Also in this Series
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 2
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.1
- Culture and Cosmos – I
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 1
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.6
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.2
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.3
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.4
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.5
- Culture and Cosmos – 3.2
- Culture and Cosmos – 3.1
A SPECIAL ISSUE Commemorating
The Festival of Light and The Epiphany of Ramlal at Ayodhya
On 24 October 1991, an interesting news item appeared in the Bangalore edition of The Times of India, concerning the results of certain tests made on the Sphinx at Giza. These were announced at a specially convened meeting where archaeologists had gathered to study the conclusions and implications of the tests. I quote,
‘Signs of ancient rainstorms indicate Egypt’s giant Sphinx may be as much as 4,000 years older than currently believed – a discovery that could rewrite the history of civilisation… The mysterious stone figure with the body of a lion and the head of a man was believed to have been built around 2500 BC, but an examination of the rock showed signs of weathering that led researchers to believe the Sphinx was built by a long-vanished civilisation at least 2,500 to 4,000 years earlier… “We do not know who might have made it,” John A. West, an independent Egyptologist, who was part of the study team said on Tuesday; “But proof that a civilisation capable of creating such a sculpture existed, even as little as 2,500 years earlier than commonly believed, is to history what the relativity theory was to Victorian physics.”
‘West said the discovery could take current historic thought on the creation of civilisation and “blow it sky high.”
‘Before the discovery, West said, it was not believed that people who lived as far back as 6500 BC were capable of building the Sphinx, which would have required handling stone that weighed from 50 to 200 tons…’.
In the last issue of VISHAAL (6/5, December 1991), regarding the date and place of Sri Ram’s birth at Ayodhya more than 10,000 years ago, I wrote, ‘…This is not a time-frame accepted by historians. But it ought to be clear by now that historical and archaeological research is highly unreliable, especially in the Indian context. Time and again their definitive statements have to be revised due to new findings…’ (Page 37)
The above was being recorded in VISHAAL at about the very same time the scientists were meeting in California to discuss their ‘new findings’ regarding the age of the Sphinx and its impact on current theories regarding ancient civilisations. At the same time, there is a connection between Ram and the Sphinx, or rather the Age during which the Sphinx was built: the 7th Manifestation and the Age of Leo within that span of 6480 years (see chart opposite). This was also the time of Ram’s birth, the 7th Avatar in the Puranic Line of Ten.
In The Gnostic Circle and The New Way I discussed this issue extensively. I sustain that both the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid belong to a much earlier age than is commonly believed. This seems now to have been accepted by archaeologists, at least with regard to the Sphinx. I feel equally confident that before long historians in India and in the West, who specialise in the history of the subcontinent, will also consider my findings on the birth of Ram. But this will only be possible when it is finally accepted that from ancient times India’s ‘history’ was recorded cosmically – that is, on the basis of the very same components of the cosmic harmony which I have been presenting in my published works and now in this series in VISHAAL. Without this framework historians cannot piece together a coherent mosaic of the developments on the subcontinent. They are unable to do so because they have no schooling in the elusive workings of Time and its periodicities which have been recorded in a cosmic script that has reached us precisely from those very ancient times.
Similar to so many aspects of 20th-Century investigation, we persist in this case too in attributing motives and concepts to the ancients which do not take into consideration the language and conceptualisation of those early times, nor the connection between those recondite systems and the effect they had on world events. The Indian historian is trained in institutions which dismiss any attempt at reference to the cosmic harmony as a means of discovery. Those who do attempt to base their analysis on this branch of higher knowledge belong to the fringe of academia; their findings are never taken seriously. At most they may be accepted peripherally when they confirm the accepted orthodox position. But anything more audacious is ignored. To further confuse the issue, the fringe elements are themselves products of academia and are inadequately prepared to deal with questions of time and cosmos. Hence none have presented a truly convincing perspective.
Insofar as the obsession with astronomy of ancient civilisations has been proven, a new discipline has arisen, archaeo-astronomy. It seeks to uncover the astronomical content in monuments such as those in Egypt or Great Britain, or the temples and pyramids of pre-Colombian America. But there too scholars attempting to unravel the cosmic mysteries of the ancient mind have no grounding even in the most rudimentary aspects of the science and script then in use, the zodiac, though it has come down to us through the ages intact. This was made evident in the last issue of VISHAAL in which I refer to the archaeologist Gary S. Vescellus’s work on the Incan civilisation – so close yet so far. Thus, similar to the mythic/epic problem discussed in that issue, we have a body of historians and archaeologists demanding to be considered ‘authorities’ on a subject about which they are only superficially interested, if they demonstrate any interest at all.
The ‘history’ of India is completely entwined in its cosmogony. And this is the underlying content of the Puranas, as Sri Aurobindo has pointed out… ‘[The Puranas] are popular summaries of the cosmogony of the Indian people.’ Consequently the Puranas, and the epics in equal measure, record history very accurately. However, the thrust of this special method of documentation is the evolution of the consciousness of a people and the underlying psychic foundation of the civilisation. The reason for this approach was that nothing else mattered in terms of the true method to knit a people together in spite of the apparent divisions in the more superficial strata, which is the area of contemporary analysis solely. This soul content bore a direct relation to the flow of time in these cosmic patterns – a knowledge which is not at all accepted as relevant anywhere on the globe today, even in India, except perhaps in schools of Vedic studies which are few and far between. But even there, given the Lost Measure, many veils have gathered to cloud the true art of cosmic harmonies. In ancient times to dwell on a lesser truth or the more surface operations of the evolution would have been deemed a disservice to the people of India and an undermining of the civilisation which has managed to hold itself together through a dark age of merciless attacks and conquests, precisely because of this firm foundation which lay at levels not accessible to these attacks.
Renewal Not Fundamentalism
A climax has been reached. It has been building up over the past three centuries and it peaks in our times. For two centuries India has been opening her arms to western secular education built upon those shallow concepts, and in the process she has denied the truths of her ancient soul and the methods her sages and seers provided in order to preserve that foundational binding energy of the civilisation. The result is that we read news reports today to the effect that the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya is a ‘symbol of secular values’, while the proposed Ram Temple is equated with fundamentalism, obscurantism, divisiveness. No one seems to care to question deeply the premises of such pronouncements, for the Babri Mosque, it is well known, was a statement of conquest by an invader and an attack precisely on that Epic soul-content; or an attempt to undermine the conquered subjects’ belief in the binding power of the Avatar symbol. If one considers that at the time there was no ‘secular’ consciousness reigning anywhere in the world, and that this sort of military statement was accepted as part and parcel of the spirit that was moving across the face of the globe in mighty colonising strides, Babar’s action was not only understandable but correct – in his day.
To my knowledge the mosque in Ayodhya was not the result of a mystical or spiritual or otherwise sacred experience. It was a monument to Babar’s hegemonic designs and a clever device to undermine the mythic/epic civilisation he had to contend with in his conquest of the subcontinent. It is also understandable that with a possible second partition facing the country today, the question of constructing a temple in honour of that epic Hero-Avatar should arise and stand as the rallying point for the long pent-up and suppressed mythic/epic energies of India’s soul and that this contemporary movement should come to symbolise the aspirations of the Hindu masses for a united and fully integrated nation.
A situation such as this inevitably brings to the fore very interesting questions which had been suppressed. Yet they can no longer be ignored, for the well-being of India as a united society hinges entirely on the correct perspective adopted in the review of what is presently the exclusive domain of secular academicians. Their western foundation cannot be expected to provide the basis for analysis, insights and understanding of the historic and civilisational content of the true Vedic culture; and perhaps for this very reason there is a blanket refusal even to entertain the idea that India might just be demanding this sort of larger perspective in academia. By this I do not mean to imply that shallowness is the mark of all western learning. Rather, what I mean is that societies of the West, which have imprinted upon the entire globe their perspectives and values, arose and became consolidated as predominant influences long after the cosmic harmonies had faded from the scene in most parts of the world. As I have written earlier, the only country which still does maintain a connection with that type of discipline is India. Therefore it is understandable that difficulties must arise when we find that the cosmic/mythic is pitted against the secular/academic, as in the Ayodhya dispute. And the burning question which this affair has forced to the surface is, Which shall prevail? I would like to state that it will be a combination of both – realising that this will appeal to the ‘spiritually-minded’ who always seek the good compromise and happy mean. But this unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, is not the case. The answer to the conundrum is something entirely different. The only avenue to reach that third way lies through the channels the Vedic culture and discipline have provided, simply because this is the true content of the secular Indian nation regardless of community or creed. And because these harmonies are indeed secular, at the same time they are eternally relevant and express an unending progression rooted in the evolutionary process itself. Thus, to appeal to and to awaken that cosmic voice in individual and in society, and to attempt to engage that power in the process of integration is not a question of fundamentalism – that is, a regression into the past. It is an activity of and in the present and opens the way to the new future. Certainly none can deny that this is what India very badly needs at this point: an ideal, a binding cause and call from a dimension which stands far beyond divisive poises and is truly secular in that it is based not on emotional responses but the more detached cosmic knowledge which can be claimed by any individual, religion, race, or class.
In these pages I am attempting to present another perspective, a ‘new way’ to perceive what the great Vedic Rishis had seen thousands of years ago and which formed the formidable foundations of the Sanatan Dharma – indeed, the eternal Truth. But if that Truth is really ‘eternal’, a mechanism of renewal is required to accompany its progressive manifestation through the ages. This mechanism is the property of the Evolutionary Avatars, of whom Ram is the seventh in the Line. Hence, his prominence at this critical turning point in Indian history merely indicates that something of this renewal is pressing to be experienced in the contemporary context.
The soul dimension is the ‘location’ of that eternal truth-seeing because it provides the mechanism of renewal by its link with Time; and in Hindu civilisation this is achieved through the Line of Ten Avatars. For this reason Sri Aurobindo has referred to them as ‘realisers’, not saints or founders of religions or even sages. At the same time, he has clearly stated that the Puranic Line of Ten is a ‘parable of evolution’; that is, each Avatar incarnates to add a further fundamental ingredient in the evolutionary process, and this is secured by the mechanism here described.
Given this fact, it is understandable that these issues should be surfacing now when the nation is grappling with a mighty and irreversible choice, centred precisely on the work of that Line. The present 9th Manifestation has witnessed the appearance of the 9th Avatar. His mission, together with the 10th is to carry the Vedic Truth to its fullest expression in the 21st Century. When the Tradition states that Kalki, that 10th, comes to ‘reestablish the Dharma, it is this renovating activity that is indicated. It is a strengthening of those ancient foundations, but in support of a new edifice which is the result of a totality of conditions in the present. The Evolutionary Avatars unfold the means to accomplish this aim. Given the existence of this mechanism, healthy and alive, the Vedic Dharma can never become fossilised or serve obscurantist and retrogressive designs. It can only ‘go forward with the times’, for indeed the Avatars are those superior agents of the Time-Spirit. As such they incarnate fashioned even physiologically in such a way as to serve the civilisation by harmonising society’s evolving consciousness-being with the flow of gnostic Time. For Time as the gestating agent compels a forward march and dissolves whatever obstructs its creative drive. Indeed, Mahakal, or the Great Time as Shiva is known, is considered the Destroyer because of this activity, without which the work of the Avatars cannot bear fruit. Obstructive barriers impeding the manifestation of the New Way have to be demolished when they present a brittleness which defies any attempt at transformation. The Great Time moves on in an irreversible forward stride. The Evolutionary Avatars incarnate precisely to embody that Power and carry out the renovating design of Time in the impeccable manner of the divine Warriors which they are. India’s epics and myths are records – sometimes prophetic and previsonary – of this creative renovating drive. And blessed is the civilisation that knows the secret to this mystery of Stability and Change, coveted by wisemen of all times.
This superior mechanism of renewal via Time’s special collaboration is preserved in the Puranas, in myth, in epic. The outstanding manner in which Sri Aurobindo’s own birth and mission have conformed meticulously to the mechanism, as well as the other members of his Solar Line, is ample indication of the truth of my statements. This has been carefully recorded in all my publications, especially The New Way. The time will soon come when these cosmic records or ‘credentials’, as I have called them, will have to be scrutinised and accepted as the real ‘history’ of India. And they must come to be accepted as the key to an enlightened revision of the ancient texts and a complete reassessment of the true character of the Indian nation and its Vedic civilisation.
The Egyptian ‘Conquest of Space’
Let us now proceed to establish the cosmic credentials of Ram based on the fragments which have reached us today, preserved by the Tradition. The latest findings regarding the age of the Sphinx will help us to verify these credentials, as well as the power and purpose of The New Way. In Chapter 9, Volume 2, of the book, I discuss the planet’s geography in relation to the Gnostic Circle, that great key of Vedic measuring. The idea was to draw the zodiac on the globe with the aid of this special tool. On this basis I was able to locate the Sphinx (and the Great Pyramid) at precisely the spot on the planet which is seen by this method to correspond to the last degree of Aquarius. Its opposite point on the wheel is Leo. That the sign Aquarius should begin there (in a backward movement through the signs) might not have been such an exceptional discovery, except for the fact that the Sphinx is indeed a colossus formed of the two traditional figures of the signs involved: a Man (Aquarius, the water carrier) and a Lion. The Gnostic Circle’s 360 degrees laid across the globe help us to understand that locating the Sphinx at that particular spot on the globe was not whimsical but meticulously planned; and the flawless incorporation of measurements drawing into its form certain aspects of the cosmic harmonies, is another indication that this was indeed a superior civilisation, possessing a knowledge unknown to us today, revealed particularly in the Great Pyramid.
It is clear that unless archaeologists incorporate the correct study of cosmic harmonies into their discipline, they cannot make use of the clues the monuments of a distant Age provide. Nor can they, by consequence, pretend to reconstruct a correct image of the civilisation which left posterity with such massive and enigmatic structures. Yet they claim to do just that, and they are disdainful of any proposition which seeks to inject an element of truth-seeing into their partial and biased assessments.
But, let it be noted, India did not use monuments for the preservation of the Sanatan Dharma. It used the Puranic strategy of myth and epic together with the Line of Ten Avatars taking physical birth. The reason for this different strategy is also explained in The New Way, in the chapter cited above. Egypt was a ‘space’ manifestation; or, to be more precise, it was born of an age when Space was the cosmic knot to be unravelled. Hence the monuments it left for posterity conform accurately to the Space Scale of 1 to 12 (the zodiac), which is the scale being used in this portion of the essay to understand the passage of the cosmic Ages. Thus, laying the Gnostic Circle across the globe, we can confirm this fact by the position on Egyptian soil of the Sphinx which is itself proof of the Gnostic Circle’s accuracy. At the point east of Greenwich where the Sphinx stands, the Gnostic Circle’s geographical/zodiacal yardstick reveals that to be the very first degree of Aquarius which is met in the precessional backward movement through the signs. And there we do find a colossus in stone to commemorate this very fact; and at the same time, to draw the vast threads of the cosmic harmonies down and onto the earth through this very special act of measuring, entirely unknown to contemporary civilisation.
This was indeed the Egyptian strategy to preserve the Cosmic Truth when its civilisation, like the Mayan and Incan, would succumb to the onslaught of invading armies inimical to that timeless Truth. As foreseen, every vestige of that enlightened way was destroyed in Egypt. Intact remained only a few monuments, among them the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx at Giza, at 30 degrees longitude and 30 degrees latitude east of Greenwich – these two oldest and most important ‘documents’ in stone bearing testimony to the cosmic consciousness of those prior times.
Indeed, so accurate has been the method that the Sphinx was finally liberated from her cover of sand in the very year that she herself foretold in the contours of her form: 1926, or the year when the cosmic dial would touch, precisely, the Age of Aquarius, or the very degree of longitude/latitude on the globe which also corresponds to Aquarius. This is what is meant by a ‘conquest in space’ as the object of that 7th Manifestation.
In this light it can be appreciated that through this knowledge, the same that was known to Vedic India and that has resurfaced now in the New Way, those early sages were able to locate the precise spot on the planet and within the boundaries of their land which could connect it to the heavens and establish this fact of oneness in an entirely physical manner, but in a way which eludes our contemporary notions of physicality, correspondence and synchronicity. Moreover, the full form of that cosmic/geographical document would be unveiled in 1926, or precisely when the hands of that cosmic clock would come to touch that very point foretold by the form of the monument 10,000 or more years before the event. Needless to say, this is a form of prophecy unimaginable in our times. It is a capacity which, first of all, demands a knowledge of approaching periods of decline. The ancients had to foresee, before all else, that a colossus would be required which could withstand climatic ravages for a period of at least 10,000 years; and it had to be of a size that would defy the customary ravages the human being inflicts on whatever he does not understand but yet covets as an object of ‘conquest’.
In the case of a monument of massive proportions, it is clear that many decades would have been required for the construction to be completed. The entire population had to be engaged and committed to this cosmic endeavour with the full trust that the wisdom of their wisemen would prevail and that what was ‘written’ by them in stone in those distant times would indeed come to pass and justify the labour, while fulfilling the Sphinx’s inscrutable purpose. This too is a situation unimaginable today. If nothing else, it serves to inform us that our world and that of the ancients is impelled by very different objectives. For the cosmic vision does not simply involve function and utility. Above all, it explains the purpose of life on Earth and its evolutionary process, where it has come from, where it now stands, and where it is leading.
Finally, there is the sort of prevision which can ‘reconstruct’ conditions of a distant future and allow that monument to stand not only as a testimony to that cosmic truth it embodies, but also to serve by this special previsionary capacity as an accurate cosmic dial. Thus, the final uncovering of the Sphinx in 1926 was part of a prophetic capacity embracing thousands of years. Closer to our times we do encounter something of this order. In India there are papyrus leaves in the custody of certain families and astrological schools which were written centuries ago. These ‘horoscopes’, similar to the Sphinx, incorporate conditions which would prevail at the time the subject of the horoscope would approach the astrologer for a reading. Thus they would perhaps be written in the present tense, describing the life and destiny of an individual to be born hundreds of years into the future, as if that future were the present, a similar capacity to that of the fashioners of the Sphinx. I have pointed out the same situation regarding The Revelation of St John. In Chapter 17, page 237 of The Hidden Manna, I write of this astounding capacity with respect to a prophecy involving the Roman Catholic popes of this century.
But the Lost Measure has affected every society’s grasp and utilisation of the cosmic harmony. In India’s case the misplacement of Time involves both the Earth year of 365 days, as well as the cosmic year of 25,920 years. In other parts of the world it is only the latter that has been affected by the Lost Measure. Consequently, none in the West (or in India) can agree on the exact year when the Age of Aquarius began. India is off by hundreds of years. Others miscalculate by decades. But any inaccuracy, large or small, produces similar results: an unfocused lens. However, the ancients, in their prophetic wisdom, devised a method of rectification through the collaboration of Time itself. To illustrate, the Sphinx’s final and complete unveiling occurred in the very year the Age of Aquarius began, 1926. Not only did the colossus point its zodiacal finger to the sign Aquarius through its composite Man/Lion symbolism, but it also saw to it that its power would be such as to provide a means for resetting the cosmic clock and to recapture the accuracy of old, without which no sense can be made of the cosmic harmonies. Further on I shall reveal how Sri Ram himself has done the same service for India.
Given its overt connection with the zodiac, it is obvious that the ‘enigmatic Sphinx’ is not much of an enigma after all. It is just that those who analyse these documents involving truth, time and cosmos are thoroughly unprepared to deal with the obvious. Their meaning and purpose have always been manifest. The question of secrecy and of shrouding or camouflaging the Knowledge have never been a part of the Tradition as we imagine it to be – i.e., the fanciful accounts of secret brotherhoods and esoteric, closed societies. These are products of the Dark Age and are not the demands of the supramental Gnosis, simply because it is known that the eyes of the beholder are automatically veiled by one’s own ignorance. That is, the Knowledge is self-protective.
Thus, to historians the Sphinx is an ‘enigma’. To a Gnostic Being it is a glaring expose of the great key of Knowledge of the old and new ways. So glaring that it is almost embarrassing: the incompetence of academia is made manifest by their refusal to accept the Sphinx on her terms. Violence is constantly done by the scientific/academic community – be this in history, archaeology, or in the manufacture of lethal weapons. Indeed, the latter are perhaps the more innocuous and less destructive; whereas the violence western-trained scholars have wrought on the intellectual life of the planet has left us with a polluted atmosphere that defies all attempts at cleansing. This ignorance of higher studies and operations has forced the rise of fundamentalist movements and regimes which are far worse in the wide-reaching and long-lasting effects of their attacks than any nuclear weapon might be. We have both academia and the clergy with their respective dogmas to thank for the emergence of the various brands of fundamentalism and obscurantism that plague us today. For it is this that stands as the ‘knot’ to be undone before the ‘centre can hold’, when the true new world order can be set fully on its way.
Thus, science has finally caught up with the new Cosmology by the latest discovery that the Sphinx is ‘at least 4,000 years older’ than previously estimated. (Let us not overlook the fact that until this new ‘discovery’ anyone who contradicted the earlier ‘fact’ was considered a lunatic.) I have given the approximate time as between 8000 to 10,000 BC. To reach this conclusion I have simply let the Sphinx herself inform me when she was built. Her very form provided the answer. Thus there was no violence done. There was simply seeing WHAT IS, discarding the veils that academia sought to cover this ‘enigma’ in. But now, gratifyingly, science is slowly catching up. More discoveries will have to be made to push the secular archaeological dial back a bit more in order to tally with the new way Cosmology in full. There is no reason to believe that this further adjustment will not be made. Moreover, there is the need to study cosmic harmonies if a real aspiration exists to understand the mind of the ancients, for it is all contained in the Aquarius/Leo axis the Sphinx herself describes.
The sages who gave birth to the Egyptian strategy of preservation, like the Vedic, were not instruments acting in ignorance. They were CONSCIOUS, AWARE, PREPARED. Above all, they had the cosmic truth as their ‘philosopher’s stone’ and on this basis they could proceed confidently in implementing their strategy. One of the most revered figures of modern physics and astronomy, Isaac Newton, spent the better part of his life in search of precisely that ‘stone’. To illustrate, I reproduce below a copy he made of a diagram of one version of the Lapis Philosophus, which was among his extensive notes on the subject. It can be observed that the ‘stone’ is entirely planetary and cosmological. Indeed, the basis of all alchemy, in the West and the East, was astrological.
The means to assure survival of the cosmic truth when the SPACE SCALE was the determinant – i.e., Egypt and not India – was to create massive structures which could not be demolished by hordes inimical to that Truth. The strategy was fully successful because the sages knew that the earth was entering a dark period in which even their advanced knowledge of material sciences that permitted them to construct these colossi in the first place would be lost. Not only would their construction perplex scholars ever after but, given the scientific immaturity which would set in and prevail throughout many a cosmic Age, their destruction as well would prove an impossible feat.
India’s ‘Conquest of Time’
The veils began to descend on humanity after the 7th Manifestation when Egypt finalised its strategy of preservation in massive stone – entirely in keeping with the Cosmic Truth they were preserving. The Time-Spirit then moved the Earth into the dark night of the 8th Manifestation. In India Ram’s 7th had closed. The Solar King gave way to the Lunar and the way was prepared for the 8th Avatar of the enchanting Night – Krishna, the Dark One, as his very name reveals.
At about the same time that Egypt finalised its strategy and began its retreat, in Tamil Nadu the Sangam seers recorded the closing chapter in their tales of a submerged continent and the establishment of the new kingdom in Madurai in South India. It was then that India took up the role of preserver for the world, but on the basis of her own inner truth and singular contribution. This lay in the dimension of Time. Therefore the strategy was entirely different from the Egyptian which used Space and Matter and physical structures. India used the consciousness of her people, from those very ancient times to the present. The first foundations of the mythic/epic strategy were laid precisely during the Age of Ram. It was then that the Epic moved onto centrestage and promised to be the infallible vehicle for the preservation of the cosmic Truth through the dark ages that lay ahead.
The Age of Cancer, last of the 7th Manifestation (see Map of Twelve Manifestations) announced this happening. It was then, around 8000 BC, that the very first dimming began. And Cancer being a ‘water’ sign, traditions in various parts of the world began recording the onset of formidable floods whereby entire continents were said to have been submerged. But in fact what was submerged, buried deeply beneath those Cancer waters covering the soul, was the Cosmic Truth. At that point, as the previous essay described, myth and epic began to serve India in the very same way that stone and mortar served Egypt – as tools for preservation.
It is incomprehensible to contemporary historians that all the energies of a civilisation should be channelled into the construction of things so impractical and apparently useless as a sphinx or a pyramid. And since historical analysis rests in the hands of these ‘barbarians’, we find our textbooks replete with nonsensical theories of despots concerned merely with leaving monuments for their self-glorification, engaging slave labour of fantastic quantities simply to accommodate their superstitious beliefs in an afterlife, or else their ego desires – the size of the monuments mirroring somehow the size and scope of their egos! For centuries young people have been brainwashed by these representatives of ‘enlightenment’, of ‘secular values’ and the ‘scientific temper’. Their gross inability to deal with the truth they refuse to see is made apparent when a voice comes forth that can expose the pathetic limitations of these ‘authoritative custodians’ of the last word in matters both profane and sacred.
But the Sphinx would indicate WHEN the unveiling of the one universal truth would begin: 1926, for it was then that the 9th Avatar would officially initiate the ‘time conquest’ at the dawn of the new Age of Aquarius. The silent, enigmatic Man-half of the sphinx had joined the incarnate representative of her other half, the Lion, the latter being Sri Aurobindo’s own sign of birth. Twenty-one years thereafter it would be the birth sign (and even the day) of the new India as well.
If space was to be ‘conquered’ in the 7th Manifestation, the point had been reached in the cosmic flow of the Ages for Time to be drawn into the play as the central protagonist, because, as pointed out in the last essay, Time’s gestation had reached its final stage. Birth, in cosmic terms was near. Insofar as the mechanism of preservation involved Time, the supremely elusive substance, it utilised an equally elusive compound: the human consciousness. The seeds of the epic/mythic strategy were planted in the age of the Vedic Rishis whose hymns in the Rigveda, like the Sphinx, have proven to be equally mysterious. Contemporary historians and Indologists have distorted their message in the same manner that the face of the Sphinx was earlier disfigured and her message buried deep beneath covers of sand.
But the Puranic strategy was infallible. Thus we can review the epics on this cosmic backdrop and we discover the same Cosmic Truth underlying the tales as we have found in the Sphinx. There the medium was a material substance that could defy the onslaught of the Ignorance; and insofar as the gestation was not destined to be carried over into modern Egypt after the appearance of Judeo-Christianity and Islam, the severance with the past, as far as Egypt was concerned, was complete.
Today, in that part of the world, the Cosmic Truth is preserved only in Egypt’s stone colossi which defied destruction, unlike the temple of old which could easily be demolished by invaders hostile to the Tradition. And indeed they were destroyed throughout the world and particularly in the subcontinent. In India it seems there are historical records of thousands of temple and shrines having been demolished. It is clear therefore that the temple could not be the medium of preservation. It had to be an elusive, inaccessible medium. This was Time and Consciousness, offspring of the same cosmic process. The impregnable fortress was the soul. The strategy was Myth and Epic which, as I have explained earlier, are the repositories of the Vedic culture’s soul-power and truth.
Certain details of Sri Ram’s appearance and mission affirm his cosmic credentials similar to Sri Aurobindo and in an equally spectacular manner – though we must bear in mind that when Ram’s story was told and then recorded, Time had not yet been ‘conquered’ and the Time Scale was still unknown. It awaited the future discovery of the Zero in India itself. Thus his credentials, similar to Sri Krishna’s, are to be found in the Map of the 12 Manifestations which involves still the Space Scale of 1 to 12. Thus the figure of Ram, as I have written in The Gnostic Circle and The New Way, conforms to the zodiacal signs comprising the 7th Manifestation, which are Virgo, Leo and Cancer. The sign Libra enters by virtue of the Manifestation being the 7th, for Libra is the 7th sign. To provide a few examples, Ram is revered as the ideal Man and king/ruler. His incarnation took place in the Age of Leo, the sign of the King. Since the Manifestation was the 7th or Libra’s, this gives us the overall focus of his life and work. Thus the 7th sign being that of marital union, we note that his relationship with Sita is perhaps the most important feature of the advent. Indeed, almost the entire epic centres on her abduction by the Titan Ravana and Ram’s efforts to rescue his beloved. In the hearts and minds of the people of India, above all else it is this aspect of the story that is so irresistibly compelling and heart-rending.
Thus, Ram is reflected in the masculine sign Leo, while Sita is the following sign in the sequence, the feminine Cancer – and it must be pointed out once again that the movement is BACKWARD through the signs in terms of the Ages (not the Manifestations) because it is based on the precession of the equinoxes which traces this clockwise progression. These two figures/signs/ages bring the 7th to a close. The fascinating part of the strategy in relation to the cosmic script starts at this point, when the Time-Spirit moves the cosmic dial over to the dark 8th Manifestation and the preparation of the field for the 8th Avatar, the lunar Sri Krishna. To do this the epic calls into play the services of none other than Ram’s two sons, Luv and Kush, perfectly in tune with the cosmic notation in that the sign/age following on the heels of Sita’s is, very accurately, Gemini, or the sign of the Twins. Gemini is the first sign of the 8th Manifestation which signifies that it serves as a preparation for Krishna’s appearance in the following Age of Taurus the Bull. We observe then that the cosmic credentials of Ram and his entourage could not be more accurate as a means to preserve the Cosmic Truth for posterity’s needs. But it is more than that. The signs/ages/manifestations indicate the nature of the work the Avatar comes to do, similar to Sri Aurobindo’s which is so perfectly figured in the signs comprising his 9th Manifestation.
It was in the Age of Gemini at the beginning of the 8th Manifestation that the strategy of myth/epic for preservation began with the work of Ram’s twin sons, Luv and Kush, embodying this aspect of the avataric mission. Tradition confirms this amply. The vehicle for this act of preservation conformed to India’s destiny involving Time and Consciousness rather than Space and the material Egyptian contribution of the prior Manifestation: the cementing of the Knowledge in myth and epic and the dissemination via the medium of the human consciousness. This stands confirmed by the Ramayana itself in that the offspring Twins are held by tradition to have been the first to carry the tale of Ram far and wide throughout Bharatmata. Indeed, this was their precise mission. There cannot be a more conclusive statement made unveiling the ‘enigma’ of these ancient strategies and, above all, their irrefutable connection to the cosmic script, than the disclosure of these correspondences. Again, like the Sphinx, the question is not to do violence to the epic or myth by reading into them the twisted theories of an ‘age of enlightenment’, but simply to allow the truth they hold to enlighten us.
With Luv and Kush figured in the sign of the Twins, the Messenger, the Bearer of Tidings, the stage was set for the Age of Taurus, the Bull. It was only to be expected that Krishna’s appearance should draw into the symbolism precisely the Bull and Cow. The Map of the Manifestations on page 2 offers a visual appreciation of when these appearances took place on the cosmic spiral of cyclic Time. In everso many other details, it is obvious that Krishna’s Taurus cosmic credentials are as well founded as Ram’s Leo essence. For who can deny the enchanting role of the Cowherd, beloved of all, and his delightful escapades with the Gopis, calling up the potent symbolism of the sexual play so closely allied to the 8th sign Scorpio, ruler of the entire 8th Manifestation? Or else there is the pastoral Brindavan where these escapades took place – again a unique feature of the pastoral Taurus. And finally the questions that occupy perhaps the core of the 8th’s appearance and mission – i.e., Time, Death and Destiny, issues central to the 8th sign Scorpio, the sign of Death. This too is amply confirmed in Krishna’s great epic, the Mahabharat, when, on the battlefield (for Scorpio is ruled by the war planet Mars) he expounds to his beloved friend Arjun what has reached us through the ages as the Bhagavat Gita, the Song of the Lord, the most powerful words ever spoken and recorded on these themes which have obsessed the human spirit from time immemorial. Indeed, when Krishna does accede to Arjun’s request that he be allowed to see his Friend’s true divine form, the Avatar reveals himself as the Time-Spirit in the act of creating and then devouring that creation in the endless flow of the cosmic ages. Arjun despairs. The vision and deepest truth of the 8th sign Scorpio and the 8th Avatar are just too much to bear. The vision fades, the veils are drawn, and the mantle of inertia – for the 8th sign epitomises this energy expression because of its connection with Death – begins to descend upon the people of Bharat. It is for this reason that Tradition claims the Kaliyuga or the Dark Age began with the death of Sri Krishna. The strategy of preservation is driven to deeper levels. The physical dimension is almost entirely left behind and with it the epic as the medium. The Puranic age of Myth takes over and those deepest psychic waters which the 8th Manifestation of Scorpio heralded become the plane where the images of myth are ‘seen’. For this reason the figures take on somewhat fantastic forms, while the Vedic symbols are drawn entirely from the physical plane, as Sri Aurobindo states, ‘…not starting with conceptions drawn from the physical universe, but supplied entirely from the psychic universe within us…’.
The Puranic myths go deeper into the soul dimension, the ‘psychic universe within’, in an age when the surface lost its connection with the truth, when the symbol was no longer the thing symbolised and equal to it in every way, as in the Rigvedic era. We are now in the 8th Manifestation’s dark and profound waters of Scorpio, for Scorpio is indeed a sign of the Water Element and it stands for the unconscious parts of the being. These are called into play as the repositories of the Knowledge, the ‘cave’ of the Rigveda. Scorpio does stand for those unconscious parts which the human being can contact only in sleep, in his or her dream experience, for the latter is also a property of the sign.
It is this cosmic background that gave India the phenomenon of the Puranic Myth. At the same time, it inspired spiritualists to escape in another way, through Samadhi and Trance and the Void. Indeed, the appearance of the greatest exponent the world has ever known of these poises of consciousness, Gautam the Buddha, occurred precisely at the end of that 8th Manifestation ruled by Scorpio, which, more pointedly than any other sign, epitomises the great Escape, namely death, of which these spiritual poises are a reflection, a compensation of an antidote.
The 8th sign/age is also present centremost in the Rigveda where it stands as the most dangerous portion of the ‘journey’ or ‘sacrifice’, the sign/dimension where the cows (rays of light and knowledge) are hoarded in the cave of the hostiles, the Panis, and which the Warrior of Truth must retrieve. The ‘journey’ of the Rigvedic myth in the passage of the 12-month year is the same as the one I am describing for the 12 cosmic Manifestations. The cycles may be vast or small but the goal is always the same: the attainment of Swar or the supreme heights of the solar Gnosis. In the Puranic period and the myth, this conquest is extended in scope to the entire civilisation and not merely restricted to the individual. Thus, as tradition in India states, there is the year of the Gods and the year of the human being. One is a multiplication of the other. While in the Rigveda we encounter the phenomenon of Scorpio and those deepest layers where the Cows/Rays are stored and must be retrieved by the individual realiser, in the Puranic period this same retrieval and conquest becomes the experience of an entire civilisation, spread out through the consciousness of an entire population – the elusive element that defies destruction. For so long as the human race exists, so long does the soul incarnate. And so long is the ‘chamber’ accessible to the realiser. For the civilisation the cycle is no longer mirrored in the 12 months of the year. It has been stretched out almost in proportion to the field of consciousness which these vaster cycles embrace: the Earth year is played out in the cosmic Manifestations.
A Contemporary Myth
I have laid emphasis on the individual soul as the repository of the content of myth and that securing access to that ‘hidden chamber’ can furnish any human being with the same Knowledge which myths throughout the world hold. On numerous occasions I have also discussed the non-speculative nature of this New Way. Its knowledge content is the fruit of a direct experience, hence non-speculative and empirical if its own language and discipline are employed as the parameter or frame of reference. Therefore, regarding the statements I have made about the universal character of Myth and its access being the individual soul, let me use my own experience as an example in order to confirm both the non-speculative nature of the New Way, a feature which distinguishes it from most contemporary schools of Knowledge and connects it to the ancient Vedic systems, as well as the role of the soul in the experience.
Thus, if I have stated that the soul is the universal fount of Myth, I am qualified to do so because I myself have lived and recorded the experience. In March of 1970, I gained access to that ‘hidden chamber’ through an ‘act of seeing’, and on the basis of what I ‘saw’, I recorded a modern myth. This came to be called The Magical Carousel. It was written in Rome before any contact with Indian mythology and yoga – indeed, even before any contact with the Mother who was its inspirer. That is, it was the Mother’s power which thrust me into that Chamber, though I ignored her existence at the time. Be this as it may, the lived experience of the ‘hidden chamber’ presented before my inner vision a story, a contemporary myth which not only conformed to myths of ages past and of diverse cultures, but it also revealed itself faithful and true to another characteristic of myth: its nature of prophecy.
I have always contended that myths not only record ‘history’ in its essential dimensions, but are also prophecies of things to come – or recur. Or else, they were recorded in states of higher awareness in which the Eternal is met and the Being and Becoming are experienced in their everlasting condition of oneness. Thus, on this basis access into the Chamber invariably tends to blur the time barriers. The future is drawn into the present, or else the present extends spherically to embrace what has been and what will be. In every culture in the world the cosmic harmony has provided the backdrop for Myth, though its zodiacal content may be difficult for the contemporary observer to perceive, being a language foreign to our modern research. Nonetheless, the cosmic harmony is always the foundation of Myth.
I have demonstrated this time and again regarding the Rigveda – the world’s oldest book and the original myth from where all others have evolved in Hindu civilisation. The Rigvedic myth is as zodiacally founded as my Magical Carousel, the latter being openly a 12-part ‘zodiacal odyssey’. It is ‘historical’ only insofar as the zodiac does indeed incorporate every dimension of human life in the manner I have demonstrated in this essay on caste and cosmos.
The cosmic harmony is a ceaseless unfolding of an eternal Truth. The stages of its development are 12 – hence the 12 months of the year. Indeed, it is the year that is the Divine Measure, backdrop of the sacred myth. Therefore the year was the main protagonist of both the Rigveda and my own contemporary myth. Sri Aurobindo’s epic, Savitri, has been faithful to this same divine Measure. It too follows the same sequence and the content of each of its twelve chapters (books) is equally faithful to the traditional significance of the twelve signs. With regard to this ancient formula, in a letter to a disciple Sri Aurobindo wrote, ‘…Twelve books to an epic is a classical superstition, but the new Savitri may extend to ten books – if much is added in the final version it may be even twelve.’ This did finally come to pass.
Thus, when I wrote The Magical Carousel I drew up the true knowledge the soul-chamber holds in its universal bosom; and at the same time I prophesied the true course of things to come, of the nature of my inner experiences and where and to whom they would lead in the following years.
There was even more. In The Magical Carousel I describe very accurately the nature of that ‘hidden chamber’ and, most important of all, its connection to Time. That is, the Chamber or the soul was seen in the lived experience as the abode of the Time-Spirit and the cradle of the human incarnation’s destiny. From that Chamber the lines in time of one’s destiny extend outward, spherically, and the web of one’s individual time and space, or our private cosmos, is drawn.
I have dwelt at length on this aspect of the story in a book of Commentaries which I wrote in 1979. The full connection with the Rigveda is given in that publication, as well as the significance of the symbolism of that 12-part ‘journey’ for both the individual and the evolution. But here I would like to furnish just a few examples of the coincidences between this contemporary myth and the ancient ones, those which I have mentioned with regard to the cosmic/zodiacal character of Sri Ram and Sri Krishna – 7th and 8th Avatars of the Hindu Puranic line.
To illustrate, I drew attention to the 7th sign Libra as the overall quality of Ram’s mission in that union and the perfect complementation of Masculine and Feminine are the sign’s contribution to the whole. This has been confirmed by Ram’s union with Sita and the nature of their ‘complementation’ – to the extent that it is impossible to consider Ram without his ‘other half’. Indeed, it is universally accepted that they are upheld in India as symbols or ideals to be followed by every married couple.
In The Magical Carousel this is corroborated when in the odyssey the two children, Val and Pom-Pom, main protagonists of the tale, travel to Libra (land) and there they meet the ‘ideal couple’, Frank and Felicity Harmony. They are taught the supreme virtues of ‘union’ and ‘complementation’. But this is yet an external projection, for it is only the 7th stage in the 12-part journey. The initiate is obliged to experience deeper inner layers until the Complement is found within and not without. Krishna adds this piece to the mosaic.
I mention this because there is an aspect to the Ramayana which has proven difficult to comprehend. This is Ram’s humanlike despair when Sita is abducted. On countless occasions I have encountered bafflement by analysts of the epic and scrutinisers of Ram’s divinity or Avatarhood, when confronted with this apparently un-divine behaviour, all too human for a God. I have not come upon a satisfying explanation of Ram’s seemingly un-Godlike despair over the loss of his beloved Sita. But when the true function of Ram is gleaned from the cosmic content of his Avatarhood, this incongruous behaviour is seen as a fundamental part of his mission. His appearance as the 7th corresponds to the 7th Manifestation and the 7th zodiacal sign Libra. And the latter does indeed compel its subjects to a fixation on the human, external companion. This union is the be-all, end-all of the sign/manifestation – hence the faithfulness of the epic to its cosmic purpose. In The Magical Carousel this focus is emphasised when all the couples of Libra (land) confront the children with choruses of ‘Union!, strive for Union!’ Or else, ‘Solitude is our only enemy!’
At deeper levels this ‘human’ fixation is explained by The Magical Carousel in that Libra, being the 7th sign/age/manifestation, is the first of the ‘higher hemisphere’. That is, in the ‘journey’ of 12 stages, passage into the 7th is when one steps out of the ‘lower’ and begins evolution through the ‘higher’. In other words, it is at this point of the odyssey that the subject of the initiation (or the evolution itself) begins to shed these human fixations which are replaced by a ‘higher cause’, as it is termed in Carousel. This key aspect is conveyed time and again in the Ramayana when Ram is seen to forget his divinity and Brahma, the Creator, must intervene to remind him who he is and what his mission is, and that he must not let the doubts that plague all humanity cause him to lose sight of his true identity.
Together with this is the MORAL nature of the 7th and hence the highly moralistic tone of Ram’s epic in contrast to Krishna’s which is anything but moral, according to our contemporary standards. In his Letters on Yoga , Sri Aurobindo has discussed this aspect of Ram’s contribution to the evolution thoroughly. In The Magical Carousel this point is brought forth when the Judge appears in Libra and dispenses human justice with a small ‘j’, in contrast to the divine Justice when the yogi, through his realisation, steps out of the boundaries set for the human being and is governed by other laws, other compulsions. Indeed, a ‘higher’ poise.
Thus, Ram’s forgetfulness of his divine nature or his despair at the loss of Sita are entirely in keeping with the deepest significance of his 7th Libran Manifestation. And the zodiac being a ‘map of evolution’, as I call it, Sri Aurobindo’s reference to the Puranic Line of Ten as a ‘parable of evolution’ is also clear. Indeed, the epic is a superb record of the evolutionary drive of those early times, for that is the essence of the Avatar’s mission: to imprint on the evolutionary blueprint a particular ‘purpose’ or enhanced feature in an ascending scale. Ram’s contribution is especially significant in this regard because that ‘purpose’ is precisely a ‘higher cause’ and his coming marks the beginning of humanity’s own evolution into the ‘higher’ hemisphere. By the time the Line of Ten is complete, the true divine race for which the Earth was created will have been ‘born’.
Hindu tradition has placed great emphasis on this question of ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ hemispheres. The ancient method of reckoning time, which I shall deal with extensively in the next part of this essay, divides the year into two ayana – the southern and northern – which consist of six months each. The southern ayana is the ‘Night’, the northern is the ‘Day’. Capricorn is the peak of the Northern Ayana (midday) and hence it is the most auspicious of all the signs, and it is India’s own ruler. It is because of this calculation that in the Rigveda we find verses which speak of a ‘six-month day and six-month night’. This division is entirely in keeping with the ancient method of reckoning and is thoroughly faithful to the cosmic harmony and the zodiacal character of India’s ancient Vedic Dharma. Yet this Knowledge seems to have been so completely lost that a historian such as B. G. Tilak can speculate that these references must point to an Arctic night and day! And no one protests. On the contrary, they utilise these wild theories to support an ‘historic’ interpretation of the Veda, thus adding fuel to the Aryan/Dravidian divide.
I have also mentioned Ram’s involvement with the Age of Leo (within the 7th Manifestation; see map on page 2), and that Leo is the sign of the King. This too is amply confirmed by the epic wherein Ram’s right to rule is the other focus of the tale, or the question of who shall inherit the crown, Ram or his brother Bharat. It is this conflict that causes his exile for twice 7 years. In The Magical Carousel, written long before I had any knowledge of these epics and myths, I too describe Leo’s regent – the King of Day (Ram is indeed the solar king). Moreover, I have equated Sita with the sign Cancer, and in Cancer(land) of Carousel we do find the motherly and noble Queen of Night, companion of the King of Day.
But perhaps the most fascinating correspondence lies in the question of ‘exile’ of the Cancer Queen from the Leo King. For indeed the most poignant aspect of the Ramayana is not only Ram’s exile but also his separation from Sita, and then at a later stage, Sita’s own ‘exile’ to the forest where she bears Ram’s sons, Luv and Kush, a situation almost identical to the Queen of Night’s ‘retreat’ to her castle with her children, while the King of Day goes on lamenting that he has planted ‘seeds’ which bear only ‘roses’ and not ‘trees’ – meaning that the Queen has given him only daughters and not SONS! Though there is a slight difference with the Ramayana, the focus is on the question of an heir, for that is central to the 5th sign Leo, as it is central to the Ramayana.
There are countless such correspondences when one plunges into the soul to record what is seen in that ‘hidden chamber’. But let us leave Ram at this point and move on to Krishna. For the full extent of Krishna’s evolutionary contribution cannot be properly understood unless his mission is seen as a continuation of Ram’s. Thus, as I wrote earlier, Ram’s contribution was entirely moralistic, and together with that was his role of Ideal Man and Husband. Sita is the ‘external’ companion, fully in keeping with the stage of evolution in the 7th Manifestation. But Krishna comes upon the scene approximately 6000 years after Ram precisely to drive the seeker into deeper INNER dimensions, to find the Beloved within. Krishna’s essence and the reason why his consciousness-being has provoked so many delirious expressions of divine Love is because of this ‘purpose’, this ‘higher cause’ which must replace the human fixation with the outer companion. Krishna is no ‘ideal husband’. Indeed, gauging by modern standards he is positively debauched! For in the 8th Manifestation/sign the ‘knot’ to be dealt with is sexual. It is obvious that if a shift must come about and the external companion must give way to the inner Companion and the divine Lover, then the seeker is obliged to contend with the most unruly of his energy expressions and the one that keeps him nailed to the cross of his humanity. Indeed, the essential aim of the zodiacal odyssey as a blueprint of the evolution is to implant another ‘purpose’ in the species. Sex and procreation, as evolutionary purposes, must make way for ‘something else’. Krishna initiates this shift by driving the seeker into those deeper ‘waters’ where the bewitching figure of the divine Lover and the haunting strains of his magical and hypnotic Flute COMPEL that plunge within. Krishna collects all the emotional content of the seeker and leaves nothing for the outer world, for the external companion.
Again there is a parallel with The Magical Carousel. In the 8th sign/land of Scorpio, the children encounter Hayala, equally mesmerising, equally bewitching. There is even a ‘Kurukshetra’, a ‘battlefield’. In that sign/land the children come into contact with the power that Sri Krishna’s mission focuses on – the power locked in the sex centre. It is there that they must bring about the transmutation and channel the energy fully to the quest of the ‘higher purpose’, they very same theme of the Krishna epic in its deepest sense.
The Age of Krishna’s appearance was Taurus, as stated. This describes Brindavan, the ‘field’ of his love Play. In The Magical Carousel it is the pastoral Elysium of Taurus(land) where the children meet the Bull and Malamulapaga and the revelry of the contemporary Brindavan. The emphasis here too is entirely emotional. Throughout and particularly in the 8th sign/land, there is the temptation to remain fixed or pinned to the lower hemisphere, for the meaning of the Journey is to reach that Swar, that heaven of a Higher Purpose.
If a comparative study is made of The Magical Carousel and these epics and myths, as well as Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri, it will become amply clear that there is indeed an eternal fount of Knowledge within each human being; and, moreover, that this fount is universal. The knowledge content of myth ‘seen’ in this chamber TODAY is the same as what had been similarly ‘seen’ thousands of years ago. And it experiences no limitation of culture and creed. But the supreme figure upholding all these expressions is the zodiac and the cosmic harmony. Since we are dealing with a 12-month year and this is an eternally-recurring harmony, we know that the knowledge it holds is equally eternal. We know, as well, that it holds the key to the harmonisation of the Being and the Becoming. The Vedic Dharma is founded on this Eternal Truth.
Returning to the Puranic necessity, it is from within those deep Scorpio psychic waters that the fantastic forms of the Gods and Goddesses are drawn and the elaborate tales of their exploits. Insofar as these dimensions are accessible to each and every human being in equal measure, it is this universality that makes the Strategy one of the most sophisticated techniques the world has ever known for the preservation of the Cosmic Truth. At the same time it lays emphasis on the salient feature of the Indian destiny: the Individual – which in number harmony is the 3, or the Third Principle. We shall explore this unique feature further on in detail.
The actual forms of the Gods and Goddesses and their vahanas and helpers may be shaped by the more superficial layers of consciousness or cultural conditioning, but the TRUTH stored beneath those outer layers is universal and eternal. Hence the sanatan or ‘eternal’ Dharma. Every human soul throughout the world is a repository of that one underlying Cosmic Truth. Aptly ‘as above, so below’.
Conforming to the cosmic impulse, the night Manifestation of the 8th sign Scorpio draws to a close in the Age of Ram, Aries, with the appearance of Buddha to ‘mislead’ at the dawn of the 9th Manifestation and to prepare the field for the next Water sign/age, Pisces. The Knowledge is subjected to relentless attacks precisely on that Vedic soul-foundation. Consciously or unconsciously – and in my view, given the degree of the decline, it was indeed unconscious – the soul became the target, the element that had to be removed from its central position in the Dharma because it held the key to the mythic/epic content and its power. The attempt at eradication was only partially successful. Ayodhya in present-day India is just one testimony that myth and epic and hence the soul and the Dharma do live on.
Ramlal of Ayodhya: the Retrieval Conspiracy
Though the Knowledge has been well preserved in myth and epic, as well as in the realisations of certain Yogis throughout the Ages, the element that was lost in the vision was the correct key to Time which I sometimes refer to as the ‘0 Point’, – time, that especially elusive substance which was itself the focus of the Manifestations after the Egyptian Space Conquest was drawn to a close. In the intervening years, Ram and Krishna prepared the cosmic soil for the full conquest of Time – or rather its integration into the complex workings of the cosmic mechanism – in the 9th Manifestation in which indeed the number 9 would play a most significant role. But more than the 9, the 0’s discovery was the single most important factor to allow for this ‘conquest’. To briefly summarise why this was so, in all schools of higher knowledge the only scale known was the Space Scale of 1 to 12. This could provide utilisation of the horizontal/space dimension, but the VERTICAL or the Time dimension was left out of the process. Hence it was not an integral manifestation. To incorporate Time as an ‘ally’ in the process, the first prerequisite is knowledge of the 0 because the Time Scale consists of 10 ‘notes’ but beginning from 0 rather than 1. This is what allows it to be considered a ‘vertical’ dimension. The true description, however, is a ‘seed’ unfolding from within, drawing out from itself the 9 notes which it contains in unextended form. These 9 notes are thus the nine planets of our system. The 0 of the system is the Sun. It is only in this way, with the discovery of the Zero, that the Sun can be accommodated in its proper position as centre of the solar system.
This ‘shift’ signified the most important breakthrough in the study of cosmic harmonies for many hundreds of years. At the same time, it is only through the Time Scale’s 0 to 9 that the planetary structure could be connected to the calendar. Thus Time would become the ‘ally’ by virtue of the fact that its operations could be ‘measured’ in our flow of Earth-time and its power could be utilised to build elements of the new order through the medium of the individual/collective consciousness. Hence the Strategy of myth/epic and the individual realisation would be of foremost importance in such an operation.
Concurrently, this shift introduced the need for a very great precision which hinged on the correct assessment of that 0 Point. Without that knowledge there could be no effective means to utilise Time in a non-speculative manner, nor could processes be initiated and monitored to permit a much greater conscious participation of the individual in the process of transformation. I repeat, none of this was possible before the discovery of the Zero. And it is an extraordinary confirmation of the premises of this new Cosmology that having established the fact of an Egyptian ‘space conquest’ and the shift to India for the ‘time conquest’, and that for the latter the 0 would be indispensable, it was precisely India that gave to the world the concept of the Zero. With this accomplished the work could begin.
We need not review here the history of this ‘lost measure’, as I have called it. Indeed, it would be apt to state that this was the ‘ray/cow’ concealed by the hostile Panis of the Rigvedic ‘journey’, in the ‘cave’ of the 8th sign/Manifestation, Scorpio. I have discussed this matter in depth in VISHAAL in the series, ‘The Capricorn Factor’. Let me simply state that the sacred Capricorn hieroglyph, the very landmass of Bharatmata, holds the key to that divine and true Measure. For the real and essential question to ask is, When, in effect, does the Sun truly move into that special time-space of Capricorn, India’s own ruler and an entry which, in spite of the loss, continues to be celebrated through the country each year? In Sanskrit it is called the Makar Sankranti, or the Capricorn Gateway. But given the decline of the Knowledge, the loss of the correct connection between time and cosmos and Earth, this entry point has slipped back as if the civilisation’s pulse were skipping vital beats here and there. Finally, in this Age of Aquarius of our 9th Manifestation, the loss consists of a full 23 days in terms of the year; regarding the cosmic age – the same circle extended to embrace larger cycles of time – it amounts to hundreds [of years]. The Makar Sankranti is celebrated annually on 15 January rather than the true date: the solstice of 22-23 December.
Be this as it may, conforming to its role of preserver of the highest cosmic Knowledge and land of the new order based on that Vedic Truth, the nation does continue to foster the true things simply by openly celebrating an event cosmic and zodiacal. In the West this date is camouflaged in the tale of the birth of the Christ Child: 24-25 December. Closer to the mark indeed, but still imperfect. It was adopted as the birthday of Jesus simply because it fell in the traditional Festival of Light, perhaps the most auspicious and universal of all celebrations in antiquity. It was associated with the ‘light’ entirely due to a cosmic/planetary configuration: the Capricorn solstice marked the point when, from its period of longest ‘imprisonment’ (in the cave of the Panis?), the Sun would pass into the experience of increase of its light. This would be reflected in the increase of the length of the day from that moment onward. Hence, the Festival of Light was a celebration of a cosmic event and to locate this ‘gateway’ at any other point in time than the one which would indeed identify the exact beginning of the increase, would make no sense at all if we place value on the physical harmony and the lived experience. Yet this is what has come to pass in India – largely because that physical reality came to be looked upon as an ‘illusion’. Thus, the Yogis of old who should have been responsible for maintaining that correct link with time and cosmos, saw themselves drawn away from their duty by this concept which gradually undermined the act of seeing to the measurable degree of ‘23 days’. Thus that ‘gateway’, which bears no relation to the true entry into Capricorn, is the Makar Sankranti we know and celebrate today. Nonetheless, I repeat, it is indeed respected though the significance and measure may have been lost. The impact of the Vedic Seeing was just too powerful and electrifying to be ignored.
Yet, the Avatars do carry on with their work and in spite of the loss they even contrive to rectify matters, similar to the Egyptian sages, and locate the Makar Sankranti at the real Gateway where it belongs in the divine Measure. This has occurred in post-Independence India. I refer, once again, to Ayodhya.
Thus, on the night of precisely 22-23 December, or the Capricorn solstice of 1949, that sacredmost moment when the Festival of Light begins as the Sun enters Capricorn and its light starts to increase, Ram made his miraculous appearance in the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya in the form of the divine Child, or Ramlal. It was a night of 3 number-power. It was Ram’s confirmation in his traditional birthplace that this date is the true Makar Sankranti and the restoration of the Lost Measure would coincide with the reestablishment of the ancient Dharma, all of which is the meaning stored in the Capricorn hieroglyph. That hieroglyph would thus prove to be the seal and sanction of the Supreme when revealed. And it would even disclose the true PHYSICAL dimensions of India. Its revelation – that is, the time when the hieroglyph would first be ‘seen’ superimposed on that landmass – would mark the beginning of a process which would shape the new India in accordance with this true Measure. Its revelation or unveiling would draw together the two cosmic properties of time and space – the former through the correct and gnostic time-measure of 22-23 December, and the latter through the spatial dimensions of the landmass precisely in accordance with that sacred symbol. This revelation occurred in May of 1974.
But a quarter of a century prior to this geographical/zodiacal discovery, Ram ‘corrected’ or retrieved the Lost Measure. After the glorious epiphany of the Child on the night of 22-23 December 1949, in the Babri Mosque, its doors were locked in 1950. None were permitted entry. Thirty-six years, or a completed cycle of 4 x 9, were required for the Child to mature in solitude. Thus, when the full 36 were completed, it was on 5 January 1986 that the process was started to unlock the doors of the Mosque. The Congress Party was then in power. A meeting was convened for that very special day – that is, the zodiacal point of the Soul of India and the close of the Festival of Light – to explore the possibility of shifting the mosque to allow a temple to be built on the site in honour of the divine Child Ram. The proposal was rejected. Shortly thereafter, on l February 1986, now of 9 number-power, the court ordered the mosque to be unlocked. Appropriately, at 5:19 PM, Ramlal was ‘liberated’.
We are concerned with the lost divine Measure above all else, retrieval of which can permit the new India to be truly born. Ram conspired not only to rectify the position of the cosmic dial by appearing on the very night when in the true Measure Capricorn does indeed begin, but, also connected to his miraculous appearance then, Ram contrived to provide the full measure of the Festival of Light. Ancient tradition has always located this period in the first 15 days of the Capricorn month – from the solstice of 22-23 December to the mid-point of the sign, 5-6 January, or the 15th degree of Capricorn. In all there are 15 days involved. The orbital reason for this location has been explained previously, and why it was held as sacred. But for India the period is far more sacred than for any other country or civilisation because Capricorn is the sign of her soul and its hieroglyph delineates her physical form. It can be appreciated therefore that the correct location in zodiacal/calendrical time and geographical space of this sacred sign is the single most important discovery in the history of Vedic civilisation in terms of India’s expression of her higher destiny.
Is it any wonder then that, in perfect attunement with the revelations of the new way Cosmology, Ram should have ‘chosen’ to appear in such a manner and at such a time so as to rectify or at least draw attention to India’s lost Measure? And that exactly 36 years later his power should make itself felt on 5 January, again in perfect attunement with gnostic time, to disclose the last day of the Festival of Light and the degree/day of India’s own soul?
Who was ‘responsible’ for this occurrence? A political party? Who ‘surreptitiously’ placed the child-figure in the Mosque? Who, or what ‘power’, stood behind the opening of the gate on 1.2.1986 – again a 9-power day? And complying with whose ‘design’? Was it a political manoeuvre, a communal aberration, a zealot’s madness?
These questions are irrelevant when it is known, as India knows, that the Time-Spirit works through human instruments. It moves the human consciousness in any direction it wills; however, in accordance with and determined by its higher Purpose. The real miracle is the conspiracy with gnostic Time. Can there be a more exquisite display of the universal truth India holds, which in this one act unveiled the Cosmic Truth underlying countless tales of the birth of the sacred Child? Can there be a more profound confirmation for the location of the true Gateway to Capricorn than this divine Epiphany of Lord Ram, precisely coinciding with that entry in the very heavens at the time of his ‘surreptitious’ appearance? Similarly, if I state that myth and epic are universal, this ‘surreptitious’ epiphany, because of its timing, does indeed reveal the universal content in myth in that both in the ancient world and the Christian era, this date was always connected to the sacred Birth. Indeed, Ram the Child has appeared to restore things universally sacred, divine and true.
Finally, the mosque in which the Child Ram chose to appear stands on Plot # 159. In the December 1991 VISHAAL (6/5), on page 11, I wrote that these were the numbers via the Greek letters th-e-a, which allowed me to discover the Map of the 12 Manifestations. It is this Map that holds the knowledge of the Line of the Ten Avatars. It is this Map which reveals that 1-5-9 are the numbers of the Manifestations (see page 2) that fall in the last quarter of the wheel where our present Age of Aquarius is located. Plot # 159 is precisely the ‘disputed’ one at Ayodhya upon which the whole controversy is centred and on whose very soil the Child appeared. With this background, I leave it to the reader to decide whether the Epiphany was ‘lawful’ or ‘unlawful’, ‘real’ or ‘surreptitiously contrived’. After all, according to which ‘law’? And with whose connivance?
30 October 1991
Aeon Centre of Cosmology at Skambha
From the works of
The Mother and Sri Aurobindo
25 December 1950
A disciple explains to the Mother’s audience that the shortest day of the year corresponds to the greatest declination of the sun to the south, about 21st December, then the sun again mounts to the north. The Mother comments:
‘…That is why the 25th of December was a festival of Light long before Jesus Christ. This festival was in vogue long before Christianity; it originated in Egypt and very probably the birthday of Christ was fixed on the same day as that of the return of the Light.’
The Mother’s comments on Sri Aurobindo’s 37th Aphorism
[37 –] Some say Krishna never lived, he is a myth. They mean on earth; for if Brindavan existed elsewhere, the Bhagavat could not have been written.
‘The whole earth and everything it contains is a kind of concentration, a condensation of something which exists in other worlds invisible to the material eye. Each thing manifested here has its principle, idea or essence somewhere in the subtler regions. This is an indispensable condition for the manifestation. And the importance of the manifestation will always depend on the origin of the thing manifested.
‘In the world of the gods there is an ideal and harmonious Brindavan of which the earthly Brindavan is but a deformation and a caricature.
‘Those who are developed inwardly, either in their senses or in their minds, perceive these realities which are invisible (to the ordinary man) and receive their inspiration from them.
‘So the writer or writers of the Bhagavat were certainly in contact with a whole inner world that is well and truly real and existent, where they saw and experienced everything they have described or revealed.
‘Whether Krishna existed or not in a human form, living on earth, is only of very secondary importance (except perhaps from an exclusively historical point of view), for Krishna is a real, living and active being; and his influence has been one of the great factors in the progress and transformation of the earth.’
[From On Thoughts and Aphorisms, CWM, Vol. 10, p. 60-61]
Sri Aurobindo on the Ram and Krishna Avatars:
I am rather perplexed by your strictures on Rama. Cowardice is the last thing that can be charged against Valmiki’s Rama; he has always been considered as a warrior and it is the ‘martial races’ of India who have made him their god. Valmiki everywhere paints him as a great warrior… As for morality, all morality is a convention… Only by rising above mind can one really get beyond convention – Krishna was able to do it because he was not a mental human being but an overmental godhead acting freely out of a greater consciousness than man’s. Rama was not that, he was the Avatar of the sattwic mind – mental, emotional, moral – and he followed the Dharma of the age and the race. That may make him temperamentally congenial to Gandhi and the reverse to you; but just as Gandhi’s temperamental recoil from Krishna does not prove Krishna to be no Avatar, so your temperamental recoil from Rama does not establish that he was not an Avatar. However, my main point will be that Avatarhood does not depend upon these questions at all, but has another basis, meaning and purpose.
Letters on Yoga, Part One, page 413