumstance of Bush son completing the task his father was engaged in a decade earlier. This then is the formula of the Solar Line transposed onto the world stage, moulding the circumstances of life to fulfil its Design. This may be a new war, but it is also a new way. In 1956 a new world was born which changed everything. To deny this, to disregard the cosmic harmony and the formulas of the Supermind that control our world in function of that newness, is to wilfully chose darkness and sleep instead of the light of a new way. We are only at the start of this great adventure, however. The mechanism is functioning well but we face trying times. In the next and final portion of this analysis, I will present further applications of the Formula, particularly involving the intriguing though distressing need for collective grieving which as yet our untransformed Mars energy imposes on the vital sheath of our world. We have witnessed three such wrenching experiences on a global scale over the past few years. In analysing them, it will be seen with an even greater accuracy how the 3 and the 0-1 powers are active in our lives; and we will see in understanding the necessity for these tragic experiences which, in the light of the New Way cosmology, are perceived as the very means to expand those former constricting boundaries of a ‘dead egg’ humanity on its path to conquering death and destruction. In the next and final portion, we will deal with Ground Zero.
A New World is BornPart IV
October 5, 2001
If I have not discussed the Pentagon tragedy so far, it is because only at the fourth level can we begin to understand that event in the context of the new cosmology. With this article, the series has covered four levels of correspondences. The fourth and final involves Mars proper, as the fourth planet. While we have discussed the level where a shift occurs and the progression changes from vertical to horizontal, there is much more involved which the Pentagon disaster can help to reveal. For example, it is at the level of the Fourth Power/Principle that the question of nuclear power comes into prominence and assumes vital importance. Indeed, given the developments on the world stage over the past decade, we are well aware that a serious threat is now posed to our civilisation. The next catastrophe could well be nuclear. Equally relevant to the fourth level and its number equivalent in the new way Formula, 0-1, is the fact that when its time comes, as now, there is an accelerated contraction or convergence. Given the existence of a centre – after the process of 1983 – this centrality determines all the rest. Everything thereafter serves its divine Purpose contained in that single ‘centre that holds’. The only way to stop its unfolding would be to destroy the Seeing Eye of humanity by a complete collapse into the dark abyss where time is no more. That is, similar to a plunge into some ominous Black Hole, humanity can arrest the movement and impede the apotheosis only by a total annihilation. This is the acute danger we face. Then we must begin a long and laborious march through the Ages until Time and Circumstance draw the species to the same level of maturity where we now stand and the Earth’s higher destiny can be fulfilled. Or else, the work may be done elsewhere if destruction is so complete as to disallow a renewed evolution of the species. Though the peril we face is real and imminent, such a dismal course is unlikely. The reason I can make this statement is precisely because of the latest USA tragedy. The ‘hand’ of the Controller has been so evident in the unfolding of events and in the logic of the process that it is unlikely unforeseen developments out of the sphere of its control will occur. Indeed, nothing lies beyond its reach. When the centre and new axial alignment come into being, it means that out of the chaos of the former old way a cosmos has emerged. There is then only one centre, similar to the Sun of our solar system. No other possibility is possible since both negative and positive must ‘serve the purposes of the One. This brings me to another result of the 1983 centering; such a process establishes order. On the individual or collective level, or for the planet herself, the future is ‘ordered’, rendered a cosmos or a single entity wherein everything is in its place. There are no longer galaxies of possibilities out there, down the corridors of Time. There is, indeed, only one corridor, not many. No labyrinths to meander through, no multiple exits or entries. There is only one course to follow. All roads for the first time in our long and troubled history finally converge on this one Centre. That is, we move from the Overmental stage/plane to the Supramental; from the linear to the spherical. Related to our previous discussion, the Overmental was the cosmic affirmation of the 8th Manifestation. It was the domain of Krishna Avatar, 8th in the Line. When Sri Aurobindo established the Krishna Consciousness in himself at the very beginning of the Aquarian Age, he drew into his physical being the compact residue of that former Overmental Manifestation. This is not the place or the time to go into greater detail in this regard. Suffice to state that our spiritual and religious legacy from that Manifestation and the great Sleep of Scorpio is from that Overmental Plane, below the Supramental. We entered the new Manifestation with that residue in tow. The Book of Genesis having originated in that period, it reveals that the signature of the Old Creation is fragmentation. When the full impact of the Solar Light cannot be sustained, parts of the being are put to sleep to accommodate this structural insufficiency; only then in the process of fragmentation can these rays be sustained. This means that our highest collective aspirations have been expressed by these separate ‘rays’, – organised religions, for example. Foremost to observe is the direction they assume. As mentioned, given the great Sleep spiritual endeavours assumed a different direction: escape routes were devised and ‘exits’ from the cosmic dimension became the norm. In fact, there were no such ‘exits’. However, due to the great Sleep it did appear that one could disconnect oneself from all things temporal and spatial and thus attain liberation from the drag of the physical that pinned one down to this cosmic, material dimension, with all its limitations and constrictions. The world could then go its own way and continue to be ensnared in endless entanglements producing untold grief and despair; while the spiritual realiser was ‘free’, disconnected, uninvolved. This abdication eventually allowed the vital and physical dimensions to be overtaken by forces with no light higher than Mind as the guiding beacon. As a result, Mind being itself divisive and incomplete, this inadequacy was displayed in all that the great Sleep spawned. The fragmentation of Overmind gave rise to the organised religions of the world, all of which have been born in one area of the globe. The present contest between these separate ‘rays’ seems to be producing the acute stresses of our times. Without a doubt, tensions in that area are causing reverberations on the world scene, but the point to bear in mind is that given the direction of these emanations, or rays, there is no likelihood of any convergence taking place between them. The cosmic dimension of the problem can be explained by visualising the Overmental expanding in all directions, indeed as if casting out rays from a single source. Those rays, as time evolves, move out from this source in a process of expansion. If we take the original Source to be the Old Testament, for example, we observe that several different ‘rays’ sprouted from this one source of light. As time moves on, they grow as separate rays, farther and farther away from each other. Centuries down the line, the distance between the rays is vast. Worse yet, a crystallisation takes place as an organic corollary and there is no meeting ground possible. Each one has the one Truth and cannot accommodate the others. Or else, attempts are made within their ranks to impose an original purity, as it were, a return to the Source. But this is problematic because the direction is outward from the Source and a return would mean a reversal of this direction. Given the hardening of Time’s residue over the centuries during its unchangeable forward march, this could only take place through the process of destruction to correct the problem. In terms of the ‘symbol being the thing symbolised’, we have this problem clearly depicted in Jerusalem. The centre for these faiths, or these ‘rays’, is a contested field. Which one is to prevail, or how can a harmonious resolution come about to satisfy all demands? It is for this reason that religious tensions are never solved. While we cling to religious identities there can be no solution. These have to be given up and purely secular, political or diplomatic means must be used to unravel the existing ‘knots’, which indeed are becoming tighter with each passing day, to the point where they will soon defy any attempt at unravelling. Indeed, then only destruction becomes the ‘solution’. The dangers apparent in such a drastic turn of events are obvious. When civilisation produces weapons for its total annihilation, we know that the time has come in the evolution of our species to find a new way. The ‘solution’ lies elsewhere. The Middle East entanglement is only peripheral, though most would believe it to be central. Indeed, the question involves centrality: the Earth’s own true ‘centre’. This is not the Middle East. The present happenings have surprisingly drawn our attention to the real area on the globe that can lay claim to the position of centre. And while we locate the danger zone east of Jerusalem, we also realise how much labour is still required and how far we are as yet from any sort of victory. When President Bush states that the ‘new war’ being waged will be long, perhaps very long, again his statement is applicable at much deeper levels than he may realise. Let me proceed step by step in drawing attention to the main theme of this analysis: the transformation of Mars. Since Mars is central to the latest tragic developments, it is not surprising that the Pentagon was the second target, sustaining very serious structural damage with significant loss of lives. In this new way Cosmology and the control it reveals, we observe interesting features of the attack as far as Mars in concerned. First, the building housed the military administration – indeed, a fully Mars occupation. All war strategies where the USA is involved emerge from this building. It is therefore an important symbol involving America’s military strength and predominance, – the ‘mind of Mars’ as it were; while the World Trade Centre was the symbol of its economic power. It seems the final count of deaths in the Pentagon tragedy is 189, or the number of nations belonging to the United Nations. There are two planets involved in this symbolism, Mars and Jupiter, fourth and fifth from the Sun. The Pentagon therefore incorporates Mars by way of the function carried out in the building, and Jupiter, the fifth planet, because of its pentagonal shape. Thus Mars and Jupiter, taken together, are the focus of this ‘symbol being the thing symbolised’ in this final portion of our study. What we need to note is that these two orbits flank a most important and unique component of our solar system: the Asteroid Belt. The shattering or fragmentation in that orbit indicates a dramatic reversal of some sort, resulting in a breakdown of perhaps a great planetary object into millions of bits and pieces. In my published works I have discussed this orbit extensively, since it plays a very significant role in the New Way. In this cosmology the Asteroid Belt is ‘home’ of the Fourth Power/Principle, having affinity with both Mars, and hence War, and Jupiter. In mythology he is indeed known as the War God, and the divine Son in the descending line, Father, Mother, Daughter, Son – a scale comprising all the metaphysical principles of our world. This sequence has surfaced in a very poignant manner over the past several years involving the last two principles, Daughter and Son, or 3 and 0-1; or the last two paired numbers we discussed earlier regarding the ‘new wars’. I mentioned in closing Part III that as the Earth required regular eruptions which were regional, minor wars to release tension, thus avoiding a major conflagration that would necessarily be nuclear if played out in full, so too the vital/emotional sheath of the planet requires a similar release. This has played itself out in a collective grieving, very much controlled and calculated to relieve stresses involving these two powers/principles that stand upfront in the transformation process the Earth now is experiencing. This became an essential part of the mechanism once an acceleration set in as the ‘action plan’ neared completion in 1998. The first collective grieving involved the Daughter Principle or the 3; indeed, the Earth herself as the third planet from the Sun. Since the 3 was the focus and the Daughter Principle, the metaphysical corollary is the soul in evolution. Our planet does indeed contribute this unique ingredient to the harmony of the solar system. In 1997, because of our global communications network, the entire planet grieved together with inexplicable intensity over the untimely and tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Her representative role as symbol of the Third Daughter Principle is obvious. What may not be so obvious is that the wave of grief that swept across the Earth was a form of release from tensions in the vital/emotional sheath. To this day, analysts, commentators, observers of the world scene, cannot make sense out of the enormity of grief expressed across the globe for a figure essentially of importance only to Great Britain. It was almost a play out of the Demeter/Persephone myth where the Divine Mother Demeter loses her most precious daughter Persephone to Pluto, God of the Underworld. Thereafter, Demeter roams the Earth and in her grief withdraws her grace, thereby threatening to bring civilisation to an end. The correspondences are very clear if we wish to draw a parallel. Diana met her fate in an underground (Underworld) passage. Since the 3 and the Soul Principle are central, we may note that the bridge under which she was struck down (and carried to Pluto’s Underworld of the Dead) is called Alma, or soul in Spanish. More astonishing is the fact that no sooner was this collective grieving over, as if an enormous reservoir had been emptied, than the world laid the incident to rest along with Diana’s body. Grieving was over, intensive and all consuming as it had been, the experience on a collective level was completed and the world moved on. At the time, none could imagine that such an outpouring would have been so easily and quickly forgotten. Indeed, each subsequent anniversary of the occurrence draws less and less attention. Yet when it happened it was even thought that her death would somehow weaken or even bring an end to the monarchy, so overwhelming was the public’s response. The spontaneous practice of offering flowers, notes, lighted candles by the thousands, amidst intense emotion and grief, started then and has continued as a sort of a new occidental cultural expression. No, Diana’s death was not intended to bring down or weaken the monarchy. The real and sole purpose of so tragic and untimely a demise was to provide release in the form of a massive wave of collective grieving, engulfing the entire planet for entirely cosmic purposes involving the Third Principle, – those of acceleration. It is as if the planet has her own karma to be worked off, given her special place in the solar system. When the time of acceleration arrives, the encumbrances (residue/karma) must be rapidly shed. This was one such shedding. It was a ‘sacrifice’ to speed up the process safely, so as to avoid destruction. This corresponded to the third-level Mars transformation, and the vital sheath – or the emotional body. No sooner had this been laid to rest than the fourth-level came into play. This involved another ‘junior’, similar to Bush junior and the fourth-level war. It was John F. Kennedy Jr. and his equally untimely and tragic demise. By now readers can draw the parallels between JFK Jr. and the fourth principle/power themselves, for they are as clear and unequivocal as Diana’s, This is indeed the Son, last in the descending scale. JFK Jr.’s only claim to fame was his identity as son to a famous father; otherwise the world would have ignored his death. This was his main contribution to the ‘symbol being the thing symbolised’. In his demise there is no underworld/underground involved, no soul element proper, as with the 3 and Diana. But this ‘son’ produced the same intense collective grieving, clearly connecting the two deaths; though there ought to have been no connection at all. Again flowers and notes and candles were collected in his memory by a grieving populace. And while, similar to Diana, grief was overwhelming and all consuming, after he was laid to rest the memory of the tragic event followed him, and the Earth moved on. This too was a play-out of the descending scale in the four-level Mars transformation, this time involving the final level, the fourth, the son, the 0-1. Residue, encumbrances were shed. Important to note is that the grieving over JFK Jr.’s death was confined almost entirely to the USA, particularly drawing the process to New York City. It must be stated that these two individuals were foci for the collective experience of grieving, or release of tension in the vital sheath of the Earth. They were not themselves, in their own lives and level of consciousness or development, particularly outstanding. There could well have been other more worthy candidates to play these roles; but the element of universality was required, hence the necessary wide popularity of the two figures and the extensive coverage their lives commanded. To draw in the whole world through extensive media coverage, the drama had to involve top ‘stars’. And so it was that our civilisation lived its myth, in its own unique manner and true to the compulsions of our Aquarian Age. What these episodes further reveal is that myths or the cosmic principles on which they are based are deeply embedded in the collective and individual soul. We are in the Aquarian Age of universality. The myths of our times are therefore played out on a global scale in which all of humanity participates – a sort of collective Mystery Rite. They are experiences common to all, shared by all. However, these two events were part of the vertical/descending/contracting process – hence solitary, single ‘sacrifices’ were involved. The new direction, expansion, has other demands. We reach ‘rock bottom’ with the last ‘myth’ to be played out, the final grieving-release of the vertical descent. The Son joins subtle to physical and deposits us at ‘ground zero’ where he lived and was so deeply mourned. The fourth-level grieving, being largely confined to the USA, unlike Diana’s case, displays an intense zeroing-in as it were. Up to 1998 the focus of this cosmic operation was to establish a centre. This wasa contractingprocess down a vertical line of Time; until at the fourth and final stage, the 0 receives the distilled ‘gold’ of the work of the previous components of the Line. Out of that ‘gold’ the One is born who is the fourth in the Line. In the Supramental Formula this is expressed as 0-1. The 0 is akin to a womb, while the 1 is its product. The other special feature of the last level of the Descent is that the 0 is the actual physical dimension, or the physical centre. This means that the ‘bridge’ constructed by the Third links the vital to the physical. The 0 is then the point of convergence. When the Bridge touches the physical dimension it is the final stage – ‘rock bottom’, so to speak. Reversal is the result due to this compaction in the physical, with, in a sense, no escape possible, no place to go, no ‘time’ left since the Third draws the condensed movement into the present in an intense process of contraction. This was displayed in JFK Jr.’s death in that the compaction or convergence of that level happened to be New York City. This could have been understood as a signal that the fourth-level transformation of Mars would take place there or that in some way NYC would play a role in the future developments. In some way the process on the physical level could continue at that point on the globe. The zone between Mars and Jupiter, the Asteroid Belt, corresponds in the new cosmology to nuclear power. The fragmentation observed in that orbit displays the enormous power contained in the fourth level. When the transformation of Mars begins and the fourth level is reached, we know that this tremendously destructive power is also to become prominent in some way. And so it happened when the horizontal direction set in after 1998 and nuclear power began to play a prominent role in the unfolding of events: two more nations that very year were added to the nuclear tally. The stage was then set for the Fourth’s contribution. It is therefore not surprising to note that the devastation in New York City came to be called ‘Ground Zero’. Two elements that call our attention are captured in this designation: the Zero (of the Son 0-1), and the nuclear element. Indeed, the potency of the destructive power has been equated with a nuclear blast. This is true, the power of the 4th when prominent points to nuclear energy in its most destructive form. But what has to be noted, and indeed what is the most awesome feature of this tragic event, is that Ground Zero presents us with the distinct image of containment. It was as if from the 0 centre a tight circumference was drawn and the power unleashed was not permitted to go beyond that demarcation. To further prove this point, when the cloud containing the dissolved particles of the catastrophe did move beyond the circumference of Ground Zero, covering lower Manhattan in this waste, as if it were a condensed ‘fall out’, unseasonal rains set in to wash away this noxious substance. At the time, those rains were viewed as a further misfortune to compound an already enormous calamity, hampering the rescue operation of hundreds if not thousands who were thought to have survived beneath the rubble. But this was not so. The blessed rains cleansed New York City of this ‘fall out’. And as for the survivors, there were none. The act of Dissolution had absorbed them all in the great Sacrifice that spared the USA, and indeed the entire world, from a nuclear devastation. The collective grieving continues but it is notably different from the previously discussed experiences that involved single individuals drawing to themselves a collective swell of grief to provide release during the contraction mode. Once into the expansion/horizontal, the Sacrifice entails many in the expanded field. However, the key element ever present is the infallible hand of the great Controller. In her mournful wanderings throughout the Earth in search of her beloved Persephone, Demeter comes to a royal household and is employed there as nursemaid to the royal heir. She nurtures this boy in the manner of the Gods, over the sacred Fire, to imbue him with a divine immortality. This royal Son then goes forth to ‘spread the message’ as Triptolemos, his Greek name signifying ‘of the three wars’. Thus this tale in its own quaint manner confirms the new cosmology of this analysis and the three wars that have taken place before reaching this fourth-level transformation of Mars, the position of the Son. Triptolemos is War God, nurtured on the fires of Mars, and he does indeed carry abroad in the new horizontal direction the ‘message’ of the former three. His fourth level is the more deadly phase because his power is nuclear, born of the Zero. At his level it is either creation or destruction. Thus, we must note that the ‘new war’ of Bush Jr. is indeed characteristic of the new cosmic direction the Earth is experiencing. Up to the third level, which was still in the realm of the vertical/contraction, there was a centrifugal movement expressed in the fact that the enemy was a single figure. That third-level war could still conform to the former concepts because of an easy identification of the enemy and the ability to wage the old-style war. However, we must also bear in mind that while the Third’s keyword is harmony, the Fourth’s is integration. In the wars corresponding to each, these qualities come to the fore. The first of the last stages was a harmony among the points on the circumference, which join in a common endeavour such as the Gulf War. But the same quality is carried to its fullest expression when integration is added. Then, not only is there a coalition taking shape to a greater degree than previously experienced, all focussed on a single ‘enemy’, the element of integration manifests in the manner in which these components of the periphery are drawn into an integral process. Indeed, what was left undone in the third-level conflict is attended to and drawn to completion in the fourth. For it has to be born in mind that the Third and the Fourth are joint powers, just as the First and Second were. However, now the ‘field’ is notably different. It is an expanded, horizontal network, or fabric of nations, together forming an integrated harmony. The ‘enemy’ is also characterised by this shift in that ‘he’ is woven into and through the entire expanded network/field. As an added ingredient, the integrating factor makes itself felt in a compelling set of circumstances that force a new and universal interaction and collaboration. The common enemy spread through the fabric of nations obliges governments to join in the highest expression of the Aquarian ideal of a true unity of nations. Finally, the most revealing facet of the current events is the confirmation of the New Way ‘law’, all, negative and positive, serve the purposes of the One. To provide an example, this is clearly demonstrated in the Pakistani ‘change of policy’, forced indeed by a set of circumstances bound to a central compelling ‘purpose’. The very creator and protector of the terrorist operation has now been obliged to undo its own creation and join the coalition of nations to root out the common enemy. There is certainly an element of divine Strategy here, if not irony. The fourth level acutely involves the Centre. This is why the focus has shifted entirely to South Asia, insofar as the Indian subcontinent is the Centre, in its deepest cosmological sense, of the 9th Manifestation. By consequence, the entire four-level Descent has been centred on India from the beginning, over a century ago. All four participants have been involved with working out problems India faces in fulfilling her noble role for the Earth – the planet’s ‘centre that holds’. The former work has crystallised now in the fourth-level transformation of Mars and this final play-out involving integration. It is not possible in this short space to discuss everything connected to India as centre of the Age. My books deal with this subject extensively. Also, there are articles carried on our website that add deeper dimensions to this study, if the reader chooses to continue ( I would just like to mention here that the convergence onto a nuclear play-out was foreseen in March of 1976. This ’seeing’ directly involved the Fourth and the 0-1 – that is theOne born of the Zero. Given the loss of the Divine Measure in India, and all possibility of rectification having failed via a ‘new model of the universe’ provided expressly to avoid the present dangers, the nuclear play-out had to be drawn to India. (See The New Way, Aeon Books, for details.) In 1976 there were few who would have agreed. Attention was entirely on the Cold War and the entangled Superpowers. But, as stated earlier in this series, while the Binary Structure remained intact, the pole of tension between the two was also maintained. It was therefore clear that the Superpowers would not be involved, as everyone had imagined; at least as long as that tension prevailed. But when that Binary Structure ceased to prevail, the role of the Centre was thrust into prominence and all lines began to converge on that single Point. To compound matters, India drew the nuclear play-out to her shores by failure to correct the divine Measure (of Time). In a word, Ignorance ruled the day. Circumstances from that moment conspired to fulfil what this failure determined. Be this as it may, after ‘contingency plans’ brought about the 1983 centering and re-alignment, clear signs pointed to the inevitable. It was shortly thereafter (1985) that a break-up of one pole began, the USSR, and was completed in 1989. Indeed, a new alignment forced a break-up of the old, and the former Non-Aligned Movement became another casualty. At the root of this monumental evolutionary crossroads is the residue of the great Sleep of Scorpio – that is, the Overmental Consciousness and the separate Rays it has spawned down the centuries. This divisiveness was drawn to the physical Centre of the Age via the divide-and-rule policy, which culminated in the partition of the sacred body of India because of the so-called two-nation theory. That is, identity, culture, civilisation entirely based on a particular religion, a situation unknown to India before the great Sleep. This was how the landmass delineated by the Capricorn Hieroglyph [see our website for the image] came to be broken up, losing an age-old wholeness based on the Sanatan Dharma, or the Eternal Truth. India is obliged to work this dualism, based on an Overmental affliction, out of her system. And this is the crux of today’s crisis which has drawn in the entire world, a crisis centred on the sub-continent. Both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers now. This increases the dangers we face and the imperative to succeed in this fourth-level war, or the transformation of Mars, if we are to avoid a nuclear holocaust. India and the USA are partners on a cosmic axial shaft of both time and space. They are destined to work together for the greater good of the world. (See The Gnostic Circle, Chapter 15, Aeon Books.) The time has come for this partnership to enter a new dimension, a testing ground hitherto unimagined. Material strength and power lie with the USA; India must provide the ‘centre that holds’, with all that this signifies cosmologically. It is particularly interesting to note that the first name given to the military operation now in progress was The Noble Eagle. Later, for unknown reasons, it was changed to Infinite Justice. After protests, this too was changed and it is now Enduring Freedom. Needless to say, the first name rings truer than the others in view of the issues discussed in this series. The Eagle is central, the redemption of Scorpio the imperative, and the Earth made the planet she is destined to be where the flight of the majestic Eagle can indeed continue in an enduring Freedom. Sri Aurobindo identified certain essential ingredients for the coming new world order. Two have come forward in a prominent manner in the present crisis: freedom and unity. The fact that these are keywords on everyones’ lips, together with an emphasis on a ‘new war’ where freedom is considered to be the single most important principle to defend, helps us to understand that we are at a critical crossroads of destiny. Indeed, a unityof nations is occurring to defend this cherished freedom, the likes of which has never been experienced during civilisation’s contemporary history. These happenings help us tounderstand that we are embarking upon a way new to the world, for its time has come.
‘The Supermind knows most completely and securely not by thought but by identity, by a pure awareness of the self-truth of things in the self and by the self… I get the supramental knowledge best by becoming one with the truth, one with the object of knowledge; the supramental satisfaction and integral light is most there when there is no further division between the knower, knowledge and the known…’.
The Synthesis of Yoga
In a very distant past Vedic civilisation sent out waves beyond the boundaries of the subcontinental mass of the Capricorn hieroglyph. These carried seeds of the culture, some of which may still be recognised. One such is the great temple at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I mention this particular example of Vedic culture beyond the Capricorn border because it is clear that in its construction there was an attempt to capture a most essential part of the ancient Veda. This was indeed the case as the temple of Angkor Wat depicts the wonderful myth of the Churning of the Milky Ocean at the dawn of time. There is the Mountain in the larger lines of the structure, as in all Hindu temples, and then the bas-reliefs which recount this magnificent tale. Indeed, perhaps the most exquisite is the depiction of the act of churning with its clear axial alignment conveyed in stone via the harmony of the design. There are the gods, the titans, the Tortoise upon which Vishnu conducts the operation and who is Vishnu himself, as the Serpent Vasuki is pulled and movement begins.
For this is the meaning of the myth. It is the birth of that which moves, and hence of time as it evolves in our material universe from the seed of Itself. From this churning the primordial mass then throws up diverse ‘treasures’ which can only come into being through a stirring of this mass. Statics do not create. It is only dynamism that can generate the creative Energy.
Time is the motor of this great Machine, this mighty ‘mountain’, as we have seen in The Magical Carousel. In the deepest heart of the Mountain the essence of creation is found, which is Time. The meaning is that at the core of mass it is Time’s energy which can be found and then released; similar to the release experience in the Great Churning which permits the treasures to arise.
The goal of this portion of our study is to demonstrate factually the manner in which the essence of the Veda is brought forth again in a contemporary ‘act of churning’, as it were. I wish to demonstrate with solid evidence how this is achieved not only by highlighting certain perhaps recondite aspects of the myth but also by indicating in which way this essence is ‘extracted’ in today’s great Churning. The result is the reestablishment of the Vedic Dharma in the only way appropriate to its original essence – that is, through the lived experience.
This has been demonstrated regarding myth itself and a contemporary seeing along those very lines. Now we shall carry over this vision into the actual temple; but not of antiquity. We shall locate this same ‘mountain’ in the Mother’s design of her Temple, but at the same time we shall come upon the release engendered by Time when the ‘churning’ began, or the moment the temple construction moved from its static to dynamic mode; or the transition of the construction from the plan stage to the beginning in time of the actual construction process. This was in early 1971, a most appropriate year in that it marked the beginning of the last three enneads of this millennium, 1971 to 1998, certainly the most important 27 years of our period of recorded history, though this may not be appreciated by the layman. For the importance of these 27 years lies in the recondite dismantling of the binary creation, the supreme achievement of this Age.
In a manifestation of this order there are various stages to be respected. The first is the Seeing, as when the Mother first entered this Chamber in the subtle dimension. As such it was the seed of the entire experience. This Seeing covered the first days of January, 1970. It was as if veils were drawn aside and her luminous Eye cast light into that ‘hidden chamber closed and mute’. And there lay the Treasures.
From that point the ‘churning’ began, particularly from the time the actual construction was set on its way, a date and hour set by the Mother herself. Later, on the actual foundation stone she wrote, OM.
What I wish to highlight is the fact that in a most precise manner the experience of constructing this temple reenacted the Churning of the Milky Ocean myth. Treasures arose as well as an initial poison, as the myth conveys, duly consumed by Shiva. Therefore he is known as Neelakanta, or the Blue-Throated One, because poison remained blocked in his throat and turned it blue. By this magnanimous act he saved the world. Shiva is also known as Mahakala, the Great Time. In what way might Time then be connected to the generation of poison as well as the treasures that followed? And what role might Shiva play? These questions are answered in the Puranic tales themselves. But our desire is to find the answers, the same as of old, in contemporary history in the making.
To begin, let me demonstrate how the Vedic temple is reestablished in and through the Mother’s vision, and how all its essential features are not only captured in her original plan but enhanced, rendered in stone in an unparalleled exaltation of that original truth-seeing of old.
The Churning of the Milky Ocean myth has several versions, some quite elaborate in detail. For the purposes of our study we need only dwell on certain essential features or greater lines of the tale. We note therefore that the stage is set for the act by descriptions of the great commotion among forces occupying the three worlds and that the powers inhabiting these realms, or dimensions, appeal to Brahma, the Creator, to come to their succour and put order therein. Brahma, in turn, sends them to Vishnu, the Preserver, who himself carries out the great Churning. Thus order or cosmos comes into being.
The myth is concerned primarily with establishing the central role of the Axis in creation. This much is very clear. But there is more involved and this has reference to certain important or key features of our material dimension. This simple tale in fact sheds light on the very structure of Form. Indeed this, it must be stated, is the purpose of the myth. And this feature pertains to macrocosms as well as microcosms. It pertains as well to the primordial age as well as to the stages of cosmic evolution well beyond the so-called Big Bang.
But was there ever any such thing as a Big Bang? According to the myth creation did not come into being by anything of the sort, and especially not through any process of collapse of energy. It was simply the emergence of an axis and then the conspiracy to set that ‘churning’. That the myth refers to the elaboration of the physical components of our universe is obvious from the fact that it adopts the symbol of churning the Milky Ocean, or the Milky Way, and then from this motion gradually the treasures arise as butter would from the curdled, churned creamy substance. There is, in addition, a separation process in the manufacture of butter; the same does indeed occur in the cosmic process until finally the substance of form emerges from this primordial soup, as it were, and the dross is discarded.
It is another demonstration of the consistency of the Vedic Knowledge that milk is used in this grand myth, mother of all others. For the foundation of the Seeing is ever that Sacred Cow Surabhi, as she is known, or Kamadhenu. Indeed, the very first crystallised form that emerges from the churned ‘milk’ is precisely the Cow, Surabhi.
Science must then ask what the nature of an axis is and what are its origins. We are of course aware that macrocosmic bodies do indeed possess axes and that they ‘churn away’ around their fixed poles. But how did this come into being in the first place? We seem to take for granted that axes always existed or that in some way, unknown to us, they arose simultaneously with the first crystallised substance. This hypothesis may not be sufficient to understand the nature of our physical dimension because, as the ancient Vedic Seer realised in the dawn of history, the discovery of the origin of the axis is essential both for the proper understanding of the cosmic process and evolution, as well as the evolution of smaller bodies and finally the human species. Given this central importance, the axis is found in all cultural expressions of the subcontinent which can trace their roots to that original Vedic act of seeing.
The next feature of the myth to note is the setting in motion of the churning rod. To achieve this, the services of Vasuki are demanded. The Serpent is thus wrapped around the churning stick and – please note – the powers of both Darkness and Light are employed for the great tugging of Vasuki’s head and tail. Finally they complete the labour, the result of which is the emergence of treasured Forms, first of which is Surabhi the sacred Cow.
Why a cow, we might ask? In Vedic symbolism, given the use of dual meanings of words in Sanskrit, cow is equally a ray. But, as I have pointed out elsewhere in this series, the Cow indicates that luminous consciousness of the solar world, prior to differentiation. Indeed, the churning of her precious ‘milk’ is intended to produce just that: differentiated forms. We are thus reminded of this when the Seer relates that Surabhi is the very first ‘form’ to arise from the primordial milky ocean churned so valiantly by gods and demons alike, under the beneficent overseer, Vishnu, stabilised on the mighty Tortoise.
Two points must be noted: the relevance of centrality and axial alignment, both magnificently displayed in the Angkor Wat sculptured rendition of the tale. Indeed, the perfect Centre – in this case the Mountain – is what engenders an axis. But the myth is very specific in that the involvement of Vishnu is necessary for any of this to take place. It is Vishnu, of whom the Evolutionary Avatars are said to be emanations, who not only sets the axis in motion but who, in his Tortoise form, provides the prerequisite stability.
Hence a stable point is required, a foothold, as it were. Only then can the axis be churned and order be made of the chaos. This is an ever-recurring exercise, however. Vishnu periodically is called upon to ‘put order’ in the chaos of life, of Time, and to reestablish that ‘Stable Constant’, as I have called it; or, on other occasions, the Vedic ecliptic Base. The Evolutionary Avatar is his direct instrument for this mighty periodic Churning which must take place at regular intervals if the cosmic Machine is to be kept ‘churning’.
This introduces a further element. The question of generation of energy. Indeed, every cosmic body possessing an axis and in rotation around that ‘churning rod’ is a generator of energy. This, indeed, is the deepest purpose of all macrocosmic bodies. Their revolutions generate the energy that propels material creation forward in Time (and not backward, or to collapse upon itself). But not only does the macrocosmic body serve this function. The human structure is equally a generator of energy; with the difference that our species, for example, is hopelessly aligned to produce collapse. That is, the energy turns back upon itself, consumes itself, as it were. Brought to a more appreciable level, it is a structure which does not repose upon the Tortoise, which has no stable constant or base to uphold its ‘churning’, and that therefore begins to age at a certain critical turning point in its evolution and begins to consume itself or feed upon an energy supply which has not made contact with an ever-replenishing source. Expansion is overtaken by contraction in such a situation. They are not simultaneous directions or mutually supportive.
What this means is that the churning, by virtue of a certain axial alignment, ceases to produce expanding energy or growth, if you will, the process being fed by a replenishing source of energy; contraction is then experienced. This is a turning in on itself, or a source which is not unlimited but is rather subject to the limitations of a self-enclosed system. The rest of our lives thereafter serve simply to eat our energy base away. There is no further replenishing source insofar as the Tortoise is missing. More appropriately, we do not possess an axial alignment based on centrality (Mt. Meru). Ours is a binary system by consequence of which the two directions are not mutually supportive but at odds with each other. Tension arises from the contest and this is the description of the world we have created in our own image.
The creation of a perfect Centre is then the means to make contact with the Source in the other dimension, the Vedic Solar World or Swar. In so doing, the instrument is perfectly balanced, poised not on an off-centre cross as the mortal human creation is, so accurately depicted in Christian symbolism by the Cross on which Jesus is nailed. In the supramental body the perfect Centre engenders an intersection of the two fundamental cosmic directions, contraction and expansion, mutually supportive by virtue of this centred poise and therefore possessing an axis aligned in such a manner as to be that sacred Pillar, that Skambha up-pillaring creation.
This means, quite simply, that fulness lies at the core of a sun, a material sun and a luminous sun of consciousness which is the birthright of all creatures born on planet Earth where this alignment can manifest. The generation of energy in the core of the Sun is due to the centre and axis which sustains it (the Tortoise/stable constant of the myth), and therefore no collapse is experienced. Similarly, the human being in transition to a gnostic being has to bring about a new alignment in his or her consciousness-being in order for contact with the Fulness to occur, in order to ‘become the Sun’, as the Veda prophesies.
In the myth we are shown the structure of a unitary system. More than this, the myth is a prophecy – as indeed all true myths are – which relates the actions of the Evolutionary Avatars in ‘putting order’. And, more especially, in bringing into being the unitary system based on a perfect centre; or a centering process which generates a perfect axial alignment whereby that collapse, that turning back upon itself cannot occur. This is indicated in the cosmic order by the Midday Sun, the Ray that ‘casts no shadows’.
The Churning Mountain myth is indicative of a world in chaos or on the border between a binary and unitary system. The tension described is similar to our stage of evolution. Vishnu stands for that perfect centre which comes into being in the evolutionary process – that is, in the recondite processes of time in the material dimension – through the action of the Evolutionary Avatars.
All these elements have been reestablished in the mythic dimension, as I have described in the last issue with the ‘seeing’ of The Magical Carousel in March of 1970. Now we must search for these same elements in the reestablished temple, product of the Mother’s ‘seeing’. Indeed, her act preceded mine by three months and without which I could not have seen, could not have entered my own inner recesses; or that ‘hidden chamber closed and mute’, to use Sri Aurobindo’s description from his epic poem, Savitri, which does indeed describe the true character of that ‘recess’.
The body’s rules bound not the spirit’s powers:
When life had stopped its beats, death broke not in;
He dared to live when breath and thought were still.
Thus could he step into that magic place
Which few can even glimpse with hurried glance
Lifted for a moment from mind’s laboured works
And the poverty of Nature’s earthly sight.
All that the Gods have learned is there self-known.
There in a chamber closed and mute
Are kept the record graphs of the cosmic scribe,
And there the tables of the sacred Law,
There is the Book of Being’s index page,
The text and glossary of the Vedic truth
Are there; the rhythms and metres of the stars
Significant of the movements of our fate:
The symbol powers of number and of form,
And the secret code of the history of the world
And Nature’s correspondence with the soul
Are written in the mystic heart of life.
Savitri, Book I, Canto 5, CE, p.74-75
The Mother Accelerates the Ocean of Time
When the Mother penetrated the subtle dimension and entered the Chamber, she let loose upon the world that sacred Ray. She set in motion the ‘churning’. All were gathered together, – the gods and the titans, the powers of Light and Darkness. Indeed, she was more than specific about her act when she declared, after 18 days of battling with her entourage over the question of whose vision to be implemented by the architects, hers or theirs, that she was entrusting the operation to the ‘force of Consciousness’ to sort out the energies. She used the French word, decanter (to decant), which refers specifically to a settling of sediment, leaving the pure substance free. She stated,
‘You know, I do not believe in external decisions. I simply believe in one thing: the force of Consciousness which is making a pressure like that [crushing gesture] and the pressure goes on becoming greater…which means that it will sort out [decant] the people.
‘I believe only in that – the pressure of the Consciousness. All the rest, they are man-made things. They do them more or less well, and then it lives, and then it dies, and then it changes, and then it decomposes and then…everything they have done. It is not worth the trouble. The power of execution must come from above, like that, imperative… [gesture of descent]. And for that, this [The Mother points to her forehead], this must keep quiet. Not to say, “Oh, that must not be, oh! we ought to do…’. Peace, peace, peace. He knows better than you what is needed. There.
‘So, since there are not many who can understand, I say nothing, I watch and I wait…’.
The Matrimandir Dialogues, TVN, 1/6, page 44.
In these brief words the Mother prophesied the events which were to accompany the journey of her Temple through tumultuous corridors of time and circumstance in a process very much akin to the Churning of the Milky Ocean. Central to both is the Evolutionary Avatar, emanation of Vishnu. Essential to both is Time, set in accelerated motion with the Mother’s original act of seeing which drew aside certain veils and released energy. The Act of Seeing is thus a power. Every yogic act of this order does indeed release energy. It is not simply passive, as one’s condition before a cinema screen. When a Yogi penetrates a particular subtle plane or dimension, he or she allows the essence of that plane to filter down to Earth, and, in certain highly advanced achievements of this order, to find a firm and lasting foothold here. This is especially evident when Time is an ally in the process and not the Destroyer. Then the seeds of that Seeing are carried on and on in the evolutionary process, brought to fruition as it were by Time. And insofar as we are dealing with a release of energy, it is this act which causes an acceleration.
The contemporary unfolding of the ancient myth witnessed the same protagonists as of old. Both gods and titans took part. Both engaged in the labour of churning the mighty axis of Mount Meru, utilising Vasuki – or Time. And, given the Mother’s uncanny ability to identify the forces at her disposal, she did indeed hand over to the titans the hardest part of the labour, the part which would produce ‘poisonous fumes’ thrust into the faces of these demons, possessors of unsurpassable physical-vital power. Thus, the actual physical construction was given to those in her entourage fashioned by destiny and constitution in such a manner as to permit them to carry the churning to completion in spite of those poisonous fumes they were constantly exposed to and consuming. Indeed, it is important to note that the more accomplished instruments, the more commendable in a sense were the titans, inasmuch as they possess a tenacity and will unparalleled by anything the gods can offer to the Divine Labour. But the gods too are required in equal measure, aligned on either side of the Rod so that a balanced and orderly churning may ensue on the basis of the two powers aligned along the horizontal axis. Vishnu, the Preserver and spirit of the Avatar, stands central in the vertical alignment setting the rhythm as a coxswain would of old in the rhythmic rowing of a ship. He sets the Pulse, the harmony both for gods and titans.
The Mother may also have been as naughty as Vishnu in tricking the titans, or Asuras, into accepting to hold Vasuki’s head, through whose mouth the noxious fumes were to emanate. In the myth the deception by Vishnu of the Asuras is described in delightful detail. The Asuras are fooled into demanding to hold Vasuki’s head by the simple fact that the Devas pretended to want that position in the Churning Act. Limited as the Asuras are in their vision, they immediately deduced that the head was the best position and that Vishnu would be favouring the gods if it were granted to them. They remonstrated before him, voicing their grievance and pleading for justice. Vishnu, a party to the ruse – nay, its creator – readily appeased the Asuras by granting them the Serpent’s head to hold which was being so coveted by the gods, to all appearances. The churning was thus begun on this basis, by this ruse.
Contemporary history in the making reveals a very similar ruse. The coveted position in the case of the Mother’s creation was the actual physical centre as well as the actual physical labour. That is, to hold possession of the physical construction. And that she did indeed grant to the titans who, as tenaciously as their counterparts of old, clung to the ‘head’ with all their might, never releasing it for one moment. And it is there, from that cauldron, that the fumes arose. That is, the waste, so essential a product of a true churning of time.
The entire operation must be viewed as a mighty machine, a cosmic generator of energy necessary in order to set time moving in higher gears, or to avoid collapse of energy. The period reserved for the acceleration is 27 years – or 3 x 9. In calendar time, it began exactly with the onset of the construction, 1971, or the start of the last three enneads of the millennium – 1971 to 1998. It is more than evident to even the most materially-minded observer, in whatever field of human endeavour, that this period has indeed seen the most remarkable ‘acceleration’ of our age. We have the titans to thank for this spectacular advance.
And the gods? What has been, and continues to be, their contribution, as well as their recompense? While the titans hold the coveted ‘head’ (and enjoy the noxious fumes in the bargain), what is the reward of the gods? Clearly the tail is the less important or prominent position. But in this case, being at the other end of the pole, away from that vexing mouth of Vasuki emanating poisonous wastes, the atmosphere is clear, uncontaminated, as clean as mountain air. The gods also tug, they too are engaged in the hard labour. But Vasuki does not cloud their vision with his fumes. They can thus see.
The objective of the churning is a stirring of the milky ocean. That is, the vast expanse of Consciousness. This is what the Cow stands for. With her in the creation of material things is the Horse, or force. They describe together the axis of Being of macro and microcosm, consciousness-force.
Thus the churning implies that the undifferentiated consciousness must be set in motion in such a manner as to produce differentiated forms. But the essence of that Consciousness is light. Hence Cow, go, also means ray in Sanskrit. The Cow Surabhi, first of the treasures to emerge is the equivalent of a consolidated body of Light. In more appreciable terms it is a body of knowledge, or veda. And indeed one of ‘treasures’ stolen by the Asuras at the time of the churning was precisely the Vedas. The tale describes the ruses employed by Vishnu and the gods to rescue them, which did come to pass.
On the other end of the pole is Force. Thus the churning demands the contribution of instruments for the act who embody power. Consequently, both gods and titans engage in the churning in equal measure. They set the mighty Axis in motion which requires this alignment of light and darkness, or consciousness-force, as embodied by gods and titans. The Axis holds them to itself, thereby bringing order into the chaos; or differentiating forms from the undifferentiated essence of the Supreme Consciousness.
It is clear from this brief analysis of the myth that order is synonymous with axis, and that no harmony of elements can come into being without that central Mt Meru; and for Mt Meru to serve in this noble act of creating order there must, above all else, come into being the stable constant, the base, the Evolutionary Avatar in the mythic form of the Tortoise.
The Divine Measure of the Axis/Rod
One of the salient features of this work in its third and fourth levels of manifestation is the question of filling the void; or, as is pertinent to the Third Power, the birth that fills the Void. This is equivalent to the Tortoise Avatar serving as the base or indeed filling the Void so that the Rod might be upheld. (In the 10th chapter of The Magical Carousel quoted in the last issue in regard to the experience of the Hindu Temple, the act of ‘filling the void’ was conveyed by the existence of the hole in the middle of the cavern in the Mountain, and the vision of the Time-Spirit rising into the room and ‘filling the Void’ in the ‘mountain mass’.)
The Churning myth describes the initial difficulty gods and titans experience in the exercise of churning when the Rod (Mt Meru) begins to sink, precisely because the base is lacking. Consequently, Vishnu takes the form of the Tortoise (kurma in Sanskrit) and props up the Rod-Mountain. In the Line of Ten Avatars, this was Vishnu’s second incarnation, his first being the Fish, matsya in Sanskrit. I propose further on to show how this myth is played out three times in the course of the Great Round of Manifestations, comprising 77,760 years.
Sri Aurobindo pointed out that the Line of Ten Avatars (and its accompanying mythology) is a ‘parable of evolution’. This is indeed the case and is readily apparent to the scholar acquainted with the true discipline of mythic creation and its symbolism. I would agree with Sri Aurobindo entirely, but in the process, let us carry the discovery a step further into a more detailed analysis of the cosmological content of the stories, and in particular the precise relationship with Time and the flow of the Ages as mirrored in the zodiacal sphere. I wish to make a certain distinction before all else, particularly because of recent discoveries made in the Rigveda by an Indian computer scientist working at the Louisiana State University in the USA, Dr Subash Kak. This perceptive researcher seems to have come upon a ‘code’ in the Rigveda, as recently reported in Indian and foreign newspapers and journals, which reveals the profound knowledge of astronomy possessed by the composers of the hymns; and indeed that this collection of ancient writings ought not to be referred to as hymns, given the code and the astronomy it details.
For a very long time I have been sustaining that the Rigveda describes a cosmologicalprocess and that this pertains to the macrocosm but is more especially a manual of Yoga which is modelled on the cosmic process and can confer on the practitioner the ability to establish in the individual’s private cosmos the same properties of the larger bodies; and that the clarion call of the Rishis to ‘become the Sun’ was not at all ‘symbolic’ in the manner we understand symbolism, but that it was a very real and concrete realisation. It did indeed transform the consciousness-being of the Aryan Warrior to the degree that a certain mysterious and magical realignment would confer upon the practitioner the coveted state of Immortality, the apex of the Vedic quest. This process is more accurately described as cosmological and not simply astronomy, though astronomical codes may indeed emerge from a specialised scrutiny of the text. This, however, is immaterial to the larger lines the Veda draws. They were secondary to the real pursuit.
Subash Kak has apparently come upon a code which establishes from the Rigveda the distances between Earth and Sun, and Earth and Moon. This is contained in the accurate measurement of the diameters of these cosmic bodies. The distance between the Sun and Earth would thus be 108 diameters of the Sun; and the distance between the Earth and Moon would be based on 108 diameters of the Moon.
The measure therefore is 108 in both cases, or 9 X 12. These, the student of the new cosmology recognises, are the numbers of the Gnostic Circle’s structure: 9 (planets), and 12 (zodiacal signs), and the Circle is thus a superimposition on the wheel in this manner. In other words, the Gnostic Circle describes a harmony, a measured play between these two number-powers, 9 and 12. These result in 21 by addition and 108 by multiplication. By subtraction the remainder is 3.
Interestingly, contemporary science measurements of the diameters of Sun and Moon and their distance from the Earth by such equivalents is 107.6 for the Sun, and 110.6 for the Moon. Subtraction between the two leaves us with a similar measure of 3, as with the product of the subtraction of 9 from 12.
This question of Harmony is not something the scientist of today is willing to accept, in its own right, as a valid aspect of the cosmological paradigm of whatever school. One cannot help but wonder at the dullness of the human mind in this regard when we realise what an extraordinary ‘coincidence’ of proportions had to enter into the factor of lunar and solar eclipses, for example. Precisely the diameters of the bodies involved had to be of such a harmony and the bodies themselves positioned at the very specific points in the solar system for this ‘harmony of eclipse’ to take place in the manner we know. That is, where the disk of the Moon or the Earth must be such as to obscure the sphere upon which either its shadow is projected as in the case of the lunar eclipse, or the actual body itself intervenes to produce the perfect covering of the Sun at the time of a solar eclipse. We take these occurrences for granted perhaps; but certainly the Vedic Rishi did not, if, as Dr Kak discovered, so much emphasis was laid on the diameters of these very bodies. Indeed, from those remote times until today, the measure 108 has been a revered power in many Hindu rituals and in Puranic cosmology. We encounter it constantly in any perusal of the old texts.
Given this lack of interest in Harmony for harmony’s sake, it is unlikely the present-day researcher will agree that the content of the Veda is more specifically cosmological rather than astronomical; not to speak of historical which is his predilection. The hymns have been categorised differently by various scholars who have analysed these ancient writings of another age, another consciousness, depending upon their particular disciplines or inclination. We note that they have been studied philologically, historically, and so forth. I am now adding a cosmological perspective, but I do so with the conviction that before long these revelations will help to focus attention on the unique spirit manifesting through the consciousness of the people of the subcontinent throughout the millennia.
The reason why Vedic cosmology is largely beyond the scope of the researcher, as well as the contemporary yogi, is because the ancient Rishi understood the role of axis and alignment of cosmic directions, an aspect of cosmology quite out of the parameters of the latter-day cosmologist. This might not have been the case had the Rishis limited their proclamations to a statement of fact regarding the universe under scrutiny. But the stumbling-block the modern scientist encounters in dealing with the ancient cosmology, or even its astronomy, is that the Rishis were not satisfied with an empirical externalised observation. They continuously disturb the modern analyst by perversely drawing the observation into the private laboratory of the Seer. Or else, by starting from that innermost point of observation, a positioning foreign to the contemporary scientist, though the nuclear physicist does concede that measurements of particles are disturbed by the observer. The observer is thus an intrinsic part of the very act of measuring. Verse after verse inveighs upon the Aryan to BECOME that Harmony, to realise in him or herself that same cosmological process in the inner recesses of their consciousness-being. And insofar as Time is the gestator of the universe and essential to its evolution, the Aryan must also make Time an ally – failing which the Victory cannot be attained.
I repeat, this stubborn insistency on transformation of the human being in an integral and integrated fashion which will reproduce on Earth that greater harmony and establish contact with the same eternally replenishing Source which a sun enjoys is entirely unacceptable to the scientist.
As for the modern Yogi, after the loss of the Divine Measure that practice became unrealisable. Yogas, or spirituality, as we are obliged to call the process of transformation of consciousness after the spirit/matter divide, are entirely practical. If results cannot be attained within the prescriptions of the path, the yogi will not persist. Other paths then come to replace the old which do indeed produce results.
Hence, with the Divine Maya lost, the cosmically-oriented quest became irrelevant and was soon abandoned. And yet it is universally acknowledged as the seed of all the rest, as the heart and soul of Hinduism. Consequently, the Evolutionary Avatar must appear at determined intervals to re-churn the Ocean of Milk, to re-tune the instrument and set the pulse in accordance with the new boundaries of the human consciousness.
Thus, in this 9th Manifestation we have a solar system consisting of 9 planets. This is therefore an essential ingredient in our measure. We have a measure of 12, for example our division of the year, or the ecliptic division of the Earth’s revolution of the Sun. And these are the facets of the Divine Maya which the Avatar must re-establish, with all that is connected to such an act, – i.e., the precise location of the Capricorn Solstice. Thus 9 and 12 is the measure of the consciousness of the human species in this particular Age. The enhancement involves 3 planets added to the former 6. And once again we encounter the measure of 3 between the old and the new System as with the diameters of Sun and Moon.
‘The Measure of Unity’
In Volumes 1 and 2 of The New Way, I laid emphasis on the supreme importance of the radius, in that treatment it was particularly the radius of the Earth: 3960 miles – the mile being the ‘horizontal’ measurement based on 12. I did so in order to stress the need to respect the accurate measurement of the diameter of the Mother’s Chamber, as stipulated by her in her original plan of the temple. These numbers, 3/9/6/0, in this very order, are contained in her plan on the basis of the Mathematics of Unity and the precise location of the 3 consecutive circles which combine to reproduce the Mother’s 3-part symbol in the temple’s floor plan, or its horizontal expanse, because indeed her symbol is based on the measure of 12. The total radius is 1200 (=3), the next circle’s radius is 675 (=9), and the last is 150 (=6); and finally the centre, 0. (See The New Way, Volume l, page 147.) I called the radius the Measure of Unity.
This is not far from the ancient perception inasmuch as the distance between the three principal cosmic bodies of our System are observations based precisely on radii, and then diameters. Now, if we take the Vedic measure of 108 diameters and convert them to radii, we come upon an interesting measure of 216. When adding the 0 representing the centre of the circle or orb as I have done in the above diagram, the measure is 2160. One interesting ‘coincidence’ of this particular number is that it happens to be the amount of years from the date of the beginning of the 9th Manifestation (234BC) to 1926, or the beginning of our Age of Aquarius, one of the three zodiacal signs comprising the 9th Manifestation.
In other words, for the Earth to trace her ‘ascendant’ on the constellational backdrop, 2160 years are required in order for that shaft to pass through one sign. This is especially interesting in the context of our present discussion because involved in this precessional movement backward through the signs are precisely the three bodies under scrutiny in the context of the Rigvedic astronomical code, – the Earth, the Moon and the Sun. But the especially important body is the Moon because it balances the Earth’s axial tilt and thereby creates a wobbling motion which, like a spinning top, is the movement the Earth traces and therefore produces this shaft which I call her Ascendant. And interestingly again, this number 2160 is the diameter of the Moon. (See The New Way, Volume 2, ‘The Moon and the Precession’, page 255.)
I have established many such relationships in my books in connection with the Mother’s temple, particularly in The New Way, involving this number and others of equal importance, traceable to the ancient texts. There is no need to repeat here the earlier discoveries insofar as the object of the present study is somewhat different and more expanded. My intention at this point is to draw the Vedic experience as described in the ancient Hindu temple to the present and reveal that in the Mother’s architectural plan and design of her Temple today all the salient features of the former are not only retained but enhanced. This enhancement comes about by virtue of the fact that the reestablishment carries the act of measuring to even greater heights of sophistication than attained in former times – namely because of the universality of the present exercise. This is made possible by a host of factors, principal of which is the oneness of our globe, our more universal perception imposed upon contemporary society by the discovery of the full body of the Earth and the means for almost instant communication between points across the surface of the planet and even deep into space; as well as the full measure of the solar system and its relation to the 9 and the 12. All of this is a feature of our dawning Age of Aquarius, as any astrologer will affirm. And the Age began in that year of blessed number power 1926, or the 2160th year into our actual 9th Manifestation, the period of Vishnu’s appearance as the 9th (and 10th) Avatar.
The Milky Ocean myth is very precise in conveying the fact that the axis or Churning Rod is held in place by two elements. One is the Tortoise who props up the Rod from the deepest depths – hence the creature used is precisely the amphibian tortoise which lives in water and on land. But the most important aspect of this part of the myth is that it gives us the key to the stage of the process, be it evolutionary, socio-political, cultural, historical or even of the individual.
Vishnu’s first incarnation is the Matsyavatar, a wholly aquatic creature. The second stage is Kurmavatar, or the Tortoise; the development has progressed to incorporate both water and earth. We shall see now how the myth draws in another, third element, air, and in so doing how it comes to indicate a specific portion of our evolutionary experience, one which incorporates or integrates three of the astrological elements, – Water, Earth, and Air. Left out is Fire.
Interestingly, the three elements which figure in the myth prominently are the elements of the three signs which comprise this 9th Manifestation: Pisces, water; Aquarius, air; and Capricorn, earth. The Fire sign, Leo, stands in opposition to these three signs and thus enters the scheme to complete the combine in a most interesting manner. I have discussed this arrangement at length in The Gnostic Circle (Aeon Books, 1975, Chapters 5 & 6). It is what is traditionally known as the Yod aspect, or the Finger of God (here reproduced). In terms of the avataric line in its present arrangement, three of these signs, Pisces, Capricorn and Leo, refer to the three members of the Solar Line born precisely under these signs: the 9, or Sri Aurobindo born under Leo; the 6, the Mother born under Pisces; and the Third born under Capricorn. Cupped within this triadic display is the air sign of our age, Aquarius.
The air element is a prominent feature of the myth because of the contribution of Garuda, the Eagle – Vishnu’s own carrier or vahana, as it is known in Sanskrit. The story goes that after the Tortoise appeared to provide the stable base for the Churning Rod, Mt Meru, another necessity arose. It was evident that something was required to hold the Rod down. Thus the services of Garuda were engaged, who flew to the peak of Mt Meru, alighted thereupon and held the Rod in place. Thus was the air element brought into the tale. The meaning is of course the joining of the two dimensions (or three, if you will): the deepest watery depths and the supreme celestial heights, the realm of the Eagle. The connection is made by the magical axis or pillar, held in place by components of the Avataric manifestation.
Mt Meru is known to be India in the ancient geo-cosmology. Thus India, the subcontinent of the Capricorn hieroglyph, is once again demonstrated to be the link between ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’.
Vishnu’s Garuda presses down on the axis/rod. Kurma, the tortoise, props it up. There are thus two stresses, two directions: involution and evolution respectively. The creation in between, or the axis (Mt Meru) which comes into being as a result is a product of these mutually supportive directions, involution and evolution. Under another perspective, it is contraction and expansion – the pressing in and the moving out. They can only be mutually supportive and not destructive if the axis is the product of a true centre. This then engenders a Divine Measure or a ‘golden rod’, as it is known in occidental tradition.
The Divine Measure in the Mother’s Chamber
According to her original plan the Mother has provided this evolving humanity with the same Divine Measure of old. But this time, while ever being the supreme key of the Rigvedic cosmology, it has surfaced in the Mother’s plan in the central portion of her creation and in a manner which not only vindicates the apparently ‘primitive’ usage of symbols in ancient and contemporary India, but carries the symbol into greater heights and depths of its essential meaning.
Thus the Divine Maya, or Measure, of the year, 365 days, is incorporated centrally in the Mother’s chamber in precisely the descending Solar Ray (go = cow), or the axis of the Temple. Surabhi or Kamadhenu is thus the first ‘treasure’ to emerge from the churning her penetrating vision produced: the differentiation of the Light in the consolidated Divine Maya of an Earth year. Clearly for this reason the Mother was insistent on the Ray not being diffused light but falling in one consolidated beam.
The space covered by this light-ray was to be 15.20 metres. The particulars of this aspect of her plan are given in full detail in Volume 2 of The New Way. Again I must repeat that in the present context my intention is simply to reveal the manner in which the essence of the Veda is reestablished in our times, fully respecting not only the ancient symbolism but the orientation of that former path of the Aryan Warrior in his or her endeavour ‘to become the Sun’. The symbol (the Cow) is the very thing symbolised (the Ray). For in this Age the two dimensions are destined to join, the more ethereal and the most dense.
If we correlate the process with the flow of the astrological ages which comprise this 9th Manifestation, the same elements emerge via the signs to indicate with precision where our ‘labour’ stands at this point in time. Thus, we have just emerged from the Age of Pisces, on Matsya, the Fish. This period covered 2160 years (those important radii numbers once again), from 234 BC to 1926 when the next Age began, the air sign, Aquarius. We are barely 67 years into the latter, but it should console us to know that this is the period of the 25,920 years of the present Round (of 12 Manifestations = 77,760 years) in which connection is made with the heights, the ‘celestial regions’, or Swar.
During the Piscean Age indeed the Earth experienced her darkest and deepest depths. Between 234 BC and 1926, India certainly saw her darkest hour: the loss of the Divine Maya, followed by countless invasions and finally conquests lasting through the centuries. Above all, and this is the part entirely overlooked by one and all, it was the period during which the ‘ray’ was indeed hidden in the dense cave of the panis, the hostiles of the Cosmic Ignorance whose rule has prevailed for nearly a millennium. The Light was obscured or pinned under thick covers of darkness.
One of the most telling indications that this is so may be gleaned from the fact that during this period what had hitherto existed as an oral tradition was converted into a written documentation. When the Knowledge was threatened with extinction the reaction was to preserve it in various forms – i.e., the Shastras, or Scriptures, and countless cultural expressions and their respective manuals; even there came into being the splendid design and measurement prescriptions of the Hindu Temple which came to dot the entire subcontinent, some splendid examples of which still exist, notwithstanding the subjugation by invading cultures hostile to the temple’s meaning and purpose. The message was preserved even beyond the confines of the subcontinent, as we have noted in the Angkor Wat temple complex. That the need arose to record what had hitherto been oral transmission points to the decline of the Knowledge and its threatened extinction, insofar as the yogic realisations gradually decreased which were the channel for the preservation and transmission in a direct form. Finally there were no living exponents of this ancient system and the Knowledge came to be preserved in the above mentioned civilisational expressions still thriving on the subcontinent in this age.
This situation prevailed during the entire Age of Pisces. It was, however, the first stage in the Churning, the time when the deep waters are ‘gathered’ as it were into a sea. The first cosmic energies are drawn into the cauldron which must take part in any truly great Churning.
When Sri Aurobindo was 54 years old, or half of 108, the new dawn of Aquarius began and with that rising Sun the Vedic Knowledge of the solar kingdom began to permeate the atmosphere. The Light was beginning to manifest again, the consciousness of Bharat Mata was awakening. From then a series of ‘conspiracies’ were organised with the allegiance of Time to force the rediscovery of those ancient roots which had been submerged under the waters of the Piscean sea, or the dark age of the Earth.
I reproduce below the Map of the 12 Manifestations to provide a clear perspective of the cycles and the spiralling movement of Time and Consciousness. To be noted is the fact that in the quarter where our 9th Manifestation falls there are two more, long passed. Thus the quarter we are moving through is not our first passage. The evolution has experienced other ‘churnings’ of a similar order, though less sophisticated given the fact that the arc has closed in our period, the depths have joined the heights. But for that to occur, the ‘ray’ had to be lost and recovered, exactly as the Rigveda prophesies.
Thus, the Churning of the Milky Ocean occurs at three stages in the spiral: the 1st Manifestation, the 5th and the 9th, our present and last passage. This is indicated by the fact that the precessional movement which makes this action of Time possible is BACKWARD through the signs.
We move therefore from the first which in this backward precession is Pisces to Aquarius, and then to Capricorn, and so on, in reverse direction. The first experience is not Aries of the Fire element, if the order were the prescribed yearly trajectory through the signs. It is rather Pisces, a water sign; and indeed a sea, for of the three water signs which comprise the zodiac, only Pisces is this vast expanse of water. However, each Manifestation of the 12 does indeed correspond to a zodiacal sign; for example, our 9th is Sagittarius.
The individual’s progression is the yearly trajectory and the order is counter-clockwise. The vaster movement of Time though the astrological ages is clockwise, or backwards through the wheel. Essential, however, is that the two Zero or starting points of these wheels must coincide every 25,920 years. One measures everything thereafter on this basis. Hence it is imperative to have very precise knowledge of the beginning of any Age, as for example our own which began in 1926. Without that the commingling of the two cannot come to pass. Translated into more appreciable terms, it means that the point cannot be connected to the circumference. The part cannot be equal to the whole. Above cannot correlate to below. There is no possible experience of unity in such circumstances. And this accurately describes the consciousness of the human creature during the dark age of the Earth we have been analysing. For it was precisely during that period that this connection was lost when all measurement was BEYOND the ecliptic and solely and entirely constellational. Failing to respect the Earth’s own truth resulted in the loss of that Divine Maya whereby that ‘heaven’ above could be joined to this ‘earth’ below. The cogs in the mighty Wheel of Time were thus dislocated, each spinning at odds with the other for practical purposes. That is, the correct Measure having been lost, no sense could be made of the greater Harmony, much less its correspondence with the human creation in a vision of unity, harmony and integrality. If we wish to introduce a true NEW world order, the first step is to recapture this measure. The periodic ‘churning’ of the Piscean Sea is precisely in order to re-set our cosmic clocks. In the process we reestablish the Dharma because the two go hand in hand.
The Vedic ‘Measure of Unity’ Reestablished
The value of the concept of a diameter drawn across the face of a sphere and its measurement correlated by the Laws of Correspondence and Equivalency to other measurements in a contained, proportionate model such as the Hindu Temple is not at all appreciated today. And yet we have a reputable researcher, Dr Subash Kak, who has rediscovered this ‘code’, as he calls it, in the Rigveda, indicating that well over three millennia ago, at the least, the composers of the hymns laid the same emphasis on the radius and diameter as I have done in the deciphering of the ‘code’ in the Mother’s original plan of her Chamber. The point to bring forth is the similarity, nay, the identical approach of the old Seers and the new.
In the passage from Savitri partially quoted on page 24, Sri Aurobindo is explicit that there is a new code…
He could re-read now and interpret new
Its strange symbol letters, scattered abstruse signs,
Resolve its oracle and its blindfold terms….
These are the ‘secrets’, the rahasyam uttamam, or highest of secrets of the Veda, which is simply the truth of matter or the Divine Maya that becomes obscured when the great Sense is missed. The ‘code’ is then entirely overlooked and the ignorant can then heap abuses upon those who dare to see in these most profound depths what the blind ignore and perversely ridicule.
The other important point to emphasise is that in order to ‘re-read’ and ‘interpret new’ – or, in the terms we are employing, to reestablish the Dharma – it is necessary to follow the same path, albeit drawing the lines so traced far deeper and touching a horizon far beyond what had earlier been reached.
Thus, on page after page of The New Way, and now in VISHAAL, I have ‘decoded’ the Mother’s Chamber to reveal the identical experience at the heart of the vision. A key feature has been precisely the radius and diameter measurement. Now, in an unrelated line of research, we find that a contemporary scientist has also come upon the same usage of diameter measurements in the Rigveda, thus proving unequivocally the statement that the Mother’s plan is a focal point in the reestablishment of the eternal Vedic Truth.
In Volume 2, Chapter 4 of The New Way, I have utilised this ‘code’ involving perhaps the most important revelations in the book. This concerns the diameter of the chamber’s central Globe, heart and soul of the edifice, strung along the vertical leading to ‘the peak of the Mountain’ (similar to the ladder of The Magical Carousel) at the top of the room; that is, where the Sun’s Ray enters and streams down through the central axis to ‘play upon the Globe’, an image which the Mother declared to be nothing less than ‘the symbol of the future realisation’.
It was this exercise which perhaps more forcefully than any other discovery in the plan confirmed the character of divine Maya of that central shaft, which revealed it to be the ‘golden rod’; or, in this particular case, a golden chain. There are 21 ‘links’ in this solar chain when the discs of the Globe are strung up along the vertical, their circumferences touching. By the magical measurement of the Globe (70cms) in relation to all else and in particular to the height of the chamber, there are an exact 21 such discs.
The similarity with the code Dr Kak has discovered in the Rigveda is unmistakable. His key was finally the number 108, or 9 X 12, – or else, as in the Mother’s shaft, 9 plus 12 (=21). It is found therefore that this all-important Vedic key of 108 is found in the Mother’s chamber centrally, as central as it appears to have been in the Veda. But the important aspect of this discovery is that in the Mother’s chamber the formula emerges from the measurement of the Globe, the only light-filled, luminous object in the chamber and the focal point of the entire design. It is the ‘play’ of the Ray upon this object that the Mother identified as ‘the symbol of the future realisation’. When the Veda sings of the streams of light from the Sun (the Cows), and in particular the light of the early Dawn, this imagery is conveyed in an architectural plan certainly in what has to be described as an enhancement of the original Seeing. The purity of the present imagery denotes a consciousness unencumbered, free of the mists which cloud the mental and vital planes due to the turbulence of the ordinary human consciousness, a turbulence caused by the individual’s off-centre alignment.
But the Mother stood alone in her poise of consciousness. Those to whom she entrusted her vision were far below her on the echelon, and the results are there for all to see. The construction in Auroville, carried out in her name and, according to the builders, ‘…as faithful as possible to the original’, bears no resemblance to her unique design and plan.
By now it is more than evident that we are dealing with MEASURE. But measurement based on a consciousness and vision of Unity. And it is an integrated Seeing. That is, while the Globe measuring 70cms provides the key to the Geometry of Time which I discovered in the central axis of the Mother’s original chamber, and that those 70 are equivalent to 18 days (or 18 years) by this special geometric equivalence, this measurement is also the full body of Mother India: 30 degrees latitude and 40 degrees longitude. The measurement thus encompasses the full extent of the Capricorn hieroglyph, horizontally and vertically. At the same time, and this is the important factor to stress in the present context, these 30 and 40 (of the Globe) are the segments of the 9-part circle and the 12-part. That is, if we divide the 360 degrees of the circle by 9, each segment is 40 degrees; similarly, if we divide by 12 the segments are 30 degrees. These are precisely the super-imposed divisions which form the Gnostic Circle.
Thus, when I have stated that the Gnostic Circle is the new key, the new formula, the basis of the new cosmology, it is because of the enhancement it offers by virtue of the fact that with this new ‘code’ we can connect the solar system’s harmony to the calendar. In addition, when this key is revealed to be the ‘code’ of the Mother’s chamber, then the Vedic Temple is indeed reestablished in our midst and its truth is enhanced. For the foundation of the original act of seeing is respected but evolved due to the circumscribing conditions of Time’s present to attain what the Mother described as ‘a new precision’, something beyond what the mind of man is capable of attaining. She further described this new precision as the outcome of a ‘felt vision’. (See The New Way, Vol. 2, Chapter 7, page 319.) In our terms this is the ‘new seeing’, outcome of a realisation which allows us to see in understanding. It is just such a vision that gives birth to a new world order and indeed a reestablishment of the Vedic Dharma.
Whether or not a similar precise correlation with the calendar was available in Vedic times to the degree achieved via the Gnostic Circle will perhaps remain a mystery. Its attainment depends upon knowledge of the Zero, before all else, and we need therefore to pin-point when this discovery was made in India. In any case, we know that the Precession of the Equinoxes was known and its value incorporated in the Knowledge and rooted in the Hindu Temple of old through, for one, The Vastupurush Mandala which is the first step in the construction of any Hindu temple.
I must repeat that the Mother entrusted her vision to lesser mortals who, like the titans of old, could not be expected to ‘see in understanding’, much less to respect her call for ‘a new precision’. Indeed, every single item I have discussed in my works of her original plan has been lost in the actual construction in Auroville. The titans carried out the physical labour with the tenacity and perseverance known to them. But the ‘noxious fumes’ clouded their vision; hence they failed to appreciate the ‘treasures’ which the churning produced – namely, veda. Their labour has borne the predictable fruit of such blindness: a senseless object stands as a monument to what Sri Aurobindo describes as ‘the ego of the instrument’. The titan inevitably exalts in his labour, his power, his instrumentation. The Divine is beyond his appreciation except as a giver of boons, precisely as a recompense for that tenacity and hard effort. The Mother’s consciousness is indeed a ‘hidden chamber closed and mute’ which he can never penetrate because its access is through the soul, the Third Principle of creation. When brought face-to-face with that Third Power who did indeed reveal this rahasyam uttaman, who handed over the key to the chamber and encouraged them to use it in their labour, they perversely but predictably rejected the offer.
The fundamental principle of the Veda lies at the basis of that rejection. The Vedic Light is a growth from within just as the Hindu Temple is a development from the seed in the garbhagriha outward. To live these experiences one must follow that original precept of the ancient and new Yoga. One has to see from a central poise, from the core which is the precinct of the Third Power.
The Rahasyam is Harmony. The divine Maya is known by virtue of that principle. The Seer does not measure the surface of the Sun and Moon with instruments devised for the purpose. He or she simply plunges within, finds inner access to that hidden chamber and comes upon the secret vision of the Third, the soul, similar to the coveted vision of the Eleusinian Mysteries of old. Its secret is harmony, its measure is 9 and 12, as reflected in the symbols of the Third and the Mother in this contemporary enactment of the Eleusinian myth.
When the same path is followed, the same orientation of the quest as in those former times, the contemporary seer knows that the truth of Matter will manifest in some way always respecting this key. Its product may be 108, or 21; or else 3 x 3, or 3 x 4. Countless are the combinations, but the basic Law must be respected.
These Laws are the foundation of the Veda, ancient and new. I have described the process involved in the Churning of the Milky Ocean in an attempt to reveal the true content of myths of Vedic origin. This tale is a product of the Piscean Age, the night of the soul when the truth had to be covered in the cloaks of darkness, driven deep into the secret recesses of one’s innermost being. But its essential features were known long, long ago in the Vedic Age. There is a special verse concerning the cosmic process in the Rigveda, translated superbly by Sri Aurobindo. I reproduce it here to draw the parallel between that Age and the later Puranic period on the basis of what has been ‘decoded’ from the Churning myth in these pages:
‘From the kindled fire of Energy of Consciousness, Truth was born and the Law of Truth; from that the Night, from the Night the flowing ocean of being… and on the ocean Time was born to whom is subjected every seeing creature.’ (RV, X, 190.)
Thus we note that for the Rishi Time was indeed born on the ‘ocean of being’ which arose from the Night, but which was a product of that high Truth and its Laws. The verse mentions the ‘kindled fire of Energy of Consciousness’ (tapas). Indeed, this is the key to the Churning and the fire or energy it generates. There is thus no difference at all between the old Seeing and the new.
‘By the Names of the Lord and hers they shaped and measured the force of the Mother of Light; wearing might after might of that Force as a robe the lords of Maya shaped out Form in this Being… The Masters of Maya shaped all by His Maya; the Fathers who have divine vision set Him as a child that is to be born.’ (Ibid)
Here we note the origin of Form arising from the Churning, as well as the birth of the One, the Child. But the verse explicitly connects this birth with the power of a divine vision that ‘sets’ the Transcendent as a ‘child that is to be born’. In other words, the act of seeing rends the veil and draws the Transcendent from that plane to this material dimension where He emerges as the One in the form of the Son, the divine Child Agni, the first sacred Fire.
Can the subtleties of such divine Seeings be left in the charge of the titans to preserve? The answer lies in the fact that they were altogether incapable of carrying anything of that Truth and its Laws into what they have built in Auroville as ‘the Mother’s temple’ where the divine Maya was not only to be preserved but to be revealed in its supramentalised form. But ironically not only did they destroy the Mother’s contribution to the reestablishment as far as the actual physical building is concerned. They also destroyed their own contribution.
The Dark Consumes its own ‘Light’
The Mother stated that she saw only the interior of the temple, that is, the chamber, not the outer form. She stated that she was open to suggestions from the architects as to what shape this outer container should have. Subsequently (see The Matrimandir Dialogues), the architect suggested a Shalagrama, a golden Cosmic Egg, which did come to serve as the outer container of the chamber. Without realising what he had done, this form permitted Sri Aurobindo’s symbol to be reproduced in subtle lines in the plan. I made this discovery in the mid 1970s. But, as fortune would have it and true to the titans mould, the ‘lines’ of the symbol would emerge in the architects’ outer form only if the chamber’s measurements were scrupulously respected as given by the Mother in her original plan and based on the dialogues she recorded while explaining certain facets of the temple. Foremost of these is precisely the room’s diameter.
But this the titan refused to do. Adamantly. Pigheadedly. For no valid reason, he shortened the diameter by approximately one meter. Thus, his only real and true contribution to the reestablishment, which the Mother encouragingly entrusted to the builders, in contrast to the inner chamber which she insisted was to be her creation, was laid waste by the perverse decision to disregard that sacred Measure of the room’s diameter – an exact 24 meters, wall to wall.
Sri Aurobindo’s symbol as the occult but indispensable inner structure of the Temple, the form (of the Transcendent) upon which the stability of the entire creation rests, as the above verse describes and which the divine Maya shapes in this universe, was thus eliminated by the titans themselves in an apt reflection of their inability to see.
I reproduce below the diagram based on the correct measurements of the chamber’s diameter and height as given by the Mother. Indicated in the encircled portions are the ‘points’ which emerge in the chamber only when the diameter and height are precisely executed according to the exact measurements given by the Mother. If not, as in the Auroville construction, there are no such ‘points’, they cannot come into being as the occult support of the Temple. It was this special diagram that was plagarised by the Auroville architect, seeking to have the unsuspecting public believe that this sacred Symbol does exist in the shadow-temple. (See, TVN, 7/2, June 1992.)
[Insert diagram here]
The point I wish to make, apart from the above but ever faithful to the churning of the Milky Ocean myth and the mighty axis of Mt Meru, is that this diagram reveals the manner in which the Vedic ‘mountain’ is incorporated in the Mother’s new seeing, her new vision of the Truth contained in the Hindu Temple. Again we are dealing with the highest Truth; we are respecting the Law; we are founding our new Seeing entirely on those ancient foundations. But the exercise is rendered far more subtle and sophisticated by respecting the ‘new precision’ which attends the descent of the Supermind and reveals the deepest essence of the Truth-Consciousness. Mt Meru is ‘contained’ in the garbhgriha, or the womb that is the chamber. And all of this is ‘contained’ in that golden Cosmic Egg, the inner substance of which is churned to bring forth the new Time, the new precision, the new Seeing. The architects of the Matrimandir in Auroville have discarded the very ‘treasures’ they laboured so hard to extract! Thus there is no Mt Meru in their creation. There is, however, indeed an egg – or more precisely, a shell as it is referred to by the builders themselves. It is empty. It is devoid of sense, of harmony, of veda.
Let us now proceed to locate this eternal Mountain more specifically on the face of the planet. And in so doing to discuss the ancient geography of the Puranas in relation to the vision of the globe based on the Gnostic Circle formula. The dimensions of the Mountain must now be established in that womb of Mother India. At the same time, I intend to demonstrate how in this area of the endeavour again we reestablish, but without denying the ancient Laws, that eternal Truth which India preserves.
Here is a striking image from Bhugola Varnanam by Sri Vadiraja of the school of Acharya Madhwa (12th Century). It is entitled Bhugola Brahmanda with the Universe and the Nine Envelopes. True to the then prevailing concept, verticality is emphasised by the central axis resting on Kurma, with the universal planes connected to this pole, similar to most extant representations of Mt Meru. Lacking the defined horizontal spread, an important feature of the Churning process is left out – that is, its dynamic character which constitutes the very essence of the Myth.Be that as it may, the most striking part of this representation lies in the centre dividing the lower lokas from the higher. The unusual symbol standing at the centre is intriguing. It is Vishnu in the form of a scorpion with its stinger raised high supporting the upper subtle planes emphasising verticality all the more. This Puranic representation is most accurate in presenting Vishnu in this manner, though somewhat perplexing. After all, the scorpion is hardly a lovable creature! What is the reason for this unusual imagery?This diagram-image is found on the back cover of the commentary by B. V. Bhadarayana Murthy that inspired me to take up this series. But there is an image related to this one in the text itself that explains the symbolism to a greater extent (page 101). It appears to be a detail of the first reproduction I presented, in this case highlighting the HORIZONTAL plane that was not defined in the former imagery.
Vishnu (Vrishchika – Scorpio) stands again at the centre of this detail: Kala Chakra – the Time Wheel – Sun’s path around the Meru Centre, as the subtitle informs us. The text itself does not clarify the Vishnu/scorpion matter, but the sequence of 12 numbers around the outermost circle causes us to deduce that this Chakra actually refers to the 12 signs/months of the zodiac. Therefore, Vishnu as scorpion must refer to the 8th sign Scorpio. With the addition of the signs of the zodiac, it is indeed the Kala Chakra and the horizontal component of the vertical imagery.This is accurate according to the Rig Veda itself. I will deal with the matter in depth because by penetrating the meaning of Scorpio we discover that this knowledge was preserved in the earliest records the Rishis have left us. And what was discovered in the Hymns is here confirmed once again in the Puranic Cosmology as presented in Bhugola Varnanam. Confirmation is found precisely in the praises to Vishnu. The 8th sign Scorpio, left out of the praises as we shall see, is conspicuous by its absence, thus providing the confirmation needed regarding the zodiac and the Veda. The Vishnu praises reveal that the zodiac was part of the most esoteric/initiatic Knowledge of the Vedic Age, contrary to what is believed today.Unfortunately, those who scrutinise the Veda for clues to understand their meaning often bring their biases into play; they analyse the texts according to preconceived ideas and arrive at conclusions to confirm a particular ideology. A case in point would be the post-Independence historians and Indologists. These scholars contributed significantly to demolishing the Aryan Invasion Theory that had held sway for over a hundred years, without any basis at all, though there is copious evidence on hand to suggest a different history for the subcontinent. Together with the demolition exercise there was another favourite indulgence: at all costs this group sought to prove that the Rig Veda dating was inaccurate and that its origin should extend far back in time, well before 1500 BCE as sustained by the Aryan Invasion apologists.When I presented evidence of the zodiacal content in the Vishnu praises I was viciously defamed by those who sustained the earlier origins of the Veda, though the evidence I presented was certainly sound and merited scrutiny. However, given their biases my discoveries had to be attacked because if not in their minds the earlier dating of the Rig Veda would appear to be threatened. Their reasoning was that since the zodiac was introduced to India by the Greeks, there could be no evidence of its symbols in the Veda which pre-date the Greek arrival by many centuries. Their conclusion was that my findings had to be wrong; they were surely coloured by the suspect ‘foreign hand’ intent on destroying Indian culture and Hindu Dharma!Naturally the proponents of this bias were not initiates of the Ancient Mysteries where the zodiac figures as one of its mainstays. If they had undergone such an initiation, they could not have failed to recognise that this initiatic language permeates the entire Veda.It is clear therefore that biases of any sort cannot be allowed to interfere with the conclusions we may draw on the Veda. Because of such biases Sri Aurobindo wrote that ‘for the past two thousand years no Indian has understood the Veda’.It is time to set aside our respective ideological, religious, and even political leanings and take up this exercise shorn of the limitations they impose. For this reason, whenever possible I use Sri Aurobindo’s translations of the Hymns because he had realised the Vedic Way and could therefore recognise the universal language they contained and what would be important to highlight in translation. For example, his translation of the Vishnu praises helped to bring about one of the most important breakthroughs contributing to this updating process. I will present his translation along with others to prove the point; and to confirm the precision of the message given to us in the sectional detail of Vishnu as Scorpion. With this discovery once again we confirm that the Ten Avatars of Vishnu form the backbone of Vedic civilisation. Vishnu’s three strides, the theme of the praises, refer to the last three Avataric appearances, the 7th, the 8th, and the 9th. But one is left out and it involves the Scorpio connection. Nonetheless, as we note from the Bhugola Varnanam, Scorpio was centrally included to provide proof again of the extraordinary value of the Puranas in preserving the most important elements from the Vedic Age. In the Rig Veda there is only one hymn addressed directly to Vishnu; it is nonetheless crucial to the discovery that the Line of Ten Avatars originated in the Vedic Age and not later. But to make this discovery the original text had to be approached in a different manner than the Sanskritist. To provide evidence of the difference between translations of the Veda by actual Initiates rather than scholars, below are two noteworthy translations; but when compared to Sri Aurobindo’s they are unable to provide the real clue to the arcane symbolism the Rishis employed. These praises to Vishnu, from where the tale of his Three Strides to measure the universe arose, are unique; but only the contemporary Rishi who has undergone the same Journey is in a position to disclose in what way they are indeed unique. When we delve into these mysteries and discover their true meaning, we understand how it is that these myths have endured across the centuries.Unbeknown to all, on the basis of Aurobindoavatar’s translation the entire unfolding of the last three stages of Vishnu’s avataric appearances are described in minute detail (RV 1, 154). To begin the illustration, I present Raimundo Panikkar’s very lyrical translation of the three stanzas where each stride is described, the 2nd, the 3rd, and the 5th:
2. For this his prowess Vishnu is acclaimed. He inhabits the mountains, like a savage beast1 wandering at will; in his three mighty paces are set all the worlds.
3. Now, may my prayer ascend to the far-striding Vishnu, the Bull, who dwells upon the mountains, to him who unaided measured with threefold step these far-flung spheres.
5. May I attain to Vishnu’s glorious mansion where the faithful rejoice, where, close beside the Strider, within his highest footstep springs the well of purest honey! (The Vedic Experience, All India Press, 1977)
Next we have V. Madhusudan Reddy’s translations, a scholar of Sri Aurobindo’s work. He has sought to maintain his Guru’s line of thought, but, as I will reveal, his work lacks the imprimatur of the direct realisation the Vedic Way provides. Here are the same three stanzas:
2. Vishnu is avouched on high by his supreme prowess; he is like a ravenous lion that wanders at will in difficult terrain and inhabits the mountains. In his wide-covering three paces all the worlds abide.
3. Now may our strength and our prayer ascend to the all-prevading, far-striding Vishnu, the mighty Bull whose dwelling place is upon the mountain-tops. Unaided and alone he has measured out with his three strides this far-reaching seat of our self-accomplishing.
5. May I attain to that abode of Vishnu, the goal of his movement and enjoy it – the seat and source of infinite delight where the seeker-souls rejoice; there within that highest step of the supreme strider is the perpetual fount of purest honey. (Institute of Human Studies, 1994)
And here is Sri Aurobindo’s translation of the complete Hymn; my highlights are in bold:
1. Of Vishnu now I declare the mighty works, who has measured out the earthly worlds and that higher seat of our self-accomplishing he supports, he the wide-moving, in the threefold steps of his universal movement.
2. That Vishnu affirms on high by his mightiness and he is like a terrible LION that ranges in the difficult places, yea, his lair is on the mountain-tops, he in whose three wide movements all the worlds find their dwelling-place.
3. Let our strength and our thought go forward to Vishnu the all-pervading, the wide-moving BULL whose dwelling-place is on the mountain, he who being One has measured all this long and far-extending seat of our self-accomplishing by only three of his strides.
4. He whose three steps are full of the honey-wine and they perish not but have ecstasy by the self-harmony of their nature; yea, he being One holds the triple principle and earth and heaven also, even all the worlds.
5. May I attain to and enjoy that goal of his movement, the Delight, where souls that seek the godhead have the rapture; for there in that highest step of the wide-moving Vishnu is that FRIEND of men who is the fount of the sweetness.
6. Those are the dwelling-places of ye twain which we desire as the goal of our journey, where the many-horned herds of Light go traveling; the highest step of wide-moving Vishnu shines down on us here in its manifold vastness. (Rig Veda 1.154)
To note is the manner in which Sri Aurobindo has emphasised or qualified Vishnu’s strides. First Lion, then Bull, then Friend. This emphasis is conveyed by the use of capitalisations, which does not exist in Sanskrit; therefore, the understanding that it was necessary to highlight the strides in this manner could only have come through the direct experience of the text’s secret meaning. The translator would need to have had a similar initiatic background to grasp the relevance. This, in turn, is lacking in the other renditions, admirable in other ways as they may be. It is this simple feature of the English language that permitted the discovery of just what Vishnu Trivikrama truly means. The accuracy, the precision is remarkable – and this will be discussed in depth further on since the tale of Vishnu’s three strides has had an abiding influence on Vedic civlisation across the aeons.Certainly it is time to bring the myth TO EARTH, as we have already done with other aspects of the ancient way. Vishnu Trivikrama is even more astonishing in its applicability. However, if I had only the first two translations at my disposal, I would never have made this revolutionsing discovery, encompassing an entire body of higher knowledge centred on Vishnu’s Dasavataras. The first fails to mention the Lion or the Friend; the second makes no mention of the Friend. And yet, the three together, as in Sri Aurobindo’s translation, give us the key of higher knowledge to grasp the true meaning. With that key we are able to reveal the tremendous importance of the Dasavataras, the antiquity of the formulation, and the impeccable manner in which it has materialised over thousands of years, one incarnation after another. Surely there is no other extant tradition comparable.It is only to be expected that praises to Vishnu should hold the key to the descent of his emanations; at the same time, the symbols the Rishi evoked point to three signs of the zodiac specifically – and they are precisely the signs known as PRESERVATION of the zodiacal trinity – Creation, Preservation, Destruction. That is, Vishnu’s own quality. However, the strides are three in number yet the signs of Preservation are actually four. The image reproduced from Bhugola Varnanam explains the discrepancy with Vishnu portrayed as the Scorpion. The ‘missing stride’ is in perfect accordance with the knowledge of the Dasavataras contained in the zodiac.These four signs have held a place of honour from time immomorial. We find them mentioned in perfect sequence in the Rig Veda, and later in certain books of the Bible, but especially prominent in the last book of the New Testament, The Revelation of St John where the four are listed 1) lion, 2) bull, 3) man, 4) eagle, in the correct order. The point to note, however, is that the Eagle is the higher symbol of the 8th sign, the only one in the zodiac to have a higher and lower symbolism. There is a sound reason for this duality at the 8th stage of the Vedic Journey. And while all the ancient texts use the Eagle to describe the 8th sign, in this text of the Puranic Age the lower symbolism is used – that is, the symbol descriptive of the darker side of the 8th stage, precisely the power of darkness and ignorance that must be conquered by the aspirant so as to emerge from the clutches of Death like a soaring Eagle to replace the Scorpion.The fact that in this 12th Century text the Scorpion is employed rather than the Eagle (Garuda, Vishnu’s own carrier), unlike in earlier texts, tells us much about the prevailing darkness when the knowledge was submerged in the Piscean Sea to preserve it for a future Age when retrieval of the Veda would be possible. Clearly during that Kaliyuga the Knowledge had to be withheld from the profane; the meaning of the Vedas was lost and only the ‘scorpion’ remained to remind us of the sublime truths that Vishnu’s strides hold. After all, by the 12th Century India had already experienced numerous invasions by forces inimical to the Vedic Way.For a complete exposition of the knowledge contained in Vishnu Trivikrama, the reader is directed to my latest book, Secrets of the Earth (Aeon Books, 2009), questions and answers on the Line of Ten Avatars. In this series dedicated to the Puranic Age, I have again brought Vishnu Trivikrama of the Rig Veda into the discussion to illustrate its singular importance for the Dharma, and that given the subtleties of Sanskrit, even when spelt out openly and clearly, the deeper esoteric meaning eludes us. Only the initiate of the Vedic Journey can guide us to the true sense of the text. Without Sri Aurobindo’s rendition it would have been far more difficult to recognise the zodiacal content and the role of Vishnu’s 7th (Lion), 8th (Bull), and 9th (Friend) Avatars. We would have remained trapped by the beguiling magic of the Deluder, usurper of the 9th position in the Line.
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.
There is a way of looking at Time (and Space) which may be described as initiatic, but of the Vedic sort. To do so, complexity is shed in favour of a compelling simplicity that cuts to the bone of perception. If we observe how the Knowledge has come down to us from the Vedic Age in its large, sweeping design, we see clearly this simplicity actualised – but only when compared to the embellishment it underwent over the post-Vedic centuries.To illustrate, the focal point of the Vedic Sacrifice was the vedi, simple geometric constructions; however, their geometry itself was anything but simple. Rather, Tradition reveals that the geometry used to construct the vedi was highly complex. I repeat as in Update 6, geometry was the means to imbue the arena of the Sacrifice with a ‘substance’, ethereal though it was, to uphold the endeavour in the physical dimension for the goals of the ritual. These vedi were instilled with power by the Vedic Laws of Correspondence and Equivalence.In later times these Laws were passed on to Europe, through Egypt and then Greece, to become the basis of astrology as it is practiced still today throughout the world. It was conveyed in the Hermetic aphorism, ‘As above, so below’. Astrology does not operate on the basis of planetary influences, as erroneously believed by the scientific community to debunk astrology. It functions by the Vedic Laws as cited. But astrology suffered a decline in the Puranic Age on the subcontinent. We note the decline, if it may be so called, in the gradual change that overtook the ‘altar’ for the Sacrifice; indeed, by the time the decline had set in fully, the Vedic Sacrifice itself was in name only. The Vedic chants, the mantras continued to occupy centrestage perhaps, but, as Sri Aurobindo eloquently wrote, ‘…the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings’.The Hindu temple reflects a complexity that set in when the geometry of the vedi had faded into the background. It would appear to be an enhancement via embellishment; but in actual fact form had overtaken essence. The vedi were replaced by the temple’s permanent garbha griha or sanctum sanctorum. A certain densification was taking place but we see how form came to cover essence by ever grander temples. The simple geometric altar was supplanted by the elaborate temple, where geometry still exists but is not as obvious as in earlier times. It is interesting to note that this development was accompanied by the rise of Science as a separate discipline at the service of the Profane, dramatically different from the Vedic Age. The Sacred, on the other hand, went underground for its protection and preservation. Certainly it is still present in the temple, but, I repeat, covered in the complexity of Form.If this exercise of updating is to succeed, obviously the focal point of the Tradition must find its place in this process. But this becomes complicated today given the loss of ‘the soul of knowledge’. The question is how do we retrieve that Soul, now submerged in the Ocean of Pisces as a legacy of the Age we left behind in 1926? Bear in mind, this is not a condition limited to the subcontinent. The Piscean Flood covered the entire globe with Truth ever present but increasingly difficult to ‘retrieve’ the higher the ‘waters’ reached. The experience today demands that we peal off the layers covering Truth; however, at the same time we need to accept that they are also connected by the Thread which does make sense of the seemingly negative along with the positive. Though the coverings are a legitimate aspect of the Earth’s integral evolutionary process, similar to the need for ‘ruse’, while necessary we must accept that a resultant residue is carried over and somehow needs to be dissolved if the evolutionary process is to rise to heights never before reached – i.e., the summit of the Capricorn Mountain.If Capricorn encapsulates the essence, as demonstrated in the Thread carried over to the actual geography of the subcontinent it astrologically rules, then that ‘chosen’ location itself becomes, as it were, the Altar, the vedi of the yearly Sacrifice. What was previously confined to a sanctified point in the Vedic Age is today enhanced to cover the entire subcontinent. This reflection alone reveals that in this Age of Mitra/Aquarius, the Knowledge that was reserved for an elite can now spread across the globe from the Capricorn centre that is the subcontinent.
Just as the Sacrifice of the Vedic Age was precise and mathematical, so too the enhancement of today, which serves to update the Tradition, is equally precise. In this exercise it becomes imperative to join together what had been torn asunder. We are obliged to wed the profane and the sacred in a greater unity which heals the divide the Puranic Myth describes so eloquently in the seemingly unavoidable struggles between the Titans and the Gods for supremacy. But the most magnificent myth of all times, the Puranic Churning of the Milky Ocean, presents us with an accurate image drawn from the soul: Devas and Asuras are joined on a par in the great labour that VISHNU controls.
The exquisite Angkor Vat bas-relief of the Churning of the Milky Ocean ( Cambodia, 12th Century CE , image Wikipedia)
We may just as well describe the conflict in terms closer to our contemporary formulation. This would be Time and Space. By a simple formula that has reached us across the Vedic and Puranic Ages, we can explain how Time and Space are the Gods and the Asuras of today, respectively. But it may be simpler to view them geometrically as vertical (Time) and horizontal (Space). When the Harmony is pure and unencumbered, the symbol is thus . When it is not, when it is encumbered by the residue inherited from of the Age of Pisces, that ‘excess’ creates an imbalance and the cross of Time and Space, or Devas and Asuras, is no longer equal-bodied but off-centred and hence in conflict to regain the lost balance. Therefore, the task today is to re-align in our lived experience these cosmic properties of Time and Space which in the soul-language of Myth are personified as Devas and Asuras. This will perhaps help clarify why asura in the Vedas did not carry the negative connotation of the Puranic Age. The split between the sacred and the profane had not yet occurred. Nonetheless, it was the crux of the Sacrifice – i.e., to bring about the superior alignment in the Initiate/Warrior who had to face his inner demons before all else.The same situation faces today’s Initiate; but the scope is global now, as we have seen in the localisation of the Capricorn Hieroglyph over the subcontinent. What in the Vedic Age was reserved for the Initiate, today, after passage through the Piscean Ocean and into the airy Aquarian heights, has become the Yoga for the World as the first step in the construction of the highest symbol of all, the astronomical/astrological symbol of the Sun: . To engage its Periphery the only way is through the Centre – be this in the individual or the collective: the soul each of us carries in our deepest recesses, or the Soul of the Earth which has now been unveiled through this cosmological updating to be geographical India, once known as Mt Meru.Unveiling that Point can be done when the direction of the endeavour reverts to what it was in the Vedic Age, albeit universalised today. This means that the strategy of ‘ruse’, drawing the Demons off the Vedic path to thus enable ‘conquest’ by the Devas, has to be understood in much deeper terms than we have cared to appreciate so far. In the process the origin of the present conflicts across the world may become clearer. For the fact is the weakness of the Devas forced a reliance on subterfuge, the residue of which continues to burden the evolutionary process as played out in India, for herself and for the rest of the world. Ridding themselves of the Asuras amounted to abandoning the Earth because power was withheld by this unhealthy divisionary tactic – as in the separation of the sacred from the profane. The ultimate result has been the gradual and now seemingly definitive division between Science and the Spiritual, or Matter and Spirit. The Gods being considered the sole legitimate possessors of the spiritual in today’s world, the only direction possible, given the split, was a quest for the Beyond. This direction began to take hold from the time of the ‘magic deluder’ and has troubled us ever since.Be that as it may, Vishnu’s intervention through his Line of Ten continues unperturbed, unrelenting. Thus, the (legitimate) 9th’s task was explicit: to reverse that mis-direction to the Beyond and the trend of otherworldliness, while establishing the Earth once more as the ‘Altar of the Sacrifice’. Thus, the Year must come again to our aid as the ‘map’ in this perilous journey ahead.
The inspiration to begin this new series came when I was given a copy of Bhugola Varanam of Sri Vadiraja, translated and commented on by B. V. Bhadarayana Murthy (Akhila Bharata Madhva Maha Mandali, Madras Branch, 1989). In perusing this precious little document it became abundantly clear that updating is the need of the hour. Essentially this is what I have been doing for the past four decades; more particularly since 1971 when I came to reside in India. But all the volumes published to date, while giving full details of the new cosmology have not been specifically written to reveal the manner in which this new formulation is directly connected to the older cosmology, that it updates the latter and why it has become necessary to do so.The cosmology itself answers these questions. Most important of all, it reveals that we are in the middle of a great transition which can best be described as the birth of a new world, a new creation. The Puranas speak of 9 creations and the manner of procreation specific to each. The highest, the 9th, is precisely where we stand as an evolving civilisation. At the 9th stage procreation is said to be by Will. It is not far-fetched to deduce that attempts made to procreate by artificial means of various sorts may be precursors or indicators of the direction the evolution is taking at this 9th stage. There are other indications as well – for example, same sex marriages and the like, while repulsive to some may well be society’s attempts to accommodate a very different relationship between the sexes, as the 9th Creation demands. In other words, there is a shift in the purpose of evolution taking place, a shift to a higher purpose, removed from the atavistic drives that have coloured our sojourn on planet Earth. In such a scenario, all religions born in the Age of Pisces are the strongest voices against this shift, if it may be so called; whereas the Puranas seem to have foreseen the direction evolution would take in the years to come.It is not an entirely blissful fate to be a part of this transition. The condition of the world around us provides ample proof. However, there is a great advantage offered to us by the vision Puranic Cosmology provides. This is a vision of Order, Oneness, Unity. Be that as it may, this gift Tradition has bequeathed to humanity is useless without an updating that can allow it to be a truly applicable guide in this trying passage to a new world order. When, on the other hand, it is accepted that such an updating is possible and profitable and in the just order of things, the heart is filled with gratitude for being born at this moment and being able to observe the birth of a new creation as it transpires and in direct connection in an unbroken line to India’s ancient past.The above-cited book exposes the problem in full. I will quote portions of the Preface contributed by Prof. K. T. Pandurangi, a Sanskrit scholar, to illustrate. The Professor presents two points for the reader as being the aim of B. V. Bhadarayana Murthy’s publication: 1) To make clear the concept and details of the Geography of the whole universe as described in Bhugola Varanam…2) To elucidate this concept and details in terms of modern knowledge on this subject. I question whether Point 2 has been achieved.The professor states that the ancient seers had ‘much superior methods of enquiry. They were able to cultivate mental faculties of man that could probe into the mysteries of the universe much deeper [than contemporary science].’ This is certainly true, but it must further be stated that in desiring to update Puranic Cosmology the very same ‘method of enquiry’ must be used.Further, he goes on to state that we must ‘accept the fact that our ancient seers were more close to Nature and had different methods of enquiry other than our present-day experimental method. But their conclusions are still available in our ancient literature and we must try to find the clues to understand them. If we are not able to read the script of certain ancient documents, we should not rush to the conclusion that these ancients had no language at all. Our branding of our ancient scientific thought as unscientific amounts to such an attitude.’Indeed, there is a language which we may term perennial, known to sages of all times. I have referred to this method of transmission as ‘laws’ or a particular ‘methodology’. This transmission does not rely on words, even on a hallowed language like Sanskrit. It relies on certain abiding truths of our solar system particularly as experienced from Earth. We must never lose sight of the fact that this transmission is Earth-centred. And further, it is Bharat-centred. This centrality is the very first key the ancients provided for later generations in their perception of the world – with Mt Meru central.In today’s updating, using the same method of enquiry the ancients used, I will verify and validate this concept in full. In the process it will be revealed that the progress of Science is a vital ingredient in the updating. Science has added a certain precision that was unavailable to earlier generations. Added to this is the fact that geographical science has also progressed: now we must apply the cosmology to the whole Earth in a true experience of oneness and integration. Given that Mt Meru was considered the axis mundi, nothing less would suffice. Indeed, it can be shown now that India is the centrepiece of the entire globe – the Mt Meru of today when Myth becomes applicable.
More than their cosmological content the Puranas are known to be repositories of the countless myths of the subcontinent. Tradition has kept these tales alive for several millennia; without them what we know today as Puranic Cosmology would have neither sense nor purpose. Mythology and cosmology go hand in hand. One without the other is inconceivable to those who have been initiated into this timeless wisdom. But precisely because Myth, the language of the Soul, forms the core of the cosmology, not only is the system everlasting, it is also renewable. Herein lies its value as a constant.In this series we shall examine in depth the reason why cosmology of the ancient school carries within a mechanism of renewal and just how this operates with a precision that has come to be ascribed only to the scientific endeavour. Mythology and cosmology have been deprived of that precision due to the separation that occurred in the beginning of the Age of Pisces between the sacred and the profane. However, when such a splintering occurs, bringing in its wake the consequences we note in the field of cosmology itself – science not ‘myth’ – the signal is given that the moment of renewal is upon us.In the subcontinent this great Divide, let us call it, developed gradually; but by the 18th century a hardening of the boundary between the two began at an ever increasing pace. What was only a vague influence became firm and seemingly irrevocable. The three closing centuries of the last millennium brought a culmination in this process. Interestingly, it was accompanied by British colonial rule over the subcontinent. Colonialism served to consolidate the Divide as nothing before it had. Finally occidental thought came to be considered rational, empirically verifiable, ‘scientific’, in contrast to the orient which continued to cling to the Tradition but subjected to the demeaning position beneath that of ‘real science’. It then became known as superstition. The truth be told, unless a real and not imaginary updating of the ancient way occurs, the tag of superstition must inevitably gain credence. Puranic Cosmology will live on, but only as a quaint relic of times gone by which required the redeeming grace of Science.Attempts are periodically made by those who seek to inform the world that Puranic Cosmology does contain real science. An example would be Dr Subash Kak’s recent article in Journal ofCosmology, 2009, Vol 3 ‘The Universe, Quantum Physics and Consciousness’, under the section ‘A Scientific Coincidence’. Kak highlights the remarkable ‘coincidence’ regarding the early value of the speed of light in the ancient texts. This and similar evidence does prove that the scientific aspect of cosmology was not ignored by the ancients; however, it played only a minor role regardless of the profuse evidence available. The primary function of ancient cosmology, even as it remains so in today’s updating, is to provide the sense and purpose of the human being’s sojourn on this planet. That was the primary emphasis in the study of cosmic harmonies. And it needs to be pointed out that Harmony is the vital breath coursing through the veins of the ancient way, even as it is the essence of the current updating.The observer was the human being on the third planet from the Sun. The principal feature of this particular location in the System is the Soul; and this is the mechanism, if it may be so called, by which that sense and purpose can be extracted from the cosmic surround. Moreover, it is not only the eternal Constant proper to this planetary location that allows for renewal, but, in addition, by its very nature it is universal. In proving this point another aspect of the Puranic Cosmology will emerge: its prophetic quality in that it was able to describe the evolution of the civilisation on the subcontinent as it was then and the exact position it would occupy in a future age by the same original methodology. But again, only after the exercise of updating has been undertaken can this be verified. It is our best proof that we are dealing with a ‘seed’ planted in the Vedic Age; it passed through the Puranic to reach us today in its full scope and glory.Myth is the language of the soul across the globe and across the ages. But nowhere has it survived to the degree that we find in the subcontinent. Myth is alive and well in India – much to the chagrin of the secular scientist; and it is precisely myth that provides the method for updating Puranic Cosmology. This cosmology allows myth to be applicable; or better, cosmology is the application of myth. Consequently, if we wish to engage in any renewal or re-establishment of the Tradition, the methodology would have to be the same: myth taken from the cosmic harmony via the soul which each of us carries within as the birthright of all human beings on the third planet.Thus the number 3 will occupy an important place in this discussion, and all variations thereupon. To be observed is that the Trinity or the triune balance is also a universal component of all traditions, ancient and new. Indeed, in the updated cosmology the triune powers are precisely the key required to unlock the door beyond which Puranic Cosmology stands and awaits renewal.It may be contended that so far there have been certain assumptions made and upon which the method of renewal is being attempted. It may be held that these assumptions cannot provide a foolproof methodology. However, we must accept the facts as they stand today: myth exists and is universal and applicable in cosmology. We need no further proof than cosmology itself by virtue of the fact that it has been updated purely on the basis of the eternal language of the soul. I propose to discuss just how this has been done. It stands as it own proof, its own validation.Apropos of which, a certain clarification or establishment of the ‘rules of the game’ are required. This cosmology is its own science. It does not require an imprimatur of the contemporary product that bears this name. Rather, to be a meaningful and definitive exposition all attempts to confine the ancient and new way into the narrow parameters of a discipline devoid of their main distinguishing features – sense and purpose – is futile.
For a number of years I have been concentrating on reconnecting contemporary India to her Vedic roots. I believe that the exercise has been largely successful. Foremost has been the link I was able to establish between Vishnu’s Dasavataras and the Rig Veda via the hymns in praise of Vishnu in the collection, which, to my knowledge, had never been done. With the publication of Secrets of the Earth (Aeon Books, 2009) that phase of the endeavour was largely completed. There can be no doubt that the Line of Ten stretches back to the Vedic Age and does rightfully merit the description ‘backbone’ of Vedic civilisation, as I have sustained. This discovery came through a series of gnostic keys which have appeared in a number of my published works from 1974 to date. In addition to the above, in Secrets the meaning of Vishnu’s three strides to ‘measure the universe’ has been finally deciphered, once again based on the same praises from the Rig Veda to this important Godhead. There can no longer be any doubt but that those hymns contain the true meaning of his measuring act in three strides and that they refer unequivocally to the Line of Vishnu’s Ten Avatars. The knowledge is consistent, coherent and connected. The connection or the thread running through the system has finally been revealed. It is not through a repetition of rituals, as inspiring as they may be, or by the chanting of mantras that the connection with the Veda is maintained; rather, only the thread of Knowledge can be the direct link between India today and of the Vedic Age, precisely as the word implies – veda, knowledge. That this potent word lies at the root of the civilisation surely indicates a unique destiny. One important aspect of the Knowledge has resulted from this exercise: it is the need to return to the Vedic system of computation for the calendar of temple observances and horoscopy. This is the first step along the way to re-forging a dynamic link with the Vedic Age. Presently, because of this deviation there is only an imaginary connection. It is neither factual nor applicable today. While emphasis was entirely on the Veda over the past several years, it is now time to carry out the same exercise regarding the Puranas – more specifically Puranic Cosmology. In this context, the situation in India and in the world prompts me to discuss ORDER – a new Order. From time immemorial civilisation on the subcontinent evolved on the backdrop of a unique pattern which made sense of many aspects of collective and individual life in India. In fact, it was unthinkable that a society could successfully evolve without such a pattern. And indeed it still exists. Its persistence lies at the heart of what is known as the Sanatana Dharma – the eternal Way, the eternal Truth. At the outset we must be clear about a fundamental aspect of the Dharma. It is not a religion; very far from it. Rather, it can best be described as the cosmic foundation of a way of life, a culture. The fact that this Order has served as the backdrop for everything that is true and real in India is what disqualifies the civilisation from being categorised as religious according to contemporary interpretations. Something very different lies at the root of the civilisational underpinnings I propose to discuss in this series; and herein lies India’s blessing – and her bane: contemporary Indian society has carried that Order, that Sanatan Dharma into the present. But the world today is a very different place than what it was in the millennia when that superior Order had evolved and guided the people of the subcontinent. Contemporary society is largely governed by values that came through exclusivist religions. Consequently, India finds herself obliged to accommodate these factors into the ancient Order, or to find a way to carry the Dharma forward into a new phase of expression without succumbing to the limitations that affect the world today and which, in the main, are incompatible with India of the Vedic Age. Therefore a method must be found to re-establish the Order in the present conditions of our global society in spite of this incompatibility. A method has indeed been found which will be the subject of this discussion. In the course of this series I will highlight several factors. One is precisely the question of universalism which perforce must be the underlying breath running through the new Order – indeed, the very element that distinguishes it from the old way and which gives it its vibrating, pulsating life. Next is the need to illustrate just how the pattern, ancient and new, escapes the constraints religion imposes. And then there is the structure or pattern itself which we will dissect. In so doing it will be appreciated that the new order is simply an UPDATING of the old. The latter is not discarded but simply brought forward almost intact. Herein lies the extraordinary quality of the ancient way: it can be proven that the Order I am discussing bore an inherent mechanism of renewal, exactly what is lacking in religions and contemporary ideologies. Because of that mechanism it is known as sanatana, eternal; and because of this special and unique quality it can be demonstrated that what we know today as Puranic Cosmogony is actually prophetic in that the new cosmology is seen to build on that structure by virtue of the fact that the very same laws and methodology which we find in the Puranic cosmology forms the warp and woof of the new. That is the issue: What is the core embedded in the system which is indestructible and is carried over across the aeons? When this is known the eternal essence is revealed on which basis the new evolves. To put it succinctly, there is a stable constant as upholder of both the old and the new. In the human being we know that constant as the Soul. The same must be said of cosmology of this special type. That unchanging quotient is the eternal support of the system, on which basis a civilisation can enjoy a blissful state of eternal Being within the Becoming. The evolutionary process provides the becoming of the being which is the stable support of the system everlastingly. But without the harmonised expression of the two there is neither sanatana nor dharma. There is just growth and decay, life followed by death. The only civilisation this Earth has produced to escape from a morbid fossilisation of this nature is the Vedic. But we cannot expect to carry the old Puranic order into our times just as it was known millennia ago. If this were allowed we would be denying legitimacy to half the equation – the Becoming. And it is precisely the evolutionary process that eliminates the disease of fossilisation. Armed with the Core as our stable constant, we embark in this study on the discovery of exactly what must be carried over from the ancient way – but updated, failing which the civilisation that was based on the old cosmology must surely perish.
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