A Forerunner of The New Race By Tara Mata-
(An actual experience
in her life)
THOSE who have read Doctor Bucke’s Cosmic Consciousness and Edward Carpenter’s Towards Democracy know that these authors believe that Cosmic Consciousness is a natural faculty of man, and that a future race of men on this earth will be born with this faculty well developed, and not merely latent as it is now. Bucke’s theory is that, just as man advanced from the state of simple consciousness, which he shared with the animal kingdom, into a state of self-consciousness, peculiar to man alone, and marked by the development of language, so he must inevitably come into a higher state of consciousness, distinguished by a cosmic or universal understanding.
maintains that the increasing number of people who have attained some degree of
Cosmic Consciousness in the past few centuries is proof that these persons
constitute the vanguard or forerunners of the new race. Among those whom Bucke
believes to have had the cosmic sense more or less well developed (in recent
centuries) are St. John of the Cross, Francis Bacon, Jacob Behman, Blaise
Pascal, Spinoza, Swendenborg, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Alexander
Pushkin, Honore de Balzac, Emerson, Tennyson, Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Edward Carpenter
these famous men, it is doubtless true that many hundreds of men and women in
each century, unknown to fame, have been exalted to some degree of Cosmic
Consciousness. There is no doubt in my mind that the message of Yogoda in this
country and this century has been the means by which hundreds and perhaps
thousands of Americans have achieved, through the meditation practices taught
them, a glimpse of divine consciousness. Some few students have gone farther,
and attained very high illumination. Here we have an example of how the cosmic
sense is being developed in larger and larger numbers, paving the way for the
great race of the future.
paragraph from Bucke’s book is well worth quoting here:
contact with the flux of Cosmic Consciousness all religions known and named
today will be melted down. The human soul will be revolutionized. Religion will
absolutely dominate the race. It will not depend on tradition. It will not be
believed and disbelieved.
It will not be a part of life, belonging to certain hours, times, occasions. It will not be in sacred books nor in the mouths of priests. It will not dwell in churches and meetings and forms and days. Its life will not be in prayers, hymns nor discourses. It will not depend on special revelations, on the words of gods who came down to teach, nor on any Bible or Bibles. It will have no mission to save men from their sins or to secure them entrance to heaven.
It will not teach a future immortality nor future glories, for immortality and all glory will exist in the here and now. The evidence of immortality will live in every heart as sight in every eye. Doubt of God and of eternal life will be as impossible as is now doubt of existence; the evidence of each will be the same. Religion will govern every minute of every day of all life. Churches, priests, forms, creeds, prayers, all agents, all intermediaries between the individual man and God will be permanently replaced by direct unmistakable intercourse. Sin will no longer exist nor will salvation be desired.
Men will not worry about death or a future, about the kingdom of heaven, about what may come with and after the cessation of the life of the present body. Each soul will feel and know itself to be immortal, will feel and know that the entire universe with all its good and with all its beauty is for it and belongs to it forever. The world peopled by men possessing Cosmic Consciousness will be as far removed from the world of today as this is from the world as it was before the advent of self-consciousness. . . . This new race is in act of being born from us, and in the near future it will occupy and possess the earth.”
fact that there is a technique, such as Yogoda teaches, whereby Cosmic
Consciousness can be attained, is in itself proof that this higher sense is
indeed an inherent faculty of all men, needing but the necessary training to
call it forth. Most people believe that divine knowledge comes to only a few
chosen people, and that the average man can approach no nearer to God than his
“faith” will take him. Realization that there is a definite Way to
contact God, a technique usable by all men in all circumstances, has come with
such a liberating shock to many Yogoda students that they feel they have
undergone a new birth.
have one such case in mind—a man who, as soon as he had heard the Yogoda
message, was swept up into Cosmic Consciousness. He is the only man of true
Illumination, outside of Swami Yogananda, whom I have known personally, though
I have heard or read of a number of other Yogoda students who have had a more
or less similar experience.
man was possessed of intense religious faith and aspiration. Though well read
in the sacred scriptures of the world, especially those of the Hindus, he knew
that this intellectual knowledge was barren and stony; it did not feed the
soul-hunger within him. He did not wish merely to read about spiritual food,
but to taste it. Under the even tenor of his days there yawned a black abyss of
despair—despair that he was worthy of any direct contact with God, since no
such experience was given to him. He finally came to doubt, not God, but the
possibility that he would ever be able to have more than an intellectual
comprehension of Him. This conviction struck at the roots of his life, and made
it seem a worthless and meaningless thing.
this dark night of his soul came the light of Yogoda. After attending a few of
the public Yogoda lectures, and before taking the class lessons, this man felt
the heavy weight of despair lifting from his heart. Returning to his home one
night from the last of the public lectures, he was conscious of a great peace
within himself. He felt that in some deep fundamental way, he had become a
different person. An impulse urged him to look into a mirror in his room, that
he might see the new man. There he saw, not his one face, but the face of the
Hindu teacher whose lecture he had attended that evening. The flood-gates of
joy broke in his soul; he was inundated with waves of indescribable ecstasy.
Words that had been merely words to him before—bliss, immortality, eternity,
truth, divine love—became, in the twinkling of an eye, the core of his being,
the essence of his life, the only possible reality. Realization that these
deep, everlasting founts of joy existed in every heart, that this immortal life
underlay all the mortality of humanity, that this eternal, all-inclusive love
enveloped and supported and guided every particle, every atom of creation,
burst upon him with a surety, a divine certainty that caused his whole being to
pour forth in a flood of praise and gratitude.
knew, not with his mind alone, but with his heart and soul, with every cell and
molecule of his body. The sublime splendor and joy of this discovery were so
vast that he felt that centuries, millenniums, countless eons of suffering were
as nothing, as less than nothing, if by such means this bliss could be
obtained. Sin, sorrow, death—these were but words now, words without meaning,
words swallowed up by joy as minnows by the seven seas.
was aware, during this first period of illumination and during the weeks which
followed, of a number of physiological changes within himself. The most
striking was what seemed a rearrangement of molecular structures in his brain,
or the opening up of new cell-territory there. Ceaselessly, day and night, he
was conscious of this work going on. It seemed as though a kind of electrical
drill was boring out new cellular thought-channels. This phenomenon is strong
proof of Bucke’s theory that Cosmic Consciousness is a natural faculty of man,
for it gives evidence that the brain cells which are connected with this
faculty are already present in man, although inactive or non-functioning in the
majority of human beings at the present time.
important change was felt in his spinal column. The whole spine seemed turned
into iron for several weeks, so that, when he sat to meditate on God, he felt
anchored forever, able to sit in one place eternally without motion or
consciousness of any bodily function. At times an influx of super-human
strength invaded him, and he felt that he was carrying the whole universe on
his shoulders. The elixir of life, the nectar of immortality, he felt flowing
in his veins as an actual, tangible force. It seemed like a quicksilver, or a
sort of electrical, fluid light throughout his body.
the weeks of his illumination, he felt no need of food or sleep. But he
conformed his outward life to the pattern of his household, and ate and slept
when his family did. All food seemed pure spirit to him, and in sleep he was
pillowed on the “everlasting arms,” awakening to a joy past all
words, past all powers of description.
had previously suffered from chronic catarrh and had been a heavy smoker; now
his body was purged of all sickness, and desire for nicotine was wiped
completely from his consciousness. His family and friends were aware of a great
change in his appearance and manner; his face shone with a radiant light, his
eyes were pools of joy. Strangers spoke to him, irresistibly drawn by a strange
sympathy; on the street-car, children would come over to sit on his lap, asking
him to visit them.
whole universe was to him bathed in a sea of love; he said to himself many
times, “Now at last I know what Love is! This is God’s love, shaming the
noblest human affection .Eternal love, unconquerable love, all-satisfying
love!” He knew beyond all possibility or thought of doubt that Love
creates and sustains the universe, and that all created things human or
sub-human, were destined to discover this Love, this immortal bliss that was
the very essence of life. He felt his mind expand, his understanding reach out,
endlessly widening, growing, touching everything in the universe, binding all
things, all thoughts to himself. He was “center everywhere, circumference
air that he breathed was friendly, intimate, conscious of life. He felt that
all the world was “home” to him, that he could never feel strange or
alien to any place again; that the mountains, the sea, the distant lands which
he had never seen, would be as much his own as the home of his boyhood.
Everywhere he looked, he saw the “atom-dance” of nature; the air was
filled with myriad moving pin-pricks of light.
these weeks, he went about his daily duties as usual, but with a hitherto
unknown efficiency and speed. Typed papers flew off his machine, completed
without error in a fourth of his customary time. Fatigue was unknown to him;
his work seemed like child’s play, happy and carefree. Conversing in person or
over the telephone with his clients, his inward joy covered every action and
circumstance with a cosmic significance, for to him these men, this telephone,
this table, this voice was God, God manifesting Himself in another of His
the midst of his work, he would suddenly be freshly overwhelmed by the goodness
of God Who had given him this incredible, unspeakable happiness. His breath
would stop completely at such times; the awe which he felt would be accompanied
by an absolute stillness within and without. Underlying all his consciousness
was a sense of immeasurable and unutterable gratitude; a longing for others to
know the joy which lay within them; but most of all, a divine knowledge, past
all human comprehension, that all was well with the world, that everything was
leading to the goal of Cosmic Consciousness, immortal bliss.
state of illumination was present with the man for about two months, and then
gradually wore away. It has never returned with all its pristine force, though certain
features, especially the sense of divine peace and joy, return whenever he
practices the Yogoda meditation exercises.
can well imagine, with Doctor Bucke, that a race of men, possessing as a normal
and permanent faculty this sense of Cosmic Consciousness, would soon turn the
earth into a paradise, a planet fit for Christs and Buddhas, and polestar for
the wheeling universe.
Astrological World Cycles
By Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt)
a series of articles, of which this is the first, the writer proposes to
demonstrate the profound connection of an astronomical phenomenon, known as the
Precession of the Equinoxes, with the history of mankind and the great cycles
of the world. The true Age, or Yoga, of the present world-period, in reference
to the Grand Cycle of Time, symbolized by the stars in their courses, will be
pointed out, and certain erroneous ideas that have been circulated by modern
philosophical literature, due to misunderstanding of the ancient Hindu
Scriptures, will be corrected. The writer will attempt to make all astronomical
and astrological references clear enough to be understood by those with only a
very elementary knowledge of those sciences.
Great Hindu Sage
of EAST-WEST will be interested to know that the chief authority for the
writer’s central thesis, which will be developed mainly in the second article
of this series, is a small work, published privately in India, entitled:
“The Holy Science,” by Swami Yogananda’s Guru and Master, Swami Sri
Yukteswar Giriji Maharaj, founder of Sadhumandal (counsel of sages) and its
various Sat-Sanga (fellowship ) branches in different parts of India. This
saintly Guru is a learned and illuminating commentator on the Bhagavad Gita and
other Scriptures, including the Christian Bible, and has, in addition, a grasp
of modern science that entitles his views to a very respectful hearing.
many systems of chronology adopted by different nations at various times are
usually the source of great confusion to later historians and archaeologists in
their attempts to fix the periods of history. However, whenever the ancients
mentioned the position, during their own times, of the planets or of the
Equinoxes in reference to the Zodiacal Constellations, the chronological era of
such men in world-history can be determined with exactness. An illustration of
the truth of this claim, and one which incidentally proves the great
astronomical learning of the ancient Egyptians, who could so correctly place
the planets, is a mummy’s coffin, now in the British Museum, which bears on its
cover a Zodiacal representation of the planetary positions at the time the dead
Egyptian was embalmed. Calculations by modern astronomers have proved that on
the precise date of October
7, 1722, B.C., the planets and luminaries were in the exact
positions shown on the coffin design. The mummy can thus be assigned an
undeniable antiquity of seventeen centuries before Christ.
ancient and modern methods of measuring years are based either upon solar or
lunar phenomena. Just as a sundial will show the exact time of true noon in any locality, regardless of
what system of mean or standard time may be used there, so man has no accurate
reference of the passage of time in world cycles through the ages, except the
testimony of celestial phenomena.
every student who goes deeply into the study of any religion, philosophy, or
history will find himself confronted with the necessity of understanding the
astronomical and even astrological significance of the Precession of the
Equinoxes, it is well that this subject be simply and briefly dealt with here.
equinoctial times are about March 21 and September 22 of each year, when day
and night are equal in length all over the earth. This is due to the fact that
only on those two days does the earth’s axis come to an exact right angle (90°)
with an imaginary line running from the center of the Sun to the center of the
earth (the equator). The second of time when this right angle is exactly
complete, and the Sun is directly in line with the earth’s equator, the Sun is
considered to have reached the equinoctial points of Aries O° (the Vernal
Equinox, or spring in the northern hemisphere, about March 21) and Libra O°
(the Autumnal Equinox, or fall, in the northern hemisphere, about September
22). The ecliptic, or Sun’s annual apparent path around the earth, is measured
off, starting with the equinoctial point of Aries O°, into 360°, 12 signs of
30° each, called the Zodiac of the Signs. This Zodiac, or imaginary belt in the
heavens, with the ecliptic as its middle line, is considered to be 16° wide, in
order to include the latitude, north and south of the sun’s path, of all those
planets belonging to our particular solar system. The Sun completes its circuit
of this Zodiac of 360° in about 365¼ days, our solar year.
Zodiac of the
Equinoxes having been explained, we shall now consider the meaning of their
precession. Modern astronomers have classified every fixed star in the heavens
into groups called Constellations. Those groups, however, which lie close to
the plane of the ecliptic, were arranged into Constellations in very ancient
times, and were considered to form the belt of the natural and actual Zodiac,
through which the Sun appeared to travel in its yearly pilgrimage around our
earth. This was the Zodiac of the Constellations, and the ancients divided it
into 360° or 12 signs of 30° each.
is the difference between the Zodiac of the Constellations and the Zodiac of
the Signs? There is no difference in their division into signs and degrees, or
in the astrological influences ascribed to their various parts, but there is,
at present, a difference in space between them. There would be no necessity for
dual Zodiacs if the Sun, each year, reached its equinoctial point of Aries O°
at exactly the same point of space, measured by reference to some fixed star of
the Constellations. However, it has been mathematically determined by
astronomers that each year at the moment when the Sun reaches its equinoctial
point of Aries O° and is in exact line with the earth’s equator, the position
of the earth in reference to some determinant fixed star is some 50″ of
space father west than the earth was at the same equinoctial moment of the
position of any fixed star near the ecliptic and near the border line of the
Constellation Aries could be chosen to be the determinant, or standard
reference point, in order to observe this yearly precession of the Vernal
Equinoctial Point among the fixed stars. The Hindu astronomers selected Revati
as the determinant fixed star, and considered this star as marking Aries O° of
the constellations. Each year the equinoctial point of Aries O° of the signs
will be found to have precessed some 50″ of space farther west of Revati
than it was the previous year. The meaning of the term, “Precession of the
Equinoxes,” is now clear. It refers to the slight annual increase in
distance of the equinoctial points from a standard fixed star, which is
considered as Aries O° in the Zodiac of the Constellations, while the Vernal
Equinox is considered as Aries O° in the Zodiac of the Signs.
Sun of the Universe
cause of precession has not been finally established by modern astronomers,
some claiming it is due to a slow change in direction of the earth’s axis,
while others believe they have mathematical proof that the phenomenon is caused
by the motion of the Sun in space along its own orbit, whereby all the bodies
of our solar system are being brought nearer to a Grand Central Sun, around
which our own Sun and every other Sun (fixed star) in the universe is
ancient nations considered Alcyone, brightest star of the Pleiades, to be this
Grand Central Sun. To the Babylonians it was Temennu, “The Foundation
Stone.” The Arabs had two names for it—Kimah, the “Immortal Seal or
Type,” and Al Wasat, “The Central One.” It was Amba, “The
Mother” of the Hindus, and its present name of Alcyone was derived from a
Greek word signifying Peace. It is so far distant from us at present as to
appear to be a star of only the third magnitude. There is a significant passage
in the Bible (Job 38:4-31) about the Constellation containing Alcyone, where
the Lord asked Job: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the
earth? Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?”
For One Circuit
great sages of ancient India,
whose knowledge of astronomy has not been surpassed by any modern nation,
claimed that by the phenomenon of precession the equinoctial points of our Sun
would take 24,000 years to complete one circuit around the Zodiac of the
Constellations. Modern science tells us that the present rate of precession is
50.1″ yearly, or 1°0″ in 72 years. At that rate, it would take, not
24,000, but 25,920 years for the Vernal Equinox to make one whole circle of the
Zodiac of the Constellations and return to any given starting point (fixed
star). However, there is no proof that the present rate of precession, or
50.1″ yearly, is constant, and the ancients claimed that at certain stages
of the cycle the rate of precession is slightly more rapid than at other stages.
This theory receives proof from the calculations of the great astronomer,
Hipparchus (146 years B.C.), who gave the rate of precession at the time of his
observations as 50-2/3″, or a rate somewhat faster than at present. We
have, therefore, no scientific reason to deny that the ancient Hindu
astronomers were correct in giving 24,000 years as the time which would elapse
between one coincidence of the Vernal Equinox with any fixed star and its next
exact coincidence with the same star.
The Four Ages
precessional cycle of 24,000 years is profoundly related to the Four Ages or
Yugas into which the ancient rishis
(wise men) of India
divided each cyclic period. These Ages, known to the Greeks and others as the
Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, are as follows:
Total, 12,000 years
Lemuria and Atlantis
by Tara Mata
STRIKING proof of the truth of the cyclic nature of man’s progress and
decadence, and of the presence on this earth of high civilizations tens of
thousands of years ago, has been offered during recent years by geological and
archaeological evidence of the existence and culture of the sunken continents
of Lemuria and Atlantis. Colonel James Churchward’s three scholarly books on Mu
(Lemuria) point out that Lemuria was the “mother of the world” and
that her civilization was vastly more ancient than that of Atlantis.
theory, that colonists from Lemuria, and later from Atlantis, spread their
civilization all over the ancient world, is not accepted by many scholars, but
it must be admitted that it is the only explanation that satisfactorily
accounts for the otherwise puzzling similarities to be found in the ancient
architecture, art, language, religion, traditions and customs of widely
separated lands, such as Central America and Mexico on one side of the world,
and Egypt and Babylonia on the other.
story of Atlantis is better known, because more recent, than that of Lemuria.
The famous Republic of Plato (370 B.C.) was largely inspired by Greek
traditions founded on memories of the great civilization of Atlantis, and in
two other books, the Timaeus and Critias, Plato gives vivid
descriptions of the lost continent and its people. Other ancient Greeks wrote
about Atlantis as the “blessed,” “happy” or
“fortunate” land, the Edenic garden of the world in a long-past
Golden Age, remote even to the Greeks of Plato’s time. Roman writers of the
same period referred to the vast sea between Europe and America as Maris Atlantici, the Atlantic Ocean, thus indicating their belief that these
waters covered the Atlantean continent.
Atlanteans are described by Plato and others as having been in possession of marvelous
scientific knowledge and power. Particularly notable was their conquest of
space by the use of airplanes and through television. Churchward believes that
the Lemurians and Atlanteans spread the knowledge of aerial travel over all the
ancient world. He writes, in his fascinating book, The Children of Mu:
These are the
most detailed accounts I have found about the airships of the Hindus
15,000 to 20,000 years ago, except one which is a drawing and instructions for
the construction of the airship and her machinery, power, engine, etc. The
power is taken from the atmosphere in a very simple inexpensive manner. The
engine is somewhat like our present-day turbine in that it works from one
chamber into another until finally exhausted. When the engine is once started
it never stops until turned off. It will continue on if allowed to do so until
the bearings are worn out. These ships could keep circling around the earth
without ever once coming down until the machinery wore out. The power is
unlimited, or rather limited only by what metals will stand. I find various
flights spoken of which according to our maps would run from 1000 to 3000
miles. All records relating to these airships distinctly state that they were
self-moving, they propelled themselves; in other words, they generated their
own power as they flew along. They were independent of all fuel. It seems to
me, in the face of this, and with all our boasting, we are about 15,000 to
20,000 years behind the times . . . There are many Chinese records of about the
same date regarding these ancient flying machines.
is noteworthy that recent excavations in Crete
have brought to light records which mention Cretan airplanes.
Plato’s account of Atlantis met with slight credence from scientists up until
recent times, the discoveries of Dr. Henry
Schliemann, eminent archeologist, have placed the existence of that land
When in 1873,
writes Dr. Schliemann, I made the excavation of the ruins of Troy at Hissarlik
and discovered in the second city the famous treasures of Priam, I found among
that treasure a peculiar bronze vase of great size . . . engraved in Phoenician
hieroglyphics with a sentence which reads: ‘From the King Chronos of Atlantis’
. . . Among a collection of objects from Tiahaunaco, South America, is another
vase identically the same as I found among the treasures of Priam.
significance of the Phoenician hieroglyphics is explained by Professor Nicola
Russo, in The Atlantis Quarterly:
alphabet, which is the first of all the European alphabets, is derived from the
Atlantean alphabet, which was taught to the Maya of Central America . . .
Atlantis was the home of the Aryan or indo-European, and of the semitic, not
excluding the Turanian, peoples . . . The male and female divinities of the
ancient Greeks, of the Phoenicians, of the Indians, and of the Scandinavians,
were kings, queens and heroes of Atlantis, and the acts of heroism which
mythology attributes to them are none other than a confused record of
historical happenings . . . Atlantis perished in a terrible convulsion of
nature, in which the entire island was submerged, with the loss of all the
population. Those few who had time to escape from the general disaster on boats
and on rafts carried the account of the event to the people who were in the
East and West—a tradition that has come down to our days with the legend of the
universal Deluge . . . That Atlantis before the time of Plato was known in
sacred traditions and legends is proved by the fact that Homer and Hesiod were
already acquainted with the legend of Atlas, condemned by Jove to bear the
heavens on his shoulders. Herodotus also, in the fourth book of his History,
mentions the Atlanteans, and Diodorus, in his Library of History, tells of the
Atlanteans, a people more civilized than the people of these countries, and
inhabiting a rich land containing many cities.
Spence, the learned scientist whose researches have thrown important light on
the vanished civilizations of Atlantis and Lemuria, points out that Suidas
claimed that both Homer and Hesiod were Atlanteans. In the Homeric epics, the
blind bard “sings of his country, the country of the gods, Atlantis”.
vases found by Schliemann establishes the fact that there was a King Chronus of
Atlantis, and in this connection it is of interest to note that the ancient
Greeks preserved traditions of their Golden Age, which they made coincident
with the reign of a King Chronos, who may well have been the ruler over the
Atlantean forefathers of the Greeks.
group of survivors of the Atlantean cataclysm settled in northwest Africa, and
were known as “Atlanteans” to Greek and Roman writers, who named the Atlas Mountains, in that region, in their honor—Atlas
being the Latin singular form of Atlantes.
of the Carnegie Institution, recently excavating at Chichen
Itza, in Yucatan, found, among
the imposing ruins of the Pyramid of the Warriors, a Temple dedicated to the Atlanteans.
Antilles group of islands in the West Indies, and the Azore and Canary Islands
off the northwest coast of Africa, are
believed by competent scholars to constitute veritable remnants of Atlantis,
and to indicate roughly the extent of her western and eastern boundaries. All
these island groups are situated on an ocean
ridge which is subject to great earthquakes, and this
region, according to Scott-Elliott, “has been the scene of volcanic
disturbance on a gigantic scale, and that within a quite measurable period of
article in The Atlantis Quarterly for September, 1932, refers to a
recent discovery by the archeologist, Nicolas de Ascanio, on Teneriffe,
largest island of the Canaries, of vases and pottery “of exquisite
proportions and workmanship. . . M. de Ascanio does not hesitate to assert that
the pottery and mortar in question are, ‘with the exception of arms, the most
ancient products of human industry actually known’. That we are here in the
presence of remains of an advanced civilization that existed long before the
present race of aboriginals inhabited the islands cannot be doubted. . . The
conclusion that the beautiful examples of ceramic art under discussion are
veritable relics of Atlantean craftsmanship is, we think, established, and
constitutes one of the most remarkable corroborations of Plato’s history of
Russo, in an article in the same issue of the magazine above referred to,
stresses the importance of the results of a scientific expedition in the ship
Meteor around the Azores.
island, which has been the object of so many studious investigations, according
to the testimony of a recent German scientific expedition, must have been
located where the Azores now lie, and the peaks of the Azores must be the tops
of the mountains of the submerged Atlantis. . . The contour of the upper
submarine plane of the Azores sounded by the
ship Meteor is indicated to us exactly by the situation and the conformation of
Atlantis, in accordance with what is left to us in their writings by Plato and
the geographers of antiquity.
is the reason why the learned Germans maintain the submersion of Atlantis must
be calculated as 9,500 years B.C., a period during which the earth penetrated
into the moon’t ray of action. Under the magnetic influence of this satellite,
the waters of the ocean rose to the point of overwhelming Atlantis, so that
only the tops of the highest mountains remained. The communications of these
scholars come opportunely to throw light upon the darkness of so many mysteries
that enwrap the Edenic Island, they serve as a link connecting Egypt and South America,
and exhibit the similarities of the characteristics of their civilizations.
Spence believes that continental Atlantis was destroyed at the end of the
Tertiary period (Miocene times), leaving two large islands. One of these, the
largest, was the only Atlantis with which the ancient Greek and Roman writers
were acquainted. Most of this island was finally submerged by a cataclysm of
nature at a date which geological, historical and traditional evidence agrees
on as about 9,500 B.C.
tells us that Solon, the Athenian law-giver and ancestor of Plato, visited Egypt in 600
B.C., and that:
priest of Sais, and Psenophis, a priest of Heliopolis, told him that 9000 years
before, the relations of the Egyptians with the lands of the west had been
interrupted because of the mud which had made the sea impassable after the
destruction of Atlantis.
was first submerged, she only went down deep enough to be awash at low tide so
that at low tide mud banks appeared with masses of seaweed which made the
northern Atlantic impassable to shipping. This
was the real reason why the ancient Greeks never ventured to sail beyond the
Pillars of Hercules (Strait
of Gibraltar). Later on,
Atlantis sank to her present depth, and ships could move freely over her burial
ancient writers refer to Atlantis as Poseidon. “An Egyptian papyrus states
that Poseidon was the first king of Atlantis and that he was followed by a long
line of Poseidons, thus forming a Poseidon Dynasty” [Churchward].
Platonic story tells us that “Atlantis was the center of civilization and
conquered the whole world.” Dr. Schliemann makes the following
observations on the connection of Egypt with Atlantis:
In the Museum
at St. Petersburg, Russia, there is a papyrus roll,
one of the oldest known. It was written in the reign of Pharoah Sent of the
Second Dynasty. The papyrus relates that ‘Pharoah Sent sent out an expedition
to the west in search of traces of the Land of Atlantis from whence, 3350 years
before, the ancestors of the Egyptians arrived, carrying with themselves all of
the wisdom of their native land. The expedition returned after five years with
the report that they had found neither people nor objects which could give them
a clue to the vanished land.
in the same Museum by Manetho, the Egyptian priest-historian, gives a reference
of a period of 13,900 years as the reign of the Sages of Atlantis. This papyrus
places the height of the civilization of Atlantis at the very beginning of
Egyptian history, approximately 16,000 years ago.
tells us that the modern Basques who dwell in the Pyrenees,
hesitated to announce themselves as the last branch of the Atlantean race—and
perhaps not without reason, for it is within the bounds of probability that
they are descended from the Cro-Magnon race which would seem to have reached
Iberian soil from an oceanic area.
Etymology of ‘Atlantic’
de Bourbourg, a writer of the last century, traced the etymology of the word Atlantic in the following way:
The words Atlas
and Atlantic have no satisfactory etymology in any language known to Europe. They are not Greek, and cannot be referred to any
known language of the Old World. But in the
Nahu-atlan language (peculiar to the Toltec tribes of ancient Mexico) we find
immediately the radical a, atl, which signifies water, war, and the top of the
head. From this comes a series of words, such as atlan, or the border of or
amid the water; from which we have the adjective Atlantic.
. . A city named Atlan existed when the continent was discovered by Columbus, at the entrance of the Gulf of Uraha.
city, existing today, with a similar name, is Mazatlan,
on the west coast of Mexico.
It is an interesting fact, mentioned by some of the early European voyagers to
this country, that certain Indian tribes called the whole continent of America by the name of Atlanta. The Nahuatlan language, as its name
implies, is similar to and derived from the Atlantean language, for the ancient
Maya and Toltec civilizations, so similar in many ways to that of Egypt, were brought to Mexico and Yucatan from Atlantis.
subject of Atlantis, her magnificent civilization and her dramatic end, has
exercised a fascination for modern as well as ancient authors. Besides the scholarly
works, published in the last fifty years, by such scientists as Ignatius
Donnelly, Schliemann, Spence, Russo and Churchward, many imaginative novels
have been written around Atlantis. A Dweller on Two Planets by Phylos,
is stimulating reading. A romance, L’Atlantide, by Benoit, has recently
been produced in France
as a motion picture. The Coming Race by Bulwer-Lytton, very popular with
a previous generation, was based on Atlantean traditions. Recently two French
writers have compiled a Bibliography of Atlantis, giving over 1700 references.
“Societies for Atlantean Studies” now exist in France, Italy and other European lands.
Francis Bacon, “father of experimental philosophy,” wrote a stirring book in the 17th century, outlining a great plan for the development of scientific learning which was to remold the institutions of the world on a fairer basis. The founding of the Royal Society of London in 1662 was a direct result of Lord Bacon’s inspiring work, which was named “The New Atlantis”.
Shankara, the Great Vedantist
By Tara Mata
centuries separate us from the time of Shankara, but the influence of his
mighty intellect and flawless life is felt increasingly in India and in all lands where men
seek guidance for divine inspiration.
is regarded in India
as an incarnation of Shiva, one of the aspects of the three-fold Godhead. The
following passage is found in one of Shankara’s works:
“I prostrate not to the gods.
One who is beyond all gods
Does not salute a god.
After that stage, one does no
I prostrate again and again to my own
Which is the root of all endeavor. . .
The Lord facing the south
(Dakshinamurti, the Lord
In the shape of a
Himself has composed this work entitled,
‘The Definition of One’s Own Self’,
Which will dispel the darkness of
And will carry one across the
Of phenomenal existence. The sky of my
Is illumined by the sun of the Master
Who is the Lord Vishnu,
That causes the lotus of realization
was born in 788 AD in the Malabar section of the Deccan,
the son of Shivaguru, a Brahman of learning and devotion who placed the child
in a Vedic school at an early age. At three, Shankara was familiar with the
Puranas and could read the deepest philosophy with understanding. He adopted
the life of a wandering ascetic in his eighth year, and soon became the
disciple of Govinda, a famous sage who taught from a mountain cave near the Narbuda River. The guru (master) of Govinda was
Gaudapada, who also accepted Shankara as his disciple. Three years later, when
Shankara was only twelve, he wrote his famous bhasya (commentary) on the Brahma-Sutras, the essence of the
cluster thickly in the story of Shankara, as they do around all supremely
enlightened men whose conscious oneness with the Universal has given them
mastery over the forces of nature. This son of India, born with Yogic powers, was
tenderly attached to his mother, and the tale goes that once, when she was
suffering from the intense heat, he caused the river nearby to rise and cool
her. Another story concerning his mother is that she opposed his plan to become
a wandering sannyasin, and that he
would not leave without her permission. One day a crocodile seized his foot as
he was bathing, and he cried out to his mother that he would not release
himself from the crocodile until she had promised to release him from home
ties. In this way he won her reluctant consent.
another exercise of his Yogic power in connection with his mother occurred at
her death. He had promised to return to her should she ever need him, and
fulfilled his word by reaching her death-bed in time to give her instruction in
divine knowledge. His life as a yogi forbade that he witness her funeral rites;
to overcome this difficulty, he caused her body to be consumed before his eyes
by fire which spurted from his upraised hand.
interesting story concerns Shankara’s favorite disciple, Sanandana. This young
man, hearing his guru’s voice calling him from the opposite shore of a river,
plunged into the water without hesitancy. Shankara caused a lotus flower to
emerge from the dark depths to support each footfall of his disciple across the
rushing river. From that day on, Sanandana was known as Padmapada,
“lotus-foot.” This same disciple later wrote a bhasya which was
accidentally burnt. Shankara had read it once and, to Padmapada’s joy, recited
it faithfully from memory while the disciple wrote it down. It has been preserved
for us as the Pancapadika, a commentary on the Brahma-Sutras.
is unique among the outstanding spiritual teachers of the world in that he was
a great scholar—”mightiest mind that ever dwelt in human body,” in
the opinion of Douglas Grant Duff Ainslie, the English philosopher—and left
many written works behind him. He did not, however, claim to be the originator
of any new system of philosophy or plan of salvation, but regarded the ancient
Vedas as the infallible, divinely inspired repository of Truth. He writes:
“The Vedas are the highest authority, either because they are
beginningless or because they are the utterances of the Supreme Lord.
Knowledge, therefore, cannot result either by itself or from any other
authority. The Vedic word which does not depend on any other proof, but on
which depend proofs, is the only source of the knowledge of Brahman. As no
authority is equal to the eye in the perception of forms, so no authority is
equal to the Vedas in the realization of that which is beyond perception.”
main works are his commentaries on the first ten Upanishads, and on the
Brahma-Sutras and Bhagavad Gita. These bhasyas earned him the title of Acharya,
“great spiritual teacher,” (Shankaracharya), and he is considered the
foremost Vedantist, whose authority exceeds that of Ramanuja, Vallabda and
other celebrated Vedic commentators.
means “end of the Vedas” and refers expressly to the Upanishads,
which constitute not only the last part of the Vedic texts but also summarize the
final and ultimate meaning of the entire scriptures. The principal teachings of
the Vedanta, and hence of the Upanishads, were formulated by Vyasa into a
collection of aphorisms called the Brahma-Sutras. These sutras have formed the
subject-matter of various commentaries by different writers, but the first bhasya on them which is available to
modern students, that of Shankara, is by far the most famous, due to its
profound and subtle reasoning and power of illumination. Because of this, the
Vedanta philosophy has come to mean the Brahma-Sutra interpretation of
great Acharya insisted on a strict non-dualistic, absolutist interpretation of
the Vedas, and credited his own guru, Gaudapada, with the recovery of the
monistic (advaita) creed of the
Upanishads, which had been misinterpreted for centuries by commentators who
professed to find grounds in the traditional scriptures for belief in dualism.
According to Vedanta, individual souls (jiva)
are but illusory manifestations of One Soul or pure consciousness the Brahman;
according to the Sankhya philosophy, jivas are true and numerous. Sankhya
cosmology also claims the reality of Prakriti
(root principle of matter); Vedanta denies reality to anything except Brahman.
expounded his teacher Gaudapada’s monistic views on the Vedas with additional
insight of his own, and Shankara’s bhasyas, rather than Gaudapada’s, have been
the basis for a host of additional commentaries by later Vedantists. But
Shankara himself wrote a bhasya on Gaudapada’s work, and at the conclusion, he
“He adores by falling at the feet
Of that great guru, the adored of his
Who on finding all the people
Sinking in the ocean
Made dreadful by the crocodiles of
Out of kindness for all men,
By churning the great ocean of the
By his great rod of wisdom,
Recovered what lay deep
In the heart of the Veda,
Hardly attainable even by the immortal
another place, Shankara eulogizes the guru thus:
“There is no known comparison
In all the three worlds for the
That bestows knowledge.
If the philosopher’s stone be assumed
It could only turn iron into gold,
But not into another philosopher’s
The venerable teacher, on the other
Creates equality with himself
In the disciple that takes refuge at
He is therefore peerless,
Nay, even transcendental.”
reorganized the ancient monastic Order of Swamis. The title of Swami can
rightfully be bestowed on a disciple only by one who is himself a Swami,
tracing his title from Shankara’s time and following the life prescribed by the
traveled about from place to place in India, meeting in public debate all
the eminent sages of his time, and converting Buddhist, Sankhya and Mimamsa
philosophers to his own monistic view of the Vedas. It is said that Vyasa1,
author of the Brahma-Sutras, returned to earth in the guise of a Brahman
scholar in order to debate with Shankara, thus testing the latter’s Vedic
knowledge. But even a superhuman adversary could find no flaws in the young
Acharya’s exposition, and Shankara was admitted the victor.
interesting story comes in here. At Shankara’s birth, his horoscope was cast,
in accordance with the ancient custom of the Hindus. The astrologer found that
the boy was allotted but sixteen years of life. A short time later, a great
Rishi announced that Shankara’s years would stretch to thirty-two.
the Acharya met and conquered Vyasa in debate, the latter declared that,
because of this great victory, Shankara’s life span would be doubled, In this
way, the predictions both of the astrologer and the Rishi were justified. The
disputation with Vyasa presumably took place before or during Shankara’s
sixteenth year. It is interesting to note that both Jesus and Shankara had
incarnations of thirty-two years each.
more extraordinary story of Shankara must be told. The great Vedantist went to Benares to meet in debate the eminent Mimamsa scholars of
the day. Of these Kumarila was the chief, but he was then at death’s door. He
arranged for his own most distinguished follower, Mandana, the author of
Vidhiviveka, to meet Shankara. The Mimamsist was so much impressed by the
superiority of the Vedanta expounded by Shankara that he became a great Vedantist
himself, taking the new name of Suresvara.
wife, one of the greatest women of India, a veritable Saraswati (goddess of wisdom), acted as
umpire during the debate. Afterwards, she herself engaged Shankara in
controversy. Confident that the young ascetic knew nothing of the science and
art of earthly love, however wise he undoubtedly was in Bhakti or divine love,
she questioned him on intimate matters beyond his ken. He admitted his
temporary defeat and asked for a month’s grace. Committing his body to the care
of his disciples, Shankara directed his consciousness into the corpse of King
Amaraka, even then on its way to the funeral pyre. The mourners were overjoyed
to see the King awake to life, and bore him back to his throne and Queen. A
month later, the borrowed body of Amaraka knew the vivifying consciousness of
Shankara no more, and the great sage, returned to his own earthly habitation,
met and answered the Saraswati whose
questions had previously confounded him.
of this experience, Shankara wrote a famous treatise on that branch of
astrological science dealing with the conception, evolution and reproduction of
the human species under certain categorical conditions laid down by the ancient
Rishis. It expounds certain principles regarding the structure of the human
organism, its mental and moral qualities, aesthetic, physical and psychological
tendencies; interrelation of the sexes, and attraction and repulsion of persons
born under various stars. Shankara also dealt with this subject in his commentary
on the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
took final leave of his body in his thirty-second year, in the city of Kanchi. His disciple
Anandagiri describes the end thus: “As he was seated he absorbed his gross
body into the subtle one and became Existence, then destroying this subtle one
he became pure reason; then, attaining to the world of Ishwara (the personal God), with full happiness completed like a
perfect circle, he passed on into the Intelligence which pervades the universe,
and in this he still exists. The Brahmins of the place and his pupils and their
pupils, reciting the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma-Sutras, then
excavated a grave in a very clean place and making due offerings to his body
raised a tomb.” The unpolluted body of a Yogi is considered in India
to be beyond the need of the purifying funeral fire.
of the writings of Shankara have been made available to the western world
through the translations of Radhakrishnan, Max Muller and other scholars. An
English translation by S. Venkataramanan, entitled Selected Works of Sri
Shankaracharya, (Natesan & Co., Madras),
contains the famous Century of Verses by the great Vedantist. Some extracts
from this work are given below.
pointed out that the study of Vedanta was not for everyone, but only for those
who were filled with a true desire for emancipation. Such a man should have the
following qualifications: (1) true discernment, an understanding of the
difference between the transitory and the eternal, (2) desirelessness for
rewards both in this world and the next, and (3) faith, concentration,
self-control, patience, peace and longing for liberation.
freedom from desires means dissatisfaction in respect of all objects.
Discrimination of the real means the determination that the nature of the self
is eternal while all that is perceptible is otherwise. The constant eradication
of mental impressions is called control of mind. The restraint of external
activities is called control of body. Extreme abstention is the turning away
from the objects of enjoyment. The endurance of all kinds of pain is called
resignation, which is beneficial. Devoted belief in the sayings of the Vedas
and of the teacher is called faith. The concentration of the mind on the
Reality that is the ultimate goal is called balance. Desire for liberation is
the name given to the intense thought, “How and when, O Lord, shall
liberation from the bonds of samsara
(phenomenal existence) come to me?” Whoever desires his own welfare
should, after acquiring the above-mentioned qualifications, commence the
inquiry with a view to the attainment of knowledge.
cannot spring up by any other means than inquiry, just as the perception of
things is impossible without light. “Who am I? How was this universe born?
Who is its maker? What is its material cause?” This is the kind of inquiry
is made of gold retains forever the nature of gold. So, too, all that is born
of Brahman is of the nature of Brahman.
as one sees not the separate existence of the pot when he knows that it is
clay, or the illusive existence of silver when he knows that it is
mother-of-pearl, so, too, does one see not the condition of the individual soul
when he knows Brahman. Just as a pot is only a name of clay, and an earring, of
gold, so too is the individual soul a name of the Supreme.
the knowledge of the Reality has sprung up, there can be no fruits of past
actions to be experienced, owing to the unreality of the body, in the same way
as there can be no dream after waking. Action done in past lives is called
prarabdha. But that has no existence at all at any time, since past life is
itself unreal. Just as the dream body is a mere illusion, so is this physical
body also. How can an illusory thing have life, and how, if there is no life,
can there be past action? As clay is the efficient cause of the pot, so is
ignorance declared by the Vedanta to be the efficient cause of the universe.
When that ignorance itself is destroyed, where then is this universe?
constant practice, the self that is pure existence and knowledge cannot be
realized. Therefore, one who desires knowledge and seeks liberation should
meditate on Brahman for a long time.
control of the senses (yama), the
control of the mind (niyama), the
avoidance of unreality (tyaga),
spiritual silence (mauna), place (desa), time (kala), posture (asana),
the subduing of the root-cause (nulabandha),
the equipoise of the body (deha-samya),
the firmness of vision (driksthiti),
the control of life-forces (pranayama),
the holding of consciousness (dharmana),
self-contemplation (dhana) and
absorption (samadhi)—these, in order,
are said to be the steps.
should see the cause in the effect, and should then eliminate the effect. The
cause, as such, will vanish of its own accord. What then remains, that the sage
becomes. For, one soon becomes that which he contemplates with extreme
assiduity and absolute certainty. This should be understood by the illustration
of the wasp and the worm. 2
while going about, that he is a wave of the ocean of the self; while sitting,
that he is a bead strung on the thread of universal consciousness; while
perceiving objects of sense, that he is realizing himself by perceiving the
self; while sleeping, that he is drowned in the ocean of bliss—he who, inwardly
constant, spends his whole life thus is, among all men, the real seeker of
does not touch wet fuel even exceptionally, but only fuel that has been dried
in the sun. So the fire of knowledge does not touch the mind that is wet with
attachment, but only the mind that is dried with non-attachment.
taken from the sea, when solidified, goes by the name of salt; when it is
thrown back into the sea and is dissolved, it loses its name and form. So does
the individual soul merge into the Supreme Self. At the same time, the mind is
dissolved into the moon, speech into fire, sight into the sun, blood and semen
into water, and hearing into the (four) directions.
with other means, knowledge is the only direct means to liberation. As cooking
is impossible without fire, so is liberation impossible without knowledge.
Ritual cannot dispel ignorance, because they are not mutually contradictory.
But knowledge surely destroys ignorance, as light the densest darkness.
should separate the grain of the pure inner self from the chaff of the body and
other sheaths by the threshing of reason.
desires, happiness, misery, etc., exercise their function when the
consciousness is present, and do not exist in deep sleep when the consciousness
is absent. They belong, therefore, to the consciousness and not to the self.
very nature of the self being knowledge, it does not depend, for a knowledge of
itself, on any other knowledge, in the same way as a light does not require
another light to reveal itself.
flame of knowledge that arises by the constant churning of meditation on the
wood of the self will completely burn away the fuel of ignorance.
being known, all this universe will become known, in the same way as all
earthen jars, pots, etc. become known when the clay, which is their cause,
of the seven Chirajivis, literally,
“beings endowed with longevity: whose manifestation is not confined to any
2A popular belief that the worm in the wasp’s nest develops into a wasp by its constant expectation of the wasp’s return.
By Tara Mata
inventions merely copy nature. The telescope is only equivalent to a pair of
abnormally bright eyes and brings us merely an extension of vision. It cannot
give us a new sense but simply enlarges the sense of sight we already possess.
Knowledge of the electro-magnetic world of atomic structure has opened to us
universes so infinitely small that the microscope itself cannot perceive them
and we must represent them with mathematical equations. But we understand that,
given a microscope of sufficient power, the atoms, being forms, could be seen.
We see light, though it travels 186,000 miles a second. We see Andromeda, and
the inconceivably distant universes of stars, with the naked eye.
we cannot go beyond sensory perception (for even thought and imagination are
forms perceived with the inward eye or the inward sight) the ancient Hindus and
doubtless every other great race of the past Golden Ages built up their systems
of mental science, yoga (control), through which the senses were refined,
broadened and sharpened so that all natural phenomena lay open to their
whole body of scientific inventions of which the modern world is so proud was
totally unnecessary, an encumbrance, in fact—like spectacles to a man of good
vision—to Golden Ages rishis
(literally, seers). Red begins the spectrum of colors, and red ends it, but the
intensity of one is not the intensity of the other. Though it is true that
extremes seem to meet, and that both the most backward peoples and those
belonging to the highest civilizations, do not have inventions and
observatories and scientific laboratories, yet in the first case, it is due to
the ignorance of Kali Yuga (Dark Age) and in the later case, to the perfected insight
of Golden Age men. So we need not conclude, because the ancients left no
records of inventions such as we have today, that they were ignorant men.
Inventions are for Dwapara and Treta Yugas (the Bronze and Silver Ages)1, the midpoints between
savagery and true civilization.
of our own age are not failing to point out that our inventions are likely to
lead us to ruin unless and until we are morally developed enough to direct and
use them rightly. Without a better understanding of his own nature, man is not
fit to be trusted with a knowledge of nature and her dynamic forces. So the
Golden Age men developed and perfected a science of man. Yoga—not science of
nature, for that follows automatically.
too is a solar system, a universe, fit for the profoundest study. He too has a
Grand Central Sun within him, the Spiritual Sun. He too is a Creator and by him
creation was made, is preserved and shall be destroyed—the trinity of all
religions. Yet what does he know of himself? Man can harness the lightning,
tame the wind and control the elements, pluck the Moon from the sky and bring
it to his own doorstep with his telescopes, more easily than he can control his
own passions. Yet that was the goal and the achievement of Golden Age men, the
“gods” of all ancient mythologies.
of millions a Newton
and an Einstein are born, with enough natural concentration to penetrate some
of the secrets of nature. These men are true men; Newton was deeply religious, and Einstein is
a true humanitarian. But the results of their discoveries, the host of
practical inventions that follows each new discovery of the laws of nature—can
these be entrusted to the hands of ordinary men? Are not discoveries in physics
and chemistry put to destructive use, as in the late war? The undeveloped man
has always used discoveries and inventions to enslave others, and the machine
age is far from a perfect one. Such are the dangers of inventions. The forces
of nature are not for the use of weaklings. First perfect the man, then he will
know how to utilize nature. We do not need to perfect a cosmic-ray method of
curing cancer, but to produce a race of men of pure minds and bodies where no
cancer can grow. Man is the problem, not nature.
time spent on science in this age is not misspent, because the more we discover
of natural laws and their practical utilization, the more quickly we will see
that without a corresponding extension of knowledge of man and his own nature
and its control, the specter of world-wide destruction is the only promise of
is only the dream of visionaries so long as man does not know and is not taught
….how to control his passions. Whether he fights with poison gas or from the
air with bombs, or with his bare hands, he is still a victim of his own
ignorance. If he can live at peace and in harmony and cooperation with his
family, his neighbors and his friends, then he is fit for world-peace. When
nations are composed of men like that, then we can expect world-peace. Man is
the measure of all things, according to the Hermetic teachings and all ancient
philosophies. World conditions can do no more than reflect the temper of man.
was for this reason that Buddha, Christ, all the great teachers of mankind,
stressed one point and only one—the conquering of human passions. They did not
attack institutions nor initiate sweeping outward reforms of social or economic
conditions, because these are only an effect of far deeper causes. The sages
who have guided mankind did not bring inventions with them nor point out new
ways to enslave nature for the daily purposes of man. The conquest of the
internal nature is the only fit occupation for a human being. Otherwise he is
no higher than an animal. Spiders can spin a geometric web; the ant is the
greatest organizer in the world. A monkey can put any agile athlete to shame;
the hibernating animals can live without food or drink; a turtle can exist for
hundreds of years. A body of strength and endurance is not the measure of a
man, nor his command of mathematics nor the extent of his scientific or
artistic ingenuity. The measure of a man is his control over himself—his lower
self, his thoughts, his impulses, his desires and his actions. This goal can
never be achieved without a knowledge of his own nature, such as is embodied in
the psychological, mental and spiritual sciences of Yoga. These sciences all
rest on the same fundamental foundation of morality (yama and niyama),
non-stealing, non-injury, truthfulness, etc. This is the starting-point of all
religions as they were laid down by their founders.
Science such as we know it today can never be anything but fallible. There is
no such thing as certainty or finality, when the proof must depend on the
ordinary perceptive sensory powers of man. If the sensory instruments are
faulty, so will be conclusions. And all inventions depend on the senses of man
to utilize them.
Age men therefore set out to perfect their sensory instruments, and did it so
well that there is no modern discovery of natural law that has not already been
known and elucidated by the ancients. What fragments of natural laws have been
discovered through physical instruments by the moderns were known, and far more
comprehensively, by the ancients without any other instrument than their true
science can never hope to do more than confirm what the ancients have already
said about the nature of the universe. The conclusions of scientists today are
minus the ring of conviction, for knowledge obtained by outward means can never
fully satisfy the nature of man, and there is always an element of doubt
connected with every man-given dictum. The foremost scientists of our time
openly acknowledge that they expect their present views to be overturned by
later developments. But the ancient rishis knew, because they had seen, and not
merely arrived at their conclusions by the trial-and-error method. Hence they
could sing of the laws of the universe, could mix science and poetry and music,
as later Pythagorus did, with the utmost serenity, knowing that future ages
could do no more than confirm the timeless truths they were giving out.
significance of these Yugas or Ages were explained in the writer’s series of
articles on “Astrological World Cycles” which appeared in Inner Culture