Aeon Centre of Cosmology (ACC), also known as Skambha, was established in 1986 near Perumalmalai in the Palani Hills of Tamil Nadu, South India, by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea). The Centre ‒ 17 km below the tourist area of Kodaikanal ‒ stretches across 30 acres of hillside and pastures, bordering the Gangavar River. Aeon Centre of Cosmology is supported by Aeon Trust, a not-for-profit Educational Trust registered by the Home Ministry of India, holding 80G status.
Aeon Centre of Cosmology was established as a field for application of the Integral and Supramental yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea, centering around the development of a new way beyond science and spirituality—which alone can lead humanity towards a truly new and harmonious world order. The Mother spoke of this in 1962, when it was still in the early stages of formation:
“For a very long time it had seemed to me that a perfect union between the scientific approach pushed to its extreme and the spiritual approach pushed to its extreme, to its utmost realisation, a merging of the two, would naturally lead to the Truth we seek, the total Truth. But with the two experiences I have had, the experience of the outer life (with universalisation, impersonalisation—all the yogic experiences one can have in a material body) and the experience of total and perfect union with the Origin… now that I have had those two experiences and something has happened—something I cannot yet describe—I know that knowing and uniting the two approaches is not enough; they open out on a third thing, and that third thing is what is in the making. The third thing is what can lead to the Realisation, to the Truth we seek.” ‒ The Mother’s Agenda, 1962.5.24
ACC’s Founder – Thea (1938-2016)
Thea was drawn to India by the Mother in 1971 where she received many keys of knowledge which led to profound realisations regarding the continuation and fulfillment of Sri Aurobindo’s work in India and the world. The greatest key proved to be the Mother’s original vision and measurement of the Inner Chamber of her temple—and its luminous core, which the Mother describes as “the symbol of the future realisation.” Another key was The Gnostic Circle – a term she used to describe the configuration of the Vedic Year with its 9 planets and 12 months within 360 degrees. The Tenth Day of Victory, Volumes 1 and 2 are an autobiographical account of her extraordinary initiation into the Supramental Yoga and what was revealed to her thereafter.
Thea recently passed on 9 October 2016. Her departure leaves behind a world-wide family of friends and students who are infinitely grateful for her part in the descent of Supramental Gnosis in our Age of Aquarius, introducing a higher understanding of our place in the evolutionary scheme, and paving the way for the higher manifestation of the Divine in the world.
Board of Trustees
On 5 January 2017 (Thea’s 79th Birthdate ) Aeon Trust held its first meeting since her passing. At this meeting the Board welcomed new members, and long-time AT Board member Krishna Agarwal Bauer (Pampapuram) was made President.
The Aeon Trust Board of Trustees now consists of Managing Trustee, Patti Anne Tower (Skambha), Krishna Agarwal Bauer, and the following members: Harish Kumar (Bangalore), Irfan Ghatala (Bangalore), Director of Skambha Equine Enterprises Martin J. Tower (Mysore), Director of Aeon Centre of Cosmology Patricia Heidt, PhD (Skambha) and Advocate Thirupathi Raj Esq. (Chennai).
ACC’s Ongoing Work
Aeon Center of Cosmology/Skambha is the base where Thea’s research is being archived and her books promoted. It remains the place where students live a life of dedication and study the Supramental Gnosis of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and The New Way of Thea.
One of the first actions Thea took upon founding ACC was to establish a branch In the USA for the promotion and distribution of her articles, video conferences and her books. Aeon Group: A Corporation for Spiritual Renaissance, based in upstate New York, continues that commitment. For cover art, excerpts, and a description of each of her books, see Aeon Books.
Many of the early plans inaugurated for a permanent foundation for Thea’s research and for her yoga have been achieved. Aeon Centre of Cosmology is now ready to enter a second phase of expansion and development. Visitors to Skambha always comment on its exquisite planning and construction, honoring every tree and stone and contour of the land. It is hard to believe the estate was once a bare terraced mountainside. Thea’s primary concern always included improvement of the environment as well as the living standards of the people from the adjacent villages.
In a document she wrote in 1989, titled Project Proposal, Cheese Factory and Related Services, is a detailed description of her objectives and the situation at that time. Perumalmalai was considered a rural territory with a population of about 1500, and the region which once had housed thick shola had been significantly denuded by contractors over the years. The people employed on the estates were primarily a floating population of immigrants from Sri Lanka who had very sporadic work; their homes were mostly mud and thatch roof. The road passing down into the valley from the main Palani Ghat Road was ‘more akin to a river-bed and not fit even for walking’.
In this proposal, Thea states that the Trust and Aeon Centre of Cosmology had a role to play: “We do not believe in charity. We do believe in Development. Nor do we believe in a development which benefits only a few, and usually the more affluent. The Aeon Centre of Cosmology does not wish to grow in the midst of poverty. And it is ideally situated and prepared to bring about an integral development of the small area where it operates. It is the aspiration of the organization that this valley will one day be in a position to stand as a model for the rest of India, in particular the hilly regions…”.
Aeon Trust and Aeon Centre of Cosmology have acquired a reputation over the years of integrity and seriousness of purpose. The result has been that with little funding Thea, her students and staff have enriched the lives of the local people. Second generation children are now attending college, or finding employment in Skambha’s various businesses which support the objectives of Aeon Trust.
The Limbs of the Work
Caroselle Dairy Products Pvt Ltd. (incorporated 2001) produces and markets artisanal farmhouse cheese to high end retail shops, 5 star hotels and restaurants and discerning individuals throughout India, using pure milk from its own herd of Holstein Friesian cows. Bio-gas is produced on site and is used to help fuel daily operations (www.carosellecheese.com).
Skambha Equine Enterprises breeds horses for racing. It is now owned by Martin J Tower, long-time student of Thea and Board Member of Aeon Trust and managed by John Thomas of Skambha.
Skambha Mountain Grown cultivates and markets 100% all natural products. Rama Krishna supervises staff in the harvesting of the Arabica coffee trees, as well as the growing of herbs and spices and the making of specialized products such as vermi-compost and Panchakavya.
The Role of the Cow and the Horse at Skambha
In India, since Vedic times, the Cow and the Horse have been regarded as living symbols of Consciousness and Force, respectively. The important role played by these animals at the Aeon Centre of Cosmology is described by Thea in an early issue of The Vishaal Newsletter:
In the Vedic Age both Cow and Horse were sacred symbols—and they were often coupled to convey a single truth… The Cow symbolises Light and pure Consciousness. Indeed, the Sanskrit word for cow, ‘go’, means also light or ray (of the Sun). In the Rig Veda, however, the Cow was much more, the word being pregnant with meaning. She was synonymous with the Supreme Mother Aditi, and hence a symbol intimately connected with a creation in matter.
Taken alone, the Cow as synonym for Aditi, the Mother of Unity or undivided pure consciousness-being, is as if lacking the effective power she is supposed to possess in order to give shape through the Divine Maya to the material creation…
The Horse is the propelling power, the movement, the speed which allows for solidified bodies to come into being (hence the Upanishad presents the material universe in the figure of a horse)…. The Horse is hence that movement of the Supreme Consciousness without which no form can arise… The horse, we may say, is the materialisation of energy. By consequence in the Rig Veda it is the energy in the ‘cave’ which, when released, provides the vehicle and fuel for extension of the boundaries from mind to Supermind.