Updating the Vedic Altar –10

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
October 28, 2011

The Cow is the Ray is the Year, or the Ray is 15m20 is 365 days – and by the aphorism a year for a day, those 365 days are 365 years. Without the preparation the Vedic Journey offers, it is difficult for the layperson to appreciate the equivalency. And yet, the New Way, the third way beyond science and spirituality is founded on these laws of equivalency, the discovery of the Rishis. This should be the foundation of every astrologer even today, since the art is based on the ability to perceive equivalencies. If this were truly the case, astrologers would be able to defend their craft before the constant onslaughts from scientists and rationalists – both of whom claim that this Mother of all Sciences is simply superstition. They claim that there is no proof of any measurable ‘influence’ emanating from the planets affecting individuals on Earth. But the ‘influence’ is not of particles and/or waves; it is simply the operational laws of equivalency. Science has a long road to travel before it can grasp these laws, but perhaps with the end of Relativity a better understanding will emerge.
The Rishis understood the process thoroughly. It is for this very reason that the Rig Veda itself is not understood. Contemporary astrology in India is far removed from the Vedic source, but with this series it is hoped that a connection can be re-established and the art can be restored to the elevated position it enjoyed in former times.
We face phenomenal resistance in this endeavour. The Nirayana astrologers – those who use the sidereal circle for astrological computations – are the most vociferous. But even those who profess a desire to return astrology to its Vedic roots, such as Avtar Krishen Kaul (AKK) and his followers, are unable to do so, try as they might, because they are ignorant of the zodiacal foundation that the Rishi enjoyed – accompanied by the laws of equivalency. They hold that the tropical zodiac as it is used in the West was unknown in India in the Vedic Age. And with this denial their efforts to replace the current Nirayana system with the Sayana (based on the solar ecliptic circle) are doomed to failure; that is, if the intention is to re-connect to the Veda the honourable art of astrology. The issue merits serious attention because all temple rituals and horoscopic calculations are done on the basis of the prevailing Nirayana system; that is, all measurement is done in the sidereal circle of the constellations rather than in the tropical zodiac of the ecliptic. While professing to return to the ancient Vedic roots, the point is missed because they invariably swing to and fro between tropical zodiac and constellations – as if they were one and the same. These latter-day pundits continue to make the same mistake astronomers have made by confusing the two.
I will provide just a few examples from a letter Avtar Krishen Kaul wrote to me. It was dated sometime in 2004 (I cannot find the exact date of his 66-page letter!). After mocking my ‘yogic credentials’ or ‘tapasya’ on page after page, he then reveals how little he understands of the zodiacal hieroglyphs; and without that knowledge hardly anything of the Rig Veda’s secrets can be revealed:

‘The other fundamental error here is that the hieroglyphs that you have used are for the names “Aries”, “Taurus” etc. instead of their Sanskrit equivalents like Mesha, Vrisha etc. In India, if a rashi [zodiacal sign] like Scorpio has to be represented symbolically, it will be as a “Vrischika” that is as a scorpion really and not as the Greek letter “m” which in itself can never be of Indian origin… (Page 4).'

This is an amazing statement from a person who holds himself up as a scholarly authority on the Veda and on astrology. The ‘m’ he refers to is indeed the hieroglyph for Scorpio, but, as I will illustrate, it is not an M as he imagines, and therefore having no bearing to India and the Vedas. Admittedly, these hieroglyphs were set aside in India millennia ago; but the knowledge they contain is thoroughly Vedic. For the fact is, only through Indian tradition can we come to understand the true meaning of the Scorpio glyph. It is the released energy – sometimes called Kundalini – primarily in sexual activity. In Hindu iconography this M is portrayed as a 3-coiled serpent just as the hieroglyph depicts. There are two related hieroglyphs in the zodiac: Virgo of the 6th stage/sign and Scorpio the 8th.

As can be noted, in the 6th, Virgo, the ‘tail’ turns back on itself; the sexual energy is not released – hence the Virgin. In the 8th the ‘tail’ juts out indicating release; and Scorpio is the sign relating to sex. The hieroglyphs cannot be understood within the context of the Vedic Journey unless they are seen together, and with Libra (Tula) in between. In fact, I must go further to state that the success of the entire initiatic Journey hinges on the passage through these very signs which in the myth is the realm of Vala, where the stolen ‘cows’ are hoarded and must be released. The 8th is, furthermore, the sign of Death. In the Veda this ‘hoarding’ is Inertia – i.e., death, or the movement arrested before the solar world of the Immortal Ones is reached. When the transformation occurs through processes recorded in the cosmic script itself, the Scorpion becomes the Eagle – the higher aspect of the sign; that is, the initiate has not succumbed to the sleep that is Death.1
This is one example of the ignorance prevailing with regard to the zodiacal content of the Rig Veda. Its myth makes the position clear, but few can relate that to the zodiac even though the Rishi himself declares that these are ‘worlds’ which are opened to Earth beings by the months, one world leading into another. Similarly, one hieroglyph leads to another in a connected sequence. For example, in the next sign, Sagittarius, we see the ‘stinger’ of the Scorpion cut and soaring upward as in the flight of an Eagle. One would have to be blind not to see these correspondences and their relation to the process described throughout the Rig Veda.
Ignorance is further revealed in perhaps the most important dimension of the Rig Veda when AKK mocks the fact that I equate Makar with Capricorn, which for him must be solely related to the Constellations and not the rasi (zodiacal sign), his point always being that they are an adjunct of Astronomy and cannot be found in the Veda which predates the emergence of the science. Like the above, the tradition itself proves my point. He states

“India” (Capricorn) - A crocodile or a Goat?
You say that India has Capricorn as the ruling sign. Perhaps what you mean to say is that India is astrologically governed by Makara Rashi since Capricorn is actually the name of Capricornus constellation and as you say that constellations have nothing to do with Rashis, obviously, you cannot be referring to the constellations again! Even if we take it that it is Capricorn rashi really, I am glad to observe that by dint of your "forty years’ tapasya" you have actually proved what you are trying to disprove! The glyph of "Capricorn" that you have used as the governing sign of "Akhand Bharat" (which is no longer Akhand!) is in fact, as just shown, a Greco-Chaldean/Latin glyph---which means that it is this glyph that you find somehow to work wonderfully accurately about predictive astrology. There can never be such Indian “hieroglyph” for Makara, I wholeheartedly believe in your being a genuine Tapasvi. And obviously your Tapasya also has confirmed that it is only Greek glyphs that are more appropriate to predictive astrology -- again confirming the point that Rashis were imported into India! Or do you mean to say that Capricorn is of Indian origin but somehow it went to Greek astrologers who "appended" to it an appropriate glyph and then was "outsourced" to India!
This is precisely my point: a cosmic script of Indian origin, lost in the land of its origin millennia ago – along with the understanding of the Veda – but brought back to India in its original form, known only to Initiates who no longer exist since the yogic practice described in the hymns has long since been set aside in favour of the more modern Yogas. This is what needs to be re-established because this sort of nationalist fervour is what allowed Indologists, using the Rig Veda as ‘proof’, to consider the subcontinent devoid of civilisation until invading primitive hoards from Central Asia occupied this sacred land, implanting their unsophisticated nature worship (the Aryan Invasion Theory); whereas, it seems evident that the Veda, when understood fully, reveal a knowledge beyond anything known in Greece or Egypt or Mesopotamia at the time of the purported creation of the script.

The hieroglyph referred to as Babylonian is the symbol of Capricorn (above), indeed India’s ruler. Admittedly, the synchronicity of landmass and hieroglyph is enough to tax any human mind; but that the synchronicity exists cannot be doubted. It can be ridiculed, as the Sanskritist has done, we can refuse to accept that the symbol originated in India in a distant past, but the fact remains that the Capricorn hieroglyph, a sign that tradition holds universally to be India’s ruler, delineates the landmass commonly known as Akhand Bharat, or Greater India. In light of the above, it is clear that our task of re-establishing the hidden knowledge of the Veda is an onerous one. Nonetheless, I will present just one more example of AKK’s critique, which simply goes to prove the point: an initiatic experience is required for these mysteries to be understood. Regarding Capricorn, he writes:

‘Surprisingly you have juxtaposed everywhere Makar with Capricorn (which you say is the governing sign of India) forgetting that “A Goat is a Goat” and “A crocodile is a crocodile”. They have nothing in common, one being carnivorous and the other herbivorous and so on. Whatever lengthy articles you may write on her “astrological destiny”, it is not clear from your delineations whether you want to present India as a “Goat” or as a “Crocodile” Or do you mean to say that India is both – a “Goat” and also a “Crocodile”. Greek nomenclature cannot be Vedic: In all your works I find that you have not used any Sanskrit names like Mesha etc. for any of the Rashis nor Surya etc. for planets! Writing lengthy discourses on the Vedic zodiac is alright but then we would have to teach our Vedic Rishis the Greek language or as an alternative Sanskrit language to the Greeks!'

The above amply reveals that the origin of the zodiac is persistently believed to have been in Babylon. Any mention of a Vedic origin is lambasted, as in the above. I have only quoted a small portion of the 66-page letter, but the reader may rest assured that on every page there is a similar tirade. My point in this series is to highlight the Mother’s Vedic credentials and to demonstrate that she continues the line of initiatic knowledge found in the Rig Veda because, as her symbol reveals, the core of the Knowledge – ancient and contemporary – remains the sacred universal script of 12. To this end I will use the above statement to demonstrate how little is truly understood of the Veda by those who claim to be Sanskrit scholars in a position to lead others.
Since AKK and his followers believe that the zodiac was unknown to the Rishis, his argument is that the symbols and pictographs are found only in astronomy relating to the constellations, and are therefore of a much later date than is assumed for the Veda. But there is an even more important failing in the Sanskritist’s assertions – and this brings us to the point I have already made throughout: without the initiation of the Vedic Journey, the cosmic energies of the Vedic and Puranic Gods and Goddesses cannot be recognised in the equivalency I am discussing. His dismissal is a case in point. AKK makes a stark divide between Capricorn of the tropical zodiac and Makar of Hindu tradition, whereas they are one and the same. The correspondence is obvious to anyone who has realised the essence of the Capricorn Godhead/cosmic energy.
In the tradition – Vedic or Greek, does it really matter? – the pictograph of the tenth sign is the Goat with a tail of a Fish. Thus, the symbolism is clear: the meaning of the tenth sign/month is the heights and the depths, the apex and the abyss – i.e., the mountain and the sea. The Crocodile (Makar) fulfils part of the sign’s meaning because it is of the sea and amphibious. However, left out is the half supplied by the Goat – the mountain apex. The God who embodies the power for the initiatory experience at this stage of the Journey is Varuna. He is the embodiment of the realisation the Initiate must seek; and it must also be borne in mind that the tenth month/stage is hailed as the month of victory where the portal to Immortality is reached, the culmination of the process. Therefore it is crucial to understand this level in the fullest Vedic sense if the aim is to establish the Dharma by re-connecting it to its ancient roots. This cannot be done by constant denial, unsubstantiated by anything other than denial. Here are a few lines explaining the nature of Varuna from Sri Aurobindo’s The Secret of the Veda:

‘…So Varuna of the Veda is at once King – not of the heavens as such…but of the highest covering ether and all the oceans…
‘Great Varuna is the continent and the nodus of the world’s uplifted puissances no less than of its arising thoughts. The unconquered workings that fall not from the Truth are established in him as upon a mountain…’

As per the Veda, Varuna stands in the mountain heights and from there measures the vastnesses over which he is sovereign. He is king of both the heights and the depths, mountains and oceans; and thus he embodies perfectly the Goat/Fish pictograph of the zodiac. The Rishis did not spell out the correspondence for the benefit of those who cannot grasp these correspondences by intuition since the cosmic script was so widely known and accepted that, as I have written, it is the thread running through the entire Rig Veda. It is its secret language – universal because anyone in any continent and in any era can experience the same Journey by realising Varuna of one’s own inner being – indeed, as within, so without, which is the true cosmic consciousness.
I have by no means dealt here with the full meaning of Varuna (for more on Varuna, see The New Way, Volume 2, ‘Return to the Source’). In this series my intention is simply to reveal the prominence of the same zodiac in the Vedic Age and how it can serve us well in understanding the Mother’s updated vedi. In fact, nothing of what I write on her Vedic Altar could be validated without first laying a foundation in the common language used by both the Rishi and the Mother. From time immemorial the Earth has hosted Mystery Schools. Invariably the key of higher knowledge that formed the basis of the teaching was the zodiac, just as we know it today with its hieroglyphs and pictographs. As I have shown in this series, the zodiac contains the perennial knowledge. It was the basis of the knowledge conveyed in the Rig Veda, as well as in the Mother’s updated vedi – without which their content remains a sealed book. This has been factually proven yet we have to contend with denials from those who are completely closed to this initiatic knowledge. They skim the surface. They remain trapped in words and symbols which for them are devoid of significance and applicability. Indeed, as Sri Aurobindo wrote in the beginning of the last century, the ‘soul of knowledge has fled from its coverings.’ And yet they hold themselves up as authorities and they even pretend to guide others into a world they have never accessed, much less explored. Lamentably, they have not used the key of higher knowledge the Rig Veda itself provides to unlock those doors of the months of the zodiacal calendar year; but provided the cosmic clock is re-set to allow entry. With a Makar Sankranti 23 days late, there is simply no lock to turn.
Unfortunately Hindus are satisfied with this ‘guidance in a vacuum’. Therefore they are saddled with an astronomical model for temple timings and horoscopy that has absolutely no Vedic basis. They are saddled with an astrology that imposes a 23-day late Makar Sankranti without a protest. Hindus simply follow a lead that goes from darkness into deeper darkness in calendrical matters, without ever questioning, without ever demanding an answer from astronomers as to why they insist on sidereal computations in lieu of the correct system based on the infallible pillars of the Equinoxes and Solstices. This cosmic void affects over 80% of India’s population – for that is the result when the great Measurer that is Varuna is ignored, when he is not appreciated as the Godhead who embodies Capricorn – Goat and Fish, Mountain and Sea, heights and depths. But this equivalence was known in the Puranic Age because the tradition records that Varuna’s vahana is precisely the Crocodile, clearly connecting him to Makar/ Capricorn. In Vedic tradition, whatever is lacking in the vahana is fulfilled by the God himself, bringing the experience more intimately within the seeker’s grasp. The important aspect is the significance and inner meaning of each stage/sign which the symbol clothes. It is for the traveller on the Path to remove the outer coverings and discover that deepest sense on his or her journey.

With these correspondences unveiled, can Varuna’s connection with the tenth zodiacal sign be made any clearer?

None of the Pundits can explain how it is that the Capricorn hieroglyph delineates the landmass of Akhand Bharat, or more importantly why. If they were familiar with astrology they would know that Capricorn is universally considered the astrological ruler of India; therefore, the correspondence, strange as it may be, is logical, coherent and valuable as a confirmation of the rulership. Furthermore, being the sign of Victory for the Rishis, the correspondence becomes even more significant. What is not clear though is the origin of the hieroglyph. We know only that it is likely to have originated before our historic period – but so has the Rig Veda. The hymns may have been recorded in writing several millennia ago, but we know that they were handed down orally for thousands of years, long before the need arose to preserve the text with the help of the written word. Thankfully the Rishis had the foresight to do so, thereby rendering the Veda accessible now to the entire world. But Sanskrit is not the issue; the hieroglyphs themselves are the important feature because they form a universal language that cuts across time and space and any other barrier that may grip the consciousness of those who refuse to see.
This is the lesson India needs to learn at the earliest because time presses. I address this concern to those who so staunchly cling to prejudices of race and class and even gender – not to speak of national boundaries that in this space age of Aquarius are fast losing all meaning. From outer space the Earth is borderless. This brand of nationalism goes counter to everything held most sacred in the Veda. Above all, it is a denial of the role India is destined to play on the world stage precisely because of her Vedic heritage. But astrology informs us that we are in the Aquarian Age, known for its quality of universalism. Yet these pundits prefer to remain trapped in Relativity and closed to this sacred heritage by a zealousness that has no place in the India of today, centre of a global society in the making. It is the (true) Vedic Astrology that reveals this sacred universal destiny.

(To be continued)

1 See ‘A Tale of Two M’s’, Explorations into the Leonardo Mysteries, Aeon Books.


  1. I have been following the series as it has materialized in a breathless breeze and I am left absolutely spellbound by your Genius and the wonderful way you have established the identity between the Mother's Symbol and the Rig Veda and the ancient Vedi.Never before has anybody payed such tributes to the Mother and nobody has glorified The Mother as you have done! I had goose pimples reading through the whole series and my God, this is simply AWESOME!

  2. Where are you based out of? I would like to contact you for a paper.