Monday, August 17, 2009

Lori Deplored ... Hypocrisy Adored in Matters of the Mother's Symbol

On 15 August 2009 Tusar N. Mohapatra of Savitri Era Open Forum wrote a dramatic 14-word response titled 'Lori Deplored' to the ‘Addendum’ of my lengthy and detailed article 'Waving the Flag of Cosmic Ignorance in the Face of Sri Aurobindo and the Vedic Tradition of Avatars'. He cried foul (a shameful one at that), calling on a whole community of folks who will gladly join him in deploring me:
‘The Mother’s Symbol has been mutilated and disfigured by Lori Tompkins which we deplore.’
Whereas I don’t particularly mind being on the ‘bad side’ of whoever wants to include themselves in Tusar’s gang of ‘We’; I do wish to respond to the hypocritical accusation that I have somehow mutilated and disfigured the Mother’s Symbol, which I deeply love and respect.

Tusar, I am wondering if you have READ the entire ‘Waving the Flag of Cosmic Ignorance in the Face of Sri Aurobindo’ article? I put Vishnu on his Eagle in the middle of the Mother’s Symbol/Circle because HE is already there. HE, Vishnu in the Mother's Symboland the Avatars of Vishnu, are the Lords of that Circle. I used the diagram to help explain the concepts which I discussed in my article – the concepts that you seem opposed to understanding or even mentioning in your response. I don’t know if your horror and dismay over seeing Vishnu and the signs of the zodiac in the Mother’s Symbol will be shared by Indians and others who have some degree of understanding and respect for both astrology and the Dasavataras of Vishnu. Are you seriously intent on divorcing the Mother from the Mother Earth and Her cycles in time, and from the Vedic tradition of Vishnu’s avatars!?! That will truly be a difficult task and will win you little honor, except perhaps in the un-glorious circle of ‘We’ who join you in ‘Waving the Flag of Cosmic Ignorance …’.

On 3 January 1970 the Mother described her first vision of the Matrimandir (‘the symbol of the future realisation’) to Satprem. This vision was UNEQUIVOCABLY BASED ON HER SYMBOL:
‘It will be a tower with 12 facets – each facet representing one month of the year … Then, inside, there will be 12 columns – the walls and the 12 columns – and right at the center, on the floor, my symbol …’
I do not understand how you can read this and also be aware of Sri Aurobindo’s discussion of the 12 months of the Vedic year (also called the ‘sacrifice’) describing Man’s evolutionary journey on Earth, and still refuse to see the connection between Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and the 12 month Tropical Year. I especially do not understand your accusing ME of mutilating and disfiguring the Mother’s Symbol in a 308 by 320 pixel diagram when you and those you represent have had no qualms about disfiguring and dismissing the 24 meter Inner Chamber that the Mother envisioned for HER Temple. No one in your constituency of ‘We’ cared then or cares now that Vedic tradition – in which the 360 degree cycle of the 24 hour day and the 12 month year are equivalent in the ‘laws of correspondence’ – has been completely destroyed by builders who refused to adhere to the 24 meter diameter given by the Mother. The Mother clearly indicated on 17 January 1970, ‘... that’s settled: the 24 meters end at the walls.’ [Please see ‘Chronicles of the Inner Chamber’ to read the full story of how the Mother’s word and will regarding the temple were and continue to be disrespected, subverted and distorted.]

The Matrimandir's Inner Chamber from 'The New Way'The Inner Chamber of the Matrimandir
from the Matrimandir Action Committee's website

Given the fact that despite objections, the builders of the Mother’s Temple only managed to construct a temple with a diameter of ‘some 23 meters’ while disfiguring every other item of her plan as well, and given that you and ‘yours’ do not care, and given that you have completely managed to FORGET that the Mother’s circle divided by twelve has anything to do with the Earth’s year; it is completely ridiculous that you can accuse ME of disfiguring the Mother’s Symbol in my small pixel-sized attempt to ‘remind’ students and readers that her symbol DOES have something to do with the 12 month year, with the 12 astrological ages of the ‘Great Year’ (i.e. Precession of the Equinoxes), and with Vishnu – the Preserver of the Sanatana Dharma. You wrote on August 8th:
‘The divine manifestation of The Mother & Sri Aurobindo is an unprecedented phenomenon which can't be explained by past mythological instances or received metaphysical formulations. Parameters of perennial philosophy or speculative prophecies like eternal recurrence fall flat here. All talk of the Messiah, the Tirthankar or the Avatar is idle intellectual approximations.’
In the article which won me the honor of being ‘deplored,’ I questioned your judgment, not only because the Mother’s Symbol is clearly a symbol of the ‘metaphysical formulation’ of the Earth’s Year; but also because Sri Aurobindo’s spiritual mission was clarified for him by Krishna/Vishnu in the Alipore Jail (1908-1909) and further empowered by the descent of Krishna into his body (1926). These experiences were absolutely born out of ‘mythological instances,’ prophecy based on eternal cycles, and the lore of perennial avatKrishna displays his universal form - Vishvarupa/Vishnu), to Arjunaaric descent (a.k.a. the ‘parameters of perennial philosophy’). Sri Aurobindo said in his Uttarpara speech that it was the guidance and experience of Vishnu and Krishna (the latter who is the 8th of the Dasavataras of Vishnu) that revealed to him the forgotten truths or essence of the Hindu religion which, once re-established in the Indian mind and heart, would be the salvation of the world. What a set of blinders you must have on to read this and still stick to you dismissal and admonishment above! Do you really think Sri Aurobindo was excluding Vedic mythology, cosmology and the avataric tradition in his conception of Hinduism? Is Savitri itself (structured as 12 stages of an epic journey) not a renewal and uplifting of Vedic/Hindu mythology? If not, why did Sri Aurobindo name it after a Vedic solar deity and use a multitude of Vedic characters, figures and symbolism throughout this epic poem?

You made a comment on the 15th of August that plenty of others in Savitri Era Open Forum have corroborated your theme of disregarding ‘the cosmological component of the Supramental and Integral yogas’ and disregarding ‘Thea as an extension of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s yogic consciousness and mission.’ This is a weak response Tusar. Plenty of people in the world agree on all sorts of seriously messed up beliefs and behaviors, but that in no way makes their agreements or ‘themes’ justified, sustainable or in tune with the demands and pressures of the ‘Time-Spirit’ towards a universalization of the Sanatana Dharma.

Will you ever admit, I wonder, that your aversion to and ignorance of the ‘parameters’ of Vedic mythology, cosmology and even astrology was not shared by Sri Aurobindo. Savitri begins with the canto titled, ‘The Symbol Dawn.’ Clearly this Dawn is Usha, the Vedic goddess/deity. To the Vedic Rishi and to Sri Aurobindo, the dawn of the 360-degree, 24-hour day was a symbol of the eternal and cyclical recovery of Divine Consciousness-Truth or ‘Light’ after certain periods (hours, months or ages) of darkness/ignorance. On page three and four of Savitri we read:
‘The brief perpetual sign recurred above.
A glamour from the unreached transcendences
Iridescent with the glory of the Unseen,
A message from the unknown immortal Light
A blaze upon creation’s quivering edge,
Dawn build her aura of magnificent hues
And buried its seed of grandeur in the hours.
An instant’s visitor the godhead shone;
On life’s thick border awhile the Vision stood
And bent over earth’s pondering forehead curve.
Interpreting a recondite beauty and bliss
In colour’s hieroglyphs of mystic sense,
It wrote the lines of a significant myth
Telling of a greatness of spiritual dawns,

A brilliant code penned with the sky for page
What in the world does this passage mean Tusar, if it is void of cosmological, mythological and zodiacal dimensions? It is a wonder of the mind and ego that you and others can sustain your rejection of the cosmological significance and mythical continuity of the Supramental Descent, when Sri Aurobindo’s written works are full of appreciation for this significance and continuity. His appreciation included an acknowledgment in The Secret of the Veda that there were aspects of the cosmological symbol of the perennial twelve-month Vedic sacrifice or year which he and the Mother, and perhaps anyone at that point, were ‘not yet in a position to solve.’

It is outright strange to me Tusar, that you and others can read about the 12-month year in The Secret of the Veda and not think, ‘Hmm … Maybe some further Supramental Knowledge IS required for a more The Mother's Symbolcomplete understanding of the twelve month year which is said by the Vedic Rishi to be a living and eternally relevant Truth of existence…. Maybe someone HAS come along who IS in a position to solve this question regarding the evolution of consciousness and its higher stages…. Maybe the Mother’s Symbol and her Temple really DO have something to do with this Vedic symbol-truth…’.

You are certainly not alone and well within your rights to be completely un-interested in and un-educated in matters of ‘past mythological instances,’ ‘received metaphysical formulations,’ ‘parameters of perennial philosophy,’ prophecy base on knowledge of cycles and Sri Aurobindo’s position in the Line of Ten Avatars of Vishnu. It just seems odd to me, to say the least, to assert this right to be ignorant of all of these aspects of Vedic lore, and still profess to be knowledgeable and respectful of the yoga and purpose of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. A full recovery and expansion of the soul of India – whose essence cannot be separated from her ancient Veda – was not a minor goal of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. It was to them a condition of the world’s salvation. They knew that Mother India (via her people) needed to shake off all deformation of its true will (and true body) and live up to her destiny of being Guru of the world – the blessed teacher of the True Vedic Idea; knower of the evolutionary path symbolized by the Earth’s Year (i.e. the Earth’s journey around the sun as marked by the solstices and equinoxes) so that other nations and peoples would begin to fathom and harmonize with the universal Sanatana Dharma.

I sincerely wonder Tusar: How are Indians supposed to recover their national Soul and be a shining light unto the world, without recovering the full knowledge of the meaning of India’s own Vedic symbols and rituals? And if Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s yoga and mission is truly divorced from the task of recovering the significance of Vedic cosmology/wisdom (as applicable to modern times), then why does India figure in as ground zero for the world’s recovery from its epic Ignorance and peril? Why was a divine catalyst the likes of Sri Aurobindo, born in and committed to India’s uplifting, rather than say, some other country in Asia, or in Africa, or in the Americas? Any thoughts on this?

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  1. Wonderful logic and reply, Lori! Keep it up. I'm amazed to see such depth in your understanding of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Vedic concepts in general. As an Indian it gives me immense joy that a non-Indian has made such a thorough study and known the significance of Vedic concepts in the spiritual revival of humanity.
    Believe me, the government policies in the last few decades have had disastrous effects on Hinduism/Vedic understanding. To appease and gain election votes of the minority Muslim communities, the government plays every trick in the book to suppress anything that is even remotely related to Vedas/Sanatana Dharma revival. Just have one glance at our school/college textbooks and you know how History has been manipulated by "government appointed authors". The young generation is largely ignorant of what constitutes the Sanatana Dharma.
    Personally, I believe that powerful writings from non-Indians such as yourself, David Frawley, etc., will force the educated masses of India to sit up and have a serious relook at our own millenniums-old wisdom of the yogis.

    VB, Bangalore.

  2. Thank you for the kind comments. I owe my interest and whatever real shakti or force of change that comes through my writings to Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. Their writings on the importance of the restoration (and updating for our modern era) of Vedic wisdom should be ground zero or the foundation for Indians (or anyone) wanting to understand and revive the unifying and all-embracing Vedic wisdom and to live the Vedic journey of recovering the lost Sun or Truth-Consciousness which is the organizing Soul of material creation.

    David Frawley's work, though he has done India a service by helping bring awareness to the falseness of the Aryan Invasion Theory, he continues to promote the use of the Sidereal Zodiac as the Vedic Year. This zodiac shifts backwards with the Precession of the Equinoxes and is responsible for great confusion in India regarding how to properly measure and celebrate the Calendar/Vedic Year/Sacrifice.

    Indian's wanting to restore their Vedic roots will continue to flounder until they recognize that the Tropical Zodiac (wherein the four cardinal points of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn forever coincide with the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Fall Equinox and December Solstice) is the Vedic Measure of the Year.

    Here are some links/references for those who want to read more about this line of critique of David Frawley and the error of considering the shifting Sidereal Zodiac as foundation of the Vedic Year.

    *'Cosmology in the Rig Veda' - an 2002 article by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet published in The Hindu newspaper on David Frawley and the current distortions of so called 'Vedic Astrology'.

    *Robert E. Wilkinson on the limitations/errors of David Frawley.

    *The Zero, the Veda and the Divine Measure of the Year' by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. This is the manifesto of the Movement for Restoration of Vedic Wisdom.

    *The Movement for Restoration of Vedic Wisdom Yahoo Group

  3. I'm not disagreeing with you in any way, I'm just saying, (12) is the number of the Children of Israel, and their evolutionary development is incomplete, at present day, and their restoration and completion, is now close at hand, after 2012. Think of this event as the 10 plagues of Egypt, and The PASSOVER, that happened 4000 years ago. Only at this time, this is the very Last Evolution of human life upon planet earth.