Questions have come up regarding seeming inconsistencies in Yogi Bhajan's calculation of dates relating to the shift to the Aquarian Age. These same questions came up in my own mind as I started to research his teachings on this topic.
The most glaring and apparent inconsistency is that Yogi Bhajan teaches: 1) that the cusp period between the Piscean age and the Aquarian age started on November 11, 1991, 2) that the cusp period is twenty-one years long, and 3) that the Aquarian Age actually begins on November 11, 2011. These are not isolated dates and figures; he uses all three of them consistently over a large number of lectures spanning many years. The problem is that when you add twenty-one years to November, 11, 1991, you get November 11, 2012, not 2011. Why the discrepancy?
First of all, I believe that Yogi Bhajan saw the transition more clearly as time progressed. In the early 1970's he referred to the length of the cusp period variously as forty years, fifty years and thirty-six years. As time went on, he settled on twenty-one years and then did not deviate from this figure. It may be that Yogi Bhajan's understanding of the timing and mechanics of the shift of ages did not come from a single source, but from a synthesized knowledge derived from a number of different sources, all on subtler levels than our physical 3-D existence--for instance: Astrology, Numerology, Cosmic Events on the subtle levels, and Cycles of Energy and Consciousness. Together these add up to a fuller picture of the changes occurring on the Earth and in our lives.
Astrology: Yogi Bhajan taught repeatedly that astrology is a science where planetary energies on the subtler levels influence our lives and experiences on the physical level. The linkage between cause and effect is not instantaneous. In many cases it takes years for the effects to noticeably manifest on the physical level. Astrologically, the transition to the Aquarian Age began on January 5, 1961.
“On the 5th of January, 1961, Uranus, the star of the Aquarian Age, started reflecting its rays through the Moon on this planet Earth and all those who know about the movement of the stars know Uranus moves from the west to the east. Thus a new life started.” –Yogi Bhajan
This was the start of the change of the age and is not linked directly to either the 2011 date or the twenty-one-year cusp period.
Numerology: Yogi Bhajan used numerology extensively as a kind of 'sacred geometry' of numbers and dates to reveal hidden meanings and to identify subtle relationships. In fact he used the numerology of students' birth dates as part of the process of selecting spiritual names. The numerological significance of November 11, 2011 (11/11/2011) is unmistakable. Eleven represents transcendence or mastery. The combination of three elevens makes this a very powerful and significant date indeed.
Cosmic Events: Yogi Bhajan frequently saw events on the Earth occurring in the subtler realms, typically years before they manifested in our 3-D reality. He explained that events in our physical existence are predetermined by events on the subtler realms. The flow of physical manifestation flows in one direction, from the subtle to the gross. The Hermetic axiom, "As above, so below" applies here, as with astrology. It appears that in November, 1991, Yogi Bhajan experienced that the axis of the Earth had shifted. From that point on he taught consistently that the cusp period had begun on November 11, 1991, and the length of the cusp was twenty-one years. I have not been able to find any scientific evidence from the 1990's indicating a significant shift in the Earth's axis. In fact, a noticeable shifting of the Earth's axis has only been scientifically documented within the last five to ten years. I can only assume that it has taken this long for the physical manifestation of this event to materialize.
Cycles of Energy and Consciousness: Yogi Bhajan taught frequently about life cycles--the seven-year consciousness cycle, the eleven-year intelligence cycle, and the eighteen-year life cycle. I believe that his description of the twenty-one year cusp period is based largely on his understanding of the cycles of energy and consciousness associated with the transition of the ages. He consistently referred to the twenty-one year period as consisting of three cycles of seven years. He also mentioned a continuous increase of the vibrational frequency of the Earth throughout this twenty-one year period, which ultimately impacts the lives and existences of everything on Earth.
I have outlined four different systems of knowledge that I believe contributed to Yogi Bhajan's understanding of the cosmic impact of the change of the age. I am sure there are more; we are just beginning to scratch the surface of his wisdom and understanding. None of these systems are based in our 3-D world. They all originate on subtler realms, and their manifestations ultimately become measureable on the physical plane. Imagine for a moment throwing four pebbles simultaneously into a pond of still water. The impact of each pebble would generate a pattern of ever expanding ripples. To an open and receptive mind, the interaction of the ripples from all four pebbles would create interesting, and perhaps meaningful, interference patterns in the water. This is perhaps a crude analogy of how Yogi Bhajan understood the change of the age from multiple but interconnected sources in the subtle realms.
I would like to end with one final thought. What is occurring is of cosmic significance, and it is all being driven and orchestrated from the subtler realms. Dates from our 3-D system of reckoning are not all that important. It does not really matter what happens on the physical Earth on November 10th, 11th or 12th of this year or next. What is important is for each of us to tune in to the underlying processes and to integrate these into our consciousness and practices. We can think of November 11, 2011 as a sort of cosmic birthday. Do we actually feel a year older on our birthday than on the day before? Of course, not. But it does give us a tangible date to celebrate our continued evolution along the cycle of life. The fact that the various dates and time spans in Yogi Bhajan's teachings do not add up to the exact expected totals based on earthly calculations does not in any way depreciate the value of the teachings. Instead it serves to illustrate the incredible richness and diversity of the underlying wisdom, which is something we can all celebrate.
Ravi Har Singh Khalsa is currently writing "We Are the Aquarians: Yogi Bhajan's Vision of the Aquarian Age," which is scheduled to be published by the Kundalini Research Institute and available at Summer Solstice 2012.