Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sri Aurobindo on Evolution and Spiritual Revolution

 [The following excerpt, from Sri Aurobindo's Thoughts and Glimpses, is a good reminder for those who are ready for a new Revolution]

Occupy Oakland, 26 October 2011, Jim Wilson/The New York Times 
'Evolution is not finished; reason is not the last word nor the reasoning animal the supreme figure of Nature. As man emerged out of the animal, so out of man the superman emerges.

'The meeting of man and God must always mean a penetration and entry of the divine into the human and a self-immergence of man in the Divinity.

'All would change if man could once consent to be spiritualised; but his nature mental and vital and physical is rebellious to the higher law. He loves his imperfections.

'The Spirit is the truth of our being; mind and life and body in their imperfection are its masks, but in their perfection should be its moulds. To be spiritual only is not enough; that prepares a number of souls for heaven, but leaves the earth very much where it was. Neither is a compromise the way of salvation.

'The world knows three kinds of revolution. The material has strong results, the moral and intellectual are infinitely larger in their scope and richer in their fruits, but the spiritual are the great sowings.

'If the triple change could coincide in a perfect correspondence, a faultless work would be done; but the mind and body of mankind cannot hold perfectly a strong spiritual inrush: most is spilt, much of the rest is corrupted. Many intellectual and physical upturnings of our soil are needed to work out a little result from a large spiritual sowing.

'Each religion has helped mankind. Paganism increased in man the light of beauty, the largeness and height of his life, his aim at a many-sided perfection; Christianity gave him some vision of divine love and charity; Buddhism has shown him a noble way to be wiser, gentler, purer, Judaism and Islam how to be religiously faithful in action and zealously devoted to God; Hinduism has opened to him the largest and profoundest spiritual possibilities. A great thing would be done if all these God-visions could embrace and cast themselves into each other; but intellectual dogma and cult egoism stand in the way.

'All religions have saved a number of souls, but none yet has been able to spiritualise mankind. For that there is needed not cult and creed, but a sustained and all-comprehending effort at spiritual self-evolution.

'The changes we see in the world today are intellectual, moral, physical in their ideal and intention: the spiritual revolution waits for its hour and throws up meanwhile its waves here and there. Until it comes the sense of the others cannot be understood and till then all interpretation of present happening and forecast of man's future are vain things. For its nature, power, event are that which will determine the next cycle of our humanity.

'And what is the end of the whole matter?

'As if honey could taste itself and all its drops together and all its drops could taste each other and each the whole honeycomb as itself, so should the end be with God and the soul of man and the universe.'

- Sri Aurobindo (15 August 1872 - 5 December 1950) 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Exploring the Etymology of Kali, Kamakhya and Makar

I am wanting to elaborate more on the quote in my last post, from Kamakhya Tantra:

"It is certainly well known that Kamakhya is truly none other than that mother goddess Kali, who is in all things the form of wisdom." 

Before October 6th, I had never heard of Kamakhya as a name of Kali, and I had also never heard Kali described as being 'in all things the form of wisdom'. It begs the question, how exactly is it that the 'mother goddess' Kali is 'in all things the form of wisdom'? What does that mean practically? Is this some romantic description or does it point to some applicable wisdom or knowledge? 

Why is the form of Kamakhya known to have 12 arms, just as Aditi has 12 sons and just as the Zodiac has 12 months/rays? Why is the form of Kali traditionally depicted with 4 arms, one which carries a 3-pronged weapon (trident)? What is the practical and applicable wisdom that we are suppose to realize in these forms? Or are these forms of the Mother/Goddess just meaningless and applicable/useful in no way whatsoever?

The truth is that we cannot fully apply, utilize, appreciate and enjoy that which what we don't understand. And often, humans set out to ridicule, destroy or demonize that which we don't understand ... as exemplified by Judeo-Christians who have made a habit of destroying the 'false idols' of Hindus and other ancient wisdom traditions. The obvious question to be asked by honest seekers of a universal Divine-Consciousness and by sincere scholars is whether or not the symbolic and precise forms/icons celebrated by Hindus and other ancient wisdom traditions are indeed 'false' or are simply not understood.

After a few thousand years of mass mis-understanding, it is time for our civilization to wake up to the realization that the REAL FORM, measures, geometries and mathematics of the Cosmic Mother, and hence of our own material matrix, are inseparable from our knowledge of the Divine Self. Systems of 'knowledge' (religious, scientific or academic) that do not integrate this universal realization, will continued to be crippled and blinded in a real sense ... separated in heart and mind from the whole operating system.

I will offer a couple of etymological intrigues for those who find themselves interested or engaged in this 'waking up' process.  

In Sanskrit, ka means many things, including, 'the body', 'the sun', 'time', 'the soul', 'fire', 'light' and 'a peacock'. Remembering that ma means 'measure', the root word kama of the 'mother goddess' Kamakhya can be understood as the measure of the body, the measure of the sun, the measure of time, ect. The peacock's tail is an apt symbol for honoring and celebrating the 360 degree form and measure of time and space as the peacock unfolds its seemingly linear tail feathers into a beautiful 360 degree display.

Khya means to 'be known', 'make known', 'declare' or 'praise'. So, in these terms Kamakhya, the goddess, who is also known as Kali, means something on the order of 'to make known and praise the measure of the body of time, the body of the sun, the body of the soul'.

The li root of Kali has many meanings, most pointing to connotations of 'concealed in', 'lurking in', 'absorbed in', 'linked together', 'sitting on' or 'hidden'. When combining ka, as defined above, with li, the result is something to the effect of 'hidden in the body', 'linked with time' or 'sitting on top of the body', just as Kali stands on top of Shiva. She stands 'on top of' Time. She dwells in Time. Her force and Her truth are hidden in the body, in the sun, in the soul.

The original purpose of these words, and the realities they express, need to be remembered. The original sense of our own language, mathematics and symbols needs to be remembered. We need to remember that our own systems of measure ... our mathematical language as well as our written and spoken language (our verse) hails from a Vedic civilization who truly knew the Mother. Her measures, Her math, Her geometries and Her harmonies were the basis of the Vedic civilization's language and measure. Their verse was not something separate from the Mother's verse and measure ... not separate from Her dynamics and form ... not separate from Her math and Her mandalas. There is the common saying 'to be versed in' ... well the Vedic seers were extremely well-versed in the language of the Matrix/Creatrix. In our modern-day civilization, not only are we not well-versed in the sacred measures of material creation (including the Geometry of Time), but most have a truly poor idea what it means to recognize and praise the Divine Mother. Her SONG remains hidden in the body, hidden in time ... not heard or seen by most.

As a small example of that which we do not typically 'hear' or 'see', consider the English words 'make' or 'maker'. Reference to 'the Maker' – as in 'meeting one's Maker' – usually drums up images of a masculine God. Most would not think 'maker' refers to a feminine principle or that we have inherited the word from our Vedic ancestors. But when we consider that in Sanskrit ma means … to measure out, mete or mark out, it is clear that the English words 'make' and 'maker' are firmly associated with matri/mother/matriarch rather than with pati/patriarch/father.

In English, as a noun make means: 'structure, texture, constitution of parts; construction; shape; form'. As a verb it means: 'To find, as the result of calculation or computation; to find the number or amount of, by reckoning, weighing, measurement;' and 'to cause to exist; to bring into being; to form; to produce; to frame; to fashion; to create; to construct. To bring about; to bring forward; to be the cause or agent of; to effect, do, perform, or execute.' And the word 'maker' means: 'One who makes, forms, or molds; a manufacturer; specifically, the Creator. One who writes verses; a poet.'

If we look to the above connotations of the Sanskrit roots ma and kyha, makhya (of Kamakhya) would mean 'to make measure known'. Such is the original essence of the English word 'make'. Makhya also seems to be related to both the Sanskrit word makar and the English words 'maker' and 'mark'. In India Makar Sankranti marks the December Solstice, wherein the Earth passes into the 10th sign of the Zodiac Capricorn or the 10th month of Makar as it is known in India, signifying the return of the Light.

Sri Aurobindo wrote in The Secret of the Veda circa 1920's that it was not known (he did not know!) what the 'precise significance' (nor the usefulness) of the Vedic Rishis' special exultation of and special expectations for the passage between the 9th and 10th months of the Vedic journey (i.e. the Tropical Year). 

This victory [the recovery of the lost Sun/Truth-Consciousness] 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 and the ten is a more difficult position which we are not yet in a position to solve.’ – Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda

But as a natural consequence of the evolution of consciousness and the continued descent of supramental knowledge via the Mother of Pondicherry and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, the 10th month of the Vedic year (Capricorn/Makar) has been remembered/recognized as the victory or full illumination of the Divine Mother (Aditi), wherein her true face and form is no longer hidden and the individual and collective is REBORN in the 'true form of wisdom', in the true form and knowledge of the Divine Mother.

Upon this realization, humans can collectively know and celebrate the December Solstice as the point in our evolution of consciousness wherein the Truth of the Mother – the truth of her Divine Measure (geometry, form, mathematics, etc.) – is remembered ... including the truth of the Tropical Zodiac itself, which is absolutely a true form of HER wisdom. As long as the true importance (the 'precise significance') of arriving at that MARK and making that essential SHIFT or PASSAGE in consciousness is not understood, humanity is in effect a Motherless Child, cut off from that which would love nothing more than to nourish us to full maturity/self-knowledge.

The Mother's Symbol
[Discussed/featured in Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's latest series
'Updating the Vedic Altar']

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Mother - Supporter, Creatrix & Revealer of Truth

'She Who Protects'
[as published in Times of India, 3 October 2011]

The Goddess is the power expressed through all the gods,
They are united in her, who shines with consciousness,
Her presence is all-pervading; she supports all of creation,
She is the source of righteousness and the revealer of truth,
She is the source of all worlds; she shines transcendent beyond them.
Rig Veda 10.125
You destroy the wicked; you sustain and uphold the universe.
As Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali you are a mysterious
and unique reservoir of immeasurable power .
Ma Santoshi Chalisa
In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary,
call upon Mary...under her protection you have nothing to fear.
St Bernard of Clairvaux
There is one divine Force which acts in the universe
and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe.
The Mother stands for all these.
Sri Aurobindo

"It is certainly well known that Kamakhya is truly none other than that mother goddess Kali, who is in all things the form of wisdom."  Kamakya Tantra

In my last few posts,  ('Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas' - 24 Sept 2011, 'Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued' and 'What Does Kali Yuga have to do with Kali, the Goddess?', 2 Oct 2011) I discussed the miscalculation of the Kali Yuga. In the latter, I discussed the need to understand the Kali Yuga in terms of Kali the Goddess and the attributes given to her persona. A day later the above quotes/article appeared in the Times of India, discussing the divine force of the Mother which pervades the individual and the universe.

One of the quotes above celebrates the Tridevi: Saraswati, Lakshmi and Kali. Tri means 3 and devi means goddess, and these 3 faces of the Goddess describe the One Devi, the One Mother ...  'the one divine Force divine Force which acts in the universe and in the individual and is also beyond the individual and the universe'. Sri Aurobindo's description of the Mother itself points to the triadic nature of the Mother's power. She simultaneously pervades the Transcendent, Cosmic, and Individual.

So the question looms, how is the Kali Yuga not readily seen or understood as part of a TRIADIC whole (as Kali herself is understood as part of a triad)? ... Why is it so challenging for people to correct the errors and miscalculations of the past and see the Kali Yuga as precisely ONE THIRD of the Precession of the Equinoxes (as 432,000 seconds of degrees of celestial arc)?

The answer is simple: the Mother/Divine Feminine has been epically misunderstood in our day and age. She has literally been mis-figured and miscalculated. I am speaking of the Mother not only in terms of the Vedic Devi, but also as she has been cast in other religious/spiritual traditions, including Mother Mary in Christianity.

The Sanskrit root of 'mother' and 'math' are one and the same: ma - meaning 'to measure, mete out, mark off'. And yet the Mother/Goddess/Mary is hardly known in terms of the geometries and the harmonies that SHE measures out and marks off in the course or field of time and space.

She is not widely recognized as the Point and the Circle (the Sun Symbol), nor as that which becomes all divisions of the 360 degree Circle containing infinite creation. She is not recognized as the Zodiac ‒ the circle of life. Some who are concerned with Vedic cosmology, do recognize Aditi (the Universal Mother of Light) and her 12 sons as the Zodiac with its 12 months; but typically, most do not associate the Mother/Goddess with the design and function of the Zodiac. And hence the Divine Mother is hardly known as the Mother or source of all sciences.

Of course, science could not exist without the mathematics, measures, harmonies, geometries and dynamics of the Mother/Matrix which exist whether or not there are creatures advanced enough to recognize Her formative powers or not. Yet few in our modern times are ready to admit that the Zodiac is a real and eternal symbol of the Mother’s formative power ... a real symbol of Her eternal geometries and harmonies. If this simple fact were seen, then the human collective would be at the at doorstep of recognizing our common Divine Mother/Matrix as the original basis of not only all our sciences, but all our religions as well.
But, as it is, ignorance of the Mother (the Divine Feminine principle) has reached epic proportions in our civilization. She is a colossal  and disastrous blind spot in our collective consciousness. Her function as the universal and eternal cause and force of measure, division, mathematics, geometry and harmony is long forgotten. We may have some romantic idea of who the Divine Mother is, but most have NO IDEA whatsoever what roll She actually plays in our existence and how real knowledge of her geometries and dynamics might alter the entire course of civilization for the better. Most ignore Her entirely in their spiritual, scientific or academic pursuits.
Human’s have accomplished so much in ignorance of the Divine Mother. It is encouraging to imagine what we will be able to accomplish once this long-standing ignorance is corrected. The most important and basic accomplishment being the accomplishment of a unified consciousness, no longer distorted, contorted and fragmented by ignorance of the Mother.


Acknowledgements: The above thoughts are inspired by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's new series 'Updating the Vedic Altar' ... which for me had 'updated' and deepened my love, appreciation, and understanding of the Divine Mother. The series discusses, among other things, the Vedic measure and gnosis which was the foundation of the Mother's temple (the Matrimandir), which was predictably mis-measured, and mis-figured by the students and builders who did not understand the geometries of the Divine Mother.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Does Kali Yuga have to do with Kali, the Goddess?

‘Religious movements and revolutions have come and gone or left their mark but after all and through all the Veda remains to us our Rock of the Ages, our eternal foundation.... The Upanishads, mighty as they are, only aspire to bring out, arrange philosophically in the language of later thinking and crown with the supreme name of Brahman the eternal knowledge enshrined in the Vedas. Yet for some two thousand years at least no Indian has really understood the Vedas.’ Sri Aurobindo, India’s Rebirth (emphasis added). 

It is worth considering that the 2,000-year extended lack of understanding of the Vedas that Sri Aurobindo points out, extends our modern-day understanding of the Yuga cycles. I have been reading up on the characteristics of Kali the Goddess, figuring there must be clues to the true nature of the Kali Yuga as a measure of the Precession of the Equinoxes in the mythology and iconography of the goddess. As pointed out in a previous note, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet describes the Kali Yuga as a unit of measure covering 4 astrological ages of the 12-age Precession. 3 Kali Yuga (Treta Yuga) equals a full Precessional cycle. In this seeing of the Yugas, Kali Yuga is a measure, not a manifest age. Interestingly enough the goddess Kali is traditionally known to have 4 arms and to carry the 3 pronged Trident as her weapon. She is also known as an incarnation of Shakti/Parvati who is the wife of Shiva (a member of the Trimurti or Trinity of Vedic Gods: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). I read this about her on Wikipedia:
‘She is often depicted naked which symbolizes her being beyond the covering of Maya since she is pure (nirguna) being-consciousness-bliss and far above prakriti. She is shown as very dark as she is brahman in its supreme unmanifest state. She has no permanent qualities — she will continue to exist even when the universe ends. It is therefore believed that the concepts of color, light, good, bad do not apply to her — she is the pure, un-manifested energy, the Adi-shakti.’
With these characteristics in mind, is not too farfetched, to see Kali Yuga as ‘unmanifest’ and to understand the Goddess and the Yuga as inseparable from the Trinity that is so fundamental to Vedic mythology and gnosis. [See 'Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued'] The mathematics of Kali’s persona do beg some consideration … the 4 arms and a 3 pronged trident are the very essence of the 12 month Zodiac, which is divided into 4 seasons of 3 months each, and is also based on the 4 elements (fire, water, air and earth) and 3 gunas (rajas, sattva, tamas or creation, preservation, destruction/dissolution). Also Kali wears a garland of 108 human heads. The sacredness of the number 108 is literally a product of its factors 9 and 12 (9 x 12 = 108). These are the formative numbers of our cyclical-circular 9/0 number system and our 12 month year inherited from Vedic civilization. Learning to see these two numbers as formative divisions of the One Circle of life, just as the 3 and the 4 are formative divisions of the One Circle of life is an important key to developing some understanding of the Vedic cycles of time (as discussed in The Gnostic Circle). 

Trying to understand the Yuga cycles without these keys, I truly think, is something of a wild goose chase … trying to decipher, read and accurately interpret an ancient sacred code with the wrong cipher. 

Shakti (part of the Tridevi of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati/Shakti) is known as the source of all forms (sarvarupe) and as the power that mobilizes the immobile. In other words, she informs the geometries and dynamics of time and space. The whole matrix comes to being and into motion through her geometries and dynamics. Shakti’s incarnation as Kali, ‒ the dark one, associated with death and the destructive nature of time ‒, can better be understood in terms of how the Mother/Material Creation seems when TIME IS NOT SEEN and EXPERIENCED in its proper measures and proper light … i.e. She is seen and experienced by our ‘darkened’ consciousness as fearsome and destructive … as a killer. But this is not Ma Shakti’s (Parvati’s) true nature. The fact alone that our Vedic ancestors structured their gnosis and hence their civilization firmly on a vision of a Triadic-Oneness, should give students of the Yugas reason enough to seriously consider that our Vedic ancestors also measured the Precession of the Equinoxes in terms of a Triadic-Cycle – i.e. one great cycle made up of 3 Yugas (TretaYuga), each Yuga consisting of 432,000 seconds of degrees of celestial arc.

Related Links:

'Updating the Vedic Altar' (a series by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet on Puranic Cosmology Updated)

Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas, continued

Below is more commentary on Revisiting the Measure of the Yugas ... after being asked about the full measure of the Yugas, An inquirer made calculations, using Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet's seeing of the Kali Yuga as a THIRD (120°) of the 360° Precession of the Equinoxes (432,000 seconds of degrees of Arc of the Circle = 120°), and figured that adding Kali Yuga + Dwapara Yuga + Treta Yuga + Satya Yuga = 10 Yugas, which would in turn equal 3 and 1/3 Precessional Cycles. 

Hi X, you should get a hold of The Gnostic Circle if you can, it is a powerful initiation into these matters. It builds this knowledge more organically and thoroughly than I can manage here.

Regarding the 3 and 1/3 Precessional Cycles ... well here's the thing about that:

According to Ms. Norelli-Bachelet, the Kali Yuga functions as a Unit of Measure, like the integer ONE is a unit in the circle of Nine. If the Kali Yuga is understood as a unit, and not an Age itself, then the Dwapara (2) + Treta (3) + Satya (4) Yugas = 9 Yugas = 3 Precessional Cycles (i.e. 77,760 Years or 36 Astrological Ages). When we remind ourselves of the numbers for Kali Yuga/Radius of the Sun 432,000 ... and remember the function and potency of the circle/cycle of the 9/0 number system of Vedic origin, this understanding of the Yugas makes much sense.

Patrizia writes: 'In truth, mankind is in the 'dark' simply by not realising that there is no such thing as a Kaliyuga, and that in effect the Age of Darkness is only determined by an ignorance of Truth, which can come about in any Age. Man has believed himself to be in an age of darkness, which is only the illusion of Time, and consequently Time is illusion only in so far as vision is fragmentary. When one breaks through to a full vision of Truth, Time then is the key and saviour, not the bondage.’ (The Gnostic Circle)

According to her, we have been in Satya Yuga since 0 degrees Leo of the previous Precession (some 10,800 years ago), and have 11 Ages in the 25,920 year Precessional Cycle ahead of us. If you look at the the Map of the 12 Manifestations, look for the Age of Aquarius in the outer ring … that is where we fall. 

Image from The Gnostic Circle,
as found at www.aeongroup.com

The ‘Manifestations’ in this map are 3-Age ‘Seasons’ or ¼ of the Precessional Year. It is interesting to think that perhaps the Sphinx of Giza was built in the Age of Leo as a marker for the Earth’s passage into Satya Yuga. Patrizia points out the fascinating coincidence that the Lion body of the Sphinx was not excavated/unburied from the sands of Giza until 1926, the beginning of the Age of Aquarius ... half a Precession, perhaps, from when it was built as a monument to the Leo-Aquarius (Lion-Man) axis of the Zodiac.

In an even larger cycle, the 3 Precessional Cycles formed by the Dwapara, Treta and Satya Yuga (MahaYuga) form a Season of an even greater Year. Four of such seasons would be 311,040 years (77,760 x 4) or 12 Precessional Cycles (144 Astrological Ages). In THAT macro cycle. Ms. Norelli-Bachelet writes that we are 9 ‘months’ into the last Season (77,760 years) of this macro cycle, which corresponds to the 9th Astrological sign Sagittarius.

This is a lot to take in, and I think it all REALLY needs to be read within the larger context of The Gnostic Circle. It is all laid out there with pictures and better explanations of the measures, geometries and forces at work. Also in Secrets of the Earth, Patrizia discusses the way the Vedic lore of the 10 Avatars of Vishnu (the Preserver) plays out in the Manifestations, as incarnations in the astrological ages corresponding to the PRESERVATION or fixed signs of the zodiac. It is very intriguing and eye opening reading … making sense of these ancient myths and measures.