The Time of Dissolution

The following is an unpublished piece written by Thea on 30 November 1980, just after the preliminary take-over of Auroville by the Government of India. That take-over has recently been made permanent; as such, the publication of this piece is timely.

Interestingly, this article surfaced on 16 December 1988, and that is the very date, 21 years ago, of a most unusual experience the Mother had concerning a strange ‘symbolical animal’, the main subject of this article, once again highlighting the striking synchronicities in our work. In view of the series ‘Animals in the Emerging Cosmos’ appearing in VISHAAL, this piece forms a sort of concluding supplement to that series.


It must be obvious to all clear-thinking people that there is an accelerated process of dissolution taking place. And for those in some way involved in the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, this process is evident at the centre of their work as well: at the very heart of their endeavours there appears to be a destructive element at work which seems determined to leave nothing standing after it has passed. Indeed, this is the point: there are two aspects to such a movement, but they do not operate simultaneously. One is destruction, the other is dissolution.

Since the Supramental Manifestation of 1956, the possibility of converting the guna of Destruction into its higher counterpart of Dissolution became a real element in the Earth’s evolution. Now all clear-thinking people can observe that a subtle difference exists and this lies in the fact that Destruction merely creates a void and the consequent need to start from zero, so to speak; whereas, in the process of Dissolution the notable difference is that a very powerful creative force is at work to push through the dark element in order to release the light. It is that circumstance, that act of creation which is the very cause of the Dissolution. Hence it is not a question of a destructive process in order to leave a void; it is rather a tremendously creative act, a veritable New Birth which stands behind the collapse, or which causes it because the new cannot thrive beside the old and the useless. There is no room at the centre for both.

The take-over of Auroville by the Union Government is one clear sign of the force of Dissolution operating in the field of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother’s work. There are others, – the publication of numerous volumes of the Mother’s ‘Agenda’, for example. In their appearance we have the Mother’s own words apparently used to hasten the collapse. With the appearance of each volume, in one’s consciousness the acute sense of crumbling is heightened. And one is perplexed by it all. We ask: Is this the finality of her work? Is her divine Consciousness really upholding this seemingly ruthless act of dismembering? It is easy to pass judgements at such moments, saying, perhaps, that the Mother would never have wanted her words to be used in this fashion and her strictly private comments to a disciple about her close associates to be presented before the public in the manner in which they are appearing.

While on one level this certainly may be true, on another we are obliged to recognise that the Divine Consciousness is not subject to these ‘errors’, or what may appear to us as errors. Since the Consciousness is total, circular, we may say, the dark (error) is included in the overall seeing and is a part and parcel of the totality; the dark and the light complete each other in their proportionate correspondence to the general conditions prevailing in the atmosphere. Both elements are hence a part of the Mother’s work and the seeing of this integral process makes it very difficult then to pass judgements. One perceives that mistakes are often the means to push the light to the surface faster. The act of Dissolution is, in fact, an accelerated dismantling of obstructions. In the case of Auroville, it is my firm belief that such has been the case.


To an honest observer the process that may be set in motion by the publication of these series of private conversations of the Mother, which disclose her intimate feelings about members of her entourage in often rather disturbing forms, is indeed bound to cause a certain disintegration in her work. Nothing of its outer structure may be left untouched. A quiet demolishing of everything is in progress, it would appear. However, the deeper seeing does uncover this creative process referred to, which alters the chemistry of that power. Page after page of her words reveal this power of creation at work; but it is perfectly evident that the real objective of this force remains entirely unperceived by the mass of readers and surely by the editors of the volumes themselves, covered as it is by this persistent, pitiless power of apparent destruction.

In the act of true dissolution under the aegis of a divine power, it is truth alone that remains. Acknowledging that the Mother’s force is of truth, it stands that in this process of collapse set in motion by her own words, the truth is sure to emerge victorious. But, can this truth be perceived? It is obvious that herein lies the difficulty, and it is the key issue of our times: humanity as a whole stands witness to the act of Dissolution that the entire Earth is experiencing, but it is blind to the dawn that will manifest when this cleansing process is over. Indeed, the point is that it is not a perception of tomorrow, it is one of today. The rays of this rising Sun are present at this very moment, and true redemption comes precisely when in the very midst of the outer collapse one has sufficient wisdom to see the hidden (as yet) sun of Truth at the very heart of the movement of collapse, – that is, as its propelling force.

In the cited private talks of the Mother with her confidant, we could be puzzled by the fact that she seems to be dismantling the very thing she created with so much dedication for over fifty years. The creation she and Sri Aurobindo gave rise to seems to be following the same course, if not worse, than any other centre of spirituality the Earth has produced; in fact, the process of disintegration witnessed there appears to be even more accelerated than elsewhere. This disintegration is clear only if we consider Auroville to be an integral part of their work and not an isolated phenomenon, or a trial and nothing more, with the Ashram as the sole stable and permanent part of the experiment. However, clear-thinking people cannot exclude Auroville from the total arc of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s work, and, as such, with the take-over by the Government, we are forced to admit that we are witnessing the end of that creation. The action seems to have been one of destruction and not dissolution, for this very channel, meant to open the way to the future and the extension of their work into a much wider sphere, has suffered this irredeemable setback.

On the surface this is the vision that presents itself. And I must state that time and again I have predicted this turn of events – since 1974, to be exact – with particular emphasis on 1980 as the crucial point in the initiation of a more rapid process of Dissolution. However, at the same time, I have written of the truth that is emerging and that lies at the centre of this calamitous unwinding. In terms of Auroville, for example, I have dwelt at length in my works on the place of Matrimandir in this vision of Truth, – the real Matrimandir that is, and not the modified version now standing in Auroville. In this matter too it is possible to show the action of Dissolution at work in contrast to Destruction, because had it been only a case of the latter, there would be simply the collapse of Auroville centred around this critically modified version of Matrimandir, with no surviving pivotal truth left in the affair. However, the very fact that the knowledge of the true Matrimandir based on the Mother’s original detailed plan remains and has come forth, is proof that it is a force of Dissolution at work and not Destruction. To be specific, the present events are not happening in order to leave a void in this crucial aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s work, but rather to allow the central Truth to survive. Moreover, it is the very emergence of that Truth, as a pressure from within, which causes the collapse of the old – and this is the most important aspect of the process.

In the case of Matrimandir this has been especially evident, mathematically provable, we could say. Since Matrimandir is the centre of that vision, it stands therefore that the core of this most important phase of the Mother’s creation is working its way through the darkness and into the light. Had the Mother’s original vision of Matrimandir perished and not left a trace in its wake, and had only the altered version survived in the physical building we would then have the clear proof that the end of that way had come. But, the fact that the Knowledge emerged and lives on in spite of the physical calamity is evidence of the success of our work.


Similarly, in the Mother’s published private talks with her confidant, which are creating seemingly useless disturbances in the atmosphere, there is also a truth emerging. However, can this truth be perceived amidst all the noise and clatter about this person and that which the disclosure of these talks creates?

I present here an example of the difficulty to perceive this truth, and it will demonstrate how the words of the Mother in the last analysis are only useful when there is a realisation in each individual which permits a certain discrimination. This discrimination arises from the Knowledge that the practice of the Integral Yoga grants.  The Mother has said ever so  many things, and Sri Aurobindo as well; but often what she says is obscure and on occasion seems even fanciful, imaginative but devoid of sense, purpose and connection. Yet these may be the real keys to the future. And often she herself was not aware at the time of the importance of her visions and perceptions. She gave out these fragments and quietly left them in the womb of the future, to mature therein and emerge when the time was right, when the gestation of that seed had been completed.

The example I wish to furnish in this regard, revealing precisely this aspect of the Mother’s method of working, comes from the ‘Agenda’ corresponding to the year 1967. It was printed in 1980. This is just a random selection because on page after page of each volume similar examples are found. Hence on 16 December 1967, the Mother entered into a long contemplation in the presence of her disciple, lasting over a half an hour. When she began to emerge from this contemplation, the disciple writes that the Mother commenced to speak in English (their conversations were normally in French), still in a rather withdrawn state:


‘I saw a strange being who came from there like that, (the Mother shows her left side) made a round around you and went away. It was a horse with a lion’s head.

‘Beautiful beast! It was a lion, the head like that, the front form was a lion and behind it was a horse. And it was the symbol of…a symbolical animal of something. At the moment I understood it perfectly well, I said ah! and…

‘Very dignified. Came from there (same gesture on the left) like that, made a round around you and went away. It was for you. Lion is power, and horse…

‘And like that, it seems silly, but he was very beautiful, and of a beautiful colour. And very dignified.

‘Tiens!…(The Mother realises she was speaking in English. From here the conversation continues in French. I give the English translation.)

‘It was Sri Aurobindo who said all that to you. It is odd how it comes like that.

‘It was something that had come to announce something to you. It was a being, but a being… There must be beings like that. It was all in light, and it was something…it was to announce something to you. But so real!’

                                    L’Agenda de Mere, Vol. 8, pp. 438-39


It would seem that the Mother was announcing a realisation for the disciple and that this image of Lion/Horse was something personal to him, though she herself expresses her uncertainty about the vision’s meaning. She is clear about two elements though: the vision itself, and that it was Sri Aurobindo who was sending this message (hence it comes in English), and that he was trying to ‘announce something’.

One could read these words and take them in a purely personal sense: they are for the disciple and pertain to his own promise of a certain realisation. However, when one has an insight into the meaning of these symbols on the basis of objective knowledge, this vision is perfectly clear; at the same time one can only marvel at the manner in which Sri Aurobindo is constantly revealing the work he is doing, how he artfully gives out the knowledge but in such a way as to keep it yet hidden when the time is not ripe for any explicit disclosure of the true course of the work.

Therefore, this objective knowledge of their work shows us that Sri Aurobindo was conveying an important message about himself, in a most exquisite manner, and that it had nothing to do with the disciple’s progress as such. The Mother herself is reluctant to say exactly what it means. She hesitates, in particular about the exact meaning of this strange bi-symbolic figure, the Lion/Horse.

It must be stated that volumes could be written on just this brief vision of the Mother, containing as it does such a potent seed of truth, as volumes have been written on the Knowledge captured in her simple plan (the original one, not the architect’s modified version) of Matrimandir. Indeed, the comparison is apt, because both this vision of the Lion/Horse and the Matrimandir plan give exactly the same knowledge of Sri Aurobindo’s work and his victory over Death. They confirm the message of his epic poem, ‘Savitri


To sum up briefly, the Lion/Horse refers to two births of Sri Aurobindo. One is his appearance under the sign of the Lion, – Leo or Simha, in Sanskrit; and the other is his reappearance under the sign of Sagittarius, the archer-horse, – Dhanush, in Sanskrit. The Mother’s vision is so exact and superb in its simplicity and clear imagery that it is breathtaking. Yet she hesitates when seeking to give the meaning of the symbolism, especially the Horse. Indeed, it is that very part of the symbol that was unknown to the Mother and could not be explained by her then, because the time had not yet come. Its meaning was revealed only in 1976.

But Sri Aurobindo revealed his exact work in this enigmatic vision. What is more, in its actual composition we have even more conclusive proof of the objective knowledge it contains. This is because two elements were combined and contained in a single image – lion and horse. They could have appeared separately and this might have seemed to be the same message: the dual birth, Lion and Horse. However, the fact that it is an integrated and unified symbol shows us something fundamental, a formidable key as a confirmation of the real victory Sri Aurobindo brought about in his passing. This is the connectedness of the births, one thoroughly like to the other. In terms of the occult physics of gnostic Time, this is a most important confirmation because it shows us that indeed there was no break in time, that one ‘time’ (his birth in the period of the Lion) moved directly into the other ‘time’ (his birth in the period of the Horse), with no severance in the process. It indicates that this was a conscious passing leading to a conscious rebirth. In addition, in presenting this immensely important revelation about himself to the Mother via the symbolism of the zodiac, our understanding is confirmed that this is perhaps the most singularly precious key of Knowledge the world has ever known, a Knowledge already known and preserved in the Rig Veda, for example. The important place of the zodiac, as Sri Aurobindo indicates, is simply because it provides the keys to the greatest enigmas in creation, – time and evolution. And the importance Sri Aurobindo attached to the Veda is a fact; hence his penchant for symbols.

Thus, Sri Aurobindo’s victory over Time is precisely the victory over Death, because the element of falsehood in the present death experience is the loss of consciousness and the regression into unconsciousness: the severance of a sustained perception of one’s Time. This is the first step in the transformation of Matter. That the Horse is a symbol often used to express Matter, or the material creation, is confirmed by many ancient and new scriptures. One is the Brihadaranyak Upanishad wherein the universe is described in the form of a Horse. Of course there is also the fact that the Horse is the vehicle of the last avatar Kalki, so central an aspect of Sri Aurobindo’s coming. Finally, Sri Aurobindo himself indicated his connection with this symbol-animal in his epic, ‘Savitri’: the Goddess’ father is called Aswapathy, or the Lord of the Horse; and all disciples know that this Aswapathy was Sri Aurobindo himself.

The knowledge contained in this brief and superb vision is mathematically provable on the basis of a system of purely objective knowledge. Moreover, the vision took place in a very special time-frame – that is, 9 years before I received the confirmation of its meaning. And her seeing took place precisely in the month of the Horse. The two figures are furthermore arranged in their proper sequence – that is, the Lion-birth first (the head) and the Horse-birth (the body) following.

In this same ‘Agenda’ the Mother refers to Sri Aurobindo’s comments on 1967 and the importance he attached to that year, calling it the time when his work would enter a phase of ‘realising power’ or the ‘complete realisation’. Certainly the fact that he made this ‘announcement’ to the Mother in this symbol-image of Lion/Horse is a proof – just one among many – that indeed 1967 was important in this respect.

The point I wish to make is, however, that these experiences and comments of the Mother are now being published and circulated, but who can understand them? It is evident that only one who knows can know. In the process, however, a host of wrong interpretations arise, purely subjective and personal. But in actual fact, in this case as in so many others, the Mother saw something which pertained to Sri Aurobindo himself and was not a message for the realisation of a disciple, except insofar as the correct understanding of the ‘announcement’ was indeed open to the disciple and to others, with all its implications for the individual’s sadhana. To understand symbols, however, requires a perception that goes beyond a mental formula, and eyes made to see in a new way.

To conclude, I wish to state that this is an example of a portion of the central truth that is given out in the Mother’s ‘Agenda’ and that will stand, will survive after the work of Dissolution, apparently provoked by her own words in these talks with her secretary/disciple, will have passed. Focussing one’s vision on this Truth is the way to steer clear of the chaos and poise oneself on the foundations of the Real and the Eternal.


Kodaikanal, 30 November 1980                                                                       PN-B.



Editor’s Note: Readers of VISHAAL will recall the point made by Thea in the series, ‘The Capricorn Factor’ (TVN 2/4 and 2/5) concerning the inaccuracy of the current Indian usage of the zodiac. The above article highlights the point she made because had the Indian formula been used nothing of the Mother’s vision could have been understood. The births in question would have fallen in Cancer and Scorpio, rather than Leo and Sagittarius as they actually have. Sri Aurobindo’s ‘announcement’ would have made no sense at all.

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