Puranic Cosmology Updated 20


Several thousand years ago science and astrology (or alchemy) were one. The sage was the scientist, the astrologer the astronomer. When the split occurred in the Dark Age it was the signal that the world was being prepared for a gigantic leap forward. At that point, as a reaction to this severance which threatened the foundations of the old world, a reaction sprung up in the form of organised belief – i.e. dogma. It was an imposition of a crystallised seeing, a freezing as it were of perception. This was an interim necessity, a means of holding civilisation together, so to speak, because the split brought about a collapse of the old, without introducing the new. The effect was a polarisation still in place today. We have religion and matters of the spirit on one end of the pole; and material pursuits and science on the other. The chasm between the two has deepened to the point where a harmony and integration seem impossible.
Simultaneously, beliefs have hardened and their imposition has even been forced on non-believers. Everything has become compact and mentalised. Today we view the ancient integration with mistrust. We call it superstition, ignorance, backwardness. The result is a world that has lost its sense of purpose. We cannot agree upon a meaning to our existence which would satisfy both positions – material and spiritual.
But a split of this nature is simply a clue to the impending expansion of human awareness. The ‘new order’ we seek is not political or economic. It is not even spiritual. The new order is precisely a new integration, a new harmony. A reconciliation of the two extremes.
We cannot retreat into the past insofar as the boundaries of our awareness individually and collectively have been expanded due to the compulsions of the Time-Spirit. This expansion is mirrored in the expansion of the solar system from 6 to 9 planets. It would be inconceivable to return to the old system once we have seen the 9. Similarly we cannot return to the ancient traditions and expect them to be the solution. Firstly because we do not know the true nature of those traditions; and secondly because they would not be able to accommodate this new expansion. When divisiveness set in and spirit and matter were seen as antagonists, it was the signal that the time had come for a new way, a new world order of integration and harmony. The underlying impulsion for this process is Time. What the zodiac does is simply to provide a map of this process in such a way as to be universally applicable by means of the calendar which provides us with the sacred measure of the Year.
Another indication, therefore, that we are approaching the point of reconciliation, of integration and harmony, is precisely the fact that the present system of time reckoning is universal. This indeed is the salient clue our Age provides. And an interesting factor in dealing with Time is that it cannot be arrested or reversed. We can only move forward.
To do so in a creative and not destructive manner, we must seek to expand our awareness in proportion to the expanded measure of our solar system. This expansion is a question of higher octaves, higher potentials of human awareness being allowed to manifest by providing a fertile terrain in which this new seed may flower…
(PNB, an unpublished note dated 1 February 1997)

I am presenting this note from 1997 for your consideration because it introduces a theme of great significance in this updating series, perhaps the most important of all. It is the discovery of the new triad of planets beyond Saturn. In Update 19, I stated that Saturn either bars the aspirant’s entry into the final quarter of the Circle, or else it facilitates passage: the choice is ours as to how we will relate to the sixth planet in the course of our journey to self-perfection.
In the old school of astrology Saturn stands for destiny and, by consequence, for karma – as it has come to be understood after passage through a dark age. In the new, the 6th position of Saturn is exactly what it is seen to be (in the solar system): Guardian at the gate either to a beyond, or to the experience of an ‘extension of the boundaries’ by a further triad of planets, permitting the manifestation of higher potentials. Until the discovery of the new triad there was actually nothing to ‘enter’ into! The diagram below makes the position clear. Most significant of all, as the following discussion will reveal, is that the ‘extension’ could not be seen or integrated as a part of the cosmic harmony until the measure was an addition of 3; this will be proven by the triadic harmony itself.

(click to enlarge)

The first wheel (A) consists of the 12 signs of the zodiac; the Sun and planets are entered on the circle’s periphery according to their true orbital positions in the solar system, 0 (Sun) to 9 (Pluto). In the next (B), we have the same circle divided into four quarters. Saturn’s location is in the third quarter which begins with Libra and extends to Capricorn. This is where we find Scorpio, the sign of Death. For the Initiate-Warrior it was the most dangerous passage of the Journey. Sri Aurobindo has noted the difficulty in the following passages:

‘The expression in the hymns, daso maso ataran, indicates that there was some difficulty in getting through the full period of ten months. It is during this period apparently that the sons of darkness had the power to assail the sacrifice; for it is indicated that it is only by the confirming of the thought which conquers Swar, the solar world, that the Rishis are able to get through the ten months…’(The Secret of the Veda)

From the perspective of Myth this 8th stage is Aditi’s 8th son, Martanda, progenitor of our mortal race. And yet the Rishis posited the victory in the tenth month, in Capricorn, two stages further on. Nothing is indicated by this arrangement that the Journey ends in death as we experience it – unless, of course, we follow the lead of religions and spiritual paths for which this third quarter is the final one on Earth. For them the remainder of the Circle is experienced in the Beyond, however it may be identified in these belief systems. But is this the final word?
As the introductory note highlights, the situation for our evolving species has been altered considerably with the discovery of the new triad of planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.1 Interestingly, given the fixation on the Beyond and the ‘illusion’ of material creation, this emphasis is reflected in the current perception of cosmic harmonies in India where we find a disconnect due to the adoption of the Nirayana system. To compound matters, astrologers in India refuse to incorporate the new triad in their horoscopy. For them the system remains what it was in the Middle Ages, the Sun plus 6. If anything, this refusal to grasp the significance of the system’s expansion by another triad is the clearest example of the wrong turn cosmology took in the Piscean Age: the new discoveries began in that Age with first Uranus (1781), and then Neptune (1846); the process of expansion was finally carried over into our Age with the discovery of Pluto (1930). They are the indicators of the stages opened before the species, making those ‘worlds’ a part of the process to be experienced on Earth, in a physical body, and not in a Beyond. The last quarter is now ours to discover.
Admittedly, it is difficult to relinquish a system that had worked so well for so long to provide a sense of order for society, especially when the new discoveries were made straddling three centuries. Finally, when the new Age set in (1926), Pluto completed the process. It then was time to incorporate the triad into the cosmic harmony. In this Update I will highlight the need to do so now, failing which India cannot utilise the most important feature of the Dharma: its renewal mechanism.
The system was a measure of 6 when the Earth was passing through the Dark Age. Human consciousness had never been so severely closed in the prison of Ignorance as then. But for our purposes this is the best proof we have of the accuracy of the Vedic Vision because that negation too was accounted for. However, this would not be apparent without the present updating; and, more precisely, without the remarkable pattern the latest planetary discoveries provide. In revealing the pattern, first presented in The Gnostic Circle in 1974, this updating will allow students of Puranic Cosmology to understand the need to incorporate the new triad insofar as it indicates the stage of evolution we are embarking on in this Aquarian Age. If we close our minds to these new revelations, we do indeed become imprisoned in a cage of ignorance and superstition because the new triad opens up a quarter of the Circle that was believed to be an experience after death. What this opening reveals is that the quarter designated as ‘swar’, given the evolutionary leap we are experiencing is not ‘heaven’ in another dimension but rather the victory sign of the Vedic Age which is now being opened to an extended human experience. In other words, the entire last quarter of three signs has been integrated and brought into the Journey as a consciously-lived process for all humanity; it is no longer a void, no longer reserved for an elite. And certainly the changes in the world over the last three centuries testify to the relevance and validity of the enhanced measure.
The following diagram makes the ‘location’ of Swar clear, beyond the third quarter and Scorpio, where the Initiate must conquer Death in full awareness in order to continue the Journey. That last quarter was closed to human experience and could be reached only after death – the unconscious sleep leading to an equally unconscious rebirth.

The cosmic Birth (Update 18) and the nature of the Child that is the product of this unique gestational process spanning thousands of years, is described by the new triad. I reproduce below the pattern from The Gnostic Circle2 which reveals that when the old order is to be surpassed, it will be arranged in such a way that no room is left for speculation, because in the spirit of true science the theory is supported by facts corroborating the original premise from different angles. There can be no doubt that the time has come to ‘extend the boundaries’, for this new addition indicates the enhancement in perception that Supermind is adding to the evolutionary experience in this 9th Manifestation, opening the quarter beyond the Mental. In our recorded history, this would be the first time such an integration of the four levels of existence had been achieved.

(click to enlarge)

From The Gnostic Circle, Chapter 12, ‘The New Planets,
the Significance of their Discovery and the Calendar Years,’
Aeon Books, 1975

Here is the arrangement. First the planets/numbers are given of the new orbits in descending order, 9, 8, and 7, followed by the years of their discovery with the centuries again highlighting 9, 8, and 7. In the last column we find the position of the planets in the tropical zodiac at the time of their discovery to again highlight 9, 8, 7 – results arrived at through the Mathematics of Unity (as in 1+8=9). Several elements are emphasized in this discovery. To begin, there is the importance of the Mathematics of Unity as a fundamental part of the manifestation of the Supermind.3 Next is the combination of the orbit numbers of lower and higher octaves (4/1/8). Without these elements the discovery of the harmony could not have occurred and this remarkable display of the Supermind’s controlling action could not have been deciphered. None of the discoveries would have made harmonic sense unless the ‘chord’ struck consisted of three ‘notes’ (planets); but no sooner had we entered the new Age than the final ‘note’ was added. The result is this superb Music of the Spheres we are now able to ‘hear’ – the voice of the Supreme in the harmonics of the new Age of Supermind.
The orbit numbers surface in the reduction of the years of discovery through the Mathematics of Unity; and also amazingly in relation to the lower and higher octave orbits combined, through the same simple mathematical reduction formula. So as to leave no doubt regarding the validity of the new cosmology, the emphasis is on the relationship between LOWER OCTAVES and HIGHER. That is the issue to be highlighted. These are added thus: Pluto (9) is the higher octave of Mars (4) together equalling 13 = 4; Neptune (8) combines with its lower octave Venus (2) equalling 10 = 1; Uranus (7) is the higher octave of Mercury (1) – together equalling 8. To perceive the cosmic harmony complicated mathematics only serve to complicate the issue! Because then the beauty of Oneness and Unity is lost.
What is revealed in this unusual pattern is the relationship of the new planets as higher octaves to their lower octave counterparts. It is an important discovery confirming the functioning of Supermind in this new Age because many astrologers in the West, while incorporating the new triad have misunderstood this aspect when seeking to insert the new planets into the zodiac by rulership, following the tradition. For example, they believe that Pluto is co-ruler­ of Scorpio, ruled by Mars in the old school. That is, they seek to fit the cosmic language of Supermind, of which the triadic pattern is a prime example, into the old system; whereas the new cosmology is indeed new, and the Gnostic Circle is Supermind’s updated astrology for the Aquarian Age.
Thus, in the new harmony Pluto is not related to Scorpio but to Capricorn, because that is where Mars is exalted, and Pluto is the higher octave of Mars in its Capricorn location of exaltation.4 The same for the other two: Neptune is the higher octave of Venus and therefore correctly seen in relation to Pisces where Venus is exalted. Mercury is exalted in Aquarius with Uranus as its higher octave, therefore related to Aquarius. This discovery provides proof of one of the basic premises of astrology: the perception of the exaltation of planets in particular signs. It is as if this new revelation had been ‘arranged’ by the Supramental Shakti to convey the correct position and eliminate speculation, guessing and approximation, while ever validating the Tradition. Again, we are simply updating the system but this time with the integrating power of Supermind.
The exaltations of planets has been a firm part of Indian cosmology for as long as we have memory. As an example, there is the Jupiter Temple in Tamil Nadu where the deity is known as Dakshinamurthy – the Lord of the South. Why the South? The astrological exaltation of planets provides the answer: Jupiter is EXALTED IN CANCER, the south Cardinal Pole. This reveals the importance of the astrology practiced throughout the world, but especially preserved in India in her temple culture. It is just a question of ‘extending the boundary’.
I will conclude this Update with another example from temple architecture of the Age of Pisces – that is, before the higher octave of Mars had been incorporated into the system of cosmic harmonies. Nonetheless, the example is pertinent because it involves exaltations similar to the Jupiter Temple in Tamil Nadu, but this time it involves the Sun. The Mars factor enters by way of the sign it rules, Aries, where the Sun is in exaltation. I refer to the 13th century Sun Temple at Konarak in Orissa.
This temple is famous for its voluptuous erotic sculptures, all of which adorn the exterior walls of the structure. It is an unusual temple because it is in the form of a chariot, replete with symbolism taken from the mythic description of the Sun’s chariot. The outer form displays a particular aspect of Mars, eroticism; consequently, Mars also rules Scorpio which refers to sex, death and regeneration, among other things. At Konarak the sign involved is Aries, however, because not only is the eroticism of Mars on display, but the Sun being in exaltation in Aries has also been conceptualised in this unusual temple. The variations can be many provided there is an underlying order and cosmic sense. This is provided by the zodiac.
The erotic sculptures have disturbed some visitors, and enthralled others, while causing embarrassment to many Indians who have been influenced by England of the Victorian period. How can such displays be permitted in what is held to be a sacred precinct? (Naturally this has given Christian missionaries grist for the mill!)
In the Konarak Temple we find an explicit message: all depictions of eroticism – the Mars factor – are carved on the outer symbol-forms of the chariot. But the inside is bare and that is where the sanctum sanctorum is found, the abode of the Sun God whose exaltation is the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, ruled by Mars. The two, Sun and Mars, are the basic ingredients of this temple; and the chariot form leaves no doubt as to its Vedic foundation because the Journey begins in this sign/month of the sacrificial year, Aries – or Agni of the sacred Fire, leader of the hosts and whose vahana is, precisely, the Ram. In Puranic iconography he is depicted with two heads, one turned to the left, the other to the right, indicating both movements: the Vedic months to one side counterclockwise; the clockwise movement in years of the precession to the other.
Eroticism has a legitimate place in the outer circle of life. But when the Initiate enters the innermost circle, those tendencies fall away and there he or she stands as if nude before the innermost deity in the sanctum sanctorum of the heart, in this case the Sun God Surya himself. Having shed the gross, in that condition of pure solar substance, the Journey can then begin.

…We stand on the brink of destruction or creation simply because we will not allow the new world order to establish itself due to dogmas which prevent the new way from organising our world. Our political systems are ‘protected’ – and rightfully so – from any intrusion by those dogmatic forces. In the process we have created a new dogma in the form of secularism and its demands of total exclusion of the sacred from our collective organisations of life. This has been a necessity because the dogmas imposed by religious minds are attempts at freezing time and by consequence they serve as encumbrances which burden us with dead weight in order to arrest the march forward into the new. It is because of this that religions are under such pressure of late. No religion in the world is free from the pressure to relax their hold on the faithful by an acceptance of the change the Time-Spirit is introducing. But time cannot be arrested. The seed planted will flower. The destruction we witness is simply the measure of our resistance to change in the dimension which determines the forms thrown up by these deeper impulsions – the dimension of pure consciousness which is the field of Time. (Ibid.)

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
Solstice of June 2010

1.The dispute over the planethood of Pluto can be set aside for a later discussion..

2.Aeon Books, 1975.

3.This is made evident in the birthdates of the members of the Solar and Lunar Lines.

4.However, myth clarifies the issue because Capricorn is the sign of the Divine Mother’s victorious son, the War God – Mars exalted and enhanced.

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