Also in this Series
- Culture and Cosmos – 1
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 1
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 2
- Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.1
- 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 – 2, Part 3.6
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 1
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 1.2
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 1.3
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 2.1
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 2.2
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 2.3
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 3.1
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 3.2
- Culture and Cosmos – 3, Part 3.3
- Culture and Cosmos – 4, Part 1
- Culture and Cosmos – 4, Part 1.2
In the last VISHAAL I referred to the attitude of compromise which became part of the Indian character as a result of a series of invasions, conquests, and long periods of foreign rule. This attitude permitted India to survive as a homogeneous territory via the sanatan dharma, but with considerable damage to the latter. The Toltec master, don Juan, describes a similar situation in Mexico after the Spanish conquest, with the difference that lacking the strategy of myth and given the wholesale conversion of the population to Christianity, the ‘old seers’, don Juan refers to, carried the work underground where it became a preserve of esoteric groups such as don Juan’s. This did not happen in India because of the persistent character of the Dharma and its indestructible ‘seed’, though, I repeat, considerable damage had been done.
But this was a process long in developing. The attitude of compromise after the first incursions was the result of a much earlier undermining involving a balance of energy in the collective consciousness, based on the fundaments of the Hindu Dharma which was sustained throughout the ages by the practice of Yoga. Finally this same undermining of the energy base was reflected in the partition of the nation, as I have discussed in these pages (see TVN 6/2, June 1991).
The reason why a corrosion in the practice of Yoga could be reflected in a geographical dismembering is because of the many-dimensional scope of the Dharma given its cosmological foundation. Thus, the same energy base is geographical, collective and individual – a situation desired by many religious groups but not sustainable given their lack of a proper cosmic connection. The play of a balanced and harmonised rajas (kinetic), sattwa (stabilising), and tamas (dissolving) is pertinent to all these dimensions.
It is understandable that when that order was disturbed it had an effect over this wide spectrum. This disruption is most easily noted in the simple fact that when the quest was finally oriented to a Beyond, the energy base became irrelevant. Its natural order was revised and no one thereafter listed the three expressions in the correct manner by virtue of which they could be connected to the true cosmic harmony. It thus became Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, rather than the proper order given above.
In this too a certain ‘measure’ was lost. After this disruption, this rearrangement, it was impossible to link the play with the energy flows as they manifest in the cosmic process and by consequence in the human consciousness-being. The flow is Creation (rajas), Preservation (sattwa), and dissolution or Destruction (tamas). No one in India even today would list this triad as Preservation, Creation and Destruction. It would be an unbearable cacophony to the ear. Yet this has indeed been done in schools of yoga because the cosmic connection has been lost and the equivalence between Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva as godheads epitomising this process of creation, preservation and destruction, were disconnected from the energy flows or deprived of their cosmic function. This might have been aided by the followers of the three deities seeking to establish their God as supreme, and hence first on the list, as many historians believe. I, however, do not concur with this theory because there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that in the competition between followers, it was Vishnu (Preservation) who won the contest and thus Sattwa was listed first. I attribute the disarrangement rather to a shift in perspective which affected the entire foundation of the Dharma.
The energy play is now no longer what it truly is, in both individual and collectivity. This development evolved pari passu with the Lost Measure of Time and the shift in the quest after Buddhism and Mayavadism gained supremacy – camouflaged or overtly. Indeed, in most schools oriented along these lines, that energy play or cosmic Lila is shunned almost entirely. The last thing the practitioner wishes for is a harmonisation of the energy play in his body and being, for that body with its cosmic connections is a thing to be cast aside by means of the practice. He is encouraged to withdraw from it, to distance himself from the snare of his senses, enmeshed as they are and a product of the cosmic manifestation. He seeks to be merely the Witness, the Purush to this play but in no way INVOLVED. For his aim is to bring the cycle of birth into the cosmic process to an end entirely. Therefore, to put effort into a correct ordering and balancing of the cosmic play of energy within himself through yoga is a contradiction in terms. At most, given the soundly established cosmic consciousness of the race, the play was to be maintained as a part of the philosophy, but it had to be rearranged in order to serve the purpose of escape from the cosmic process. This was done by perverting rather than complete elimination, as I have described regarding the Matrimandir disfiguring. Hence, the order became Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas, or, incongruously, Preservation, Creation and Destruction.
To my knowledge I stand alone in drawing attention to this fact and in making the connection between Rajas, Sattwa and Tamas, or Creation, Preservation, and Dissolution, and the triadic play of energy in each quarter of the zodiacal wheel. In traditional astrology they are called the Qualities: Cardinal (Creation/Rajas), Fixed (Preservation/Sattwa) and Mutable (Destruction/Tamas). Having pointed out the connection with the Hindu Trinity, the equivalence is more than obvious. At the same time, it is also evident that the Lost Measure was companion to this disruption of the natural cosmic flow. This is one more item in a long list which causes me to believe that the zodiac with its knowledge content emanated from India rather than the Middle East. This view is fortified by the fact that in that area astrology has disappeared entirely, whereas it continues to thrive in India in spite of the Lost Measure, invading ideologies contrary to a cosmic consciousness, and an ‘age of enlightenment’ such as we have known.
This unfortunate but entirely predictable reordering of the energy flow given the persistent undermining of the Point or the soul, has so thoroughly come to colour the Indian perception of reality and its reflection in the practice of yogas, that even Sri Aurobindo refers to the play in this disturbed order when he discusses the various schools of yoga, without drawing attention to the roots of the misarrangement, or noting that there is anything untoward in the listing or any ‘ulterior motive’, as it were. Sattwa in all schools was exalted, hence it had to be placed first, regardless [of?] what this did to its cosmic connection. In his The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo writes,
‘…These modes are termed in the Indian books qualities, gunas, and are given the names, sattwa, rajas, tamas. Sattwa is the force of equilibrium and translates in quality as good and harmony and happiness and light; Rajas is the force of kinesis and translated is quality as struggle and effort, passion and action; Tamas is the force of inconscience and inertia and translates in quality as obscurity and incapacity and inaction. Ordinarily used for psychological self-analysis, these distinctions are also in physical Nature. Each thing and every existence in the lower Prakriti contains them and its process and dynamic form are the result of the interaction of these qualitative powers.’
(Chapter X, page 220-21)
When the link was severed with the cosmic harmony through loss of the divine Maya or Measure, and the loss of what exactly had to be measured in order for Maya to retain her DIVINE status, it was just a question of time before the energy base became equally disturbed. It was thus the detached Witness Consciousness which almost every path of Yoga postulated as the highest achievement. The result was a dismembering similar to the dismembering of the subcontinent and the splitting asunder of the Capricorn hieroglyph which precisely describes this play in its correct order.
The result for the new India is obvious: If in the yogic process sattwa was exalted above all others, rajas had to suffer, and tamas as well. It was indeed those portions of the hieroglyphic geography which were cut away from the full body of Mother India at the time of Partition – for indeed this cosmic Lila or Play describes the consciousness-being of the Divine Mother. It is therefore HER body and being, captured in the subcontinental landmass and the consciousness of its people that suffered this real and seemingly irreversible dismembering.
To illustrate the entrenched nature of the problem, just recently a news item appeared on the editorial page of The Hindu in the daily feature entitled, ‘This day that age’, dated 25.5.1992. The column reproduces select editorial comments of the same day fifty years earlier. In this case the selection was from the 25.5.1942 edition, as follows:
More support for C.R.’s approach
Mr. C. Rajagopalachariar’s unorthodox approach that the Congress should have a common approach with the Indian Muslim League (by accepting the latter’s demand for a separate Muslim State of Pakistan) in negotiating with Britain was gathering more support.
In Moradabad, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Member of the Central Legislative Assembly, addressed a three-day session of the Muslim League’s ‘Pakistan Conference’, and said that C.R. deserved appreciation from all right-thinking people for his courageous stand against the rest of the Congress, which, in his view had alienated the Mussalmans in the first place and forced them to make their demand for a separate State. He was sure that the move initiated by Rajaji would gain force so considerably that Pakistan would become a reality very soon and enable Hindus and Muslims thereafter to live in unity in the sub-continent.
Two other supporters of the Rajaji [C.R.] approach were non-Muslim Radical leaders. Speaking in Calicut, Mr. A.K. Pillai, of the Radical Democratic Party, observed that Rajaji had made an eminently realistic proposal and warned that if the Congress did not accept his suggestions, it would lose its last chance of survival as a meaningful movement. In a statement issued by him in New Delhi, Mr. M.N. Roy, General Secretary of the Indian National Democratic Union, adverted[sic] indirectly to the crisis in the Congress following its rejection of Mr. Rajagopalachariar’s suggestion at Allahabad. Mr. Roy deplored the Congress pursuing a negative and sterile attitude. The Radical leader practically echoed certain words that Rajaji had used earlier.
This selection is particularly interesting with respect to the attitude of compromise I have highlighted, which can readily be traced to the reordering of the energy flow so as to disrupt the natural process and disconnect it finally from the cosmic process, which, in turn, can be traced to the Lost Measure.
This has been the development in an unmistakable pattern, once this cosmic harmony is restored to the Vision and the divine Maya is redeemed as we are doing in these pages. The Hindu selection from 50 years ago makes it all too evident that the ones to have benefitted from this loss were those who had no cosmic foundation to be bothered with and who were positioned by character, temperament, and belief to be able to handle those very energies which the Hindu had come to eschew – the kinetic or rajasic manifestation. In the ancient tradition this is connected to the Kshatriya or Warrior caste.
I have reproduced the above also to demonstrate to what extent the attitude of compromise had permeated the national consciousness and made many eminent figures lose sight of the integrality of the landmass and its sacred quality. This, it must be pointed out, was no less a figure than C. Rajagopalachariar who was later to become the Governor General of the independent, bifurcated nation. Finally, it is to be noted that the anticipated inter-community harmony which it was proclaimed would come about once Pakistan was formed, did not materialise as expected. Three wars have been fought with Pakistan in spite of this partition. It is clear that the move was a misconception to begin with. Something else was required which, under the prevailing circumstances, could not evolve.
Let us review further the situation in India around the time of the above statements. What came to be known as the Cripp’s Proposal had been going the rounds in April of that same year. This was supported by Sri Aurobindo openly, – as openly as his secluded state permitted. The proposal was intended to grant dominion status to India as a step toward later total independence. I am sure that Sri Aurobindo’s support of the proposal was condemned by many at the time. To a certain degree, it must have been considered a betrayal of the freedom struggle in which he had vigorously participated until his departure for Pondicherry in 1910.
In spite of Sri Aurobindo’s canvassing for the Proposal, it failed to gain acceptance. He later expressed the fact that he knew it would indeed fail. His disciples then asked him why had he backed the Proposal if he knew it would fail. His reply was, ‘Niskama Karma’ (disinterested action).
Why, we must ask, had Sri Aurobindo thought it wise to accept dominion status? Perhaps the above selection from The Hindu throws some light on the matter in that to a perceptive observer the Congress was in no position to avoid Partition. Mahatma Gandhi’s method or strategy to win over the Muslim population was clearly not having the desired effect. And worse, to an observer of Sri Aurobindo’s calibre, it would have been clear that what would come to pass from this method was simply a weakening of the Hindu WILL. This was further secured by the foremost pillar of the strategy, non-violence. In the way then practised, it played upon guilt in both practitioner and opponent. And nothing corrodes will more easily than guilt. If we add to this Gandhi’s heavily Christianised attitude toward sex, the element of guilt was considerably fortified with its destructive results in the collective will. Further, Gandhi’s way was to stress the equality of religions and the great tolerance of Hinduism. The chant, Rahim and Ram are one!, must surely have arisen in those painful days as a desperate attempt to keep the nation whole and united.
For Sri Aurobindo this possibility was fast receding. By collective recitals from diverse Scriptures, in the effort to convince the various communities that religions are all one and that they could live under one firmament, alienation was increased at deep levels in followers who have difficulty in accepting that their God is not exclusive and unique.
This dilution of the Hindu foundation in knowledge served to corrode the ability of those men and women who could distinguish in such matters, to instil in the nation a will power born precisely of a knowledge which alone could harmonise a diversity such as could be found on the subcontinent.
Sri Aurobindo knew that time was needed to work on this problem, precisely in the area of his Yoga. Thus if an unpartitioned nation came into being under dominion status and those diverse elements could be kept under a single umbrella for a spell, it would go a long way in deflating the Muslim League platform insofar as it would give the nation time to organise itself independently, to a large extent, and work out those ‘knots’ which were simply being exploited by ambitious politicians. After all, these communities had been living together for many centuries, in an undivided land. Through a gradual transition they could have been carried ahead in the process and experience of co-existence until those divisive forces had been exhausted. To achieve this, however, the attitude of compromise had to be confronted since it had served to turn things on their head and obfuscate the true state of affairs, as the above report from The Hindu of those days reveals.
For Sri Aurobindo himself time was needed. His supramental yoga had not reached the point where those ‘knots’ could be undone. And it was there, in that area of the nation’s ‘body’ which could be reached only through a specialised Yoga, that the harmonisation and integration had to be secured first. On the physical, visible plane, the rest would follow. When he was not heeded and several years later independence was proclaimed on the basis of the ‘two nation’ theory (Hindu and Muslim), a different strategy had to be elaborated. We shall explore this in depth for central to the problem is WILL, or the Point, or Skambha.
To make confusion worse confounded, during the time of the freedom struggle few had an understanding in terms of Knowledge of the real basis for territorial sanctity and the demand for maintaining certain boundaries intact. There was an emotional response; but this is never sufficient in the realm of politics where such sentiments are juggled about by deft manipulators. Only persons of real knowledge could have saved the country from partition in those days. Unfortunately, as Sri Aurobindo’s case demonstrated, the few who lived in that state of higher awareness were marginalised, as he himself had been regarding the Cripp’s Proposal in 1942.
When the proposal was rejected, in the light of The Hindu report quoted above, it is interesting to note what then transpired. Gandhi and dominant members of the Congress Party demanded only full independence. In August of the same year he launched his famous Quit India movement, at which point all those who could have resisted the partition were put in jail and the Muslim League, headed by Muhammed Ali Jinnah, founding father of Pakistan, was given a free field to accomplish its divisive deeds by the absence of the Congress leaders. This would have been avoided had Sri Aurobindo been heeded.
Of course we are isolating a small period of history in the above which can be misleading. For the truth is that given the ‘choices’ made centuries earlier, the gradual corrosion of Will, the undermining of the Point or soul, was the reason for the inability to deal with those divisive elements – then and now. Indeed, for Sri Aurobindo to attempt to divert the inevitable course of history at that point would have been a case of niskama karma, as he stated.
I shall continue in this study to demonstrate how this development, even the partition of the country, is now written into the shadow-temple in Auroville, and how the architects and builders have been able instruments for revealing what had been cemented in the national destiny centuries earlier. At the same time, we shall underscore the purpose for such a shadow to be left hovering over the work of Sri Aurobindo.
Will and Purpose in Material Creation
It is legitimate to question why so much emphasis was placed in Vedic times on the question of ‘a divine Will working in the worlds’, as Agni (Fire), foremost of the Vedic godheads, is described. Agni is the first manifestation in creation; he is also the incarnate divine Will. The Veda therefore establishes WILL as the primordial quality of material creation. Implied in this is purpose. In the Toltec master don Juan’s teachings, this same principle is described as INTENT. The selection of the word is clearly meant to add purposefulness to will. That is, a play of energy the compression of which creates a combustion. Inherent in that combustion, or particular organisation of the energy, is purpose or intent. Tantra goes a step further in the same direction and calls that primordial creative impulse Desire.
In other words, material creation starts – at the moment of 20th Century science’s Big Bang – with a compression of energy by which, due to the great Reversal and the shift from vertical to horizontal, the consciousness-being of the Vast is instilled with this divine Purpose as the original foundation of our material universe. Because of this we experience a creation of supreme harmony and order, nothing of which would be possible without a first principle of Will or Purpose, or intent.
Science debunks the notion entirely. Orthodox schools sustain that there is no ‘purpose’ in the cosmic process, or even in biological evolution on our planet. Belief in such a purpose or intent is reserved for spiritual or religious minds. But it is curious to note that while purpose is debunked as a fashioning principle, various accepted branches of science do concede that a form of intent does govern the evolutionary process. The theory of survival of the fittest is itself an admission of a certain inherent purpose. That this is labelled instinct does not release it from a linkage with that ‘divine Will working in the worlds’. Similarly, zoologists will invariably explain the elaborate and extravagant displays of Nature in the enormous variety of exotic plumages and markings, or sounds animals and birds make as a means to attract a mate. This too implies purpose and intent.
Such manifestations are bracketed under the label of ‘instinct’ in the effort of science to divest kingdoms below the human with intelligence, a preserve of the higher species. Whether or not we accept this premise as correct is not the issue (I have treated this subject in the 3-part series ‘Animals in the Emerging Cosmos’, TVN 3/4-5-6). My point is that even if we deprive instinct of any form of intelligence, we do not eliminate the component of will, purpose or intent. Indeed, the Veda has been particularly careful in drawing attention to Agni’s connection with the vital (in contrast to the mental) plane by giving him the alternate form of a Horse, symbol par excellence of the vital. Instinct, as prescribed by science, is associated with the vital, or the vital mind, if you will. Its centre in the human body is located at the navel – an area reserved for Agni, the axis mundi or navel of the world.
When the Veda speaks of Agni ‘up-pillaring the world’, or else of Skambha being that very first component of material creation, it is understood that included in this description is the question of axial balance or alignment. Previously I stated that this was the ‘obsession’ of the Supreme. Indeed, in view of the above it is clear that in any school of real Knowledge evolved from the direct experience a true yogic process provides, the conclusion must be that this ‘obsession’ is not only the preserve of the Supreme but is necessarily carried over to our own experience of life and being on this planet, inasmuch as we are a product of the cosmos, fashioned in the image of that Supreme Cause.
This ‘obsession’ must then be observed in every aspect of life, if observation is founded on this Knowledge. It must be seen to affect the individual as well as society. In India’s case this is exceptionally clear because, as I have stated, that cosmic foundation is still decipherable in the present structure of the collective consciousness. Particularly helpful in this regard is the Matrimandir in Auroville. Though we must utilise that shadow-temple in the reverse, as a NEGATIVE image, a comparative analysis between what the architect and builders have produced and the Mother’s unexecuted original is the best means to bring to light the ancient Vedic ‘obsession’ with axes based on the exceptional knowledge the ancient Seers had of this essential characteristic of the divine Reality. They claim that what they have built is as faithful to the Mother’s original as possible. I will demonstrate not only the fallacy in this claim, but in so doing we shall discover the deepest, widest and highest meaning of the Mother’s creation. In particular we shall discover in what way the Mother’s creative act was meant to ‘realign the Dharma’, involved in which is this question of axial harmony.
India’s Misplacement on the Periphery
Reestablishment of the Dharma is meant to encourage an axial alignment of the collective consciousness. Thus, what is executed via the Vedic yoga becomes established in this collective consciousness. This means that the Mother’s original plan of the chamber, if it had been executed, would have served the purpose of fixing that same axis, remade according to the conditions of this 20th Century, in the race. India would have then experienced an almost miraculous realignment, similar to the recent stunning collapse of the binary creation on the world stage.
In the 1980s, because of the successful outcome of the Yoga of the Chamber, that realignment process was carried out for the Earth. That is, the Yoga of the Chamber affected the whole planet. For this reason we observed an almost miraculous collapse of the bi-polar world – or the binary system, as I call it. If there is one striking aspect to the great changes beginning in the second half of the last decade and accelerated from 1989, it is the immediacy, the unavoidable, irrevocable establishment of something the world had not known perhaps for centuries: a unitary system established almost painlessly. Indeed, this unitary system could not have come into being until the possibility of a global society had evolved. What we are experiencing in the global context now are simply the aftershocks of that collapse. At very deep levels things have been shaken up, so to speak. It is a world consciousness struggling to come to terms with this new alignment.
Thus, the Yoga of the Chamber affected the Earth. But what of India? We have seen no similar realignment. Indeed, positions are more entrenched. I am not referring to the sphere of economics. In that regard the changes India is bringing about, with a considerable amount of pain given the radical shift in 50 years and more of socialist dogma as the nation’s economic model, corresponds to that world realignment due to the Yoga of the Chamber of the first half of the 1980s. India forms a part of that global society. She too must cope with the ‘aftershocks’ of the great shift and the consequent ‘new world order’.
This, however, has nothing to do with what the Matrimandir was meant to facilitate. India, unlike any other nation in the world, is a centre. By destiny only India as a nation can do the Vedic yoga of forging that ‘centre’, that Point that fills the void for the entire world. In other words, given the fact that India did not accept this realignment, we have the Earth realigned indeed – but centreless.
Why did this reverse process occur – that is, the global realignment BEFORE the creation of a centre? In the first place, it must be stated that the centre does exist in India, but not COLLECTIVELY, or in a way which can have an impact on the nation as a whole. We shall explore this in greater detail further on, in particular the way in which the nation was ‘held together’ in spite of herself, as it were.
The pattern was set in 1975 when the architects pointedly refused to erect that new alignment for India in the Matrimandir then in the initial stage of its construction. They proceeded in their work on the basis of the 3-metre void in the middle of the structure, precisely where that alignment should have been established. The entire construction thus went from periphery inward, converging on this central Void, rather than the Vedic direction from centre, or garbhaghriha, outward.
This made it obligatory to do the Yoga of the Chamber beginning in 1980 and to realign that periphery. But the central Void remained in that it is only India which can serve as the ‘point that fills the void’.
We have then a global society realigned and on the road to a new order, but perched precariously due to the centre of the Earth consciousness, which is India’s dharmic position, being ‘occupied territory’ and the domain of the Lord of Nations. In other words, no real ‘centre that holds’.
What this has meant for India is that she finds herself being dictated to mercilessly. Just as in the Matrimandir where the architect refused to construct the 12 walls (the periphery) of the chamber at the correct position as stipulated by the Mother, and ENCROACHED upon the sacred space of the chamber (India), with walls pressing in and squeezing out the centre, so has it happened in the world scene with India held ransom by world banks and other powers and conditions. This situation will not change while the Matrimandir remains what it is and under the control of the Lord of Nations. And inasmuch as the Government of India (any government that is elected to power) is drawn now into that ‘alignment’ where the periphery calls the shots, as it were, this vulnerability and reactionary response is only destined to worsen in the years to come. India’s debt will increase, with all that that entails. Its reliance on the commands of the world economic community will deepen and she will be unable to fulfil her destiny of ‘centre’ and hence truly non-aligned, – or not caught in the play of the periphery. The uni-polar world is thus of India’s own making. She is virtually forcing the United States of America into a false position. It is not exactly a uni-polar world, but a system where unity has replaced the binary. The central ‘pole’ (Skambha) is entirely missing – that space having been overtaken by the nothingness of the Void.
The Matrimandir was to provide the miraculous means to bring India into a new alignment according to her Vedic Dharma, a destiny entirely written out for her in the cosmic Script and ‘read’ more than 5000 years ago by the Seers who carried out this process and established that as the seed of the nation’s destiny. This then they described in the hymns we have received as the Rig and the other Vedas. It was simply a question of ‘time’ for that Seed to evolve. There was no way in which a different seed could replace that original Vedic core.
But what has happened is something else, described quite accurately in the Matrimandir: the circumscribing conditions, or the SOIL in which that germination and evolution was to take place is a phenomenon which establishes certain conditionalities. Thus history brought into that ‘soil’ a series of determinants via invading and conquering powers with cultures or ‘purposes’ entirely opposed to the inherent nature of the Seed. By consequence, this composite ‘soil’ was carried over to the Matrimandir where we also have extraneous cultures imposing their dictates on the Core. Correspondingly, we have a global society imposing on the government and people of India certain constraints which can only serve to weigh the nation down under the burden of these impositions.
At the same time, this peripheral imposition by the builders of the Matrimandir, I repeat, set the pattern for the Yoga, similar to the reevaluation Sri Aurobindo was obliged to carry out given the partitioned condition of Mother India. This imposition obliged me also to do the Yoga of the Chamber which focused on a realignment of the global (peripheral) axis. In the meantime, the architect installed the ‘void’ crystal and stand, by which symbols India’s present condition has been revealed.
The grace of having had a Matrimandir to work out the alignment for the nation was eliminated by these latter-day ‘invaders’, who, it is assumed, will maintain their hold for as long as any other invader had in the subcontinent. What a realignment would have meant for India would have been a miraculous establishment of a ‘centre that holds’. The nation would have resolved certain apparently unresolvable problems which became crystalised in the Partition – or the Vedic base torn asunder by the religious consciousness, tool par excellence of the Lord of Nations whose primary characteristic is to divide-and-rule, ever and always. Unity is not in that power’s vocabulary.
In India’s case this activity focuses on its spiritual destiny – the essence of that Vedic ‘seed’ – though it is in no way apparent to the layman. But spiritual is misleading. The real designation is simply Veda, gnosis or knowledge. It is a civilisation founded on the principle of Knowledge. We have the exact opposite displayed in the Matrimandir in Auroville, for which reason I am obliged to refer to it as a ‘shadow-temple’. It displays all the characteristics of the Ignorance (as opposed to Knowledge), of darkness which must be dissolved by the Light of Gnosis if India is to realise the inherent truth of the Vedic seed of her destiny by the aid of this mechanism.
To summarise, given the failure to insert the proper alignment in the Matrimandir, the shift to the periphery took place for strategic purposes – i.e., the global society where the Yoga of the Chamber brought the desired realignment and gave birth to the unitary system to replace the binary. Having failed to forge this new axis, India has thus been carried into the periphery because she cannot occupy her rightful place of CENTRE while the Matrimandir ‘belongs’ to the Lord of Nations, usurper of the ‘centre’ due to its condition of emptiness. Thus India is totally out of place, as it were, and is left vulnerable, obliged now to follow the dictates of the major power of the periphery – i.e., America.
As for the United States, it too is ‘out of place’. That is, America is being forced BY INDIA, ironically, to appear to occupy the Centre (the single ‘pole’ of the new world order), simply because of this possession on Indian soil at a crucial location. The result is that though the periphery has been realigned, it is still vulnerable and precarious because all things are not yet in their place due to India’s inadequate response to her pulse of destiny.
In this light it has to be understood that in terms of India’s future it was the possession of the Matrimandir by the consciousness we call the Lord of Nations in the mid 1970s that was the decisive, most deadly blow India has had to endure over the past 1000 and more years. It outstrips any harm even Partition brought. For the latter could have been miraculously rearranged had the Matrimandir been left intact and the Mother’s original plan been respected. All things would have been ‘made new’ in India, as they are in the world, in this one masterful flash of a divine Seeing. It must also be borne in mind that such a realignment and creation of a centre, a point to fill the void, has been the area of India’s destiny reserved for the Avataric Line. Yet the circumscribing conditions (of the ‘soil’) imposed a complex shift in order for the work to survive.
It has survived – but just barely. That is, we stand precariously on the brink of an abyss where the periphery is realigned but around a void. This means the centre can be filled by any usurper. As it has been occultly by the Lord of Nations.
The Solar and Lunar Strategy
There is a certain aspect to this problem which needs to be highlighted, if we are to appreciate that there is a meticulous CONTROL over the destiny of this nation which is not so much in evidence in any other nation. I refer to the manner in which India has been held together through a most difficult period – from the time when the dismembering was ‘decided’ upon – by a particular arrangement based on the cosmological formula 9/6/3-0/1. This formula is realised in the nation by the Solar Line. But there is the Lunar as well. And it has been via the latter (in conjunction with the former) that the country has been ‘held together’ in spite of being centreless. At the same time, though this arrangement has functioned meticulously, we note that there was a worsening of conditions from the very time the wrong axial measurement and the void became cemented in the Matrimandir construction. I mentioned that this took place in the mid 1970s. On the national stage, it was precisely then, late June of 1975, that a crossroads had been reached in the Indian polity. The external manifestation of this mishap in Auroville and its correspondence in the national scene was the imposition of emergency rule by Indira Gandhi at that very time. The two events occurred simultaneously.
From that point onward the political life of India underwent a considerable worsening because, for the purpose of survival given the compound problems, the nation was being held together not by any political party but by the presence of the Lunar Line exclusively. Thereafter the cries of dynastic rule were heard everywhere and from everyone. But occultly speaking, or in terms of the pattern established to hold India together during the period when it would be ‘centreless’, or unable to forge that centre, it was precisely the ‘dynasty’ irrespective of any political party or policy which had taken upon itself, by destiny, the labour of holding the nation together until the moment when conditions would permit the alignment required for the ‘void’ to be filled and for India to occupy her true place within herself and in the world.
It can be noted, however, that the stresses felt by the Lunar Line during that period – from 1975 onward – were severe. In fact, each of the last three members in the Line was unexpectedly removed from the national scene in tragic circumstances. Those circumstances described conditions operating in more subtle dimensions, but they did indeed have their physical counterparts. We note therefore that as of that time the nation began to reveal a worsening on many levels. This culminated in terrorism on an unprecedented scale and open secessionist movements at the three angles of the nation’s body.
The point I wish to make is that the tenure of Rajiv Gandhi, for example, had for its purpose something other than good or bad government. He was heading India for the sole purpose of ‘holding’ during a most critical period. As well, he fulfilled his destiny precisely by creating certain tensions which would result in the rise of a more determined call for a new base, a new perception of India’s destiny based on her true destiny and inherent Dharma. This is the first time in the history of post-independent India that such a call has met with a tangible response. However, there is more involved in the tensions Rajiv’s policies created which we will analyse in the course of this study. For now I would simply like to conclude by noting that his removal from the scene occurred just after the crystal reached Auroville from Germany and when he was in its very vicinity.
It should also be pointed out that Indira Gandhi, third power of the Lunar Line, through my explanations was aware of the role the temple was to play in India’s destiny. Though serious troubles had surfaced in Auroville and there was a demand from many quarters to take over the project forthwith, she did not do so but ordained that a number of years should transpire before any final arrangement would be decided upon. During that time, a victory over the usurping forces could have come about. This period came to straddle the entire ennead of 1980 to 1989. Unfortunately, given the circumscribing conditions (of the ‘soil’), she was removed from the national scene. There followed a final take-over by the Government of India when the new ennead set in (1989), and no one now in power with the sensitivity required to handle this delicate matter.
I have enough faith in the wisdom of this civilisation to know that had the true situation been given the right exposure while the Matrimandir was being built, India would have responded from the soul and the heart and the usurpation would have been brought to an end. However, this exposure was wickedly obstructed. And now there is the added complication that this sacred space, reserved for the realigning of the nation’s time-axis, with all that this signifies, has become an arena for political ambitions to become satisfied. This is one of the reasons why the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, as any other spiritual leader would do, resisted the intrusion of government into their creation. One cannot expect politicians, bureaucrats and academicians to be yogis. They are impelled precisely by the drive of their ambition, and this is tremendously complicating in a project such as the one initiated by the Mother in the Ashram and in Auroville, regardless of the goodwill of the ruling party. In this regard, it must be pointed out that there is one party in power today and tomorrow perhaps another. The destiny of the project is thus as precariously perched as the world is now in orbit of a central Void.
Thus, over and above the presiding architect’s ambition – now fully satisfied, in his own words, with the near completion of the shadow-temple – we have the mundane drawn in. None of those ‘in charge’ of Auroville have had the grace of an enlightenment which would preclude them from being instruments of the Lord of Nations. Each one is thoroughly vulnerable. And what has been ordained by an Act of Parliament is now a fixed law.
There is no member of the Lunar Line in government now to be sensitive to this issue. There is, however, one hope: the survival of the Knowledge which is an undeniable fact. It has been preserved. But this is nonetheless insufficient. It must be accompanied by a force inherent in itself to overcome the blockage. There are for the present no indications that a decisive victory of this nature can be expected. All we can do then is to continue casting more and more light into that dark ‘cave’ where the luminous Ray has been concealed, hoarded, hidden away.
The Eclipse of the Light
The alignment and creation of a centre for India was meant to deal with problems entirely unique to India, though they are reflections of flaws in the global consciousness, – indeed, in the nature of the human species itself. They are the consequences of a species structured according to a binary pattern, which must necessarily evolve civilisations which reflect this bi-polar characteristic. And though these flaws have been reconstructed in India, in this microcosm, they are present and form a part of the realignment in a way not to be found anywhere else. For example, the scourge of the religious consciousness, though it torments the world as a whole, is not found elsewhere in the same measure. In India it has resulted in a division in civilisational terms. The Lord of Nations appears to have succeeded in convincing the contemporary Indian that this is a nation of TWO cultures, TWO civilisations…and of course two religions because of which there is this civilisational split. The wholeness, the homogeneity of the Vedic ecliptic base has been torn asunder. Indeed, the result is there is no base, precisely because there is no centre which automatically produces a base/plane. Nothing really and truly holds this play together. Consequently, we have a dismembered physical body, and the threat of a continued dismembering. This is unavoidable given the usurpation at the Matrimandir and the condition of what was to have been the Globe and Pedestal but is now called the ‘crystal and stand’ in the shadow version.
I mentioned the question of a collective will in Spain at the end of the 15th Century and beginning of the 16th, which was sufficient to expel a foreign rule of many centuries and establish a homogeneous culture. This never took place in India, given the quality of the Vedic Dharma where this sort of imposition, of dogmatic rejection is foreign to its nature. The attitude of compromise easily took hold in such a soil. But while Spain rose to great heights thereafter, India sank lower and lower and finally had to submit to a humiliating dismembering in honour of that inability to exert its collective will. This came to pass because the Vedic foundation, the ecliptic Base, no longer remained intact, given the fact that these extraneous cultures secured a foothold in the nation and could not be dislodged.
This was fortified by the British Raj which took full advantage of the conditions it found when it entered the scene. That is, unlike Spain, India went from one foreign rule to another. And the latter simply took advantage of the corrosion brought about by the former rulers in the Vedic-inspired collective Will, or Agni, to consolidate its own occupation. Under those circumstances, it is evident that India could not overcome the onslaught and heal the damage before this further invasion. Contrarily, the British did indeed introduce quelque chose de pourri in the nation, to use the Mother’s words, a ‘corrupting element’. They increased the sense of guilt in the Hindu masses by which they were obliged to recite ‘Rahim and Ram are one’. Failing to do so would be ‘intolerant’, and no Hindu could accept such a label which went entirely against the grain of his cultural substance.
The result of the above is that Hinduism and Islam became equal on the scales of the religious consciousness. It is a situation still not overcome in the national psyche. There has been no greater victory of the Ignorance than this successful placement of the civilisation on the Hindu/Muslim seesaw. It has helped neither in overcoming divisive forces which have struck both.
This is not to say that Islam is lower and Hinduism is something higher on the ladder. It is just that Hinduism does not belong on the seesaw. That is, there is no such seesaw, in the deepest sense of the nation’s fibre and destiny. It is simply a concoction of the Raj to divide-and-rule because then it was the British rule that stood ABOVE, towering over this indigenous seesaw of two ‘civilisations’ still suffering from superstitions and trapped in the lesser realm of religion which the occidental world, after the Age of Enlightenment, had thoroughly rejected. Great Britain was thus legitimate heir to the position of secular world leader able to hold cultures of many religions under its wise rule.
This is a pattern that is defended even today by Indians themselves because the British took great care to ensure that India would serve the Raj in this way even after its removal. Thus, the educational system – a part of which is the interpretation of history to serve that Raj and the concept of European supremacy – and the secular mould of consciousness were adopted as tools for this self-perpetuating subjugation. These are so entrenched now that they resist all attempts at dislodging.
I would also add to the above that it was precisely this state of affairs that sealed the Matrimandir’s fate. I also found myself pitted against that very consciousness – a mindset which contradicts everything the Veda and Gnosis, in Sri Aurobindo’s terms, stand for. The reason why the architect and powers-that-be in Auroville so easily took possession of the temple and maintained their hold, irrespective of the indisputable Knowledge that sustained my position and which was formulated and published in advance of the construction to prove my point, was simply because I could be dismissed as a lunatic, a pre-Age of Enlightenment casualty whose mind resisted the superior science of modern architecture and its right to ‘interpret’ according to a secular, profane preparation, eschewing all ‘sacred’ overtones. What I was upholding as Indian tradition and culture was precisely what the British were able to dismiss as pagan and backward. The cosmic harmonies, in view of this superior secular preparation, was merely superstition with no scientific basis. And any connection made between the Mother’s original plan and that Harmony could be conveniently dismissed on this basis. And any connection made between the Mother’s original plan and that Harmony could be conveniently dismissed on this basis, in particular when the Government entered the scene after Indira Gandhi’s demise.
The architect of the Matrimandir embodied the full consciousness of scientific/academic ‘enlightenment’ by sustaining that his rendering of the temple was in all ways superior to what I had been pleading for in my insistence that the Mother’s original should be respected, and that only a person schooled in the higher aspects of symbolism could be expected to ‘interpret’ whatever of her original that was not clear and needed a certain elaboration.
The architect, by his own admission that the 4cm void point in the centre of the room he has constructed is ‘symbolic’ in his eyes, forces us to consider him a valid ‘interpreter’ and elaborator of the Mother’s vision and prepared to deal with the required elaboration in the light of a higher approach to these matters. This is precisely the usurpation I have been lamenting all along, because these architects, trained as they were in the West where there is no such grounding in the higher and sacred aspects of architecture, have taken upon themselves a task for which they are completely unprepared. And what is worse, they clung to that task and refused any help in the endeavour so that truly the Mother’s vision could be translated adequately and captured in her Temple. The result of this refusal is that the Shadow is there for all to see. But with what eyes? This is the problem.
The British ‘corruption’ (quelque chose de pourri) distorted the lens of the modern Indian by this ‘secular’ colouring, which may have its place, but certainly not in such matters. Thus we find a nation torn asunder not by Islam or any claim of ethnicity of whichever hue, but engaged in the exercise of self-undoing by this brand of secularism which insists in equalising what had never any equal footing on the civilisation prior to this imposition. The result has been a loss of the cultural identity to such a degree that often we are faced with sheer cacophony when applauders of this equality persist in singing the praises of all religions in one breath. In the strictest terms of the religious consciousness, to equate Rahim with Ram has to be somewhat disturbing to the Muslim. There is no ‘oneness’ between the two so why must anyone be labelled a communalist or a fundamentalist when this distinction is to be made? Indeed, this is the self-undoing guilt inflicted upon the nation, making use of the innate wideness of the Hindu psyche. To draw distinctions between elements does not imply an inferior or superior ranging. It is simply defining on the all-encompassing ecliptic of the nation’s foundational base for the purpose of harmonising and integrating those elements.
The Shadow Core
The above is written simply by way of an introduction to the core of this portion of the study which is an analysis of the Indian condition as we find it today, and how these conditions – for example, willessness – may come to be reflected in the shadow-temple.
The original premise of this study, based on the foundational premise of Hinduism, was Fulness versus the Void. I have demonstrated the manner in which an aspect of the Veda in this regard has been denied. That is, by the VOID point, centremost item in the architect’s interpretation of the Mother’s vision. But there is much more denied of the Knowledge preserved in Hinduism in that construction. To demonstrate, I will concentrate now on the crystal in itself and for itself, and various aspects of the symbolism in comparison with the true and sacred Globe. Thereafter, I will discuss the ‘stand’ installed in the shadow-temple, in contrast to the Pedestal in the Mother’s true chamber-core. To conclude, the two, crystal and stand, will be analysed together as interconnected elements, compared to the Core of the New Way creation which is formed by the appropriate Globe and Pedestal. I shall provide geometric proof to support my contention that what has been installed in the Matrimandir ‘as faithful as can be’ to the Mother’s original, is in fact a pathetic display of ignorance of any aspect of the Knowledge the Mother so brilliantly captured in her original. As well, this analysis will also reveal the inferior aesthetic impact of the centrepiece in the shadow-temple. The proportions executed, given the fact that the ‘stand’ bears no relation proportionally, geometrically, to the crystal it supports, reveal the lack even of a heightened aesthetic eye in the executors.
Regarding the ‘crystal’, some background must be provided to appreciate the deeper aspects involved in the architect’s interpretation of the Mother’s vision. For it must be pointed out that there are two aspects to the problem. One was the deliberate falsification of the vision; the other was the manner in which the Mother’s vision came to be interpreted and then executed, because indeed there were elements to be resolved even though her plan existed and her taped conversations to accompany the plan and help in the interpretation. The latter is really what interests us most because it reveals the level of consciousness of the powers-that-be and the manner in which they have taken upon themselves to ‘interpret’ the vision. The result has been a temple in their image, very accurately and revealingly, and not the Divine Mother’s. This is especially exposed in the upside-down reflection of those images in the crystal. Compared to the Mother’s consciousness, the other is truly standing on its head.
The architect has tried to cover himself in the event of any questioning, inasmuch as I have repeatedly asked the Government for a hearing on this important matter and that the architect should be obliged to present his findings and explain his position, the reason for the changes he introduced, or the ‘symbolism’ he sought to instill in the creation – as, for example, the ‘symbolic’ meaning he attributes to the 4cm void Point. This hearing was always denied to us, for obvious reasons. The Government preferred to uphold the architect’s position, without ever hearing the other side. Therefore, we were never given the opportunity to do privately what I am now obliged to do publicly in these pages: dissect each and every item of the executed room and, in the light of the knowledge of sacred Vedic symbolism, compare it with the true vision and the correct rendering. Indeed, there is no need at all to interpret, as the architect has done. One the basis of that Knowledge, the resolution of each item on the agenda was self-evident, as I have demonstrated regarding the 15-step stairway penetrating the floor.
But there is also a certain amount of dishonesty involved in the architect’s position on the stairway, for example, He declares [Auroville Today, January 1992] that it was the only item eliminated, and gives the reason as being the inability to execute entry into the room in the way the Mother had designed because the floor had been subsequently lifted above ground level. By this we assume he means that structurally the placement of the stairway had been rendered impossible from beneath the floor given the room’s suspension, so to speak.
I would like to point out that originally the 12 pillars were eliminated because they were not needed to support the roof, given the availability of reinforced concrete in structural engineering. Clearly, this same method could have made it possible for the architect to resolve the matter of a stairway leading to an opening in the floor with very little difficulty.
But, I repeat, this statement is not at all honest. It is an attempt to protect himself from the questions I constantly raise regarding this important elimination – perhaps the only one visible to the naked eye and easily adjudicated as a deviation from the original plan. For the fact is there was never any discussion on this matter after the Mother gave the architect her original design. The first architect never raised the point of the impossibility to execute this unusual feature. It is clear from the taped conversations on this subject that his only concern was aesthetics and resolution of the stairway according to the accepted norms of contemporary architecture. On the basis of this criteria, the stairway from beneath the floor was eliminated in one stroke at the very beginning of the discussions – that is, between 3 and 17 January 1970. (See Matrimandir Dialogues, TVN 1/5-6.) It was replaced by entrances piercing the walls; and this formed the basis of the plan the presiding architect used for the construction. When he took possession of the work early on, he did not deal with this item at all. Hence we have every right to question his contention that the stairway was eliminated because of this structural problem.
When the presiding architect took up the work in 1974, and never let go of it thereafter, the stairs had already been redesigned, though the room was far from being executed. There was every possibility of executing them according to the Mother’s original plan. But, to my knowledge, the issue was never raised again.
This is an interesting point to study in greater depth, however, because it is very revealing of the quality of the consciousness the Mother (and later myself) had to contend with. If a client specifically asks an architect to execute a room with a stairway moving into it from the middle of the floor, it is, to say the least, an unusual, unconventional request; especially when the room does not structurally require such an entry. In fact, in her original plan it is the only item which draws one’s attention as being a singular, uncommon feature. In addition, each step had specific measurements, and the length of the rise as well. Therefore, to attack that item without even questioning the Mother’s reason for demanding this exotic entrance, certainly says much about the insensitivity of the architects and throws light on her admonition: NO ARCHITECTS!
The only explanation for their callous treatment of this important feature is that they must have thought it was a quaint idea – and nothing more, of someone not at all versed in modern architecture and its aesthetic concepts. Clearly they did not consider that it had any intrinsic value or higher purpose, or that her words should have been taken seriously: ‘…There are no doors, but going deep down, one comes up again into the temple. One goes under the wall, and comes up again inside. It is another symbol. Everything is symbolic.’ (Ibid. 10 January 1970.)
As fortune would have it, I made the discovery that this ‘quaint’ touch was an astounding display of architectural genius, incorporating higher knowledge and clairvoyance in the bargain. For the fact is that the design the Mother gave for this 15-step, carefully-measured entry, apart from everything else I wrote about it in the last issue of VISHAAL, is an exact correlation of the entrance into the Great Pyramid at Giza. I reproduce reverse below the diagram from The New Way, Volume 2, page 468, proving this point. If the measurements are correct, Sri Aurobindo’s symbol is occultly present in the plan, and since its triangles (only the ascending one is reproduced in this diagram) are of the same proportions as the Great Pyramid, the Mother was inspired to provide an exact correlation for the entry into her chamber. In addition it must be pointed out that this was not a mental decision or calculation. It was entirely a spontaneous, intuitive happening. A real demonstration of the true Vedic Seer. The architects should have done their utmost to execute that vision faithfully.
But this correlation has now been completely lost in the executed temple purported to be ‘her vision’. It is this that prompted me to request the Government that my findings should at least be scrutinised and I should be allowed to question the architect before a panel of competent judges. If he claims that his changes and interpretations are ‘symbolic’, as he has done publicly in certain matters, then he should also be expected to confront me and defend his position. I was willing to defend mine before an official forum. But unfortunately, the architect has never been questioned nor has he ever had the courage to confront us. And he is now supported by the Government of India and the attitude of compromise in such matters where compromise is impossible. It is also now a question of protecting the status quo and one’s position. Consequently, it is simple to deduce that truth and knowledge have been entombed in Auroville. But Truth does have its own platform, and I will continue with the exercise of dissecting so that in a certain area of the nation’s consciousness-being, that Truth will live on.
Given the usurpation, we are expected to accept that the architect’s feeble reason for mauling this stunning example of a divine Seeing is somehow sacrosanct and must not be questioned. For to do so is labelled dogmatic or superstitious, in addition to being disruptive. One is labelled a ‘trouble maker’. Indeed, this state of affairs is adequately displayed in the topsy-turvy reflections in the architect’s interpretation of the chamber’s core. My call is therefore to that collective soul of the Indian nation which can and will one day unmask the fallacy in this position and expose it for what it is: a usurpation of a work that had to be undertaken not by western-trained architects but by people of sound knowledge in these matters, with adequate credentials thereof. Not from a conventional academia which is incompetent in this realm but true and proven Gnosis.
The Mother’s Vision at the Service of the Void
The Mother’s vision took shape in two stages. The first was simply the vision, the seeing. It occurred somewhere between the evening of 31 December 1969 and the early morning of 3 January 1970. The second was the act of measuring. This was sometime between 3 and 9 January; the exact date should be with the Ashram engineer to whom the Mother gave the measurements and design for the original plan. It was the act of measuring which was the more important of the two and displayed the full power of a divine Maya at work. For it was then that the vision was organised, and the details of the vision which were left fluid after the first seeing were finalised. Notable among these is the precise 70cms diameter of the Globe, in contrast to the earlier 30; the 24 metres of the chamber ‘ending at the walls’, in contrast to the architect’s desire to alter that measurement by a few meters; the translucent material of the Globe, in contrast to the earlier possible transparent quality; the colour and material (stone) of the four symbols of Sri Aurobindo upholding the Globe; and finally the carefully designed (and measured) entrance through the floor.
What is especially disturbing is to note that the choices made by the powers-that-be in Auroville for the ‘final’ solutions, which they claim are ‘as faithful as possible to the Mother’s vision, are all the WRONG choices. Rather than execute the finalised, measured vision, the FLUID oral description of the first day, before she had finalised the plan, has invariably been selected. What has been revealed in this is that unquestionably the architect’s and builder’s state of consciousness is far lower than the Mother’s – if there was ever any doubt – for they are not IN TUNE with her vision; or else that the choices have been a deliberate attempt to demolish her vision. Let me provide a few examples:
1) Transparent or translucent globe: After drawing up her plan, the Mother states,
‘…A translucent globe…we do not know yet in what material’,
‘…A globe which is not transparent but rather translucent.’
‘…and the globe is translucent’. (10.1.1970)
In spite of this clear instruction, the architect and builders have chosen to make their crystal transparent. Is it any wonder that it came to reflect their images upside-down?
2) Sri Aurobindo’s symbols: ‘…I did not see them in white, I saw them in undefinable [indefinable?] colour which was between gold and orange. A kind of colour like that. They will be upright. They will be carved in stone.’ (Italics mine.) (Ibid.)
The builders have chosen gold plating on metal rather than ‘carved in stone’. Is it any wonder that the casting has been terribly flawed, with countless holes throughout, making the plating a very costly, labour-consuming and imperfect exercise.
We must now turn our attention to the 4cm void Point and question how it came to be devised and executed by the architect. I have described it as the single most important ‘symbol’ in the shadow-chamber, just as it is the single most important item in the Mother’s own symbol when present, though in many reproductions that central dot or point does not figure. I have equated it with Agni, the divine Will working in the worlds, and the ‘singularity’ which gave rise to the material universe we inhabit; or else, the immanent Transcendent. It is therefore appropriate to question how this void might have arisen in the mind of the architect.
I am perhaps largely to blame. From 1974, I have been vigorously campaigning for the execution of the Mother’s original plan in contrast to the architect’s which, in those early days, was completely different from the Mother’s. The two could not therefore be juxtaposed. Misrepresentation was impossible at that time. But my insistence (nothing of the chamber had then been built) resulted in a certain tension wherein the present architect seems to have edged out the original chief architect of the project and took over complete control. What existed in the way of any construction then was the skeleton of the edifice which was executed according to the original architect’s revised plan, – i.e., it contained, among all the other changes, a 3metre hole in the centre of the floor (where the Mother’s symbol was to have been placed). He had eliminated the Pedestal entirely. The void was firmly set in place – three metres of it – by a steel ring; and its execution was costly and structurally complex in a floor space of close to 24 metres in diameter.
Thus, when I began exerting pressure for the adoption of the Mother’s plan and when the present executing architect took control of the building from his colleague (who had, it ought to be noted, agreed to a return to the Mother’s original), the campaign was started to counter my ‘claim’ by proving that it was the Mother’s plan that was being executed and that I was lying. This campaign was so effective that until today there is barely a handful of people who know the truth in this matter.
Hence, the 12 columns which had been eliminated because they were ‘a symbol of the old creation’, and with the invention of reinforced concrete they were no longer structurally required, were reincorporated, their absence being an obvious deviation from the original. Of course the 3-metre hole in the middle of the room had to be closed somehow, this gaping void being equally incompatible with the original and an evident deviation to the naked eye.
Closing the hole was done, though its inclusion in the beginning of the construction greatly increased the structural costs of the building. But filling the empty space must have been an unsustainable development (from void to filling it up) precisely because so much money had been spent to install it in the first place. It was perhaps to appease his conscience that the executing architect decided to make some sense out of the waste and leave 4 centimetres of the 3 metres unfilled! The structural costs for the latter were certainly higher than would have been required for this 4cm ‘symbolism’. Perhaps the architect can explain that ‘symbolism’ in an adequate manner which will justify the expenditure involved. What was the deeper sense to the void Point which, in his eyes, made this very costly exercise worthwhile and valid?
What I wish to bring forth is that my campaign obliged the architect to reincorporate elements from the Mother’s original plan, and in the process permitted him to be in a position now to declare that it is as faithful to the original as possible. Be this as it may, let us now return to our analysis of his executed model and continue dissecting each point. In the process, I propose to reveal the manner in which even the partitioned condition of India has been faithfully captured in the shadow-temple. This will reveal that architects and builders have been apt tools in constructing a monument to India’s decline and dismembering.
The fact that the original plan survives in The New Way is indication that there is more to this madness than meets the eye. For the fact is, most religions have evolved in a similar manner. For example, it is argued that Jesus, were he to return, would not recognise the Church which operates in his name. This is understandable when we consider that the latter developed long after Jesus had left the scene. Thereafter, it was the ‘interpretation’ of his teachings which served as the model for the religion; and which in turn gave rise to numerous sects and an unending string of disputes between them. This development usually takes a certain amount of time to become consolidated. Perhaps several hundred years. It is rare that a distortion of this nature can be countered, or even recognised, in close proximity to the founder’s passing.
But in the case of the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, there has been an immediate response to the degeneration. It is precisely in order to avoid that Sri Aurobindo’s teachings become just another sect of Hinduism, or the foundation for another religion, that this exposure has been carefully prepared. The result is similar to Sri Aurobindo’s masterful expose of William Archer’s shallow and insidious essays on Hindu culture which drove him to pen a reply. The outcome was one of his most remarkable books, The Foundations of Indian Culture. I have been quoting extensively from this work throughout this series. As a fount of truth-seeing, it is inexhaustible.
Regarding the current act of exposing, certain points must be recapitulated. They concern India’s ruling sign Capricorn, which is the period of the Festival of Light, precisely when the Mother had her vision of the chamber which was to serve the nation in realigning its time-axis in accord with that sacred Festival and sign. The Matrimandir as the Mother’s original plan reveals, describes many dimensions of India’s civilisation, culture and geography. Not to speak of her spirituality and philosophy. In the measurements of the chamber according to her original plan, we have an India whole and integral – unlike the present condition. For it is a geometrical, architectural design of a knowledge which establishes a source of power to faithfully secure this condition of integrality. The main ingredient for this to come about is unity. That is, a unity of design wherein each item is incorporated in the execution so that it is related to every other and they support each other as a means to achieve and sustain that unity and integrality. This requires harmony, a particular play between items, – proportionate, harmonious, interrelated. Above all, an unmistakable connection.
We have seen how numerous dimensions are captured in such a vision of Unity whereby not only the Dharma is served in the exercise of its reestablishment, but the nation’s time-axis is REALIGNED. And also its geography rendered whole and complete.
One all-important item can serve to illustrate the manner in which such an integrated vision operates. It is the chamber’s centremost core, the area of 3 metres which is the equivalent of the sanctum in the traditional Hindu temple were the icon is housed – the garbhagriha or womb-house.
The New Vedic Seeing
The Mother’s original plan is faithful to Vedic tradition, but carries it to even more sublime heights. The Principle of Fulness which the Hindu temple captures and upholds by a convergence of the symbolism in the execution on the garbhagriha and its obvious meaning of fulness, is expressed in the entire chamber of the Mother’s design. Indeed, the whole temple is expressive of the creative Womb. Entering the inner chamber is akin to penetrating that womb – hence, another reason to have respected the entry as it had been originally given by the Mother.
In the chamber’s core, therefore, we have the various elements which are required for this Principle to operate through the design and measurements. The Core of the Mother’s original contains the elements a creative process of the supramental manifestation requires. That is, an integration based on a harmony of form unlike anything that has been achieved in the old creation, regardless how sacred and ancient. This requires the integration of time and space, or vertical and horizontal dimensions or directions, aligned in such a way as to produce the perfect centre – because of which the time/soul-axis engenders the Point, or Skambha.
To begin with, in the core there is the Globe. According to the Mother’s specific indication, its dimensions had to be 70cm diameter. When she gave this measurement no one, least of all the architects and disciple, cared to enquire why she had selected this particular diameter. And yet it was because of this measurement that the integration and perfection discussed above could come into being. Let us then analyse in depth this item; thereafter, I will demonstrate in what way this fulness, harmony and integrality were destroyed in the Auroville interpretation and execution. For it is only in a careful comparative analysis of this nature that the student and disciple and real seeker of Truth can understand why every effort had been made to convince the architects to follow the original vision and plan, basing our efforts on solid knowledge and not sentimentality as this analysis will amply reveal.
To appreciate the uniqueness of the Mother’s creation, the analysis has to be sustained by knowledge of the Gnostic Circle. The latter is the gnostic key to the original plan. Without it no understanding would be forthcoming. And it is for this reason that the Mother made sure that the basic structure of the Gnostic Circle had been transmitted just before she left her body. That is, in October of 1973.
Thus, with the diagram in hand, it was then possible to discover what I came to call ‘the geography of the Gnostic Circle’ (plagiarised in Auroville Today, June 1991). This revealed that the full and integral India consists of 40° longitude and 30° latitude. Together they equal 70 degrees. And this is the precise diameter of the Core’s luminous globe. Thus these 70 degrees are the integral body of India and they encompass the whole of pre-partitioned India (see The New Way, Volume 2, Chapter 9).
Insofar as this globe, in its many-dimensional function, is the individual soul and also the Earth’s soul, and that it is India’s as well, we have these various elements combined in this geometric symbol. But this could refer to any 70 degrees were it not for the fact that for such a globe to come into being, the Yoga of the Chamber had to have been undertaken in order to produce a perfect alignment of converging, traversing planes or dimensions: vertical and horizontal universal directions. Or gnostic Time and Space. When that occurs – and only then – the true Globe comes into being and FULNESS rather than emptiness is the result.
In this light, if we observe the frontispiece of The New Way, Volumes 1 & 2, or the poster thereof, Agni-in-the-Core, we clearly perceive this fullness. It is unmistakable as the principal objective of such a symbolism: the Globe is luminous and translucent, not empty and transparent. That is, one cannot see through this piece in the Core, for to do so would indicate emptiness, a void space. And if we compare this to the ‘crystal’ the architects have installed as the centrepiece in the shadow-temple, it is more than obvious that they were not at all conscious of the true character of the Mother’s creation inasmuch as their crystal is entirely empty and void, and can never hope to be otherwise.
How then, we are entitled to ask, can this item stand as having been a faithful interpretation of the Mother’s original vision, ‘as faithful as possible’ when it displays a character utterly and totally OPPOSED to the fundamental concept of not only her new creation but of the ancient Vedic tradition as well? Yet these architects and builders have usurped the right, supported by the Government of India, to hold themselves as authorities in such matters, without the least foundation in the Yoga required to permit one to be considered an Authority.
But the most lamentable part is that none really care. Neither the residents of Auroville, the disciples in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, nor the devotees in India and throughout the world. And more especially the Government of India which now ‘owns’ Auroville and is responsible for everything that transpires therein and which it is making its own very special political/cultural/ international platform. This ‘platform’ is, on paper, intended to further the ideals and teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. Yet I have demonstrated that the shadow-temple is precisely a disfigurement of their teachings, – a negative copy of the original. The ‘crystal’ installed stands in stark opposition to the single most important feature of Sri Aurobindo’s revolutionary message. But if one has never really understood those teachings nor practiced his Yoga, then a ‘crystal’ in that commercial, unenlightened condition is entirely appropriate and may be quite impressive.
Let me now carry this analysis over to the human condition. The ‘crystal’ is not simply empty, it reflects everything surrounding it. The meaning is self-evident, but for the record I would like to explain in what way this singular imagery is a faithful mirror of the actual human condition of the ‘old creation’; and, by contrast, entirely unrelated to the new species of Sri Aurobindo’s vision.
Due to his binary alignment, the human being cannot contain POWER. He cannot bring about a concentration of energy which provides him with a self-luminous CENTRE. Or rather, that luminosity arises out of a perfect alignment whereby a centre emerges. It is this Centre, due to its connection with the Source, which sustains the inflow and for which reason we call it self-replenishing. It is similar to fusion in the core of the Sun. In Vedic terms, it is that pillar/point or bridge to the other dimension, or swar, as it is called, the solar world of Sri Aurobindo’s vision of the Truth-Consciousness. That dimension serves as the channel for this eternal replenishing. On this basis, because of the realisation of Agni, Skambha or the Pillar/Point, a condition of immortality can come into being. It requires a special concentration of energy from an ever-replenishing Source.
In his present condition, the human being can never experience this fulness and continuous replenishing because his instrument is mis-aligned. Thus, it breaks down under certain stresses, being OFF-CENTRED. The result is Death. The whole experience is aborted prematurely in that at the mid-point of one’s life, when the experience of Reversal should draw in this replenishment, it is the Void, the emptiness that is ‘contacted’ rather than that dimension of the Vedic Swar, insofar as in his present condition, off-centred and mis-aligned, the human instrument orbits a ‘centre’ devoid of the ‘point that fills that Void’. The result is collapse of energy and ageing, rather than a balance which prevents this hitherto unavoidable calamity.
In our binary condition we orbit therefore a void. Given this fact, there is no self-replenishing source, no auto-luminosity, no fulness. Thus it is not a CENTRED CONDITION, not a creature in orbit of a true centre by a perfect alignment – a centre that therefore HOLDS. Rather, the human being, given this inner emptiness, or the void centre-point, is poised on the surface of his or her consciousness.
Thus, the crystal the architect and builders have created is truly and accurately in their own image, and not at all the Divine’s, the Mother’s. But THEIRS is a replica of the whole human species and the old creation. It has nothing at all to do with the supramental world and hence can in no way stand as a ‘faithful’ representation of the Mother’s vision. It has no auto-luminosity, or in the strict terms of the vision, no containment of the Light, the energy. It has thus no fulness. It displays no concentration. All of which are prerequisites for the new supramental species to come into being. Indeed, for this reason the Mother laid emphasis on the fact that the chamber of her original vision was a place to concentrate not ‘meditate’. She made a point of the distinction.
In contrast to the above, the ‘crystal’, as a faithful image of the human condition, is surface-oriented with everything FROM OUTSIDE reflected thereupon. In addition, these surface images are turned upside-down, in an apt representation of just what occurs in the perception of a creature structured binarily. And finally, the main point of the symbolism is a fixation on externals. How can anyone seated before such an item escape this fixation? There is no centremost core which draws one within. There is simply an endless display of inverted images, and this ‘noise’ is projected on an inner emptiness, a nothingness. These two words are explicit denials of Sri Aurobindo’s message. Yet they are the only words we can find to describe the ‘crystal’ in the architect’s interpretation which, in the Mother’s words, along with the descending solar Ray was supposed to be ‘the symbol of the future realisation’. Can his rendition be accepted as having realised her pregnant description of the chamber’s core?
Those of rajasic temperament who have taken over the construction have secured a firm foothold, similar to the British and prior to them, the Moghuls, the Turks, the Persians, and so on. All have been able to do so due to the undermining of the Point in the Dharma which results in the cumulative diminishing of the collective will; and with this the subsequent attitude of escape and compromise. The architects and builders of the shadow-temple have easily overtaken the project and brought about this gross and unredeemable, unpardonable distortion simply because the conditions in India were favourable for such a misappropriation. More specifically, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, as a laboratory encompassing representative energies from the whole of India, with all its complexities and problematic ‘knots’, provided these usurpers with a proper field conducive to the take-over of the temple, Above all, the lack of Knowledge in anyone in that collectivity made redemption of the vision virtually impossible from that quarter; and in any case, as another deft strategy of the Lord of Nations, there was by then a complete split between these two bodies of the Mother’s work which precluded any official intervention by the Ashram in the affairs of the township. However, this did not preclude an unofficial application of pressure; rather, there are elements in Ashram actually collaborating now in the execution of this Shadow. But Sri Aurobindo described the position accurately when he wrote in Savitri…‘God shall grow up while the wisemen talk and sleep’.
I shall proceed now by this comparative analysis to demonstrate exactly in what way this national lack of will is depicted in the shadow-temple, by which means its high truth was so easily distorted beyond recognition. I shall demonstrate with precision how the physical body of the nation is contained in the vision and dismembered in the pseudo version, and how the original plan, if faithfully executed, was the means to remake both the Dharma and the partitioned geography. It is no wonder then, given the enormity of what was at stake, that forces should have rapidly converged and within just 18 days of the Mother’s revelation, the entire creation was stripped of its power and meaning.
These points will all be dealt with as I proceed with analysis of the Core, or the Pedestal and Globe, its proportionate unity and the way sacred geometry provides the key to what can safely be considered the most sublime aspect of the Mother’s vision, for without very exact measurements, the Pedestal cannot serve as the potent tool for realignment of the time-axis by establishing a particular height to the Core and rectangular CLOSED space beneath the Globe. Being the heart of the sanctum, it is understandable that the full power of sacred geometry should have been reserved for this centrepiece: Agni-in-the-Core.
June of 1992
Aeon Centre of Cosmology
(to be continued)