Approach To ‘The Secret Doctrine’

Filed in Study Material by on September 10, 2013

Approach to “The Secret Doctrine”

Dr N C Ramanujachary

The Secret Doctrine, the prominent work of Madame Blavatsky (1831-’91), is available to the reading public of the world since 1888. This has been commented upon, annotated, abridged and analogized by many the world over all the century and over. Numerous Texts and Discourses have been made and published.

The following ‘short-notes’ is an attempted precise of the Preface, Introductory, the Proem and the New Propositions of the Text, enabling an easy access for the Indian Readers and to inculcate enthusiasm in them to get to the original work.

The internal evidence in the text ‘The Secret Doctrine’ provides the validation of the propositions made, many of which have also been revalidated by subsequent discoveries in Science and History. Clues on the concepts were adapted by scientists and thinkers and further dis-coverage of ‘natural laws’ came out.

The impact, relevance and incidence of the text inclusively endows upon all areas of human thought, consideration. Though the work was stated then to contain what humanity needs for a century to come, it sounds today that much more could be explored and so the text is for all the time.

Among the areas of human thought, Science is considered the prominent branch today. and we shall see, in the following statements, Blavatskian Thought prophesied stand validated today:

The atom is divisible, and must consist of particles, or of sub-atoms.— It is on the doctrine of the illusive nature of matter, and the infinite divisibility of the atom, that the whole science of occultism is built. (S.D.I:519-20)

Occultism says that in all cases where matter appears inert, it is the most active. A wooden or a stone block is motionless and impenetrable to all intents and purposes. Nevertheless and de facto its particles are in ceaseless eternal vibration which is so rapid that to the physical eye the body seems absolutely devoid of motion; and the spatial distance between those particles in their vibratory motion is – considered from another plane of being and perception – as great as that which separates snowflakes or drops of rain. But to physical science this will be an absurdity. (S.D. I:507-8)

The wave motion of living particles becomes comprehensible on the theory of a spiritual … universal Vital principle, independent of  our  matter, and manifesting as  atomic energy  only on  our  plane of consciousness.(SD 2:672)

 What is said with reference to Science is only illustrative; all branches have human knowledge have benefitted from her writings.

 Note on ‘Preface’ to ‘The Secret Doctrine’

Madame Blavatsky, in her Preface to The Secret Doctrine, makes certain points explicit. The book is not an amended and enlarged version of her earlier work “Isis Unveiled.” She apologizes for the delay in the production of the book. She gives two reasons: Ill-health of the writer; magnitude of the undertaking. She also states that the third and fourth volumes of the text will be released depending on the reception from the thinking world on the present two volumes. (These volumes did not come out; even their existence has become a point of debate.)Though she is a foreigner for the English language and is not sure of her literary style, she says that English is employed because ‘it offers the most widely-diffused medium for conveying the truths which it had become her duty to place before the world.’

She makes a distinction between the Author and Writer of the text, suggesting that she is only the writer or scribe while the authorship is with the Teachers that taught her and commanded her to write. This speaks volumes for her reverence and adoration of her Spiritual Teachers.

She emphatically says that the truths put forward are not ‘revelations’ and also that the mystic-lore is not made public for the first time now. Its contents can be ‘found scattered throughout thousands of volumes embodying the scriptures of the great Asiatic and early European religions, hidden under glyph and symbol, and hitherto left unnoticed because of the veil.’ She only gathered them together ‘to make them one harmonious and unbroken whole.’ What she was taught, the result of her own study and observation was put together was worked out as ‘a complete system of thought.’

The Secret Doctrine is the essence of the religious thoughts found out in all religions of the world, exclusively not possessed by any one of them. Various religious schemes that have ‘sprung from it in their origins, are now made to merge back into their original element.’

She succinctly puts the aims of the work thus: ‘to show that Nature is not “ a fortuitous (= accidental) concurrence of atoms”, and to assign to man his rightful place in the scheme of the Universe; to rescue from degradation the archaic truths which are the basis of all religions; and to uncover, to some extent, the fundamental unity from which they all sprung; and finally, to show that the occult side of Nature has never been approached by the Science of modern civilization.’

She takes full responsibility to what is stated in the text, which ‘claims consideration, not by any appeal to dogmatic authority, but because it closely adheres to Nature, and follows the laws of uniformity and analogy. She is accustomed to abuse, calumny and slander; and does not fear them.

Last but not the least, she says, the Text is ‘written in the service of humanity, and by future generations it must be judged.’

Note on The ‘Introductory’

Madame Blavatsky begins her introductory chapter with a quote from Shakespeare: ‘Gently to hear, kindly to judge.’

She begins with the human mind which forms bias and decisive opinion without examining the subject from all its aspects. She refers to ‘Esoteric Buddhism’, a book by Mr. A P Sinnett published in 1883 and the two misconceptions it caused: ‘Limiting Theosophy to Buddhism and confounding the tenets of the religious philosophy preached by Gautama, the Buddha, with the doctrines broadly outlined therein.’ The title of the book was ‘a very unfortunate’ one, ‘because people are always in the habit of judging things by their appearance, rather than their meaning.’

Buddhism is the religious system of ethics preached by Lord Gautama, and named after his title “Buddha”(= the Enlightened). “Budh” in Sanskrit is “to Know.”

‘The “Wisdom Religion” is the inheritance of all the nations, the world over.’ But the book ‘Esoteric Wisdom’ said, no one knows this till 1883.— ‘No theosophical book acquires the least additional value from pretended authority,’ says Blavatsky.

‘Adi, and Adhi Budha, the one (or the First) and “Supreme Wisdom” is a term used by Arya Asanga in his secret treatises. ‘This was the appellation given by the earliest Aryans to the Unknown deity. (The word Brahma was not invented by then.) The epithet of Buddha was humanized later and applied to mortals. Bodha  means the innate possession of divine intellect or “understanding”; “Buddha,” the acquirement of it by personal efforts and merit. Buddhi is the faculty of cognizing the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the “Ego,” the discernment of good and evil, ‘divine conscience’ also; and ‘Spiritual Soul,’ which is the vehicle of Atma. “Bodhi” is likewise the name of a particular state of trance condition, called Samadhi, during which the subject reaches the culmination of spiritual knowledge.

Madame Blavatsky then writes about Gautama Buddha at length. She says it was “unwise” that the esoteric teachings of Buddha were derided. ‘The true philosopher, the student of the esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be identical with that of every other great religion. It proves the necessity of an absolute Divine Principle in Nature. It denies Deity no more than it does Sun. Esoteric philosophy has never rejected God in Nature, or Deity as the absolute and abstract principle. It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the Ever Unknowable.’

She has many points to relate about Buddha: “The Hindu reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the Wisdom-Religion, to Ethics and Man alone. Things ‘unseen and incorporeal,’ the mystery of Being outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public lectures, reserving the hidden Truths for a select circle of his Arhats. —-

“His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the Initiated Brahmins of his day. The Buddha was a child of the Aryan soil, a born Hindu, a Kshatriya and a disciple of the “twice-born’ (the initiated Brahmins) or Dwijas. His teaching, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the whole Buddhist reform merely consisted in giving out a portion of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the “enchanted” circle of Temple initiates and ascetics. Unable to teach all that had been imparted to him— owing to his own pledges — though he taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of the true esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only it’s outward material body and kept its soul for his elect.”

Explaining the true reason why ‘the outline of a few fundamental truths from the Secret Doctrine of the Archaic ages is now permitted to see the light, after a long millenniums of the most profound silence and secrecy,’ she says the following:

“Toward the end of the first quarter of this century, a distinct class of literature appeared in the world, which became with every year more defined in its tendency. Being based on the scholarly researches of Sanskritists and Orientalists in general, it was held scientific. Hindu, Egyptian, and other ancient religions, myths, and emblems were made to yield anything the symbolist wanted them to yield, thus often giving out the rude outward meaning. Works, most remarkable for their ingenious deductions and speculations, foregone conclusions generally changing places with premises as in the syllogisms of more than one Sanskrit and Pali scholar, appeared rapidly in succession, over-flooding the libraries with dissertations rather on phallic and sexual worship than on real symbology, and each contradicting the other.

“The members of several esoteric schools – the seat of which is beyond the Himalayas, and whose ramifications may be found in China, Japan, India, Tibet, and even in Syria, besides South America – claim to have in their possession the sum total of sacred and philosophical works in MSS, and type; all the works, in fact, that have ever been written in whatever language or characters, since the art of writing began; from the ideographic hieroglyphs down to the alphabet of Cadmus and the Devanagari.”

She summarizes how the Sacred texts have disappeared.

“It has been claimed in all ages that ever since the destruction of the Alexandrian Library, every work of a character that might have led the profane to the ultimate discovery and comprehension of some of the mysteries of the Secret Science, was, owing to the combined efforts of the members of the Brotherhoods, diligently searched for. It is added, moreover, by those who know, that once found, except three copies left and stored safely away, such works were all destroyed. In India, the last of the precious manuscripts were secured and hidden during the reign of the Emperor Akbar.”

“It is maintained furthermore that every sacred book of that kind, whose text was not sufficiently veiled in symbolism, or which had any direct references to the ancient mysteries, after having been carefully copied in cryptographic characters, such as to defy the art of the best and cleverest paleographer, was also destroyed to the last copy. During Akbar’s reign, some fanatical courtiers, displeased at the Emperor’s sinful prying into the religions of the infidels, themselves helped the Brahmans to conceal their MSS. Such was Badaoni, who had an undisguised horror for Akbar’s mania for idolatrous religions. — the true commentaries, as well as almost all the texts, have long since disappeared from the eyes of the profane.”

She recapitulates thus:

“The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancients and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of all its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity.”

She further states: “It is not the fault of the initiates that these documents are now ‘lost’ for the profane; nor was their policy dictated by selfishness, or any desire to monopolize the life-giving sacred lore. – But this was because to impart to the unprepared multitude secrets of such tremendous importance, was equivalent to giving a child a lighted candle in a powder magazine.

“Doctrines such as the planetary chain, or the seven races, at once give a clue to the seven-fold nature of man, for each principle is correlated to a plane, a planet, and a race; and the human principles are, on every plane, correlated to seven-fold occult forces – those of the higher planes being of tremendous power.”

The documents were concealed, but not the knowledge itself or its existence. Mysteries have ever been made a discipline and stimulus for virtue, by the Temple Hierophants.

The first installment of the esoteric doctrines is based upon Stanzas, which are written in a tongue  not known to any modern, in the twentieth century of our era scholars will begin to recognize that the Secret Doctrine had neither been invented nor exaggerated, but, on the contrary, simply outlined; and finally, that its teachings antedate the Vedas. [Every century an attempt is made to show to the world that Occultism is no vain superstition. Once the door permitted to be kept a little ajar, it will be opened wider with every new century. The times are ripe for a more serious knowledge than hitherto permitted, though still very limited, so far.]

She refers to the motto of the Theosophical society, adopted from the Maharajah of Benares (now Varanasi); SATYAT NASTI PARO DHARMAH ( =There is no Religion[or Law] higher than Truth, concluding an idea from Prof. Max Muller’s lecture which says that men fight on earth about religion and in heaven find that there is only one Religion- the worship of God’s Spirit.

At the end, she again refers to the “Old Book” and also to yet another book, as old as the Black Age (Kali-yuga), the dawn of the New Cycle etc.

“The knowledge of the Occult and the powers it confers on man are not altogether fictions, but they are as old as the world itself,” she assures.

The ‘Mundane Egg’ and ‘Divine Thought’ need explanation here.

The ‘Mundane Egg’ is a Universal Symbol, both for its form and its inner mystery. It represents the origin and secret of being. The imperceptible germ inside, without any outward interference of force, produces an active something, gradually evolving into a concrete, living creature, breaks out its shell and comes out as though it is self-generated, self-created being. The ‘first cause’ has no name. As a mysterious bird it drops an Egg into Chaos, and the egg eventually becomes the universe. Brahma, the mundane egg, is called Kalahamsa (the swan in space and time), he becomes the swan of Eternity and lays, at the beginning of each Manvantara, a Golden Egg. The egg is a symbol of the universe and its spherical bodies.

The Divine Thought, or Universal Mind must not be regarded as a projection in the likeness of the intellectual process of man. It is the Absolute Wisdom, transcending the ideas of Time and Space. It is  not resolvable into states of consciousness. The conceptions of a Personal God as changeless and infinite are unpsychological and what is worse, unphilosophical.The “ONE LIFE” is eternal, invisible, yet Omnipresent. It has no beginning, no end. It has periodical manifestations. Between the periodical manifestations, this is called Pralaya, that which rules is the ‘dark mystery of non-Being’. It is unconscious, yet absolute Consciousness; it is unrealizable, yet the one self-existing reality. It is ‘chaos to the sense, a Kosmos to the reason. ’It’s one attribute is the “Great Breath”. This is the perpetual motion of the universe. The Life and the Breath are one and the same, eternal, ceaseless Motion, ever-present SPACE.hat which is motionless cannot be called “Divine”. Within the universal Soul, there is nothing, in fact and reality, absolutely motionless. [The Divinity has Mobility and the consequence is Manifestation of Universes, Worlds etc. The connectivity of the both is because of the manifestation, which will be explained later.]Universal Motion is the only philosophical aspect of the unrevealed Deity recognized from the earlier days of ‘architects of the globe’.‘One Existence’, in terms of Occultism, is the “Deity, an arcane, living (or moving) FIRE, and the eternal witness to this unseen Presence are Light, Heat, Moisture.” These three are cause of every phenomenon in Nature. Intra-cosmic motion is eternal and ceaseless. Cosmic motion is visible and subject to perception is ‘finite and periodical’.As an eternal abstraction it is the EVER-PRESENT. As a manifestation, it is finite both in the coming direction and the opposite, the two being the poles of successive reconstructions. Kosmos has nothing to do with the causal relations of the phenomenal World. Intra-cosmic soul has never had a beginning nor will it have an end. At each new Manvantara, the Cosmic organization may be regarded as its first and final of its kind, as it evolves every time on a higher plane

The esoteric interpretation of the symbols is as below:

  1. The plain disk.   ‘O’
  2. A Disk with a point in it, the first differentiation.

“Aditi in THAT” (Rig-Veda), potential Space within an abstract Space

  1. The point is transformed into a diameter. A divine immaculate Mother-Nature within the all-embracing absolute Infinitude.

When the diameter line is crossed by a vertical one, it becomes the mundane cross.

Humanity has reached its third Root-Race; it is the sign for the origin of human life to begin.

When the circumference disappears and leaves only the +, it is the sign of ‘the fall of man into matter’. Now begins the Fourth Race.

By the third symbol – the circle divided in two by horizontal line of the diameter – the first manifestation of creative (still passive, because feminine0 Nature was meant. The first shadowy perception of man connected with perception is feminine, because man knows his mother more than his father. Hence female deities were more sacred than the male. Nature is therefore feminine, and, to a degree, objective and tangible, and the Spirit Principle which fructifies it is concealed.

The esoteric symbol of Kali Yuga is the five-pointed star reversed, thus        – the sign of human sorcery, with its two points (horns) turned heavenwards, a position every Occultist will recognize as one of the ‘left-hand’ and used in ceremonial magic.

Parabrahman is not “God”, because it is not a God. “It is that which is supreme, and not supreme (paravara), explains Mandukya Upanishad (2.28). it is supreme as cause, not supreme as effect. Parabrahman is simply, as a “Second Reality,” the all-inclusive Kosmos – or, rather, the infinite Cosmic Space – in the highest spiritual sense, of course. Brahma (neuter) being the unchanging, pure, free, undecaying supreme Root, “the one true Existence, Paramarthika,” and the absolute Chit and Chaitanya (intelligence, consciousness) cannot be cognizer, “for THAT can have no subject of cognition.”

Parabrahm is, in short, the collective aggregate of Kosmos in its finality and eternity, the “THAT” and “THIS” to which distributive aggregate cannot be applied.

In the beginning THIS was the Self, one only (Aitareya Upanishad); “THIS” referred to the Universe (Jagat); the sense of the words, “In the beginning,” meaning before the reproduction of the phenomenal Universe.

Narayana moving on the abstract waters of Space, is transformed into the Waters of concrete substance moved by him, who now become the manifested WORD or Logos.

Space is called in the esoteric symbolism “the Seven-Skinned Eternal Mother-Father.” It is composed from its undifferentiated to its differentiated surface of seven layers.

It is not the One Unknown ever-present God in Nature, that is rejected, but the God in human dogma and his humanized “Word.” In his infinite conceit and inherent pride and vanity, man shaped it himself with his sacrilegious hand out of the material he found in his own small brain-fabric, and forced it upon mankind as a direct revelation from the one unrevealed SPACE. The Occultist accepts revelation as coming from divine yet still finite Beings, the manifested lives, never from the Unmanifested ONE LIFE.

Occult Science recognizes Seven Cosmical Elements – four entirely physical, and the fifth (Ether) semi-material, as it will become visible in the air towards the end of our Fourth Round, to reign supreme over the others during the whole of the Fifth. The remaining two are as yet absolutely beyond the range of human perception. These latter will, however, appear as presentments during the 6th and 7th Races of this Round, and will become known in the 6th and 7th Rounds respectively. These seven elements with their numberless Sub-Elements (far more numerous than those known to Science) are simply conditional modifications and aspects of the ONE and only Element.

The Stanzas given treat only of the Cosmogony of our planetary System and what is visible around it, after a Solar Pralaya. That which is given relates only to our visible Kosmos, after a “Night of Brahma.”

The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions:

(a)    An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable PRINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible.

There is one Absolute reality which antecedes all manifested, conditioned, being. It is of course devoid of all attributes and is essentially without any relation to manifested, finite Being. It is “Be-ness” rather than Being (SAT), and is beyond all thought or speculation.

This Be-ness is symbolized under two aspects:

Absolute abstract Space (bare subjectivity)

Absolute abstract Motion (unconditioned consciousness)

This latter aspect of the One Reality is also symbolized in the term “The Great Breath”.

Thus, the first fundamental axiom of the Secret Doctrine is this meta-physical ONE REALITY – Be-ness – symbolized by finite intelligence as the ‘theological Trinity’.

Parabrahm (the One Reality, the Absolute)is the field of Absolute Consciousness, i.e., that essence which is out of all relation to conditioned existence, and of which conscious existence is a conditioned symbol. But once we pass in thought from this (to us) Absolute Negation, duality supervenes in the contrast of Spirit (or Consciousness) and Matter; [Subject and Object].

Spirit and Matter are not independent realities, but are two aspects or facets of the absolute (Parabrahm), which constitute the basis of conditioned Being whether subjective or objective.

The ‘great breath’ assumes the character of pre-cosmic Ideation. It supplies the guiding Intelligence in the vast scheme of cosmic Evolution. On the other hand, pre-cosmic root-substance (Mulaprakriti) is that aspect of the Absolute which underlies all the objective planes of Nature.

Pre-cosmic Ideation is the root of all individual consciousness and pre-cosmic Substance is the substratum of matter in the various grades of its differentiation. The contrast of these two aspects of the absolute is essential to the existence of the “Manifested Universe.” The manifested Universe is pervaded by duality, which is, the very essence of its Ex-istence as “manifestation.” In the manifested universe there is ‘that’ which links spirit to matter, subject to object. Occultists call ‘that’ by a term “Fohat”. Fohat is the bridge by which the ‘ideas’ existing in the ‘Divine Thought’ are impressed on Cosmic substance as the “Laws of Nature.” Fohat is the dynamic energy of cosmic ideation; the guiding power of all manifestation, the “Thought Divine” transmitted and made manifest through the Dhyan Chohans, the Architects of the visible World.

From spirit, or Cosmic ideation, comes our consciousness; and from Cosmic Substance the several vehicles in which that consciousness is individualized and attains to self, or reflective, consciousness. Fohat is the mysterious link, in its various manifestations, between Mind and matter, the animating principle electrifying every atom into life.

For a clearer idea, Madame Blavatsky gives the following summary:

  1. The ABSOLUTE; the  Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT,
  2. The first manifestation, unmanifested Logos, the precursor of the manifested.
  3. Spirit-Matter, Life; the ‘spirit of the universe’, the Purusha and Prakriti or the second Logos.
  4. Cosmic Ideation, Mahat or Intelligence, the Universal World-Soul; the basis of the intelligent operations in and of Nature, also called MAHA-BUDDHI.

The One reality; its  dual aspects in the conditioned Universe.

b) The Eternity of the Universe  in toto as a boundless plane; periodically “the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,” called “manifesting stars,” and the “sparks of eternity.

The second assertion is the absolute universality of that law of periodicity recorded in all departments of nature.

c) the fundamental identity of all souls with the Universal Over-Soul, the latter being itself an aspect of the Unknown Root; and the obligatory pilgrimage for every soul – a spark of the former – through the cycle of Incarnation (  or “Necessity” ) in accordance with Cyclic and Karmic law, during the whole term.

No purely spiritual Buddhi ( divine soul ) can have an independent (conscious) existence before the spark which issued from the pure Essence of the Universal Sixth principle, – or the OVER-SOUL, – has

a)       passed through every elemental form of the phenomenal    world of that Manvantara, and

b)       acquired individuality, first by natural impulse, and then by self-induced and self-devised efforts (checked by its karma), thus ascending through all the degrees of intelligence, from the lowest to the highest Manas, from mineral and plant, up to the holiest archangel (Dhyani-Buddha).

There are no privileges or special gifts for man, except those won by his own Ego through personal effort and merit throughout a long series of metempsychoses and reincarnations.

The One Principle under its two aspects (of Parabrahmam and Mulaprakriti) is sexless, unconditioned and eternal.

Space is called the “Mother” before its cosmic activity, and Father-Mother at the stage of re-awakening.

The re-awakening of the Universe is symbolized as a perfect Circle with the (Root) point in the Centre.

A skeleton – outline – of the subject-matter of the Stanzas is provided thus:

The stanzas give an abstract formula which can be applied to all evolution: to that of our tiny earth, to that of the chain of planets of which that earth forms one, to the solar Universe to which that chain belongs, and so on, in an ascending scale, till the mind reels and is exhausted in the effort.

The seven stanzas are the seven terms of this abstract formula. They refer to, and describe the seven great stages of the evolutionary process, which are spoken of in Puranas as the “Seven creations.”

Stanza I: The history of Cosmic evolution. Describes the state of ONE ALL during Pralaya, before the flutter of re-awakening manifestation.

Stanza II: This is so nearly identical to the first one, to express the idea of its difference needs a long treatise. So, it is left to the intuition and higher faculty of the reader.

Stanza III: Re-awakening of the Universe to life after Pralaya. Emergence of Monads; Formation of the worlds. [The term Monad will apply equally to the vast Solar System or the tiniest atom.

Stanza IV: Differentiation of the “Germ” of the Universe into septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy. This stage in Hindu mythology is known as “Creation of the Gods.”

Stanza V: Process of world-formation. Diffused cosmic matter forming a nebula, Formation of a Solar universe, a planetary chain, or a single planet, as the case may be.

Stanza VI: Subsequent stages in the formation of the World, evolution up to the period we are living now.

Stanza VII: Descent of life down to the appearance of Man.

The first book of the Secret Doctrine closes here.

The second book deals with Anthropogenesis, the birth and growth of Man.

There are more chapters on “Symbolism” in Part II and Part III.

The Proem is intended for preliminary understanding of the Text, and it becomes pregnant because of the ‘Three Fundamental Propositions’, which is the Mainstream and Conventional Philosophy, stated unconventionally.

Notes on The New Propositions

Madame Blavatsky in her second volume of The Secret Doctrine called “Anthropogenesis” makes Three New Propositions, as to the Evolution of Mankind, on this Globe.

She prefaces that these propositions will be of ‘direct antagonism to modern science as well as to current religious dogmas’. But statements are from Archaic Records, as usual.

1. The simultaneous evolution of seven human groups on seven different portions of our globe.

2. The birth of the astral, before the physical body: the former being a model for the latter.

3. Man, in this round, preceded every mammalian – the anthropoids included – in the animal kingdom.

Now the explanations:

The progenitors (the Pitris, or Elohim=the group of collective agencies) have formulated the Seven primordial Men. All the human groups emanate from them. The Globe, propelled onward by ‘spirit of Earth’ and his six assistants, gets all its vital forces (life and powers) through the Seven Planetary Dhyanis from the spirit of Sun. The Seven Planetary Spirits (Dhyanis) are the Messengers of Light and Life. Each of the Seven first born (primordial human groups) receives its Light and Life from its own Dhyani (Spirit), the Seven Races are born of it.

1st race receives from Sun, the 2nd from Jupiter, the 3rd from Venus (Lohitanga), the 4th from Moon (Saturn, Asita=Dark) and 5th from Mercury (Budha). About 6th   and 7th, we do not as yet know.

The spirit of Earth is subservient to the Spirit of Venus. They are ‘twins.’ Earth is the adopted child and younger brother of Venus. Our Wise-men are from the two globes. Their symbols are like this: 0 with + underneath is Venus; + above and O underneath is Earth.

[Sukra is the son of Bhrigu, one of the 7 Prajapathis, the Founder of Bhargava Vamsa (Race) in which Parassu-Rama was born. Race can be translated as Vamsa in the Indian context of Dynasties (Raghu vamsa, Chandra vamsa etc.). Bhrigu cursed  Vishnu, for killing Sukra’s mother) to be born on Earth Seven times.]

We are familiar with the ‘physical form’ of man and so are prone to think that it is the beginning of the ‘bodies of man’. The fact is that life passed through ‘3 elemental kingdoms, the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms’ before the human form is thought of. Individualization is the name we give to the first process of the life-giving on to ‘a particular person’, who reincarnates according to the Karmic Law till such time he liberates from the bond or wheel of birth and death.

The physical form is a ‘copy’ in physical matter of the ‘astral form’ that is designed and formulated by the celestial-beings in charge of that work. We have a series of ‘bodies’ working together and aiding in the ‘monadic evolution’ of the individual is common knowledge now.

As suggested above, the human form is a cumulative effect of life passing through different kingdoms of Nature. It is not that the human form has evolved from the ‘ape’ form. It is the Life that makes on the forms that suit for its continuance and not that one form evolves from the other. The primordial form for the man on this globe is termed the ‘Heavenly Man.’ (Purusha or Virat-purusha – is the term in the Indian System.)

The three new propositions are well explained and elaborated in separate books. One can refer to ‘Some significant Factors in Theosophy’ for more information.

 Madame Blavatsky and her Teachings

 There is need to have a clear understanding on the Teachings of Madame Blavatsky, their origin and expansion. It must be remembered that she herself mentioned many a time that all her work was restatement of forgotten and extraordinarily treasured facts. When asked to say how the Teachings were divided into two classes viz., Exoteric and Esoteric, she clearly answered:

The WISDOM-Religion was ever one, and being the last word of possible human knowledge, was, therefore, carefully preserved. It preceded by long ages the Alexandrian Theosophists, reached the modern, and will survive every other religion and philosophy.  ( KTT:p.7)

It was so preserved “among Initiates of every country; among profound seekers after truth – their disciples; and in those parts of the world where such topics have always been most valued and pursued; in India, Central Asia, and Persia. (p.8)

She mentions two main reasons for ‘secrecy’:

  1. 1.      The perversity of average human nature and its selfishness, always tending to the gratification of personal desires to the detriment of neighbours and next of kin. Such people can never be entrusted with divine secrets.
  2. Their unreliability to keep the sacred and divine knowledge from desecration. (p.12)

As to why ‘this system did come to be put forward just now, she has the following to say:

Just because the time was found to be ripe, which fact is shown by the determined effort of so many earnest students to reach the truth, at whatever cost and wherever it may be concealed. Seeing this, its custodians permitted that some portions at least of that truth should be proclaimed.

Her teaching was, therefore, the ‘anciently universal Wisdom-Religion,’ as the only possible key to the Absolute in science and theology. (ISIS.i.vii)

She quotes from her own preface to The Secret Doctrine, ‘she gave out the doctrines that she has learnt from the Masters, but claims no inspiration whatever for what she has lately written.’ (S.D.i. viii & KTT,p.298)

Her writings were coupled by her own study, observation and experimentation.

She clearly explains the differences between Theosophy and Occultism, spiritualism etc. she was affirmative that Theosophy is not an admixture of Hinduism (Brahmanism) and Buddhism, as many thinkers have felt.

She refers to the six systems of Indian Philosophy and clearly states that they are incomplete without the seventh viz., the Occult (Esoteric) doctrines.

While commenting on the book Esoteric Buddhism by A P Sinnett, she unambiguously stated:

The spelling of the word (Buddhism) had only to be altered, and by common consent both pronounced and written “Budhism,” instead of “Buddhism.” Nor is the latter term correctly spelt and pronounced, as it ought to be called, in English, Buddha-ism, and its votaries “Buddha-ists.”

(S.D.i,xviii)

She quotes many systems, Chaldean, Egyptian, Kabala, Indian etc. in substantiation of what she teaches. She suggests that ‘hints’ and ‘blinds’ are already available there but they are not integrated or synthesized. She cites from over 1200 of earlier texts, more than a hundred from Vishnupurana, many times correcting the wrong interpretations they carry and incidental misunderstandings thus cropping. She explains the inadequacy of English, any language for that matter, in explaining the aphorisms (Sutra-s) of metaphysical, philosophic ideas besides showing how indecisive and misleading they could be.  Teachings were given by the earlier teachers, when there was no printing or copying was available. The student had to memorize, deeply reflect upon the short statements till it totally sinks into him and then prepare himself for further lesson.

She relied on the texts of Indian Upanishads and their English versions available in her time, used many ‘ideas’ expressed by T Subba Row which had leaning towards the Adwaita system, more specifically  the Taraka Raja Yoga. But it cannot be said that she was not aware of the other systems, such as of Ramanuja and Madhava. When someone commented that her teaching in the Isis was moving substantially towards the doctrines of  Visishtadwaita, she had the following to say:

‘A sceptic in my early life, I had sought and obtained through the Masters the full assurance of the existence of a principle (not Personal god) –“a boundless and unfathomable ocean” of which my “soul” was a drop. Like the Adwaitees, I made no difference between my Seventh Principle and the Universal Spirit, or Parabrahm; nor did, or do I believe in an individual, segregated spirit in me, as a something apart from the whole. — whether it be orthodox Adwaita or not, I maintain as an occultist, on the authority of the Secret Doctrine, though merged entirely into Parabrahm, man’s spirit while not individual per se, yet preserves its distinct individuality in Paranirvan, owing to the accumulation in it of the aggregates, or skandhas that have survived after each death, from the highest faculties of the Manas. Ii the most spiritual—i.e., the highest and divinest aspirations of every personality follow Buddhi  and the Seventh Principle into Devachan (Swarga) after the death of each personality along the line of rebirths, and become part and parcel of the Monad.

                                               (Article in The Theosophist, January, 1886)

When Judge said: “The only fault with Sinnett’s book (Esoteric Buddhism) is that he too often says – ‘this knowledge is now being given out for the first time’. He does not do this because he wants glory for himself, but because he makes a mistake.” Madame Blavatsky elucidated the point thus:

The knowledge given out in Esoteric Buddhism is, most decidedly, “given out for the first time,” inasmuch as the allegories that lie scattered in the Hindu sacred literature  are now for the first time clearly explained  to the world of the profane. Since the birth of the Theosophical Society and the publication of Isis, it is being repeated daily that all Esoteric wisdom of the ages lies concealed in the Vedas, the Upanishad and Bhagavad-Gita. Yet, unto the day of first appearance of Esoteric Buddhism, and for long centuries back, these doctrines remained a sealed letter to all but a few initiated Brahmans who had always kept the spirit of it to themselves.  — Yet, surely, he who got it first from its finder and cut and polished it, may be permitted to say that the particular diamond is “given out for the first time” to the world, since its rays and luster are now shining for the first in broad day-light.                                                          (Coll. Writ. Vol.vi, p.146-8)

Discussing “The Masks of Science” and of ‘Forces”, she high-lights the Visishtadwaita Vedantins thus:

Ramanujacharya, being born in AD 1017, at a time when European “Science” still believed in the squareness and flatness of the Earth, of Cosmos-Indicopleustes of the 6th century taught: Before evolution began, Prakriti (Nature) was in a condition of laya  or absolute homogeneity, as “matter exists  in two conditions, the sukshma, or latent and undifferentiated, and the sthula or differentiated condition.” Then it became Anu, atomic. It (the Vedanta) teaches of suddha-sattwa – “ a substance not subject to the qualities of matter, from which it is quite different, and adds that out of that substance the bodies of the inhabitants of Vaikuntaloka (the heaven of Vishnu), the gods, are formed. That every particle or atom of Prakriti contains Jiva (divine life), and is the sarira(body) of that Jiva which it contains, while every Jiva in its turn the sarira of the supreme spirit, as “Parabrahm pervades every Jiva,  as well as every particle of matter.” Dualistic and anthropomorphic as may be the philosophy of the Visishtadwaita, when compared with that of the Adwaita – the non-dualists _, it is yet supremely higher in logic and philosophy than the cosmology accepted by either Christianity, or its great opponent, modern Science.

(SD,i,522)

Madame Blavatsky, was and is a Teacher, in her own right, for reestablishing the Guru-sishya parampara, informing the public of an Occult Hierarchy, introducing a Path-Proper to enlighten oneself and sequentially/eventually to receive the rays of Divinity. She laid a “Golden Staircase” for those interested in climbing up the ladder to the Temple of Divine Wisdom.

Her presentation of the classified Human Principles with their exoteric meanings and explanations, by itself, happens to be a great source for stimulation leading to a scrupulous  insight.(KTT.p.90)

Similar is her literal translation of the terms, viz., The Higher self; The Spiritual divine Ego; The Inner, or Higher “Ego” and The Lower, or Personal ego, from the Occult Eastern texts, for “future use” to “settle on some definite nomenclature.”                       (KTT.p.173-4)

For ready comprehension, they are reproduced below:

The Higher Self is: Atma, the imperishable ray of the Universal and One Self. It is the God above, more than within, us. Happy is the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it.

The Spiritual divine Ego is: the Spiritual soul or Buddhi, in close union with Manas, the mind-principle, without which it is no Ego at all, but only the Atmic Vehicle.

The Inner, or Higher “Ego” is: Manas, the “fifth” Principle, so called, independently of Buddhi. The Mind-Principle is only the Spiritual-Ego when merged  into one  with Buddhi, — no materialist being supposed to have in him such an Ego, however great his intellectual capacities. It is the permanent Individuality or the “Reincarnating Ego.”

The lower or Personal “Ego” is: the physical man in conjunction with his lower Self, i.e., animal instincts, passions, desires, etc. It is called the “false personality,” and consists of the lower Manas combined with Kama-rupa, and operating through the Physical body and its phantom or “double.”

The remaining “Principle” “Prana,” or “Life.” Is, strictly speaking, the radiating force or energy of Atma – as the Universal Life and the One self, –its lower or rather (in its effects) more physical, because manifesting, aspect. Prana or Life permeates the whole being of the objective Universe; and is called a “principle” only because it is an indispensable factor and the  dues ex machine  (=light in operation) of the living man.

The esoteric and occult doctrines are her main pillars of support and she informs the discerning seekers and leads to that specific interest. The essential unity of all constituents of nature, the oneness of manifestation are the key-points which she, radically and well-substantiated, presents. Her main contention is that that there is a Divine Order (Divya-ajna) which surpasses in rule (administering) and becomes relevant for all Time, Space and State of Being; it moves on from strength to strength, undisturbed in modifications and undaunted in courage.

Her Teaching is primarily based upon the Occult Doctrines, catechisms and Esoteric Texts; her citing the numerous scriptural texts of the world is only to show that the statements are suggestively available earlier but ‘forgotten’ or ‘got eclipsed’ for recorded and unrecorded historical reasons.

Her literary period is limited to 16 years (1875-’91) and is backed by “knowledge not her own.” Her out-put is amazingly enormous and profusely abundant. As she did from the hitherto concealed records, the present and future reader too has to swim through and collect the scattered and scintillating pearls and diamonds from her bulky volumes. One needs to be reminded, again, that “it but needs the right perception of things objective to finally discover that the only world of reality is the subjective.” (Isis.ii, p.639)

The Teaching needs to be read and reflected upon, not merely textually but more contextually for the simple reason the History and Philosophy are inseparably interwoven. She often says, ‘my English is poor’ and ‘book-writing novice’. It is good to take such wordings for example of her ‘modesty’ than anything else.

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References are from the Texts: The Key to Theosophy, Isis, The Secret Doctrine); and Collected writings.