Updating the Vedic Altar – 11

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet

Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
November 3, 2011

‘Here cried (or, moved) the stone impelled by the hand, whereby the Navagwas chanted for ten months the hymn…(RV, V. 45-7) ‘I hold for you in the waters the thought that wins possession of heaven, by which the Navagwas passed through the ten months…(RV. V, 45, 1).

‘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…’ (Sri Aurobindo, The Secret of the Veda, p.169).

Several elements of the new cosmology and its relation to the updated Vedi must be discussed after the foundation laid in Part 10. These are all interrelated but the Mother’s vision brings them into prominence in a special way. First there is the zodiacal sign Capricorn; second is Saturn because it is the planetary ruler of Capricorn; and third is India. Traditional astrology confirms the relationships by way of sign and rulership. In the Mother’s chamber they feature as key elements central to the equivalencies as determined in its Core. Indeed, in analysing Saturn, Capricorn and India in the Core, the most awe-inspiring features of this updated Vedi are revealed. This is when we truly enter the realm of a new way, a third way beyond science as well as spirituality.
In Part 7, I presented details of how the solar descending Ray (cow-energy) is defined as the year of 365 days. In so doing the necessity of using the universal calendar – and not the one used by Hindus – was revealed. We noted that Mahavishuva and Makar Sankranti are accommodated in the chamber’s translucent Globe. This was the only luminous object in the Mother’s vision, and rightfully so because the Globe is the element representing the Seeing Eye. It is the third in the trinity Transcendent, Cosmic, Individual – i.e., the individual Soul. In the human creation the Soul plays the same role as the Globe does in the chamber.
Saturn is the Time-Spirit, Chronos of Greek mythology, Mahakala of the Hindu. It needs to be stated before further discussion that the Mother’s vision in its entirety can be called a hymn to Saturn. In this context the Mother, being the embodiment of the 6 in the Formula, the Cosmic Divine, is the appropriate one of the Line to create a ‘hymn to Saturn’, the 6th planet. The measurements she gave for the Ray and the Globe make this clear. I will demonstrate just how Saturn comes to play such a central role when we observe further ahead its position in the four horoscopes of the members of the Solar Line, as I have called Vishnu’s emanations in this 9th Manifestation, consisting of the 9th Avatar and his helpers, 6 and 3. The 4th Power is the 10th in the Line, as the Core reveals. But to appreciate these correspondences we must make use of the aphorism a day for a year. On this basis the Ray is also 365 years.1
At the top of the Globe, which in the annual count is the Makar Sankranti, in terms of years it is 1935, with 1944 at the Globe’s centre equivalent to January 1st. When the Ray reaches the top of the Pedestal, after which it is seen no more, it is 1950 – the year of Sri Aurobindo’s passing when he stepped out of this physical plane for the period indicated accurately in the Pedestal’s time measurement. 1950 is also important in that the numbers 9/5/1 of the Name are again present in the date which provided the key for the discovery of the Map of the 12 Manifestations and the appearances of the Vishnu Avatars across the millennia.2
Supermind is the faculty that allows us to appreciate something so novel and deeply significant for the Earth’s evolution as the Mother’s updated Vedi. It allows us not only to see in a way that makes all things new, but it was the faculty the Mother employed for the Act of Measuring, without which the details I am presenting in this series and in numerous other publications could not have been formulated. In his monumental collection on the subject, Sri Aurobindo described Supermind’s characteristics. The reader may consult his published works for an in-depth appreciation of this new faculty that opens the door to the next stage in evolution, displacing the supremacy of Mind in the human species. With that displacement, and as Supermind grows in our midst, the solutions will appear to the many woes we face as a transitional species at this crisis point of our common destiny.
However, the Mother’s chamber is the first factual example of Supermind’s function; added to this is the contribution of the third in the Line who provides movement, who, through the application of the Name, is able to set the time-wheel in motion so that the Becoming is established as an integral part of the transformation of consciousness of the human species. We may have visions inspired by a higher Light, but the issue is applicability; and that comes with Measure and Movement: the 6 and the 3 in action. And for the latter we need the human consciousness as an instrument of perception and fulfilment. The Formula 9/6/3 is the key, ever and always. However, the correct calendar is the tool with which we apply the Formula in the flow of Earth time. If not the exercise is purely speculative, or at best philosophic. It has no power to actually transform life on Earth as is required at this stage of evolution. Hence I stated in the beginning of this series that the Vedic Altar encompasses a process,
The objective of the 9th Avatar’s descent was to reverse the direction spirituality had taken with its almost exclusive emphasis on an otherworldly realisation, leaving the Earth to her own devices, and to establish a life divine on this very planet, to bring Heaven upon Earth, as the Scriptures state. How can this best be achieved, is the question the sincere seeker must ask. Yogic realisations of the old schools, even if they could be extended beyond the single realiser to many others, would still not have the power to bring about any universal transformation, the signature of the Aquarian Age. Sri Aurobindo made this clear: it is not merely the goal of his mission that is different from the old Yogas; it is the process as well. That is, the Being and the Becoming would have to participate on equal terms. And indeed this has come to pass.
Supermind creates its own conditions for manifestation, is another aphorism of the new way cosmology. This means that the supramental Truth-Consciousness must arrange its manifestation in such a manner that in the becoming of its being, or its innermost essence, that divine life is manifested for all to see on Earth. Subjective realisations are desirable, but there has to be a revelation, with great precision in keeping with the character of Supermind, of exactly how the transformation can be accomplished. That revelation is the Mother’s chamber. It is the seed of all that is to follow.

In part 10, I dealt with the horizontal plane, for which the measure 1-12 was applied. In the solar system this same measure of 12 is observed in the horizontal expanse of the ecliptic plane which we divide into 12, as in the months of the year. That very same plane is further expanded to trace a full circle – in time by the laws of equivalency – to measure the larger movement the Earth experiences with the aid of the Precession of the Equinoxes, also a measure of 12. This is coherent and applicable. However, it would be only one of the two directions at the centre of which stands Earth – horizontal, related to Space. The other, the Vertical (time) is required to complete the process. Its measure is 9, or the Sun (0) and its 9 planets.

The Rig Veda records that the most difficult stage in the Journey is when the 9 (navagwas) become the 10 (dashagwas). We may express the passage in another way to mean the same thing: when the vertical 9 must become integrated with the horizontal 12. In Hindu temple architecture these directions feature prominently, as Stella Kramrisch explains in her monumental work, The Hindu Temple. In the section ‘The Form of the Vertical Axis’, she writes:

‘The vertical axis of the Prasada [temple] leads from the Highest Point…to the centre of the Garbhagriha…it traverses it like a hallow reed… The pillar inheres in the Prasada, which is the universe in a likeness. The Pillar of the Universe [skambha], the Axis Mundi, inheres in the World Mountain…The mountain shape of the Prasada is the sheath of the vertical axis… Its Highest Point, the end or beginning of the axis of the temple, is in the centre of the hollow shaft above the Linga or image in the Garbhagriha, above the Womb and Centre of the Cosmos and above the Navel of the Earth’ (p.175-76)

In her updated Vedi the Mother materialised the function by the descending (vertical) solar Ray which is equivalent to the ‘hollow reed/shaft’ of the temple, but which far from being hollow is filled with the Power of Time. When it meets the Core the integration begins between 9 and 12, vertical and horizontal, as can be appreciated in the photo. Indeed, the measure of 12, which the Mother’s own symbol provides in the chamber, is to be found only in the horizontal (see photo above) – equivalent to the ecliptic of our System where all the planets find their home base as they travel around the Sun, marking out the 12 stages of the Journey. The chamber reproduces this phenomenon by virtue of the laws of equivalency; in so doing, the architecture becomes applicable via the workings of Time through calendar and number. However as we analyse the Mother’s updated vedi, we SEE the measure of 12 to be the One Circle described in the Rig Veda, and also in the Atharva Veda:

One is the wheel; the bands are twelve; three are the hubs – who can understand it? Three hundred spokes and sixty in addition have been hammered therein and firmly riveted….
(Atharva Veda X, 8)

The Atharva Veda goes even deeper into this oneness in the next verse which captures the most profound esoteric function of the Altar, carried to subliminal heights in the Mother’s updating:

Though manifested, it is yet hidden, secret, its name is the Ancient, a mighty mode of being; in Skambha is established this whole world; therein is set fast all that moves and breathes.
(Atharva Veda X, 8)

In the chamber we see the Horse (horizontal – 12) as the upholder of the Cow (vertical – 9) just as the Vedic myth describes: Usha, the divine Dawn Goddess is the Globe is the Earth. She is carried across the horizon by Agni (the Horse) as she brings a new dawn each day to ‘make all things new’ (Aries/Agni is the first zodiacal sign, known as Cosmic Dawn). Through the Core we see Usha and Agni; we see Cow and Horse in a sublime geometric interplay of Consciousness-Force. The one gives the light, the other the movement which through our experience of Earth time makes the Divine Play intelligible to the human consciousness. We consciously live the experience of all that the updated Vedi encapsulates – for we live the Harmony, we are the Harmony. It is the supramental Truth-Consciousness that is responsible for this densification of the symbol; or, in the new-way aphorism, the symbol to become the thing symbolised. In the Rig Veda some of the most beautiful hymns are dedicated to the Dawn Goddess.
Success, or the victory of the 10th month/stage of Capricorn/Makar, comes about when this intertwining of vertical and horizontal occurs in the individual realiser as it had in the Vedic Age; but now it is a realisation that must extend to the rest of humanity. It must be imprinted in the evolutionary matrix if the supramentalisation of the species is to occur, if Mind is to cede its position of supremacy to the next principle, the truth-conscious Supermind. The Core of the Mother’s chamber reveals the manner in which this imprinting was done in the years following Sri Aurobindo’s passing in 1950. It is indeed, as the Atharva Veda verses to Skambha indicate, the most secret of secrets. Nonetheless, this supreme Rahasya stands disclosed before our very eyes if we use them to see in a new way. We come to understand that the updated vedi has been an essential element in the imprinting, without which the task of the 9th Avatar could not have been victoriously completed. All of this is ‘written’ in the chamber’s Core.

The sole measurement that allows us to see in this new way of Vedic equivalency and correspondence is the height of the Pedestal. Indeed, it provides the basis of realisation for the traveller on the Path so carefully described in the Rig Veda . The secret is the 9 becoming the 10, a process ‘contained’ in the Pedestal; but only a Pedestal of a certain measurement. Precision is provided by Sri Aurobindo’s four upright symbols, forming a square, which the Mother ‘saw’ when she entered the chamber in the supramental plane ‘touching at its angles’. We may refer again to the diagram below for verification. Sri Aurobindo’s old symbol, in use until May of 1964, when placed in the pedestal/square does not touch at its angles. On the other hand, the re-made symbol does. This shift from old symbol to new was the Mother’s unique way of transcribing for the world Sri Aurobindo’s accomplishment regarding the Vedic 9 becoming the 10, from 1950 onward, the period defined in the Pedestal’s time-measurement. In this Aquarian Age it must be imprinted in the fabric of evolution, it must step out of the parameters set for the individual realiser and become the basis for societal transformation. This is the secret the Pedestal of the Core holds.

With the Pedestal measurement one half of the puzzle is solved. The rest is provided by the precise measurement the Mother gave for the globe’s diameter: 70cm, the measurement of the chamber’s only luminous object. In fact, the Pedestal measurement itself derives from the Globe, as I will explain. On the basis of a diameter of 70cm, using one of the most sacred of all geometric figures, the Vesica Piscis, this extraordinary feat of capturing the Vedic process, once reserved only for an elite, can now be revealed as a firm part of the evolution on Earth.
Vesica Piscis means Vessel of the Fishes – or , the Mother’s own sign (A). But to be accurate, the line cutting through the circles should join their centres (B). Applying the Vesica of 70cm diameter (of the Globe), the lower portion then accommodates the Pedestal exactly with the angles of Sri Aurobindo’s symbol touching. His symbol fits neatly into the lower sphere of the Vesica. This could not occur if the pre-1964 symbol were used. In the discussions the Mother held explaining her vision in early 1970, she was insistent that the translucent Globe (not transparent as in the revised plan of the architects’ of Auroville) should measure 70cm diameter. On the basis of the sacred Vesica as shown in the diagram below, the Pedestal then measures 50cm height (60 width), exactly what is required for the application of the Geometry of Time.

If 50cm are added to the Pedestal, the total length of the vertical axis-shaft is 15m70. With the 15m20 of the visible Ray we have 365 days, according to the aphorism Cow is Ray is 365 days. But what happens when 50cm more are added, which equal 13 days. We then have 365+13 = 378. Remarkably these 378 days constitute exactly the synodic year of Saturn, making his presence felt by this Geometry of Time in an astonishing manner, certainly the only example of such an equivalency ever recorded in sacred geometry. And yet, this utter marvel of Seeing was dismantled by the Auroville architects; it seems the residents of the township preferred the ‘revised’ version – with its ego-sense embedded – over the Mother’s supramental updated Vedi, when they were offered the choice. With the higher things treated so cavalierly, is it any wonder that civilisation stands on the brink of self-destruction? The lesson learned from that saga is, in the words of the youth (Part 4), the ‘book of knowledge’ the Mother bequeathed could be ‘opened’ only when man ceases to be man – and becomes Superman. Thus are all things perfectly as they should be. The choice is made by each one of us in full awareness now, given the revelations Supermind has brought to the world.
Finally, we find that 15m70 must be added to two measurements the Mother recorded in her conversations; one was 15m20 and the other 15.50, both apparently for the chamber’s height. A certain confusion prevailed as to which was correct. But in fact both are correct. 15m20 is the length of the visible Ray; 15m50 is the height of the chamber, floor to apex. But to this, based on the Vesica Piscis of the Mother’s own natal sign, there are 20cm that are added, located below the floor level, as the photo of the Ray and Core indicate. This is one more means to establish the Mother’s Vedic credentials and that she is a Seer in the direct lineage of the Vedic Rishis. Stella Kramrisch discusses this feature of the Hindu temple by offering examples where in the Garbhagriha the idol is sunken beneath the floor, often as in a hidden crypt:

‘…In the Jambukesvara temple, near Trichinopoly, in South India, the Garbhagriha below the level of the ground enshrines a Svayambhu Linga standing in water. The great sanctity of the non-man-made Linga, the hidden darkness of the not only innermost, but also of the lowermost, Garbhagriha, are proper to Guha, the secret chamber around the omphalos, the navel and centre of the Earth and of Being. Above it is the Garbhagriha for daily rites, and above these graded levels of secrecy and sanctity is the superstructure. The finial above it shines golden, high up, straight above the omphalos, or centre of the Garbhagriha, the womb and cave in the mountain. Or else no floor separates the lower and the upper chamber, they are one; only the sunk level is preserved. The one and only Garbhagriha is often much lower in level than the hall, the Mandapam by which it is approached; stairs lead down to it, to a depth of seven or eight feet, or less; the actual extent into depth is immaterial as long as the descent is marked by the level of the floor being lower than that of the threshold, be it even one step only. In Orissa, the name of the Garbhagriha is Gambhira, the deep lying.’ (The Hindu Temple, page 172-3.)

Naturally very few or none would be able to see that the Mother’s vedi serves the same purpose as above, with its 20cm beneath floor level. However, if we understand the connection between Guha and the chamber’s Pedestal and the sunken Garbhagrihas as described above, we cannot fail to find a further confirmation of her Vedic credentials because the Pedestal does hold the essence of Guha and reveals the role the Divine Son plays in the evolution of humankind and the establishment of Supermind as the next and highest principle.
There is a footnote to the above paragraph in Kramrisch’s book which I include because it points to the fact that interpretations of the Sacred abound on the basis of time-bound historical happenings; whereas, the reason for the sunken Garbhagriha is a tradition that dates well before Muslim invasions and was not for protection but to encourage deeper communion with the Power in the Garbhagriha:

‘Fn #113, page 172: ‘The underground situation of the place of greatest sanctity has been explained as a protective measure from the Mohammedans, as all the temples where it is so placed, were built when the Muslims entered India. Apart from the fact that the vast majority of preserved Hindu temples dates from these centuries (10th to 12th), the presence of the Svayambhu Linga, the natural Omphalos, disproves this assumption.’

Here is the diagram indicating the sunken 20cm which does indeed hold the secret of Guha, the hidden One, the Son. This single item reveals certainly what must be considered the most remarkable of the Mother’s ability to update the Vedi. In the process, she established the credentials of Vishnu’s 9th Avatar and his Line; but more importantly, she re-instates the axial role the Vishnu Dasavataras play in ancient as well as contemporary post-independent India. And that these 20cm should carry the solar Ray to the exact measurement of Saturn’s synodic year is indeed a testimony to the magnificence and relevance of astrology when the laws of its equivalency and correspondence are grasped. For this a New Way is needed, beyond the science and spirituality we know today.

Finally there is Saturn’s direct and finest addition to the credentials of the Time-Spirit’s emanations that I am establishing, through observing the placement of the 6th planet in the four natal horoscopes of the members of the Solar Line, drawn up on the basis of the true Vedic astrology of the tropical zodiac. (These correspondences could not exist on the basis of the currently-used sidereal Nirayana system of computation for horoscopes, with its shifting ayanamsha that makes any such precision impossible). When Saturn’s zodiacal longitudes in the four charts are calculated and then converted to calendar days with the help of an ephemeris, and these dates in turn are located in the Core, given the accuracy of Supermind to which we have become accustomed, those days touch all four points of the Globe: top of the Globe – the Mother (6); centre – (3); top of the Pedestal (9), and finally the position of Saturn in the horoscope of the 4th (0/1) falls where we would expect – the bottom of the Globe, hidden deep in the pedestal (see The New Way, Vol.2, p. 267). For the feminine powers, Saturn is as we would expect – in the light-filled Globe, in full view; the Masculine supports but is not seen as the active principle. This is fully in keeping with Sri Aurobindo’s teaching. As in Tantra, the Shakti is active; Shiva exists but to support her play. In the Mother’s chamber core, these are the dancing particles of light in the Globe.

[Link to Part XII]

1 The Ray measurement as it enters the chamber in the day-month count is 5 January; but as years it is 1584, the first 9-power year after the last reformation in 1582 of the Julian Calendar currently in use throughout the world. This is the official calendar India adopted at Independence. The 15m20 of its length carries us to the top of the Pedestal and 5 January again.
2 In The Hindu Temple, Kramrisch writes on page 11 (f.n. 22), ‘A knowledge of form (rupa), and number and proportion was an indispensible equipment; mathematics and architecture had their root in the Vedic altar. The indissoluble connection of number and form remained a consciously employed knowledge throughout. In the middle of the ninth century AD the mathematician Mahavira…speaks of the use of the science of number in architecture and in all that constitutes the peculiar value of the arts.’
Number has been an essential ingredient, in the manner used in Vedic Mathematics, reduction to a ‘seed digit’.

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