‘There is perhaps a truth in the Vedic idea that the Spirit of creation framed all the movements of the world by chandas, in certain fixed rhythms of the formative Word, and it is because they are faithful to the cosmic metres that the basic world-movements unchangingly endure. A balance harmony maintained by a system of subtle recurrence is the foundation of immortality in created things, and metrical movement is simply creative sound grown conscious of this secret of its own powers.’ – Sri Aurobindo, ‘The Future Poetry’
[the following article was written by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, originally published in The Vishaal Newsletter, Volume 0, Number 1, October 1985, © Aeon Books]
There is a hue and cry in India and abroad that the nation is not following the path of a true democracy because of the dominance of the Nehrus in Indian politics. The cry is becoming louder now since, with the tragic assassination of Indira Gandhi on 31 October, 1984, her son, Rajiv, has become the country’s new prime minister, making him the third Nehru offspring to hold the office and the fourth to occupy the position of president of the Indian Congress Party. Though this happening may be disagreeable to politicians, or to upholders of democratic traditions which appear, in their eyes, to be violated by this succession, to a cosmologist like myself the matter is viewed very differently. In these studies one is not bound by conventions of a limited nature and scope, but rather the phenomenon is analysed within the framework of cosmic patterns which exceed these conventional limitations. One adopts a detached and scientific attitude and allows the phenomenon of the Nehru succession to reveal its sense and place in the history of India, rather than combat it a priori and seek to closet the happening in a mental framework in large part borrowed from Western democracies which may have little relevance to the Indian experience.
What is taking place in India in this century is a phenomenon wholly Indian and has no parallel or previous model elsewhere. Indeed, it can be stated that India is right now in the process of disclosing what cosmologists call “a new model of the universe”.
From ancient times illumined minds have seen in the workings of the cosmos a reflection of the human spirit, and by such “models” have come to a better understanding of humanity’s place in the evolutionary process. Or we could say the vision of the cosmos seemed to bear a definite correspondence or influence on the evolution of the species, particularly evidenced in systems evolved in certain key civilisations spread around the globe. Some of these cosmologies are better known than others; the Greek, for example, through the Pythagorean and Platonic schools. In this century another such system has come to light in the discoveries archaeologists and astronomers are making in Central America, the area that housed the splendid Mayan civilisation among others. However, cosmologies of ancient times were not simply studies in celestial mechanics as are their modern day counterparts – ‘though even this the Mayans attained in a remarkable degree of perfection on the basis of mere naked eye astronomy – but were directly related to the life of the societies. Cosmology served as a pattern of harmony that the particular civilisation out of which it evolved could use to orient its collective life and determine its focus. This was made possible because, like the ancient Vedic Rishis, the Mayan understood and vibrated to the interconnectedness of creation and the principles of oneness governing macrocosm and microcosm. This is particularly evident in Mayan America, the reason being largely that it centred its cosmology on Time, whereas for the Greeks the pattern was essentially restricted to space. Having a special key to time, it was possible for the Mayans to integrate their vision with the collective experience via the calendar. Indeed they possessed, even in those remote times, a calendar that was nearly perfect, just seconds off the true measure.
This was not the case for the Greeks; and not possessing the key to time, their exercise was largely speculative and abstract, a mental diversion which gave birth to modern Western philosophy. To this abstract exercise present day Western society can trace its roots; whereas for us today the Mayan experience is still an unknown quantity for the most part, though discoveries are being made daily in that area of the globe which bring to light aspects of the quality of the Mayan vision and its potential for practical application.
In an article entitled, ‘Old and New World Naked Eye Astronomy’ (Astronomy of the Ancients, MIT Press, 1981), Professor of Astronomy at Colgate University, Anthony F. Aveni, in his studies of comparative cosmologies between the Old and New Worlds, has written of the Greek system that its ‘scientific explanation of the Universe was couched in a framework of interlocking orbits’. This, Prof. Aveni points out, centres the practice on a spatial reality. Whereas, referring to the Mayans he writes, that they ‘strove for celestial harmony by appealing to the cyclical nature of time’. He states, ‘Time, not space, is the principal medium of expression for all the astronomy gleaned from the Maya codices.’ To this we must add a point he makes in his article that is especially meaningful for the present discussion of India and the Nehrus: . . . the ‘greatest intellectual achievements of New World (Mayan) astronomy are to be found not in geometry but in numerology . . . .’
I have quoted Prof. Aveni because, as stated, India is at present evolving a new and revolutionary cosmology for the world, whose principal feature is precisely a unification of time and space in its postulation and practical application; not one divorced from the other, but a harmony of the two is its essence. And as it was for the Mayans, this phenomenon is not an abstract exercise but is being experienced in the course of India’s development, particularly since Independence. The Nehrus therefore figure prominently in the scheme, forming, as they do in this cosmology, what I have called: the Lunar Line.
It can be recalled that in ancient India there were Solar and Lunar Dynasties. These were akin, though very remotely, to the Solar and Lunar Lines of this new cosmology India is offering in the 20th Century. In this brief space it is not possible to deal with all the intricacies of the cosmology. Its complexities have been amply treated and its complete scope presented in my books, especially in THE GNOSTIC CIRCLE and THE NEW WAY. In particular, in the latter I have described in great detail the Lunar Line and hence the Nehru place and contribution within this ‘new model of the universe’ as seen from Earth, which harmonises time and space in an exciting and unique manner.
The ultimate purpose of this cosmological revelation of our times is to serve as a foundation for a new world order. As evidenced from Prof. Aveni’s assessments, past cosmologies were necessarily restricted to certain areas of the globe and affected only the societies in which they were born. Perhaps this was due to the fact that a more complete vision had not emerged due to the separation of time and space in their formulations, reflecting itself in an east and west polarisation on the planet. Today, with the advent of modern physics which has largely eliminated this division in its discipline, it stands that the same unification must extend to cosmological models. In so doing, we have a view of cosmic harmonies that tends to unify polar opposites. The new cosmology India offers today is the product of this new age of unity, and establishes a foundation for a world order that does away with any separative perspective and sees the Earth as one.
This article has been divided into four sections. Click here to Continue to Part II.