Man establisheth thee within, O Agni, as a light for eternal birth ... 1
The Flame is the head of heaven and the navel of the earth and he is the power that moves at work in the two worlds ...
This is the universal godhead who by his greatness labours in all the peoples, the lustrous master of sacrifice, the Flame with his hundred treasures. This is he who has the word of Truth. 2
Though out the winter holidays (holy days) and into the new year I've been reading Hymns to the Mystic Fire, in which Sri Aurobindo translates the hymns to Agni ˗ the sacred fire, as found in the Rig Veda. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years and up until now I had only read bits and pieces of it. It had never pulled me in. I apparently wasn't ready to appreciate its precious contents until a few weeks back when I was researching instances in the Veda in which the Rishis (Truth-Seers) mention the realization and establishment of a 'new Heaven and a new Earth' as also discussed or prophesied in St. John's Revelation of the Apocalypse. The Mother mentioned in one of her talks with Satprem that St. John's idea of 'a new Heaven and new Earth' was also found in the Vedas, which are known to be an oral tradition first written down some 5,000 years ago. Both the Mother and Sri Aurobindo understood this upgrading in terms of the evolution and manifestation of a Supramental consciousness on Earth [see excerpt from Sri Aurobindo's The Life Divine]. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet has thoroughly discussed the connection between the Rig Veda, the descent of the Supramental consciousness and St. John's Revelation in her 1976 book, The Hidden Manna.
As I researched relevant passages in Hymns to the Mystic Fire, reading the Rishis' descriptions of Agni ... the Divine Flame, the knower of all truths and of all forms, priest of the Sacrifice, savior, the son of the Father, son of Force, son of the infinite Mother, son of Man, the Lord, Light of Heaven, conqueror of darkness, born victorious over all sin, born 'pure' from an immaculate conception, born twice (i.e. reborn), born of the Waters, born of the Light, born of the Law of Truth; messenger, guardian of man and all creatures, shepherd of all herds, master and king of Man, slayer of darkness, the Illumined One, navel of the World, path-finder, God of Gods, the God of the Wine, Universal Godhead, the hero born in man, upholder of the world, the triply anointed, etc. ... it became more and more outrageous in my mind that so few humans are aware of the common origins of our religions and our holy days and various rituals celebrating the return of this Divine Light upon the Earth which pretty much amounts to the salvation of Man and Earth (a Golden Age).
I've known for some 14 years, since plunging into the study of the Supramental Yoga and Vedic Cosmology, that the origin of our world religions and mythologies as well as our 0/9 number system, the zodiac, the zodiacal ages, mathematics, astronomy, and even much of our modern language can be traced back to the Vedas [see 'Updating the Vedic Altar, Part IX']. And I've been since convinced that the story of Christ the Savior is an echo of the Vedic prophecy of the return of the Light (of the 'Lost Sun') amidst the prevailing dark consciousness of mankind. But the more I learn about the Vedic consciousness and about the descriptions and the instructions the Rishis left or encrypted in symbol form, regarding the Return of the Light and the ensuing salvation and uplifting of Earthly life, the more glaring the disconnect is between mankind and the Divine Light and what it truly means or signifies. We celebrate this 'return' in various holidays such as the Winter Solstice and of course Christmas. Last week I realized the word 'carnival' ('kanaval' in Haitian Creole) also must originally have its roots in the celebration of the birth or rebirth of the Light, because the word 'nava' in Sanskrit indicates newness as in new birth (as well as the numbers 0 and 9). And Ka in Sanskrit means among other things, light, the sun, the soul, fire, time and the triadic Godhead. Sure enough the roots of Carnival trace back to the celebration of the Winter Solstice and the 'Return of the Light'. The Winter Solstice is the point at which the Sun enters the sign or 10th month of Capricorn in the Tropical/Vedic Year, which is the point in the evolution of consciousness in which the Divine Light is fully embodied ˗ in matter, in Earth, in Cosmos, in individuals, in all creatures and forms [See The Gnostic Circle].
I believe anyone conducting sincere, open-minded and thorough research into these matters, would likewise find, that our modern conception of the word 'sacrifice', and especially our conception of 'the Sacrifice of the Lord', is a thorough distortion of the divine Sacrifice elaborated upon in the Rig Veda, and that underlying this distortion is profound and common truth-foundation of our being. The Rishis reveal that this truth-foundation, dubbed Agni ˗ the Divine Flame of our 'Sacrifice' ˗ is to be recovered if Mankind is to progress towards universal harmony and true 'good' will. It is worth seriously considering that none of our modern-day distorted and conflicting ideas of this Sacrifice of God will lead to the successful recovery of the Lost Sun/Son in our beings nor, consequently, to the proverbial 'promised land', known as Swar in the Vedas or the Golden Age (Satya Yuga). It also is worth seriously considering that the distortions must be corrected and the lens of seeing dramatically refocused towards our common Truth-Foundation in order to achieve a dramatically better world outcome than we are currently witnessing.
The Vedic Sacrifice is also know as the Vedic Year or Vedic Journey. Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet have made it perfectly clear in their collective yoga that this Sacrifice is the evolution of Earth and man in 12 stages or months of the Earth's Tropical Year, which is a macrocosm of 1 day on Earth and a microcosm of larger cycles of Earth time such as the Precession of the Equinoxes with its 12 ages. As described by the Rishis, Agni, is the leader and master of the Sacrifice (Evolutionary Journey), akin to the Sun which is the leader and master of our Solar System. He is the center seat or point of the Circle/Cycle of Time and Space.
He is described as the compressed totality or fullness of existence, the meeting point of Heaven and Earth, the increaser of Heaven and Earth, the force in each body that compels and organizes the totality, and the unifying point of all creation (as well as that which is non-manifest) throughout all time. Considering these important functions, the LOSS of consciousness of this Sacred Fire, Sun or Son in our own beings and our civilization amounts to disorganization, corruption, decay, self-ignorance and an inevitable play of self-destruction.
It is truly amazing that after all this time, after perhaps 5,000 years of decay and misinterpretation of the original source material, much of the world still celebrates the Return of this Light; but the great irony is that few understand what they are really celebrating and proceed as if this world-altering evolutionary feat was already accomplished thousands of years ago, when the current state of the world clearly indicates otherwise. Our superficial understanding and celebration of our Holy Days is sadly way, way, way off the mark from the actual task at hand ˗ the task of Recovering this Light and hence a consciousness of immortality in our own beings.
Upon attempting to describe this fatal problem or glitch in our global operating system, friends and family have asked me how one goes about re-establishing this sacred fire, this sacred point of compressed totality of time and space and consequently immortal consciousness in one's own being/body. My response is that one has to learn how to orient oneself within the journey of time and space (i.e. the 'Sacrifice'), becoming increasingly ALIGNED with that immortal ONE and consequently with the movements of the dynamic whole. I tell them that Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet has fully detailed how this orientation and alignment is accomplished in her books. I say that the proper understanding of our movement through the Tropical Year and Zodiac is indispensable to success. Some people respond with mild curiosity. Most nod and half smile as if I had told them that in order to accomplish this lofty goal one has to slay a dragon with the horn of a unicorn and then eat its eyeballs while hopping on one foot chanting sacred words in a foreign tongue ... i.e. as if I were 100 percent bonkers. From the responses and non-responses I've seen when I dare to open my mouth about this sacred knowledge, it seems that this 'Way of God' or of Agni the Divine Flame as it is described in the Rig Veda, is simply an unattractive and or inaccessible prospect to most.
The mind has a very difficult time wrapping itself around this one, very particular solution to our individual and global decay, no matter how many ancient prophecies or texts speak of the One Divine Flame or spark upon which all of creation is centered. Despite the fact that we collectively and literally find ourselves journeying around the brilliant flame of our one Sun every day and every minute of every year throughout the entirety of our lives, and that all of Earth-life develops to the rhythms and tune of this journey, the idea that our higher or unity consciousness is absolutely and eternally linked to our higher understanding and vision of this One journey is apparently not what most people want to hear or consider.
It sounds horribly religious or appallingly heretical to many. Others are content with or stuck with their own seeing of reality, however fragmented and uncomfortable that seeing may be. And honestly I think most are simply too worn down and too busy with the details of their own challenging lives to consider a new framework/frontier to explore. I have compassion for any and all reasons why people tend to gravitate elsewhere, other than towards this common point and common journey. If the soul doesn't call one in this direction, then what is one to do? Live and learn I suppose. There's just the question of when will more of us actually get around to actually learning about and growing into the Unity Consciousness that is supposedly our collective future. It seems to me that sooner rather than later would be nice!
On Christmas day, a few members of my family and I began working on what seemed to us to be a very difficult puzzle. The box showed what the 1000 pieces therein would look like when they were put together properly. A week later and getting nearer to finishing the puzzle, my sister-in-law commented, mirroring the exact thought I had days earlier, 'Imagine how hard it would be without the picture of what it's suppose to look like.' It would take a long, long, long, long time. And if the picture on the box happened to be a huge distortion of what the pieces actually amounted to, the task would be perhaps even more difficult because we would be operating under the assumption that the picture was accurate and would be foiled or fooled at every turn. But as it was, using the accurate picture given, we established the puzzle's four corners and outer rim and then began, with great focus, to sort out patterns and objects and gradually found where they fit in the whole. We triumphantly finished the puzzle on New Year's Day.
To me this imagining of how hard it would be to complete the puzzle without the picture [or without an accurate picture] of what the puzzle was suppose to look like, applies a million times over to the task of establishing a unity consciousness in one's self and in the collective self. And whether people can appreciate the fact yet or not, the world is exceedingly fortunate that the Vedic Rishis actually did present an accurate 'picture' of the Pathway to our highest ranges or fields of consciousness, and that this 'picture' somehow survived humanity's dark ages well-enough that it could be fully restored in our Aquarian Age by the collective yoga of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet.
Thanks to these three, humans now have the option to utilize and to apply this restored foundation and framework in their own journeys, greatly speeding up their progress towards the realization of an unity consciousness. The Rishi's conveyed this increasing speed attained in the realization of this simultaneous and all-unifying foundation and framework as a galloping, speeding or flying horse (an archetype of Sagittarius, the 9th sign of the zodiac).
Fire who illumines the universal life like a male horse urged to its gallop, we speed like a racer to the goal. 3
We also of course have the option to ignore these recently made advancements, preferring our own pace and our own play, no matter how random or chaotic and no matter how handicapped we may be by the absence of an accurate picture of the larger design, and no matter what the cost is of remaining in the proverbial dark ... doing our 'own thing'.
One of my hopes for planet Earth and her inhabitants in the coming years is that more humans will begin to consider that perhaps we truly are all moving parts (microcosms) of the same moving, multidimensional puzzle/wholeness and that it is well within our realm of possibilities to positively and consciously contribute to and harmonize with a wider realization of the sacred design (sacrifice) shared by All.
In order to do that however, we have a lot to learn, especially about deconstructing and dismantling our misconceptions of the Divine Light and of our own sacred journey (Sacrifice) in Time and Space. I think it is fair to say that there is much more to this Sacred Fire/Sacrifice, and hence our evolutionary journey, than meets the 21st century 'eye'. So perhaps instead of our sustaining our pernicious habit of simultaneously celebrating and fighting over our misconceptions of this ancient lore, this ancient and eternal Divine One, we will simply try to improve our vision and our comprehension of IT ... of US. That would truly be something to celebrate!
I'll conclude this post with a full Sukta from [the Vedic] Hymns to the Mystic Fire, in which the Rishi describes Agni as the Sacred Fire of our individual and collective being, mentioning as well the important task of the journeyer to become conscious of the 'jointings of [the sacrifice's] times and seasons'; in order to 'perfect our thoughts [so] that they shall extend our being and create for us a larger life.'
Happy New Year Everybody!
Mandala One, Sukta 94
1. This is the omniscient who knows the law of our being and is sufficient to his works; let us build the song of his truth by our thought and make it as if a chariot on which he shall mount. When he dwells with us, then a happy wisdom becomes ours. With him for friend we cannot come to harm._______________________
2. Whosoever makes him his priest of the sacrifice, reaches the perfection that is the fruit of his striving, a home on a height of being where there is no warring and no enemies; he confirms in himself an ample energy; he is safe in his strength, evil cannot lay its hand upon him.
3. This is the fire of our sacrifice! May we have strength to kindle it to its height, may it perfect our thoughts. In this all that we give must be thrown that it may become a food for the gods; this shall bring to us the godheads of the infinite consciousness who are our desire.
4. Let us gather fuel for it, let us prepare for it offerings, let us make ourselves conscious of the jointings of its times and its seasons. It shall so perfect our thoughts that they shall extend our being and create for us a larger life.
5. This is the guardian of the world and its peoples, the shepherd of all these herds; all that is born moves by his rays and is compelled by his flame, both the two-footed and the four-footed creatures. This is the rich and great thought-awakening of the Dawn within.
6. This is the priest who guides the march of the sacrifice, the first and ancient who calls to the gods and gives the offerings; his is the command and his the purification; from his birth he stands in front the vicar of our sacrifice. He knows all the works of this divine priesthood, for he is the Thinker who increases in us.
7. The faces of this God are everywhere and he fronts all things perfectly; he has the eye and the vision: when we see him from afar, yet he seems near to us, so brilliantly he shines across the gulfs. He sees beyond the darkness of our night, for his vision is divine.
8. O you godheads, let our chariot be always in front, let our clear and strong word overcome all that thinks the falsehood. O you godheads, know for us, know in us that Truth, increase the speech that finds and utters it.
9. With blows that slay cast from our path, O thou Flame, the powers that stammer in the speech and stumble in the thought, the devourers of our power and our knowledge who leap at us from near and shoot at us from afar. Make the path of the sacrifice a clear and happy journeying.
10. Thou hast bright red horses for thy chariot, O Will divine, who are driven by the storm-wind of thy passion; thou roarest like a bull, thou rushest upon the forests of life, on its pleasant trees that encumber thy path, with the smoke of thy passion in which there is the thought and the sight.
11. At the noise of thy coming even they that wing in the skies are afraid, when thy eaters of the pasture go abroad in their haste. So thou makest clear thy path to thy kingdom that thy chariots may run towards it easily.
12. This dread and tumult of thee, is it not the wonderful and exceeding wrath of the gods of the Life rushing down on us to found here the purity of the Infinite, the harmony of the Lover? Be gracious, O thou fierce Fire, let their minds be again sweet to us and pleasant.
13. God art thou of the gods, for thou art the lover and friend; richest art thou of the masters of the Treasure, the founders of the home, for thou art very bright and pleasant in the pilgrimage and the sacrifice. Very wide and far-extending is the peace of thy beatitude; may that be the home of our abiding!
14. That is the bliss of him and the happiness; for then is this Will very gracious and joy-giving when in its own divine house, lit into its high and perfect flame, it is adored by our thoughts and satisfied with the wine of our delight. Then it lavishes its deliciousness, then it returns in treasure and substance all that we have given into its hands.
15. O thou infinite and indivisible Being, it is thou ever that formest the sinless universalities of the spirit by our sacrifice; thou compellest and inspirest thy favourites by thy happy and luminous forcefulness, by the fruitful riches of thy joy. Among them may we be numbered.
16. Thou art the knower of felicity and the increaser here of our life and advancer of our being! Thou art the godhead!...
[bold emphasis added]
1 Mandala 1.36.19
2 Mandala 1.59.1-7
3 Mandala 8.43.25