The past holds such a fascination for all of us that we are unable to see the same thread of an ancient knowledge weaving its way across the ages into the present. We search for the hidden, the arcane and esoteric, and therefore we often miss the forest for the trees, preferring to concentrate on discovering in our long lost past the answer to who we are, where we came from and where we are going. Atlantis, legendary or real, holds the answers we seek if we could just locate its ruins. Or else it is Lemuria, Mu, the prehistoric Maya or Vedic India of many thousands of years ago. Given the lamentable state of our contemporary civilisation, the present does not seem to be much help in discovering what was of real and lasting value to the ancients and which we intuit may show us the way out of our present unenlightened condition.
There is indeed evidence of advanced civilisations having populated the Earth in ages gone by, and a history that extends into a past far more distant than any contemporary academic would allow us to believe. But surely the question to ask is why we permitted this ‘sleep’, as I call it, to overtake us so thoroughly as to cause us to forget who we are. How did it come about, what were its causes? Above all, why do we refuse to awaken even when faced with undeniable evidence of what was called in the Vedic Age the ‘lost sun’?
Compared to the accomplishments of those former times it is obvious that we are primitives seeking the light. For instance, the Great Pyramid at Giza stands right before us and displays a technology so far in advance of our own wonders of this 21st century that we do not need to search any further. It has been preserved with meticulous care and concern – with the obvious intent of leaving clues to help us in our search when darkness would descend. The Great Pyramid tells us what we need to know but not about its ancient builders, – aliens from afar or otherwise. Rather, it provides an unmistakable pointer to the path we must follow today in order to find our connection with the solar system we inhabit; as the ancients had done so long ago, permitting the creation of such monuments.
Measure, alignment, precision – these were and remain the keynotes of our quest. But the problem is that for the past several thousand years we have been afflicted with a spirituality which has undermined the foundation that gave meaning to these words. Not so in the age of the Great Pyramid; or in ancient Vedic India. The undermining began at a later date. It remains the scourge of our times and it is the reason why technology and science are impotent to provide us with a direction to our quest that can give us a sense of purpose and connectedness with the cosmic surround.
A number of centuries ago a great sleep descended on humanity across the entire globe. It overtook the East as well as the West. If there were wise men and women who understood the danger, they also knew that the scourge was inevitable. And the wise of a much more ancient vintage foresaw the inevitable, and thus the Great Pyramid was born.
In India the Ancient Ones also realised that a very deep sleep would overtake the civilisation, and these wise souls did whatever was in their power to preserve the Word. And thus was born the compilation known as the Veda, – Rig, Saman, Yarur and Atharva. In Egypt, for reasons we will explore further on, the preservation was in stone; in ancient India it was through the human channel by virtue of an unbroken line of Seers who had REALISED the truth of the way through the yogic process described in those preserved documents, as well as in the Great Pyramid itself. Indeed, the very same process.
These Vedic texts have come to us only as fragments of the ancient knowledge, whereas the Great Pyramid was designed to defy intact the ravages of time and humanity’s destructive tendencies when faced with what it cannot understand and must therefore destroy. The primitive state of humanity at the end of the Pyramid age was such that it would not be in a position to demolish the evidence this colossus would preserve for many thousands of years up to our very own times, this blessed Age of Aquarius, the period of revelation and completion.
Egypt of the Pyramid age and even of the Pharaonic period is lost to us as a civilisation, thanks to the great Sleep that allowed shadows to edge out the light of the deep wisdom preserved in those timeless monuments. We note though that the mysterious Sphinx was installed as a companion to the mighty Pyramid; for one, because it was necessary to leave a sample of the language of celestial harmonies, but above all to demonstrate that it is eternal, truly the language of the Gods. And as long as our solar system continues to journey through space and time, so long will that celestial language live. However, to lose that knowledge only a simple technique was required: an undermining of the foundation that was indispensable to make any sense at all of what stands before our eyes. That foundation is our planet Earth.
In denying to measure, precision, alignment any ‘spiritual’ substance, we deny the truth and purpose of our planetary home in the higher scheme of things. Thus, the sleep that fell upon us permitted a chasm to arise in our collective consciousness, affecting the course our evolution would take. The result has been an abysmal split that was entirely unknown in ancient times – the divide between spirit and matter. As time moved on and ‘science’ became the exclusive preserve of the materialist, men and women of the spirit increasingly took refuge in the quest for a ‘beyond’, precisely because the Earth as base was as if covered in a thick mist due to the constant undermining from within the ranks of the spirit itself. The critical crossroads we have reached is expressed simply as an imperative need to heal this divide, to bridge the chasm, to restore a consciousness of unity wherein such a split is unthinkable.
However, this is no simple task primarily because we do not have the right tools to help us make the discoveries needed to construct the bridge. We turn to spirituality of various hues for answers, little realising that all the paths we know today are a product of the great Sleep. All of them drive us farther and farther away from the goal we must seek. Thus, we may make astonishing discoveries regarding the technology used to build the Great Pyramid, exposing in the process the pathetic state of scientific orthodoxy of our times which tries to hide the truth; but these discoveries take us no closer to understanding WHY that great civilisation laboured to leave this monument on Earth for a future age. For example, we marvel at the precision of alignment of this enormous construction; we focus on the tools, techniques, technology to achieve this because that is the way our 21st century minds work. We do not ask the obvious: Why was alignment so important? What message is that preserving for us today?
Since spirituality cannot provide the answer because it has denied any truth to matter, precision and measure – the things of our Earth earthly – and embraced instead the Beyond and the after-death state for the light of salvation, we turn to Science, entirely convinced that if we pursue scientific methods to their logical conclusion we will ultimately find all the answers we seek. But even the most recalcitrant materialist has to admit that the more science uncovers, the greater the danger of self-annihilation, be it either through physics, chemistry, or now biology which presents the threat of a genetic manipulation that may ultimately destroy the human race as we know it. Our moral codes are breaking down; religions hold no power to help us control our destructive impulses; while our spirituality continues to undermine the reality of this material base we call home. And so the destruction continues unabated.
Nonetheless, the mysterious Sphinx broadcasts the message not only of the age in which it was built but also that in the present Aquarian Age the destined time has come to uncover a third way.
The Rig Veda interestingly tells us the very same thing. Yet both remain enigmas, inscrutable mysteries – the Rig Veda no less than the Sphinx. Both have survived because of an abiding respect for the demands of our material base: precision, measure, alignment. Both preserve the truth of the Third Way – and for us today, a new way.
Indeed, this is a new discovery, and it forms the core of this essay. If we respect the demand of our planetary home for precision, measure, time and space – unlike all the spirituality and religions we know, in spite of their protestations to the contrary – then we learn the method to heal the divide and bridge the chasm. We are guided to the true unitary consciousness that was the natural state of at least an elite in ancient times.
While our technologists must admit that the Great Pyramid could not be built today to equal its precision, and that a missing link exists in the evolution of culture which left a huge gap in our understanding of past accomplishments on this planet, there is no such admission in India regarding the very same knowledge preserved in the Rig Veda. While there appears to be an unbroken thread in Hinduism from the Vedic Age right into the present, the yogic realisation is lacking today that could permit a real and not an imaginary continuity with the line established by the Seers of those former times. That realisation was the bedrock or the ‘fulcrum’, as one Sanskrit scholar has called it, of the Vedic way; yet it does not figure in the vast collection of minutely documented paths of Indian yogas of any school after the Vedic Age. And, lamentably, India moves farther and farther away from attaining that lost realisation with each passing day. This is more than a deep sleep; it is denial, while at the same time we hear the constant refrain, ‘We are truly Vedic!’
All these remains of the ancient civilisations we are discussing give us the same message. Not that this was their intention – though certainly the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx were constructed with a mind to preserve the Knowledge for our times. The message was and remains simple: the measure of the year, and the cardinal point alignment that forms a part of this sacred measure. It is the Earth’s contribution to the solar system – her own harmony, the means by which the planet can contribute her ‘note’ to the cosmic symphony. It is what the Earth adds to the overall scheme, with the other planets similarly offering their own measure. And thus the Music of the Spheres arises.
From the time the great Sleep began to overtake humanity, right up to Isaac Newton himself, the keys to this ‘music’ have been sought. It was the primary focus of all ancient civilisations, if the extant clues they have left are to be believed. But all the academics who study the matter fail to discover the obvious. They invariably focus their search on the constellations and various stars therein; but the Earth’s own measure in the ecliptic of her home base is disregarded. Yet we are aware of the Great Pyramid’s near perfect alignment to the ecliptic’s four cardinal points and not to the constellations beyond our system. But we do not carry the discovery forward to answer the real question: Why was orientation so important, and what is it that was actually being aligned? Primarily it was the Earth’s place and alignment on the ecliptic within our solar system; and only secondarily, and as a result of the former it must be noted, a measure involving the constellations.
Orientation was of central importance in the Vedic Age as well. The complex geometry of the vedi – simple brick structures based on sacred geometry where the homam or sacrifice was carried out – honoured before all else this same alignment. It was the basis for everything that followed in the rituals and offerings.
In contemporary Hindu society a pundit will commence construction of a temple or an individual dwelling by first establishing true North and aligning the building to as near perfect a degree as possible with the four quarters of the ecliptic. What the pundit does is to recreate a horoscope on the ground, just as we do when we draw up a chart for an individual. It is called Vastu Purush, the cosmic Man. In other words, the cosmic surround based on the ecliptic alignment is transferred from the heavens to the site and construction begins once that transposition is accomplished according to processes established for the purpose.
Up to that point all is in order. But when time is added to the process everything collapses in the current scheme of things. The pundit or priest, similar to the scholar, seeks the right time measure in the constellations rather than through the Earth’s own harmony, a point I will elaborate further on to reveal that Hindu civilisation is, unfortunately, a far cry from its Vedic ancestor.
The Earth in toto is floundering, East no less than West. Advances are being made in science that seem to border on the miraculous. But there does not appear to be any focus to these advancements, contrary to the ancient way. Yes, there is undeniable evidence that the builders of the Great Pyramid possessed a superior technology; but it was not technology for its own sake, as ours is today, – an end in itself without a connected purpose drawing together the efforts of many different branches of science, all supportive of a central purpose. Yet when we observe with an Initiate’s eye the monuments and documents of old, we perceive immediately that however formidable the technology and science, they were a servant to something greater, something all-encompassing, something that gave a deep and abiding logic to everything that emerged out of the collective efforts of those civilisations.
It is when such a consciousness arises that the Theory of Everything (TOE), as it is called in scientific circles, will be discovered. First a vision of unity has to be established in the consciousness of the observer by which he becomes one with the thing observed; and then a unified theory emerges out of that consciousness.
This perception of unity and oneness was a global phenomenon in very ancient times. We marvel today at the fact that civilisations across the globe, apparently disconnected from one another, reveal an underlying affinity. This is precisely the point that needs to be made: they were all aware of the means to speak in one voice – the voice of the Cosmic Truth. And they all made use of the same tool: the circle of 360 degrees divided into four, – i.e., the days and nights of equal measure, and the shortest and longest days of the year, or our seasonal rhythm due to the tilt of our planet’s axis with respect to the ecliptic. That is the magical circle which provides us with the knowledge we need to transform the dross that we are into pure gold. It is not that there was a mysterious connection between these remote civilisations; or that aliens were visiting our planet and planting the same message here and there. This may well have been the case, but it is immaterial to our present problem which is that we have no such knowledge today binding our endeavours around a single purpose. And that purpose is to find the sense in the Earth’s place in the system and her special contribution to the music of the spheres. We are not even aware that such ‘music’ exists, much less that we can ‘hear’ its sounds; and far less that this sacred music can provide the means to create harmony where now only cacophony exists.
We inhabit the third planet from the Sun in the third orbit; and it is a third way which we are in the process of unveiling as an element that can make cosmic sense of our existence. Currently the belief prevails that we could be anywhere and it would all be the same since in any case it is all just ‘coincidence’. This belief alone reveals that we were wrenched from our planetary roots, just as we were cut off from our ancient past when the great Sleep overcame us as a planetary society. In fact, this sleep too is recorded in the ‘script’ the ancients left for us: the zodiac, the language the ecliptic uses through our annual orbit of the Sun to speak to us of things abiding and eternal.
The knowledge the ancients preserved is eternal in the sense that the same truths of old can be discovered today. On that basis we learn who we are and where we are headed as a civilisation. We know our past, present and future. If the Great Pyramid preserves the message of alignment to the four cardinal points, it is clear that in the ecliptic which is marked off by these points we can begin to find the clues required. But a primary ingredient in the discovery is the measure the Earth provides. Without this ingredient that circle tells us nothing. We need the correct Zero Point. With that we can always find our place in the cosmic harmony; and finding our place tells us who we are eternally. That is, we can understand what the Earth’s purpose is and why she alone in the System houses a species capable of conscious awareness. Above all, why evolution is the bedrock of her planetary purpose.
Most ancient scriptures, including the Bible, describe the evolution of the species quite openly. Genesis for one is a perfect example. The text reveals a continuous fragmentation of an original ‘cell’, similar to the multiplication an organic cell undergoes as it grows to produce a mature form. But orthodoxy has concealed this self-evident message in the text, since most interpreters have lost the ability to decipher the language of Symbols. Even in India, where knowledge, or veda, is supposed to be present in its original form in an unbroken line, we must state that around the time of the Cosmic Dawn – that is, when there was a convergence between the Zero Point of the Precession of the Equinoxes and the equatorial zero point of the ecliptic, 0 degrees Aries – this line was if not completely broken at least severely damaged. It was by then, in the third century BCE, continuously under attack, for that was the period when the great Sleep reached its deepest level. Contrary to popular belief, it overtook India no less than the rest of the world. In the west it was the abolition of Goddess worship and the ancient Mystery Schools, which were finally replaced by orthodox religions from the Middle East. In India the Goddess survived but yogis succumbed to an focus on otherworldliness in contrast to the Vedic Way which was entirely Earth-oriented.
The Precession of the Equinoxes is produced by a slow gyration the Earth makes like a spinning top, because of which her equatorial plane (hence a precession of the equinoxes) traces a complete circle in space. It takes 25,920 years for this movement to be completed, or for this circle to close and return to the starting point. This greater circle is also divided into twelve zodiacal sections of 30 degrees each, just like our ecliptic. And similarly, the Precession is of no value without the correct zero point, the start of the wheel from where we begin the count.
We must also appreciate that, contrary to the accepted notion, this cosmic rhythm originates on Earth as the result of her own unique axial tilt whose slow gyration is the architect of the larger zodiac projected onto the constellations. Out there, there is nothing; out there we seek only one thing: a marker, a location in the vast beyond that can serve as a sort of docking station when the two zero points must converge. Once again it must be emphasised that the zodiac is the key, the language that allows the Precession to speak to us and show us our place in the cosmic harmony.
However, Hindu tradition provided clues to help resuscitate the knowledge when the Precession would reach the Age of Aquarius, our own times. One such important clue is the Hindu Line of Ten Avatars. Sri Aurobindo has rightfully called this Line a ‘parable of evolution’. Indeed, it does describe an evolutionary process very specifically, beginning with the ‘Fish Avatar’, an obvious reference to the origins of biological species, and then on through the Line until the human creation emerges. With the help of the Precession of the Equinoxes, coupled with the yearly journey of the Earth around the Sun as the planet marks off the cardinal points of equinoxes and solstices, we can read all the details of that evolution we are a part of and which Hindu tradition has preserved, though in its own place of birth that knowledge was later sent underground. The ‘parable of evolution’ gives us the details of that retreat as well.
The key issue is the correct Zero Point. As this study progresses and we uncover more and more layers until the full knowledge is revealed, we will understand why that sacred Point was essential to know. Losing that, the Earth and her civilisations would be swimming in a vast cosmic ocean without a goal in sight, and without a lighthouse to lead the way. But we need not project our vision out to the constellation-circle which the Precession deals with as it covers a round of that larger projection of the zodiac approximately every 26,000 years. We experience the very same journey here on Earth in our annual orbit of the Sun in twelve stages – the twelve months of the year which the Veda sustain are the doors we must pass through for access to the supreme Light. The smaller (in time and space) and the larger speak in one voice: the stages of zodiacal progression in a measure of twelve. They both describe the evolutionary process; but while the equinoxes and solstices mark off the yearly orbit – the Earth’s sacred measure – the Precession of the Equinoxes allows for that annual Aries Zero Point to be inserted into the larger cycle and by this link up to provide us with the greater patterns of evolution. Through this means we can insert ourselves into the flux and flow of the vast cosmic sea while yet remaining anchored to the Earth’s zero point in time and her measure of twelve; and thus to remain connected to the planet we inhabit and not to seek a purpose for existence in a beyond that bears no connection with our home base.
The Hindu line of Ten Avatars deals exclusively with the larger cycle of twelve traced by the Precession. Of particular relevance – from the time the great Sleep took effect – are the last three stages covering approximately 12,000 years, or the appearance of the last three Avatars, bringing the Line to a close with Kalki.
It was during the last round of the Precession that the Earth was approaching a do-or-die crossroads. The Great Pyramid arose during that round of 26,000 years and has stood as a silent witness waiting for the moment when its own purpose would be unveiled. The Sphinx indicates that this would be in the present Aquarian Age. She provides this information by virtue of the zodiacal symbols of her form: Lion and Man. The former indicates the Age of Leo as the time of construction of both the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid, – now confirmed by geologists; and the Man portion refers to the time of revelation, the Man sign, or Aquarius, known in Vedic India as the Friend, Mitra. (Similar to the Sphinx, the Rig Veda also points to our Aquarian Age as a culmination, though this is ignored in India today because the true Zero Point is unknown.) With the correct zero point we discover when that Age would begin: 1926 CE; coincidentally, the same year that the Sphinx herself was finally uncovered in the vast sands of the Egyptian desert. Obviously it becomes important to have the correct insight into the Precession time-frame in combination with the yearly rhythms; otherwise we risk missing the moment, – as India is doing because of miscalculations.
The interesting factor concerning India is that Hindu civilisation even today professes an abiding faith and adherence to the cosmic harmonies. All of its culture, including music, dance, drama, temple art and architecture arose on the basis of a cosmic perception of life and the organisation of society according to the rhythms etched out by the cosmic harmonies. It was a civilisation in the Vedic Age that understood the Earth’s position in time and space, vast and small. Out of that understanding came the outflow of a culture unparalleled today. But unfortunately the essential item that made this grandeur possible – the Zero Point – was lost, incredible as this may seem in the land that gave the concept of zero to the world. Since then, close to three thousand years ago, there has been a steady decline. Today, as if to stress the point, there are perhaps a dozen ayanamshas, as the zero point is called in Sanskrit, in the different almanacs and ephemeredes employed to regulate all individual and collective celebrations by Hindu society. None of the pundits can agree on when the yearly orbit of the Sun truly begins, much less on the beginning point of the larger cycles of the Precession. The result is that the Aries starting point of the zodiacal year is celebrated 23 days late. Aries is believed to begin on 14-15 April, and not on the March Equinox.
One thing must be stated, however: India does at least honour that Zero Point, giving it its due place of reverence in the Hindu calendar, though the date is alarmingly incorrect. I call this period of 23 days, the measure of the Hindu civilisation’s ‘sleep’.
What do the Veda say? And the Great Pyramid? The emphasis in both remains the balancing points of the yearly equinoxes and solstices. That is, the same message the Great Pyramid preserves in its immaculate alignment to the four quarters is also central to all ancient Vedic Scriptures on the subject. The alignment, so carefully calculated in the Great Pyramid, was not to some elusive point in the far-off constellations as post-Vedic Hindu pundits have determined. While a constellation or sidereal alignment does exist for the Great Pyramid to Orion’s Belt, it was meant to record the time of construction – approximately 12,000 years ago. But by its ecliptic alignment the Great Pyramid preserves the Earth’s eternal contribution to the cosmic harmony. And on that basis we can discover the very same knowledge the ancients had and finally we can learn to live in the same consciousness they enjoyed.
While the Great Pyramid records in stone the importance of the Earth’s alignment to the four quarters of the ecliptic and the equinoxes and solstices, Vedic texts have also laid stress on the same harmony – the Earth’s sacred measure and her contribution to the combined harmony of the 9 planets in orbit of the Sun in a twelve-stage progression through the zodiac. Each planet offers its own ‘note’ to make up the cosmic symphony of our solar system; but of special significance is the ‘note’ our own planet contributes. All ancient traditions have honoured this knowledge. It is only our technological age that finds itself completely cut off from the sense and purpose of these rhythms of the universe. Never before have societies the world over been so utterly disconnected from the planetary family of our solar system. The Earth in this situation is similar to an orphaned child. This may well be the prophetic meaning in the tale describing the abduction of Persephone by Pluto, Lord of the Underworld. Her imprisonment in the region of the Dark God mirrors the dark consciousness of our 21st century civilisation. But this myth also gives us a clue to the zodiacal mystery since Persephone, we are told, is allowed to spend one third of the year with her Divine Mother in Elysium (from where she was abducted); the remaining portion of the year she must spend ruling over the Underworld with Pluto.
If we divide the ecliptic in three parts, two-thirds (the period in the Underworld) takes us to the zodiacal Scorpio; the remaining one-third begins in Sagittarius and closes the wheel with Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Indeed, Scorpio is Pluto’s realm, the region of death and the dead. In Hindu tradition the 8th in the series is Martanda, 8th of the divine mother Aditi’s twelve sons. He is the progenitor of our mortal human race and his name means, appropriately, dead egg.
However, to explain more fully the meaning of Scorpio, it is the sign of the deep Sleep, which may be more easily comprehended today if it is known as Inertia. Death, as the mortal species experiences, is the individual’s inability to break through the stranglehold of the Scorpio inertia. Truly there is no ‘death’; there is no ‘end’. Death is merely a transition. However, for us in our present stage of evolution, it is indeed an end because of the deep sleep we experience and the plunge into complete unconsciousness and oblivion that this brings about. Many myths of the ancient world preserve the same knowledge.
However, more significantly than myths, it is only the zodiac that can bring these tales into our dynamic experience because it connects the twelve-stage journey to time. Thus, as the Rig Veda informs us, it is the months of the year that hold us back or else that allow us access to Knowledge. When we see the zodiac as the map of evolution, we understand that it contains a knowledge unlimited by temporal and spatial boundaries. What it conveys is eternally valid at whatever stage the human species may be in its evolution – provided, however, that we have the correct zero point and can find our location in the cycles the zodiac describes.
The 8th month is therefore the stage where an irresistible inertia overtakes the voyager; and this iron hold can come about because of the ‘sleep that is death’. The ‘sleep’ must occur for Inertia to succeed in holding the traveller back from completing the journey on Earth as a continued process. In other words, we can succumb to sleep and inertia and experience the remaining one-third ‘in heaven’; or we can use the key the zodiac provides to unlock the doors to the secret chamber where the Knowledge is held of our true immortal condition. Mortal creation, the present state of the species, is one possibility. It is the stamp in our cells by choice, as molecular biology is now discovering. However, until this 9th Manifestation there was really no ‘choice’ since as a species we were never born. We were unaware of the higher potential which is also our birthright – if we exert our right to choose.
For humanity at this 9th stage of its evolution the choice means to be a passive victim of Inertia and to continue arresting the journey at the 8th stage of Scorpio, or to realise the higher potential, as the Ancient Ones have done, and experience immortality. That is, the transmutation of the Scorpion into the Eagle.
The 8th sign was always known in ancient traditions as the Eagle. St. John’s Revelation confirms this. In Chapter IV the visionary describes the ecliptic as a ‘rainbow about the throne [the Sun] in sight like unto an emerald’ (3). And further on in verse 6, even more clearly the ecliptic is described as ‘a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind’. These four are then given the same symbol-forms as the four signs of Preservation, Vishnu’s signs, the zodiacal Fixed cross of lion, calf, man and eagle (see the Map of the 12 Manifestations*). In an even more remote age, the Vedic Rishi used the very same symbols precisely in praise of Vishnu the Preserver: lion, bull, man. The Seer sees Vishnu taking three strides (not the full four). It is as if he stands with Vishnu in the 8th position which we know of as Scorpio; and from there Vishnu begins to measure the universe, moving as the Precession of the Equinox does in a clockwise fashion. But from where he stands, according to the Scriptures, the 8th sign is his own vahana or carrier – the Eagle Garuda. The knowledge is preserved impeccably from an age countless centuries before St John penned his equally famous verses; and both concur exactly to confirm the ancient knowledge.
Most Christians would not accept this unmistakable zodiacal content of The Revelation; but neither would Hindus, historians, or pundits accept that the Rishi preserved the knowledge by way of the very same zodiac we use today throughout the world. This is lamentable because that was the basis of all belief systems and cults in those former times before the onslaught of orthodox exclusivist religions. Only in our times has the universal language been discarded in favour of beliefs and dogmas that cut one off from one’s fellow creatures and from the cosmic vastness, – this great Clock whose cogs and wheels we help to perpetuate. We have made neat compartments and missed entirely the underlying script that provides a purpose to our sojourn on Earth.
This universal script is so accurate that it also speaks of the great Sleep that was to overtake humanity as a whole, and exactly when. With the Precession of the Equinoxes we can locate the moment in evolution when the Sleep began and engulfed the world, west as well as east, if India’s famous epic, the Mahabharat, is to be believed. It too accurately informs us of the wave that overtook the orient at the same time western cultures succumbed. Indeed, it is via a combination of the Hindu epics and Vishnu’s famed three strides to measure the universe that we learn what happened to the Earth; and, above all, where we are meant to go in this collective experience once we fully awaken from the Sleep. It all centres on Scorpio, the 8th sign, and the transmutation of Scorpion to Eagle. It is the story of the choice humanity can make in order to escape the hold of Inertia.
We know that the ancients had the key to transmutation because closer to the Great Pyramid age, or the Ramayana and Mahabharat epochs, the zodiacal Scorpio was universally known as the Eagle, a symbolism which indicates this transmutation. Today no one knows the 8th sign by that name. However, we do have a significant clue to the state of consciousness and being of those sages of old in the remains found in Egypt of the Pharaonic age. Indeed, the tombs and mummies archaeologists have unearthed are our best guide. With these remains we can unravel the enigma, though this may not concur with the theories prevalent today.
First of all, we must accept that there is no connection between the Great Pyramid and the pyramid-tombs of the Pharaohs. But what these structures in combination do reveal is that a huge gap exists in our analysing process based on the extant ruins of both periods. If we step out of the cage in which scientific orthodoxy is trapped, we are forced to acknowledge that a period of perhaps several thousand years separates one from the other. Darkness engulfs those astrological ages until a thread is taken up once again as the Precession of the Equinox ‘clock’ seems to be set ticking once again.
In the ensuing period, the 8th Manifestation, the pyramid-tombs began to emerge and we find ourselves in the full-blown era of the Pharaohs. Meanwhile, contemporaneously in Vedic India the same gap was closed when the Mahabharat was connected to the Ramayana of the previous 7th Manifestation– equally via the Precessional ‘clock’.
The reason for this gap is clearly established by Vedic tradition in that it is always in an Age of Preservation – Vishnu’s mode of manifestation – that the ‘ticking’ is set loud enough for us to hear. For this reason a later text like The Revelation also mentions only Vishnu’s four Fixed signs of Preservation out of the twelve. They are the symbols of most of extant sphinxes (see the crosswise section of the Map of 12 Manifestations).
Indeed, preservation seems to have been an obsession, if you will, of Pharaonic Egypt. The latter’s obsession was not the thread of the Precession as it was in Vedic India, which was lost in Egypt. Rather, it was the actual mortal remains of the Pharaoh. This development does indeed reveal the consciousness of the ancients more conclusively than anything we could hope to uncover in our own peculiar obsession with tomb hunting.
The Egypt of the Pharaohs bears no resemblance to the Egypt of the builders of the Great Pyramid. The only connection is that pyramids continued to be built, but nothing more. However, they were significantly different from the early specimens, not only in technological expertise for their construction but above all in their explicit ‘purpose’. In the Great Pyramid there is no evidence whatsoever that it was a tomb, the dogmas of scientific orthodoxy notwithstanding. Yet because the pyramids of the 8th Manifestation reveal beyond any doubt their funerary intent, it is assumed that the Great Pyramid must have served a similar purpose – if we could only find the evidence, now lost, robbed, ravaged, disintegrated in the structure or elsewhere to confirm the hypotheses. Nothing having been discovered so far, we are forced to conclude that this is, indeed, nothing but a hypothesis not at all substantiated.
The evidence has never come to light. Instead the two remnants, side by side, tell their own tale unmistakably: there is a gap, a black hole plaguing our awareness of continuity. The gap has never been closed. However, if we look at what IS, quite simply, dropping all the dogmas science and scholarship have foisted on us over the past few centuries – indeed, even from Herodotus, the noted Greek historian – we see the obvious: Immortality was the issue. And this simple ‘obsession’ discloses that in some manner it was a physical immortality. More than that we cannot extract from Pharaonic Egypt because the knowledge of this superior state was long lost to these ‘descendants of the Sun’.
It was indeed a physical state of immortality that was achieved; but similar to Vedic India this was a ‘heaven on Earth’, if it may be so described. That is, the alignment message of the Great Pyramid, as well as the Rig Vedic text, are absolutely clear on this point. After the ‘sleep’ set in, this Earth orientation and a birthright of immortality could only be interpreted as a transmutation centred on the physical body itself. The point was entirely missed though generations of Pharaonic ‘descendants from the Sun’ continued to persevere in this ephemeral quest, with the results we see today: meaningless tombs cluttered with inconsequential artefacts which scientific orthodoxy can utilise to prove that 1) all the extant tombs, including the Great Pyramid and its two companions, were tombs to house a megalomaniac Pharaoh, and that 2) this reveals the superstition and ignorance of former civilisations, however impressive their cultural achievements.
This line of reasoning only served to lead away from the true path of discovery. But it did serve to convince us that our present civilisation is the apex of the evolutionary scale, and that everything before us, be it in the west or the east or midway between, was a long and dark age redeemed only by science and technology. To sustain this belief, it has been imperative to hide the truth of the technology employed to build the Great Pyramid. Similarly, theories had to be made into dogma regarding India’s hoary past to spread the belief that nothing existed in the subcontinent before 1500 BCE, when pagan-worshipping hoards from the north descended on a land devoid of any significant civilisation and culture. Both orthodoxies have served the same purpose: our contemporary civilisation has been brainwashed to believe that it is the fruit of millions of years of evolution and represents the highest level attained so far in the evolution from ape to man. But let us explore another premise that is more in harmony with the ground reality, and that answers question the above theory cannot. At the same time, this premise does not diminish our present status but rather helps us to regain a knowledge of ourselves and of the world that has been long lost.
The Egyptian obsession with the preservation of the physical body after death stems from the remembrance of things long past, the memory of Immortality and the period when the Gods walked the Earth. Whenever we find a culture with a similar obsession – such as the ancient Inca of pre-Colombian America – we know that it is the same memory of a lost state enjoyed on Earth that still haunts them.
In the Rig Veda we discover the very same ‘obsession’, which none who have studied the text can deny. But this was not carried over to the physical in the Egyptian manner; and through this we discover the difference in the way the decline set in both in Egypt and India. For Egypt it was focussed entirely on the physical, and hence the art of mummification was developed to a remarkable degree. It came to influence even the development of an exquisite and unparalleled art in an effort to preserve the physical features of the deceased who was somehow to realise the same immortality of old, if the right rules were followed. But what were those ‘rules’?
The chasm was too complete. It proved impossible to bridge and the anticipated transformation never materialised in spite of trial after trial which the extant new pyramids and the relics they contain demonstrate. Nor did those ancient Gods reappear who could guide the Pharaoh through the labyrinthine mysteries of the afterlife journey. That much is indeed recorded in an age closer to ours: the deceased was expected to meet his Guide and be ferried to the shore of the Immortals in his very own physical body, similar to the earlier Gods. Being ‘Descendants of the Sun’ they were expected to attain that same state – i.e., physical immortality.
Important to note is that in Egypt it was all centred on the physical body, not a state of consciousness as we find in India. The reason is that there was no such chasm, a stark before and after, as we can clearly perceive in the Egyptian progression. The Great Pyramid and the more recent imitative structures of Pharaonic Egypt indicate this complete severance, which we do not detect in India and which the Rig Veda confirms; a point we will develop further on. Perhaps Egypt experienced the Great Flood recorded in a number of myths and scriptures of that area. Certainly passage over the first cardinal point in the Precession of the Equinoxes, 0 degrees Cancer, around 8000 BCE, could provide the answer we seek. And being the point of Cosmic Midnight, and a sign of the water element in fact, it would have presaged this plunge into the oblivion that the great Sleep induced and which is so clearly demonstrated in the before and after that we find today in Egypt. The accompanying diagram can make this clear. The Precessional period we are discussing stands at the end of the Age of Cancer (where the arrow points), moving backwards through the signs or in a clockwise movement. The deep night of Cancer was the signal that darkness was soon to descend.
But in India the decline was gradual. It was a slow and steady deviation, as if one had introduced a gradual change in direction and the space ship of consciousness was imperceptibly steered toward a different location, a far-off horizon in the Beyond, an otherworldliness that could perhaps grant the nectar of Immortality, – Soma, as it is called in the Veda, which tradition tells us is found on the Moon. Immortality for the yogi of the Vedic Age was a matter of an attainment of a state of consciousness, first and foremost, though Vedic tradition does preserve stories of physical survival after death and in numerous instances of a conscious passage to the other world, whatever that might be. Tradition in India records that many Rishis had the ability to leave their bodies at will. It is a tradition carried right into the present; there are cases recorded today of a form of conscious transition.
Since there is an unbroken thread to the ancient way in India, the result is that the state of Immortality of the Gods developed into a state of consciousness exclusively, due to the slow and largely imperceptible change in the direction of the quest over several thousands of years, allowing the yogi to believe that he was still on course, as it were. The Rishis who penned the Rig Veda knew better, however. The text very clearly indicates that there was something missing – and these sages were fully aware of the fact. The final verses of the famous Nasadiya–Sukta, (RV X, 129), known popularly as the Vedic Hymn of Creation, states,
Who really knows it? Who can presume to tell it?
Whence was it born? Whence issued this creation?
Even the Gods came after its emergence.
Then who can tell from whence it came to be?
That out of which creation has arisen,
Whether it held it firm or it did not,
He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
He surely knows it – or maybe he does not!
(Translation: Raimundo Panikkar,
The Vedic Experience, All India Books)
Time after time we encounter this sort of questioning (‘Who truly knows?’) to indicate a lost knowledge that must be retrieved, the ‘lost sun’; and finally a perplexing exclamation at the end of a profound revelation.
Since there was no dramatic severance with the former culture, unlike in Egypt, the great Sleep affected the ‘fulcrum’ of the ancient Vedic path which was the very first step on the way to the full realisation of Immortality. This fulcrum was hailed as Skambha, the cosmic pillar, centre of the world and upholder of the realisation. With the removal of Skambha the integral realisation became impossible, covering all the planes down to the physical. Dislodging the essential Cosmic Pillar resulted in what we have today: a civilisation that calls itself ‘vedic’ and believes itself to be what it was of old, but which preserves that condition only in the four Vedas. It is not found on the ground today. In the words of Sri Aurobindo, ‘The letter lived on when the spirit was forgotten; the symbol, the body of the doctrine, remained but the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings.’ (The Secret of the Veda.)
If we wish to piece together history before the great Sleep, this is the method: we look deeply at what IS, like the Rig Veda encourages the Aryan Warrior to do. For us today this means that we must have the courage to dismiss the many falsehoods that orthodoxy of all types has saddled us with over the centuries, all of which can be proven to be coloured by motives incompatible with the pursuit of truth. What such a penetration reveals is an Egypt where the great Sleep resulted in an entirely physical memory, and consequently an obsession with the preservation of corpses because Egypt did not experience continuity through the human channel of yogic realisation. It woke up one day and found the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx before its bewildered collective eye. From that point onward its wisemen began piecing together the tradition of old with whatever tools it could find amidst the ruins at its disposal. It is as if the great Flood had submerged the continent – indeed as the Bible states – destroying everything but the Great Pyramid with its two companion pyramids and the Sphinx, all of which were very consciously built to survive the holocaust because the Precession of the Equinoxes would have foretold what lay ahead. Thereafter, no trace was found of the state of consciousness of the ancient builders, the Gods who walked the Earth in a physical embodiment, only the distant memory of things now lost. From that point onward, when the Precessional clock began ticking loudly once more at the onset of the Age of Taurus, or Vishnu’s sign of Preservation in the 8th Manifestation, an awakening from this induced stupor began. The magnificent civilisation of Pharaonic Egypt did the best that it could under the circumstances to attain the same height of the former age of glory, copy-cat fashion. And thus countless imitative pyramids arose to somehow bring the mummified corpse to the promised shores where the Gods could be seen.
To sum up, the point to be made is that, as the Precession indicates, passage over the cardinal point of 0 degree Cancer, the Cosmic Midnight of the zodiac, brought a complete dislocation with the former 7th Manifestation when the Gods seemed to have walked the Earth. In the next Manifestation, the 8th, the great Sleep (or Flood) in the case of Egypt, whose destiny was centred on space and on the physical, would result in an obsessive striving to regain that former state as a reality of the Earth, and not a heaven beyond – though ultimately, as the distance increased from the age of the Gods, so to speak, the Earth orientation began to take on the appearance of a location beyond our solar system and into perhaps other galaxies.
In India, whose destiny was determined to be a voyage of Consciousness before all else from the beginning of this last round of the Precession (approximately 20,000 years ago), the unbroken thread with the age in question resulted in the preservation of a text that fully indicates the lost knowledge; ‘the lost Sun’, as it is called in the Veda. The object of the quest described in the text is the retrieval of that lost Sun. There can be no mistake that a deviation set in because the Veda itself records this happening. In exploring the verses to Skambha from the Atharva Veda, we will see not only that the lost state was known then to the Rishi, but also exactly what that loss would indicate for the subcontinent in ages to come; and, with great precision, the area that would be afflicted most by the loss, resulting in a society believing itself to be Vedic but having lost its Vedic essence simply because the Cosmic Pillar had been dislodged. In the Chandogya Upanishad, penned in an age closer to the Vedic than the later Upanishads, we read in III, 12, 2-9:
‘What the Gayatri is, that indeed the earth is also, for it is on the earth that this whole universe is established; it does not extend beyond. What the earth is, that indeed the body in man is also, for on it these vital breaths are established; they do not extend beyond it. What the body in man is, that indeed the heart within man is also, for on it these vital breaths are established; they do not extend beyond it. The Gayatri has four feet and is sixfold. About this a verse of the Rig Veda says: ‘Such is the measure of his greatness, but greater still is the Man (RV X, 90).’ All beings form a quarter of him, three quarters, the immortal in the sky. What is called Brahman, that indeed the space outside a man is also; what the space outside a man is, that indeed the space within a man is also; what the space within a man is, that indeed the space within the heart is also. That is the full, the unchanging. Whoever knows this obtains good fortune, full and unchanging.’ (Translation: Raimundo Panikkar, ibid.)
Notwithstanding the above and to demonstrate the logical finality of a quest centred on the Beyond and the extra-cosmic, preservation of the corpse has not at all been a part of civilisation on the subcontinent – right into our own times. The body of the deceased is cremated – an adequate symbol of its ultimate fate of impermanence and inevitable dissolution, and a return to the elements from whence it arose. In other words, a complete contrast to Pharaonic Egypt. Cremation is utterly in keeping with the emphasis on a swar –as the goal is called in the Veda – beyond physicality. It is, however, a symbol-end contradicting everything that is stated in the Chandogya Upanishad quoted above and in countless other scriptures, the direction having changed by 180 degrees, pointing away from the Earth entirely.
What else does this ‘symbol’ tell us? For there is far more to discover regarding the course both civilisations etched out for themselves over the centuries on the fabric of time and space. There is the question of continuity, for example. Why did every civilisation in Egypt result in a cul-de-sac? The Pyramid Age left nothing but a few structures behind to mark its passage; Gods or aliens, humans or divine beings disappeared entirely leaving no trace other than these colossi. And as for Pharaonic Egypt, after the turmoil and upheaval that befell the land when the Pharaohs disappeared, Islam soon stepped in and once again no traces are to be found of the magnificent civilisations of old. Egypt today bears no similarity to anything of its great past. And yet those cultures attained levels which may never be reached again.
But Egypt was not obsessed with time. India always has been, even in the most ancient Vedic Age. Consequently India could never experience a total disconnection from any experience it met along the way. It could only embrace the new and absorb it into its being because of the spherical properties of Time itself, in contrast to the linearity of Space of the Egyptian obsession, resulting later in temples of massive size perhaps in an effort the recapture the lost glories of the Pyramid Age. Furthermore, India’s perennial relationship with Mahakal¸ the Great God of Time as Shiva is known, condemned it to a slow and steady evolution. For it is in evolution that we find the secret to her continuity.
In Egypt we note something of an intrusion. The Great Pyramid is somehow out of place in time. It is disconnected from the race that later came to inhabit the area, and from everything else evolution seems to have attained up to that age. This can never happen in India. There can be no such intrusion of anything disconnected from the whole. All must evolve organically in a process where Time is the great and immortal presiding deity because the essence of Skambha is time itself. And on this cosmic pillar the entire civilisation, from beginning to end, reposes.
But the deviation took its toll and the yogic realisation of Skambha was lost; with it came the loss of the sacred measure of the Earth that lies at the heart of the process of evolution, confirmed in so many of the civilisation’s ancient scriptures. However, the multitude of scriptures which form the most impressive array of yogic documentation the Earth has ever known are meaningless without the realisation of Skambha, fulcrum for all the rest.
Continuity hinging on the human channel across the ages, it is logical that in India time and evolution should be the civilisation’s instruments in a continuous flow without any drastic break in the thread time and circumstance weave through the larger or smaller cyclic movements. Nothing confirms this assessment as well as the Puranic Line of Ten Avatars, from the Fish Avatar through to the tenth of the present Age of Vishnu, our current Age of Aquarius.
In the 26 May 2004 issue of The Hindu, an article appeared that is relevant to this discussion, entitled ‘Skeletons, inscriptions found at ancient burial sites in Tamil Nadu’. The report carries details of the very latest findings of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Adichanallur in Tamil Nadu. Over a dozen burial urns were found containing human skeletons, dating to pre-Megalithic times; that is prior to the 3rd century BCE.
‘…The skeletons found in two or three urns show that prior to the Megalithic period, these people used to enter the dead in urns along with the items they had used. Early Tamil Sangam works contained elaborate description of the urn-burial custom.’
The report further states that the urns were found in layers of soil which indicate a possible dating of the 7th or 8th century BCE, a number of centuries earlier than the original estimates. For the ASI the main interest is that inscriptions were found on the urns in early Tamil Brahmi script, previously considered to have come into usage at a much later date. But considering our topic, of significance is the fact that interment, of whatever form, seems to have been practiced perhaps up to the Buddhist era, – at least in South India. It appears that some time thereafter cremation became the means to dispose of corpses. It was also thereafter that to take birth at all came to be regarded as a ‘fall’, even though this was not explicitly stated until a later date. For the Buddhist, nirvana was a means to rid oneself of the bondage samskaras create, pinning one down to endless rebirths which are intended to finally liberate the individual from this incarceration. The Buddha was not as much concerned with the illusion or reality of material creation as with liberation from the suffering such bondage engendered. But in denying the soul any reality in the equation because it was tied to everything that appears to be impermanent, it was just one small step to Advaita and Mayavada which sustain that this material creation is an ‘illusion’ engendered by maya. The latter was no longer perceived as in Vedic times, a divine power, but rather something similar to Eve of Judeo-Christian tradition: a temptress, a beguiler and certainly disconnected from the higher strata of the Spirit. Therein the only permanent reality is the Self, extra-cosmic, transcendent.
By that time cremation would have been the proper ‘symbol’ for a cultural shift of this order from the Vedic perception. Material substance was then awarded its just due by complete dissolution; no importance at all was attached to that ‘sheath’ of little or no value, since transcendence was the true goal. By the time cremation became the norm, the split between matter and spirit was complete. Though we like to believe that such a split is a Western affliction and finds no place in the Eastern perception of reality, in the practical application of the different yogas, this split exists, just as it does in the West.
The wave that clouded the evolving human consciousness was global. While all forms of pagan worship were targeted in occidental cultures, and came to be replaced by the exclusivist religions arising in the Middle East, in the orient it was, simply put, otherworldliness. But the result was the same, East and West: a total divide between matters of the spirit and of the flesh. For this reason, since such a division was not engrained in Hinduism with its roots in the Veda, it has been more difficult for India to cope with the demands a divisive postulation of this nature imposes, as we find in western cultures where no such foundation exists. Therefore we witness a notable material decline in the East and a rise of the West. India could not operate in a world where matter was somehow separated from spirit due to a conflict caused by this divisive perception because of the Vedic realisation of wholeness and integrality which lay at the root of its origin.
The result was a weakening of the inner fibre of the society due to a diminished ‘fuel’ that was required to keep the spaceship of consciousness directed toward the Earth. This ‘fuel’ is released and made available only through processes of yoga and founded on the realisation of Skambha, the ‘support’ of all the worlds, the Point that fills the void and provides an anchor, a stability amidst change, a centre that holds. Without this nurturing fuel finally invasions took their toll bringing with them a relentless denial of the earlier wisdom, similar to what was transpiring in the rest of the world. And India, like many societies where paganism was uprooted, succumbed to colonial rule, which not only depleted the nation of its riches and skills and a loss of its self-respect, but also permitted a tactical undermining of the youth through educational institutions which are entirely based on Western religious/cultural perceptions far removed from the civilisation’s Vedic roots. Now the ancient hallowed Vedic texts are simply repeated like slogans. Today they cannot inspire the youth in a world where material accomplishments are the ultimate one can aspire for; they have no power to guide the nation to the discovery of a third way wherein the Veda themselves again become the foundation on which that new world can be built.
We have these important archaeological discoveries coming to light precisely while we are pondering over the way human remains were treated in ancient times in Egypt and Vedic India. This is an example in itself of the play of circumstances becoming integrated right in the preparation of this essay, ‘supporting’ our endeavour as ‘Skambha’, the anchor for that play, is wont to do. Thus these archaeological discoveries confirm our deduction that cremation was post-Vedic and is an appropriate symbol of the different orientation of the quest and a fixation on the Beyond rather than an apotheosis on Earth as we find in the Rig Veda. Cremation in lieu of interment simply reinforces the post-Vedic changed direction.
This is not to suggest that cremation is somehow less desirable and Hindu India should return to the former ‘symbol’ (burying the dead), to honour the physical body as one’s vahana (carrier) during sojourn on Earth. It is simply a question of unveiling the inner ‘eye’ to then perceive these symbols within an entirely new framework. In the third way it is not a question of a symbol representing something else but BEING THAT VERY THING. The symbol is the very thing symbolized, be this cow or horse, rising Sun or nighttime sky illumined by a resplendent Moon. In a context of the symbol being the thing symbolized, the introduction of cremation, now the universal Hindu custom, means exactly what it is: dissolution (nirvana) of the physical just as the seeker is encouraged to dissolve all threads of consciousness binding one to the physicality of an Earth-rooted consciousness.
In ancient Vedic times the quality of life was different because the goal of the quest was different. Immortality was sought but not by denying or undermining the base of our quest, the Earth, as we do today however camouflaged.
The point to be made is that arcane, hidden formulas comprehensible only to sages are not required at this stage of evolution to understand where we are and how and why we got there in this long and steady process of decline. All we need to do is observe what is; but only if we reacquire the ability to observe the world we live in through a re-made ‘lens’. We need to bring into focus the reality before our eyes so that this material world will no longer be seen as separate from its inner essence. And it is that inner essence that must be allowed to speak to us once again through all the elements of a world in time and space. The focusing required allows us to apply the yoga of ancient times within our contemporary society and to perceive that same Truth in this 21st Century.
When the Becoming is integrated solutions manifest. It is this, the play of circumstances, that must provide the harmonious way which alone can integrate the total reality. Then there is no choosing, as such, no exertion or imposition of the individual will. In the true sense of the word we are conscious instruments for the Divine Will to manifest, through the instruments that we have become, and to thus express Itself in material creation. This is our ‘purpose’, our sacred birthright. If we realise this condition we do not need to flee the world, to seek nirvana or samadhi or any other strategy to disassociate ourselves from a world in constant movement. By this accomplishment, our birth on Earth is not at all a bane as religions and spirituality encourage us to believe; because it is only in a material creation that this integral realisation can be experienced. Thus, it is only in a body devised for the purpose that the Absolute can BE and MANIFEST.
This is a radical departure from all the former paths. Indeed, it is only a radical solution that can bring back the divine Purpose into our lives and allow us to accept birth on Earth for what it is: a sacred playing field where the human species manifests increasingly the higher truth, the one relevant truth – not a single Prophet or Saviour, or a one God, all of which becomes irrelevant in this context – but the truth of what we are, of a creation in matter which exists so that the Absolute can manifest unceasingly. And since the play is infinite and eternal, so are the myriad possibilities of manifestation open to the human species until all is the Divine.
© Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Tamil Nadu, South India