Last updated: 10 Nov, 2022

A Thousand – Pillared Chamber (Aayirakkalmandapam)

Knowledge of the Universe with its different planes of consciousness is necessary to understand the writings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother. 

The Mother had seen the different features of the chamber in Matrimandir in her visions. She explained them to Udhar (Ashram constructing engineer), who made sketches of those features to be shown to the architects of Matrimandir. 

She told the architects not to make any change in the sketches and pointed out that the chamber with all those features should be placed inside a building. 
The architects have done their job splendidly. While we are familiar with the Crystal, The Mother’s symbol and the symbol of Sri Aurobindo, we know little about the twelve pillars in the chamber. 
What is the significance of the pillars? 
The Vedic Rishis in their pursuit to conquer the Truth-Consciousness found a chamber with thousand pillars in Heaven (Upper hemisphere of the Universe). 
Sri Aurobindo calls it  ‘A Thousand- Pillared Home’ and gives a good account of it as described by the Vedic Rishis in ‘The Secret of the Veda’. It is said that Varuna and Mitra who made that chamber are overmental gods. That is why we are supposed to believe that the chamber in Heaven is in the overmental plane of consciousness.
 The twelve pillars in the chamber in Matrimandir are made of steel. Surrounding the Mother’s symbol, they stand erect and abruptly end in the middle of the chamber with their open ends pointing towards the ceiling, indicating the continuity of their lengths. Thus the chamber with twelve pillars in Matrimandir represents ‘A Thousand-Pillared Home’ in Heaven. 
Varuna employed Maruts, his heros, to make the thousand pillars having iron like strength and stability by using the Life-Force from the vital plane of existence. This huge mansion in Heaven is used by the gods, the Rishis and men who are capable of ascending to the overmental plane of consciousness. They give so much importance to the chamber in Heaven because they think that Ananda in the chamber would give them immortality and that they could become Swarat (Self-ruler) and Samrat (World-ruler) by the power of the Truth-Consciousness. 
Aayirakkalmandapam in certain temples in Tamilnadu represents ‘A Thousand-Pillared Home’ in Heaven. There is one Aayirakkalmandapam in Madurai Sri Meenakshi Amman Temple and another in Chidambaram Natarajar Temple. Here the pillars are made of granite and have occupied a large space within the temple premises. But people do not go there for meditation. They were built by kings one thousand five hundred years ago. Following the Puranic period, worshipping the gods in temples became popular in Tamilnadu. The Vedic culture was easily inculcated among the people through sculpture and paintings depicting the Vedic ideals and to practise the Vedic Yoga. 
They had a good knowledge of the Universe and its different planes of consciousness. 
The presence of Aayirakkalmandapam in the temples was only a source of inspiration for them. Nowadays people in Tamilnadu do not have any interest in Aayirakkalmandapam because they do not recognize any spiritual value in it. The Mother calls ‘A Thousand-Pillared Home’ in Heaven as ‘My Home’. 
On 24 November 1926 Sri Aurobindo succeeded in bringing down the overmental Consciousness-Force to the earth consciousness. He calls it as the descent of Krishna Consciousness. Every year this day is celebrated as ‘Darshan Day’ in Sri Aurobindo Ashram. 
Ref: The Secret of the Veda, pp.465 – 488, p.534 

Submitted by Somasundaram