Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The March Equinox and the Vedic Truth Underlying Easter and the Easter Egg Hunt

Agni Hotra: a daily ritual enactment of Agni's Sacrifice
[Image found sans credit via Magical Forrest, text added by me.]

The real basis for our modern tradition of celebrating Easter beginning with a morning Easter Egg Hunt is thoroughly Vedic. These traditions, however degraded and distorted they have become over time via our mental-egoic consciousness, arise out of the Solar Year or the Solar Sacrifice of the Vedic Rishis which is the Earth’s Tropical Year. The Sacred Egg of the Vedic Rishis is the triply-
Image found at Northlakebaptist.org
formed Hiryanagharbha – the golden egg or embryo or light of the Sun/Soul – is hidden or embedded in the 'spring' of creation (i.e. the March Equinox) and eventually found, recovered or reborn 9 months later upon the December Solstice. The Egg and its full gestation and immanence are inseparable from the Year. According to the Vedic Rishis the Sacred Egg is the seed of the Earth's 12 month Solar year and is simultaneously the seed or Dawn of our 24 hour Day and our entire creation. This Egg is the yoke of the Solar (Tropical) Year and together they form the essence of Yoga in which the light of the Sun/Soul progressively illuminates the unity or oneness of All that is. In the Vedic system of equivalences, the 12 months of the sacrificial year refer not only to a Solar Year but also to the Great Year of the Precession and to larger cycles of time. Meaning, whereas it may take only 9 months in our yearly journey to reach the December Solstice where upon the Sun’s light begins to increase in the Northern Hemisphere, much larger stages, spans and cycles of time are needed to foster ‘the return of the Light’ in terms of the evolution of our consciousness wherein we eventually find our Lost Egg, Hidden Sun/Son, or Lost Oneness (the true meaning of our unnecessarily dreaded ‘apocalypse’).

The Rishis called our Sacred and collectively Lost Egg by many names. Primarily they called it Agni – the hidden One, the triple One, the divine flame, the triple fire, the son of force, the eternal spring of life, leader of our evolutionary march (journey), the preserver, our deliverer, world savior and hero of all heroes. In the Western tradition, Agni is known as Aries (or Mars). He is often depicted as a hunter. The true antiquity of this yogic mythology, depicting our evolutionary march towards reunion with the light of our soul and hence with all of creation (past, present and future) is unknown. It is found in the Rig Veda – the world’s oldest sacred text that was an oral tradition until it was written down some 5,000 years ago. Symbols of the Solar or Vedic Year can be found in the Sphinx of Giza (Lion-Man) which some believe is at least 12,000 years old. In 1939 a Lion-Man figurine was found in a cave in Germany in 1939, dating to 40,000 years old. Both are symbols of the 12 month Vedic Year symbolizing the Leo and Aquarius axis. The Lion-Man also figures in Hindu mythology as one of Vishnu's incarnations, which irrevocably links Vishnu to the Zodiac. In the Rig Veda, Vishnu the Preserver, is linked to the preservation signs of the Zodiac via his three steps (trikrama) across the universe. [1]

Religious traditions and rituals that separate the ‘hidden’ or ‘golden egg’ from the Spring Equinox serve to keep the Egg hidden – i.e. distorting or hiding the truth of the Vedic Solar Gnosis and unity consciousness it contains and births in time. The Christian celebration of Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox is one such distortion, as is the Nirayana or Sidereal measure of the yajna (year) which celebrates the birth of Agni, and hence entrance into the fire sign of Aries on 13/14th of April some 23 days late.[2] The Sidereal separation of entrance to Aries from the March Equinox will continue increasing one day ever 72 years with the Precession of the Equinoxes. Both of these distortions are products of losing the Solar context of the Vedic Gnosis … i.e. the Egg being the solar seed, and binding point (bandha) or yoke of the Solar Year and simultaneously of our entire creation.

Efforts are underway in India to correct this distortion, via the work of Aeon Centre of Cosmology as well as via Hindu Dharma Acharyashave, Acharya Darshaney Lokesh and T.V.Sivaraman. [See:  www.reformedsanathancalendar.in, from which the below quotes and images are borrowed. Sanathan means eternal and Sayana below refers to Solar/Tropical Zodiac].

sanathan calendar “You have formulated the Tithi Patrak and Calendar strictly on the basis of Vedas, Puranas and Siddhantas and the Dwaraka Mutt feels that every Hindu in the country would be enriched culturally and spiritually by following it. H.H Dwaraka Acharya of the past had exhorted 120 years ago, that religious festivals and fasts should be observed on the basis of Sayana only and the Mutt’s affirmation of this stands for ever” says H.H Jagatguru Sri Swarupananda Saraswathi Maharaj

sanathan calendarSMKATP & RSC have shown “a way for the Hindu Community and especially to the publishers and authors of Panchangas to mull over the facts and factors presented in this Panchang. A time has come for the elite to revamp the presentday almanacs in tune with Vedic injunctions, H.H Jagtguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal of Kanchi Mutt, had said.

sanathan calendarH.H Gangadharendra Saraswathi Swamiji of Shri Sonda Swarnavalli Mutt is “also of the opinion that our present day panchangas have to be modified to fall in line with the sayana system, at least for religious purposes. The Mutt will “always support your efforts at adding glory to the spiritual life of the people of Bharat.”

Recommended Reading: 
A Center that Holds (a 12 March 2016 post on this blog) 
A List of More articles about the true measure and significance of the Vedic Year via Aeon Centre of Cosmology
The Gnostic Circle a book by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. 


Notes:
[1]  See: Cosmology in Rigveda — the third premise and Secrets of the Earth-Questions and Answers on the Line of Ten Avatars of Vedic Tradition by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

[2] Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, director of Aeon Centre of Cosmology, has written much on the un-Vedic nature of modern-day astrologers, who measure the 12 month sacred year via the Sidereal Zodiac, and who call themselves ‘Vedic’ astrologers. She writes that the path to our higher consciousness remains greatly hampered or hidden by this distortion prevalent not only in India but in many corners of the world.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Centre that Holds - commentary on Aditi Banjeree's article, 'Let’s Stop Funding Our Enemies'

Conquerors through our history typically attempt to gut or wipe out the traditions and cultures of their conquests. Although the British were forced to relinquish their hold on India in 1947, the traditions and culture of India are still under attack by the Eurocentric or Western world. Swaraja magazine just published an article entitled 'Let’s Stop Funding Our Enemies' wherein the author Aditi Banjeree, writes, 'It is well-known that the academy—the system of universities and scholarship prevalent in the West and in India today—is virulently anti-Hindu and anti-India.'  

Below are Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's comments on the article together with a few other voices (originally posted with the article on http://swarajyamag.com), which deserve to be widely shared.
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet • [10 Mar  2016] 

I follow assiduously what Hindus in the USA and their organisations are doing to try and promote a more sophisticated reality and appreciation of Hinduism. I especially appreciate Aditi Banerjee’s inputs which are clear, to the point, and informative. In this latest she has driven home the point better than ever, for me at least though there will not be many takers among Hindus on the issue I will highlight. Perhaps because a serious crossroads of destiny has been reached, the gravity of which is difficult to gauge when we stand in its midst.

In all these efforts something essential is missed – not surprising because it falls in line with a carefully crafted strategy set in motion many centuries ago: Hinduism is lost in the toss and tumble of the Periphery. I use the word in a geometric sense – i.e., the periphery of a circle. Most Hindus will pride themselves on their great diversity (as represented by that periphery), where any cult or sect is welcome and is offered a place in the circumscribing firmament of Hinduism, even those in stark contrast to the basic tenets of the Sanatan Dharma. This is the classic definition of paganism, and we all know its fate at the hands of the exclusivist religions that overtook the world during the past Piscean Age. But really it wasn’t the arrival of those exclusivist faiths that finished off the grand diversity that paganism represented: it was the lack of, in the words of Yeats, a centre that holds.

Paganism actually did itself in because it had lost its way when it lost sight of the centre that holds. This was always provided by the Time-Spirit in the ancient world and in India as well; and the harmonies of the Time-Spirit were carried over to the calendar that regulated societies – or better said that served as the centre that holds. When that cosmic connection was lost (and this is not the place to discuss why and when that took place; we can only state the fact based on an assessment of the results of that loss) the decline was predictable. We are faced with a central void – and for the Sanatan Dharma with its foundation in Fullness, a void as ‘centre’ is perhaps the worst fate imaginable; it spells doom by any standards.

Regarding contemporary Hinduism, the only remaining repository of paganism in the modern world, the central void is more than apparent. If not it would be impossible for the anti-Hindu forces to overtake the movement so totally. Hindus are doing themselves in because the Dharma harbours a central void. The Time-Spirit has been forsaken – a fact that is clearly in evidence by the very method provided to a society as diverse as the Hindu to hold its own against all attacks: Hinduism is collapsing in on itself because it has eschewed the method to unify diversity which is the calendar it adopts for ritual and horoscopic purposes; when the centre is left void anyone and anything can seek to fill that void. This is what is happening: collapse, caving in – and in spite of the best efforts hostile forces gain supremacy, as Banerjee points out. No amount of signatures collected as in political and human rights campaign can remedy the situation since they too are part of the periphery and only further compound confusion. The centre is filled by its yogic realisation, and not otherwise.

For the past several hundred years the Hindu calendar makers have imposed a system on the Samaj that not only celebrates diversity, it positively foments it. The calendar is the connection to the cosmos and is the means for the Time-Spirit to act in the world throughan enlightened society. The contrary is taking place today, and until that is recognised, until voices arise within the Samaj that demand a careful inspection of what the current Nirayana calendar is doing to Hinduism, things will only get worse until the last bastion of paganism is wiped off the face of the Earth. For that is the ultimate goal.

The Sayana system that follows the Sun is the way forward, the way that all pagan societies have followed throughout the ages. Considering the lofty place the Sun holds in the worship, it is obvious that the Nirayana calendar that does away with the solar connection as reflected in the Earth’s equinoxes and solstices is patently wrong. Hindus fortify this connection in their hearts and souls when they chant the Gayatri Mantra at dawn. Why then is this not reflected in the calendar they adopt to regulate and unify the great diversity paganism stands for?

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director
Aeon Centre of Cosmology

Patricia Heidt > Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet • [12 Mar 2016] 

Hinduism has an inbuilt mechanism that allows it to keep renewing itself, over the aeons. It is still as alive and relevant today as it was from Vedic ages. Is this what you mean by the term time-spirit?
 
Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
> Patricia Heidt • [12 Mar 2016] 

I have always contended that the Vishnu Line of Ten is the backbone of the Sanatan Dharma mainly for this very reason: it allows for eternal renewal making use of the cosmic harmonies to do so, together with the forward impulsion of Time, reflected and measured in an enlightened calendar that unifies and does not divide society. But as things stand in our times, this too has been used as a device to confuse the issue. Today any Guru with a sizeable following and a well-packed bank account, given that Mammon reigns supreme, is an ‘avatar’, usually meaning one of Vishnu’s line. That it is the backbone of the Dharma is clear when we consider that the epics of the 7th and 8th of the Line are the revered heroes of the two national epics.

The best way to distort matters to the point where the Dharma becomes unrecognisable is by flooding the field with candidates, none of whom have the right ‘credentials’ – these are COSMIC credentials. It is to be noted that another epithet of the members of the Line is that they are ‘emanations of the Time-Spirit’. Such being the case, those cosmic credentials have to be recognisable and indisputable. But none of the many candidates today can comply with this important aspect of the appearances. However, there is more to note: their very births – occurring at specific points in time, with intervals between each appearance of approximately 6000 years – are the only means to re-set the cosmic clock and thus to permit Bharat to fulfil her destiny of centre-soul of the Earth, which is so tightly intertwined with Time. The reason for this connection is, as I wrote earlier, because it is through Time and Calendar that the higher will is transcribed here below for the larger community; Time provides the binding force as well as an infallible protection and power of renewal ever faithful to the Dharma.

There has to be a unifying factor rooted in the heart and soul of the Dharma that extends beyond individuals but embraces them all and draws together their aspirations around a single central One. As it stands now, the place that should be occupied by that One is the Void because there is no such unifying factor. The currently-used Nirayana calendar based on the circle of the constellations far out in space rather than the Sayana tropical zodiac, giver of our seasons on Earth and the harmonics we are intrinsically linked to, cannot convey those credentials. In effect, they have ceased to exist in an appreciable manner from the moment the Nirayana system was adopted several centuries ago.

Of course, this is a free society – and no group is freer than the Hindu Samaj – so the will of the majority is thought to prevail. However, in the present instance, the majority is not consulted. There is a small cabal that dictates terms pontifically in this essential area, and they alone are ‘authorised’ to establish timings for the entire Samaj. It is a very sad situation. All aspects of the problem must be brought forward and discussed threadbare and the veils removed that make this question of Time appear so mysterious and apparently reserved for an elite. Leaving it closed within the walls of this cabal keeps the larger Samaj in ignorance of the true situation and looking for solutions where they can never be found. But this call to meet and discuss is never heeded; the reason is clear: this is the way to maintain control and power. However, the death knell is being heard loud and clear and the Nirayana calendar is being questioned on an increasing scale. It won’t be long before its adherents will be forced to accept the invitation to a public debate. With its tradition of free speech and liberal exchange of ideas, Hindus in the USA should be in the forefront of this movement and organising a discussion of this sort.

Here is a link to one such group that offers Hindus a complete calendar/almanac based on the Vedic Sayana system. This link is to the Hindi version: darshaney.smkatp@gmail.com [LT note: I will find and post the correct link here when I find it]. There is also the Tamil/English version available at www.reformedsanathancalendar.in. Included are letters from the Shankaracharyas to the authors urging the Samaj to consider switching to the Vedic calendar and praising them for their efforts. PNB

pshakkottai > Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet • [12 Mar 2016] 

Higly speculative. Hindu Dharma is integral reality and is being understood to be so thanks to Rajiv Malhotra. There is no void in the center of Dharma because Dharma has no center and edge.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet > pshakkottai • [12 Mar 2016]   

'...Dharma has no center and edge', you write. Sounds pretty much like a void to me. Reading this reminds me of the renowned Teacher J. Krishnamurti who famously stated, 'Truth cannot be measured. What can be measured is not truth.' That conveniently leaves out the entire material manifestation - the field where the Goddess manifests her infinite complexity and diversity. Truth, however, is far more mathematical than that and happily CAN BE MEASURED. This is the Divine Maya of the Veda, and can also be proven today through the physical Ganga whose actual physical measurements as she flows across Bharat prove the point. We need to integrate the material and bring it back to a oneness with Spirit and not allow science to hog the field.

Karan Gupta • [10 Mar 2016]   

Excellent article, but don't agree with the ending. "Dharma" is not some Pagan tradition. The Vedas clearly defines the absolute as one and formless the "Brahman" which can be evoked by the vibration of "Aum". Dharma is at the least not a Pagan Tradition.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet > Karan Gupta • [12 Mar 2016]   

With the advent of the exclusivist religions, I am aware that 'paganism' has become a dirty word, equated with the devil and devil worship. It was a job well done. But the truth is that paganism stands for all-inclusiveness and recognition of the Goddess as the architect of the Supreme, known in the Veda as the Divine Maya - Maya being the root connected to measure. In other words, the Divine Maya sanctifies material creation - a concept which we could well use today when we are destroying our planetary home. PNB


Monday, December 21, 2015

Recovering the True Sense of the Winter Solstice

The Year divided by its four Cardinal Points and 12 months, © Lori Tompkins

The Cross is in Yoga the symbol of the soul and nature in their strong and perfect union, but because of our fall into the impurities of ignorance it has become the symbol of suffering and purification. 
 ‒ Sri Aurobindo, Aphorism 168 
***
The Deva or Godhead is both the original cause and the final result [of the Vedic sacrifice]. Divine Existent, builder of the worlds, lord and begetter of all things, Male and Female, Being and Consciousness, Father and Mother of the Worlds and their inhabitants, he is also their Son and ours: for he is the Divine Child born into the Worlds who manifests himself in the growth of the creature. ... He is the wise, mighty and liberating Son born from our works and our sacrifice, the Hero in our warfare and Seer of our knowledge, the White Steed in the front of our days who gallops towards the upper Ocean.
‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p. 371

MANY MAY CELEBRATE the December Solstice as the 'Return of the Light' and appreciate that it is the fourth arm of the cardinal cross of the Tropical Zodiac; but few truly understand the true nature of this celebration (Holy Day or Holiday) and the evolutionary victory or Divine Birth it portends. The tradition of celebrating this day ‒ the entrance or gateway into the 10th month and last quadrant of the 12 month Tropical Year ‒ has been attributed to pagan ritual, but in truth its origin is Vedic. The way to truly appreciate or grow into the understanding of why this much celebrated point in the Earth's year is associated with a Divine Birth, with God's sacrifice, with a holy cross and with the ultimate victory over falsehood and death is to begin to understand the Vedic Gnosis and Sanatana Dharma of the Vedic Rishis which stands as our world's oldest known transmission of this Divine story. Until we understand this story of our own Divine Birth ‒ the evolution and birth of our indwelling Divine Consciousness ‒ our Holidays (Holy Days) and rituals celebrating the Return of the Light and Divine Birth will remain in the 'fake it til you make it realm.', i.e. a necessary placeholder for our eventual realization.

From the early 20th century Sri Aurobindo began his work towards illuminating the nature of this simultaneously Vedic and new-age realization which he wrote of as the 'Recovery of the lost Sun', as the victory of the Divine Son [1], Child or Flame Agni, and ultimately as the Supramental Realisation. He wrote of this as an evolutionary eventuality in which our indwelling hidden higher consciousness, becomes manifest and ushers our world into an entirely new phase of evolution on Earth. In The Secret of the Veda, he establishes that the Rishis linked this Divine Victory (Divine Birth) with passage into the 10th month of our 12 month year.
‘[The] possession of our complete divine consciousness delivered from all falsehood by the free descent of the truth, gives us the secure possession of the world of Swar and the enjoyment of mental and physical being lifted into the godhead above darkness, falsehood and death by the in-streaming of our divine elements. This victory is won in twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the sacrificial year, the periods corresponding to the successive dawns of a wider and wider truth, until the tenth [month] secures the victory. What may be the precise significance of the nine rays [months] and the ten, is a more difficult question which we are not yet in a position to solve.’
‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p. 182
Sri Aurobindo acknowledged in his writing that the birth of the Supramental Gnosis in our world would descend in stages, from the Transcendent, through the Cosmic, and born out in the Individual. In the course of these stages, which continued after his own mahasamadhi in 1950, this difficult question of the precise meaning of the important passage from the 9th and 10th months of the 12 month sacrificial year was eventually solved. The 12-petal circle-symbol of the Cosmic Mother pervaded the entire field of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram for over fifty years, but it was not until the Mother's (Mirra Alfassa's) final years and her passing in 1973 that the full significance of this symbol and of the passage from the 9th to the 10th month of the 12 month sacrificial year and its relation to the Supramental Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother would be revealed.


Before her departure the Mother had a vision of a Vedic temple (Matrimandir) in 1970 based upon this symbol which became the key by which the truth of the Rishi's 10th month of Victory ‒ i.e. the truth of the ancient story of the Divine Birth and Golden Age that has followed us through the ages ‒ became known to Thea (Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet). [2] Through her writings it becomes clear that the secret which Sri Aurobindo wrote of in The Secret of the Veda is the realization of the Divine Child in the 10th month of the Vedic Year (sacrifice).

[The] Rishi spoke of the Deva [Agni] as the divine child preparing for birth, involved in the world, in the human consciousness .... [p. 358] 

*** 

Agni’s birth here ... is the greatest of his terrestrial births; fostered by them as the swift Mares of Life he grows at once to his divine greatness, fills all the planes with his vast and shining limbs and forms their kingdoms in the soul of man into the image of a divine Truth. [p. 391] 

*** 

The Rishi prays ... that the secret soul in us who is the Father of things but in us appears as the child of our works and our evolution, may open itself to the vast Truth-consciousness. The Divine Flame will destroy all the powers of falsehood and evil who seek to make us stumble and would rob us of our heavenly treasure. [p. 402] 

*** 

The divine Seer-Will [Agni] ... leads [the human] in its journey through the stages by which the sacrificer rises to the supramental divine consciousness; he is its vanguard and front-fighter in the battle of the divine with the undivine and the march of man to his goal. Agni is ... the Seer-Will of the one & infinite Divine Conscious-Existence at work in the universe.... [He] is its vanguard and front-fighter in the battle of the divine with the undivine and the march of man to his goal.... The Seer-Will ... sacrifices in the order, the right seasons, the right periods, the twelve months ... he knows the time, place, order by which the Swadha, the self-arranging self-movement of the divine Nature in man that is developing itself, progresses till it turns itself into the Swaha, the luminous self-force of the fulfilled divine Nature of the gods. This order of the sacrificial seasons ... represents the progressive movement of development of the hidden truth of things in man.

‒ Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire,
Commentaries and Annotated Translations
[3]

Central to Thea's revelation and restoration of Vedic Gnosis was the realization that the correct measure of the Vedic Year and hence entrance into this 10th Month (Makar Sankranti/Capricorn) is absolutely essential in terms of achieving and consciously celebrating the birth of higher gnosis, i.e. the birth of the One which unifies our consciousness and our field of creation. The opening image was constructed via arcing the radius of the circle from the bases of the cardinal points (equinoxes and solstices) through the center point to form (mark) the 12 months of the Earth's year. The tip of the 10th petal demonstrates Capricorn (Makar) as entrance into the last and highest quadrant of the year, which Thea associates with Swar ‒ the Divine consciousness born, manifest on Earth in the natural course of our evolutionary journey. Sri Aurobindo wrote:

Like other gods, [Agni] is said to be born of the Truth; the Truth is at once his birthplace and his home. 
 ‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p. 391 

Thea realized that the home and birthplace of Agni ‒ and thus our collective Eternal Truth, known in India as Sanatana Dharma, and the truth of Vishnu's Dasavatars to boot [4] ‒ could only be found in the Tropical Zodiac, not in the Sidereal Year (constellations) currently utilized in India which entirely separates Agni and the cardinal points of the Vedic Sacrifice from the Equinoxes and Solstices.

According to Thea this separation, which is 23° and growing via the Precession of the Equinoxes, must be corrected if India is ever to recover the Truth (the Divine Birth or Singularity) underlying its ancient culture and facilitate the world's rise into gnosis as Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo foresaw as India's destiny. This correction, though not yet well-appreciated or understood in India or elsewhere in our world, is inseparable from the hidden Truth of our collective evolutionary story ‒ our hero's journey ‒ as told by the Vedic Rishis, which is born forth in our consciousness and in our world via the vehicle or womb of our own 12-month year. It is an essential correction for any who wish to understand and participate in the true story of the Return of the Light (Recovery of the Lost Sun) and the evolutionary achievement that we are unwittingly celebrating every December Solstice Holiday season.

In essence, the Truth of the December Solstice and of the Zodiac is something that our consciousness grows or evolves into. It becomes progressively apparent or real to us, only in the course of our evolution. Up to a point in our evolution, the Zodiac and the Capricorn Cardinal point merely symbolizes our Divine Birth or shift into Divine consciousness. Eventually it ushers forth the real thing. Different ancient cultures call this victorious and Divine Son by different names, including Aeon, Bacchus, Dionysus, Horus, Triptolemus, Brimos, Kalki and Quetzalcoatl; but the real story and the real victory to be won in our consciousness remains one and the same.

How this is possible or in any way true cannot be fully appreciated without investigating and understanding the full scope of Sri Aurobindo's yoga and of the Supramental Gnosis he established. In this sense, coming to celebrate the true nature of the December Solstice is inseparable from coming to celebrate the true nature of Sri Aurobindo's Supramental Yoga.

Set within thee Will that knows all the births, the divine sacrificer in the seasons; today let thy sacrifice march forward unceasingly, thy sacrifice shall open to thee the whole epiphany of the godheads. 

‒ RV 1.22, translated by Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p. 455-456 
Set within you the Fire that knows all things born, the Fire ever young, the Carrier of the offerings, the divine Priest who does sacrifice in its season. Let our sacrifice uninterruptedly march on most strong today to reveal the gods. Strew, strew the grass of the altar for the session. 

‒ RV 5.26.7-8, translated by Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, p. 292 
All this Vedic imagery is easy to understand when once we have the key, but it must not be mistaken for mere imagery. 

‒ Sri Aurobindo, Hymns to the Mystic Fire, pp 28-30 

In 1986 Thea established Aeon Centre of Cosmology (ACC) to begin to bring this One all-integrating Truth to light, demonstrating how it comes to be known and how it is applied in terms of upgrading and shifting our consciousness into Divine or Supramental) ranges. Her latest publication Ganga ‒ soul of Indian culture ‒ Her descent to Earth shows both India's and Ganga's intimate connection with Capricorn and how the mythology and symbolism of Indian culture are based on the very real evolutionary adventure and victory of consciousness as outlined by the Vedic Rishis. As Sri Aurobindo wrote, the universal and unifying soul of the myth and symbol lies hidden and lies in wait to be fully rediscovered in India and throughout the world. In 2014 ACC presented The Future Realisation [TFR] exhibition at Aurodhan Art Gallery in Pondicherry, India dedicated to this cause. In January 2015 an expanded version of TFR exhibition was presented at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts' Mataghiri venue in New Delhi. Currently ACC is planning its third TFR event in Washington DC which will be expanded to demonstrate the important cosmological connection between India and the United States.

Lori Tompkins 
21 December 2015 
____________________________
Endnotes:
[1] The English word 'son' comes to us from the Sanskrit word sūnu, found in the Rig Veda meaning 'son, child, offspring'.
[2] This Temple was never built correctly, but the knowledge content it contained and revealed to Thea is documented in The New Way - the rise and establishment of a gnostic society, Volumes 1-3, and in Chronicles of the Inner Chamber.

[3] This is Sri Aurobindo's commentary on the first verse of the Rig Veda as found in CWSA, Vol. 16http://incarnateword.in/cwsa/16/rv-i-dot-1-1-6
[4] See Secrets of the Earth, Aeon Books, 2009, Thea.


Related Articles/Books/Websites:
'The Importance of Makar Sankranti in Hindu Calendar Reform', Puranic Cosmology Updated, Thea, 30 December 2010

'Reflections on Sri Aurobindo’s contribution to the evolution of consciousness on his 143rd birth anniversary 15 August 2015', www.aeoncentre.com, Thea. 
The Magical Carousel - a zodiacal odyssey, Thea, Aeon Books, 1979.
Thea's Booksite: www.patrizianorellibachelet.com  


Ways to Get Involved: ACC offers a community forum, periodic online study groups, and is happy to answer any questions that arise from sincere seekers. For any who would like to DONATE to this great work, please do so through PayPal [Click HERE to donate]. We also share news and gnosis via our ACC mailing list [join via sign up form below] and via our Facebook pages:
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The Future Realisation Exhibition

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The Flawed Auroville Matrimandir 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

The Tropical Zodiac, the Vedic Journey & Misguided 'Vedic' Astrologers

'Gnosis, now enhanced by the descent of Supermind, is found only in the Vedic Journey as mapped out in the tropical zodiac. And, above all, it is only with the tropical zodiac of the ecliptic plane, balanced on the unchanging equinoxes and solstices that we can read the cosmic credentials of the Vishnu Avatar and his line in this 9th Manifestation.'

- Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
'Those Unsettling New Paradigms'
Part 1 (July 2015) 

More from the same article:

'[The tropical zodiac] is what we find as the foundational language of the Puranas and its mythology and displayed in every temple across India. The sacred mountain is the most prominent and obvious connection. When the devotee passes through and beneath the main gopuram to enter the sacred precinct, it brings to his visit the lived experience of Mt Meru, the sacred Mountain of Capricorn. In the symbolism of sacred architecture the Gopurams are that Mountain. 

The main Gopuram of the Srirangam temple
in Tamil Nadu, South India, where the purest tradition is found.
'Lamentably, during the Dark Ages a different formulation gradually gained ascendancy and ultimately did away with the former based on the tropical zodiac and its related mythology, as in the cosmology of the New Way. It introduced another ‘zodiac’ based on the imaginative animal figures made up of the fixed stars in the sidereal sphere, called Nakshatras. In the traditional astrology practised outside of India they are known as the Mansions of the Moon and were brought from India by Al Biruni, the Arab scholar-traveller who in the 12th century planted the damaging seeds that later flowered into the full-blown Nirayana system of astrological computations and ritual timings in use today. 

'I have stated many times and I must state again that these misguided reformists, whatever their motivation, are measuring in the wrong circle. At the end of this article I offer readers a graphic image of the problem and a brief explanation with the facts of the case. 

'Al Biruni’s Mansions of the Moon divides the zodiac circle into 27 parts based on the mean daily motion of the Moon which is 13.20 degrees. Moving through the circle cumulatively, from 0 degree through to the 360th, each point where this measure falls is called a ‘critical degree’. Any competent astrologer knows that when a planet is located on one of those degrees, whatever that planet represents will play a prominent role in the individual’s life. 

'Unfortunately Nirayanis, who call themselves by the misnomer Vedic Astrologers, carried the matter further – because there is a secret agenda behind this rise of thought in India. Muslim invaders, their own history records, destroyed thousands of temples across the land because of the role temples stepped in to play during the Puranic Age to preserve the Veda. But there was a far more insidious attack in the wings, with the potential of bringing the Sanatana Dharma to an end as it was known in the Vedic Age. The simple yet potent device was 1) to do away with the Veda’s foundational language of the zodiac itself, whether tropical or sidereal, and pari passu 2) to destroy the cosmic connection India had enjoyed from time immemorial (see the Capricorn symbol-map); indeed, to disengage the cosmic wheel from the true Zero Point (ayanamsha), the start of the ‘journey’, as it was called in the Rig Veda, on the Aries equinox of 21 March each year. This was cleverly done by insisting on measuring in the wrong circle, and claiming, as Al Biruni had advocated centuries earlier and the Nirayanis continue to proclaim: Aries has shifted, it has moved on; it is no longer there (at the March equinoctial point). ‘The solstice has kept its place but the constellations have migrated, just the very opposite of what Vahara has fancied, he wrote (India, II, p.7). With this Al Biruni plants the undermining seed of a shifting zodiac, erroneously equated with and measured in the sidereal sphere.

'There is what is called the Cardinal Cross in the tropical zodiac. it is composed of four signs, Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. They are the equinoxes and solstices. Therefore an intrinsic part of the constitution of Aries is the thrust of energy as in the gunaic mode of Rajas, or Creation of the fundamental trinity Creation, Preservation, Dissolution. Actually Aries does not ‘exist’ disconnected from the March equinox; similarly with the others on the Rajas/Creation cross. So, to claim, as Al Biruni did, that while the solstice remained in place the constellations (zodiac) have moved away from the zodiacal connection with the Cardinal Cross, reveals a basic ignorance of the cosmic harmony. What is extraordinary is that no pundit, to my knowledge, rose up and refuted his claim. This is the crux of the Nirayana system Hindus follow, this claim that a ‘shift’ has taken place and therefore periodic ‘corrections’ must be made to accommodate it. 

'According to these Nirayanis, while measuring that purported 0 degree Aries in the wrong circle – the circle of fixed stars where no equinoxes and solstices exist – this 0 point has shifted, therefore a correction is needed to move the start of the circle back by 23 days. Consequently, based on their astronomical wisdom, disconnected from the alleged superstition of astrology which astronomers believe they have improved upon, we must agree to celebrate each new zodiacal year on April 14-15 and not 21 March; or, even worse, the Capricorn entry (Makar in Sanskrit, perhaps the most important festival for the Hindu collectivity) is also shifted by 23 days to 14-15 January, instead of the fourth Cardinal Cross solstice on 21 December each year when Capricorn actually begins for the whole world, not merely for Hindus, with no change – because these unchanging equinoxes and solstices are the temporal and spatial pillars of Hinduism

'In addition, the so-called shift that needs ‘correction’ varies from pundit to pundit because accuracy is impossible to achieve in the circle of fixed stars with relation to Earth, given that they are zillions of kilometres away from our solar system. The result is confusion and chaos; ultimately what should be the single most unifying factor for Hindus, a calendar that unequivocally secures the true cosmic connection, has become a most effective tool for dis-connection and endless dispute. 

'Today the supporting cosmic pillars of the Dharma have been wiped out of the cultural fabric where they can only be meaningful when the true link to the cosmic harmony exists. It no longer does for all practical purposes today in India, regardless of vociferous claims by the Nirayanis to the contrary. Practically, factually it exists only in the updated Indocentric cosmology of the New Way. 

'The tactic of undermining was superb indeed because Time itself, with each passing day, undoes the very Dharma it holds in the secret recesses of itself. Time, in the land where Mahakala is known to be above all the Gods, is made to work against itself: instead of a creative power it is one of undoing.' ...
 
Read the Full Article at www.aeoncentre.com
  

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Higher Purpose of Time and the Key to its Harmonies - An Online Course

Aeon Centre of Cosmology is currently hosting a 6 month online course entitled: 'The Higher Purpose of Time and the Key to its Harmonies'. I'll be a consultant for this course ... following along, answering questions and contributing to the course in whatever ways seem necessary or called for. The Gnostic Circle and The Magical Carousel - a zodiacal odyssey will be the primary course material. As of 22 June 2015 registration is still open. Below is ACC's course invitation, description and info about cost and such:

*****
‘The Bhagavad Gita, one of India’s most profound scriptures, tells us that this is the highest truth, this is the truest perception that the seeker can aspire to in his or her lifetime, this is the Vision of visions. Though it is reserved only for the most intrepid, the Gita affirms for all times that it is Mahakala who holds the grandest truths. The Time-Spirit is the apex in the formidable pyramid constituted of the seemingly unending experiences that throughout the ages seekers have had of God.’ Thea – ‘Time & Imperishability’ - ‘Transcendence and the Immanence of the One’
Over the millennia the Mystery School tradition has preserved and sustained the thread of higher knowledge and consciousness that we find woven through all ancient civilizations. The guardians of the mysteries were charged with the preservation of the ancient knowledge and the preparation of initiates so that they were fit to receive it. These wisdom traditions divided their secret knowledge into two distinct categories; the lesser and the greater mysteries. The lesser mysteries, available to a wider spectrum of the populace, dealt with mysticism, the secrets of the mind, psychism, and certain divinatory techniques which together resembled an early form of esoteric psychology. The greater mysteries which were taught under a seal of secrecy and only to initiates who had risen through the ranks of the lower knowledge dealt with the most profound secrets of Time and Space. The Aeon Centre of Cosmology is pleased to continue this revered tradition with what may be considered the greatest of all mysteries, the vision of ‘Mahakala’ – the Time-Spirit and the unbreakable bond between Time and the Soul.

Outline of Course

“…We cannot proceed further in our development until the Gnostic Cell of a new collective consciousness touches upon the higher purpose of Time, discovers the Key to the foundations of its inherent harmony and reveals this to the world.'’ Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Thea, The New Way
Session One: explores objectives for the Course (see Thea’s Open Letter). Through an in-depth study of the Map of the 12 Manifestations students discover the meaning of the Avatar’s descent in the last three manifestations of the earth: to renew or update the ancient perennial knowledge (the Sanatana Dharma). The goals of the Integral yoga of Sri Aurobindo (The Transcendent Divine/the 9) and the Supramental yoga are discussed. Students are introduced to the concept of the zodiac as the horoscope of the earth revealing not only their own individual destiny but that of the entire planet. They start their studies (the initiatic journey) with the first triad of the zodiac - Cosmic Sunrise (or the reddening of the Earth in alchemical terminology); and begin to see that the story of The Magical Carousel - which details the 12- stage Vedic sacrifice of the cosmic year - is the new myth for the new Age.

Session Two: students continue their studies/their cosmic journey; they see the odyssey of The Magical Carousel as a quest in search of the Divine Mother (the 6). Here the focus is on the second triad of the zodiacal year - Cosmic Midnight (the darkening of the Earth). The symbolism and purpose of ‘the fall’ in the sign Cancer and how it differs from the Biblical Genesis is explored. Students are introduced to the sign opposite Cancer in the wheel - Capricorn - and the importance of this axis in the Tropical Zodiacal Calendar and in the unfolding of world affairs (India/Capricorn and America/Cancer).

Session Three: offers a deeper appreciation of the descent of Supramental Knowledge now unfolding on Earth via the Third in the Solar line - the principle of the Individual Divine (the 3). Autobiographical details of Val and PomPom (the courageous children in the myth of The Magical Carousel) will be discussed. The focus is on the third triad of the zodiac - Cosmic Sunset - the critical phase of the journey, where we explore the role of human death in the scheme of evolution, and the method by which the Earth is liberated from its hold. Students are given guidance on how to use the key of supramental knowledge, The Gnostic Circle.

Session Four: In 1956 The Mother of Pondicherry told ashramites that the Time had come; Supermind had descended on Earth. In Thea’s cosmology this is symbolized by the opening of the fourth quarter of The Gnostic Circle - Cosmic Midday (the Sun is overhead, casting no shadows - the alchemical process is complete and the color is white). Students will reflect on the extraordinary time in which we have taken birth, during an age in which the universalisation of Truth-Consciousness is available for all mankind, and all four principles of the earth (9/6/3/0-1) are embedded in its core.

Information

Time: Each Session is six weeks in Length. Beginning date for Session one: 21 June 2015.
Fee: In the USA and elsewhere, course fee is $360.00 for the four session course.
In India, course fee is rs 7,500 for the four session course.
Faculty (contact info): Robert Wilkinson (robtw@sprynet.com) and Patricia Heidt, PhD (patriciaheidt@gmail.com ).
Consultants: Lori Tompkins and Arinaya

Course Expectations:

The above outline presents the general direction of the course. Faculty will also address specific needs of the students and help them achieve their particular goals. Send with your registration:
  • a short bio
  • why you are enrolling in this course or
  • any particular content which you wish to learn/develop more specifically
Students are expected to have access to the two required texts: The Magical Carousel and Commentaries and The Gnostic Circle - a study in cosmic harmonies – both available through Aeon Books.
 
A supplemental reading list will be emailed to students at the beginning of each of the four sessions. They are expected to study at their own pace and contact mentors weekly either by email or skype to discuss with them ANY ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
  • an original idea
  • a quote from their readings indicating the meaning it has for them
  • a drawing, a collage, etc.
  • a question that has puzzled them and their new understanding of it

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sidereal or Tropical Zodiac? - The Debate Continues


[The following exposition by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet [a.k.a. Thea] on the true measure of the Zodiac is taken from Aeon Centre of Cosmology's Forum. As of this posting, this forum discussion is still active. Anyone interested in this topic is welcome to LINK HERE TO VIEW OR PARTICIPATE IN THE FULL DISCUSSION.]

[For] a number of years there has been an on-going debate as to which ‘zodiac’ is the true one and should be followed for calendrical considerations.

... I consider the tropical zodiacal computations to be the only means to capture the body of higher knowledge the zodiac contains, and which has been a means to keep the perennial knowledge available to humankind across the millennia. Having stated that, for me the only important point to highlight is the zodiac itself, with its hieroglyphs and animal symbols that are modified between cultures, as for example has been the case with Makar/Capricorn. Then, to create a calendar that allows us to apply that knowledge for an entire civilisation, as has been done across the ages and for all societies, we need to have the accurate ZERO POINT. That is, when do we set the zodiacal wheel in motion; without the correct starting point no knowledge will come forth from this sacred wheel. And please note that this sacred script is primarily for initiatic purposes, as it was in all the ancient civilisations, the Vedic included, where it was described as the Journey of the Aryan. Predictive usage was secondary. However, we cannot deny that astrology based on this script can produce fine results as a tool for prediction, but that was not the reason for its preservation over the millennia; lamentably in India astrology has descended only to the level of a predictive art, devoid of higher knowledge and purpose.

As in all things on this blessed planet, we turn to then Sun for illumination – be this the physical Sun to which Hindus send forth praises on a daily basis at dawn; or be it the inner, subtle Sun, upholder of the outer phenomenon. The Sun is seen to move along the ecliptic (the plane on which the planets travel in their respective orbits around the Sun) and is a harmony that is unchanging.

This ecliptic plane is balanced on the four Cardinal Points which we experience on Earth as East (corresponding to Aries, the first zodiacal sign), the second as South (Cancer), then West (Libra), and finally North (Capricorn/Makar). According to the Rig Veda this ‘one wheel’ is stable and unchanging (‘it shakes not in the least’):

    Twelve spokes, one wheel, navels three.
    Who can comprehend this?
    On it are placed together
    Three hundred and sixty like pegs.
    They shake not in the least.

    (Rig Veda 1.164.48)

These four pillars are wisely incorporated in every Hindu temple when the Vastu Purush is laid out as the foundation plan at the start of construction: the orientation is to those very Cardinal Points. It is the same in the Great Pyramid at Giza, with an orientation that is astonishingly accurate. Therefore we can well assume that wisemen and women across the ages were as aware of the unshakable four pillars, on which our Earth Time finds its balance, as the ancient Rishis were. All pagan civilisations followed the same process: the calendar devised by the wise for the society always ‘followed’ the Sun. It started with the first sign Aries at the first Cardinal Point, the equinox on 21-22 March each year, with no variation. This balance on the four pillars translates itself into the four seasons. With accuracy in this single item, the 365 days of the year would find their place in the Harmony....

Getting back to the Vedic verse quoted above, the next important item is mention of ‘one wheel’. This is truly the single-most important clue the Veda provides for seekers across the ages, but ‘Who can understand this?’ the Rishi wisely asks. That single (‘one’) circle – the ecliptic divided into 12 ‘spokes’ with 360 ‘pegs’, is unchanging (‘they shake not in the least’). It is the KNOWLEDGE background for the entire science of Jyotish ­ or rather the ART, I would say. This has been proven time and again; but in the course of this debate we can bring to the public the proof I can provide to substantiate the statement. For this is the issue here: we want proof for everything that is stated. By this I mean an application in higher knowledge of what is sustained. In other words, the statement must be able to show results of its application in a body of knowledge based on that special sacred Language – it is the background Language that has been with us since time immemorial.

.... I need to point out that Nirayani astrologers base their calculation of the Zero Point ON THE WRONG CIRCLE. You use the sidereal with its constellations composed of Fixed Stars many light years away from Earth. According to your claim that zodiac ‘has shifted’ its Zero Point, for which a rectification is required both for the calendar and all matters astrological. But the true one and only zodiac is the 12-part division of the ecliptic plane, marked off by the four pillars of Earth Time, the equinoxes and solstices. That outer distant circle is the invention of astronomers when astronomy became a separate discipline from astrology. The heavens speak to us in the language of the zodiac symbols. Otherwise we have what the astronomers have given us: a meaningless dark void; they fill it by projecting the zodiac onto those distant stars and imaginatively designing the zodiacal symbols therein – which is a totally inconsequential exercise since those animal symbols do not cover a neat 30 degrees, as the Rig Veda prescribes. Any sincere seeker knows this. Yet to accommodate this misconception, Nirayanis have resorted to using predominantly the Nakshatrasdo not contain a body of higher knowledge as the tropical wheel does. It all becomes a meaningless exercise. And this is what we are told has reached us from the Rishis! This debate will prove otherwise.

More explicitly, Nakshatras are an important element in zodiacal lore, not restricted to India. They arise not out of a fictitious sidereal zodiac divided into segments of 30 degrees, a wholly arbitrary application, it needs to be added. They are fundamental divisions of that ‘one circle’ of the Veda, based on the mean motion of the Moon – i.e. 13.20 degrees are counted, starting with the correct Aries/March equinox and moving forward throughout the entire circle adding segments of 13.20 along the way. This addition process, lunar in essence, results in what is appropriately called the Mansions of the Moon; I believe it was Al Biruni who found them in India and now bear his name. Whatever their usefulness in locating which planet may have greater significance in an individual’s horoscope when found on one of these 13.20 ‘critical’ degrees, with remarkable precision I might add, the original Nakshatras, or Mansions of the Moon, never displace the greater ‘one circle’ of the zodiacal 12, as is presently the case in India. These are always secondary divisions within that One Wheel. Various enlightened methods of dividing the Circle has been India’s contribution to the sacred art of Astrology.

There is the question of the lack of accuracy in the sidereal sphere. Not only is it because of the distance involved which compounds the error tat is translated on Earth in perhaps hundreds of years, the fact is the Nirayana system is entirely speculative. The equinoxes and solstices, our fixed and unchanging pillars of Earth time, are not speculative. Nor do they require the wisdom of any pundit or scientist to help us navigate through the labyrinth of cosmic harmonies with the required accuracy. This is the domain of the mystic, the sage, the seer. Year in and year out the tropical zodiac commences on the equinox of 21-22 March; no guessing is required, no rectification as in the Nirayana system. We are blessed with an arrangement that eliminates speculation and consequent error; because the sidereal sphere does not have equinoxes and solstices, there is no absolute Zero Point (the four Cardinal Points indicated in the diagram below). Being practical people the ancients would never have accepted to fall into the black hole of speculation in such a vital part of the civilization’s collective expression. Indeed, thankfully India did adopt the universal calendar (which you erroneously call Christian) for official use, leaving Hindus to engage endlessly in trying to come to terms with the lack of that vital Zero (point) – and, ironically, it was India’s sages (not scientists) who gave the concept of Zero to the world.

In all pagan societies whose calendars were based on the true knowledge, the year always started with the March equinox (in India according to the Nirayana system it starts 23 days after the equinox based on the irrational and speculative ‘rectification’ – where none is required), and the months therefore were named accordingly. For example, March comes from Mars, ruler of that first sign Aries. Moving on from that point we have September from the Latin that is derived from the word meaning seven, or the 7th month from that equinox – and indeed it marks entry into the 7th zodiacal sign, Libra; then the 8th and October with entry into the 8th sign Scorpio, again from the Latin for 8, the 9th in November, the 10th in December, and so on. This is what we find in the Veda as well: the month of the Victory is the 10th, or December/January counted from that same March equinox, like in all ancient civilisations.

Here are two diagrams illustrating the erroneous circle used by Nirayanis in constructing a horoscope. 

Constellations (outer sidereal circle) and the Tropical Zodiac (inner circles) with four Cardinal Points
The Precession of the Equinoxes, marking the backward passage through the zodiac of the Astrological Ages: each completed round consists of 25,920 Earth years; an Age is 2160 years. We are in the Aquarian Age since 1926.

They employ the outer circle of stars (sidereal) which is light years away from Earth and ‘shifts’ wildly with each astrologer and astronomer giving their own calculations for the ‘rectified’ zero staring point (ayanamsha) of the wheel. We all know that the constellational sphere is used as the backdrop to measure the passage of the astrological ages of thousands of years (see The Map of 12 Manifestations) via the Precession of the Equinoxes; but never for casting the individual’s horoscope or for ritual timings within our Earth year of a mere 365 days. But the Precession too is basically an Earth measure because it is the equinoctial plane that traces a line across the heavens. However, this is not determined by the sidereal sphere but rather that ecliptic plane where the Sun’s family of planets travels in precise orbits. The zodiac is projected out there for the purpose – i.e. the very same circle divided into 12 of 30 degrees each, not the irrational constellations astronomers have made up of the zodiacal images imaginatively designed on the basis of the fixed stars and bearing no empirical truth: they are the result of astronomers seeking a tangible item, something that they can see and therefore measure – even if that measure be entirely inaccurate; it makes no different to the astronomer as he thrusts himself into a domain reserved for the sage; the intervention of astronomers has only created huge confusion where there need be none.

To be more precise, in conclusion it is virtually impossible to determine the correct Zero Point in that sphere; this is secret and sacred Knowledge that comes through in a special initiation. It is, above all, revealed by the appearance of Vishnu’s Avatars. Without that knowledge, accuracy cannot come; for this reason there are so many ayanamshas (zero points of the wheel). Even a slight variation, given the enormous distance over which we are measuring can mean centuries in Earth time.

Thea 
14 May 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

India's Quest to Reclaim Yoga

A bronze chola statue of Nataraja [dancing the eternal flow of creation, preservation and dissolution of the Vedic yajna], at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Photographed by Kesava Mallela, July 1, 2005.


The whole of karma yoga, or any yoga for the matter of that, is centred round this principle governing all life and existence – the principle of yajna, sacrifice.

– Swami Krisnananda,
The Teachings of the Bhagavadgita

In his 17 November 2014 speech at Allphones Arena in Sydney Australia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that Swami Vivekananda's dream of India becoming vishwa-guru or world teacher has come true. Vishwa is a Sanskrit word meaning not only the whole world, but also the whole universe or cosmos. Guru means one who brings light into darkness, and most often connotes a spiritual teacher.
    It is true that much of the world looks to the sages and sacred texts of India for spiritual light and certainly hatha yoga has spread widely across the world, but considering the persistent disharmony seen throughout the field of India and the world it seems wise to acknowledge that both the world and India have a long way to go in terms of our understanding and embodiment of the unity-consciousness that is the Vedic basis and all-illuminating outcome of yoga.
    Sri Aurobindo, who also foresaw India's future as vishwa-guru, wrote in The Secret of the Veda that no Indian has understood the Vedas in over 2,000 years and admitted that:
"... [In] the later ages the very device used by the Rishis turned against the preservation of the knowledge. For language changed its character, rejected its earlier pliability, shed off old familiar senses; the word contracted and shrank into its outer and concrete significance. The ambrosial wine of the Ananda was forgotten in the physical offering; the image of the clarified butter recalled only the gross libation to mythological deities, lords of the fire and the cloud and the storm-blast, godheads void of any but a material energy and an external lustre. The letter lived on when the spirit was forgotten; the symbol, the body of the doctrine, remained, but the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings." [Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo (CWSA), Vol. 15, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1997, p. 56-57.]
The device or "body of the doctrine" used by the Vedic Rishis to preserve knowledge was the yajna or sacrifice. Yajna, also spelled yagna and yaga, is the foundation and central subject pervading the Vedas, and whether many people in our day and age know it or not, it is the foundation of yoga.
"The higher light of Surya [the Sun] is that by which vision rises on our darkness and moves towards the superconscient ... is the vision of the highest to which man arrives by the Yajna or Yoga of his being, by its union through a long labour of self-uplifting and self-giving to the powers of the concealed Truth. 'O Sun, thou all-seeing Intelligence,' cries the Rishi, 'may we, living creatures, behold thee bringing to us the great Light, blazing out on us for vision upon vision of the beatitude, ascending to the bliss in the vast mass of thy strength above!'" [Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 479.]
    In his September 2014 United Nations General Assembly speech Modi called for an International Yoga Day, saying that the ancient science of yoga is India’s gift to the world. On 11 November 2014 he appointed Shripad Yesso Naik as India's first yoga minister, tasked with the job of promoting and protecting India’s most famous export. It will be interesting to see if the yoga minister's job will include educating the world on the essential connection between yajna and yoga because, as is, ask any yoga teacher or student outside India what yajna has to do with yoga and you will likely get a very blank face. Yoga is defined in the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon (CDSL) as:
"The act of yoking, joining, attaching, harnessing ... a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance ... fixing (of an arrow on the bow-string) ... a means, expedient, device, way, manner, method ... any junction, union, combination, contact with ... connection, relation ... putting together, arrangement, regular succession .... [Its] chief aim being to teach the means by which the human spirit may attain complete union with Isvara or the Supreme Spirit; the union of soul with matter; the union of the individual soul with the universal soul."
    Yaga is defined in the same comprehensive dictionary as "an offering, oblation, sacrifice." Yaj is defined as "to worship, adore, honour ... with sacrifice or oblations ... to consecrate, hallow, offer." In The Secret of the Veda, Sri Aurobindo wrote that the term and form of the yajna, and hence the central theme of the Vedas, is the journey of the 12 month year.
"This victory [the possession of our complete divine consciousness delivered from all falsehood by the free descent of the truth] is won in twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the sacrificial year, the periods corresponding to the successive dawns of a wider and wider truth, until the tenth secures the victory. What may be the precise significance of the nine rays and the ten, is a more difficult question which we are not yet in a position to solve; but the light we already have is sufficient to illuminate all the main imagery of the Rig Veda."  [CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 182.]
In the same book he also wrote, "In the Puranas ... it is stated that the body of man is the year." [CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 177.] This is stated because for the Vedic Rishis yajna expressed the unbreakable link and quantum entanglement between man's physical body and the body of time and all that manifests within that eternal body. The Earth's yearly journey around the Sun is a real, not imagined, body of time lived by the Earth and all her inhabitants. It is the base unit of our time on Earth, which to the Rishis was understood as the foundation of oneness throughout all cycles and moments in time, just as the number one is the base unit of our number system. This Puranic correlation between the body of man and the body of the year gives us an extremely important key to the essence of yoga and to the universal and eternal law of our being and becoming – sanatana dharma. It may also give us an indication of how little modern man knows of this yoga, the yoga of the whole body of the eternal Self as it moves in time and space. The Vedic Rishi Dīrghatamas sung of the yajna:
Twelve are the fellies, and the wheel is single;
three are the naves.
What man hath understood it?
Therein are set together spokes three hundred and sixty,
which in nowise can be loosened.

That breast of thine exhaustless, spring of pleasure,
wherewith thou feedest all things that are choicest,
Wealth-giver, treasure. finder, free bestower,
—bring that, Sarasvatī, that we may drain it.

By means of [yajna] the Gods accomplished their sacrifice:
these were the earliest ordinances.
These Mighty Ones attained the height of heaven,
there where the Sādhyas, Gods of old, are dwelling. 

Rig Veda 1.164:48-50 (tr. by R T H Griffith)
    The Rishis and Sri Aurobindo have told us that the union or yoga of the individual self with the universal Self or vishwa-atma (the super-soul of the cosmos) is accomplished via this 360 degree framework and journey. It is important to note however that the Rishis did indicate this was not at all a simple matter to comprehend. Even Sri Aurobindo admitted to not fully understanding the 12 months or rays of the yajna in The Secret of the Veda. Yet since Sri Aurobindo's passing in 1950, this mystifying connection between the 12 month year and the unity consciousness of the Vedic Rishis has been much explained and demystified. Many missing pieces have been put into place and many misunderstandings regarding yajna and yoga have been corrected.
    Sri Aurobindo's initiation into the true and full nature of yoga began in 1908 which marked the beginning of a process of recovery of the lost truth-consciousness of the Veda, for India and for the world. Much of this initiation, which included fifteen days of instructions from the non-physical presence of Vivekananda who had left his body in 1902, occurred in the Alipore jail where Sri Aurobindo was imprisoned for one year and one day exactly by the British government for his role in the fight for India's independence. This process of recovery developed in successive stages in the natural course of time.
    Twenty-four days after his 6 May 1909 release from the Alipore jail, Sri Aurobindo spoke in Uttarpara, telling India that the truth-consciousness and sanatana dharma of the Vedic Rishis had been lost in its own motherland and needed to be fully rediscovered and restored for the benefit of the world. He acknowledged "few of us really know what [the Sanatan Dharma] is. ... the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived."  He told India of his visions for her on that day:
"It is to give this [eternal dharma] that India is rising. She does not rise as other countries do, for self or when she is strong, to trample on the weak. She is rising to shed the eternal light entrusted to her over the world. India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great."  [CWSA, Vol. 8, p. 6.]
In 1910 Sri Aurobindo began writing The Secret of the Veda and revealed therein that, according to the Rishis, the path, way or course by which man (presumably India first) recovers the lost Sun or Light of Truth of self and world, is yajna. In 1914 he met Mirra Alfassa, who he acknowledged as the living incarnation of "The Mother" and as absolutely inseparable from his own yogic force, power and mission. They collaborated to bring down the highest spiritual light for India and for the Earth and after he left his body in 1950, she continued this work. In November of 1958 the Mother spoke of the need for a link between the prevailing consciousness of humans and the supramental or truth consciousness:
"It has not yet been built – it is in the course of being built ... The moment has come just now in the history of the universe, when that link must be established." [Collected Works of the Mother (CWM), Vol. 15, Lotus Light Publications, 2003, p. 366.]
Eleven years later, on the last day of 1969 and in the first weeks of 1970, the Mother envisioned this link in the form an inner chamber of the Matrimandir (the Mother's Temple), the measurements and features of which she documented precisely. Unbeknown to most, her vision was a perfect expression and embodiment of the fundamental pillar and fount of Vedic wisdom – the 12 month yajna or year. In addition to the fact that the primary template of the chamber is the circle of 12, the height and width the Mother gave for this inner chamber actually equals the number of days in the Earth's year. On top of that marvel of sacred geometry, the 24 meter diameter she saw for the chamber perfectly exhibits the Vedic correspondence between one 24-hour day and one year (as well as larger much cycles of time). This correspondence may not make much of an impression on the fragmented modern mind as yet, but in truth, it demonstrates a knowledge of principles of self-similarity, scale invariance, multi-local phenomenon and quantum entanglement within a unified field that extends not only through space but also through time as some modern scientists are beginning to discover.

A top-down view of the Mother's Temple vision, as constructed in
The New Way, Volumes 1&2,  Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, Aeon Books, 1981.

The Mother told her students in 1954:
"Twelve: that’s the number of Aditi, of Mahashakti. So it applies to everything; all her action has twelve aspects. There are also her twelve virtues, her twelve powers, her twelve aspects, and then her twelve planes of manifestation and many other things that are twelve; and the symbol, the number twelve is in itself a symbol. It is the symbol of manifestation, double perfection, in essence and in manifestation, in the creation." [CWM, Vol. 6, 10 Nov. 1954, p. 395.]
Throughout 1970 she attempted to convey something of the Matrimandir's connection with the progressive 12-stage evolutionary journey known to the Rishis as yajna:
"[Regarding the temple's interior] I have seen ... It will be a tower with twelve regular facets – each facet representing one month of the year. ... then inside there will be twelve columns ...." [The Mother's Agenda (TMA), Vol. 11, 3 Jan. 1970, Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris, 2000, p. 16]

"The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol of the Divine’s answer to man’s aspiration for perfection. Union with the Divine manifesting in a progressive human unity. – 14 August 1970" [CWM Vol. 13, p. 223.]

"The Matrimandir wants to be the symbol of the Universal Mother according to Sri Aurobindo’s teaching. – 15 November 1970" [CWM Vol. 13, p. 223.]
    Aditi, besides being universal mother and supporter of all creation and of all gods, including Agni, is described by the Rishis as "all that hath been born and shall be born." [RV 1. 89.10, tr. Griffith.]   
    The Mother was 90, going on 91 when she had her vision of the inner chamber of Matrimandir which visually and spatially enacts the eternal birth of Agni – the hidden One and the sacred fire which upholds the 12-rayed yajna (also spelled yagni). With this vision she established the missing link between the mortal-mundane consciousness of the human race and the immortal-divine consciousness of the Vedic Rishis. Thus she also illuminated the connection between the Vedic goddess Aditi and yajna. Three years later the Mother left her body, leaving behind the temple vision as her final and finest offering of supramental seeing to her students, conveying the true Vedic essence, foundation and field of unity-consciousness.   
    When the Mother realized these students were going to discard the specific measures and characteristics she gave for the inner chamber of this temple (and her gnosis along with it), she let them have their way, saying, "[They] understand what they have inside their heads. They change the meaning of the words .... So one must wait and wait until they are ripe – a lot of time is wasted, you understand. It is better not to say anything: apply the Pressure. Oh [in that] I am pitiless!"  [The Mother's Agenda (TMA), Vol. 11, Institut de Recherches Evolutives, Paris, 2000, p. 56-57.] A temple was subsequently built in the Mother's name in Auroville, which ignored and destroyed the sacred geometry of the temple. This temple continues to be celebrated by many who have yet to reestablish in their consciousness the significance of the Vedic Year (yajna) and its importance for the uplifting of consciousness not only in India, but throughout the world.
    The word "sacrifice" – the English translation of yajna, has come to mean to offer something for something in return, or to selflessly offer, give up or lose something, even one's life, for someone else or for a larger cause. It also unfortunately means to murder or slaughter innocent animals or persons as an offering to an unseen divine or perhaps demonic entity or higher power with the hopes of gaining sustenance, riches or favor from that entity or higher power. Sakrit in Sanskrit is translated in CDSL as "acting at once or simultaneously." Its prefix is sa meaning "junction," "conjunction," "similarity," "equality," and "together with" and is the root of the English words "same" and "similar" as well as "sacred". The second half of the word "sacrifice" likely comes from the Sanksrit word viz meaning, among other things "to enter in," "pervade," "to enter the fire," "to join or flow into" as well as "home" and "dwelling."  Viz is closely related to vish meaning "to do" or "perform" as well as "pervasion," "to extend" and "to go in various directions." Vish is the root of the word vishwa (as in vishwa-guru and vishwa-atma previously mentioned) which in addition to meaning universal, means "in all places, everywhere," "all-pervading or all-containing" and "omnipresent" and is used by the Vedic Rishis to describe Agni, known as the lord of the sacrifice.
    These Sanskrit root words convey something of the true sense of the Vedic sacrifice or yajna in which all creatures on Earth share the same home and are joined in the same evolutionary journey towards unity-consciousness. In the Vedas this journey towards and continuous display of wholeness, holiness or sacredness is orchestrated by the hidden one, the eternal flame or lord which pervades all of creation, personified as Agni. The boons said to be generated via this sacrifice are the treasures, both material and immaterial, that are generated from the cultivation and establishment of unity-consciousness, including the boon of trikaladristi – a unified vision of all time, past, present and future. The boons of sacrifice were not meant to delight and facilitate a divisive, egoic consciousness and selfish lifestyle, but rather to free mankind from such ignorance via progressive revelations and manifestations of the higher Self. India would do the world a great service if it were to help reestablish the original significance and gnosis of this divine and universal sacrifice, which Sri Aurobindo indicates is her destiny.
    Time after time the Vedic Rishis sang of the importance of this yajna – the journey of the one Self in many forms. They sang of the importance of the correct measure of its body whose joints and limbs are equivalent to the months and seasons of the year. We are told in the Rig Veda that Agni "wins the sacrifice by its form." We are told, "They who have established year and month and then the day, night, sacrifice and holy verse have won dominion which none else may gain." [RV 7.66.11, tr. Griffith.] Sri Aurobindo wrote, "[T]he luminous fathers ascended by the power of the Word ... by the power of the Sacrifice into the fearless light and stood upon the wide and open levels of the supramental existence." [CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 476.] The Rishis sang:
'[L]et us make ourselves conscious of the jointings of [the year's] times and its seasons. It shall so perfect our thoughts that they shall extend our being and create for us a larger life.' [RV 1.94:4, tr. Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 11, p. 66.]
    The Sanskrit word rtam is found over and over again in the Vedas. Its root rta is defined in CDSL as "luminous, fixed or settled order, law ... sacred action or custom, divine law ... divine truth ... sacrifice ... the sun ... to go the right way." On Wikipedia it is also defined as "that which is properly joined." From this word comes the English words "rhythm," "ritual" and "right." In the Vedas rta is inseparable from yajna. In other words, the rhythms of the Earth's year are inseparable from the divine law, truth or oneness of our existence. Sri Aurobindo wrote in Hymns to the Mystic Fire:
"We have to find our way to that, to get into touch with this Truth and Immortality, sapanta rtam amrtam, to be born into the Truth, to grow in it, to ascend in spirit into the world of Truth and to live in it."  [CWSA, Vol. 11, p. 17.]
    The Rishis tell us that when the yajna is mis-measured, not observed or wrongly-observed, all hell breaks loose and the rakshasas (disturbers of the sacrifice) and other lords of darkness, described as coverers, hoarders, destroyers and tearers of truth and light, rule our time on Earth. In other words disharmony and the splintering of truth – the splintering of yoga and its body of gnosis, is the inevitable result of ignorance of yajna. The passageway, link or yoke between the mundane and the divine consciousness is thus blocked by such ignorance or ayajja – a Sanskrit word meaning a "bad" or "miserable sacrifice". Yagakantaka, meaning "sacrifice-thorn," is the name given to a "bad sacrificer ... who does not know the god, metre, glossarial explanation affixes of the Vedic verses." [CDSL]
    The Rishis clearly knew the dire consequences of mis-measuring the sacred year just as those familiar with the construction of sacred temples know that mis-measuring or mis-constructing any sacred measure of the temple will lead to disharmony in its field. In the case of mis-measuring the year, it is the entire world which suffers the loss of ritam or truth. With this in mind and considering that yajna is the Vedic foundation of not only yoga but of India's entire culture, one wonders if India's new yoga minister will be tasked with investigating the divergent measures of the Vedic yajna throughout India. Director of Tamil Nadu's Aeon Centre of Cosmology Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet has been making the case for the need to restore the true Vedic sense and measure of the yajna for over forty years.
    Norelli-Bachelet was occultly called to India by the Mother in 1971 and subsequently inherited from her and Sri Aurobindo the unfinished and colossal task of illuminating the still-relevant function and importance of the Vedic yajna and the knowledge contained within. [The Tenth Day of Victory, Aeon Books, 2003, p. 7-18] Upon examination of her writings, it becomes apparent that despite the intensive yogic efforts of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and all that they accomplished, they only scratched the surface of what needed to be known by India and the world about the Vedic yajna. It becomes apparent that the task of restoring the foundation of Vedic gnosis, and hence the foundation of yoga, was far from complete upon their respective samadhis. Together they established the importance of the yajna as a link to the solar or supramental consciousness, but they were not responsible for explaining why and how this link was valid. Neither were they responsible for telling India the challenging news that the truth and rhythm or rtam of the Vedic yajna is the tropical year, measured out by the Earth herself, not according to the uneven distribution of distant stars and constellations of the sidereal zodiac which have nothing at all to do with the Earth's seasons and months by which life on Earth is actually created and nurtured. These weighty responsibilities fell to Norelli-Bachelet.
    The basis for her seeing and knowledge of these sacred matters flowed from discoveries she made in her early thirties regarding our 0/9-based number system inherited from the Vedic civilization. She began to see how this 0/9 system functions in conjunction with the 360 degree, 12 month year as a key of supramental gnosis. She later discovered that the 12 month zodiac is the basis of St. John's revelation, the Vedic yajna, the Hindu tradition of yugas and the ten avatars of Vishnu. Many Indians accept the common story or history that the 12 month zodiac was imported into India by Babylonia, not recognizing that it is actually the very foundation of the Vedic Sacrifice and Vedic civilization, subsequently exported from India into Babylonia and beyond. Norelli-Bachelet has had the task of challenging this significant historical error.
    After the Mother passed in 1973 and students began to deform her temple vision, Norelli-Bachelet became responsible for deciphering, revealing and preserving the true significance of the original vision and measure of the Mother's Temple, made in the image of the Vedic yajna. Her work towards recovering the measure and highest meaning of the Vedic yajna for India and the world, based on the supramental light Sri Aurobindo and the Mother threw on the matter in their lifetimes, has been unwelcome to those who feel that the yajna is already correctly understood and correctly measured in India, and therefore think no re-calculations or re-thinking on the issue is needed.
    It would be fitting for India's new yoga ministry to investigate this matter. It seems only natural that this ministry would extend its interest in preserving the purity of yoga to a concern for the purity of the Vedic yajna. Otherwise, if there is no meaningful restoration of this key of sanatana dharma, it would seem the word and practice of yoga is apt to continue losing its connection with "the soul of knowledge" of the Vedic Seers as Sri Aurobindo noted was a large problem for not just India, but the world at large. Much of the world's words, language, numbers, forms, mythologies, religious rituals, deities, celebrations, holy days and symbols can only be truly understood and appreciated in the context of the yajna which birthed and yokes them all. Thus re-establishing the true foundation of yoga will have a radical integrating, harmonizing and transformative effect on the world's divergent and often disastrously conflicting ideas about what certain words, rituals, symbols and deities actually mean. These words, rituals, symbols and deities will necessarily come to be understood in terms of our common rtam, our common journey and in the context of an all-embracing unity and continuity of our being throughout time and space. Thus words that have gotten "lost in translation" over many millennia will no longer be fuel for conflict and hatred.
    2016 will mark 108 years since Sri Aurobindo was initiated in 1908 into his divine mission or adesh to help India recover its true knowledge and experience of sanatana dharma and to effectively reverse "the Falsehood that has governed the minds and hearts of men for so long" with the "power of Truth." [CWSA, Vol. 35, p. 290.] Perhaps India's yoga ministry will be moved to honor Sri Aurobindo's 144th birth anniversary by celebrating the remarkable progress he has made together with the Mother and Norelli-Bachelet towards the recovery of the lost "soul of knowledge" since the year 1908.
    The Rishis tell us in many and various ways throughout the Vedas that the illumined seers who win the highest consciousness for mankind "are able to hold the seat of illumined knowledge, to mentalise the supreme abode of the [yajna]." Via this instruction it becomes apparent that India's destiny to become vishwa-guru will be better fulfilled once it is able to fully understand and hold this seat or foundation of yoga for the world. Considering Prime Minister Modi's sincere interest in reclaiming the ancient science of yoga and protecting it from further degradation by the West, perhaps humans can be hopeful that this fulfillment will illuminate our world's immediate, rather than distant, future.
"It is by the satya mantra [the true sacrificial verse], the true thought expressed in the rhythm of the truth, that the hidden light is found and the Dawn brought to birth, gūḍhaṁ jyotiḥ pitaro anvavindan, satyamantrā ajanayann uṣāsam (VII.76.4). For these are the Angirases [seers of Agni] who speak aright, itthā vadadbhiḥ aṅgirobhiḥ (VI.18.5), masters of the Rik who place perfectly their thought, svādhībhir ṛkvabhiḥ (VI.32.2); they are the sons of heaven, heroes of the Mighty Lord who speak the truth and think the straightness and therefore they are able to hold the seat of illumined knowledge, to mentalise the supreme abode of the sacrifice, ṛtaṁ śaṁsanta ṛju dīhyānā, divas putrāso asurasya vīrāḥ; vipraṁ padam aṅgiraso dadhānā, yajñasya dhāma prathamaṁ mananta (X.67.2)."  [Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 185.]  
"[The] old Vedic poets . . . spoke of the spiritual life as a constant ascent . . . 'The priests of the world climb thee like a ladder, O hundred powered. As one ascends from peak to peak, there is made clear the much that has still to be done.' But once the foundation has been secured, the rest develops by a progressive self-unfolding and the soul is sure of its way. As again it is phrased by the ancient Vedic singers . . . 'State is born upon state, covering after covering becomes conscious of knowledge; in the lap of the Mother the soul sees.'" [Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 25, p. 268.]

"A day will dawn when people of all classes in my country will band together as one living mass at the sacred altar of the World-Mother, represented here by our Motherland and face the rest of [the] world with heads held high." [Sri Aurobindo, Tales of Prison Life, v2, Sri Aurobindo Institute, p. 27.]

Lori Tompkins
20 March 2015