A paper submitted by Aeon Centre of Cosmology, Kodaikanal Tamil Nadu
Last December, Prime Minister Modi announced that 2022 would be dedicated to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth. He aptly referred to Sri Aurobindo as a revolutionary leader, as ‘the Prophet of Indian Nationalism’ (using Dr Karan Singh’s words). In a paper published on the Ministry of Culture website, the author (mha.gov.in) writes that Sri Aurobindo has been described as a ‘rishi, a poet, a scholar, a literary critic, a philosopher, a yogi…and much more; … but the question still remains, Who really was Sri Aurobindo?’
Based on the yoga and cosmological insights of our Founder, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea, 1938 – 2016), we offer that he was first and foremost, the 9th Evolutionary Avatar. The question and the answer are exceptionally important for India. Thea writes that ‘the Sanatan Dharma contains an inbuilt 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… a string of births stretched over many millennia but nonetheless thoroughly linked through the substance of the missions to be accomplished. The Avatar’s work, though spread out over vast aeons, is one process with one finality: the establishment of the reign of Truth, or the Golden Age, known as the Satya Yuga.’(1) and (2)
Thea calls Vishnu’s ‘Line of Ten’ the Evolutionary Avatars.. They show the next step in the divine unfolding on Earth, they become ‘the seed of the movement’, she writes. Sri Aurobindo is that ‘seed’ for this 9th Manifestation (3), just as Sri Rama was for the 7th and Sri Krishna for the 8th Manifestation.
The credentials for the Line of Ten Evolutionary Avatars is based totally on the cosmic harmonies. They use Time for their action: each appears at a specific Time, every 6480 years, during the Ages of Preservation (ibid, p. 23). Sri Ram appeared as the 7th during the Age of Leo, 12,000 years ago, Sri Krishna followed as the 8th in the Age of Taurus, and Sri Aurobindo, appeared as the Evolutionary Avatar for the 9th Manifestation during the Age of Aquarius.
Gautam the Buddha, widely considered to be the 9th Avatar, does not possess these cosmic credentials, having been born circa 500 BCE.
In the Map, each section of 6480 years is called a Manifestation; they are twelve in number, the same twelve signs of the zodiac. The Map is based on the Precessional movement of the Earth, her slow westward motion along the path of the Earth’s ecliptic. It takes 25,920 years for the Precession of the Earth to make one complete round through the twelve signs of the zodiac.
Thea turns to the Rig Vedic verses to Vishnu to confirm the ancient wisdom; but she offers a new seeing: she writes that Vishnu, the God of Preservation is measuring out the universe NOT by steps through space, but by steps through TIME, via the Precession of the Equinoxes (4).
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.
The symbol figures in the verses above, Lion, Bull and Friend, which describe Vishnu’s famous steps, are three of the four fixed signs of the Zodiac. The zodiacal signs of fixed quality correspond to Sattva of the Indian Gunas, as in Rajas, Sattva and Tamas. Or they can be categorized as signs of Preservation as in the trinity of Creation, Preservation, Destruction/Dissolution (ibid).
The first of his three steps takes the universe through the time epoch known as the Age of LEO (verse 2, the Lion), during which the 7th Evolutionary Avatar, Sri Ram made his appearance. This is followed by the next step – the Age of TAURUS, (verse 3, the Bull), and the coming of Sri Krishna, 8th Avatar.
It is no small feat that Hinduism can still lay claim to this ancient body of knowledge through its four Vedas, exclaims Thea; thus we know that the ‘Dasavataras are of Vedic origin and not Puranic, as most believe’ (5). That the appearance on Earth of Vishnu’s last three emanations can be located with such exactitude is obviously for the purpose of preserving the Sanatan Dharma.
The primary focus now is on the 9th Manifestation (see Map, red arrow), a period of transition and tremendous possibility as the Earth evolves from the realm of Mind into Supermind – set on its way in 1872, when Sri Aurobindo took birth on Earth as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu. It was a joint mission carried out by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. As Thea explains:
‘…almost the entire focus was to reverse the direction the quest assumed by all the yogas approximately after the time of the Buddha. It was a joint mission to turn the tide – a tide virtually with the power of a tsunami – in that all the great realisers over the past 2000 years, barring very few, had opted for an escape out of the material dimension so as not to face the challenges posed by a creation in matter which appeared insurmountable given the totality of circumstances at this stage of evolution of the species…’(6)
It was on 29 February, 1956, that the yogic breakthrough took place, releasing the descent of a power that would ultimately bring about an entirely new principle operating within the evolutionary process. When the Mother announced that the Supramental Manifestation had occurred, she described it in these words:
‘This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that “the time has come”, and lifting with both hands a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.’ (ibid)
As the Time Spirit arrived in the Ninth Manifestation at the Age of Aquarius, in 1926, when Sri Aurobindo, the true 9th Evolutionary Avatar took up where Sri Krishna left off, he was not recognized.
The fact that Gautam the Buddha could be erroneously inserted into the list of Hindu Avatars as the 9th in the line of ten happened only because over time, veils began to cover the core of Hinduism. The keys to that ancient Vedic Knowledge allowing the Dharma to remain ‘eternal’ were lost (7). Buddhism played an important role in this collapse of energies. It sowed ‘seeds of undermining’ which developed later into a split between Matter and Spirit in the way Reality was perceived – ‘the Spirit was no longer experienced through the Soul, or the Mother…the seeker was encouraged to overstep the Cosmos…’(ibid). With the soul dislodged from its centrality, Thea explains, the Hindu civilization by the Middle Ages, lost its binding energy.
Because the foundation of the Dharma had always been unity, the wise men and women of that Dark Age simply incorporated the Buddhist realisation; ‘it was their lived experience that the Brahman included everything, even the darkness…’. With that the Buddha became the 9th of the Puranic Line of Ten Avatars (ibid). The Puranas however describe his participation in the Line as ‘ruse of the supreme’: one purposefully sent to mislead the seekers, in order to fool the hostile powers.
Thea asks why was it necessary to have a false avatar, a ruse, interjected into the line? ‘Was the fall of the Dharma seen to be a necessary corollary to a rise?’ She refers to Sri Aurobindo’s own words about a ‘wider harmonisation which only the present Age of Supermind can unfold’ (ibid):
‘…But in speaking of the supreme liberation I was simply taking the Buddhist-Adwaita view for granted and correcting it by saying that this Nirvana view is too negative. Krishna opened the possibility of overmind with its two sides of realization, static and dynamic. Buddha tried to shoot from mind to Nirvana in the Supreme, just as Shankara did in another way after him. Both agree in overleaping the other stages and trying to get at a nameless and featureless Absolute. Krishna on the other hand was leading by the normal course of evolution. The next normal step is not a featureless Absolute, but the supermind. I consider that in trying to overshoot, Buddha, like Shankara made a mistake, calling away the dynamic side of the liberation. Therefore there has to be a correction by Kalki.’ (Letters on Yoga, Book 1, Part 5, ‘The Meaning and Purpose of Avatarhood’, Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, Volume 28).
The erroneous insertion of the Buddha into the Line of Ten Evolutionary Avatars has had enormous consequences on the Dharma.
- At the same time the civilization lost its time measure; e., Indian astrology lost its key to Time. The shift from the earth oriented tropical zodiac – the Divine measure, Earth’s own measure – to the fixed stars of the constellations was a death blow to the Earth, Thea explains. As salvation came to be equated with freedom from birth on Earth, the Nothingness (or Nirvanic Void) which sought to replace the Vedic fullness of the Sun-soul, produced an inevitable breakdown in the old order.
Hinduism could no longer locate the periods of Vishnu or determine the exact time of the appearance of the Avatar. In fact, at this point, Thea exclaims, the next appearance of Vishnu is not expected ‘until the fourth millennium of our era!’ (8).
2. In addition to losing its time measure, the purpose and value of caste fell into disrepair. In the Vedic Journey, in the sacrifice of the Year, each part of society revealed their highest realisation. ‘Caste was not divisive, it was a path to wholeness and completion’ (9). Chaturvarna was totally based on the cosmic foundation, ‘… an expression of the cosmic Parush, limbs of a single body’ (ibid).
The Divine Purpose of birth on Earth is to move into creation rather than out of it or beyond it, writes Thea, ‘to experience the imminent Transcendent in the heart of each created thing, the Hiranyaretas, or the golden Seed, light of the worlds’…
The purpose of Chaturvarna is to allow the individual the possibility to realise his or her inner truth, in material creation, in a body, on this planet Earth…
Birth on this Earth and into the caste system, or into the magnificent harmonies of the cosmos as one more note of the Infinite, was not intended to be a means of escape from that material creation and a plunge into nirvanic Nothingness or the indifferentiated Absolute…’ (ibid)
During this 9th Manifestation of the Earth there is one place on the planet that holds as the ‘centre’ during the dismantling of the old earth and its evolution from the mental to the supramental consciousness. India has always carried the tremendous ‘burden of her destiny’ as the planet’s soul-centre, writes Thea: the link to the ‘other side’ – that replenishing eternal fount of light and power and bliss, Sat – Chit – Ananda (10). The nation lives on while others, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, have faded and waned out of existence.
India’s ‘centreship’ is not an enviable position; it means that all the problems our civilization has inherited from the last Age of Pisces (234 BCE – 1926 CE) which have been drawn into this destined centre must now be dealt with. India found herself, at the start of the new Aquarian Age (1926), shackled with many unresolved problems, the same ones that are creating havoc across the globe today, arising, it must be noted, from the divisiveness caused by religions. And because she is the Earth’s true cosmological centre what is being worked out in her grand plan, what transpires and unfolds in her consciousness, can affect the whole planet (11). India is rooted in the Sanatana Dharma and therefore ‘exclusivism’ of any sort cannot be permitted.
The Line of Ten Evolutionary Avatars means a march forward, with Hinduism providing a firm foundation upholding the progression. Thea assures us that
’Hinduism is one of the rare expressions on Earth of a progressively unfolding cosmic Truth… 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.’ (12)
The mission of Shri Ram, the 7th Avatar, was fulfilled thousands of years ago, in the 7th Manifestation; the Ayodhya issue has served successfully as a rallying point to awaken dormant energies, calling attention the Line of Ten Avatars, the most vital feature and backbone of the Sanatan Dharma.
But now is the time to focus on what is transpiring today – a turning point has been reached in Hindu civilization, in the world. It is the evolutionary vision of Sri Aurobindo – 9th Evolutionary Avatar, that carries us forward in our march. Thea explains the special ‘tapasya’ that he undertook to anchor the Earth in a new time:
‘…The avatar must take on the full burden of the work he or she comes to do, Unconsciousness of parts of this manifestation, or an unknowing of the outcome of the struggle and its details, are often essential elements for securing the victory. It must be remembered that a fundamental aspect of the avatar’s function is to live the process, to himself be the field, the Kurukshetra of the divine consciousness in evolution. This cannot be a travesty or a make-believe drama. The avatar lives the process in full; for this he accepts the yoke of ignorance placed upon him by the Supreme, for the benefit of the work to be done. This in fact, is his true great work for humanity, his really noble sacrifice. In this way he serves humanity as no other could do.’(13)
May this 150th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth serve to revitalize the spirit and soul of the Hindu nation. May we hear his call for a ‘new spiritual awakening in India’. Let the residue which has accumulated surrounding the core of Hinduism, for over 2500 years, be cast aside so that the crusts that veil the true 9th evolutionary avatar be dissolved.
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 5, no. 6, February 1991
- The Gnostic Circle, 4th, 2020, p. 72. Thea explains that a Kaliyuga is a measure of time, not in years as usually accepted, but as seconds of celestial longitude. A Kaliyuga is made up of four zodiacal signs. A Kaliyuga is not a period of darkness; in fact, the Satya Yuga started in the Age of Leo, 12, 960 years ago, and will be complete in 16 signs of the Zodiac.
- Ibid, p. 58
- Kashmir and the Convergence of Time, Space and Destiny, 2004. Thea adds: ‘Note that the same symbols were used by this Christian visionary (The Revelation, also called The Apocalypse of St. John, (Chapter 12, 7 ) many centuries after the Vedic Age…around 70 AD: “And the first beast was like a lion and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.”’
- The Future Realisation, An Exhibition connecting the Supramental Gnosis of the Mother to the Vedic Age, Guidebook, New Delhi, 2015
- See Aeon Centre of Cosmology website: aeoncentre.com for references to the cosmology of Thea’s New Way
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 6, no. 4, October 1991
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 5, no. 6, op cit
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 6, no. 3, August, 1991
- The Burden of a Destiny, 2001
- On the Nature of Centreship, 2013
- The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 5, no. 6, op cit
- The New Way, Volume 3, Ch. 9, the Map of Evolution, p. 111