Also in this Series
With this August 1988 issue, we commemorate the 116th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, of whom the Mother wrote on 14 February 1961, ‘What Sri Aurobindo represents in the world’s history is not a teaching, not even a revelation; it is a decisive action direct from the Supreme.’
On 26 July of that same year, a disciple questioned the Mother on certain comments she had made a few days earlier, concerning the fact that Sri Aurobindo left his body before explaining what he had been doing, and that it was a path in a virgin forest: “One’s eyes are blindfolded and one knows nothing, one walks on…’ Then the Mother commented,
‘That continues to be true. When will we see the end? In a hundred years?’
(The Mother remained pensive for a moment)
‘It has come like this: twenty years.
‘Take it for what it is worth.’
How was the Mother’s ‘prediction’ expected to take shape? In twenty years from July 26, 1961, what would have happened to explain what Sri Aurobindo had been doing and where it was all leading? It is certainly not a ‘coincidence’ but a direct confirmation of the Mother’s clear-seeing that The New Way was published exactly 20 years almost to the day of her statement. And the central theme of The New Way is precisely ‘Sri Aurobindo’s secret’. Therefore, with this issue we also commemorate the 7th anniversary of that publication.
The Mother’s 18 July 1961 conversation reproduced in this issue will further demonstrate the connection between our work today and what the Mother had intuited its course would be in the future.
‘Our explanation of the evolution in Matter is that the universe is a self-creative process of a supreme Reality whose presence makes spirit the substance of things, – all things are there as the spirit’s powers and means and forms of manifestation. An infinite existence, an infinite consciousness, an infinite force and will, an infinite delight of being is the Reality secret behind the appearances of the universe; its divine Supermind or Gnosis has arranged the cosmic order, but arranged it indirectly through the three subordinate and limiting terms of which we are conscious here, Mind, Life and Matter. The material universe is the lowest stage of a downward plunge of the manifestation, an involution of the manifested being of this triune Reality into an apparent nescience of itself, that which we now call the Inconscient; but out of this nescience the evolution of that manifested being into a recovered self-awareness was from the very first inevitable. It was inevitable because that which is involved must evolve; for it is not only there as an existence, a force hidden in its apparent opposite, and every such force must in its inmost nature be moved to find itself, to realise itself, to release itself into play, but it is the reality of that which conceals it, it is the self which the Nescience has lost and which therefore it must be the whole secret meaning, the constant drift of its action to seek for and recover. It is through the conscious individual being that this recovery is possible; it is in him that the evolving consciousness becomes organised and capable of awaking to its own Reality. The immense importance of the individual being, which increases as he rises in the scale, is the most remarkable and significant fact of a universe which started without consciousness and without individuality in an undifferentiated Nescience. This importance can only be justified if the Self as individual is no less real than the Self as comic Being or Spirit and both are powers of the Eternal…’
The Life Divine
CE, Vol. 19, p. 755
The binary system, the world of devas and asuras, or gods and titans, gives way to a unitary cosmos. The method to achieve this formidable shift is the object of the supramental yoga. It is the goal of the early stages of the Work. And when we speak of our times as a transitional period, we mean that we are living the great transition from a binary to a unitary system. This affects each and every aspect of life: political, social, economic – in a word, the entire woof and warp of our present civilisation; and it affects, in the deepest strata, the individualised consciousness of the human being. When we say that a new species is being formed, we mean an individual enjoying a new and realigned consciousness, possessing a physical instrument capable of housing this newly structured consciousness. We mean an individual composed of a true centre, like unto a single central and binding Sun. This luminous core stands alone and uncontested at the centremost pivot of one’s being. It does not share its occupancy; it does not permit any usurpation of its power, any drain of its energy; it allows no interference in its ability to hold all the dimensions of consciousness-being in orbit of itself. It is the resplendent divine Will in the world, the Immortal among mortals. It is the unfolding Vision of the Supreme, objectivising the world through the individual soul, a creation ‘in its own image’.
This central Sun cannot emerge unless the binary condition is transformed. Consequently, the individual’s inherent truth, or dharma, cannot manifest in its fullest potency and effective capacity of realisation while the binary struggle ensues and tears down all that the creative consciousness seeks to build in our inner recesses of being. For the core of that Sun is where the inherent truth-seed is lodged. When the perfect alignment comes into being, the aspirant makes contact with that TRUE centre, and it is then allowed to occupy a recognised place in one’s existence. The aspirant then finds his/her life restructured around this truth-conscious Sun and is able to contribute his or her truth to the new gnostic collectivity, wherein there is a perfect blending of the unity and the multiplicity.
In a consciousness of this nature there is no tension – there is simply a pure expression of harmony. There is as well no tedious monotony or uniformity, enforced by external laws disconnected from the individualised seed of truth operating from within and extending outward in the process of an unfolding of the central Will. The collectivity becomes the channel for the expression of a unified multiplicity, a cosmos, a harmonised system in which no tension exists, no battle of the wills, no opposition to the central Will. Indeed, each member of the new collectivity becomes a channel for the expression of harmony and the spontaneous experience of a divine life.
To reach this state however a certain process must be experienced, precisely what we are living now in this transitional phase. The compact seed-period of this passage is 27 years. This stretches from 1971 to 1998. We close this remarkable century with the abolition of a binary system as the pattern for the structure of the human consciousness, and we enter the new century and millennium poised differently; individually and collectively we house a new consciousness which is unitary in its centremost core.
I have discussed the Mother’s contribution to this great change in the previous parts of this series. Being the embodiment of the Cosmic Divine, or the 6 Power in the descending scale of the Solar Line, the Mother faced the formidable task of clearing the way for a new perception of the cosmic reality. That is, she was entrusted with the task of creating the conditions for this great shift from a binary to a unitary system in the cosmic dimension. Religions and philosophical systems have provided seekers throughout the ages with records of various perceptions of the cosmic dimension. The mythologies of all civilisations record the manner in which the human being has perceived the cosmic manifestation in moments of enlightenment. All confirm this binary status.
In India there is an elaborate mythology as well – in the Veda and the Puranas and the great epics, the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. But above the dual play these tales describe there is ever the ultimate Brahman. In the intermediate level, however, Indian myths present a voluptuous world of Devas and Asuras in unending antagonism and combat. These titles, it must be pointed out, are names we give to forces operating in the universe – both in the subtle planes and in the denser, more material dimensions. The commingling of these forces on the subtle planes finds its expression on Earth ultimately. Everything that transpires ‘up above’, so to speak, finally converges ‘here below’. Our material world, the ‘reality’ which for many is the only concrete truth, is the plane of existence where the actions of those forces find their ultimate expression. Therefore the Solar Line is a descending scale: 9 to 6 to 3, the essential triune Powers. These are 9 (Transcendent), 6 (Cosmic) and 3 (Individual). The manifestation of these Powers in time is in the same descending order: first the 9 incarnates, closely followed by the 6 (and these two Powers performing a joint mission); then 60 years later by the 3.
The work of the first two, the 9 and the 6, corresponds to the subtle planes and involves primarily those ‘upper regions’. However, the importance of their contribution resides in the fact that 1) they deal with those planes – the transcendent and the cosmic – in ‘a new way’, that is, on the basis of an Earth orientation, no longer a direction which is otherworldly; they reorganise the energies in those subtle dimensions precisely for the purpose of introducing this new direction; and, 2) they are a part of a line, a manifestation involving four Powers spread out in time in their participation, but yet each one intrinsically connected to the other and all participating in a comprehensive, interrelated work of transformation. This latter is perhaps the single most significant aspect of this new Age. Never before have the four Powers appeared on Earth in this overlapping and integral manner. And on this basis alone the great shift we are describing can come into being.
We are now at the third level of this descending scale. In the early part of the decade of the 70s, there was a brief overlapping of the 6 and the 3. This lasted until the Mother had effected the transference of the Knowledge to the Third, thus completing a work which would allow the new field to emerge. The Mother left her body in November of 1973, immediately after the most important key of the new phase had been passed on: the Gnostic Circle, the tool with which the ordering process, the creation of a cosmos out of the chaos could be undertaken, the method to perceive and put into effect that ‘super-organisation’. From 1971 until 1973, the Mother was preparing her withdrawal in this way, by passing on the power, the knowledge and the condition of the field to the Third. With this heritage the later stage could come into being.
The goal of this new phase is to draw the transformative work of the Transcendent and Cosmic Divine in the subtle planes to this Earth plane – for the Third in the cosmic harmony is the Earth and the individual soul. It is only now that a new heaven can become established on a new Earth.
‘A new heaven and a new earth’…This is a pregnant phrase. It appears in the Rigveda and in more recent times in ‘The Revelation’ of St John. But the most significant aspect of this phrase is always overlooked in the countless commentaries and speculations on these texts. For what is meant by ‘a new heaven’? We can easily appreciate that ‘a new earth’ is demanded for the supramental transformation since this planet – religions have been unanimous in declaring – is the proverbial hell to be abandoned or transcended. We see that every aspect of life covering all four levels of existence as we experience it on Earth must be changed into some sort of ‘newness’ if this prophecy is to unfold, that we must no longer be mechanical in our experience of life but that a new consciousness must replace the old. Even our physical structure expresses the need for this newness, and the ‘earth’ in this context refers to our ultimate base and vehicle in this most physical dimension. But what does ‘a new heaven’ signify, by far the most important part of the prophecy? For unless this ‘new heaven’ manifests there can be no ‘new Earth’.
Consequently, when we discuss Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work as being largely restricted to the subtle planes, we mean that they brought into being this ‘new heaven’. They transformed conditions in those subtle spheres to permit the Earth to receive this ‘newness’ from above. Naturally this is an overlapping process. Above and below are worked on together. But the boundaries each member of the Solar Line must work within are clearly defined. Sri Aurobindo’s involvement with the transcendent plane meant the introduction of a new direction in the quest. That is, until his coming the direction assumed in any path was ‘the liberation of the consciousness’, which meant an ultimate, total emergence into the Transcendent beyond the cosmic manifestation. His formidable task was to halt that direction and bring about a reversal, complete and irrevocable.
Needless to say, this was a tremendous operation which required his total concentration and a complete withdrawal from outer activities. I do not propose in this series to discuss the minute details of his work. This has been done in part in THE NEW WAY. At this point I would like to concentrate on the Mother’s achievement; first because whatever she did contains the accomplished work of Sri Aurobindo, and secondly because hers is closer to us in time and immediately preceded this present phase. We are continuing in a direct sequence the work she carried out. The student can easily appreciate that in her contribution we find the contribution of Sri Aurobindo, borne along by Time in the irreversible unfolding of the supramental seed of truth.
Thus in Sri Aurobindo’s time, while he was engaged in a process restricted to the transcendent plane and for which reason he was obliged to withdraw from outer activity, the Mother was left to deal with the cosmic dimension. But these two Powers were embodied, and the work the Time-Spirit had arranged for them had to have correspondences in this physical plane. This was imperative given the new direction Sri Aurobindo introduced. They transformed conditions in those subtle spheres, but strictly for the purpose of establishing a divine life upon Earth. Hence all the details of their lives and joint mission will furnish irrefutable proof of these processes as described by the new cosmology. Sri Aurobindo’s withdrawal and aloofness from the world – that is, the removed condition of his personal field of yoga – is a clear indication of his action in the transcendent plane to reverse the direction in the evolution of consciousness. While the Mother’s total involvement with the activities of the Ashram provided her with a laboratory or field of yoga which could reproduce the conditions in the cosmic dimension, teeming with the intermingling play of forces. In both cases their respective fields of yoga were carefully arranged to enable them to bring the gains of those planes onto this planetary base, rooted in the Earth.
Some disciples close to the Mother and Sri Aurobindo were aware of the nature of their work. But failing to have the complete vision of the entire Line, a certain negativism coloured their seeing, especially after the Mother’s passing. Disciples were then left to their own power of seeing, to piece together the mosaic she left but which, in their eyes, consisted of only just so many pieces and no more; hence the picture that emerged on this basis perforce had to bear the stamp of incompleteness and a scenario riddled with those ‘painful enigmas’.
One such disciple was Nolini Kanta Gupta, perhaps the first to embrace Sri Aurobindo’s yoga definitively. He went into exile with Sri Aurobindo at the time the British forced their retreat to Pondicherry, since Nolini was an associate of Sri Aurobindo in the freedom movement. Thereafter this involvement progressed from one of political collaboration to a relationship of master and disciple. He remained with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother throughout his life as one of their most faithful and loyal pupils.
Nolini Kanta Gupta lived a very long life, hence he was witness to the entire unfolding of Sri Aurobindo’s mission, as well as the years of the Mother’s solitary work from 1950 onwards, after Sri Aurobindo left his body. Toward the end of his life (he passed away in 1984), Nolini was faced with the disturbing fact of a laboratory in which an array of energies had been collected but no clear vision of the next and ultimate phase of resolution. One thing is commendable in his regard: unlike most disciples, Nolini did not allow sentimentality to disfigure what he perceived the conditions to be. He saw the naked reality and he often gave faithful expression to what he saw. An example is an article he wrote for an Ashram journal published several years after the Mother’s passing. I wish to reproduce this brief article in full because it is directly related to our present discussion – the Devas and Asuras, or the old binary system. The article is entitled ‘On the Brink’. It begins with a commentary on a verse from the Atharvaveda, II, 4, 2:
‘When the swan soars high up from out of the waters,
one of its legs it does not lift up,
if it lifted that leg also, there would be no today nor tomorrow
nor night nor day – nor the Dawn anymore.’
…Thus says the Vedic Rishi. Even so when the Mother withdrew from this earth we presumed that she did so with one foot only, the other foot she left planted here below for us to worship. Well, was that only a presumption or things have changed since?
Here on this earth we know a battle was raging and is still raging between the Gods and the Asuras; men are their agents and instruments. The battle is to decide the destiny of the earth and humanity. Mother was the leader of the divine army here. Now human beings are a very uncertain quantity. They themselves do not know on which side they are ranging. Some perhaps may know to some extent but that does not seem to count much in the actual reckoning of things.
Yes, the pity is that man does not know and yet so much if not the whole thing depends on him. For man as he is now is so far removed from godliness and so close to the asura that the battle upon earth between gods and asuras seems to be an unequal game. Man by actual nature is asuric; it is through aspiration that he is trying to be godly, but it seems he is now out of breath with his aspiration and has fallen back on his normal nature of the Asura.*
It was the intention of the Mother to implant the Divine upon the turbid soil of normal humanity, purifying it of its dross and suffusing it with the heavenly breath. If that is not done then she will have no other choice but to leave the field altogether to the Asura, in whatever camp or form they are, to fight it out among themselves and finally destroy themselves in the act, even like the Yadavas of old after Krishna’s retirement. Some Asuras may like to pretend to be divine precisely to ‘catch’ the voting strength of the human being, so to say, who may still seem to have a prejudice or predilection for divine things but the truth will be out and the pretenders will be compelled to disclose themselves exactly as they are.
Then only, consequent on the self-annihilation of the Asura can this earth be free and open for the incoming of the new race of beings born divine, not made. Whether any remnants of the human race will be left and in what condition, if any part of it could be incorporated or integrated into the new dispensation is a mystery that will remain so till the actuality reveals itself.
But I must not leave it at that, for there is always hope and cheer, vistas of escape; the tunnel ends at last and at the end there is always the light. The Lord says indeed: I am Time, the Destroyer of the world – but he also declares in no uncertain terms in his voice of assurance the resounding bugle-call of his panchajanya, the Divine Conch:
‘To this unhappy ephemeral world you have come.
Love me and live in me.
Take refuge in me alone;
I shall free you from all evil. Do not grieve.’
* Sri Aurobindo in one of his private notes discloses that most of his disciples were asuras, the bigger the disciple the greater the Asura. Maybe they came of themselves in order to surrender and be converted to the new life because impelled by a higher call. It may be that the urge wore off and the end had to be postponed for its fulfillment. It is significant what Sri Aurobindo says in his ‘Hymn to Durga’: ‘O Mother, give to our life and mind the Asura’s strength, the Asura’s energy and to our heart and intelligence a God’s character and a God’s knowledge.’
The appearance of this article caused a considerable uproar in the Ashram, the footnote in particular. To make confusion worse confounded, Nolini wrote that Sri Aurobindo’s statement on the asuric status of his closer disciples is to be found ‘among his private notes’. Thus it cannot be brushed aside as a casual comment but a statement to be preserved in writing for posterity. In the light of this present analysis regarding that same asuric influence among the Mother’s closest disciples, Sri Aurobindo’s declaration is not difficult to accept. Indeed, as Nolini writes, these powers did not flock to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for the purpose of transformation, though the nature of this transformation may be entirely different from what disciples presume. It is clear that Nolini was not acquainted with the intricate, intimate details of that ‘conversion’, hence the defeated tone of his piece.
Nothing at all had to be ‘postponed for its fulfillment’, as he writes in his footnote. However, for disciples who see only the Mother and Sri Aurobindo as instruments in this transformation and are unaware of the existence, and the imperative need, of a third and fourth power in the Line, the structure of their work cannot stand solidly on this Earth and one can easily be overtaken by a sense of hopelessness and defeat.
The role Nolini Kanta Gupta played in Sri Aurobindo’s work centres on an aspect of great consequence. His innate tendency drove him always toward a realisation of the static Peace, the transcendent Brahman Consciousness. Mentally, intellectually he could appreciate, perhaps better than anyone else in Sri Aurobindo’s entourage, that this sort of realisation was insufficient and incompatible with the full manifestation of the Supermind. But a mental appreciation is one thing. The fibre of one’s being is another. And Nolini’s inner fibre drove him constantly to an aloofness, to desire and to seek a state of uncontaminated Peace. On several occasions I had to confront this attitude in him. It allowed me to realise the tremendous difficulties Sri Aurobindo must have faced in ‘reversing the direction’ of the quest. Little is known among his disciples of the precise nature of his tapasya. When he wrote of the yoga he was doing – never in any great detail and always providing mere hints of his course – he made no detailed reference to this labour, this great reversal. But it must be pointed out that he is still engaged in this colossal shift. There is still something crucial, essential yet to be accomplished. We may call it, Sri Aurobindo’s ‘unfinished business.’ It is a work of the fourth level.
During the time of Sri Aurobindo’s embodiment as the 9 the first hard crust had to be broken so that this new and revolutionary direction could be consolidated in the Manifestation. Disciples like Nolini Kanta Gupta provided Sri Aurobindo with the proper ‘atmosphere’ for this work. Nolini was not one of those asuras Sri Aurobindo wrote of. His contribution was not a resistance but rather a somewhat obstinate clinging to the realisations of the past which Nolini had undoubtedly attained in former lives. The realisations of those lifetimes had to serve in this one as material for the supramental Avatar to mould into a supple and responsive substance, willing and ready to accept the new direction, able to lay those past achievements at the feet of the Master and surrender all attachment to that irresistible, compelling desire for an immutable static Peace.
Like so many others of Sri Aurobindo’s entourage, Nolini was not meant to participate in the third stage of the Manifestation. He might again appear with Sri Aurobindo in the fourth, but under entirely different conditions and circumstances.
The lack of a precise knowledge of the later stages of the work and especially of the details the new cosmology provides regarding the way in which the Supermind would operate in the world – namely through the mechanics of a new, gnostic time – is what contaminated, to a certain degree, Nolini’s seeing. He was extremely perceptive, so close to the full truth; and, above all, so courageous in giving expression to this seeing regardless of the consternation this produced in the Mother’s entourage. No one wished to hear of the true things, to learn of the true conditions. Everyone wanted – and they continue to want – obscuring veils to which they may cling tenaciously. Indeed, none wish to hear of the battle in which a number of close disciples embody that asuric force.
However, not possessing the full knowledge, Nolini could only see the work left unfulfilled and with no direct bridge to the future. He could not appreciate that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had actually completed their work in their respective incarnations and that what he might have intuited as a ‘postponement’ for a later fulfillment was, in fact, a transformation in its initial important stages right at the time he was giving expression to his concern. The way to perceive this was out of bounds for one seeking the immutable transcendent Peace. One had to accept the world, the battlefield in its true conditions. In a word, one had to accept the Becoming in equal measure to the Being.
A temperament such as Nolini Kanta Gupta possessed would inevitably find great difficulty in reconciling his innate tendencies (it ought to be pointed out that he was a native of the sign Capricorn and hence particularly inclined to seek the heights of the Transcendent) with the turmoil that was the condition in the Ashram (and in India) in the 1970s after the Mother’s passing. It was then that the definitive split occurred between the Ashram and Auroville, thus drawing a deadly cleavage in the Master’s work between these two arenas. While this constituted an irreparable loss for Auroville, which was then left orphaned before it had attained any sort of maturity or established any sound foundations in knowledge and power via the practice of years of strenuous and demanding yoga, the situation in the Ashram was no less alarming. It was immediately after the Mother’s passing that the great Negator secured complete control of the organisation. This was done surreptitiously and in stages, though entirely obvious to anyone of vision who knew the manner in which the work centred in the Ashram was to be carried forward into the future – that is, by assuring itself of sources of replenishment for the collectivity. During the time Sri Aurobindo and the Mother presided over the yoga and the Ashram’s affairs this replenishment was secure; admittance of new members on the basis of a higher seeing was done by them alone. At times their choices may have appeared ill-founded to the ordinary vision, however the people they admitted into this unique laboratory had a purpose to fulfil there, some to serve in an individual capacity, but most to offer an amorphous, unconscious ‘mass’. And this was related to the overall plan concerning the type of work we are discussing in this series. Thus new members had to pass a certain ‘test’ which consisted in the assessment by Sri Aurobindo and the Mother of that individual’s destiny and ability to contribute to the deeper purpose of the Ashram.
When the Mother left her body – indeed, for several years prior to her departure one could perceive the signs of the coming change – the situation shifted dramatically. Those replenishing founts were systematically brought under the exclusive control of the great Negator and his lieutenants.
The first to experience this change was, as mentioned in Part 2, the Ashram School. Insofar as the great Negator had a marked dislike for certain children and/or their parents, and an obsessive distrust of foreigners, the Mother accommodated his refusal to accept these students into the Sports Department, of which he was the director, by starting a parallel sports section. This is one example of her tendency to avoid confrontation while at the same time finding an alternate means for continuing her work. In this auxilliary sports group there were several dozen students of different ages. However, immediately after the Mother’s passing this parallel system, which had accommodated a number of worthy elements, was done away with. The rule was laid down then that no child could be admitted into the Ashram School unless he or she was simultaneously granted admission into the Sports Department, whose overlord was the great Negator. In all schools throughout the world when a child is granted admission by the overall authority of the institution, this automatically applies to all departments of the school. Thus the Sri Aurobindo Centre of Education is unique in the world in that it is the director of the Sports Department who is this overall, final authority because of his ultimate power of veto, so to say.
When this new regulation came into effect in 1974, the auxilliary body was dismantled; some students were taken into the main sports division and could then continue in the school, others were not and were thus obliged to leave, though they had been legitimately admitted by the Mother herself, in many cases years prior to her passing. In this fashion, the ultimate authority concerning admission or elimination of students resided in an individual bereft of any higher perceptive capacities, any wideness of vision or global consciousness, any sense of destiny and purpose – not to speak of the demands of a collective experiment of a unique order. Above all, such a crucial part of the community’s life was placed in the hands of one of the staunchest opponents of the Mother’s transformation (‘In 30 years I’ve seen enough…! Enough of HUMBUG!’).
Gradually this same control extended to the Ashram itself. It is now a rule that no new members are accepted as ashramites from ‘outside’. They must come from the ranks of the Ashram School. That is, since only graduates from the Centre of Education can become full-fledged members of the Ashram itself, in this indirect manner the great Negator has come to exercise complete control over the two main sources of replenishment in the community. And in this fashion he has secured that no individual in the future can enter the organisation who might provide a resistance to his dark rule and effectively act as a counterbalance to the negating course his direction has imposed upon that institution; and by consequence upon all those who are connected in any way with the fate of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram throughout the world.
On occasion there have been attempts to break through this iron crust of ignorance. I am reminded of one situation which arose in 1984, reported to me then by a group of students from the Centre of Education. Applications for admittance to the school were received from a few European children, whose parents had had a long association with Sri Aurobindo’s teachings and with the institution itself. Predictably, the great Negator, irredeemable xenophobic, refused them admittance. A delegation of students and teachers went to him to plead the case of these youngsters, but to no avail. If I recall correctly, his reply was that it was in their best interests not to come, it was not the right time. Knowing the limitations of his consciousness, we can readily understand what framework of reference provoked this pronouncement.
Thus, this was the condition of that collectivity when Nolini Kanta Gupta wrote his piece, ‘On the Brink’. Seeing this situation and its logical consequences, coupled with the collapse of Auroville, and finding himself helpless to deal with it though he was the seniormost trustee, understandably his vision became clouded by a film of negativism. He had no inclination to perceive ‘the new way’, whose foundations were being laid at the very time this pathetic situation was developing in both the Ashram and in Auroville. Therefore he could only write of ‘postponement’, unable to see in that dismaying chaos the harsh, legitimate conditions of the work via the play of circumstances controlled by the Supramental Shakti, with the aim of establishing the new centre of the work in an uncontaminated, virgin field.
In 1980 there was a radical shift in the organisation of the fledgling cosmos. An entirely new beginning surfaced in the very first week of January in that immensely important year of an acutely important decade. The physical ties with the old field were severed, like the severance of an umbilical cord at the time of birth. But this was merely ‘a beginning’, albeit new and revolutionary. The new field required for its consolidation a process of its own, in certain ways similar to the process Sri Aurobindo and the Mother experienced in the formation of the laboratory they created for their particular work, but in many ways diametrically different. The principal difference lay in the greater awareness of the intricacies of the new order and the way in which the new Power functions. This more conscious participation became possible because of the foundations in knowledge which were laid in the decade of the 70s in the Ashram itself, built upon the already formidable structure Sri Aurobindo and the Mother left. As I have stated, the chaos prevailing in those former arenas furnished the ingredients, the impulsion or compulsion for that foundation-laying and what subsequently became known as ‘the Yoga of the Chamber’, the yoga of the decade of the 1980s. The group that was to carry out this complex process settled into the locale established for the purpose on 2-3 July (1980), the very date of the Mother’s prophetic ‘hotel vision’, 23 years earlier; and the work accomplished in that location was accurately described by her then: the creation of a centre, and hence the first foundations of the new unitary cosmos.
As I have pointed out in the course of this series, there are no ‘coincidences’ in this work, in the way we have come to understand the word. Things do not happen disconnectedly, and if this appears to be the case, it usually means that clarity awaits further developments; our vision is normally too limited to be able to perceive the interrelation between events and a coherent development in processes which seem to be devoid of sense. The gain of an ‘acceleration of time’ through the practice of the supramental yoga is a formidable aid in perceiving this interconnection, inasmuch as it draws events closer together in time, thereby assisting the sadhak in appreciating a connection that would otherwise escape his vision due to lengthy intervals between one event and another.
Thus, July 2-3 1980, brought about a fundamental link-up with the Mother’s prophetic dream of the same date in 1957. In this context there is another date which played an equally significant role even in the present, as I have pointed out in the article ‘Matrimandir Disinformation – Once Again!’ [TVN, 3/2, June 1988]. This is April 7. Indeed, so accurate has this correspondence been that the person in the group, who served as the ‘petty tyrant’ to provide the tension and the atmosphere propitious for the emergence of the unitary system, was born precisely on 7 April.
The student may also observe that, as described in The New Way, this date corresponds to the base of the Pedestal in the Chamber’s Core. Thus it closes the all-important 3½ month period ‘contained in the Core’, a span of time particularly significant even in other traditions. In The New Way I have discussed this period in detail [see TNW, Volume 2, Chapter 2]. In ‘The Revelation’ of St John we find this to be the principal key – the 3½ measure – concerning the return of the Godhead St John prophesies in his text (see The Hidden Manna, Chapter 12); while in traditional Christian worship this period marks the birth and the death and resurrection of the Christ.
Students of the new cosmology are aware that there is an astrological significance in this time span. It stretches from the December solstice to the March equinox. The approximate ½ addition to the 3 months which constitute passage from solstice to equinox are the number of days in the Pedestal in the Chamber’s Core; precisely the period connected to the Fourth/Son Principle and the addition of the power which makes the manifestation of the Solar Line a supramental one. In the Pedestal the alchemical process is described of transmutation of the solar substance to the Mars energy of the Vedic Son, Agni. This is the same Godhead in the Puranas named, Skanda or Kartikeya, and in St John’s ‘Revelation’, the Mars War God. All of this concerns the transformation of matter and the realisation of immortality. All of this is ‘written’ in the detailed measurements of the Chamber-Core.
Thus, in bequeathing the Chamber’s plan to the Daughter of the Line, whose specific task is to put order into that carefully arranged Chaos, the Mother provided her with the key to an ‘immaculate seeing’. The objective of the work of the 1980s has been the revelation and practice of a yoga which, using the foundations in Knowledge of the 1970s, could carry these gains into the range of ‘real effective power’, as the Mother had anticipated as early as 1957. The sacred Knowledge is the foundation ever and always of this supramental yoga – and especially of the Yoga of the Chamber, as it has come to be known.
Indeed, in the 1980s the Chamber was ‘constructed’. This was a parallel work. While in Auroville the physical construction work was in progress during this period, in Kodaikanal a construction in consciousness was taking place, but in many ways no less ‘physical’. This parallel work counteracted the negative condition the structure in Auroville gave rise to, but on the basis of a very special strategy. The counterwork rendered the physical structure irrelevant. That is, its ‘power to sting’ was neutralised.
This discussion is necessarily an ‘esoteric’ one since we are dealing with hitherto unexperienced and unexplored realms of yoga, and, above all, that immeasurably elusive factor, time. For indeed Time was the cementing substance of this supramental Yoga of the Chamber. Time was the ally; Time was and is that effective Power.
The Measure of the Year acquires a unique significance in the Yoga of the Chamber. Indeed, the principal feature of the Temple’s central shaft is precisely this measure. Hence the Mother referred to the Ray of Sun playing upon the Globe as ‘the symbol of the future realisation’. It is a curious fact that when the Mother made this statement no one seemed intrigued or demonstrated a desire to find out what she meant. It was exactly 3½ years after her statement that the truth of that ‘symbol of the future realisation’ was revealed and its connection to the ancient Vedic Measure of the Year and the Divine Maya.
To render Time an ally in this unique process the ‘collaboration of material Nature’ had to be secured, – above all, by an acceleration of time. Consequently, immediately after the Supramental Manifestation of 1956, when the Mother perceived that ‘the time has come’ for that higher reality to become rooted in the Earth, this question of the collaboration of material Nature came up frequently and forcefully. The Mother received the assurance on 8 November 1957 that this collaboration would be given – Nature had agreed to the change, to lending her power to the establishment of the new creation. But the Mother was quick to give out a word of warning to her entourage. She cautioned disciples not to be misled into believing that ‘miracles’ would happen like in fairy tales, or that a magical control over the physical elements would be consequent to this promised collaboration. In addition, and this is the most important portion of her clarification, she remarked that these happenings ‘are visible only to a very deep vision of things – very deep, very comprehensive, very vast…One must already be capable of following the methods of the Grace in order to recognise its action’…[see TVN 2/6, February 1988, p. 21]. Coupled with the ability to perceive deeper than the surface phenomenon, there must be the ability to follow the action over vast periods of time. ‘It is an inner, psychological possibility which has come into the world, rather than a spectacular change in earthly events.’ ‘Patience is required,’ she tells her disciples, and ‘a very wide and very complex vision to understand how things happen.’
Our experience and involvement with the work proved from the very beginning the wisdom in the Mother’s words of caution. Indeed, this was and is a problem we face constantly: the desire for ‘miracles’, and, above all, the demand by most people that the Power should manifest in a way which each individual can understand; that is, reduced to a limited function within the boundaries comprehensible to the old consciousness and chained to a fixed pattern the mind finds comfortable and reassuring.
The patience the Mother requests is another key feature, because the action of time in this unique method is not visible immediately. Indeed, time is required, because in the passage of time the coherent thread of the action and the lines of the process become manifest. It is a work that cannot be done in a day. Nonetheless, it is not a process stretched over hundreds of years anymore, or even over many decades. The work I am describing is a revolutionary action covering a mere few decades. This is because of the ‘acceleration of time’ previously mentioned, given the breakthroughs in the supramental yoga. This indispensable acceleration is part of the collaboration of material Nature through the mechanics of the new gnostic time.
That collaboration would indeed be given; but it required an extremely quiet poise of the consciousness and a subtlety of vision to perceive its method and true workings. Time is the channel through which this entirely essential collaboration of material Nature is given expression and rendered the real and effective power.
This statement in itself is sufficient to draw an indelible line between the old and the new. The old spirituality led the seeker steadily towards a dissolution of the seeing Eye, into the Void, the Nothingness, however camouflaged this may have been. This was accompanied by a denial of Time, concurrent with a labelling of Nature as maya, or ‘illusion’. On the other hand, in the new way, Time is an ally and the effective creative power. However, the way to permit this superior collaboration of Time is to discover what I have called the Gnostic Time.
Gnostic Time becomes the effective ally when a centre is born – a true centre, in its recognised place. The Yoga of the Chamber I am describing had for its purpose the creation of this true centre, on the basis of a new axial alignment. The entire process was ‘written’ in the Mother’s original plan of her Chamber, wherein that precious secret is contained, a secret sought after assiduously in all quests involving the transformation of material substances. Consequently this special process was in fact a pioneering discovery of the precise method to establish a supramental creation in matter, on this Earth. This is the ‘message’ of the Chamber; this is its power and ultimate value, this is its coveted secret.
Perhaps this will explain to some degree my continuous references to certain dates in the course of this series. I have attempted in this way to familiarise readers with this ‘effective collaboration’ of material Nature and to encourage seekers to lay aside an illusory hunger for miracles and dazzling experiences and visions which bear no relation at all to the true transformation. However, the process I am describing is far more miraculous than any miracle our imaginations can conjure up; but to appreciate this, a new power of Seeing must emerge. The new way is the means to secure this Seeing and render it an effective power in the work, in the world, in the gnostic collectivity and in the individual consciousness.
Each year of this decade demanded a particular breakthrough. The group that came out of the old field was the channel for this new yoga. It was both an individual and a collective work, and the method to harmonise this action was through the collaboration of time. This is intrinsically connected to the cosmic harmony of our solar system. Each planet is a number-power and hence a year in a cycle of 9 years. The mechanics of this arrangement are explained in detail in my major works.
In this century the decade of the 80s is unique. In no other do we find a similar convergence of number and planetary power each year as in this decade, in the correct order starting with the first year of the decade. For example, 1980 equals 9 by the mathematics of unity (1+9+8+0=18=9). The 9 and the 0 are equal, and this particular 9 year, falling as it did in the very beginning of the decade, brings into play the 0 rather than the 9, for we have two 9 years in this decade, contrary to all the others in which there is only one. Thus the celestial body that was predominant in 1980 would be the Sun, the 0 of the system. This convergence is what gave the quality of ‘new beginning’ to 1980, in a far more marked degree than any other 9-power year.
Thereafter, 1981 equals 1 and the planet is Mercury, the first orbit from the Sun. This was indeed the first year into the decade. This pattern continues throughout the 1980s, ending with 1989 and Pluto. It provided a background by which we could appreciate the intricate details of the process through the Gnostic Circle. The Yoga of the Chamber of this decade is described in all its facets in that special diagram. In effect, the unitary cosmos which was born in this unique decade is synonymous with the Yoga of the Chamber and finds its blueprint in the Gnostic Circle.
Thus, in each year of the decade a portion of the Chamber was ‘constructed’ through a special yoga. But the possibility to carry out this new process was determined as far back as 1975/76. This was when in the physical construction in Auroville the room with a hole in the centre became incorporated definitively in the building. This left an interesting ‘void’ at the centre, and in that ‘empty space’ the process of ‘construction’ of the central shaft and core of the central shaft and core of the Mother’s vision was undertaken. To be more specific, because of that hole in the floor, it was possible to ‘neutralise’ the negative action of the disharmonious measurements.
The two efforts have proceeded at equal pace: in Auroville construction on the OUTER body, devoid of a true centre (expressed in the hole in the centre of the room); in Kodaikanal and the new virgin field, the focus of the supramental yoga has been the construction of the Chamber’s centremost Core. We have installed that core and central shaft of light by a unique and revolutionary process of yoga – the only basis upon which a true sacred atmosphere and power can be instilled into a real temple – that is, construction from the centre outward, with all that this implies in a supramental creation: a centre true and recognised and in its place.
The accuracy of the measurements and design implies that there is a consciousness presiding over the construction that has lived the experience those measurements describe. That this accuracy was not a part of the physical construction in Auroville merely indicates that the unique and revolutionary process the Mother set on its way with her breakthrough vision of the Temple has not been the lived experience of the community occupying that physical space that is Auroville.
Because of this, because there is this discrepancy between the two ‘constructions’, there has been the need to counteract the disfigurement of the physical building. The wrong alignment, the false measurement of the chamber’s walls, and the various other elements that have been distorted in the physical execution, called forth a strenuous yoga which culminated in a life-and-death turning point in the work, in India, in the world. The item to be ‘installed’ at that critical juncture was the Globe of the Core; the time was 1983 and the number-power of the year was 3. Its planetary correspondence was the Earth itself. Indeed, in that sacred precinct the Globe is the Earth, for the symbol is in truth the thing symbolised in this unique supramental yoga.
Thus in 1983 that ‘true centre’ had to come into being as the centremost point of convergence of the entire ‘temple’, its axial alignment. This was by far the most important phase in the Yoga of the Chamber, for what this new alignment signified was the unveiling of a true Centre and by consequence the establishment of a revolutionary new pattern in the evolution of consciousness on the planet: the emergence of effective terms of the new unitary cosmos and the dismantling of the old binary system.
The placement of this true centre drew into play a force of devastating contraction, converging on the presiding consciousness to bring it to a point. An extreme contraction of this sort causes death in the human being; but in the Yoga of the Chamber that crushing contraction had to be experienced without the escape of death. And the process had to be lived in a fully awakened state of consciousness; moreover, the element used for this convergence and tightening was the play of circumstances, the crushing imposition of a hostile periphery – just as the wrong diameter of the room constructed in Auroville presses in upon the centre and seeks to force it into the void. Time was needed for consolidation, and by consequence this ‘death’ experience was stretched over 9 months, – from 17 April 1983, to 17 January, 1984.
When this revolutionising experience was completed the true centre was born. In the work at that time this was only a solitary point, nothing more. Then 1984 brought the inclusion of the four-sided Pedestal in that remarkable 4-power year; this introduced the great Reversal.
In practical terms this process, covering the first half of the most important 9 cycle of the century and taking us up to mid 1984, brought a reversal in the ‘direction’ of the Supramental Shakti’s action to bring about the great Birth. Prior to this reversal there was a compelling contraction and hence a stripping away of all that might impede the true centre from occupying its uncontested position at the centre of the new emerging cosmos. That is, the binary threat, constant and relentless in this third phase of the work from 1975 onwards, finally ceased to exist as a real possibility in the summer of 1984. This period, it must be pointed out, was the 4.5 Orbit of the entire decade in terms of the calendar/Gnostic Circle synchronisation, and it marks indeed the great Reversal. The reader may recall that the object of this discussion is the Mother’s hotel vision, which also occurred at this very same orbital crossing in time – the critical 4.5 Orbit, the point in the Gnostic Circle which represents a shattering and hence a collapse into the void, an imprisonment of a certain quantity of energy which, if released, would provide the fuel for a rise to previously unattainable heights due to the energy withheld.
To counteract this collapse one element is required: an indestructible core that is the outcome of a true, recognised centre of real and effective power. The energy salvaged from the Void goes to the creation of a core; the planet involved is Mars, and hence in the Yoga of the Chamber all those who participated were natives of Aries and Scorpio, the two signs ruled by Mars in the zodiac.
This core was placed at the centre in 1984, and this was the whole purpose of the Yoga of the Chamber. It brought into being the Fourth Power (Mars is the 4th planet) as an integral part of the System, that ‘saviour’ energy. In the Core of the Mother’s Temple this energy is the property of the pedestal’s Supreme Power Point. The pedestal is the ‘support’ of the Globe (the Third). In the ancient Veda it is the magical white steed, vehicle of Agni, the divine Will, working in the world. Therefore I am able to state that the Mother’s original plan of her Chamber/Temple brings into this unique century the essential truth of the most ancient scriptures in the world, the Vedas. These inspired texts have become obscured for seekers who are in quest of a Beyond or a Transcendence disconnected from the other powers – the Cosmic and the Individual Divine. Similarly, in a cogently related development the Mother’s original plan suffered disfigurement in its physical manifestation, for the wrong alignment due to an inaccurate axial measurement is the means the Falsehood has used to perpetuate its rule at the very heart of the Mother’s work. In simple terms, the alignment in the disfigured construction in Auroville perpetuates the binary system with its severe limitations by impeding the true centre and a unitary model from emerging, which demands a proper axial alignment. Since this involves the Globe in the Core of the chamber, and this Globe in turn is the object in the room connected to the Third of the Solar Line (the pedestal is the Fourth), it is not surprising that those in charge of Auroville should have adamantly refused to allow that Third Power to correct the wrong alignment which they insisted on incorporating in the temple from the beginning. Equally revealing is the fact that one of the first items to be done away with in the revised plan was the Core consisting of the Globe and Pedestal (representing the Third and Fourth Powers, respectively). A ‘void’ was left instead. However, the true Centre can only be unveiled by one who is that, and, by consequence, who has the capacity to undergo the Yoga of the Chamber and sustain, without the escape of physical death, contraction of the consciousness to an infinitesimal point – that ‘centre that holds’. It is this point, the product of the correct alignment of the two principal universal directions, contraction and expansion, that gives rise to the true centre.
A penetrating understanding of the force lodged in the physical temple in Auroville will help to explain why matters took the turn that they did. Hence I shall move back in time in this review to the 1970s once again and the decade’s 4.5 Orbit of that 9 cycle, to provide material which will assist the student in understanding a process which is to be perceived in the inner dimensions first and foremost, if any sense is to be made of the surface happenings. Central to this part of the discussion is that ‘seed-date,’ let us call it, 2-3 July.
Prior to 1980 the date of the Mother’s Hotel Vision (2-3 July) surfaced significantly in the Yoga. Indeed, the earlier synchronisation, which I will now describe, made the exodus of 1980 a certainty. It is necessary to relate exactly what transpired on that date in 1975, insofar as the experience that came to me in the early hours of 3 July can explain a great deal about the subject of this analysis: the nature of the Ignorance and its hold over the Earth. But a certain background must be provided for the full dimensions of the experience to come forth. The main element was the Mother’s temple and the consciousness lodged in Auroville which presented a determined resistance to the true work.
The student will recall that in 1975 serious efforts were made to save the original plan of the Temple’s inner chamber. In this context it is well to refer to the June 1988 VISHAAL, and in particular Appendix 1 of its Supplement, which was written in May, 1975. That memorandum to the then administrator of Auroville offers a hint of the atmosphere that provoked the experience I shall now describe.
By the summer of 1975 it was clear that the presiding architect of the Matrimandir would not agree to alter his plans of the inner chamber, especially the crucial issue of the room’s diameter and consequently the temple’s axial alignment. A culmination was reached in the affair in the very beginning of July. We had entered the critical 4.5 Orbit of the decade. At that very time the construction had also reached a critical point: immediate revision of the plans was required before concreting was resumed after a 3-month delay, otherwise the room’s inaccurate diameter would be rendered a ‘concrete’ fact. Interestingly, the shipment of cement required to carry out this crucial phase of the construction was mysteriously held up for three months, until this point in gnostic time was reached – the decade’s 4.5 Orbit. Thus by the end of June cement finally arrived and the builders eagerly pressed forward with their plan: the Divine Measure was then rendered almost impossible to retrieve. A year later, at the very same time of the year, it was lost for good.
Thus in July of 1975 I had my first close encounter with the Ignorance, with the knotted consciousness lording over the Earth’s evolution and in control, by consequence, of the Mother’s temple. Like a technician or a scientist, I was intrigued – to put it mildly – and wished to know the exact nature of the force I was obliged to deal with. How was it able to maintain its rule? Why, above all, was it so utterly closed to the light and the power of truth? What, exactly, was its purpose or meaning in creation and why was it ‘tolerated’, similar to the great Negator in the Mother’s entourage.
One of the most fundamental realisations of my life took place in 1971. At that time I was shown by direct experience, in a process that stretched over many months that the Divine consciousness was over and above ALL powers in the universe. It was in control of all affairs on Earth and working through everyone and everything. A realisation of this nature is often confusing; it leaves a certain reticence in the being. How to act and when, if the ultimate controller of everything is the Supreme?
The acute sense of discouragement due to the failure to have the true plan readopted, and realising what this portended for the future of Auroville and everything connected to it, made me resolve to ‘get to the bottom’ of the matter, in the only way consonant with the practice of yoga. The first imperative is to understand the ROOT of the problem in subtle and inner dimensions, be this transcendent, cosmic or on the level of the individual. It is in those subtle recesses that forces operate which project their play upon the denser planes. If there is here a ‘knotting up’ of energies, reflected in the gross limitations of the human consciousness and the relentless opposition to the Divine Truth on this planet, then the cause of this twist must be found in those subtle spheres. Thus I wanted to explore that region and, by firsthand knowledge, come to understand what was the exact nature of the force presiding over affairs in Auroville, and especially in the issue of the Mother’s temple.
In the early hours of 3 July 1975, I plunged down and down into the deepest recesses of being. This was a conscious downward plunge in that it was a reversed direction which, for want of a better word, we must describe as ‘downward’. To be more accurate, it was a plunge into the core of material being. That is, every effort was made by an intense concentration of power, or ‘tapas’, to carry the consciousness in an inner plunge entirely different from the usual ‘direction’ assumed in spiritual practices: upward, above, away, detached from this hard and closed vault of matter. It is this domain that is lorded over by the Ignorance. This is made possible by the binary condition in the cosmic plane which does not permit an instrument to evolve on Earth with a true centre and hence a superior alignment of energies, which could then introduce a creation reflective of the Cosmic Truth or the unitary system, no longer the Cosmic Ignorance with its heavy cross of duality. Interestingly, the element that forced me to take this plunge was the loss in the Mother’s temple precisely of that superior alignment in the chamber, representative of a new humanity.
To be clear, a plunge of this nature cannot be undertaken unless a certain stage is reached in the practice of the integral yoga. To do so before a solid foundation has been successfully established via a special process for this end is to risk mental derangement with permanently damaging results. Above all, the mental instrument has to be sound, the limits of that instrument have to be known. In other words, just how deeply can one plunge into these nether regions without experiencing collapse into the abyss of consciousness and an irreparable loss of balance? A sound vital instrument is also demanded because without a ‘tamed’ vital it is not possible to generate the necessary power for such an experience.
Impelled by the seriousness of the situation, caution was put aside and the plunge was undertaken: the consciousness seemed to enter a vortex whose inward, downward direction carried the perceiving Eye into the deepest, densest strata of material being. This was lived in a totally awakened state. At no time was awareness of this physical dimension lost. There was no trance, no severance of the link with the external world. The consciousness was thoroughly poised here, in this dimension. But at the same time, by this yogic plunge, I came to explore the innermost, densest strata of matter – the inner structure, we could say. I was carried into its heart.
My burning question concerned the role of the Ignorance. In a world in which the Supreme Consciousness was the ultimate power, as countless experiences had already proven, what was the ‘truth’ of the Ignorance? How could this darkness, this ‘density’ of consciousness prevail over the divine luminosity and sustain such a stark defiance of the Supreme Will?
What I discovered revolutionised my consciousness. At the same time it provided direct proof of the nature of the Supermind and the manner in which it operates in the world: At the heart of matter, at its centremost core, there is what can only be described as a ‘seed’, a Golden Seed. This is the compact essence of the Transcendent; it reconciles transcendence and immanence. This ‘seed’ is the Truth-Consciousness. It is involved, lodged in the deepest recesses of matter. We might imagine, as some do, a sort of ‘black hole’ in the heart of a particle or in the core of a sun, or at the centre of a galaxy. But actually it is a golden Seed, a particle of Truth-Consciousness.
The important confirmation received in this experience was the manner in which this golden Seed maintains control over the evolution of Itself from this compact involution. It was Time that offered the mechanism by which the Divine Will, ‘inhabitant’ of this Seed, was given expression in the world.
I saw the Ignorance in this plunge. I perceived the nature of its hold and the reason for its resistance to the truth-conscious Will. The Ignorance is borne along by this compact Seed and the power of Time. It is ‘ignorant’ simply because it is oblivious of the real Power in control. This perception came by way of an identification with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld of Greek tradition, the Divine Mother’s daughter who is abducted by the Dark God Pluto and carried away to his kingdom where she rules by his side. This kingdom is the deepest strata of material existence. It is the area that until now has been closed to the Light, meaning that the ‘links’ between various connecting strata from the central Seed to the outer periphery have not been unveiled and made consciously operative in the evolution of the species on Earth. The rule of the Ignorance can last only as long as those gaps remain. Closing them, the new world and the new race are fully established on this planet. This describes the work we are engaged in, for the only means to close those gaps is by the establishment of a true centre in a unitary system.
I saw, I was Persephone in her golden chariot with the Dark Lord by her side, – the ‘masked Transcendent’, or that enigmatic Fourth. The black steeds pulling this chariot with unsurpassable strength and steadfastness and an unparalleled determination were the powers of the Ignorance. But the only factor that characterised them as ‘dark’ was their utter obliviousness of the real power directing their movement: the Divine Pair that held the reins and guided their formidable surge forward in a direction those forces could never perceive, so limited was their vision, like horses equipped with blinkers to block out everything that does not fall within the immediate range of their linear sight.
Thus, the decisive aspect of the experience, which answered my question as to the true nature of the Ignorance, was the fact that none know the true Controller. Powers of Ignorance are characterised by their conviction that they are the doers of action, they decide, they choose, they determine the way. They ignore entirely that they are merely the instruments of the Supreme Shakti, even in their negation. And this is the condition of the human race presently lorded over by the Ignorance, because a true centre is lacking which can unveil that Golden Seed, centre of the new alignment.
Paradoxically, it was this total unconsciousness that I saw to be the most precious contribution of those black steeds of immeasurable power. This added a special ingredient to the evolution in this transitional phase: the speed, the acceleration of the process was ensured by this formidable resistance born of a determination and a one-pointed focus due to the unconsciousness of linear vision. This then hastens the collapse of the old and thereby facilitates the rise of the new. How magnificent then are those lines in Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Hymn to Durga’ quoted by Nolini Kanta Gupta: ‘O Mother, give to our life and mind the Asura’s strength, the Asura’s energy and to our heart and intelligence a God’s character and a God’s knowledge.’
These lines capture the essence of the transformation brought about by what I have described as a shift from a binary to a unitary system, whereby the ‘lower’ hemisphere of the human being with its less luminous faculties but tremendous force are brought into harmony with the higher, through the establishment of a true centre. This combination alone can change our civilisation.
Emerging from the atmosphere of those deeper, denser realms, I began jotting down these perceptions – cryptically, in a sprawling script. When I reread these notes I find them coloured by the intensity of an experience in a ‘new direction’, a path entirely rooted in matter, reconciling the Being and the Becoming:
3 July 1975
‘This is the great change.
‘The perfect and total control of Truth. The manifestation of the Supermind is this. Before, one accepted all things as coming from the Divine with a passive, perhaps sattwic resignation. But now one sees, one knows that one can accept the Ignorance because the Ignorance is a key element, immediate and compelling, for the quicker establishment of the Truth. It is the very Ignorance, even because of its ignorance, that carries us quicker to the goal. It has accelerated our pace. Therefore I bow to thee, O Ignorance and all they instruments, I bow to thee.
‘O glorious Kore – Queen of the Underworld, Queen of the Ignorance. The Divine Mother’s sacrifice, her precious Thea, carried into the kingdom of the Dark God to compel the Ignorance to move in harmony with Time, Saturn, Persephone’s father. Persephone is the Supramental Truth in matter – Persephone is the Earth. The core of the Earth is the Supramental Truth.
‘In these days, once more Persephone has compelled the Ignorance to do the commands of Truth. Everything is as it should be, even the Ignorance – O Saturn, O Time, O Matter, O Matrimandir…’.
The dawn of July 3rd came, the work began again. But for weeks thereafter I was overcome by uncontrollable laughter at the comical, clownish condition of the human being. His poise of consciousness, his total identification with his ‘commanding’ status was so amusing that I could not observe it without these outbursts. Above all, it was his physical poise that was so comical. The way the human being carries himself is entirely reflective of this pompous display, especially the male of the species. One witnesses this attitude in males of many species, but in the animal kingdom it is entirely straightforward and true; it is not the result of a mental aberration, which is what makes the human being in certain ways inferior to the animal. (I will discuss the contribution of the animal kingdom to the New Way in a future VISHAAL.) There were particular individuals who seemed especially pompous to me in my sensitised state of consciousness. In fact, the more meek and humble the outer demeanour, often the more inwardly pompous was the individual. For instance, the then administrator of Auroville.
The perfection of everything, even the Ignorance, even the resistances, the obstructions, made action in the world somewhat difficult in the days immediately following this experience. My inclination was to stand back and admire this perfection unfolding in each thing, dark or light, daily offering gratitude for the ability to perceive so cardinal a working. Human beings were puppets on strings which the Divine Puppeteer moved at will. This seeing left me almost paralysed, so intense was the desire not to ‘interfere’ in Its workings. The correct balance in this respect proved to be the most difficult aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s revolutionary integral and supramental yogas: when to act, when to refrain from action in full knowledge and not because of a tamasic or inert condition of the instrument. This delicate balance is indispensable for the work of the Divine in the world, because inaction can often be more damaging than an impulsive haste, and in many cases it masks a more knotted consciousness and hard-crusted ego, self-serving in the extreme. Indeed, the key lay in a new evaluation and experience of the ‘gunas’ of Hindu tradition, Rajas and Tamas, and by consequence the middle poise, Sattwa: Creation, Preservation and Destruction were the key subjects. They were the subjects of the Mother’s hotel vision exactly 18 years earlier – to the day.
The new cosmology provides another important ingredient for understanding these experiences connected via the 9-year cycle. I have referred to several such connections on the backdrop of the Gnostic Circle’s 9-year pattern. The first was the Mother’s original hotel dream-vision, which we may call the seed-experience of it all; then there was my yogic ‘plunge’ in 1975 on the same date. In addition there was the group’s assembling in the location where the creation of the centre and the shift from the binary to the unitary cosmos would take place; this also was on 3 July (1980).
On the basis of the knowledge provided by the Gnostic Circle, what is the common denominator of these experiences? What key does the diagram offer for understanding their precise nature and the reason why their timings were so essential?
In the cycle of 9 years there is a halfway mark (the 4½ year) which is a critical passage in time (at this point of the evolution). In the zodiac, the cardinal direction of this 4.5 Orbit, as I have called it, is West and the corresponding sign is Libra. In the Rig Veda, as well as in the more recent Egyptian and Greek traditions, this point is the gateway to the Underworld, the kingdoms of Yama or Pluto, Lords of the Dead in those mythologies. In the 9-year cycle according to our calendar, the exact time of this passage is 1-5 July, at the halfway mark of the cycle, which always begins in a 9 number-power year, 1980 for instance. Thus, July 1-5 of 1957 is another halfway mark of the cycle starting in 1953 (=9), then 1-5 July, 1966, and again 1-5 July 1975 and 1984, and so on. The correspondence in our solar system (with time) as demonstrated in the Gnostic Circle is the Asteroid Belt – the orbit containing the shattered remains of some colossal, once whole celestial body. It is this ‘shattering’ that describes the yoga of that Orbit and time period. Throughout the ages a conscious plunge of the nature I have described, with the perceiving Eye intact and awake, has been impossible, since the density of matter precluded this penetration; the structure of the human instrument rendered such a plunge unsustainable because the contraction experienced would force the being out of the physical body entirely. The balance of the consciousness was too fragile due to the off-centre axes, and there was therefore nothing to hold that Eye together in this plunge into such a thick density where contraction holds elements together by compression. The ‘shattering I refer to results in the disassembling of the individualised consciousness which holds the cells together, as the Mother explained on the basis of her ‘revelation’, quoted in the last issue of VISHAAL. The human consciousness, ill-poised as it is, cannot survive this contraction, and remain intact and assembled.
The means to counteract this situation, to find some way of ‘liberation’, has always been escape, – to the heights, into the transcendence, and, above all, a dissolution (shattering) of the perceiving Eye to attain this end via a trance-like, otherworldly experience of reality whenever the limits of contraction were reached. It is this Orbit that describes the Void of many paths, particularly the Buddhist. The experience I have related here of a plunge into the deepest strata of material creation, always partially experienced and ill-understood given the inadequate poise of the perceiving instruments, has produced the concepts of an ‘illusory’ condition of our universe and ‘reality’ attributed solely to a Consciousness essentially uninvolved in material creation, unconditioned, unburdened by the devastating intensity of compressed power that a creation in matter demands. It can be appreciated that if some part of my consciousness had been attached to the old direction, thereby deflecting certain key energies such a plunge requires, when emerging from this experience and seeing the mechanical, pompous and unconscious condition of the human being, I could have easily expressed my experience in the old terms of ‘maya’, or illusion. But seeing the Supreme Consciousness controlling creation in and from the deepest strata by not allowing any dissolution of the perceiving Eye through those ‘voids’, or ‘gaps’, nor any dissipation of the energy, this limitation was overcome, the old escape ceased to exist.
There is a final point to make concerning this ‘plunge’, perhaps the most important of all. Let me remind the reader that this experience was provoked by the fact that concreting was right then being carried out in the construction of the Mother’s temple in Auroville that was cementing the wrong axial measurement of the inner chamber and hence the alignment of the entire structure. In addition, and this was the most perplexing factor, a shipment of cement had been held up for three months, thereby impeding this conclusively damaging phase of the construction to be undertaken until entry into this critical Orbit in early July. This mystifying ‘control’ in order to secure the timing of this negative action exactly on the decade’s 4.5 passage and what can be called the region of the Ignorance in the Measure of the Year, was what compelled me more than anything else to undertake this plunge into those nether regions and discover the ‘truth’, if any, of that darkness. What did this accurate timing really mean? Was it an indication of a harmony, a ‘rightness’ which therefore implied the sanction of the Supreme Mother?
The experience confirmed that everything was as it should be and that this controlled synchronisation permitted this act of asuric defiance to occur at the only time of the year (and decade) which could make the act meaningful, a controlled part of the Plan and in perfect harmony with gnostic time, where all elements, positive and negative, contribute spherically to the realisation of the goal. Hence I wrote in my notes… ‘Persephone has compelled the Ignorance to do the commands of Truth…’.
But this seeing in itself was not sufficient to dispel the sense of acute discouragement. It allowed me to see the connection with the Measure of the Year, to verify once again the remarkable control of the power and the role Time plays in the supramental manifestation. However, that was insufficient to show me the purpose of the Ignorance. Why was this darkness necessary at all?
Thus, the aspect of this experience which lifted the veils fully was the perception of the acceleration the forces of the Ignorance provide. Those forces contain the power, they ‘hoard it’, just as the Rigvedic myth describes. This withholding accumulates energy, thereby providing for a certain ‘combustion’, let us call it, which speeds up the process. When this is experienced consciously, with the eye of consciousness awake throughout the experience and with material Nature ‘collaborating’, then the release of that precious energy, hoarded in the nether regions collectively and individually, is the means to ‘close the gaps’, to experience Whole Time, to draw that heaven, or Swar of the Veda, upon this Earth. This constitutes the ‘rise from below’ which the Descent requires for the complete manifestation of a truth-conscious creation; and the four Powers of the Solar Line are the instruments by which these ‘gaps’ are closed: the 9 and the 6 transform the upper regions and draw the gains in those planes onto the Earth, while the 3 and the One (or the Fourth), work ‘here below’. They break through the crusts in a rise of the power to join the heights.
The Ignorance hastens the evolution but only when a process is set in motion by the Solar Line based on the knowledge that a reversed direction is the key to the release, which thereby draws to itself the ‘collaboration of material Nature’. A plunge of this order must offer no ‘escape’, no alluring exits – just like in the original plan of the Mother’s chamber where there are no doors in the encircling twelve walls (and unlike the disfigured construction in Auroville with the walls pierced by two openings). This provides the key to the new way: the old escapes are to be resisted; the consciousness must remain rooted in material creation at all times; the contraction must serve to force the combustion so that release occurs and speed is generated for the acceleration the rise to the Summit of Whole Time demands.
That contraction is produced by the crushing play of circumstances, or the convergence onto the presiding consciousness of a hostile periphery. That periphery in the physical construction in Auroville is represented by the encircling walls of the room which are pressing in on the centre/core, to force it literally into the void, to crush it out of existence. The inaccurate floor diameter bears this significance, hence the Yoga of the Chamber was demanded due to the totality of conditions prevailing and the need for an integral transformation; once again those harsh conditions of ‘the field’ had to be respected as legitimate ingredients in the work: their purpose was, as I have stated, to oblige us to do the Yoga of the Chamber and provide the atmosphere thereof.
Thus, the wondrous aspect of this plunge of discovery was that it confirmed the rightness of that false measure – in a world in which the Ignorance still holds sway. But the Yoga of the Chamber has introduced a radical alteration in this state of affairs.
Above all this revelation confirmed the need for an impeccable knowledge as the foundation of the process. For without that special Gnosis one may see the place of these powers but not the complete process, the summit toward which all lines are being spherically drawn. The supramental gnosis allows us to hold that Truth before us always, no matter what the immediate appearances may seem to indicate. Gnostic Time is therefore time with a sense, a purpose unfolding coherently in its workings so that we may move forward into this hitherto unexplored dimension with the TRUST and the CERTAINTY that the Divine Consciousness is the ultimate Controller and that the goal of the present travail is only one: the establishment of a new Heaven upon a new Earth.
An understanding of this nature can only become our solid base in the Yoga when the ‘rightness of the wrongness’, so to speak, is fully perceived on the backdrop of the gnostic pattern – the Divine Measure of the Year. Thus my July 3rd experience, 18 years after the Mother’s first revelations of the process we subsequently lived, brought that revolutionary perception of the exact function of the Ignorance, its own truth, in a creation where nothing is devoid of Truth, where all creation is the Manifest Divine, and hence must bear this seed of truth-consciousness in its heart. Indeed, as Sri Aurobindo writes concerning the downward plunge of the manifestation… ‘that which is involved must evolve, for it is not only there as an existence, a force hidden in its apparent opposite … but it is the reality of that which conceals it [italics our own], it is the self which the Nescience has lost and which therefore it must be the whole secret meaning…’ .
When such a seeing comes, to desire to seek the heights of the immutable Transcendent loses all attraction, and the anguish and suffering of this transitional labour are born with a different appreciation of their purpose. The trans-cosmic Divine, the shadow of which is the Void and the Nothingness, lacks the fullness of Itself when it is the be-all and end-all of the quest. It lacks that exquisite harmony of the play of the One and the Many, it lacks the miracle of the individual soul through which it can enjoy itself in the manifestation, see itself unfolding in the material creation of its deepest essence through the Supramental Shakti, its executive Power who controls the play through gnostic time. To perceive that play of the Shakti the individual consciousness must be transformed to see Whole Time, to perceive how gnostic time contributes that great Sense to the manifestation. In the remote heights this integral realisation of the All is withheld: the Transcendent, the Cosmic, the Individual – triune complementary Powers of the Eternal.
The incarnations of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the 9 and the 6 of the Solar Line, respectively, when taken as entities separated from the subsequent incarnations of the 3 and the One (or the Fourth) who complete the FOURFOLD descent, would represent the old creation exclusively. When their embodiments are isolated in this way, the dual structure of the Cosmic Ignorance and the inferior Purush-Prakriti mould are reinforced. Two powers alone can only result in a binary system, never a descent embracing all the powers of the Eternal whose integral essentiality alone can provide for a process that closes the gaps between the four levels of existence. Without the Third, for example, there is no effective way to introduce that true centre, for it is precisely the mission of the Third Power to give birth to the ‘point’ which, in turn, is the centremost Fourth. And that is the first imperative for the shift from the Cosmic Ignorance to the Cosmic Truth, with all that this implies for the future of the planet. This centering provides the bridge to the future (the realm of the Fourth). It radically alters the old formula and carries the new creation to a new triune poise in a new unitary cosmos. The 4th power then reverses the direction, roots this new creation solidly in matter, closes the circle as it were, and then the expansion begins and this becomes the culminating truth which overtakes the Earth’s evolution of the species.
But the cry ‘Only Sri Aurobindo and the Mother!’ sounded by the devout of the incomplete manifestation, is the deadliest tool of the Falsehood to seek to maintain its rule in a binary system; for when the integral Gnosis has descended in such a spectacular, self-evident manner, unique in the history of the planet’s spiritual evolution, to continue clinging to the old and incomplete creation is to agree to ‘join the ranks of the petty tyrant’ for good.
I realise that this statement will cause considerable consternation in the ranks of the old guard of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s entourage. But it is a statement that must be made clearly and forcefully, since not to do so at this immensely important juncture would be to strengthen the hands of those retrograde forces, those instruments of a deadening Inertia who seek to impede ‘the new things from manifesting’, who seek to obstruct the warriors of the Divine from constructing that Bridge to the future and ushering in the new dawn of an integral, fourfold supramental creation.
No path until now has opened up this integral new way. The difficulties we meet in our pioneering journey are real; they cannot be ignored or avoided. But Gnosis adds the comforting wisdom we need to bear lightly this evolutionary burden during this transitional phase. The negating forces which the Void throws up from its shadow realm are transformed when they are compelled to see the ‘rightness’ of their negation and how this, more than any other tool of the Supreme, is made controlled use of to hasten the transformative work in this transitional stage. They will cease to exist as obstructive elements when the Void is thoroughly filled by the true Centre. The Yoga of the Chamber has brought into being this magical Point that holds even the hostile periphery in the orbit of its perfect unfolding, the unfolding of a Divine Purpose.
All of this is made possible because of the magnificent nature of the material manifestation, because of the oneness of creation, because of the superlative relatedness of all things – in a word, because of the awesome control of everything by the Supreme Shakti, the Being no less than the Becoming. And this by virtue of the element all spirituality has ever been fleeing from: the power of time. My yogic plunge of 1975 confirmed the action of time in the supramental manifestation by a direct identification and seeing. Our collective yoga spread over these two all-important decades – the 1970s and the 1980s – has borne out the soundness of the fourfold foundations in gnosis of our work, central to which is the new Gnostic Time.
‘Skambha’, June of 1988
‘…There will necessarily be great changes but they are not bound to be catastrophic. When there is a strong pressure from the overmind forces for change, then there are likely to be catastrophes because of the resistance and clash of forces. The supramental has a greater – in its fullness a complete mastery of things and power of harmonisation which can overcome resistance by other means than dramatic struggle and violence.’
‘…As far as I can see, once the supramental is established in Matter, the transformation will be possible under much less troublesome conditions than now are there. These bad conditions are due to the fact that the Ignorance is in possession and the hostile Powers an established authority, as it were, who do not care to give up their hold and there is no full force of Light established in the earth-consciousness which would not only meet but outweigh their full force of darkness.’
Letters on Yoga
CE, Vol. 22, pp. 33-34