by John Major Jenkins
November 21, 2001
Revised March 21, 2002
My 1998 book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012
provides the context and background for certain clarifications of
René Guénon’s polar-to-solar shift and the location of
the solstice gateways. I know that my contribution to this area of
Traditionalist thought will be met with suspicion, and rightly
so—all advances in our understanding should not be greeted with
casual acceptance, but with careful consideration.
And so I would like to take the time to
summarize the key points in my new book, points of clarification
that invite a reassessment of the true location of the solstice
gateways. The implications of this reassessment are quite surprising
and relevant to one of today’s most important topics: the timing of
the end of Kali Yuga.
An important consequence of this
reevaluation is that we can understand the galactic framework of
Guenon’s polar-to-solar shift. The clarification I propose will also
help us understand the astronomical cycles and alignments that
underlie the yuga doctrine, and thus clarify for us when the end of
descending Kali Yuga occurs, according to Traditional concepts.
1. The solstice gateways
Porphyry’s information is
used by Guenon and others to identify the solstice
Gateways with Capricorn and Cancer. However, as Macrobius
points out, it is the constellations that rise heliacally at the
time of the solstices that reveal the gateways.
Thus, in Porphyry’s era, these are
Sagittarius and Gemini. The ecliptic (the zodiac of twelve
constellations along which the moon, sun and planets move)
intersects the Milky Way in Sagittarius and Gemini. This
“crossroads” is an important though little recognized feature of
many ancient cosmologies. For the Maya, this crossroads denoted
the cosmic center.
Also, a dark-rift feature along the
Milky Way, near this crossroads, was understood as a “doorway”
into the underworld. It also symbolized a place of emergence for
the Maya, a “gateway” to and from this dimension. While the
solstices are the temporal gateways irregardless of where they
may be positioned against the background of constellations, the
astronomical phenomenon of precession moves them around the
zodiac in a cycle of 26,000 years.
The solstices are always devayana /
pitriyana gateways, but only on the level of the solar year. We
need to consider the larger Great Year of precession, and we
need to differentiate the solstice axis from the sidereal
background that, in effect, doesn’t move. In other words,
Porphyry implies—and Macrobius literally states—that Sagittarius
and Gemini are the locations of the “gateways” not because the
solstices are nearby, but because of the features in those
Namely, the features being the two
points where the ecliptic intersects the Milky Way. As
mentioned, Macrobius literally states (in his Commentary on the
Dream of Scipio) that the gateways are where the zodiac
intersects the Milky Way. These are fixed background positions;
the solstice axis can precess in and out of alignment with these
gateway locations, and this hints at the astronomical alignment
that defines the end of descending Kali Yuga. (In my previous
book, I pointed out that this rare galactic alignment or
solstice-galaxy alignment culminates in the years around the
Maya calendar end-date of AD 2012.)
Now, it is important here to
identify something very significant about the framework that is
created by accepting the ecliptic-Milky Way crossing points as
the true location of the gateways. The ecliptic-Milky Way
“crossroad” in Sagittarius is in the “nuclear bulge” of the
Milky Way, where the center of the Milky Way galaxy is located.
Thus, the gateways as defined by Macrobius (clarifying Porphyry)
define an axial framework that runs from the Galactic Center to
the Galactic Anticenter (which is above Orion in Gemini).
With this clarification, let us turn
to Guénon’s polar-to-solar shift material.
2. The polar-to-solar shift
Here, I feel it is best to simply
provide an excerpt from my book. However, I will preface the
excerpt with the following: Because the Pleiades are the general
indicator of the Galactic Anticenter, Guénon’s exposition of the
symbolic and conceptual shift of the stars in the Big Dipper to
the stars in the Pleiades indicates not only a polar-to-solar
shift in cosmological orientation, but a shift to a
galaxy-oriented axis as a superior cosmological framework in
comparison to the older polar axis.
This is nothing more than the
esoteric shift from a Hyperborean to an Atlantean phase of the
historical cycle (spoken in Traditionalist or metaphorical
An excerpt from Chapter 14 follows:
Guénon’s primary argument for a
shift from a polar to a solar framework involves the
transfer of the seven stars or Seven Sages (sapta riksha) of
the Great Bear to the Pleiades. Each constellation has (or
had) seven stars and the Pleiades resemble a tiny dipper.
(The number seven also refers to the seven stages or rungs
on the ladder of the cosmic pillar that the soul passes
while ascending to the highest heaven.) A relationship
between the Great Bear and the Pleiades is found in many
For example, the Pleiades are
still referred to as the Seven Sisters, but there are now
only six Pleiads. The Greek legend tells that one of the
Pleiades, Elektra, was kidnapped by one of the Seven Kings
(one of the stars in the Big Dipper, Alcor) and now
accompanies him as a binary star companion. This myth is
associated with the Fall of Troy, which as we saw in Chapter
9 symbolizes the “fall” of the Big Dipper out of proximity
to the North Celestial Pole, signaling a new World Age
around 2200 BC.
Homer’s Secret Iliad by Florence and
The Pleiades or Atlantides were the
daughters of Atlas, and were therefore the children of the new Atlantean tradition. In addition, in Egypt the Big Dipper was
called the “shoulder of the bull,” while the Pleiades are
located in Taurus/Bull constellation, right on the bull’s
Guénon brings in linguistic
comparisons as well, but the point is clear: The Pleiades
symbolically replaced the function of the Big Dipper. This
equation is rich in implications, especially when you understand
that the Pleiades mark the direction opposite the Galactic
Center. The cosmological framework that once revolved around the
circumpolar constellation Ursa Major was transferred to the
north pole of the Evolutionary Axis that extends from the
Galactic Center to the Galactic Anticenter.
The Pleiades are not precisely on
the Galactic Anticenter, but then neither is the Great Bear
precisely on the Polestar. They serve as symbolic marker points
at the crown of their respective pillars.
Guénon writes that these two symbolic frameworks map onto each
other and share the same astronomical references, making it
difficult to identify the true intention of a given symbol, but
the Hyperborean (northern) traditions is probably older.
Generally, however, the same set of ideas regarding the “cosmic
center” were applied, in two different eras, to two different
parts of the sky.
The first is the Hyperborean polar
symbolism. The second is solar or sun-centered symbolism which
Julius Evola refers to as Olympian and others call
Both locations occupy the summit of a cosmic axis and serve as
centering points. Notice that the Pleiades are only solar in the
sense that they are near the ecliptic and the sun passes by them
once a year.
Their true function, above being a
solar reference point, is that they indicate the direction of
the Galactic Anticenter, the crown of the galactic axis. In this
way we can amend Guénon’s reconstruction and call it, with good
justification, a polar-to-galactic shift.
Here we can clarify our identifications in the
Great Bear /
When the “seven lights” of spiritual growth were shifted to
Pleiades, a new framework was identified that operates on the
level of the galaxy. This galactic level comprises the tree or
axis that starts at the Galactic Center (the muladhara root of
creation), extends through earth, and proceeds outward toward
the Pleiades (the sahasrara crown of creation)—the direction of
the Galactic Anticenter (in Gemini).
The Galactic Anticenter is the
topmost center in this new framework, because it is the
direction out of our galaxy, into trans-galactic domains. The
Pleiades, like the Great Bear, are a short distance from the
highest point of the system, but nevertheless they serve as a
mythic and symbolic indicator.
By this reasoning it follows that
the Galactic Center is analogous to the south celestial pole,
and has special affinities with the southern hemisphere. In
fact, from the viewpoint of the northern hemisphere, the
Galactic Center always arches through the southern skies, and
its highest altitude at meridian transit is related to ones
latitude of observation.
This clarification emphasizes, once again, that our attention
must go to Sagittarius and Gemini. It just so happens that the
symbolic, esoteric, and metaphysical qualities of Sagittarius
were explored by Ananda Coomaraswamy in an essay he
produced late in life. The symbolic features he explored are an
extension of his enquiry into the “sundoor at world’s end” and
therefore relate to the solstice “gateways” involved in human
spiritual transcendence. However, his essay is not about
Capricorn, but about Sagittarius. This should not surprise us,
given the clarification on the true sidereal location of the
3. Coomaraswamy’s “Early
Iconography of Sagittarius”
Coomaraswamy’s essay was apparently
written in response to an article by Dr. Willy Hartner that
appeared in Ars Islamica, 1938. Hartner’s paper identified the
locations of the lunar node’s exaltations in Islamic, Greek, and
Hindu astrology. This is simply the two positions in the zodiac
at which the lunar nodes (Rahu and Ketu) are considered
particularly powerful. The sidereal locations he identified are
at 3° Sagittarius and 3° Gemini; the one in Sagittarius is
within 3° of the Galactic Center-Galactic Anticenter axis
It wasn’t openly, or perhaps even
consciously, recognized that the lunar nodes (which indicate the
intersection of the solar and lunar planes) are analogous to the
“nodes” of the ecliptic and galactic plane. The Bundahishn comes
into play here too, but I must keep this brief; Chapter 8 in my
book is devoted to this interesting material.
At any rate, Coomaraswamy’s
exploration of Sagittarius confirms the astronomical location of
the “gate” as well as the metaphysical importance of the
Galactic Center within the Vedic doctrines, especially the
of Soma. The ideas he explores relate to the cosmic tree, the
cosmic center, the grail cup that holds the elixir of
immortality (soma), and the doorway between the symplegades that
leads to a domain transcendent to the earth-plane of attachment
Although the astronomical references
are not made explicit, these metaphysical concept can be said to
have their material extensions on the galactic level of the
I feel I have already exceeded the space that I wanted to occupy
for fear of losing the interest of my readers. This is not a
simple, uncomplicated topic; that is why I’ve devoted many
chapters in my forthcoming book to it. I don’t want my book to
pass into the remainder bin without being made known to those in
the world who might appreciate its perspectives, and so I offer
this concise summary.
I have not sought to summarize or
explore the advanced metaphysical challenges of Traditionalist
thinking, but only to clarify some points relating to the
astronomical anchoring of the yugas. As such, the end of
descending Kali Yuga may very well be signaled by the same
astronomical alignment that the ancient Mayans sought to
indicate with their 2012 end-date: the alignment of the solstice
sun with the Milky Way—specifically, that part of the Milky Way
that houses the Galactic Center.
This is an alignment in precession
that occurs once every 26,000 years. John Michell, in his
introduction to Robert Bolton’s The Order of the Ages, posed the
question as to where we are located within the great
precessional cycle of the Platonic Year. My work indicates that
the original Vedic World Age doctrine was congruent with Mayan
cosmology, in that the end of the current historical cycle
occurs when the solstice sun precesses through the Milky
Way—near the Galactic Center.
As such, modern astronomy offers a
precise dating for this: May of 1998 (Jean Meeus,
Astronomy Morsels, 1997). Many questions arise from pursuing
this line of enquiry, and certain parameters may extend this
date into a range of years, and I weigh these various
considerations and options in my new book.
My work to reconstruct ancient Mesoamerican calendrics and
cosmology has taken me in a certain direction over the years,
and I have found it necessary to distance myself from the New
Age self-promoters who pollute the field (necessary because my
work has been lumped into the same category, or mistakenly
assumed to be derivative). These writers are opportunists who
have sought to appropriate the ancient Mayan tradition—which is
really congruent with Traditional sciences—and create their own
My work has only been to reconstruct
and give voice to the traditional Mesoamerican wisdom and, in
seeking an explanation for the Mayan calendar 2012 end-date, I
was led to precession and the alignments to the Galactic Center,
which are factual occurrences.
The Galactic Center, as is apparent
from the forgoing clarifications, is apparently one of the
gateways in Vedic cosmology. Yet I understate. The Galactic
Center may well be considered to be the Hypercosmic Sun, the
Well of Remembrance, the Sundoor at World’s End, the eye of the
heart, the cosmic center, the Holy Grail, etc.
It is an academic
and scholarly challenge to demonstrate how ancient
metaphysicians and cosmologists—not to mention astronomers—had
attached their eschatological doctrines to the rare alignment of
solstice sun and galactic heart. And it should be
thought-provoking and productive to introduce the fact of this
alignment—considering its esoteric, symbolic associations—into
contemporary Traditional discourse.
4. The end of descending Kali Yuga
I have been reading Robert Bolton’s intriguing new book,
Order of the Ages. I am especially interested in his discussion
of the Kali Yuga, where he computes (by one method) the end of
the Kali Yuga to occur in the late 21st century. He even makes a
general association between this Vedic Yuga computation and the
Mayan end date, which occurs “in the same century” (in AD 2012).
My research shows that this
association is not inappropriate; in fact, the Vedic and Mayan
traditions were both concerned with calibrating the same
astronomical alignment, and anchoring their eschatological
doctrines to it. This alignment is none other than the alignment
of the solstice sun with the galactic equator (the Milky Way),
with the Galactic Center nearby. European astronomer Jean Meeus
and the U. S. Naval Observatory calculated this alignment—with a
precision perhaps unwarranted—to have occurred in the year 1998.
I have demonstrated in my books
(Center of Mayan Time, Izapa Cosmos, and Maya Cosmogenesis 2012)
that the Maya intended to target this “galactic alignment” with
the 2012 end-date of their Long Count calendar, first carved in
stone some 2,100 years ago. Now, in my next book, I show how
this alignment is the key to the Vedic Yuga doctrine and it
defines our shift from descending Kali Yuga to ascending Kali
My analysis of the yuga timing question proceeds differently
than Bolton’s, and is based on the insights uncovered in my
study of Mayan metaphysics, cosmology, and calendrics. I began
with the first Vedic source of commentary on the yuga doctrine,
the Laws of Manu. That ancient text implicates a 24,000-year
period for the yugas, clearly a reference to the precession of
The larger numbers generated in some
yuga calculations are usually base-ten multiples of the key yuga
numbers (given below), and derived either from an inappropriate
excitement over generating “big numbers” or from an interest in
speculating about very large cosmic cycles. However, let’s stick
to the Laws of Manu. The Hindu swami, Sri Yukteswar, in his
little book The Holy Science (originally written around 1895),
explains the Vedic and Hindu ideas related to the yuga doctrine
as found in
the Laws of Manu.
The 24,000-year period, following
the devayana / pitriyana doctrine of ascending and descending
phases of all temporal processes, is divided into two halves.
One ascends toward the cosmic source and the other descends away
from it. One extreme indicates a Golden Age, the other extreme
indicates a very Dark Age. Each half is divided into four ages,
with the following numerological scheme:
The total equals the half cycle of
12,000 years, one-half of a precession cycle. At the “bottom” of
the cycle, when descending Kali Yuga ends, a fundamental shift
occurs and the universal cycle shifts to the ascending phase;
“ascending” Kali Yuga thus begins, moving upward to eventually
culminate in a new Golden Age.
Since this process is rooted in
precession, we must ask ourselves what kind of alignments within
precession might define the shift points. It is perhaps best here to
insert an extensive excerpt from Chapter 12 of my new book:
the True Anchor of the Vedic Yugas
One of the oldest
writings in Vedic literature comes from a pseudo-historical
god-man called Manu. René Guénon pointed out that Manu belongs
to a family of related archetypal figures, which include
Melchezidek, Metatron, St Michael, Gabriel, and Enoch. As an
angelic inspiration for the rebirth of humanity at the dawn of a
new era, or manvantara, Manu is the primal law-giver, and his
laws were recorded in the extremely ancient Vedic text called
Laws of Manu.
Much of its contents describe moral
and ethical codes of right behavior, but there is a section that
deals with the ancient Vedic doctrine of World Ages — the yugas.
Manu indicates that a period of 24,000 years — clearly a
reference to precession — consists of a series of four yugas or
ages, each shorter and spiritually darker than the last.
In one story this process of
increasing limitation is envisioned as a cosmic cow standing
with each leg in one quarter of the world; with each age that
passes a leg is lost, resulting in the absurd and unstable world
we live in today—a cow balancing on one leg.
According to the information in the Laws of Manu, the morning
and twilight periods between the dawn of each new era equals
one-tenth of its associated yuga, as shown in the [table above].
In Vedic mythology, a fabled dawn time existed in the distant
past, when human beings had direct contact with the divine
intelligence emanating from Brahma—the seat of creative power
and intelligence in the cosmos. This archaic Golden Age (the
Satya Yuga) lasted some 4800 years.
After the Golden Age ended, humanity
entered a denser era, that of the Silver Age, lasting only 3600
years. In this age, humanity’s connection with the source was
dimmed, and sacrifices and spiritual practices became necessary
to preserve it. The Bronze Age followed, and humanity forgot its
divine nature. Empty dogmas arose, along with indulgence in
materialism. Next we entered the Kali Yuga—in which we remain
today—where the human spirit suffers under gross materialism,
ignorance, warfare, stupidity, arrogance, and everything
contrary to our divine spiritual potential.
As the teachings tell, Kali, the creator-destroyer Goddess, will
appear at the end of Kali Yuga to sweep away the wasted detritus
of a spirit-dead humanity, making way for a new cycle of light
and peace. Notice that the Manu text takes us from a pinnacle of
light to the ultimate end-point of the process—the darkness of
Kali Yuga. And notice that the four ages, when the overlap
period is added, amounts to only half of the 24,000-year period
of the Vedic Yuga cycle. This points to an obscure aspect of the
doctrine that a Hindu Master, Sri Yukteswar, sought to clarify.
Sri Yukteswar’s Update
Sri Yukteswar was a Hindu
saint active in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was the
master of the famous Yogananda, founder of The Self Realization
Fellowship, whose book Autobiography of a Yogi awoke many people
to the magic and mystery of Indian spirituality. Yukteswar was
interested in contemporary scientific advances and in showing
parallels between Hindu religion and Christianity.
His book The Holy Science is
primarily about these correspondences. It was written in the
mid-1890s at the behest of his teacher, Mahavatar Babaji.
However, the Introduction contains an intriguing clarification
of the World Age system of the Yugas.
Although the exact timing of the Kali Yuga’s beginning is
subject to debate, no one argues that we are deep into it.
Unfortunately, the cycles and year-counts of Hindu chronology
are subject to gross exaggerations and manipulation—the sorry
effect of clueless Hindu scholars trying to reconstruct the
ancient doctrines. And these errors have been inserted into
doctrines as long ago as the fourth century AD, thereafter being
passed down to unsuspecting students as a kind of conventional
However, it strikes me that Sri Yukteswar got closest to the true intention of the Yuga
doctrine. Yukteswar based his “updated Yuga model” on the Laws
of Manu as well as other traditions in Vedic and Hindu astronomy
The tradition he shares is as follows:
. . . the sun, with its planets
and their moons, takes some star for its dual and revolves
around it in about 24,000 years of our earth—a celestial
phenomenon [precession]. . . . The sun also has another
motion by which it revolves around a grand center called
Vishnunabhi, which is the seat of creative power, Brahma,
the universal magnetism. Brahma regulates dharma, the mental
virtue of the internal world.
In reading an account like this, it
is immediately apparent that things could be worded more
clearly. This is a typical problem in translated works, and,
unfortunately, as a reader it is always tempting to mentally
ignore the unclear section and keep reading. But there is a huge
grain of wisdom inside of Yukteswar’s description, and it is
worth looking at very closely. Let us see if we can read between
the lines and get a sense for what Yukteswar is really referring
We have an important identification of the “grand center” as
Vishnunabhi or Brahma, the seat of creative power. Vishnunabhi
is the navel of the Hindu god Vishnu, the emanation point of the
cosmos, and modern Vedic scholar David Frawley identifies
Vishnunabhi with the Galactic Center.
In his 1990 book Astrology
of the Seers he writes,
“The galactic center is called
‘Brahma,’ the creative force, or ‘Vishnunabhi,’ the navel of
Vishnu. From the galactic sun emanates the light which
determines the life and intelligence on Earth...”
Without mincing words, it is clear
that the ancient Vedic skywatchers were aware of the Galactic
Center, and, indeed, considered it to be the center and source
of creative power in the universe. Again, as I’ve argued for the
ancient Mayan skywatchers, recognizing the Galactic Center as an
important place along the Milky Way is completely within the
possibility of naked eye observation (although that may not have
been the only method used).
Yukteswar suggests that the sun “takes a star for its dual” and
revolves around it in one precessional cycle. Clearly, the
reference is not to an actual orbital period, such as the moon
orbiting around the earth, but is rather to the precessional
shifting of the sun around the zodiac. If the sun’s dual is a
fixed star against which the sun’s precessional motion is
measured, then we can understand this more clearly.
This kind of conceptual or
linguistic muddiness can delay deeper understanding right away.
Now, in order to measure the precessional motion of the sun, the
ancient astronomers would need to identify a specific “sun,” or
solar position, in the seasonal cycle—for example, the vernal
equinox sun or the summer solstice sun.
This specification will anchor the
sun to a seasonal quarter so that the “orbital” motion referred
to by Yukteswar (which is really precessional shifting) can be
measured against a fixed sidereal location, the sun’s “dual.”
Aldebaran might be a candidate, but the real fixed “dual”
against which the cycle of precession is tracked in this Vedic
description may actually be Vishnunabhi—the Galactic Center.
In the quote given above Yukteswar also mentions “another
motion” of the sun around the Galactic Center, which is probably
its actual orbital period—a huge cycle of some 225,000,000
years. Although it is striking that he mentions this (writing
back in the 1890s), this larger cycle applies to the meaning of
multiple precession cycles and is not relevant to the immediate
question under consideration.
Back on track, Yukteswar
When the sun in its revolution
around its dual comes to the place nearest to this grand
center, the seat of Brahma (an event which takes place when
the Autumnal Equinox comes to the first point of Aries),
dharma, the mental virtue, becomes so much developed that
man can easily comprehend all, even the mysteries of the
spirit. . ..
The precessional movement of “the
sun” closer to “the grand center” causes the full expression of
a Golden Age of Light, a time indicated in Vedic and Hindu
traditions as occurring a dozen or so millennia ago. As such, it
must be the precessional motion of the June solstice sun around
the grand center that is indicated, because the June solstice
sun was “closest to” the Galactic Center roughly 12,000 to
13,000 years ago.
I should emphasize that this
“closeness” is in terms of alignment (as viewed from earth), not
distance. Unfortunately, Yukteswar attempts a precise dating
based upon a 12,000-year period for one-half of a precession
cycle. As a result, he backdates to the time of the fabled
Golden Age (which he later gives as 11,501 BC) by using an
autumn equinox point in Aries that is in error.
Yukteswar’s diagram preserves the
important insight of a descending phase and an ascending phase
of the precessional cycle, but the timing of the shift from
descending Kali Yuga to ascending Kali Yuga must be adjusted
(see diagram below).
The outer wheel shows the descent of time clockwise from the Age
of Leo a the top, when the June solstice sun was closest to the
“grand center.” The shaded wheel indicates the equinoctial age
of precession according to the unadjusted Western zodiac. The
inner wheel shows the actual sidereal position of the solstice
axis. Why the need for an adjustment?
Sri Yukteswar wanted the end of
descending Kali Yuga to correspond to his historical
understanding, based on a nineteenth-century education, of the
European Dark Ages and his belief in the elevation of human
consciousness beginning around 500 AD. He cites scientific
advances and Europe’s slow emergence from the Dark Ages to
support this, but in my opinion technology has thrust us deeper
into material dependency and spiritual darkness.
In addition, his scenario is
Eurocentric and ignores Islamic and Chinese civilization. I
realize it may seem presumptuous to correct a saint on this
point, but his intention was to elucidate astronomical details
of ancient doctrines that, by his time, had eroded into semantic
vagaries. And he was writing before modern science had
rediscovered the Galactic Center.
Perhaps it seems that I’ve injected
my own biased reading into Yukteswar’s work. But my
conclusions—and corrections—are fairly straightforward. The
reader must judge with discernment.
Let’s look at it this way: Yukteswar
writes that the Golden Age ended and we began our descent into
spiritual darkness in 11,501 BC. This was roughly 13,500 years
ago. Now, Yukteswar also said that this Golden Age occurred when
“the sun” was close to Vishnunabhi (the Galactic Center).
And the context of his description
is solar movements within the cycle of precession. Now, the
question we must ask is this: what kind of precessional
alignment between the sun and the Galactic Center happened
roughly 13,500 years ago, the reverse of which happens one-half
of a precession cycle later?
The answer is quite apparent — the
Golden Age shift is timed with the alignment of the June
solstice sun and the Galactic Center. The reverse event is the
alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic Center,
and we can get a true bearing on the timing of this event, as
modern astronomy has calculated it. We must shift these timing
parameters to accord with solstice-galaxy alignments, and
therefore we have two dates: era-2000 AD and era 10,800 BC.
There are actually several factors
and features involved in the timing issue which enrich our
understanding of what these Galactic Alignment might mean to us.
I’ll address the issues and parameters of the current galactic
alignment in Part IV.
An important implication in this material is that the Golden Age
mentioned in Yukteswar’s quote given above represented the
culmination of the previous ascent phase and the shift to the
descending phase, the archaic “fall of man” scenario. The
flipside—the shift to ascending—therefore occurs at the
astronomically opposed event (in era-2000 AD):
After 12,000 years, when the sun goes to the place in its orbit
which is farthest from Brahma, the grand center... [then]
dharma, the mental virtue, comes to such a reduced state that
man cannot grasp anything beyond the gross material creation.
This is the Vedic doctrine, clearly based in astronomy, that
underlies René Guénon’s belief that modern people are
unconscious degenerates with little resemblance to the full
human potential that our ancient ancestors manifested.
Furthermore, as we will see shortly, it underlies and defines
the end of Kali Yuga that Guénon (without being specific)
foresaw occurring very soon.
The Galactic Dimensions of Vedic
Vedic scholar and teacher
David Frawley assessed Yukteswar’s model and adds some clarity:
“When the Sun is on the side of
its orbit wherein its dark companion comes between it and
the galactic center, the reception of that cosmic light
appears to be greatly reduced. At such times there is a dark
or materialistic age on Earth.”
David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri) is
qualified on many levels to make this statement. As a respected
Vedacharya (Vedic teacher), he is one of the few Westerners
recognized in India as an authentic teacher of the ancient Vedic
wisdom. His work includes translations and interpretations of
the ancient scripture, and books on ayurveda, Vedic astrology,
and studies on mantra and yoga. His work can be found on the
I would add that the June solstice
sun’s “dark companion” could be the December solstice sun, the
day of greatest darkness in the solar year. In this scenario,
the June solstice sun continually revolves around (in opposition
to) the December solstice sun. Whether or not there is an actual
occulting of the June solstice sun in terms of energetic
radiation may simply be besides the point; the metaphor points
us to the astronomy involved in this doctrine and the Vedic
belief system woven around it.
The critical information encoded in Yukteswar’s book—written
decades before the Galactic Center was “officially ”
in the 1920s—is that the ancient Vedic Yuga doctrine was
calibrated with the periodic alignments of the solstice sun and
the Galactic Center. If we do sense that the Vedic wisdom speaks
a truth to us (nothing less than a lost science of the galactic
influences on human evolution) the words of David Frawley may
help us understand the importance of our impending
“harmonization” with the Galactic Center:
An important cosmic event is
occurring now. The winter solstice is now at a point in
conjunction with the galactic center . . . This should cause
a slow harmonization of humanity with the Divine will as
transmitted from the galactic center . . . By the accounts
of thinkers like Plato, the flood that destroyed
(and probably ended the Ice Age) occurred about 9300 B.C.
(9000 years before Plato). This appears to have been when
the summer solstice was in conjunction with the galactic
center—a point completely opposite to the one today.
In fact, Frawley believes that all
of Vedic astrology “orients the zodiac to the galactic center”
as the source of creative intelligence, mediated to human beings
by the fixed stars of Sagittarius and the guru planet Jupiter,
the Divine teacher. Frawley gives an astronomically accurate
sidereal location for the Galactic Center: 6° 40’ Sagittarius.
This corresponds to 28° Sagittarius in the unadjusted tropical
system, wherein the December solstice is nearby at 0° Capricorn
(by definition). Again, the precise parameters of the galactic
alignment will be explored later.
The lunar mansions of Vedic astrology indicate the Galactic
Center region as a “root” place. The naksastra or lunar mansion
corresponding to the 13°-wide lunar “sign” that embraces the
Galactic Center is called mula, which means “root.” The mansion
that occurs before “root” is called “the eldest,” suggesting
that this spot in the sky is the end-beginning nexus in an
ancient concept of the zodiac, which would be understandable
given the precessional importance of the Galactic Center as a
“root” or beginning point for time. This material augments the
Vedic and Islamic information about the lunar south node being
exalted at 3° Sagittarius, explored earlier.
There are compelling events in Hindu-Vedic mythology that are
associated with the Galactic Center, Sagittarius, the
Soma, and the solstices. These events comprise a Vedic
metaphysics of spiritual transcendence. However, many eras of
overlapping symbology makes it difficult to sort out the
original meaning with certainty. The head of the horse, the
Ashwin twins, and the Churning of the Milky Ocean myth are all
The head of the horse and the head
of the simshumara crocodile (or makara) could very well be the
bulging area of the nuclear bulge with the dark-rift mouth. The
story of the Ashwin twins is symbolically identical to the
Twins in the Popol Vuh: they facilitate the resurrection of
their father, the winter solstice sun. Some of these topics will
be explored further in Chapters 14 and 15.
[end of excerpt]
This is only part of the material that I cite. There is a school of
interpretation that, many centuries ago, tried to calculate the yuga
doctrine with a slightly erroneous conception: it was believed that
the dawn of the age (the dawn of time) began when the sun, moon, and
all the planets were at their “station” or beginning points.
Hindu astrologers thus tried to back
date with planetary periods and arrived at a calculation in 3102 BC.
It is intriguing that this is close to the beginning of the
13-baktun cycle of the Mayan Long Count, but there is a problem. The
idea in this conception is that the end of the yuga should be when
the sun, moon, and all the planets return to their beginning points.
This sounds like a half-understood fragment of the ancient doctrine.
The “stations” of the sun might be
better understood as the equinox or solstice stations. And the
references to all the planets seems to indicate the ecliptic in
general. When the equinox or solstice “stations” of the ecliptic
precess back around to the “starting point,” the age ends and begins
anew. According to my understanding of the probable true basis of
these ideas, the “starting point” of precession is the bright band
of the Milky Way, which stretches like a finish line across the
The primary solar station of the
ecliptic (the December solstice) has now precessed back to its
starting point on the Milky Way, signaling the end of descending
As my book is moving along in the publication process, I am in dire
need of feedback and commentary, even endorsements. I believe this
is an important contribution especially in the realm of Traditional
ideas, and I have been working largely in a vacuum. I know my
concern here is really only a small fragment of Traditional
metaphysics, and a rather exoteric one at that (in that it concerns
However, we can at least now see how
Mayan tradition belongs on the same level with Vedic and Egyptian
metaphysics. In fact (and I may be somewhat biased here) Mayan
cosmology seems to provide the clearest exposition of a very central
part of all Tradition—the galactic alignments that define the alpha
and omega of time.
The millennium has passed. However, the “end of world” discussion
now relates most directly to the Mayan 2012 date, a subject I have
researched and written about at length. It is my interest to be a
voice of clarity on this, to define its astronomical basis, and
thereby also frame the “end of Kali Yuga” in empirical terms.
This is actually a compelling doorway
into the metaphysical idea of spiritual transcendence explored by
Coomaraswamy and others, and that is where the discussion leads.
In my work, I have always been in service to (even before
discovering Traditional writers) elucidating the Traditional
understanding, rather than emphasizing my own efforts or framing my
views as “my system.”