(A letter from PNB to a New Delhi correspondent, dated 15 December 1977.)
We have often made reference in our exchange of letters to the future of India. It has always been vague and on my part I have never had the opportunity to go deeply into the matter. Perhaps it can really only be done if and when we meet again, since at present there are certain things that would have to enter into such a discussion which can only be done justice to in person. However, after writing 400 pages recently on this vague quantity called ‘the future of India’, I have come to the conclusion that this is the real problem for the present: nobody knows what is really going on because no one has what might be called a clairvoyant vision that can pierce through the outer happenings of the moment. Everyone is caught in the chaos of the moment, and in that confusion the light is not to be perceived. Yet the confusion of the moment is a part of the whole. In fact, it is the result of developments of the last hundred years, so we have to see the chaos in its rightful light also if we wish to perceive what lies beyond. And we can only understand the chaos if we see beyond it! What I mean to say is, vision must be total or we shall never pull ourselves out of the mess…
And mess we are in. The forces of stagnation and death have never been so powerful. But this is precisely because their hold has never before been threatened to the extent to which it has been of late.
The problems of India cannot be solved by man. It is only by the Divine Mother’s grace that this country will be able to rise up one day. However, Grace is not an abstract factor. There is an almost mathematical quality about this thing we call ‘grace’. We become channels of it when we have harmonized our individual or collective beings with the higher will from where the new energy issues forth, the energy that can accomplish with ease what man on his own strength and resources can never hope to achieve. It is by attunement with such a will that the life of this nation will be restored and the new India will unveil itself. The keynote in the process is Harmony. There are certain laws of higher harmony let us call them, which govern the process and determine the future course we shall take.
I mentioned that I was very much concerned lately about the condition of women. This is precisely because the being of a woman is especially prepared to serve as an instrument for the process of harmonization I speak of. In fact, she embodies this principle; therefore in denying woman one denies the very possibility of ever making a cosmos out of this reigning chaos. As the Cosmos is the embodied greater feminine principle of Harmony, so too the womanhood in a society’s structure is the collective embodiment of the same principle. In India, as in most of the world, there is an effort made to subdue and to suppress this portion of the community, and by so doing the outer life becomes every day more and more disharmonious, more violent, more harsh, more angular and brittle.
This may seem irrelevant and not at all connected with the political, economic and social problems of the nation – but in fact here lies the core of the matter. The person under greatest attack at present (Indira Gandhi) is actually fighting this battle, and there is a consolidated effort to overcome her, not because of any of the reasons which fill our newspapers, but because of this battle of subtle forces which simply makes use of the existing set-up in order to attempt to submerge the world once and for all and to completely abort the birth of a new Earth.
In all of this there is in fact nothing hidden. It is all very plain – exactly what is, is. Only it is not convenient to look at what is. It is uncomfortable, because to see clearly is the first step on the way to change.
I believe she is having difficulties for several reasons. One is that she is really unaware of the real struggle, who she is, what she represents. Or if she is aware she is afraid to stand up clearly for these things and let all the masks fall.
Secondly, I believe she has been open to forces which have clouded the process and hindered the development along the lines of harmony and ease. I could be very specific about this.
The times are immensely important. Great Questions, of a universal nature, are being worked out. But one cannot extricate oneself from the mess unless there is an absolutely clear vision that sees with exactitude the nature of the force that must be conquered. Only such a clear seeing can open the way. And one must know exactly the role all the elements involved play.
And above all one must be completely surrendered to the real Power that does everything. There must be no feeling of a personal capacity to do, of personal power, or any such thing. By this I do not mean the conventional concept of humility and false modesty, or the moralist’s definition of one who thirsts for power. Usually those who point their fingers at others in this regard are the real ones who hunger after power. Such people have a fear of greatness and they see in it a threat and confuse it with what it is not. The surrender of which I write is a state of being. It does not come in a day. It means being rid of ego, or at least making the ego sheath as transparent as possible. The easiest way to reach this state is in the act of complete self-giving, which is Love.
In this same light…those who boast most of God realization and spiritual attainments are often the ones who are farthest from the light. But the Hindu tradition has seen through this mask from time immemorial, for the Asura is invariably depicted in the ancient lore as one of high attainments, who had subjected himself to the most rigorous tapasyas, because of which he was granted the coveted boon. The realizations of those powers were often more outstanding than those of the Gods! So, another reason for the need to see clearly…
I have very much to say, but truly I do not know where to begin. I have to know where the interest lies, in which direction the energies are tending – then I can say more and be more specific. The question is to see the goal clearly. It is the only way.
One final thing. Destiny is a strange and mysterious thing. When one is the centre of the nation by destiny, by the alchemy of divine laws, it does not matter where one is or what position one holds; one does not forfeit that destiny and cease to be the pivot of the nation. Actually this is the most unhappy condition for a nation: when it refuses to recognize its destined leaders. This means that instead of the country progressing harmoniously in accord with the higher laws, the movement proceeds along the negative. That is, the pivot is always there, around which all is played out, but instead of working along positive lines the destiny of the nation is worked out negatively. This condition has been in existence since the early 1920s – gaining momentum year by year, until now, in the name of a rejection of ‘dynastic rule’ those who by destiny are to play these roles are sought to be eliminated. In favour of what? Lord only knows… What this boils down to is simply that the Laws cannot be changed but the process can be perverted. And then the whole nation suffers and a time of senseless undoing ensues. All the energies are channelled into a negative process of undoing. Whereas when the right pattern is seen and set in motion, the energies are allowed a positive expression leading to rapid growth and rise.
But for this the destined ones have to be aware, have to see clearly and be open to the true thing – and above all they have to be ever in a state of joyous surrender.
There is something to know about the destiny of this person (Indira Gandhi); it can explain many of her actions – of which perhaps she herself is unconscious. She is compelled to behave in a certain way by the power of her destiny, a dharma which cannot be understood unless it is seen in the context of the whole; that is, unless she is seen as a member of a ‘line’, as I call it. Only when the existence of this Line is known can any sense be made out of this country’s past and present woes. The one who came before her in the Line (Jawaharlal Nehru) was a prisoner, until the end, of a structure that he himself contributed to making, and which by destiny he was not allowed to undo. This was not his dharma. To her, on the contrary, falls the task of undoing and rebuilding. That is, she is supposed to break down the structure that he left in order to make room for the new. It should be a process of dissolution which leads to a new birth. But the birth comes only if while she breaks at the same time she must be engaged in a tremendous act of creation. It is for this reason that the third in such a Line, as she is, must be a woman.
Therefore you see that the whole of her public life seems to be one of splitting up, breaking down, dividing. But this is only the appearance. Behind the scenes, acting on the command of a Power which she ignores, she is involved in a most noble task, an immensely difficult one, because the dharma of the Third is the most resisted of all. The powers of decadence and of the old recognise instinctively that she is the real threat to their existence. The one before her was not because, as stated, he was too much involved in the structure. In a sense he built it. Therefore he was no real threat. But with her it is an entirely different matter. She is compelled to dissolve and make new. The important fact to bear in mind, however, is that unless she is actively and potently involved in the process of creation at the same time, her actions will not be those that dissolve in order to give rise to a new life, but simply those of destruction.
This is the situation at present. The energies are being smothered, turning back upon themselves, getting poisonous – because there is no positive outlet. This will destroy her, and in her destruction the channel through which energies are fed to the nation from higher planes is closed. The country then becomes consumed in a process of chaotic disintegration. It is overtaken by the powers of the past and its new future is annihilated.
Whither the World?
…Some questions in your 17.3.1990 letter oblige me to answer in some detail since I can see that there are misconceptions about what I have written regarding the Eastern Europe changes… If I don’t spell things out in one go in Vishaal, it is for a very good reason. Foremost is the fact that I am ‘preparing the soil’. Until one has laid certain foundations for a discussion, it is useless to proceed further. And this is an action rather than an intellectual concept. Along with what is finally written there is an ‘active principle’. So, this demands a certain type of communication which draws its own boundaries. But very often you jump the gun…
In conjunction with the above there is of course the fact that a very fine line divides this attitude from genuine curiosity or a real thirst for truth and to know. So, this is perhaps why I have never wanted to deal with the matter. One risks stifling healthy questioning. But there are dangers. These are that shadings may be thrown onto thoughts which gradually, if allowed to go unchecked, will carry us far from the original thought. This happens all the time. It is the same violence which is done in relationships, in interaction with other people…not allowing the truth of the other to manifest but closing it out by our own preconceptions.
But let me return to your original questions about Europe and particularly Germany, with respect to the globe in the Chamber. You ask, Does Germany hold the key for the unification of Europe?
This is not the case. It is something else. In the last Vishaal (4/6, February 1990), I purposefully ended my article with Sri Aurobindo’s words on the new order being based on two things: FREEDOM and UNITY. But I realise these are cold concepts for people. They cannot translate them into action or what is transpiring on Earth. They cannot see that these two elements alone stand behind what is taking place in Europe.
…Leftists the world over are having a very hard time with the collapse of socialism. And of course there are the capitalists who are rejoicing over the collapse and sneering well and hard. But they are uncomfortable with what is happening – they know it is a lie.
Where does the truth reside? X writes. ‘Nations do not die. It is the systems that perish.’ Quite true. Nations live on, – but do they fulfil their purpose? He complains about America. He has been predicting the fall of America ever since I first met him – that is at least 13 years ago. But now America seems to be on top, and this is most annoying to a futurologist who has been carrying on about the collapse of the West and the rise and establishing of the East. At least part of the East has collapsed; and India appears to be headed for a complete break up. So, I am wondering what he is making of all this… He writes of pessimism in his letter, and he knows that I am the only true and consistent optimist. But my optimism is not based on surface happenings. As much as X would like to penetrate deeper and ‘know’, he cannot. Like others, he hasn’t a clue as to what is really transpiring.
No, it is not that the American system is better and that is why it has survived, while communism is bad and collapsed under the weight of its own ‘evil empire’. America lives on simply because she is being more faithful to her dharma and, as Sri Aurobindo prophesied of the new world order, she has borne a consistent respect for those precious ingredients: FREEDOM and UNITY. As a nation made up of 50-odd states, America is an example to the world in unity. India, for one, cannot seem to emulate the American success story of unity. Try as she may. But this is simply because America shook off the yoke of imperial-colonial rule before it had become the monster that it did right after America won her independence. India, on the other hand, remained saddled with certain devastating ‘gifts’ of the British. Foremost is its administrative and political system. The bureaucracy in India was so superbly devised that it is an organic, self-perpetuating system which can never be transformed. It bears in its being every element required for its conservation and perpetuation. On this basis, without taking into consideration anything else, India cannot ‘get her act together’. Why this is so is another story. More on that later.
Z claimed that America ‘has no vision’. This is also true – but is she meant to have a vision? I have always sustained that it is India who must give the new Vision to the world. So, we must go step by step in this process. Each nation must be faithful to its own dharma. America has been, in spite of everything. Perhaps because she is so mechanical in her response to impulses and forces. She swiftly carries out the processes, like her innumerable fads. But as in all adolescence, America has had to pay the price for her FREEDOM, that other precious ingredient. She holds that as a sacred right and regardless of what American leftists may say (I quote Z…’30,000,000 people are not “free” in the USA because they have no access to health care…’), this concept is alive and well. It is so much alive that the drug scourge and AIDS are just some of the signs that the American dharmic contribution of freedom is active. Passage through adolescence teaches us that we must take responsibility for our actions. It is very typical of youth, and especially the youth of today after the hippy culture, to deny responsibility. So, if you want free sex, freedom from censorship, pornography and all manner of intellectual pollutants, then it is clear that these do take their toll. At the same time, to curb these expressions threatens that dharmic expression: freedom. It is a serious and understandable bind.
What this indicates is one plain and simple fact: No nation, given the actual ‘boundaries’ of the human species, can hope to express its true soul and dharmic essence. Everything we see, whatever is taking place today, or has taken place until today, is simply a series of perversions of that soul-essence. But the character of the perversion is what throws light on the true essence of each nation and what its contribution is meant to be in the extended System. Thus, to express the true dharma we need the proper field. This field is Whole Time. This pertains to individuals as well as nations: Whole Time. Or else, the full circle, as expressed in the Gnostic Circle. In other words, right at the point in the Circle (Capricorn) which indicates the coming to terms with one’s dharma or destiny, we exit the wheel! We spin off to nirvana or heaven, or whatnot. So, as a race we have never known what this Whole Time is and what it might bring to our lived experience on this planet. Indeed, we have never known what the very destiny of the planet is, since that Capricorn passage is the movement into that ‘chamber closed and mute’ where the destiny of the earth itself is written. Significantly, in Savitri Sri Aurobindo makes it clear that entry into that ‘chamber’ is reserved for very, very few.
To return to America, it is not that her ‘system’ has triumphed – free market, capitalism, consumerism, or whatnot. But in a way these have triumphed. Indirectly. The whole point is – FREEDOM. Communism collapsed simply because it had stifled that indomitable right of the human being. No new order can come about without this basic ingredient. Had there been freedom, even of the simplest kind in the Eastern Bloc, we would not have witnessed this total collapse of a system. It would have remade itself somehow, as America is able to remake herself, if her people so wish.
This is all an immensely interesting process to study because it is so clear in its present operation. What we are dealing with is the Third Principle: the Individual (Divine). It is that Cosmic Principle that contains this question of Freedom. America was born on this ‘note’. This is her soul-essence and in some way she must make this manifest, add this to the Earth’s symphony of nations. But, at the same time, given the limitations of our ‘field’ – both collective and individual – America can only present a perversion of that Principle. The same holds for India, the ‘new’ India born in 1947 when she liberated herself from colonial rule. But India is not at all ‘free’. I repeat, she is saddled not only with her glorious past but with the more recent ‘glories’ of the British Raj. So, these two sister nations, as I would call them, are burdened in a similar way – though this would not be apparent in a surface assessment. None can appreciate that America and India are grappling with the same thing: the perversion of freedom, or the Third Principle; and that both enjoy this same ‘note’ of destiny.
At the same time, there is a difference: one is poised peripherally, the other centrally. Thus, as I have written so often in the past, when these positions are reconciled and work in harmony, we shall see something of the truly new order manifesting. America may not have a vision at this point; but if she clings to these basic principles, as best she can, she will come through this great transition and come out of it into her own true light. India may indeed have the potential for the Vision, but this is not a CONSCIOUS element. This fact alone is what creates such a colossal confusion. The new times call for CONSCIOUS PARTICIPATION, especially when centrally poised, as India is. So you can gather from this that India will continue bumbling along until she stumbles into that light and embraces it with a clear perception of what exactly it is. This has not happened except sporadically, which has not been sufficient to solve the problems and eliminate the obstacles on the path to the fulfilment of her destiny. Hence, the perversion…
It is the perversion of the Third Principle which has permitted India to become victim of an apparently irredeemable egotism. This manifests in the Corruption Syndrome, which is no longer a hidden game but an overt ‘system’. I cannot go into the details of this degeneration, but I will simply leave you with these hints. You can work out the details for yourself. You will see, if you carry the process of analysis through to its completion, that corruption is simply the Third Principle gone wild. At the same time, similar to America where AIDS and drugs are the obvious results of the perversion of its dharmic contribution of freedom, as it would be interpreted within the limits of our mental reasoning capacities, India suffers equally from a perversion of something that lies in the bosom of the Third Principle: spontaneity, flexibility, plasticity. These are all appendages of Freedom, that much is clear. But they are essential to India’s true soul expression. The fact that these characteristics do exist and permit the most unbelievable situations to arise in India, is what allows us to state that India too, like America, is expressing her soul-essence even though perverted. The perversion itself indicates the real and ultimate contribution.
There is one clear lesson to be learned from the 45 years since the end of the War. The economies which are really thriving are the German and the Japanese. It is not that these countries have a better system, or even that they are more industrious people (though this they are). What is clear is that they were impeded from putting precious resources into armaments. The two superpowers are cracking under the weight of their armament budgets. The Russian economy collapsed almost completely, while the USA’s manages to carry on simply because its system allows for replenishment more easily than the Russian. But the point is, if America would eliminate this drain, there is no economy in the world that would be able to compete with her, embodying as she does the essence of Matter.
So, the losers of the War have come out the winners. It is an irony of fate, but it teaches us that there are no morals in all this: the aggressors, though vanquished, end up by being the victors in an even more interesting manner. The restrictions imposed upon them have only served to make them formidable economic powers. We see also from this that indeed, as I have often written, in large part the future of humanity hinges on economic issues, this being a central aspect of the Third Principle, the Vital.
As far as Germany holding the key to the unification of Europe, this is not true, or perhaps only partially true. In fact, Germany may present an insurmountable impediment to unity. There are issues still to be worked out, in the deeper strata, not on the political, social or economic levels. These will sort themselves out once the deeper issues have been successfully dealt with. You see, this question of Unity is a complex issue. It involves a true, a lasting change of consciousness and a completely new perception and perspective. We are presently in the very early stages of this shift. The loudest voice throughout the world is the nationalist’s still. Real unity can only come into being once, at least in a nuclear experiment, a consciousness evolves which has gone beyond these limitations. I have written about this in The New Way, Volume 1. First there is the cry of nationalism – them comes unity. But the former has its place and purpose in the scheme of things. All of this is being worked out in this new ennead.
There is another matter. People confuse things. For example, because they speak different languages or wear different costumes or have certain distinguishing aspects of their culture, they may believe that these confer the right to claim independence from the larger nations of which they are a part. But this is not always true. A ‘nation’ is not determined by these elements alone. There is much more involved. India, for example, is a nation whose essence is characterised precisely by these remarkable differences which make her worthy of the national motto, Unity in Diversity. Therefore, when parts of this nation seek to break away which do indeed belong to the entity called Mother India, we know then that a force of negation is at work, seeking to impede the process of unification and the experience of true unity. Presently the greatest obstacle in this process is religion. In the name of religion many perverted attitudes are being displayed. A very great ignorance reigns. It is this Ignorance which must be conquered.
So this question of Unity is a vast one, because when one speaks of unity automatically multiplicity is implied. These are the irreconcilable opposites which Supermind reconciles. And we return therefore to the key words of our times: Harmony and Integrality. The realisation of these two cosmic principles, in the YOGIC sense, is what will draw India (and by consequence the rest of the world) back from the brink of the abyss upon which she now stands.