The Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi


On 21 May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. In 1984 his mother, Indira Gandhi, was also assassinated. According to the new cosmology and the Capricorn symbol-map of India (see TVN, 6/2), the gunas involved were Rajas in the case of Indira, and Sattwa in Rajiv’s death. Both occurred in areas on the symbol-map ruled by these gunas. In the very first issue of Vishaal, (0/1, October 1985), I analysed Indira’s death which, within the totality of prevailing conditions, would permit the continuity of the Lunar Line through its fourth member, Rajiv. Also discussed in that article were its unusual time equations according to the new cosmology.

In Rajiv Gandhi’s demise there are similar correspondences with his own number-power, the 1. The date of the assassination was 21.5.1991, which equals l (2+1+5+1+9+9+1=1). In addition, he was in his 46th year, also corresponding to the power 1. His death occurred an exact 9 months – or a complete cycle – after his 46th birthday, plus one day. That extra day brought the count to a 1-power day, thus fulfilling the harmony he was born into.

While the circumstances surrounding Indira Gandhi’s death served to bring the next member of the Line swiftly and unchallenged to power, this was not the case regarding her son. His early, unexpected demise leaves India without a member of the Lunar Line in office and an apparent end to this ‘cosmic dynasty’ which has perplexed political and historical analysts throughout the world, having presided over the affairs of the nation for the better part of this century through entirely democratic processes.

This turn of events leaves India in an extremely vulnerable position, facing a great unknown and coming as it does in the midst of grave threats to the nation, both internal and external. However, this crisis was not precipitated by Rajiv’s death in May of 1991. Its seeds were sown in 1989 when his party stood for elections to the 9th Lok Sabha (Lower House of parliament) and failed to secure a majority so as to form the government. That election being the 9th, in a 9-power year, it marked the true start of a process in which Rajiv Gandhi’s death is one more feature, albeit a very significant one. And though it was the 9th Lok Sabha, it was to bring to power the nation’s 8th prime minister. With the fall of that 8th in November of 1990, the country was then given a 9th prime minister to preside over that 9th Lok Sabha, which, however, came to an end a mere 4 months later. Finally new elections were called for 20 May 1991, after barely 18 months. These new elections would bring the 10th Lok Sabha into effect and the 10th prime minister. Considering the prominence of the 10, or the 1, it was clear that in some way Rajiv Gandhi would play a significant role. The fourth member of both the Solar and Lunar Lines brings to the harmony the number 1; that is, the last figure of the nuclear formula, – 9/6/3—0/1.

Thus, the real change for India began in 1989, as it did for the rest of the world – witness the great shifts in Europe in that very November of 1989, and the collapse of communism. In any analysis of the political happenings in India on the basis of the new way Cosmology, it is necessary to bear this fact in mind, insofar as the movement is a progression involving 9 stages of development, always beginning with an original 9. In this case, the 9th Lok Sabha elections in 1989 (=9).

On 13.3.1991, a 9-power day, the President of India announced new elections for 20.5.1991, another 9-power day. Elections were to be stretched over several days, ending on 26th May. But Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination brought an abrupt interruption after that first 9-power day. The nature of this disruption entirely characterised the energy quality that particular date bought into the equation of the electoral process. It brought into play the force of the Gnostic Circle’s 4.5 Orbit – or the shattered, splintered Asteroid Belt of our solar system.

In contrast, the 9th Lok Sabha did not incorporate this same shattering quality. Rather, it was a hung parliament for the first time in the history of independent India. But that election, initiating the new ennead of 1989-98, set the tone for the insecurities which would surface during the rest of the cycle. These last elections also brought a hung parliament, but this time accompanied by the shattering experience of the Asteroid Belt and Rajiv Gandhi’s death. Even the instrument and method employed to bring about his end seems to point to the cosmic explosion resulting in billions of roaming particles filling the Asteroid Belt.

This tragic happening comes upon India at a time when the nation faces grave difficulties on all fronts, – political, social, economic, ecological, and accompanied by a population increase of unbearable proportions. In this precarious situation the steadying pole of a stable Lunar Line to guide the nation through these tumultuous moments is also eliminated. It would appear as if the Divine Shakti, presiding over the destiny of India, had withdrawn her grace and had decided to abandon the country to its own human resources. For it is clear that India is sliding into an abyss. Salvation in these circumstances is difficult though not impossible. But contingent upon that salvation is the correct perspective and perception, and the understanding that India is not governed by human effort alone, that she bears an unusual and hard destiny unlike that of any other nation. Its fulfilment hinges on the Divine Shakti’s controlling power operating in the nation through the Solar and Lunar Lines as prescribed in these unusual time-patterns. When connection is lost with this Power and the Lines are severed or in some way rendered unable to accomplish their work for the nation, the result is this slide down and down into an abyss of time that cuts that nation off from these higher integrating and harmonising resources.

India’s accelerated decline began in 1971. Events that year indicated a turning point had come. Either the new way was to emerge victorious from the churning process initiated in 1971 and serve as the ‘seed’ of the new creation which India is destined to offer the world, or the slide would begin and overtake the nation at an ever-accelerating pace.

The path into the future was finally decided in July 1975 – or, precisely at the decade/ennead’s 4.5 Orbit. An indication of the crossroad reached was the decision right then by the architects of the Matrimandir under construction in Auroville to incorporate in the temple the revised design and measurements rather than the originals given by the Mother in 1970. The disharmonious axis was cemented at that time and the course into the future could then be ‘read’ in the changed measurements, similar to a horoscope erected in steel and cement, in which had been cast this disharmony rather than the harmonies of the new cosmos the Mother had created. By 1977, it was evident that redemption of the construction was impossible: the architects had had their way and restoration of the harmony could not be carried out. This coincided with the ousting from power of Indira Gandhi since the destiny of the Lunar Line was also contained in those original measurements and any alteration therein would reflect on the members of the Line. India was immediately left politically vulnerable, then like now.

Of equal importance was the destiny of India herself, since in the centrepiece of the Chamber, the globe, the Mother had captured the correspondent measurement of the unpartitioned land-mass of the subcontinent in the sacred dimensions she had given for that special item of sacred geometry. Thus, any alteration in the temple’s overall axis would perforce affect the ‘alignment’ of that globe/India. Consequently, when the axis was cemented in its present disharmonious fashion, it was a simple matter to predict that India would then begin a slide into the disintegrating orbit of the Asteroid Belt and a dismembering of the remaining portion of the nation appeared almost inevitable. This prediction, solely on the basis of the distortions, began to play itself out in the nation’s march into her disharmonised future. Secessionist movements began thereafter, and the pace accelerated in the 1980s, keeping pace with the progression of the construction: the closer it neared completion, the greater the threat of disintegration. In 1980, Sanjay Gandhi, also a member of the Line, met an unexpected death. Then, at the 4.5 Orbit of the 1980-89 decade/ennead, Indira Gandhi was assassinated. But as early as January of 1977, I had warned that this would be India’s ineluctable future unless remedial measures were taken to correct the architect’s distortion of the original plan. In a booklet entitled, ‘What is Wrong with Matrimandir’, I wrote:

‘The effects of the power of disunity and disharmony stemming from disproportionate forms are seen at the level of this Centre (the Ashram and Auroville) itself and the national level as well – especially in what concerns those whose destinies are written in the structure (the Lunar Line) and those elements prominent in the national life who are joined to the Mother in some way. There too the confusion becomes acute and events begin which can prove in the long run to weaken the effectiveness of the Mother’s Force at that level. This is especially felt in the beginning by those who have a direct or indirect connection with Auroville, for it is there that the power establishes itself. But ultimately, as the disproportionate structure grows its influence widens and strengthens. Ultimately it can bring about a total disintegration at the national level, just as ultimately, if it is proportionate it can help to bring about the total harmonisation of all levels.

‘Effects of such a disintegrating occult force are subtle, impossible for the human being to perceive and understand. This power is a hundredfold intensified when given a material support such as a Matrimandir. When this happens we find that suddenly, almost imperceptibly, the atmosphere begins to change, the area becomes pervaded with a fog that clouds the people‘s consciousness. Friends turn to foes, falsehood is held up as truth, and – worst of all, no one can perceive, no one can see the Truth. Each one believes himself to be its upholder, when in fact each one is subjected to the same toxic force, living under the same cloud, being made use of for the one end: disintegration, disunity, division – in a word, the opposite of Truth’s goal…

‘…Then, as of the very beginning of 1974, two forces have been simultaneously at work, steadily active. One force seeks to bring about a union between the two Centres of the nation, – what might be called the spiritual centre and the material centre. The second force simultaneously seeks to undo the work of the former and actively puts forth its most concentrated power in order to bring about a complete split in this occult Axis, because only when this Axis is forged and operative will India begin to manifest her true soul and destiny…’ (p. 44-5).

As predicted above, the Lunar Line did feel the brunt of the disharmony. In subsequent publications and private exchanges on this subject, I warned that as the time neared for the installation of the globe on the basis of that misalignment, the stresses would increase and disintegration would be accelerated. I am obliged to point out that the globe, after a 20-year construction process started in 1971, finally reached Auroville, from Germany where it had been fashioned, barely a month or so before Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination – an event which took place very close to the spot where that globe stands. His destiny, as foreseen, felt the impact of that arrival. When the globe is conclusively installed the process of disintegration will be complete.

The significance of these timings and synchronisations merits in-depth analyses. In the course of future VISHAALs, I shall deal with these forecasts on the basis of the new cosmology. Having engaged in these analyses from time to time, I am accused of being ‘superstitious’, of encouraging an outdated, retrograde outlook, especially by those involved with the construction of the Shadow Temple. This is somewhat understandable considering that the new cosmology is NEW and has no parallel or previous models from our period of recorded history to help us fathom these profound operations of Time and Destiny and Form. Thus it draws to itself the usual derogatory labels conjured up in minds ignorant of these mysterious processes bridging the visible and invisible. This inability to understand is also an outcome of the atmosphere described above which creates a ‘field’ wherein none can perceive the truth: nationalism may be equated with fascism in such an atmosphere; reestablishment of the Dharma as arranged through the Line of Ten Avatars may be labelled communalism; the high truths of the spirit may be forced into the mould of divisive religion. None know for none can see in that obfuscated atmosphere fomented by disproportionate forms. But I am confident that my published works with their detailed record of the progression from the point of utter and compete Harmony which the Mother’s original plan held in seed form, to the actual state of disintegration mirrored in the destruction of that Harmony by the builders of the Matrimandir in Auroville, can well stand as its own defence before these secular architects who have no knowledge of the higher workings of Time and Destiny and the Sacred. And, above all, who ignore India’s unique place in the cosmic harmony and the role she must play in the world. That role was captured in the Mother’s original design and measurements…

‘…There are many levels that could be discussed in this regard. The Mother’s plan is a mathematical perfection and this perfection can be explained… But the point to be brought forth here is that alterations in the (temple) change the quality of the Time that is gestated and hence the quality of the Breath. As the Temple is not only the soul of Auroville but that of the Earth, and we know that India is the planet’s soul in terms of its organised nations, any change in the Heart (temple) will have its effects upon the land of the Mother.

‘The destiny of a New India is written in Matrimandir. In particular, the globe, onto which the solar ray is to fall, is this land. By the laws of correspondence the Mother has captured in the measurements she gave for the globe and insisted upon, the exact measurements of the physical body of India. These measurements include the true body…the spiritual reality of the body of India which is the only reality, in spite of the distortions men have brought about therein. In the realm of things true and real, this is Mother India, and this will always remain Mother India.

‘In the core of Matrimandir, the Mother installed the soul of a New India, integrated in all its parts. This was immediately altered and the area where the pedestal was to stand upon the Mother’s symbol carved in white stone and supporting the sacred globe, was made into a hole. The centre of the Temple would house not this perfect creation of sacred geometry but rather a void. And over that void a globe of some sort was to be suspended and its relationship therefore to the pedestal on which Sri Aurobindo’s symbol was to be engraved, with all its implications, would be lost. Moreover, all the energies poured through the solar ray to be collected in that globe would pass through and vanish into this void…’. (Ibid, p. 42-3.)

The 4.5 Orbit is the ‘void’ where energies do indeed escape and ‘fuel for the rise’ is lost. There are five days during the year which are sensitive to this Orbit, 20 to 25 May. These were the very days selected for the elections which saw the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. At the same time, the fourth member of the Line bears a destiny of RELEASING that energy. His destiny holds the key to that mysterious process of time and energy. Thus, having occurred at that special, critical moment, it is clear that Rajiv Gandhi’s death will, though it may still be unclear, produce that release which will accelerate the collapse of the old and the rise of the new.

Patrizia Norelli
25 June 1991

Aeon Centre of Cosmology

at Skambha

A Letter to Chile-America

While there is time I wish to share a few thoughts which have evolved on the basis of a study of certain dates of importance in Chile. To really unravel the mysteries of a nation’s destiny requires, however, a much greater penetration than what I can give for the moment. If this attention is given though, one can be quite precise in one’s seeing. But let this be simply a beginning, in any case; perhaps further on the opportunity will arise to go much deeper into things.

            On the basis of a study of time-cycles, the date of Chile’s independence seems to reveal that as of this year (July) through to September of 1982 decisive events will take place to give the country a more solid political base. That is, there ought to emerge during this period a truer political foundation. But this is not a process confined to a particular party regaining power, or even an individual. It is a process to furnish the country with a more truthful vehicle to express the longings of the Chilean people. We can say a collective consciousness or awareness is being formed, and all the recent, and not so recent, events are simply taking place in order to forge this collective awareness. This process is spread over many decades; in fact, the beginning was the country’s Independence. But Chile, as it stands in the comity of nations, is young. She is just beginning on this long journey in the manifestation of what we may call the national soul. Actually what is occurring is precisely the discovery of that Soul. All elements, individuals, events entering into the country’s destiny are pieces necessary in order to force the collective consciousness to emerge or to forge itself into a crystallised element which can give expression to this eternal Soul.

Chile’s case is different from India’s for example. Though the latter attained so-called independence only in this century (1947), there has never really been a severing in the expression of the nation’s soul-power. India is ancient, and even in her new phase of expression, she builds upon this ancient foundation. Indeed, this is both her strength and her deficiency. But each nation has its own particular destiny-power and character, its own foibles as well as its stable core.

Chile, on the other hand, underwent a violent experience in the ‘conquest’ of the territory by the Spaniards. The ‘line’, if we may so call it, which the true spirit that fragment of land embodies was severed. That is, the conscious development was dramatically stopped; no connection with the past was really maintained, and so the new formation had to stand on tottering foundations. This made it possible for a more potent nation like the USA (in terms of destiny) to gain considerable control over the country – either outwardly manifested or in more hidden ways. In fact, what I write here pertains to all of Latin America. We have there a continent which housed perhaps some of the most advanced civilisations in the world; the Mayan/Aztecan, for example. That civilisation was in many ways far ahead of Europe at the time the Spaniards arrived, as revealed in their knowledge of astronomy and more specifically of Time. On this, much could be written, but it may be left for another occasion.

In any case, the point I wish to make is that the continuity of the destiny manifesting in Latin America (Incan, Mayan, Aztecan, etc.) was tragically truncated; that is, the conscious continuity. That ‘thread’ having been lost, the web of the collective consciousness suffered a tremendous setback and a long period of darkness then ensued. This dark period covered the time of the Conquest to the present. What Latin America is now experiencing is simply a process of awakening, of re-forging the threads of destiny, this time proceeding consciously forward and finding her place in the whole symphony of nations. It is this awakening and seeking to make connections with the true and ancient soul of Latin America that is the explanation for the urge on the part of the youth of Chile and its artists to revive the nation’s folklore, which has been witnessed in the 60s and 70s. All of this, however, is a world process, not something confined to Chile or even to Latin America. Latin America has to find her diversity and unity within herself, and then find this unified diversity’s place within the whole of the Earth’s destiny as expressed in the rise of all nations.

Young people on both the South and North American continents have been seeking during the past two decades to make contact with not only the past of their countries but also with the very land itself. This has brought a dramatic change in the lifestyles manifesting. However, all this is still superficial. It is not by singing folklore or painting in the indigenous style that contact is established with the spirit of a nation. In fact, this is a rather superficial manner of seeking to consolidate the national consciousness. It is, however, a deep symbol. The fact that such an upsurge of interest occurred in Chile during the 1960s and 70s points to the need and desire in the people to establish contact with what is true, or the soul of Chile. To establish contact with the spirit, however, one has to go about it in a somewhat different way, – that is, one has to find its perennial truth in the present. Indeed, for this very reason that tragic severance had to occur at the time of the Conquest to bring the spirit-soul housed on the Latin American continent into harmony with the Time-Spirit. So the need of the moment is for a group of people to come forward, or a leader, who sees the present position and the true course into the future.

For the moment in Latin America there is no such leader. All the movements there and their leaders are seeking on the basis of imitation, – imported models which do not satisfy the needs of the times. However, the process has begun and cannot now be arrested. It is therefore all the more important for someone or a group of people to come forward with the courage to break open the path into the future along truly constructive lines, according to the real dictates of the times and in harmony with the Latin American soul.

As can be seen, when one starts to delve into the destiny of a nation today one is immediately projected beyond the confines of the established border of that particular country and one sees its evolution in harmony with a process that encompasses the whole Earth. The experience of Chile is the experience of all Latin America, and of the Earth herself. The planet’s entire comity of nations is seeking to find its place in the whole. This is the reason for our present turmoil. When we isolate the process and view it in a fragmentary fashion it is a distressing picture that emerges. But, if we look more deeply, if we touch a layer that reveals a unity in the process, then we can only rejoice, because one sees thereby the controlled evolution of the Earth, which is leading to a true unity of nations.

Each nation in this communion of Earth-consciousness has to find its place, its own spirit-soul first, and then if it does so it automatically finds its place within the Whole. Any vision that isolates is not the true vision, because the chaos we are experiencing is precisely the result of a disunified seeing, a fragmentation in the human consciousness.

The dark night Chile is living is precisely because there is no one as yet in evidence in the nation who is capable of piercing through the appearances and seeing the real process. This goes far deeper than the conventional political patterns, be these of the Left or the Right. It requires a seeing that rises above these distinctions and sees the point of unity in the timeless soul of the nation. Such a seeing then unfolds a power which is capable of uniting these apparently opposing forces, for the benefit of the entire country. If this does not happen, one can only expect change within a reigning disharmony: today it is the Right, tomorrow it is the Left; then again the Right, and again the Left, – and so on in a miserable unending chain of reaction, causing in the process tremendous suffering to the people, as can be witnessed in many countries of the world.

This is the old way that the Earth is getting rid of. She moves forward to a unity of being and a progress on the basis of complementation and not confrontation.

Thus Chile has, as all Latin America, the possibility to move forward toward this new condition; and if a leader arises there who sees this course and has the courage to follow it, he or she will find an almost miraculous response, in people, in events. Because this is the truth of the times. All our present sufferings are simply because we seek to pull into the past, to hold back the evolution of consciousness that embraces the entire Earth.

The struggle the Earth is witnessing in all its four corners is not simply between Left and Right. This is only a fractional part of the process. What is really happening is a war between the Old and the New. A new world order is in the making, but as long as people cling to the old patterns, as progressive as they may seem the establishment of this Order is going to be further delayed and rendered more and more painful, accompanied by ever-increasing violence and destruction. This, in fact, is simply the consequence of the resistance offered to the new: the quantity and the scope of destruction experienced are in proportion to this resistance.

According to a deeper vision of certain time-cycles that are relevant in the above-mentioned process, a particularly important one began in 1971. This cycle, a smaller one within a larger, comes to an end this year, – only to open into a new one. It is especially interesting to note from the dates furnished that Allende came to power precisely at the end of 1970. That is, his term essentially began with the commencement of this cycle. (For students of the new cosmology it is important to note, however, that Allende came to power in an 8 year, 1970, bearing the fragile 8 power of dissolution inherent in his term of office.) The particular significance of this period lies in the fact that it marks the period during which this new world order will manifest; from 1971 till the end of the century, approximately, the process will be complete. This does not mean that all the work will be finished during that time; it simply means that the solid foundations upon which a new future will be built will be firmly established. From 1971 the Earth has been living the experience of acceleration, one may call it, toward the achievement of this goal.

Chile has particularly felt the impact of this demarcation in time and its pressures. The Allende regime came to power in 1970/1971 and set off a series of events that are bringing the nation to a deeper level in its process of conscious evolution. Outwardly it appears to be a struggle between Left and Right, and Allende’s fall the work of certain powers that have since been unmasked. This may be quite true, but as long as one remains content with this explanation and this vision, the real importance of what the nation is undergoing will be overlooked. Consequently, the means to extricate itself from the present impasse will also be ignored and continued strife and violence will ensue. One has always to bear in mind that such manipulated coups can only take place successfully when there is an opening in the collective consciousness that allows it. Allende’s rise as well as his fall are as much the projection of the state of consciousness of the Chilean people as is the rise of Pinochet. And the fall of the latter will only occur when this collective consciousness has evolved to the point where its maturity forces a breakthrough and ousts the offending element.

The year that lies ahead of the Chilean nation will most probably see the end of the present government; but it may take another year thereafter before a more stable order appears. Therefore now is the time when a conscious effort should be made on the part of clear-thinking people to make the courageous move toward a really new beginning. That is, now is the time – and it should not be missed – to begin a positive effort at consolidation and a vigorous forward movement.

The forces at work that seek to maintain the supremacy of the Old thrive on a certain tension which is created by involving all the energies of people in a struggle with the past. This struggle therefore leaves no energies for the creation of the New. In the case of Chile it is quite clear; and in particular the situation involving those in exile during this period. One can see how the precious energies of the people are being blocked by these subtle forces, by entangling them in a useless process of exposure, we may call it. For example, CHILE-AMERICA has as its main purpose the exposure of the atrocities of the Pinochet regime. By channeling energies into this endeavour, as noble as it may seem, the elements concerned with the magazine’s publication are simply wasting a precious opportunity given them to leave the past, with all its sad and unfortunate memories, and to strive to build a new consciousness. It is in the building of a new awareness alone that the possibility can arise of eliminating the cause of Pinochet’s emergence. Simply opposing the wrong-doings of this regime is in no way sufficient to bring about a change. On the contrary, this process is feeding the very characteristics in the Chilean consciousness that made his rise possible in the first place.

If CHILE-AMERICA is to serve the cause of the New, if it is to be a service to the people in this most important phase of Chile’s destiny, then it must be a channel for positive energies to manifest. It must become a source of inspiration for the new spirit that seeks to manifest and be a vehicle through which young thoughts, young and vital ideas can be formulated and ultimately assist in the evolution of this new awareness. As it now stands, the old consciousness, with its subtle obstructing powers, is merely keeping those energies tied down and caught in the trap of a struggle with the old. Now is the time to leave the past and to open up the doors to the future, to usher in a period of constructive growth. This positive movement is the way to unify the forces, which will result in a power sufficient unto itself to eliminate the root causes of all wrong-doing which have engendered untold suffering to the people. One can do this, one can free oneself from this entanglement only if one sees that it is the reigning collective consciousness itself that has given birth to the actual regime. Imposing another, overthrowing this one to establish something else without seeing to the root causes and the transformation that must take place therein, will lead only to a continued negative state; there will be the appearance of change, but nothing more. No real, fundamental transformation can come about in this way.

Chile has been living a tremendously important experience in her destiny. It has culminated in a colossal movement of exile. The number of exiles, for one reason or another, in proportion to the population is certainly a fact revealing the importance of the present happenings. But when such a large amount of people are forced to leave a country one has to see the event as a symbol of something much deeper. The dispersion of all these energies, the fragmentation in the collective consciousness that has occurred thereby, clearly indicated by this mass exile, is a powerful indication that from 1971 a pressure began to break up a formation in the national consciousness that was impeding the flowering of the true Chilean psyche. The rise of Allende served to set off the process of fragmentation which the present regime is consolidating. That is, Left or Right – all are only instruments in this process which embraces the whole consciousness of the people. Again it must be stressed: it is the Chilean soul itself that seeks to manifest. All political tendencies are simply portions of that soul in evolution. One part rises and falls, then another rises and falls; but the underlying movement goes on and is steady, constant, unrelenting, – using one now, another later. However, if true peace and prosperity and well being are to be experienced, the time must come when the spirit is mature enough to rise above the play of opposites in a fragmented manner and to reach a vision of unity – not uniformity but UNITY. That is, all the parts must be seen as parts, but on the background of the spirit of the nation, and each portion must find its place in that Wholeness.

From the standpoint of a vision of such a wholeness, one can see that the time has come to perceive the integral process which is being experienced in Chile. The time has come to perceive in terms of harmony, integration, complementation, and not disunity, fragmentation, division, isolation and all the rest. One cannot solve the problems of Chile in a truly satisfactory manner, be these political or on the order of social inequality and injustice, while one sees Allende or Pinochet or whosoever as something apart from the collective consciousness, a freak phenomenon be it either of Left or Right. One needs to see these appearances in terms of the more integral working out of the kinks and creases in the formation of the national psyche, which have to be eased out by the growth from within: the larger and wider the vision the easier it becomes to harmonise all the conflicting parts and to set on its way the new national awareness which sustains itself on the basis of wholeness, of integrality and harmony.

All of Latin America is reeling under that same pressure from within, and as each nation comes closer to the unveiling of its deeper essence, this very happening will open the way to a larger harmonisation on the continent. Ultimately, it is possible to perceive this process of integration will lead to an experience of wider unity and possibly a form of confederation among the nations of Latin America. The realisation of such a goal is being hastened by prevailing conditions in the world. The chaos and entanglement and stagnation we now experience on world-wide dimensions are serving to accelerate the coming of a new world order, which is not a utopia we strive for in the future but is rather a phenomenon – albeit  as yet somewhat hidden from the ordinary vision – that is taking place today. The turmoil of Latin America is one such proof that the new order is on its way and no earthly power can impede its full flowering. We have no choice but to participate consciously, to offer the least resistance possible to the pressure of manifestation of the new, so as to avoid as much destruction as possible.

All clear-thinking people must be aware that there is no solution to the problems we face in all the four corners of the Earth on the basis of the known systems of thought and political solutions. While one may give a greater degree of individual freedom, it does so on the basis of an exploitation of another order; while one may give a greater distribution of the wealth of the nation, it does so by suffocating the freedom and the free growth of the spirit of the people in other spheres. And even when a nation appears to have found a certain balance within its own confines, the world situation today has clearly revealed that there can be no isolated haven: a secluded well-being, disconnected from the throes of the great turmoil the rest of the Earth faces, cannot endure. The most important revelation of our times, brought dramatically before our eyes with an unmistakable clarity by such elements as nuclear power, for example, is that the Earth is one, in her felicities as well as her penuries. We can no longer achieve a divisional well-being and solution. Today’s answers must perforce embrace the whole.

Chile is in a unique position to be a forerunner in such a process. She has been forced into this position, and the particularly large amount of Chileans scattered the world over can offer a special ingredient of wideness of vision and an integral approach to the solution of the country’s afflictions. These elements outside the country, working in harmony with those within, can help to bring about another way, a Chilean way, which is yet inextricably united and in harmony with the way the entire Earth is seeking. The maturity of the Chilean spirit with respect to other Latin American countries places the nation in a special position, bearing a unique responsibility on the continent. The political maturity Chile enjoyed in Latin America is what can allow the country to serve as a model in that part of the world. The time has come for a consciousness to evolve therein which offers a possibility of a truly united spirit to emerge and to bring Latin America to its rightful place in the comity of nations, in an atmosphere of harmony, of collaboration, of good-will among its sister nations on the continent, each one manifesting its own tendencies, not in conflict with others but rather displaying an ever wider diversity that is set in a larger framework of unity. The political maturity the people of Chile enjoy places the nation in this special position. But the lesson to be learned today is that such a positive, on-going thrust cannot come into being unless the poisons of revenge and hate and retaliation are dissolved in the collective consciousness, and the energies that were usurped in this negative functioning are channelled wholly into the building of the New, on lines which truly correspond to the national spirit and soul, thereby answering all the needs of the people in an atmosphere of harmony and integrality never before experienced in the country. This is the model Chile can be for Latin America. And the time is propitious now for her to play this all-important role. For indeed, the task is urgent. Time is with us still, but not for long.

Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
South India, 1979

Culture and Cosmos – 2, Part 3.1



Caste has been an issue of ongoing contention in contemporary Indian society. In the course of this essay I have referred to this situation and the manner in which inhibiting forces have been exerted on certain traditional castes, resulting in an undermining of the dharma of that particular community. The community in question, the Sikh, presents a rather obvious example. But the same inhibition has been inflicted on most segments of this ancient system of structuring society. In one way or another the essential purpose and function of the various castes has deteriorated, to the point where little is left of that original intention. Added to this, or perhaps as a result of this loss, a fragmentation process set in, or a splintering. Each of the four major divisions of caste – Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra, known in Sanskrit as the Chaturvarna, or ‘four colours’ – became divided within themselves, and then again subdivided in a process of fragmentation leading to an increasing differentiation of groups. The India mind has a superb ability to define and codify. This has been one of its most interesting features from ancient times, a capacity which we find reflected in contemporary Indian society by the high percentage of scientists and technicians among Indians – both in the country and residing abroad, placing the nation in the forefront in this regard.

Some believe that the exercise of defining inhibits free expression and development of a society. This is an objection especially prevalent in 20th Century society in which freedom is the foremost concern. It was not a concern during the last Manifestation several thousands of years ago. To define meant to be in a position to harmonise and integrate. Having lost that capacity to some extent, the difficulties contemporary Indian society experiences with integration are understandable.

The capacity to define and codify was thus employed in the ancient division of Hindu society in an important exercise which originally enhanced the caste system’s ability to integrate a people. For integration can only reach its fullest expression when the parts to be integrated are known and defined. A system such as the Chaturvarna was, in essence, an act of ‘putting each thing in its place’. It collected all the segments born of the act of defining and set them in their proper position within the whole.

Indeed, it is that very WHOLE which will be the focus of this analysis, insofar as with the passage  of time the original function of the Chaturvarna – the Whole composed of its well-defined Parts – has been lost sight of. Consequently, the two qualities which describe the purpose of such an arrangement and its raison d’etre – integrality and wholeness – have largely disappeared with just the opposite in evidence. There appear to be nothing but the fragments left – isolated, well segregated from one another due to the act of defining. But these parts abide in a void, being deprived of certain essential elements, – i.e., a centre that holds, and a circle or sphere in which that centre may act as a binding or integrating force. In other words, we have the innumerable parts floating in a void, or a chaos not a cosmos. The overall binding energy of the Chaturvarna has vanished almost completely.

In this portion of the essay, we shall therefore concentrate almost exclusively on this question of the Chaturvarna’s essence or essential purpose. In the process, the indisputable cosmic foundation of the system will be explored, for it is this foundation that provides the answer we seek regarding the origin, purpose, function and consequent decline of caste. This essay will also highlight other aspects which need to be dealt with. Once we have established the connection between caste and cosmos, and insofar as Hinduism’s roots lie firmly embedded in the Cosmic Truth, it will be revealed that in any attempt to re-establish Hindu Dharma this question of caste will perforce surface and demand to be dealt with. Amidst the decline and degeneration experienced in India of its ancient civilisational and cultural bases, an analysis of the true foundations of the Chaturvarna will also reveal that caste was perhaps the single element most responsible for providing a binding component to Hindu civilisation, cutting across and through a series of separate kingdoms and fiefdoms.

It is known that the administrative ‘unity’ introduced by the British during colonisation of the subcontinent was the only time that all these kingdoms were gathered under a single administrative umbrella, thus paving the way for a united nation. However, in the course of this essay I have presented certain ancient keys of higher knowledge which, because of their central position in Hinduism, indicate that in a particular dimension of the nation’s collective consciousness this sense of unity existed long before the Moghuls or the British came on the scene. The basis for this all-embracing unity, cutting through the barriers of these multiple kingdoms, was what we call today Hinduism. The Sanatan or Eternal Dharma was the unifying, binding force of the civilisation which has inhabited the subcontinental landmass from prehistoric times.

More importantly, in these pages I have presented the means by which Hinduism was granted the unusual capacity to endure, to hold a civilisation together in spite of these barriers; indeed, to be a civilisation at all. The key lay in the cosmic harmony. Forming as it does the basis of Hindu Dharma, and being a harmony unending in its unfolding, by means of which Hinduism organised its civilisational expressions, it is logical that the Chaturvarna would also reveal its origins to have stemmed from that same cosmic harmony. Given this fact, it is easy to appreciate that when the Divine Maya (Measure) was lost some centuries ago, which provided the enlightened link with that cosmos, the Dharma was fated to decline since its renewing mechanism hinged precisely on that connection. By consequence, the caste system, equally rooted in the cosmic harmony, began to experience a degeneration by virtue of an act of defining and division run rampant, having been cut off from its fount of integrating power.

Essential to an understanding of how this degeneration came to pass is the question of exactly what was lost in the vision and expression of the Chaturvarna. It is apparent that no historian or authority on Hindu civilisation has really been able to pinpoint this failing. Indeed, had it been possible to do so, the decline would have been arrested and the aspired reestablishment of the Dharma would have already taken place. Therefore, a fundamental, central feature of this analysis is that lost element in the perception which alone could hold the system together. This was the all-embracing vision of the Cosmic Truth which in ancient times provided the unifying factor. All expressions of the Dharma could be found related to that Cosmic Truth – or the true perception of the cosmic harmony, and, above all, its divine Maya or Measure, as the means to give effective expression in the society to that Truth. The closer this came to a shadowless perception, the nearer was the Satya Yuga or Golden Age of Truth drawn.

The Inadequacy of Mental Formulas

In the second part of this series (TVN, 6/2), the threefold basis of the Hindu Dharma was discussed, also taken from the cosmic harmony. This triune play of energy – creation, preservation and destruction – was seen projected onto the subcontinental landmass via the Capricorn hieroglyph (see page 10, TVN 6/2), or, as it is sometimes called in ancient traditions, the Name of God. In Part II, I made brief mention of the fourfold order. Together with the threefold, this combination provides the essence of Hindu Dharma as mirrored in these celestial exchanges. In the present essay, we shall consider the trinity, Rajas, Sattwa and Tamas, and how it is related to the fourfold caste system. To do this we may use the principle ingredient in the study of cosmic harmonies – the circle. With this simple geometric form it is possible to explain the origins of caste and, at the same time, its relation to the gunas, or the triune play of energies.

If the circle here presented is taken as the circumscribing heavens, we are establishing our first premise: the four castes are perceived as four segments of the heavenly sphere; and this division, in turn, is employed on earth to provide a cosmic basis for the structure of society. Indeed, this circle divided into four is the astronomical symbol of our planet Earth, the four angles indicating the four cardinal points.

It is apparent that the evolution of a civilisation – and indeed the evolution itself – cannot be on the basis of a mental formula. By this we mean a formula that springs from a divisive consciousness. Efforts to impose such a mental formula would be doomed to fail. In fact, this is precisely what has transpired regarding the ancient caste system. When the original formula and measure were lost, substitutes arose from the mind of a humanity which had lost contact with a plane of perception higher than the mental. All on earth was sought to be made ‘in man’s image’ and not the Divine’s as mirrored in the cosmic harmony. The result has been a severe fragmentation of society: the parts seek to assert themselves via these divisive mental formulas, and in so doing their capacity to find their place within the Whole is forfeited. Again we return to our original premise: cosmic harmonies offer a vision of wholeness and integrality. Mental formulas, which are human perceptions disconnected from a higher source, are characterised by an inability to harmonise and integrate, to situate the parts within the whole, insofar as there is no conscious awareness of that totality. Hence, these formulas do violence to a society. Indeed, the increasing violence of our worlds, and in particular the astonishing display of minds capable of fabricating the most sophisticated instruments for mass destruction, are results of a development devoid of any light higher than the mental. The consequences are an increasing fragmentation, divisiveness, isolation, segregation, splintering – in the name of a search for ‘identity’, or an assertion of national or ethnic rights. These may or may not be connected to religions. When they are, the product is an explosive brand of assertiveness, highly intolerant of diversity, which we label fundamentalism.

These manifestations in contemporary society are representative of minds incapable of a perception of wholeness, or a unified multiplicity. The most accurate description of the aberration is a linear in contrast to a spherical perception. Further on I shall demonstrate graphically how this aberration has played a crucial role in the degeneration of the caste system with its attending disassociation from the cosmic harmony.

In our study the circle represents that spherical capacity of perception – a consciousness capable of seeing the parts within the whole. At the same time, the circle is the celestial sphere comprised of the planetary harmony. We have divided this circle into four parts. Each section corresponds to one of the four castes: Shudra, the labour class; Vaishya, the traders or providers; Kshatriya, the warrior/rulers; and Brahmin, the person of knowledge, adviser of kings and governments.

It may be asked how this division can be effectively connected to or bear any real relation to the cosmic harmony with its planetary/orbital patterns, in any way other than merely a symbolic representation – hence, another mental formula. Indeed, it is legitimate to question whether the factual and not simply symbolic relationship can truly express itself in a civilisation or in the evolution of consciousness on Earth. The argument is similar to what we encounter in the scientific community’s debunking of astrology. For the scientist also claims, How can it be held (and proven) that the planets ‘influence’ mankind or regulate or determine the lives of human beings? I have dealt with this objection elsewhere in my writings and need not reopen the debate. I intend to reveal the existence of this connection in the present analysis by exceeding the boundaries which cage in the contemporary scientist and relegate him or her to a status far inferior to that of the seers of old. The limitation, I may point out, is the linear perception in lieu of the spherical.

An ancient dictum holds that the macrocosmos is equal to the microcosmos, – i.e., the human being, to name just one component of that  microcosm, was held by the ancients to mirror or TO BE that cosmic pattern in miniature. Consequently, a penetration into the mysteries of the cosmos, based on the spherical capacity of perception and not the linear, discloses that what holds ‘above’ holds ‘below’. Cosmic harmonies describe the intricate patterns of our solar system, but at the same time they speak of the human being in his or her physical constitution as well as psychological. In a word, these harmonies of which the circle is the geometric symbol, speak of the many layers, dimensions, planes of the embodied consciousness, both individual and collective. ‘As above, so below’ would then point to an interconnection, a oneness, a magical fact of unity as the governing principle of our world. This fact of our planetary existence has clearly been overlooked. Contemporary society is a product of that lost perception. The travails of our times, this last decade of the millennium, expose the pressure human societies are feeling to regain that beatific state of wholeness and completion and integration of the parts within the whole.

Thus, having established this fact of oneness and unity, we come closer to understanding the sense behind one of the oldest references to the Chaturvarna, or the Fourfold Order. It is found in the Rig Veda, Hinduism’s most ancient collection of sacred hymns. In the ‘Purush Sukta’ (X, 90), the seer describes the universal Purush, or Being. All parts of creation are seen to emerge from or find their place in this Being. The body of man is used to provide the connecting link between the vast and the minute. At the same time, the sphere that is this Universal Being is divided into four quarters. The seer states that three fourths, however, are ‘above’…

…Such is the measure of his might,

and greater still than this is the Purush.

All beings are a fourth of him,

three fourths are the immortal in heaven.


Three fourths of the Purush ascended high,

one fourth took birth again down here.

From this he spread in all directions

into animate and inanimate things.


Using the Purush as their oblation,

the Gods performed the sacrifice.

Spring served them for clarified butter,

Summer for the fuel, and Autumn for the offering.

And several verses further on, after enumerating all the creatures of the Earth who have originated in this Cosmic Being, the seer proceeds to describe the Chaturvarna…

…When they divided up the Purush,

into how many parts did they divide him?

What did his mouth become? What his arms?

What are his legs called? What his feet?


His mouth became the Brahmin; his arms

became the Kshatriya, his legs

the Vaishya who plies his trade.

The Shudra was born from his feet…

(Translation largely Raimundo Pannikar’s)
The Vedic Experience)

The above is considered to be the first mention of the caste system in Hindu scripture. Its origins can therefore be situated in the bedrock of Hinduism, the Veda. More especially, the Rig Veda. In studying the fourfoldness of the division of the celestial sphere in depth, we come to realise that the zodiac as we know it today, with its major division of four (the four Cardinal points) and overall 12, formed the basis of the order used for the Chaturvarna. In the above hymn the Rishi makes the connection explicit when he refers to the seasons, – interestingly, he mentions only three. We might consider that these correspond to the three fourths ‘above’: Spring, Summer and Autumn. The fourth omitted we may assume to be the one fourth left for the human creation ‘below’. But there seems to be more to this omission considering that the Rishi would have located this creation on the subcontinent, whose astrological ruler is the zodiacal sign Capricorn – or the first Winter month, the only season left out of the hymn. To lay further stress on this point, we have the hieroglyph of Capricorn superimposed on the map of India in a perfect synchronism of symbol and form. This is an immensely important clue to the cosmic rather than the historic context of the Rig Veda; as well, it assists us in piecing together the cosmic Mosaic which forms the backdrop of the Hindu Dharma.

These clues, found in abundance in the Rig Veda, have encouraged me to believe that the origin of the zodiac was the ancient civilisation which inhabited the subcontinent. Indeed, so firmly were the roots of zodiacal wisdom embedded in the civilisation that they have never ceased to exert a predominant influence in Hindu society; not only in Hinduism’s body of ritual but also in contemporary Indian society through an involvement with astrology and other forms of predictive arts which have this cosmic foundation.

The precise origins of the twelve hieroglyphs are unknown. They seem to have always been a part of the civilisations which made use of a system of 12 for the division of the year. Western scholarship has always considered Mesopotamia to be the location of their origins, but this is without foundation. There too the script may have been imported from farther east, just as the concept of the Zero was taken from India by the Arabs and brought to Europe, with many western historians and mathematicians still attributing the discovery to Islamic civilisation. The oldest civilisations which are acknowledged to have fed the evolution of thought in Europe are limited to the Middle East. This has consequently produced a lopsided world, tilted in one direction on this axis of partial seeing.

It is quite possible that the origins of the zodiacal script were in ancient and legendary Lemuria, the submerged continent described in a number of old texts, but particularly in the ancient Sangam literature of Tamil Nadu. The oldest of these books speaks of this submerged continent, dating back more than 30,000 years, where an advanced civilisation dwelt which then migrated to what is now Tamil Nadu at the time of the cataclysm. A pointer to this possibility lies in the Tamil language itself which causes us to believe that it too was a means of conveying higher knowledge of cosmic import, consisting as it does of 12 vowels and 18 consonants. In all there is a combination of 216 letters in the alphabet, or 12 times 18. I have always felt that these 12 and 18 are not sufficient to capture all the sounds of the spoken language. It seemed rather that the structure of Tamil was used by ancient seers as one more key to the Cosmic Truth. Indeed, language and grammar were always considered limbs of the Knowledge, – witness the works of Panini and Patanjali. If we accept this thesis then we see that the vowels and consonants of Tamil point to two basic divisions of the Circle: its division into 12, or the zodiacal signs; and the threefold energy flow of 6+6+6 or 18, which is the same key contained in the division of the books of the Puranas, each 6-section corresponding to a member of the Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This division was discussed extensively in Part II of this essay regarding the geography of India (TVN, 6/2, June 1991).

Needless to say, these theses are not accepted by contemporary scholars largely because there are none among them with any grounding in the subtleties of cosmic harmonies, its script, its language. Hence, no coherent sense can be made out of verses such as I have quoted above from the Rig Veda. The conclusion of western scholarship regarding the Purush Shukta seems to be that these verses have provided exemplary proof of the pagan, animistic roots of Hinduism – with the implication of course that these are inferior expressions of the religious spirit.

Be this as it may, let us proceed a step further with our unveiling of the cosmic foundation of the Chaturvarna. The Purush Shukta describes the Manifest as a fourth of the fourfold sphere. Three quarters are above, one quarter below. Yet, as the hymn develops and the evolution of material creation is described, when the seer comes to the caste system he does indeed mention the FOUR quarters and their connection with that same Cosmic Purush. The head with its mouth is allotted to the Brahmin. This clearly refers to the power of the Word the Brahmin is meant to possess. The arms are allotted to the Kshatriya, referring to power – the warrior’s power, yes, but also the ability to WIELD power, to rule as well as to protect. For example, the many arms of the Gods and Goddesses, particularly the Goddess of Victory, Durga, who conquers the embodiment of evil with her many arms, each of which wields a different weapon representative of different aspects of that power.

The seer goes on to mention the legs and feet in the lower hemisphere (of the circle – see page 16), the support of the body/system. This, it must be emphasised, is the vision from above, from the position of the three quarters. When this is played out below a reversal takes place. The zodiac, or the sacred script describing the evolution of the species, presents us with that vision below. Consequently, the flow of time is added, which regulates the processes of manifestation, which gestates the creation the zodiac describes. It is the key to this flow of time that was lost and hence the present inability to make the connections we have made in these pages, insofar as Time is the bridge between that ‘above’ and this ‘below’. The means to translate the Vision into material reality is by an enlightened perception of Time’s essence, purpose and methods. This knowledge was a central feature of the ancient Dharma. Today only its shell exists, certain fragments which serve to inform us that the foundations of Hindu Dharma are to be found and explained in this Cosmic Harmony.

In another ancient text of the subcontinent the portion above is expressed by a different image: the primordial, inverted Tree with its roots in ‘heaven’ and its trunk and branches extending downward to form or become the material creation. This symbol intends to convey that the source of manifest creation lies in the subtle dimension or ‘heaven’. The human being sees only its external form; the sage perceives what is hidden but essential.

Regarding the caste system and the zodiac, we find this same concept conveyed, diverting from the Purush Shukta’s classification of the Brahmin as the mouth of the Cosmic Being. In the zodiac the fourfold order is more pointedly given a cosmic backdrop, inasmuch as the zodiac is the division we know and employ of that same heavenly sphere, with the additional ingredient of Time. But zodiacal tradition reverses the allocation, while yet maintaining the same fourfold division. The divine Purush is projected onto the Wheel head first (Aries), and then through the rest of the signs which all correspond to a portion of his Body in a downward movement. But though there is the same fourfold division, the zodiac begins with the Shudra as the first (hence the head, throat, etc). Finally, at the last quarter of the signs Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces, corresponding to the knees, ankles and feet, respectively, we have the Brahmin caste. Thus, similar to the primordial Tree with its roots ‘above’, we see that the cosmic harmony considers the Brahmin equally to be the support of the system, the element which allows the body to stand erect and hence to be distinguished from the animal and other species.

The reason for this reversal is also borne out by the fact that the Brahmin caste, while being the ‘highest’ of the four, was traditionally deprived of ownership of material possessions. The Brahmin’s right of possession was Knowledge and the heavenly attributes of wisdom and truth-seeing. And these were used in the society to furnish it with those flawless foundations, or the Tree sustained by its roots in heaven, fed by that highest Source.

Twashtri’s Bowl: the Journey into the Integral

The Rig Veda also describes this celestial sphere divided into four as Twashtri’s Bowl, Twashtri being another name of the Divine Architect, Vishwamitra (see The New Way, Volume 2). Differing from these four designations, the four sections are related to the four planes of existence – the Physical, the Vital, the Mental, and the Spiritual. Again it can be observed that they also correspond faithfully to the four casts: Physical/Shudra, Vital/Vaishya, Mental/Kshatriya, and Spiritual/Brahmin.

The last section of Twashtri’s ‘bowl’ is the Vedic heavenly Swar. With the decline of the Knowledge this highest plane of consciousness, the attainment of which was the main purpose of the Yoga described in the Rig Veda (called variously the ‘journey’, the ‘sacrifice’, and so forth), came to be considered another dimension or plane of consciousness disconnected from the remaining three. Swar was attained by a disassociation of the consciousness from the body and from material creation with all its interconnections and interrelatedness. However, its true meaning was to be found in the inverted Tree. In other words, the embodied consciousness of the Vedic seer was rooted in that Swar, while yet engaged in the Earthly evolution. Indeed, the meaning was quite clear: this highest plane was the source of the Brahmin’s vision, which was then used in support of the kingdom by translating that Knowledge into a system upon which the civilization could flourish as a harmonious, mutually enhancing body.

With the decline of the Dharma the oneness of manifest and unmanifest or subtle was lost. The stark divide between Spirit and Matter arose which has been humanity’s affliction for the past several thousand years. In such a worldview, based on the principle of division, it can hardly be expected that the Brahmin will serve society according to the dictates of his/her inherent dharma or inner truth. Similarly, the other castes cannot hope to find their correct place and expression in a society which has lost its connection with those roots, borne out by the relegation of Swar/Brahmin to a plane apart from this creation and a resulting chasm (which the Brahmin is meant by destiny to bridge) dividing this world and that ‘heaven’.

On this basis, however, it is simple enough to understand how the Brahmin came to occupy an isolated, privileged and special place in Hindu civilisation. I shall now present a GRAPHIC image of the distortion which the hierarchical, exclusivist approach introduced into the caste system during the period of decline, or when the linear consciousness entirely displaced the Vedic spherical perceptive capacity. The higher then had no contact with the lower, just as Swar/spirit had no relation to Earth/matter. The twain, indeed, could never hope to meet. In addition, the highest at the apex of the structure could be construed as ‘closer to heaven’ than the lower, thus indubitably enjoying a tremendous advantage and hold over the people, especially in a society solidly grounded in spiritual tradition and reverence for higher knowledge and for those who have attained the divine Consciousness. At later, more degraded stages, the upper echelons acquired additional ‘top-heaviness’ due to an inner decay and loss of the dharma; that is, when material wealth replaced the spiritual and the Brahmin, having lost the knowledge and contact ‘above’, with his legendary obesity, virtually became the physical reflection of that accumulated MATERIAL wealth, filling the void the loss of the spiritual engendered. Then the lower levels began to feel the pressure as they had to bear this top-heaviness due to the loss of the dharma of the upper castes which sat heavily upon the lower. The degenerated form is described in this symbol:

This pyramidal form is a faithful graphic representation of the decline of the Chaturvarna; as well, it provides us with the understanding of WHEN and HOW poverty began its steady and slow march to deaden the civilisation in centuries to come. The Chaturvarna does not take poverty and backwardness into account, since it forms no part of the vision for obvious reasons. But we shall deal with this particular aspect of the decline further on. At this point, the pyramid is meant to impress upon the student the LINEAR and UNI-DIMENSIONAL consciousness that came into being during the Hindu civilisation’s dark age. Above all, it is separative and serves to foster divisiveness and segregation in a society, contrary to the Chaturvarna’s most important function. The Shudra may come into contact with the Vaishya, but nothing beyond; or the Vaishya with the Kshatriya, and so on. But the lowest can never hope to reach the highest. In a word, the pyramid demonstrates the total and complete loss of the Chaturvarna’s purpose of setting each element in its place in the sublime experience of a harmonious integration of the parts within the whole.

With the spread of the linear consciousness the Divine Maya was very quickly lost, the sacred Measure whereby Hindu civilisation maintained its contact with that Source, or the truth-consciousness of the cosmic harmonies. This true purpose and function can be properly conveyed only through the circle, thus:

The key to understanding this diagram and its connection to caste is that each segment converges on the centre. That is, each segment has EQUAL access to the Source; while each of the four castes among themselves join at the centre. The Centre being the shadowless domain of the Truth-Consciousness, it is only in its proximity that ALL ARE EQUAL.

This is one of the most important conclusions drawn from a study which connects caste to cosmos. It is not that differences do not exist in creation. Diversity, degree, gradation – indeed, hierarchy – are facts of life; nay, they describe the beauty and fulness of life and the divine Consciousness in manifestation. The multiplicity, where differentiation has its play, is unity carried through the various dimensions of creation, where that same unity expresses itself in an infinitude of forms. But that immense variety can return to the Source, for indeed it had never left it; just as Silence does not cease when Sound arises, the latter being simply the movement of the Silence. Similarly, diversity is the flowering of unity through the multiple dimensions of cosmic existence. The Breath of Brahman is said to be indrawn when those layers of creation are gathered back into the Source, to be then exhaled as the Seed of Unity fills creation with infinite expressions of the flowering of Itself.

The Chaturvarna, having this cosmic foundation, is also an expression of that perfect blending of diversity within unity. All human beings are not equal in the sense of uniform. Thus, caste defines certain varied expressions of the Cosmic Purush as organs and limbs of a single Body; and with the correct spherical perception, one can appreciate that each segment has an entirely equal relationship to the central Source, a horizontal convergence, and this is important to note, of all parts onto single binding Point. Once that Source is attained or realised, the individual of whichever of the four segments may be said to have exceeded his or her original boundaries and realised the integral nature of God in humanity. Because of these roots of the Chaturvarna in this truth-seeing, it has been held from very ancient times in Hindu civilisation that the person of God-realisation steps out of the limitations caste may impose. The realised individual, be he or she a Brahmin, a Kshatriya, or whatever, is thus free of the boundaries of caste. However, this noble precept of the system has also suffered considerable degeneration which we must now deal with, insofar as it is the causal agent of the decline.

Into the Beyond: Dissipation of the Power

When Nothingness, the Void, the Beyond became the summit of the spiritual quest, those who had attained these realisations considered themselves to be beyond time and space or material creation, since their consciousness was placed OUTSIDE of the cosmic border, which by then was equated with the lesser Maya, the Mother divested of her divine attributes. Thus they were also beyond caste, since it is in a creation of time and space that the Purush comes into being. The Divine Maya is precisely the formative power of the Absolute, in the macrocosm and moving into and through the countless dimensions of creation to the minutest point. The distortion that overtook the realiser was the attempt to escape from the confines of this superlative Body of the Absolute. It can be visualised in this way: each segment instead of converging onto or moving into the centre, moves outward (the arrows in the diagram, page 25). That is, the direction changed and instead of the consciousness converging ever inward, into the Source, or that central Bija or Seed, it moved outward and experienced dispersion, dissolution, decentralisation, disintegration. Indeed, the realiser, being beyond the cosmos, no longer had the power to influence the creation he or she had left behind. With the passage of time, that orphaned creation was overtaken by the darkness resulting from a withdrawal of that light: the human creation it had abandoned fell thoroughly under the control of the Ignorance.

The central Seed is the immanent Transcendent in the heart of each created thing, the Hiranyaretas, or the golden Seed, light of the worlds. It was in that sacred, centremost space that the individual could come to realise the integrality of all the parts and planes of his or her embodied consciousness, made in God’s own image, for this was the divine Purpose of caste within cosmos. Thus, to move INTO THAT CREATION rather than out of it was the purpose of caste and life on Earth within such a superior structure. To assist the individual in that integral attainment, rather than dissolution (nirvana) of the consciousness because the mis-direction outward implies that there cannot be a concentration of the power or energy sufficient to explore and integrate all the parts and levels of embodied being. This, in concise terms, is the real description of the decline of Hindu Dharma and consequently of caste. In view of that decline regarding this essentiality of direction or poise of consciousness, it is understandable that a society which continues nonetheless to embrace caste faithfully can only be a shadow reflection of that Truth, that divine Cosmic Purush. It must, therefore, display in the subsequent evolution of the civilisation under aegis of this Shadow, all the distortions such as mis-direction and poise must engender. Poverty is one result, a leprotic disease afflicting the Purush with ugly eruptions covering its skin, and which, because of the mis-direction, came to be synonymous with the Divine. In God’s image then meant the poor are closer to God’s kingdom, in some way more expressive of the ‘true’ nature of God. This exaltation of poverty and renunciation is a direct consequence of the wrong direction, a direction outward, beyond a creation in matter, into the nirvanic Void rather than the rich and intensely blissful fullness of the Mother, particularly in her aspect of the divine Lakshmi, goddess of plenty, wealth and increase, of beauty and harmony in a physical creation fashioned in her image.

Diversity was then the bane of human existence, with all its avenues of expression such as the body and its senses. One dissolved one’s consciousness in the Beyond, one renounced the world and material creation, or the divine Mother, and attained a naked realisation, denuded of the luxuriant robes of the manifest creation. This, we must repeat, was not the original aim of the Chaturvarna, and it could never allow for the fulfilment of its main function: harmony and integration.

The purpose of such a system is to allow the individual the possibility to realise his or her inner truth, in material creation, in a body, on this planet Earth. Birth on Earth and into the caste system, or into the magnificent harmonies of the cosmos as one more note of the Infinite, was not intended to be a means of escape from that material creation and a plunge into nirvanic Nothingness or the indifferentiated Absolute. The process would thus be a senseless exercise if the only goal was to shed each and every vestige of this diversity. Yet, this is the ‘truth’ of every philosophic system, every religion, every path of yoga: birth may be a privilege, but only because it provides us with the possibility of dissolving whatever we may have had the misfortune to accumulate during the process of birth and the evolution of consciousness on Earth, finally returning to the source whence we came in an unfettered condition. In other words, we enter baggageless, we accumulate baggage, and then we are obliged and expected to follow the spiritual paths which will help us to shed that baggage and attain that pristine state of nakedness in order to merge with that original source once more.

But the Divine Consciousness is not such a senseless thing. This is simply the human inability to cope with diversity, multiplicity, richness and fullness – with life in its totality. It is simply a projection of God ‘in man’s image’, – i.e., purposeless and inane.

This perception, which took hold of India in the early centuries of this Manifestation, had to produce a decline in the Chaturvarna. A ‘God realisation’ of this sort could only undermine one’s faith in life on Earth. Thereafter, what sense could there be to a system such as the Chaturvarna? It was then that a very heavy blanket of inertia began to descend upon the consciousness of the people of Bharat, of ‘high’ caste and ‘low’ in equal measure, since the function of such a System had been corrupted.

The caste system’s essential purpose was to offer the individual an ideal FIELD and CONDITIONS within the System to explore the many layers of consciousness and make contact with one’s inner dharma or truth. That is, the individual in any of the four segments, starting from the periphery of the diagram, from birth to birth moves closer to the Centre. In the process the richness of his or her temperament, psychology, and even physical attributes and potentials were unveiled and integrated. The act of ‘setting each thing in its place’ within oneself could then be extended from microcosm to macrocosm. These attributes and aspects of one’s consciousness can be said to exist equally in all beings, but in seed form. The experience of the Chaturvarna was an aid to the development of that potentiality according to the overall dictates of the individualised destiny: the harmony of the parts within the whole.

Closer to the divine Source, the heart of the process was reached, the inner Chamber where the divine Purpose stands as the cosmic pillar of creation, as the immobile Agni amidst the mobile, or the divine Skambha. The Vedic journey in the sacrificial period of the year unveiled the magnificent diversity of creation and offered this at the feet of the Divine Mother, each part an instrument expressive of the highest realisation of her diversity in unity. Caste like cosmos was not divisive. Rather it was the path to wholeness and completion.

In the next portion of this essay, we shall explore Time’s function in the Chaturnarna and why the Year was of such singular importance in the Vedic vision – both the Earth year and Cosmic, and its relation to caste.

Skambha, June 1991

(to be continued)