Kumbha Mela and the Reestablishment of India's Truth and Power in the World ⁓ Part 6

Mt. Kalasha (Wikimedia), Vesica Piscis added by Lori Tompkins
Mt. Kalash (Wikimedia), Vesica Piscis added by Lori Tompkins

As I was writing Part Five of this series, discussing the various ways the Kumbha (a.k.a. Kalasha) is celebrated in India other than the Kumbha Mela, I found it intriguing that one of the holiest of holy mountains in the Himalayas is called Mt. Kailash. Mt. Kailash (also spelled Kailasa) is a sacred mountain in western Tibet that is considered to be “Shiva's abode and the traditional source of the Ganges and Brahmaputra; the earthly manifestation of the 'world pillar’, Mount Meru”. [Rough Guide to India] As far as I can tell, there is not a recognized connection between the name of the much-venerated holy mountain Kailasa (Kailash) and the water pot Kalasha (Kalash); but considering the ancient tradition of placing an upside-down (poured-out) kalasha upon the shikhara (mountain peak) or upon the towering gopuram (gates) of Hindu Temples, it is not far-fetched to imagine that there is an etymological connection between these two very similar words. Mt. Kailash is known to be the source of four major rivers of Asia. In the Vedas cleansing waters are poured out from both the water pot (Kalash) and the mountain (Kailash). [1] I have discussed the mountain and hill as one of many symbols of the vesica piscis in Indian and Vedic lore in Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom [pp. 57, 207-08]. In Rig Veda 5.45 the mountain/hill is depicted as a pregnant womb which bares forth its waters. 
‘[T]he rivers became rushing floods, floods that cleft (their channel), heaven was made firm like a well-shaped pillar. To this word the contents of the pregnant hill (came forth) for the supreme birth of the Great Ones (the rivers or, less probably, the dawns); the hill parted asunder, heaven was perfected (or, accomplished itself….’  Rig Veda 5.45.1-3, tr. Sri Aurobindo,  The Secret of the Veda, CWSA, Volume 15, p. 212 
The image of Mt. Kailash featured above is a view of its much-photographed north face, framed by the landscape (and the sky) in such a way that carves out a horizontal vesica piscis shape (kalasha) for the viewer. I added the overlapping circles and the vesica pisces to help illuminate the subtle and powerful sacred geometry of this face of Mt. Kailash.

Shiva Linga and Yoni base
Shiva Lingam in Yoni Base
Geometrically speaking, the vesica piscis (kalasha) is the abode (and womb) of the radius (the ray of deus/god) which may be the mathematical (and Vedic) basis of Mt. Kailash being identified as the abode of Shiva. In Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom [p. 333] I discussed the iconography of the Shiva Linga in its Yoni, base as a symbol of the radius and vesica piscis.

As I was conducting etymological research on kalasha, I could not find much about how this word is constructed from its root syllables and their meanings. Kalasha ‒ meaning 'a water pot, pitcher, jar, dish', as well as a unit of measure and the pinnacle ornament of Hindu temples ‒ appears to be constructed from kal + asha. Kal is the root of the Sanskrit words kala and kali, and the English words ‘calibrate’, ‘calculate’ and ‘calendar’. Kal is associated with both time and measure. In the Cologne Sanskrit Digital Lexicon (CSDL), asha (aza) means ‘space, region [or a] quarter of the heavens’. In the Zoroastrian tradition asha means divine truth, akin to the Sanskrit word ritam. Not being a Sanskrit scholar, I cannot say if kal + asha is the right construction of kalasha; but kal does seem to be a fitting root for the water jar (kalasha/kumbha) of the Rig Veda, given that this jar is a symbol of the vesica piscis which perfectly measures out one-third of the space and time of the sacred calendar (a.k.a. the Zodiac/Vedic Year/Yajna).

I have also researched the word kumbha and am still not entirely sure how the syllables kum + bha end up meaning ‘a water jar’, ‘pitcher’, ‘ewer’, as well ‘a measure of grain’. According to CSDL, bha means ‘to shine, be bright or luminous’ or ‘light, brightness, splendour’. Both the radius and the vesica piscis are discussed in terms of light in the Rig Veda. CSDL gives no definition for kum. The Sanskrit root ku is associated with the Earth, as well as with the planet Mars and the number One. In the Mayan language ku means God. Ambhah/ambhas/ambu means water, so it is quite possible that kumbha is a compound of ku + ambha. The root ku or kum is also found in the Sanskrit word kumara, associated with the Vedic hero-son Agni (a.k.a. Skanda, Kartikeya equivalent to the war god Mars/Ares, and equivalent to Kukulkan the feathered serpent of Yucatec Mayan mythology). I’ve seen kumara broken down as ku + mara indicating ‘quick to die’; but given that the Vedic hero-son is immortal (i.e. not at all quick to die) and that this hero-son (divine ray/divine One) of the Vedas is equivalent to the radius (ara) of the circle, perhaps this word needs to be broken down as kum + ara. It would make sense if kumara indicated the ray/radius (ara) of the Earth (ku), but I cannot really say if this is true. Likewise it would make sense if kumbha indicated the waters (ambhas) of the Earth (ku), but again I do not know if this is true. I welcome any further (hopefully more clarifying) etymological incite on both Kalasha and Kumbha (and Kumara for that matter).

Whereas I am not entirely clear on the essence and meaning of the Sanskrit roots that make up these words, I think it is useful to look at post-Vedic variations and derivatives of the word kumbha and how the word is found in other languages. First of all, in India, kumbha is also spelled kunda, as in kundalini [2]; as well as kumbh and coomb

The Vedic kumbha is the ancestor of the Ancient Greek word ‘kúmbē’ (meaning bowl). ‘Cumb’ (coomb, combe) in Old English means both a hollow, basin or valley, and a unit of volume (for liquid and grain). Kumbha is also the ancestor of the German word ‘kumpf’, Proto-Germanic ‘kumbaz’,  and ‘kom’ in Dutch, all meaning ‘bowl’, ‘vat’, ‘vessel’ or ‘basin’. From this word family comes the English word (name/place) ‘Cumberland’ as well as many Indian names/places, including Coimbator, Kumbakonam, Kumbalam, Kumbalgod, Kumbhalgarh, Kumbhārvāda, Kundai, Kundal and Kundapur.

From kumbha, also came the Greek word ‘cymba’ indicating a skiff or boat (as in the skiff Charon used to ferry the dead across the river Styx). In Old/Middle English word ‘cimbal’/’cymbal’ indicates a concave (bowl-shaped) musical instrument. ‘Cymbal’ is pronounced the exact same way as the word ‘symbol’, though it does not appear to me that anyone has connected the etymology of ‘symbol’ to ‘cymbal’ and thus to kumbha. The Sanskrit word kumbh is also connected to Albanian word 'sumbull' ('tsumba') meaning a round button (or bud). Through all of this word history, it seems likely to me that the word ‘symbol’ is a derivative of kumbha, just as the words ‘cymba’ and ‘tsumba’ are derivatives of kumbha. The significance of this connection between kumbha and ‘symbol’ should become clearer below in the section entitled 'Word and Symbol as Vessels'.

‘Cymba’ is associated with the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) root ‘kew’, meaning ‘to cut, to separate, to scrape, to dig’, as well as ‘bend, cove, hollow’, and ‘a boat's curved shape’. ‘Kew’ is also associated with the English words ‘cave’, ‘cove’, ‘cavern’ and ‘cover’, and with [PIE] derivative ‘kū́mn’, meaning a swell or wave, related to ‘cumulus’ and ‘cumulative’, and to Greek derivatives ‘cyma’, ‘cyme’, ‘cymo’ and ‘kymo’ [3]. Interestingly ‘kew’ and its later derivations ‘cave’, ‘cove’, ‘cavern ‘ and ‘cover’ also appears to be related to the Middle English word for cow: ‘kowh’ (gau or go in Sanskrit). 

This etymology is extra fascinating to me given that in the Rig Veda, the vessel of the vesica piscis (within the circle of the Zodiac) is depicted in many ways, including as a ship, kumbha, cave, curved bow, veil (cover), wave, cloud (cumulus) and cow. ‘Kew’ appears to be closely related to the PIE root ‘keu’, meaning ‘shining light’, and ‘keup’ meaning an ‘arch, bend, buckle’, or ‘to arch, bend, buckle’. From ‘keup’ comes the English word ‘cup’ (‘kupf’ in German). The vesica piscis is described as both a cup and as a robe of shining light in the Rig Veda. [4]

I suspect that the word ‘chimera’ [from Greek 'khimaira'] is related to this word family as well, although I don’t see any evidence that anyone else suspects this connection. A chimera is a hybrid creature (beast or monster) made up of multiple animals, often animals of the Zodiac such as the Sphinx (Lion-Eagle-Man-Bull) or Griffin (Eagle-Lion) or Centaur (Horse-Man). The classic Greek chimera is a hybrid of a Goat, Lion and Dragon (Serpent).

It is probably clear from the above that I am an etymology enthusiast. I love seeing the origin and transmutation of words over time. Our modern understanding of words is typically devoid or ignorant of their history and their ancient essence and meaning. For instance, many in the Western world are not aware that the English word ‘video’ derives from the Sanskrit root vid, meaning ‘to know’. Vid is also the root of the Sanskrit word Veda (as in Rig Veda) meaning ‘knowledge’, ‘true or sacred knowledge or lore’, and ‘knowledge of ritual’. [CDSL] [5]  Few are curious enough to even trace and see the deeper sense of their own names, let alone the words they use. I began studying etymology in 1993 because I needed to fulfill some English credits when getting my MA in Education and a teaching credential at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and I choose an etymology class, a subject with which I was completely unfamiliar. I was immediately hooked and spent hours in the CU library combing through the voluminous Old English Dictionary, wondering why this important subject wasn’t built into our education system. I find it constantly uplifting, mind altering and transformative to see beneath or through the veil of words to their ancient roots and essence, and to see the connections between words that I did not know were connected. For me, etymological research is frequently a part of my Integral Yoga practice, seeing some continuity and cohesiveness in the many variations of words (and the many variations of their meaning). 

In the biblical book of Genesis it is said that humans once spoke one language, and that this language was ‘confounded’ by god, so that humans would no longer understand each other’s speech. This is the Tower of Babel Story. The study of etymology from an integral and wholistic perspective helps to reverse of this ancient confounding of language whereby religions and religious sects of our modern world fight over words, symbols concepts of Divinity that humans have long lost the true sense of. Few seem to have the capacity to see or admit the problem of the wide-spread fragmentation and misconception of ancient words and symbols, or the capacity to look for the true origins and meanings of their own religious mythologies, rituals and symbols. [6] 

Vesica Piscis and Radius and the sign of Pisces
Vesica Piscis & Radius
In mid-April, while I was writing Part Five of this series about the various ways the vessel of the Kumbha is celebrated by Hindus in India and beyond, I had an experience (in a lucid dream state) wherein the vessel of the vesica piscis conveyed its equivalence to ‘the Word’. I had already seen and written about this equivalence as portrayed in the Rig Veda, in my book [GKVW, pp. 221-25], but in this particular experience the information was impressed on my body. As the vesica piscis conveyed this knowledge it put me in a state or field of high-energy/bliss (ananda). My whole body shifted from its mundane physical consciousness, to the experience of being a vessel of infinite energy/bliss. So not only was the equivalence between the Word and the Vesica Piscis conveyed to the vessel of my body, so was the bliss and victorious power that the Vedic Rishis also associated with drinking from the vessel of the sacred cup or kumbha. In Zodiacal lore, bliss is specifically associated with the twelfth and last sign Pisces (the Fish) – the sign that follows Aquarius/Kumbha. The Pisces hieroglyph is drawn out as two half-arcs of a circle, connected by a common ray:  . This is the only hieroglyph of the Zodiac whose construction can easily be reconfigured to form the vesica piscis. [See Thea's drawing showing the equivalence between the Pisces hieroglyph and the Vesica Piscis, this same drawing is also found in The New Way, Vols. 1&2, p. 236.]

How to rationally explain or understand this idea that in the minds of the Vedic Rishis the vesica piscis was not only equivalent to the vessel of the kumbha (water jar) but also to the archetypal or divine ‘Word’? First off, it is necessary to mention that the Rishis saw this ‘Word’ (the vesica piscis) as being born forth or spoken by the radius (divine ray) of the circle. In RV 9.86.42 the divine child (ray/flame) Agni-Soma is referred to as ‘the bearer of the word of men and word of Gods’. [tr. RTH Griffith]

Circle with 3 Vesica Piscis measuring out an Equilateral Triangle (by Lori Tompkins)
3 Vesica Piscis measuring out
the Circle and Equalateral Triangle.
In RV 7.101 the radius is depicted as the Thunder-God/Bull Parjanya who is entreated by the Rishi to ‘speak forth three words, the words which light precedeth’. A few verses later, in RV 7.101.4, this Bull is celebrated as progenitor of all creatures, including ‘the three heavens with triply-flowing waters’. In this same verse the Bull/radius is described as being showered or bathed by ‘three reservoirs’ (kozas) [RTH Griffith], translated as ‘three buckets’ by Jamison and Brereton. This hymn conveys the equivalence between the word and the vessel (kumbha/koza) and the vesica piscis which, as formed by the radius, measures out one third of the circle. The image above to the right demonstrates the geometry of the ‘three words’ and ‘three buckets’ of this hymn.

This Vedic equivalence between the word and the vessel and the vesica piscis is not so difficult to understand when we acknowledge that words are vessels. They are symbols which carry, convey or ferry an inner sense or meaning (or light/knowledge) across space and time. Once the reader can see words and symbols as vessels, it is not so hard to see the etymological connection between the Vedic kumbha and its Greek derivative ‘cymba’ (a boat or vessel) to the English word ‘symbol’ which also carries inner meaning, light or knowledge across time and space. It is a perfectly fitting etymological connection given that the vesica piscis is an eternal symbol, vessel and sacred form which effortlessly by its own self-law, persists, travels, shines forward throughout all spans of time and space on Earth (and beyond Earth). It is also perfectly fitting, given what I have learned and presented about the myriad ways the ancient sages seers and poets encoded, hid or occultly transmitted their knowledge of this sacred form (sacred geometry) into their language and lore. I have discussed many veiled Vedic symbols of the vesica piscis in Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom, including the bliss-inducing drops of Soma wine (a.k.a. Amrita).   
‘[To Indra] the Soma-drinker come, for his enjoyment, these pure drops…. [Indra], grown at once to perfect strength, wast born to drink the Soma juice, Strong Indra, for preeminence. O Indra, lover of the song, may these quick Somas enter thee: May they [the drops of Soma] bring bliss to thee the Sage.  [Rig Veda 1.5.5-7, tr. R.T.H. Griffith]
Concerning the symbols contained in this and similar Vedic verses I wrote: 
‘[We] can now understand that the true essence of the Soma nectar of the Rishis is not merely some mind-altering drug or drink as is often believed. Certainly such intoxicants existed in the time of the Rishis, just as did honey or milk, and all the other symbol-forms of the Rig Veda, but the deeper truth of this drink of the gods is found in the basic geometry of the yajna [i.e. the Zodiacal year]. It is a symbol of the vesica piscis which, together with the radius is the central key and form of the Rishis’ gnosis. It is a symbol of the eternal law and form of the indwelling Soul which bestows Bliss and Immortality upon those who “drink” or know its truth.’ ‒ GKVW, p. 335
As I wrote in Part Five of this series, the central and formative core of Sri Aurobindo’s yogic mission was to uplift the secret or long hidden truth of the Vedic symbols and lore. In The Secret of the Veda he wrote:
'[In] the later ages the very device used by the Rishis turned against the preservation of the knowledge. For language changed its character, rejected its earlier pliability, shed off old familiar senses; the word contracted and shrank into its outer and concrete significance. The ambrosial wine of the Ananda was forgotten in the physical offering; the image of the clarified butter recalled only the gross libation to mythological deities, lords of the fire and the cloud and the storm-blast, godheads void of any but a material energy and an external lustre. The letter lived on when the spirit was forgotten; the symbol, the body of the doctrine, remained, but the soul of knowledge had fled from its coverings.' [Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 15, p. 56-57, bold emphasis added]
In other words, the true essence of what was being transmitted via the vessels of the symbolic words of the Vedic Rishis (Seers) was lost. In recognizing this loss, Sri Aurobindo concluded that for at least two-thousand years, Indians and Indian scholars have misunderstood the Vedic symbols which underly Indian culture. The expression ‘missing the boat’ comes to mind. It can equally mean ‘to miss an opportunity’ and ‘to miss the point’ or ‘fail to understand’ something that is being conveyed by [via the vessel of] symbols or words. Sri Aurobindo basically implied that not only Indians, but the whole world was really missing the proverbial boat when it came to what the Vedic Rishis had meant to convey (however occultly) in their symbolic language. This missing the boat or point of the Vedic words and symbols naturally extends to the modern-day observance of Vedic rituals and to the celebration of Hindu festivals based on Vedic symbols and lore.

What I have been trying to convey or try to get readers to consider in this series is that the true Vedic sense (and measure) of the Kumbha (and thus the Kumbha Mela) ‘fled from its coverings’ and has been unseen/unknown for thousands of years. This loss is in large part due to the loss of understanding that the symbols of the Rig Veda must be understood in the unifying context of the 360° circle of the Tropical Zodiac (a truth recovered and presented by Thea in her writings). Without that basis, there can be no understanding of what the Vedic Kumbha truly IS within this ancient Circle of Life. As Thea wrote, the Vedic Kumbha is both the water jar and the sign of Aquarius (also known as Kumbha) which is associated with the water jar. What I discovered the year of Thea’s passing (2016) and presented in Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom, is that the vessel of the Kumbha is the vesica piscis or ‘vessel of the Fish’, and that this sacred vessel (an eternal geometric form/law which measures out one third of the Circle) is the geometric basis of the triadic gnosis (trayi vidya) of the Vedic Rishis ‒ the origin of the Divine Trinity that pervades much of the world. I have also tried to convey in this series that the Vedic Rivers are symbols of this same sacred geometry/eternal law of the circle. In other words, the Kumbha and the sacred or heavenly rivers (waters) of the Vedas are both symbols of the vesica piscis which is drawn out or ‘poured out’ by the radius of the circle. 
Seven Rivers of the Zodiac, the 7th arcing to Aquarius/Kumbha (by Lori Tompkins)
'[L]et the Stallion's flood descend in torrents. Come hither with this thunder while thou pourest the waters down, our heavenly Lord and Father.… Thine opened water-skin draw with thee downward, and let the hollows and the heights be level. Lift up the mighty vessel, pour down water, and let the liberated streams rush forward.' ‒ Rig Veda 5.83.6-8, tr. RTH Griffith
As presented in Parts Three, and Four of this series and in Part Two, Chapter Five of Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom, I believe that the symbolism in these verses points to the geometry of the seventh vesica piscis (river) of the Zodiac, drawn or poured out by the radius/ray of Sagittarius (the Horse or Stallion of the Zodiac) as shown in the image above to the left.

The Sagittarius hieroglyph, the Vesica Piscis, and the release of the Waters of Aquarius (by Lori Tompkins)
Image from Geometric Keys of Vedic
, p. 261 (with slight variations here).
I believe the ‘water-skin’ and the ‘mighty vessel’ [translated as the ‘great bucket’ by Jamison and Brereton] here are equivalent to Kumbha, the Water Jar and the sign of Aquarius . I also believe that the release or descent of the ‘Stallion’s Flood’ in this hymn is entirely equivalent to the symbolism of the victorious release of the Seven Rivers found elsewhere in the Vedas, and to the release of the seven ‘vials’ or ‘bowls’ in St. John’s Revelation. See Part Three of this series or my book for more on this subject. I constructed the image to the right for my book to illustrate the equivalence between the geometry of this ‘Stallion’s Flood’ and the geometry of the hieroglyph of Sagittarius. [7]

Releasing the hidden treasures of the Kumbha
The point I want to end this series with is that with the recovery of the zodiacal and geometric sense of the symbols of the Vedic Kumbha and the Vedic Rivers, comes recovery of the zodiacal and geometric sense of the Kumbha Mela festival as well as other Hindu celebrations of the Vedic Kumbha which I discussed in Part Five of this series. There has been significant progress towards the return of the ‘soul of knowledge’ of these symbols. The meaning of the Vedic Kumbha and Vedic rivers (waters) is no longer contracted or hidden for those who have eyes to see. The power of purification associated with the Kumbha and the sacred rivers of the Vedas is the power of knowledge – knowledge which cleanses and uplifts humanity from its long-held misconceptions of sacred or divine gnosis and its fragmented view of the whole. This power of purification and power of knowledge is equivalent to the power of SEEING, the power of the SEER, seeing through the veils of darkness or falsehood, exposing deeper layers of Truth, if not the core of Truth itself.

It must become widely understood that the kumbha and the rivers (waters) of the Vedas are symbols of the eternal form, measure and law (sanatana dharma) of the vesica piscis within the circle of the zodiac. This eternal geometric form ‒ which happens to be the shape of the human eye (as framed by two eyelids) ‒ is a key of seeing, a key of knowledge, a key of the Vedic sacrifice, a key of purification and uplifting the hidden treasures (of gnosis) found within the symbols and lore of the Vedic Seers. In the following verses from RV 1.130, the release or disclosure of treasures enclosed in the occult symbols of the vesica piscis is depicted as the release of treasures from a ‘never-ending’ (ananta) or eternal rock (áśman). The rivers (waters/floods) which the Vedic hero Indra releases upon the world are herein depicted as vehicles (chariots), i.e. as vessels carrying or delivering forth their contents.
‘[Indra] found the treasure brought from heaven that lay concealed, close-hidden, like the nestling of a bird, in rock, enclosed in never-ending rock. Best Aṅgiras, bolt-armed, he strove to win, as ’twere, the stall of kine; So Indra hath disclosed the food concealed, disclosed the doors, the food that lay concealed. …Thou, Indra, without effort hast let loose the floods to run their free course down, like chariots, to the sea, like chariots showing forth their strength.’  RV 1.130.3, 5, tr. RTH Griffith
Alchemical Dragon Flask with inverted triangle and vesica piscis, Hermetic Musæum’s reprinting of The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine in which the keys to finding the Philosopher’s Stone are expressed in occult manner.
The Vesica Piscis and the Alchemist's Flask
Definitions of the Sanskrit word áśman include: ‘a [precious] stone’, ‘rock’, ‘thunderbolt’ and ‘cloud’ [CSDL]. The Rishi of RV 5.56 refers to this ‘stone’ as áśmānaṃ cit svaryam, which RTH Griffith translated as ‘the heavenly stone’. In my understanding this Vedic stone is the source and true essence of the Philosopher’s Stone of the alchemists. [GKVW pp. 228-29] Through a new friend of mine who is a student of the supramental yoga of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and an avid student of ancient symbols and lore, I recently found the image of the flask to the right in the Hermetic Musæum’s reprinting of The Twelve Keys of Basil Valentine in which the keys to finding the Philosopher’s Stone are expressed in occult manner. In my view the key is hidden in plain sight in the form/symbol of the flask (a.k.a. beaker or kumbha) and more overtly by the overlapping circles (encompassing the wings and haunches of the dragon) which form a mismeasured vesica piscis. [8] The mismeasurement of the vesica piscis in this image appears to be an artistic device portraying the equivalence between the three dragons laid out upon the equilateral triangle and the three vesicae piscis which (together with indwelling radius) divide the circumference of the circle into three equal (120° or 432,000") parts, marking out the three points of the equilateral triangle. As discussed in GKVW [pp. 278-79], I believe that this occult equivalence between the dragon and the vesica piscis is found in the Rig Veda. It needs to be pointed out that the measure of the radius of the circle of the Hermetic Musæum’s alchemical flask is exactly equivalent to the width of the upper-most and smallest dragon shown within the flask. In my mind this equivalence conveys the key role the radius plays in forming the vesica piscis (the Divine Maya or divine measure) and the triadic division of the circle. Readers who are having difficulty seeing the equivalence between the dragon and the river of the vesica piscis flowing through the circle, should visualize an aerial view of a river and its snake-like curves. [9]

The Fire Trine of the Zodiac, measured out by 3 Vesica Piscis (by Lori Tompkins)
3 Vesica Piscis measuring out
the Fire Trine of the Zodiac.
In Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom [pp. 26, 32-33] I discussed the three dragons whose heads and tails meet as symbol which was significant to Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea, and as a symbol of the three vesica piscis which measures out the triadic division (divine trinity) of the circle. At that point in the book I was envisioning these three dragons in relation to the upward pointing Fire Trine of the Zodiac. The significance of the inverted triangle (the Air Trine of the Zodiac) came into view in Part Two as I was seeing the seventh ‘river’ (vesica piscis) of the Zodiac, arcing from 0° Libra to 0° Aquarius, marking out two of the three nodes of the Air Trine of the Zodiac. This inverted triangle is featured in an image I presented above demonstrating of the geometry of the seventh river of the Zodiac and the Sagittarius hieroglyph, as well as in the Hermetic Musæum’s alchemical flask.

Celebrating the Vedic essence of the Kumbha Mela
A few readers have responded to this series by repeating the refrain that there is no Kumbha Mela and no Zodiac in the Vedas. [10] Whereas it is true that there is no river-side festival celebrating Jupiter’s entrance into the sign of Aquarius/Kumbha (and into the other preservation signs) mentioned in the Vedas, it is an error and a perpetuation of long-held ignorance to insist that there is no Zodiac in the Vedas. I have discussed this error in Part Three, including some of what Thea exposed about this error in her writings. Thea fully recognized that the kumbha in the Vedas is equally a reference to a water pot and to the zodiacal sign of Kumbha (Aquarius). What I have added to this picture is that this kumbha/water pot is a symbol of the eternal law of the vesica piscis which measures out the 12-month Vedic Year (Zodiac). This additional knowledge should help more people SEE that the Zodiac, and its signs and symbols are indeed founded in the veiled language of the Vedas.

The Rishis celebrated the release of waters from the Kumbha in their hymns. This sacred vessel or enclosure was referred to via multiple symbols (words) in the Vedas, including tub, beaker, bucket, reservoir, pail, cloud, cup and mountain cave. Whether or not the Rishis (or the Vedic populace) actually celebrated Jupiter’s movement through the sign of Aquarius approximately every 12 years would certainly be good to know; but given the many varied ways the Vedic Rishis celebrated the release of the waters from the Kumbha/Cave in their hymns, it is entirely likely that in some form or another (or in many forms) the Rishis also celebrated this symbolic release in real life, in the actual course of the Vedic/Solar Year, along with many other key points or passages in the 12-month Vedic Year, such as Makar Sankranti – the entrance into the sign of Capricorn on the December Solstice. [11] In my mind, it is entirely unreasonable to expect that the Vedic Rishis honored and celebrated the Earth’s 12-month Year in their voluminous hymns [12] without any corresponding enactment of this celebration in the actual months and seasons of the year (or in the cycles of the planets).

So rather than continue to belabor the fact that there is no evidence of the celebration of KUMBHA MELA in the Vedas, it is important for Hindus and Indian scholars to begin to study and recognize how the Rishis did celebrate Kumbha in the context of the 12-month Vedic Yajna (Year) in the Rig Veda. Then it can be better appreciated that the Kumbha Mela is Vedic in essence, even if the underlying sense of the Kumbha and its role as the Divine Maya (divine measure) of the Vedic Year has been lost upon India and the world for multiple millennia. It can be appreciated that the geometric and zodiacal sense of this Vedic Kumbha (word, vessel, symbol) has survived and emerged from what appears to be an almost complete entombment.

The hidden Vesica Piscis in the Core  & Pedestal of the Mother's Temple  as seen by Thea, The New Way,  Vols. 1&2, pp. 238, 241
The hidden Vesica Piscis in the Core
& Pedestal of the Mother's Temple
as seen by Thea, The New Way,
Vols. 1&2
, pp. 238, 241. See Thea's
'Chronicles of the Inner Chamber'.
It can be appreciated that the veiled sense of the Kumbha has survived and emerged from the vault of Past Time due to the yogic mission and supramental consciousness-force of Sri Aurobindo, the Mother and Thea. Thanks to their successes in uplifting the eternal wisdom (sanatana dharma) of the Vedas, this ancient secret of the Vedas is no longer hidden or entrapped within (or fled from) its own form or covering veil. Those who celebrate the symbol of the Kumbha/Kalasha (Water Jar) via whatever sacred rituals and festivals, can now celebrate and uplift the long-hidden ancient truth of this symbol (along with the bliss that it conveys) in their own consciousness and experience, and thereby uplift this truth and bliss in the consciousness of humanity.

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[1] Other names for Mt. Kailash include “'Precious Snow Mountain' [Gangs Rinpoche]; Water's Flower, Mountain of Sea Water, Nine Stacked Swastika Mountain …. Tisé mountain, which derives from ti tse in the Zhang-Zhung language, meaning ‘water peak’ or ‘river peak’, connoting the mountain's status as the source of the mythical Lion, Horse, Peacock and Elephant Rivers.” [Wikipedia]. Wikipedia also indicates that ‘[Kailash] could have been derived from the word kelāsa’ … meaning ‘crystal’, but no evidence is given for this association and not much information about the Sanskrit word kelāsa is found in the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon.
[2] Kuṇḍa is ‘a noun meaning "bowl, water-pot" is found as the name of a Naga [Snake] in Mahabharata 1.4828 – ‘Kundalini’, Wikipedia.
[3] ‘Indo-European root kew, swell, also vault, hole, … [gives] kówos, hollow, as Lat. cauus, as in kówā (as V.Lat. cova), cave, kowésna, cavern, kówitā, cavity, komkowós, concave, ekskowā, excavate; kówilos, hollow, kowilíā, belly, as Gk. κοιλία, and kówilom, coelom, as in Eng. derivatives -cele, celiac, -coel; kówos, hollow place, cavity, as in kówodeiā, poppy head, Gk. κώδεια, which gives kowodeínā (-ínā, “alkaloid”), codeine; … kúmolos, heap, mass, cumulus, as Lat. cumulus, kumolā, cumulate…. and [PIE?] derivative kū́mn [indicates] a swelling, wave, with Greek derivatives as Eng. cyma, cyme, cymo-, kymo’. –  A Grammar of Modern Indo-European at Indo-European Language Association 
[4] RV 1.161.9 ‘Then did ye [the divine ray/son Agni] shape the cups [camasam], speaking the words of truth.’ [tr. RTH Griffith] The same verse is translated by Jamison and Brereton as ‘(The third) one proclaimed the weapon-wielding (speech?) from among the many. Speaking truths, you carved the cups.’ Camasam is defined by CSDL as ‘a vessel used at sacrifices for drinking the Soma [wine]’ and is equivalent to the vessel of the kumbha, and the vessel of the vesica piscis, which is shaped/carved out by the radius of the circle.
RV 1.135.2  ‘[C]lothed with its lovely splendours, to the reservoir, Soma flows clad in its [his?] refulgent light.’ [tr. RTH Griffith] Soma (a name of Agni) is a symbol of the radius of the circle, who is clad or robed in the light (or often waters) of the vesica piscis.
[5]  I learned of the etymological connection between Veda and ‘video’ in one of Thea’s books. I can’t remember which book it was.
[6] While writing this paragraph, a colleague of mine sent me an 2018 article by Subhash Kak discussing the clear linguistic (etymological) connections between Vedic and the Lithuanian religion Romuva. I am always delighted to see such research by any and all whose work helps to unscramble our world’s linguistic puzzle.
[7] As I wrote in my book [p. 305] and in Part Three, Endnote #9 of this series, this was not Thea’s view of the symbolic release of the seven rivers of the Vedas. Thea associated the release of the seven rivers with the 7 Point of the Circle of 0/9, equivalent to 10° Capricorn in the Zodiac. [See The New Way, Vols. 1&2, p. 413]. 
[8] As discussed in Part One of Geometric Keys of Vedic Wisdom, a mismeasured vesica piscis formed by two metal rings in my driveway was the catalyst for me seeing the role of the vesica piscis plays in the symbolism and iconography of Vishnu’s avatars, Matsya (the Fish) and Kurma (the Turtle).
[9] Here are some links showing aerial views of rivers: the Thames of London; the Odeleite (‘Blue Dragon’) River of Portugal, and the results of Google Image Search of aerial view of rivers.
[10] See Part Three, and Sahapedia’s article, ‘Kumbh Mela: Do Our Vedic Texts Mention this Unique Pilgrimage?’  by D.P. Dubey.
[11] According to the current mismeasure of the 12-month Vedic Year (Zodiac) in India (an amongst so-called 'Vedic' Astrologers), the entrance into Capricorn and all signs of the zodiac is celebrated approximately 23 degrees after the Sun enters into each of the 12 zodiacal signs of the Solar Year. As discussed by Thea, the Vedic Year was the Earth's Solar/Tropical Year, not the Sidereal Year (measured out in the constellations). According to Thea, India adopted the Sidereal (a.k.a. Nirayana) measure of the year circa the 11th Century AD, and continued to call this measure of the year 'Vedic', although this measure increasingly distorts the measure of the 12-month Vedic Year. Thea often referred to the Sidereal measure of the year as ‘post-Vedic’. [See Part Two of this series for more on this error. A collection of Thea’s writing on this subject is available at www.aeoncentre.com].
[12] ‘It is in the revolution of the year that the recovery of the lost Sun and the lost cows is effected….’ ‒Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, CWSA, Volume 15, p. 177

‘This victory [the recovery of the lost Sun] is won in twelve periods of the upward journey, represented by the revolution of the twelve months of the sacrificial year, the periods corresponding to the successive dawns of a wider and wider truth, until the tenth secures the victory. What may be the precise significance of the nine rays and the ten, is a more difficult question which we are not yet in a position to solve; but the light we already have is sufficient to illuminate all the main imagery of the Rig Veda.’  ‒ Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda,  CWSA, Volume 15, pp. 181-82

The much celebrated tenth month of the 12-month sacrificial year (Zodiac) is the month of Capricorn (Makar). The completion of ten months of the Zodiac marks the entrance into the sign of Aquarius (Kumbha).