29 October 2006
Dear Dr. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, I am sending this email not to critique your messages but to get some information. You make some interesting and caustic points. Quoting from your email:
- “I repeat Indian society today is a pale reflection of the civilisation of the Vedic Rishis.”
It is a very sad BUT true statement.
- “If it celebrates the Makar Sankranti 23 days after the shortest day of the year, contrary to Vedic practices, the only reason lies in the fact that the KNOWLEDGE has been lost that could indicate exactly when the Sankranti must be honoured.”
I have a personal interest in Makar Sankranti and the period of January 13th through 15th. In the state of Andra Pradesh, traditional it was celebrated on Jan 14 to coincide with the culmination of harvest for the season. When should it be really celebrated and why? – SRB
The Vedic Alignment – Step One
Skambha, 1 November, 2006
Dear SRB, I find more sobriety in your reply this time, so I will answer your questions. But there is a preliminary ‘alignment’ that has to be undertaken before we can discuss anything Vedic. This has not been in evidence in any approach to the Veda of contemporary times. So, this is what you have to do if you want answers.
Let me explain. Before we proceed further you have to REORIENT your consciousness. The whole of Indian spirituality is oriented towards OTHERWORLDLINESS. This may be overt, or it may be subtle. However it is camouflaged, this is the corrosion that set in after the Vedic Age had passed. It was a wave that engulfed the whole planet. India was no exception. Cosmology explains the reason why and the very precise influences that brought this about; indeed, that made it necessary at all. However, this is a much longer and broader discourse which should not detain us. Rather, to answer your questions I need to be sure that you have done as much as you possibly can to REORIENT your consciousness and bring it into alignment with that of the Vedic Seers. This means it must avoid the pull of the outward direction and become focussed entirely on the Earth. One of the indications that there is this misalignment is the ever-present ‘siderialism’ that describes the consciousness of all those who seek for answers in the bare texts themselves, without having first attained this realignment.
Throughout the world this Earth-orientedness was lost when the Wave set in to rid the planet of Paganism in all its myriad forms. India paid a heavy price. Buddhism came into being, then followed Adwaita, and similarly other paths took hold of the spiritual energies of the civilisation, all of which were essentially UN-VEDIC for this precise reason, the changed orientation. Buddhism was the most obvious because it openly denied the soul any place in the hierarchy of spirituality, thus revealing itself to be a path contrary to the Vedic. And finally the Adwaitan-oriented philosophies followed suit to a greater degree ultimately by proclaiming this entire world an illusion.
This is not what we find in any of the four Vedas. So, the first step you must take if your questions are to be answered is to REVERSE THE DIRECTION. You can best do this by focussing on the Makar Sankranti as if it were a POINT in your consciousness, a golden Seed, properly speaking, since in your query you mention that this interests you the most. Nothing but that Seed should hold your attention. And the pathway into the innermost recesses of that Seed is through the Time, – months and years – just as the Rishi proclaimed: ‘Certain eternal worlds are these which have come into being, their doors are shut to you (or, opened) by the months and the years; without effort one (world) moves in the other, and it is these Brahmanaspati has made manifest to the knowledge.’ (RV, II, 24-5.)
Practically everything you need to know to decipher the secret of the Veda is in these few lines. First of all they orient you to Earth time – and this cannot be denied. They instruct the seeker that it is through the ‘doors’ of our Earth time-measure that ENTRY can be secured to these ‘eternal worlds’. But there is something else of greatest importance in this verse. The aspirant is told that these ‘measures’ move in one another ‘without effort’. That is, they are all CONTAINED within the single wheel (‘in the other’), for the Rishi’s consciousness was one of Unity. He could not divide and separate as we do. Further, he describes for us the real key by specifying that this knowledge that Brahmanaspati grants speaks of TWO measures. One is the annual rotation of the planet which we measure in MONTHS; and the other is the greater Precessional measure which we calculate in YEARS. No verses can be more explicit than these. Yet how many have really understood their importance?
This should reveal to you that without orienting your consciousness and bringing it into the same alignment of the Vedic Sages, the ‘secret’ of the Veda will never be grasped. You can read the texts for a zillion years and understand nothing.
After this reorientation is understood and completed, I can proceed to answer your most important question, why the Makar Sankranti needs to be celebrated at all. PNB