Mission 2020+: Recovering the Lost “Soul of Knowledge” of the Vedic Yajna/Yoga

On New Year’s Day 2020 a colleague sent me an opinion piece by Swarajya magazine’s editorial director (R Jagannathan), entitled “Mission 2020+: Why Hinduism Must Become A Missionary Faith Once More” (Dec 31, 2019). I published her response to Ragannathan’s article on 7 January 2020.

In my view, Ragannathan’s line of thought symbolizes the inevitable contraction of the religious consciousness which has lost contact with the lived experience of the Vedic Yajna (the original essence of Yoga) which is a progressive march or journey (in the unified field of Time and Space) towards the full realization of the Soul and with it the realization of universal Divine Truth or Sanatana Dharma. 

The Swarajya editor’s conclusions or proposed solutions to the encroachment of proselytizing religions in India is basically a fight fire with fire approach, or a mirroring strategy: They are using these tactics, this approach, this religious war-plan and so must we if we want to survive and flourish. I do not see how adopting or parroting the missionary strategy of Piscean-Age religions can be anything other than a self-damaging or self-destructive exercise in taking the Low Road.

The conversion strategies of Christian and Muslim religions are thoroughly based in a toxic, violent, dimly lit and doomed religious consciousness which has plagued the world for thousands of years, entirely eclipsing the ancient gnosis or Sanatana Dharma of the Divine Oneness of our collective Being and our shared Yajna (or Yogic journey/Becoming) which modern religions have largely turned their backs on or are simply oblivious to. [More on this Yajna below]

I cannot help but imagining that India’s great sage Sri Aurobindo would be openly critical of anyone positing a conversion strategy as the defining mission for Hindus from 2020 onward. I have gathered some quotes from Sri Aurobindo’s writings which should give readers at least some picture of his interest in taking or forging forward upon a HIGHER ROAD rather than repeating the old LOW ROAD ruts of modern religions, including the modern religion of Hinduism which Sri Aurobindo wrote of as “modern Brahmanism”. The first three quotes are from a 2006 talk/paper given by Peter Heehs (“Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism”) and contain his interjections.
“It is far from my purpose,” [Sri Aurobindo] wrote in 1935, “to propagate any religion new or old for humanity in the future. A way to be opened that is still blocked, not a religion to be founded, is my conception of the matter.” [Letters on Yoga, 139].  
“I am not a saint, not a holy man — not even a religious man,” [Sri Aurobindo] wrote. “I have no religion, no code of conduct, no morality.” What he wanted to establish was “not a fixed and rigid form like that of the old Aryan society, not a stagnant backwater, but a free form that can spread itself out like the sea in its multitudinous waves.” [Letter to Barindra Kumar Ghose, April 1920, translation in Sri Aurobindo: Archives and Research 4 (April 1980): 13-17] 
[Sri Aurobindo] felt that most Hindus had made a rather bad use of their patrimony. “Our Hinduism, our old culture are precisely the possessions we have cherished with the least intelligence,” he wrote in an essay on the subject of originality in thought. “Throughout the whole range of our life we do things without knowing why we do them, we believe things without knowing why we believe them, we assert things without knowing what right we have to assert them, — or, at most, it is because some book or some Brahmin enjoins it, because Shankara thinks it, or because someone has so interpreted something that he asserts to be a fundamental Scripture of our religion.” [Early Cultural Writings, 39].
[End of Quotes from Heehs’ talk]

This last quote is of course applicable to all faith-based religions wherein beliefs and rituals are adhered to without any basis in direct lived experience or open-exploration of Truth. Other notable quotes from Sri Aurobindo which speak to what should be India’s Mission 2020+, which is an open-ended aspiration towards Higher and more Integral Truth, rather than continuing to adhere to and perpetuate multiple millennia worth of misunderstood, “misused and disfigured”, and fragmented religious symbols and myths whose “soul of knowledge [has] fled from its coverings”.
“[In] the later ages the very device [the symbolic language] used by the [Vedic] 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, The Secret of the Veda, CWSA, Vol. 15, pp. 56-67 [Text in brackets and bold emphasis mine]. 
“[That] which is permanent in the Hindu religion, must form the basis on which the world will increasingly take its stand in dealing with spiritual experience and religious truth. Hinduism, in my sense of the word, is not modern Brahmanism. Modern Brahmanism developed into existence at a definite period in history. It is now developing out of existence; its mission is done, its capacities exhausted, the Truth which, like other religions, it defended, honoured, preserved, cherished, misused and disfigured, is about to take to itself new forms and dispense with all other screens or defender than its own immortal beauty, grandeur, truth and effectiveness. It is this unchanging undying Truth which has to be discovered and placed in its native light before humanity. Tad etat satyam [This is That, the Truth of things] – Sri Aurobindo, circa 1912, Essays Divine and Human [See: “Hinduism and the Mission of India”, bold emphasis and SA’s translation of tad etat satyam added] 
"India is the meeting place of the religions and among these Hinduism alone is by itself a vast and complex thing, not so much a religion as a great diversified and yet subtly unified mass of spiritual thought, realization and aspiration." – Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India 
“A spiritual aspiration was the governing force of this culture, its core of thought, its ruling passion. Not only did it make spirituality the highest aim of life, but it even tried, as far as that could be done in the past conditions of the human race, to turn the whole of life towards spirituality. But since religion is in the human mind the first native, if imperfect form of the spiritual impulse, the predominance of the spiritual idea, its endeavour to take hold of life, necessitated a casting of thought and action into the religious mould and a persistent filling of every circumstance of life with the religious sense; it demanded a pervadingly religio-philosophic culture. The highest spirituality indeed moves in a free and wide air far above that lower stage of seeking which is governed by religious form and dogma; it does not easily bear their limitations and, even when it admits, it transcends them; it lives in an experience which to the formal religious mind is unintelligible. But man does not arrive immediately at that highest inner elevation and, if it were demanded from him at once, he would never arrive there. At first he needs lower supports and stages of ascent; he asks for some scaffolding of dogma, worship, image, sign, form, symbol, some indulgence and permission of mixed half-natural motive on which he can stand while he builds up in him the temple of the spirit. Only when the temple is completed, can the supports be removed, the scaffolding disappear. The religious culture which now goes by the name of Hinduism not only fulfilled this purpose, but, unlike certain credal religions, it knew its purpose. It gave itself no name, because it set itself no sectarian limits; it claimed no universal adhesion, asserted no sole infallible dogma, set up no single narrow path or gate of salvation; it was less a creed or cult than a continuously enlarging tradition of the Godward endeavour of the human spirit. An immense many-sided many-staged provision for a spiritual self-building and self-finding, it had some right to speak of itself by the only name it knew, the eternal religion, sanâtana dharma. It is only if we have a just and right appreciation of this sense and spirit of Indian religion that we can come to an understanding of the true sense and spirit of Indian culture.... 
“The fundamental idea of all Indian religion is one common to the highest human thinking everywhere. The supreme truth of all that is is a Being or an existence beyond the mental and physical appearances we contact here. Beyond mind, life and body there is a Spirit and Self containing all that is finite and infinite, surpassing all that is relative, a supreme Absolute, originating and supporting all that is transient, a one Eternal. A one transcendent, universal, original and sempiternal Divinity or divine Essence, Consciousness, Force and Bliss is the fount and continent and inhabitant of things. 
“Soul, nature, life are only a manifestation or partial phenomenon of this self-aware Eternity and this conscious Eternal. But this Truth of being was not seized by the Indian mind only as a philosophical speculation, a theological dogma, an abstraction contemplated by the intelligence. It was not an idea to be indulged by the thinker in his study, but otherwise void of practical bearing on life. It was not a mystic sublimation which could be ignored in the dealings of man with the world and Nature. It was a living spiritual Truth, an Entity, a Power, a Presence that could be sought by all according to their degree of capacity and seized in a thousand ways through life and beyond life. This Truth was to be lived and even to be made the governing idea of thought and life and action. This recognition and pursuit of something or someone Supreme is behind all forms the one universal credo of Indian religion, and if it has taken a hundred shapes, it was precisely because it was so much alive. 
“The Infinite alone justifies the existence of the finite and the finite by itself has no entirely separate value or independent existence. Life, if it is not an illusion, is a divine Play, a manifestation of the glory of the Infinite. Or it is a means by which the soul growing in Nature through countless forms and many lives can approach, touch, feel and unite itself through love and knowledge and faith and adoration and a Godward will in works with this transcendent Being and this infinite Existence.” – Sri Aurobindo, "Indian Spirituality and Life" (1919), Originally published in Arya (August - December 1919), SABCL, Volume 14, pages 117-138
I imagine that no one who understands and appreciates Sri Aurobindo’s (and the Mother’s and Patrizia’s) yogic efforts to restore the forgotten secret(s) of the Vedas and to uplift the world’s Sanatana Dharma would conclude India’s spiritual “Rebirth” or “Renaissance” or fulfillment will be achieved by taking the LOW ROAD of further crystalizing a religious mindset in India. From my perspective, those interested in uplifting the ancient essence and truth of India’s Sanatana Dharma should be actively engaged in the yogic task of breaking through all obstacles to the direct lived experience of the Divine manifesting in the world, which is the essence of the progressive hero’s journey of the Vedic Yajna or Sacred Solar Year of the Ancient Seers. The fulfillment of this Yajna/Yoga absolutely demands the dismantling and purification of collective Illusions and Ignorance. There is no victory in perpetuating the mass of falsehoods that have accumulated upon the hollow foundation of faith-based religions, and upon the hollow foundation of the divisive mental-egoic consciousness whose inevitable end is collapse via the unbearable weight of self-ignorance.

The Vedic Yajna (Yoga) and its promised Victory or purification of long-standing Ignorance, is the HIGHER ROAD or MISSION which Hindus should set themselves upon they wish to uplift the Sanatana Dharma, if they wish to directly experience and thereby uplift the original essence of what goes by the name of Hinduism in our modern world. If the Vedas (and Sri Aurobindo) are to be believed, the Sanatana Dharma, along with the highest truths and capacities of the embodied Soul, is to be uplifted from the Ignorance that reigns across the entire world, India included. In The Secret of the Veda, Sri Aurobindo acknowledged that the full sense the uplifting of the lost Sun or Soul and of Truth-Consciousness via the 12-month Yajna or Year of the Vedic Rishis has been forgotten and misunderstood for quite some time in our world.

Circa 1970, Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet began to see and restore the ancient but still-applicable eternal truth (Sanatana Dharma) of the Vedic Yajna. She understood that the Vedic Yajna (or Year) was entirely equivalent to the all-encompassing Law of Divine Oneness or Sanatana Dharma. She understood that through this ancient law (which is the law of the Unified Field of Time and Space), humans can directly experience the divine unfolding and evolution of the soul’s fulfillment in material creation. She began to demonstrate how this Vedic journey or Hero’s journey was to be understood and directly experienced in order to serve as a map of the progressive or evolutionary uplifting of consciousness and material creation, wherein periodically the old ways or stages of growth must be left behind in order to manifest the higher forms, stages or manifestations of consciousness. She understood that the 12-month Vedic Yajna is entirely equivalent to the 12-month Solar (or Tropical) Year which is commonly referred to as the Zodiac. Whereas most believe the 12-month Zodiac was imported into India via Sumerian or Babylonian culture, Patrizia saw the Solar (Tropical) Zodiac as the foundation and central key of understanding the long-buried secrets of the Vedas. She also understood and shared how the eternal gnosis of the Vedic Yajna (Year) needs to be applied towards the uplifting of Divine Truth in our day and age.

From what I have gathered from my studies of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet’s writings on the subject, Hindus are largely unaware that the foundation of the Vedic Sacrifice and thus of the Vedas and of all post-Vedic mythology is the Earth’s Tropical Year. Patrizia wrote much attempting to educate India and the world as to this largely-forgotten or distorted key of ancient universal wisdom which is our common evolutionary journey in Time and Space. She faced much disinterest and opposition in her attempts to restore and uplift the ancient sense and universal context of India’s Sanatana Dharma in the world, reminiscent of Plato's Cave allegory wherein the cave dwellers shun the Sun light once offered, due to being attached to their situation-based view/belief that the shadows cast on the wall by the play of light are real. Most do not see or acknowledge that the Zodiac is the REAL foundation of the Vedas and Vedic symbols. Regardless of this academic severing between the Vedas and the Zodiac, Hindus do celebrate the Zodiacal Year in India, but as discussed at length by Patrizia, this Sacred Year is widely mismeasured according to Sidereal calculations, rather than celebrated according to the original Solar/Tropical measure of the Vedic Year. The measure is currently off by some 24 days/degrees, and, if not corrected, will continue to increase and continue to be grossly out of alignment with the Solar Year. [See A Calendar that Unifies, etc.].

My wish for the new decade and for India is that this disinterest and opposition to what Patrizia has presented about the Vedic Yajna (and its current mismeasure/misalignment) will give way to a real interest in learning about and embracing what she recovered and revealed about this Higher Road or Vedic Path. Without this recovery, “the soul of [Vedic] knowledge” will remain lost and the Low Road of religious fundamentalism and proselytization inevitably will remain the sad (futile and self-defeating) solution or conclusion to Hindus’ desire to uplift India’s ancient gnosis in the world.  

The emergence of the Zodiacal key of the Vedas (and of Vishnu’s Avatars) as presented by Patrizia, and the subsequent emergence of the geometric keys of the Vedas (and of Vishnu’s Avatars) upon her passing, can and should be utilized as purifying keys of ancient gnosis, helping people to see the Eternal Truth contained in the religious symbols, and to more consciously participate in our world’s collective Yajna/Yoga. The mismeasure of the Sacred Year in India is a symbol (or expression) of the Vedic Truth or Dharma that has been “misused and disfigured” over the course of many centuries and millennia gone by. Perhaps, instead of setting their sights on increasing number of adherents, Hindus can set their sights on the higher task of correcting the widely-celebrated disfigurement (i.e. mismeasure) of the Vedic Year. What is the real point of increasing the numbers of the fold, if the fold remains chronically disconnected from the Eternal Truth (Sanatana Dharma) and Divine Measure of the Vedic Yajna, as are all other modern world religions? 


Below are some quotes from the writings of Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet that discuss the importance of re-establishing the Solar or Tropical measure of the Vedic Year in India. She considered the geometry and measure of the Vedic Year to be the foundation from which the measure of India’s sacred temples arose, and she understood that the mismeasure of the template or “temple” of the Vedic Year could only bear consequences of great disharmony in India and in the world. Patrizia recognized that the divine temple that the Mother saw (in her own consciousness) and described to Satprem and Udar Pinto in 1970 was the template/temple of the Vedic Year. Patrizia attempted, to no avail, to prevent the builders of the Mother’s Temple in Auroville from making the mistake of disfiguring/mismeasuring this Vedic temple. The builder’s took no head of Patrizia’s explanations of the importance of faithfully constructing the precise dimensions of the Mother’s sacred geometry. Among other alterations, they mismeasured the temple’s diameter, disregarding the Mother’s sacred geometry (Divine Maya) and thus rendered the Auroville temple as a monument to the ignorance and disregard of the Vedic Year in India. Patrizia considered the chronic mis-measuring of the Vedic Year and the mismeasurement (disfigurement) of the Mother’s Temple in Auroville to be cosmologically linked and equally damaging to India and to the world. Both remain widely celebrated distortions of the Divine Measure and Sanatana Dharma of the Vedic Rishis. It is a great and terrible irony that many in India want to uplift India’s ancient wisdom for the benefit of the world, and yet few seem to notice or understand that the barrier to this uplifting is India’s own mass-disconnection with the solar measure of the Vedic Year. It is a REAL problem with REAL negative consequences in terms of its disorienting and devastating impact on human consciousness. 
“Only if the temple is constructed correctly according to a mathematical system can it be expected to function in harmony with the mathematical basis of the universe. The inverse of this belief is also held: an architectural text, the Mayamata, adds that “if the measurement of the temple is in very way perfect, there will be perfection in the universe as well.””  ‒ George Mitchell, The Hindu Temple, as quoted by Patrizia in The Origins and Nature of Hindu Decline 28 November 2006 – 12 December 2007  
“[The December Solstice] is the true Vedic Makar Sankranti – the gateway to Capricorn in the tropical zodiac and the shortest day of the year. The two cannot be separated, shortest day/Capricorn entry, as is done by the so-called Vedic Astrologers in India, which they force us to believe is ‘science’ and ‘accuracy’. Some centuries ago wisemen and pundits lost sight of what they were measuring when otherworldliness took hold and the Earth’s own harmony was abandoned in favour of the Beyond (in this case typified in the constellations instead of the boundaries of our solar system as defined by the tropical zodiac). This marked the beginning of India’s dark age. Invasions followed and a progressive darkening of the light, like an ominous and seemingly unending eclipse. To restore that sacred harmony the Mother took birth. 
“This is the necessity of [the Mother’s Temple] Chamber. This is the contest that must be won, the channel through which India will once again take her place as the magnetic pole of the Earth and from that centremost point affect the destiny of every nation on Earth.
“This is the formula and the way. And in this, negative as well as positive will do the bidding of Vishnu as he controls and stabilises the Axis of Light, which is that magnetic pole, in the great churning.” – Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber, Part 8 [17 May 2003] 
“For India the loss of the [Mother’s Temple] Vision has done incalculable damage. This will be explained in detail in future Chronicles. It is sufficient to state for the moment that the emphasis by the Mother on time and measure was a calculated divine strategy insofar as India lost the Divine Measure a number of centuries ago when the sidereal (Nirayana) zodiac was adopted in lieu of the Vedic tropical (Sayana) zodiac. It is only with the tropical zodiac that the Makar Sankranti, the shortest day of the year and entry into Capricorn, has any relevance both within India and connected to the rest of the world. This is the true VEDIC astrology, unlike what goes by that name today. 
“The reasons for this aberration are intimately connected to Sri Aurobindo’s mission and explain his statement that Kalki comes ‘to correct the error of the Buddha’. The Mother’s Vision, with its ‘new precision’ involving time and measure, was a crucial piece in the correction process. Her Vision reinstates the tropical zodiac in all its details and provides India with the Divine Measure once again, - and with it the keys to her destiny and place within the new Supramental dispensation. There is no way in which India can fulfil that high destiny without this Divine Measure. – Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Chronicles of the Inner Chamber, Part 4 [15 March 2003] 
“[A] ‘slow poison’ was injected into the innermost organism of Hinduism so that the ‘scientific’ intrusion into the domain of the sacred would gradually undermine the confidence of the Pundits in their own sacred science by causing them to believe that what Al-Biruni injected was more ‘scientifically correct’. Rather than a poison, the effect of this type of suggestion was akin to a deadening intoxicant that caused a blanket of inertia to descend on the subcontinent. There was no need at all to demolish temples when this substance had been successfully administered, as we shall see. Al-Biruni came to India 500 years after Varahamihira’s time, whose Brihat Samhita proves that the Constellations were not to be confused with the Tropical Zodiac which never varies in time and whose 12-month segments of the year are inseparable from the solstices and equinoxes. 
“This is the true VEDIC astrology. It was still in force when Al-Biruni came to India in the 11th century. The ‘gorgeous sunset’ Sri Aurobindo mentions in his essay quoted earlier, pertains to this period when the true Vedic astrology/cosmology still prevailed via respect for the correct Vedic time-frame in temple worship. However, though the Divine Measure was respected, the knowledge validating its use was, like a setting sun, falling into oblivion. By the 11th century all that was needed were a few well pointed ‘poison arrows’ to bring about a ‘vast decay, confusion and inertia’, the inevitable result when Knowledge by initiatic Realisation, the very method minutely detailed in the ancient Veda, no longer exists. It would await the next Age of Vishnu, or the passage of another millennium, to be resuscitated. This Age is now upon us. 
“To sum up succinctly, suggestions like Al-Biruni’s that the ‘constellations have migrated’ and should no longer be synchronised with the Solstice have been so successful an underminer that all Hindu temple practices are tied to these pronouncements through the prescriptions of its Pundits who, notwithstanding the fact that they can be proven to be un-Vedic (and even unscientific), follow them unquestioningly. We even have courses in this brand of Astrology included in university curricula under the title ‘Vedic Astrology’. It is well to remember that for the ‘undermining activity of a slow poison’ of this nature to take effect, all that is required is to bring about a disconnection between Solstice and Zodiac, just as Al-Biruni suggested; for then it is Time itself that draws the inseparable apart with each passing day THROUGH THE TIMING OF TEMPLE WORSHIP, until the distance between the two bears a discrepancy of almost one full month/sign of the zodiac. Presently the mis-measure is 23 days, or a shift from the Solstice on 21-22 December to the current arbitrary 15 January. But with each passing day and month and year the distance goes on increasing through these wandering phantom ayanamshas. Finally the ‘…only a vast decay, confusion and inertia…’ remain (Sri Aurobindo, Ibid). 
“Hinduism is still paying for this calculated undermining. It lies at the very heart of its decline. Therefore this is the area we must focus on if we wish to bring back the soul of Vedic Wisdom to the culture, particularly through its vast network of illustrious Temples. – Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, The Origins and Nature of Hindu Decline [28 Nov 2006-13 Dec 2007]  
“India [has lost] its way as it meanders through the cosmic surround in the attempt to accommodate 30 or more calendars in existence; it is a riot of diversity without any unifying factor to hold energies together…. 
“Without access to the key to its solar essence in the cosmic vastness, there is no anchor in that harmony that can do what no other system can do for India given its cosmic roots. Therefore the split between essence and form is also reflected in the plethora of Hindu calendars…. 
“That solar essence is not shining forth, not matter how many slogans politicians adopt to the contrary. That can happen when India re-connects to the cosmic source wherefrom the power to ‘shine’ emanates. We have not seen that happen as a conscious process yet. … 
“The problem is serious because what India clings to as its ticket to superpower hood are the very things that are bringing about its destruction from within. The image of itself that it seeks to project before the world is a distortion of its essence, of what it is by destiny to contribute to the new world order…. 
“India, as the solar essence, must show the way. It can find guidance in the cosmic harmony once it has forged a reconnection to the pattern of its higher destiny.  – Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, “The New Order” [an unpublished essay written (or last modified by Thea) circa 26 Sept 2010]
Links to some of Patrizia's writings on the solar measure of the Vedic Year.