Puranic Cosmology Updated 1

20 February 2010

For a number of years I have been concentrating on reconnecting contemporary India to her Vedic roots. I believe that the exercise has been largely successful. Foremost has been the link I was able to establish between Vishnu’s Dasavataras and the Rig Veda via the hymns in praise of Vishnu in the collection, which, to my knowledge, had never been done. With the publication of Secrets of the Earth (Aeon Books, 2009) that phase of the endeavour was largely completed. There can be no doubt that the Line of Ten stretches back to the Vedic Age and does rightfully merit the description ‘backbone’ of Vedic civilisation, as I have sustained. This discovery came through a series of gnostic keys which have appeared in a number of my published works from 1974 to date.
In addition to the above, in Secrets the meaning of Vishnu’s three strides to ‘measure the universe’ has been finally deciphered, once again based on the same praises from the Rig Veda to this important Godhead. There can no longer be any doubt but that those hymns contain the true meaning of his measuring act in three strides and that they refer unequivocally to the Line of Vishnu’s Ten Avatars. The knowledge is consistent, coherent and connected. The connection or the thread running through the system has finally been revealed. It is not through a repetition of rituals, as inspiring as they may be, or by the chanting of mantras that the connection with the Veda is maintained; rather, only the thread of Knowledge can be the direct link between India today and of the Vedic Age, precisely as the word implies – veda, knowledge. That this potent word lies at the root of the civilisation surely indicates a unique destiny.
One important aspect of the Knowledge has resulted from this exercise: it is the need to return to the Vedic system of computation for the calendar of temple observances and horoscopy. This is the first step along the way to re-forging a dynamic link with the Vedic Age. Presently, because of this deviation there is only an imaginary connection. It is neither factual nor applicable today.
While emphasis was entirely on the Veda over the past several years, it is now time to carry out the same exercise regarding the Puranas – more specifically Puranic Cosmology. In this context, the situation in India and in the world prompts me to discuss ORDER – a new Order. From time immemorial civilisation on the subcontinent evolved on the backdrop of a unique pattern which made sense of many aspects of collective and individual life in India. In fact, it was unthinkable that a society could successfully evolve without such a pattern. And indeed it still exists. Its persistence lies at the heart of what is known as the Sanatana Dharma – the eternal Way, the eternal Truth.
At the outset we must be clear about a fundamental aspect of the Dharma. It is not a religion; very far from it. Rather, it can best be described as the cosmic foundation of a way of life, a culture. The fact that this Order has served as the backdrop for everything that is true and real in India is what disqualifies the civilisation from being categorised as religious according to contemporary interpretations. Something very different lies at the root of the civilisational underpinnings I propose to discuss in this series; and herein lies India’s blessing – and her bane: contemporary Indian society has carried that Order, that Sanatan Dharma into the present. But the world today is a very different place than what it was in the millennia when that superior Order had evolved and guided the people of the subcontinent. Contemporary society is largely governed by values that came through exclusivist religions. Consequently, India finds herself obliged to accommodate these factors into the ancient Order, or to find a way to carry the Dharma forward into a new phase of expression without succumbing to the limitations that affect the world today and which, in the main, are incompatible with India of the Vedic Age. Therefore a method must be found to re-establish the Order in the present conditions of our global society in spite of this incompatibility. A method has indeed been found which will be the subject of this discussion.
In the course of this series I will highlight several factors. One is precisely the question of universalism which perforce must be the underlying breath running through the new Order – indeed, the very element that distinguishes it from the old way and which gives it its vibrating, pulsating life. Next is the need to illustrate just how the pattern, ancient and new, escapes the constraints religion imposes.
And then there is the structure or pattern itself which we will dissect. In so doing it will be appreciated that the new order is simply an UPDATING of the old. The latter is not discarded but simply brought forward almost intact. Herein lies the extraordinary quality of the ancient way: it can be proven that the Order I am discussing bore an inherent mechanism of renewal, exactly what is lacking in religions and contemporary ideologies. Because of that mechanism it is known as sanatana, eternal; and because of this special and unique quality it can be demonstrated that what we know today as Puranic Cosmogony is actually prophetic in that the new cosmology is seen to build on that structure by virtue of the fact that the very same laws and methodology which we find in the Puranic cosmology forms the warp and woof of the new.
That is the issue: What is the core embedded in the system which is indestructible and is carried over across the aeons? When this is known the eternal essence is revealed on which basis the new evolves. To put it succinctly, there is a stable constant as upholder of both the old and the new. In the human being we know that constant as the Soul. The same must be said of cosmology of this special type. That unchanging quotient is the eternal support of the system, on which basis a civilisation can enjoy a blissful state of eternal Being within the Becoming. The evolutionary process provides the becoming of the being which is the stable support of the system everlastingly. But without the harmonised expression of the two there is neither sanatana nor dharma. There is just growth and decay, life followed by death.
The only civilisation this Earth has produced to escape from a morbid fossilisation of this nature is the Vedic. But we cannot expect to carry the old Puranic order into our times just as it was known millennia ago. If this were allowed we would be denying legitimacy to half the equation – the Becoming. And it is precisely the evolutionary process that eliminates the disease of fossilisation. Armed with the Core as our stable constant, we embark in this study on the discovery of exactly what must be carried over from the ancient way – but updated, failing which the civilisation that was based on the old cosmology must surely perish.