‘It is something we are searching for. Perhaps not merely searching for, but building.
‘We are being used so that we may participate in the manifestation of that which is as yet inconceivable for everyone, because it is not yet there. It is an expression that is yet to come…’
Extracts from talk,
24 May, 1962
The following text is unusual in the extreme. Most who read this Introduction will find in it nothing to which it can be related. It is certainly far removed from what we commonly recognise as spiritual; on the other hand, portions of the material have a distinct scientific flavour – yet it is decidedly not science. True to her visionary capacity, the Mother fulfilled her own prophecy of the emergence of a ‘third thing’ beyond both spirituality and science. What makes the faculty or capacity the Mother foresaw so difficult to grasp initially is because in order to enter the world she envisioned it is only necessary to see what IS. But that act of Seeing must be founded on that ‘third thing’ the Mother was ‘building’.
‘…[T]hese positions, the spiritual and the “materialist”, if one may call it so, that are believed to be exclusive…are insufficient, not only because they do not admit each other, but because even admitting the two and uniting the two does not suffice to solve the problem. There is something else – a third thing which is not the result of these two, but something that is to be discovered, which will probably open the door to the total Knowledge.
‘…And as for saying what it is, the other one, the true position? It is so much beyond all intellectual states that I am unable to formulate it.
‘But the formula will come, I know. But it will come in a series of lived experiences that I have not had yet.’ (Ibid)
The genesis of the Mother’s contribution to the world of sacred geometry and architecture plays a fundamental role in the history of the Supramental Manifestation. It is unlikely that a similar development had occurred earlier because this is the 9th Manifestation and it is therefore the culmination of nearly 30,000 years of evolutionary progression; during this long period, circumstances evolved to make her feat possible in this particular Age. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that ours is the period when Vishnu’s 9th Avatar appears to imprint the supramental Truth-Consciousness in the evolutionary matrix. Therefore, the Mother’s contribution in her specialised field would necessarily be unlike anything that the world of the sacred sciences had known until her coming, considering that it was born in this special epoch and conditioned by the new faculty above Mind, the Supermind; there is no comparable example in the field of the sacred sciences available to us, past or present. In fact, the only known example that could in any way be connected to her contribution would be the ancient Vedic Altar of pure geometric symbolism. The Mother was in fact the incarnate Divine Maya extolled in the Veda, she who introduces measure and form to shape the undifferentiated consciousness-essence of the Transcendent.
We take up the story of this unique occurrence after one of the more remarkable experiences of the Mother’s yogic life; this occurred on 12 April 1962. Thereafter the Mother entered a new phase in her Yoga which required her almost complete withdrawal from outer activities. In this arrangement she would appear before her disciples and devotees on four days during the year; for the rest, she met with others only in her room. In this semi-withdrawal the Mother was intensely engaged in establishing a new expanded field of Yoga. The Ashram that she and Sri Aurobindo created in Pondicherry was the home of the first stage of their joint endeavour, where the broad lines of the Integral Yoga were laid down. The disciples who joined them in that enterprise served as representative agents required in the ‘field’ for the ends of the Integral Yoga to be met.
A monumental threshold was crossed with the Supramental Manifestation of 1956. Therefore a new field was demanded to accommodate the increase of energies required in a supramental, as distinct from an integral process. Thus the City-Consciousness was born as the new enhanced ‘field’ adequate to house a Supramental Yoga. It was then that the sacred sciences were to play a central role, for which the Mother was admirably suited.
Thereafter again a number of representative elements were gathered with whom the lines of the enhanced process could be worked out. But to accompany an experiment of this unusual order a certain foundational knowledge had to be formulated that would serve as the subtle but indestructible support for the City-Consciousness. Thus, throughout her withdrawal in the 1960s, the Mother laid the solid foundations of that special City-Consciousness by bringing into being certain keys of higher knowledge that would serve as ‘tools’ for the construction of this City. The final result of her labour was an entirely new body of knowledge that would be a ‘third thing’, the appearance of which she had announced shortly after her April 1962 breakthrough. These keys would open the doors to a formulation beyond both science and spirituality, just as she had foreseen.
The Mother began the actual construction of the City-Consciousness in the second half of the 1960s; but the most important happening in her Yoga at the time occurred in the first days of January of 1970 when she ‘saw’ the heart and soul of the City. That feat marked the close of the former decade and opened a new one – during which time certain keys of Gnosis would come to play a fundamental role in deciphering her vision. She announced then that she ‘had seen the centre: it took the form of a chamber. All its details were duly recorded by the Mother because after having entered the solar world and ‘seen’ the chamber, she had an architectural plan drawn up whereby she completed her task as Divine Maya – that is, she gave measure and form to the undifferentiated essence of the Transcendent. By this act she completed the process of densification of the Vision from the subtle plane or the solar world known to the Rishis of old, to the more material. In a word, she gave factual proof of her Vedic credentials by this superior act of measuring. But this time, with the manifestation of the Truth-Consciousness, the experience that had been reserved for a few could become universalised. Indeed, this is precisely why a new ‘field’ for the Yoga was required so that the adequate quantity of energies could be embraced to achieve this universalisation. To better clarify, the Mother created a bridge between subtle and physical by virtue of measure, the Measure Divine, which only she could do as the incarnate Divine Maya to allow for a process of densification of this special order. In other words, to bring about the descent of a sacred form, pristine and uncontaminated, from the plane of the Truth-Consciousness to serve as a womb of the Gnostic Supermind.
But this was only part of the endeavour; or, we could say, only half of the Bridge. The remainder required an action from below, drawing in the vital and physical planes on the basis of those precious keys of Gnosis to complete the linkage via an entire body of supramental knowledge as the foundation upon which the City-Consciousness could arise.
To be noted before all else is that in a supramental process first the gnostic ‘mortar’ comes into being – that is, the tools of Knowledge that can densify the essence-substance of the City – but in the dimension of consciousness, it must be emphasised. The outcome of the endeavour hinges on the successful cementing of this special foundation. To be more precise, during the years of their joint yoga, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother were grappling with the world-consciousness as it was at the time of their labour. That is, they laboured within the confines of the serious limitations of the Old Creation. The central focus of that first stage was the rigorous tapasya to change the direction spirituality had assumed at the close of the Vedic Age. The direction or the goal of each quest, accepted by all branches of spirituality (and later by all religions born in the Age of Pisces) was, in a word, otherworldly. This was fortified by the indisputably high quality of the realisations of numerous Yogis during the Age of Pisces (234 BCE to 1926 CE), to the point where no other possibility was entertained by new realisers. All followed the path laid down from approximately the time of Gautam the Buddha (500 BCE) through to our present era.
Sri Aurobindo took birth as the 9th Avatar of Lord Vishnu to set in motion a correction of that trend which had been so thoroughly cemented by the time he entered the Earth plane. But to bring any effective shift away from focus on the Beyond, he needed the collaboration of the Mother insofar as the need of the times was to re-establish a connection with the Vedic Age. Hence, the Divine Maya’s collaboration as a partner of equal capacity though serving a different function, was the call of the hour.
Thus, both the Mother and Sri Aurobindo laboured in the mire of an old and dying consciousness to reverse the direction so that all further spiritual endeavours could be Earth oriented. Using the apt metaphor of a physical construction, their labour must be viewed as one of digging trenches in the soil of the ages gone by, wherein new foundation stones of the supramental Truth-Consciousness could be placed. To be specific, if it is to be a new City-Consciousness, then we must start the construction from those very trenches where the stones are to be placed. In the true Vedic tradition this means that measure enters the scheme of things, never more to leave. Those trenches were dug in a dimension newly opened and accessible from this Earth plane after the Supramental Manifestation of 1956. That monumental event allowed access to the solar world which had been closed to Earth since the Vedic Age came to an end. The edifice built through this yogic process would be entirely different, therefore requiring trenches of specific measurements that could penetrate hitherto inaccessible dimensions.
Time holds the key to this superlative Act of Measuring. The new channels dug out by the Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother allowed for Time to crystallise the tools with which the foundation stones of the City-Consciousness would come into being. Thus, the entire experience is one of Gnosis – the heart and soul of a true new creation whose field is the City-Consciousness from where the elements of the Supramental Yoga are to manifest.
The first laboratory was the Sri Aurobindo Ashram where numerous representative energies from all the different parts of India could be gathered, in a sense bringing into that field a confluence of individuals who would stand as ‘symbols’ of the otherworldly direction the old yogas had assumed and for which a correction would be required. They represented the spirituality that had engulfed the entire civilisation. It was an endeavour in consciousness, as yet a step removed from the vital-physical dimension. The first field was limited in its scope to this particular function, without which nothing beyond could take place, and certainly nothing of the newly-manifested Supermind. The revealing ingredient that identifies it as a labour limited to consciousness is seen in the fact that the Ashram became settled not in a virgin field but within the already established city of Pondicherry. A superior ‘construction process’ played no role in the first laboratory, but that field did allow for an integral re-moulding of consciousness.
Initially a physical locale was not required. However, after the Supramental Manifestation of 1956 and as a result of the Yoga the Mother undertook in the 1960s, the new field would be required for the purpose of rooting the Truth-Consciousness in this physical Earth plane. As a representative model of the New Creation the extended field would demand that Measure be paramount from the outset. A physical construction process would play a prominent role in the enhanced field – a circumstance that was never a part of the first. The trenches dug there – in the dimension of consciousness – were made ready to receive the foundation stones of Gnosis – the building-blocks of the new City-Consciousness. The first step in this newly-manifested process, never before undertaken, was to begin ‘construction’ once the trenches (products of the first field) were filled with carefully crafted tools of knowledge. At the centre of the circumscribing circle were representative energies from the world as it was in the 1960s. That centre/womb was seen by the Mother in the very first days of 1970. But that was only the first half of the Bridge; the remaining portion, which would conclusively connect it to this Earth plane, would be the body of Gnosis that was contained in the Mother’s vision and architectural plan but which required an elaboration that only Time could provide. This was the Mother’s legacy, her final gift to a humanity harbouring a deep and abiding aspiration to reach heights beyond the confinements of the present mental cage.
The physical construction of the Mother’s temple was needed to consolidate the Knowledge. In that act of building the second half of the Bridge came into being and was rendered indestructible by processes of the Supramental Yoga. The Mother’s vision and plan of the Inner Chamber were ‘constructed’ on the foundational channels provided by the Yoga of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo in the first field of the old creation, which resulted in the newly-opened dimensions of the City-Consciousness from 1950 onwards. Without the actual physical labour, nothing of that superior Gnosis would have come into the Earth atmosphere to alter forever the evolutionary process.
In the first field the yoga was limited to the four levels of consciousness-being but through the channels of the higher hemisphere. After the Supramental Manifestation, once the direction had been successfully reoriented toward the Earth, a densification began to render ‘the symbol the very thing symbolised’. That is when the lower hemisphere of the Vital and Physical assumes prominence. By this integrality we pass into the realm of Supermind.
The City and Temple were the fields in the physical demanded by the extension to the Supramental Yoga where the direction is reversed to Earth from the Beyond. Its purpose was to allow the gnostic tools to ‘construct’ the Chamber (in the 1980s), pari passu with the actual building work. Therefore it is said that the constructed chamber in cement and steel is a shadow of the Mother’s original simply because hers is ‘constructed’ only with the Light of Gnosis, which is entirely lacking in the physical building presently standing in Auroville. Without that Light there is no ‘bridge’ to forge a connection between this Earth plane and the Solar World. The immortal, indestructible element is that foundational Supramental Gnosis
At this level of the manifestation the location of the second field assumes prominence. It cannot follow the same pattern as the first field because of the proximity to the physical. The first half of the Bridge covered the upper regions; the next portion comes down and touches the physical, passing first through the vital where the ‘symbol’ begins densification to become ‘the thing symbolised’. While not exactly a virgin field, it allows for the representative work to be carried out. But to be noted is that the actual ‘construction’ of the Gnostic Chamber was carried out in the Third Field, the truly virgin land of impeccable space-time/latitude-longitude coordinates indispensable for a true centre to emerge. Each field was born of the particular number-power that would complete the sacred Formula enshrined in Sri Aurobindo’s lotus-symbol: 9/6/3. The first field partook of his number-power 9 (1926=9); the second of the Mother’s 6 (1968=6), and the last was the 3 (1983=3) to complete the formula the Mother anticipated of that ‘third thing’.
One of the principal characteristics of the New Creation is the control anyone involved in its workings soon comes to realise. This 9th Manifestation is when finally Siva as Mahakala takes birth, the 9th of Vishnu’s Line; and while we may ignore his controlling power in our daily life, in the fields of Yoga arranged for the descent this control is evident to all who collaborate in the coming at close hand. This is nothing new or perceivable only by those participants in the Third Field. Disciples of Sri Aurobindo in his Ashram know of his obsession with Time. They were aware of the pattern his life itself drew involving the number 12. These patterns in the combined lives of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were unmistakable; for instance, the measure of 6 between the days/months/years of their births was even carried over to the hours and minutes of their respective passings, silencing any who might have doubted their sacred eternal bond.
In this light, the state of decline in evidence in the first two fields causes one to wonder, ‘Where is that Control? Have we been forsaken by the Great God of Time when his power is most needed? Are we no longer his instruments in this monumental age of transition? Is their labour to remain incomplete, unfulfilled – and worse, in a state of chaos? Is this the finality of so high a mission?’
The answer lies simply in the acquisition of a new poise of consciousness whereby we are able to re-focus the Lens of Seeing so that the required clarity comes. But it is not one single re-focussing act that ‘makes all things new’. Time regulates even our breakthroughs: we see as much as the Great God allows at any given moment. This is an evolutionary working. It moves along an organic line of development; or, better said, it moves in the form of concentric circles, from outer to inner. As Time fertilises the soil of our consciousness through practice of the Integral and Supramental Yogas, veils are removed, we are allowed access to deeper levels of the Supramental Gnosis until finally the entire act of Becoming is integrated and made an equal and simultaneous partner of Being. We stand at the threshold of Swar, the solar world, to which we gain access through the Mother’s gnostic chamber when we use the sacred Keys she bequeathed.
In this finer light there is no aberration, no failure, no unaccounted for blow with the ability to inflict serious damage. We see that in all the three fields each thing is in its place. The full Gnosis required the physical construction, defiant and aberrant as it appears in the higher vision, without which the gnostic content of the chamber could not have been brought down from the solar world into this Earth plane. In a word, the construction of the second half of the Bridge could not have occurred without the physical involvement of the instruments destiny provided for that part of the process. It too required the gestating capacity of Time. This undeniable fact reaffirms the main aphorism of the Third Field: Positive AND negative serve the purposes of the One. The physical construction set the pace and served as a goading factor that inspired the descent of a Knowledge unknown to the world.
There was no aberration as such – but there was a choice, an act of choosing. The participant could choose to be a part of either side, positive and in the light, or negative and in the darkness, deprived of the luminous beacon as guide on the way. One could choose the way of the physical and align oneself with that labour; or one could align oneself with the Light and be armed with the certitude that the forward march of Time would ineluctably lead to harmony and not to chaos. Out of that golden supramental Seed the Mother planted in early 1970, only the most sublime harmony could evolve. Those who had the perseverance to cling to the certitude of Victory reap the benefits at this culminating moment when everything is seen and known to make sense.
The Vedic Altar had a similar purpose – that is, to connect this Earthly plane to the solar world, to Swar of the Veda. And similar to the Mother’s updated version, Time was the building mortar as central to the Vedic model as it is to the Mother’s. She explained the function and purpose of the Inner Chamber in no uncertain terms when she stated that its ‘twelve walls are the months of the year’. The Rig Veda gives precise details of the Journey, as it was called by the Rishis, through those very same twelve months. They explained that the most difficult and dangerous stage of the initiation would be the passage from 9 to 10 – i.e., the 9th through to the 10th month where the victory of the Aryan Warrior was to be achieved. Similarly, in Savitri the same danger is encountered when in the 9th Book of the Epic, Death warns the Goddess not to follow him as he carries off the soul of Satyavan into the realm wherefrom mortals cannot return. She follows nonetheless, and, as in the Vedic Journey, the Goddess completes the supremely difficult passage of 9 to 10. In the 10th Book/Month she conquers Death. The twelve walls of the Chamber are those very months as indicated so clearly by the Mother and the Veda.
Sri Aurobindo carried out the same immensely dangerous process, when in 1950 he left his body, fashioned as it had been to labour within the confines of the Old Creation – and, as he wrote in A God’s Labour to describe his return from the abyss, ‘He who I am was with me still’. He returned this time as a part of the New Creation, as the Immanent One of his former Transcendence, the minute and precise details of which were recorded in the measurements of the Inner Chamber by the Mother – a feat never before achieved, thus earning the qualification of being the first cultural expression of the supramental Truth-Consciousness. This was not just geometry, even of the sacred variety. The Mother laid the foundations through very precise measurements of the entirely new Geometry of Time.
‘In other words, it is when the nine-months’ sacrifice is prolonged through the tenth, it is when the Navagwas become the ten Dashagwas by the seven-headed thought of Ayasya, the tenth Rishi, that the Sun is found… but what is meant by the figure of the months? For it now becomes clear that it is a figure, a parable; the year is symbolic, the months are symbolic. It is in the revolution of the year that the recovery of the lost Sun and the lost cows is effected, for we have the explicit statement in X.62-2… “by the truth, in the revolution of the year, they broke Vala”…’
‘The expression in the hymns, daso maso ataran, indicates that there was some difficulty in getting through the full period of ten months. It is during this period apparently that the sons of darkness had the power to assail the sacrifice; for it is indicated that it is only by the confirming of the thought which conquers Swar, the solar world, that the Rishis are able to get through the ten months…’ (Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda.)
‘I hold for you in the waters the thought that wins possession of Swar by which the Navagwas [nine] passed through the ten months…’ (V.45-11)
On the heels of Vishnu’s 9th appearance and in an unbroken line of Time, Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy was fulfilled: the 10th indeed comes ‘to rectify the error of the Buddha’, to finally and conclusively cement the reversed direction to the Earth and no longer to the Beyond when the formula is fulfilled and the 9 becomes the 10.