By René Guenon
Agartha, it is said, was not always underground and will not always remain there. A time will come, according to the writings of M. Ossendowski, when those who live in the communities of Agartha will leave their caverns and return to the surface. Once, before their disappearance from the visible world, they had another name but after their departure they took the name Agartha, meaning "unreachable" or "inaccessible", "inviolable", because they found it convenient to establish their habitation of peace, according to M. Ossendowski, underground more than six thousand years ago. As it happens this dating corresponds to the beginning of the Kali-Yuga, or "Dark Time" (the Iron Age) of western culture. Kali-Yuga is the last of four periods in which the Manvantara are seen. Their reappearance will be in harmony with the general purpose of the age.
We have spoken previously of the allusions made by all the traditions to something that is lost or hidden, and represented by diverse symbols. When taken in a general way this involves all of earthly humanity and refers to the nature of Kali - Yuga.
The current age is one of obscurity and confusion. As long as these conditions prevail it is necessary that the initiatory knowledge of the "Mysteries" and the history of things prior to the beginning of this cycle, or age, remain hidden. Secret organizations offering valid initiations according to a true and traditional doctrine are no more than a shadow when the spirit of knowledge no longer gives life to the symbols that are only an external representation of the bound to what is called the spiritual Center of the World. At such a time the loss of the tradition is felt, especially when the direct and supportive relationship with the spiritual center is lost.
It is then, as we said previously, something that is hidden more than truly lost. It is not even hidden for all and some possess it entirely. This promises the possibility of others being able to find it if they desire. Each one seeks in their own way, directing their efforts in such a manner as to awaken to the harmonic vibration, according to the law of action and responding reaction, that puts them in spiritual communion with the Supreme Center.
This directing of the will is traditionally symbolized in rituals as orienting toward a spiritual center, referred to as the "Center of the World".
But as you advance in Kali-Yuga, union with this hidden center, it becomes more difficult to separate from the secondary centers that represent the outward nature. Traditionally as the age comes to a close it also becomes completed, returning to integrity and fading into the next age as mankind slowly returns to the primordial state of being.
In Europe, the bonding of various organizations by conscious union with the center seems broken, and has been for several centuries. This breaking away did not come about at once, but through several successive phases.
The first of these phases starts at the beginning of the XIV century. What has already been said elsewhere about the Orders of Chivalry makes clear that one of their main purposes was that of opening up communication between East and West, communication vital to understanding the true center of which we speak. Throughout history the Center has always been described as being located in the East.
However, after the destruction of the Order of the Templars, Rosicrucianism, or what should be recognized by this name, continued in the same tradition, though in a more hidden way. The Renaissance and the Reformation marked a new critical phase, and lastly, according to what is indicated by Saint-Ives, the beginning of the complete breaking away coincided with the treaties of Westfalia in 1648 and finished with the Thirty years War.
It is notable that several authors have in fact declared that soon after the Thirty years War, the true Rosicrucians abandoned Europe and retired to Asia, and in this it is well to remember that there were twelve Rosicrucian Adepts who comprised the inner circle in Agartha, in conformity with the system common to so many spiritual organizations formed around the Supreme Center.
From this time on the custody of the true initiatory knowledge has not been kept by any western organization; Swedenborg also declares that from that time on it became necessary to study with the sages of Tibet and of Tartaria when seeking the lost word. On the other hand Anna Caterina Emerich had a vision of a mysterious place that she called the "Mountain of the Prophets", located in the same region.
Let us add that it was fragments of information from Mme. Blavatsky, acquired without proper understanding of their true meaning, from which the idea of the Great White Lodge was born. This was described by those without understanding as a comic parody: the imaginary Agartha.