In the run up to Easter 2019, we are reminded of the deep love between St Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ.
It was St Mary Magdalene who visited Jesus’s tomb in the early hours of the morning following his crucifixion and found the tomb empty. At that moment, while she was beside herself with sorrow and distress, Jesus appeared to her and asked her to tell his other disciples that he had risen.
Thereafter, St Mary Magdalene, or ‘the Magadelene’ as she was called, became known as The First of the Apostles. She is also often referred to as ‘the Apostle of the apostles’.
In Western new age philosophy, it is often mooted that St Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ were “twin flames” – two people who each carry one half of a single soul and mirror each other for the purpose of their mutual evolutionary growth.
Nowadays disgust is often expressed at the Christian church’s long diminishment of St Mary Magdalene (though now passing) and the loss of records that could shine a more revealing light on this major historical relationship.
However, the way in which new age thinkers currently talk about the reality of a twin flame relationship makes it unappealing. It is depicted as at once psychologically and sexually ideal and as a tense struggle wherein both partners provoke one another to face up to their failings and make large transformative changes. Passionate but difficult, the twin flame relationship often ends in painful separation.
New age thinkers assume that because ordinary people in twin flame relationships are in a sexual union, so were St Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. They also assume that this was why St Mary Magdalene was demonised and her work, including her written scriptures, purportedly removed from the Bible by authority figures who wished to maintain the sole authority of Jesus and thereby the dominance of the patriarchy.
However, I question this interpretation of the twin flame relationship because it douses out an alternative and broader idea – an idea that would offer a more meaningful and esoterically or spiritually useful understanding.
I would like to suggest that to understand twin flames both accurately and productively we recognise two different levels of this kind of relationship: human, with individual evolutionary outcomes, and Divine, with race and planet-related evolutionary outcomes.
I suggest we recognise that the relationship between St Mary Magdalene and Jesus belongs in the second category, and that we can understood the nature of this relationship by studying the Dual Avatar phenomenon in the Indian Vedic tradition.
The Dual Avatar
To provide some context: the Divine Feminine is a prominent and powerful aspect in the Indian Vedic and Vedantic tradition.
While in Vedic thought the universe is said to have emerged from and to always be One, manifest reality starts out as a simple duality and expands from there.
At the top of the hierarchy of created things are Gods and Goddesses. Each of these supreme figures have Consorts.
These are not sexual consorts for the sake of bodily procreation or for pleasure. Nothing wrong with those things, but that is a physical-focused idea. Gods are in a state of Supreme Bliss (Ananda).
A Godly consort is the complimentary aspect of its partner: they are one that appear or act as a duality to carry out a particular work of the Godhead in accordance to the need and law of manifest reality.
When humanity is ready to take its next step in evolution, of all the Gods it is Lord Vishnu, the Preservation aspect of God, that manifests Himself in human form. These manifestations of Vishnu are known as avatars.
The consort of Vishnu is Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and abundance in all forms: material and spiritual. She is sweetness and generosity. Vishnu is also sometimes said to have Saraswathi as a consort as well – She who is properly the consort of Brahma, the Creator aspect of Godhead.
Saraswathi is the goddess of wisdom, knowledge, art, music, speech and learning. However, as the aspect of life preservation, it is not surprising that the powers of wisdom and creativity would accompany Vishnu, along with the power of abundance!
There have been many avatars – ten of Earth’s principal avatars are pictured in the famous Daśāvatāras, which have often been referred to (mistakenly, in my view – please see my article) as the depiction of an ancient Indian Darwinism. Jesus Christ is recognised as an avatar by some in India.
The most famous and self confirmed dual avatar in the Vedic tradition is Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
“A game, an enigma”, the dual avatar of Pondicherry
Sri Aurobindo, a leading revolutionary politician during India’s independence movement was to become a leading spiritual leader. His spiritual awakening exploded while being held in a British prison, in solitary confinement.
Sri Aurobindo’s future spiritual collaborator was the French woman Mirra Alfassa later known as The Mother, when she incarnated within her consciousness all four leading powers of the Divine Mother: wisdom, strength, harmony and perfection. She met Sri Aurobindo while visiting Pondicherry in south India to where Sri Aurobindo’s successful escape from prison had led him as per a Divine command.
A fairly prominent Parisian artist from a well to do family, Mirra was an advanced spiritualist. When she met Sri Aurobindo she was married to her second husband, a French politician.
On seeing Sri Aurobindo, Mirra immediately recognised him as the spiritual teacher from her dreams, and in his presence she experienced the perfect stillness of her mind, a state she had been unable to attain priorly.
Sri Aurobindo later described his experience of Mirra’s consciousness as presenting the most complete and perfect surrender to the Divine down to the cells of her physical body.
Thereafter, Mirra resided in Pondicherry, and an Ashram grew up around her and Sri Aurobindo, which continues to be a major spiritual centre in south India.
Their yoga, includes the traditional aim of liberation but has a further, evolutionary aim. It is a yoga of integral and complete transformation wherein the Divine transmutes all the strata of consciousness, including material substance.
For this, Sri Aurobindo brought down into the Earth a new type of consciousness and potential for human evolution known as the Supramental, which occurred in January 1969.
This consciousness is like a bridge or intermediary between the Non-manifest and Manifest reality of Divine Oneness. It has the unique capability of transforming not only all psychological consciousness but Matter too. It is thus now percolating within the planet, they said.
The pressure of the work eventually required Sri Aurobindo to move into seclusion. The Mother took charge of the day to day running of the Ashram and guidance of disciples. She also later oversaw the creation of Auroville, the “city of Dawn”, “the city of which the world has need”, the largest and most successful intentional community in the world. Endorsed by the UN it is recognised in an Indian Act of Parliament.
The Mother explained to a disciple the status of herself and Sri Aurobindo as “a game, an enigma for those who want to know”. But their relationship is not supposed to be understood, she said, thereby echoing the ancient Christian writers highlighted in the Vatican’s 2016 statement about St Mary Magdalene.
The Mother says she and Sri Aurobindo are one in two bodies to “help one another in the terrestrial evolution”. Here is her full statement:
“My child, I am the One – the Permanent who is ever awake; I was, I am and I shall be; … nothing can surpass me, yet the self renews itself at each moment to discover and again surpass the Permanent that exists in itself.
It is a game, an enigma for those who want to know. It is not to be understood and known; but it is a fact that faith alone can find.
As I am in Him and He is in Me in a permanent way up there, there is no difference. …… but for the terrestrial manifestation, we have chosen to be divided in two separate physical bodies here below, to help one another in the terrestrial evolution.
It was the only way to hasten the evolution. We are One and the Unique, the Essence of all that exists, that marches forward towards the truth of Existence.
Do not forget, for it is the plan of the Supreme. It is He who has formulated it. So He knows what He is doing.
Here is something to change you completely. Look straight into my eyes and follow the road that is being traced before you.
It is a visible trajectory, an infallible guide.
Now let’s look at some prominent parallels between these two relationships.
Seven demons and sitting to the right hand of the Lord
In the Bible, it is said that St Mary Magdalene was a prostitute and possessed by seven demons. It is said that when she met Jesus she was healed of her evil ways and the demons. But given the intriguing example of Sri Aurobindo and Mirra Alfassa above, it is possible that St Mary Magdalene was ‘healed’ not of demons, but blessed with a more complete perfection than she had achieved up to that point.
It may also be significant that in Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous painting of the Last Supper (featured at the top of this post), the figure to the right of Jesus is widely believed to be St Mary Magdalene. When Sri Aurobindo and the Mother appeared together to bless their devotees, the Mother always sat to the right of Sri Aurobindo.
The seven demons said to have possessed St Mary Magdalene could be symbolic. As some have pointed out, we know that the human body has seven principal energy centres (chakras) and it is possible that meeting Jesus brought each one of St Mary’s chakras into a perfectly awakened state. In his presence her inner perfection was attained and with her arrival, Jesus obtained his most essential Divine helper in his great work, which endures powerfully to this day.
The First Apostle
Like Mary, Mirra was left to lead the whole organisation and all the disciples and devotees when Sri Aurobindo left his body. She explained that the furtherance of their work required his departure. Though she was constantly working with Sri Aurobindo in his subtle body, The Mother told a disciple that losing his physical presence was a profound loss. These are The Mother’s words of love engraved upon Sri Aurobindo’s Samādhi (tomb).
“To Thee who hast been the material envelope of our Master, to Thee our infinite gratitude. Before Thee who hast done so much for us, who hast worked, struggled, suffered, hoped, endured so much, before Thee who hast willed all, attempted all, prepared, achieved all for us, before Thee we bow down and implore that we may never forget, even for a moment, all we owe to Thee.”
Red as St Mary Magdalene’s Energy Colour
There is an interesting colour symbolism, which highlights to us the energetic significance of St Mary Magdalene, and the importance of incorporating her, in her true nature, into our understanding.
St Mary Magdalene is often identified with the colour Red. Of course historically this association comes from her supposedly sinful nature. But this could have been a twisting of a greater truth. Taking our cue from the long-maintained Vedic culture, we see that St Mary’s association with the colour could be spiritually meaningful.
In Vedic culture, Red is the colour of Shakti – the Divine in its powerful aspect of Executive Energy. A man’s consort is traditionally known as his Shakti, though of course both God and His Shakti exist and can re-unite within the selfsame body of each individual.
Thus it is an apt colour association for St Mary Magdalene, as the divine consort or executive power of Jesus Christ.
By contrast, the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, is associated with Blue. She is typically pictured wearing a cloak of sky blue.
In Vedic culture, blue is symbolic of the Spiritual Mind – it is the colour associated with the avatar King Rama and Lord Krishna, whose skin is depicted as blue.
In Christianity even until today, Christianity emphasises the beautiful, peaceful, nurturing energy of Mary the Mother of Christ, just as it emphasises the loving, peaceful nature of Jesus as the Lamb of God.
The aspect of Divine Power tends to be missing in Christianity as it is formulated at present. St Mary Magdalene may be this missing piece.
Above – Tulips. Credit: Amber Avalona on Pixabay
Featured image: The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci (Mary Magdalene is now widely believed to be the figure seated to Jesus’s right). Photo credit: 3444753 on Pixabay