At the end of the year Vitvan took time off to journey to upper New York State to meet with Paul Richard. Richard was a French poet. He had many years earlier traveled throughout the world seeking a spiritual Teacher. Not finding the one he sought, he was on his return to France when he met Rabindranath Tagore in Japan.
Tagore said, "I can refer you to my Teacher, but I do not know that he will accept you. I will write on your behalf and we will see."
Tagore wrote to his Teacher, Aurobindo Ghose, whose Ashram was in Pondicherry, French India. In due time an affirmative answer was received and Richard returned to India to become a chela to Aurobindo. In the years following, Richard devoted himself to studying with the Master and helped Aurobindo publish his works and establish a magazine called Arya.
Vitvan prized highly a collection of all issues of the magazine and he felt personally drawn to Aurobindo, as he was to Count Hermann A. Keyserling of Germany.
He said, "On higher levels I have long been aware that Aurobindo and Keyserling and myself are channels for the restatement of the Ancient Gnosis as a synthesis best described as 'Qualified Monism.'(See Vitvan's Discipline in the Natural Order, Chapter II.)
"It had been my intention for many years to one day visit with these men. But now, as the approach of war seemed inevitable and would soon make all such travel impossible, I determined to pay a visit to Mr. Richard, who had been so close to Aurobindo."
Vitvan enjoyed his time with Richard and stayed longer than he intended.
"Paul Richard," he often said, "was one of the few men with whom I could communicate on the highest levels. His perception was of an extraordinary order. He had the remarkable abilities, the wonderful devotion and the enduring fortitude that mark those who devote their lives to the improvement of mankind.
"I so thoroughly enjoyed being with him that I overstayed my intended time and had to hurry off to New York City for an appointment with a group of psychic investigators who had written earlier to the Po-Ahtun requesting me to attend them."
Of his encounter with the psychics in New York he said later: "Leaving Paul Richard and proceeding to New York City was a quick descent from the sublime to the ridiculous. The group in Manhattan was a sincere lot and quite advanced in their abilities at telekinesis. Almost to a man they were able to effect such phenomena as bending light metals, stopping watches and moving small articles with psychic force. But they were highly secretive and totally devoted to the single intention of perfecting these little powers of the psychic nature. I had so shortly left one whose whole involvement in life was dedicated to the highest principles of attainment that the contrast caused me much merriment.
"On a particular evening the group with combined effort was able to lift a full sized piano to ceiling height. Everyone was elated. But I could not help but reflect how much more impressive was a man like Richard who could elicit in others the capability of lifting their inner forces to the 'Christos' level.
"I am afraid I was a disappointment to the group. I offered them very little. They believed solidly that the phenomenon they effected was achieved by directing some kind of mental force. In reality, of course, they were using mind to direct psychic forces latent in higher centers. Consequently, they labored to the point of exhaustion to exercise the slight control they had. None among them showed any interest in pursuing the higher implications of their achievements, so I was not motivated to show them the easy way to the same ends.
"It was a prime example of people caught in the excitement of developing the little powers and being blinded to what could be accomplished if they would abandon petty sorcery and get on with the real task at hand.
"I remembered once when I was with Mozumdar we went to see a man who traveled the world exhibiting his ability to ignite tiny bundles of kindling, paper and cardboard by focusing psychic power. He was able to cause instant combustion in these materials. At the climax of his act he stood several feet away from a volunteer and lighted a cigarette in the helper's mouth. I was very impressed at the time.
"I said to Mozumdar, 'Now there is a practical gift of power that is worth much.'
"'I will tell you what it is worth,' Mozumdar said with forceful disdain. 'It is worth less,' he said, 'than the cost of a dollar cigarette lighter.'
"Obviously he was right."
For the next seven years Vitvan taught and lectured, waiting, as he put it, "for the commission to begin my new work." This from a man who had criss-crossed the country for thirty years giving every minute to the teachings.
Then in May of 1945, while lecturing in Oklahoma City, that moment came. He wrote:
"It was a lovely spring evening, cool for that time of year, with a light breeze blowing. I had finished talking about nine-thirty and returned home with my hosts. Their house was south of the city and offered a lovely view of the town's lights on one side and the open prairie on the other.
"We had a short meditation that evening and then my friends went to bed and I sat down at my desk to work on my correspondence. It was nearly midnight when I went to bed. Shortly before dawn I was awakened most unceremoniously. Quite literally, I was knocked out of bed by the force that filled the room. I was called to follow.
"I slipped on my robe and walked through the house into the backyard. The patio was bathed in moonlight but it was dull and pale beside the luminosity that surrounded me. I stood transfixed in that blinding light. My consciousness soared. Then most clearly my work was described to me and the final years of my dharma were revealed."
At the week's end Vitvan gathered to Colorado and Po-Ahtun. He gathered the close ones around him and announced that he had been told to rewrite all that he had done previously. He would extend the work and delineate as nearly as possible the full content of his realization. He was to compose a teaching to encompass the great cosmology as he could perceive it and to prepare a meticulous methodology suitable to the psyche of Western man.
He declared that prior works were to be relegated to the incinerator--going so far as purchasing any copies of his books and essays currently available at bookstores throughout the country and seeing to their destruction. (Needless to say, some of the faithful thought the edict too severe and secretly saved a few copies of the work.) He also announced that the beautiful Ashram of Po-Ahtun was to be sold and that new headquarters would be established in California until the new work was finished. Vitvan was now 62.
For many, leaving the Ashram was heartbreaking. One dear and close disciple remarked:
"Giving up the Po-Ahtun was the most difficult thing I endured. It was the most beautiful setting I had ever known and the years there were a treasure of rich and vital memories. Never again would I allow such attachment."
next Chapter 13