23 September, 2023, (The Equinox)
PM Modi sent congratulations to scientists and engineers at ISRO on the successful launch of Aditya L1, India’s first space-based solar observatory on 2 September, 2023, and added: “... Our tireless scientific efforts will continue in order to develop a better understanding of the Universe for the welfare of entire humanity.”
All of us join in with these well-deserved congratulations!
Our Founder’s early insights come to mind. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) writes that it becomes obvious Science is leading the way as an instrument for expressing the best of the planet’s energies. Science has heard the call of our Earth and is revealing the secrets of her deeper and unmanifested self, bringing to the fore the harmony and unity that she is, in her perfection.
Our delight and appreciation contrasts with the turmoil we experience in our daily existence; we cannot find solutions to the overwhelming problems that face our civilisation. ‘Science moves boldly and energetically ahead in its discoveries, its renewal’, writes Thea, Spirituality lags behind (The New Way, 1, p. 16). And she cautions: Our spiritual consciousness must be revolutionised, otherwise science will continue to lead the way, but science works in ignorance, without the direct beam of a higher light. We cannot expect the scientific community, who is quite capable of answering all the ‘How’ questions, to answer the questions of ‘Why’. (ibid).
It is a concern that our children are growing up with the idea that it is only scientific knowledge that will save our Earth, that the spiritual is useless in the important things of our lives. They should be taught that it is not only science that studies the Sun, that the spiritual and scientific move together. The grand explorations of our scientific community – the Pragyaan Rover on the Moon and Aditya’s launch to the Sun – run parallel with the new light descending on our Earth, the descent of the Supramental Truth-Consciousness, announced by the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, to her disciples in 1956.
The manifestation of the Supramental upon Earth is no more a promise but a fact, a reality. It is at work here… ‘The really new thing, is that a new world is born, born, born. It is not the old one transforming itself, it is a new world which is born.’
The Indian civilisation has always worshipped the Sun
‘We choose the Supreme Light of the divine Sun;
we aspire that it may impel our minds…’
The singers of the Gayatri mantra (RV 3.62.10) aspired to become ‘guardians of the Light’. To ascend toward the luminous world of the divine sun, the supramental heaven of Swar, was their goal (Sri Aurobindo, Secret of the Veda, CWSA, Vol 15). This wide and large world of Truth-Consciousness, hidden within the darkness of our material creation could be found and released with the supreme help of Surya, proclaims Sri Aurobindo; we need only follow the same path of our ancestors – Earth’s yearly revolution around the Sun.
In a newly re-published book – The Vedic Altar Updated – Thea writes that our modern world has lost the link to the Vedic experience of the journey to the Sun (Swar). In a series of 12 essays she explains how she found ‘the key’ which allowed her to develop the cosmology to understand its profound wisdom. First she reminds us that the original Vedic experience was not a form or an altar; rather it was an ‘initiation’ that took place in different stages throughout the Earth’s Year. She calls our year of 12 months, 365 days, the ‘divine measure’. And in fact, the Year was the principle deity of the Vedic Sacrifice, as is evident throughout the hymns of the Rig Veda (as in, ‘By the truth, in the revolution of the year, they broke Vala’, RV X, 62).
By the close of the Vedic Age, the experience of the annual Journey gave way to the form of the Vedic altar. Gradually the Altar evolved into the Hindu Temple, with the installation of the deity in the garbha griha ensuring that connection between the individual soul and the Divine (The Vedic Alar Updated, p. 20).
A ‘system of equivalency’ was the hallmark of the Vedic way, explains Thea (ibid, p. 21). Earth’s yearly revolution around her Sun through the ecliptic path was the same inner journey of the soul to discover the Divine Truth-Consciousness or Swar. As Earth travelled away from the rays of the Sun on its southern orbital path, so too our soul, the spark hidden within, was in darkness and ignorance, covered by the birth of the ego. This six month period of time, Dakshinayan, was not ‘inauspicious’. Rather early civilisations considered this part of the journey as ‘gestational’, a time to prepare the soul to receive the full rays of sunlight six months later in Uttarayan, opening with the 21 December Solstice.
Thea explores this correspondence between our earth and her Sun in the graphic below. Earth’s axial tilt of 23.27 degrees allows our planet to show four distinct faces to her luminary as she moves through the annual journey of the ‘cosmic year’. Equinox and Solstice were the foundation on which the Vedic system of cosmic harmonies was based; the four cardinal pillars were (and are) the way our Earth family connects to and experiences life in harmony with the cosmic surround (ibid, p. 53). They provide stability and are deeply ingrained in our biological clocks.
Earth’s journey starts with the first zodiacal sign of Aries, at the Vernal Equinox (Mahavishuva) around 21 March; it is Cosmic Dawn. From there Earth swings away from the Sun and at its farthest point (the June Solstice) we are in the sign Cancer. It is Cosmic Midnight which represents the plunge into inconscience, or ‘the fall’; it is the movement farthest away from the Divine (Sun), birth of the ego.
Earth’s movement continues around to the sign of Yoga, Libra, the other mid-way point opposite Aries, the September Equinox. This is Cosmic Sunset, the sign of the awakening of consciousness. And from here we are brought to the fullest light at the December Solstice when the Earth is at its closest physical distance to the Sun. It is Cosmic Midday (Capricorn), the sign of the Golden Age, the Divine Mother in her most perfect manifestation. (source, Symbols and the Question of Unity, first publication, 1974, republished 2020 p. 18).
The Vedic experience of the journey to the Sun/Swar went into decline; in fact a profound shift occurred across the entire Earth, undermining the cosmic manifestation. By the beginning of the Age of Pisces (234 BCE), Thea concludes, our Earth’s unique contribution to the Solar System was ignored or rejected, leading to the rise and establishment of a secular divide. This idea that the human being is a separate person, isolated from the rest of the environment and no longer united and in harmony with its greater Self, Thea calls ‘the cosmic lie’. It is the source of all our ignorance and suffering in this world.
The Vedic civilization which was totally linked to the fourfold cosmic harmony of the Equinoxes and Solstices became dislodged from the sacred experience of its journey to Swar, and succumbed to forces of inertia. The result was the split between the sacred and the scientific, a confusion which has affected the whole of society even today. As Earth entered the Age of Aquarius, 1926, Avatar Sri Aurobindo, took up the evolutionary yoga where Sri Krishna left off. An intense period of Tapasya followed to anchor the consciousness of the new Age in the new time.
Why is recapturing the experience of the Vedic journey to the Sun so important today?
All eyes are on the Sun! The news tells us that Aditya-L-1 mission holds much more importance than past missions because ‘it is meant to study the base of our solar system, the Sun… With increasing demand to study space, and more importantly, the impact of the Sun on our planet’s climate, it was never more urgent for ISRO to have its own large scale observatory focused on the Sun than this time…’ (Techlusive, 3 September 2023)
And just as ISRO is feeling that urgency to observe our Sun for answers to the escalating problems earth inhabitants are facing worldwide, has there ever been a more urgent time for the Earth family to study their relationship to their inner Sun, our planetary soul? As these words are being written, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is addressing the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the headlines in The Hindu news states in glaring letters: ‘…people are looking to leaders for action and a way out of the current global mess’.
Aditya’s launch is a symbol of hope: The name itself of the sun studying space craft is significant – Aditi, Mother of unity and light. The focus of their study is our solar system with the Sun as its central base. Aditya’s launch is a symbol that Mahakal, great God of Time, is pushing our Earth family toward a higher realisation, toward an inner experience that India has always known: the Sun is the symbol of the Divine Centre in each person as well as in our physical Solar System. The solar system is an apt symbol for the collective , the emerging gnostic society.
The Sun is the centre with the planets in orbit, they reflect her power and light. Should not our correct spiritual attitude be the same?
The human mental consciousness as it is now is a very feeble light. It has usurped the place of our Sun and bound our human nature to a lower position. However it is possible (and necessary) to loosen the hold of the old ego-centered nature and install the Divine Sun as the centre of our universe. This may seem too high a goal, but as Sri Aurobindo exclaims, the Earth has been preparing for this great event for a long time. After all, the shift from our lower human nature, wrapped around the ego, to a higher hemisphere of light is the purpose and culmination of our evolutionary journey.
The Gnostic Circle is a vision and a tool that presents this integrated harmony; its goal is to help the seeker get a release from the hold of the old mental consciousness and gain access to a higher purpose for life on our Earth. It is the right tool for the children of our future.
Last year, the Movement for the Restoration of Vedic Wisdom sent several letters to our PM Modi suggesting the way forward would be to unite our Earth family through a universal Calendar. Those letters and a graphic of a universal calendar are on our website https://www.aeoncentre.com/the-earth-calendar-introduction-terms-definitions/. This year Mahakal, great time spirit, has pushed us to start a website series on The Gnostic Circle, we look forward to comments.
- Sri Aurobindo also refers to a specific duration of time, the ninth through the tenth month (of the year), when the Aryan Warriors can overcome obstacles in the way and find and release the hidden rays of Sun/Light from the caves of the Panis. (It is when the nine months’ sacrifice is prolonged through the tenth, it is when the Navagwas become the ten Dashagwas… that the Sun is found…’ Ibid, 176-177)
- By examining the vision (of her Temple) which the Mother of Pondicherry gave to her disciples during the month of January, 1971, Thea was able to recapture that lost ‘key’ which was the link to the extraordinary consciousness of the Rig Vedic seers. As co-worker of Sri Aurobindo, 9th Evolutionary Avatar of Vishnu, the Mother enjoyed that same vision of unity and wholeness of our cosmos; her vision of the Temple was the channel for his knowledge to be rooted into our Earth (The Vedic Altar Updated, republished 2023, p.28). That knowledge, descending from the world of the Supramental Truth – Consciousness, could not be grasped by those around the Mother, and the building that arose does not reflect the original vision. Fortunately, the 9th Avatar had two shaktis to assist him in his mission. Thea was to formulate the cosmology which presented the link from the Mother’s vision to its original essence; she explains how a system of Equivalency evolved which became ‘the hallmark of the Vedic Way’.
- The Calendar which integrated the Vedic society was the element that became undermined first; doubts were created about the legitimacy of measuring the date and timing for the celebration of the festival where none should have arisen. After all, it was very easy to determine the Solstice, shortest day of the year, that was all that was needed. Makar Sankranti became unlinked from the 21/22 December Solstice. In India in 2023, it was celebrated on 15 January, twenty three days after the true date.