Letters from Skambha


‘…I must make it clear that I do not discourage questioning. On the contrary. I believe that in the early stages of one’s quest it is very necessary to question in order to hone one’s discrimination and to accustom oneself to strive for the direct and lived experience (whatever that might be in the nature of the quest). But this entails a right questioning; or rather, a right attitude in the effort. If this is not present, then the enquiring mind soon overtakes one’s consciousness and crystallises the Doubt – which was the case we have been analysing.

     When I see that the poseur of questions is not a part of that honing process but is rather a mark of insincerity, for the doubting mind to provide and ‘escape’ when any pressure is applied for transformation, then I do discourage the practice, and in most cases refuse to waste time in the fruitless effort of convincing someone who is not at all in quest of true understanding but is merely seeking a means to postpone the inevitable; that is, the relinquishing of the ordinary reasoning faculties which are inadequate to deal with aspects of higher knowledge.

By this I do not mean that reason and logic have no place in the higher order of things. That is not at all the case. However, these activities which should be utilised by the more refined light of a higher mind have become the tools of an unillumined consciousness which seeks to use the normal and legitimate activities of Mind to prolong the rule of the Ignorance and to keep the race imprisoned in its lower hemisphere of being.

In addition, I believe that the position of the Supramental Manifestation now, with its more complete foundations in the fourfold gnostic structure, can easily provide answers to all legitimate and sincere questions which any true seeker may have.

You ask several in your letter which I would like to answer in a rather detailed way because, for one, they deal with conditions in the work that introduce new and confounding elements and therefore present stumbling blocks for people who had barely come to terms with the old! – the ‘old’ relatively speaking, I ought to clarify.

I realise the extension of embodied Powers in the supramental Descent from two to four is a big leap to expect people to make. However, when the seeker dispassionately and as objectively as possible studies all the material now available to support this extension, I cannot honestly see how understanding and acceptance can be withheld. This is impossible if the material is scrutinised adequately and in the right poise of consciousness.

By right poise I do not mean an elimination of the critical faculty but the wish and the ability to deal with what is clearly written. Often this is not the case. People pretend to read, but in effect they are simply projecting into the text nothing but their doubts and misgivings and bad will. The result is that they cannot appreciate at all what is actually written, if indeed they have read the full texts in which I explain in detail the nature, the basis and the reason for this inevitable extension.

Usually a careful reading is not undertaken. This brings to mind an exchange we, here at the Centre, had with a prominent member of the Ashram in 1984, on this very subject. He is considered one of the Ashram ‘authorities’ on Sri Aurobindo’s work; he is an author of numerous books and editor of one of the Ashram journals.

The position was this: he was to give his evaluation of the contents of The New Way in view of the fact that he halted publication of a series of my articles in his journal when he discovered that I had made footnote references to my book. In his opinion no Ashram journal should print any material that made mention of this book.

In view of this, the editor was asked if he had read the material in question. He had not, of course. Finally, I insisted that it was his duty to do so, otherwise he would be casting Sri Aurobindo’s work into a medieval mould. (I should add here that the Mother, as recorded in The Agenda, had a similar forceful complaint about this same individual.) The interesting upshot of the episode was that he finally came out with a negative pronouncement on ONE PHRASE (not even a full sentence!) plucked from the middle of the book which he still had not read at all. How he ferreted out this phrase without reading the book is in itself interesting. He asked a person who had read The New Way where such-and-such was mentioned; that person duly indicated the place, and the rest followed. It is incredible to realise that ‘esteemed’ disciples of Sri Aurobindo can be so bigoted and closed, as well as so utterly unprofessional.

On receiving his reply I  pointed out that it was hardly acceptable that one phrase out of a 600-page book be used for condemnation, disregarding everything else that went to explaining the substantiating that point. His reply to this was even more astounding: In view of the fact that my contention (the extension of Powers to four and the rebirth of Sri Aurobindo) was in itself unacceptable, disciples, he wrote, were not obliged to read the material and could pass judgement without having done so!

I mention this extraordinary episode simply to explain that I fully understand the difficulty this ‘leap’ presents. At the same time, whoever does make it enters a different class, a new and immeasurably wider realm. The old structure just cannot stand any more and one must accept WHAT IS – for it is a thousand times more logical, more sound, more real, and corresponds to the true condition of the Work and the integral fourfold nature of the Supramental Manifestation.

I have not contradicted anything that Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have formulated. In the case of the latter’s work, it is more than clear that I have taken up where she left off. This is obvious, however, only if we are able to identify the truly important elements the Mother provided as continuations in a progressive development. Two of these elements are the Temple and the City. But again, to realise the work that remained to be done in these spheres requires a consciousness open to the new, ready by the right poise to recognise and accept the new knowledge that has been an indisputable first step in this new direction into the future.

By now, all the material I have provided seekers with concerning the ‘temple’ and the ‘city’ non-speculatively indicates the true direction of the Work. After all, the plan of the Temple’s chamber was one of the Mother’s last bequeathals. The only problem lies in the fact that no one – and I mean no one – in the Ashram and in Auroville truly considered her plan to be sacred and so profoundly revealing of the new direction and the new body of knowledge it contained in its measurements and design as it was. This too is, we may say, a legitimate failing. After all, where is the model we can follow in such a case? Where on this planet has such a temple been used in such a precise manner so as to reveal to the seeker the physical details of the new Time as well as the subtle nuances of the supramental yoga concerning the question of realignment, etc, and the foundations thereby of the new gnostic race in all four dimensions of consciousness-being? These are things we fantasise about but hardly expect to have materialised before us in such a clear and unmistakable manner. And all this is the work of that elusive Third Power in the Solar Line. To this power belongs the establishment of the ‘temple’, that is, the centre. This is most important to note. For there are two distinct though interrelated aspects to the Work: the centre, and the act of extension or expansion from that central Point. That is, the Temple is the ‘seed’ – or rather, holds the Seed, nurtures it, gives it ‘birth’ in the soil of this Earth. The duty of the Third is to bring into being the TRUE centre. This means the uncontaminated Seed of the new creation – that ‘child’ of Sri Aurobindo’s 76th Aphorism.

It is not just a matter of poetic or ‘symbolic’ free expression that the new creation is described as a ‘child’, a male child. As you know from your Jungian studies, in alchemy the final ‘product’ was also described as a male child. We have this expressed more clearly in the remarkable text of St. John, ‘The Revelation’ (Apocalypse). Not only does John prophesy the birth of the Man-Child, he also gives accurate previsions of ‘the woman’ who gives birth to this creature. To make matters more conclusive, he links all this to the ‘temple’ and the ‘city’, with numerous details of the difficulties these incarnations would encounter in the introduction of the new creation he announces will follow the present one. All of this the prophet connects to the zodiac. ‘The Revelation’ cannot be deciphered properly without this key, without the TRUE key. Hence it has never been understood, never been proven true. It has been all things to all people, when none of these items were present in the schools which seek to lay claim to the prophecy as pertinent to their work.

Likewise the Mother’s chamber cannot be deciphered without a cosmic key. But it is not the traditional zodiacal wisdom that provides this key. As was to be expected, an entirely new cosmic language and vision had to be revealed before the Temple’s plan could be comprehended in its fullest dimensions. Thus St. John also mentions the difficulties ‘the Book’ would encounter in its effort to be ‘opened’, how first it had to remain closed since there was no one to read the Book… All of this has been the accurate story of the Supramental Manifestation concerning the Third and the Fourth.

Indeed, these elements surfaced with uncanny exactitude starting in 1971. There is no school in existence today that can offer such a precision. Yet I do feel it is precisely this extraordinary precision that disturbs people. You have commented on this in your letter and I fully agree. But bear in mind that we are a mental race, and only a small portion – unbelievably small – is striving to exceed the boundaries of Mind. So naturally the New Way disturbs people in that it does not cater to the mentally-poised individual. People believe that because I use numbers in my work that ‘it is all mental’. I find this amusing because in itself a criticism of this sort reveals that few people have understood what a mental poise or limitation today truly is. This has virtually nothing to do with language or the method employed to transcribe what we see. That this can now be done in the simplest of terms, offering a completely new ‘blueprint’, is what should inspire the greatest awe in us.

Mind, as it is utilised by our present race, is characterised by its ‘shifting foundations’. It steadies itself on a binary structure, and a dualistic pattern of this nature can never provide the indestructible foundation the Supramental Creation demands. This is displayed very clearly in the fact that objective truth is not a part of our cultural experience or expression; and what we are supposed to have inherited of ‘objective’ truth is simply religious dogma and a travesty of the real thing. Yet The New Way deals only with that – the objective foundations of true Gnosis. This presents the reader, who relies on the mental instrument as it is presently constituted for comprehension, with the disturbing factor of a complete system, with no gaps in the structure through which the old ‘mixture’, to use the Mother’s favoured term, can be introduced. And this seems to throw the uninitiated reader into a state of panic: no escapes, no speculations, no dilutions. One is faced simply with WHAT IS, as a conclusive indisputable fact. This, I realise, is rather disturbing in a civilisation that presents as its highest revelations the theories of relativities and improbables and random possibilities.

Caught by this panic a few individuals try their best to find flaws in this system, this presentation – like the editor of the Ashram journal mentioned earlier. His attempt was very amateurish, I must say. More acceptable, more mature, in a sense, was the ‘burning question’ of our friend concerning the ‘enhancement of the 4th’ in the proscribed 19th year of manifestation, ‘why this did not happen’. I would like to dwell on this for a moment since it provides a means to offer an example of the remarkable accuracy of the new Knowledge. Rather than ‘prove me wrong’, the question of the 4th’s enhancement in 1983 is a further indication of the precision of my work. The only problem resided in the hidden nature of what I was foreseeing. In the disclosure of the times of Enhancement of the members of the Solar Line, I used a particular number harmony. And this was indeed accurate for all the members of the Line. But I had no way of knowing in what manner the future enhancements would take shape; I refer especially to the last, completing the pattern in 1983.

But before all else, I should state that to consider my work inaccurate because this fourth enhancement apparently did not take place implies that the person judging knows what that enhancement should have been. On my part, I confess that in 1977, when I wrote of this in The New Way, I did not. I wonder then how our friend can be so categorical in his assessment when dealing with this great Unknown. On top of this I did provide him with abundant material to prove what exactly had happened in 1983 and how it was indeed the Enhancement of the Fourth.

This did take place, and, as could be expected, it happened in a manner that fully revealed its true nature and purpose. Enhancement in the Solar Line pertains to establishing ‘effective power’ and is a means to introduce, to incorporate, to integrate certain cosmic principles in the work. That is, the bringing down and the rooting in the Earth of that particular hitherto unintegrated Power. It is the wholeness of the process that distinguishes it from all others. These powers may have been ‘available’ in the past, but they have never manifested in an unbroken line in time, thereby becoming rooted in material creation and a firm part of the evolutionary process.

Thus, in 1983 I integrated the Fourth Power. This is not an abstract statement. Volume 3 of The New Way was the outcome of that enhancement, almost every word of it. But I do confess that in 1977 when I wrote, I had not the faintest idea that I would be the one to do this. Nor did I expect that this integration would come in 1983 in the way that it did. What must be pointed out, however, for it reveals how accurate indeed things have been, in the very beginning of 1983 I knew that the work could not go on as it was, on the basis of the powers then forming the core of the arrangement. More particularly, I knew that the condition of my realisation at the time was not adequate, it was not sufficient to deal with what I intuited was to come, what was demanded of the work in order that it be the centre and open the doors to the supramental yoga. I was fully cognisant of the fact, painfully so, I would add, that something considerably more powerful was required. But what that was I ignored. I was merely aware of its absence and that without it the work, as based here and with me as its overseer, could not go on.

You must realise that an appreciation of this nature already says much for the precision of the New Way. To know so accurately that the realisation was insufficient was already a step in the right direction. And indeed, on 17 April 1983, the formidably powerful experiences began of ‘centering’, of ‘realigning’ and consequent ‘reversal’ which constituted the enhancement of the Fourth Principle. These were the processes which ‘gave birth to the 4th’, to the perfect centre, to that ‘pure seed’, that Hiranyaretas (the Golden Seed) of vedic tradition describing Agni, the Son of Force, the ‘navel of the world’.

It is not surprising that I myself should have had to experience this particular enhancement and the incorporation of the 4th Principle, insofar as this is precisely the mission of the Third: to give birth to the Fourth. And this I have done, both physically and yogically, connecting thereby the various dimensions of existence. This has served to fulfil Sri Aurobindo’s prophecy in ‘Savitri’ at the very end of Book XI concerning the return to Earth of Savitri, carrying the soul of Satyavan with her as she ‘falls into a mother’s breast’.

The problem is that these predictions are too accurate, too clear, and when they materialise people are not able to recognise them because they had been described with such startlingly real images. The reason for this is the subject I am dealing with in the latest VISHAALS regarding the symbol being ‘the thing symbolised’. In this context, when Sri Aurobindo describes this return of Satyavan in such a clear fashion, as contained within the being of Savitri and the latter in turn descending and taking birth on Earth, people cannot recognise the event when it takes place because of preconceptions. To do so demands that we accept the extension of the Line to four. This is obvious. A return implies these two new elements, new forms. How can it be otherwise?

I hope you see the problem. For it is a question of attachment to the old forms and identifying these Powers strictly with the outer material encasement as it was then. No man or woman of Knowledge and of realisation does this. It is always the inner substance that speaks, though the outer form has dissolved and changed. But the human being, lorded over by the consciousness of Death and its inevitable finality, is simply caught in this attachment to form and cannot see the way in which the Spirit moves this form and that one, and provides renewed vehicles for the Divine Work in the world. This happens in spite of the fact that Sri Aurobindo himself had described this advent explicitly. But, of course, he did not indicate that there was something more to this question of a ‘returned Savitri’. With all that he had written on the Mother, it is natural for disciples to experience a severe handicap in dealing with the real manner in which his prophecies would come to pass. For them there is ‘only the Mother’, and so they wait, anticipating some sort of reappearance of that same Mother, that she may thus ‘complete her unfinished work’, whatever that is meant to signify. I must say that this is sheer nonsense. In the light of the new revelations and the soundness of the new gnosis, to continue sitting in anticipation of such an event is to live in a willed foggy atmosphere of illusion.

Here is another pertinent anecdote from my days in the Ashram. A seniormost trustee, the one whom I consider to be the most evolved of the lot, contrary to general opinion there, was asked if he believed that the Mother would come back again to finish her work, etc. He replied candidly, as was his fashion, ‘If she does, she will have to have THE MOTHER written on her forehead, since nobody will recognise her.’ This says it all…!


I have written this much to clarify the question of Enhancement of the Fourth. Added to this you must understand that the discovery of the new physical Base of the work – that new ‘centre’ – hinged entirely on that Enhancement. Had this not come to pass, Skambha would never have surfaced in 1985. The accuracy with which first the inner realisation took place, exactly on time as foreseen, followed thereupon by its physical manifestation is awesome, It reveals the accelerated pace of the Manifestation now, how the realignment produced almost immediate results, the very results that were indicated in the realisation itself – for the Fourth Principle is that ‘skambha’, a physical point on Earth.

Remember, we are dealing with a new manifestation, hence the ‘unknowns’ loom before us at every step of the way. Our task is precisely to illumine this way hitherto untrodden.

And let me provide another one of these ‘unknowns’, but which corresponded to an equally accurate intuition. Both Sri Aurobindo and the Mother believed that a very important breakthrough would take place in their work in 1938. They never specified what that might be and no doubt they themselves were unaware of its true nature, similar to my experience concerning the 4th Enhancement. Well, 1938 came and went, and to all outward appearances nothing of the anticipated occurred. On the contrary, that was the year of Sri Aurobindo’s accident, right on his Siddhi Day, which confined him to his bed and a long convalescence.

It was only in 1971 – that is, 33 years later – that confirmation came regarding that anticipated ‘something’. It was the birth of the Third right in the beginning of the 1938. I need not dwell on its significance for their work. Indeed, it revolutionised everything.

However, in 1938 nothing at all of that ‘revolution’ could have been accurately foreseen, much less explained, for obvious reasons that do not require any elaboration. A full 33 years had to transpire before  any verification would come – but come it did, proving in the process not only the accuracy of their intuition but revealing once again the difficulty we encounter in recognising the connection between things. When this involves long intervals of time, the difficulty is compounded. Now we are graced with this ‘acceleration’. There is no need to remain in the dark, and if we do so it is simply due to the obstinate hold the Ignorance has over the human consciousness.

I will use a remark in your letter to illustrate the above. Regarding your doubts about the Fourth and what provokes them, you write, quite sensibly, ‘…I felt that when [the Fourth] would become enhanced, the message would become quite decisive and obvious. Now that this has not been the case, there is no question but that this opens up a query in my mind. I cannot help but think of the Blavatsky – or was it Annie Besant-Krishnamurti fiasco. And I think this is surely reasonable to be concerned about…’

First of all, I wonder in what way the ‘message’ would have become more ‘decisive and obvious’ to you than what has already been revealed. Does this mean that all the Knowledge recorded in my books so far, and lately in VISHAAL, is not decisive and obvious enough? You know, people amaze me. I can, in all modesty, state that there is no other school today that can be found to offer a more ‘decisive’ and ‘obvious’ message. None can back up what they proclaim (nor do they feel obliged to) in the manner in which the new way can. The leaders of movements and cults make claims, and their followers accept them blindly, though they offer no objective system of verification. On the other hand, the whole of my work centres on this element of objective ‘proof’. It is evident, however, that unless the seeker agrees to strive for the new Seeing and the new and realigned consciousness which this Yoga brings, he will continue to hold that the message is not obvious or decisive enough. These are the ‘shifting foundations’ of the mental poise. And if you say that for this very reason you want a direct experience in the heart, while agreeing with you that this must be so, at the same time I have to caution you in the matter: the voice and language of the soul are the great Unknowns for the human species. Invariably the vital is mistaken for the soul and the outer chamber of the heart is taken for that ‘hidden chamber closed and mute’, that ‘magic place which few can glimpse even with hurried glance’. If this were not so, the Solar Line would be jobless! The human race would already be divine, or at least well on its way to this apotheosis…

But regarding the ‘Annie Besant-Krishnamurti fiasco’, ironically, there was no fiasco at all! Krishnamurti was exactly what the Theosophists claimed him to be: the Lord Maitreya and the World Teacher. However, what does this really mean? What does the ’coming of the Lord Maitreya’ signify in the evolution of consciousness on Earth, for the Earth? If we do not have the answers to these questions it is immaterial to know who Mr. K was or if there was or not any fiasco. Having had a rather close contact for a few years with this being, I feel especially able to discuss this issue. Indeed, there is something else to ponder over: look at how exacting the lines of destiny have been drawn in this regard.

Here you have the Third and the Fourth of the Solar Line taking birth in the West and, at a particular point in time (1966 to be exact), these two come into somewhat close contact with none other than Krishnamurti. This all transpired under totally ‘unconscious’ conditions, even though I had intuited it would happen before it actually did. This contact lasted until 1971, when the veils were drawn aside and I saw and gradually came to realise in full who K was and what his mission had been. With this it was clear that we had to have had a contact since our work may be said to stand in stark opposition to his. As the Lord Maitreya (these are poor titles which explain nothing), Mr. K. brought to a close the arc that was initiated with the Buddha. And he did this superbly, to the extent that the last decades of his life found him constantly dwelling on the Void and Nothingness. This, for him, was the apex of the realisation. A logical accompaniment to this position was the denial of the Becoming. And that is where I enter the picture.

My work centres on a redemption of that Becoming, in proving ‘the truth of that which moves’ (a title of a chapter in Volume 3 of The New Way). Throughout my association with K, I often had disturbing dreams in which I was teaching him! Believe me, at the time of these dreams I had nothing to teach, much less to a being like Krishnamurti! Hence these dreams left me disturbed and perplexed. In one, for example, I was holding up a sort of fishbowl before him, pointing to it, encouraging him to look at its contents deeply – and in this crystal bowl there were all the earliest forms of LIFE, organic life. Together with this I held a clock before him… It was almost a decade later that I understood the meaning of these dreams. At the same time I realised why destiny had brought us into contact with this remarkable Teacher, so true to his dharma, like no one else I know.

Sri Aurobindo has written that Kalki would come ‘to correct the error of the Buddha’. Kalki (again, meaningless titles) is that Fourth Principle or Power. Should it surprise us then that destiny took these curious turns to bring us all together? There is no doubt in my mind that K played an important role in my life for a number of years prior to coming to India to start my real work. Above all, he served as an example of the results to be expected from pursuing the way the Buddha introduced to its fullest extreme. The severe limitations of this way for the divinisation of the Earth are glaring. After all, without the Becoming how can we expect to change anything here? Indeed, why be here at all? One thing should be stated, however. While almost all teachers roaming the face of the Earth have dubious realisations, if any at all, K was utterly sincere and true. He was who he was to the utmost. He was that Lord Maitreya. The point is, is the advent of the Maitreya the answer to the impasse civilisation faces? On the contrary, I would say. It is a question of ‘correcting that error’. And this is precisely the purpose of our work. But I realise that these issues are far too subtle for the average seeker to grasp. Therefore, let us leave the matter at that. But in concluding this point, I will only say that the real nature of the transformation demanded can best be understood by a comparative study of this work and Krishnamurti’s. There is no better way to understand what is lacking today and what must be achieved, as well as ‘corrected’.

I must also add that the Krishnamurti phenomenon cannot really be compared with the 4th of the Solar Line. The ‘boy wonder’ that was K was the centre of a cult, an object of veneration, though he later repudiated the organisation (The Order of the Star) and all the old forms. Yet he did not deny who he was and in his final years he seemed to confirm that identity to his closer associates. His earlier repudiation was fully in keeping with his mission – but it made him no less the being who he was (perhaps in this alone we may one day find a parallel between the two). But regarding the 4th of the Solar Line, there is no cult, no worship – indeed, the manifestation will be entirely unsatisfying to the old mould of devotees. It is simply a question of getting the work done, – meaning, rooting the four Principles in the Earth-consciousness, introducing a new direction in the evolution. The way in which this work is being done does not conform to any previous pattern: Supermind ‘creates its own conditions’.


The really mysterious element, the truly great Unknown with no previous model of any sort has not been the Fourth, as you might believe. It is the Third. This is the real surprise the Supreme has sprung on us all! At the same time, the ‘closeness’ of this Principle is what veils it, renders it hidden and difficult to perceive. It is related to what is most intimate, most hidden in the human being himself: the individual soul, – so close that, like the inside of your head, you cannot see it….

Concurrently, the other great unknown has been the seat of the Third, though even St. John had made mention of this place, that the Woman would be taken by the Eagle to ‘her own place’ in contrast to the place where for a time she is given umbrage. These confounding Unknowns I have had to unveil, to reveal, as a part of the Yoga, a part of the process of transformation. They form the foundations of my work. The ‘construction’ of the Mother’s Temple which I have referred to in Vishaal, describes this unveiling of the Unknown.

Regarding the Fourth, it is different. His field is known (the City). The Mother left us this marvellous heritage, these great keys for opening the doors to the 3rd and 4th levels of the Work – that is, the temple (for the Third), or the true Centre, and the city (for the Fourth) or the extended, horizontal field. The establishment of the Centre is in progress, as you know. But the condition of the field of the 4th is disturbing. What course will it take? What shape? One thing is certain: in the prevailing conditions, nothing of that – the true thing – is ready or possible. Hence there is no reason to expect anything more in the work than what is presently manifesting, and I should add that that is enough! People can hardly come to terms with the Third. Why pine for that more confounding Fourth in the alchemy before the time is right? Each member of the Solar and Lunar Lines does his or her job. This is certainly true.

I hope that all this rambling on has served to throw light on the really important observation in your letter: How can an opening to me open you more ‘to the Divine Will and a higher destiny’? Be clear, first of all, about the nature of this ‘higher destiny’. Then you will have the answer you seek.



Skambha, 15 August 1988

The Mother on ‘Humanity Under the Supramental Influence’

You felt nothing special on Darshan Day?




Sri Aurobindo was there from the morning till the evening. For, yes, for more than a hour he made me live, as in a concrete and living vision of the condition of humanity and of the different strata of humanity in relation to the new or supramental creation. And it was wonderfully clear and concrete and living…. There was all the humanity which is no longer altogether animal, which has benefitted by mental development and created a kind of harmony in its life – a harmony vital and artistic, literary – in which the large majority are content to live. They have caught a kind of harmony, and within it they live life as it exists in a civilised surrounding, that is to say, somewhat cultured, with refined tastes and refined habits. And all this life has a certain beauty where they are at ease, and unless something catastrophic happens to them, they live happy and contented, satisfied with life. These people can be drawn (because they have taste, they are intellectually developed), they can be attracted by the new forces, the new things, the future life; for example, they can become disciples of Sri Aurobindo mentally, intellectually. But they do not feel at all the need to change materially; and if they were compelled to do so, it would be first of all premature, unjust, and would simply create a great disorder and disturb their life altogether uselessly.

This was very clear.

Then there were some – rare individuals – who were ready to make the necessary effort to prepare for the transformation and to draw the new forces, to try to adapt Matter, to seek means of expression, etc. These are ready for the yoga of Sri Aurobindo. They are very few in number. There are even those who have the sense of sacrifice and are ready for a hard, painful life, if that would lead or help towards this future transformation. But they should not, they should not in any way try to influence the others and make them share in their own effort; it would be altogether unfair – and not only unfair, but extremely maladroit, for it would change the universal rhythm and movement, or at least the terrestrial movement, and instead of helping, it would create conflicts and end in a chaos.

But it was so living, so real that my whole attitude (how to say it? – a passive attitude which is not the result of an active will), the whole position taken in the work has changed. And that has brought a peace – a peace and a calmness and a confidence altogether decisive. A decisive change. And even what seemed in the earlier position to be obstinacy, clumsiness, inconscience, all kinds of deplorable things, all that has disappeared. It was like the vision of a great universal Rhythm in which each thing takes its place…everything is all right. And the effort for transformation, reduced to a small number, becomes a thing much more precious and much more powerful for the realisation. It is as though a choice has been made for those who will be the pioneers of the new creation. And all those ideas of ‘spreading’, of ‘preparing’, or of ‘churning Matter’…are a childishness. It is human restlessness.

The vision was of a beauty so majestic, so calm, so smiling, oh! …it was full, truly full of the divine Love. And not a divine Love that ‘pardons’ – it is not at all like that, not at all! Each thing in its place, realising its inner rhythm as perfectly as it can.

It was a very beautiful gift.

Well, all these things people know in some part, intellectually, like that, an idea; they know all that, but it is quite useless. In the experience of each day, one lives in accordance with something else, a truer understanding. And there, it was as if one touched these things – one saw them, touched them – in their higher order.

It came after a vision of plants and the spontaneous beauty of plants (it is something so wonderful!), then of the animal with so harmonious a life (as long as men do not intervene), and all that was in its right place. Then of the true humanity as humanity, that is, the maximum of what a mental poise can create of beauty, harmony, charm, elegance of life, taste of living…a taste of living in beauty, and naturally suppressing all that is ugly and low and vulgar. It was a fine humanity – humanity at its maximum, but lovely. And which is perfectly satisfied with its humanity, because it lives harmoniously. It is perhaps also like a promise of what almost the whole of humanity will become under the influence of the new creation: it seemed to me that it was what the supramental consciousness could make of humanity. There was even a comparison with what humanity has made of the animal species. (It is extremely mixed, naturally, but some things have become perfected, some improvements, more complete utilisations.) Animality under mind’s influence has become another thing, which is naturally something mixed, because mind was incomplete. In the same way there are examples of a harmonious humanity among well-balanced people, and this seemed to be what humanity could become under the supramental influence.

Only it is very far ahead. One should not expect it to happen immediately – it is very far ahead.

It is clearly – even now – a transitional period, which may last a long time and which is rather painful. But the effort, sometimes painful (often painful) is compensated by a clear vision of the goal to be attained, the goal that will be attained: an assurance, yes, a certainty. But it [the supramental influence] would be something that would have the power to eliminate all error, all deformation, and the ugliness of mental life – and then a humanity very happy, very satisfied with being human, not at all feeling the need of being anything other than human, but with a human beauty, a human harmony.

It was very charming. It was as though I lived in it. The contradictions had disappeared. It was as though I lived in this perfection. And it was almost like the ideal conceived by the supramental consciousness, of a humanity that had become as perfect as it could be. And it was very fine.

This brings a great relaxation. The tension, the friction, all that had disappeared, and the impatience. All that had completely disappeared.


That is, you concentrate the work instead of diffusing it a little everywhere.


No, it may be difficult materially, because the individuals are not necessarily collected together. But they are few in number.

The idea of a pressing need to ‘prepare’ humanity for the new creation, this impatience has disappeared.


It must first of all be realised in some.


Quite so.

For example, take a book like yours [The Adventure of Consciousness] – but I knew this from the beginning – a book like that would completely fulfil its purpose even if it reaches a dozen people. It does not need to be sold by the millions. If it reaches a dozen people, it will have fulfilled its purpose. It is like that.

I was seeing. I saw that in such a concrete way. Apart from those who are fit to prepare the transformation and the supramental realisation, and whose number is necessarily very restricted, there must develop more and more, in the midst of the ordinary mass of humanity, a superior humanity which has toward the supramental being of the future or in the making the same attitude as animality, for example, has towards man. There must be, besides those who work for the transformation and who are ready for it, a superior humanity, intermediary, which has found in itself or in life this harmony with Life – this human harmony – and which has the same feeling of adoration, devotion, faithful consecration to ‘something’ which seems to it so high that  it does not even try to realise it, but worships it and feels the need of its influence, its protection, and the need to live under this influence, to have the delight of being under this protection. It was so clear. But not this anguish, these torments of wanting something that escapes you because – because it is not your destiny yet to have it, and because the amount of transformation needed is premature for your life and it is that then which creates a disorder and suffering.

For example, one of the very concrete things that illustrates the problem well: humanity has the sexual impulse in a way altogether natural, spontaneous and, I would say, legitimate. This impulse will naturally and spontaneously disappear with animality, as for example the need to eat and perhaps to sleep in the way we sleep now. But the most conscious impulse in a superior humanity, which has continued as a source of…bliss is a big word, but joy, delight – is certainly the sexual activity, and that will have absolutely no reason for existence in the functions of Nature when the need to create in that way will no longer exist. Therefore. the capacity of entering into relation with the joy of life will rise by one step or will be oriented differently. But what the spiritual aspirants of the past had sought on principle – sexual negation – is an absurd thing, because this must be only for those who have gone beyond that stage and who no longer have animality in them. And it must drop off naturally, without effort and without struggle. To make of it a centre of conflict, of struggle and of effort is ridiculous. My experience with the Ashram has fully proven this to me, because I have seen all the stages, and that all these ideas, these prohibitions are absolutely useless, and that it is only when the consciousness ceases to be human that it falls away naturally. In this there is a transition which can be a bit difficult, because the beings in transition are always in an unstable equilibrium; but there is inside a sort of flame and a need which makes it not painful – it is not a painful effort, it is something one can do ‘smiling’. But to wish to impose this on those who are not ready for such a transition is absurd. I was criticised for having encouraged certain people to get married; there are many children to whom I say, “Get married! Get married! People say. ‘What? You are encouraging them?’ – But it is common sense.

It is common sense. They are human, but they shouldn’t pretend not to be.

It is only when, spontaneously, the impulsion becomes impossible for you, when you feel it is something tiresome and contrary to your profound needs that it becomes easy. At that moment, well, externally you break the bonds, and then it is finished.

It is one of the most convincing examples.

It is the same thing with food – it will be the same thing. There will probably be a transition when there will be food less and less purely material. This is what they are seeking now: all their vitamins and pills, it is an instinctive search for a less down-to-earth food and which will surely serve as a transition.

There are many things like that. Since the 24th [the day of the Darshan] I live in that new consciousness and I saw the scenario of many things. There were even experiences which I had before and which I understood now. Like, for example, when I fasted for ten days (completely, without even a drop of water), without even a thought given to food (I didn’t have the time to eat), and it was not an effort: it was a decision. At that time there was a capacity which developed little by little, and, for example, when I smelled flowers it was nourishing. I saw that: one is nourished in a more subtle way.

However, the body is not ready. The body is not ready and it deteriorates; that is, it eats itself. So that proves that the time had not come and it was only an experience – an experience which teaches you something, which teaches you that it mustn’t be a brutal refusal to enter into relation with the corresponding matter or an isolation (one cannot isolate oneself, it is impossible), but a communion on a more elevated or more profound plane.

The message that was distributed for the 24th, it was Sri Aurobindo who told me to keep it for the 24th; it was very clear and categorical, and I didn’t know why. But now he showed me why clearly, and I have understood. Because this Power is becoming more and more evident – the Power of Truth. And naturally human thought, which is infantile (it has the same relation to the supramental which one could call animal thought or feeling has with human thought or feeling), has almost a need for superstition (…superstition is a bad word for something that is not bad: it is a faith, ignorant, candid and very confident). Well, that faith, as soon as you feel the influence of a Power, makes you believe in miracles, and makes you believe that now the Supermind is going to manifest and we are going to be supramental, and then…

It is as if we were to tell a dog: ‘Do not believe at all that I am the way you imagine me to be, that I am all-powerful, all-knowing.’ If one told it the truth, as one humanly is, the poor dog would be very disappointed! He believes you are the all-powerful being who knows all, can do anything. Well, it is the same thing. One cannot tell a dog, “You are superstitious.’




Those who have reached higher regions of intelligence but who have not dominated the mental faculties in themselves, have a candid need for the whole world to think as they do and be able to understand as they understand; and when they see that others cannot, do not understand, their first reaction is to be horribly shocked. They say, ‘What an imbecile!’ But they are not imbeciles; they are different, they are in another region. One cannot say to an animal, ‘You are an imbecile’. One says, ‘It is an animal.’ Well, we say, ‘He is a man.’ He is a man’, except that there are those who are not men anymore and who are not yet gods, and these are the ones in a very…in English they say ‘awkward’…position.

But it is so comforting, so sweet, so marvellous, that vision – each thing expresses its species so naturally.

And then, the Flame… When the Flame is illumined everything becomes different. But that Flame is something entirely different; it is entirely different from the religious feeling, from the religious aspiration, religious adoration (all that is very good, it is the maximum man can do and it is very good, excellent for humanity); but that Flame, the Flame of Transformation is another thing.

I just remembered that Sri Aurobindo had made me recall something I wrote in Japan (which is included in the ‘Prayers and Meditations’) and I never understood what I had written. I always sought to know and I told myself, ‘What the devil could I have wanted to say? I don’t know at all.’ It came like that and I wrote it directly. There was the question of a ‘child’ and it was said, ‘Do not approach him too closely because it burns’, (I cannot remember the words anymore): and I always said to myself, ‘Who is that child whom I speak of? …And it is necessary not to approach too closely???’ Then suddenly just yesterday or the day before yesterday I understood. Suddenly Sri Aurobindo showed me; he said, ‘It is this: The ‘child’ is the beginning of the new creation, still in the infant stage, and do not touch it if you do not want to be burned – because it burns.’




It is quite evident that with the wideness and the totality of the vision, something like a compassion that understands comes – not that pity of superior to inferior: the true divine Compassion which is the total understanding that each one is what he should be.

The only thing left is the deformations. There was also the explanation of the deformations. It is a decisive seeing which puts each thing in its place. A true revelation.

All these things…they have been said a thousand times, they have been written I don’t know how often, they have been thought and expressed – all that is fine, up there. But this, it came in the material plane itself, felt, lived, breathed, absorbed. It is another thing entirely. It is an understanding that has nothing to do with an intellectual understanding.


(after a long silence)


Sri Aurobindo continues telling me things… It is truly very interesting.

There is a sort of instinct to want everything to agree with our experience. But it is a tendency to uniformity, the uniform unity of the Supreme, which is the non-manifest Supreme, identical to Itself eternally, in contrast to the innumerable multiplicity of all the expressions of that Unity. And instinctively there is always a (gesture of retreating)

recoil into the Non-Manifest, instead of (the Mother opens her two hands) an acceptance of the manifestation in its totality. It is very interesting.

It is the first effect of the return to the Origin.

The first effect of the return to the Origin is simplification, identity, the Unique – the identical Unique. And there is the movement of the manifestation (gesture of expansion); the multiple Immensity.

It is instinctive.


L’Agenda de Mere, Vol. 6, 27 November 1965



Animals in the Emerging Cosmos – Part I

Dadhikravan  [the Vedic Horse] is he of whom now we must do the work; may all the Dawns speed me on the path! For the Waters and for the Dawn and the Sun and Brihaspati, he of the puissance, the Victor.


May this Power of being who seeks the full-bringing and seeks the Light and who abides in all activity turn into inspiration and impulsions of the Dawn, may he abide in their speed that carries us beyond. Dadhikravan who is the truth in his running, – yea, he gallops and he flies, – brings into being the impulsion, the abundant force, the heavenly light.


When he runs, when he speeds in his passage, as the wing of the Bird is a wind that blows about him in his greed of the gallop; as the wing that beats about the breast of the rushing Eagle, so about the breast of Dadhikravan when with the Force he carries us beyond.


For the abundance of his strength he carries his impeller beyond, a rein binds his neck and a rein holds him about the chest and a rein is in his mouth. Dadhikravan puts forth his energy according to the will in the mind and gallops along the turning of the path.


This is the swan that dwells in the purity, the lord of substance in the middle world, the Priest of the offering whose seat is upon the altar, the guest in the gated house. He dwells in Man, he dwells in the Truth, he dwells in the wide Ether; he is born of the Waters, he is born of the Light, he is born of the Law, he is born of the Hill of Substance, he is the Law of the Truth.


Rig Veda, IV, 40, 1-5

                                                            Translated by Sri Aurobindo

                                                            Hymns to the Mystic Fire

                                                            CE, Vol. 11, pages 197-8





‘Between the beings of the supramental world and men, almost the same separation exists as between men and animals. Some time ago I had the experience of identification with animal life, and it is a fact that animals do not understand us; their consciousness is so constructed that we elude them almost entirely. And yet I have known pet animals – cats and dogs, but especially cats – that used to make an almost yogic effort of consciousness to reach us. But usually, when they see us as we live and act, they do not understand, they do not see us as we are and they suffer because of us. We are a constant enigma to them. Only a very tiny part of their consciousness has a link with us. And it is the same thing for us when we try to look at the supramental world. Only when the link of consciousness is established shall we see it – and even then only the part of our being which has undergone transformation in this way will be able to see it as it is – otherwise the two worlds would remain apart like the animal and human worlds.’


                                                            The Mother, 19.2.1958

                                                            TMCE, Vol. 9, page 271






There has been much speculation on the role of animals in the new creation, whether or not they would evolve, whether they would acquire higher faculties or remain as they are and, if so, in what way would they participate in the Supramental Manifestation. Many are curious to know what effect the new Power would have on species other than the human, if any at all.

            This speculation has been particularly prominent among disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, insofar as the Mother’s involvement with animals is a part of the history of the Ashram she created. From the beginning the Mother’s ‘work’ with animals, in particular cats, was witnessed by her disciples. It was, as many understood, an occult work. There are numerous anecdotes on the Ashram files about this work, but none provide the real key to the nature of the Mother’s involvement with the feline species.

In 1976, an Ashram journal published a piece entitled ‘Immortality Day’, in which the author/editor of the magazine mentions a particular incident concerning a cat named ‘Amar’. I have discussed his piece in a footnote in The New Way, Volume 2, page 422, and I would like to reproduce what I wrote there for VISHAAL readers:


In an article entitled ‘Immortality Day’, (Mother India, February 21, 1976) K. D. Sethna writes about this mysterious day that was celebrated for a short time in the Ashram, but then completely forgotten. He reports that the Mother declared an important, fundamental event took place that day but it was ‘both very sacred and secret’.

 One part of Sethna’s investigation of Immortality Day, – which, it is interesting to note, he undertook in late 1975 and early 1976, just at the time when the true significance of the Day was to be revealed – concerns a cat born precisely on 26 November, 1926 [Immortality Day]. The Mother named the cat ‘Amar’, signifying immortal. This cat then died, by falling into a well, and it appears that the Mother seemed to feel the death was symbolically connected with her work, Sethna reports.

 The cat ‘Amar’ may well have been a prophetic organ, and his death an indication of the ‘death’ Sri Aurobindo would have to succumb to twenty-four years later, his sacrifice so that he could return on that very Immortality Day. Moreover, the manner of the cat’s death – its plunge into a well – is also revelatory of his sacrifice, because it symbolises Sri Aurobindo’s plunge into the ‘bottomless pit’ (see The New Way, Chapter 7, Volume 2). Thus, the Mother had every reason to look upon Amar as a symbol connected with their work…’


For students of the new way this report cannot be surprising, especially the association the Mother drew between Amar’s death and her work. The cat, as stated, was named Amar because it was born on Immortality (‘Amar’) Day. This was 26 November, and it is the date of Sri Aurobindo’s return. The Mother was therefore justified in perceiving that the circumstances of the cat’s death in some way bore a relation to their work. Amar’s plunge into a well is certainly representative of Sri Aurobindo’s ‘plunge’ in 1950, when he left this plane wilfully, only to return on that very ‘Amar’ Day.

This is one of the records we have of the way in which the Mother understood the role of animals in her work, in this case concerning perhaps one of its most important aspects. In 1926 the Mother could not have known all these details. It was sufficient for her to perceive, however, that the circumstances of the cat’s death bore a relation to Sri Aurobindo’s work – indeed, to his own passing. Time would do the rest.

However, Amar’s symbolism went beyond that. The cat not only conveyed something especially important regarding Sri Aurobindo’s passing – albeit unbeknown to all at the time – but the date of Amar’s birth gave an even more precious piece of information, which required many decades to comprehend and to confirm.

Thus, in this specific example of the Mother’s involvement with animals, we discover a few important facts. One is that the Mother saw that often animals do convey messages, as magicians, sorcerers, shamans, and tantriks have sustained throughout the ages; another is the fact that the time of Amar’s birth on Immortality Day is what gave to the animal a position of prominent representation in the Mother’s assessment. It was his birth on that special day which made the Mother realise that Amar might have a message to convey, or that the circumstances of his life would cast light on important aspects of their work, primarily because that date witnessed something that was ‘both sacred and secret’ which the Mother never revealed to her disciples. This adds another dimension to the matter. We are justified in surmising, therefore, that Amar’s representation was connected to that something ‘both sacred and secret’.

Indeed, there were more dimensions involved, and time was needed to bring a fuller understanding. Over the years a number of immensely important points have been clarified concerning the participation of the animal kingdom in the supramental creation, to the point where we are able to state that this particular participation has been essential. Without it the Yoga of the Chamber, which I have described in the previous issue of VISHAAL, could not have come to pass.

However, it must also be stated that sentimentality has to be overcome if we wish to understand the true nature of this precious collaboration of Mother Nature via the animal species. On the surface the conditions of the Work are often difficult and harsh. By consequence, the roles that animals have played were also difficult to bear at times. For example, their deaths were their special contributions for a number of years, similar to Amar’s but far more exacting in all their details. The truth of Amar’s birth and death required FIFTY YEARS to be revealed. Whereas the precise role of animals in the New Way was perceived within a question of months and sometimes even immediately. This is a further proof of the ‘acceleration of time’ at this level of the Supramental Manifestation. Indeed, a key feature of the Manifestation to come is the immediate and direct perception of truth and action in the world on the basis of clear, sure and tested knowledge, no longer a fumbling in the dark, in the labyrinth of the speculative mind caught up in the waves of the untransformed vital being.

Nonetheless, to perceive this contribution is not easy. We may review the material that exists in the Ashram archives on this subject to realise that essential points have been missed entirely when researchers, disciples, students of Sri Aurobindo’s teaching seek to incorporate the animal in any assessment of the Yoga. The major flaw is the following: All involvement with animals is undertaken within the framework of the mental human structure. That is, researchers seek to study animal participation from this particular poise. The result is an imposition on the animal not only of a structure that is limited even for the human species, but that bears scant relation to the inner truth of the animal. The important factor to bear in mind in assessing the course of the change the Supermind is bringing about is that, as the Mother so emphatically emphasised, ‘each thing is put in its right place’. It is this correct placement that allows the inner truth of each element to manifest and to contribute its real worth to the new world.

Thus, regarding the animal species, there will indeed be a change in their expression and purpose on Earth as the supramental transformation increases its effective power, but this change will not be an imposition of a false, external dharma. Rather, each thing in its place allows even the animal to experience an enhancement and hence a superior poise. But that enlargement will never contradict its inner truth.

Therefore, to work with animals in the New Way the first requirement was a consciousness open and unconditioned regarding these creatures – a virgin field, we may say; and at all times a refusal to expect or to demand that the animal behave or manifest traits foreign to its true nature and its ‘place’ in creation. These demands are nothing but a violence done to it by an inferior mental imposition. But then, we are justified in questioning, what exactly would the animal participation be?


I propose to present students with clear examples of the manner in which animals have participated in our work from the beginning of the present decade. Indeed, we could state that because their participation was essential and already ‘existed’ in the just, albeit unknown, order of things to come, the establishment of the new seat of Sri Aurobindo’s work in Kodaikanal under favourable climatic conditions and natural surroundings, and finally at Skambha in a totally rural area, was indispensable. For in our work we were not only dealing with the smaller species such as cats and dogs. It was primarily the larger. The two principal elements were the Cow and the Horse, India’s oldest and most sacred symbols, pillars of her most ancient and revered scripture, the Rig Veda.

To be more precise, exactly when it became necessary in the Yoga to deal with the Veda and by direct knowledge to incorporate its deepest truths into this new body of knowledge, we were unexpectedly given first a cow and then a horse – for in this exciting work ‘the symbol is the thing symbolised’. Consequently, it would not suffice to have a mental and external appreciation of this participation. The issue had to be immediate and direct, experiential to the fullest degree.

I use the word participation purposefully. These animals were not only given to serve as objects of observation in order to bring a certain increase in information. On the contrary, that observation came via a sensitive perception of their CONTRIBUTION to the work, of the manner in which such creatures are utilised in the supramental change as equal participants. Indeed, to observe and share in that collaboration for this great change was the key to the success of the endeavour. On this basis, no imposition from the human conditioned mind was allowed or possible. To seek to do so would have meant missing the point of that collaboration entirely. But I am obliged to repeat that a sentimental attitude – common to most animal lovers – is an attitude inimical to this type of work. Equanimity was the key ingredient; and indeed work with these wonderful creatures helped to achieve this most important realisation of the integral yoga in the midst of the often disturbing experiences that were a part of the early stages of the establishment of the new Cosmos.



More on the Yoga of the Chamber


It was in this decade that the animal became an integral part of the work. I have referred to the Yoga of the Chamber in the previous VISHAAL. To make any sense of the present topic I shall have to go into greater detail of that unusual and new process which began in 1980. Its goal was the ‘construction’ of the Mother’s Chamber, in particular the room’s central shaft – the most important feature of the temple requiring a great precision of knowledge, externally expressing itself in a precision of ‘measurement’. Thus the ‘dimensions’ of the chamber become the means to express the lived experience of the Yoga, and thereby to link various planes of existence; or rather, to open channels on Earth through which the truth of the supramental planes can permeate the atmosphere of the planet.

In this special process, as in other stages and aspects of the integral and supramental yogas, representative energies were required. These were embodied in people and animals, without distinction; that is, without distinction in the value of their contribution, or the degree of advancement it would bring. However, there was a qualitative difference between the two. The human contribution invariably brought problematic knots for their undoing. The animal contributed what might be called pure and free-flowing energy. Essential lines in the emerging cosmos were drawn with these energies which the animal provided by its uncontaminated participation.

This statement must not be considered judgemental. I am not allocating to the animal a higher status when I write of this fluidity and largely positive contribution. The animals’ responses are more direct and less complicated, this is true; but at the same time the human being in the midst of his or her complex and often twisted reactions, renders the process far more sophisticated, with a much wider horizon as a result. The animal may provide the energy needed for the crossing, for extension of the boundaries. It may provide the fluid lines for the enlargement of the boundaries from the mental to the supramental creation; but a pivotal element in this expansion is a conscious participation, an ‘eye that sees’, that cognises, that evolves in full awareness. This is not the role of the animal. It is the contribution of the human being; and because of the complex but inferior poise of the instrument the human creature possesses, this contribution is, for the most part, twisted, knotted. Indeed, in my experience the human element brought to the process the deformed condition that Mind has produced in this transitional phase of evolution – being the highest organ and therefore limited because it occupies a temporary fictitious apex. By consequence it has become the deforming organ. It is as if the animal contribution, because it lacked the complexity of self-awareness drew clear lines in the blueprint as a sort of backdrop onto which the human element could engage in the more difficult labour of ‘undoing knots’ and laying new lines devoid of the former deformation.

When this process is studied within the framework of the ‘construction’ of the Mother’s Chamber, as I have described in the series, ‘The Mother’s Dream’, it is as if the animal participation represented the construction of the TRUE chamber, in a sense, uncontaminated by the distorted physical construction taking place in Auroville; as if the animal was utilised to represent that original, undeformed plan, disconnected from the distorted version. Whereas, the human elements utilised in this ‘construction’, this Yoga of the Chamber, were clearly the representatives of the reasons why that distortion in the plan came about. They offered themselves as ‘symbols’ of the flaws in the human creation which were the determining causes for the architects’ opposition to the Divine Will. And with that representative material the true chamber had to come into being, rectifying those flaws, undoing those knots. Thus the Yoga of the Chamber provided the condensed means to undo the old and to establish the new, to lay the right foundations in knowledge, to erect the new axial balance of a superior species.

It is evident that in order to appreciate a process of this nature a sound foundation in knowledge is required. Passage to a higher poise, an extension of the present boundaries of the consciousness of the species will not happen spontaneously, without effort. The effort may be of just a few – and indeed this seems to have been the case – but effort is nonetheless a key ingredient. Implied in the word is knowledge, for an effort devoid of gnosis not only leaves us as we are but often imprisons us even more tightly within the constricting walls of mind.

When evolution passes from the lower to the higher hemisphere, it is distinguished by one feature primarily: a conscious participation, a conscious evolving. But this cannot be a mental formula and hence illusory. It must be the evolution of a gnostic principle. Thus in the term is implied a practice of yoga which posits as its central aspiration the unfolding of a true seeing which alone can draw aside the disfiguring veils of unconscious mental gropings.



The Responsible Agent


Over the past fifteen years I have had occasion to observe the manner in which disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother approach the question of animal participation in the new creation. Until I had had a direct experience in the matter I always refused to comment when questioned about their future role. Always wary of the scourge of the speculative mind and the drain of precious energies it produces, I have refused to be drawn into any discussion of aspects of the work about which I have not had experiential knowledge to draw from. Therefore it was only in this decade that the way opened for such a direct experience. As I have described earlier, this direct involvement and the knowledge it provided made it evident that to deal with the question of the role of animals in the new supramental creation, a new consciousness was required. My experience proved that the only truly significant change was this: the emergence of a new consciousness which is the responsibility of the higher species. That is, the animal will not evolve to a near human level or develop other and higher faculties. It will be simply a question of the human being reordering his instrument so as to allow that so-called lower species to participate in the transformation as the Divine intended it to do.

This may be somewhat disappointing to those who have evolved elaborate ideas about the new order, wherein animals are expected to move up on the scale; for this is what is demanded of them in the manner in which some have dealt with this issue. I repeat, it is a violence done to the species, an imposition of a way of being totally foreign to their inner truth. This imposition pertains as well to methods of observation and criteria employed to assess the nature and role of the animal in the new creation. This question of the ability to express one’s inner truth is, of course, the distinguishing feature of the supramental creation.

We can understand from this that there is a validity to this question of a ‘higher’ expression for the animal in the new creation; but this, as many things ill-perceived, has been rather deformed. The responsibility lies with the highest in the scale. The new faculty evolving has the explicit purpose and ability of ‘putting each thing in its right place’. The implication is a power of seeing that allows for such an ordering to take place. And this is where the Yoga enters the scheme of things: a new seeing evolves which by its intrinsic ability to put each thing in its place, permits the animal to contribute its true self to the evolution. That is, the collaboration between human and animal resides in this expansion wherein ‘the symbol is the thing symbolised’ to our perceptive faculties.



Symbols in the Path of Knowledge


This brings us to one of the oldest and most enduring activities of the human consciousness: the formulation of symbols. Why do we require this sort of transposing at all? And why has this been such a prominent aspect of higher knowledge from time immemorial?

During the Age of the Veda it is clear that civilisation, or at least a gnostic elite, had an entirely different conception of symbols. Symbols were not something separated from the essence they captured. In addition, the symbol chosen bore a direct relation to the inner knowledge of that essence, to its deepest meaning. In many ways it was an enhancement of that meaning and a tool for encouraging the human being to appreciate the oneness of creation. Thus in the Rig Veda we find a usage of symbols so foreign to our present appreciation that these hymns of such evident enlightened seeing have not been properly understood. By this I mean that the seeker has lost contact with the manner in which the symbol becomes the thing symbolised and thereby participates in the Yoga on an equal basis; and, above all, with no separation in the mind of the seeker. For example, when a disciple of Sri Aurobindo says, ‘The Sun symbolises the Supermind,’ repeating the Master’s words as if by rote, he engages in this process of dividing the real from the image. That is, unwittingly he fortifies the concept of an ‘illusory’ material creation, for in his consciousness, his lived experience of life, at no time has he made contact with the Sun in such a way as to bridge this gulf and render the symbol of the Sun that very thing symbolised.

In Sri Aurobindo’s work this issue assumes great importance, for what lies at the bottom of it all? The root of the conflict resides in the great divide that Mind has introduced in the evolution of consciousness, especially fortified over the past five thousand years. It is the conflict between matter and spirit, or form and essence. A human being structured on the binary blueprint cannot heal this division in his consciousness. For him there is always an unbridgeable chasm between form and essence, or matter and spirit. It is only a unitary consciousness which can appreciate that the symbol is the very thing symbolised. And unless this new poise comes into being, the animal cannot offer its real contribution to the work, to the Earth. For the distinguishing feature of the animal is an undivided awareness. The direct and undistorted responses we see in the animal are the result of an undivided consciousness-being, undisturbed by the mental apparatus which drives a disfiguring wedge through our perception and hence distorts our experience of life.

To some extent the Vedic Rishi enjoyed a consciousness which was free of this distortion, this divisive perception. Thus, the Sun was the physical representative in a material universe of the divine Truth-Consciousness. How could it be otherwise? We need only observe the structure of our solar system to appreciate this divine correspondence. A student of the New Way can have no difficulty in accepting this central aphorism of our work – the symbol is the thing symbolised – when he or she lives the Gnostic Circle, realises that the unitary consciousness we seek to establish can only be truly expressed in symbol by the physical structure of our solar system. The Sun is unitary, central, commanding, harmonising, integrating, binding. The planets add the play of the many, the charm of the multiple, the harmonies of the superbly orchestrated music of the spheres. These are no different from the human consciousness and being, both essentially and physically. The means by which we may conclusively obliterate any division in our awareness between the Sun as symbol and thing symbolised is by discovering and utilising the formidable key that is Gnostic Time.

An enlightened study of the Rig Veda proves that for the Rishi time was also the means to draw aside the divisive veils, as well as to provide the basis for a knowledgeable practice of the yoga. When the Rishi sings… ‘Certain eternal worlds are there, their doors are opened to you by the months and the years…’ we need not seek a contrived interpretation, belabouring the analytical mind to fortify the cleavage. The Rishi meant exactly what his words convey: the months of the year open those sacred doors, drawing the many planes of existence together into one harmonious whole. Thus the key protagonist of those sacred hymns was necessarily the Year, the Divine Measure of our planetary abode. Likewise, zodiacal tradition presents a similar key in the symbols it offers to describe each of those sacred months. Devoid of the power of Time the zodiacal script is a static representation that goes nowhere; the symbols are inert, dead, non-progressive. It is Time that makes the sacred Wheel move eternally, in an unending progression; and it is the Year, the Divine Measure of 365 days, that opens those doors between the worlds, from the highest to the lowest.


For the Rishi the Cow and the Horse were the symbols of consciousness-force, respectively. Sri Aurobindo has unveiled the psychological/spiritual content of the Vedic symbols through a profound discussion of the language in which the hymns were composed. He has shown how Sanskrit itself was a means to bridge various dimensions and convey diverse meanings of different levels and depths. Sanskrit offers an exoteric or an esoteric and highly sophisticated symbolism in which words are the outer forms conveying the different nuances of essence. The scholar who sees in the Rig Veda merely the babblings of pagan nature worshippers (whatever that is intended to mean), is simply trapped in the exoteric mould of the word.

My work with the Veda has served to confirm Sri Aurobindo’s exposition and to carry the discussion from the realm of enlightened analysis into the dimension of the lived experience and practice of the supramental yoga. For it is in the supramental yoga that the truth of the Veda manifests conclusively, inasmuch as it is this revolutionary yoga that ‘puts each thing in its right place’, and by consequence that renders the symbol the thing symbolised. The supramental yoga closes the gulf in human consciousness which produces a divisive perception of reality. When the chasm is bridged the Cow and the Horse, to name just two sacred ‘symbols’, provide an impeccable means to enhance our appreciation of the oneness of material creation and, at the same time, by referring to the Gnostic Circle and the revelations the Yoga of the Chamber has introduced, to cease engaging in one of the most damaging activities to which seekers and even realisers of Truth are prone. This is to demand that the ‘spiritual’ experience be separated from the lived experience of life in the universe as we know it.

When the cosmic harmony lost its sense as well as its ability to serve as a dynamic and progressive model for the realiser, it was the signal that the deformation had become complete. The realiser could no longer SEE WHAT IS, for that reality had become an illusory veil devoid of truth-essence. There was Essence and there was Form, but no real relation between the two. The cosmos could no longer serve as the model to verify the Hermetic aphorism, ‘As above, so below’, for that ‘above’ was viewed as an impermanent Maya whose sole purpose was to deceive the seeker and by a negative experience to catapult him into a void somehow disconnected from the universal manifestation.

Over the ages the spiritual experience has become a means to distort the reality and truth-essence of the universe we inhabit. The language which then evolved out of that experience bore no relation to our physical world. When the realiser could no longer use the cosmos to express his spiritual experience, he introduced the cleavage I have described above between form and essence. More importantly, that essence itself became deformed. The experience conveyed an unfocussed vision of what is and immediately ‘nothingness’ and ‘voids’ became the way to describe that higher Truth. This was a logical development in a world in which the cosmos lost its sense, its purpose and its relation of oneness to the human being and the evolution of consciousness on Earth. Above all, material creation became divested of true sacredness.

For what is the true nature of the sacred? Any object in creation is sacred or becomes sacred in our experience when there is perceived the unbroken link between the object’s inner truth and its outer form. Form then becomes a means to express an inner truth which instills in that material substance a quality which renders it sacred. The Power, the Presence is seen to inhabit that form. In addition, form enhances the expression, renders it tangible and ‘materialised’. This is experienced only in the practice of certain yogas or processes which open the consciousness of the practitioner to the hidden essence within that form.

However, the new supramental yoga is characterised by a process that enhances one’s consciousness to the point where form no longer hides or masks essence. It becomes the direct expression of that inner seed of truth. Form is truth of being crystallised in an individualised structure to give full expression to the play of the One and the Many.

The animal lives in a state of constant harmony between the inner and outer substance. Similar to the whole of creation, this grants to the animal the quality of sacredness. But it is the human experience of this relation that unveils the sacred in the animal, to name just one aspect of creation. When a seer perceives a certain role the animal plays in creation, as a direct instrument of the Supreme Shakti, then that creature acquires a special status. Thus the cat Amar in the Mother’s experience perforce came to occupy a place that set it apart from its peers, or from other species in the animal kingdom.

Throughout the ages seers have had experiences of this order with different species. The Cow and the Horse are examples from very ancient times in India. In Egypt and in Greece, indeed throughout the pre-Christian world, it was common to hold a particular species as sacred and representative of certain attributes, or to play ‘symbolic roles’.

However, we have passed through a dark age during which these truths have become deformed. Consequently, we observe that in our present times, even in countries where this activity is still in vogue, a dogmatic formula has replaced the lived experience of the sacred. In India, for example, the Cow is ‘sacred’ – but there is hardly a person in India who has actually lived the process which unveiled to the ancient Seer that special quality. It is simply a question of respect for the tradition and the enlightened revelations from the past which no one would wish to question or place in doubt.

The result is that a purely external act such as the injunction not to eat the flesh of the cow, or the effort to ban cow slaughter entirely, has gradually covered over the true meaning and has fostered a superficial approach in the believer. Yet for external considerations such as these, the followers of many faiths are even ready to kill those who they believe have been irreverent toward the symbol or who seem to have desecrated it in any way,

An unexplained (and embarrassing) enigma exists in this area: The sacredness of the Cow is rooted in the bedrock of Hinduism – the Veda. No other more recent scripture in India has added anything significant to the matter, except to uphold what the Veda sustains. Thus, on the basis of the authoritative Veda the prohibition against beef-eating has come into practice.

However, historians seem to concur in the discovery that in the Vedic Age beef-eating was the norm. Therefore, in the context of our present approach to the subject, how can we reconcile this with the current injunction concerning the sacredness of these symbols and the consequent command that to eat beef is to desecrate that supreme symbol that is the Cow? We cannot claim that in later ages seers saw more deeply into the matter and therefore these latter-day injunctions represent a superior realisation. This is certainly not the case. In fact, the question of the interpretation of animal symbols in the Veda has produced a considerable display of ignorance in India, in particular after the advent of the western indologist and the proselytising missionary who went to the other extreme and revealed a new brand of ignorance. Thus, as far as is evident from the sacred texts at our disposal, all references to the sacredness of the Cow are from the Veda, based on the experiences of those formidable Rishis of old. Moreover, as Hinduism became more and more codified with passage through the Earth’s Dark Age, an external and dogmatic injunction came to replace the true understanding of the sacred by direct knowledge.

We may safely assume that it was not the Rishi’s refusal to eat the flesh of the cow that reflected his appreciation of the animal’s sacred representation. Indeed, abstinence or indulgence are of little consequence in the question of the sacred experience. And it goes without saying that if more believers could make the effort to have that true experience and not remain closeted in the external codification, there might be less suffering and discord and divisiveness, produced by the intolerance that often accompanies positions of this nature.


I propose in this analysis of the animal in the supramental creation to provide students with concrete and non-speculative ways to understand the manner in which a particular animal may become invested with certain qualities. The Yoga of the Chamber of this decade, or the ‘construction’ of the Mother’s Temple, provides the best means at our disposal to illustrate the above. In the process, this analysis will help to re-establish a truth that has now become entirely buried in the deadly tomb of Dogma, to the point where the lived and direct experience is virtually impossible. For the fact is the seeker has lost the key which ‘opens the doors’ to those sacred dimensions, those ‘worlds’ the Rishi sang of in his hymns to the Sacred and to Time, wherein form and essence are one. Thus it is necessary to reveal those keys once again; but in the process – and this is by far the most important point to bear in mind – to establish a new body of knowledge whose corpus has expanded in view of the expansion demanded of our awareness in this new Age of Supermind.



The Horse, Victim of the Binary Sacrifice


A degeneration took place in India. This is made evident by one important fact, often overlooked by historians and seekers. And yet this fact speaks volumes of the true nature of the problem we face in our passage to a higher status.

In the Vedic Age both Cow and Horse were sacred symbols – and they were often coupled to convey a single truth. But we observe that over the millennia since those ancient times of pre-history, a perception evolved which resulted in a focus on one of those symbols alone, to the exclusion of the other. Thus the Cow became the supreme symbol; the Horse gradually faded into insignificance. Hinduism became more and more structuralised and dogma came to serve as the binding element for the masses rather than the direct experience of truth which was reserved for the elite.

However, the degeneration I describe concerns precisely the condition that afflicted the seer and the realiser of truth, the spiritual elite. In India the masses have always moulded their consciousness, albeit in diluted form, to the contours provided to the collectivity by the realisations of the seers. Therefore, it stands to reason that when the full impact of Buddhism was felt and the goal of the quest became the ‘otherworldly’ experience almost exclusively – such as the realisation of the transcendent Brahman, in the practical application of the experience disconnected from the other aspects of the Supreme Reality – this was then reflected in an individual and collective worship entirely focussed on the Cow. For the Cow symbolises the Light and pure Consciousness. Indeed, the Sanskrit word for cow, ‘go’, means also light or ray (of the Sun). In the Rig Veda, however, the Cow was much more, the word being pregnant with meaning. She was synonymous with the Supreme Mother Aditi, and hence a symbol intimately connected with a creation in matter.

Taken alone, the Cow as synonym for Aditi, the Mother of Unity or undivided pure consciousness-being, is as if lacking the effective power she is supposed to possess in order to give shape through the Divine Maya to the material creation as an extension of the Transcendent. In fact, we may be even more specific. The entire theme of the Rig Veda is precisely this: the myth describes the process of manifestation wherein division must ensue producing a binary condition which, if left unchecked, would result in a complete and crystallised schism – indeed, that very schism we have been discussing in the latest issues of VISHAAL between Spirit and Matter in the binary structure of our present civilisation. The Rig Veda is therefore a prophecy of our times, of this particular Manifestation in the scheme of 12 Manifestations stretching over 77,760 years, wherein the problem of unity and multiplicity must be resolved, in the human being, in society, in civilisation. The Rig Veda describes the completed process or passage from division to unification through ‘redemption of the rays/cows of the Sun’.

The story is a simple one, deceiving in its simplicity, to the extent that its true meaning has been almost completely lost today. The cows are stolen by the adverse forces, closed in their pens or caves; they are subsequently rescued by the warriors of Truth. The entire theme of the myth is the struggle that ensues between the sons of the two Mothers – Aditi, the mother of unity and light, and Diti, the mother of division and darkness – to gain possession of these cows/rays.

The symbolism is rather obvious and does not require extensive elaboration. The cave is dense matter, similar to the dark kingdom of Pluto, the God of the Underworld [see TVN, 3/3, August 1988]. The story then goes on to describe in plain and clear terms what happens to those ‘rays of the Sun’. They are released from the pens or caves by the power of the Word and the Truth (there are numerous symbols used to express these powers in the text), and this results in the victorious, accelerated rise to and attainment of Swar, or the highest plane of consciousness.

I have discussed this story in great detail in The New Way and in a series of collected essays entitled, Time and Imperishability, as well as in various articles in VISHAAL and elsewhere; there is no need to take up the matter again except to highlight one fact for the purposes of our present discussion. Though the main theme of the Rig Veda is the victory of the integral, integrated Truth, the nature of that victory has become distorted over the ages. Swar was seen as a heaven beyond material creation, or a plane of consciousness to be realised disconnected from human embodiment, rather than a plane fully integrated into existence here, on this Earth. I believe that I have provided sufficient proof of this fact in the works mentioned above. The victory over the adverse forces and the Dark Mother has been misunderstood, for we are analysing the matter from the poise of our present disunified perception, therefore we foist upon the struggle the goals we have come to believe are real; in the process we continue to solidify the spirit/matter divide.

This division found its expression in the fading importance of the Horse in Hindu symbology, with almost exclusive focus on the Cow. Indeed, we may safely say that the condition prevailing among schools of yoga, and by consequence in India as a whole, demonstrates more clearly than anything else that the full truth of the Vedic myth has not only not been experienced but that its real meaning has been completely obscured. The very cleavage described in the story that must be overcome is what we find crystallised in existence today. More lamentably, this split has become extolled as the highest truth to which the seeker can aspire.

It is not difficult to understand, by consequence, how the Rig Veda has been utilised to divide the nation; for if this distortion crept into the consciousness of the realiser, how could one prevent it from infiltrating the condition of Indian society? And indeed the distortion has played a major role in consolidating, among other things, the North/South divide by attributing to the myth an historical import which is intended to fuel the Aryan/Dravidian binary opposition.

What then is the element in the story that has been missed or misconstrued or misinterpreted? It is what the Horse symbolises. Consequently, today the Horse is no longer the object of veneration it was of old. Only the ‘undivided’ Light (read unmaterialised) of the Cow is placed on the altar of collective worship. But a division of the two is the best means we have to describe the sorry condition of civilisation and the scourge of the crystallised binary pattern to which the human race is subjected. We play out this division at every step of our way through time.

To provide just one example, the split which resulted in the degeneration of the Horse symbol has become reflected in the loss of true power, especially evident in a distorted expression of the warrior element in society. This is evident in present-day India, in particular in the Sikh conundrum.

Yet there are no scriptures anywhere in the world comparable to those we find in India for conveying the sacred dimensions these animals embody. We have, for example, the majestic description in the Brihadaranyak Upanishad of the universe precisely in the form of a Horse. All the parts of its body are aspects of material creation, while ‘Time is the self of the Horse sacrificial’.

But this particular Upanishad is one of the earliest, still very close in time to the Vedic period. Yet, in spite of all, based on these scriptures Hinduism continues today to extol those elements which in conjunction served to secure the victory the Vedic myth announces. Hinduism in this way is indeed the preserver of the eternal Truth, regardless of the fallen condition its outer form may take.

Thus, Agni, the Son of Force, who is interchangeable with the white Horse, is easily the most important deity in the Veda, and by consequence, in the entire Hindu pantheon of Gods, we might expect. Nonetheless, the Horse has lost its place in the galaxy of symbols in terms of the effective power which the lived experience of Yoga provides. I repeat, this became crystallised when the split was complete and the otherworldly realisation became the goal – not to speak of the formulations of voids and nothingnesses and the like – all denials of the COMBINED essence of Cow and Horse, or Consciousness-Force.

Indeed, consciousness (Cow/Ray) has lost its effective power in our divided binary world. Force (Horse) is as if left to roam untamed, unreined and wild, deprived of its Rider who its released energy is meant to carry to realms beyond the constricted space of a binary mental creation. The inner dharma and purpose of the Horse has become completely obscured. In our work, in the Yoga of the Chamber, this situation is redeemed. And it was redeemed largely with the help of a living horse.


We have experienced that the Horse is the propelling power, the movement, the speed which allows for solidified bodies to come into being (hence the Upanishad presents the material universe in the figure of a horse). From time to time in my writings I have exposed the fact that Movement is taboo in the experience of the realiser who sustains that Nothingness is the highest truth – Krishnamurti, for example (‘…The only security lies in nothingness…’). For the spiritualist, and in particular the Buddhist and all seekers who have been caught by the Nirvanic appeal, what moves is impermanent and hence unreal. Logically, such a realisation must present the entire universe – movement being its essence – as an unreal and deceptive disfiguration.

The Horse is hence that movement of the Supreme Consciousness without which no form can arise. In a world where creation is seen as illusory, it is to be expected that the Horse gradually lost all relevance in its sacred symbolism, except for a token worship entirely devoid of true and effective power. The Horse, we may say, is the materialisation of energy. By consequence, in the Rig Veda it is the energy in the ‘cave’ which, when released, provides the vehicle and fuel for extension of the boundaries from mind to supermind. In the language of the zodiac this is confirmed by the symbol of the Man-Horse, the Centaur, or the sign Sagittarius, the sign in which Immortality Day falls. This sign indeed represents passage to the higher realm beyond mind.

In the New Way this symbol is the property of the 4th Power of the Solar Line – born precisely in the month of Sagittarius and on Immortality Day.

Thus, from whatever angle we approach the issue of the contribution of the Horse, we come to the one conclusive fact: as in the Rig Veda, the energy we must redeem or release is symbolised by the Horse. In our work, where the symbol is the very thing symbolised, and wherein the animal is an equal participant, it was precisely a living white horse who not only ‘represented’ that Energy but who himself released this formidable power, allowing the work to experience a reversal in 1984 and its boundaries to become effectively extended.


‘The minds of men who seek the godhead

converge towards the flame even as their seeings

converge in the sun; when two dawns of

different forms give birth to this Fire

the white Horse is born in front of the days.’


Rig Veda V, Sukta 1,4.




(To be continued)


Skambha, August 1988