Why is Makar Sankranti Important for India ~ 3

 

‘I have never doubted the truth of signs…they are the only things man has with which to orient himself in the world. What I did not understand was the relation among signs…’

Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose

The world is in turmoil, as seen by indications from various quarters of breakdowns and ultimately collapse of systems across the board. This moment of extreme polarisation ought to have been easily foreseen already in 1989 with the break-up of the Soviet Union and the implied failure of socialism as the answer to solve the many unresolved problems at the time, and which certainly seem to have increased over the intervening 30 years. These unresolved problems can all be drawn back to the ideology that feeds them – economic, socio-political, or religious. It becomes then a contest between Socialism or Capitalism, Right or Left, Christianity or Islam, and so on. At this point, the result is a world that is tearing itself to pieces as each seeks to impose its particular ideology or belief on the whole of society and on this 21st century. The outcome has been intensification across the globe of a systemic polarisation that seems to have reached a defining moment. Democracy and its processes bring the situation to light better than the more or less totalitarian or traditional regimes wherein the true condition is more often than not suppressed in the effort to postpone the inevitable.

Living in an electronics-based global society as we do the true situation cannot be hidden for long. The question to ask is how do we bring about change to a new world order in the midst of the old with its apparently unlimited powers of suppression and destruction? The true condition is mirrored dramatically in one particular area: the destructive power freely available on micro and macro scales: we can destroy ourselves and the planet as the home of an evolving species, if polarisation continues its tension-increasing course. Our evolutionary clock can be turned back to zero in the not-to-distant future given the catastrophic stockpile of nuclear weapons ready for use in the war of ideologies.

What is the solution? I call this work the New Way because it is truly new. The answer cannot come through an imposition of one ideology over another, or even a compromise. It has to be something else that can harmonise the energies seeking expression and supremacy by a process of ‘putting each thing in its place’. The problem this poses is the bane of our times: relativism. Most of the answers we seek within the context of the Old are born of relativism which can never lead to solutions based on unity – that can be defined as seeing the connection between things as a living reality; that is what is lacking. Once that consciousness has become the active force leading the evolution, the old formulas such as non-violence, all-inclusiveness, and compromises of many hues, will be seen to be just slogans and inadequate to reach the next level humanity is striving to attain.

 

The inability to grasp the interconnectedness between all things and to see them within an overarching fabric of Unity is indeed the bane of our times. It can be described in another way: the separatist consciousness. Nowhere is this more glaring than in the scientific research regarding the archetypal illness of our times, cancer. We know there are cures for the disease and that no one should be dying of cancer with the abundance of data available that make the currently accepted methods of ‘cure’ appear as sort of Stone-Age responses, fully reflective of that Old Consciousness. Cancer is archetypal not because of its prevalence but because the disease encapsulates the malady of our times – separatism, divisiveness, and the lack of that overarching unity. In my view the main feature attesting to its archetypal position is that these tumours become ‘a law unto themselves’, out of time with the rest of the body that hosts them. Once that happens the disease takes many different forms. Present-day research – outside of the USA where restrictions exist that seem geared to impeding new research and positive results – focuses on the surface phenomena rather than an effort to go deeper and uncover the root of the problem. This, it appears, would lie in the area of pre-division – that is, before the cell breaks away from the controlling mechanism that does not allow for ‘independence’.

This area is illusive because science does not acknowledge its determining influence. There are known regulator genes which seem to have lost their capacity to control the process in harmony with the physical body’s central will. How and when does this loss occur?

In addition, what is lacking at this point is a central figure who can bring it all together, who can connect the dots between these breakthroughs and finally present the conclusive cure. We are close, but we have not reached that point yet. What this brings to the forefront is that whatever solutions are to come to tackle the seemingly intractable problems we face as a global society will have to come through a consciousness of unity. When that happens, the resistance of vested interests of whatever sort in whatever field of human endeavour, however powerful, will implode by the weight of their own contradictions.

 

The new way cosmology makes it clear that a major turning point has arrived, what Sri Aurobindo called a crossroads of destiny. The culmination that has been reached was set in motion some 2000 years ago. Civilisation reached the apex of the build-up during the 20th century; whatever it produced is now being churned and ultimately either thrust into the cosmic re-cycling bin or carried over into the new manifestation. This is portrayed in Chapter 11 of The Magical Carousel by the image of a tornado sweeping across the Earth, carrying all the refuse away in its mighty forward march to the Aquarian Age. It is there in the subtle realm, as described in Chapter 11, that the new things are prepared and then manifested on Earth. These are the seeds gestated during the Makar Sankranti to then become activated and played out in Earth time according to inherent rhythms contained in the Seed; they are then imprinted in the matrix of evolution under the control of the Time-Spirit, Mahakala.

In the West this time of the year is commonly called the ‘holiday season’ and therefore somewhat honoured; not so in India where the true Capricorn Sankranti is totally ignored; further, this very fact is another reason why there is recalcitrant and almost irrational opposition to the December Solstice as the true Makar Sankranti, since some claim it would be adopting a ‘Christian’ calendar. It is precisely this desire to protect one ideology or belief system regardless of the evidence to the contrary that causes so much damage in the world. Instead of uniting around a universal calendar – which is actually in force – there is vehement opposition just to protect separateness. The calendar used throughout the world cannot be said to be Christian, or setting a Christian agenda, as the Nirayana system does for Hindus in India. The fact is the universal calendar was pagan in origin and simply reformed by Pope Gregory in certain areas during an era when the Church reigned supreme. It was in fact closer to the true cosmic position because it honours the Equinoxes and Solstices to a certain degree, which we do not find in Hindu India today. But, as I have written in the Ganga monograph, to champion this cause is to be labelled anti-Hindu, and there is no ‘authority’ to turn to; none understand what it is they are meant to measure.

 

Each nation has its role to play in the process just as each individual does. New India’s motto to describe her aspirations for society after independence from Britain is Unity in Diversity, implying that diversity gives rise or allows for unity – this would explain successive appeasement policies of the minorities by all governments which in a surface analysis would appear to constitute ‘diversity’. But the Vedic way would be diversity in unity – that is, all find their place in the One Circle to become a unified multiplicity, grounded in the One Circle that contains and embraces the multiple (diversity). However, it is understood that this identification and allocation comes about based on the soul-essence of each component. When we state that the Circle is One, each of its 360 degrees are points of light divested of darkness. Clearly that is not the case given the inability of the present socio-political ‘field’ to allow for that soul-essence to emerge.1

None of the current ideologies of whatever inclination have this capacity; rather, they seem designed to obstruct the soul, individual and collective, from emerging. This starts at the beginning of a child’s entry into Earth-time with the first breath he or she takes, and later becomes solidified by our education systems, particularly in India where the anti-Hindu bias in texts books, along with other aberrations, stands beyond question. Yet to date nothing concrete and immediate is done to correct this woeful state of affairs, and halt the undermining of India’s unique heritage. One can observe that there is currently a neat divide between the spiritual subjective experience, and what science upholds as their exclusive domain: objective truth. This is another fallout of the soul’s undermining for action in the world.

Astrology was traditionally known as the mother of all sciences, but when astrology and astronomy split to go their separate ways early in the last millennium, the separatist consciousness became the norm and accepted by one and all: only science – in this case astronomy – was proprietor of that objectivity. Hindus were at ease with this division; in fact, it seemed to suit everyone just fine, without realising that down the line this would benefit the anti-Dharmic forces nicely. The 11th century scholar-traveller Al Biruni made the point quite emphatically during his travels to India in 1030 CE, when, according to M. Ramakrishna Bhatt in the Introduction to his translation of the Varahamihira’s Brihat Samhita, he wrote that Al Biruni berated the latter for not realising that Capricorn/Makar had moved on, the sign (constellation) is no longer where it once was – i.e., joined to the solstice. He wrote in his book, ‘India’, The solstice has kept its place, but the constellations have migrated, just the very opposite of what Varaha has fancied. None cared to pursue the matter and realise that Al Biruni, like the Nirayanis today, was measuring in the wrong circle, in the sidereal constellations and not the tropical zodiac of the ecliptic divided into 12, resting on the four pillars of Equinoxes and Solstices – the Earth’s annual revolution around the Sun. Her tilt vis-à-vis the luminary is what creates the seasons. But Al Biruni’s point was taken as the ‘authoritative word’, apparently unquestioningly, because by that time the Dharma had moved away from its Vedic roots to the point that no one seems to understand the Rig Veda today; nonetheless, it was preserved for its future unveiling when it is destined to play a significant role in the re-establishment of the Dharma.

We enter this scenario, faced with a disarranged Makar Sankranti that no one cares to repair based on the prevailing belief that this is a spiritual subjective truth, the preserve of spirituality and temple worship. The devotee is not bothered in the least being called superstitious, or the astrologer a pseudo-scientist. Each cherishes his or her beliefs that nothing can shake, and to declare that the Ganga myth contains knowledge that dissolves the label of superstition leaves that devotee unmoved. After the split it became an accepted fact: Science is objective truth, all the rest is what it is – subjective, and therefore it can never be objective. However, the new way cosmology sets the cat among the pigeons because the split is not the final word.

With the descent of Supermind this separative scenario is rendered obsolete: Objective Truth runs through the Ganga myth – in fact, it is the only truly objective ‘science’ because it states exactly what the experience is: Ganga brings that cosmic truth in all its glory to Earth, she builds the bridge between Cosmos and Earth, and implants the wisdom of the Ancients in the soil of the very land she traverses in a measurable manner that must be respected as the highest science precisely because it has the capacity to extend beyond the boundaries of the physical plane across dimensions. We have no proof that science is able to accomplish this task in an evidentiary manner. But we do have proof of Ganga’s super-science in the New Way and its cosmology. January 5th and all the birthdates that form the axis of the new cosmology present the new paradigm beyond both science and spirituality, both of which are unable to carry the Earth across the abyss before which we stand.

It must be further clarified that each nation has a different, distinct dharma; therefore the manner in which the play of circumstances will be arranged for that Dharma to express itself will be unique to each one. For example, in India’s case the psycho-spiritual element cannot be ignored based on a defence of so-called secularism because it is the very life force that courses through the civilisation, from ancient times until today. An appeal to secularism is meaningless in India’s case though it is the necessary bed-rock of any scientific, materialistic society. But the ‘crossroads of destiny’ affects India no less than the rest of the world. These pages have described the manner in which India can bring her dharmic essence to the forefront because the realisation of her destiny lies in bringing about the consciously lived experience of interconnectedness, of oneness. However, we must carry the analysis a step further to discover that this is not merely a connection between countries and some sort of all-embracing openness or spirit of compromise for India, and certainly not resolved by appeasements based on irrelevant concerns about secularism; rather, it is the cosmic connection as discussed in this series – that is, bringing the Earth into harmony with the entire cosmic manifestation in a conscious way hitherto known only to the Vedic Rishis. Since then, to impede the realisation that would benefit the entire Earth, the strategy has been to attack that very connection – successfully, I might add. It stands broken today but can be easily repaired. All that is needed is to bring back into harmony the two Zero Points via the Equinoxes and Solstices, the correct measure of which would vindicate Ganga’s own dharmic essence.

I have dwelt on India to formulate the New Way because of her centreship. She is as if a pebble cast into a pond from which point ripples expand. The nature of the Centre is what determines the ripples that fan out from that point. If it is harmonious and based on Gnosis, those ripples will express the highest harmonics, the music of the spheres. Her ability to play this role for the Earth largely resides in the fact that all the problems of the world at this moment of intense polarisation are found compacted in India – ideologies of every hue. Some will survive the Tornado, others will stand exposed and their energies will be swept away and re-cycled.

In all things a centre is required, be it in the new physics for the discovery of the Theory of Everything (which continues to elude the scientific community), or in any other field. This is the hierarchical mechanism which is not class- but knowledge-based, for the simple reason that in putting each thing in its place, all things express their swadharma, or essential being, in an equal playing field. The New Way thrives on this rightness. Consequently, instruments appear at the precise moment when the play of circumstances has matured to the point where it can accommodate an individual nexus with the capacity to bring into manifest being from the subtle plane of the Immortal Ones the higher truths upon which the new world is to be founded. Throughout history this has been so, it will continue in an even more refined and obvious manner in the future. One example is the role of 5th January in the measure of Ganga, the date/degree of her descent onto Mt Kailash. It is precisely the birthdate of the one who by destiny was to reveal Ganga’s truth to the world and construct the bridge between Cosmos and Earth. Can science as we know it explain how such arrangements can come about?

When the Bridge is forged and fully operative, the special ‘brews’ of the Zeitgeist in Aquarius can easily descend and take root on Earth. This may seem impossible, given the current state of affairs – but that is precisely why the Third Principle takes birth (‘descends’, as in the myth) because the event having taken place and the measure revealed for the first time, in itself indicates that the Victory is certain because it is already done in the realm of Ideals, Swar or the solar world.

We are not accustomed to accept the reality of subtle planes as an integral part of Earth life – and for this very reason the Rig Veda continues to baffle scholars and elude the correct interpretation. This marriage of Cosmos and Earth was an accepted part of community life in the Vedic Age; that we cannot decipher the hymns properly reveals how foreign a marriage of this sort is in contemporary society, with Spirit and Matter so thoroughly divided into airtight separate compartments, in India as in the rest of the world.

‘…The gnosis dwells in the unity and knows by it all the nature of the diversities; it starts from the unity and sees diversity only of a unity, not diversities constituting the one, but a unity constituting its own multitudes….’

Sri Aurobindo
The Synthesis of Yoga
Vijnana or Gnosis


1 It is important to note at this point that the Mother set in motion a plan for Pavilions in the city she was creating, precisely to represent that soul-essence of each nation – and certainly not meant to be merely lifeless museums. This was an entirely new concept, in harmony with the seed-essence of the city-consciousness she proposed to bring into the township, centred on her original plan of the Inner Chamber.

Failure to construct the plan of the Chamber, the Pavilions could never take shape as originally envisioned; this is another consequence of the rejection by the powers-that-be in the Ashram and Auroville of her Chamber, which itself embodies India’s limpid soul essence, ancient and new, that is struggling to express itself since Independence to reach those Kailashian heights Ganga brings to Earth. In fact, the Mother’s plan reveals the way to harmonise the old and the new without the usual conflicts.

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