Saturday, August 29, 2009


‘… go within, into the depths of one’s being, as far as one can go, and find the place where one can feel, perceive and perhaps even create an atmosphere of unity in which a force for order and organization will be able to put each element into its place and make a new coordinated world arise out of the present chaos.'
– The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, 3 July 1957

In early August I sat down at my desk with the goal of figuring out the next topic for Circumsolatious. Seconds after hitting my chair, I typed out the word ‘Coordination’. I was impressed by the topic – impressed by the way it just about typed itself onto the page, and impressed by the largeness of the word/reality. It was such a large word that I saved the document and shut down my computer. I needed time to let the topic brew … to organize/coordinate itself. Immediately, other issues demanded my attention and ‘Coordination – the article’ got left on the backburner of my mind; but ‘Coordination – the reality’ continued on in its own impressive ways.

Coordination basically means ‘with order’ or a harmonious functioning of the various parts of a whole. The opposite of coordination is chaos and randomness. Implied in ‘coordination’ is an orderer – a something … a consciousness, force, center or axis of being that organizes the being and its becoming (i.e. its dynamic existence). Without that organizing something, there is no form, there is no geometry, there is no continuity of movement and therefore no growth process or evolution; just as without the axis of the Earth, or the Sun of our solar system, or the Galactic Center of the Milky Way there is no circle or sphere or spiral of life to be born into.

Without coordination a being is lost in, ineffectual in and engulfed by time and space. Hence as soon as individual and collective mentality emerged in humans, therein emerged the need to orient ourselves on the Earth and within the cosmos as well as the necessity of developing common tools which would help us coordinate our individual and communal activities and travels. Out of this instinctual need to be well-oriented and well-coordinated with our environment and with our community came maps, clocks, calendars, global coordinates and celestial coordinates as well as language, measurement and numerical systems. Without these tools of orientation and coordination the human being and the human collective is primitive and disjointed. Without these tools the creative potential of the human is stunted, as is any hope of harmony and unity among men and women. The sophistication of a society or civilization is marked by the degree to which its tools of orientation, coordination, measure and language represent the realities and dynamics not just of a local environment or microcosm, but also of the global and cosmic environment (the macrocosm).

From Vedic India our modern civilization has inherited a highly sophisticated set or system of tools by which to understand, track and navigate our journey in time as well as in space. This sophistication was based on a consciousness that recognized the circular, spherical, cyclical structure and dynamics of the Earth and of the cosmos. Coordinating and harmonizing life and consciousness by (and with) the terms of this structure was to them the Eternal Way, the Eternal Path, the Eternal Dharma … the Eternal Truth of dynamic existence. The Vedic numerical system of 9 integers and a zero was a realization andThe Circle divided by 9 and 12 based on the Gnostic Circle by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet reflection of the cyclical and temporal laws of the cosmos. Simultaneously the division of the circle by 12 was a reflection of the geometric/spatial laws of the universe. These two divisions remained primary structures in the division of the circle into 360 degrees, used to measure out the Earth’s body, her day and her year as well as her cosmic surround.

This base measure of 360 shows up in many interesting measurements – the Earth’s year is of course 365 days (360 + 5); the Earth’s radius is 3960 miles (360 x 11); the Moon’s radius is 1080 miles (360 x 3); the Sun’s radius is 432,000 miles (360 x 1200); one Vedic Yuga is 432,000 seconds of degrees of celestial arc [1]; one astrological age is 2160 years (360 x 6), which corresponds to the moon’s diameter; one Precession of the Equinoxes is 25,920 years (360 x 72); one day is 1440 minutes (360 x 4) or 86,400 seconds (360 x 240) which is one zero shy of Sun’s diameter of 864,000 miles. Few stop to notice and marvel at the recurrence of the 360 in both temporal and spatial measurements. Even fewer stop to notice and marvel that this recurrence demonstrates a consciousness that achieved a profound knowledge, harmonization and coordination of time and space.

In our modern era, we use these Vedic measurements – the 360 division of the circle, the 12-month division of the year, the 24-hour division of the day and the 9 number system with its zero, without understanding the extraordinary nature of the framework. To most of us, most spiritual aspirants included, it is just a practical necessity that we hardly even notice as a system of knowledge. The ancient way or Sanatana Dharma of coordinating and harmonizing one’s consciousness and life by (and with) the terms of this eternal structure has been lost on us to the degree that the most lauded spiritual teachers on our planet today have no understanding of this all-encompassing, all-harmonizing, all-integrating, all-coordinating framework.

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother succeeded in waking many people up to the grand Vedic Idea that our material existence and evolutionary journey is created, compelled, coordinated and guided by an all-integrating, all-encompassing divine consciousness. They taught that our entire world will be completely altered once the limited human mental idea of how material existence should be coordinated, organized and governed gives way to the real organization of the divine ‘supramental’ consciousness-force. This was all fairly well accepted and applauded, enough at least to bring the Integral idea and evolutionary spirituality into vogue. But as soon as the next phase of the work began, wherein someone would have to actually bridge the idea of a coordinated dynamic whole with the reality and details and actual structure of a coordinated dynamic whole (apropos to the Vedic tradition), the spiritual poop hit the fan.

Apparently none (or next to none) of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s followers expected or wanted a ‘next phase’ of the supramental descent or knowledge. So when Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet [Thea] began her teachings on the 360 degree circle and its division by 9 and by 12 as a framework or lens by which individuals could begin to see the supramental consciousness in the circumstances and flow of life, few students of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother recognized the necessity and validity of her work. To this day her many published books on the supramental descent and the supramental yoga are not mentioned or sold online or in book stores associated with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Sri Aurobindo Society. [2] One of her books was actually burnt in its press run at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Press due to its ‘heretical’ content. Thea was systematically branded an egotistical, delusional, power-hungry, misguided crack-pot by those who felt they needed to protect the Ashram and a world of Integral yoga students from the influence of her teachings. To this day the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and its affiliate associations all over the world remain mostly impervious to her knowledge of how the ‘supermind’ is organized and coordinated in time and space, in tune with the Vedic sacred measure and eternal dharma. In their hearts and minds, they believe that the yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother would not go in that direction.

Sri Aurobindo's SymbolThe Mother's Symbol

Sri Aurobindo and the Mother did leave many important clues as to the direction that the work would take, clues that support Thea’s work. But these clues are unimpressive to those who are convinced Sri Aurobindo and the Mother finished up their epic work together and now the world has to just sit and wait and watch for the effects. These clues include the 9-6-3 pattern of Sri Aurobindo’s lotus symbol, the 12 petals of the Mother’s Symbol, Sri Aurobindo’s discussion of the Vedic and yogic significance of the 12 months/stages of the Earth’s year and the Mother’s statement that the 12 facets of her temple (based on her 12-petal symbol) were symbolic of the months of the year. Also, in a 1969 discussion with Satprem about the supramental consciousness, the Mother stated:
‘The whole is brought with lightening speed towards the consciousness that will be this Consciousness of the point and the whole at the same time ….

The first descent of the supramental Force was on a 29th. And this is on a 19th. The figure 9 has something to do with all of this …. There are so many things we don’t know!

The Mother’s Agenda, 19 November 1969 [emphasis mine]
This last statement, combined with Sri Aurobindo’s acknowledgment in The Secret of the Veda that there were aspects of the cosmological and evolutionary symbol of the 12-month Vedic sacrifice or year which he and the Mother, and perhaps anyone at that point, were ‘not yet in a position to solve’, brings into question the firm resolve of students of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother who think that, as a pair, they accomplished all that there was to be accomplished in terms of establishing the supramental consciousness in the world. But, arguably, they did not.

They did not reveal and establish the true significance of the 12 month Vedic year (the 360 Circle), nor the significance of the highest Vedic numeral – the 9. Consequently they did not reveal the structure or framework by which the supramental consciousness is brought out of its obscurity – the framework by which the organization and coordination of the supermind becomes obvious to those who begin to use it. It was Thea who unveiled the 360 degree structure of time and space as a container or womb by which material dynamism (evolution or becoming) is coordinated by absolute consciousness (spirit or being).

Many people might agree that our modern civilization would be a great chaos (or a much greater chaos than it already is) if we did not utilize a common calendar for the year, a common clock for the day, a common count to mark the passage of the years, a common number system and common 360 degree coordinates for the Earth and the celestial sphere to organize our existence. Yet few are aware that a more profound/advanced understanding of these tools would lead to a much greater harmony and unity amongst men, and hence to a more profound/advanced civilization. Regardless, the proverbial cat has been let out of the bag on this front. As the years go on it will be increasingly difficult for people to not see the structure and dynamics of the 360 degree circle as ‘an atmosphere of unity in which a force for order and organization will be able to put each element into its place and make a new coordinated world arise out of the present chaos.’

One impressive and thought-provoking display of coordination worth mentioning here is the coincidence that in the early seventies, when Thea began her teachings on the circle of 9 and 12 at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, several groups from the United States, Russia and Great Britain confirmed that the Sun has a macro-pulse of exactly 9 pulses in one 24 hour Earth day. [3] Perhaps this 9 pulse per 24-hour day phenomenon will cause some to wonder if the Mother, Thea and our Vedic ancestors were correct in their knowledge that the figure and circle of 9 and 12 has something to do with the true order of our dynamic existence on Earth and within the Cosmos.
‘ … people are accustomed to using the mind to organize things, that’s all they know: organizing as devised by the mind. While here we are trying to change that pattern. We seek a change of government – but the new government isn’t very well-known yet, that’s the difficulty.’

– The Mother, The Mother’s Agenda, 26 March 1973

[1] See ‘Yugas and the Precession of the Equinoxes’, including the ‘Comments’ section for an explanation of the Yuga in terms of celestial arc rather than in years.
[2] VAK – The Spiritual Book Shop of Pondicherry, used to be an exception. I am not sure if it still is.
[3] David Wilcock, The Divine Cosmos, Chapter 7 – Spherical Energy Structures in the Cosmos, Section 7.9.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Zodiacal Basis of Religion and Myth

The following YouTube clip is from the documentary Zeitgiest. Despite the ominous music this is an informative snipet in terms of understanding how the zodiac has influenced religion and myth through time immemorial. It discusses symbolism of previous astrological ages in a way that is helpful towards understanding the astrologically coded language of spiritual texts and myths. The narrator states as a fact that the age of Pisces continues from 0 AD to 2150 AD, meaning the Age of Aquarius doesn't dawn until some 140 years from now. I am inclined to believe that the Aquarian Age is well underway. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet writes in The Gnostic Circle that the Aquarian Age began in 1926, the same year as Sri Aurobindo's Siddhi Day, when Krishna Consciousness 'descended' into him. After seeing the video, it is easier to comprehend that even the Buddhist prophecy of Maitreya -- in which the Buddha would 'return' after some 2,500 years and dissolve his own religion by a greater universal truth -- is a recognition of the coming of the Age of Aquarius the Friend. Mitra - the Sanskrit root of Maitreya, means Friend.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Considering the Dynamism of the Mother's Symbol

12 August Wayland Smithy crop circleThe Mother's Symbol
On 12 August 2009 a crop circle was discovered at Wayland Smithy, Oxfordshire which by date and by structure emphasize the 12 division of the circle. This crop circle is a variation of the Mother's Symbol with its 12 petals and 3 concentric circles. In the crop circle we see the center circle (undivided) surrounded by two larger circles demarcated by dotted rings. This structure is praised in the ancient Rig Veda and is discussed thoroughly in Secrets of the Earth by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet.

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)

One is the wheel; the bands are twelve;
three are the hubs – who can understand it?
Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition
have been hammered therein and firmly riveted…
(Atharva Veda X, 8)

Regardless of whether the Wayland Smithy crop circle was made by extra-terrestrials, people who enjoy making these kinds of impressions, or by the Earth herself, its appearance on the 12th of August is still a message of the Mother -- the Mother Earth ... Aditi ... Prakriti ... Shakti -- reminding the world of the importance of the Circle divided by 12.

Earth's SymbolThe Earth's Symbol is symbolic of the four cardinal directions as well as the four equinoctial and solstices points of the Earth's Year which introduce the four cardinal signs of the zodiac (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). This symbol/geometry is the basis for further dividing the circle into 12 sections and for dividing or measuring the Earth's Year and the Great Year (the 25,920-year Precession of the Equinoxes) into 12 months and 12 ages. Readers who want to verify this geometry for themselves can draw an arc from the four cardinal points of the circle through the center to circumference (and beyond if you want to see the full effect of this 'flower of life' geometry). This construction shows that the 12 division of the circle is inherent in or born from the circle itself. It is not a mental creation. It is an eternal truth of the circle ... an eternal truth of existence.

Often people think the division of the circle and 360 degree orbit of the Earth around the Sun is arbitrary. Clearly, this was not so for the Vedic seers and the authors of the Upanishads and Puranas. The goddess Aditi, the universal Mother in Vedic lore, represents a 'the infinite undivided consciousness of God.' She is the Infinite cosmic matrix. Her 8 or 12 'sons' (the Adityas) are recognized by many as representative of the 12 astrological signs of the zodiac, but there is some evidence that planets and luminaries (the Sun and Moon) were also considered her children. In this light Aditi looks a lot like the unbroken and infinitely extending 360 degree ecliptic plane of the Earth (the apparent path of the sun across the 'heavens''). The 'offspring ' of this universal Mother -- the Adityas -- as well as Aditi herself, are zodiacal figures.

The division of the One Circle (and the 360 ecliptic plane, and the year, and larger cycles of time) by 12 was to the Rishi an expression of a divine consciousness and divine creation. This division was known to be a divine measure, measuring out, not only a static circle, but also measuring out the steps of a dynamic divine journey which if properly fathomed, could widen human consciousness. Harmonizing with this sacred measure and sacred journey was known as a path to the higher reaches, or 'worlds,' of consciousness.

Vishnu in the Mother's Symbol After writing 'Lori Deplored ... Hypocrisy Adored' I have still been ruminating as to why Tusar N. Mohapatra of Savitri Era Open Forum expressed such horror and repulsion that I would put Vishnu (and the fixed astrological signs he represents) in the Mother's Symbol. Tusar and certain followers of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother clearly do not want to associate the 12 petals of the Mother's Symbol (and the 12-based structure of the Mother's Temple) with the Earth's Year (i.e. the Tropical Zodiac). To them the Mother's Symbol is not so 'mundane.' A valid question for a group of yogis who resonate with Sri Aurobindo and the Mother's teachings on the indwelling divinity of material creation is, 'Why not?'

Perhaps our civilization has de-sanctified the material cosmos, Mother Earth, Maya, measure, movement and 'becoming' (i.e. dynamism) so much that many people are mostly loathed to consider the field of the zodiac (or the Earth's journey in time and space) as a real manifestation or expression of, or KEY to the Divine. The Transcendent (and immobile) Divine has been so much the focus of spiritual pursuits for so long that even dedicated students of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother find it difficult if not impossible to understand the language, symbols and real terms of the Cosmic Divine. The Mother's Symbol thus occurs as a static reality. It does not move. It does not represent a cyclical journey or movement in time. Therefore, comprehending the dynamics of the Circle of 12 ... of Aditi ... of the Earth's year ... of the Mother's Symbol ... of her Temple ... or of evolution, is not understood or taken on as a real spiritual task or as a key to widening one's consciousness. It seems superfluous.

My view is that understanding the dynamism of the Mother's Symbol is not superfluous at all. I have grown to fully appreciate the dynamism of the Circle of Life, of the Mother's Symbol as fundamental and crucial catalyst towards developing one's conscious or awareness of the coordinated, harmonious Whole (i.e. becoming conscious of the Supramental order of material existence).

swastikaRepresenting the dynamism of the circle is the swastika, an ancient symbol of 'Lord' Vishnu. I can't imagine the response from Tusar if I put the swastika on top of the Mother's Symbol; but just as Vishnu (one of whose names is samvatsarah, meaning the year) 'lives' in essence in the Mother's Symbol, so does his symbol the swastika. Depending on the direction of the swastika's outer swirling arms, it represents either the normal yearly progression of the Sun through the signs of the Tropical Zodiac or the backwards movement enacted by the precession of the Equinoxes. Which ever direction the swastika spirals, the spiraling arms reach into the areas of the circle/zodiac which are Vishnu's territory (Leo, Taurus, Aquarius and Scorpio.) The central upright and horizontal arms of the swastika represent the four cardinal points ofVishnu with discus and conch the Circle/Earth's year. Vishnu's symbols -- the discus and the conch -- also may help readers SEE the dynamism of the Circle of which he is a Lord. The discus in this particular representation of Vishnu (on his index finger) looks like the horizontal view of the solar system or galaxy; and the spiral growth and structure of the conch shell is a fitting image to symbolize the dynamic structure of time and space ... the dynamic structure of the Universal Mother.

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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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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Waving the Flag of Cosmic Ignorance in the Face of Sri Aurobindo and the Vedic Tradition of Avatars

Tusar N. Mohapatra, founder and editor of Savitri Era Open Forum (a forum ‘of those who adore Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’) recently wrote a short article for his blog which began:
‘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.’ [Link to full article]
He does not mention what has prompted him to pronounce this tremendous decree, but it is not difficult to hazard a guess in this regard. In May of 2009 Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet (Thea) published a book titled, Secrets of the Earth: Questions and Answers on the Line of Ten Avatars of Vedic Tradition. It is she who discusses Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s yoga, as well as her own, in the light of ‘perennial’ ‘metaphysical’ formulations and mythology. It is she who ‘explains’ Sri Aurobindo’s role as the 9th Avatar of Vishnu based on the terms of the Vedic Sacrifice (i.e. the Tropical Zodiac), which is through and through a cosmological framework for the evolution of consciousness and material existence. In The Hidden Manna Thea discusses the ‘Revelation’ or prophecy of St. John as a zodiacal text written in the Age of Pisces which details the inevitable coming of the 9th Avatar of Vishnu the Preserver in the Age of Aquarius.

So there is little doubt as to the line of thought (or in this case the circle of thought) that Mr. Mohapatra wishes to squash. In the few lines above, he combines Peter Heehs’ disregard for Sri Aurobindo’s avatarhood with the larger disregard for the cosmological component of the Supramental and Integral yogas shared by all those who do not see Thea as an extension of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s yogic consciousness and mission.

If one reads between the lines of his full August 8th 2009 post, Mr. Mohapatra is basically ‘saying’ that readers need to look no further than Sri Aurobindo and the Mother for Supramental knowledge because ‘the Mother & Sri Aurobindo have already accomplished the metaphysical victory.’ He ends the post with the encouragement, ‘Savitri Erans must lift their flags high enough for others to spot ....’

If he had not closed himself off to further victories of the ‘Supramental Descent’ beyond the life and passing of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, he may well have written, ‘Savitri Erans should read Secrets of the Earth and consider for themselves whether or not the divine manifestation of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother is in essence connected to an evolutionary arc stretching both far into the past as well as far into the future, – an arcing or cyclical progression that is embedded deep in the ancient texts and mythologies of the world. But clearly Mr. Mohapatra, Peter Heehs and many others in the Integral Yoga community have not exhibited an interest in understanding such a grand evolutionary arc, progression or continuity as is recognized in the Vedic/Hindu tradition of the Dasavataras. Such an interest would change the landscape of everything in their world for the better. They would, for starters, achieve a more profound understanding of the word ‘Integral.’ But alas, certain mindsets refuse to believe that a divine-consciousness could be so pervasive as to be capable of coordinating evolution ‘like clockwork’ or would be so precise as to follow a real schedule of progressive stages or ages of growth.

In Secrets of the Earth Thea discusses the Dasavataras or Vishnu’s ten emanations as ‘Evolutionary Avatars’ whose purpose is to lift the veils of the cosmic ignorance and to ‘re-set the cosmic clock’ (i.e. to remind the world that the Divine consciousness IS so pervasive and so precise that it organizes evolution ‘like clockwork’ spread over thousands of years). This tradition is well summarized by Subhamoy Das:

‘The [Vedic/Hindu] scriptures speak of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu – different incarnations that take the form of divine intervention provided by Vishnu during the various stages of human evolution. The “dasavatara” (ten avatars) is meant to re-establish dharma or righteousness and destroy tyranny and injustice on earth.’

Dasavatara can also be translated as ‘ten descents’ or ‘ten emanations’ of Vishnu. Vishnu is known by many names, including Lord of the Cosmos, Lord of the Discus, the Preserver, Vasudeva (all-pervading God), and Narayana (he whose abode is ether; the whole world’s shelter). In Secrets of the Earth Thea introduces irrefutable evidence that the Ten Avatars of Vishnu can only be properly understood against the backdrop of the 360 degree Vedic Sacrifice. In The Secret of the Veda Sri Aurobindo wrote of the Vedic Sacrifice as being the Earth’s year divided into 12 months, representative of 12 stages of the larger evolutionary journey by which Man wins or recovers the divine consciousness and establishes a ‘Golden Age’ on Earth. Thea goes many steps further in bringing light to the cosmological significance of the Veda and proves that the Vedic Sacrifice describes, not just any 12 month year, but specifically the 12 month year as measured by the Tropical Zodiac and the 12 astrological ages of the Great Year (i.e. the 25,920-year Precession of the Equinoxes divided into 12 ages of 2160 years each).

These cosmological correspondences and realities are presented in Secrets of the Earth for any who wish to approach an all-integrating view in which the formative mythologies and ‘metaphysical formulations’ of the past, including the Tropical Zodiac and the zodiacal ‘mythology’ of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu, are in no way separate from a real evolutionary process which we are living in the present, and in no way separate from Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Supramental Descent.’ Mr. Mohapatra, Peter Heehs, and many others who have taken the Integral Yoga or Integral idea of Sri Aurobindo and ‘made it their own’ or ‘ran with it’, so to speak, seem to have no wish or interest in approaching this all-integrating view. They would rather disregard mythologies and formulations which they don’t understand and can’t find a place for in their ‘Integral’ view and start anew based on the range of material and spiritual reality that they do understand. They do not understand at all that the Earth’s own geometries, cycles and evolutionary journey in time cannot be left out of an Integral Yoga.

Hence, the flag that Mr. Mohapatra wants his readers to wave high is (unbeknownst to him) a flag of supreme cosmic ignorance. It is a flag that says something to the effect that, ‘We don’t care a hoot about cosmology! Yes, we see that the Mother’s Symbol is a series of three concentric circles, the outer ring divided into twelve petals, the middle ring into four petals and the inner circle undivided; but that has nothing to do with the twelve months of the year and its four season, nothing to do with the Tropical Zodiac, nothing to do with the organization, evolution and progressive divination of the material world, nothing to do with cosmology, and nothing to do with the structure of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s divine manifestation.’ This flag has already been raised sky high (and world-wide) by Aurovillians who built, celebrated, promoted and garnered massive donations for ‘The Mother’s Temple’ knowing that they diverted from the sacred measurement the Mother gave them in her blueprints. The message this community has clearly conveyed for close to forty years is, ‘We don’t give a hoot if the temple was not built according to the Mother’s blueprints because we don’t believe that measurements matter in matters of consciousness. We don’t believe that the temple is a representation of Cosmic Truths that demand precision in their execution. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother are bigger than such minutia in detail and we are happy with our creation.’

If they began to educate themselves in cosmological matters they would be amazed to find that the Mother’s Symbol actually speaks of Vishnu in its design. If her symbol is seen as the 25,920-year cycle of the Precession of the Equinoxes, the spokes of the Mother’s four petals point directly to the astrological ages wherein the emanations of Vishnu the Preserver descend into the evolutionary matrix. After seeing this, could anyone who adores Sri Aurobindo and the Mother be so entirely sure that their descent and their mission has nothing to do with Vishnu’s Line of Avatars? [Please refer to the ‘Addendum.’]

One wonders if any of the negators of Sri Aurobindo’s avatarhood will ever begin to connect the dots and remember the importance of Krishna, the 8th Avatar of Vishnu, in Sri Aurobindo’s life and mission? Will they remember that Sri Aurobindo’s own widely celebrated Siddhi Day (24 November 1926) was actually the day when Krishna, the 8th Avatar of Vishnu, descended into his body? Will they remember Sri Aurobindo’s profound experience of Krishna and Vishnu during his time in the Alipore jail and still think the notion of avataric lineage is asinine?

In his 30 May 1909 Uttarpara Speech Sri Aurobindo described being spiritually awakened by God/Krishna/Vishnu, saying that God gave him the Bhagavad-Gita (the epic tale of Krishna guiding Arjuna to fight a necessary battle) and showed him the deep significance of the Hindu religion and the Sanatana Dharma. He spoke these words which guided his life and mahayoga from then on out:
I realised what the Hindu religion meant. We speak often of the Hindu religion, of the Sanatan Dharma, but few of us really know what that religion is. Other religions are preponderatingly religions of faith and profession, but the Sanatan Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived.

This is the Dharma that for the salvation of humanity was cherished in the seclusion of this peninsula from of old. It is to give this religion 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.

Therefore this was the next thing He pointed out to me. He made me realise the central truth of the Hindu religion. He turned the hearts of my jailors to me and they spoke to the Englishman in charge of the jail, "He is suffering in his confinement; let him at least walk outside his cell for half an hour in the morning and in the evening." So it was arranged, and it was while I was walking that His strength again entered into me. I looked at the jail that secluded me from men and it was no longer by its high walls that I was imprisoned; no, it was Vasudeva who surrounded me.

I walked under the branches of the tree in front of my cell but it was not the tree, I knew it was Vasudeva, it was Sri Krishna whom I saw standing there and holding over me his shade. I looked at the bars of my cell, the very grating that did duty for a door and again I saw Vasudeva. It was Narayana who was guarding and standing sentry over me. Or I lay on the coarse blankets that were given me for a couch and felt the arms of Sri Krishna around me, the arms of my Friend and Lover. This was the first use of the deeper vision He gave me.

I looked at the prisoners in the jail, the thieves, the murderers, the swindlers, and as I looked at them I saw Vasudeva, it was Narayana whom I found in these darkened souls and misused bodies. Amongst these thieves and dacoits there were many who put me to shame by their sympathy, their kindness, the humanity triumphant over such adverse circumstances.

One I saw among them especially, who seemed to me a saint, a peasant of my nation who did not know how to read and write, an alleged dacoit sentenced to ten years' rigorous imprisonment, one of those whom we look down upon in our Pharisaical pride of class as Chhotalok. Once more He spoke to me and said, "Behold the people among whom I have sent you to do a little of my work. This is the nature of the nation I am raising up and the reason why I raise them."
Sri Aurobindo’s profound experience of Vishnu surrounding him, protecting him and guiding him 100 years ago in the Alipore jail should truly give his students (and others) reason to pause and consider the real cosmological significance of Sri Aurobindo’s avataric lineage and the real nature of his avataric mission to re-animate and uplift India’s forgotten and/or distorted wisdom.

But alas, many do not pause and consider their narrow point of view on these important matters and Tusar N. Mohapatra encourages his readers to remain ignorant. He cannot see why anyone in their right spiritual mind would engage in such ‘idle intellectual approximations’ as to link Sri Aurobindo to the consciousness-force (never mind to the astrological age) of Vishnu. But if per chance, through consideration and yoga, this link is made, the massive integrality of the whole of existence (past, present and future) becomes tangible and the mind opens like a flower towards the Sun.

On that note I will close this piece with an excerpt from ‘Hymn of the Golden Age’, translated by Sri Aurobindo in 1915 and originally written by Nammalwar, one of twelve vaishnava seers or poets who lived some 5,000 years ago according to Tamil tradition. Vaishnava means ‘lover of Vishnu.’ In this hymn, ‘the Lord’ is Vishnu.
The hosts of our Lord who reclines on the sea of Vastness, behold them thronging hither. Meseems they will tear up all these weeds of grasping cults. And varied songs do they sing, our Lord’s own hosts, as they dance falling, sitting, standing, marching, leaping, bending.

And many are the wondrous sights that strike mine eyes. As by magic have Vishnu’s hosts come in and firmly placed themselves everywhere. Nor doubt it, ye fiends and demons, if, born such be in our midst, take heed! ye shall never escape. For the Spirit of Time will slay and fling you away.

These hosts of the Lord of the Discus, they are here to free this earth of the devourers of Life, Disease and Hunger and vengeful Hate and all other things of evil. And sweet are their songs as they leap and dance extending wide over earth. Go forth, ye lovers of God and meet these hosts divine; with right minds serve them and live.

Lord Vishnu with Bhudevi and Sridevi
resting on the ‘Sea of Vastness’
and on Sheshnag (the coils of time).

[Link to Addendum: Vishnu in the Mother's Symbol and in Sri Aurobindo's The Secret of the Veda]

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Addendum: Vishnu in the Mother’s Symbol and in Sri Aurobindo’s 'The Secret of the Veda'

Vishnu in the Mother’s Symbol and in Sri Aurobindo’s The Secret of the Veda

1. Of Vishnu now I declare the mighty works, who has measured out the earthly worlds and that higher seat of our self-accomplishing he supports, he the wide-moving, in the threefold steps of his universal movement.

2. That Vishnu affirms on high by his mightiness and he is like a terrible lion that ranges in the difficult places, yea, his lair is on the mountain-tops, he in whose three wide movements all the worlds find their dwelling-place.

3. Let our strength and our thought go forward to Vishnu the all-pervading, the wide-moving Bull whose dwelling-place is on the mountain, he who being One has measured all this long and far-extending seat of our self-accomplishing by only three of his strides.

4. He whose three steps are full of the honey-wine and they perish not but have ecstasy by the self-harmony of their nature; yea, he being One holds the triple principle and earth and heaven also, even all the worlds.

5. May I attain to and enjoy that goal of his movement, the Delight, where souls that seek the godhead have the rapture; for there in that highest step of the wide-moving Vishnu is that Friend of men who is the fount of the sweetness.

6. Those are the dwelling-places of ye twain which we desire as the goal of our journey where the many-horned herds of Light go travelling; the highest step of wide-moving Vishnu shines down on us here in its manifold vastness.

Rig Veda 1.154, translated by Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p. 343 [bold added].

Note: Thea discusses in Secrets of the Earth and elsewhere in her books and writings that the backward order of the ‘fixed’ or ‘preservation’ signs of the zodiac as found in R.V. 1.154 reveals that the Trivikrama or the Three Steps by which Vishnu the Preserver ‘measures the universe,’ are steps that follow the backward movement of the Precession of the Equinoxes through the zodiac – through the astrological ages, starting from Scorpio whose symbol of the Eagle is one and the same as Vishnu’s vahana.

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Sri Aurobindo's 'Kin' Asked to Leave India

In my last post, 'The Soul: Triply Seeded' I quoted the three mahayogis/authors who are truly my Tribe: Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet. On the 18th of July I found out that Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet was being forced to leave India. The only information I could find in the news was an article in the Times of India titled 'Chile President's aunt asked to leave India', and an article in the Chennai Times of India. I couldn't find a link to it so I will post a picture of the original:
In my mind, the article should have read something like: 'Sri Aurobindo's kin asked to leave India'; and so I proceeded to write an article, 'The Inconvenient Necessity of Producing Evidence: The Deportation Case Against Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet' filling in some details of this hushed-up story:

Times of India announced on 30 July 2009 that the Indian Government will release a special postal stamp on 4 April of next year to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in Pondicherry, where he narrowly avoided arrest and deportation by British authorities who considered him a dangerous spoiler of their colonial rule. Coincidentally, the 31st of July 2009 happened to be the 100th anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Open Letter to My Countrymen’ which he wrote in response to his year-long imprisonment (May 1908 – May 1909) and the persistent threat of deportation from Indian soil. The letter began:
‘The position of a public man who does his duty in India today is too precarious to permit of his being sure of the morrow. I have recently come out of a year’s seclusion from work for my country on a charge which there was not a scrap of reliable evidence to support, but my acquittal is no security either against the trumping up of a fresh accusation or the arbitrary law of deportation which dispenses with the inconvenient formality of a charge and the still more inconvenient necessity of producing evidence.’
Surely some find it interesting that in the same month the government announced their plans to celebrate Sri Aurobindo’s arrival in the safe haven of Pondicherry, they sent police to the door of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, telling her she had four and a half days (two business days) to leave the country or she would be arrested. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, a resident of India since 1971, is recognized by many in India and throughout the world as an essential continuation of Sri Aurobindo’s yoga, and especially as an extension of his will towards uplifting the Sanatana Dharma and the true Vedic idea that has been lost on Indians and the rest of the world alike for aeons....

The full article is posted on Integral Yoga Studies.

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