The inspiration to begin this new series came when I was given a copy of Bhugola Varanam of Sri Vadiraja, translated and commented on by B. V. Bhadarayana Murthy (Akhila Bharata Madhva Maha Mandali, Madras Branch, 1989). In perusing this precious little document it became abundantly clear that updating is the need of the hour. Essentially this is what I have been doing for the past four decades; more particularly since 1971 when I came to reside in India. But all the volumes published to date, while giving full details of the new cosmology have not been specifically written to reveal the manner in which this new formulation is directly connected to the older cosmology, that it updates the latter and why it has become necessary to do so.The cosmology itself answers these questions. Most important of all, it reveals that we are in the middle of a great transition which can best be described as the birth of a new world, a new creation. The Puranas speak of 9 creations and the manner of procreation specific to each. The highest, the 9th, is precisely where we stand as an evolving civilisation. At the 9th stage procreation is said to be by Will. It is not far-fetched to deduce that attempts made to procreate by artificial means of various sorts may be precursors or indicators of the direction the evolution is taking at this 9th stage. There are other indications as well – for example, same sex marriages and the like, while repulsive to some may well be society’s attempts to accommodate a very different relationship between the sexes, as the 9th Creation demands. In other words, there is a shift in the purpose of evolution taking place, a shift to a higher purpose, removed from the atavistic drives that have coloured our sojourn on planet Earth. In such a scenario, all religions born in the Age of Pisces are the strongest voices against this shift, if it may be so called; whereas the Puranas seem to have foreseen the direction evolution would take in the years to come.It is not an entirely blissful fate to be a part of this transition. The condition of the world around us provides ample proof. However, there is a great advantage offered to us by the vision Puranic Cosmology provides. This is a vision of Order, Oneness, Unity. Be that as it may, this gift Tradition has bequeathed to humanity is useless without an updating that can allow it to be a truly applicable guide in this trying passage to a new world order. When, on the other hand, it is accepted that such an updating is possible and profitable and in the just order of things, the heart is filled with gratitude for being born at this moment and being able to observe the birth of a new creation as it transpires and in direct connection in an unbroken line to India’s ancient past.The above-cited book exposes the problem in full. I will quote portions of the Preface contributed by Prof. K. T. Pandurangi, a Sanskrit scholar, to illustrate. The Professor presents two points for the reader as being the aim of B. V. Bhadarayana Murthy’s publication:
1) To make clear the concept and details of the Geography of the whole universe as described in Bhugola Varanam…2) To elucidate this concept and details in terms of modern knowledge on this subject.
I question whether Point 2 has been achieved.The professor states that the ancient seers had ‘much superior methods of enquiry. They were able to cultivate mental faculties of man that could probe into the mysteries of the universe much deeper [than contemporary science].’ This is certainly true, but it must further be stated that in desiring to update Puranic Cosmology the very same ‘method of enquiry’ must be used.Further, he goes on to state that we must ‘accept the fact that our ancient seers were more close to Nature and had different methods of enquiry other than our present-day experimental method. But their conclusions are still available in our ancient literature and we must try to find the clues to understand them. If we are not able to read the script of certain ancient documents, we should not rush to the conclusion that these ancients had no language at all. Our branding of our ancient scientific thought as unscientific amounts to such an attitude.’Indeed, there is a language which we may term perennial, known to sages of all times. I have referred to this method of transmission as ‘laws’ or a particular ‘methodology’. This transmission does not rely on words, even on a hallowed language like Sanskrit. It relies on certain abiding truths of our solar system particularly as experienced from Earth. We must never lose sight of the fact that this transmission is Earth-centred. And further, it is Bharat-centred. This centrality is the very first key the ancients provided for later generations in their perception of the world – with Mt Meru central.In today’s updating, using the same method of enquiry the ancients used, I will verify and validate this concept in full. In the process it will be revealed that the progress of Science is a vital ingredient in the updating. Science has added a certain precision that was unavailable to earlier generations. Added to this is the fact that geographical science has also progressed: now we must apply the cosmology to the whole Earth in a true experience of oneness and integration. Given that Mt Meru was considered the axis mundi, nothing less would suffice. Indeed, it can be shown now that India is the centrepiece of the entire globe – the Mt Meru of today when Myth becomes applicable.