SECRET DOCTRINE -VOLUME -3-
by H.P.Blavatsky -
Part 3 of 4
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|173||The Post-Christian Successors to the Mysteries||34||303|
|174||The Root Races||34||305|
|175||The "False Gnosis"||34||307|
|176||Teachings of Ammonius||34||309|
|177||Difficulties and Dangers||34||311|
|178||The Neo-Platonic School||34||313|
|179||Symbolism of Sun and Stars||35||315|
|180||The Circle Dance||35||317|
|182||Michael the Conqueror||35||321|
|183||The Christian Sun God||35||323|
|184||Pagan Sidereal Worship or Astronomy||36||325|
|185||The Planetary Angels||36||327|
|187||The Promethean Mystery||36||331|
|188||The Souls of the Stars- Universal Heliolatry||37||332|
|189||Christian Star Worship||37||333|
|190||A Singular Confession||37||335|
|191||Astrology and Astrolatry||38||337|
|192||The Defense of Astrology||38||339|
|193||Its Later Deterioration||38||341|
|194||Its Prominent Disciples||38||343|
|195||Cycles and Avatâras||39||345|
|196||An Unfulfilled Prophecy||39||347|
|200||Age of the Vedas||40||353|
|201||Testimony of the Song celestial||40||355|
|203||The Doctrine of the Avatâras||41||361|
|204||All Avatâras Identical||41||363|
|206||Cardinal de Cusa||41||367|
|207||The Seven Rays||41||369|
|209||The Higher Astral||41||373|
|210||The Seven Principles||42||374|
|211||The Mystery of Buddha||43||376|
|213||The Buddha cannot Reincarnate||43||379|
|214||A Fuller Explanation||43||381|
|216||Shankârachârya still Living||43||385|
|217||Reincarnations of Buddha||44||386|
|220||An Obscure Passage||44||391|
|221||An Unpublished Discourse of Buddha||45||393|
|222||A Mistaken View||45||395|
|225||Matter is ever Living||46||399|
|226||Blind Faith not Expected||46||401|
|227||What Annihilation Means||46||403|
|228||The Secret Books of "Lam-Rin" and Dzyan||47||405|
Buddha Kwan-Shai-yin- and Kwan-yin
What the "Book of Dzyan and the Lamaseries of Tsong-Khapa say
|230||Tsong-Khapa- Lohans in China||49||409|
|231||The Lost Word||49||411|
|233||A Few More Misconceptions Corrected||50||414|
|234||Misrepresentations of Buddhism||50||415|
|235||A Mysterious Land||50||417|
|238||Introduction of Buddhism into Tibet||50||423|
|239||The "Doctrine of the Eye" and the "Doctrine of the Heart." or the "Heart's Seal"||51||424|
|241||The God "Who"||51||427|
|246||The Jewel in the Lotus||52||437|
|247||The Pythagorean Triad||52||439|
|248||Seven Correspondential Contents||52||441|
|249||Correspondence between Races and Man||52||443|
|250||Man and the Logos||52||445|
|251||Cosmic, Spiritual and Physical Centres||52||447|
|252||Woman and Alchemy||52||449|
|253||Sound and Colour||52||451|
|254||The days of the Week||52||453|
|256||Astrology and Lunar Weeks||52||457|
|257||Seeing Sounds and Hearing Colours||52||459|
|258||Planetary and Human Bodies||52||461|
|259||Planets and Faculties||52||463|
|260||Simon Magus the Magician||52||465|
|261||Series of Aeons||52||467|
|262||The Triple Aeon||52||469|
|263||Magic and Miracles||52||471|
|264||Magic a Divine Science||52||473|
The Post-Christian Successors to the Mysteries
(Page 303) THE Eleusinian Mysteries were no more. Yet it was these which gave their principle features to the Neo-platonic school of Ammonius Saccas, for the Eclectic System was chiefly characterised by its Theurgy and ecstasis. It was Iamblichus who added to it the Egyptian doctrine of Theurgy with its practices, and Porphyry, the Jew, who opposed this new element. The school, however, with but few exceptions, practised asceticism and contemplation, its mystics passing through a discipline as rigorous as that of the Hindu devotee. Their efforts never tended so much to develop the successful practice of thaumaturgy, necromancy or sorcery—such as they are now accused of—as to evolve the higher faculties of the inner man, the Spiritual Ego. The school held that a number of spiritual beings, denizens of spheres quite independent of the earth and of the human cycle, were mediators between the “Gods” and men, and even between man and the Supreme Soul. To put it in plainer language, the soul of man became, owing to the help of the Planetary Spirits, “recipient of the soul of the world” as Emerson puts it. Apollonius of Tyana asserted his possession of such a power in these words (quoted by Professor Wilder in his Neo-Platonism):
I can see the present and the future in a clear mirror. The sage [Adept] need not wait for the vapours of the earth and the corruption of the air to foresee plagues and fevers; he must know them later than God, but earlier than the people. The theoi or gods see the future; common men, the present; sages that which is about to take place. My peculiar abstemious mode of living produces such an acuteness of the senses, or creates some other faculty, so that the greatest and most remarkable things may be performed. [ Neo-Platonism and Alchemy. p.15 ]
(Page 304) Professor A. Wilder’s comment thereupon is remarkable:
This is what may be termed Spiritual photography. The soul is the camera in which facts and events, future, past, and present, are alike fixed; and the mind becomes conscious of them. Beyond our everyday world of limits, all is as one day or state—the past and future comprised in the present. Probably this is the “great day,” the “last day,” the “day of the Lord.” of the Bible writers—the day into which everyone passes by death or ecstasis. Then the soul is freed from the constraint of the body, and its nobler part is united to higher nature and becomes partaker in the wisdom and foreknowledge of the higher beings. [ Loc. cit.]
How far the system practised by the Neo-Platonists was identical with that of the old and the modern Vedântins may be inferred from what Dr. A. Wilder says of the Alexandrian Theosophists.
The anterior idea of the New Platonists was that of a single Supreme Essence. . . All the old philosophies contained the doctrine that φεοι, theoi, gods or disposers, angels, demons, and other spiritual agencies, emanated from the Supreme Being. Ammonius accepted the doctrine of the Books of Hermes, that from the divine All proceeded the Divine Wisdom or Amun; that from Wisdom proceeded the Demiurge or Creator; and from the Creator, the subordinate spiritual beings; the world and its people being the last. The first is contained in the second, the first and second in the third, and so on through the entire series. [ Op. cit., pp. 9. 10 ]
This is a perfect echo of the belief of the Vedântins, and it proceeds directly from the secret teachings of the East. The same author says:
Akin to this is the doctrine of the Jewish Kabala which was taught by the Pharsi or Pharisees, who probably borrowed it, as their sectarian designation would seem to indicate, from the Magians of Persia. It is substantially embodied in the following synopsis.
The Divine Being is the All, the source of all existence, the Infinite; and He cannot be known. The Universe reveals Him, and subsists by Him. At the beginning His effulgence went forth everywhere. [This Divine Effulgence and Essence is the light of the Logos: only the Vedântin would not use the pronoun “He,” but would say “It.”] Eventually He retired within Himself and so formed around Him a vacant space. Into this He transmitted His first Emanation, a Ray, containing in it the generative and conceptive power, and hence the name IE, or Jah. This in turn produced the tikkun, the pattern or idea or form; and in this emanation, which also contained the male and female, or generative and conceptive potencies, were the three primitive forces of Light, Spirit and Life. This Tikkun is united to the Ray, or first emanation, and pervaded by it; and by that union is also in perpetual communication with the infinite source. It is the pattern, the primitive man, the Adam Kadmon, the macrocosm of Pythagoras and other philosophers.
The Root Races -
(Page 305) From it proceeded the Sephiroth . . . . From the Sephiroth in turn emanated the four worlds, each proceeding out of the one immediately above it, and the lower one enveloping its superior. These worlds became less pure as they descended in the scale, the lowest of all being the material world. [Loc. cit., note. p.10]
This veiled enunciation of the Secret Teaching will be clear to our readers by this time. These worlds are:
Aziluth is peopled with the purest emanations [ the First, almost spiritual, Race of the human beings that were to inhabit [ the Fourth;] the second, Beriah, by a lower order, the servants of the former [ the second Race ]; the third, Jesirah, by the cherubim and seraphim, the Elohim and B’ni Elohim [“Sons of Gods” or Elohim, our Third Race ]. The fourth world, Asiah, is inhabited by the Klipputh, of whom Belial is chief [ the Atlantean Sorcerers]. [ Loc. cit., note.]
These worlds are all the earthly duplicates of their heavenly prototypes, the mortal and temporary reflections and shadows of the more durable, if not eternal, races dwelling in other, to us, invisible worlds. The souls of the men of our Fifth Race derive their elements from these four worlds—Root Races—that preceded ours: namely, our intellect. Manas, the fifth principle, our passions and mental and corporeal appetites. A conflict having arisen, called “war in heaven,” among our prototypical worlds, war came to pass, æons later, between the Atlanteans [See Esoteric Buddhism, by A.P. Sinnett. Fifth Edition.] of Asiah, and those of the third Root Race, the B’ni Elohim or the “Sons of God,” [ See Isis Unveiled. Vol. I ., pp.589-595. The “Sons of God” and their war with the giants and magicians.] and then evil and wickedness were intensified. Mankind (in the last sub-race of the third Root Race) having
Sinned in their first parent [a physiological allegory, truly!] from whose soul every human soul is an emanation,
says the Zohar, men were “exiled” into more material bodies to
Expiate that sin and become proficient in goodness.
To accomplish the cycle of necessity, rather, explains the doctrine; to progress on their task of evolution, from which task none of us can be freed, neither by death nor suicide, for each of us have to pass through the “Valley of Thorns” before he emerges into the plains of divine light and rest. And thus men will continue to be born in new bodies.
Till they have become sufficiently pure to enter a higher form of existence.
(Page 306) This means only that Mankind, from the First down to the last, or Seventh Race, is composed of one and the same company of actors, who have descended from higher spheres to perform their artistic tour on this our planet, Earth. Starting as pure spirits on our downward journey around the world (verily!) with the knowledge of truth—now feebly echoed in the Occult Doctrines—inherent in us, cyclic law brings us down to the reversed apex of matter, which is lost down here on earth and the bottom of which we have already struck; and then, the same law of spiritual gravity will make us slowly ascend to still higher, still purer spheres than those we started from.
Foresight, prophecy, oracular powers! Illusive fancies of man’s dwarfed perceptions, which see actual images in reflections and shadows, and mistakes past actualities for prophetic images of a future that has no room in Eternity. Our macrocosm and its smallest microcosm, man, are both repeating the same play of universal and individual events at each station, as on every stage on which Karma leads them to enact their respective dramas of life. False prophets could have no existence had there been no true prophets. And so there were, and many of both classes, and in all ages. Only, none of these ever saw anything but that which had already come to pass, and had been before prototypically enacted in higher spheres—if the event foretold related to national or public weal or woe—or in some preceding life, if it concerned only an individual, for every such event is stamped as an indelible record of the Past and Future, which are only, after all, the ever Present in Eternity. The “worlds” and the purifications spoken of in the Zohar and other Kabalistic books, relate to our globe and races no more and no less than they relate to other globes and other races that have preceded our own in the great cycle. It was such fundamental truths as these that were performed in allegorical plays and images during the Mysteries, the last Act of which, the Epilogue for the Mystæ, was the anastasis or “continued existence,” as also the “Soul transformation.”
Hence, the author of Neo-platonism and Alchemy shows us that all such Eclectic doctrines were strongly reflected in the Epistles of Paul, and were
Inculcated more or less among the Churches. Hence, such passages as these “Ye were dead in errors and sins; ye walked according to the æon of this world, according to the archon that has the domination of the air.” “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the dominations, against potencies, against the lords of darkness, and against the mischievousness of spirits and the empryrean regions.”
The “False Gnosis”- ( Page 307) But Paul was evidently hostile to the effort to blend his gospel with the gnostic ideas of the Hebrew-Egyptian school, as seems to have been attempted at Ephesus; and accordingly, wrote to Timothy, his favorite disciple, “Keep safe the precious charge entrusted to thee; and reject the new doctrines and the antagonistic principles of the gnosis, falsely so-called, of which some have made profession and gone astray from the faith.” [ Loc.cit. note. ]
But as the Gnosis is the Science pertaining to our Higher Self, as blind faith is a matter of temperament and emotionalism, and as Paul’s doctrine was still newer and his interpretations far more thickly veiled, to keep the inner truths hidden far away from the Gnostic, preference has been given to the former by every earnest seeker after truth.
Besides this, the great Teachers who professed the so-called “false Gnosis” were very numerous in the days of the Apostles, and were as great as any converted Rabbi could be. If Porphyry, the Jew Malek, went against Theurgy on account of old traditional recollections, there were other teachers who practised it. Plotinius, Iamblichus, Proclus, were all thaumaturgists, and the latter:
Elaborated the entire theosophy and theurgy of his predecessors into a complete system. [Op. cit., p.18.]
As to Ammonius,
Countenanced by Clemens and Athenagoras, in the Church, and by learned men of the Synagogue, the Academy, and the Grove, he fulfilled his labour by teaching a common doctrine for all. [ Op. cit.,p.8.]
Thus it is not Judaism and Christianity that re-modelled the ancient Pagan Wisdom, but rather the latter that put its heathen curb, quietly and insensibly, on the new faith; and this, moreover, was still further influenced by the Eclectic Theosophical system, the direct emanation of the Wisdom Religion. All that is grand and noble in Christian theology comes from Neo-Platonism. It is too well-known to now need much repetition that Ammonius Saccas, the God-taught (theodidaktos) and the lover of truth (philalethes), in establishing his school, made a direct attempt to benefit the world by teaching those portions of the Secret Science that were permitted by its direct guardians to be revealed in those days. [ No orthodox Christian has ever equalled, far less surpassed, in the practice of true Christ-like virtues and ethics, or in the beauty of his moral nature, Ammonius, the Alexandrian pervert from Christianity (he was born from Christian parents.)] The modern movement of our own Theosophical Society (Page 308) was begun on the same principles; for the Neo-Platonic school of Ammonius aimed, as we do, at the reconcilement of all sects and peoples, under the once common faith of the Golden Age, trying to induce the nations to lay aside their contentions—in religious matters at any rate—by proving to them that their various beliefs are all the more or less legitimate children of one common parent, the Wisdom Religion.
Nor was the Eclectic Theosophical system—as some writers inspired by Rome would make the world believe—developed only during the third century of our era; but it belongs to a much earlier age, as has been shown by Diogenes Laertius. He traces it to the beginning of the dynasty of the Ptolemies; to the great seer and prophet, the Egyptian Priest Pot-Amun, of the temple of the God of that name—for Amun is the God of Wisdom. Unto that day the communication between the Adepts of Upper India and Bactria and the Philosophers of the West had never ceased.
Under Philadelphus . . . the Hellenic teachers became rivals of the College of Rabbis of Babylon. The Buddhistic, Vedântic and Magian systems were expounded along with the philosophies of Greece . . . . Aristobulus, the Jew, declared that the ethics of Aristotle were derived from the law of Moses (!); and Philo, after him, attempted to interpret the Pentateuch in accordance with the doctrines of Pythagoras and the Academy. In Josephus it is said that, in the Book of the Genesis, Moses wrote philosophically—that is, in the figurative style; and the Essenes of Carmel were reproduced in the Therapeutæ of Egypt, who, in turn were declared by Eusebius to be identical with the christians, though they actually existed long before the Christian era. Indeed, in its turn, Christianity also was taught at Alexandria, and underwent an analogous metamorphosis. Pantænus, Athenagoras and Clement were thoroughly instructed in the Platonic philosophy, and comprehended its essential unity with the oriental systems. [Op.cit., pp.3, 4.]
Ammonius, though the son of Christian parents, was a lover of the truth, a true Philaletheian foremost of all. He set his heart upon the work of reconciling the different systems into a harmonious whole, for he had already perceived the tendency of Christianity to raise itself on the hecatomb which it had constructed out of all other creeds and faiths. What says history?
The ecclesiastical historian, Mosheim, declares that
Ammonius, conceiving that not only the philosophers of Greece, but also all those of the different barbarous nations, were perfectly in unison with each other with regard to every essential point, made it his business so to temper and expound the tenets of all these various sects, as to make it appear they had all of them originated from one and the same source, and all tended to one and the same end.
Teachers of Ammonius - (Page 309) Again, Mosheim says that Ammonius taught that the religion of the multitude went hand in hand with philosophy, and with her had shared the fate of being by degrees corrupted and obscured with mere human conceits, superstition, and lies; that it ought, therefore, to be brought back to its original purity by purging it of this dross and expounding it upon philosophical principles; and that the whole which Christ had in view was to reinstate and restore to its primitive integrity the Wisdom of the Ancients. [Quoted by Dr. Wilder. p.5 ]
Now what was that “Wisdom of the Ancients” that the Founder of Christianity “had in view”? The system taught by Ammonius in his Eclectic Theosophical School was made of the crumbs permitted to be gathered from the antediluvian lore; those Neo-Platonic teachings are described in the Edinburgh Encyclopœdia as follows:
He [ Ammonius ] adopted the doctrines which were received in Egypt concerning the Universe and the Deity, considered as constituting one great whole; concerning the eternity of the world, the nature of souls, the empire of Providence [ Karma ] and the government of the world by demons [daimons or spirits, archangels]. He also established a system of moral discipline which allowed the people in general to live according to the laws of their country and the dictates of nature; but required the wise to exalt their minds by contemplation and to mortify the body [ “Mortification” is here meant in the moral, not the physical sense: to restrain every lust and passion, and live on the simplest diet possible.] so that they might be capable of enjoying the presence and assistance of the demons [ including their own daimon or Seventh Principle] . . . and ascending after death to the presence of the Supreme [ Soul ] Parent. In order to reconcile the popular religions, and particularly the Christian, with this new system, he made the whole history of the heathen gods an allegory, maintaining that they were only celestial ministers [ This is a Neo-Platonic teaching adopted as a doctrine in the Roman Catholic Church with its worship of the Seven Spirits.] entitled to an inferior kind of worship; and he acknowledged that Jesus Christ was an excellent man and the friend of God, but alleged that it was not his design entirely to abolish the worship of demons, [The Church has made of it the worship of devils, “Daimon” is Spirit, and relates to our divine Spirit, the seventh Principle and to the Dhyân Chohans. Jesus prohibited going to the temple or church” as Pharisees do “ but commanded that man should retire for prayer (communion with his God) into a private closet. Is it Jesus who would have countenanced in the face of the starving millions, the building of the most gorgeous churches?] and that his only intention was to purify the ancient religion.
No more could be declared except for those Philaletheians who were initiated, “persons duly instructed and disciplined” to whom Ammonius communicated his more important doctrines,
Imposing on them the obligations of secrecy, as was done before him by Zoroaster and Pythagoras, and in the Mysteries [ where an oath was required from the (Page 310) neophytes or catechumens not to divulge what they had learned ]. The great Pythagoras divided his teachings into exoteric and esoteric. [Op. cit., p.7.]
Has not Jesus done the same, since He declared to His disciples that to them it was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, whereas to the multitudes it was not given, and therefore he spoke in parables which has a two-fold meaning?
Dr. A. Wilder proceeds:
Thus Ammonius found his work ready to his hand. His deep spiritual intuition, his extensive learning, and his familiarity with the Christian fathers, Pantænus, Clement and Athenagoras, and with the most erudite philosophers of the time, all fitted him for the labour he performed so thoroughly . . . . The results of his ministration are perceptible at the present day in every country of the Christian world; every prominent system of doctrine now bearing the marks of his plastic hand. Every ancient philosophy has had its votaries among the moderns; and even Judaism, oldest of them all, has taken upon itself changes which were suggested by the “God-taught” Alexandrian. [Op. cit., p.7. ]
The Neo-Platonic School of Alexandria founded by Ammonius—the prototype proposed for the Theosophical Society—taught Theurgy and Magic, as much as they were taught in the days of Pythagoras, and by others far earlier than his period. For Proclus says that the doctrines of Orpheus, who was an Indian and came from India, were the origin of the systems afterwards promulgated.
What Orpheus delivered in hidden allegories, Pythagoras learned when he was initiated into the Orphic Mysteries; and Plato next received a perfect knowledge of them from Orphic and Pythagorean writings. [Op. cit., p.18.]
The Philaletheians had their division into neophytes (chelas) and Initiates, or Masters; and the eclectic system was characterised by three distinct features, which are purely Vedântic; a Supreme Essence, One and Universal; the eternity and indivisibility of the human spirit; and Theurgy, which is Mantricism. So also, as we have seen, they had their secret or Esoteric teachings like any other mystic school. Nor were they allowed to reveal anything of their secret tenets, any more than were the Initiates of the Mysteries. Only the penalties incurred by the revealers of the secrets of the latter were far more terrible, and this prohibition has survived to this day, not only in India, but even among the Jewish Kabalists in Asia.
[The Talmud gives the story of the four Tanaim, who are made, in allegorical terms, to enter into the garden of delights, i.e., to be initiated into the occult and final science.
“According to the teaching of our holy masters the names of the four who entered the garden of delight are: Ben Asai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiba . . . .
“Ben Asai looked and—lost his sight. “Ben Zoma looked and—lost his reason. “Acher made depredations in the plantation” (mixed up the whole and failed). But Akiba, who had entered in peace came out of it in peace; for the saint, whose name he blessed, had said, “This old man is worthy of serving us with glory.’ “
“The learned commentators of the Talmud, the Rabbis of the synagogue, explain that the garden of delight, in which those four personages are made to enter, is but that mysterious science, the most terrible of sciences for weak intellects, which it leads directly to insanity,” says A. Franck, in his Kabbalah. It is not the pure at heart and he who studies but with a view to perfecting himself and so more easily acquiring the promised immortality, who need have any fear: but rather he who makes of the science of sciences a sinful pretext for worldly motives, who should tremble. The latter will never understand the kabalistic evocations of the supreme initiation.—Isis Unveiled.ii. 119.]
Difficulties and Dangers - (Page 311) One of the reasons for such secrecy may be the undoubtedly serious difficulties and hardships of chelaship, and the dangers attending Initiation. The modern candidate has, like his predecessor of old, to either conquer or die; when, which is still worse, he does not lose his reason. There is no danger to him who is true and sincere, and, especially, unselfish. For he is thus prepared beforehand to meet any temptation.
He, who fully recognised the power of his immortal spirit, and never doubted for one moment its omnipotent protection, had naught to fear. But woe to the candidate in whom the slightest physical fear—sickly child of matter—made him lose sight and faith in his own invulnerability. He who was not wholly confident of his moral fitness to accept the burden of these tremendous secrets was doomed. [ Isis Unveiled. ii. 119.]
There were no such dangers in Neo-Platonic Initiations. The selfish and unworthy failed in their object, and in the failure was the punishment. The chief aim was “reunion of the part with the all.” This All was One, with numberless names. Whether called Dui, the “bright Lord of Heaven” by the Aryan; Iao, by the Chaldæan and Kabalist; Iabe by the Samaritan; the Tiu or Tuisco by the Northman; Duw, by the Briton; Zeus, by the Thracian or Jupiter by the Roman—it was the Being, the Facit. One and Supreme, [See Neo-Platonism. p.9.] the unborn and the inexhaustible source of every emanation, the fountain of life and light eternal, a Ray of which every one of us carries in him on this earth. The knowledge of this Mystery had reached the Neo-Platonists from India through Pythagoras, and still later through Apollonius of Tyana and the rules and methods for producing ecstasy had come from the same lore of the divine Vidyâ, the Gnosis. For Âryavarta, the bright focus into which has been poured in the beginning of time the flames (Page 312) of Divine Wisdom, had become the centre from which radiated the “tongues of fire” into every portion of the globe. What was Samâdhi but that
Sublime ecstasy, in which state things divine and the mysteries of Nature are revealed to us,
of which Porphyry speaks?
The efflux from the divine soul is imparted to the human spirit in unreserved abundance, accomplishing for the soul a union with the divine, and enabling it while in the body to be partaker of the life which is not in the body,
he explains elsewhere.
Thus under the title of Magic was taught every Science, physical and metaphysical, natural or deemed supernatural by those who are ignorant of the omnipresence and universality of Nature.
Divine Magic makes of man a God; human magic creates a new friend.
We wrote in Isis Unveiled:
In the oldest documents now in the possession of the World—the Vedas and the older laws of Manu—we find many magical rites practised and permitted by the Brâhmans. [See the Code published by Sir William Jones, Chapter ix., p.11.] Tibet, Japan, and China, teach in the present age that which was taught by the oldest Chaldæns. The clergy of these respective countries prove moreover what they teach—namely, that the practice of moral and physical purity, and of certain austerities, develops the vital soul-power of self-illumination. Affording to man the control over his own immortal spirit, it gives him truly magical powers over the elementary spirits inferior to himself. In the West we find magic of as high an antiquity as in the East. The Druids of Great Britain practised it in the silent crypts of their deep caves; and Pliny devotes many a chapter to the “wisdom” [Pliny: Hist. Nat., xxx. i : ib., xvi. 14: xxv. 9. etc.] of the leaders of the Celts. The Semothees—the Druids of the Gauls—expounded the physical as well as the spiritual sciences. They taught the secrets of the universe, the harmonious progress of the heavenly bodies, the formation of the earth, and above all—the immortality of the Soul. [Pomponius ascribes to them the knowledge of the highest sciences.] In their sacred groves —natural academies built by the hand of the Invisible architect—the initiates assembled at the still hour of midnight, to learn about what man once was, and what he will be. [Cæsar, iii. 14] They needed no artificial illumination, nor life-drawing gas, to light up their temples, for the chaste goddess of night beamed her most silvery rays on their oak-crowned heads; and their white-robed sacred bards knew how to converse with the solitary queen of the starry vault. [Pliny. xxx. Isis Unveiled. i. 18.]
During the palmy days of Neo-Platonism these Bards were no more, for their cycle had run its course, and the last of the Druids had perished at Bibractis and Alesia.
The Neo-Platonic School - (Page 313) But the Neo-Platonic school was for a long time successful, powerful and prosperous. Still, while adopting Âryan Wisdom in its Doctrines, the school failed to follow the wisdom of the Brâhmans in practice. It showed its moral and intellectual superiority too openly, caring too much for the great and powerful of this earth. While the Brâhmans and their great Yogis—experts in matters of philosophy, metaphysics, astronomy, morals and religion—preserved their dignity under the sway of the most powerful princes, remained aloof from the world and would not condescend to visit them or to ask for the slightest favour, [“The care which they took in educating youth, in familiarizing it with generous and virtuous sentiments, did them peculiar honour, and their maxims and discourses, as recorded by historians, prove that they were expert in matters of philosophy, metaphysics, astronomy, morality and religion,” says a modern writer. “If kings or princes desired the advice or the blessings of the holy men, they were either obliged to go themselves, or to send messengers. To these men no secret power of either plant or mineral was unknown. They had fathomed nature to its depths, while psychology and physiology were to them open books, and the result was that science that is now termed so superciliously, magic.”] the Emperors Alexander, Severus, and Julian and the greatest among the aristocracy of the land, embraced the tenets of the Neo-Platonists, who mixed freely with the world. The system flourished for several centuries and comprised within the ranks of its followers the ablest and most learned among the men of the time; Hypatia, the teacher of the Bishop Synesius, was one of the ornaments of the School until the fatal and shameful day when she was murdered by the Christian mob at the instigation of Bishop Cyril of Alexandria. The school was finally removed to Athens, and closed by order of the Emperor Justinian.
How accurate is Dr. Wilder’s remark that
Modern writers have commentated upon the peculiar views of the Neo-Platonists upon these [metaphysical] subjects, seldom representing them correctly, even if this was desired or intended. [Op. cit., p.9.]
The few speculations on the sublunary, material, and spiritual universes that they did put into writing—Ammonius never having himself written a line, after the wont of reformers—could not enable posterity to judge them rightly even had not the early Christian Vandals, the later crusaders, and the fanatics of the Middle Ages, destroyed three parts of that which remained of the Alexandrian Library and its later schools.
Professor Draper shows that Cardinal Ximenes alone
(Page 314) Delivered to the flames in the squares of Granada eighty thousand Arabic manuscripts, many of them translations of classical authors.
In the Vatican Library, whole passages in the most rare and precious treatises of the Ancients were found erased and blotted out, “for the sake of interlining them with absurd psalmodies!” Moreover it is well known that over thirty-six volumes written by Porphyry were burnt and otherwise destroyed by the “Fathers.” Most of the little that is known of the doctrines of the Eclectics is found in the writings of Plotinus and of those same Church Fathers.
Says the author of Neo-Platonism:
What Plato was to Socrates, and the Apostle John to the head of the Christian faith, Plotinus became to the God-taught Ammonius. To Plotinus, Origenes, and Longinus we are indebted for what is known of the Philaletheian system. They were duly instructed, initiated and entrusted with the interior doctrines. [Op. cit., p.11.]
This accounts marvellously for Origen’s calling people “idiots” who believe in the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve fables; as also for the fact that so few of the writings of that Church Father have passed to posterity. Between the secrecy imposed, the vows of silence and that which was maliciously destroyed by every foul means, it is indeed miraculous that even so much of the Philaletheian tenets has reached the world.
Symbolism of Sun and Stars
(Page 315) And the Heaven was visible in Seven Circles and the planets appeared with all their signs, in star-form, and the stars were divided and numbered with the rulers that were in them, and their revolving course, through the agency of the divine Spirit. [ Hermes, iv.6 ]
Here Spirit denotes Pneuma, collective Deity, manifested in its “Builders,” or, as the Church has it, “the seven Spirits of the Presence,” the mediantibus angelis of whom Thomas Aquinas says that “God never works but through them.”
These seven “rulers” or mediating Angels were the Kabiri Gods of the Ancients. This was so evident, that it forced from the Church, together with the admission of the fact, an explanation and a theory, whose clumsiness and evident sophistry are such that it must fail to impress. The world is asked to believe, that while the Planetary Angels of the Church are divine Beings, the genuine “Seraphim, “ [ From Saraph , fiery, burning,” plural (see Isaiah, vi. 2-6). They are regarded as the personal attendants of the Almighty, “his messengers,” angels or metratons. In Revelation they are the “seven burning lamps” in attendance before the throne.] these very same angels, under identical names and planets, were and are “false”—as Gods of the ancients. They are no better than pretenders; the cunning copies of the real Angels, produced beforehand through the craft and power of Lucifer and of the fallen Angels. Now, what are the Kabiri?
Kabiri, as a name, is derived from Habir , great, and also from Venus, this Goddess being called to the present day Kabar, as in also her star. The Kabiri were worshipped at Hebron, the city of the Anakim, or anakas (kings, princes). They are the highest Planetary Spirits, the “greatest Gods” and “the powerful.” Varro, following Orpheus, (Page 316 ) calls these Gods ευδυνατοι“divine Powers.” The word Kabirim when applied to men, and the words Heber, Gheber (with reference to Nimrod, or the “giants” of Genesis, vi.) and Kabir, are all derived from the “mysterious Word”—the Ineffable and the “Unprounceable.’ Thus it is they who represent tsaba, the “host of heaven.” The Church, however, bowing before the angel Anael (the regent of Venus). [ Venus with the Chaldæans and Egyptians was the wife of Proteus, and is regarded as the mother of the Kabiri, the sons of Phta or Emepth—the divine light or the Sun. The angels answer to the stars in the following order: The Sun, the Moon, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn: Michael, Gabriel, Samael, Anael, Raphael, Zachariel, and Orifiel: this is in religion and Christian Kabalism; astrologically and esoterically the places of the “regents” stand otherwise, as also in the Jewish, or rather the real Chaldæan Kabalah.] connects the planet Venus with Lucifer, the chief of the rebels under Satan—so poetically apostrophized by the prophet Isaiah as “O, Lucifer, son of the morning.” [ Loc.cit., xiv.12.] All the Mystery Gods were Kabiri. As these “seven lictors” relate directly to the Secret Doctrine their real status is of the greatest importance.
Suidas defines the Kabiri as the Gods who command all the other dæmons (Spirits), Macrobius introduces them as
Those Penates and tutelary deities, through whom we live and learn and know (Saturn, I.iii. ch.iv.).
The teraphim through which the Hebrews consulted the oracles of the Urim and the Thummim, were the symbolical hieroglyphics of the Kabiri. Nevertheless, the good Fathers have made of Kibir the synonym of devil and of daimon (spirit) a demon.
The Mysteries of the Kabiri at Hebron (Pagan and Jewish) were presided over by the seven Planetary Gods, among the rest by Jupiter and Saturn under their mystery names, and they are referred to as and and by Euripides as Creuzer, moreover, shows that whether in Phœnicia or in Egypt, the Kabiri were always the seven planets as known in antiquity, who together with their Father the Sun—referred to elsewhere as their “elder brother”—composed a powerful ogdoad; [This is one more proof that the Ancients knew of seven planets besides the Sun: for otherwise which is the eighth in such a case? The seventh, with two others, as stated, were “mystery” planets, whether Uranus or any other.] the eight superior powers, as . or solar assessors, danced around him the sacred circular dance, the symbol of the rotation of the planets around the Sun. Jehovah and Saturn, moreover, are one.
It is quite natural, therefore, to find a French writer, D’Anselme, applying the same terms of to Jehovah and his word, and they are correctly so applied.
The Circle Dance - (Page 317) For if the “circle dance” prescribed by the Amazons for the Mysteries—being the “circle dance” of the planets, and characterised as “the motion of the divine Spirit carried on the waves of the great Deep”—can now be called “infernal” and “lascivious” when performed by the Pagans, then the same epithets ought to be applied to David’s dance; [ II. Sam., vi. 20-22.] and to the dance of the daughters of Shiloh, [Judges. xxi. 21, et seq.] and to the leaping of the prophets of Baal; [ I. Kings. xviii. 26 ] they were all identical and all belonged to Sabæan worship. King David’s dance, during which he uncovered himself before his maid-servants in a public thoroughfare, saying:
I will play (act wantonly) before .(Jehovah), and I will yet be more vile than this,
was certainly more reprehensible than any “circle dance” during the Mysteries, or even than the modern Râsa Mandala in India. [This dance—Râsa Mandala, enacted by the Gopis or shepherdesses of Krishna, the Sun-God, is enacted to this day in Râjputâna in India, and is undeniably the same theo-astronomical and symbolical dance of the planets and the Zodiacal signs, that was danced thousands of years before our era.] which is the same thing. It was David who introduced Jehovistic worship into Judea, after sojourning so long among the Tyrians and Philistines, where these rites were common.
David knew nothing of Moses; and if he introduced the Jehovah-worship, it was not in its monotheistic character, but simply as that of one of the many (Kabirean) gods of the neighbouring nations, a tutelary deity of his own, , to whom he had given the preference—whom he had chosen among all “other (Kabeiri) gods,” [ Isis Unveiled. ii.45. ]
and who was one of the “associates,” Chabir, of the Sun. The Shakers dance the “circle dance” to this day when turning round for the Holy Ghost to move them. In India it is Nârâ-yana who is “the mover on the waters;” and Nârâyana is Vishnu in his secondary form, and Vishnu has Krishna for an Avatâra, in whose honour the “circle dance” is still enacted by the Nautch-girls of the temples, he being the Sun-God and they the planets as symbolised by the gopis.
Let the reader turn to the works of De Mirville, a Roman Catholic writer, or to Monumental Christianity, by Dr. Lundy, a Protestant (Page 318) divine, if he wants to appreciate to any degree the subtlety and casuistry of their reasonings. No one ignorant of the occult version can fail to be impressed with the proofs brought forward to show how cleverly and perseveringly “Satan has worked for long millenniums to tempt a humanity” unblessed with an infallible Church, in order to have himself recognized as the “One living God,” and his fiends as holy Angels. The reader must be patient, and study with attention what the author says on behalf of his Church. To compare it the better with the versions of the Occultists, a few points may be quoted here verbatim.
St. Peter tells us: “May the divine Lucifer arise in your hearts” [ II ,Epistle. i. 19. The English text says: “Until the day-star arise in your heart,” a trifling alteration which does not really matter—as Lucifer is the day as well as the “morning” star—and it is less shocking to pious ears. There are a number of such alterations in the Protestant bibles.] [ Now the Sun is Christ ] . . . . “I will send my Son from the Sun,” said the Eternal through the voice of prophetic traditions; and prophecy having become history the Evangelists repeated in their turn: The Sun rising from on high visited us. [ Again the English translation changes the world “Sun” into “day-spring.” The Roman Catholics are decidedly braver and more sincere than the Protestant theologians. De Mirville. iv.34. 38.]
Now God says, through Malachi, that the Sun shall arise for those who fear his name, What Malachi meant by “the Sun of Righteousness” the Kabalists alone can tell; but what the Greek, and even the Protestant, theologians understood by the term is of course Christ, referred to metaphorically. Only, as the sentence, “I will send my Son from the Sun,” is borrowed verbatim from a Sibylline Book, it becomes very hard to understand how it can be attributed to, or classed with any prophecy relating to the Christian Savior, unless, indeed, the latter is to be identified with Apollo. Virgil, again, says, “Here comes the Virgin’s and Apollo’s reign,” and Apollo, or Apollyon, is to this day viewed as a form of Satan, and is taken to mean the Antichrist. If the Sibylline promise, “He will send his Son from the Sun” applies to Christ, then either Christ and Apollo are one—and then why call the latter a demon?—or the prophecy had nothing to do with the Christian Savior, and, in such a case, why appropriate it at all?
But De Mirville goes further. He shows us St. Denys, the Areopagite, affirming that
The Sun is the special signification, and the statue of God. [Thus said the Egyptians and the Sabæans in days of old, the symbol of whose manifested gods, Osiris and Bel, was the sun. But they had a higher deity.] . . . . It is by the Eastern door that the glory of the Lord penetrated into the temples [ of the Jews and Christians, that divine glory being Sun-light.] . . “ We build our churches towards the east,” says in his turn St. Ambrose, “for during the Mysteries we begin by renouncing him who is in the west.”
Christian Astrolatry - (Page 319) “He who is in the west” is Typhon, the Egyptian god of darkness—the west having been held by them as the “Typhonic Gate of Death.” Thus, having borrowed Osiris from the Egyptians, the Church Fathers thought little of helping themselves to his brother Typhon. Then again:
The prophet Baruch [ Exiled from the Protestant bible but left in the Apocrypha which, according to Article VI, of the Church of England, “she doth read for example of life and instruction of manners” (?), but not to establish any doctrine.] speaks of the stars that rejoice in their vessels and citadels (Chap. iii.); and Ecclesiastes applies the same terms to the sun, which is said to be “the admirable vessel of the most High,” and the “citadel of the Lord” φυλαχη[ Cornelius a Lapide. v. 248 ]
In every case there is no doubt about one thing, for the sacred writer says. It is a Spirit who rules the sun’s course. Hear what he says (in Eccles., i.6), “The sun also ariseth—and its spirit lighting all in its circular path (gyrat gyrans) returneth according to his circuits.” [Ecclesiastes. xIiii. The above quotations are taken from Dr Mirville’s chapter “ On Christian and Jewish Solar Theology,” iv. 35-38.]
De Mirville seems to quote from texts either rejected by or unknown to Protestants, in whose bible there is no forty-third chapter of Ecclesiastes; nor is the sun made to go “in circuits” in the latter, but the wind. This is a question to be settled between the Roman and the Protestant Churches. Our point is the strong element of Sabæanism or Heliolatry present in Christianity.
An Œcumenical Council having authoritatively put a stop to Christian Astrolatry by declaring that there was no sidereal Souls in sun, moon, or planets, St. Thomas took upon himself to settle the point in dispute. The “angelic doctor” announced that such expressions did not mean a “soul,” but only an Intelligence, not resident in the sun or stars, but one that assisted them, “a guiding and directing intelligence.” [ Nevertheless the Church has preserved in her most sacred rites the “star-rites” of the Pagan Initiates. In the pre-Christian Mithraic Mysteries, the candidate who overcame successfully the “twelve Tortures” which preceded the final Initiation, received a small round cake or wafer of unleavened bread, symbolising in one of its meanings, the solar disc, and known as the manna (heavenly bread) . . . . A lamb, or a bull even, was killed, and with the blood the candidate had to be sprinkled, as in the case of the Emperor Julian’s initiation. The seven rules or mysteries that are represented in the Revelation as the seven seals which are opened in order were then delivered to the newly born.]
(Page 320) Thereupon the author, comforted by the explanation, quotes Clement the Alexandrian, and reminds the reader of the opinion of that philosopher, the inter-relation that exists “between the seven branches of the candlestick—the seven stars of the Revelation,” and the sun:
The six branches (says Clement) fixed to the central candlestick have lamps, but the sun placed in the midst of the wandering ones (πλανητων) pours his beams on them all; this golden candlestick hides one more mystery: it is the sign of Christ, not only in shape, but because he sheds his light through the ministry of the seven spirits primarily created, and who are the Seven Eyes of the Lord. Therefore the principal planets are to the seven primeval spirits, according to St. Clement, that which the candlestick-sun is to Christ Himself, namely—their vessels, their φυλαχαι
Plain enough, to be sure; though one fails to see that this explanation even helps the situation. The seven-branched chandelier of the Israelites, as well as the “wanderers” of the Greeks, had a far more natural meaning, a purely astrological one to begin with. In fact from Magi and Chaldæans down to the much-laughed-at Zadkiel, every astrological work will tell its reader that the Sun placed in the midst of the planets, with Saturn, Jupiter and Mars on one side, and Venus, Mercury and the Moon on the other, the planets’ line crossing through the whole Earth, has always meant what Hermes tells us, namely, the thread of destiny, or that whose action (influence) is called destiny. [Truly says S.T. Coleridge: “Instinctively the reason has always pointed out to men the ultimate end of various sciences . . . . There is no doubt but that astrology of some sort or other will be the last achievement of astronomy: there must be chemical relations between the planets . . . .the difference of their magnitude compared with that of their distances is not explicable otherwise.” Between planets and our earth with its mankind, we may add.] But symbol for symbol we prefer the sun to a candlestick. One can understand how the latter came to represent the sun and planets, but no one can admire the chosen symbol. There is poetry and grandeur in the sun when it is made to symbolise the “Eye of Ormuzd” or of Osiris, and is regarded as the Vàhan (vehicle) of the highest Deity. But one must for ever fail to perceive that any particular glory is rendered to Christ by assigning to him the trunk of a candlestick. [ “Christ then”. the author says (p,40), “is represented by the trunk of the candlestick.”] in a Jewish synagogue, as mystical seat of honour.
There are then positively two suns, a sun adored and a sun adoring. The Apocalypse proves it.
The Word is found in Chap. vii., in the angel who ascends with the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God. . . . While commentators differ on the personality of this angel, St. Ambrose and many other theologians see in him Christ himself . . .. He is the Sun adored.
Michael the Conqueror - (Page 321) But in Chap. xix. we find an angel standing in the sun, inviting all the nations to gather to the great supper of the Lamb. This time it is literally and simply the angel of the sun—who cannot be mistaken for the “Word,” since the prophet distinguishes him from the Word, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. . . . The angel in the sun seems to be an adoring sun. Who may be the latter? And who else can he be but the Morning Star, the guardian angel of the Word, his ferouer, or angel of the face, as the Word is the angel of the Face (presence) of his Father, his principal attribute and strength, as his name itself implies (Mikael), powerful rector glorified by the Church, the Rector potens who will fell the Antichrist, the Vice-Word, in short, who represents his master, and seems to be one with him. [ De Mirville. iv. 41, 42.]
Yes, Mikael is the alleged conqueror of Ormuzd, Osiris, Apollo, Krishna, Mithra, etc., of all the Solar Gods, in short, known and unknown, now treated as demons and as “Satan.” Nevertheless, the “Conqueror” has not disdained to don the war-spoils of the vanquished foes—their personalities, attributes, even their names—to become the alter ego of these demons.
Thus the Sun-God here is Honover or the Eternal. The prince is Ormuzd, since he is the first of the seven Amshaspends [ the demon copies of the seven original angels ] (caput angelorum); the lamb (hamal), the Shepherd of the Zodiac and the antagonist of the snake. But the Sun (the Eye of Ormuzd) has also his rector, Korshid or the Mitraton, who is the Ferouer of the face of Ormuzd, his Ized, or the morning star. The Mazdeans had a triple Sun. . . . For us this Korshid-Mitraton is the first of the psychopompian genii, and the guide of the sun, the immolator of the terrestrial Bull [ or lamb ] whose wounds are licked by the serpent [ on the famous Mithraic monument ]. [ De Mirville. iv.42 ]
St. Paul, in speaking of the rulers of this world, the Cosmocratores, only said what was said by all the primitive Philosophers of the ten centuries before the Christian era, only he was scarcely understood, and was often wilfully misinterpreted. Damascius repeats the teachings of the Pagan writers when he explains that
There are seven series of cosmocratores or cosmic forces, which are double: the higher ones commissioned to support and guide the superior world; the lower ones, the inferior world [our own].
And he is but saying what the ancients taught. Iamblichus gives this dogma of the duality of all the planets and celestial bodies, of gods and daimons (spirits). He also divides the Archontes into two classes—the more and the less spiritual; the latter more connected with and clothed with matter, as having a form, while the former are bodiless (Page 322) (arûpa). But what have Satan and his angels to do with all this? Perhaps only that the identity of the Zoroastrian dogma with the Christian, and of Mithra, Ormuzd, and Ahriman with the Christian Father, Son, and Devil, might be accounted for. And when we say “Zoroastrian dogmas” we mean the exoteric teaching. How explain the same relations between Mithra and Ormuzd as those between the Archangel Mikael and Christ?
Ahura Mazda says to holy Zaratushta: “When I created [ emanated ] Mithra . . . I created him that he should be invoked and adored equally with myself.”
For the sake of necessary reforms, the Zoroastrian Âryans transformed the Devas, the bright Gods of India, into devs or devils. It was their Karma that in their turn the Christians should vindicate on this point the Hindus. Now Ormuzd and Mithra have become the devs of Christ and Mikael, the dark lining and aspect of the Saviour and Angel. The day of the Karma of Christian theology will come in its turn. Already the Protestants have begun the first chapter of the religion that will seek to transform the “Seven Spirits” and the host of the Roman Catholics into demons and idols. Every religion has its Karma, as has every individual. That which is due to human conception and is built on the abasement of our brothers who disagree with us, must have its day. “There is no religion higher than truth.”
The Zoroastrians, Mazdeans, and Persians borrowed their conceptions from India: the Jews borrowed their theory of angels from Persia; the Christians borrowed from the Jews.
Hence the latest interpretation by Christian theology—to the great disgust of the synagogue, forced to share the symbolical candlestick with the hereditary enemy—that the seven-branched candlestick represents the seven Churches of Asia and the seven planets which are the angels of those Churches. Hence also, the conviction that the Mosaic Jews, the investors of that symbol for their tabernacle, were a kind of Sabæans, who blended their planets and the spirits thereof into one, and called them—only far later—Jehovah. For this we have the testimony of Clemens Alexandrinus, St.Hieronymus and others.
And Clement, as an Initiate of the Mysteries—at which the secret of the heliocentric system was taught several thousands of years before Galileo and Copernicus—proves it by explaining that
By these various symbols connected with (sidereal) phenomena the totality of all the creatures which bind heaven with earth, are figured. . . . The chandelier represented the motion of the seven luminaries, describing their astral revolution. To the right and left of that candelabrum projected the six branches, each of which has its lamp, because the Sun placed as a candelabrum in the middle of other planets distributes light to them. [ Notwithstanding the above, written in the earliest Christian period by the renegade Neo-Platonist: the Church persists to this day in her wilful error. Helpless against Galileo, she now tries to throw a doubt even on the heliocentric system! ]. . . . . As to the cherubs having twelve wings between the two, they represent to us the sensuous world in the twelve zodiacal signs. [Stromateis. V., vi.]
The Christian Sun-God - (Page 323) And yet in the face of all this evidence, sun, moon, planets, all are shown as being demoniacal before, and divine only after, the appearance of Christ. All know the Orphic verse: “It is Zeus, it is Adas, it is the Sun, it is Bacchus,” these names having been all synonymous for classic poets and writers. Thus for Democritus “Deity is but a soul in an orbicular fire,” and that fire is the Sun. For Iamblichus the sun was “the image of divine intelligence”; for Plato “ an immortal living Being.” Hence the oracle of Claros when asked to say who was the Jehovah of the Jews answered, “It is the Sun.” We may add the words in Psalm xix. 4:
In the sun hath he placed a tabernacle for himself [The English bible has: “In them (the Heavens) hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,” which is incorrect and has no sense in view of the verse that follows, for there are things “hid from the heat thereof” if the latter word is to be applied to the sun.] . . . . his going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
Jehovah then is the sun, and thence also the Christ of the Roman Church. And now the criticism of Dupuis on that verse becomes comprehensible, as also the despair of the Abbé Foucher. “Nothing is more favorable to Sabæism than this text of the Vulgate!” he exclaims. And, however disfigured may be the words and sense in the English authorised bible, the Vulgate and the Septuagint both give the correct text of the original, and translate the latter: “In the sun he established his abode”; while the vulgate regards the “heat” as coming direct from God and not from the sun alone, since it is God who issues forth from, and dwells in the sun and performs the circuit: in sole posuit . . . . et ipse exultavit. From these facts it will be seen that the Protestants were right in charging St. Justin with saying that
God has permitted us to worship the sun.
(Page 324) And this, notwithstanding the lame excuses that what was really meant was that
God permitted himself to be worshipped in, or within, the sun,
which is all the same.
It will be seen from the above, that while the Pagans located in the sun and planets only the inferior powers of Nature, the representative Spirits, so to say, of Apollo, Bacchus, Osiris, and other solar gods the Christians, in their hatred of Philosophy, appropriated the sidereal localities, and now limit them to the use of their anthropomorphic deity and his angels—new transformations of the old, old gods. Something had to be done in order to dispose of the ancient tenants, so they were disgraced into “demons,” wicked devils.
Pagan Sidereal Worship, or Astrology
(Page 325) THE Teraphim of Abram’s father Terah, the “maker of images,” and the Kabiri Gods are directly connected with ancient Sabæan worship or Astrolatry. Kiyun, or the God Kivan, worshipped by the Jews in the wilderness, is Saturn and Shiva, later on called Jehovah. Astrology existed before astronomy, and Astronomus was the title of the highest hierophant in Egypt. [ When the hierophant took his last degree, he emerged from the sacred recess called Manneras and was given the golden Tau, the Egyptian Cross, which was subsequently placed upon his breast, and buried with him.] One of the names of the Jewish Jehovah, “Saboath,” or the “Lord of Hosts” (tsabaoth), belongs to the Chaldæan Sabæans ( or Tsabæans), and has for its root the word tsab, meaning a “car,” a “ship,” and “an army”; sabaoth thus meaning literally the army of the ship, the crew, or a naval host, the sky being metaphorically referred to as the “upper ocean” in the doctrine.
In his interesting volumes, The God of Moses, Lacour explains that all such words as
The celestial armies or the hosts of heaven, signify not only the totality of the heavenly constellations, but also the Aleim on whom they are dependent; the aleitzbaout are the forces or souls of the constellations, the potencies that maintain and guide the planets in this order and procession; . . . . the Jae-va Tzbaout signifies Him, the supreme chief of those celestial bodies.
In his collectivity, as the chief “Order of Spirits,” not a chief Spirit.
The Sabæans having worshipped in the graven images only the celestial hosts—angels and gods whose habitation were the planets, never in truth worshipped the stars. For on Plato’s authority, we know that among the stars and constellations, the (Page 326) planets alone had a right to the title of theoi (Gods), as that name was derived from the verb φειν , to run or to circulate. Seldenus also tells us that they were likewise called
φεο βουλαισι (God-Councillors) and ραβοσοροι(lictors) as they (the planets) were present at the sun’s consistory, solis consistoris adstantes.
Says the learned Kircher:
The sceptres the seven presiding angels were armed with, explain these names of Rhabdophores and lictors given to them.
Reduced to its simplest expression and popular meaning, this is of course fetish worship. Yet esoteric astrolatry was not at all the worship of idols, since under the names of “Councillors” and “Lictors,” present at the “Sun’s consistory,” it was not the planets in their material bodies that were meant, but their Regents or “Souls” (Spirits). If the prayer “Our Father in heaven,” or “Saint” so-and-so in “Heaven” is not an idolatrous invocation , then “Our Father in Mercury.” or “Our Lady in Venus,” “Queen of Heaven,” etc., is no more so; for it is precisely the same thing, the name making no difference in the act. The word used in the Christian prayers, “in heaven” cannot mean anything abstract. A dwelling—whether of Gods, angels or Saints (every one of these being anthropomorphic individualities and beings)—must necessarily mean a locality, some defined spot in that “heaven”; hence it is quite immaterial for purposes of worship whether that spot be considered as “heaven” in general, meaning nowhere in particular, or in the Sun, Moon or Jupiter.
The argument is futile that there were
Two deities, and two distinct hierarchies or tsabas in heaven, in the ancient world as in our modern times . . . the one, the living God and his host, and the other, Saturn, Lucifer with his councillors and lictors, or the fallen angels.
Our opponents say that it is the latter which Plato with the whole of antiquity worshipped, and which two-thirds of humanity worship to this day. “The whole question is to know how to discern between the two.”
Protestant Christians fail to find any mention of angels in the Pentateuch, we may therefore leave them aside. The Roman Catholics and the Kabalists find such mention ; the former, because they have accepted Jewish angelology, without suspecting that the “tsabæan Hosts” were colonists and settlers on Judæan territory from the lands of the Gentiles; the latter, because they accepted the bulk of the Secret Doctrine, keeping the kernel for themselves and leaving the husks to the unwary.
The Planetary Angels - (Page 327) Cornelius a Lapide points out and proves the meaning of the word tsaba in the first verse of Chapter ii. of Genesis; and he does so correctly, guided, as he probably was, by learned Kabalists. The Protestants are certainly wrong in their contention, for angels are mentioned in the Peutateuch under the word tsaba, which means “hosts” of angels. In the Vulgate the word is translated ornatus, meaning the “sidereal army,” the ornament also of the sky—kabalistically. The biblical scholars of the Protestant Church, and the savants among the materialists, who failed to find “angels” mentioned by Moses, have thus committed a serious error. For the verse reads:
Thus the heaven and the earth were finished and all the host of them,
the “host” meaning “the army of stars and angels”; the last two words being, it seems, convertible terms in Church phraseology. A Lapide is cited as an authority for this; he says that
Tsaba does not mean either one or the other but “the one and the other,” or both, siderum ae angelorum
If the Roman Catholics are right on this point, so are the Occultists when they claim that the angels worshipped in the Church of Rome are none else than their “Seven Planets,” the Dhyân Chohans of Buddhistic Esoteric Philosophy, or the Kumarâs, “the mind-born sons of Brahmâ,” known under the patronymic of Vaidhâtra. The identity between the Kumarâs, the Builders or cosmic Dhyân Chohans, and the Seven Angels of the Stars, will be found without one single flaw if their respective biographies are studied, and especially the characteristics of their chiefs, Sanat-Kumâra (Sanat Sujâta), and Michael the Archangel. Together with the Kabirim (Planets), the name of the above in Chaldæa, they were all “divine Powers” (Forces). Fuerot says that the name Kabiri was used to denote the seven sons of , meaning Pater Sadic, Cain, or Jupiter, or again of Jehovah. There are seven Kumâras—four exoteric and three secret—the names of the latter being found in the Sânkhya Bhâshya, by Gaudapâdâchârya. [ The three secret names are “Sana, Sanat Sujâta, and Kapila: “ while the four exoteric Gods are called Sanat Kumâra, Sananda, Sanaka, and Sanâtana.] They are all “Virgin Gods,” who remain eternally pure and innocent and decline to create progeny. In their primitive aspect, these Âryan seven “mind-born sons” of God are not the regents of (Page 328) the planets, but dwell far beyond the planetary region. But the same mysterious transference from one character or dignity to another is found in the Christian Angel-scheme. The “Seven Spirits of the Presence” attend perpetually on God, and yet we find them under the same names of Mikael, Gabriel, Raphael, etc., as “Star-regents” or the informing deities of the seven planets. Suffice it is to say that the Archangel Michael is called “the invincible virgin combatant” as he “refused to create,” which would connect him with both Sana Sujâta and the Kumâra who is the God of War.[ Another Kumâra, the “God of War” is called in the Hindu the “eternal celibate”—“the virgin warrior.” He is the Ãryan St. Michael. ]
The above has to be demonstrated by a few questions. Commenting upon St. John’s “Seven Golden Candlesticks,” Cornelius a Lapide says:
These seven lights relate to the seven branches of the candlestick by which were represented the seven [ principal ] planets in the temples of Moses and Solomon . . . or, better still, to the seven principal Spirits, commissioned to watch over the salvation of men and churches.
St. Jerome says:
In truth the candlestick with the seven branches was the type of the world and its planets.
St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Roman Catholic doctor writes:
I do not remember having ever met in the works of saints or philosophers a denial that the planets are guided by spiritual beings . . . . It seems to me that it may be proved to demonstration that the celestial bodies are guided by some intelligence, either directly by God, or by the mediation of angels. But the latter opinion seems to be far more consonant with the order of things asserted by St. Denys to be without exception, that everything on earth is, as a rule, governed by God through intermediary agencies. [ We give the original: “Coelestia corpora moveri a spiritual creatura, a nemine Sanctorum vel philosophorum, negatum, legisse me memini. (Opuse. X. art. iiil) ... Mihi autam videtur quod Demonstrative probari posset, quod ab aliquo intellectu corpora coelestia moveantur vel a Deo immediate, vel a mediantibus angelis. Sed quod mediantibus angelis ca moveat, congruit rerum ordine, quem Dionysius infallibilem asserit ut inferiora a Deo per Media secundum cursum communem administrentur” (Opusc. II. art . ii.) and if so, and God never meddles with the once for ever established laws of Nature, leaving it to his administrators, why should their being called Gods by the “heathen” to be deemed idolatrous?]
And now let the reader recall what the Pagans say of this. All the classical authors and philosophers who have treated the subject, repeat with Hermes Trismegistus, that the seven Rectors—the planets including the sun—were the associates, or the co-workers, of the Unknown All represented by the Demiurgos—commissioned to contain the Cosmos—our Planetary world—within seven circles.
Wheels - (Page
329) Plutarch shows them representing “the circle of the celestial
worlds.” Again, Denys of Thracia and the learned Clemens of Alexandria
both describe the Rectors as being shown in the Egyptian temples in the shape
of mysterious wheels or spheres always in motion, which made the Initiates affirm
that the problem of perpetual motion had been solved by the celestial wheels
in the Initiation Adyta. [ In one of Des Mousseaux's volumes on Demonology
(Œuvres des Demons) if we do not mistake.) the statement of the
Abbé Huc is found, and the author testifies to having heard the following
story repeatedly from the Abbé himself. In a lamasery of Tibet, the missionary
found the following:
It is a simple canvas without the slightest mechanical apparatus attached, as the visitor may prove by examining it at his leisure. It represents a moonlit landscape, but the moon is not at all motionless or dead: quite the reverse, for, according to the Abbé, one would say that our moon herself, or at least her living double, lighted the picture. Each phase, each aspect, each movement of our satellite, is repeated in her facsimile, in the movement and progress of the moon in the sacred picture. “You see this planet in the painting ride as a crescent, or full, shine brightly, pass behind the clouds, peep out or set, in a manner corresponding in the most extraordinary way with the real luminary. It is, in a word, a most perfect and resplendent reproduction of the pale queen of the night, which received the adoration of so many people in the days of old.” We know from the most reliable sources and numerous eye-witnesses, that such “machines”—not canvas paintings—do exist in certain temples of Tibet: as also the “sidereal wheels” representing the planets, and kept for the same purposes—astrological and magical. Huc’s statement was translated in Isis Unveiled from Des Mousseaux’s volume.] This doctrine of Hermes was that of Pythagoras and of Orpheus before him. It is called by Proclus “the God-given” doctrine. Iamblichus speaks of it with greatest reverence. Philostratus tell his readers that the whole sidereal court of the Babylonian heaven was represented in the temples.
In globes made of sapphires and supporting the golden images of their respective gods.
The temples of Persia were especially famous for these representations. If Cedrenus can be credited
The Emperor Heraclius on his entry into the city of Bazaeum was struck with admiration and wonder before the immense machine fabricated for King Chosroes, which represented the night-sky with the planets and all their revolutions, with the angels presiding over them. [ Cedrenus, p.338. Whether produced by clockwork or magic power, such machines—whole celestial spheres with planets rotating—were found in the Sanctuaries, and some exist to this day in Japan, in a secret subterranean temple of the old Mikados, as well as in two other places.]
It was on such “spheres” that Pythagoras studied Astronomy in the adyta arcana of the temples to which he had access. And it was there on his Initiation, that the eternal rotation of those spheres—“the mysterious wheels” as they are called by Clemens and Denys, and which Plutarch calls “world-wheels”—demonstrated to him the verity (Page 330) of what had been divulged to him, namely, the heliocentric system, the great secret of the Adyta. All the discoveries of modern astronomy, like all the secrets that can be revealed to it in future ages, were contained in the secret observatories and Initiation Halls of the temples of old India and Egypt. It is in them that the Chaldæan made his calculations revealing to the world of the profane no more than it was fit to receive.
We may, and shall be told, no doubt, that Uranus was unknown to the ancients, and that they were forced to reckon the sun amongst the planets and as their chief. How does anyone know? Uranus is a modern name ; but one thing is certain: the ancients had a planet, “ a mystery planet,” that they never named and that the highest Astronomus, the Hierophant, alone could “confabulate with.” But this seventh planet was not the sun, but the hidden Divine Hierophant, who was said to have a crown, and to embrace within its wheel “seventy-seven smaller wheels.” In the archaic secret system of the Hindus, the sun is the visible Logos “Sûrya”, over him there is another, the divine or heavenly Man—who, after having established the system of the world of matter on the archetype of the Unseen Universe, or Macrocosm, conducted during the Mysteries the heavenly Ràsa Mandala; when he was said:
To give with his right foot the impulse to Tyam or Bhûmi [ Earth ] that makes her rotate in a double revolution.
What says Hermes again? When explaining Egyptian Cosmology he explains:
Listen, O my son . . . the Power has also formed seven agents, who contain within their circles the material world, and whose action is called destiny . . . . When all became subject to man, the Seven, willing to favour human intelligence, communicated to him their powers. But as soon as man knew their true essence and his own nature, he desired to penetrate within and beyond the circles and thus break their circumference by usurping the power of him who has dominion over the Fire [ Sun ] itself; after which, having robbed one of the Wheels of the Sun of the sacred fire, he fell into slavery. [ Champollion’s Egypte Moderne. p.42.]
It is not Prometheus who is meant here. Prometheus is a symbol and a personification of the whole of mankind in relation to an event which occurred during its childhood, so to say—the “Baptism by Fire”—which is a mystery within the great Promethean Mystery, one that may be at present mentioned only in its broad general features.
The Promethean Mystery - (Page 331) By reason of the extraordinary growth of human intellect and the development in our age of the fifth principle (Manas) in man, its rapid progress has paralysed spiritual perceptions. It is at the expense of wisdom that intellect generally lives, and mankind is quite unprepared in its present condition to comprehend the awful drama of human disobedience to the laws of Nature and the subsequent Fall, as a result. It can only be hinted at, in its place.
The Souls of the Stars—Universal Heliolatry
(Page 332) IN order to show that the Ancients have never “mistaken stars for Gods,” or Angels and the sun for the highest Gods and God, but have worshipped only the Spirit of all, and have reverenced the minor Gods supposed to reside in the sun and planets—the difference between these two worships has to be pointed out. Saturn, “the Father of Gods” must not be confused with his namesake—the planet of the same name with its eight moons and three rings. The two—though in one sense identical, as are, for instance, physical man and his soul—must be separated in the question of worship. This has to be done the more carefully in the case of the seven planets and their Spirits, as the whole formation of the universe is attributed to them in the Secret Teachings. The same difference has to be shown again between the stars of the Great Bear, the Riksha and the Chitra Shikhandina, “the bright-crested,” and the Rishis—the mortal Sages who appeared on earth during the Satya Yuga. If all of these have been so far closely united in the visions of the seers of every age—the bible seers included—there must have been a reason for it. Nor need one go back so far as into the periods of “superstition” and “unscientific fancies” to find great men in our epoch sharing in them. It is well known that Kepler, the eminent astronomer, in common with many other great men who believed that the heavenly bodies ruled favourably or adversely the fates of men and nations—fully credited besides this the fact that all heavenly bodies, even our own earth, are endowed with living and thinking souls.
Le Couturier’s opinion is worthy of notice in this relation:
Christian Star-Worship - (Page 333) We are too inclined to criticize unsparingly everything concerning astrology and its ideas; nevertheless our criticism, to be one, ought at least to know, lest it should be proved aimless, what those ideas in truth are. And when among the men we thus criticize, we find such names as those of Regiomontanus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, etc., there is reason why we should be careful. Kepler was an astrologer by profession, and became an astronomer in consequence. He was earning his livelihood by genethliac figures, which, indicating his state of the heavens at the moment of the birth of individuals, were a means to which everyone resorted for horoscopes. That great man was a believer in the principles of astrology, without accepting all its foolish results. [ Musée des Sciences. p. 230.]
But astrology is nevertheless proclaimed as a sinful science, and together with Occultism is tabooed by the Churches. It is very doubtful, however, whether mystic “star-worship” can be so easily laughed down as people imagine—at any rate by Christians. The hosts of Angels, Cherubs and Planetary Archangels are identical with the minor Gods of the Pagans. As to their “great Gods,” if Mars has been shown—on the admission of even the enemies of the Pagan astrologers—to have been regarded by the latter simply as the personified strength of the one highest impersonal Deity, Mercury being personified as its omniscience, Jupiter as its omnipotency, and so on, then the “superstition” of the Pagan has indeed become the “religion” of the masses of the civilized nations. For with the latter, Jehovah is the synthesis of the seven Elohim, the eternal centre of all those attributes and forces, the Alei of the Aleim, and the Adonai of the Adonim. And if with them Mars is now called St. Michael, the “strength of God,” Mercury Gabriel, the “omniscience and fortitude of the Lord,” and Raphael “the blessing or healing power of God,” this is simply a change of names, the characters behind the masks remaining the same.
The Dalai-lama’s mitre has seven ridges in honour of the seven chief Dhyâni Buddhas. In the funeral ritual of the Egyptians the defunct is made to exclaim:
Salutation to you, O Princes, who stand in the presence of Osiris . . . . Send me the grace to have my sins destroyed, as you have done for the seven spirits who follow the Lord! [ Translated by the Vicomte de Rougemont. See Les Annales de Philosophie Chrétienne, 7th year. 1861 ]
Brahmâ’s head is ornamented with seven rays, and he is followed by the seven Rishis, in the seven Svargas. China has her seven Pagodas; (Page 334) the Greeks had their seven Cyclopes, seven Demiurgi, and the Mystery Gods, the seven Kabiri, whose chief was Jupiter-Saturn, and with the Jews, Jehovah. Now the latter Deity has become chief of all by Mikael (Michael). He is the “Chief of the Host” (tsaba); the “Archistrategus of the Lord’s army”; the “Conqueror of the Devil”—Victor diaboli—and the “Archisatrap of the Sacred Militia, “ he who slew the “Great Dragon.” Unfortunately astrology and symbology, having no inducement to veil old things with new masks, have preserved the real name of Mikael—“that was Jehovah”—Mikael being the Angel of the face of the Lord, [ Isaiah, IXIII.9.] “the guardian of the planets,” and the living image of God. He represents the Deity in his visits to earth, for as it is well expressed in Hebrew, he is one , who is as God, or who is like unto God. It is he who cast out the serpent. [ Chap xii of Revelation: “There was war in heaven, Mikael and his angels fought against the Dragon,” etc., (7) and the great dragon was cast out (9).]
Mikael, being the regent of the planet Saturn, is—Saturn. [ He is also the informing Spirit of the Sun and Jupiter, and even of Venus.] His mystery-name is Sabbathiel, because he presides over the Jewish Sabbath, as also over the astrological Saturday. Once identified, the reputation of the Christian conqueror of the devil is in still greater danger from further identifications. Biblical angels are called Malachim, the messengers between God (or rather the gods) and men. In Hebrew . Malach, is also “a King,” and Malech or Melech was likewise Moloch, or again Saturn, the Seb of Egypt, to whom Dies Saturni, or the Sabbath, was dedicated. The Sabæans separated and distinguished the planet Saturn from its God far more than the Roman Catholics do their angels from their stars; and the Kabalists make of the Archangel Mikael the patron of the seventh work of magic.
In theological symbolism. . . . Jupiter [ the Sun ] is the risen and glorious Saviour, and Saturn, God the Father, or the Jehovah of Moses, [ Dogme et Rituel. ii. 116 ] says Éliphas Lévi, who ought to know. Jehovah and the Saviour, Saturn and Jupiter, being thus one, and Mikael being called the living image of God, it does seem dangerous for the Church to call Saturn, Satan—le dieu mauvais. However, Rome is strong in casuistry and will get out of this as she got out of every other identification, with glory to herself and to her own full satisfaction.
A Singular Confession - (Page 335) Nevertheless all her dogmas and rituals seem like so many pages torn out from the history of Occultism, and then distorted. The extremely thin partition that separates the Kabalistic and Chaldæan Theogony from the Roman Catholic Angelology and Theodicy is now confessed by at least one Roman Catholic writer. One can hardly believe one’s eyes in finding the following (the passages italicized by us should be carefully noticed):
One of the most characteristic features of our Holy Scriptures is the calculated discretion used in the enunciation of the mysteries less directly useful to salvation. . . . . Thus, beyond those “myriads of myriads” of angelic creatures just noticed [ If enumerated, they will be found to be the Hindu “divisions” and choirs of Devas, and the Dhyân Chohans of Esoteric Buddhism.] and all these prudently elementary divisions, there are certainly many others, whose very names have not yet reached us. [ But this fact has not prevented the Roman Church from adopting them all the same, accepting them from ignorant, though perchance sincere Church Fathers, who had borrowed them from Kabalists—Jews and Pagans. ] “For,” excellently says St. John Chrysostom, “there are doubtless, (sine dubio,) many other Virtues [ celestial beings ] whose denominations we are yet far from knowing . . . . The nine orders are not by any means the only populations in heaven, where, on the contrary, are to be found numberless tribes of inhabitants infinitely varied, and of which it would be impossible to give the slightest idea through human tongue . . .. Paul, who had learned their names, reveals to us their existence.” ( De Incomprehensibili Natura Dei, Bk. IV.) . . .
It would thus amount to a gross mistake to see merely errors in the Angelology of the Kabalists and Gnostics, so severely treated by the Apostle of the Gentiles, for his imposing censure reached only their exaggerations and vicious interpretations, and still more, the application of those noble titles to the miserable personalities of demoniacal usurpers. [To call “usurpers” those who preceded the Christian Beings for whose benefit these same titles were borrowed, is carrying paradoxical anachronism a little too far! ] Often nothing so resemble each other as the language of the judges and that of the convicts [ of saints and Occultists ]. One has to penetrate deeply into this dual study [ of creed and profession ] and what is still better, to trust blindly to the authority of the tribunal [ the Church of Rome, of course ] to enable oneself to seize precisely the point of the error. The Gnosis condemned by St. Paul remains, nevertheless, for him as for Plato the supreme knowledge of the truths, and of the Being par excellence, σ σντως (Republ. Bk. VI). The Ideas, types,αρχαι of the Greek philosopher, the Intelligences of Pythagoras, the aeons or emanations, the occasion of so much reproach to the first heretics, the Logos or Word, Chief of these Intelligences, the Demiurgos, the architect of the world under his father’s direction [ of the Pagans ], the unknown God, the En-soph, or the It of the Infinite [ of the Kabalists], the angelical periods, [ Or the divine ages, the “days and years of Brahmâ.”] the seven spirits, the Depths of Ahriman, the World’s Rectors, the Archontes of the air, the God of this world, the pleroma of the (Page 336) intelligences, down to Metatron the angel of the Jews, all this is found word for word, as so many truths, in the works of our greatest doctors, and in St. Paul.[ De Mirville. ii. 325, 326. So we say too. And this shows that it is to the Kabalists and Magicians that the Church is indebted for her dogmas and names. Paul never condemned real Gnosis, but the false one, now accepted by the Church.]
If an Occultist, eager to charge the Church with a numberless series of plagiarisms were to write the above, could he have written more strongly? And have we, or have we not, the right, after such a complete confession, to reverse the tables and to say of Roman Catholics and others what is said of the Gnostics and Occultists. “They used our expressions and rejected our doctrines.” For it is not the “promoters of the false Gnosis”—who had all those expressions from their archaic ancestors—who helped themselves to Christian expressions, but verily the Christian Fathers and Theologians, who helped themselves to our nest, and have tried ever since to soil it.
The words above quoted will explain much to those who are searching for truth and for truth only. They will show the origin of certain rites in the Church inexplicable hitherto to the simple-minded, and will give the reasons why such words as “Our Lord the Sun” were used in prayer by Christians up to the fifth and even sixth century of our era and embodied in the Liturgy, until altered into “Our Lord, the God.” Let us remember that the early Christians painted Christ on the walls of their subterranean necropolis, as a shepherd in the guise of and invested with all the attributes of Apollo, driving away the wolf. Fenris, who seeks to devour the Sun and his Satellites.
Astrology and Astrolatry
(Page 337) The books of Hermes Trismegistus contain the exoteric meaning, still veiled for all but the Occultist, of the Astrology and Astrolatry of the Khaldi. The two subjects are closely connected. Astrolatry, or the adoration of the heavenly host, is the natural result of only half-revealed Astrology, whose Adepts carefully concealed from the non-initiated masses its Occult principles and the wisdom imparted to them by the Regents of the Planets—the “Angels.” Hence, divine Astrology for the Initiates; superstitious Astrolatry for the profane. St. Justin asserts it:
From the first invention of the hieroglyphics it was not the vulgar, but the distinguished and select men who became initiated in the secrecy of the temples into the science of every kind of Astrology—even into its most abject kind: that Astrology which later on found itself prostituted in the public thoroughfares.
There was a vast difference between the Sacred Science taught by Petosiris Necepso—the first Astrologers mentioned in the Egyptian manuscripts, believed to have lived during the reign of Ramses II. (Sesostris) [ Sesostris, or Pharaoh Ramses II., whose mummy was unswathed in 1886 by Maspero of the Bulak Museum, and recognised as that of the greatest king of Egypt, whose grandson, Ramses III., was the last king of an ancient kingdom.] —and the miserable charlatanry of the quacks called Chaldæans, who degraded the Divine Knowledge under the last Emperors of Rome. Indeed, one may fairly describe the two as the “high ceremonial Astrology” and “astrological Astrolatry.” The first depended on the knowledge by the Initiates of those (to us) immaterial Forces or Spiritual Entities that effect matter and guide it. Called by the ancient Philosophers the Archontes and the Cosmocratores, they were the types or paradigms on the higher planes of the lower and more material beings on the scale of evolution, whom we call Elementals and Nature-Spirits, to whom the Sabæans bowed and whom they worshipped, without suspecting the essential difference. Hence (Page 338) the latter kind when not a mere pretence, degenerated but too often into Black Magic. It was the favourite form of popular or exoteric Astrology, entirely ignorant of the apotelesmatic principles of the primitive Science, the doctrines of which were imparted only at initiation. Thus, while the real Hierophants soared like Demi-Gods to the very summit of spiritual knowledge, the hoi polloi among the Sabæans crouched, steeped in superstition—ten millenniums back, as they do now—in the cold and lethal shadow of the valleys of matter. Sidereal influence is dual. There is the physical and physiological influence, that of exotericism; and the high spiritual, intellectual, and moral influence, imparted by the knowledge of the former, called Astrology, so far back as the eighteenth century, “The very foolish mother of a very wise daughter”—Astronomy. On the other hand, Arago, a luminary of the nineteenth century, supports the reality of the sidereal influence of the Sun, Moon and Planets. He asks:
Where do we find lunar influences refuted by arguments that science would dare to avow?
But even Bailly, having, as he thought, put down Astrology as publicly practised, dares not to do the same with the real Astrology. He says:
Judiciary Astrology was at its origin the result of a profound system, the work of an enlightened nation that would wander too far into the mysteries of God and Nature.
A Scientist of a more recent date, a member of the Institute of France, and a professor of history, Ph. Lebas, discovers (unconsciously to himself) the very root of Astrology in his able article on the subject in the Dictionnaire Encyclopédique de France. He well understands, he tells his readers, that the adhesion to that Science of such a number of highly intellectual men should be in itself a sufficient motive for believing that all Astrology is not folly:
While proclaiming in politics the sovereignty of the people and of public opinion can we admit, as heretofore, that mankind allowed itself to be radically deceived in this only: that an absolute and gross absurdity reigned in the minds of whole nations for so many centuries without being based on anything save—on one hand human imbecility, and on the other charlatanry? How for fifty centuries and more can most men have been either dupes or knaves? . . . . Even though we may find it impossible to decide between and separate the realities of Astrology from the elements of invention and empty dreaming in it, . . . let us, nevertheless, repeat with Bossuet and all modern philosophers, that “nothing that has been dominant could be absolutely false.” Is it not true, at all events, that there is a physical reaction on one another among the planets.
The Defence of Astrology - (Page 339) It is not again true, that the planets have an influence on the atmosphere, and consequently at any rate a mediate action on vegetation and animals? Has not modern science demonstrated now these two points beyond any doubt? . . . Is it any less true that human liberty of action is not absolute; that all is bound, that all weighs, planets as the rest, on each individual will; that Providence [ or Karma ] acts on us and directs men through those relations that it has established between them and the visible objects and the whole universe? . . . Astrolatry, in its essence, is nothing but that; we are bound to recognise that an instinct superior to the age they lived in guided the efforts of the ancient Magi. As to the materialism and annihilation of human moral freedom with which Bailly charges their theory (Astrology), the reprobate has no sense whatever. All the great astrologers admitted, without one single exception, that man could reäct against the influence of the stars. This principle is established in the Ptolemœian Tetrabiblos, the true astrological Scriptures, in chapters ii, and iii, of book i. [Op. cit., p.422.]
Thomas Aquinas had corroborated Lebas in anticipation; he says:
The celestial bodies are the cause of all that happens in this sublunary world, they act indirectly on human actions; but not all the effects produced by them are unavoidable. [ Summa. Quest. xv. Art, v., upon Astrologers, and Vol. III. pp.2-29.]
The Occultists and Theosophists are, the first to confess that there is white and black Astrology. Nevertheless, Astrology has to be studied in both aspects by those who wish to become proficient in it; and the good or bad results obtained do not depend upon the principles, which are the same in both kinds, but in the Astrologer himself. Thus Pythagoras, who established the whole Copernican system by the Book of Hermes, 2,000 years before Galileo’s predecessor was born, found and studied in them the whole Science of divine Theogony, of the communication with, and the evocation of, the world’s Rectors—the Princes of the “Principalities” of St. Paul—the nativity of each Planet and of the Universes itself, the formulæ of incantations and the consecretation of each portion of the human body to the respective Zodiacal sign corresponding to it. All this cannot be regarded as childish and absurd—still less “devilish”—save by those who are, and wish to remain, tyros in the Philosophy of the Occult Sciences. No true thinker—no one who recognises the presence of a common bond between man and visible, as well as invisible, Nature—would see in the old relics of Archaic Wisdom—such as the Petemenoph Papyrus, for instance—“childish nonsense and absurdity,” as many Academicians (Page 340) and Scientists have done. But upon finding in such ancient documents the application of the Hermetic rules and laws, such as
The consecration of one’s hair to the celestial Nile; of the left temple to the living Spirit in the sun, and the right one to the spirit of Ammon,
he will endeavour to study and comprehend better the “laws of correspondences.” Nor will he disbelieve in the antiquity of Astrology on the plea that some Orientalists have thought fit to declare that the Zodiac was not very ancient, being only the invention of the Greeks of the Macedonian period. For this statement, besides having been shown to be entirely erroneous by a number of other reasons, may be entirely disproved by facts relating to the latest discoveries in Egypt, and by the more accurate readings of hieroglyphics and inscriptions of the earliest dynasties. The published polemics on the contents of the so-called “Magic” Papyri of the Anastasi collection indicate the antiquity of the Zodiac. As the Lettres à Lettrone say: The papyri discourse at length upon the four bases or
Foundations of the world, the identity of which it is impossible, according to Champollion, to mistake, as one is forced to recognise in them the Pillars of the World of St. Paul. It is they who are invoked with the gods of all the celestial zones, quite analogous, once more, to the Spiritualia nequitiaœ in cœlestibus of the same apostle. [“ The principalities and powers [ born ] in heavenly places.” (Ephes., iii. 10). The verse. “For though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or on earth, as there be Gods many and lords many” (I. Corinth. viii. 5), shows at any rate, the recognition by Paul of a plurality of “Gods” whom he calls “dæmons” (“spirits”—never devils). Principalities, Thrones, Dominions. Rectors, etc., are all Jewish and Christian names for the Gods of the ancients—the Archangels and Angels of the former being in every case the Devas and the Dhyân Chohans of the more ancient religions.]
That invocation was made in the proper terms . . . . of the formula, reproduced far too faithfully by Jamblichus for it to be possible to refuse him any longer the merit of having transmitted to posterity the ancient and primitive spirit of the Egyptian Astrologers. [ Answer by Reuvens to Letronne with regard to his mistake notion about the Zodiac of Dendera.]
As Letronne had tried to prove that all the genuine Egyptian Zodiacs had been manufactured during the Roman period, the Sensaos mummy is brought forward to show that:
All the Zodiacal monuments in Egypt were chiefly astronomical. Royal tombs and funereal rituals are so many tables of constellations and of their influences for all the hours of every month.
Thus the genethliac tables themselves prove that they are far older than the period assigned to their origin; all the Zodiacs of the sarcophagi of later epochs being simple reminiscences of the Zodiacs belonging to the mythological [ archaic ] period.
Its Later Deterioration - (Page 341) Primitive Astrology was as far above modern judiciary Astrology, so-called as the guides (the Planets and Zodiacal signs) are above the lamp-posts. Berosus shows the sidereal sovereignty of Bel and Mylitta (Sun and Moon), and only “the twelve lords of the Zodiacal Gods,” the “thirty-six Gods Counsellors” and the “twenty-four Stars, judges of this world,” which support and guide the Universe (our solar system), watch over mortals and reveal to mankind its fate and their own decrees. Judiciary Astrology as it is now known, is correctly denominated by the Latin Church the
Materialistic and pantheistic prophesying by the objective planet itself, independently of its Rector [ the Mlac of the Jews, the ministers of the Eternal commissioned by him to announce his will to mortals ]; the ascension or conjunction of the planet at the moment of the birth of an individual deciding his fortune and the moment and mode of his death. [ St. Ausgustine (De Gen., I.iii.) and Delrio (Disquisit., Vol. IV., chap iii.) are quoted by De Mirville, to show that “the more astrologers speak the truth and the better they prophesy it, the more one has to feel diffident, seeing that their agreement with the devil becomes thereby the more apparent.” The famous statement made by Juvenal (Satires, vi.) to the effect that “not one single astrologer could be found who did not pay dearly for the help he received from his genius”—no more proves the latter to be a devil than the death of Socrates proves his daimon to have been a native from the nether world—if such there be. Such argument only demonstrates human stupidity and wickedness, once reason is made subservient to prejudice and fanaticism of every sort. “Most of the great writers of antiquity, Cicero and Tacitus among them, believed in Astrology and the realization of its prophecies: and “the penalty of death decreed nearly everywhere against those mathematicians [astrologers] who happened to predict falsely diminished neither their number nor their tranquility of mind.”]
Every student of Occultism knows that the heavenly bodies are closely related during each Manvantara with the mankind of that special cycle; and there are some who believe that each great character born during that period has—as every other mortal has, only in a far stronger degree—his destiny outlined within his proper constellation or star, traced as a self-prophecy, an anticipated autobiography, by the indwelling Spirit of that particular star. The human Monad in its first beginning is that Spirit, or the Soul of that star (Planet) itself. As our Sun radiates its light and beams on every body in space within the boundaries of its system, so the Regent of every Planet-star, the Parent-monad, shoots out from itself the Monad of every “pilgrim” Soul born under its house within its own group. The Regents are esoterically seven, whether in the Sephiroth, the “Angels of the Presence,” the Rishis, or the Amshaspends. “The One is no number” is said in all the esoteric works.
(Page 342) From the Kasdim and Gazzim (Astrologers) the noble primitive science passed to the Khartumim Asaphim (or Theologians) and the Hakamin (or scientists, the Magicians of the lower class), and from these to the Jews during their captivity. The Books of Moses had been buried in oblivion for centuries, and when rediscovered by Hilkiah had lost their true sense for the people of Israel. Primitive Occult Astrology was on the decline when Daniel, the last of the Jewish Initiates of the old school, became the chief of the Magi and Astrologers of Chaldæa. In those days even Egypt, who had her wisdom from the same source as Babyon, had degenerated from her former grandeur, and her glory had begun to fade out. Still, the science of old habit left her eternal imprint on the world, and the seven great Primitive Gods reigned for ever in the Astrology and the division of time of every nation upon the face of the earth. The names of the days of our (Christian) week are those of the Gods of the Chaldæans, who translated them from those of the Âryans; the uniformity of these antediluvian names in every nation, from the Goths back to the Indians, would remain inexplicable, as Sir W. Jones thought, had not the riddle been explained to us by the invitation made by the Chaldæan oracles, recorded by Porphyry and quoted by Eusebius:
To carry those names first to the Egyptian and Phœnician colonies, then to the Greeks, with the express recommendation that each God should be invoked only on that day that had been called by his name. . . . .
Thus Apollo says in those oracles: “I must be invoked on the day of the sun; Mercury after his directions, then Chronos [Saturn], then Venus, and do not fail to call seven times each of those gods.” [Preparatio Evangelica. I. xiv.]
This is slightly erroneous. Greece did not get her astrological instruction from Egypt or from Chaldæa, but direct from Orpheus, as Lucian tells us. [ Ast., iv. 60] It was Orpheus, as he says, who imparted the Indian Sciences to nearly all the great monarchs of antiquity; and it was they, the ancient kings favoured by the Planetary Gods, who recorded the principles of Astrology—as did Ptolemus, for instance. Thus Lucian writes:
The Bœotian Tiresias acquired the greatest reputation in the art of predicting futurity . . . . In those days divination was not as slightly treated as it is now; and nothing was ever undertaken without previous consultation with diviners, whose oracles were all directed by astrology . . . . At Delphos the virgin commissioned to announce futurity was the symbol of the Heavenly Virgin, . . . . and Our Lady.
Its Prominent Disciples - (Page 343) On the sarcophagus of an Egyptian Pharaoh, Neith, mother of Ra, the heifer that brings forth the Sun, her body spangled with stars, and wearing the solar and lunar discs, is equally referred to as the “Heavenly Virgin” and “Our Lady of the Starry Vault.”
Modern judiciary Astrology in its present form began only during the time of Diodorus, as he apprises the world. [Hist., I. ii.] But Chaldæan Astrology was believed in by most of the great men in History, such as Cæsar, Pliny, Cicero—whose best friends, Nigidius Figulus and Lucius Tarrutius, were themselves Astrologers, the former being famous as a prophet. Marcus Antonius never travelled without an Astrologer recommended to him by Cleopatra. Augustus, when ascending the throne, had his horoscope drawn by Theagenes. Tiberius discovered pretenders to his throne by means of Astrology and divination. Vitellius dared not exile the Chaldæans, as they had announced the day of their banishment as that of his death. Vespasian consulted them daily; Domitian would not move without being advised by the prophets; Adrian was a learned Astrologer himself; and all of them, ending with Julian (called the Apostate because he would not become one), believed in, and addressed their prayers to, the Planetary “Gods.” The Emperor Adrian, moreover, “predicted from the January calends up to December 31st, every event that happened to him daily.” Under the wisest emperors Rome had a School of Astrology, wherein were secretly taught the occult influences of the Sun, Moon, and Saturn. [ All these particulars may be found more fully and far more completely in Champollion Figeac’s Ėgypte.] Jndiciary Astrology is used to this day by the Kabalists; and Éliphas Lévi, the modern French Magus, teaches its rudiments in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magic. But the key to ceremonial or ritualistic Astrology, with the teraphim and the urim and thummim of Magic, is lost to Europe. Hence our century of Materialism shrugs it shoulders and sees in Astrology—a pretender.
Not all scientists scoff at it, however, and one may rejoice in reading in the Musée des Sciences [ Op. cit., p.230.] the suggestive and fair remarks made by Le Couturier, a man of science of no mean reputation. He thinks it curious (Page 344) to notice that while the bold speculations of Democritus are found vindicated by Dalton,
The reveries of the alchemists are also on their way to a certain rehabilitation. They receive renewed life from the minute investigations of their successors, the chemists; a very remarkable thing indeed is to see how much modern discoveries have served to vindicate, of late, the theories of the Middle Ages from the charge of absurdity laid at their door. Thus, if, as demonstrated by Col. Sabine, the direction of a piece of steel, hung a few feet above the soil, may be influenced by the position of the moon, whose body is at a distance of 240,000 miles from our planet, who then could accuse of extravagance the belief of the ancient astrologers [ or the modern, either] in the influence of the stars on human destiny.[ Op. cit., p.230.]
Cycles of Avatâras
(Page 345) We have already drawn attention to the facts that the record of the life of a World-Savior is emblematical, and must be read by its mystic meaning, and that the figures 432 have a cosmic evolutionary significance. We find these two facts throwing light on the origin of the exoteric Christian religion, and clearing away much of the obscurity surrounding its beginnings. For is it not clear that the names and characters in the Synoptical Gospels and in that of St. John are not historical? Is it not evident that the compilers of the life of Christ, desirous to show that the birth of their Master was a cosmic, astronomical, and divinely-preördained event, attempted to coördinate the same with the end of the secret cycle, 4,320? When facts are collated this answers to them as little as does the other cycle of “thirty-three solar years, seven months, and seven days,” which has also been brought forward as supporting the same claim, the soli-lunar cycle in which the Sun gains on the Moon one solar year. The combination of the three figures, 4, 3, 2, with cyphers according to the cycle and Manvantara concerned, was, and is, preëminently Hindu. It will remain a secret even though several of its significant features are revealed. It relates, for instance, to the Pralaya of the races in their periodical dissolution, before which events a special Avatâra has always to descend and incarnate on earth. These figures were adopted by all the older nations, such as those of Egypt and Chaldæa, and before them were current among the Atlanteans. Evidently some of the more learned among the early Church Fathers who had dabbled, whilst Pagans, in temple secrets, knew them to relate to the Avatâric or Messianic Mystery, and tried to apply this cycle to the birth of their Messiah; they failed because the figures relate to the respective ends of the Root-Races and not to any individual. In their badly-directed efforts, moreover, an error of five years occurred. Is it possible, if their claims as to the (Page 346) importance and universality of the event were correct, that such a vital mistake should have been allowed to creep into a chronological computation preördained and traced in the heavens by the finger of God? Again, what were the Pagan and even Jewish Initiates doing, if this claim as to Jesus be correct? Could they, the custodians of the key to the secret cycles and Avatâras, the heirs of the Âryan, Egyptian, and Chaldæan wisdom, have failed to recognize their great “God-Incarnate,” one with Jehovah, [ In the 1,326 places in the New Testament where the word “God” is mentioned nothing signifies that in God are included more beings than God. On the contrary in 17 places God is called the only God. The places where the Father is so-called amount to 320. In 105 places God is addressed with high-sounding titles. In 90 places all prayers and thanks are addressed to the Father: 300 times in the New Testament is the Son declared to be inferior to the Father; 85 times is Jesus called the “Son of Man; 70 times is he called a man. In not one single place in the Bible is it said that God holds within him three different Beings or Persons, and yet is one Being or Person—Dr. Karl Von Bergen’s Lectures in Sweden.] their Saviour of the latter days, him whom all the nations of Asia still expect as their Kalki Avatâra, Maitreya Buddha, Sosiosh, Messiah, etc.,?
The simple secret is this: There are cycles within greater cycles, which are all contained in the one Kalpa of 4,320,000 years. It is at the end of this cycle that the Kalki Avatâra is expected—the Avatâra Whose name and characteristics are secret, Who will come forth from Shamballa, the “City of Gods,” which is in the West for some nations, in the East for others, in the North or South for yet others. And this is the reason why, from the Indian Rishi to Virgil, and from Zoroaster down to the latest Sibyl, all have, since the beginning of the Fifth Race, prophesied, sung, and promised the cyclic return of the Virgin—Virgo, the constellation—and the birth of a divine child who should bring back to our earth the Golden Age.
No one, however fanatical, would have sufficient hardihood to maintain that the Christian era has ever been a return to the Golden Age—Virgo having actually entered into Libra since then. Let us trace as briefly as possible the Christian traditions to their true origin.
First of all, they discover in a few lines from Virgil a direct prophecy of the birth of Christ. Yet it is impossible to detect in this prophecy any feature of the present age. It is in the famous fourth Eclogue in which, half a century before our era, Pollio is made to ask the Muses of Sicily to sing to him about greater events.
The last era of Cumæan song is now arrived and the grand series of ages [ that series which recurs again and again in the course of our mundane revolution ] begins afresh. Now the Virgin Astæa returns, and the reign of Saturn recommences
An Unfulfilled Prophecy - (Page 347) Now a new progeny descends from the celestial realms. Do thou, chaste Lucina, smile propitious to the infant Boy who will bring to a close the present Age of Iron, [ Kali Yuga, the Black or Iron Age.] and introduce throughout the whole world the Age of Gold. . . . . He shall share the life of Gods and shall see heroes mingled in society with Gods, himself to be seen by them and all the peaceful world. . . . Then shall the herds no longer dread the huge lion, the serpent also shall die: and the poison’s deceptive plant shall perish. Come then, dear child of the Gods, great descendant of Jupiter!. . . . The time is near. See, the world is shaken with its globe saluting thee: the earth, the regions of the sea, and the heavens sublime. [ Virgil, Eclogue. iv.]
It is in these few lines, called the “Sibylline prophecy about the coming of Christ,” that his followers now see a direct foretelling of the event. Now who will presume to maintain that either at the birth of Jesus or since the establishment of the so-called Christian religion, any portion of the above-quoted sentences can be shown as prophetic? Has the “last age”—the Age of Iron, or Kali Yuga—closed since then? Quite the reverse, since it is shown to be in full sway just now, not only, because the Hindus use the name, but by universal personal experience. Where is that “new race that has descended from the celestial realms”? Was it the race that emerged from Paganism into Christianity? Or is it our present race, with nations ever red-hot for fight, jealous and envious, ready to pounce upon each other, showing mutual hatred that would put to blush cats and dogs, ever lying and deceiving one another? Is it this age of ours that is the promised “Golden Age”—in which neither the venom of the serpent nor of any plant is any longer lethal, and in which we are all secure under the mild sway of God-chosen sovereigns? The wildest fancy of an opium-eater could hardly suggest a more inappropriate description, if it is to be applied to our age or to any age since the year one of our era. What of the mutual slaughter of sects, of Christians by Pagans, and of Pagans and Heretics by Christians; the horrors of the Middle Ages and of the Inquisition; Napoleon, and since his day, an “armed peace” at best—at the worst, torrents of blood, shed for supremacy over acres of land, and a handful of heathen : millions of soldiers under arms, ready for battle; a diplomatic body playing at Cains and Judases; and instead of the “mild sway of a divine sovereign” the universal, though unrecognised, sway of Cæsarism, of “might” in lieu of “right,” and the breeding therefrom of anarchists, socialists, pétroleuses, and destroyers of every description?
(Page 348) The Sibylline prophecy and Virgil’s inspirational poetry remain unfulfilled in every point, as we see.
The fields are yellow with soft ears of corn;
but so they were before our era:
The blushing grapes shall hang from the rude brambles, and dewy honey shall [ or may ] distil from the rugged oak;
but they have not thus done, so far. We must look for another interpretation. What is it? The Sibylline Prophetess spoke, as thousands of other Prophets and Seers have spoken, though even the few such records that have survived are rejected by Christian and infidel, and their interpretations are only allowed and accepted among the Initiated. The Sibyl alluded to cycles in general and to the great cycle especially. Let us remember how the Purânas corroborate the above, among others the Vishnu Purâna:
When the practices taught by the Vedas, and the Institutes of Law shall have nearly ceased, and the close of the Kali Yuga [ the “Iron Age” of Virgil ] shall be nigh, an aspect of that divine Being who exists of his own spiritual nature in the character of Brahmâ and even is the beginning of the end [ Alpha and Omega ], . . . shall descend upon earth: he will be born in the family of Vishnuyashas, an eminent Brâhman of Shamballah . . . . endowed with the eight superhuman powers. By his irresistible might he will destroy . . . all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will then reëstablish righteousness upon earth; and the minds of those who live at the end of the [ Kali ] Age shall be awakened and shall be as pellucid as crystal. [ At the close of our Race, people, it is said, through suffering and discontent will become more spiritual. Clairvoyance will become a general faculty. We shall be approaching the spiritual state of the Third and Second Races.] The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings [ the Shistha, the survivors of the future cataclysm ], and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of the Krita [ or Satya ] Yuga [the age of purity, or the “Golden Age”] For it is said: “When the sun and moon and Tishya [asterisms] and the planet Jupiter are in one mansion the Krita Age [the Golden] shall return. [Vishnu Purâna. IV., 228. Wilson’s translation.]
The astronomical cycles of the Hindus—those taught publicly—have been sufficiently well understood, but the esoteric meaning thereof, in its application to transcendental subjects connected with them has ever remained a dead-letter. The number of cycles was enormous; it ranged from the Mahâ Yuga cycle of 4,320,000 years down to the small septenary and quinquennial cycles, the latter being composed of the five years called respectively the Samvatsara, Parivatsara, Idvatsara, Anuvatsara, and Vatsara, each having secret attributes or qualities attached to them.
Secret Cycles - (Page 349) Vriddhagarga gives these in a treatise, now the property of a Trans-Himâlayan Matham (or temple); and describes the relation between this quinquennial and the Brihaspati cycle, based on the conjunction of the Sun and Moon every sixtieth year: a cycle as mysterious—for national events in general and those of the Âryan Hindu nation especially—as it is important.
(Page 350) THE former five-year cycle comprehends sixty solar-sidereal months or 1800 days, sixty-one solar months (or 1830); sixty-two lunar months (or 1860 lunations), and sixty-seven lunar-asterismal months (or 1809 such days).
In his Kâla Sankalita, Col. Warren very properly regards these years as cycles; this they are, for each year has its own special importance as having some bearing upon and connection with specified events in individual horoscopes. He writes that in the cycle of sixty there.
Are contained five cycles of twelve years, each supposed equal to one year of the planet (Brihaspati, or Jupiter) . . . I mention this cycle because I found it mentioned in some books, but I know of no nation or tribe that reckons time after that account. [ Op. cit., p.212.]
The ignorance is very natural, since Col. Warren could know nothing of the secret cycles and their meanings. He adds:
The names of the five cycles of Yugas are: . . . . (1) Samvatsara, (2) Parivatsara, (3) Idvatsara, (4) Anuvatsara, (5) Udravatsara.
The learned Colonel might, however, have assured himself that there were “other nations” which had the same secret cycle, if he had but remembered that the Romans also had their lustrum of five years (from the Hindus undeniably) which represented the same period if multiplied by 12. [ At any rate, the temple secret meaning was the same.] Near Benares there are still the relics of all these cycle-records, and of astronomical instruments cut out of solid rock, the everlasting records of Archaic Initiation, called by Sir W. Jones (as suggested by the prudent Brâhmans who surrounded him) old “back records” or reckonings.
The Naros - (Page 351) But in Stonehenge they exist to this day. Higgins says that Waltire found the barrows of tumuli surrounding this giant-temple represented accurately the situation and magnitude of the fixed stars, forming a complete orrery or planisphere. As Colebrook found out, it is the cycle of the Vedas, recorded in the Jyotisha, one of the Vedàngas, a treatise on Astronomy, which is the basis of calculation for all other cycles, larger or smaller; [ Aiat. Res., vol. viii, p.470. et seq ] and the Vedas were written in characters, archaic though they be, long after those natural observations, made by the aid of their gigantic mathematical and astronomical instruments, had been recorded by the men of the Third Race, who had received their instruction from the Dhyân Chohans. Maurice speaks truly when he observes that all such
Circular stone monuments were intended as durable symbols of astronomical cycles by a race who, not having, or for political reasons, forbidding the use of letters, had no other permanent method of instructing their disciples or handing down their knowledge to posterity.
He errs only in the last idea. It was to conceal their knowledge from profane posterity, leaving it as an heirloom only to the Initiates, that such monuments, at once rock observatories and astronomical treatises, were cut out.
It is no news that as the Hindus divided the earth into seven zones, so the more western peoples—Chaldæans, Phœnicians, and even the Jews, who got their learning either directly or indirectly from the Bràhmans—made all their secret and sacred numerations by 6 and 12, though using the number 7 whenever this would not lend itself to handling. Thus the numerical base of 6, the exoteric figure given by Ãrya Bhatta, was made good use of. From the first secret cycle of 600—the Naros, transformed successively into 60,000 and 60 and 6, and with other noughts added into other secret cycles—down to the smallest, an Archæologist and Mathamatician can easily find it repeated in every country, known to every nation. Hence the globe was divided into 60 degrees, which, multiplied by 60, become 3,600 the “great year.” Hence also the hour with its 60 minutes of 60 seconds each. The Asíatic people count a cycle of 60 years also, after which comes the lucky seventh decad, and the Chinese have their small cycle of 60 days, the Jews of 6 days, the Greeks of 6 centuries—the Naros again.
(Page 352) The Babylonians had a great year of 3,600, being the Naros multiplied by 6. The Tartar cycle called Van was 180 years, or three sixties; this multiplied by 12 times 12=144, makes 25,920 years, the exact period of revolution of the heavens.
India is the birthplace of arithmetic and mathematics; as “Our Figures,” in Chips from a German Workshop, by Prof. Max Müller, shows beyond a doubt. As well explained by Krishna Shâstra Godbole in The Theosophist:
The Jews . . . represented the units (1-9) by the first nine letters of our alphabet; the tens (10-90) by the next nine letters; the first four hundreds (100-400) by the last four letters, and the remaining ones (500-900) by the second forms of the letters “kâf” (11th), “mîm” (13th), “nûn” (13th), “pe” (17th), and “sâd” (18th); and they represented other numbers by combining these letters according to their value . . . . The Jews of the present period still adhere to this practice of notation in their Hebrew books. The Greeks had a numerical system similar to that used by the Jews, but they carried it a little farther by using letters of the alphabet with a dash or slant-line behind, to represent thousands (1000-9000), tens of thousands (10,000-90,000) and one hundred of thousands (100,000) the last, for instance, being represented by “rho” with a dash behind, while “rho” singly represented 100. The Romans represented all numerical values by the combination (additive when the second letter is of equal or less value) of six letters of their alphabet: i (=I), v (=5), x (=10), c (for “centum”= 100), d (=500), and m (=1000): thus 20=xx, 15=xv, and 9=ix. These are called the Roman numerals, and are adopted by all European nations when using the Roman alphabet. The Arabs at first followed their neighbours, the Jews, in their method of computation, so much so that they called it Abjad from the first four Hebrew letters—“alif,” “beth,” “gimel”—or rather “jimel,” that is “jim” (Arabic being wanting in “g”, and “daleth,” representing the first four units. But when in the early part of the Christian era they came to India as traders, they found the country already using for computation the decimal scale of notation, which they forthwith borrowed literally; viz., without altering its method of writing from left to right, at variance with their own mode of writing, which is from right to left. They introduced this system into Europe through Spain and other European countries lying along the coast of the Mediterranean and under their sway, during the dark ages of European history. It has thus become evident that the Äryas knew well mathematics or the science of computation at a time when all other nations knew but little, if anything, of it. It has also been admitted that the knowledge of arithmetic and algebra was first introduced from the Hindus by the Arabs, and then taught by them to the Western nations. This fact convincingly proves that the Âryan civilisation is older than that of any other nation in the world: and as the Vedas are avowedly proved the oldest work of that civilisation, a presumption is raised in favour of their great antiquity. [Theosophist, August. 1881.]
Age of the Vedas - (Page 353) But while the Jewish nation, for instance—regarded so long as the first and oldest in the order of creation—knew nothing of arithmetic and remained utterly ignorant of the decimal scale of notation—the latter existed for ages in India before the actual era.
To become certain of the immense antiquity of the Âryan Asiatic nations and of their astronomical records one has to study more than the Vedas. The secret meaning of the latter will never be understood by the present generation of Orientalists; and the astronomical works which give openly the real dates and prove the antiquity of both the nation and its science, elude the grasp of the collectors of ollas and old manuscripts in India, the reason being too obvious to need explanation. Yet there are Astronomers and Mathematicians to this day in India, humble Shâstris and Pandits, unknown and lost in the midst of that population of phenomenal memories and metaphysical brains, who have undertaken the task and have proved to the satisfaction of many that the Vedas are the oldest works in the world. One of such is the Shâstri just quoted, who published in The Theosophist [ Aug., 1881x to Feb., 1882.] an able treatise proving astronomically and mathematically that:
If the Post-Vaidika works alone, the Upanishads, the Brâhmanas, etc., down to the Purânas, when examined critically carry us back to 20,000 B.C. then the time of the composition of the Vedas themselves cannot be less than 30,000 B.C., in round numbers, a date which we may take at present as the age of that Book of books. [Loc. cit.,iv.127 ]
what are his proofs?
Cycles and the evidence yielded by the asterisms. Here are a few extracts from his rather lengthy treatise, selected to give an idea of his demonstrations and bearing directly on the quinquennial cycle spoken of just now. Those who feel interested in the demonstrations and are advanced mathematicians can turn to the article itself, “The Antiquity of the Vedas,” [Theosophist, vol. iii., p.22.] and judge for themselves.
10. Somâkara in his commentary on the Shesha Jyotisha quotes a passage from the Satapatha Brâhmana, which contains an observation on the change of the topics, and which is also found in the Sâkhâyana Brâhmana, as has been noticed by Prof.Max Müller in his preface to Rigveda Samhitâ (p.xx. foot-note, vol. iv.). The passage is this: . . . “The full-moon night in Phâlguna is the first night of Samvatsara, the first year of the quinquennial age.” This passage clearly shows that the quinquennial age which, according to the sixth verse of the Jyotisha, begins on the 1st of Mâgha (January-February), once began on the 15th of Phâlguna (February-March). (Page 354) Now when the 15th of Phâlguna of the first year called Samvatsara of the quinquennial age begins, the moon, according to the Jyotisha, is in
position of the four principal points on the ecliptic was then as follows:
The winter solstice in 3◦29 of Purva Bhâdrapadâ.
The vernal equinox in the beginning of Mrigashîrsha.
The summer solstice in 10 of Purva Phâlgunî.
The autumnal equinox in the middle of Jyeshtha.
The vernal equinoctial point, we have seen, coincided with the beginning of Krittikâ in 1421 B.C.; and from the beginning of Krittikâ to that of Mrigashîrsha, was, consequence, 1421+26 2/3x72= 1421+1920= 3341 B.C., supposing the rate of precession to be 50,, a year. When we take the rate to be 3◦20" in 247 years, the time comes up to 1516+1960.7=3476.7 B.C.
When the winter solstice by its retrograde motion coincided after that with the beginning of Pûrva Bhâdrapadâ, then the commencement of the quinquennial age was changed from the 15th to the 1st of Phâlguna (February-March). This change took place 240 years after the date of the above observation, that is, in 3101 B.C. This date is most important, as from it an era was reckoned in after times. The commencement of the Kali or Kali Yuga (derived from “kal,” “to reckon”), though said by European scholars to be an imaginary date, becomes thus an astronomical fact.
Interchange for Krititkâ and Ashvinî
[The impartial study of Vaidic and Post-Vaidic works shows that the ancient Ãryans knew well the precession of the equinoxes, and “that they changed their position from a certain asterism to two (occasionally three) asterisms back whenever the precession amounted to two, properly speaking, to 2 11/61 asterisms or about 29◦, being the motion of the sun in a lunar month, and so caused the seasons to fall back a complete lunar month. . . . It appears certain that at the date of Sûrya Siddhânta, Brahmâ Siddânta, and other ancient treatises on astronomy, the vernal equinoctial point had not actually reached the beginning of Ashvini, but was a few degrees east of it. . . The astronomers of Europe change westward the beginning of Aries and of all other signs of the Zodiac every year by about 50" 25, and thus make the names of the signs meaningless. But these signs are as much fixed as the asterisms themselves, and hence the Western astronomers of the present day appear to us in this respect less wary and scientific in their observations than their very ancient brethren—the Ãryas.”—Theosophist, iii. 23.
We thus see that the asterisms, twenty-seven in number, were counted from the Mrigashîrsha when the vernal equinox retrograded was in its beginning, and that the practice of thus counting was adhered to till the vernal equinox retrograded to the beginning of Krittikâ, when it became the first of the asterisms. For then the winter solstice had changed, receding from Phâlguna (February-March) to Mâgha (January-February), one complete lunar month.
Testimony of the Song Celestial - ( Page 355) And, in like manner, the place of Krittikâ was occupied by Ashvini, that is, the latter became the first of the asterisms, heading all others, when its beginning coincided with the vernal equinoctial point, or, in other words, when the winter solstice was in Pansha (December-February). Now from the beginning of Krittikâ to that of Ashvinî there are two asterisms, or 26⅔◦, and the time the equinox takes to retrograde this distance at the rate of 1 in 72 years is 1920 years; and hence the date at which the vernal equinox coincided with the commencement of Ashvinî or with the end of Revatî is 1920-1421=499 A.D.
12. The next and equally-important observation we have to record here is one discussed by Mr. Bentley in his researches into his researches into the Indian antiquities. “The first lunar asterism,” he says, “in the division of twenty-eight was called Mûla, that is to say, the root or origin. In the division of twenty-seven the first lunar asterism was called Jyestha, that is to say, the eldest at first, and consequently of the same import as the former” (vide his View of the Hindu Astronomy, p.4). From this it becomes manifest that the vernal equinox was once in the beginning of Mûla, and Mûla was reckoned the first of the asterisms when they were twenty-eight in number, including Abhijit. Now there are fourteen asterisms, of 180◦, from the beginning of Mrigashîrsha to that of Mûla, and hence the date at which the vernal equinox coincided with the beginning of Mûla was at least 3341+180x72=16,301 B.C. The position of the four principal points on the ecliptic was then as given below:
The winter solstice in the beginning of Uttara Phâlgunî in the month of Shrâvana.
The vernal equinox in the beginning of Mûla in Kârittka
The summer solstice in the beginning of Pûrva Bhâdrapadâ in Mâgha
The autumnal equinox in the beginning of Mrigashîrsha in Vaishâkha.
A Proof from the Bhagavad Gîtâ
13. The Bhagavad Gîtâ, as well as the Bhâgavata, makes mention of an observation which points to a still more remote antiquity than the one discovered by Mr. Bentley. The passages are given in order below:
“I am the Mârgashîrsha [ viz. the first morning for months ] and the spring [viz. the first among the seasons].”
This shows that at one time the first month of spring was Mârgashîrsha. A season includes two months, and the mention of a month suggests the season.
“I am the Samvatsara among the years [ which are five in number ] and the spring among the seasons, and the Mârgashîrsha among the months and the Abhijitamong the asterisms [ which are twenty-eight in number ].”
This clearly points out that at one time in the first year called Samvatsara, of the quinquennial age, the Madhu, that is the first month of spring, was Mârgashîrsha, and Abhijit was the first of the asterisms. It then concided with the vernal equinoctial point, and thence from it the asterisms were counted. To find the date of this observation: There are three asterisms from the beginning of Mûla to the beginning of Abhijit, and hence the date in question is at least 16,301+3/7 x 90 x 72 = 19,078 (Page 356) or about 20,000 B.C. The Samvatsara at this time began in Bhâdrapadâ the winter solstitial month.
So far then 20,000 years are mathematically proven for the antiquity of the Vedas. And this is simply exoteric. Any mathematician, provided he be not blinded by preconception and prejudice, can see this, and an unknown but very clever amateur Astronomer, S.A. Mackey, has proved it some sixty years back.
His theory about the Hindu Yugas and their length is curious—as being so very near the correct doctrine.
It is said in volume ii. p. 131, of Asiatic Researches that: “The great ancestor of Yudhister reigned 27,000 years . . . at the end of the brazen age.” In volume ix. p. 364, we read:
“In the beginning of the Cali Yuga, in the reign of Yudhister. And Yudhister . . . began his reign immediately after the flood called Pralaya.”
Here we find three different statements concerning Yudhister . . . to explain these seeming differences we must have recourse to their books of science, where we find the heavens and the earth divided into five parts of unequal dimensions, by circles parallel to the equator. Attention to these divisions will be found to be of the utmost importance . . . as it will be found that from them arose the division of their Maha-Yuga into its four component parts. Every astronomer knows that there is a point in the heavens called the pole, round which the whole seems to turn in twenty-four hours; and that at ninety degrees from it they imagine a circle called the equator, which divides the heavens and the earth into two equal parts, the north and the south. Between this circle and the pole there is another imaginary circle called the circle of perpetual apparition: between which and the equator there is a point in the heavens called the zenith, through which let another imaginary circle pass, parallel to the other two; and then there wants but the circle of perpetual occultation to complete the round. . . . No astronomer of Europe besides myself has ever applied them to the development of the Hindu mysterious numbers. We are told in the Asiatic Researches that Yudhister brought Vicramâditya to reign in Cassimer, which is in the latitude of 36 degrees. And in that latitude the circle of perpetual apparition would extend up to 72 degrees altitude, and from that to the zenith there are but 18 degrees, but from the zenith to the equator in that latitude there are 36 degrees, and from the equator to the circle of perpetual occultation there are 54 degrees. Here we find the semi-circle of 180 degrees divided into four parts, in the proportion of 1, 2, 3, 4, i.e., 18, 36, 54, 72. Whether the Hindu astronomers were acquainted with the motion of the earth or not is of no consequence, since the appearances are the same; and if it will give those gentlemen of tender consciences any pleasure I am willing to admit that they imagined the heavens rolled round the earth, but they had observed the stars in the path of the sun to move forward through the equinoctial points, at the rate of fifty-four seconds of a degree in a year, which carried the whole zodiac round in 24, 000 years; in which time they also observed that the angle of obliquity varied, so as to extend or contract the width of the tropics 4 degrees on each side, which rate of motion would carry the tropics from the equator to the poles in 540,000 years: in which time the Zodiac would have made twenty-two and a half revolutions, which are expressed by the parallel circles from the equator to the poles . . or what amounts to the same thing, the north pole of the ecliptic would have moved from the north pole of the earth to the equator . . . .
Mackey's Arguments - (Page 357) Thus the poles become inverted in 1,080,000 years, which is their Maha Yuga, and which they had divided into four unequal parts, in the proportions of 1, 2, 3, 4, for the reasons mentioned above; which are 108,000, 216,000, 324,000, and 432,000. Here we have the most positive proofs that the above numbers originated in ancient astronomical observations, and consequently are not deserving of those epithets which have been bestowed upon them by the Essayist, echoing the voice of Bentley, Wilford, Dupuis, etc.
I have now to show that the reign of Yudhister for 27,000 years is neither absurd nor disgusting, but perhaps the Essayist is not aware that there were several Yudhisters or Judhisters. In volume ii., p. 131, Asiatic Researches: “The great ancestor of Yudhister reigned 27,000 years at the end of the brazen or third age.” Here I must again beg your attention to this projection. This is a plane of that machine which the second gentleman thought so very clumsy; it is that of a prolong spheroid, called by the ancients an atroscope. Let the longest axis represent the poles of the earth, making an angle of 28 degrees with the horizon; then will the seven divisions above the horizon to the North Pole, the temple of Buddha, and the seven from the North Pole to the circle of perpetual apparition represent the fourteen Manvantaras, or very long periods of time, each of which, according to the third volume of Asiatic Researches, p. 258 or 259, was the reign of a Manu. But Capt. Wilford, in volume v. p. 243, gives us the following information: “The Egyptians had fourteen dynasties, and the Hindus had fourteen dynasties, the rulers of which are called Menus.” . . .
Who can here mistake the fourteen very long periods of time for those which constituted the Cali Yuga of Delhi, or any other place in the latitude of 28 degrees, where the blank space from the foot of Meru to the seventh circle from the equator, constitutes the part passed over by the tropic in the next age; which proportions differ considerably from those in the latitude of 36; and because the numbers in the Hindu books differ, Mr. Bentley asserts that: “This shows what little dependence is to be put in them.” But, on the contrary, it shows with what accuracy the Hindus had observed the motions of the heavens in different latitudes.
Some of the Hindus inform us that “the earth has two spindles which are surrounded by seven tiers of heavens and hells at the distance of one Raju each.” This needs but little explanation when it is understood that the seven divisions from the equator to their zenith are called Rishis or Rashas. But what is most to our present purpose to know is that they had given names to each of those divisions which the tropics passed over during each revolution of the Zodiac. In the latitude of 36 degrees where the Pole or Meru was nine steps high at Cassimere, they were called Shastras; in latitude 28 degrees at Delhi, where the Pole of Meru was seven steps high, they were called Menus; but in 24 degrees , at Cacha, where the Pole or Meru was but six steps high, they were called Sacas. But in the ninth volume (Asiatic Researches) Yudhister, the son of Dherma, or Justice, was the first of the six Sacas; (Page 358) the name implies the end, and as everything has two ends. Yudhister is as applicable to the first as to the last. And as the division on the north of the circle of perpetual apparition is the first of the Cali Yuga, supposing the tropics to be ascending, it was called the division or reign of Yudhister. But the division which immediately precedes the circle of perpetual apparition is the last of the third or brazen age, and was therefore called Yudhister, and his reign preceded the reign of the other, as the tropic ascended to the Pole or Meru, he was called the father of the other—“the great ancestor of Yudhister, who reigned twenty-seven thousand years, at the end of the brazen age.” (Vol. ii. Asiatic Researches.)
The ancient Hindus observed that the Zodiac went forward at the rate of fifty-four seconds a year, and to avoid greater fractions, stated it at that, which would make a complete round in 24,000 years; and observing the angle of the poles to vary nearly 4 degrees each round, stated the three numbers as such, which would have given forty-five rounds of the Zodiac to half a revolution of the poles; but finding that forty-five rounds would not bring the northern topic to coincide with the circle of perpetual apparition by thirty minutes of a degree, which required the Zodiac to move one sign and a half more, which we all know it could not do in less that 3,000 years, they were, in the case before us, added to the end of the brazen age; which lengthen the reign of that Yudhister to 27,000 years instead of 24,000, but, at another time they did not alter the regular order of 24,000 years to the reign of each of these long-winded monarchs, but rounded up the time by allowing a regency to continue three or four thousand years. In volume ii. p.134, Asiatic Researches, we are told that: “Paricshit, the great nephew and successor of Yudhister, is allowed without controversy to have reigned in the interval between the brazen and earthen, or Cali Ages, and to have died at the setting-in of the Cali Yug.” Here we find an interregnum at the end of the brazen age, and before the setting-in of the Cali Yug: and as there can be but one brazen or Treta Yug, i.e., the third age, in a Maha Yuga, of 1,080,000 years: the reign of this Paricshit must have been in the second Maha Yuga, when the pole had returned to its original position, which must have taken 2,160,000 years: and this is what the Hindus call the Prajanatha Yuga. Analogous to this custom is that of some nations more modern, who, fond of even numbers, have made the common year to consist of twelve months of thirty days each, and the five days and odd measure have been represented as the reign of a little serpent biting his tail, and divided into five parts, etc.
But “Yudhister began his reign immediately after the flood called Pralaya,” i.e., at the end of the Cali Yug (or age of heat), when the tropic had passed from the pole to the other side of the circle of perpetual apparition, which coincides with the northern horizon; here the tropics of summer solstice would be again in the same parallel of north declination, at the commencement of their first age, as he was at the end of their third age, or Treta Yug, called the brazen age.
Enough has been said to prove that the Hindu books of science are not disgusting absurdities, originated in ignorance, vanity, and credulity; but books containing the most profound knowledge of astronomy and geography.
therefore, can induce these gentlemen of tender consciences to insist that Yudhister
was a real mortal man I have no guess; unless it be that they fear for the fate
of Jared and his grandfather, Methuselah?
THE MYSTERY OF THE BUDDHA- (Pages 359-360) Note
is with some hesitation that I include the following Sections in the Secret
Doctrine. Together with some most suggestive thought, they contain very
numerous errors of fact, and many statements based on exoteric writings, not
on esoteric knowledge. They were given into my hands to publish, as part of
the Third Volume of the Secret Doctrine, and I therefore do not feel
justified in coming between the author and the public, either by altering the
statements, to make them consistent with fact, or by suppressing the Sections.
She says she is acting entirely on her own authority, and it will be obvious
to any instructed reader that she makes—possibly deliberately—many
statements so confused that they are merely blinds, and other statements—probably
inadvertently—that are nothing more than the exoteric misunderstandings
of esoteric truths. The reader must here, as everywhere, use his own judgment,
but, feeling bound to publish these Sections, I cannot let them go to the public
without a warning that much in them is certainly erroneous.
The Doctrine of Avatâras
(Page 361) A STRANGE STORY—a legend rather—is persistently current among the disciples of some great Himâlayan Gurus, and even among laymen, to the effect that Gautama, the Prince of Kapilavastu, has never left the Terrestrial regions, though his body died and was burnt, and its relics preserved to this day. There is an oral tradition among the Chinese Buddhists, and a written statement among the secret books of the Lamaists of Tibet, as well as a tradition among the Ãryans, that Gautama BUDDHA has two doctrines: one for the masses and His lay disciples, the other for His “elect,” the Arhats. His policy and after Him that of His Arhats was, it appears, to refuse no one admission into the ranks of candidates for Arhatship, but never to divulge the final mysteries except to those who had proved themselves, during long years of probation, to be worthy of Initiation. These once accepted were consecrated and initiated without distinction of race, caste or wealth, as in case of His western successor. It is the Arhats who have set forth and allowed this tradition to take root in the people’s mind, and it is the basis, also, of the later dogma of Lamaic reincarnation or the succession of human Buddhas.
The little that can be said here upon the subject may or may not help to guide the psychic student in the right direction. It being left to the option and responsibility of the writer to tell the facts as she personally understood them, the blame for possible misconceptions created must fall only upon her. She has been taught the doctrine, but it was left to her sole intuition—as it is now left to the sagacity of the reader—to group the mysterious and perplexing facts together. The incomplete statements herein given are fragments of what is contained in certain secret volumes, but it is not lawful to divulge the details.
The esoteric version of the mystery given in the secret volumes may (Page 362) be told briefly. The Buddhists have always stoutly denied that their BUDDHA was, as alleged by the Brâhmans, an Avatâra of Vishnu in the same sense as a man is an incarnation of his Karmic ancestor. They deny it partly, perhaps, because the esoteric meaning of the term “Mahâ Vishnu” is not known to them in its full, impersonal, and general meaning. There is a mysterious Principle in Nature called “Mahâ Vishnu,” which is not the God of that name, but a principle which contains Bîja, the seed of Avatârism or, in other words, is the potency and cause of such divine incarnations. All the World Saviours, the Bodhisattvas and the Avatâras, are the trees of salvation grown out from the one seed, the Bija or “Maha Vishnu.” Whether it be called Adi-Buddha (Primeval Wisdom) or Mahâ Vishnu, it is all the same. Understood esoterically, Vishnu is both Saguna and Nirguna (with and without attributes). In the first aspect, Vishnu is the object of exoteric worship and devotion; in the second, as Nirguna, he is the culmination of the totality of spiritual wisdom in the Universe—Nirvanâ, [A great deal if misconception is raised by a confusion of planes of being and misuse of expressions. For instance, certain spiritual states have been confounded with the Nirvâna of BUDDHA. The Nirvâna of BUDDHA is totally different from any other spiritual state of Samâdhi or even the highest Theophania enjoyed by lesser Adepts. After physical death the kinds of spiritual states reached by Adepts differ greatly.] in short—and has as worshippers all philosophical minds. In this esoteric sense the Lord BUDDHA was an incarnation of Mahâ Vishnu.
This is from the philosophical and purely spiritual standpoint. From the plane of illusion, however, as one would say, or from the terrestrial standpoint, those initiated know that He was a direct incarnation of one of the primeval “Seven Sons of Light” who are to be found in every Theogony—the Dhyân Chohans whose mission it is, from one eternity (æon) to the other, to watch over the spiritual welfare of the regions under their care. This has been already enunciated in Esoteric Buddhism.
One of the greatest mysteries of speculative and philosophical Mysticism—and it is one of the mysteries now to be disclosed—is the modus operandi in the degrees of such hypostatic transferences. As a matter of course, divine as well as human incarnations must remain a closed book to the theologian as much as to the physiologist, unless the esoteric teachings be accepted and become the religion of the world. This teaching may never be fully explained to an unprepared public; but one thing is certain and may be said now: that between the dogma of a newly created soul for each new birth, and the physiological assumption of a temporary animal soul, there lies the vast region of Occult teaching [This region is the one possible point of conciliation between the two diametrically opposed poles of religion and science, the one with its barren fields of dogmas on faith, the other over-running with empty hypotheses, both overgrown with the weeds of error. They will never meet. The two are at feud, at an everlasting warfare with each other, but this does not prevent them from uniting against Esoteric Philosophy, which for two millenniums has had to fight against infallibility in both directions, or “mere vanity and pretence” as Antoninus defined it, and now finds the materialism of Modern Science arrayed against its truths.] with its logical and reasonable demonstrations, the links of which may all be traced in logical and philosophical sequence in nature.
All Avatâras Identical - (Page 363) This “Mystery” is found, for him who understands its right meaning, in the dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna, in the Bhagavad Gîtâ, chapter iv. Says the Avatâra:
Many births of mine have passed, as also of yours, O Arjuna! All those I know, but you do not know yours, O harasser of your enemies.
Although I am unborn, with exhaustless Ãtmâ, and am the Lord of all that is, yet, taking up the domination of my nature I am born by the power of illusion. [ Whence some of the Gnostic ideas? Cerinthus taught that the world and Jehovah having fallen off from virtue and primitive dignity the Supreme permitted one of his glorious Æons, whose name was the “Anointed” (Christ) to incarnate in the man Jesus. Basildes denied the reality of the body of Jesus, and calling it an “illusion” held that it was Simon of Cyrene who suffered on the Cross in his stead. All such teachings are echoes of the Eastern Doctrines.]
Whenever, O son of Bhârata, there is decline of Dharma [ the right law] and the rise of Adharma [ the opposite of Dharma] here I manifest myself.
For the salvation of the good and the destruction of wickedness, for the establishment of the law, I am born in every yuga.
Whoever comprehends truly my divine birth and action, he, O Arjuna, having abandoned the body does not receive re-birth; he comes to me.
Thus, all the Avatâras are one and the same: the Sons of their “Father,” in a direct descent and line, the “Father,” or one of the seven Flames becoming, for the time being, the Son, and these two being one—in Eternity. What is the Father? Is it the absolute Cause of all?—the fathomless Eternal? No; most decidedly. It is Kâranâtma, the “Causal Soul” which, in its general sense, is called by the Hindus Îshvara, the Lord, and by Christians. “God,” the One and Only. From the standpoint of unity it is so; but then the lowest of the Elementals could equally be viewed in such case as the “One and Only.” Each human being has, moreover, his own divine Spirit or personal God. That divine Entity or Flame from which Buddhi emanates stands in the same relation to man, though on a lower plane, (Page 364) as the Dhyâni-Buddha to his human Buddha. Hence monotheism and polytheism are not irreconcilable; they exist in Nature.
Truly, “for the salvation of the good and the destruction of wickedness,” the personalities known as Gautama, Shankara, Jesus and a few others were born each in his age as declared—“I am born in every Yuga”—and they were all born through the same Power.
There is a great mystery in such incarnations and they are outside and beyond the cycle of general re-births. Rebirths may be divided into three classes: the divine incarnations called Avatâras; those of Adepts who give up Nirvana for the sake of helping on humanity—the Nirmânakâyas; and the natural succession of rebirths for all—the common law. The Avatâra is an appearance, one which may be termed a special illusion within the natural illusion that reigns on the planes under the sway of that power, Mâyâ; the Adept is re-born consciously at his will and pleasure; [ A genuine initiated Adept will retain his Adeptship, though there may be for our world of illusion numberless incarnations of him. The propelling power that lies at the root of a series of such incarnations is not Karma, as ordinarily understood, but a still more inscrutable power. During the period of his lives the Adept does not lose his Adeptship, though he cannot rise in it to a higher degree.] the units of the common herd unconsciously follow the great law of dual evolution.
What is an Avatâra? for the term before being used ought to be well understood. It is a descent of the manifested Deity—whether under the specific name of Shiva, Vishnu, or Âdi-Buddha—into an illusive form of individuality, an appearance which to men on this illusive plane is objective, but it is not so in sober fact. That illusive form having neither past nor future, because it has neither previous incarnation nor will have subsequent rebirths, had naught to do with Karma, which has therefore no hold on it.
Gautama BUDDHA was born an Avatâra in one sense. But this, in view of unavoidable objections on dogmatic grounds, necessitates explanation. There is a great difference between an Avatâra and a Jîvanmukta: one, as already stated, is an illusive appearance, Karmaless, and having never before incarnated; and the other, the Jîvanmukta, is one who obtains Nirvâna by his individual merits. To this expression again an uncompromising, philosophical Vedântin would object. He might say that as the condition of the Avatâra and the Jivanmukta are one and the same state, no amount of personal merit, in howsoever many incarnations, can lead its possessor to Nirvâna. Nirvâna, he would say, is actionless; how can, then, any action lead to it?
Voluntary Incarnation - (Page 365) It is neither a result nor a cause, but an ever-present, eternal Is, as Nâgasena defined it. Hence it can have no relation to, or concern with, action, merit, or demerit, since these are subject to Karma. All this is very true, but still to our mind there is an important difference between the two. An Avatâtara is ; a Jîvanmukta becomes one. If the state of the two is identical, not so are the causes which lead to it. An Avatâra is a descent of a God into an illusive form; a Jîvanmukta, who may have passed through numberless incarnations and may have accumulated merit in them, certainly does not become a Nirvâni because of that merit, but only because of the Karma generated by it, which leads and guides him in the direction of the Guru who will initiate him into the mystery of Nirvâna and who alone can help him to reach this abode.
The Shâstras say that from our works alone we obtain Moksha, and if we take no pains there will be no gain and we shall be neither assisted nor benefited by Deity [the Mahâ-Guru]. Therefore it is maintained that Gautama, though an Avatâra in one sense, is a true human Jîvanmukta, owing his position to personal merit, and thus more than an Avatâra. It was personal merit that enabled him to achieve Nirvâna.
On the voluntary and conscious incarnations of Adepts there are two types—those of Nirmânakâyas, and those undertaken by the probationary chelâs who are on their trial.
The greatest, as the most puzzling mystery of the first type lies in the fact, that such re-birth in a human body of the personal Ego of some particular Adept—when it has been dwelling in the Mâyâvi or the Kâma Rûpa, and remaining in the Kâma Loka—may happen even when his “Higher Principles” are in the state of Nirvâna. [ From the so-called Brahmâ Loka—the seventh and higher world, beyond which all is arûpa, formless, purely spiritual—to the lowest world and insect, or even to an object such as a leaf, there is perpetual revolution of the condition of existence, evolution and re-birth. Some human beings attain states or spheres from which there is only a return in a new Kalpa (a day of Brahmâ): there are other states or spheres from which there is only return after 100 years of Brahmâ (Mahâ Kalpa, a period covering 311,040.000.000.000 years). Nirvâna, it is said, is a state from which there is no return. Yet it is maintained that there may be, as exceptional cases, re-incarnation from that state: only such incarnations are illusion, like everything else on this plane, as will be shown.] Let it be understood that the above expressions are used for popular purposes, and therefore that what is written does not deal with this deep and mysterious question from the highest plane, that of absolute spirituality, nor again from the highest philosophical point of view, comprehensible but to the very few. It must not be supposed that anything can go (Page 366) into Nirvâna which is not eternally there; but human intellect in conceiving the Absolute must put It as the highest term in an indefinite series. If this be borne in mind a great deal of misconception will be avoided. The content of this spiritual evolution is the material on various planes with which the Nirvânî was in contact prior to his attainment of Nirvâna. The plane on which this is true, being in the series of illusive planes, is undoubtedly the highest. Those who search for that must go to the right source of study, the teachings of the Upanishads, and must go in the right spirit. Here we attempt only to indicate the direction in which the search is to be made, and in showing a few of the mysterious Occult possibilities we do not bring our readers actually to the goal. The ultimate truth can be communicated only from Guru to initiated pupil.
Having said so much, the statement still will and must appear incomprehensible, if not absurd, to many. Firstly, to all those who are unfamiliar with the doctrine of the manifold nature and various aspects of the human Monad; and secondly to those who view the septenary division of the human entity from a too materialistic standpoint. Yet the intuitional Occultist, who has studied thoroughly the mysteries of Nirvâna—who knows it to be identical with Parabrahman, and hence unchangeable eternal and no Thing but the Absolute All—will seize the possibility of the fact. They know that while a Dharmakâya—a Nirvâni “without remains,” as our Orientalists have translated it, being absorbed into that Nothingness, which is the one real, because Absolute, Consciousness—cannot be said to return to incarnation on Earth, the Nirvânî being no longer a he, a she, or even an it, the Nirmânakâya—or he who has obtained Nirvâna “with remains,” i.e., who is clothed in a subtle body, which makes him impervious to all outward impressions and to every mental feeling, and in whom the notion of his Ego has not entirely ceased—can do so. Again, every Eastern Occultist is aware of the fact that there are two kinds of Nirmânakâyas—the natural, and the assumed; that the former is the name or epithet given to the condition of a high ascetic, or Initiate, who has reached a stage of bliss second only to Nirvâna; while the latter means the self-sacrifice of one who voluntary gives up the absolute Nirvâna, in order to help humanity and be still doing it good, or, in other words, to save his fellow-creatures by guiding them. It may be objected that the Dharmakâya, being a Nirvânî or Jîvanmukta, can have no “remains” left behind him after death, for having attained that state from which no further incarnations are possible, there is no need for him of a subtle body, or of the individual Ego that reincarnates from one birth to another, and that therefore the latter disappears of logical necessity; to this it is answered: it is so for all exoteric purposes and a general law.
Cardinal De Cusa - (Page 367) But the case with which we are dealing is an exceptional one, and its realization lies within the Occult powers of the high Initiate, who, before entering into the state of Nirvâna can cause his “remains” (sometimes, though not very well, called his Mâyâvi Rûpa), to remain behind, [This fact of the disappearance of the vehicle of Egotism in the fully developed Yogi, who is supposed to have reached Nirvâna on earth, years before his corporeal death, has led to the law in Manu, sanctioned by millenniums of Brâhmanical authority, that such a Paramâtmâ should be held as absolutely blameless and free from sin or responsibility, do whatever he may (see last chapter of the Laws of Manu). Indeed, caste itself—that most despotic, uncompromising and autocratic tyrant in India—can be broken with impunity by the Yogi, who is above caste. This will give the key to our statements.] whether he is to become a Nirvânî, or to find himself in a lower state of bliss.
Next, there are cases—rare, yet more frequent than one would be disposed to expect—which are the voluntary and conscious reincarnations of Adepts [The word “Adept” is very loosely used by H.P.B, who often seems to have implied by it no more than the possession of special knowledge of some kind. Here it seems to mean first as uninitiated disciple and then an initiated one.—Eds.] on their trial. Every man has an Inner, a “Higher Self,” and also an Astral Body. But few are those who, outside the higher degrees of Adeptship, can guide the latter, or any of the principles that animate it, when once death has closed their short terrestrial life. Yet such guidance, or their transference from the dead to a living body, is not only possible, but is of frequent occurrence, according to Occult and Kabalistic teachings. The degrees of such power of course vary greatly. To mention but three: the lowest of these degrees would allow an Adept, who has been greatly trammelled during life in his study and in the use of his powers, to choose after death another body in which he could go on with his interrupted studies, though ordinarily he would lose in it every remembrance of his previous incarnation. The next degree permits him, in addition to this, to transfer the memory of his past life to his new body; while the highest has hardly any limits in the exercise of that wonderful faculty.
As an instance of an Adept who enjoyed the first mentioned power some mediæval Kabalists cite a well-known personage of the fifteenth century—Cardinal de Cusa; Karma, due to his wonderful devotion to (Page 368) Esoteric study and the Kabalah, led the suffering Adept to seek intellectual recuperation and rest from ecclesiastical tyranny in the body of Copernicus. Si non e vero e ben trovato; and the perusal of the lives of the two men might easily lead a believer in such powers to a ready acceptance of the alleged fact. The reader having at his command the means to do so is asked to turn to the formidable folio in Latin of the fifteenth century, called De Docta Ignorantia, written by the Cardinal de Cusa, in which all the theories and hypotheses—all the ideas—of Copernicus are found as the key-notes to the discoveries of the great astronomer. [About fifty years before the birth of Copernicus, De Cusa wrote as follows: “Though the world may not be absolutely finite, no one can represent it to himself as finite, since human reason is incapable of assigning to it any term . . . For in the same way that our earth cannot be in the centre of the Universe, as thought, no more could the sphere of the fixed stars be in it. . . . Thus this world is like a vast machine, having its centre [Deity] everywhere, and its circumference nowhere [ machina mundi, quasi habens ubique centrum, et nullibi circumferentium]. . . . Hence the earth not being in the centre, cannot therefore be motionless . . . and though it is far smaller than the sun, one must not conclude for all that, that she is worse [vilior—more vile]. . . . One cannot see whether its inhabitants are superior to those who dwell nearer to the sun, or in other stars, as sidereal space cannot be deprived of inhabitants. . . . The earth, very likely [fortasse] one of the smallest globes, is nevertheless the cradle of intelligent beings, most noble and perfect.” One cannot fail to agree with the biographer of Cardinal de Cusa, who, having no suspicion of the Occult truth, and the reason of such erudition in a writer of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, simply marvels at such a miraculous foreknowledge, and attributes it to God, saying of him that he was a man incomparable in every kind of philosophy, by whom many a theological mystery inaccessible to the human mind (!), veiled and neglected for centuries (velata et neglecta) were once more brought to light. “Pascal might have read De Cusa’s works: but whence could the Cardinal have borrowed his ideas? asks Moreri. Evidently from Hermes and the works of Pythagoras, even if the mystery of his incarnation and re-incarnation be dismissed.] Who was this extraordinary learned Cardinal? The son of a poor boatman, owing all his career, his Cardinal’s hat, and the reverential awe rather than friendship of the Popes Eugenius IV., Nicholas V., and Pius II., to the extraordinary learning which seemed innate in him, since he had studied nowhere till comparatively late in life. De Cusa died in 1473; moreover, his best works were written before he was forced to enter orders—to escape persecution. Nor did the Adept escape it.
In the voluminous work of the Cardinal above-quoted is found a very suggestive sentence, the authorship of which has been variously attributed to Pascal, to Cusa himself, and to the Zohar, and which belongs by right to the Books of Hermes:
The world is an infinite sphere, whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.
This is changed by some into: “The centre being nowhere, and the circumference everywhere,” a rather heretical idea for a Cardinal, though perfectly orthodox from a Kabalistic standpoint.
The Seven Rays - (Page 369) The theory of rebirth must be set forth by Occultists, and then applied to special cases. The right comprehension of this psychic fact is based upon a correct view of that group of celestial Beings who are universally called the seven Primeval Gods or Angels—our Dhyân Chohans—the “Seven Primeval Rays” or Powers, adopted later on by the Christian Religion as the “Seven Angels of the Presence.” Arûpa, formless, at the upper rung of the ladder of Being, materializing more and more as they descend in the scale of objectivity and form, ending in the grossest and most imperfect of the Hierachy, man— it is the former purely spiritual group that is pointed out to us, in our Occult teaching, as the nursery and fountain-head of human beings. Therein germinates that consciousness which is the earliest manifestation from causal Consciousness—the Alpha and Omega of divine being and life for ever. And as it proceeds downward through every phase of existence descending through man, through animal and plant, it ends its descent only in the mineral. It is represented by the double triangle—the most mysterious and the most suggestive of all mystic signs, for it is a double glyph, embracing spiritual and physical consciousness and life, the former triangle running upwards, and the lower downwards, both interlaced, and showing the various planes of the twice-seven modes of consciousness, the fourteen spheres of existence, the Lokas of the Brâhmans.
The reader may now be able to obtain a clearer comprehension of the whole thing. He will also see what is meant by the “Watchers,” there being one placed as the Guardian or Regent over each of the seven divisions or regions of the earth, according to old traditions, as there is one to watch over and guide every one of the fourteen worlds or Lokas. [This is the secret meaning of the statements about the Hierarchy of Prajâpatis or Rishis. First seven are mentioned, then ten, then twenty-one, and so on. They are “Gods” and creators of men—many of them the “Lords of Beings”: they are the “Mind-born Sons” of Brahmâ, and then they become mortal heroes, and are often shown as of a very sinful character. The Occult meaning of the Biblical Patriarchs, their genealogy, and their descendants dividing among themselves the earth, is the same. Again, Jacob’s dream has the same significance.] But it is not with any of these that we are at present concerned, but with the “Seven Breaths,” so-called, that furnish man with his immortal Monad in his cyclic pilgrimage.
The Commentary on the Book of Dzyan says:
Descending on his region first as Lord of Glory, the Flame (or Breath), having called into conscious being the highest of the Emanations of that special region, ascends from it again to Its primeval seat, whence It watches (Page 370) over and guides Its countless Beams (Monads). It chooses as Its Avatâras only those who had the Seven Virtues in them [He “of the Seven Virtues” is one who, without the benefit of Initiation, becomes as pure as any Adept by the simple exertion of his own merit. Being so holy, his body at his next incarnation becomes the Avatâra of his “Watcher” or Guardian Angel, as the Christian would put it.] in their previous incarnation. As for the rest, It overshadows each with one of Its countless beams. . . . Yet even the “beam” is a part of the Lord of Lords. [The title of the highest Dhyân Chohans.]
The septenary principle in man—who can be regarded as dual only as concerns psychic manifestation on this gross earthly plane—was known to all antiquity, and may be found in every ancient Scripture. The Egyptians knew and taught it, and their division of principles is in every point a counterpart of the Âryan Secret Teaching. It is thus given in Isis Unveiled :
In the Egyptian notions, as in those of all other faiths founded on philosophy, man was not merely . . . a union of soul and body: he was a trinity when Spirit was added to it. Besides, that doctrine made him consist of Kha (body), Khaba (astral form or shadow), Ka (animal soul or life-principle,) Ba (the higher soul), and Akh (terrestrial intelligence). They had also a sixth principle, named Sah (or mummy), but the functions of this one commenced after the death of the body. [Op. cit., ii. 367]
The seventh principle being of course the highest, uncreated Spirit was generically called Osiris, therefore every deceased person became Osirified—or an Osiris—after death.
But in addition to reiterating the old ever-present fact of reincarnation and Karma—not as taught by the Spiritists, but as by the most Ancient Science in the world—Occultists must teach cyclic and evolutionary reincarnation: that kind of re-birth, mysterious and still incomprehensible to many who are ignorant of the world’s history, which was cautiously mentioned in Isis Unveiled. A general re-birth for every individual with interlude of Kâma Loka and Devachan, and a cyclic concious reincarnation with a grand and divine object for the few. Those great characters who tower like giants in the history of mankind like Siddârtha BUDDHA and Jesus in the realm of the spiritual, and Alexander the Macedonian and Napolean the Great in the realm of physical conquests are but the reflected images of human types which had existed—not ten thousand years before, as cautiously put forward in Isis Unveiled, but for millions of consecutive years from the beginning of the Manvantara.
Special Cases - (Page 371) For—with the exception of real Avatâras, as above explained—they are the same unbroken Rays (Monads), each respectively of its own special Parent-Flame—called Devas, Dhyân Chohans, or Dhyâni-Buddhas, or again, Planetary Angels, etc.—shining in æonic eternity as their prototypes. It is in their image that some men are born, and when some specific humanitarian object is in view, the latter are hypostatically animated by their divine prototypes reproduced again and again by the mysterious Powers that control and guide the destinies of our world.
No more could be said at the time when Isis Unveiled was written; hence the statement was limited to the single remark that
There is no prominent character in all the annals of sacred or profane history whose prototype we cannot find in the half fictitious and half real traditions of bygone religions and mythologies. As the star, glimmering at an immeasurable distance above our heads, in the boundless immensity of the sky, reflects itself in the smooth waters of a lake, so does the imagery of men of the antediluvian ages reflect itself in the periods we can embrace in a historical retrospect.
But now that so many publications have been brought out, stating much of the doctrine, and several of them giving many an erroneous view, this vague allusion may be amplified and explained. Not only does this statement apply to prominent characters in history in general, but also to men of genius, to every remarkable man of the age, who soars beyond the common herd with some abnormally developed special capacity in him, leading to the progress and good of mankind. Each is a reincarnation of an individuality that has gone before him with capacities in the same line, bringing thus as a dowry to his new form that strong and easily re-awakened capacity or quality which had been fully developed in him in his preceding birth. Very often they are ordinary mortals, the Egos of natural men in the course of their cyclic development.
But it is with “special cases” that we are now concerned. Let us suppose that a person during his cycle of incarnations is thus selected for special purposes—the vessel being sufficiently clean—by his personal God, the Fountain-head (on the plane of the manifested) of his Monad, who thus becomes his in-dweller. That God, his own prototype or “Father in Heaven,” is, in one sense, not only the image in which he, the spiritual man, is made, but in the case we are considering, it is that spiritual, individual Ego himself. This is a case of permanent, life-long Theophania. Let us bear in mind that this is neither Avatârism, as it is understood in Brâhmanical Philosophy, nor is the (Page 372) man thus selected a Jîvanmukta or Nirvânî, but that it is a wholly exceptional case in the realm of Mysticism. The man may or may not have been an Adept in his previous lives; he is so far, and simply, an extremely pure and spiritual individual—or one who was all that in his preceding birth, if the vessel thus selected is that of a newly-born infant. In this case, after the physical translation of such a saint or Bodhisattva, his astral principles cannot be subjected to a natural dissolution like those of any common mortal. They remain in our sphere and within human attraction and reach; and thus it is that not only a Buddha, a Shankarâchârya, or a Jesus can be said to animate several persons at one and the same time, but even the principles of a high Adept may be animating the outward tabernacles of common mortals.
A certain Ray (principle) from Sanat Kumâra spiritualized (animated) Pradvumna, the son of Krishna during the great Mahâbhârata period, while at the same time, he, Sanat Kumâra, gave spiritual instruction to King Dhritarâshtra. Moreover, it is to be remembered that Sanat Kumâra is “an eternal youth of sixteen,” dwelling in Jana Loka, his own sphere or spiritual state.
Even in ordinary mediumistic life, so-called, it is pretty well ascertained that while the body is acting—even though only mechanically—or resting in one place, its astral double may be appearing and acting independently in another, and very often distant place. This is quite a common occurrence in mystic life and history, and if this be so with ecstatics, Seers and Mystics of every description, why cannot the same thing happen on a higher and more spiritually developed plane of existence? Admit the possibility on the lower psychic plane, then why not on a higher plane? In the cases of Higher Adeptship, when the body is entirely at the command of the Inner Man, when the Spiritual Ego is completely reünited with its seventh principle even during the life-time of the personality, and the Astral Man or personal Ego has become so purified that he has gradually assimilated all the qualities and attributes of the middle nature (Buddhi and Manas in their terrestrial aspect) that personal Ego substitutes itself, so to say, for the spiritual Higher Self, and is thenceforth capable of living an independent life on earth; when corporeal death takes place the following mysterious event often happens. As a Dharmakâya, a Nirvâni “without remains” entirely free from terrestrial admixture, the Spiritual Ego cannot return to reincarnate on earth. But in such cases, it is affirmed, the personal Ego of even a Dharmakâya can remain in our sphere as a whole, and return to incarnation on earth if need be.
The Higher Astral - (Page 373) For now it can no longer be subject, like the astral remains of any ordinary man, to gradual dissolution in the Kâma Loka (the limbus or purgatory of the Roman Catholic, and the “Summer-land” of the Spiritualist); it cannot die a second death, as such disintegration is called by Proclus. [“After death, the soul continueth in the aerial (astral) body, till it is entirely purified from all angry, sensual passion: then doth it put off by a second death [when arising to Devachan] the aerial body as it did the earthly one. Wherefore the ancients say that there is a celestial body always joined with the soul, which is immortal, luminous and star-like.” It becomes natural then, that the “aerial body” of an Adept should have no such second dying, since it has been cleansed of all its natural impurity before its separation from the physical body. The high Initiate is a “Son of the Resurrection,” “being equal unto the angels,” and cannot die any more (see Luke , xx. 36). It has become too holy and pure, no longer by reflected but its own natural light and spirituality, either to sleep in the unconscious slumber of a lower Nirvânic state, or to be dissolved like any ordinary astral shell and disappear in its entirety.
But in that condition known as the Nirmânakâya [the Nirvânî “with remains,”] he can still help humanity.
“Let me suffer and bear the sins of all [be reincarnated unto new misery] but let the world be saved!” was said by Gautama BUDDHA: an exclamation the real meaning of which is little understood now by his followers. “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” [St. John, xxi. 21.] asks the astral Jesus of Peter. “Till I come” means “till I am reincarnated again” in a physical body. Yet the Christ of the old crucified body could truly say: “I am with my Father and one with Him,” which did not prevent the astral from taking a form again nor John from tarrying indeed till his Master had come; nor hinder John from failing to recognize him when he did come, or from then opposing him. But in the Church that remark generated the absurd idea of the millennium or chiliasm, in its physical sense.
Since then the “Man of Sorrows” has returned perchance more than once, unknown to, and undiscovered by, his blind followers. Since then also, this grand “Son of God” has been incessantly and most cruelly crucified daily and hourly by the Churches founded in his name. But the Apostles, only half-initiated, failed to tarry for their Master, and not recognizing him, spurned him every time he returned. [See the extract made in the Theosophist from a glorious novel by Dostoievsky—a fragment entitled “The Great Inquisitor.” It is a fiction, naturally, still a sublime fiction of Christ returning in Spain during the palmy days of the Inquisition, and being imprisoned and put to death by the Inquisitor, who fears lest Christ should ruin the work of Jesuit hands.]
The Seven Principles
374) THE “Mystery of Buddha” is that of several other
Adepts—perhaps of many. The whole trouble is to understand correctly that
other mystery: that of the real fact, so abstruse and transcendental at first
sight, about the “Seven Principles” in man, the reflections in man
of the seven powers in Nature, physically, and of the seven Hierarchies of Being
intellectually and spiritually. Whether a man—material, ethereal, and
spiritual—is for the clearer comprehension of his (broadly speaking) triple
nature, divided into groups according to one or another system, the foundation
and the apex of that division will be always the same. There being only three
Upâdhis (basics) in man, any number of Koshas (sheaths) and their aspects
may be built on these without destroying the harmony of the whole. Thus, while
the Esoteric System accepts the septenary division, the Vedântic classification
gives five Koshas, and the Târaka Râja Yoga simplifies them into
four—the three Upâdhis synthesized by the highest principle. Ätmâ.
|THE SEPTENARY DIVISION IN DIFFERENT INDIAN SYSTEMS|
|Esoteric Buddhism||Vedânta||Târaka Râja Yoga|
(Kosha is "sheath" literally,
the sheath of every principle)
|Sthûlopâdhi (Sthûla-upâdhi, or basis of the principle)|
Vehicle of Prâna
(The Astral Body, or Linga Sharira)
|5||Mind||(a) Volitions and feelings, etc.|
|6||Spiritual Soul (Buddhi)||Anandamayakosha||Kâranopâdhi|
That which has just been stated will, of course, suggest the question: “How can a spiritual (or semi-spiritual) personality lead a triple or even a dual life, shifting respective ‘Higher Selves’ ad libitum, and be still the one eternal Monad in the infinity of a Manvantara?” The answer to this is easy for the true Occultist, while for the uninitiated profane it must appear absurd. The “Seven Principles” are, of course, the manifestation of one indivisible Spirit, but only at the end of the Manvantara, and when they come to be re-united on the plane of the One Reality does the unity appear; during the “Pilgrim’s” journey the reflections of that indivisible One Flame, the aspects of the one eternal Spirit, have each the power of action on one of the manifested planes of existence—the gradual differentiations from the one unmanifested plane—on that plane namely to which it properly belongs.
The Purified Self - (Page 375) Our earth affording every Mâyâvic condition, it follows that the purified Egotistical Principle, the astral and personal Self of an Adept, though forming in reality one integral whole with its Highest Self (Âtmâ and Buddhi) may, nevertheless, for purposes of universal mercy and benevolence, so separate itself from its divine Monad as to lead on this plane of illusion and temporary being a distinct independent conscious life of its own under a borrowed illusive shape, thus serving at once and the same time a double purpose: the exhaustion of its own individual Karma, and the saving of millions of human beings less favoured than itself from the effects of mental blindness. If asked: “When the change described as the passage of a Buddha or a Jîvanmukta into Nirvâna takes place, where does the original consciousness which animated the body continue to reside—in the Nirvânî or in the subsequent reincarnations of the latter’s ‘remains’ (the Nirmânakâya)?” the answer is that imprisoned consciousness may be a “certain knowledge from observation and experience,” as Gibbon puts it, but disembodied consciousness is not an effect, but a cause. It is a part of the whole, or rather a Ray on the graduated scale of its manifested activity, of the one all-pervading, limitless Flame, the reflections of which alone can differentiate; and, as such, consciousness is ubiquitous, and can be neither localized nor centered on or in any particular subject, nor can it be limited. Its effects alone pertain to the region of matter, for thought is an energy that affects matter in various ways, but consciousness per se, as understood and explained by Occult philosophy, is the highest quality of the sentient spiritual principle in us, the Divide Soul (or Buddhi) and our Higher Ego, and does not belong to the plane of materiality. After the death of the physical man, if he be an Initiate, it becomes transformed from a human quality into the independent principle itself; the conscious Ego becoming Consciousness per se without any Ego, in the sense that the latter can no longer be limited or conditioned by the senses, or even by space or time. Therefore it is capable, without separating itself from or abandoning its possessor, Buddhi, of reflecting itself at the same time in its astral man that was without being under any necessity for localizing itself. This is shown at a far lower stage in our dreams. For if consciousness can display activity during our visions, and while the body and its material brain are fast asleep—and if even during those visions it is all but ubiquitous—how much greater must be its power when entirely free from, and having no more connection with our physical brain.
The Mystery of Buddha
(Page 376) NOW the mystery of Buddha lies in this: Gautama, an incarnation of pure Wisdom, had yet to learn in His human body and to be initiated into the world’s secrets like any other mortal, until the day when He emerged from His secret recess in the Himâlayas and preached for the first time in the grove of Benares. The same with Jesus: from the age of twelve to thirty years, when He was found preaching the sermon on the Mount, nothing is positively said or known of Him. Gautama had sworn inviolable secrecy as to the Esoteric Doctrines imparted to Him. In His immense pity for the ignorance—and as its consequence the sufferings—of mankind, desirous though He was to keep inviolate His sacred vows, He failed to keep within the prescribed limits. While constructing His Esoteric Philosophy (the “Eye-Doctrine”) on the foundations of eternal Truth, He failed to conceal certain dogmas, and trespassing beyond the lawful lines, caused those dogmas to be misunderstood. In His anxiety to make away with the false Gods, He revealed in the “Seven Paths to Nirvâna” some of the mysteries of the Seven Lights of the Arûpa (formless) World. A little of the truth is often worse than no truth at all.
Truth and fiction are like oil and water: they will never mix.
His new doctrine, which represented the outward dead body of the Esoteric Teaching without its vivifying Soul, had disastrous effects: it was never correctly understood, and the doctrine itself was rejected by the Southern Buddhists. Immense philanthropy, a boundless love and charity for all creatures, were at the bottom of His unintentional mistake; but Karma little heeds intentions, whether good or bad, if they remain fruitless. If the “Good Law” as preached resulted in the most sublime code of ethics and the unparalleled philosophy of things external in the visible Kosmos, it biassed and misguided immature minds into believing there was nothing more under the outward mantle of the system, and its dead-letter only was accepted. Moreover, the new teaching unsettled many great minds which had previously followed the orthodox Brâhmanical lead.
Shankarâchârya - (Page 377) Thus, fifty odd years after his death “the great Teacher” [ When we say the “great Teacher,” we do not mean His Buddhic Ego, but that principle in Him which was the vehicle of His personal or terrestrial Ego.] having refused full Dharmakâya and Nirvâna, was pleased, for purposes of Karma and philanthropy, to be reborn. For Him death has been no death, but as expressed in the “Elixir of Life.” [ Five Years of Theosophy, New Edition, p. 3.] He changed
A sudden plunge into darkness to a transition into a brighter light.
The shock of death was broken, and like many other Adepts, He threw off the mortal coil and left it to be burnt, and its ashes to serve as relics, and began interplanetary life, clothed in His subtle body. He was reborn as Shankara, the greatest Vedântic teacher of India, whose philosophy—based as it is entirely on the fundamental axioms of the eternal Revelation, the Shruti, or the primitive Wisdom-Religion, as Buddha from a different point of view had before based His—finds itself in the middle ground between the too exuberantly veiled metaphysics of the orthodox Brâhmans and those of Gautama which, stripped in their exoteric garb of every soul-vivifying hope, transcendental aspiration and symbol, appear in their cold wisdom like crystalline icicles, the skeletons of the primeval truths of Esoteric Philosophy.
Was Shankarâchârya Gautama The Buddha, then, under a new personal form? It may perhaps only puzzle the reader the more if he be told that there was the “astral” Gautama inside the outward Shankara, whose higher principle, or Ätman, was, nevertheless, his own divine prototype—the “Son of Light,” indeed—the heavenly, mind-born son of Aditi.
This fact is again based on that mysterious transference of the divine ex-personality merged in the impersonal Individuality—now in its full trinitarian form of the Monad as Âtma-Buddhi-Manas—to a new body, whether visible or subjective. In the first case it is a Manushya-Buddha; in the second it is a Nirmânakâya. The Buddha is in Nirvâna, it is said, though this once mortal vehicle—the subtle body—of Gautama is still present among the Initiates: nor will it leave the realm of conscious Being so long as suffering mankind needs its divine help—not to the end of this Root Race, at any rate. From time to time He, the “astral” Gautama, associates Himself, in some most mysterious—to (Page 378) us quite incomprehensible—manner, with Avatâras and great saints, and works through them. And several such are named.
Thus it is averred that Gautama Buddha was reincarnated in Shankarâchâya—that, as is said in Esoteric Buddhism:
Shankarâchârya simply was Buddha in all respects in a new body. [Op. cit., p. 175 Fifth Edition.] While the expression in its mystic sense is true, the way of putting it may be misleading until explained. Shankara was a Buddha, most assuredly, but he never was a reincarnation of the Buddha, though Gautama’s “Astral” Ego—or rather his Bodhisattva—may have been associated in some mysterious way with Shankarâchârya. Yes, it was perhaps the Ego, Gautama, under a new and better adapted casket—that of a Brâhman of Southern India. But the Âtman, the Higher Self that overshadowed both, was distinct from the Higher Self of the translated Buddha, which was now in Its own sphere in Kosmos.
Shankara was an Avatâra in the full sense of the term. According to Sayanâchârya, the great commentator on the Vedas, he is to be held as an Avatâra, or direct incarnation of Shiva—the Logos, the Seventh Principle in Nature—Himself. In the Secret Doctrine Shri Shankarâchârya is regarded as the abode—for the thirty-two years of his mortal life—of a Flame, the highest of the manifested Spiritual Beings, one of the Primordial Seven Rays.
And now what is meant by a “Bodhisattva”? Buddhists of the Mahâyana mystic system teach that each BUDDHA manifests Himself (hypostatically or otherwise) simultaneously in three worlds of Being, namely, in the world of Kâma (concupiscence or desire—the sensuous universe or our earth) in the shape of a man; in the world of Rûpa (form, yet supersensuous) as a Bodhisattva; and in the highest Spiritual World (that of purely incorporeal existences) as a Dhyâni Buddha. The latter prevails eternally in space and time, i.e., from one Mahâ-Kalpa to the other—the synthetic culmination of the three being Ädi-Buddha, [ It would be useless to raise objections from exoteric works to statements in this, which aims to expound, however superficially, the Esoteric Teachings alone. It is because they are misled by the exoteric doctrine that Bishop Bigandet and others aver that the notion of a supreme eternal Ädi-Buddha is to be found only in the writings of comparatively recent date. What is given here is taken from the secret portions of Dus Kyi Khorlo (Kâla Chakra, in Sanskrit, or the “Wheel of Time,” or duration).] the Wisdom-Principle, which is Absolute, and therefore out of space and time. Their inter-relation is the following:
The Buddha Cannot Reincarnate - (Page 379) The Dhyâni-Buddha, when the world needs a human Buddha, “creates” through the power of Dhyâna (meditation, omnipotent devotion), a mind-born son—a Bodhisattva—whose mission it is after the physical death of his human, or Manushya-Buddha, to continue his work on earth till the appearance of the subsequent Buddha. The Esoteric meaning of this teaching is clear. In the case of a simple mortal, the principles in him are only the more or less bright reflections of the seven cosmic, and the seven celestial Principles, the Hierarchy of supersensual Beings. In the case of a Buddha, they are almost the principles in esse themselves. The Bodhisattva replaces in him the Kârana Sharira, the Ego principle, and the rest correspondingly; and it is in this way that Esoteric Philosophy explains the meaning of the sentence that “by virtue of Dhyâna [or abstract meditation] the Dhyâni-Buddha [the Buddha’s Spirit or Monad] creates a Bodhisattva, “ or the astrally clothed Ego within the Manushya-Buddha. Thus, while the Buddha merges back into Nirvâna whence it proceeded, the Bodhisattva remains behind to continue the Buddha’s work upon earth. It is then this Bodhisattva that may have afforded the lower principles in the apparitional body of Shankarâchârya, the Avatâra.
Now to say that Buddha, after having reached Nirvâna, returned thence to reïncarnate in a new body, would be uttering a heresy from the Brâhmanical, as well as from the Buddhisic standpoint. Even in the Mahâyâna exoteric School in the teaching as to the three “Buddhic” bodies, [ The three bodies are (1) the Nirmânakâya (Pru-lpai-Ku in Tibetan), in which the Bodhisattva after entering the six Pâramitâs the Path to Nirvâna, appears to men in order to teach them: (2) Sambhogakâya (Dzog-pai-Ku), the body of bliss impervious to all physical sensations, received by one who has fulfilled the three conditions of moral perfection: and (3) Dharmakâya (in Tibetan, Chos-Ku), the Nirvânic body.] it is said of the Dharmakâya—the formless Being—that once it is taken, the Buddha in it abandons the world of sensuous perceptions for ever, and has not, nor can he have, any more connection with it. To say, as the Esoteric or Mystic School teaches, that though Buddha is in Nirvâna he has left behind him the Nirmânakâya (the Bodhisattva) to work after him, is quite orthodox and in accordance with both the Esoteric Mahâyâna and the Prasanga Mâdhyâmika Schools, the latter an anti-esoteric and most rationalistic system. For in the Kâla Chakra Commentary it is shown that there is: (1) Ädi-Buddha, eternal and conditionless; then (2) come Sambhogakâya-Buddhas, or Dhyâni-Buddhas, existing from (æonic) eternity and never disappearing—the Causal Buddhas so to say; and (3) the Manushya (Page 380) Bodhisattvas. The relation between them is determined by the definition given. Ädi-Buddha is Vajradhara, and the Dhyâni-Buddhas are Vajrasattva; yet though these two are different Beings on their respective planes. They are identical in fact, one acting through the other, as a Dhyâni through a human Buddha. One is “Endless Intelligence;” the other only “Supreme Intelligence.” It is said of Phra Bodhisattva—who was subsequently on earth Buddha Gautama:
Having fulfilled all the conditions for the immediate attainment of perfect Buddhaship, the Holy One preferred, from unlimited charity towards living beings, once more to reincarnate for the benefit of man.
The Nirvâna of the Buddhists is only the threshold of Paranirvâna, according to the Esoteric Teaching: while with the Brâhmans, it is the summum bonum, that final state from which there is no more return—not till the next Mahâ-Kalpa at all events. And even this last view will be opposed by some too orthodox and dogmatic Philosophers who will not accept the Esoteric Doctrine. With them Nirvâna is absolute nothingness, in which there is nothing and no one: only an unconditioned All. To understand the full characteristics of that Abstract Principle one must sense it intuitionally and comprehend fully the “one permanent condition in the Universe,” which the Hindûs define so truly as
The state of perfect unconsciousness—bare Chidâkâsham (field of consciousness) in fact.
however paradoxical it may seem to the profane reader. [ Five Years of Theosophy, art. “Personal and Impersonal God, p. 129.]
Shankarâchârya was reputed to be an Avatâra, an assertion the writer implicitly believes in, but which other people are, of course, at liberty to reject. And as such he took the body of a southern Indian, newly-born Brâhman baby; that body, for reasons as important as they are mysterious to us, is said to have been animated by Gautama’s astral personal remains. This divine Non-Ego chose as its own Upâdhi (physical basis), the ethereal, human Ego of a great Sage in this world of forms, as the fittest vehicle for Spirit to descend into.
Parabrahman is Kartâ [Purusha], as there is no other Adhishtâthâ, [ Adhishtâthâ, the active or working agent in Prakriti (or matter). ] and Parabrahman is Prakriti, there being no other substance. [Vedânta-Sûtras. Ad. I. Pâda iv. ShI. 23 Commentary. The passage is given as follows in Thibaut's translation (Sacred Books of the East, xxxiv.) p. 286: “The Self is thus the operative cause, because there is no other ruling principle, and the material cause because there is no other substance from which the world could originate.”]
A Fuller Explanation - (Page 381) Now what is true of the Macrocosmical is also true of the Microcosmical plane. It is therefore nearer the truth to say—when once we accept such a possibility—that the “astral” Gautama or the Nirmânakâya, was the Upâdhi of Shankarâchâya’s spirit, rather than the latter was a reincarnation of the former.
a Shankarâchârya has to be born, naturally every one of the principles
in the manifested mortal man must be the purest and finest that exist on earth.
Consequently those principles that were once attached to Gautama, who was the
direct great predecessor of Shankara, were naturally attracted to him, the economy
of Nature forbidding the re-evolution of similar principles from the crude state.
But it must be remembered that the higher ethereal principles are not, like
the lower more natural ones, visible sometimes to man (as astral bodies), and
they have to be regarded in the light of separate or independent Powers or Gods,
rather than at material objects. Hence the right way of representing the truth
would be to say that the various principles, the Bodhisattva, of Gautama Buddha,
which did not go to Nirvâna, reunited to form the middle principles of
Shankarâchârya, the earthly Entity. [In Five Years of
Theosophy (art. “Shâkya Muni’s Place in History,”
p. 234, note) it is stated that one day when our Lord sat in the Sattapanni
Cave (Saptaparna) he compared man to a Saptaparna (seven leaved) plant.
“Mendicants,” he said, “there are seven Buddhas in every Buddha, and there are six Bhikshus and but one Buddha in each mendicant. What are the seven? The seven branches of complete knowledge. What are the six? The six organs of sense. What are the five? The five elements of illusive being. And the One which is also ten? He is a true Buddha who develops in him the ten forms of holiness and subjects them all to the One.” Which means that every principle in the Buddha was the highest that could be evolved on this earth; whereas in the case of other men who attain to Nirvâna this is not necessarily the case. Even as a mere human (Manushya) Buddha Gautama was a pattern for all men. But his Arhats were not necessarily so.
It is absolutely necessary to study the doctrine of the Buddhas esoterically and understand the subtle differences between the various planes of existence to be able to comprehend correctly the above. Put more clearly, Gautama, the human Buddha, who had, exoterically, Amitâbha for his Bodhisattva and Avolokiteshvara for his Dhyâni-Buddha—the triad emanating directly from Ädi-Buddha—assimilated these by his “Dhyâna” (meditation) and thus become a Buddha (“enlightened”). In another manner this is the case with all men; every one of us has his Bodhisattva—the middle principle, if we hold for a moment to the trinitarian division of the septenary group—and his Dhyâni-Buddha, or Chohan, the “Father of the Son.” Our connecting link with the higher Hierarchy of Celestial Beings lies here in a nutshell, only we are too sinful to assimilate them.
(Page 382) Six centuries after the translation of the human Buddha (Gautama) another Reformer, as noble and as loving though less favoured by opportunity, arose in another part of the world, among another and a less spiritual race. There is a great similarity between the subsequent opinions of the world about the two Saviours, the Eastern and the Western. While millions became converted to the doctrines of the two Masters, the enemies of both—sectarian opponents, the most dangerous of all—tore both to shreds by insinuating maliciously-distorted statements based on Occult truths, and therefore doubly dangerous. While of Buddha it is said by the Brâhmans that He was truly an Avatâra of Vishnu, but that He had come to tempt the Brâhmans from their faith, and was therefore the evil aspect of the God: of Jesus the Bardesanian Gnostics and others asserted that He was Nebu, the false Messiah, the destroyer and the old orthodox religion. “He is the founder of a new sect of Nazars,” said other sectarians. In Hebrew the word “Naba” means “to speak by inspiration.” () is Nebo, the God of wisdom). But Nebo is also Mercury, who is Buddha in the Hindu monogram of planets. And this is shown by the fact that the Talmudists hold that Jesus was inspired by the Genius (or Regent) of Mercury confounded by Sir William Jones with Gautama Buddha. There are many other strange points of similarity between Gautama and Jesus, which cannot be noticed here. [ See Isis Unveiled, ii. 132.]
If both the Initiates, aware of the danger of furnishing the uncultured masses with the powers acquired by ultimate knowledge, left the innermost corner of the sanctuary in profound darkness, who, acquainted with human nature, can blame either of them for this? Yet although Gautama, actuated by prudence, left the Esoteric and most dangerous portions of the Secret Knowledge untold, and lived to the ripe old age of eighty—the Esoteric Doctrine says one hundred—years, dying with the certainty of having taught its essential truths, and of having sown the seeds for the conversion of one-third of the world, He yet perhaps revealed more than was strictly good for posterity. But Jesus, who had promised His disciples the knowledge which confers upon man the power of producing “miracles” far greater than He had ever produced Himself, died, leaving but a few faithful disciples—men only half-way to knowledge. They had therefore to struggle with a world to which they could impart only what they but half-knew themselves, and—no more. In later ages the exoteric followers of both mangled the truths given out, often out of recognition.
Sacrifice - (Page 383) With regard to the adherents of the Western Master, the proof of this lies in the very fact that none of them can now produce the promised “miracles.” They have to choose: either it is they who have blundered, or it is their Master who must stand arraigned for an empty promise, an uncalled-for boast. [“Before one becomes a Buddha he must be a Bodhisattva: before evolving into a Bodhisattva he must be a Dhyâni-Buddha. . . . A bodhisattva is the way and Path to his Father, and thence to the One Supreme Essence” (Descent of Buddhas . p. 17. from Äryâsanga). “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me “ (St. John, xiv.6). The “way” is not the goal. Nowhere throughout the New Testament is Jesus found calling himself God, or anything higher than “a son of God,” the son of a “Father” common to all, synthetically. Paul never said (I. Tim., iii. 10). “God was manifest in the flesh,” but “He who was manifested in the flesh” (Revised Edition). While the common herd among the Buddhists—the Burmese especially—regard Jesus as an incarnation of Devadatta, a relative who opposed the teachings of the Buddha, the students of Esoteric Philosophy see in the Nazarene Sage a Bodhisattva with the spirit of Buddha Himself in Him.] Why such a difference in the destiny of the two? For the Occultist this enigma of the unequal favour of Karma or Providence is unriddled by the Secret Doctrine.
It is “not lawful” to speak of such things publicly, as St. Paul tells us. One more explanation only may be given in reference to this subject. It was said a few pages back that an Adept who thus sacrifices himself to live, giving up full Nirvâna, though he can never lose the knowledge acquired by him in previous existences, yet can never rise higher in such borrowed bodies. Why? Because he becomes simply the vehicle of a “Son of Light” from a still higher sphere, Who being Arûpa, has no personal astral body of His own fit for this world. Such “Sons of Light,” or Dhyâni-Buddhas, are the Dharmakâyas of preceding Manvantaras, who have closed their cycles of incarnations in the ordinary sense and who, being thus Karmaless, have long ago dropped their individual Rûpas, and have become identified with the first Principle. Hence the necessity of a sacrificial Nirmânakâya, ready to suffer for the misdeeds or mistakes of the new body in its earth-pilgrimage without any future reward on the plane of progression and rebirth, since there are no rebirths for him in the ordinary sense. The higher Self, or Divine Monad, is not in such a case attached to the lower Ego; its connection is only temporary, and in most cases it acts through decrees of Karma. This is a real, genuine sacrifice, the explanation of which pertains to the highest Initiation of Gñâna (Occult Knowledge). It is closely linked, by a direct evolution of Spirit and involution of Matter, with the primeval and great Sacrifice at the foundation of the manifested Worlds, the gradual smothering and (Page 384) death of the spiritual in the material. The seed “is not quickened except it die.” [ I. Corinth., xv. 36] Hence in the Purusha Sûkta of the Rig Veda, [ Op.cit., Mandala x., hymn 90.] the mother-fount and source of all subsequent religions, it is stated allegorically that “the thousand-headed Purusha” was slaughtered at the foundation of the World, that from his remains the Universe might arise. This is nothing more or less than the foundation—the seed, truly—of the later many-formed symbol in various religions, including Christianity, of the sacrificial lamb. For it is a play upon the words “Aja” (Purusha), “the unborn,” or eternal Spirit, means also “lamb,” in Sanskrit. Spirit disappears—dies, metaphorically—the more it gets involved in matter, and hence the sacrifice of the “unborn,” or the “lamb.”
Why the BUDDHA chose to make this sacrifice will be plain only to those who, to the minute knowledge of His earthly life, add that of a thorough comprehension of the laws of Karma. Such occurrences, however, belong to the most exceptional cases.
As tradition goes, the Brâhmans had committed a heavy sin by persecuting Gautama BUDDHA and His teachings instead of blending and reconciling them with the tenets of pure Vaidic Brâhmanism, as was done later by Shankarâchârya. Gautama had never gone against the Vedas, only against the exoteric growth of preconceived interpretations. The Shruti—divine oral revelation, the outcome of which was the Veda—is eternal. It reached the ear of Gautama Siddartha as it had those of the Rishis who had written it down. He accepted the revelation while rejecting the later overgrowth of Brâhmanical thought and fancy and built His doctrines on one and the same basis of imperishable truth. As in the case of His Western successor, Gautama, the “Merciful,” the “Pure,” and the “Just,” was the first found in the Eastern Hierarchy of historical Adepts, if not in the world-annals of divine mortals, who was moved by that generous feeling which locks the whole of mankind within one embrace, with no petty differences of race, birth, or caste. It was He who first enunciated that grand and noble principle, and He again who first put it into practice. For the sake of the poor and the reviled, the outcast and the hapless, invited by Him to the king’s festival table, He had excluded those who had hitherto sat along in haughty seclusion and selfishness, believing that they would be defiled by the very shadow of the disinherited ones of the land—and these non-spiritual Brâhmans turned against Him for that preference.
Shankarâchârya Still Living - (Page 385) Since then such as these have never forgiven the prince-beggar, the son of a king, who, forgetting His rank and station, had flung widely open the doors of the forbidden sanctuary to the pariah and the man of low estate, thus giving precedence to personal merit over hereditary rank or fortune. The sin was theirs—the cause nevertheless Himself: hence the “Merciful and the Blessed One” could not go out entirely from this world of illusion and created causes without atoning for the sin of all—therefore of these Brâhmans also. If “man afflicted by man” found safe refuge with the Tathâgata, “man afflicting man” had also his share in His self-sacrificing, all embracing and forgiving love. It is stated that He desired to atone for the sin of His enemies. Then only was he willing to become a full Dharmakâya a Jîvanmukta “without remains.”
The close of Shankarâchârya’s life brings us face to face with a fresh mystery, Shankarâchârya retires to a cave in the Himâlayas, permitting none of his disciples to follow him, and disappears therein forever from the sight of the profane. Is he dead? Tradition and popular belief answer in the negative, and some of the local Gurus, if they do not emphatically corroborate, do not deny the rumour. The truth with its mysterious details as given in the Secret Doctrine is known but to them; it can be given out fully only to the direct followers of the great Dravidian Guru, and it is for them alone to reveal of it as much as they think fit. Still it is maintained that this Adept of Adepts lives to this day in his spiritual entity as a mysterious, unseen, yet overpowering presence among the Brotherhood of Shamballa, beyond, far beyond, the snowy-capped Himâlayas.
“Reincarnations” of Buddha
(Page 386) EVERY section in the chapter on “Dezhin Shegpa” [ Literally, “he who walks [or follows] in the way [or path] of his predecessors.”] (Tathâgata) in the Commentaries represents one year of that great Philosopher’s life, in its dual aspect of public and private teacher, the two being contrasted and commented upon. It shows the Sage reaching Buddhahood through a long course of study, meditation, and Initiations, as any other Adept would have to do, not one rung of the ladder up to the arduous “Path of Perfection” being missed. The Bodhisattva became a Buddha and a Nirvânî through personal effort and merit after having had to undergo all the hardships of every other neophyte—not by virtue of a divine birth, as thought by some. It was only the reaching of Nirvâna while still living in the body and on this earth that was due to His having been in previous births high on the “Path of Dzyan” (knowledge, wisdom). Mental or intellectual gifts and abstract knowledge follow an Initiate in his new birth, but he has to acquire phenomenal powers anew, passing through all the successive stages. He has to acquire Rinchen-na-dun (“the seven precious gifts”) [ Schmidt, in Slanong Seetsen. p.471, and Schlagintweit, in Buddhism in Tibet, p. 53, accept these precious things literally, enumurating them as “the wheel, the precious stone, the royal consort, the best treasurer, the best horse, the elephant, the best leader.” After this one can little wonder if “besides a Dhyâni-Buddhi and a Dhyâni-Bodhisattva” each human Buddha is furnished with “a female companion, a Shakti”—when in truth “Shakti” is simply the Soul-power, the psychic energy of the God as of the Adept. The “royal consort,” the third of the “seven precious gifts,” very likely led the learned Orientalist into this ludicrous error.] one after the other. During the period of meditation no worldly phenomena on the physical plane must be allowed to enter into his mind or cross his thoughts. Zhine-lhagthong (Sanskrit: Vipashya, religious abstract meditation) will develop in him most wonderful faculties independently of himself.
Vajradhara - (Page 387) The four degrees of contemplation, or Sam-tan (Sanskrit: Dhyâna), once acquired, everything becomes easy. For, once that man has entirely got rid of the idea of individuality, merging his Self in the Universal Self, becoming, so to say, the bar of steel to which the properties inherent in the loadstone (Ädi Buddha, or Anima Mundi) are imparted, powers hitherto dormant in him are awakened, mysteries in invisible Nature are unveiled, and becoming a Thonglam-pa (a Seer) he becomes a Dhyâni-Buddha. Every Zung (Dhâranî, a mystic word or mantra) of the Lokottaradharma (the highest world of causes) will be known to him.
Thus, after His outward death, twenty years later, Tathâgata in His immense love and “pitiful mercy” for erring and ignorant humanity, refused Paranirvâna [A Bodhisattva can reach Nirvâna and live, as Buddha did, and after death he can either refuse objective incarnation or accept and use it at his convenience for the benefit of mankind whom he can instruct in various ways while he remains in the Devachanic regions within the attraction of our earth. But having once reached Paranirvâna or “Nirvâna without remains”—the highest Dharmakâya condition, in which state he remains entirely outside of every earthly condition—he will return no more until the commencement of a new Manvantara, since he has crossed beyond the cycle of birth.] in order that He might continue to help men.
Says a Commentary:
Having reached the Path of Deliverance [Thar-lam] from transmigration, one cannot perform Tulpa [Tulpa is the voluntary incarnation of an Adept into a living body, whether of an adult, child, or new-born babe.] any longer, for to become a Paranirvânî is to close the circle of the Septenary Ku-Sum. [Ku-sum is the triple form of the Nirvanâ state and its respective duration in the “cycle of Non Being.” The number seven here refers to the seven Rounds of our septenary System.] He has merged his borrowed Dorjesempa [Vagrasattva] into the Universal and become one with it.
Vajradhara, also Vajrasattva (Tibetan: Dorjechang and Dorjedzin, or Dorjosampa), is the regent or President of all the Dhyân Chohans or Dhyâni Buddhas, the highest, the Supreme Buddha; personal, yet never manifested objectively; the “Supreme Conqueror,” the “Lord of all Mysteries,” the “One without Beginning or End”—in short, the Logos of Buddhism. For, as Vajrasattva, He is simply the Tsovo (Chief) of the Dhyâni Buddhas or Dhyân Chohans, and the Supreme Intelligence in the Second World; while as Vajradhara (Dorjechang), He is all that which was enumerated above. “These two are one, and yet two,” and over them is “Chang, the Supreme Unmanifested and (Page 388) Universal Wisdom that has no name.” As two in one He (They) is the Power that subdued and conquered Evil from the beginning, allowing it to reign only over willing subjects on earth, and having no power over those who despise and hate it. Esoterically the allegory is easily understood; exoterically Vajradhara (Vajrasattva) is the God to whom all the evil spirits swore that they would not impede the propagation of the Good Law (Buddhism), and before whom all the demons tremble. Therefore we say this dual personage has the same rôle assigned to it in canonical and dogmatic Tibetan Buddhism as have Jehovah and the Archangel Mikael, the Metatron of the Jewish Kabalists. This is easily shown. Mikael is “the angel of the face of God,” or he who represents his Master. “My face shall go with thee” (in English, “presence”), before the Israelites, says God to Moses (Exodus, xxxiii. 141). “The angel of my presence” (Hebrew: “of my face”) (Isaiah, Ixiii.9). etc. The Roman Catholics identify Christ with Mikael, who is also his ferouer, or “face” mystically. This is precisely the position of Vajradhara, or Vajrasattva, in Northern Buddhism. For the latter, in His Higher Self as Vajradhara (Dorjechang), is never manifested, except to the seven Dhyân Chohans, the primeval Builders. Esoterically, it is the Spirit of the “Seven” collectively, their seventh principle, or Ãtman. Exoterically, any amount of fables may be found in Kâla Chakra, the most important work in the Gyut [or (D)guy] division of the Kanjur, the division of mystic knowledge [(D)gyu]. Dorjechang (wisdom) Vajradhara, is said to live in the second Arûpa World, which connects him with Metatron, in the first world of pure Spirits, the Briatic world of the Kabalists, who call this angel El-Shaddai, the Omnipotent and Might One. Metatron is in Greek αϒϒελος(Messenger), or the Great Teacher. Mikael fights Satan, the Dragon, and conquers him and his Angels. Vajrasattva, who is one with Vajrapâni, the Subduer of the Evil Spirits, conquers Râhu, the Great Dragon who is always trying to devour the sun and moon (eclipses). “War in Heaven” in the Christian legend is based upon the bad angels having discovered the secrets (magical wisdom) of the good ones (Enoch), and the mystery of the “Tree of Life.” Let anyone read simply the exoteric accounts in the Hindu and Buddhist Pantheons—the latter version being taken from the former—and he will find both resting on the same primeval, archaic allegory from the Secret Doctrine. In the exoteric texts (Hindu and Buddhist), the Gods churn the ocean to extract from it the Water of Life—Amrita—or the Elixir of Knowledge.
Living Buddhas - (Page 389) In both the Dragon steals some of this, and is exiled from heaven by Vishnu, or Vajradhara, or the chief God, whatever may be his name. We find the same in the Book of Enoch, and it is poetized in St. John’s Revelation. And now the allegory, with all its fanciful ornamentations, has become a dogma!
As will be found mentioned later, the Tibetan Lamaseries contain many secrets and semi-secret volumes, detailing the lives of great Sages. Many of the statements in them are purposely confused, and in others the reader becomes bewildered, unless a clue be given him, by the use of one name to cover many individuals who follow the same line of teaching. Thus there is a succession of “living Buddhas,” and the name Buddha is given to teacher after teacher. Schlagintweit writes:
To each human being Buddha belongs a Dhyâni-Buddha, and a Dhyâni-Bodhisattva, and the unlimited number of the former also involves equally unlimited number of the latter. [Buddhism in Tibet. p.52. This same generic use of a name is found among Hindus with that of Shankarâchârya, to take but one instance. All His successors bear his name, but are not reincarnations of Him. So with the “Buddhas.”]
[But if this be so—and the exoteric and semi-exoteric use of the name justify the statement—the reader must depend on his own intuition to distinguish between the Dhyâni Buddhas and the human Buddhas, and must not apply to the great BUDDHA of the Fifth Race all that is ascribed to “the Buddha” in books where, as said, blinds are constantly introduced.
In one of these books some strange and obscure statements are made which the writer gives, as before, entirely on her own responsibility, since a few may sense a meaning hidden under words misleading in their surface meaning.] [The words within brackets are supplied to introduce the statements following that are confused and contradictory as they stand, and which H.P.B had probably intended to elucidate to some slight extent, as they are written two or three times with different sentences following them. The MS. is exceedingly confused, and everything H.P.B said is here pieced together, the addition above made being marked in brackets to distinguish it from hers.] It is stated that at the age of thirty-three, Shankarâchârya, tired of his mortal body, “put it off” in the cave he had entered, and that the Bodhisattva, that served as his lower personality, was freed.
With the burden of a sin upon him which he had not committed.
At the same time it is added:
At whatever age one puts off his outward body by free will, at that age will he be made to die a violent death against his will in his next rebirth.
(Page 390) Now, Karma could have no hold on “Mahâ Shankara” (as Shankara is called in the secret work), as he had, as Avatâra, no Ego of his own, but a Bodhisattva—a willing sacrificial victim. Neither had the latter any responsibility for the deed, whether sinful or otherwise. Therefore we do not see the point, since Karma cannot act unjustly. There is some terrible mystery involved in all this story, one that no uninitiated intellect can ever unravel. Still, there it is, suggesting the natural query, “Who, then, was punished by Karma?” and leaving it to be answered.
A few centuries later Buddha tried one more incarnation, it is said, in * * * *, and again, fifty years subsequent to the death of this Adept, in one whose name is given as Tiani-Tsang. [King Suddhodana.] No details, no further information or explanation is given. It is simply stated that the last Buddha had to work out the remains of his Karma, which none of the Gods themselves can escape, forced as he was to bury still deeper certain mysteries have revealed by him—hence misinterpreted. The words used would stand when translated: [There are several names marked simply by asterisks.]
Born fifty-two years too early as Shramana Gautama, the son of King Zastang; then retiring fifty-seven years too soon as Mahâ Shankara, who got tired of his outward form. This wilful act aroused and attracted King Karma, who killed the new form of * * * at thirty-three, [Shankarâchârya died also at thirty-two years of age, or rather disappeared from the sight of his disciples, as the legend goes.] the age of the body was put off. [ At whatever age one puts off his outward body by free will, at that age will he be made to die in his next incarnation against his will—Commentary.] He died in his next (body) at thirty-two and a little over, and again in his next at eighty—a Mâyâ, and at one hundred, in reality. The Bodhisatva chose Tiani-Tsang, [Does “Tiani-Tsang” stand for Apollonius of Tyana? This is a simple surmise. Some things in the life of that Adept would seem to tally with the hypothesis—others to go against it.] then again the Sugata became Tsong-Kha-pa, who became thus Dezhin-Shegpa [Tathâgata—“one who follows in the way and manner of his predecessors.”]. The Blessed One could do good to his generation as * * * but none to posterity, and so as Tiani-Tsang he became incarnated only for the “remains” [of his precedent Karma, as we understand it]. The Seven Ways and the Four Truths were once more hidden out of sight. The Merciful One confined since then his attention and fatherly care to the heart of Bodyul, the nursery grounds of the seeds of truth. The blessed “remains” since then have overshadowed and rested in many a holy body of human Bodhisattvas.
No further information is given, least of all are there any details or explanations to be found in the secret volume.
An Obscure Passage - (Page 391) All is darkness and mystery in it, for it is evidently written but for those who are already instructed. Several flaming red asterisks are placed instead of names, and the few facts given are abruptly broken off. The key of the riddle is left to the intuition of the disciple, unless the “direct followers” of Gautama the Buddha—“those who are to be denied by His Church for the next cycle”—and of Shankarâchârya, are pleased to add more.
The final section gives a kind of summary of the seventy sections—covering seventy-three years of Buddha’s life [According to Esoteric teaching Buddha lived one hundred years in reality, though having reached Nirvana in his eightieth year he was regarded as one dead to the world of the living. See article “Shâkyamuni’s Place in History” in Five Years of Theosophy.]—from which the last paragraph is summarized as follows:
Emerging from—,the most excellent seat of the three secrets [Sang-Sum], the Master of incomparable mercy, after having performed on all the anchorites the rite of—. and each of these having been cut off, [It is a secret rite, pertaining to high Initiation, and has the same significance as the one to which Clement of Alexandria alludes when he speaks of “the token of recognition being in common with us, as by cutting off Christ” (Strom., 13). Schlagintweit wonders what it may be. “The typical representation of a hermit.” he says, “is always that of a man with long, uncut hair and beard . . . A rite very often selected, though I am unable to state for what reason, is that of Chod (‘to cut’ or ‘to destroy’) the meaning of which is anxiously kept a profound secret by the Lamas.” (Buddhism in Tibet. p. 163).] perceived through [the power of] Hlun-Chub [ Hlun-Chub is the divining spirit in man, the highest degree of seership.] what was his next duty. The Most-Illustrious meditated and asked himself whether this would help [the future] generations. What they needed was the sight of Mâyâ in a body of illusion. Which? . . . The great conqueror of pains and sorrows arose and proceeded back to his birthplace. There Sugata was welcomed by the few, for they did now know Shramana Gautama. “Shâkva [the Mighty] is in Nirvâna . . . He has given the Science to the Shuddhas [Shûdra,]” said they of Damze Yul [the country of Brâhmans: India] . . . . It was for that, born of pity, that the All-Glorious One had to retire to—, and then appear [karmically] as Mahâ Shankara; and out of pity as—, and again as—, and again as Tsong-Kha-pa. . . . For, he who chooses in humiliation must go down, and he who loves not allows Karma to raise him. [ The secret meaning of this sentence is that Karma exercises its way over the Adept as much as over any other man: “Gods” can escape it as little as simple mortals. The Adept who, having reached the Path and won His Dharmakâya—the Nirvâna from which there is no return until the new grand Kalpa—prefers to use His right of choosing a condition inferior to that which belongs to Him, but that will leave him free to return whenever he thinks it advisable and under whatever personality He may select, must be prepared to take all the chances of failure—possibly—and a lower condition than was His lot—for a certainty—as it is an occult law. Karma alone is absolute justice and infallible in its selections. He who uses his right with it (Karma) must bear the consequences—if any. Thus Buddha's first reincarnation was produced by Karma—and it led Him higher than ever: the two following were “out of pity” and * * *]
This passage is confessedly obscure and written for the few. It is not lawful to say any more, for the time has not yet come when nations are (Page 392) prepared to hear the whole truth. The old religions are full of mysteries, and to demonstrate some of them would surely lead to an explosion of hatred, followed, perhaps, by bloodshed and worse. It will be sufficient to know that while Gautama Buddha is merged in Nirvâna ever since his death, Gautama Shâkyamuni may have had to reincarnate—this dual inner personality being one of the greatest mysteries of Esoteric psychism.
“The seat of the three secrets” refers to a place inhabited by high Initiates and their disciples. The “secrets” are the three mystic powers known as Gopa, Yasodhara, and Uptala Varna, that Csomo de Köros mistook for Buddha’s three wives, as other Orientalists have mistaken Shakti (Yoga power) personified by a female deity for His wife; or the Draupadî—also a spiritual power—for the wife in common of the five brothers Pândava.
An Unpublished Discourse of Buddha
(Page 393) (IT is found in the second Book of Commentaries and is addressed to the Arhats.)
Said the All-Merciful: Blessed are ye, O Bhikshus, happy are ye who have understood the mystery of Being and Non-Being explained in Bas-pa [Dharma, Doctrine], and have given preference to the latter, for ye are verily my Arhats. . . . The elephant, who sees his form mirrored in the lake, looks at it, and then goes away, taking it for the real body of another elephant, is wiser than the man who beholds his face in the stream, and looking at it, says, “Here I am . . . I am I” : for the “I,” his Self, is not in the world of the twelve Nidânas and mutability, but in that of Non-Being, the only world beyond the snares of Mâyâ. . . .. That alone, which has neither cause nor author, which is self-existing, eternal, far beyond the reach of mutability, is the true “I” [Ego], the Self of the Universe. The Universe of Nam-Kha says: “I am the world of Sien-Chan”; [The Universe of Brahmâ (Sien-Chan; Nam-Kha) is Universal illusion, or our phenomenal world.] the four illusions laugh and reply, “Verily so.” But the truly wise man knows that neither man, nor the Universe that he passes through like a flitting shadow , is any more a real Universe than the dewdrop that reflects a spark of the morning sun is that sun. . . . There are three things, Bhikshus, that are everlastingly the same, upon which no vicissitude, no modification can ever act: these are the Law, Nirvâna, and Space, [ Âkasha. It is next to impossible to render the mystic word “Tho-og” by any other term than”Space,” and yet, unless coined on purpose, no new appellation can render it so well to the mind of the Occultist. The term “Aditi” is also translated “Space,” and there is a world of meaning in it.] and those three are One, since the first two are within the last, and that last one a Mâyâ, so long as man keeps within the whirlpool of sensuous existences. One need not have his mortal body die to avoid the (Page 394) clutches of concupiscence and other passions. The Arhat who observes the seven hidden precepts of Bas-pa may become Dang-ma and Lha. [Dang-ma, a purified soul, and Lha, a freed spirit within a living body: an Adept or Arhat. In the popular opinion in Tibet, a Lha is a disembodied spirit, something similar to the Burmese Nat—only higher.] He may hear the “holy voice” of . . . [Kwan-yin], [Kwan-yin is a synonym, for in the original another term is used, but the meaning is identical. It is the divine voice of Self, or the “Spirit-voice” in man, and the same as Vâchishvara (the “Voice-deity”) of the Brâhmans. In China, the Buddhist ritualists have degraded its meaning by anthropomorphizing it into a Goddess of the same name, with one thousand hands and eyes, and they call it Kwan-shai-yin-Bodhisat. It is the Buddhist “daimon”-voice of Socrates.] and find himself within the quiet precincts of his Sangharama [Sanharama is the sanctum sanctorum of an ascetic, a cave or any place he chooses for his meditation.] transferred into Amitâbha Buddha. [ Amitâbha Buddha is in this connection the “boundless light” by which things of the subjective world are perceived.] Becoming one with Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi, [ Esoterically, “the unsurpassingly merciful and enlightened heart,” said of the “Perfect Ones,” the Jîvan-muktas, collectively.] he may pass through all the six worlds of Being (Rûpa-loka) and get into the first three worlds of Arûpa. [These six worlds—seven with us—are the worlds of Nats or Spirits, with the Burmese Buddhists, and the seven higher worlds of the Vedântins.] . . . He who listens to my secret law, preached to my select Arhats, will arrive with its help at the knowledge of Self, and thence at perfection.
It is due to entirely erroneous conceptions of Eastern thought and to ignorance of the existence of an Esoteric key to the outward Buddhist phrases that Burnouf and other great scholars have inferred from such propositions—held also by the Vedântins—as “my body is not body” and “myself is no self of mine,” that Eastern psychology was based upon non-permanency. Cousin, for instance, lecturing upon the subject, brings the two following propositions to prove, on Burnouf’s authority, that, unlike Brâhmanism, Buddhism rejects the perpetuity of the thinking principle. These are:
1. Thought or Spirit [Two things entirely distinct from each other. The “faculty is not distinguished from the subject” only on this material plane, while thought generated by our physical brain, one that has never impressed itself at the same time on the spiritual counterpart, whether through the atrophy of the latter or the intrinsic weakness of that thought, can never survive our body: this much is sure.]—for the faculty is not distinguished from the subject—appears only with sensation and does not survive it.
2. The Spirit cannot itself lay hold of itself, and in directing attention to itself it draws from it only the conviction of its powerlessness to see itself otherwise than as successive and transitory.
This all refers to Spirit embodied, not to the freed Spiritual Self on whom Mâya has no more hold.
A Mistaken View - (Page 395) Spirit is no body; therefore have the Orientalists made of it “nobody” and nothing. Hence they proclaim Buddhists to be Nihilists, and Vedântins to be the followers of a creed in which the “Impersonal [God] turns out on examination to be a myth;” their goal is described as
The complete extinction of all spiritual, mental, and bodily powers by absorption into the Impersonal. [Vedânta Sâra, translated by Major Jacob. p. 123.]
(Page 396) THE few sentences given in the text from one of Gautama Buddha’s secret teachings show how uncalled for is the epithet of “Materialist” when applied to One Whom two-thirds of those who are looked upon as great Adepts and Occultists in Asia recognize as their Master, whether under the name of Buddha or that of Shankarâchârya. The reader will remember the just-quoted words are what Buddha Sanggyas (or Pho) is alleged by the Tibetan Occultists to have taught: there are three eternal things in the Universe—the Law, Nirvâna, and Space. The Buddhists of the Southern Church claim, on the other hand, that Buddha held only two things as eternal—Åkâsha and Nirvâna. But Âkâsha being the same as Aditi, [Aditi is, according to the Rig Veda, “the Father and Mother of all the Gods:” and Ãkâsha is held by Southern Buddhism as the Root of all, whence everything in the Universe came out, in obedience to a law of motion inherent in it : and this is the Tibetan “Space” (Tho-og).] and both being translated “Space,” there is no discrepancy so far, since Nirvâna as well as Moksha, is a state. Then in both cases the great Kapilavastu Sage unifies the two, as well as the three, into one eternal Element, and ends by saying that even “that One is a Mâyâ” to one who is not a Damg-ma, a perfectly purified Soul.
The whole question hangs upon materialistic misconceptions and ignorance of Occult Metaphysics. To the man of Science who regards Space as simply a mental representation, a conception of something existing pro formâ, and having no real being outside our mind, Space per se is verily an illusion. He may fill the boundless interstellar space with an “imaginary” ether, nevertheless Space for him is an abstraction. Most of the Metaphysicians of Europe are so wide of the mark, from the purely Occult standpoint, of a correct comprehension of “Space,” as are the Materialists, though the erroneous conceptions of both of course differ widely.
The Ãkâsha - (Page 397) If, bearing in mind the philosophical views of the Ancients upon this question, we compare them with what is now termed exact physical Science, it will be found that the two disagree only in inferences and names, and that their postulates are the same when reduced to their most simple expression. From the beginning of the human Æons, from the very dawn of Occult Wisdom, the regions that the men of Science fill with ether have been explored by the Seers of every age. That which the world regards simply as cosmic Space, an abstract representation, the Hindu Rishi, the Chaldæan Magus, the Egyptian Hierophant held, each and all, as the one eternal Root of all, the playground of all the Forces in Nature. It is the fountain-head of all terrestrial life, and the abode of those (to us) invisible swarms of existences—of real beings, as of the shadows only thereof, conscious and unconscious, intelligent and senseless—that surround us on all sides, that interpenetrate the atoms of our Kosmos, and see us not, as we do not either see or sense them through our physical organisms. For the Occultist “Space” and “Universe” are synonyms. In Space there is not Matter, Force, nor Spirit, but all that and much more. It is the One Element, and that one the Anima Mundi—Space, Ãkâsha, Astral Light—the Root of Life which, in its eternal, ceaseless motion, like the out-and in-breathing of one boundless ocean, evolves but to reabsorb all that lives and feels and thinks and has its being in it. As said of the Universe in Isis Unveiled, it is.
The combination of a thousand elements and yet the expression of a single Spirit—a chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason.
Such were the views upon the subject of all the great ancient Philosophers, from Manu down to Pythagoras, from Plato to Paul.
When the dissolution [Pralaya] had arrived as its term the great Being [Para-Ãtmâ, or Para-Purusha], the Lord existing through himself, out of whom and through whom all things were, and are, and will be, . . . resolved to emanate from his own substance the various creatures. [Mânava-Dharma-Shâstra. i. 6, 7. ]
The mystic Decad [of Pythagoras] (1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10) is a way of expressing this idea. The One is God; [The “God” of Pythagoras, the disciple of the Ãryan Sages, is no personal God. Let it be remembered that he taught as a cardinal tenet that there exists a permanent Principle of Unity beneath all forms, changes, and other phenomena of the Universe.] the Two, Matter; the Three, combining Monad and Duad and partaking of the nature of both, is the phenomenal world; the Tetrad, or form of perfection, expresses the emptiness of all; and the Decad, or sum of all, involves the entire cosmos. [Isis Unveiled. i. xvi.]
(Page 398) Plato's “God” is the “Universal Ideation,” and Paul saying “Out of him, and through him, and in him, all things are,” had surely a Principle—never a Jehovah—in his profound mind. The key to the Pythagorean dogmas is the key to every great Philosophy. It is the general formula of unity in multiplicity, the One evolving the many and pervading the All. It is the archaic doctrine of Emanation in a few words.
Speusippus and Xenocrates held, like their Master, Plato, that;
The Amima Mundi (or world-soul”) was not the Deity, but a manifestation. Those philosophers never conceived of the One as an animate nature. The original One did not exist, as we understand the term. Not till he (it) had united with the many emanated existences (the Monad and Duad), was a being produced. The τιμιον(“honoured”), the something manifested, dwells in the centre as in the circumference, but it is only the reflection of the Deity—the World-Soul. In this doctrine we find the spirit of Esoteric Buddhism. [ Isis Unveiled, i, xviii.]
And it is that of Esoteric Brâhminism and of the Vedântin Adwaitis. The two modern philosophers, Schopenhauer and von Hartmann teach the same ideas. The Occultists say that:
The psychic and ectenic forces, the “ideo-motor” and “electro-biological powers,” “latent thought,” and even “unconscious cerebration” theories can be condensed in two words: the Kabalistic Astral Light.[Isis Unveiled, i, 58.]
Schopenhauer only synthesized all this by calling it Will, and contradicted the men of Science in their materialistic views, as von Hartmann did later on. The author of the Philosophy of the Unconscious calls their views “an instinctual prejudice.”
Furthermore, he demonstrates that no experimenter can have anything to do with matter properly so termed, but only with the forces into which he divides it. The visible effects of matter are but the effects of force. He concludes thereby that that which is now called matter is nothing but the aggregation of atomic forces, to express which the word “matter” is used; outside of that, for science, matter is but a word void of sense. [Isis Unveiled, i. 59.]
As much, it is to be feared, as those other terms with which we are now concerned, “Space,” “Nirvâna,” and so on.
The bold theories and opinions expressed in Schopenhauer’s works differ widely from those of the majority of our orthodox scientists. [While they are to a great extent identical with those of Esoteric Buddhism, the Secret Doctrine of the East.] “In reality,” remarks this daring speculator, “there is neither Matter nor Spirit.
Matter is Ever Giving - (Page 399) The tendency to gravitation in a stone is as unexplainable as thought in the human brain . . . If matter can—no one knows why—fall to the ground, then it can also—no one knows why—think. . . . As soon, even in mechanics, as we trespass beyond the purely mathematical, as soon as we reach the inscrutable adhesion, gravitation, and so on, we are faced by phenomena which are to our senses as mysterious as the will and thought in man : we find ourselves facing the incomprehensible, for such is every force in nature. Where is, then, that matter which you all pretend to know so well, and from which—being so familiar with it—you draw all your conclusions and explanations, and attribute to it all things? . . . That which can be fully realized by our reason and senses is but the superficial: they can never reach the true inner substance of things. Such was the opinion of Kant. If you consider that there is in a human head some sort of a spirit, then you are obliged to concede the same to a stone. If your dead and utterly-passive matter can manifest a tendency toward gravitation or, like electricity, attract and repel and send out sparks, then as well as the brain it can also think. In short, every particle of the so-called spirit we can replace with an equivalent of matter, and every particle of matter replace with spirit . . . Thus, it is not the Christian division of all things into matter and spirit that can ever be found philosophically exact; but only if we divide them into will and manifestation, which form of division has naught to do with the former, for it spiritualizes everything; all that which is in the first instance real and objective—body and matter—it transforms into a representation, and every manifestation into will.” [Parerga, II., iii, 112: quoted in Isis Unveiled. i. 58.]
The matter of science may be for all objective purposes a “dead and utterly passive matter;” to the Occultist not an atom of it can be dead—“Life is ever present in it.” We send the reader who would know more about it to our article, “Transmigration of Life-Atoms.” [ Five Years of Theosophy. p.338. et seq.] What we are now concerned with is the doctrine of Nirvâna.
A “system of atheism” it may be justly called, since it recognizes neither God nor Gods—least of all a Creator, as it entirely rejects creation. The Fecit ex nihilo is as incomprehensible to the Occult metaphysical Scientist as it is to the scientific Materialist. It is at this point that all agreement stops between the two. But if such be the sin of the Buddhist and Brâhman Occultist, then Pantheists and Atheists, and also theistical Jews—the Kabalists—must also plead “guilty” to it; yet no one would ever think of calling the Hebrews of the Kabalah “Atheists.” Except the Talmudistic and Christian exoteric systems there never was a religious Philosophy, whether in the ancient or modern world, but rejected a priori the ex nihilo hypothesis, simply because Matter was always co-eternalized with Spirit.
(Page 400) Nirvâna, as well as the Moksha of the Vedântins, is regarded by most of the Orientalists as a synonym of annihilation; yet no more glaring injustice could be done, and this capital error must be pointed out and disproved. On this most important tenet of the Brâhmo-Buddhistic system—the Alpha and Omega of “Being” or “Non-Being”—rests the whole edifice of Occult Metaphysics. Now the rectification of the great error concerning Nirvâna may be very easily accomplished with relation to the philosophically inclined, to those who,
In the glass of things temporal see the image of things spiritual.
On the other hand, to that reader who could never soar beyond the details of tangible material form, our explanation will appear meaningless. He may comprehend and even accept the logical inferences from the reasons given—the true spirit will ever escape his intuitions. The word “nihil” having been misconceived from the first, it is continually used as a sledge-hammer in the matter of Esoteric Philosophy. Nevertheless it is the duty of the Occultist to try and explain it.
Nirvâna and Moksha, then, as said before, have their being in non-being, if such a paradox be permitted to illustrate the meaning the better. Nirvâna, as some illustrious Orientalists have attempted to prove does mean the “blowing-out” [Prof. Max Mûller, in a letter to The Times (April. 1857), maintained most vehemently that Nirvâna meant annihilation in the fullest sense of the word. (Chips from a German Workshop, i. 287) But in 1869, in a lecture before the General Meeting of the Association of German Philologists at Kiel. “he distinctly declares his belief that the Nihilism attributed to Buddha’s teaching forms no part of his doctrine, and that it is wholly wrong to suppose that Nirvâna means annihiliation.” (Trubner’s Amer-and Oriental Lit. Rec., Oct. 16th, 1869.) ] of all sentient existence. It is like the flame of a candle burnt out to its last atom, and then suddenly extinguished. Quite so. Nevertheless, as the old Arhat Nâgasena affirmed before the king who taunted him: “Nirvâna is “—and Nirvâna is eternal. But the Orientalists deny this, and say it is not so. In their opinion Nirvâna is not a re-absorption in the Universal Force, not eternal bliss and rest, but it means literally “the blowing-out, the extinction, complete annihilation, and not absorption.” The Lankâvatâra quoted in support of their arguments by some Sanskritists, and which gives the different interpretations of Nirvâna by the Tîrthika Brâhmans, is no authority to one who goes to primeval sources for information, namely, to the Buddha who taught the doctrine. As well quote the Chârvâka Materialists in their support.
Blind Faith Not Expected - (Page 401) If we bring as an argument the sacred Jaina books, wherein the dying Gautama Buddha is thus addressed: “Arise into Nirvi [Nirvâna] from this decrepit body into which thou hast been sent. . . . Ascend into thy former abode, O blessed Avatâra;” and if we add that this seems to us the very opposite of nihilism, we may be told that so far it may only prove a contradiction, one more discrepancy in the Buddhist faith. If again we remind the reader that since Gautama is believed to appear occasionally, re-descending from his “former abode” for the good of humanity and His faithful congregation, thus making it incontestable that Buddhism does not teach final annihilation, we shall be referred to authorities to whom such teaching is ascribed. And let us say at once: Men are no authority for us in questions of conscience, nor ought they to be for anyone else. If anyone holds to Buddha’s Philosophy, let him do and say as Buddha did and said; if a man calls himself a Christian, let him follow the commandments of Christ—not the interpretations of His many dissenting priests and sects.
In A Buddhist Catechism the question is asked:
Are there any dogmas in Buddhism which we are required to accept on faith?
A. No. We are earnestly enjoined to accept nothing whatsoever on faith, whether it be written in books, handed down from our ancestors, or taught by sages. Our Lord Buddha has said that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumours, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers of masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. “For this,” says he in concluding, “ I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly.” [See the Kalama Sutta of the Anguttaranikayo, as quoted in A Buddhist Catechism by H. S. Olcott, President of the Theosophical Society. pp. 55.56.]
That Nirvâna, or rather, that state in which we are in Nirvâna, is quite the reverse of annihilation is suggested to us by our “reason and consciousness,’ and that is sufficient for us personally. At the same time, this fact being inadequate and very ill-adapted for the general reader, something more efficient may be added.
(Page 402) Without resorting to sources unsympathetic to Occultism, the Kabalah furnishes us with the most luminous and clear proofs that the term “nihil” in the minds of the Ancient Philosophers had a meaning quite different from that it has now received at the hands of Materialists. It means certainly “nothing”—or “no-thing.” F. Kircher, in his work on the Kabalah and the Egyptian Mysteries [Œdipus Ægypt., II. I, 291.] explains the term admirably. He tells his readers that in the Zohar the first of the Sephiroth [Sephir, or Aditi (mystic Space). The Sephiroth, be it understood, are identical with the Hindu Prajâpatis, the Dhyân Chohans of Esoteric Buddhism, the Zoroastrian Amshaspends, and finally with the Elohim—the “Seven Angels of the Presence” of the Roman Catholic Church.] has a name the significance of which is “ the Infinite,” but which was translated indifferently by the Kabalists as “Ens” and “Non-Ens” (“Being and “Non-Being”); a Being inasmuch as it is the root and source of all other beings; Non-Being because Ain Soph—the Boundless and the Causeless, the Unconscious and the Passive Principle—resembles nought else in the Universe.
The author adds:
This is the reason why St. Denys did not hesitate to call it Nihil.
“Nihil” therefore stands—even with some Christian theologians and thinkers, especially with the earlier ones who lived but a few removes from the profound Philosophy of the initiated Pagans—as a synonym for the impersonal, divine Principle, the Infinite All, which is no Being or thing—the En or Ain Soph the Parabrahman of the Vedânta. Now St. Denys was a pupil of St. Paul—an Initiate—and this fact makes everything clear.
The “Nihil” is in esse the Absolute Deity itself, the hidden Power or Omnipresence degraded by Monotheism into an anthropomorphic Being, with all the passions of a mortal on a grand scale. Union with That is not annihilation in the sense understood in Europe. [According to the Eastern idea, the All comes out from the One and returns to it again. Absolute annihilation is simply unthinkable. Nor can eternal Matter be annihilated. Form may be annihilated: co-relations may change. That is all. There can be no such thing as annihilation—in the European sense—in the Universe.] In the East annihilation in Nirvâna refers but to matter: that of the visible as well as the invisible body for the astral body, the personal double, is still matter, however sublimated. Buddha taught that the primitive Substance is eternal and unchangeable. Its vehicle is the pure, liminous ether, the boundless, infinite Space.
Not a void resulting from the absence of forms, but on the contrary, the foundations of all forms . . . .
What Annihilation Means - (Page 403) [This] denotes it to be the creation of Mâyâ, all the works of which are as nothing before the uncreated Form [Spirit], in whose profound and sacred depths all motion must cease for ever. [Isis Unveiled. i, 289.]
Motion here refers only to illusive objects, to their change as opposed to perpetuity, rest—perpetual motion being the Eternal Law, the ceaseless Breath of the Absolute.
The mastery of Buddhistic dogmas can be attained only according to the Platonic method : from universals to particulars. The key to it lies in the refined and mystical tenets of spiritual influx and divine life.
Whosoever is unacquainted with my Law, [The Secret Law, the “Doctrine of the Heart,” so called in contrast to the “Doctrine of the Eye.” or exoteric Buddhism.] and dies in that state must return to earth until he becomes a perfect Samano [ascetic]. To achieve this object he must destroy within himself the trinity of Mâyâ. [“Illusive matter in its triple manifestation in the earthly, and the astral or fontal Soul (the body) and the Platonian dual Soul—the rational and the irrational one.”] He must extinguish his passions, unite and identify himself with the Law [the teaching of the Secret Doctrine], and comprehend the philosophy of annihilation. [Isis Unveiled. i.289.]
No, it is not in the dead-letter of Buddhistical literature that scholars may ever hope to find the true solution of its metaphysical subtleties. Alone in all antiquity the Pythagoreans understood them perfectly, and it is on the (to the average Orientalist and the Materialist) incomprehensible abstractions of Buddhism that Pythagoras grounded the principal tenets of his Philosophy.
means with the Buddhistical Philosophy only a dispersion of matter, in whatever
form or semblance of form it may be
for everything that bears a shape was created, and thus must sooner or later perish, i.e., change that shape; therefore, as something temporal, though seeming to be permanent, it is but an illusion, Mâyâ; for as eternity has neither beginning nor end, the more or less prolonged duration of some particular form passes, as it were, like an instantaneous flash of lightning. Before we have the time to realize that we have seen it, it is gone and passed for ever; hence even our astral bodies, pure ether, are but illusions of matter so long as they retain their terrestrial outline. The latter changes, says the Buddhist, according to the merits or demerits of the person during his lifetime, and this is (Page 404) metempsychosis. When the spiritual Entity breaks loose for ever from every particle of matter, then only it enters upon the eternal and unchangeable Nirvâna. He exists in Spirit, in nothing; as a form, a shape, a semblance, he is completely annihilated, and thus will die no more, for Spirit alone is no Mâyâ, but the only Reality in an illusionary universe of ever-passing forms.
It is upon this Buddhist doctrine that the Pythagoreans grounded the principal tenets of their philosophy. “Can that Spirit which gives life and motion, and partakes of the nature of light, be reduced to nonentity?” they ask. “Can that sensitive Spirit in brutes which exercises memory, one of the rational faculties, die and become nothing?” And Whitelock Bulstrode in his able defence of Pythagoras expounds this doctrine by adding:
“If you say they [the brutes] breathe their Spirits into the air, and there vanish, that is all that I contend for. The air indeed is the proper place to receive them, being according to Laertius full of souls; and according to Epicurus full of atoms, the principles of all things; for even this place wherein we walk and birds fly has so much of a spiritual nature that it is invisible, and therefore may well be the receiver of forms, since the forms of all bodies are so; we can only see and hear its effects; the air itself is too fine and above the capacity of the age. What then is the ether to the region above, and what are the influences of forms that descend from thence?” The Spirits of creatures, the Pythagoreans hold, who are emanations of the most sublimated portions of ether—emanations, breaths, but not forms. Ether is corruptible—all philosophers agree in that:—and what is incorruptible is so far from being annihilated when it gets rid of the form that it lays a good claim to immortality.
“But what is that which has no body, no form; which is imponderable, invisible, and indivisible—that which exists, and yet is not?” ask the Buddhists. “It is Nirvâna,” is the answer. It is nothing—not a region, but rather a state. [Isis Unveiled. i. 290.]
The Secret Books of “Lam-Rin” and Dzyan
(Page 405) THE Book of Dzyan—from the Sanskrit word “Dhyân” (mystic meditation)—is the first volume of the Commentaries upon the seven secret folios of Kiu-te, and a Glossary of the public works of the same name. Thirty-five volumes of Kiu-te for exoteric purposes and the use of the laymen may be found in the possession of the Tibetan Gelugpa Lamas, in the library of any monastery; and also fourteen books of Commentaries and Annotations on the same by the initiated Teachers.
Strictly speaking, those thirty-five books ought to be termed “The Popularized Version” of the Secret Doctrine, full of myths, blinds, and errors; the fourteen volumes of Commentaries, on the other hand—with their translations, annotations, and an ample glossary of occult terms, worked out from one small archaic folio, the Book of the Secret Wisdom of the World [It is from the texts of all these works that the Secret Doctrine has been given. The original matter would not make a small pamphlet, but the explanations and notes from the Commentaries and Glossaries might be worked into ten volumes as large as Isis Unveiled.]—contain a digest of all the Occult Sciences. These, it appears, are kept secret and apart, in the charge of the Teshu Lama of Tji-gad-je. The Books of Kiu-te are comparatively modern having been edited within the last millennium, whereas the earliest volumes of the Commentaries are of untold antiquity, some fragments of the original cylinders having been preserved. With the exception that they explain and correct some of the too fabulous, and to every appearance, grossly exaggerated accounts in the Books of Kiu-tet [The monk Della Penna makes considerable fun in his Memoirs (see Markham’s Tibet) of certain statements in the books of Kiu-te. He brings to the notice of the Christian public “the great mountain 160.000 leagues high” (a Tibetan league consisting of five miles) in the Himâlayan Range. “According to their law,” he says, “in the west of this world is an eternal world . . . a paradise and in it a Saint called Hopahma, which means ‘Saint of Splendour and Infinite Light.’ This Saint has many disciples who are all Chang-chub,” which means, he adds in a footnote. “the Spirits of those who, on account of their perfection, do not care to become saints, and train and instruct the bodies of the reborn Lamas . . . so that they may help the living.” Which means that the presumably “dead” Yang-Chhub (not “Chang-chub”) are simply living Bodhisattvas, some of those known as Bhante (“the Brothers”). As to the “mountain 160.000 leagues high,” the Commentary which gives the key to such statements explains that according to the code used by the writers, “to the west of the Snowy Mountain” 160 leagues [the cyphers being a blind] from a certain spot and by a direct road, is the Bhante Yul [the country of ‘Seat of the Brothers’], the residence of Mahâ-Chohan . .” etc. This is the real meaning. The “Hopahma” of Della Penna is—the Mahâ-Chohan, the Chief.]—properly so called—the Commentaries have little to do with these. They stand in relation to them (Page 406) as the Chaldæo-Jewish Kabalah stands to the Mosaic Books. In the work known as the Avatumsaka Sûtra, in section: “The Supreme Ãtman [ Soul] as manifested in the character of the Arhats and Pratyeka Buddhas,” it is stated that:
Because from the beginning all sentient creatures have confused the truth and embraced the false, therefore there came into existence a hidden knowledge called Alaya Vijñâna.
“Who is in possession of the true knowledge?” is asked. “The great Teachers of the Snowy Mountain,” is the response.
These “great Teachers” have been known to live in the “Snowy Range” of the Himâlayas for countless ages. To deny in the face of millions of Hindus the existence of their great Gurus, living in the Ãshrams scattered all over the Trans- or the Cis-Himâlayan slopes is to make oneself ridiculous in their eyes. When the Buddhist Saviour appeared in India, their Ãshrams—for it is rarely that these great Men are found in Lamaseries, unless on a short visit—were on the spots they now occupy, and that even before the Brâhmans themselves came from Central Asia to settle on the Indus. And before that more than one Ãryan Dvija of fame and historical renown had sat at their feet, learning that which culminated later on in one or another of the great philosophical schools. Most of these Himâlayan Bhante were Aryan Brâhmans and ascetics.
No student, unless very advanced, would be benefited by the perusal of those exoteric volumes. [ In some MSS, notes before us, written by Gelung (priest) Thango-pa Chhe-go-mo, it is said: “The few Roman Catholic missionaries who have visited our land (under protest) in the last century and have repaid our hospitality by turning our sacred literature into ridicule, have shown little discretion and still less knowledge. It is true that the Sacred Canon of the Tibetans, the Kahgyur and Bstanhgyur, comprises 1707 distinct works—1083 public and 624 secret volumes, the former being composed of 350 and the latter of 77 volumes folio. May we humbly invite the good missionaries, however, to tell us when they ever succeeded in getting a glimpse of the last-named secret folios? Had they even by chance seen them I can assure the Western Pandits that these manuscripts and folios could never be understood even by a born Tibetan without a key (a) to their peculiar characters, and (b) to their hidden meaning. In our system every description of locality is figurative, every name and word purposely veiled: and one has first to study the mode of deciphering and then to learn the equivalent secret terms and symbols for nearly every word of the religious heritage. The Egyptian enchorial or hieractic system is child’s play to our sacerdotal puzzles.”] They must be read with a key to their meaning and that key can only be found in the Commentaries. Moreover there are some comparatively modern works that are positively injurious so far as fair comprehension of even exoteric Buddhism is concerned. Such are the Buddhist Cosmos, by Bonze Jin-ch’on of Pekin; the Shing-Tau-ki ( or The Records of the Enlightenment of Tathâgata), by Wang Puk—seventh century; Hisai Sûtra (or Book of Creation), and some others.
Buddha Kwan-Shai-Yin, and Kwan-Yin
—What the “Book of Dzyan” and the Lamaseries of Tsong-Kha-Pa Say
(Page 407) AS a supplement to the Commentaries there are many secret folios on the lives of the Bhuddhas and Bodhisattvas, and among these there is one on Prince Gautama and another on His reincarnation in Tsong-Kha-pa. This great Tibetan Reformer of the fourteenth century, said to be a direct incarnation of Amita Buddha, is the founder of the secret School near Tji-gad-je, attached to the private retreat of the Teshu Lama. It is with Him that began the regular system of Lamaic incarnations of Buddhas (Sang-gyas), or of Shâkya-Thub-pa (Shakyamuni). Amida or Amita Buddha is called by the author of Chinese Buddhism, a mythical being. He speaks of
Amida Buddha (Ami-to Fo) a fabulous personage, worshipped assiduously—like Kwan-yin—by the Northern Buddhists, but unknown in Siam, Burmah, and Ceylon. [Chinese Buddhism. p.171.]
likely. Yet Amida Buddha is not a “fabulous” personage, since (a)
“Amida” is the Senzar form of “Ãdi” ; “Ãdi-Buddhi”
and “Ãdi-Buddha, “ [“Buddhi” is a Sanskrit
term for “discrimination” or intellect (the sixth principle), and
“Buddha” is “wise,” “wisdom,” and also the
planet Mercury.] as already shown, existed ages ago as a Sanskrit term
for “Primeval Soul” and “Wisdom” ; and (b) the
name was applied to Gautama Shâkyamuni, the last Buddha in India, from
the seventh century, when Buddhism was introduced into Tibet. “Amitâbha”
(in Chinese, “Wu-lian-sheu”) means literally “Boundless Age,”
a (Page 408) synonym of “En”
or “Ain-Suph,” the “Ancient of Days,” and is an epithet
that connects Him directly with the Boundless Âdi-Buddhi (primeval and
Universal Soul) of the Hindus, as well as with the Anima Mundi of all the ancient
nations of Europe and the Boundless and Infinite of the Kabalists. If Amitâbha
be a fiction of the Tibetans, or a new form of Wu-liang-sheu, “a fabulous
personage,” as the author-compiler of Chinese Buddhism tells his
readers, then the “fable” must be a very ancient one. For on another
page he says himself that the addition to the canon of the books containing
of Kwan-yin and of the Western heaven with its Buddha, Amitâbha, was also
previous to the Council of Kashmere, a little before the beginning of our era,
[This curious contradiction may be found in Chinese Buddhism.
pp. 171. 273. The reverend author assures his readers that “to the philosophic
Buddhists . . . Amitâbha Yoshi Fo, and the others are nothing but the
signs of ideas” (p,236). Very true. But so should be all other deific
names, such as Jehovah, Allah, etc., and if they are not simply “signs
of ideas” this would only show that minds that receive them otherwise
are not “philosophic” : it would not at all afford serious proof
that there are personal, living Gods of these names in reality.]
and he places
the origin of the primitive Buddhist books which are common to the Northern and Southern Buddhists before 246. B.C.
Since Tibetans accepted Buddhism only in the seventh century A.D., how comes it that they are charged with inventing Amita-Buddha? Besides which, in Tibet, Amitâbha is called Odpag-med which shows that it is not the name but the abstract idea that was first accepted of an unknown, invisible, and Impersonal Power—taken, moreover, from the Hindu “Adi-Buddhi,” and not from the Chinese “Amitâbha.” [The Chinese Amitâbha (Wu-liang-sheu) and the Tibetan Amitâbha (Odpag-med) have now become personal Gods, ruling over and living in the celestial region of Sukhâvati, or Tushita (Tibetan:Devachan): while Àdi-Buddhi, of the philosophic Hindu, and Amita Buddha of the philosophic Chinaman and Tibetan, are names for universal primeval ideas.] There is a great difference between the popular Odpag-med (Amitâbha) who sits enthroned in Devachan (Sukhâvati), according to the Mani Kambum Scriptures—the oldest historical work in Tibet, and the philosophical abstraction called Amita Buddha, the name being passed now to the earthly Buddha Gautama.
Tsong-Kha-Pa—Lohans in China
(Page 409) IN an article, “Reincarnation in Tibet,” everything that could be said about Tsong-Kha-pa was published. [See The Theosophist for March, 1882.] It was stated that this reformer was not, as is alleged by Pârsi scholars, an incarnation of one of the celestial Dhyânis, or the five heavenly Buddhas, said to have been created by Shâkyamuni after he has risen to Nirvâna, but that he was an incarnation of Amita Buddha Himself. The records preserved in the Gon-pa, the chief Lamasery of Tda-shi-Hlumpo, show that Sang-gyas left the regions of the “Western Paradise” to incarnate Himself in Tsong-Kha-pa, in consequence of the great degradation into which His secret doctrines had fallen.
Whenever made too public, the Good Law of Cheu [magical powers] fell invariably into sorcery or “black magic.” The Dwijas, the Hoshang [Chinese monks] and the Lamas could alone be entrusted safely with the formulæ.
Until the Tsong-Kha-pa period there had been no Sang-gyas (Buddha) incarnations in Tibet.
Tsong-Kha-pa gave the signs whereby the presence of one of the twenty-five Bodhisattvas [The intimate relation of the twenty-five Buddhas (Bodhisattvas) with the twenty-five Tattvas (the Conditioned or Limited) of the Hindus is interesting.] or of the Celestial Buddhas (Dhyân Chohans) in a human body might be recognized, and He strictly forbade necromancy. This led to a split amongst the Lamas, and the malcontents allied themselves with the aboriginal Bhons against the reformed Lamaism. Even now they form a powerful sect, practising the most disgusting rites all over Sikkhim, Bhutan, Nepaul, and even on the borderlands of Tibet. It was worse then. With the permission of the Tda-shu or Teshu Lama, [ It is curious to note the great importance given by European Orientalists to the Dalai Lamas of Lhasa, and their utter ignorance as to the Tda-shu (or Teshu) Lamas, while it is the latter who began the hierarchical series of Buddhi-incarnations, and are de facto the “popes” in Tibet: the Dalai Lamas are the creations of Nabang-lob-Sang, the Tda-shu Lama who was Himself the sixth incarnation of Amita, through Tsong-Kha-pa, though very few seem to be aware of that fact.] some hundred Lohans (Arhats), to avert strife, (Page 410) went to settle in China in the famous monastery near Tien-t’-ai, where they soon became subjects for legendary lore, and continue to be so to this day. They had been already preceded by other Lohans.
The world-famous disciples of Tathâgata, called the “sweet-voiced” on account of their ability to chant the Mantras with magical effect. [The chanting of a Mantra is not a prayer, but rather a magical sentence in which the law of Occult causation connects itself with and depends on, the will and acts of its singer. It is a succession of Sanskrit sounds and when its string of words and sentences is pronounced according to the magical formulae in the Atharva Veda, but understood by the few, some Mantras produce an instantaneous and very wonderful effect. In its esoteric sense it contains the Vâch (the “mystic speech”) which resides in the Mantra, or rather in its sounds, since it is according to the vibrations, one way or the other, of ether that the effect is produced. The “sweet singers” were called by that name because they were experts in Mantras. Hence the legend in China that the singing and melody of the Lohans are heard at dawn by the priests from their cells in the monastery of Fang-Kwang. (See Biography of Chi-Kai in Tien-tai-nan-tchi.)]
The first ones came from Kashmir in the year 3,000 lf Kali Yuga (about a century before the Christian era). [The celebrated Lohan, Mâdhyantika, who converted the king and whole country of Kashmir to Buddhism, sent a body of Lohans to preach the Good Law. He was the sculptor who raised to Buddha the famous statue one hundred feet high, which Hiuen-Tsang saw at Dardu, to the north of the Punjab. As the same Chinese traveller mentions a temple ten Li from Peshawur—350 feet round and 850 feet high—which was at his time (A.D.550) already 850 years old. Koeppen thinks that so far back as 292 B.C. Buddhism was the prevalent religion in the Punjab.] while the last ones arrived at the end of the fourteenth century, 1,500 years later; and, finding no room for themselves at the lamasery of Yihigching, they built for their own use the largest monastery of all on the sacred island of Pu-to (Buddha, or Put, in Chinese), in the province of Chusan. There the Good Law, the “Doctrine of the Heart,” flourished for several centuries. But when the island was desecrated by a mass of Western foreigners, the chief Lohans left for the mountains of ----------------. In the Pagoda of Pi-yun-ti, near Pekin, one can still see the “Hall of the Five-hundred Lohans.” There the statues of the first-comers are arranged below, while one solitary Lohan is placed quite under the roof of the building, which seems to have been built in commemoration of their visit.
The works of the Orientalists are full of the direct landmarks of Arhats (Adepts), possessed of thaumaturgic powers, but these are spoken of—whenever the subject cannot be avoided—with unconcealed scorn. Whether innocently ignorant of, or purposely ignoring, the importance of the Occult element and symbology in the various Religions they undertake to explain, short work is generally made of such passages, and they are left untranslated. In simple justice however, it should be allowed that much as all such miracles may have been exaggerated by popular reverence and fancy, they are neither less credible nor less attested in “heathen” annals than are those of the numerous Christian Saints in the church chronicles. Both have an equal right to a place in their respective histories.
The Lost Word - (Page 411) If, after the beginning of persecution against Buddhism, the Arhats were no more heard of in India, it was because, their vows prohibiting retaliation, they had to leave the country and seek solitude and security in China, Tibet, Japan, and elsewhere. The sacerdotal powers of the Brâhmans being at that time unlimited, the Simons and Apolloniuses of Buddhism had as much chance of recognition and appreciation by the Brâhmanical Irenæuses and Tertullians as had their successors in the Judæan and Roman worlds. It was a historical rehearsal of the dramas that were enacted centuries later in Christendom. As in the case of the so-called “Heresiarchs” of Christianity, it was not for rejecting the Vedas or the sacred Syllable that the Buddhist Arhats were persecuted, but for understanding too well the secret meaning of both. It was simply because their knowledge was regarded as dangerous and their presence in India unwelcome, that they had to emigrate.
Nor were there a smaller number of Initiates among the Brâhmans themselves. Even today one meets most wonderfully-gifted Sâddhus and Yogîs, obliged to keep themselves unnoticed and in the shadow, not only owing to the absolute secresy imposed upon them at their Initiation but also for fear of the Anglo-Indian tribunals and courts of law, wherein judges are determined to regard as charlatanry, imposition, and fraud, the exhibition of, or claim to, any abnormal powers, and one may judge of the past by the present. Centuries after our era the Initiates of the inner temples and the Mathams (monastic communities) chose a superior council, presided over by an all-powerful Brahm-Ãtmâ, the Supreme Chief of all those Mahâtmâs. This pontificate could be exercised only by a Brâhman who had reached a certain age, and he it was who was the sole guardian of the mystic formula, and he was the Hierophant who created great Adepts. He alone could explain the meaning of the sacred word, AUM, and of all the religious symbols and rites. And whosoever among those Initiates of the Supreme Degree revealed to a profane a single one of the truths, even the smallest of the secrets entrusted to him, had to die; and he who received the confidence was put to death.
But there existed, and still exists to this day, a Word far surpassing the mysterious monosyllable, and which renders him who comes into possession of its key nearly the equal of Brahman. The Brahmâtmâs alone possess this key, and we know that to this day there are two (Page 412) great Initiates in Southern India who possess it. It can be passed only at death, for it is the “Lost Word.” No torture, no human power, could force its disclosure by a Brâhman who knows it; and it is well guarded in Tibet.
Yet this secresy and this profound mystery are indeed disheartening, since they alone—the Initiates of India and Tibet—could thoroughly dissipate the thick mists hanging over the history of Occultism, and force its claims to be recognized. The Delphic injunction, “Know thyself,” seems for the few in this age. But the fault ought not to be laid at the door of the Adepts, who have done all that could be done, and have gone as far as Their rules permitted, to open the eyes of the world. Only, while the European shrinks from public obloquy and the ridicule unsparingly thrown on Occultists, the Asiatic is being discouraged by his own Pandits. These profess to labour under the gloomy impression that no Bîga Vidyâ, no Arhatship (Adeptship), is possible during the Kali Yuga (the “Black Age”) we are now passing through. Even the Buddhists are taught that the Lord Buddha is alleged to have prophesied that the power would die out in “one millennium after His death.” But this is an entire mistake. In the Dîgha Nikâya the Buddha says:
Hear, Subhadra! The world will never be without Rahats, if the ascetics in my congregations well and truly keep my precepts.
A similar contradiction of the view brought forward by the Brâhmans is made by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gîtâ, and there is further the actual appearance of many Sâddhus and miracle-workers in the past, and even in the present age. The same holds good for China and Tibet. Among the commandments of Tsong-Kha-pa there is one that enjoins the Rahats (Arhats) to make an attempt to enlighten the world, including the “white barbarians,” every century, at a certain specified period of the cycle. Up to the present day none of these attempts has been very successful. Failure has followed failure. Have we to explain the fact by the light of a certain prophecy? It is said that up to the time when Phan-chhen-rin-po-chhe (the Great Jewel of Wisdom) [A title of the Tda-shu-Illum-po Lama.] condescends to be reborn in the land of the P’helings (Westerners), and appearing as the Spiritual Conqueror (Chom-den-da), destroys the errors and ignorance of the ages, it will be of little use to try to uproot the misconceptions of P’heling-pa (Europe): her sons will listen to no one.
Tibetan Prophecies - (Page 413) Another prophecy declares that the Secret Doctrine shall remain in all its purity in Bhod-yul (Tibet), only to the day that it is kept free from foreign invasion. The very visits of Western natives, however friendly, would be baneful to the Tibetan populations. This is the true key to Tibetan exclusiveness.
A Few More Misconceptions Corrected
(Page 414) NOTWITHSTANDING widespread misconceptions and errors—often most amusing to one who has certain knowledge of the true doctrines—about Buddhism generally, and especially about Buddhism in Tibet, all the Orientalists agree that the Buddha’s foremost aim was to lead human beings to salvation by teaching them to practise the greatest purity and virtue, and by detaching them from the service of this illusionary world, and the love of one’s still more illusionary—because so evanescent and unreal—body and physical self. And what is the good of a virtuous life, full of privations and suffering, if the only result of it is to be annihilation at the end? If even the attainment of that supreme perfection which leads the Initiate to remember the whole series of his past lives, and to foresee that of the future ones, by the full development of that inner, divine eye in him, and to acquire the knowledge that unfolds the causes [The twelve Nidânas, called in Tibetan Tin-bred Chug-nyi, which are based upon the “Four Truths.”] of the ever-recurring cycles of existence, brings him finally to non-being, and nothing more—then the whole system is idiotic, and Epicureanism is far more philosophical than such Buddhism. He who is unable to comprehend the subtle, and yet so potent, difference between existence in a material or physical state and a purely spiritual existence—Spirit or “Soul-life”—will never appreciate at their full value the grand teachings of the Buddha, even in their exoteric form. Individual or personal existence is the cause of pains and sorrows; collective and impersonal life-eternal is full of divine bliss and joy for ever, with neither causes nor effects to darken its light. And the hope for such a life-eternal is the keynote of the whole of Buddhism. If we are told that impersonal existence is no existence at all, but amounts to annihilation, as was maintained by some French reincarnationists, then we would ask:
Misrepresentations of Buddhism - (Page 415) What difference can it make in the spiritual perceptions of an Ego whether he enter Nirvâna loaded with recollections only of his own personal lives—tens of thousands according to the modern reincarnationists—or whether, merged entirely in the Parabrâhmic state it becomes one with the All, with the absolute knowledge and the absolute feeling of representing collective humanities? Once that an Ego lives only ten distinct individual lives he must necessarily lose his one self, and become mixed up—merged, so to say—with these ten selves. It really seems that so long as this great mystery remains a dead letter to the world of Western thinkers, and especially to the Orientalists, the less the latter undertake to explain it the better for Truth.
Of all the existing religious Philosophies, Buddhism is the least understood. The Lassens, Webers, Wassiljows, the Burnoufs and Juliens, and even such “eye-witnesses” of Tibetan Buddhism as Csoma de Köros and the Schlagintweits, have hitherto only added perplexity to confusion. None of these has ever received his information from a genuine Gelugpa source: all have judged Buddhism from the bits of knowledge picked up at Tibetan frontier lamaseries, in countries thickly populated by Bhutanese and Leptchas, Bhons, and red-capped Dugpas, along the line of the Himâlayas. Hundreds of volumes purchased from Burats, Shamans, and Chinese Buddhists, have been read and translated, glossed and misinterpreted according to invariable custom. Esoteric Schools would cease to be worthy of their name were their literature and doctrines to become the property of even their profane co-religionists—still less of the Western public. This is simple common-sense and logic. Nevertheless this is a fact which our Orientalists have ever refused to recognize: hence they have gone on, gravely discussing the relative merits and absurdities of idols, “soothsaying tables,” and “magical figures of Phurbu” on the “square tortoise.” None of these have anything to do with the real philosophical Buddhism of the Gelugpa, or even of the most educated among the Sakyapa and Kadampa sects. All such “plates” and sacrificial tables, Chinsreg magical circles, etc., were avowedly got from Sikkhim, Bhutan, and Eastern Tibet, from Bhons and Dugpas. Nevertheless, these are given as characteristics of Tibetan Buddhism! It would be as fair to judge the unread Philosophy of Bishop Berkeley after studying Christianity in the clown-worship of Neapolitan lazzaroni, dancing a mystic jig before the idol of St. Pip, or carrying the ex-voto in wax of the phallus of SS Cosmo and Domiano, at Tsernie.
(Page 416) It is quite true that the primitive Shrâvakas (listeners or hearers) and the Shramanas (the “thought-restrainers” and the “pure”) have degenerated, and that many Buddhist sects have fallen into mere dogmatism and ritualism. Like every other Esoteric, half-suppressed teaching, the words of the Buddha convey a double meaning, and every sect has gradually come to claim to be the only one knowing the correct meaning, and thus to assume supremacy over the rest. Schism has crept in, and has fastened, like a hideous cancer, on the fair body of early Buddhism. Nâgârjuna’s Mahâyâna (“Great Vehicle”) School was opposed by the Hînayâna (or “Little Vehicle”) System, and even the Yogâchârya of Ãryâsanga became disfigured by the yearly pilgrimage from India to the shores of Mansarovara, of hosts of vagabonds with matted locks who play at being Yogis and Fakirs, preferring this to work. An affected detestation of the world, and the tedious and useless practice of the counting of inhalations and exhalations as a means to produce absolute tranquillity of mind or meditation, have brought this school within the region of Hatha Yoga, and have made it heir to the Brâhmanical Tîrthikas. And though its Srotâpatti, its Sakridâgâmin, Anâgâmin, and Arhats, [The Scrotâpatti is one who has attained the first Path of comprehension in the real and the unreal: the Sakridâgâmin is the candidate for one of the higher Initiations: “one who is to receive birth once more” the Anâgâmin is he who has attained the “third path,” or literally, “he who will not be reborn again” unless he so wishes it, having the options of being reborn in any of the “worlds of the Gods,” or of remaining in Devachan, or of choosing an earthly body with a philanthropic object. An Arhat is one who has reached the higher Path: he may merge into Nirvâna at will, while here on earth.] bear the same names in almost every school, yet the doctrines of each differ greatly, and none of these is likely to gain real Abhijñâs (the supernatural abnormal five powers).
One of the chief mistakes of the Orientalists when judging on “internal (?) evidence,” as they express it, was that they assumed that the Pratyeka Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and the “Perfect” Buddhas were a later development of Buddhism. For on these three chief degrees are based the seven and twelve degrees of the Hierarchy of Adeptship. The first are those who have attained the Bodhi (wisdom) of the Buddhas, but do not become Teachers. [The Pratyeka Buddha stands on the level of the Buddha, but His work for the world has nothing to do with its teaching, and His office has always been surrounded with mystery. The preposterous view that He, at such superhuman height of power, wisdom and love could be selfish, is found in the exoteric books, though it is hard to see how it can have arisen. H.P.B charged me to correct the mistake, as she had, in a careless moment, copied such a statement elsewhere.—A.B.] The human Bodhisattvas are candidates, so to say, for perfect Buddhaship (in Kalpas to come), and with the option of using their powers now if need be.
A Mysterious Land - (Page 417) “Perfect” Buddhas are simply “perfect” Initiates. All these are men, and not disembodied Beings, as is given out in the Hinayâna exoteric books. Their correct character may be found only in the secret volumes of Lugrub or Nâgârjuna, the founder of the Mahâyâna system, who is said to have been initiated by the Nâgas (fabulous “Serpents,” the veiled name for an Initiate or Mahâtmâ). The fabled report found in Chinese records that Nâgârjuna considered his doctrine to be in opposition to that of Gautama Buddha, until he discovered from the Nâgas that it was precisely the doctrine that had been secretly taught by Shâkyamuni Himself, is an allegory, and is based upon the reconciliation between the old Brâhmanical secret Schools in the Himâlayas and Gautama’s Esoteric teachings, both parties having at first objected to the rival schools of the other. The former, the parent of all others, had been established beyond the Himâlayas for ages before the appearance of Shâkyamuni. Gautama was a pupil of this; and it was with them, those Indian Sages, that He has learned the truths of the Sungata, the emptiness and impermanence of every terrestrial, evanescent thing, and the mysteries of Prajñâ Pâramitâ, or “knowledge across the River,” which finally lands the “Perfect One” in the regions of the One Reality. But His Arhats were not Himself. Some of them were ambitious, and they modified certain teachings after the great councils, and it is on account of these “heretics” that the Mother-School at first refused to allow them to blend their schools, when persecution began driving away the Esoteric Brotherhood from India. But when finally most of them submitted to the guidance and control of the chief Ãshrams, then the Yogâchârya of Ãryâsanga was merged into the oldest Lodge. For it is there from time immemorial that has lain concealed the final hope and light of the world, the salvation of mankind. Many are the names of that School and land, the name of the latter being now regarded by the Orientalists as the mythic name of a fabulous country. It is from this mysterious land, nevertheless, that the Hindu expects his Kalki Avatâra, the Buddhist his Maitreya, the Pârsî his Sosiosh, and the Jew his Messiah, and so would the Christian expect thence his Christ—if he only knew of it.
There, and there alone, reigns Paranishpanna (Gunggrub), the absolutely perfect comprehension of Being and Non-Being, the changeless true Existence in Spirit, even while the latter is seemingly still in the body, every inhabitant thereof being a Non-Ego because he has become the Perfect Ego. Their voidness is “self-existent and perfect” (Page 418) —if there were profane eyes to sense and perceive it—because it has become absolute; the unreal being transformed into conditionless Reality, and the realities of this, our world, having vanished in their own nature into thin (non-existing) air. The “Absolute Truth” (Dondam-pay-den-pa; Sanskrit: Parmârthasatya), having conquered “relative truth” (Kunza-bchi-den-pa; Sanskrit: Samvritisatya), the inhabitants of the mysterious region are thus supposed to have reached the state called in mystic phraseology Svasamvedanâ (“self-analyzing reflection”) and Paramârtha, or that absolute consciousness of the personal merged into the impersonal Ego, which is above all, hence above illusion in every sense. Its “Perfect” Buddhas and Bodhisattvas may be on every nimble Buddhist tongue as celestial—therefore unreachable Beings, while these names may suggest and say nothing to the dull perceptions of the European profane. What matters it to Those who, being in this world, yet live outside and far beyond our illusive earth! Above Them there is but one class of Nirvânîs, namely, the Chos-ku (Dharmakâya), or the Nirvânîs “without remains”—the pure Arûpa, the formless Breaths. [ It is an erroneous idea which makes the Orientalists take literally the teaching of the Mahâyâna School about the three different kinds of bodies, namely, the Prulpa-ku, the Longehod-dzocpaig-ku, and the Chos-ku, as all pertaining to the Nirvânic condition. There are two kinds of Nirvâna: the earthly, and that of the purely disembodied Spirits. These three “bodies” are the three envelopes—all more or less physical—which are at the disposal of the Adept who has entered and crossed the six Pâramitâs, or “Paths” of Buddha. Once He enters upon the seventh, He can return no more to earth. See Cosma, Jour. As. Soc. Beng., vii. 142: and Schott, Buddhismus, p.9, who give it otherwise.]
Thence emerge occasionally the Bodhisattvas in their Prul-pai-ka (or Nirmânakâya) body and, assuming an ordinary appearance, they teach men. There are conscious, as well as unconscious, incarnations.
Most of the doctrines contained in the Yogâchârya, or Mahâyâna systems are Esoteric, like the rest. One day the profane Hindu and Buddhist may begin to pick the Bible to pieces, taking it literally. Education is fast spreading in Asia, and already there have been made some attempts in this direction, so that the tables may then be cruelly turned on the Christians. Whatever conclusions the two may arrive at, they will never be half as absurd and unjust as some of the theories launched by Christians against their respective Philosophies. Thus, according to Spence Hardy, at death the Arhat enters Nirvâna:
That is, he ceases to exist.
And, agreeably to Major Jacob, the Jîvanmukta,
Absorbed into Brahma, enters upon an unconscious and stonelike existence. [Vedânta Sâra, translated by Major Jacob, p.119.]
Absurd Conclusions - (Page 419) Shankarâchârya is shown as saying in his prolegomena to the Shvetâshvatara:
Gnosis, once arisen, requires nothing farther for the realization of its result: it needs subsidia only that it may arise.
The Theosophist, it has been argued, as long as he lives, may do good and evil as he chooses and incur no stain, such is the efficacy of gnosis. And it is further alleged that the doctrine of Nirvâna lends itself to immoral inferences, and that the Quietists of all ages have been taxed with immortality. [Ibid. p.122.]
According to Wassilyew [Der Buddhismus, pp. 327, 357, et seq., quoted by Schlagintweit.] and Csoma de Köros, [Buddhism in Tibet, p.41.] the Prasanga School adopted a peculiar mode of
Deducing the absurdity and erroneousness of every esoteric opinion. [Jour of As. Soc. Bengal, vii, 144, quoted as above.]
Correct interpretations of Buddhist Philosophy are crowned by that gloss on a thesis from the Prasanga School, that
Even an Arhat goes to hell in case he doubt anything, [Buddhism in Tibet, p.44.]
thus making of the most free-thinking religion in the world a blind-faith system. The “threat” refers simply to the well-known law that even an Initiate may fail, and thus have his object utterly ruined, if he doubt for one moment the efficacy of his psychic powers—the alphabet of Occultism, as every Kabalist well knows.
The Tibetan sect of the Ngo-vo-nyid-med par Mraba (“they who deny existence,” or “regard nature as Mâyâ”) [They maintain also the existence of One Absolute pure Nature, Parabrahman: the illusion of everything outside of it; the leading of the individual Soul—a Ray of the “Universal”—into the true nature of existence and things by Yoga alone.] can never be contrasted for one moment with some of the nihilistic or materialistic schools of India, such as the Chârvâka. They are pure Vedântins—if anything—in their views. And if the Yogâchâryas may be compared with, or called the Tibetan Vishishtadwaitîs, the Prasanga School is surely the Adwaita Philosophy of the land. It was divided into two: one was originally founded by Bhavya, the Svantatra Madhyamika School, and the other by Buddhapâlita; both have their exoteric and esoteric divisions. It is necessary to belong to the latter to know anything of the (Page 420) esoteric doctrines of that sect, the most metaphysical and philosophical of all. Chandrakirti (Dava Dagpa) wrote his commentaries on the Prasanga doctrines and taught publicly; and he expressly states that there are two ways of entering the “Path” to Nirvâna. Any virtuous man can reach by Naljorngonsum (“meditation by self-perception”), the intuitive comprehension of the four Truths, without either belonging to a monastic order or having been initiated. In this case it was considered as a heresy to maintain that the visions which may arise in consequence of such meditation, or Vishnâ (internal knowledge), are not susceptible of errors (Namtog or false visions), for they are. Alaya alone having an absolute and eternal existence, can alone have absolute knowledge; and even the Initiate, in his Nirmânakâya [Nirmânakâya (also Nirvânakâya, vulg.) is the body or Self “with remains,” or the influence of terrestrial attributes, however spiritualized, clinging yet to that Self. An initiate in Dharmakâya, or in Nirvâna “without remains,” is the Jîvanmukta, the Perfect Initiate, who separates his Higher Self entirely from his body during Samâdhi. [It will be noticed that these two words are here used in a sense other than that previously given.—A.B.] body may commit an occasional mistake in accepting the false for the true in his explorations of the “Causeless” World. The Dharmakâya Bodhisattva is alone infallible, when in real Samâdhi. Ãlaya, or Nying-po, being the root and basis of all, invisible and incomprehensible to human eye and intellect, it can reflect only its reflection—not Itself. Thus that reflection will be mirrored like the moon in tranquil and clear water only in the passionless Dharmakâya intellect, and will be distorted by the flitting image of everything perceived in a mind that is itself liable to be disturbed.
In short, this doctrine is that of the Râj-Yoga in its practice of the two kinds of the Samâdhi state; one of the “Paths” leading to the sphere of bliss (Sukhâvatî or Devachan), where man enjoys perfect, unalloyed happiness, but is yet still connected with personal existence; and the other Path that leads to entire emancipation from the worlds of illusion, self, and unreality. The first one is open to all and is reached by merit simply; the second—a hundredfold more rapid—is reached through knowledge (Initiation). Thus the followers of the Prasanga School are nearer to Esoteric Buddhism than are the Yogâchâryas; for their views are those of the most secret Schools, and only the echo of these doctrines is heard in the Yamyangshapda and other works in public circulation and use. For instance, the unreality of two out of the three divisions of time is given in public works, namely (a) that there is neither past nor future, both of these divisions being correlative to the present; and (b) that the reality of things can never be sensed or perceived except by him who has obtained the Dharmakâya body; here again is a difficulty, since this body “without remains” carries the Initiate to full Paranirvâna, if we accept the exoteric explanation verbally, and can therefore neither sense nor perceive.
Materialistic Orientalists - (Page 421) But evidently our Orientalists do not feel the caveat in such incongruities, and they proceed to speculate without pausing to reflect over it. Literature on Mysticism being enormous, and Russia, owing to the free intercourse with the Burats, Shamans, and Mongolians, having alone purchased whole libraries on Tibet, scholars ought to know better by this time. It suffices to read, however, what Csoma wrote on the origin of the Kâla Chakra System, [The “Secret” Books of Dus-Kyi Khorio (“Time Circle”). See Jour. As. Soc., ii. 57. These works were abandoned to the Sikkhim Dugpas, from the time of Tsong-Kha-pa’s reform.] or Wassilyew on Buddhism, to make one give up every hope of seeing them go below the rind of the “forbidden fruit.” When Schlagintweit is found saying that Tibetan Mysticism is not Yoga—
That abstract devotion by which supernatural powers are acquired, [ Glossary of Judicial and Revenue Terms, art. “Yoga,” quoted in Buddhism in Tibet. p.47.]
as Yoga is defined by Wilson, but that it is closely related to Siberian Shamanism, and is “almost identical with the Tântrika ritual”; and that the Tibetan Zung is the “Dhâranîs,” and the Gynt only the Tantras—pre-Christian Tantra being judged by the ritual of the modern Tântrikas—one seems almost justified in suspecting our materialistic Orientalists of acting as the best friends and allies of the missionaries. Whatever is not known to our geographers seems to be a non-existent locality. Thus:
Mysticism is reported to have originated in the fabulous country, Sambhala. . . . . Csoma, from careful investigations, places this [ fabulous?] country beyond the Sir Daria [Yaxartes] between 45◦ and 50◦ north latitude. It was first known in India in the year 965 A.D, and was introduced . . . into Tibet from India, via Kashmir, in the year 1025 A.D. [Buddhism in Tibet. pp. 47, 48.]
“It” meaning the “Dus-kyi Khorlo,” or Tibetan Mysteries. A system as old as man, known in India and practised before Europe had become a continent, “was first known,” we are told, only nine or ten centuries ago! The text of its books in its present form may have “originated” even later, for there are numerous such texts that have been tampered with by sects to suit the fancies of each. But who has read (Page 422) the original book on Dus-Kyi Khorlo, re-written by Tsong-Kha-pa, with his Commentaries? Considering that this grand Reformer burnt every book on Sorcery on which he could lay his hands in 1387, and that he has left a whole library of his own works—not a tenth part of which has ever been made known—such statements as those above quoted are, to say the least, premature. The idea is also cherished—from a happy hypothesis offered by Abbé Huc—that Tsong-Kha-pa derived his wisdom and acquired his extraordinary powers from his intercourse with a stranger from the West, “remarkable for a long nose.” This stranger is believed by the good Abbé “to have been a European missionary;” hence the remarkable resemblance of the religious ritual in Tibet to the Roman Catholic service. The sanguine “Lama of Jehovah” does not say, however, who were the five foreigners who appeared in Tibet in the year 371 of our era, to disappear as suddenly and mysteriously as they came, after leaving with King Thothori-Nyang-tsan instructions how to use certain things in a casket that “had fallen from heaven” in his presence precisely fifty years before, or in the year A.D. 331. [Buddhism in Tibet, pp. 63, 64. The objects found in the casket, as enumerated in the exoteric legend, are of course symbolical. They may be found mentioned in the Kanjur. They were said to be: (1) two hands joined (2) a miniature Choten (Stûpa, or reliquary); (3) a talisman with “Om mani padme hum” inscribed on it: (4) a religious book, Zamatog (“a constructed vehicle”).]
There is generally a hopeless confusion about Eastern dates among European scholars, but nowhere is this so great as in the case of Tibetan Buddhism. Thus, while some, correctly enough, accept the seventh century as the date of the introduction of Buddhism, there are others—such as Lassen and Koeppung, for instance—who show on good authority, the one, the construction of a Buddhist monastery on the slopes of the Kailas Range so far back as the year 137 B.C., [Alterthumskunde, ii, 1072.] and the other, Buddhism established in and north of the Punjab, as early as the year 292 B.C. The difference though trifling—only just one thousand years—is nevertheless puzzling. But even this is easily explained on Esoteric grounds. Buddhism—the veiled Esotericism of Buddha—was established and took root in the seventh century of the Christian era; while true Esoteric Buddhism, or the kernel, the very spirit of Tathâgata’s doctrines, was brought to the place of its birth, the cradle of humanity, by the chosen Arhats of Buddha, who were sent to find for it a secure refuge, as
Introduction of Buddhism into Tibet - (Page 423) The Sage had perceived the dangers ever since he had entered upon Thonglam (“the Path of seeing,” or clairvoyance).
Amidst populations deeply steeped in Sorcery the attempt proved a failure; and it was not until the School of the “Doctrine of the Heart” had merged with its predecessor, established ages earlier on the slope facing Western Tibet, that Buddhism was finally engrafted, with its two distinct Schools—the Esoteric and the exoteric divisions—in the land of the Bhon-pa.
The 'Doctrine of the Eye' and The 'Doctrine of the Heart',or the 'Heart's Seal'.
(Page 424) PROF. ALBRECHT WEBER was right when he declared that the Northern Buddhists
Alone possess these [Buddhist] Scriptures complete.
For, while the Southern Buddhists have no idea of the existence of an esoteric doctrine enshrined like a pearl within the shell of every religion— the Chinese and the Tibetans have preserved numerous records of the fact. Degenerate, fallen as is now the Doctrine publicly preached by Gautama, it is yet preserved in those monasteries in China that are placed beyond the reach of visitors. And though for over two millennia every new “reformer,” taking something out of the original has replaced it by some speculation of his own, still truth lingers even now among the masses. But it is only in the Trans-Himâlayan fastnesses—loosely called Tibet—in the most inaccessible spots of desert and mountain, that the Esoteric “Good Law”—the “Heart’s Seal”—lives to the present day in all its pristine purity.
Was Emanual Swedenborg wrong when he remarked of the forgotten, long-lost Word:
Seek for it in China; peradventure you may find it in Great Tartary.
He had obtained this information, he tells his readers, from certain “Spirits,” who told him that they performed their worship according to this (lost) ancient Word. On this it was remarked in Isis Unveiled that
Other students of Occult Sciences had more than the world of “spirits” to rely upon in this special case: they have seen the books
that contain the “Word. [Op.cit., ii. 470.]
Swedenborg Claims - (Page 425) Perchance the names of those “Spirits” who visited the great Swedish Theosophist were Eastern. The word of a man of such undeniable and recognised integrity, of one whose learning in Mathematics, Astronomy, the natural Sciences and Philosophy was far in advance of his age, cannot be trifled with or rejected as unceremoniously as if it were the statement of a modern Theosophist: further, he claimed to pass at will into that state when the Inner Self frees itself entirely from every physical sense, and lives and breathes in a world where every secret of Nature is an open book to the Soul-eye. [Unless one obtains exact information and the right method, one’s visions, however correct and true in Soul-life, will ever fail to get photographed in our human memory, and certain cells of the brain are sure to play havoc with our remembrances.] Unfortunately two-thirds of his public writings are also allegorical in one sense: and, as they have been accepted literally, criticism has not spared the great Swedish Seer any more than other Seers.
Having taken a panoramic view of the hidden Sciences and Magic with their Adepts in Europe, Eastern Initiates must now be mentioned. If the presence of Esotericism in the Sacred Scriptures of the West only now begins to be suspected, after nearly two thousand years of blind faith in their verbatim wisdom, the same may well be granted as to the Sacred Books of the East. Therefore neither the Indian nor the Buddhist system can be understood without a key, nor can the study of comparative religion become a “Science” until the symbols of every Religion yield their final secrets. At the best such a study will remain a loss of time, a playing at hide-and-seek.
On the authority of a Japanese Encyclopædia, Remusat shows the Buddha, before His death, committing the secrets of His system to His disciple, Kâsyapa, to whom alone was entrusted the sacred keeping of the Esoteric interpretation. It is called in China Ching-fa-yin-Tsang (“the Mystery of the Eye of the Good Doctrine”). To any student of Buddhist Esotericism the term, “the Mystery of the Eye,” would show the absence of any Esotericism. Had the word “Heart” stood in its place, then it would have meant what it now only professes to convey. The “Eye Doctrine” means dogma and dead-letter form, church ritualism intended for those who are content with exoteric formulæ. The “Heart Doctrine,” or the “Heart’s Seal” (the Sin Yin) is the only real one. This may be found corroborated by Hiuen Tsang. (Page 426) In his translation of Mahâ-Prajnâ-Pâramitâ (Ta-poh-je-King), in one hundred and twenty volumes, it is stated that it was Buddha’s “favourite disciple Ãnanda,” who, after his great Master had gone into Nirvâna, was commissioned by Kâsyapa to promulgate “the Eye of the Doctrine,” the “Heart” of the Law having been left with the Arhats alone.
The essential difference that exists between the two—the “Eye” and the “Heart,” or the outward form and the hidden meaning, the cold metaphysics and the Divine Wisdom—is clearly demonstrated in several volumes on “Chinese Buddhism,” written by sundry missionaries. Having lived for years in China, they still know no more than they have learned from pretentious schools calling themselves esoteric, yet freely supplying the open enemies of their faith with professedly ancient manuscripts and esoteric works! This ludicrous contradiction between profession and practice has never, as it seems, struck any of the western and reverend historians of other people’s secret tenets. Thus many esoteric schools are mentioned in Chinese Buddhism by the Rev. Joseph Edkins, who believes quite sincerely that he has made “a minute examination” of the secret tenets of Buddhists whose works “were until lately inaccessible in their original form.” It really will not be saying too much to state at once that the genuine Esoteric literature is “inaccessible” to this day, and that the respectable gentleman who was inspired to state that
It does not appear that there was any secret doctrine which those who knew it would not divulge,
made a great mistake if he ever believed in what he says on page 161 of his work. Let him know at once that all those Yû-luh (“Records of the Sayings”) of celebrated teachers are simply blinds, as complete—if not more so—than those in the Purânas of the Brâhmans. It is useless to enumerate an endless string of the finest Oriental scholars or to bring forward the researches of Remusat, Burnouf, Koeppen, St. Hilaire, and St. Julian, who are credited with having exposed to view the ancient Hindu world, by revealing the sacred and secret books of Buddhism: the world that they reveal has never been veiled. The mistakes of all the Orientalists may be judged by the mistake of one of the most popular, if not the greatest among them all—Prof. Max Müller. It is made with reference to what he laughingly translates as the “god Who” (Ka).
The God 'Who' - (Page 427) The authors of the Brâhmanas had so completely broken with the past, that, forgetful of the poetical character of the hymns and the yearning of the poets after the Unknown God, they exalted the interrogative pronoun itself into a deity, and acknowledged a god Ka (or Who?) . . . Wherever interrogative verses occur the author states that Ka is Prajâpati, or the Lord of Creatures. Nor did they stop here. Some of the hymns in which the interrogative pronoun occurred were called Kadvat, i.e., having Kad or Quid. But soon a new adjective was formed, and not only the hymns but the sacrifice also offered to the god were called Kaya, or “Who”-ish . . . . At the time of Pânini this word acquired such legitimacy as to call for a separate rule explaining its formation. The Commentator here explains Ka by Brahman.
Had the commentator explained It even by Parabrahman he would have been still more in the right than he was by rendering It as “Brahman.” One fails to see why the secret and sacred Mystery-Name of the highest, sexless, formless Spirit, the Absolute,—Whom no one would have dared to classify with the rest of the manifested Deities, or even to name during the primitive nomenclature of the symbolical Panthenon, should not be expressed by an interrogative pronoun. Is it those who belong to the most anthropomorphic Religion in the world who have a right to take ancient Philosophers to task for even an exaggerated religious awe and veneration?
But we are now concerned with Buddhism. Its Esotericism and oral instruction, which is written down and preserved in single copies by the highest chiefs in genuine Esoteric Schools, is shown by the author San-Kian-yi-su. Contrasting Bodhidharma with Buddha, he exclaims:
“Julai” (Tathâgata) taught great truths and the causes of things. He became the instructor of men and Devas. He saved multitudes, and spoke the contents of more than five hundred works. Hence arose the Kiau-men, or exoteric branch of the system, and it was believed to be the tradition of the words of Buddha. Bodhidharma brought from the Western Heaven [Shamballa] the “Seal of Truth” (true seal) and opened the fountain of contemplation in the East. He pointed directly to Buddha’s heart and nature, swept away the parasitic and alien growth of book-instruction, and thus established the Tsung-men, or Esoteric branch of the system containing the tradition of the heart of Buddha. [ Chinese Buddhism, p.158. The Rev. Joseph Edkins either ignores or—which is more probable—is utterly ignorant of the real existence of such Schools, and judges by the Chinese travesties of these, calling such Esotericism “heterodox Buddhism.” And so it is, in one sense.]
A few remarks made by the author of Chinese Buddhism throw a flood of light on the universal misconceptions of Orientalists in general, and (Page 428) of the missionaries in the “lands of the Gentiles” in particular. They appeal very forcibly to the intuition of Theosophists—more particularly those in India. The sentences to be noticed are italicized.
The common [Chinese] word for the Esoteric Schools is dan, the Sanskrit Dhyâna . . . . Orthodox Buddhism has in China slowly but steadily become heterodox. The Buddhism of books and ancient traditions has become the Buddhism of mystic contemplation . . . . The history of ancient schools springing up long ago in the Buddhist communities of India can now be only very partially recovered. Possibly some light may be thrown back by China upon the religious history of the country from which Buddhism came. [That country—India—has lost the records of such Schools and their teaching only so far as the general public, and especially the inappreciative Western Orientalists, are concerned. It has preserved them in full in some Mathams, (refuges for mystic contemplation). But it may perhaps be better to seek them with, and from their rightful owners, the so-called “mythical” Adepts, or Mahâtmâs.] In no part of the story is aid to the recovery of the lost knowledge more likely to be found than in the accounts of the patriarchs, the line of whom was completed by Bodhidharma. In seeking the best explanation of the Chinese and Japanese narrative of the patriarchs, and the seven Buddhas terminating in Gautama, or Shâkyamuni, it is important to know the Jain traditions as they were early in the sixth century of our era, when the Patriarch Bodhidharma removed to China . . . .
In tracing the rise of the various schools of esoteric Buddhism it must be kept in mind that a principle somewhat similar to the dogma of apostolical succession belongs to them all. They all profess to derive their doctrines through a succession of teachers, each instructed personally by his predecessor, till the time of Bodhidharma, and so further up in the series to Shâkyamuni himself and the earlier Buddhas. [Chinese Buddhism. pp.155-159.]
It is complained further on, and is mentioned as a falling away from strict orthodox Buddhism, that the Lamas of Tibet are received in Pekin with the utmost respect by the Emperor.
The following passages, taken from different parts of the book, summarise Mr. Edkin’s views:
Hermits are not uncommonly met with in the vicinity of large Buddhist temples . . . their hair being allowed to grow unshorn. . . . The doctrine of metempsychosis is rejected. Buddhism is one form of Pantheism on the ground that the doctrine of metempsychosis makes all nature instinct with life, and that that life is the Deity assuming different forms of personality, that Deity not being a self-conscious, free-acting Self-Cause, but an all-pervading Spirit. The esoteric Buddhists of China, keeping rigidly to their one doctrine, [They certainly reject most emphatically the popular theory of the transmigration of human entities or Souls into animals, but not the evolution of men from animals—so far, at least, as their lower principles are concerned.] say nothing of the metempsychosis, . . . . or any other of the more material parts of the Buddhist system . . . . . . The Western paradise promised to the worshippers of Amida Buddha is . . . inconsistent with the doctrine of Nirvana [?]. [It is quite consistent, on the contrary, when explained in the light of the Esoteric Doctrine. The “Western paradise,” or Western heaven, is no fiction located in transcendental space. It is a bona-fide locality in the mountain, or, to be more correct, one encircled in a desert within mountains. Hence it is assigned for the residence of those students of Esoteric Wisdom—disciples of Buddha—who have attained the rank of Lohans and Anâgâmins (Adepts). It is called “Western” simply from geographical considerations: and “the great iron mountain girdle” that surrounds the Avitchi, and the seven Lokas that encircle the “Western paradise” are a very exact representation of well-known localities and things to the Eastern student of Occultism.]
More Misrepresentations - (Page 429) . . . . It promises immortality instead of annihilation. The great antiquity of this School is evident from the early date of the translation of the Amida Sûtra, which came from the hands of Kumârajîva and Ku-lian-theu-King, dating from the Han dynasty,its extent of influence is seen in the attachment of the Tibetans and Moguls to the worship of this Buddha, and in the fact that the name of this fictitious personage [?] is more commonly heard in China than that of the historical Shâkyamuni.
We fear the learned writer is on a false track as to Nirvâna and Amita Buddha. However, here we have the evidence of a missionary to show that there are several schools of Esoteric Buddhism in the Celestial Empire. When the misuse of dogmatical orthodox Buddhist Scriptures had reached its climax, and the true spirit of the Buddha’s Philosophy was nearly lost, several reformers appeared from India, who established an oral teaching. Such were Bodhidharma and Nâgârjuna, the authors of the most important works of the contemplative School in China during the first centuries of our era. It is known, moreover, as is said in Chinese Buddhism, that Bodhidharma became the chief founder of the Esoteric Schools, which were divided into five principal branches. The data given are correct enough, but every conclusion, without one single exception, is wrong. It was said in Isis Unveiled that—
Budda teaches the doctrine of a new birth as plainly as Jesus does. Desiring to break with the ancient Mysteries, to which it was impossible to admit the ignorant masses, the Hindu reformer, though generally silent upon more than one secret dogma, clearly states his thought in several passages. Thus, he says: “Some people are born again; evil-doers go to hell [Avitchi]; righteous people go to heaven [Devachan]; those who are free from all worldly desires enter Nirvâna” (Precepts of the Dhammapada, v. 126). Elsewhere Buddha states that “it is better to believe in a future life, in which happiness or misery can be felt: for if the heart believes therein it will abandon sin and act virtuously; and even if there is no resurrection [rebirth], such a life will bring a good name and the reward of men. But those who believe in extinction at death will not fail to commit any sin that they may choose, because of their disbelief in a future.” (See Wheel of the Law.)
How is immortality, then, “inconsistent with the doctrine of (Page 430) Nirvâna?” The above are only a few of Buddha’s openly-expressed thoughts to his chosen Arhats; the great Saint said much more. As a comment upon the mistaken views held in our century by the Orientalists, “who vainly try to fathom Tathâgata’s thoughts,” and those of Brâhmans, “who repudiate the great Teacher to this day,” here are some original thoughts expressed in relation to the Buddha and the study of the Secret Sciences. They are from a work written in Chinese by a Tibetan, and published in the monastery of Tientaï for circulation among the Buddhists
Who live in foreign lands, and are in danger of being spoiled by missionaries,
as the author truly says, every convert being not only “spoiled” for his own creed, but being also a sorry acquisition for Christianity. A translation of a few passages, kindly made from that work for the present volumes is now given.
No profane ears having heard the mighty Chau-yan [secret and enlightening precepts] of Vu-vei-Tchen-jen [Buddha within Buddha], [The word is translated by the Orientalists as “true man without a position,” (?) which is very misleading. It simply means the true inner man or Ego. “Buddha within Buddha” meaning that there was a Gautama inwardly as well as outwardly.] of our beloved Lord and Bodhisattva, how can one tell what his thoughts really were? The holy Sang-gyas-Panchhen [One of the titles of Gautama Buddha in Tibet.] never offered an insight into the One Reality to the unreformed [uninitiated ] Bhikkus. Few are those even among the Tu-fon [Tibetans] who knew it; as for the Tsung-men [The “Esoteric” Schools, or sects, of which there are many in China.] Schools, they are going with every day more down hill . . . . Not even the Fa-siong-Tsung [ A school of contemplation founded by Hiuen-Tsang, the traveller, nearly extinct. Fa-siong-Tsung means “the School that unveils the inner nature of things.”] can give one the wisdom taught in real Naljor-chod-pa [Sanskrit: [ Esoteric, or hidden, teaching of Yoga (Chinese: Yogi-mi-Kean).] Yogâchârya]: . . . . it is all “Eye” Doctrine, and no more. The loss of a restraining guidance is felt; since the Tch’-an-si [teachers] of inward meditation [self-contemplation or Tchung-kwan] have become rare, and the Good Law is replaced by idol-worship [Siang-kyan]. It is of this [idol- or image-worship] that the Barbarians [Western people] have heard, and know nothing of Bas-pa-Dharma [the secret Dharma or doctrine]. Why has truth to hide like a tortoise within its shell? Because it is now found to have become like the Lama’s tonsure knife, [The “tonsure knife” is made of meteoric iron, and is used for the purpose of cutting off the “vow-lock,” or hair from the novice’s head during his first ordination. It has a double-edged blade, is sharp as a razor, and lies concealed within a hollow handle of horn. By touching a spring the blade jerks out like a flash of lightening, and recedes back with the same rapidity. A great dexterity is required in using it without wounding the head of the young Gelung and Gelung-ma (candidates to become priests and nuns) during the preliminary rites, which are public.] a weapon too dangerous to use even for the Lanoo. Therefore no one can be entrusted with the knowledge [Secret Science] before his time.
Âryâsanga - (Page 431) The Chagpa-Thog-mad have become rare, and the best have retired to Tushita the Blessed. [Chapa-Thog-mad is the Tibetan name of Ãryâsanga, the founder of the Yogâchârya or Naljorchodpa School. This Sage and Initiate is said to have been taught “Wisdom” by Maitreya Buddha Himself, the Buddha of the Sixth Race, at Tushita (a celestial region presided over by Him), and as having received from Him the five books of Champaitehos-nga. The Secret Doctrine teaches, however, that he came from Dejung, or Shambballa, called the “source of happiness” (“wisdom-acquired”) and declared by some Orientaliss to be a “fabulous” place.]
Further on, a man seeking to master the mysteries of Esotericism before he had been declared by the initiated Tch’-an-si (teachers) to be ready to receive them, is likened to
One who would; without a lantern and on a dark night, proceed to a place full of scorpions, determined to feel on the ground for a needle his neighbour has dropped.
He who would acquire the Sacred Knowledge should, before he goes any farther “trim his lamp of inner understanding,” and then “with the help of such good light” use his meritorious actions as a dust-cloth to remove every impurity from his mystic mirror, [ It may not be, perhaps, amiss to remind the reader of the fact that the “mirror” was a part of the symbolism of the Thesmophoria, a portion of the Eleusinian Mysteries; and that it was used in the search for Atma, the “Hidden One,” or “Self.” In his excellent paper on the above-named mysteries, Dr. Alexander Wilder of New York says: “Despite the assertion of Herodotus and others that the Bacchic Mysteries were Egyptian, there exists strong probability that they came originally from India, and were Shaivitic or Buddhistical. Kore-Persep-honeia was but the goddess Parasu-pani, or Bhavani, and Zagreus is from Chakra, a country extending from ocean to ocean. If this is a Turanian story we can easily recognise the ‘horns’ as the crescent worn by Lama-priests, and assume the whole legend [the fable of Dionysus-Zagreus] to be based on Lama-succession and transmigration . . . . The whole story of Orpheus . . . has a Hindu ring all through.” The tale of “Lama-succession and transmigration” did not originate with the Lamas, who date themselves only so far back as the seventh century, but with the Chaldæans and the Brâhmans still earlier.] so that he should be enabled to see in its lustre the faithful reflection of Self . . . . First, this; then Tong pa-nya, [The state of absolute freedom from any sin or desire.] lastly; Samma Sambuddha. [The state during which an Adept sees the long series of his past births, and lives through all his previous incarnations in this and the other worlds. (See the admirable description in the Light of Asia. p. 166, 1884 ed.)]
In Chinese Buddhism a corroboration of these statements is to be found in the aphorisms of Lin-tsi:
Within the body which admits sensations, acquires knowledge, thinks, and acts, there is the “true man without a position” Wu-wei-chen-jen. He makes himself clearly visible; not the thinnest separating film hides him. Why do you not recognise him? . . . If the mind does not come to conscious existence, there is deliverance everywhere . . . . . What is Buddha? Ans. A mind clear and at rest. What is the Law? Ans. A mind clear and enlightened. What is Tau? Ans. In every place absence of impediments and pure enlightenment. These three are one.
(Page 432) The reverend author of Chinese Buddhism makes merry over the symbolism of Buddhist discipline. Yet the self-inflicted “slaps on the cheek” and “blows under the ribs” find their pendants in the mortifications of the body and self-flagellation—“the discipline of the scourge”—of the Christian monks, from the first centuries of Christianity down to our own day. . But then the said author is a Protestant who substitutes for mortification and discipline—good living and comfort. The sentence in the Lin-tsi,
The “true man, without a position,” Wu-wei-chen-jen, is wrapped in a prickly shell, like the chestnut. He cannot be approached. This is Buddha—the Buddha within you,
is laughed at. Truly
An infant cannot understand the seven enigmas!
Papers I. II. III. of the following were written by H.P.B and were circulated privately during her lifetime, but they were written with the idea that they would be published after a time. They are papers intended for students rather than for the ordinary reader, and will repay careful study and thought. The “Notes of some Oral Teaching” were written down by some of her pupils and were partially corrected by her, but no attempt has been made to relieve them of their fragmentary character. She had intended to make them the basis for written papers similar to the first three, but her failing health rendered this impossible, and they are published with her consent, the time for restricting them to a limited circle having expired.
(Page 435) THERE is a strange law in Occultism which has been ascertained and proven by thousands of years of experience; nor has it failed to demonstrate itself, almost in every case, during the years that the Theosophical Society has been in existence. As soon as anyone pledges himself as a “Probationer,” certain Occult effects ensue. Of these the first is the throwing outward of everything latent in the nature of the man; his faults, habits, qualities or subdued desires, whether good, bad or indifferent.
For instance, if a man be vain or a sensualist, or ambitious, whether by atavism or by karmic heirloom, those vices are sure to break out, even if he has hitherto successfully concealed and repressed them. They will come to the front irrepressibly, and he will have to fight a hundred times harder than before, until he kills all such tendencies in himself.
On the other hand, if he be good, generous, chaste and abstemious, or has any virtue hitherto latent and concealed in him, it will work its way out as irrepressibly as the rest. Thus a civilized man who hates to be considered a saint, and therefore assumes a mask, will not be able to conceal his true nature, whether base or noble.
THIS IS AN IMMUTABLE LAW IN THE DOMAIN OF THE OCCULT.
Its action is the more marked, the more earnest and sincere the desire of the candidate, and the more deeply he has felt the reality and importance of his pledge.
The ancient occult axiom, “Know Thyself,” must be familiar to every student; but few if any have apprehended the real meaning of this wise exhortation of the Delphic Oracle. You all know your earthly pedigree, but who of you has ever traced all the links of heredity, (Page 436) astral, psychic and spiritual, which go to make you what you are? Many have written and expressed their desire to unite themselves with their Higher Ego, yet none seem to know the indissoluble link connecting their “Higher Egos” with the One Universal SELF.
For all purposes of Occultism, whether practical or purely metaphysical, such knowledge is absolutely requisite. It is proposed, therefore, to begin these papers by showing this connection in all directions with the worlds: Absolute, Archetypal, Spiritual, Mânasic, Psychic, Astral, and Elemental. Before, however, we can touch upon the higher worlds—Archetypal, Spiritual and Mânasic—we must master the relations of the seventh, the terrestrial world, the lower Prakriti, or Malkuth as in the Kabalah, to the worlds or planes which immediately follow it.
“OM,” says the Ãryan Adept, the son of the Fifth Race, who with this syllable begins and ends his salutation to the human being, his conjuration of, or appeal to, non-human PRESENCES.
“OM-MANI,” murmurs the Turanian Adept, the descendant of the Fourth Race; and after pausing he adds, “PADME-HUM.”
This famous invocation is very erroneously translated by the Orientalists as meaning, “Oh the Jewel in the Lotus.” For although, literally, OM is a syllable sacred to the Deity, PADME means “in the Lotus,” and MANI is any precious stone, still neither the words themselves, nor their symbolical meaning, are thus really correctly rendered.
In this, the most sacred of all Eastern formulas, not only has every syllable a secret potency producing a definite result, but the whole invocation has seven different meanings and can produce seven distinct results, each of which may differ from the others.
The seven meanings and the seven results depend upon the intonation which is given to the whole formula and to each of its syllables; and even the numerical value of the letters is added to or diminished according as such or another rhythm is made use of. Let the student remember that number underlies form, and number guides sound. Number lies at the root of the manifested Universe: numbers and harmonious proportions guide the first differentiations of homogeneous substance into heterogeneous elements; and number and numbers set limits to the formative hand of Nature.
The Jewel of the Lotus - (Page 437) Know the corresponding numbers of the fundamental principle of every element and its sub-elements, learn their interaction and behaviour on the occult side of manifesting Nature, and the law of correspondences will lead you to the discovery of the greatest mysteries of macrocosmical life.
But to arrive at the macrocosmical, you must begin by the microcosmical, i.e., you must study MAN, the microcosm—in this case as physical science does—inductively, proceeding from particulars to universals. At the same time, however, since a key-note is required to analyze and comprehend any combination of differentiations of sound, we must never lose sight of the Platonic method, which starts with one general view of all, and descends from the universal to the individual. This is the method adopted in Mathematics—the only exact science that exists in our day.
Let us study Man, therefore; but if we separate him for one moment from the Universal Whole, or view him in isolation, from a single aspect, apart from the “Heavenly Man”—the Universe symbolized by Adam Kadmon or his equivalents in every Philosophy—we shall either land in Black Magic or fail most ingloriously in our attempt.
Thus the mystic sentence, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” when rightly understood, instead of being composed of the almost meaningless words, “Oh the Jewel of the Lotus,” contains a reference to this indissoluble union between Man and the Universe, rendered in seven different ways, and having the capability of seven different applications to as many planes of thought and action.
From whatever aspect we examine it, it means: “I am that I am;” “I am in thee and thou art in me.” In this conjunction and close union with the good and pure man becomes a God. Whether consciously or unconsciously, he will bring about, or innocently cause to happen, unavoidable results. In the first case, if an Initiate (of course an Adept of the Right-hand Path alone is meant), he can guide a beneficent or a protecting current, and thus benefit and protect individuals and even whole nations. In the second case, although quite unaware of what he is doing, the good man becomes a shield to whomsoever he is with.
Such is the fact; but its how and why have to be explained, and this can be done only when the actual presence and potency of numbers in sounds, and hence in words and letters, have been rendered clear. The formula, “Om Mani Padme Hum,” has been chosen as an illustration on account of its almost infinite potency in the mouth of an Adept, and (Page 438) of its potentiality when pronounced by any man. Be careful, all you who read this: do not use these words in vain, or when in anger, lest you become yourself the first sacrificial victim, or, what is worse, endanger those whom you love.
The profane Orientalist, who all his life skims mere externals, will tell you flippantly, and laughing at the superstition, that in Tibet this sentence is the most powerful six-syllabled incantation and is said to have been delivered to the nations of Central Asia by Padmapâni, the Tibetan Chenresi. [See supra.ii. 188. 189.]
But who is Padmapâni, in reality? Each of us must recognize him for himself, whenever he is ready. Each of us has within himself the “Jewel in the Lotus,” call it Padmapâni, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, or whatever name we may give to our Divine Self. The exoteric story runs thus:
The supreme Buddha, or Amitâbha, they say, at the hour of the creation of man, caused a rosy ray of light to issue from his right eye. The ray emitted a sound and became Padmapâni Bodhisattva. Then the Deity allowed to stream forth from his left eye a blue ray of light, which, becoming incarnate in the two virgins Dolma, acquired the power to enlighten the minds of living beings. Amhitâbha then called the combination, which forthwith took up its abode in man. “Om Mani Padme Hum,” “I am the Jewel in the Lotus and in it I will remain.” Then Padmapâni, “the One in the Lotus,” vowed never to cease working until he had made Humanity feel his presence in itself and had thus saved it from the misery of rebirth. He vowed to perform the feat before the end of the Kalpa, adding that, in case of failure, he wished that his head should split into numberless fragments. The Kalpa closed; but Humanity felt him not within its cold, evil heart. Then Padmapâni’s head split and was shattered into a thousand fragments. Moved with compassion, the Deity re-formed the pieces into ten heads, three white, and seven of various colours. And since that day man has become a perfect number, or TEN.
In this allegory the potency of SOUND, COLOUR, and NUMBER is so ingeniously introduced as to veil the real Esoteric meaning. To the outsider it reads like one of the many meaningless fairy-tales of creation; but it is pregnant with spiritual and divine, physical and magical meaning. From Amitâbha—no colour, or the white glory— are born the seven differentiated colours of the prism.
Pythagorean Tetrad - (Page
439) These each emit a corresponding sound, forming the seven of
the musical scale. As Geometry,
among the Mathematical Sciences, is specially related to
Architecture, and also (proceeding to Universals) to Cosmogony,
so the ten Jods of the Pythagorean Tetrad, or Tetraktys, being
made to symbolize the Macrocosm, the Microcosm, or man, its image, had also
to be divided into ten points. For this Nature herself has provided, as will
But before this statement can be proved and the perfect correspondences between the Macrocosm and Microcosm demonstrated, a few words of explanation are necessary.
To the learner who would study the Esoteric Sciences with their double object: (a) of proving Man to be identical in spiritual and physical essence with both the Absolute Principle and with God in Nature; and (b) of demonstrating the presence in him of the same potential powers as exist in the creative forces in Nature—to such a one a perfect knowledge of the correspondences between Colours, Sounds, and Numbers is the first requisite. As already said, the sacred formula of the far East, “Om Mani Padme Hum.” is the one best calculated to make these correspondential qualities and functions clear to the learner.
In the allegory of Padmapâni, the Jewel (or Spiritual Ego) in the Lotus, or the symbol of androgynous man, the numbers 3, 4, 7, 10, as synthesizing the Unit, Man, are prominent, as I have already said. It is on the thorough knowledge and comprehension of the meaning and potency of these numbers, in their various and multiform combinations, and in their mutual correspondence with sounds or words, and colours or rates of motion (represented in physical science by vibrations), that the progress of a student in Occultism depends. Therefore we must begin with the first, initial word, OM, or AUM. OM is a “blind.” The sentence “Om Mani Padme Hum,” is not a six- but a seven-syllabled phrase, as the first syllable is double in its right pronunciation, and triple in its essence, A-UM. It represents the for ever concealed primeval triune differentiation, not from but in the ONE Absolute, and is therefore symbolized by the 4, or the Tetraktys, in the metaphysical world. It is the Unit-ray, or Ãtman.
It is the Ãtman, this highest Spirit in man, which, in conjunction with Buddhi and Manas, is called the upper Triad, or Trinity. This (Page 440) Triad with its four lower human principles, is, moreover, enveloped with an auric atmosphere, like the yolk of an egg (the future embryo) by the albumen and shell. This, to the perceptions of higher Beings from other planes, makes of each individuality an oval sphere of more or less radiancy.
To show the student the perfect correspondence between the birth of Kosmos, a World, a Planetary Being, or a Child of Sin and Earth, a more definite and clear description must be given. Those acquainted with Physiology will understand it better than others.
Who, having read say the Vishnu or other Purâna, is not familiar with the exoteric allegory of the birth of Brahmâ (male-female) in the Egg of the World, Hiranyagarbha, surrounded by its seven zones, or rather planes, which in the world of form and matter become seven and fourteen Lokas; the numbers seven and fourteen reäppearing as occasion requires.
Without giving out the secret analysis, the Hindus have from time immemorial compared the matrix of the Universe, and also the solar matrix, to the female uterus. It is written of the former: “Its womb is vast as the Meru,” and
The future mighty oceans lay asleep in the waters that filled its cavities, the continents, seas and mountains, the stars, planets, the gods, demons and mankind.
The whole resembled, in its inner and outer coverings, the cocoanut filled interiorly with pulp, and covered externally with husk and rind. “Vast as Meru,” say the texts.
Meru was its Amnion, and the other mountains were its Chorion,
adds a verse in Vishnu Purâna. [ Wilson’s translation, as amended by Fitzedward Hall, i. 40.]
In the same way is man born in his mother’s womb. As Brahmâ is surrounded, in exoteric traditions, by seven layers within and seven without the Mundane Egg, so is the embryo (the first or the seventh layer, according to the end from which we begin to count). Thus, just as Esotericism in its Cosmogony enumerates seven inner and seven outer layers, so Physiology notes the contents of the uterus as seven also, although it is completely ignorant of this being a copy of what takes place in the Universal Matrix. These contents are:
1. Embryo. 2. Amniotic Fluid, immediately surrounding the Embryo. 3. Amnion, a membrane derived from the Fœtus, which contains the fluid. 4. Umbilical l’esicle, which serves to convey nourishment originally to the Embryo and to nourish it.
Seven Correspondential Contents - (Page 441) 5. Allantois, a protrusion from the Embryo in the form of a closed bag, which spreads itself between 3 and 7, in the midst of 6, and which, after being specialized into the Placenta, serves to conduct nourishment to the Embryo. 6. Interspace between 3 and 7 (the Amnion and Chorion), filled with an albuminous fluid. 7. Chorion, or outer layer.
Now, each of these seven contents severally corresponds with, and is formed after, an antetype, one on each of the seven planes of being with which in their turn correspond the seven states of Matter and all other forces, sensational or functional, in Nature.(Page 442)
The following is a bird’s-eye view of the seven correspondential contents of the wombs of Nature and of Woman. We may contrast them thus:
|Cosmic Process (Upper Pole)||Human Process (Lower Pole)|
|1||The mathematical Point, called the "Cosmic See", the Monad of Leibnix; which contians the whole Universe, as the acorn the oak. This is the first bubble on the surface of boundless homogeneous Substance, or Space, the buble of differentiation in its incipient stage. It is the beginning of the Orphic or Brahmâ's Egg. It corresponds in Astrology and Astronomy to the Sun||The terrestrial Embryo, which contains in it the future man with all his potentialities. In the series of principles of the human system it is the Atman, or the super-spiritual principle, just as in the physical Solar System it is the Sun|
The vis vitae of our solar system exudes from the Sun.
(a) It is called, when referred to the higher planes, Akâsha
(b) It proceeds from the ten "divinities" the ten numbers of the Sun, which is itself the "Perfect Number". These are called Dis - in reality Space - the forces spread in Space, three of which are contained in the Sun's Atman, or seventh principle, and seven are the rays shot out by the Sun.
The Amniotic Fluid exudes from the Embryo.
It is called, on the plane of matter, Prâna [ Prâna
is in reality the universal Life Principle.]
The Ether of Space, which, in its external aspect, is the plastic crust which is supposed to envelope the Sun. On the higher plane it is the whole Universe, as the third differentiation of evolving Substance, Mulaprakriti becoming Prakriti.
(a) It corresponds mystically to the manifested Mahat, or the Intellect or Soul of the World
The Amnion, the membrane containing the Amniotic Frluid and enveloping the Embryo. After the birth of man it becomes the third layer, so to say, of his magneto-vital aura.
(a) Manas, the third principle (counting from above), or the Human Soul in Man.
The sidereal contents of Ether, the substantial parts of it, unknown to Modern Science, represented:
In Occult and Kabalistic Mysteries, by Elementals.
Umbilical Vesicle, serving, as Science teaches, to nourish the Embryo originally, but, as Occult Science avers, to carry to the Foetus by osmosis the cosmic influences extraneous to the mother.
(a) In the grown man these become the feeders of Kâma, over which they preside.
(b) In the physical man, his passions and emotions, the moral meteors and comets of human nature.
|5||Life currents in Ether, having their origin in the Sun: the canals through which the vital principle of that Ether (the blood of the Cosmic Body) passes to nourish everything on the Earth and on the other Planets: from the minerals, which are thus made to grow and become specialized, from the plants, which are thus fed, to animal and man, to whom life is thus imparted.||The Allantois, a protrusion from the Embryo, which spreads itself between the Amnion and Chorion; it is supposed to conduct the nourishment from the mother to the Embryo. It corresponds to the life-principle, Prâna or Jîva.|
|6||The double radiation, psychic and physical, which radiates from the Cosmic Seed and expands around the whole Kosmos, as well as around the Solar System and every Planet. In Occultism it is called the upper divine, and the lower material, Astral Light.||The Allantois is divided into two layers. The inter space between the Amnion and the Chorion contains the Allantois and also an albuminous fluid. [All the uterine contents, having a direct spiritual connnection with their cosmic antetypes, are, on the physical plane, potent objects in Black Magic, and are therefore considered unclean.]|
The outer crust of every sidereal body, the Shell of the Mundane Egg, or the sphere of our Solar System, of our Earth, and of every man and animal. In sidereal space, Ether proper; on the terrestrial plane, Air, which again is built in seven layers.
(a) The primordial potential world-stuff becomes (for the Manvantaric period) the permanent globe or globes.
The Chorion, or the Zona Pellucida, the globular object called Blastodermic Vesicle, the outer and the inner layers of the membrane of which go to form the physical man. The outer, or ectoderm, forms his epidermis; the inner, or endoderm, his muscles, bones, etc.. Man's skin, again, is composed of seven layers.
(a) The "primitive" becomes the "permanent" Chorion.
Correspondence Between Races and Man - (Page 443) Even in the evolution of the Races we see the same order as in Nature and Man. [See supra, ii. Part I.] Placental animal-man became such only after the separation of sexes in the Third Root-Race. In the physiological evolution, the placenta is fully formed and functional only after the third month of uterine life.
(Page 444) Let us put aside such human conceptions as a personal God, and hold to the purely divine, to that which underlies all and everything in boundless Nature. It is called by its Sanskrit Esoteric name in the Vedas, TAT (or THAT), a term for the unknowable Rootless Root. If we do so, we may answer these seven questions of the Esoteric Catechism thus:
(1) Q.—What is the Eternal Absolute?
(2) Q.—How came Kosmos into being?
(3) Q.—How, or what will it be when it falls back into Pralaya?
(4) Q.—Whence all the animate, and suppositionally, the “inanimate” nature?
(5) Q.—What is the Substance and Essence of which the Universe is formed?
(6) Q.—Into what has it been and will be again and again resolved?
(7) Q.—Is THAT then both the instrumental and material cause of the Universe?
A.—What else is it or can it be than THAT?
As the Universe, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, [The Solar System or the Earth, as the case may be.] are ten, why should we divide Man into seven “principles”? This is the reason why the perfect number ten is divided into two: in their completeness, i.e., super-spiritually and physically, the forces are TEN: to-wit, three on the subjective and inconceivable, and seven on the objective plane. Bear in mind that I am now giving you the description of the two opposite poles: (a) the primordial Triangle, which, as soon as it has reflected itself in the “Heavenly Man,” the highest of the lower seven—disappears, returning into “Silence and Darkness”; and (b) the astral paradigmatic man, whose Monad (Ãtmâ) is also represented by a triangle, as it has to become a ternary in conscious Devachanic interludes. The purely terrestrial man being reflected in the universe of Matter, so to say, upside down, the upper Triangle, wherein the creative ideation and the subjective potentiality of the formative faculty resides, is shifted in the man of clay below the seven.
DIAGRAM I (Page 444a)
Man and The Logos - (Page 445) Thus three of the ten containing in the archetypal world only ideative and paradigmatical potentiality, i.e., existing in possibility, not in action, are in fact one. The potency of formative creation resides in the Logos, the synthesis of the seven Forces or Rays, which becomes forthwith the Quaternary, the sacred Tetraktys. This process is repeated in man, in whom the lower physical triangle becomes, in conjunction with the female One, the male-female creator, or generator. The same on a still lower plane in the animal world. A mystery above, a mystery below, truly.
This is how the upper and highest, and the lower and most animal, stand in mutual relation.
In this diagram No.-1-, we see that physical man (or his body) does not share in the direct pure waves of the divine Essence which flows from the One in Three, the Unmanifested, through the Manifested Logos (the upper face in the diagram). Purusha, the primeval Spirit, touches the human head and stops there. But the Spiritual Man (the synthesis of the seven principles) is directly connected with it. And here a few words ought to be said about the usual exoteric enumeration of the principles. At first an approximate division only was made and given out. Esoteric Buddhism begins with Ãtmâ, the seventh, and ends with the Physical Body, the first. Now neither Ãtmâ, which is no individual “principle,” but a radiation from and one with the Unmanifested Logos, nor the Body, which is the material rind, or shell, of the Spiritual Man, can be, in strict truth, referred to as “principles.” Moreover, the chief “principle” of all, one not even mentioned heretofore, is the “Luminous Egg” (Hiranyagarbha), or the invisible magnetic sphere in which every man is enveloped. [ So are the animals, the plants, and even the minerals. Reichenbach never understood what he learned through his sensitives and clairvoyants. It is the odic, or rather the auric or magnetic fluid which emanates from man, but it is also something more.] It is the direct emanation: (a) from the Ãtmic Ray in its triple aspect of Creator, Preserver and Destroyer (Regenerator); and (b) from Buddhi-Manas. The seventh aspect of this individual Aura is the faculty of assuming the form of its body and becoming the “Radiant,” the Luminous Augoeides. It is this, strictly speaking, which at times becomes the form called Mâyâvi Rûpa. Therefore, as explained in the second face of the diagram (the astral man), the Spiritual Man consists of only five (Page 446) principles, as taught by the Vedântins, [See supra. i. 181. for the Vedântic exoteric enumeration.] who substitute tacitly, for the physical this sixth or Auric, Body, and merge the dual Manas (dual mind, or consciousness) into one. Thus they speak of the five Koshas (sheaths or principles), and call Ãtmâ the sixth yet no “principle.” This is the secret of the late Subba Row’s criticism of the division in Esoteric Buddhism. But let the student now learn the true Esoteric enumeration.
The reason why public mention of the Auric body was not permitted was on account of its being so sacred. It is this Body which, at death, assimilates the essence of Buddhi and Manas and becomes the vehicle of these spiritual principles, which are not objective, and then, with the full radiation of Ãtmâ upon it ascends as Manas-Taijasi into the Devachanic state. Therefore it is called by many names. It is the Sûtrâtmâ, the silver “thread” which “incarnates” from the beginning of Manvantara to the end, stringing upon itself the pearls of human existence, in other words, the spiritual aroma of every personality it follows through the pilgrimage of life. [See Lucifer, January 1889, “Dialogue upon the Mysteries of After-Life.”] It is also the material from which the Adept forms his Astral Bodies, from the Augoeides and the Mâyâvi Rûpa downwards. After the death of man, when its most ethereal particles have drawn into themselves the spiritual principles of Buddhi and the Upper Manas, and are illuminated with the radiance of Ãtmâ, the Auric Body remains either in the Devachanic state of consciousness, or, in the case of a full Adept, prefers the state of a Nirmânakâya, that is, one who has so purified his whole system that he is above even the divine illusion of a Devachanî. Such an Adept remains in the astral (invisible) plane connected with our earth, and henceforth moves and lives in the possession of all his principles except the Kâma Rûpa and Physical Body. In the case of the Devachanî, the Linga-Sharira—the alter ego of the body, which during life is within the physical envelope while the radiant aura is without—strengthened by the material particles which this aura leaves behind, remains close to the dead body and outside it, and soon fades away. In the case of the full Adept, the body alone becomes subject to dissolution, while the centre of that force which was the seat of desires and passions, disappears with its cause—the animal body. But during the life of the latter all these centres are more or less active and in constant correspondence with their prototypes, the cosmic centres, and their microcosms, the principles.
Cosmic, Spiritual, and Physical Centres - (Page 447) It is only through these cosmic and spiritual centres that the physical centres (the upper seven orifices, and the lower triad) can benefit by their Occult interaction, for these orifices, or openings, are channels conducting into the body the influences that the will of man attracts and uses, viz., the cosmic forces.
This will has, of course, to act primarily through the spiritual principles. To make this clearer, let us take an example. In order to stop pain, let us say in the right eye, you have to attract to it the potent magnetism from that cosmic principle which corresponds to this eye and also to Buddhi. Create, by a powerful will effort, an imaginary line of communication between the right eye and Buddhi, locating the latter as a centre in the same part of the head. This line, though you may call it “imaginary,” is, once you succeed in seeing it with your mental eye and give it a shape and colour, in truth as good as real. A rope in a dream is not and yet is. Moreover, according to the prismatic colour with which you endow your line, so will the influence act. Now Buddhi and Mercury correspond with each other, and both are yellow, or radiant and golden coloured. In the human system, the right eye corresponds with Buddhi and Mercury; and the left with Manas and Venus or Lucifer. Thus, if your line is golden or silvery, it will stop the pain; if red, it will increase it, for red is the colour of Kâma and corresponds with Mars. Mental or Christian Scientists have stumbled upon the effects without understanding the causes. Having found by chance the secret of producing such results owing to mental abstraction, they attribute them to their union with God (whether a personal or impersonal God they know best), whereas it is simply the effect of one or another principle. However it may be, they are on the path of discovery, although they must remain wandering for a long time to come.
Let not Esoteric students commit the same mistake. It has often been explained that neither the cosmic planes of substance nor even the human principles—with the exception of the lowest material plane or world and the physical body, which, as has been said, are no “principles,”—can be located or thought of as being in Space and Time. As the former are seven in ONE, so are we seven in ONE—that same absolute Soul of the World, which is both Matter and non-Matter, Spirit and non-Spirit, Being and non-Being. Impress yourselves well with this idea, all those of you who would study the mysteries of SELF.
Remember that with our physical senses alone at our command, none (Page 448) of us can hope to reach beyond gross Matter. We can do so only through one or another of our seven spiritual senses, either by training, or if one is a born Seer. Yet even a clairvoyant possessed of such faculties, if not an Adept, no matter how honest and sincere he may be, will through his ignorance of the truths of Occult Science, be led by the visions he sees in the Astral Light only to mistake for God or Angels the denizens of those spheres of which he may occasionally catch a glimpse, as witness Swedenborg and others.
These seven senses of ours correspond with every other septenate in nature and in ourselves. Physically, though invisibly, the human Auric Envelope (the amnion of the physical man in every age of life) has seven layers, just as Cosmic Space and our physical epidermis have. It is this Aura which, according to our mental and physical state of purity or impurity, either opens for us vistas into other worlds, or shuts us out altogether from anything but this three-dimensional world of Matter.
Each of our seven physical senses (two of which are still unknown to profane Science), and also of our seven states of consciousness—viz.: (1) waking; (2) waking-dreaming; (3) natural sleeping; (4) induced or trance-sleep; (5) psychic; (6) super-psychic; and (7) purely spiritual—corresponds with one of the seven Cosmic Planes, develops and uses one of the seven super-senses, and is connected directly, in its use on the terestro-spiritual plane, with the cosmic and divine centre of force that gave it birth, and which is its direct creator. Each is also connected with, and under the direct influence of, one of the seven sacred Planets. [See supra, i. 626-629] These belonged to the Lesser Mysteries, whose followers were called Mystai (the veiled), seeing that they were allowed to perceive things only through a mist, as it were “with the eyes closed”; while the Initiates or “Seers” of the Greater Mysteries were called Epoptai (those who see things unveiled). It was the latter only who were taught the true mysteries of the Zodiac and the relations and correspondences between its twelve signs (two secret) and the ten human orfices. The latter are now of course ten in the female, and only nine in the male; but this is merely an external difference. In the second volume of this work it is stated that till the end of the Third Root-Race (when androgynous man separated into male and female) the ten orifices existed in the hermaphrodite, first potentially, then functionally.
Woman and Alchemy (Page 449) The evolution of the human embryo shows this. For instance, the only opening formed at first is the buccal cavity, “a cloaca communicating with the anterior extremity of the intestine.” These become later the mouth and the posterior orifice: the Logos differentiating and emanating gross matter on the lower plane, in Occult parlance. The difficulty which some students will experience in reconciling the correspondences between the Zodiac and the orifice can be easily explained. Magic is coëval with the Third Root-Race, which began by creating through Kriyâshakti and ended by generating its species in the present way. [See supra i. 228, et seq., ii. passim.] Woman, being left with the full or perfect number 10 (the divine number of Jehovah), was deemed higher and more spiritual than man. In Egypt, in days of old, the marriage service contained an article that the woman should be the “lady of the lord,” and real lord over him, the husband pledging himself to be “obedient to his wife” for the production of alchemical results such as the Elixir of Life and the Philosopher’s Stone, for the spiritual help of the woman was needed by the male Alchemist. But woe to the Alchemist who should take this in the dead-letter sense of physical union. Such sacrilege would become Black Magic and be followed by certain failure. The true Alchemist of old took aged women to help him, carefully avoiding the young ones; and if any of them happened to be married they treated their wives for months both before and during their operations as sisters.
The error of crediting the Ancients with knowing only ten of the zodiacal signs is explained in Isis Unveiled. [Op. cit., 456, 461 et seq.] The Ancients did know of twelve, but viewed these signs differently from ourselves. They took neither Virgo nor Scorpio singly into consideration, but regarded them as two in one, since they were made to refer directly and symbolically to the primeval dual man and his separation into sexes. During the reformation of the Zodiac, Libra was added as the twelfth sign, though it is simply an equilibrating sign, at the turning point—the mystery of separated man.
Let the student learn all this well. Meanwhile we have to recapitulate what has been said.
(1) Each human being is an incarnation of his God, in other words, one with his “Father in Heaven,” just as Jesus, an Initiate, is made to say. As many men on earth, so many Gods in Heaven; and yet these (Page 450) Gods are in reality ONE, for at the end of every period of activity, they are withdrawn, like the rays of the setting sun, into the Parent Luminary, the Non-Manifested Logos, which in its turn is merged into the One Absolute. Shall we call these “Fathers” of ours, whether individually or collectively, and under any circumstances, our personal God? Occultism answers, Never. All that an average man can know of his “Father” is what he knows of himself, through and within himself. The Soul of his “Heavenly Father” is incarnated in him. This Soul is himself, if he be successful in assimilating the Divine Individuality while in his physical, animal shell. As to the Spirit thereof, as well expect to be heard by the Absolute. Our prayers and supplications are vain, unless to potential words we add potent acts, and make the Aura which surrounds each one of us so pure and divine that the God within us may act outwardly, or in other words, become as it were an extraneous Potency. Thus have Initiates, Saints, and very holy and pure men have been enabled to help others as well as themselves in the hour of need, and produce what are foolishly called “miracles,” each by the help and with the aid of the God within himself, which he alone has enabled to act on the outward plane.
(2) The word AUM or OM, which corresponds to the upper Triangle, if pronounced by a very holy and pure man, will draw out, or awaken not only the less exalted Potencies residing in the planetary spaces and elements, but even his Higher Self, or the “Father” within him. Pronounced by an averagely good man, in the correct way, it will help to strengthen him morally, especially if between two “AUMS” he meditates intently upon the AUM within him, concentrating all his attention upon the ineffable glory. But woe to the man who pronounces it after the commission of some far-reaching sin: he will only thereby attract to his own impure, photosphere invisible Presences and Forces which could not otherwise break through the Divine Envelope.
AUM is the original of Amen. Now. Amen is not a Hebrew term, but, like the word Halleluiah, was borrowed by the Jews and Greeks from the Chaldees. The latter word is often found repeated in certain magical inscriptions upon cups and urns among the Babylonian and Ninevean relics. Amen does not mean “so be it,” or “verily,” but signified in hoary antiquity almost the same as AUM. The Jewish Tanaïm (Initiates) used it for the same reason as the Ãryan Adepts use AUM, and with a like success, the numerical value of AMeN in Hebrew letters being 91, the same as the full value of YHVH, [Jod-Hevah, or male-female on the terrestrial plane, as invented by the Jews, and now made out to mean Jehovah: but signifying in reality and literally, “giving being” and “receiving life.’] 26, and A DoNa Y, 65, or 91. Both words mean the affirmation of the being, or existence of the sexless “Lord” within us.
Sound and Colour - (Page 451) (3) Esoteric Science teaches that every sound in the visible world awakens its corresponding sound in the invisible realms, and arouses to action some force or other on the Occult side of Nature. Moreover, every sound corresponds to a colour and a number (a potency spiritual, psychic or physical) and to a sensation on some plane. All these find an echo in every one of the so-far developed elements, and even on the terrestrial plane, in the Lives that swarm in the terrene atmosphere, thus prompting them to action.
Thus a prayer, unless pronounced mentally and addressed to one’s “Father” in the silence and solitude of one’s “closet,” must have more frequently disastrous than beneficial results, seeing that the masses are entirely ignorant of the potent effects which they thus produce. To produce good effects, the prayer must be uttered by “one who knows how to make himself heard in silence,” when it is no longer a prayer, but becomes a command. Why is Jesus shown to have forbidden his hearers to go to the public synagogues? Surely every praying man was not a hypocrite and a liar, nor a Pharisee who loved to be seen praying by people! He had a motive, we must suppose: the same motive which prompts the experienced Occultist to prevent his pupils from going into crowded places now as then, from entering churches, séance rooms, etc., unless they are in sympathy with the crowd.
There is one piece of advice to be given to beginners, who cannot help going into crowds—one which may appear superstitious, but which in the absence of Occult knowledge will be found efficacious. As well known to good Astrologers, the days of the week are not in the order of those planets whose names they bear. The fact is that the ancient Hindus and Egyptians divided the day into four parts, each day being under the protection (as ascertained by practical magic) of a planet; and every day, as correctly asserted by Dion Cassius, received the name of the planet which rules and protected its first portion. Let the student protect himself from the “Powers of the Air” (Elementals) which throng public places, by wearing either a ring containing some jewel of the colour of the presiding planet, or else of the metal sacred to it. But the best protection is a clear conscience and a firm desire to benefit Humanity.
The Planets, The Days of the Week and Their Corresponding Colours and Metals - (Page 452) In the accompanying diagram the days of the week do not stand in their usual order, though they are placed in their correct sequence as determined by the order of the colours in the solar spectrum and the corresponding colours of their ruling planets. The fault of the confusion in the order of the days revealed by this comparison lies at the door of the early Christians. Adopting from the Jews their lunar months, they tried to blend them with the solar planets, and so made a mess of it; for the order of the days of the week as it now stands does not follow the order of the planets.
Now, the Ancients arranged the planets in the following order: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, counting the Sun as a planet for exoteric purposes. Again, the Egyptians and Indians, the two oldest nations, divided their day into four parts, each of which was under the protection and rule of a planet. In course of time each day came to be called by the name of that planet which rules its first portion—the morning. Now, when they arranged their week, the Christians proceeded as follows: they wanted to make the day of the Sun, or Sunday, the seventh, so they named the days of the week by taking every fourth planet in turn; e.g., beginning with the Moon (Monday), they counted thus: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars; thus Tuesday, the day whose first portion was ruled by Mars, became the second day of the week; and so on. It should be remembered also that the Moon, like the Sun, is a substitute for a secret planet.
The present division of the solar year was made several centuries later than the beginning of our era; and our week is not that of the Ancients and the Occultists. The septenary division of the four parts of the lunar phases is as old as the world and originated with the people who reckoned time by the lunar months. The Hebrews never used it, for they counted only the seventh day, the Sabbath, though the second chapter of Genesis seems to speak of it. Till the days of the Cæsars there is no trace of a week of seven days among any nation save the Hindus. From India it passed to the Arabs, and reached Europe with Christianity. The Roman week consisted of eight days, and the Athenian of ten. [See Notice sur le Calendrier. J.H. Ragon.]
The Days of the Week - (Page 453) Thus one of the numberless contradictions and fallacies of Christendom is the adoption of the Indian septenary week of the lunar reckoning, and the preservation at the same time of the mythological names of the planets.
Nor do modern Astrologers give the correspondences of the days and planets and their colours correctly; and while Occultists can give good reason for every detail of their own tables of colours, etc., it is doubtful whether the Astrologers can do the same.
To close this first Paper, let me say that the readers must in all necessity be separated into two broad divisions: those who have not quite rid themselves of the usual sceptical doubts, but who long to ascertain how much truth there may be in the claims of the Occultists; and those others who, having freed themselves from the trammels of Materialism and Relativity, feel that true and real bliss must be sought only in the knowledge and personal experience of that which the Hindu Philosopher calls the Brahmavidyâ, and the Buddhist Arhat the realization of Ãdibuddha, the primeval Wisdom. Let the former pick out and study from these Papers only those explanations of the phenomena of life which profane Science is unable to give them. Even with such limitations, they will find by the end of a year or two that they will have learned more than all their Universities and Colleges can teach them. As to the sincere believers, they will be rewarded by seeing their faith transformed into knowledge. True knowledge is of Spirit and in Spirit alone, and cannot be acquired in any other way except through the region of the higher mind, the only plane from which we can penetrate the depths of the all-pervading Absoluteness. He who carries out only those laws established by human minds, who lives that life which is prescribed by the code of mortals and their fallible legislation, chooses as his guiding star a beacon which shines on the ocean of Mâya, or of temporary delusions, and lasts for but one incarnation. These laws are necessary for the life and welfare of physical man alone. He has chosen a pilot who directs him through the shoals of one existence, a master who parts with him, however, on the threshold of death. How much happier that man who, while strictly performing on the temporary objective plane the duties of daily life, carrying out each and every law of his country, and rendering in short, to Cæsar’s what is Cæsar’s, leads in reality a spiritual and permanent existence, a life with no breaks of continuity, no gaps, no interludes, (Page 454) not even during those periods which are the halting places of the long pilgrimage of purely spiritual life. All the phenomena of the lower human mind disappear like the curtain of a proscenium, allowing him to live in the region beyond it, the plane of the noumenal, the one reality. If man by suppressing, if not destroying, his selfishness and personality, only succeeds in knowing himself as he is behind the veil of physical Mâyâ, he will soon stand beyond all pain, all misery and beyond all the wear and tear of change, which is the chief originator of pain. Such a man will be physically of Matter, he will move surrounded by Matter, and yet he will live beyond and outside it. His body will be subject to change, but he himself will be entirely without it, and will experience everlasting life even while in temporary bodies of short duration. All this may be achieved by the development of unselfish universal love of Humanity, and the suppression of personality, or selfishness, which is the cause of all sin, and consequently of all human sorrow.
|These Correspondences are from the Objective, Terrestrial Plane||ATMAN is no Number, and ccorresponds to no visible Planet, for it proceeds from the Spiritual Sun; nor does it bear any relation either to Sound, Colour, or the rest, for it includes them all.||
||As the Human Principles have no numbers per se, but only correspond to Numbers, Sounds, Colours, etc., they are not enumerated here in the order used for esoteric purposes.|
|NUMBERS||METALS||PLANETS||THE HUMAN PRINCIPLES||DAYS OF THE WEEK||COLOURS||SOUND
| 1 and
Physical Man's Key-note
The Planet of Generation
The Vehicle or seat of the Animal Instincts and Passions
Dies Martis, or Tiu
|Sanskrit Gamut||Italian Gamut|
The Spiritual and Life Physical
The Giver of Life physically, Spiritually and Esoterically, the substitute for the inter-Mercurial Planet, a sacred and secret planet with the ancients
Prâna or Jiva
Dies Sola or Sun
Because BUDDHI is (so to speak) between Atma and Manas, and forms with the seventh, or AURIC ENVELOPE, the Devachanic Triad
Mixes with Sulphur, as Buddhi is mixed with the Flame of Spirit (See Alchemical Definitions)
Spiritual Soul, or Atmic Ray, vehicle or Atmâ
Dies Mercuri, or Woden Day of Buddha in the South, and of Woden in the North - Gods of Wisdom
The middle principle - between the purely material and purely spiritual trias. The conscious part of animal man.
Dies Saturni, or Saturn
When alloyed becomes Bronze (the dual principle)
The Morning and the Evening Star
The Higher Mind, or Human Soul
Indigo or Dark Blue
Contains in itself the reflection of Septenary Man
The Parent of the Earth
The Astral Double of Man; the Parent of the Physical Man
Dies Lunae or Moon
An Explanation - (Page 455) IN view of the abstruse nature of the subjects dealt with, the present Paper will begin with an explanation of some points which remained obscure in the preceding one, as well as of some statements in which there was an appearance of contradiction.
Astrologers, of whom there are many among the Esotericists, are likely to be puzzled by some statements distinctly contradicting their teachings; whilst those who know nothing of the subject may perhaps find themselves opposed at the outset by those who have studied the exoteric systems of the Kabalah and Astrology. For let it be distinctly known, nothing of that which is printed broadcast, and available to every student in public libraries or museums, is really Esoteric, but is either mixed with deliberate “blinds,” or cannot be understood and studied with profit without a complete glossary of Occult terms.
The following teachings and explanations, therefore, may be useful to the student in assisting him to formulate the teaching given in the preceding Paper.
In Diagram I, it will be observed that the 3, 7, and 10 centres are respectively as follows:
(a) The 3 pertain to the spiritual world of the Absolute, and therefore to the three higher principles in Man.
(b) The 7 belong to the spiritual, psychic, and physical worlds and to the body of man. Physics, metaphysics and hyper-physics are the triad that symbolizes man on this plane.
(c) The 10, or the sum total of these, is the Universe as a whole, in all its aspects, and also its Microcosm—Man, with his ten orifices.
Laying aside, for the moment, the Higher Decad (Kosmos) and the (Page 456) Lower Decad (Man), the first three numbers of the separate sevens have a direct reference to the Spirit, Soul and Auric Envelope of the human being, as well as to the higher supersensual world. The lower four, or the four aspects, belong to Man also, as well as to the Universal Kosmos, the whole being synthesized by the Absolute.
If these three discrete or distributive degrees of Being be conceived, according to the Symbology of the Eastern Religions, as contained in one Ovum, or EGG, the name of that EGG will be Svabhâvat, or the ALL-BEING on the manifested plane. This Universe has, in truth, neither centre nor periphery; but in the individual and finite mind of man it has such a definition, the natural consequence of the limitations of human thought.
In Diagram II, as already stated therein, no notice need be taken of the numbers used in the left-hand column, as these refer only to the Hierarchies of the Colours and Sounds on the metaphysical plane, and are not the characteristic numbers of the human principles or of the planets. The human principles elude enumeration, because each man differs from every other, just as no two blades of grass on the whole earth are absolutely alike. Numbering is here a question of spiritual progress and the natural predominance of one principle over another. With one man it may be Buddhi that stands as number one; with another, if he be a bestial sensualist, the Lower Manas. With one the physical body, or perhaps Prâna, the life principle, will be on the first and highest plane, as would be the case in an extremely healthy man, full of vitality; with another it may come as the sixth or even seventh downward. Again, the colours and metals corresponding to the planets and human principles, as will be observed, are not those known exoterically to modern Astrologers and Western Occultists.
Let us see whence the modern Astrologer got his notions about the correspondence of planets, metals and colours. And here we are reminded of the modern Orientalist, who, judging by appearances credits the ancient Akkadians (and also the Chaldæans, Hindus and Egyptians) with the crude notion that the Universe, and in like manner the earth, was like an inverted, bell-shaped bowl! This he demonstrates by pointing to the symbolical representations of some Akkadian inscriptions and to the Assyrian carvings. It is, however, no place here to explain how mistaken is the Assyriologist, for all such representations are simply symbolical of the Khargakkurra, the World-Mountain, or Meru, and relate only to the North Pole, the Land of the Gods.
Astrology and Lunar Weeks - (Page 457) Now, the Assyrians arranged their exoteric teaching about the planets and their correspondences as follows;
|Planets||Metals||Colours||Solar Days of Week|
|1||Saturn||Lead||Black||Saturday (Whence Sabbath, in honour of Jehovah)|
|2||Jupiter||Tin||White, but as often Purple or Orange||Thursday|
|5||Venus||Copper||Green or Yellow||Friday|
This is the arrangement now adopted by Christian Astrologers, with the exception of the order of the days of the week, of which, by associating the solar planetary names with the lunar weeks, they have made a sore mess, as he has been already shown in Paper I. This is the Ptolemaic geocentric system, which represents the Universe as in the following diagram, showing our Earth in the centre of the Universe, and the Sun a Planet, the fourth in number:
And if the Christian chronology and order of the days of the week are being daily denounced as being based on an entirely wrong astronomical foundation, it is high time to begin a reform also in Astrology built on such lines, and coming to us entirely from the Chaldæan and Assyrian exoteric mob.
But the correspondences given in these Papers are purely Esoteric.
(Page 458) For this reason it follows that when the Planets of the Solar System are named or symbolized (as in Diagram II.) it must not be supposed that the planetary bodies themselves are referred to, except as types on a purely physical plane of the septenary nature of the psychic and spiritual worlds. A material planet can correspond only to a material something. Thus when Mercury is said to correspond to the right eye, it does not mean that the objective planet has any influence on the right optic organ, but that both stand rather as corresponding mystically through Buddhi. Man derives his Spiritual Soul (Buddhi) from the essence of the Mânasa Putra, the Sons of Wisdom, who are the Divine Beings (or Angels) ruling and presiding over the planet Mercury.
In the same way Venus, Manas and the left eye are set down as correspondences. Exoterically, there is, in reality, no such association of physical eyes and physical planets; but Esoterically there is: for the right eye is the “Eye of Wisdom,” i.e., it corresponds magnetically with that Occult centre in the brain which we call the “Third Eye”; [See supra, ii.302. et seq.] while the left corresponds with the intellectual brain, or those cells which are the organ on the physical plane of the thinking faculty. The kabalistic triangle of Kether, Chokmah and Binah shows this. Chokmah and Binah, or Wisdom and Intelligence, the Father and Mother or, again, the Father and Son, are on the same plane and reäct mutually on one another.
When the individual consciousness is turned inward, a conjunction of Manas and Buddhi takes place. In the spiritually regenerated man this conjunction is permanent, the Higher Manas clinging to Buddhi beyond the threshold of Devachan, and the Soul, or rather the Spirit, which should not be confounded with Ãtmâ, the Super-Spirit, is then said to have the “Single Eye.” Esoterically, in other words, the “Third Eye” is active. Now Mercury is called Hermes, and Venus, Aphrodite, and thus their conjunction in man on the psycho-physical plane gives him the name of the Hermaphrodite, or Androgyne. The absolutely Spiritual Man is, however, entirely disconnected from sex. The Spiritual Man corresponds directly with the higher “coloured circles,” the Divine Prism which emanates from the One Infinite White Circle; while physical man emanates from the Sephiroth, which are the Voices or Sounds of Eastern Philosophy.
Seeing Sounds and Hearing Colours - (Page 459) And these “Voices” are lower than the “Colours,” for they are the seven lower Sephiroth, or the objective Sounds, seen, not heard, as the Zohar shows, [Op. cit., ii. 81.6.] and even the Old Testament also. For, when properly translated, verse 18 of chapter xx. Exodus would read: “And the people saw the Voices” (or Sounds, not the “thunderings” as now translated); and these Voices, or Sounds, are the Sephiroth. [See Frank’s Die Kabbala, p.314, et seq.]
In the same way the right and left nostrils, into which is breathed the “Breath of Lives,” [Genesis, ii, 7.] are here said to correspond with Sun and Moon, as Brahmâ-Prajâpati and Vâch, or Osiris and Isis, are the parents of the natural life. This Quaternary, viz.: the two eyes and two nostrils, Mercury and Venus, Sun and Moon, constitutes the Kabalistic Guardian-Angels of the Four Corners of the Earth. It is the same in the Eastern Esoteric Philosophy, which, however, adds that the Sun is not a planet, but the central star of our system, and the Moon a dead planet, from which all the principles are gone, both being substitutes, the one for an invisible inter-Mercurial planet, and the other for a planet which seems to have now altogether disappeared from view. These are the Four Mahârâjahs, [Supra, i. 147.] the “Four Holy Ones” connected with Karma and Humanity, Kosmos and Man, in all their aspects. They are: the Sun, or its substitute Michael; Moon, or substitute Gabriel; Mercury, Raphael; and Venus, Uriel. It need hardly be said here again that the planetary bodies themselves, being only physical symbols, are not often referred to in the Esoteric System, but, as a rule, their cosmic, psychic, physical and spiritual forces are symbolized under these names. In short, it is the seven physical planets which are the lower Sephiroth of the Kabalah, and our triple physical Sun whose reflection only we see, which is symbolized, or rather personified, by the Upper Triad, or Sephirothal Crown. [We may refer for confirmation to Origen’s works, who says that “the seven ruling daimons” (genii or planetary rulers) are Michael, the Sun (the lion-like): the second in order, the Bull, Jupiter or Suriel, etc.: and all these, the “Seven of the Presence,” are the Sephiroth. The Sephirothal Tree is the Tree of the Divine Planets as given by Porphyry, or Porphyry’s Tree, as it is usually called.]
Then, again, it will be well to point out that the numbers attached to the psychic principles in Diagram I. appear the reverse of those in exoteric writings. This is because numbers in this connection are purely arbitrary, changing with every school. Some schools count (Page 460) three, some four, some six, and others seven, as do all the Buddhist Esotericists. As said before, [Supra, i, 147.] the Esoteric School has been divided into two departments since the fourteenth century, one for the inner Lanoos, or higher Chelâs, the other for the outer circle, or lay Chelâs. Mr. Sinnett was distinctly told in the letters he received from one of the Gurus that he could not be taught the real Esoteric Doctrine given out only to the pledged disciples of the Inner Circle. The numbers and principles do not go in regular sequence, like the skins of an onion, but the student must work out for himself the number appropriate to each of his principles, when the time comes for him to enter upon practical study. The above will suggest to the student the necessity of knowing the principles by their names and their appropriate faculties apart from any system of enumeration, or by association with their corresponding centres of actions, colours, sounds, etc., until these become inseparable.
The old and familiar mode of reckoning the principles, given in the Theosophist and Esoteric Buddhism, leads to another apparently perplexing contradiction, though it is really none at all. The principles numbered 3 and 2, viz : Linga Sharîra and Prâna, or Jîva, stand in the reverse order to that given in Diagram I . A moment's consideration will suffice to explain the apparent discrepancy between the exoteric enumeration, and the Esoteric order given in Diagram I. For in Diagram I. the Linga Sharîra is defined as the vehicle of Prâna, or Jîva, the life principle, and as such must of necessity be inferior to Prâna, not superior as the exoteric enumeration would suggest. The principles do not stand one above the other, and thus cannot be taken in numerical sequence; their order depends upon the superiority and predominance of one or another principle, and therefore differs in every man.
The Linga Sharîra is the double, or protoplasmic antetype of the body, which is its image. It is in this sense that it is called in Diagram II. the parent of the physical body, i.e., the mother by conception of Prâna, the father. This idea is conveyed in the Egyptian mythology by the birth of Horus, the child of Osiris and Isis, although, like all sacred Mythoi, this has both a threefold spiritual, and a sevenfold psycho-physical application. To close the subject, Prâna, the life principle, can, in sober truth, have no number, as it pervades every other principle, or the human total.
Planetary and Human Bodies - (Page 461) Each number of the seven would thus be naturally applicable to Prâna-Jîva exoterically as it is to the Auric Body Esoterically. As Pythagoras showed, Kosmos was produced not through or by number, but geometrically, i.e., following the proportions of numbers.
To those who are unacquainted with the exoteric astrological natures ascribed in practice to the planetary bodies, it may be useful if we set them down here after the manner of Diagram II., in relation to their dominion over the human body, colours, metals, etc., and explain at the same time why genuine Exoteric Philosophy differs from the astrological claims.
|Planets||Days||Metals||Parts of the Body||Colours|
|Saturn||Saturday||Lead||Right Ear, Knees and Bony Sytem||Black *|
|Jupiter||Thursday||Tin||Left Ear, Thighs, Feet and Arterial System||Purple †|
|Mars||Tuesday||Iron||Forehead and Nose, the Skull. Sex-function and Muscular Sytem||Red.|
|Sun||Sunday||Gold||Right Eye, Heart and Vital Centres||Orange ‡|
|Venus||Friday||Copper||Chin and Cheeks, Neck and Reins and the Venous Sytem||Yellow §|
|Mercury||Wednesday||Quicksilver||Mouth, Hands, Abdominal Viscera and Nervous System||Dove or Cream¶|
|Moon||Monday||Silver||Breasts, Left Eye, the Fluidic Sytem, Saliva, Lymph, etc.||White**|
[Esoterically, green, there being no black in the prismatic ray.]
[Esoterically, light blue. As a pigment, purple is a compound of red
and blue, and in Eastern Occultism blue is the spiritual essence of the colour
purple, while red is its material basis. In reality, Occultism makes Jupiter
blue because he is the son of Saturn, which is green, and light blue as a prismatic
colour contains a great deal of green. Again, the Auric Body will contain much
of the colour of the Lower Manas if the man is a material sensualist, just as
it will contain much of the darker hue if the Higher Manas has preponderance
over the Lower.]
[Esoterically, the Sun cannot correspond with the eye, nose, or any other
organ, since, as explained, it is no planet, but a central star. It was adopted
as a planet by the post-Christian Astrologers, who had never been initiated.
Moreover, the true colour of the Sun is blue, and it appears yellow only owing
to the effect of the absorbtion of vapours (chiefly metallic) by its atmosphere.
All is Mayâ on our earth.]
[Esoterically, indigo, or dark blue, which is the complement of yellow in
the prism. Yellow is a simple or primitive colour. Manas being dual in its nature—as
is its sidereal symbol, the planet Venus, which is both the morning and evening
star—the difference between the higher and the lower principles of Manas,
whose essence is derived from the Hierarchy ruling Venus, is denoted by the
dark blue and green. Green, the Lower Manas, resembles the colour of the solar
spectrum which appears between the yellow and the dark blue, the Higher Spiritual
Manas. Indigo is the intensified colour of the heaven or sky, to denote the
upward tendency of Manas toward Buddhi, or the heavenly Spiritual Soul. This
colour is obtained from the indigofera tinctoria, a plant of the highest
occult properties in India, much used in White Magic, and occultly connected
with copper. This is shown by the indigo assuming a copper lustre, especially
when rubbed on any hard substance. Another property of the dye is that it is
insoluble in water and even in ether, being lighter in weight than any known
liquid. No symbol has ever been adopted in the East without being based upon
a logical and demonstrable reasons. Therefore Eastern Symbologists, from the
earliest ages, have connected the spiritual and the animal minds of man, the
one with dark blue (Newton’s indigo), or true blue, free from green; and
the other with pure green.]
[Esoterically, yellow, because the colour of the Sun is orange, and Mercury
now stands next to the Sun in distance, as it does in colour. The planet for
which the Sun is a substitute was still nearer the Sun than Mercury now is,
and was one of the most secret and highest planets. It is said to have become
invisible at the close of the Third Race.]
** [Esoterically, violet, because, perhaps, violet is the colour assumed by a ray of sunlight when transmitted through a very thin plate of silver, and also because the Moon shines upon the Earth with light borrowed from the Sun, as the human body shines with qualifications borrowed from its double—the aerial man. As the astral shadow starts the series of principles in man, on the terrestrial plane, up to the lower, animal Manas, so the violet ray starts the series of prismatic colours from its end up to green, both being, the one as a principle and the other as a colour, the most refrangible of all the principles and colours. Besides which, there is the same great Occult mystery attached to all these correspondences, both celestial and terrestrial bodies, colours and sounds. In clearer words, there exists the same law of relation between the Moon and the Earth, the astral and the living body of man, as between the violet end of the prismatic spectrum and the indigo and the blue. But of this more anon.]
(Page 462) Thus it will be seen that the influence of the solar system in the exoteric kabalistic Astrology is by this method distributed over the entire human body, the primary metals, and the gradations of colour from black to white; but that Esotericism recognizes neither black nor white as colours, because it holds religiously to the seven solar or natural colours of the prism. Black and white are artificial tints. They belong to the Earth, and are only perceived by virtue of the special construction of our physical organs. White is the absence of all colours, and therefore no colour; black is simply the absence of light, and therefore the negative aspect of white. The seven prismatic colours are direct emanations from the Seven Hierarchies of Being, each of which has a direct bearing upon and relation to one of the human principles, since each of these Hierarchies is, in fact, the creator and source of the corresponding human principle. Each prismatic colour is called in Occultism the “Father of Sound” which corresponds to it; Sound being the Word, or the Logos, of its Father-Thought. This is the reason why sensitives connect every colour with a definite sound, a fact well recognized in Modern Science (e.g., Francis Galton’s Human Faculty). But black and white are entirely negative colours, and have no representatives in the world of subjective being.
Planets and Faculties - (Page 463) Kabalistic Astrology says that the dominion of the planetary bodies in the human brain also is defined thus: there are seven primary groups of faculties, six of which function through the cerebrum, and the seventh through the cerebellum. This is perfectly correct Esoterically. But when it is further said that: Saturn governs the devotional faculties; Mercury, the intellectual; Jupiter, the sympathetic; the Sun, the governing faculties; Mars, the selfish; Venus, the tenacious; and the Moon, the instincts;—we say that the explanation is incomplete and even misleading. For, in the first place, the physical planets can rule only the physical body and the purely physical functions. All the mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual faculties, are influenced by the Occult properties of the scale of causes which emanate from the Hierarchies of the Spiritual Rulers of the planets, and not by the planets themselves. This scale, as given in Diagram II, leads the student to perceive in the following order: (1) colour; (2) sound; (3) the sound materializes into the spirit of the metals, i.e., the metallic Elementals; (4) these materialize again into the physical metals; (5) then the harmonial and vibratory radiant essence passes into the plants, giving them colour and smell, both of which “properties” depend upon the rate of vibration of this energy per unit of time; (6) from plants it passes into the animals; (7) and finally culminates in the “principles” of man.
Thus we see the Divine Essence of our Progenitors in Heaven circling through seven stages; Spirit becoming Matter, and Matter returning to Spirit. As there is sound in Nature which is inaudible, so there is colour which is invisible, but which can be heard. The creative force, at work in its incessant task of transformation, produces colour, sound and numbers, in the shape of rates of vibration which compound and dissociate the atoms and molecules. Though invisible and inaudible to us in detail, yet the synthesis of the whole becomes audible to us on the material plane. It is that which the Chinese call the “Great Tone,” or Kung. It is, even by scientific confession, the actual tonic of Nature, held by musicians to be the middle Fa on the keyboard of a piano. We hear it distinctly in the voice of Nature, in the roaring of the ocean, in the sound of the foliage of a great forest, in the distant roar of a great city, in the wind, the tempest and the storm; in short, in everything in Nature which has a voice or produces sound. To the (Page 464) hearing of all who hearken, it culminates in a single definite tone, of an unappreciable pitch, which, as said, is the F, or Fa, of the diatonic scale. From these particulars, that wherein lies the difference between the exoteric and the Esoteric nomenclature and symbolism will be evident to the student of Occultism. In short, kabalistic Astrology, as practised in Europe, is the semi-esoteric Secret Science, adapted for the outer and not for the inner circle. It is, furthermore, often left incomplete and not infrequently distorted to conceal the real truth. While it symbolizes and adapts its correspondences on the mere appearances of things, Esoteric Philosophy, which concerns itself pre-eminently with the essence of things, accepts only such symbols as cover the whole ground, i.e., such symbols as yield a spiritual as well as a psychic and physical meaning. Yet even Western Astrology has done excellent work, for it has helped to carry the knowledge of the existence of a Secret Wisdom throughout the dangers of the Mediæval Ages and their dark bigotry up to the present day, when all danger has disappeared.
The order of the planets in exoteric practice is that defined by their geocentric radii, or the distance of their several orbits from the Earth as a centre, viz., Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon. In the first three of these we find symbolized the celestial Triad of supreme power in the physical, manifested universe, or Brahmâ, Vishnu and Shiva; while in the last four we recognize the symbols of the terrestrial quaternary ruling over all natural and physical revolutions of the seasons, quarters of the day, points of the compass, and elements. Thus:
But Esoteric Science is not content with analogies on the purely objective plane of the physical senses, and therefore it is absolutely necessary to preface further teachings in this direction with a clear explanation of the real meaning of the word Magic.
SIMON MAGUS THE MAGICIAN (Page 465)
|What Magic is, in Reality|
Esoteric Science is, above all, the knowledge of our relations with and in Divine Magic, [Magic., Magia, means, in its spiritual, secret sense, the “Great Life,” or divine life in spirit. The root is magh, as seen in the Sanskrit mahat, Zend maz, Greek megas, and Latin magnus, all signifying “great”.] inseparableness from our divine Selves—the latter meaning something else besides our own higher Spirit. Thus, before proceeding to exemplify and explain these relations, it may perhaps be useful to give the student a correct idea of the full meaning of this most misunderstood world “Magic.” Many are those willing and eager to study Occultism, but very few have even an approximate idea of the Science itself. Now, very few of our American and European students can derive benefit from Sanskrit works or even their translations, as these translations are, for the most part, merely blinds to the uninitiated. I therefore propose to offer to their attention demonstrations of the aforesaid drawn from Neo-Platonic works. These are accessible in translation; and in order to throw light on that which has hitherto been full of darkness, it will suffice to point to a certain key in them. Thus the Gnosis, both pre-Christian and post-Christian, will serve our purpose admirably.
There are millions of Christians who know the name of Simon Magus, and the little that is told about him in the Acts; but very few who have even heard of the many motley, fantastic and contradictory details which tradition records about his life. The story of his claims and his death is to be found only in the prejudiced, half-fantastic records about him in the works of the Church Fathers, such as Irenæus, Ephiphanius and St. Justin, and especially in the anonymous Philosophumena. Yet he is a historical character, and the appellation of “Magus” was given to him and was accepted by all his contemporaries, including the heads of the Christian Church, as a qualification indicating the miraculous powers he possessed, and irrespective of whether he was regarded as a white (divine) or a black (infernal) Magician. In this respect, opinion has always been made subservient to the Gentile or Christian proclivities of his chronicler.
It is in his system and in that of Menander, his pupil and successor, that we find what the term “Magic” meant for Initiates in those days.
Simon, as all the other Gnostics, taught that our world was created by the lower angels, whom he called Æons. He mentions only three (Page 466) degrees as such, because it was and is useless, as we have before explained, to teach anything about the four higher ones, and he therefore begins at the plane of globes A and G. His system is as near to Occult Truth as any, so that we may examine it, as well as his own and Meander’s claims about “Magic,” to find out what they meant by the term. Now, for Simon, the summit of all manifested creation was Fire. It was, with him as with us, the Universal Principle, the Infinite Potency, born from the concealed Potentiality. This Fire was the primeval cause of the manifested world of being, and was dual, having a manifested and a concealed, or secret, side.
The secret side of the Fire is concealed in its evident [or objective] side, and the objective is produced from the secret side, [Philosophumena, vi.9.]
he writes, which amounts to saying that the visible is ever present in the invisible, and the invisible in the visible. This was but a new form of stating Plato’s idea of the Intelligibe (Noêton) and the Sensible (Aisthêton), and Aristotle’s teaching on the Potency (Dunamis) and the Act (Energeia). For Simon, all that can be thought of, all that can be acted upon, was perfect intelligence. Fire contained all. And thus all the parts of that Fire, being endowed with intelligence and reason, was susceptible of development by extension and emanation. This is our teaching of the Manifested Logos, and these parts in their primordial emanations are our Dhyân Chohans, the “Sons of Flame and Fire,” or higher Æons. This “Fire” is the symbol of the active and living side of Divine Nature. Behind it lay “infinite Potentiality in Potentiality,” which Simon named “that which has stood, stands and will stand,” or permanent stability and personified immutability.
From the Potency of Thought, Divine Ideation thus passed to Action. Hence the series of primordial emanations through Thought begetting the Act, the objective side of Fire being the Mother, the sacred side of it being the Father. Simon called these emanations Syzygies (a united pair, or couple), for they emanated two-by-two, one as an active, and the other as a passive Æon. Three couples thus emanated (or six in all, the Fire being the seventh), to which Simon gave the following names: “Mind and Thought; Voice and Name; Reason and Reflection,” † [Nous, Epinoia: Phôni : Onoma : Logismos, Enthumesis.] the first in each pair being male, the last female. From these primordial six emanated the six Æons of the Middle World. Let us see what Simon himself says:
Series of Æons - (Page 467) Each of these six primitive beings contained the entire infinite Potency [of its parent]; but it was there only in Potency, and not in Act. That Potency had to be called forth [or conformed] through an image in order that it should manifest in all its essence, virtue, grandeur and effects; for only then could the emanated Potency become similar to its parent, the eternal and infinite Potency. If, on the contrary, it remained simply potentially in the six Potencies and failed to be conformed through an image, then the Potency would not pass into action, but would get lost. [Philosophumena, vi. 12.]
in clearer terms, it would become atrophied, as the modern expression goes.
Now, what do these words mean if not that to be equal in all things to the Infinite Potency the Æons had to imitate it in its action, and become themselves, in their turn, emanative Principles, as was their Parent, giving life to new beings, and becoming Potencies in actu themselves? To produce emanations, or to have acquired the gift of Kryiâshakti, [See supra, sub voce.] is the direct result of that power, an effect which depends on our own action. That power, then, is inherent in man, as it is in the primordial Æons and even in the secondary Emanations, by the very fact of their and our descent from the One Primordial Principle, the Infinite Power, or Potency. Thus we find in the system of Simon Magus that the first six Æons, synthesized by the seventh, the Parent Potency, passed into Act, and emanated, in their turn, six secondary Æons, which were each synthesized by their respective Parents. In the Philosophumena we read that Simon compared the Æons to the “Tree of Life.” Said Simon in the Revelation: [The Great Revelation (Hê Megalê Apophasis), of which Simon himself is supposed to have been the author.]
It is written that there are two ramifications of the universal Æons, having neither beginning nor end, issued both from the same Root, the invisible and incomprehensible Potentiality, Sigê [Silence]. One of these [series of Æons] appears from above. This is the Great Potency, Universal Mind [or Divine Ideation, the Mahat of the Hindus]; it orders all things and is male. The other is from below, for it is the Great [manifested] Thought, the female Æon, generating all things. These [two kinds of Æons] corresponding [Literally, standing opposite each other in rows or pairs.] with each other, have conjunction and manifest the middle distance [the intermediate sphere or plane], the incomprehensible Air which has neither beginning nor end. [Philosophumena, vi. 18.]
This female “Air” is our Ether, or the kabalistic Astral Light. It (Page 468) is, then, the Second World of Simon, born of Fire, the principle of everything. We call it the ONE LIFE, the Intelligent, Divine Flame, omnipresent and infinite. In Simon’s system this Second World was ruled by a Being, or Potency, both male and female, or active and passive, good or bad. This Parent-Being, like the primordial infinite Potency, is also called “that which has stood, stands and will stand,” so long as the manifested Kosmos shall last. When it emanated in actu and became like unto its own Parent, it was not dual or androgyne. It is the Thought (Sigê) that emanated from it which became as itself (the Parent), having become like unto its image (or antetype): the second had now become in its turn the first (on its own plane or sphere). As Simon has it:
It [the Parent or Father] was one. For having it [the thought] in itself, it was alone. It was not, however, first, though it was preëxisting: but manifesting itself to itself from itself, it became the second (or dual). Nor was it called Father before it [the Thought] gave it that name. As, therefore, itself developing itself by itself manifested to itself its own Thought, so also the Thought being manifested did not act, but seeing the Father hid it in itself, that is, (hid) that Potency (in itself), And the Potency [Dunamis, viz.: Nous] and Thought [Epinoia] are male-female. Whence they correspond with one another— For Potency in no way differs from Thought— being one. So from the things above is found Potency, and from those below, Thought. It comes to pass, therefore, that that which is manifested from them, although being one, yet is found to be twofold, the androgyne having the female in itself. So is Mind in Thought, things inseparable from each other which though being one are yet found dual. [Op.cit.,vi.18.]
He [Simon] calls the first Syzygy of the six Potencies and of the seventh, which is with it, Nous and Epinoia, Heaven and Earth: the male looks down from on high and takes thought for his Syzygy [or spouse], for the Earth below receives those intellectual fruits which are brought down from Heaven and are cognate to the Earth. † [Op.cit.,i.13.]
Simon’s Third World with its third series of six Æons and the seventh, the Parent, is emanated in the same way. It is this same note which runs through every Gnostic system—gradual development downward into Matter by similitude; and it is a law which is to be traced down to primordial Occultism, or Magic. With the Gnostics, as with us, this seventh Potency, synthesizing all, is the Spirt brooding over the dark waters of undifferentiated Space, Nârâyana, or Vishnu, in India; the Holy Ghost in Christianity. But while in the latter the conception is conditioned and dwarfed by limitations necessitating faith and grace, Eastern Philosophy shows it pervading every atom, conscious or unconscious.
The Triple Æon - (Page 469) Irenæus supplements the information on the further development of these six Æons. We learn from him that Thought, having separated from its Parent, and knowing through its identity of Essence with the latter what it had to know, proceeded on the second or intermediate plane, or rather World (each of such Worlds consisting of two planes, the superior and inferior, male and female, the latter assuming finally both Potencies and becoming androgyne), to create inferior Hierarchies, Angels and Powers, Dominions and Hosts, of every description, which in their turn created, or rather emanated out of their own Essence, our world with its men and beings, over which they watch.
It thus follows that every rational being—called Man on Earth—is of the same essence and possesses potentially all the attributes of the higher Æons, the primordial Seven. It is for him to develope, “with the image before him of the highest,” by imitation in actu, the Potency with which the highest of his Parents, or Fathers, is endowed. Here we may again quote with advantage from the Philosophumena:
So then, according to Simon, this blissful and imperishable [principle] is concealed in everything in potency, not in act. This is “that which has stood, stands and will stand,” viz., that which has stood above in ingenerable Potency; that which stands below in the stream of the waters generated in an image; that which will stand above, beside the blissful infinite Potency, if it makes itself like unto this image. For three, he says, are they that stand, and without these three Æons of stability, there is no adornment of the generable which, according to them [the Simonians], is borne on the water, and being moulded according to the similitude is a perfect and celestial (Æon), in no manner of thinking inferior to the ingenerable Potency. Thus they say: “I and thou [are] one; before me [wast] thou: that which is after thee [is] I.” This, he says, is the one Potency, divided into above and below, generating itself, nourishing itself, seeking itself, finding itself; its own mother, father, brother, spouse, daughter and son, one, for it is the Root of all. [Op cit., vi.17.]
Thus of this triple Æon, we learn the first exists as “that which has stood, stands and will stand,” or the uncreate Power, Âtman; the second is generated in the dark waters of Space (Chaos, or undifferentiated Substance, our Buddhi), from or through the image of the former reflected in those waters, the image of Him, or It, which moves on them; the third World (or, in man, Manas) will be endowed with every power of that eternal and omnipresent Image if it but assimilates it to itself. For, (Page 470)
All that is eternal, pure and incorruptible is concealed in everything that is
if only potentially, not actually. And
Everything is that image, provided the lower image (man) ascends to that highest Source and Root in Spirit and Thought.
Matter as Substance is eternal and has never been created. Therefore Simon Magus, with all the great Gnostic Teachers and Eastern Philosophers, never speaks of its beginning. “Eternal Matter” receives its various forms in the lower Æon from the Creative Angels, or Builders, as we call them. Why, then, should not Man, the direct heir of the highest Æon, do the same, by the potency of his thought, which is born from Spirit? This is Kriyâshakti, the power of producing forms on the objective plane through the potency of Ideation and Will, from invisible, indestructible Matter.
Truly says Jeremiah, [Op. cit., i. 5.] quoting the “Word of the Lord”:
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee,
for Jeremiah stands here for Man when he was yet an Æon, or Divine Man, both with Simon Magus and Eastern Philosophy. The first three chapters of Genesis are as Occult as that which is given in Paper I. For the terrestrial Paradise is the Womb, says Simon, [Philosophumena, vi. 14.] Eden the region surrounding it. The river which went out of Eden to water the garden is the Umbilical Cord; this cord is divided into four Heads, the streams that flowed out of it, the four canals which serve to carry nutrition to the Fœtus, i.e., the two arteries and the two veins which are the channels for the blood and convey the breathing air, the unborn child, according to Simon, being entirely enveloped by the Amnion, fed through the Umbilical Cord and given vital air through the Aorta. [At first there are the omphalo-mesenteric vessels, two arteries and two veins, but these afterwards totally disappear, as does the “vascular area” on the Umbilical Vesicle, from which they proceed. As regards the “Umbilical Vessels” proper, the Umbilical Cord ultimately has entwined around it from right to left the one Umbilical Vein which takes the oxygenated blood from the mother to the Fœtus, and two Hypogastic or Umbilical Arteries which take the used-up blood from the Fœtus to the Placenta, the contents of the vessels being the reverse of that which prevails after birth. Thus Science corroborates the wisdom and knowledge of ancient Occultism, for in the days of Simon Magus no man, unless an Initiate, knew anything about the circulation of the blood or about Physiology. While this Paper was being printed, I received two small pamphlets from Dr. Jerome A. Anderson, which were printed in 1884 and 1888 and in which is to be found the scientific demonstration of the fœtal nutrition as advanced in Paper I. Briefly, the Fœtus is nourished by osmosis from the Amniotic Fluid and respires by means of the Placenta. Science knows little or nothing about the Amniotic Fluid and its uses. If any one cares to follow up this question, I would recommend Dr. Anderson’s Remarks on the Nutrition of the Fœtus. (Wood & Co., New York)]
Magic and Miracles - (Page 471) The above is given for the elucidation of that which is to follow. The disciples of Simon Magus were numerous, and were instructed by him in Magic. They made use of so-called “exorcisms” (as in the New Testament), incantations, philtres; believed in dreams and visions, and produced them at will; and finally forced the lower orders of spirits to obey them. Simon Magus was called “the Great Power of God,” literally “the Potency of the Deity which is called Great.” That which was then termed Magic we now call Theosophia, or Divine Wisdom, Power and Knowledge.
His direct disciple, Menader, was also a great Magician. Says Irenæus, among other writers:
The successor of Simon was Menander, a Samaritan by birth, who reached the highest summits in the Science of Magic.
Thus both master and pupil are shown as having attained the highest powers in the art of enchantments, powers which can be obtained only through “the help of the Devil,” as Christians claim; and yet their “works” were identical with those spoken of in the New Testament, wherein such phenomenal results are called divine miracles, and are therefore, believed in and accepted as coming from and through God. But the question is, have these so-called “miracles” of the “Christ” and the Apostles ever been explained any more than the magical achievements of so-called Sorcerers and Magicians? I say, never. We Occultists do not believe in supernatural phenomena, and the Masters laugh at the word “miracle.” Let us see, then, what is really the sense of the word Magic.
The source and basis of it lie in Spirit and Thought, whether on the purely divine or the terrestrial plane. Those who know the history of Simon have the two versions before them, that of White and of Black Magic, at their option, in the much talked of union of Simon with Helena, whom he called his Epinoia (Thought). Those who, like the Christians, had to discredit a dangerous rival, talk of Helena as being a beautiful and actual woman, whom Simon had met in a house of ill fame at Tyre, and who was, according to those who wrote his life the incarnation of Helen of Troy. How, then, was she “Divine Thought”? The lower angels, Simon is made to say in Philosophumena, or the third Æons, being so material, had more badness in them than all the others. Poor man, created or emanated from them, had the vice of his origin. What was it? Only this: when the third Æons possessed themselves, in their turn, of the Divine Thought through (Page 472) the transmission into them of Fire, instead of making of a man a complete being, according to the universal plan, they at first detained from him that Divine Spark (Thought, on Earth Manas); and that was the cause and origin of senseless man’s committing the original sin as the angels had committed it æons before refusing to create. [Supra. vol. ii.] Finally, after detaining Epinoia prisoner amongst them and having subjected the Divine Thought to every kind of insult and desecration, they ended by shutting it into the already defiled body of man. After this, as interpreted by the enemies of Simon, she passed from one female body into another through ages and races, until Simon found and recognized her in the form of Helena, the “prostitute,” the “lost sheep” of the parable. Simon is made to represent himself as the Saviour descended on Earth to rescue this “lamb” and those men in whom Epinoia is still under the dominion of the lower angels. The greatest magical feats are thus attributed to Simon through his sexual union with Helena, hence Black Magic. Indeed, the chief rites of this kind of Magic are based on such disgusting literal interpretation of noble myths, one of the noblest of which was thus invented by Simon as a symbolical mark of his own teaching. Those who understood it correctly knew what was meant by “Helena.” It was the marriage of Nous (Ãtmâ-Buddhi) with Manas, the union through which Will and Thought become one and are endowed with divine powers. For Ãtman in man, being of an unalloyed essence, the primordial Divine Fire (or the eternal and universal “that which has stood, stands and will stand”), is of all the planes; and Buddhi is its vehicle or Thought, generated by and generating the “Father” in her turn, and also Will. She is “that which has stood, stands and will stand,” thus becoming, in conjunction with Manas, male-female, in this sphere only. Hence, when Simon spoke of himself as the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and of Helena and his Epinoia Divine Thought, he meant the marriage of his Buddhi with Manas. Helena was the Shakti of the inner man, the female potency.
Now, what says Menander? The lower angels, he taught, were the emanations of Ennoia, (Designing Thought). It was Ennoia who taught the Science of Magic and imparted it to him, together with the art of conquering the creative angels of the lower world. The latter stand for the passions of our lower nature.
Magic a Divine Science - (Page 473) His pupils, after receiving baptism from him (i.e., after Initiation), were said to “resurrect from the dead” and, “growing no older,” became “immortal.” [See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles.,Lib. III, iii. cap. 26.] This “resurrection “ promised by Menander meant, of course, simply the passage from the darkness of ignorance into the light of truth, the awakening of man’s immortal Spirit to inner and eternal life. This is the Science of the Râja Yogîs—Magic.
Every person who had read Neo-Platonic Philosophy knows how its chief Adepts, such as Plotinus, and especially Porphyry, fought against phenomenal Theurgy. But, beyond all of them, Jamblichus, the author of the De Mysteriis, lifts high the veil from the real term Theurgy, and shows us therein the true Divine Science of Râja Yoga.
Magic, he says, is a lofty and sublime Science, Divine, and exalted above all others.
It is the great remedy for all . . . . It, neither takes its source in, nor is it limited to, the body of its passions, to the human compound or its constitution; but all is derived by it from our upper Gods,
our divine Egos, which run like a silver thread from the Spark in us up to the primeval divine Fire. † [De Mysteriis, p.100, lines 10 to 19: p.109, fol. I.]
Jamblichus execrates physical phenomena, produced, as he says, by the bad demons who deceive men (the spooks of the sêance room), as vehemently as he exalts Divine Theurgy. But to exercise the latter, he teaches, the Theurgist must imperatively be “a man of high morality and a chaste Soul.” The other kind of Magic is used only by impure, selfish men, and has nothing of the Divine in it. No real Vates would ever consent to find in its communications anything coming from our higher Gods. Thus one (Theurgy) is the knowledge of our Father (the Higher Self); the other, subjection to our lower nature. One requires holiness of the Soul, a holiness which rejects and excludes everything corporeal; the other, the desecration of it (the Soul). One is the union with the Gods (with one’s God), the source of all Good; the other intercourse with demons (Elementals), which, unless we subject them, will subject us, and lead us step by step to moral ruin (mediumship). In short:
Theurgy unites us most strongly to divine nature. This nature begets itself through itself, moves through its own powers, supports all, and is intelligent. Being the ornament of the Universe, it invites us to intelligible truth, to perfection (Page 474) and imparting perfection to others. It unites us so intimately to all the creative actions of the Gods, according to the capacity of each of us, that the soul having accomplished the sacred rites is consolidated in their [the Gods’] actions and intelligences, until it launches itself into and is absorbed by the primordial divine essence. This is the object of the sacred Initiations of the Egyptians. [De Mysteriis. p. 290. lines 15 to 18. et seq., caps. v and vii.]
Now, Jamblichus shows us how this union of our Higher Soul with the Universal Soul, with the Gods, is to be effected. He speaks of Manteia, which Samâdhi, the highest trance. [Ibid., p.100, sec. iii. cap] He speaks also of dream which is divine vision, when man re-becomes again a God. By Theurgy, or Râja Yoga, a man arrives at: (1) Prophetic Discernment through our God (the respective Higher Ego of each of us) revealing to us the truths of the plane on which we happen to be acting; (2) Ecstacy and Illumination; (3) Action in Spirit (in Astral Body or through Will); (4) and Domination over the minor, senseless demons (Elementals) by the very nature of our purified Egos. But this demands the complete purification of the latter. And this is called by him Magic, through initiation into Theurgy.
But Theurgy has to be preceded by a training of our senses and the knowledge of the human Self in relation to the Divine SELF. So long as man has not thoroughly mastered this preliminary study, it is idle to anthropomorphize the formless. By “formless” I mean the higher and the lower Gods, the supermundane as well as mundane Spirits, or Beings, which to beginners can be revealed only in Colours and Sounds. For none but a high Adept can perceive a “God” in its true transcendental form, which to the untrained intellect, to the Chelâ, will be visible only by its Aura. The visions of full figures casually perceived by sensitives and mediums belong to one or another of the only three categories they can see: (a) Astrals of living men; (b) Nirmânakâyas (Adepts, good or bad, whose bodies are dead, but who have learned to live in the invisible space in their ethereal personalities); and (c) Spooks, Elementaries and Elementals masquerading in shapes borrowed from the Astral Light in general, or from figures in the “mind’s eye” of the audience, or of the medium, which are immediately reflected in their respective Auras.
Having read the foregoing, students will now better comprehend the necessity of first studying the correspondences between our “principles”—which are but the various aspects of the triune (spiritual and physical) man—and our Paradigm; the direct roots of these in the Universe.
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