1927 | 11,233,916 words
Triveni is a journal dedicated to ancient Indian culture, history, philosophy, art, spirituality, music and all sorts of literature. Triveni was founded at Madras in 1927 and since that time various authors have donated their creativity in the form of articles, covering many aspects of public life....
E. VEDAVYAS, I.A.S.
Sri Aurobindo calls Maharshi Vedavyasa as India’s National Poet and Mahabharata as the National Epic. Because Vyasa personifies in himself the quintessence of the Vedas, and gave us Gita, the message or Sri Krishna–India’s National Hero.
Today when we are celebrating the Birth Centenary of Sri Aurobindo, I would apply his very same description of sage Vedavyasa to Sri Aurobindo himself, because Sri Aurobindo embodies in our times the soul of the Vedas, which are India’s greatest contribution to humanity. So, I call Sri Aurobindo as India’s National Poet, and his Savitri as the National Epic in this century. At this solemn moment in history, we can no better celebrate Sri Aurobindo’s Birth Centenary than by studying his deep message of the Vedas–which are the soul of India. Today the world is passing through a great crisis–an inner crisis as well at an outer crisis. This is a ‘Sign of the Times.’ This crisis is an evolutionary pressure, applied to the evolving humanity to take the next inevitable upward step. The evolutionary step the next phase in its cycle.
When Sri Aurobindo spoke or the advent of a “New Age”, it is full of the deepest import. It is not merely about the passing of the 20th century and the coming of the 21st century–an age, not merely more recent when he says, it is a new age; but something more. The world is now passing through a Yuga-Sandhi or the junction of two epochs. Mankind is on the brink of a glorious ‘Tomorrow’, the like of which history has not seen so far, nor will it see thereafter. It is the commencement of the Aquarian Age or the “Age of Truth”–called Satya Yuga.
When Christ spoke of an age or God’s Kingdom on earth or Kingdom of God, he was not dreaming poetical visions, nor is it indulging in dreams. No, This “Age of Truth” is a reality, when the Descent of the Divine to earth in the shape of the Supramental Descent makes all life divinized–a real Kingdom of God on earth. Not a mere idea; but an actual fact. This isthe Aquarian Age of the Mystics and Ptolemy–about whose advent even Cheiro, that world-famous seer and palmist, foresaw and prophesied.
Cheiro (or Count Louis Hamon, inlife) wrote his famous “World Predictions” in1925 in which he foresaw the world wars, the independence of India and partition. All that had happened. He also wrote of the coming of this great Aquarian Age whose inter period or twilight period (Yuga-Sandhya) commenced in 1762 and whose complete onset came around the end of the Second World War in 1945. India became free. And the atom was split. It is a moment of great awakening for the world. The Atomic Age and the Aquarian Age were thus born together.
The exploding of the atomic bomb, also exploded a myth. It exploded the myth that matter isthe ultimate reality. It was a dogma which the 19th century science was nourishing and preaching. A science, which did not believe in the psychic, inthe unseen, and para-physical realities because they cannot be put in a test tube, weighed or powered and measured, but only in matter which was the only real thing–had been knocked on the head with the Nuclear blast of 1945.
The thunderous booming of the exploding Atom,heralded not merely the death of matter as ultimate; or even the death of materialism but also the death of the Age of Darkness and Asuric Violence–the Kali Age of the Rishis. The exploding rays of a new force which the split atom shot out into space all around, also chased away the shadows ofdarkness of the long night of materialism, i.e., the darkness of the Kali Yuga.
Sri Aurobindo too has heralded this “Great Dawn” (Sandhya) of the Satya Yuga or the Age of Truth and he stated clearly that the Kali Age is over, even now, and that the Satya Yuga is already upon us, but warned, rightly, that the outer manifestations of this ‘New Life’ will take time to manifest. And according to the calculations of Cheiro the world willsee in matter, the clear effects of this new Aquarian Age around 1980-1985 when a new Avatar will appear inthe world, as a new Law-giver amongst the nations. And he is the new-world-leader. The “Bhavishya Purana” too, a book of prophecy and fore-vision, which described the future of India from the day of Lord Krishna’s departure from this world right up to 1990, also clearly speaks of this advent of this New Age and the new Messiah or God-man for which the world is being prepared. This Purana describes even the names of India’s rulers including the foreign rulers even right up to this commencing New Age of the world. It is against such vast ground, that we have to see the words of Sri Aurobindo, when he wrote that we are standing at the head of a New Age.
Even the Bible, in its Book of Revelation of John, describes this “end of Kali Yuga and the coming Kalki Avatar” or the Tenth Avatar of Vishnu (the description of the “rider on the white horse” is unmistakably that of Kalki, the Avatar) or the “Everlasting King” as H. P. Blavatsky puts it; or “God of Gods and King of Kings” in the words of the Bible; or “Deva-Deva” in the words of Rishi Vedavyasa. We are therefore on the verge of a tremendous tomorrow–the twilight of a golden Dawn of Truth. The present rumblings all over the world, herald the “turning in the womb of Time” of that tremendous unborn Divine Mutation, which will hatch out allover the globe. *
All these things are no mere imagination or theory. Surely the, are going to be actual realities. It was once thought that to land on moon is imagination of the moonstruck (mad). Now it is an actuality! It was once thought that matter is an un-destroyable ultimate. Today the death of matter marks the birth of energy. Einstein’s Equation E = mc2 reveals a great Cosmic Law of Transformation. It discovers that the material matter can be transformed as energy.
But this is only half-a-truth; as science can only see the visible half of the moon of reality. The other half will soon be discovered. It will soon become apparent that, if matter is the transformed shape of energy–then the Supramental Energy can also be materialized and manifest. Yes! very really so. Mind as the origin of matter (by Mind we mean, the Universal Mind) and matter as crystallized Consciousness; this is the Gospel of the VedicRishis, rediscovered by the Great Explosion of Consciousness that followed the atomic explosion of 1945. It is a ‘sign of the times’ that the age is changing.
It is only in this Age of Change that Vedas can be properly understood; and it is for preparing the world forthis understanding that Sri Aurobindo pondered deeply over the mysterious message of the Veda. The results, we find incorporated in the work of a lifetime–the “Hymns to Mystic Fire”, his essay on the “Doctrine of the Mystics”, his “Secret of the Veda” and his numerous writings onthe Upanishads and the “Essays on the Gita”–that quintessence of Upanishads, etc.
These writings reveal the refreshing new look on the Veda, which Sri Aurobindo as the prophet of Vedas bring to us. In another angle also, these vedic writings of Sri Aurobindo are of priceless national value. They reveal a nationalistic outlook in Vedas. Let me explain what it means. What the earliest Western scholars on Vedas like Max Mueller, Colebroke Bently, Buhler, Winternitz, Jacobii Halhead and Sir William Jones, etc., wrote on Veda were superciliary concessions, of a superior race, looking into the Caveman’s book ofprayers which are offered to fire, wind, water and storm, in primitive awe and fear. They looked at Veda** as they were wont to look at Africa’s taboos, totems and witch-doctors. To this attitude towards Veda, Sri Lokamanya Bala Gangadhar Tilak brought the master touch of Astronomy– “Jyotisha-Veda” in dating these timeless hymns. Sri Aurobindo rightly gives him his rightful due, in his famous essay on “Bankim, Tilak and Dayananda,” forhis pioneering work.
But it is left to Sri Aurobindo’s genius, to reveal a new methodology and a new approach to the Veda.
I shall try to condense the basic point.
“The Hymns to Vedic Gods are not mere prayers to elements,” says Sri Aurobindo. These Hymns, or “Ruks” in the Vedas, are addressed to Agni, Vayu, Yama, Indra and Vishnu, who are real entities which are seen as flaming realities to the mystical eyesight of the Super-mental, in their planes of psychic world or Lokas. He clarifies that these Gods are not mere figments ofimagination, poetical imagery like angels or fairies with flapping wings in a child’s nursery-rhyme. No. The Vedic Rishis are men with a clairvoyant Divya-Drishti. The meaning of the Mantras can onlybe grasped with intuition and mystical Yoga-knowledge; not merely with the lower mind of logic and intellect. These Devas or gods, are Cosmic Forces with a worldwide sweep and universal domain.
Thus Agni is the Intuitive God-Consciousness, Indra is the Supramental power of Nature coming down to Life from above. Brahma is the Cosmic Mind or the universal mind of that Supreme World Being or that Personality, about whom Sri Aurobindo writes in his Essays on the Gita writing in the Xl chapter of Gita in which Sri Krishna reveals the Lord of all time and universe–the Purusha of the purana, the timeless “Ancient of Days”, as Sri Aurobindo calls him, in himself. This universal form of Virat or the Cosmic Purusha is beyond all time and space. Beyond the fourth dimension (time) in a superior dimension of timeless eterniy!
To show that these Vedic gods or Devas are not mere elemental powers, but conscious Forces of Nature, which are also residing in Man. I shall demonstrate by a few examples.
All the Vedic gods found in the outer universe, like Aditya, Agni, Vayu and Brahma. etc., have got their counterparts in our body. For instance, we have the Sun in the outside world as the giver of light by which all things become visible. Light in the outer world gives us visibility. In our body too it is the eye which is the cause of its visibility. So, both the outer light-giving Sun, and our ‘eye’ are ruled by the same God–Aditya. That is why the Rig Veda*** the “Hymn to purusha” describes the Sun as “the Eye of the Great Universal God–Purusha.” The Bhagavata Purana (S. K. III) too says the same thing.
We breathe in air. Air, in the outer world, is God Vayu. So Vayu is the Deva who rules our breath inside; and rules also the winds and storms outside us. Thus there is a parallel correspondence of these Vedic Devas as they rule in our body, and also in the outer universe. Take Agni, the God of fire, next. Again it is the same principle. Agni in the outer world causes burning, oxidation and combustion. In other words, whatever fuel is put into Agni he transforms it into energy; the visible into its subtle form. Agni in our body is the digestive force–Vaiswa-a-Nara Agni (or Jatthara Agni) Here too, he takes the food as fuel “burns” it with the oxygen we breathe and gives heat (combustion) to the body. In the body the stomach is the “Homa-kunda” or the altar of sacrificial fire. Thus whatever you put in this Homa or fire-oblation goes to all the Devas, in every organ in the body. The eye, the ear, the nose, the brain, anywhere you want the “Havis” or food-offering to reach in the body–always it has to go through Agni, in the stomach just as in the outer Yajna also Agni is the messenger of Gods! Like a letter addressed anywhere in the world has only to be first put in the letter-box, similarly Agni acts as the postman who delivers to each God his share–all through the stomach. You want food (Havis) to go to Brahma or Intellect?–the God Brahma in the Universe or Cosmic Mind or even if it is the Brahma or the Intellect sitting in our body in that high Loka–Brain. Yes. He too should receive his offerings, only through Agni in the stomach. That is why the Purusha Hymn says that the mouth is the gate of Agni.
This marvellous similarity of function, both in the universe which is the Body of the ‘World-Personality’ or the Cosmic Purusha, and that of our body or the individual human Purusha is not a mere poetical imagery. It is based on a biological fact–a law of nature. It is the same law which makes the giant banyan tree exist in the tiny seed, in a microform. Man is the seed of that gigantic Universal Tree, the Cosmic Purusha. Only there is difference in size. All the Devas, all Lokas, all Rishis with their countless functions, powers and shapes are present ill this body. When man realizes either by the ascent into Supramental or Divine Plane, or by descent (Avatara) of the Divine or Supramental into the body, he sees all the universe, with its gods, in his body where a giant Yajna is going on, constantly. Food is offered to Agni as ‘Havis’ in stomach, Vayu the wind-god blows, in-and-out as the breath, thus linking the outer life or life of the world with the inner life; and Brahma the God of Conscious Being is likewise seated in the brain in communion with the outer universal mind of the Cosmic Brahma. Thus man (or god-man) becomes a “Living Universe”!
He is a walking God of Gods–the Virat Purusha like Lord Sri Krishna, who showed all gods in his body in his universal form.
“Mama Dehe Gudakesha”–“In this body of mine, see all the gods of this creation” said He to Arjuna. Such is the state of Divine realization possible to man if only we understand the Vedic cosmology as the physiology of a mystic Yoga where the body lives in a Yogic experience, as a blazing cosmos of suns–where each cell in our body–‘is a universe of atoms’, and each atom is a solar system, with its whirlings election-planets. This is the Supramental or Divine Life of the realized god-man, who performs any miracle by commanding the outer elements: because these Agnis, Vavu and all other such gods are really in his body. His body becomes the universal body. Thus man is a walking Yajna, a Yajna Purusha in seed-form. What about time in the Purusha? The Purusha is described existing in the past, as well as in the future. Yes, he is the Lord of Eternity. The beauty is that this plane of Universal Consciousness which now descended on mankind, is really beyond time and space. Time and spaceare lower dimensions–like length and breadth of a solid sphere–of that which is above Time. That is why, the “Purushasukta” says: “Yadbhootam yachcha bhavyam” or “that which was and that which is to be.” That this is not a mere poetical fancy, but an actual hard fact, I shall presently demonstrate, by this new methodology of interpreting the Veda.
Time is a mere illusion, created by the motion of the earth. As earth moves in a cycle around the sun–“time” is born. If, by some scientific technique, we can reverse this motion of the earth in its orbit wards, then time will flow wards. Then we travel from 1972 to 1872, the year of Sri Aurobindo’s birth!
It is motion which gives time, this illusory nature, of “moving forward”–or flowing towards “tomorrow”–from “yesterday.” These three points in time, viz., (1) today (2) tomorrow and (3) yesterday are all apparent illusions, caused by seeing from a lower mind in time. It is also possible to view all time from a Supramental Plane of timeless eternity; as an “eternal now”–as I have put it, in my book “Wisdom of the Gods.” Let me illustrate this Vedic truth, in the words of science.
Travelling in time is like travelling on a road in a car–you see these passing by the window. That which you have passed by, in “past” that tree which you are just crossing is the “present” and the trees in front, are the “future.”
That is how travel in time, from birth towards death. But if we take a helicopter or aeroplane and rise into a point in the sky directly above the car going on the road, then, it is possible to see “yesterday”, “today” and “tomorrow” all in a single straightline as simultaneous points on a straight line (road), which is the Fourth Dimension of “solid time.”
We go to a movie. The scene we are seeing, will precede in time the other episodes in the story whichare yet in the unborn “Future” on the screen–when we see it, sitting inthe theatre. But on the film the last scene and the first scene are simultaneously present in the beginning of the show, itself. This is the plane of ETERNAL TIME of the Super mind in “God-Consciousness” that is all-pervading everywhere above. The film is ever present. Only the illusion of the movement of time is produced by the rotating reels or spools on the cinema-projection. This is the earth’s rotation. This, the motion, which gives time, its movement which is all illusory.
It is thus scientifically possible to demonstrate that the Vedic Purusha has his abode in Timeless Eternity which is perpendicular to earth’s surface, whereas our time moves parallel to earth’s surface as our great globe spins around. Space too is such an optical illusion–perspective to God’s creative art (as in 3-D picture).
So, the man of tomorrow is going to experience the Divine consciousness beyond time in an age where all knowledge not only fuses into a “synthesis of all sciences”, but even man’s life itself is lived in a “living oneness with all that lives”. Man’s life is then one with all the universal gods–as one ocean of life, and creative bliss. The age when men live and experience life, not prisoners of matter, but as conscious gods, experiencing all the diverse symphonies of existence in one grand orchestra of cosmic vibrations–of sound, colour, heat and mind-waves–is on us. Such rainbow of existence is the glory of tomorrow’s divine humanity. They are the children of a Deva Yuga or the Age of the gods. The future belongs to such posterity.
Yoga shows us the way to this cosmic realization, which is the summit of human life, and the climax of Ananda. The gods which are in the universe, are all realized in man’s body. All the gods are in a state of constant Yajna or sacrifice, as one lives this life of the universe in one’s own body as Purushottama–the God of Gods, as one sees in Krishna’s vision in the eleventh chapter in Gita. Then all life becomes Yajna. This is the Yajna of the individual Purusha, man living in the body of the Cosmic Purusha (Virat), as a brain-cell lives and thinks inside a large train of myriad cells–as a conscious cell. The Purusha, indeed, has “a thousand beads”–each one of them thinking.
* Vide my article in the Astrological Magazine, February 1964 for full details and calculations.
** Max Mueller’s book “Is India Civilized?” and his writings on Vedic hymns, scattered in “Sacred Books of the East.”
*** Rig Veda. X Mandala, Purushasukta.