Puranic Cosmology Updated 5

9 March 2010

A study of Update 4 may result in an assessment by some readers that this exercise is too ‘bare’, or too simplistic, and that by focussing on a single ‘thread’ from the Vedic Age through the Puranic and into the present, too much is left out that might contradict my thesis, i.e., that such a thread exists and can be located in space as well as in time. This assessment, if indeed it has arisen, leads to a truly important element in the study of cosmic harmonies. A careful observation of the condition of spirituality today is the best proof that ferreting out the Thread I have described is a fundamental first step if this updating is to succeed. The strategy in this Age has been to ‘confuse the issue’. It was well-thought out and is confirmed by the Puranas themselves; once again in connection with the ‘backbone’ of the Veda, the Dasavataras.
To illustrate, in these times of ‘updating’ we observe that the market is flooded with countless books on spirituality, many of which have no substance at all. It needs to be stated that discrimination in these arcane matters is almost impossible to acquire, given the ‘flood’ we are submerged in today. To do so Knowledge is a prerequisite; but by this I do not mean book-learning. For true discrimination such as the Vedic Realisation demands, a long and arduous sadhana is required which very few are willing or able to undergo. To complicate matters even more, we live in an age of ‘instant enlightenment’ where matters of the spirit are concerned. On the other hand, this would never be allowed in the various fields of science and academic learning. There the tendency to speculate without substance or to demand only belief without empirical proof is checked by the rigours of the disciplines involved. However, with that safeguard, so necessary in the field of the material sciences, the intuitive and other higher ‘methods of enquiry’ have to be eliminated or at least held in abeyance. And yet these are the cornerstones of the true spiritual/supramental experience.
We live in a world that demands instant results; or else miracles, or a transmission of ‘power’ that overwhelms the individual and convinces him that he is in the presence of a true man or woman of the God of his imagination. Nothing further is demanded for adherence because the means to discriminate – that is, to know with precision where such ‘miracles’ or ‘powers’ actually come from or which forces are responsible for these displays – is not cultivated because in today’s spirituality there are no means for verification since the focus is away from material creation rather than an embracing of all its involved planes of being. And this is the methodology required for the integral Knowledge that results in an immaculate discrimination.
Unquestioning belief is precisely what is eliminated in the updating exercise of the new cosmology. To counter the strategy of hiding by submergence in an ocean of excess, the new cosmology provides proof of its postulations at every step of the way. This is what qualifies it to be considered science. However, it is a new science because it arises in the consciousness-being of an individual who has integrated all parts of the being by due processes of sadhana; for this, a very long period of one-pointed determination and intense tapasya are required. Thus, the higher faculties referred to by Prof. Pandurangi (Update 3 – ‘superior methods of enquiry’) are never set aside in favour of scholarship; and in this I include the Sanskrit scholar who believes that higher levels of understanding can be reached by a focus on the word in its more literal sense.
The discipline required today is sufficiently explained in the Rig Veda to provide certain keys of Knowledge that can serve as signposts to guide us along the way that now has been cluttered with useless baggage over the ages. In fact, the Rig Veda lays the entire map at our feet with full details of the yearly Sacrifice – the Journey, as it is called – both in its becoming and its being. That is, both the path and the destination; the latter being that ‘mountain’ of the 10th month. The Thread must therefore be found in the Veda and carried across the centuries in the same form.

Though appearing different, the tactic today is rather the same as in the ancient past for the preservation and protection of the Knowledge. At that time secrecy was demanded: the Knowledge was reserved for very few, for those who were willing and able to undergo the tapasya required. In the Vedic Age based on the then prevailing cosmic Order this was reserved for the Brahmin, not as a birthright but earned through realisation. In the Dark Age that followed, it was not so much that secrecy was demanded, since that was proving increasingly more difficult to maintain once the Vedic Initiation had fallen into oblivion. The true and sincere seeker had to be tested, similar to the disciple in the Vedic Age; but in the midst of an effective method to preserve the Knowledge for future generations.
We are given a clear example of how this strategy was implemented in the Puranas themselves in their inimitable style – for example, the inclusion of Gautam the Buddha as 9th Avatar of Vishnu. Not only was this established some 2000 years before the Age of Vishnu had arrived – during which period alone do his Emanations descend to re-establish the Dharma and which in itself would exclude the Buddha from the Dasavataras – his inclusion was entirely incongruous given the Buddha’s dismissal of the very foundation of Vedic knowledge: the soul. But by doing this, incongruous as it was, wisemen of the day made the strategy clear; and this has been carefully preserved in the Puranic tales recounting the intercession of Vishnu to assist the Gods who were unable to conquer the Titans since they had been rendered invincible by their Vedic practices. To this effect, Vishnu made use of the Buddha to mislead the Asuras, to carry them off the Vedic path and therefore make them vulnerable. The argument/logic used by the commissioned Deluder could be identical to what we hear today in our world of Relativity:

‘…With many deductions, examples, and arguments…the magic deluder led the demons from the path of the Vedas: “This would be dharma, but it would not be dharma; this is, but it is not; this would give release, but it would not give release; this is the supreme object, but it is also not the supreme object; this is effect, but it is not effect…This is the dharma of those who are naked; this is the dharma of those who wear many clothes.” Thus the magic deluder taught a varying doctrine of more than one conclusion to the demons, who abandoned their own dharma
‘When the magic deluder had caused the demons to abandon the dharma of the triple Vedas, they themselves became his disciples and persuaded others; and yet others were persuaded by these, and still others by those, and so in a few days most of the demons abandoned the three Vedas…’ [from the Vishnu Purana, presented in the ‘Penguin Classic’ edition of Hindu Myths, 1994, pages 233-4]

And so, the 9th was cleverly included in the Line of Ten, but to distract the demon-seekers.
Therefore, incongruous as it was, the Buddha has come down in the Puranic cosmology as the 9th, ‘the ruse of the Supreme’ to mislead the asuric seekers. Consequently we have the words of Aurobindavatar himself to the effect that Kalki comes to ‘correct the error of the Buddha’. In this series we will explore in depth just what that ‘error’ might be.
Who were the demon-seekers?
Asuras are those who distort the Truth, just as the above tale suggests. The asuric expression is through the mental instrument and faculties primarily; Rakshasas, on the other hand, operate from and through the vital-physical. Thus, the mental ability to distort so effectively is why the Asuras had to be ‘misled’; it is their second nature and is therefore compulsive. But by far the most perplexing component in the ‘ruse’ is that today with the media at our disposal, with the possibility of flooding the world of spirituality by a mere click of a mouse indiscriminately, the Truth is hidden as effectively and securely as it was in the time of the Rishis; thereby again revealing a certain prophetic capacity in that a future play of circumstances was accommodated long before its onset. In the Vedic Age it was by an elitist approach – which we abhor today. But the very same result is attained when the Flood overtakes us through overexposure and we are left afloat in a sea of falsehood, distortion, dissimulation, and indeed, as the Deluder informs us, carried away by this tactic into the world of confusion and ignorance.
To escape this fate, to find a way out of this manipulation, a means must be inbuilt in the cosmology itself to assist sincere seekers who wish to be a part of the new creation that does not demand blind faith but is based on a new science, a third way. It is the hallmark of our times.
When all is said and done, when the chaff is separated from the wheat, when discrimination is honed through serious tapasya, then we can say a new world order is arising. The first step to reach that goal is to decipher just what that ‘thread’ is which has been carried over intact from ancient times into our 21st century. That elusive ‘secret’, which is not at all secret but is openly lauded in the Hymns and in every Hindu Temple, is Capricorn. How fitting that Capricorn should still be considered the ruler of India across the globe. Firstly, the sign’s own hieroglyph will therefore be our precious key as we set out on this voyage of discovery and updating that we are embarking on through this series. But we must realise that it is the symbol describing Mahakala, the Great God of Time himself; therefore, truly a warrior’s temperament is required in this new era just as it had been required in the Vedic Age, if we are to be granted access to His chamber of coveted secrets.
The Puranic Gods are not especially known for their valour since power, properly speaking, was the legitimate preserve of the Asuras whom they themselves had tricked into abandoning the field. Such being the case, when the moment of reckoning arrived they invariably rushed to Brahma to beg for his intersession. Brahma, in turn, accedes to their pleas and in the first instance he sends a WOMAN(!) to handle the mighty Mahishasura. When time moves on and another moment of reckoning is reached, again the Gods rush to Brahma; and since the message had not been grasped the first time around, he sends a mere boy to handle the mightiest Asura of them all, Tarak!
The truth be told, BOTH were left vulnerable – which goes to prove the need for an integral, all-inclusive Order.
How many messages do we need to show that indeed the Knowledge had to be hidden from those who would distort it by the well-documented ‘trickery’ of the Gods in the Puranic Age? Indeed, India suffered invasion upon invasion during that passage, attesting to the fact that the Gods could not handle the situation when deprived of the power the Titans possess! But a price must nonetheless be paid for subterfuges, as noble as they may seem. Consequently, we are left with the residue (some would call it karma) of that ‘trickery’, that ‘distortion’ as in the form of a ruse of the Supreme to ‘mislead’. This present exercise is part of the endeavour to clear that distorting residue away, to retrieve and to unveil the Vedas that had to be hidden by the Asura in the Ocean, as the Puranas record.
Again the Vedic/Puranic line of Dasavataras comes to our aid. Matsya is the sign of the Fish, Pisces. Therefore every time we move into and through the Age of Pisces the Fish, we must retrieve the Veda from the ocean where they were hidden by the Asura. To do so Matsyavatar was then sent by Vishnu, first of his Ten Avataric appearances.
In Vettam Mani’s Puranic Encyclopaedia [Motilal Banarsidass Publisher,] this episode, under the heading ‘Avatara’ (Matsyavatar), is recorded thus: ‘Once while Brahma was reciting the Vedas Hayagriva, an asura, stole the Vedas of Brahma and with them he went under water to the bottom of the ocean and hid himself there. So Mahavishnu decided to take the form of a fish (matsya) to recover the Vedas.’
The question to ask is what is this ‘ocean’ and where is it? Clearly it is symbolic, but is there a way to materialise the symbol, to make fact out of fiction?
The meaning of ‘ocean’ is more than clear if we follow the map the Rig Veda provides – that Thread. This would be the map of the Journey through the 12 signs of the ecliptic just as in the days of old. In point of fact, the Puranas have given us very clear indications not only about the precise meaning of Matsya Avatar, but also when that stage of his appearance would be reached. The ‘submergence’, the ‘hiding’ began precisely when, through the Precession of the Equinox a certain alignment was reached in 234 BCE, or the beginning of the Age of Pisces the Fish (a Water sign). This period lasted up to 1926. The Age of Submergence is reached once in the 25,920 years of each precessional round, the very first Age. In point of fact, Aurobindavatar considered the Dasavataras to be a ‘parable of evolution’, agreeing with the evolutionary meaning of each zodiacal Age. The first would set the tone for the rest and the task ahead. ‘Retrieval’ begins thereafter, in our very times. This would be the re-establishment of the Dharma.
Without the Map provided by the Veda, the world does not present a very hopeful picture. But with this formidable key in hand, the path ahead is admittedly not entirely without hardships and obstructions, but at least these difficulties are faced with the clear and precise knowledge of where civilisation is moving and what that timeframe might be to fulfil the destiny of India and the Earth as written in the cosmic harmony.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Aeon Centre of Cosmology

1 comment:

  1. Thea, After reading this article, I found the Wiki page on the Puranas has a great picture of The Goddess Ambika or Durga Leading the Eight Matrikas in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija". It seems an appropriate image to accompany your updating of Puranic Cosmology. I hope you can open the above link and enjoy the picture.