The Seeds of Undermining
Inadequacies of the Indian
An essay on ESSENCE and FORM
by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet
[Authors Note: This essay was written on 27 October 1989 and published in The
Vishaal Newsletter of Aeon Centre of Cosmology. Given the current interest in the
questions it raises, it is being published again for a wider audience. The cosmology
providing the backdrop for this analysis is not treated in this essay. Suffice to state
that it is on the order of a new astrology for a new age. Accordingly, though
written before the collapse of the Soviet Union, or the decade of political instability
India experienced, the text has a certain prophetic ring. The reader may judge just how
timely these questions have become, and whether or not any progress has been made in
rectifying the decay it details.]
Afterwards came the night and a temporary end of all political
initiative and creation. The lifeless attempt of the last generation to imitate and
reproduce with a servile fidelity the ideals and forms of the West has been no true
indication of the political mind and genius of the Indian people. Sri Aurobindo,
The Foundations of India Culture, p. 380-1.
Prominent thinkers throughout the world
realise that the old order has come to an end. We witness the crumbling of iron barriers
between nations, hitherto believed to be unshakeable and resistant to any attempt at
change. However, the question remains, What is to emerge in place of the old?
In a number of my published works, I have shown in detail how the Measure of 9 with its intrinsic
formula, 9/6/3/0-1, has been active in the Indian subcontinent. But in India too, in spite
of this remarkable display of the power of Time, the old order persists and we find no
spirit in the nation bold enough to introduce the new. Consequently, we hear unending
laments from the political opposition about the dynastic rule of the Nehru
family. I, for one, have often referred to the need to modify the actual parliamentary
system of governance precisely because its continued use OBLIGES this dynasty to
perpetuate itself. But the Opposition (as well as the ruling party) silences or disregards
any voice that calls for a change in the system, often to the extent of accusing the
innovator of wishing to introduce a dictatorship via, for example, the adoption of a
presidential form of government. (How a presidential system can be equated with
dictatorship is difficult to understand.) The result is that due to this resistance an
inadequate political structure must somehow serve as the vehicle for the Measure of 9 to
hold the nation together.
India inherited its present system from the British. Many of the ills
the nation suffers from can be traced to this factor: a foreign system has
been imposed upon a country that has not been allowed to breathe its independent breath
and follow its own rhythms and expressions. This is easily appreciated in an assessment of
the Indian model of parliamentary democracy compared to the British image of which it is
meant to be a somewhat modified reflection.
To begin, in Great Britain we have a true dynasty, a real and healthy
monarchy. The monarch in England is not elected of course; he or she is a part of a
lineage that cuts through time and is therefore independent of the uncertainties of
political fortunes. Consequently, the enviable qualities of stability and continuity arise. They are not fictitious; they are real components of the national heritage.
However, this is not the Indian reality. Every effort has been made to
create this situation in India via the office of President, which is meant to provide the
same qualities of stability and continuity by being out of the political struggle of the
various parties, whose members are elected to parliament approximately every five years on
a representative basis. In this way the President stands outside of the political arena;
and this, coupled with the fact that his election to office by members of Parliament
ordinarily follows a different cycle than the parliamentary polls, is meant to provide
that stability and continuity which the British system enjoys via its monarch.
We know that this is not the case. The British monarch and the Indian
president have little in common because the former is not a construed but a real component
based on a quasi-organic, evolutionary fact. In contrast, the office of the Indian
president is imposed in an effort to mimic the British system by introducing a form of
government that is supposed to produce the same results, but without those legitimate
components underlying the arrangement. Continuity and stability are characteristics that
cannot be imagined or mentally devised. They arise due to a series of circumstances that
organically confer these conditions in a process of natural development. They are not
accommodations but come into being in harmony with certain essential ingredients found in
the national psyche. When these conditions exist then stability and continuity become
pillars for nation building.
Since this has been lacking in India the line of prime ministers
contrary to Great Britain has had to serve as the element of continuity. Indeed,
the most politically uncertain period India has known since independence was certainly the
two and a half years of Opposition rule, from 1977 to end 1979, when there was no member
of the Nehru Dynasty in office.
Thus, in opposing change to some other form of government, which would
better accommodate this legitimate need for a vehicle capable of providing continuity and
stability, the Opposition is condemning itself to continuous defeat at the polls, inasmuch
as the Nehru Line is the means to hold the country together, given the inadequate system
India has adopted for her political expression. This is an example of the failure to
recognise and appreciate the true character of a nation and the measure of its individual
A development of this nature was seen as inevitable from the cosmological point of view. The most revealing hint was the date of Independence itself. Though
significantly falling on Sri Aurobindos birthday, I have often pointed out that the
number-power of the day was 8, just one short of the complete cycle. This fact reveals
that full independence from the British had not been attained on some levels. More was yet
to come to bring the movement to the 9, or the completed process. Sri Aurobindo himself,
in his message to the nation at the time of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, commented
on this very fact: Independence had occurred on his birthday and was a confirmation of his
work, but the partitioned condition of the nation had to be healed to make the movement
worthy of his highest aims.
The prominent position of the 8 also reveals that there is a residue of
a sort that does not easily allow the movement to complete itself. This is explicitly the
problem India now faces.
We see that British rule left this residue in the new Indian nation in
the form of a political and administrative system that has, in its general character, no real connection with the national spirit. It was an imposition from outside, the result of
colonial rule. The bureaucracy, for example, was devised to serve that rule rather than
self-rule. Out of this, bearing no harmony with the true pulse of the civilisation, laws
and methods of governing were imposed which to this day hinder rather than further the
free and forward-moving thrust the country needs to faithfully fulfil its noble destiny
along the lines arising from its own individual web of destiny. One specific aspect of
this residue is the increasing chasm between the bureaucracy and the public, as if the
public were the enemy of the administration rather than the elements to be served. The
explanation for this lamentable situation is simply the fact that indeed the
natives were the enemy of the Raj and the administration was arranged in such
a way as to permit that native populace to be effectively ruled by suppression of its any
aspiration and effort at upliftment. The situation in India today, with the almost
complete lack of openness (at a time when even the Soviet Union has opened its society)
and the nefarious secrecy which characterises the Indian system, are the inevitable
outcome of the residue the country inherited and which it refuses to shake off.
However, this situation in a very profound sense mirrors the condition
of our entire civilisation east and west. The new must arise amidst the old; but
for the true new way, it must somehow come into being uncontaminated by the old.
Throughout the world nations and individuals face the same dilemma. We are born into a particular structure or environment. We must evolve within that, bearing the limitations
that our heritage may foist upon us. Yet in the midst of these very fields, and no
other, new structures must nonetheless arise.
India is no exception. Indeed, her task is perhaps more complex than
that of any other nation. But in spite of this limitation she has played out for over a
century the patterns of her higher destiny which the new cosmology describes so
thoroughly, regardless of any existing limitation. Nonetheless, it is precisely these
limitations, this residue that is burdening the nation at this critical crossroads
of her destiny.
Essence and Form: the integral paradigm
We do not place in doubt that Indias higher destiny is being fulfilled despite the inadequacy of the system within which this superior pattern
must draw its lines. We cannot doubt insofar as the facts prove the victorious existence
of this higher pattern which, like it or not, has been the pattern the nation has been
made to adhere to. However, the 8 makes its presence felt constantly by a certain
baggage that the country totes on its back. Thus that extraneous element acts
as a corrosive agent. It contaminates everything. It is like a parasite draining the host
tree of its most vital substance. And as the tree grows, so does the parasite grow. Until
a threshold is reached. Then either the tree develops sufficient strength to throw off the
parasite, or the latter succeeds in destroying the tree that permitted its growth in the
By examining certain original components such as the health and the
condition of the soil and other environmental factors, the emergence of a parasite can
more or less be pre-dicted. Thus, given the conditions prevailing at the time of the
independence movement the growth of this parasite was easily predicted. Its
forecasting required no special occult powers or clairvoyant capacities.
India stands at a crossroads of her destiny. The parasite this
nation/tree bears is flourishing and threatens to destroy its host altogether. Indeed, the
stronger the host grows, the more nourishment and vital sap are made available to the
parasitic appendages. At some point a drastic measure must be taken, for when the critical
threshold is reached, to continue feeding the host tree simply means giving more and more
power to the parasite to destroy the host or the element that sustains it and gives it its
life. This becomes a self-defeating exercise. In the day-to-day functioning of a nation, a
development of this sort is perceived in a number of ways, but the common characteristic
of them all is the constant presence of a sense of waste, of pouring resources into what
appears to be a black hole in the national field of consciousness-being, a bottomless pit,
as it were. Over-population, of course, is an easy tool for this insatiable and
destructive drainage. But there are many more, over-population being simply the most
This is a mathematical occurrence. The development follows organic
lines, albeit of an order which the ordinary intelligence cannot perceive or accept.
Because these laws involve a play of forces, or energies which constitute the body of a nation any nation. Physical, to be sure, but a body also animated by a
vital force and held together by a purpose which is lodged deep within the
nations innermost psychic essence. A leader can be considered outstanding to the
extent to which he or she is able to reach and draw out the nectar of that purpose from the deep recesses of the nations soul.
Considering this play of forces a unique combination for each
nation the pattern of Indias higher destiny has evolved. And according to
this pattern, and no other, the nations political life has taken shape, particularly
in these first decades of its independent life. But the structure within which this
superior model has had to express itself has been inadequate.
Put more simply, there is an essence and a form to all
things in this material universe. In a world of disharmony such as ours, ruled by the
Ignorance and the Falsehood (and I purposefully use these terms capitalised to lay
emphasis on their cosmic origin and hence the evolutionary limitations imposed upon a
species that must grow according to a certain cosmic tempo and a largely predetermined
pattern), a cleavage exists between the two. Essence is always pure and true, but in a
material universe, that same essence must be provided with the proper FORMS to express
itself uncontaminated, undistorted and, above all else, not subjected to any imposition
from external quarters that bear scant relation to that unique essence of being.
Indeed, the singlemost indicative factor that allows us to identify the consciousness that
reigns on Earth as one of Ignorance and Falsehood is that to one who sees, to one
who has the capacity to penetrate beneath outer layers and see the soul-essence, it is
apparent that along its evolutionary way, in the course of the development of these
limbs or forms, externals have oppressed that essence and it therefore does
not find any fitting vehicle to express itself according to the truth of its essential
The Original Seeds
When we say that the nation has lost its dharma, or that we must
reestablish this dharma, we mean something quite different than the
spiritual leaders who, by the dozens, repeat ad nauseam this call. The point is precisely
this: these fervent and well-meaning pleas receive no response, particularly from those
quarters that appear to bear the greater responsibility for the decay, for the decline of
the Dharma. Indeed, they are crusted over so to speak. They are impenetrable. Thus,
no amount of preaching will render them pliable, plastic and open to the light of the true
The problem is, once again, mathematical. There is a cleavage, a chasm
between the psychic essence of the nation or the seat of its inherent Dharma and the external dimensions where the forms to express that Dharma in a
material universe must evolve. The origin or the seeds for this cleavage date back
hundreds of years, millennia in fact. To be precise, they initially surfaced about the
time of Gautam the Buddha, over 2500 years ago. It was approximately then that the seeds
were planted in the spiritual consciousness of the civilisation to undermine that Dharma. Over the ages those seeds, similar to the parasite in our
analogy, have borne their entirely predictable fruit.
But who in the nation can see the connection? Who can travel back
through the corridors of Time and ferret out those turning points when the environment and
the terrain were fertile for the insemination of these nefarious seeds of undermining that
were destined to foist upon the nation, two thousand years into the far future, the
contaminated forms of a political system which is clearly and unmistakably the
result of those ancient seeds?
Sri Aurobindo has stated that Kalki must come to correct the error
of the Buddha. Yet none, even his closest disciples, know with the exactitude demanded
of the Supramental Manifestation that he heralded, just what his words meant. They too are
the victims of the great Undermining, similar to the consciousness of the entire nation
with its manifold avenues of expression political, cultural, social, economic, and
above all, spiritual.
But the undermining was clear; it was unmistakable. And the results
were predictable. The seeds of otherworldliness were sown over 2000 years ago. This
simple fact, a truth totally alien to the Vedic spirit and soul, produced a
schism in the energy field of the nation. The energies within that field then
gradually became ranged on either side of the ever-widening chasm: Spirit and Matter.
Simultaneously, an indelible line was drawn between Essence and Form. The two went off in
tangents and apparently, at this stage of the development, they shall never again be able
Once more I must ask, Who in the nation can perceive this development
with courage and boldness of spirit and can trace it to its origin back through the thick
folds of Time? For even those who might perceive have not the impulse or the intrepidity
to formulate their perceptions boldly and to help the nation heal the chasm once and for
We witness the result of the incapacity: the spiritual leaders
voice becomes weaker and weaker and evermore distanced from the field in which this play
of energies evolves. While that field becomes evermore choked by the rapidly increasing
encumbrances of the parasites which this abandonment produced: the most vigorous and
creative energies of the nation have been posited elsewhere, in a beyond which
now, on an increasing scale, has become defined as some far away paradise, a heaven or a
plane of consciousness entirely apart and separate from this ailing planet Earth. Yet who
then, or which energies are to renew the national environment and restore its health if
not those which are more finely tuned?
This is what is meant by reestablishing the Dharma. It has
little or nothing to do with moralistic notions, all of which are leaves and branches on
the parasitic appendages and have no essential relation to the Tree. The Dharma responds
to mathematics not sentiment.
The Parasite becomes the Tree
The cleavage between essence and form plagues the entire world. A
simple and rather obvious example is the campaign the Prince of Wales has felt himself
obliged to carry on in the field of architecture, where his complaints tally with ours
regarding essence and form, albeit his are concerned more with function and aesthetics.
The questions are nonetheless related as he seeks to impress upon the community of
architects that a form must not only be functional but it must also be in harmony with the
total environment and aesthetically proper.
The human being sees only the dense physical. Ones vision is
closed to the deeper strata and the more subtle play of energies in dimensions hidden from
the physical eye. This is precisely the result of the cleavage, the predictable effects of
those seeds of undermining sown 2000 years ago.
The confusion and unknowing are great indeed. The crusts
provided by the folds of Time make the truth almost impossible to expose. Especially when
the parasitic appendage has grown hardy and agile in its ability to survive the attempts
by the host subject to cast off its draining serpentine form. The only way to illumine
this condition thoroughly is to make the connections outlined here, from the distant past
to this chaotic present; and thereby to see clearly the root of the problem. A fearless
penetration which alone can uproot the parasite. And to perceive how all structures
(forms) which we rely upon to express essence any essence are distortions or
products of those original undermining seeds that have the power to thwart the expression
of the pure and full Dharma.
This is the situation prevailing in the political structure (form) of
the nation. But the hidden pattern of Indias destiny has survived via the factual
and undeniable existence of the Solar and Lunar Lines,
the helical arrangement by which the nation is held together in spite of any
attempts to undermine its essential unity.
However, and this is the most important point to highlight, the
consequences of that undermining and the form it has foisted upon the nation are
apparent to all and daily the corrosive power extracts its pound of flesh. The obvious
effects are a prevailing, increasing chaos and insatiable voracity of a corrupted
system, which is the most visible and effective tool of those original seeds
of undermining. At this point the separation between Essence (the Dharma) and Form (the
system) is complete. The latter IS India now or at least this is the appearance;
and indeed, it is the tactic or finality of the agents of the Falsehood: to strengthen and
foster the growth of the parasite to such a degree that its form (the system)
appears to be the tree itself. That is, one has so completely overtaken the other
(while draining it of its sap of life and revitalising power) that none can see the
original form which still hosts the parasite, or supports and fosters its growth.
This is the graphic image of the destruction of the Dharma, and how, at
the very same time, it is the Dharma itself that supports the degenerative form.
The latter feeds off the Dharma, making the distortion all the more difficult to detect,
for indeed, who knows where to look for the origin of the decay? The Tree is covered
entirely and stands totally occulted. At the same time, when the critical threshold is
reached this intertwined existence serves to render correction of the problem impossible
for to attack the parasite that has so completely overtaken the host body would
mean to destroy the Tree itself. This is the compulsion behind drastic revolutions
especially those which turn violent, ruthless and bloody. The Chinese revolution, for
example, brought a thorough and drastic cut with the past: China of ancient times is gone;
the present China is something of a soulless structure wherein form has become
top-heavy as it were, and has smothered the soul of the nation to a large degree.
India has not reached that point yet. Indeed, the cosmological model arranged for the nation is the only thing that has prevented such a drastic occurrence.
But again it must be stated, a crossroads has been reached. Clear seeing based on real
knowledge, the knowledge of these eternal truths, must be allowed to evolve new forms to
express the soul of the nation without permitting that parasite to stamp out the
civilisations psychic imprints that have survived in its cultural body through
unimaginably powerful onslaughts, which would surely have destroyed the psychic fibre of a
nation with a less potent force of destiny.
It is naïve to believe that having survived this long the nation is
out of danger. The truth is another: the time has come for bold measures to be taken in
order to remake those inherited structures, the result of those ancient seeds of
undermining, and to thus reestablish the Dharma on the basis of outer forms which are in
harmony with the inner essence.
Today there is no such harmony, hence the system is thoroughly
corrupted, contaminated, corroded the system which is supposed to be the very tool
for implementation of essence, of policy and programmes, and so on; as well as the
corrective mechanism to lop off any growth on the tree of Essence that might threaten its
healthy and uncontaminated survival. When such a point arrives it is the signal that a
major crossroads stands before us. The time for change deep and thorough has
But amid all the mist of confusion there is still the possibility
of a new twilight, not of an evening but a morning yuga-sandhya. India of the ages is not
dead nor has she spoken her last creative word; she lives and has still something to do
for herself and the human peoples. Sri Aurobindo, ibid.
We are saddled with false conceptions often dating back thousands of
years. One is that the spiritual truth is untouched by the corrosive substances of
a material world to the extent that that world became known as maya and
equated with illusion. Sri Aurobindo consistently pointed out the fallacy in
this concept and sought to redeem maya by revealing its ancient Vedic sense to the
world: measure, knowledge, the formative power of the Absolute. I have carried this
work forward and materialised this effort somewhat by providing the seeker
with the actual Divine Maya or Measure the Golden Rod of ancient traditions whereby
enlightened measure comes into being that eliminates distortions or the
disfiguring veils dividing Essence and Form. The illusion of Maya is that abysmal
chasm with its exuding toxic fumes and not the material universe. Therein obscuring waves
arise which cast the two worlds farther and farther apart, to the point where there seems
to be no meeting ground at all, no possibility of the emergence of a connecting bridge, -
the effects of which are a totally separative existence and the loss of a one
world perception, the plague of our times. Pursuits of the spirit become one thing,
the material another. The inadequate tools for governing which India is saddled with are
the direct result of that abysmal chasm.
In practical terms, what does this mean? How does it become reflected
in the life of a nation? In India this has resulted in a totally egocentric, egoistic
consciousness that replaced the wide and all-embracing vision of ancient times, those
prior to the schism. The individual is out for his own personal gains; the state or the
community mean nothing to him at all. Increasingly we witness that corrosive elements
cannot be corrected or eliminated. They are a world unto themselves. They
abide in their own universe or space. They are out of the reach of
the usual channels (unaccountable is the common term), because they are the
channels: the parasite has finally become the tree.
New channels are sought to rectify the position; but they too arise
from within the ranks of the already contaminated body/system, hence they themselves bear
the corrosive seeds within and become additional means to further the contamination they
are supposed to eradicate. We attempt to reform, we seek to introduce a new
raj in which local bodies are given more power, closer to the people and
therefore more directly accountable to them. But the people respond with indifference and
wisely point out that these bodies are also limbs of that parasite-ridden tree, parts of
that system, the whole of which is contaminated, saddled with inadequate forms. Thus the well-intentioned move has no guarantee of success or that it will alter
matters in any significant way. On the contrary. Many believe it will only spread the rot
more deeply down and into the system and reach those (grass)roots of the Tree more easily.
In other words, it is not truth or rightness that is spread through the system but rather
the corrosive seeds. It is then that whatever slogan is adopted rings hollow. The
form is devoid of any resounding essence.
This is again mathematical. Inadequate forms will invariably,
inevitably, predictably distort or corrode even the finest essence (intention). Thus, to
bring about any real change and consequent benefit to the people, one must go to
the source; or rather, construct that bridge and heal this age-old, slowly but
steadily growing chasm. This can be done only by persons of Knowledge.
And that which we must seek now to awake is not an anglicised
oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the
occidents success and failure, but still the ancient immemorable Shakti recovering
her deepest self, lifting her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength
and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of her Dharma.
The Golden Age
And thus we stumble upon another ancient truth of the Indian polity:
the Brahmin stood above kings, the man of God-realisation was the highest and first
citizen of the nation and the one who inspired and advised kings, who guided
the course of the kingdom and even, in certain instances, guided it through the turmoil of
war. But in very ancient times, before these corrosive seeds of undermining were planted,
the matter/spirit split did not exist. It exists today. Hence, where is the sage who lives
in a unified consciousness that permits this superior guidance? We do not mean by
unified consciousness a union with God elsewhere, up there, away
from this material plane and thus removed from the realities of existence in a universe of
matter and subject to as well as a participant in the cosmic play of forces. By unified
consciousness we mean one who accepts the world as the Body of the Lord, as the
truth-essence of matter, and therefore a consciousness that is able to perceive the
unbroken link between essence and form where lesser mortals fail. In a word, we mean a
consciousness that has no difficulty whatsoever in perceiving the exact and unadulterated
form or system or structure which is the only real channel for that essence to express
itself in the world, on this planet Earth, at this precise crossroads in Time.
The present abounding crop of Godmen are incapable of providing this
impeccable guidance because the current attitude is one of denial of the physical reality
as being intrinsically real and equal to the subtle essence; not to speak of religions and
religious leaders who gave up the struggle to establish a heaven upon Earth
long ago. None see the truth of Form. Each and every one bears in his consciousness
the seeds of that infamous Undermining of ages gone by, which the passage of Time has
covered over in thick crusts and layer upon layer of now depleted and de-energised
Time is thus the agent of Maya, of that deceptive act of veiling. Time
it is therefore who must be the instrument of unveiling. Time it is who nurtured,
who gestated those seeds to produce the distorted forms which burden our civilisation
today. Time it must therefore be who gestates and gives birth to new Seeds, the golden
seeds of Truth-Consciousness which produce undistorted, uncontaminated forms of Itself.
Time it is therefore who has provided us this superior equation: 9/6/3/0-1. People of
Knowledge know this formula and use it, and it alone, to build the uncontaminated
structure of a new world.
© Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, 1989