The Evolutionary Avatar: Backbone of the Sanatana Dharma
The term ‘avatar’ is a familiar word in our lexicon today; for this reason Thea defines her use of the term by adding the word ‘Evolutionary’. In this theme, references from Thea’s published and unpublished writing have been organized to cover five inter-related topics which fully explore the concept of the Evolutionary Avatar:
- The Myth of Trivikrama’s Three Strides
- The Strategy of Myth and Epic: Sri Ram and Sri Krishna, 7th and 8th Evolutionary Avatars
- The Sphinx of Giza – joining of the 7th and 9th Ages,
- The Buddha, ‘Ruse of the Supreme’
- Sri Aurobindo, Evolutionary Avatar of the 9th Manifestation
Part One: Trivikrama’s Three Strides
In January 2015, Aeon Centre of Cosmology opened a grand display at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, – a program titled ‘The Future Realisation, an Exhibition connecting the Supramental Gnosis of the Mother to the Vedic Age’. The iconic image of Vishnu Trivikrama (above) was featured on the cover of the Guidebook (References Part One), and Thea offered these insights about the famous Rig Vedic verse to Vishnu:
“With the revelation of the Map of the 12 Manifestations, the Myth of Trivikrama is no longer just a quaint and fanciful tale: it describes accurately the time of the appearances on Earth of the last three of his emanations – the 7th, the 8th and the 9th. Moreover, the last stride, the Friend, occurs in our very own times, this 9th Manifestation which began in 234 BCE and continues for 6480 years of the Precession of the Equinoxes. Thus as our exhibition reveals, the Dasavataras are of Vedic origin and not Puranic, as most believe.”
In this famous myth (RV 1.154) Vishnu, the God of Preservation, once again comes to restore the Dharma and protect the earth from the demon king, Bali. He disguises himself as the dwarf Vamana, and asks for as much land as he can cover in three strides. With this trick, he then transforms himself into the giant Trivikrama and takes three steps covering the three ‘worlds’ of space – heaven, earth and the ethers.
Thea offers a new and unique ‘seeing’ on the Trivikrama Myth: Vishnu is measuring the Universe NOT by steps through space, but by steps through TIME, via the Precession of the Equinoxes (Theme 1): ’Vishnu moves across the ecliptic in three strides, each one of which is one of his ten emanations… the 7th (the LION), the BULL (the 8th) and finally the 9th (the Friend).’
BUT…the focus is on just three signs of Preservation – where is the fourth? Thea explains that Vishnu’s vahana is Garuda, the Eagle; the astrological sign Scorpio is the only sign of the zodiac that has two symbols, the Eagle is the higher sign. Vishnu starts his measuring from where he stands, in his own sign of the EAGLE; the time in the Precession is the Age of Scorpio. His first step clockwise is the 7th Manifestation, Age of Leo/Lion.
Thea differentiates the incarnations of Vishnu’s Line of Ten from others whom we might call ‘avatars’ by calling them ‘evolutionary avatars’: The Supreme Intelligence periodically sends beings to our planet to reveal certain keys to humanity, beings that live in a particular consciousness, with ordinary Earth being… Some we call certain centres attuned or sensitive in a different way than the avatars or divine incarnations because they come from a realm that is close to the source of Light as messengers with a specific task.’
These special appearances, coming every 6480 years, only during the four Ages of Preservation, are necessary for the evolutionary process; they do not start religious movements that would defeat the purpose of their coming. Each of the 12 Manifestations of the Earth reveals a greater aspect of the Divine Truth; the ‘evolutionary’ avatar shows the next step in the divine unfolding on Earth, ‘he is the seed of the movement’.
Part Two: The Strategy of Myth and Epic
Without the periodic appearances of Vishnu’s Line of Ten on Earth there is no Dharma, much less an eternal one. Sri Ram’s appearance as the 7th Avatar of Vishnu left to posterity the Ramayana and similarly, the 8th Avatar of the 8th Manifestation, Sri Krishna gave us the Mahabharat. There is no doubt that these epics and the lives of the 7th and 8th Avatars continue to capture the spiritual and cultural fabric of India today.
On three specific occasions, (see references) Thea observed events and and gave her analyses of this sacred moment on the night of the Festival of Light, 22/23 December 1949, when Shri Ram, 7th evolutionary avatar, made his ‘miraculous appearance’ in the Babri Mosque in the form of the Divine Child, Ramlal:
- In 1991, prior to the destruction of the Babri Mosque in December 1992;
- On the sixtieth anniversary of his ‘appearance’ in 2009.
- In 2010 when Justice DV Sharma passed the landmark Ayodha Verdict regarding allocation of the land.
And to help the nation understand the volatile feelings that erupted around Ayodhya, Thea wrote about the deeper meaning of what she called ‘the Strategy of the Epic’. We must realise that India is a mythic culture, not a religious culture and that religions divide people, whereas myths create a deep sense of unity which embeds or imprints itself beneath the surface of the consciousness.
She recounts there was considerable consternation and fear that the ‘secular’ divide had been violated and the country had lapsed into fundamentalism, communalism and superstition when the Babri Mosque was destroyed in 1992; she reminds the student of the purpose for the myths and epics:
‘When the divine Measure was lost and certain spiritual attainments undermined the soul, bedrock of the Vedic experience, there was no way to carry the Vedic thread through the dark age which had enveloped the subcontinent except by camouflaging it to the point where this veiling, by the tactic of simple story-telling and legend, served to keep the truth very much alive – but deep beneath the surface of the collective consciousness.’
Through this ‘subterfuge’ as she calls it, to ensure the survival of the Dharma, the Puranic myths imprinted the Veda deeply into the layers of the individual and collective unconscious. The Indian nation naturally had to deal with the accumulated effects of all the suppressed energies during the centuries when they were subjected to foreign imperial domination. When it came time for the ‘unveiling’ process, on the December Solstice arrival of Lord Ram as a child, in Ayodhya, this accumulated power surfaced. The storage and eruption of power, she writes, served the function of transforming the society, (ibid) and helped India to take her destined place as cosmological ‘centre’ of the world during this 9th Manifestation.
Appearing as a ‘Child Warrior’ – as Ramlal, on the particular evening of the December Solstice is a dramatic event – a ‘symbolic statement’ that should not be ignored, Thea writes, and she calls attention to Ramlal’s TIMING of descent. He is giving India a message because she has ‘lost her Divine Measure’ and there are consequences to this.
She explains that most of the world celebrates entry of the Sun into Capricorn (Uttarayana) on the shortest day of the year, 21/22 December, but India does not. Thea argues that pundits use the wrong zodiac for calculating the entry point (ayanamsha) into Uttarayana; and consequently the nation celebrates Makar Sankranti 23 days late, on 15 January. For a nation so enamoured of the cosmic harmonies, this is totally unacceptable and Thea shows the consequences of this loss on the strength and purpose of the Nation over time.
Part Three: The Sphinx – Joining The Ages
The Sphinx of Giza consists of two signs of the zodiac – the head of the figure refers to the sign Aquarius (Man), and the body to the sign Leo (lion). Thea states there is ‘a message’ in this colossus (Thea, The Rahasya Sypreme, 2016) and it also contains ‘a secret’ (Thea, the Third Way on Conscious Evolution). The two signs form an axis in Time. The Lion/head refers to the time of its construction in Egypt 12,000 years ago; the body/Man half is a reference to our present Age of Aquarius, when finally the sands covering the monument were removed in 1926, and the message of the Sphinx could be deciphered and made known.
The Age of Aquarius opened in 1926, the same year as the Sphinx emerged from the mounds of earth covering its form. It was in 1926 that the 9th Avatar, Sri Aurobindo went into seclusion to intensify his yoga to bring down the Supramental power to transform life on Earth and the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram emerged as the person guiding Ashram life.
There is no mistaking, Thea posits, this is the reason the Sphinx was built – to preserve and reveal the axis or relationship between the two Ages in time (Thea, The Conundrum of India’s Choice of Destiny). The descent of the evolutionary avatar, Shri Ram in the Age of Leo (7th Manifestation), is joined in time with the coming of Sri Aurobindo, Evolutionary Avatar for the Age of Aquarius (9th Manifestation), verifying an unbroken thread in time in Vishnu’s descents.
The language of the Zodiac is universal, it could no doubt have had its origin in India, Thea concludes; the very survival of the Sphinx, intact all these years, gives evidence it was well known by the people of the ancient world.
The link between the Ages of Leo and Aquarius is further advanced by Thea in a paper she wrote in 2013 (Thea, India, Egypt and the Enigmatic Sphinx): the massive size of the Pyramids at Giza was to assist the rhythm of the Precession and proper alignment of the Ages, thereby ensuring the Age of Aquarius would open in 1926.
Part Four: The Buddha – Ruse of the Supreme
Despite the fact that the Trivikrama Myth points to the exact timings of Vishnu’s messengers, the world has lost the ‘cosmic script’ and there has been much confusion where none should be, particularly regarding the 9th Avatar. Gautam, the Buddha was not the 9th in the Line of Ten, he does not bear the required cosmic credentials, i.e., his incarnation was not during one of the four Ages of Preservation (Thea, Cosmic Harmonies in the Hindu Civilization, Culture and Cosmos 2 and 2.2) . Men and women of Knowledge in the Hindu civilization in the Dark Ages knew ‘the Buddha’s inclusion into the Line of Ten was incongruous, given the Buddha’s dismissal of the very foundation of Vedic Knowledge: the soul.’
The Puranic Tale recounts how Vishnu made use of the Buddha as a ‘ruse of the supreme ‘ (see Thea, Puranic Cosmology Updated, no. 5). What his mission was at the time was not clearly understood, nor could it be fully known until the coming of the true 9th Avatar, Sri Aurobindo.
Thea points to ‘seeds of undermining’ that surfaced over 2500 years ago, about the time of the birth of the Buddha. These were ‘seeds of otherworldliness… truths totally alien to the Vedic spirit and soul, which produced a schism in the energy field of the nation…’ The Vedic Age was characterised by a consciousness of unity between Spirit and Matter; slowly, over time, these seeds took hold and did their work of undermining. The results were unmistakable and predictable; ‘but who can see this?’ Thea asks.
Who can understand Sri Aurobindo’s words: ‘Kalki must come to correct the error of the Buddha? Who could undertake the colossal task that needed to be done to restore that unity?
‘…Those ancient civilizations that shared the unity poise in time and space, all succumbed to the same undermining in the Age of Pisces as India has; none survived, none were able to fend off the onslaught of Otherworldliness until finally this projection culminated in some of the major religions of the world, all of which arose in the past Age of Pisces, all of which enjoin their followers to aspire for salvation and ultimate fulfilment in heaven after death… Bharat did survive and in spite of the degeneration…’
Part Five: Sri Aurobindo - Evolutionary Avatar
We are living now in the Age of Aquarius, the Friend; we have the grace to be born at this time when the last and highest of Vishnu’s ‘three strides’ is unfolding. In the Rig Vedic verse, the rishi sings his praises because it is in this last step the victory is to be attained.
Although the Avataric Line of Ten refers specifically to a single individual, the task in this 9th Manifestation is far more complex and all-encompassing than in the 7th and 8th. Thea states that it requires other individuals to complete the mosaic, and she refers to a statement (see below) the Mother makes on 24 May, 1962 (Thea, The Supramental Synthesis, a Third Poise) that a ‘certain number of individuals’ are indispensable for the realisation of the ‘Higher Truth that will be a new world’:
‘I do not think that a single individual (on the earth as it is now), however great he is, however eternal his consciousness, and origin, can alone, by himself change and realise, – change the world, change the creation as it is and realise the Higher Truth that will be a new world, a world more true, if not absolutely true. It seems a certain number of individuals (till now it appears to be rather in time, as a succession, but it may also be in space, a collectivity) is indispensable so that this Truth may concretise and realise itself. I am practically sure of it.
That is to say, however great, however conscious, however powerful ONE Avatar may be, he cannot, all alone realise the supramental life on Earth. It is either a group in time, arranged in a line in time, or a group spread over space – or both – that are indispensable for this realisation. I am convinced of it.’
On August 11, 2015, as the occasion of Sri Aurobindo’s 143rd birth anniversary was nearing, Thea looked back over the years since she first arrived in 1971 in India. ‘In a moment of inspiration’ she poured out an article, (to be one of her last on this subject), on the real contribution made by Sri Aurobindo as the 9th Avatar: the ‘seeming paradox of the Transcendence and Immanence’ (Thea, Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s Contribution to the Evolution of Consciousness); and the necessity for the process of the Supramental Descent to take place in four stages.
The Mother states in the above Dialogue of 1962 the need for a ‘line in time’; but it was not her yoga to define each stage of the Supramental Descent, that was to be the work of the Third in the Solar Line to minutely record for humanity the four stages of the Supramental Descent and the particular task of each member. To begin with Thea had to reaffirm Sri Aurobindo’s argument that Kalki must correct the error of the Buddha, and to state emphatically that it was Sri Aurobindo, not the Buddha, who was the Evolutionary Avatar for this 9th Manifestation.
‘… Sri Aurobindo is the Avatar, as Sri Ram and Sri Krishna were, of Vishnu’s Line of Ten. The difference between his appearance and the 7th and 8th before him is that there was no question of Supermind then: it was Mind (7th) and Overmind (8th); thereafter, as he explained, the 9th following the 7th and 8th, is logically the Supramental Avatar.
‘Some believe he never stated he was an avatar. Well, if not him who then? Who else had even conceived of the supramental Truth-Consciousness? In his published Letters on Yoga, Section VII entitled ‘The Purpose of Avatarhood’, he explains not only avatarhood in general, but his own role, while clarifying many misgivings. And this draws me back to my seeing on August 11th. For the first time I really understood the imperative necessity of the Avatar heading the rest of his Line, and to bring about the conclusive victory all four stages have to have yogic representations with Earth time correspondences… ‘
Thea then proceeds to define the task of each member. To help her students understand this new cosmology, she explains that the science of human consciousness is in its very early stages, we know very little yet. In fact, there are four broad planes of consciousness – the physical, vital, mental and spiritual.
She writes: ‘The Solar Line’s primary objective has been to open the last quarter to the evolving species that until now has been limping along on three legs rather than four – that is, only now do we have all four (stages of consciousness) integrated to constitute wholeness and the stability of a complete process’. Graphic B (above), defines the fourth stage of consciousness as Supramental rather Spiritual because, as of 1956, the full four stages of the Supramental descent have been completed.
Thea refers to Sri Aurobindo by the number power of 9, the Transcendent Divine. His yoga did the ‘first imprinting’ which brought a shift in the human consciousness, that tendency to take ‘the escape route’, i.e., to revert to an otherworldly direction, which was the way of spiritual paths, primarily in the West: a reward in an afterlife, a heaven. Eastern spirituality called the Earth and its suffering, ‘illusion’. The result, undeniably, was that over the past 2000 years our Earth has been abandoned.
The Mother is the Cosmic Divine, (the 6 number power) and her yoga was to put order into the cosmic planes, and get rid of the residues and the clutter of the past Overmental creation. Then she drew the vastness of the Transcendent through the new field, assuring that our evolutionary progress would not be slowed down, assuring Sri Aurobindo’s ‘new blueprint’ would become established.
Regarding the joint labour of these stages of the yoga, the Cosmic (6) and the Individual (3) Divine, Thea writes:
‘The Mother’s Yoga helped us to travel lightly and actually allows for the present acceleration. Her dynamism drew the Transcendent from a static Peace into the dynamism of itself and cleared the way through the debris of the Overmental planes for an open pathway down upon which the things of the New Heaven could reach the Earth when the Third completed her construction process by making Time an Ally and no longer the Destroyer. These are facts not fiction; this is the New Way, non-speculative, documented – and above all, it is its own authority…’
Thea reflects on the birth of the Fourth member of the Solar Line (the 0/1); he is the ‘Transcendent who has returned as the Son-Conquerer, the 10th avatar, Kalki.’ (Ibid, See also Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The New Way Volume 1, Aeon Books, 1981, Ch 10). She describes the grand celebration of ages in the deepest recesses of th’the birth of the Son, the Male Child of many traditions, which has survived across the ages in the deepest recesses of the soul.’ One of these ancient rites, celebrated in Greece at Eleusis, centered on the Son who was the symbol of the victory of the two Goddesses, Demeter and Kore. The shaft of wheat Triptolemus carries is a prophecy of the redemption (the immortality?) of the Earth. For over 1500 years these powerful initiatory rites were conducted before they came to an end in 369 AD; these ‘pagan rituals’ were stopped by Emperor Julian or taken over and transposed into something quite different by Constantine the Great.
All of this became clear to Thea in March of 1976 when she was able to integrate the 4th Power, or as she states, ‘to unveil it’. She recounts that she had been living in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram since 1971, and had already published many articles. She had written The Gnostic Circle, in 1974; but the full extent of how the Supermind would be organized for earth use, did not reveal itself until 1976.
The writing of The Gnostic Circle followed a pattern, and she divided the text into four parts, 9, 6, 3, 0: Part 9, the Father, Part 6, the Mother, Part 3, the Individual, and Part 0 – the Womb, the Centre. She knew Sri Aurobindo to be the 9 number Power, the Mother as the 6; she was aware of her own role and mission to be the Individual 3 in this Sacred Triangle. But who was the Zero? ‘It was, as it were, empty’, she writes, ‘only in March 1976, would it be ‘filled’.
The birth of the 4th Power/Principle is fundamental because of the victory it symbolizes:l ‘the 9th avatar’s most important labour was the 9th becoming the 10th in an unbroken line of time’ – and this passage has been successfully completed’ (ibid). Nothing can stand in the way of the new ‘blueprint’ mapped out by Sri Aurobindo, it has been imprinted into the evolutionary matrix of our Earth.
Over the years, Thea acknowledged the contribution of other cosmologies to the evolution of consciousness, particularly the teachings of Don Juan in the Carlos Castaneda series (The Flame Within). She used his experiences to show the both the extraordinary insights, as well as the limitations and incompletion of that approach; his goals were appropriate for an individual transformation, she said, but they could not be applied to the needs of the whole cosmos at this time. She concludes that the serious problem of ‘incompletion’ has been solved by the Descent of the complete Solar Line:
‘This is the grace the new cosmology offers to seekers. It is the only system that is founded precisely on whole processes… through their lives (the Solar Line) it becomes the lived experience for the earth’. No longer must Time be the destroyer; no longer must humanity at this stage of evolution, be ‘food for the Eagle’, as Don Juan writes.
References: The Evolutionary Avatar: Backbone of the Sanatana Dharma
On the 60th anniversary of his appearance, November 2009, Thea ‘revisits’ the Ayodhya issue and writes that not only does his coming verify Ayodhya as his birthplace, but confirms that the Hindu Calendar should be corrected so that the celebration of Makar Sankranti takes place on its true date, the December Solstice.
Thea wrote this article in 1991, before the destruction of the Babri Mosque in December 1992. She was aware the ‘Ayodhya issue’ was stirring up the sleeping energies of the Nation. She explores the deeper meanings of Ramlal’s mysterious presence in the Babri Mosque on the 22/23 December Solstice of 1949 and states that because India is a mythic nation a secular approach to this issue will not satisfy this deeply psychic civilization.
‘…When the divine Measure was lost and certain spiritual attainments undermined the soul, bedrock of the Vedic experience, there was no way to carry the Vedic thread through the dark age which had enveloped the subcontinent except by camouflaging it to the point where this veiling, by the tactic of simple story-telling and legend, served to keep the truth very much alive – but deep beneath the surface of the collective consciousness.’
The author discusses one of Thea’s revolutionizing insights, regarding the most famous of Vishnu’s attributes, measuring the universe in three strides. With the map of the 12 Manifestations the myth describes accurately the time of the appearances on Earth of the last three of his emanations. The article also elucidates another important early revelation which Thea made, the discovery of the date for the beginning of the Age of Aquarius.
‘I quote here the verses from the Rigveda in praise of Vishnu, and, similar to the Christian text (St. John’s Revelations), there can be no doubt that what the Rishi is describing is the cosmic script and the heavenly harmony which Vishnu embodies perhaps more than any other of the ancient godheads:
Of Vishnu now I declare the mighty works, who has measured out the earthly worlds and that higher seat of our self-accomplishing he supports, he the wide-moving, in the threefold steps of his universal movement.
That Vishnu affirms on high by his mightiness and he is like a terrible LION that ranges in the difficult places, yea, his lair is on the mountain-tops, he in whose three wide movements all the worlds find their dwelling-place. (RV. I.154, Sri Aurobindo’s translation)
For thousands of years there has been a ‘conspiracy of the spiritual elite’ – philosophies and religions have fostered an attitude of ‘otherworldliness’ which has deeply influenced our civilization. In the West, the Earth is considered a springboard to find a reward in a heavenly afterlife; in the East, the negation takes the form of denial – the Earth and matter is an ‘illusion’. The result in both of these spiritual outlooks is that our Earth is abandoned and we face critical problems. Sri Aurobindo wrote the Earth is at an ‘evolutionary crisis’ – we must make a choice.
Astrology was always a part of the ‘sacred sciences’ in India and in all Mystery Schools of the world. Of highest importance was ‘the unity of Time’ – of Past, Present Future (called ‘Trikaladrishti’ in the Vedic Age). This still holds true, Thea writes, ‘the foundation for a true astrologer/cosmologist is a consciousness of unity’. This is the axis around which he/she can expand on the grandeur they see.
But Unity for the Vedic seer meant something different than our common use of the term: a unity between and among all things. For the Seer it involved the ‘ability to expand one’s consciousness to embrace this side and that’ – to cross over the ‘event horizon’. The Sage is able to say ’we are THAT. We are all One in an indivisable unity’. This is unfortunately out of bounds for our contemporary scientists.
Two ‘spiritual giants’ from Bengal prepared the soil for the 1872 birth of Sri Aurobindo: Sri Ramakrishna in 1836 and Swami Vivekananda in 1863. Thea writes that … ‘Ramakrishna’s incarnation was necessary for India’s spiritual awakening, and Vivekananda brought the word to America and planted the seeds of Vedanta in that country.’