Letters from Skambha

'That Elusive Third and Confounding Fourth!


‘…I must make it clear that I do not discourage questioning. On the contrary. I believe that in the early stages of one’s quest it is very necessary to question in order to hone one’s discrimination and to accustom oneself to strive for the direct and lived experience (whatever that might be in the nature of the quest). But this entails a right questioning; or rather, a right attitude in the effort. If this is not present, then the enquiring mind soon overtakes one’s consciousness and crystallises the Doubt – which was the case we have been analysing.

     When I see that the posure [posture? poser?] of questions is not a part of that honing process but is rather a mark of insincerity, for the doubting mind to provide and ‘escape’ when any pressure is applied for transformation, then I do discourage the practice, and in most cases refuse to waste time in the fruitless effort of convincing someone who is not at all in quest of true understanding but is merely seeking a means to postpone the inevitable; that is, the relinquishing of the ordinary reasoning faculties which are inadequate to deal with aspects of higher knowledge.

By this I do not mean that reason and logic have no place in the higher order of things. That is not at all the case. However, these activities which should be utilised by the more refined light of a higher mind have become the tools of an unillumined consciousness which seeks to use the normal and legitimate activities of Mind to prolong the rule of the Ignorance and to keep the race imprisoned in its lower hemisphere of being.

In addition, I believe that the position of the Supramental Manifestation now, with its more complete foundations in the fourfold gnostic structure, can easily provide answers to all legitimate and sincere questions which any true seeker may have.

You ask several in your letter which I would like to answer in a rather detailed way because, for one, they deal with conditions in the work that introduce new and confounding elements and therefore present stumbling blocks for people who had barely come to terms with the old! – the ‘old’ relatively speaking, I ought to clarify.

I realise the extension of embodied Powers in the supramental Descent from two to four is a big leap to expect people to make. However, when the seeker dispassionately and as objectively as possible studies all the material now available to support this extension, I cannot honestly see how understanding and acceptance can be withheld. This is impossible if the material is scrutinised adequately and in the right poise of consciousness.

By right poise I do not mean an elimination of the critical faculty but the wish and the ability to deal with what is clearly written. Often this is not the case. People pretend to read, but in effect they are simply projecting into the text nothing but their doubts and misgivings and bad will. The result is that they cannot appreciate at all what is actually written, if indeed they have read the full texts in which I explain in detail the nature, the basis and the reason for this inevitable extension.

Usually a careful reading is not undertaken. This brings to mind an exchange we, here at the Centre, had with a prominent member of the Ashram in 1984, on this very subject. He is considered one of the Ashram ‘authorities’ on Sri Aurobindo’s work; he is an author of numerous books and editor of one of the Ashram journals.

The position was this: he was to give his evaluation of the contents of The New Way in view of the fact that he halted publication of a series of my articles in his journal when he discovered that I had made footnote references to my book. In his opinion no Ashram journal should print any material that made mention of this book.

In view of this, the editor was asked if he had read the material in question. He had not, of course. Finally, I insisted that it was his duty to do so, otherwise he would be casting Sri Aurobindo’s work into a medieval mould. (I should add here that the Mother, as recorded in The Agenda, had a similar forceful complaint about this same individual.) The interesting upshot of the episode was that he finally came out with a negative pronouncement on ONE PHRASE (not even a full sentence!) plucked from the middle of the book which he still had not read at all. How he ferreted out this phrase without reading the book is in itself interesting. He asked a person who had read The New Way where such-and-such was mentioned; that person duly indicated the place, and the rest followed. It is incredible to realise that ‘esteemed’ disciples of Sri Aurobindo can be so bigoted and closed, as well as so utterly unprofessional.

On receiving his reply I  pointed out that it was hardly acceptable that one phrase out of a 600-page book be used for condemnation, disregarding everything else that went to explaining the substantiating that point. His reply to this was even more astounding: In view of the fact that my contention (the extension of Powers to four and the rebirth of Sri Aurobindo) was in itself unacceptable, disciples, he wrote, were not obliged to read the material and could pass judgement without having done so!

I mention this extraordinary episode simply to explain that I fully understand the difficulty this ‘leap’ presents. At the same time, whoever does make it enters a different class, a new and immeasurably wider realm. The old structure just cannot stand any more and one must accept WHAT IS – for it is a thousand times more logical, more sound, more real, and corresponds to the true condition of the Work and the integral fourfold nature of the Supramental Manifestation.

I have not contradicted anything that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have formulated. In the case of the latter’s work, it is more than clear that I have taken up where she left off. This is obvious, however, only if we are able to identify the truly important elements the Mother provided as continuations in a progressive development. Two of these elements are the Temple and the City. But again, to realise the work that remained to be done in these spheres requires a consciousness open to the new, ready by the right poise to recognise and accept the new knowledge that has been an indisputable first step in this new direction into the future.

By now, all the material I have provided seekers with concerning the ‘temple’ and the ‘city’ non-speculatively indicates the true direction of the Work. After all, the plan of the Temple’s chamber was one of the Mother’s last bequeathals. The only problem lies in the fact that no one – and I mean no one – in the Ashram and in Auroville truly considered her plan to be sacred and so profoundly revealing of the new direction and the new body of knowledge it contained in its measurements and design as it was. This too is, we may say, a legitimate failing. After all, where is the model we can follow in such a case? Where on this planet has such a temple been used in such a precise manner so as to reveal to the seeker the physical details of the new Time as well as the subtle nuances of the supramental yoga concerning the question of realignment, etc, and the foundations thereby of the new gnostic race in all four dimensions of consciousness-being? These are things we fantasise about but hardly expect to have materialised before us in such a clear and unmistakable manner. And all this is the work of that elusive Third Power in the Solar Line. To this power belongs the establishment of the ‘temple’, that is, the centre. This is most important to note. For there are two distinct though interrelated aspects to the Work: the centre, and the act of extension or expansion from that central Point. That is, the Temple is the ‘seed’ – or rather, holds the Seed, nurtures it, gives it ‘birth’ in the soil of this Earth. The duty of the Third is to bring into being the TRUE centre. This means the uncontaminated Seed of the new creation – that ‘child’ of Sri Aurobindo’s 76th Aphorism.

It is not just a matter of poetic or ‘symbolic’ free expression that the new creation is described as a ‘child’, a male child. As you know from your Jungian studies, in alchemy the final ‘product’ was also described as a male child. We have this expressed more clearly in the remarkable text of St. John, The Revelation (Apocalypse). Not only does John prophesy the birth of the Man-Child, he also gives accurate previsions of ‘the woman’ who gives birth to this creature. To make matters more conclusive, he links all this to the ‘temple’ and the ‘city’, with numerous details of the difficulties these incarnations would encounter in the introduction of the new creation [that?] he announces will follow the present one. All of this the prophet connects to the zodiac. The Revelation cannot be deciphered properly without this key, without the TRUE key. Hence it has never been understood, never been proven true. It has been all things to all people, when none of these items were present in the schools which seek to lay claim to the prophecy as pertinent to their work.

Likewise the Mother’s chamber cannot be deciphered without a cosmic key. But it is not the traditional zodiacal wisdom that provides this key. As was to be expected, an entirely new cosmic language and vision had to be revealed before the Temple’s plan could be comprehended in its fullest dimensions. Thus St. John also mentions the difficulties ‘the Book’ would encounter in its effort to be ‘opened’, how first it had to remain closed since there was no one to read the Book… All of this has been the accurate story of the Supramental Manifestation concerning the Third and the Fourth.

Indeed, these elements surfaced with uncanny exactitude starting in 1971. There is no school in existence today that can offer such a precision. Yet I do feel it is precisely this extraordinary precision that disturbs people. You have commented on this in your letter and I fully agree. But bear in mind that we are a mental race, and only a small portion – unbelievably small – is striving to exceed the boundaries of Mind. So naturally the New Way disturbs people in that it does not cater to the mentally-poised individual. People believe that because I use numbers in my work that ‘it is all mental’. I find this amusing because in itself a criticism of this sort reveals that few people have understood what a mental poise or limitation today truly is. This has virtually nothing to do with language or the method employed to transcribe what we see. That this can now be done in the simplest of terms, offering a completely new ‘blueprint’, is what should inspire the greatest awe in us.

Mind, as it is utilised by our present race, is characterised by its ‘shifting foundations’. It steadies itself on a binary structure, and a dualistic pattern of this nature can never provide the indestructible foundation the Supramental Creation demands. This is displayed very clearly in the fact that objective truth is not a part of our cultural experience or expression; and what we are supposed to have inherited of ‘objective’ truth is simply religious dogma and a travesty of the real thing. Yet The New Way deals only with that – the objective foundations of true Gnosis. This presents the reader, who relies on the mental instrument as it is presently constituted for comprehension, with the disturbing factor of a complete system, with no gaps in the structure through which the old ‘mixture’, to use the Mother’s favoured term, can be introduced. And this seems to throw the uninitiated reader into a state of panic: no escapes, no speculations, no dilutions. One is faced simply with WHAT IS, as a conclusive indisputable fact. This, I realise, is rather disturbing in a civilisation that presents as its highest revelations the theories of relativities and improbables and random possibilities.

Caught by this panic a few individuals try their best to find flaws in this system, this presentation – like the editor of the Ashram journal mentioned earlier. His attempt was very amateurish, I must say. More acceptable, more mature, in a sense, was the ‘burning question’ of our friend concerning the ‘enhancement of the 4th’ in the proscribed 19th year of manifestation, ‘why this did not happen’. I would like to dwell on this for a moment since it provides a means to offer an example of the remarkable accuracy of the new Knowledge. Rather than ‘prove me wrong’, the question of the 4th’s enhancement in 1983 is a further indication of the precision of my work. The only problem resided in the hidden nature of what I was foreseeing. In the disclosure of the times of Enhancement of the members of the Solar Line, I used a particular number harmony. And this was indeed accurate for all the members of the Line. But I had no way of knowing in what manner the future enhancements would take shape; I refer especially to the last, completing the pattern in 1983.

But before all else, I should state that to consider my work inaccurate because this fourth enhancement apparently did not take place implies that the person judging knows what that enhancement should have been. On my part, I confess that in 1977, when I wrote of this in The New Way, I did not. I wonder then how our friend can be so categorical in his assessment when dealing with this great Unknown. On top of this I did provide him with abundant material to prove what exactly had happened in 1983 and how it was indeed the Enhancement of the Fourth.

This did take place, and, as could be expected, it happened in a manner that fully revealed its true nature and purpose. Enhancement in the Solar Line pertains to establishing ‘effective power’ and is a means to introduce, to incorporate, to integrate certain cosmic principles in the work. That is, the bringing down and the rooting in the Earth of that particular hitherto unintegrated Power. It is the wholeness of the process that distinguishes it from all others. These powers may have been ‘available’ in the past, but they have never manifested in an unbroken line in time, thereby becoming rooted in material creation and a firm part of the evolutionary process.

Thus, in 1983 I integrated the Fourth Power. This is not an abstract statement. Volume 3 of The New Way was the outcome of that enhancement [Enhancement?], almost every word of it. But I do confess that in 1977 when I wrote, I had not the faintest idea that I would be the one to do this. Nor did I expect that this integration would come in 1983 in the way that it did. What must be pointed out, however, for it reveals how accurate indeed things have been, in the very beginning of 1983 I knew that the work could not go on as it was, on the basis of the powers then forming the core of the arrangement. More particularly, I knew that the condition of my realisation at the time was not adequate, it was not sufficient to deal with what I intuited was to come, what was demanded of the work in order that it be the centre and open the doors to the supramental yoga. I was fully cognisant of the fact, painfully so, I would add, that something considerably more powerful was required. But what that was I ignored. I was merely aware of its absence and that without it the work, as based here and with me as its overseer, could not go on.

You must realise that an appreciation of this nature already says much for the precision of the New Way. To know so accurately that the realisation was insufficient was already a step in the right direction. And indeed, on 17 April 1983, the formidably powerful experiences began of ‘centering’, of ‘realigning’ and consequent ‘reversal’ which constituted the enhancement of the Fourth Principle. These were the processes which gave ‘birth to the 4th’, to the perfect centre, to that ‘pure seed’, that Hiranyaretas (the Golden Seed) of vedic [V?] tradition describing Agni, the Son of Force, the ‘navel of the world’.

It is not surprising that I myself should have had to experience this particular enhancement and the incorporation of the 4th Principle, insofar as this is precisely the mission of the Third: to give birth to the Fourth. And this I have done, both physically and yogically, connecting thereby the various dimensions of existence. This has served to fulfil Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy in Savitri at the very end of Book XI concerning the return to Earth of Savitri, carrying the soul of Satyavan with her as she ‘falls into a mother’s breast’.

The problem is that these predictions are too accurate, too clear, and when they materialise people are not able to recognise them because they had been described with such startlingly real images. The reason for this is the subject I am dealing with in the latest Vishaals regarding the symbol being ‘the thing symbolised’. In this context, when Sri Aurobindo describes this return of Satyavan in such a clear fashion, as contained within the being of Savitri and the latter in turn descending and taking birth on Earth, people cannot recognise the event when it takes place because of preconceptions. To do so demands that we accept the extension of the Line to four. This is obvious. A return implies these two new elements, new forms. How can it be otherwise?

I hope you see the problem. For it is a question of attachment to the old forms and identifying these Powers strictly with the outer material encasement as it was then. No man or woman of Knowledge and of realisation does this. It is always the inner substance that speaks, though the outer form has dissolved and changed. But the human being, lorded over by the consciousness of Death and its inevitable finality, is simply caught in this attachment to form and cannot see the way in which the Spirit moves this form and that one, and provides renewed vehicles for the Divine Work in the world. This happens in spite of the fact that Sri Aurobindo himself had described this advent explicitly. But, of course, he did not indicate that there was something more to this question of a ‘returned Savitri’. With all that he had written on the Mother, it is natural for disciples to experience a severe handicap in dealing with the real manner in which his prophecies would come to pass. For them there is ‘only the Mother’, and so they wait, anticipating some sort of reappearance of that same Mother, that she may thus ‘complete her unfinished work’, whatever that is meant to signify. I must say that this is sheer nonsense. In the light of the new revelations and the soundness of the new gnosis, to continue sitting in anticipation of such an event is to live in a willed foggy atmosphere of illusion.

Here is another pertinent anecdote from my days in the Ashram. A seniormost trustee, the one whom I consider to be the most evolved of the lot, contrary to general opinion there, was asked if he believed that the Mother would come back again to finish her work, etc. He replied candidly, as was his fashion, ‘If she does, she will have to have THE MOTHER written on her forehead, since nobody will recognise her.’ This says it all…!


I have written this much to clarify the question of Enhancement of the Fourth. Added to this you must understand that the discovery of the new physical Base of the work – that new ‘centre’ – hinged entirely on that Enhancement. Had this not come to pass, Skambha would never have surfaced in 1985. The accuracy with which first the inner realisation took place, exactly on time as foreseen, followed thereupon by its physical manifestation is awesome, It reveals the accelerated pace of the Manifestation now, how the realignment produced almost immediate results, the very results that were indicated in the realisation itself – for the Fourth Principle is that ‘skambha’, a physical point on Earth.

Remember, we are dealing with a new manifestation, hence the ‘unknowns’ loom before us at every step of the way. Our task is precisely to illumine this way hitherto untrodden.

And let me provide another one of these ‘unknowns’, but which corresponded to an equally accurate intuition. Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother believed that a very important breakthrough would take place in their work in 1938. They never specified what that might be and no doubt they themselves were unaware of its true nature, similar to my experience concerning the 4th Enhancement. Well, 1938 came and went, and to all outward appearances nothing of the anticipated occurred. On the contrary, that was the year of Sri Aurobindo’s accident, right on his Siddhi Day, which confined him to his bed and a long convalescence.

It was only in 1971 – that is, 33 years later – that confirmation came regarding that anticipated ‘something’. It was the birth of the Third right in the beginning of the 1938. I need not dwell on its significance for their work. Indeed, it revolutionised everything.

However, in 1938 nothing at all of that ‘revolution’ could have been accurately foreseen, much less explained, for obvious reasons that do not require any elaboration. A full 33 years had to transpire before  any verification would come – but come it did, proving in the process not only the accuracy of their intuition but revealing once again the difficulty we encounter in recognising the connection between things. When this involves long intervals of time, the difficulty is compounded. Now we are graced with this ‘acceleration’. There is no need to remain in the dark, and if we do so it is simply due to the obstinate hold the Ignorance has over the human consciousness.

I will use a remark in your letter to illustrate the above. Regarding your doubts about the Fourth and what provokes them, you write, quite sensibly, ‘…I felt that when [the Fourth] would become enhanced, the message would become quite decisive and obvious. Now that this has not been the case, there is no question but that this opens up a query in my mind. I cannot help but think of the Blavatsky – or was it Annie Besant-Krishnamurti fiasco. And I think this is surely reasonable to be concerned about…’

First of all, I wonder in what way the ‘message’ would have become more ‘decisive and obvious’ to you than what has already been revealed. Does this mean that all the Knowledge recorded in my books so far, and lately in Vishaal, is not decisive and obvious enough? You know, people amaze me. I can, in all modesty, state that there is no other school today that can be found to offer a more ‘decisive’ and ‘obvious’ message. None can back up what they proclaim (nor do they feel obliged to) in the manner in which the new way [New Way?] can. The leaders of movements and cults make claims, and their followers accept them blindly, though they offer no objective system of verification. On the other hand, the whole of my work centres on this element of objective ‘proof’. It is evident, however, that unless the seeker agrees to strive for the new Seeing and the new and realigned consciousness which this Yoga brings, he will continue to hold that the message is not obvious or decisive enough. These are the ‘shifting foundations’ of the mental poise. And if you say that for this very reason you want a direct experience in the heart, while agreeing with you that this must be so, at the same time I have to caution you in the matter: the voice and language of the soul are the great Unknowns for the human species. Invariably the vital is mistaken for the soul and the outer chamber of the heart is taken for that ‘hidden chamber closed and mute’, that ‘magic place which few can glimpse even with hurried glance’. If this were not so, the Solar Line would be jobless! The human race would already be divine, or at least well on its way to this apotheosis…

But regarding the ‘Annie Besant-Krishnamurti fiasco’, ironically, there was no fiasco at all! Krishnamurti was exactly what the Theosophists claimed him to be: the Lord Maitreya and the World Teacher. However, what does this really mean? What does the ’coming of the Lord Maitreya’ signify in the evolution of consciousness on Earth, for the Earth? If we do not have the answers to these questions it is immaterial to know who Mr. K was or if there was or not any fiasco. Having had a rather close contact for a few years with this being, I feel especially able to discuss this issue. Indeed, there is something else to ponder over: look at how exacting the lines of destiny have been drawn in this regard.

Here you have the Third and the Fourth of the Solar Line taking birth in the West and, at a particular point in time (1966 to be exact), these two come into somewhat close contact with none other than Krishnamurti. This all transpired under totally ‘unconscious’ conditions, even though I had intuited it would happen before it actually did. This contact lasted until 1971, when the veils were drawn aside and I saw and gradually came to realise in full who K was and what his mission had been. With this it was clear that we had to have had a contact since our work may be said to stand in stark opposition to his. As the Lord Maitreya (these are poor titles which explain nothing), Mr. K. brought to a close the arc that was initiated with the Buddha. And he did this superbly, to the extent that the last decades of his life found him constantly dwelling on the Void and Nothingness. This, for him, was the apex of the realisation. A logical accompaniment to this position was the denial of the Becoming. And that is where I enter the picture.

My work centres on a redemption of that Becoming, in proving ‘the truth of that which moves’ (a title of a chapter in Volume 3 of The New Way). Throughout my association with K, I often had disturbing dreams in which I was teaching him! Believe me, at the time of these dreams I had nothing to teach, much less to a being like Krishnamurti! Hence these dreams left me disturbed and perplexed. In one, for example, I was holding up a sort of fishbowl before him, pointing to it, encouraging him to look at its contents deeply – and in this crystal bowl there were all the earliest forms of LIFE, organic life. Together with this I held a clock before him… It was almost a decade later that I understood the meaning of these dreams. At the same time I realised why destiny had brought us into contact with this remarkable Teacher, so true to his dharma, like no one else I know.

Sri Aurobindo has written that Kalki would come ‘to correct the error of the Buddha’. Kalki (again, meaningless titles) is that Fourth Principle or Power. Should it surprise us then that destiny took these curious turns to bring us all together? There is no doubt in my mind that K played an important role in my life for a number of years prior to coming to India to start my real work. Above all, he served as an example of the results to be expected from pursuing the way the Buddha introduced to its fullest extreme. The severe limitations of this way for the divinisation of the Earth are glaring. After all, without the Becoming how can we expect to change anything here? Indeed, why be here at all? One thing should be stated, however. While almost all teachers roaming the face of the Earth have dubious realisations, if any at all, K was utterly sincere and true. He was who he was to the utmost. He was that Lord Maitreya. The point is, is the advent of the Maitreya the answer to the impasse civilisation faces? On the contrary, I would say. It is a question of ‘correcting that error’. And this is precisely the purpose of our work. But I realise that these issues are far too subtle for the average seeker to grasp. Therefore, let us leave the matter at that. But in concluding this point, I will only say that the real nature of the transformation demanded can best be understood by a comparative study of this work and Krishnamurti’s. There is no better way to understand what is lacking today and what must be achieved, as well as ‘corrected’.

I must also add that the Krishnamurti phenomenon cannot really be compared with the 4th of the Solar Line. The ‘boy wonder’ that was K was the centre of a cult, an object of veneration, though he later reputed the organisation (The Order of the Star) and all the old forms. Yet he did not deny who he was and in his final years he seemed to confirm that identity to his closer associates. His earlier repudiation was fully in keeping with his mission – but it made him no less the being who he was (perhaps in this alone we may one day find a parallel between the two). But regarding the 4th of the Solar Line, there is no cult, no worship – indeed, the manifestation will be entirely unsatisfying to the old mould of devotees. It is simply a question of getting the work done, – meaning, rooting the four Principles in the Earth-consciousness, introducing a new direction in the evolution. The way in which this work is being done does not conform to any previous pattern: Supermind ‘creates its own conditions’.


The really mysterious element, the truly great Unknown with no previous model of any sort has not been the Fourth, as you might believe. It is the Third. This is the real surprise the Supreme has sprung on us all! At the same time, the ‘closeness’ of this Principle is what veils it, renders it hidden and difficult to perceive. It is related to what is most intimate, most hidden in the human being himself: the individual soul, – so close that, like the inside of your head, you cannot see it….

Concurrently, the other great unknown has been the seat of the Third, though even St. John had made mention of this place, that the Woman would be taken by the Eagle to ‘her own place’ in contrast to the place where for a time she is given umbrage. These confounding Unknowns I have had to unveil, to reveal, as a part of the Yoga, a part of the process of transformation. They form the foundations of my work. The ‘construction’ of the Mother’s Temple which I have referred to in Vishaal, describes this unveiling of the Unknown.

Regarding the Fourth, it is different. His field is known (the City). The Mother left us this marvellous heritage, these great keys for opening the doors to the 3rd and 4th levels of the Work – that is, the temple [Temple?] (for the Third), or the true Centre, and the City (for the Fourth) or the extended, horizontal field. The establishment of the Centre is in progress, as you know. But the condition of the field of the 4th is disturbing. What course will it take? What shape? One thing is certain: in the prevailing conditions, nothing of that – the true thing – is ready or possible. Hence there is no reason to expect anything more in the work than what is presently manifesting, and I should add that that is enough! People can hardly come to terms with the Third. Why pine for that more confounding Fourth in the alchemy before the time is right? Each member of the Solar and Lunar Lines does his or her job. This is certainly true.

I hope that all this rambling on has served to throw light on the really important observation in your letter: How can an opening to me open you more ‘to the Divine Will and a higher destiny’? Be clear, first of all, about the nature of this ‘higher destiny’. Then you will have the answer you seek.



Skambha, 15 August 1988

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