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Triple Twelve: 12 12 12 [12 December 2012]

by on December 11, 2012

Today is 12 December 2012 with three 12s appearing in it, 12 12 12, an occurrence which happens once in a hundred years; one can add to that also the time, twelve minutes and twelve seconds before or past twelve, 12:12:12 noon or midnight. Numerologists would say several interesting things about it. But at present let us quickly see what the Mother tells us about the number 12.

Revealing its significance, she defines in one place “Twelve” as “Perfect Manifestation Stabilised”. She also speaks of it as “Double Perfection—spiritual and material”.

One might link up this Double Perfection with the two intersecting triangles we have in Sri Aurobindo’s symbol: one descending and the other ascending, one rising from Matter’s firm base and the other bringing down the possibilities of the Spirit into it. Their coming together forms at the centre a perfect square, Perfection signified by the number Four.

Here is something from the Mother:

These things can be taken usefully as symbols and as a means of bringing a more subtle world in contact with a more material world. They may be used in this way, that’s all.

And if we take 12 and 6, then it becomes something very amazing.

12, you know what it is, don’t you? It is the number of perfection in conception and creation; and 6 is the number of the new creation. So if you put 12 and 6 together, you truly have something absolutely remarkable.

Number 18 itself—as 18—was the number of the consciousness in its effort for material realisation: the consciousness trying to realise itself materially, express itself materially.

An old saying says that if twelve sincere persons unite their will and their aspiration and call the Divine, the Divine is bound to manifest. But the will must be one-pointed and the aspiration sincere.

When the Mother was asked a question about the significance of the twelve petals in her symbol, she replied:

It signifies anything one wants, you see. Twelve: that’s the number of Aditi, of Mahashakti. So it applies to everything; all her action has twelve aspects. There are also her twelve virtues, her twelve powers, her twelve aspects, and then her twelve planes of manifestation and many other things that are twelve; and the symbol, the number twelve is in itself a symbol. It is the symbol of manifestation, double perfection, in essence and in manifestation, in the creation. (Questions and Answers, 1954, p.77)

Here are some passages from Savitri about Double Perfection:

All we attempt in this imperfect world,
Looks forward or looks back beyond Time’s gloss
To its pure idea and firm inviolate type
In an absolute creation’s flawless skill.
To seize the absolute in shapes that pass,
To feel the eternal’s touch in time-made things,
This is the law of all perfection here.
A fragment here is caught of heaven’s design;
Else could we never hope for greater life
And ecstasy and glory could not be.
Even in the littleness of our mortal state,
Even in this prison-house of outer form,
A brilliant passage for the infallible Flame
Is driven through gross walls of nerve and brain,
A Splendour presses or a Power breaks through,
Earth’s great dull barrier is removed awhile,
The inconscient seal is lifted from our eyes
And we grow vessels of creative might.

On every plane the hieratic Power,
Initiate of the unspoken verities,
Dreams to transcribe and make a part of life
In its own native style and living tongue
Some trait of the perfection of the Unborn,
Some vision seen in the omniscient Light,
Some far tune of the immortal rhapsodist Voice,
Some rapture of the all-creating Bliss,
Some form and plan of the Beauty unutterable.

A kindling rapture joins the seer and seen;
The craftsman and the craft grown inly one
Achieve perfection by the magic throb
And passion of their close identity.

The inspiring Light plays in fine boundaries;
A faultless beauty comes by Nature’s grace;
There liberty is perfection’s guarantee:
Although the absolute Image lacks, the Word
Incarnate, the sheer spiritual ecstasy,
All is a miracle of symmetric charm,
A fantasy of perfect line and rule.

This greater life is enamoured of the Unseen;
It calls to some highest Light beyond its reach,
It can feel the Silence that absolves the soul;
It feels a saviour touch, a ray divine:
Beauty and good and truth its godheads are.
It is near to heavenlier heavens than earth’s eyes see,
A direr darkness than man’s life can bear.
It has kinship with the demon and the god.
A strange enthusiasm has moved its heart;
It hungers for heights, it passions for the supreme.
It hunts for the perfect word, the perfect shape,
It leaps to the summit thought, the summit light.
For by the form the Formless is brought close
And all perfection fringes the Absolute.

A glorious shining Angel of the Way
Presented to the seeking of the soul
The sweetness and the might of an idea,
Each deemed Truth’s intimate fount and summit force,
The heart of the meaning of the universe,
Perfection’s key, passport to Paradise.

In this vast outbreak of perfection’s law
Imposing its fixity on the flux of things
He saw a hierarchy of lucent planes
Enfeoffed to this highest kingdom of God-state.
Attuning to one Truth their own right rule
Each housed the gladness of a bright degree,
Alone in beauty, perfect in self-kind,
An image cast by one deep truth’s absolute,
Married to all in happy difference.
Each gave its powers to help its neighbours’ parts,
But suffered no diminution by the gift;
Profiteers of a mystic interchange,
They grew by what they took and what they gave,
All others they felt as their own complements,
One in the might and joy of multitude.
Even in the poise where Oneness draws apart

A strange and grandiose symbol was his birth
And immortality and spirit-room
And pure perfection and a shadowless bliss
Are this afflicted creature’s mighty fate.

Thus was it for a while with Savitri,
All worshipped marvellingly, none dared to claim.
Her mind sat high pouring its golden beams,
Her heart was a crowded temple of delight.
A single lamp lit in perfection’s house,
A bright pure image in a priestless shrine,
Alone amid surrounding crowds she dwelt,
Apart in herself until her hour of fate.

A deathless meaning filled her mortal limbs;
As in a golden vase’s poignant line
They seemed to carry the rhythmic sob of bliss
Of earth’s mute adoration towards heaven
Released in beauty’s cry of living form
Towards the perfection of eternal things.

In the slow process of the evolving spirit,
In the brief stade between a death and birth
A first perfection’s stage is reached at last;
Out of the wood and stone of our nature’s stuff
A temple is shaped where the high gods could live.
Even if the struggling world is left outside
One man’s perfection still can save the world.
There is won a new proximity to the skies,
A first betrothal of the Earth to Heaven,
A deep concordat between Truth and Life:
A camp of God is pitched in human time.

In God concealed the world began to be,
Tardily it travels towards manifest God:
Our imperfection towards perfection toils,
The body is the chrysalis of a soul:
The infinite holds the finite in its arms,
Time travels towards revealed eternity.

There the perfection born from eternity
Calls to it the perfection born in Time,
The truth of God surprising human life,
The image of God overtaking finite shapes.760
A marvellous sun looked down from ecstasy’s skies
On worlds of deathless bliss, perfection’s home,
Magical unfoldings of the Eternal’s smile
Capturing his secret heart-beats of delight.
God’s everlasting day surrounded her,
Domains appeared* of sempiternal light
Invading all Nature with the Absolute’s joy.

Above her little finite steps she feels
Careless of knot or pause, worlds which weave out
A strange perfection beyond law and rule,
A universe of self-found felicity,
An inexpressible rhythm of timeless beats,
The many-movemented heart-beats of the One,
Magic of the boundless harmonies of self,
Order of the freedom of the infinite,
The wonder-plastics of the Absolute.

Sri Aurobindo on Savitri
What I am trying to do everywhere in Savitri is to express exactly something seen, something felt or experienced. … When the expression has been found, I have to judge… by an intuitive feeling, whether it is entirely the right expression. … Savitri is the record of a seeing, of an experience which is not of the common kind and is often very far from what the general human mind sees and experiences. … if it is really new in kind, it may employ a new technique. … We have to see whether what is essential to poetry is there and how far the new technique justifies itself by new beauty and perfection, and a certain freedom of mind from old conventions is necessary if our judgment is to be valid or rightly objective.

“Beauty and Perfection”—that is Savitri, with Twelve Books.

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