Saturday, March 19, 2011

Vishnu Symbolism in Crop Circles: Does it signify the coming of a ‘Chakravartin’?

Note: This article has also been published by the Iskcon News Service

Crop Circles are a modern enigma. These intricate and gigantic formations, appearing almost overnight, have confused and fascinated us for the past couple of decades. Some of the crop circles are enormous – more than 1000 feet in diameter – while the average size of crop circles in the UK is around 200 feet. While most of these formations appear almost overnight, many of them have been formed mysteriously in the space of a few minutes, in broad daylight! 

An array of scientific anomalies has been noted in the plant and soil samples collected from crop circle sites, which do not appear to conform to any rational explanations. Scientists examining the plant and soil samples from crop circles sites have stated that "some kind of natural, but unknown, force is at work" and “our present knowledge provides no explanation.” Recently, the Laurence Rockefeller funded study into crop circles, conducted by BLT Research, has concluded that "it is possible that we are observing the effects of a new or as yet undiscovered energy source." Clearly, some inexplicable phenomenon is transpiring in our immediate cosmic neighborhood. We do not know how these circles are being created or by whom. But, it appears as if some unknown force is leveraging scientific knowledge that is not yet known to us, and sending us some important messages through these complex formations, which depict various sacred symbols of the ancient wisdom traditions.

One of the earliest crop circle formations which had captured the imagination of the world was the Barbury Castle formation of 1991. Ever since this exquisite formation appeared near Barbury, England, a plethora of scientific, mathematical and mystical interpretations have been proposed by various researchers to explain its symbolic meaning. However, there is no doubt in my mind that this extraordinary formation is a composite, two-dimensional represention of the four attributes of the Vedic Creator God Vishnu, who is also synonymous with his mortal incarnation Krishna. These four attributes which have been depicted in this formation, and which are always associated with Vishnu (and Krishna) are the Lotus Flower, the six-spoked discus known as the Sudarshana Chakra, the Mace, and the Conch Shell.

Fig 1: Barbury Castle Crop Circle Formation, 1991.

At the center of the Barbury Castle formation there is central circle, enclosed by a pair of concentric circles. In ancient traditions, the "circle with a dot in the center" always represented the "divine consciousness at the center of the cosmos". In Hinduism and Buddhism, the concentric circles also denote the resplendent Lotus Flower which bloomed in the midst of the Primeval Ocean at the beginning of time, containing within it the Great Spirit. This understanding is reflected in the Buddhist mantra "Om Mani Padme Hum" which translates to "Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus". It is apparent, therefore, that the central part of this formation reflects Vishnu, and his attribute, the Lotus Flower.

Fig 2: Vishnu on the Lotus Flower, with his four attributes: Lotus, Discus, Conch-shell and Mace
The concentric circles are enclosed within an equilateral triangle which, once again, is an ancient symbol of the Trinity. At the bottom-left corner of the formation we can see a "racheted spiral form", which has been identified as the famous Fibonacci sequence (a sequence of numbers: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 etc. where each number is the sum of the preceding two numbers). The ratio of two successive terms in the Fibonacci sequence is the famous Golden Ratio 1.618033989. Fibonacci sequences are found in many places in nature: in plant growth, leaf patterns, floral petals and stems; while the Golden Ratio is found in the proportions of the human body, and in art and architecture.  

It has been shown scientifically that the cross section of a Conch shell traces out a Fibonacci sequence (“Fibonacci Structure in Conch Shell”, Current Science, February 2005). In this article, the authors Saroj Kumar Rath and P.C.Naik, after performing extensive X-ray analysis of the Conch-shell, conclude that, “Our measurement of the parameters in the structure satisfy the celebrated Fibonacci patterns found abundantly in nature. The parameters, when judiciously chosen, fairly furnish the Fibonacci pattern and Golden Ratio.” Therefore, the Fibonacci spiral depicted in the Barbury Castle crop circle must be a two-dimensional representation of the Conch Shell held by Vishnu.

Fig 3: A Nautilus Shell . Source: Chris73/Wikipedia
At the bottom right corner of the formation, we find a six-spoked circle which is undoubtedly the six-spoked Sudarshana Chakra, the famous discus wielded by Vishnu; and at the top of the formation we find a "Circle with a stick attached to" which can be recognized as the cross-section of the Mace, the other attribute associated with Vishnu. Each of these individual symbols are interconnected by straight lines, thereby forming an extraordinary two-dimensional representation of Vishnu, along with his four attributes.

This is not the only instance, however, where the various attributes of Vishnu have appeared in crop circle formations. There have been multiple instances where the Conch Shell or its cross section, the six-spoked Sudarshana Chakra or the six-petaled Lotus Flower, have appeared in the formations. The Barbury Castle formation is, however, the only instance where all the four attributes of Vishnu have been depicted in a unified form. What could be the meaning behind these formations?

Fig 4: Pewsey July 2002. Cross section of a Conch -shell.
Fig 5: Wiltshire, June 2007.Conch-shell.
Fig 6: Huish, Aug 2001. Six-spoked rotating discus.
Fig 7: West Stowell July 2000 Six petalled flower.
Fig 8: Stonehenge July 2002. Six petalled flower
Fig 9: Woolstone July 2000
Fig 10: Wiltshire July 2007. The AUM symbol
Each of the four attributes of Vishnu has a symbolic meaning associated with it. The irresistible Sudarshana Chakra is the weapon wielded by Vishnu and it signifies the destruction of one's ego, burning away of spiritual ignorance and illusion, and developing the vision to realize god. From the Conch Shell emanates the primordial sound of creation "AUM", which pervades the entire cosmos. The vibration of AUM is the original sound that contains all other sounds, all words and all languages. It is considered to be the supreme object of meditation and is uttered before all Vedic mantras. The Mace held by Vishnu denotes his power to destroy the materialistic or demonic tendencies within us. And the Lotus Flower is symbolic of divine creation, the formation of the universe from the eternal.  The Lotus is also an emblem of divine perfection, purity and enlightenment. Vedic gods and sages always exhorted their devotees to be like the Lotus; just as Lotus blooms in a marshy watery body, and yet remains unaffected by dirt and mud, in the same fashion one should be of this world, and yet remain untouched by sin. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna that "those who surrender to Brahman all selfish attachments are like the leaf of a lotus floating clean and dry in water. Sin cannot touch them."

Clearly, these messages are significant for our times. It appears that the crop circle makers urging us to imbibe the wisdom encoded within these symbols. I wondered if the symbolic meaning of the Barbury Castle formation is more than just the sum of its individual parts. Since such an elaborate, composite depiction of Vishnu has been created, could it also contain a deeper meaning?

I reflected on the global consciousness changes that have been predicted by various spiritualists around the years 2012. The date 21st December 2012 is widely believed to represent the end of a 5125 year cycle (also known as a Great Cycle or a 13 Baktun cycle) in the Mayan Long Count Calendar. Inspite of all the excitement around 2012, there exists only one piece of inscription which makes a prediction specific to the end of the Great Cycle of the Mayan Long Count Calendar. It’s a hieroglyphic text found on Monument 6 at the site of Tortuguero in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It states, quite mysteriously, that on the date the Mayan Calendar ends, “an (unknown) event shall occur and Bolon Yokte K’u shall descend at an (unknown) place”. Bolon Yokte K’u has been identified by Mayanists as the "Nine Foot Tree God", which indicates that he is a representation of the Tree of Life or the Cosmic Mountain, the central axis of our world. This seems to indicate that a very powerful deity has been prophesized to incarnate on the planet earth around the time the calendar ends.  

Of course, the exact year and date relating to this prophesized event is under question, since it is very difficult to map the Mayan Calendar dates to the Gregorian calendar.The projected end-date is based on a correlation called the GMT correlation (Goodman-Martinez-Thompson correlation), according to which the current cycle started on August 11, 3114 BC and will end on December 21, 2012. Some researchers have, however, pointed to errors that have crept into the Mayan Long Count Calendar over the years. This leads us to a range of predicted end-time dates as early as 28 October 2011, and stretching out to 2038. New research conducted by Gerardo Aldana, associate professor at UC Santa Barbara, suggests that the GMT constant itself could be inaccurate by 50 to 100 years. 

Even Mayan religious leaders do not concur with the 2012 end-date for their calendar. One of the most respected Mayan Elders is Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj, who is a 13th Generation Quiche Mayan High Priest and the President of the National Council of Elders. In an interview given on March 17th, 2009, in Antigua, he stated: “this is the time when we don't know exactly if it is going to be 2012 or if it is going to be later on. Because 2012 is a Gregorian date, sometimes it does not coincide with the Mayan calendar. There are many reasons why we don't know exactly the timing. It has to do because when the invasion came, a little over 500 years ago, the men and women of wisdom were the first ones to be assassinated. Then Bishop Diego de Landa, during the invasion, gathered all the books where all the information was and they set them on fire. So they burned all the information. On the other hand, the calendar that was at that time in effect, they have gone through so many modifications..." And in another interview in 2010, Don Alejandro reiterated that the Mayan Elders do not concur with the 2012 end date that has been proposed as the possible ending date of the 13th Baktun. He says that: “The years that they are talking about that it will happen, 2011, 2012, 2013, nothing of that is going to happen. I will say it again. The Mayan Calendar has nothing to do with the Gregorian calendar…We are finalizing the 13th Baktun but we do not have an exact date. It may be another 40 to 50 years before the 13th Baktun ends and the cycle of the 5th sun begins.”

It seems funny that the end-date of the Mayan Calendar has been "decided" by scholars and so many apocalyptic prophesies have been made for 2012, without consulting the Mayan religious elders, who are the guardians of the native wisdom. Most Mayan Elders and religious leaders have strongly resented the apocalyptic prophecies that have been associated with 2012 by many western writers. Instead, they believe that the end of the Great Cycle of the Mayan Calendar heralds the beginning of a new age of enlightenment and consciousness; one in which man will learn to live in peace and harmony with his natural surroundings. 

One of the highly respected Mayan religious leaders is Carlos Barrios, who is also a Mayan Ajq'ij i.e. a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide. Mr. Barrios has spoken with hundreds of Mayan Elders regarding their viewpoints. Mr. Barrios says that the process of transition to the new age of light has already begun. “This is a time when the right arm of the materialistic world is disappearing, slowly but inexorably. We are at the cusp of the era when peace begins, and people live in harmony with Mother Earth”, he said. “This is the time in-between, the time of transition. As we pass through this transition there is a colossal, global convergence of environmental destruction, social chaos, war, and ongoing Earth changes.”  Although Mr. Barrios talks about environmental destruction and social upheaval during this time of transition, he cautions that one should not interpret the Mayan Calendar end-date as the end of the world and create apocalyptic world visions based on these interpretations. He says, “Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan Elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed…Humanity will continue, but in a different way. Material structures will change. From this we will have the opportunity to be more human."

So these are the times of evolution and transformation. There is a prevalent belief which states that the light of wisdom will come from the east. Chapter 3 of the Zoroastran text Zand-i Vohuman Yasht contains very lengthy prophecies about the later days of this era, and it says that, “in the direction of Chinistan, it is said - some have said among the Hindus - is born a prince; it is his father, a prince of the Kayanian race, approaches the women, and a religious prince is born to him; he calls his name Warharan the Varjavand, some have said Shahpur. That a sign may come to the earth, the night when that prince is born, a star falls from the sky; when that prince is born the star shows a signal." Other prophecies refer to the birth of the "Great Serpent" in the east, who will bring the lamp of wisdom to the different nations. When and where this "messiah" or "prophet" shall be born is uncertain. The great American psychic, Edgar Cayce, sums it up rather nicely when he says in Reading 3976-15, that the day of arrival of the Lord will be made known to people through spiritual interception in the minds of people.

All these prognostications about the impending birth of a "messiah" made me wonder if the Barbury Castle formation may be hinting at a similar possibility. It is said that before Buddha’s birth, the great court seer Asita had observed various auspicious symbols and astrological configurations and had concluded that the new prince will either be a chakravartin or an enlightened spiritual leader. The word chakravartin originated from the Sanskrit "chakra", meaning "wheel", and "vartin", meaning "one who turns". Thus, a chakravartin may be understood as a ruler "whose chariot wheels roll everywhere", or "whose movements are unobstructed". He is an emperor of the world, a universal monarch, who rules by virtue of his wisdom, compassion and righteousness. 

It is believed that the birth of a chakravartin heralds the onset of seven wealth’s or abundances which arise in the realm; a wealth of faith, morality, honesty, modesty, learning, renunciation and wisdom. The term chakravartin refers particularly to the incarnations of Vishnu who appear to restore dharma and righteousness on earth. The most famous chakravartin in Hinduism is the incaranation of Vishnu as the universal monarch Rama in the Treta Yuga, sometime around 7000 BC. Other religions have their own equivalents of the chakravartin.

Fig 11: A Chakravatin, 1st century BC. Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati. Preserved at Musee Guimet
Fig 12: Flag of Sikkim (1914-1962). The symbol of the Chakravartin and the seven jewels.
As it turns out, Asita’s prognosis about Buddha was also correct for Buddha was both an enlightened spiritual leader as well as a chakravartin. In choosing the path of renunciation and winning dominion over the realms of the spirit, the Buddha also attained sovereignty over the earth. 

Is it possible, therefore, that the crop circles, which are essentially circular in form, and thereby resemble a chakra or a wheel, are heralding the birth of another chakravartin - the savior whose coming is widely anticipated by the people across the world? 

The symbol of the chakravartin has always been a chakra or a wheel; it is widely believed that the body of the chakravartin as well as his palms and soles bear the auspicious discus symbol, indicating his divinity. The Buddhist text Kalachakra-Tantra proclaims that, “The Chakravartin shall come out at the end of the age, from the city the gods fashioned on Mount Kailasa. He shall smite the barbarians in battle with his own four-division army, on the entire surface of the earth.” Perhaps the Barbury Castle formation is telling us that an aspect of Vishnu shall soon descend on earth in order to steer humanity towards the path of dharma, and prepare us for our evolution towards a new age of enlightenment? That is an outcome we can certainly wish for.


  1. Thank you Bibhu Dev for your brilliant research!
    Perhaps you missed the Kundalini seven chakra crop circle?
    The world is just now awakening to this miracle!

    Blessings of the return of The Golden Age - Manu Yuga

    Nardeep Pujji

  2. @Nardeep: Thanks. I am glad you liked the article. There are many crop circles which I have not included in this piece, since I was only focusing on the crop circles that are directly related to the four attributes of Vishnu. There are crop circles depicting the Chakras, Mandalas, Yantras and various other symbols, from many different cultures, which carry their own symbolic meaning. All of them, however, seem to point towards an era of wisdom and enlightenment.

    1. Crop circles apparently appeared all the way back to the 1600's and there were pranksters in the 1970's who picked it up from somewhere. Have the Vishnu symbols appeared more than other versions, within a particular time frame perhaps?

    2. I haven't noticed in any pattern as such. I have been following crop circles for many years, and I think that the phenomenon is far too complex and mysterious to assign to pranksters.

  3. what is the reason for crop circle formation?

    1. Nobody knows for sure. We dont know how the crop circles are created, and by whom. All that we know is that the symbols depicted in these formation are the "sacred" symbols of different ancient cultures. People who have visited crop circle sites have reported feeling dizzy, and electronic gadgets like cell-phones and cameras, and even electromechanical gadgets like tractors stop working within a crop circle site. This may be due to some residual electromagnetic charge.
      We can only guess what is going on. Perhaps some unknown force is trying to send us important messages through these symbols? Maybe we should pay more attention to these messages and try to understand their hidden meanings? New crop circles are appearing every year during the summer months. Hence, we cannot continue to ignore this phenomenon.

    2. You're bang on target Bibhu...
      Crop Circles aren't just a thing that just occurs as per main stream. The one appeared in North England last July was talking about the 7 chakras.
      Someone, somewhere are warning us about our fate on current magnitude of our life style and implores possibilities of severe consequences. Why would they keep their secret message on their art otherwise.
      Honestly, the Mayan recipe of destruction wasn't just a flash on the pan, it is due for sure except the Earth's core is not reached that flashing point.
      The X class Sun blast solar flares which are hit Earth on the 13th is an example of how fast we are proceeding to our doom, with over 98 active volcano's going rampant over past 5 years.
      The eye needs to change its vision over mankind or time will run out.... Soon.. very soon.

    3. Hi, thanks for your inputs. Yes, it does seem that crop circles are urging us to elevate our consciousness, and cultivate wisdom.
      There are many indications that we are about to end the current yuga and enter into a period of "transition" which may be accompanied by large-scale environmental and cosmic changes. (I have written another article on this topic: The end of the Kali Yuga in 2025). The current earth-changes may be indicative of the period of turbulence that lies ahead.
      Humanity in general certainly needs to get out of the "rat race" mentality, and develop a more holistic and nurturing approach to life. After all, we are simply passengers on this planet, and while we are here our primary duty is to evolve our consciousness. We seem to be doing everything but that. I think we will be forced to change direction as we get closer to the transition point.

    4. Thanks for the inputs Bibhu, but how to did you calculate the Kali Yuga changing on 2025?
      As per Shastri Yukteshwar in 1894, he gave a writing that Kali yuga is a back to back phenonmenon... as in when it ends it begins with a new Kali Yuga..
      Though I have no much research on it, this is what I was given to understand that it is suppose to end sometime in 2185. Then of course the 2nd Kali Yuga begins for another 2600 years.
      If you have the calculation format, where the ages are depicted in co-ordination with the Gregorian Calendar, it would be of great help!

    5. Hi,
      You can check out the article on my blog. Here's the link:

      I have adopted the concept of ascending and descending yuga cycles as proposed by Yukteswar. However, I have also argued that the individual yugas in the yuga cycle are of equal duration of 3000 years (Yukteswar had adopted the 1:2:3:4 duration of the yugas).
      I have also shown that the yuga cycle was tracked using the Saptarshi Calendar of ancient India, which had a cycle of 2700 years, and which had a beginning date of 6676 BC which indicated the beginning of the Dwapara Yuga in the descending cycle.
      Using this method we arrive at a Kali Yuga end date of 2025 CE. I think you will get a better understanding of my argument if you read the article.

  4. Read ""

  5. sir could you please elaborate on what happens in the transition period? thanks

    1. The period of transition has three main events which overlap with each other. A collapse of the old system, the emergence of a new way of living, and the appearance of an Avatar. The 300 year transition period can be broken up into two periods of 150 years each - one representing the twilight of the previous yuga and the other representing the dawn of the next yuga. The first 150 year period is characterized by the collapse of the old civilization due to various social, cosmic and environmental factors,and the next 150 years is the time when the systems, philosophies and underlying framework of the new civilization evolves. However, the division may not be so discrete, and I believe that the collapse and the emergence will progresses simultaneously, although with different intensities. The Avatar generally comes in to ring in the end of the yuga, and to trigger a massive upsurge in consciousness. In that respect he can be expected to arrive in the first 150 year period of the transitional period.
      As to what exactly will happen in this period I cannot say. What seems apparent, however, is that the paradigm that awaits us on the other side of the transitional era is dramatically different from the current state. The events of the Kali Yuga will be totally forgotten, like a distant bad dream. People will awaken to a new of life, that will be far more humane, joyful, and nurturing and will see and hear things which may seem like science fantasy today.

  6. hello what is the difference between the descending kali yuga and the ascending kali yuga?

    1. The descending Kali Yuga is marked by a decrease in mental faculties and virtues as well as a reduction in our material well-being. In the ascending Kali Yuga the material aspects are reversed, and there is a consequent increase in material prosperity. However, the reduction in virtues and mental capabilities continues throughout the ascending phase of the Kali Yuga as well. As a result, at the fag end of the Kali Yuga there is a major gap between matter and spirit. There is a relatively high degree of material prosperity accompanied by moral and spiritual bankruptcy. This is an extremely destabilizing state, and creates high levels of emotional turmoil. It appears we are currently at this stage in the yuga cycle, about to enter a period of transition, where-in this matter-spirit gap may be eliminated, through a set of events which can raise the collective consciousness to very high levels.

  7. Great article Bibhu! I also found Colin and Synthia Andrew's book 'On the Edge of Reality' which looks like a good read to get more in depth info on this and other phynomena being observed scientifically. "On the Edge of Reality: Hidden Technology, Powers of the Mind, Quantum Physics, Paranormal Phenomena, Orbs, UFOs, Harmonic Transmissions, and Crop Circles"

    1. Thanks Varun for the link. Looks like an interesting book, that I would like to read.

  8. The prophet has already left this material plane.Surely no one can deny that it was his Divine Grace Srila Prabupada.He translated the cream of the vedas,Srimad Bhagavatam into English which was then translated to all the other main languages of the world.And he also brought the maha mantra to more westerners than anyone before him.If it were not for Srila Prabupada,myself and thousands of others would not know a thing about Krsna.


    1. There have been many saints and prophets in the Indian tradition - in the past century itself, apart from Srila Prabhupada, we have had people like Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharshi and others illuminating the minds of people in India and abroad with their teachings. However, we should not mistake the messenger with the Avatar. In this article I am talking of the coming of the Avatar - the Chakravartin King - the Universal Emperor, whose power and glory is no less than that of Rama or Krishna. That is the messiah whose arrival has been prophecised in many any texts and traditions, and he is not yet here.

  9. Ah,sorry I misunderstood you.I thought you ment a human being empowered by Krsna, a Shaktivesh Avatar.I have not heard about the prophecy of the Chakravartin King.A Universal emperor avatar would be exactly what we need at this moment of time.Thank you again Bibhu for sharing your knowledge and I will try and find out more about the Chakravartin King.

    1. Thanks for your comments. Yes, I agree that a Chakravartin is the need of the hour.

  10. Hi Bibhu, Your research is truly fascinating. No doubt we need a Chakravartin King. Per the crop circles could it all just be the work of hoaxers?

    1. Massive crop circles, hundreds of feet wide, appear in the matter of minutes, in broad daylight, right next to a busy highway --- We are talking of an invisible source of energy (possibly electromagnetic) guided by an invisible intelligence. No hoaxers here. A couple of old clowns made some claims in the 90s, and one of them is dead, the other cannot walk, but crop circles continue as before. For a hoaxer to be taken seriously he should predict a crop circle in advance - no one has done that in 25 years. The hoax argument is old, tired, and meaningless and not worth talking about.

  11. Its warning to Big Brother and NATO that
    Kalki Avatar is right behind you and watching Big Brother....
    Kalki Avatar allready on this planet from 21.12.12

    You can see kalki avatar right behind Illuminati symbol with sword in hand.

    This is a crop circle some where in USA.

    For more read visit original blog

    1. That crop circle is a photoshop hoax. It was never seen on any field. Also, crop circles never depict human faces - so if you see one with a face its most probably a hoax.

  12. Thanks for nice article. It is great to see an Indian working at the limit of normally acceptable world view. Since Hindus are still in touch with their ancient scriptures, well familiar with the concepts, which are transmissible only culturally, your contribution is very important and critical. I had lots of question, but they all got answered in comments section from your answers.

    1. Thank you for you kind comments. I am very glad to know that you liked the article and the discussions.