Five Years of Theosophy (2024)

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Title: Five Years of Theosophy

Editor: G. R. S. Mead

Release date: December 18, 2004 [eBook #14378]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English


E-text prepared by an anonymous Project Gutenberg contributor

Mystical, Philosophical, Theosophical, Historical and Scientific Essays
Selected from "The Theosophist"

Edited by George Robert Snow Mead


The "Elixir of Life"
Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish?
Chelas and Lay Chelas
Ancient Opinions upon Psychic Bodies
The Nilgiri Sannyasis
Witchcraft on the Nilgiris
Shamanism and Witchcraft Amongst the Kolarian Tribes
Mahatmas and Chelas
The Brahmanical Thread
Reading in a Sealed Envelope
The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac
The Sishal and Bhukailas Yogis


True and False Personality
Zorastrianism on the Septenary Constitution of Man
Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man
The Septenary Principle in Esotericism
Personal and Impersonal God
Prakriti and Parusha
Morality and Pantheism
Occult Study
Some Inquiries Suggested by Mr. Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism"
Sakya Muni's Place in History
Inscriptions Discovered by General A. Cunningham
Discrimination of Spirit and Not-Spirit
Was Writing Known Before Panini?


What is Theosophy?
How a "Chela" Found His "Guru"
The Sages of the Himavat
The Himalayan Brothers—Do They Exist?
Interview With a Mahatma
The Secret Doctrine


The Puranas on the Dynasty of the Moryas and on Koothoomi
The Theory of Cycles


Odorigen and Jiva
Introversion of Mental Vision
"How Shall We Sleep?"
Transmigration of the Life Atoms
"OM" and its Practical Significance


The "Elixir of Life"
From a Chela's* Diary. By G—-M—-, F.T.S.

"And Enoch walked with the Elohim, and the Elohim took him."


[The curious information-for whatsoever else the world may think of it,it will doubtless be acknowledged to be that—contained in the articlethat follows, merits a few words of introduction. The details given init on the subject of what has always been considered as one of thedarkest and most strictly guarded of the mysteries of the initiationinto occultism—from the days of the Rishis until those of theTheosophical Society—came to the knowledge of the author in a way thatwould seem to the ordinary run of Europeans strange and supernatural.He himself, however, we may assure the reader, is a most thoroughdisbeliever in the Supernatural, though he has learned too much to limitthe capabilities of the natural as some do. Further, he has to make thefollowing confession of his own belief. It will be apparent, from acareful perusal of the facts, that if the matter be really as statedtherein, the author cannot himself be an adept of high grade, as thearticle in such a case would never have been written. Nor does hepretend to be one. He is, or rather was, for a few years an humbleChela. Hence, the converse must consequently be also true, that asregards the higher stages of the mystery he can have no personalexperience, but speaks of it only as a close observer left to his ownsurmises—and no more. He may, therefore, boldly state that during, andnotwithstanding, his unfortunately rather too short stay with someadepts, he has by actual experiment and observation verified some of theless transcendental or incipient parts of the "Course." And, though itwill be impossible for him to give positive testimony as to what liesbeyond, he may yet mention that all his own course of study, trainingand experience, long, severe and dangerous as it has often been, leadshim to the conviction that everything is really as stated, save somedetails purposely veiled. For causes which cannot be explained to thepublic, he himself may he unable or unwilling to use the secret he hasgained access to. Still he is permitted by one to whom all hisreverential affection and gratitude are due—his last guru—to divulgefor the benefit of Science and Man, and specially for the good of thosewho are courageous enough to personally make the experiment, thefollowing astounding particulars of the occult methods for prolonginglife to a period far beyond the common.—G.M.]

* A. Chela is the pupil and disciple of an initiated Guru or

Probably one of the first considerations which move the worldly-mindedat present to solicit initiation into Theosophy is the belief, or hope,that, immediately on joining, some extraordinary advantage over the restof mankind will be conferred upon the candidate. Some even think thatthe ultimate result of their initiation will perhaps be exemption fromthat dissolution which is called the common lot of mankind. Thetraditions of the "Elixir of Life," said to be in the possession ofKabalists and Alchemists, are still cherished by students of MedievalOccultism—in Europe. The allegory of the Ab-e Hyat or Water of Life,is still credited as a fact by the degraded remnants of the Asiaticesoteric sects ignorant of the real GREAT SECRET. The "pungent and fieryEssence," by which Zanoni renewed his existence, still fires theimagination of modern visionaries as a possible scientific discovery ofthe future.

Theosophically, though the fact is distinctly declared to be true, theabove-named conceptions of the mode of procedure leading to therealization of the fact, are known to be false. The reader may or maynot believe it; but as a matter of fact, Theosophical Occultists claimto have communication with (living) Intelligences possessing aninfinitely wider range of observation than is contemplated even by theloftiest aspirations of modern science, all the present "Adepts" ofEurope and America—dabblers in the Kabala—notwithstanding. But fareven as those superior Intelligences have investigated (or, ifpreferred, are alleged to have investigated), and remotely as they mayhave searched by the help of inference and analogy, even They havefailed to discover in the Infinity anything permanent but—SPACE. ALLIS SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Reflection, therefore, will easily suggest to thereader the further logical inference that in a Universe which isessentially impermanent in its conditions, nothing can conferpermanency. Therefore, no possible substance, even if drawn from thedepths of Infinity; no imaginable combination of drugs, whether of ourearth or any other, though compounded by even the Highest Intelligence;no system of life or discipline though directed by the sternestdetermination and skill, could possibly produce Immutability. For inthe universe of solar systems, wherever and however investigated,Immutability necessitates "Non-Being" in the physical sense given it bythe Theists-Non-Being which is nothing in the narrow conceptions ofWestern Religionists—a reductio ad absurdum. This is a gratuitousinsult even when applied to the pseudo-Christian or ecclesiasticalJehovite idea of God.

Consequently, it will be seen that the common ideal conception of"Immortality" is not only essentially wrong, but a physical andmetaphysical impossibility. The idea, whether cherished by Theosophistsor non-Theosophists, by Christians or Spiritualists, by Materialists orIdealists, is a chimerical illusion. But the actual prolongation ofhuman life is possible for a time so long as to appear miraculous andincredible to those who regard our span of existence as necessarilylimited to at most a couple of hundred years. We may break, as it were,the shock of Death, and instead of dying, change a sudden plunge intodarkness to a transition into a brighter light. And this may be made sogradual that the passage from one state of existence to another shallhave its friction minimized, so as to be practically imperceptible.This is a very different matter, and quite within the reach of OccultScience. In this, as in all other cases, means properly directed willgain their ends, and causes produce effects. Of course, the onlyquestion is, what are these causes, and how, in their turn, are they tobe produced. To lift, as far as may be allowed, the veil from thisaspect of Occultism, is the object of the present paper.

We must premise by reminding the reader of two Theosophic doctrines,constantly inculcated in "Isis" and in other mystic works—namely, (a)that ultimately the Kosmos is One—one under infinite variations andmanifestations, and (b) that the so-called man is a "compound being"—composite not only in the exoteric scientific sense of being a congeriesof living so-called material Units, but also in the esoteric sense ofbeing a succession of seven forms or parts of itself, interblended witheach other. To put it more clearly we might say that the more etherealforms are but duplicates of the same aspect,—each finer one lyingwithin the inter-atomic spaces of the next grosser. We would have thereader understand that these are no subtleties, no "spiritualities" atall in the Christo-Spiritualistic sense. In the actual man reflected inyour mirror are really several men, or several parts of one compositeman; each the exact counterpart of the other, but the "atomicconditions" (for want of a better word) of each of which are so arrangedthat its atoms interpenetrate those of the next "grosser" form. It doesnot, for our present purpose, matter how the Theosophists,Spiritualists, Buddhists, Kabalists, or Vedantists, count, separate,classify, arrange or name these, as that war of terms may be postponedto another occasion. Neither does it matter what relation each of thesem*n has to the various "elements" of the Kosmos of which he forms apart. This knowledge, though of vital importance in other respects, neednot be explained or discussed now. Nor does it much more concern usthat the Scientists deny the existence of such an arrangement, becausetheir instruments are inadequate to make their senses perceive it. Wewill simply reply—"get better instruments and keener senses, andeventually you will."

All we have to say is that if you are anxious to drink of the "Elixir ofLife," and live a thousand years or so, you must take our word for thematter at present, and proceed on the assumption. For esoteric sciencedoes not give the faintest possible hope that the desired end will everbe attained by any other way; while modern, or so-called exactscience—laughs at it.

So, then, we have arrived at the point where we have determined—literally, not metaphorically—to crack the outer shell known as themortal coil or body, and hatch out of it, clothed in our next. This"next" is not spiritual, but only a more ethereal form. Having by along training and preparation adapted it for a life in this atmosphere,during which time we have gradually made the outward shell to die offthrough a certain process (hints of which will be found further on) wehave to prepare for this physiological transformation.

How are we to do it? In the first place we have the actual, visible,material body—Man, so called; though, in fact, but his outer shell—todeal with. Let us bear in mind that science teaches us that in aboutevery seven years we change skin as effectually as any serpent; andthis so gradually and imperceptibly that, had not science after years ofunremitting study and observation assured us of it, no one would havehad the slightest suspicion of the fact.

We see, moreover, that in process of time any cut or lesion upon thebody, however deep, has a tendency to repair the loss and reunite; apiece of lost skin is very soon replaced by another. Hence, if a man,partially flayed alive, may sometimes survive and be covered with a newskin, so our astral, vital body—the fourth of the seven (havingattracted and assimilated to itself the second) and which is so muchmore ethereal than the physical one—may be made to harden its particlesto the atmospheric changes. The whole secret is to succeed in evolvingit out, and separating it from the visible; and while its generallyinvisible atoms proceed to concrete themselves into a compact mass, togradually get rid of the old particles of our visible frame so as tomake them die and disappear before the new set has had time to evolveand replace them. We can say no more. The Magdalene is not the onlyone who could be accused of having "seven spirits" in her, though menwho have a lesser number of spirits (what a misnomer that word!) inthem, are not few or exceptional; they are the frequent failures ofnature—the incomplete men and women.*

—————-* This is not to be taken as meaning that such persons are thoroughlydestitute of some one or several of the seven principles—a man bornwithout an arm has still its ethereal counterpart; but that they are solatent that they cannot be developed, and consequently are to beconsidered as non-existing.—Ed. Theos.—————

Each of these has in turn to survive the preceding and more dense one,and then die. The exception is the sixth when absorbed into and blendedwith the seventh. The "Phatu" * of the old Hindu physiologist had adual meaning, the esoteric side of which corresponds with the Tibetan"Zung" (seven principles of the body).

We Asiatics, have a proverb, probably handed down to us, and by theHindus repeated ignorantly as to its esoteric meaning. It has beenknown ever since the old Rishis mingled familiarly with the simple andnoble people they taught and led on. The Devas had whispered into everyman's ear—Thou only—if thou wilt—art "immortal." Combine with thisthe saying of a Western author that if any man could just realize for aninstant, that he had to die some day, he would die that instant. TheIlluminated will perceive that between these two sayings, rightlyunderstood, stands revealed the whole secret of Longevity. We only diewhen our will ceases to be strong enough to make us live. In themajority of cases, death comes when the torture and vital exhaustionaccompanying a rapid change in our physical conditions becomes sointense as to weaken, for one single instant, our "clutch on life," orthe tenacity of the will to exist. Till then, however severe may be thedisease, however sharp the pang, we are only sick or wounded, as thecase may be.

—————-* Dhatu—the seven principal substances of the human body—chyle, flesh,blood, fat, bones, marrow, sem*n.—————-

This explains the cases of sudden deaths from joy, fright, pain, griefor such other causes. The sense of a life-task consummated, of theworthlessness of one's existence, if strongly realized, produced deathas surely as poison or a rifle-bullet. On the other hand, a sterndetermination to continue to live, has, in fact, carried many throughthe crises of the most severe diseases, in perfect safety.

First, then, must be the determination—the Will—the conviction ofcertainty, to survive and continue.* Without that, all else is useless.And to be efficient for the purpose, it must be, not only a passingresolution of the moment, a single fierce desire of short duration, buta settled and continued strain, as nearly as can be continued andconcentrated without one single moment's relaxation. In a word, thewould-be "Immortal" must be on his watch night and day, guarding selfa*gainst-himself. To live—to live—to live—must be his unswervingresolve. He must as little as possible allow himself to be turned asidefrom it. It may be said that this is the most concentrated form ofselfishness,—that it is utterly opposed to our Theosophic professionsof benevolence, and disinterestedness, and regard for the good ofhumanity. Well, viewed in a short-sighted way, it is so. But to dogood, as in everything else, a man must have time and materials to workwith, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powers bywhich infinitely more good can be done than without them.

—————* Col. Olcott has epigrammatically explained the creative or rather there-creative power of the Will, in his "Buddhist Catechism." He thereshows—of course, speaking on behalf of the Southern Buddhists—thatthis Will to live, if not extinguished in the present life, leaps overthe chasm of bodily death, and recombines the Skandhas, or groups ofqualities that made up the individual into a new personality. Man is,therefore, reborn as the result of his own unsatisfied yearning forobjective existence. Col. Olcott puts it in this way:

Q. 123. What is that, in man, which gives him the impression ofhaving a permanent individuality?

A. Tanha, or the unsatisfied desire for existence. The being havingdone that for which he must be rewarded or punished in future, andhaving Tanha, will have a rebirth through the influence of Karma.

Q. 124. ….What is it that is reborn?

A. A new aggregation of Skandhas, or individuality, caused by the lastyearning of the dying person.

Q. 128. To what cause must we attribute the differences in thecombination of the Five Skandhas has which makes every individualdifferent from every other individual?

A. To the Karma of the individual in the next preceding birth.

Q. 129. What is the force or energy that is at work, under theguidance of Karma, to produce the new being?

A. Tanha—the "Will to Live."—————

When these are once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive,for there comes a moment when further watch and exertion are no longerneeded:—the moment when the turning-point is safely passed. For thepresent as we deal with aspirants and not with advanced chelas, in thefirst stage a determined, dogged resolution, and an enlightenedconcentration of self on self, are all that is absolutely necessary. Itmust not, however, be considered that the candidate is required to beunhuman or brutal in his negligence of others. Such a recklesslyselfish course would be as injurious to him as the contrary one ofexpending his vital energy on the gratification of his physical desires.All that is required from him is a purely negative attitude. Until theturning-point is reached, he must not "lay out" his energy in lavish orfiery devotion to any cause, however noble, however "good," howeverelevated.* Such, we can solemnly assure the reader, would bring itsreward in many ways—perhaps in another life, perhaps in this world, butit would tend to shorten the existence it is desired to preserve, assurely as self-indulgence and profligacy. That is why very few of thetruly great men of the world (of course, the unprincipled adventurerswho have applied great powers to bad uses are out of the question)—themartyrs, the heroes, the founders of religions, the liberators ofnations, the leaders of reforms—ever became members of the long-lived"Brotherhood of Adepts" who were by some and for long years accused ofselfishness. (And that is also why the Yogis, and the Fakirs of modernIndia—most of whom are acting now but on the dead-letter tradition, arerequired if they would be considered living up to the principles oftheir profession—to appear entirely dead to every inward feeling oremotion.) Notwithstanding the purity of their hearts, the greatness oftheir aspirations, the disinterestedness of their self-sacrifice, theycould not live for they had missed the hour.

————* On page 151 of Mr. Sinnett's "Occult World," the author's much abused,and still more doubted correspondent assures him that none yet of his"degree are like the stern hero of Bulwer's" Zanoni…. "the heartlessmorally dried up mummies some would fancy us to be" and adds that few ofthem "would care to play the part in life of a desiccated pansy betweenthe leaves of a volume of solemn poetry." But our adept omits sayingthat one or two degrees higher, and he will have to submit for a periodof years to such a mummifying process unless, indeed, he wouldvoluntarily give up a life-long labour and—Die.—Ed.—————

They may at times have exercised powers which the world calledmiraculous; they may have electrified man and subdued Nature by fieryand self-devoted Will; they may have been possessed of a so-calledsuperhuman intelligence; they may have even had knowledge of, andcommunion with, members of our own occult Brotherhood; but, havingdeliberately resolved to devote their vital energy to the welfare ofothers, rather than to themselves, they have surrendered life; and,when perishing on the cross or the scaffold, or falling, sword in hand,upon the battle-field, or sinking exhausted after a successfulconsummation of the life-object, on death-beds in their chambers, theyhave all alike had to cry out at last: "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!"

So far so good. But, given the will to live, however powerful, we haveseen that, in the ordinary course of mundane life, the throes ofdissolution cannot be checked. The desperate, and again and againrenewed struggle of the Kosmic elements to proceed with a career ofchange despite the will that is checking them, like a pair of runawayhorses struggling against the determined driver holding them in, are socumulatively powerful, that the utmost efforts of the untrained humanwill acting within an unprepared body become ultimately useless. Thehighest intrepidity of the bravest soldier; the interest desire of theyearning lover; the hungry greed of the unsatisfied miser; the mostundoubting faith of the sternest fanatic; the practiced insensibilityto pain of the hardiest red Indian brave or half-trained Hindu Yogi;the most deliberate philosophy of the calmest thinker—all alike fail atlast. Indeed, sceptics will allege in opposition to the verities ofthis article that, as a matter of experience, it is often observed thatthe mildest and most irresolute of minds and the weakest of physicalframes are often seen to resist "Death" longer than the powerful will ofthe high-spirited and obstinately-egotistic man, and the iron frame ofthe labourer, the warrior and the athlete. In reality, however, the keyto the secret of these apparently contradictory phenomena is the trueconception of the very thing we have already said. If the physicaldevelopment of the gross "outer shell" proceeds on parallel lines and atan equal rate with that of the will, it stands to reason that noadvantage for the purpose of overcoming it, is attained by the latter.The acquisition of improved breechloaders by one modern army confers noabsolute superiority if the enemy also becomes possessed of them.Consequently it will be at once apparent, to those who think on thesubject, that much of the training by which what is known as "a powerfuland determined nature," perfects itself for its own purpose on the stageof the visible world, necessitating and being useless without a paralleldevelopment of the "gross" and so-called animal frame, is, in short,neutralized, for the purpose at present treated of, by the fact that itsown action has armed the enemy with weapons equal to its own. The forceof the impulse to dissolution is rendered equal to the will to opposeit; and being cumulative, subdues the will-power and triumphs at last.On the other hand, it may happen that an apparently weak and vacillatingwill-power residing in a weak and undeveloped physical frame, may be soreinforced by some unsatisfied desire—the Ichcha (wish)—as it iscalled by the Indian Occultists (for instance, a mother's heart-yearningto remain and support her fatherless children)—as to keep down andvanquish, for a short time, the physical throes of a body to which ithas become temporarily superior.

The whole rationale then, of the first condition of continued existencein this world, is (a) the development of a Will so powerful as toovercome the hereditary (in a Darwinian sense) tendencies of the atomscomposing the "gross" and palpable animal frame, to hurry on at aparticular period in a certain course of Kosmic change; and (b) to soweaken the concrete action of that animal frame as to make it moreamenable to the power of the Will. To defeat an army, you mustdemoralize and throw it into disorder.

To do this then, is the real object of all the rites, ceremonies, fasts,"prayers," meditations, initiations and procedures of self-disciplineenjoined by various esoteric Eastern sects, from that course of pure andelevated aspiration which leads to the higher phases of Adeptism Real,down to the fearful and disgusting ordeals which the adherent of the"Left-hand-Road" has to pass through, all the time maintaining hisequilibrium. The procedures have their merits and their demerits, theirseparate uses and abuses, their essential and non-essential parts, theirvarious veils, mummeries, and labyrinths. But in all, the result aimedat is reached, if by different processes. The Will is strengthened,encouraged and directed, and the elements opposing its action aredemoralized. Now, to any one who has thought out and connected thevarious evolution theories, as taken, not from any occult source, butfrom the ordinary scientific manual accessible to all—from thehypothesis of the latest variation in the habits of species—say, theacquisition of carnivorous habits by the New Zealand parrot, forinstance—to the farthest glimpses backwards into Space and Eternityafforded by the "Fire Mist" doctrine, it will be apparent that they allrest on one basis. That basis is, that the impulse once given to ahypothetical Unit has a tendency to continue; and consequently, thatanything "done" by something at a certain time and certain place tendsto repeat itself at other times and places.

Such is the admitted rationale of heredity and atavism. That the samethings apply to our ordinary conduct is apparent from the notorious easewith which "habits,"—bad or good, as the case may be—are acquired, andit will not be questioned that this applies, as a rule, as much to themoral and intellectual, as to the physical world.

Furthermore, History and Science teach us plainly that certain physicalhabits conduce to certain moral and intellectual results. There neveryet was a conquering nation of vegetarians. Even in the old Aryan times,we do not learn that the very Rishis, from whose lore and practice wegain the knowledge of Occultism, ever interdicted the Kshetriya(military) caste from hunting or a carnivorous diet. Filling, as theydid, a certain place in the body politic in the actual condition of theworld, the Rishis as little thought of interfering with them, as ofrestraining the tigers of the jungle from their habits. That did notaffect what the Rishis did themselves.

The aspirant to longevity then must be on his guard against two dangers.He must beware especially of impure and animal* thoughts. For Scienceshows that thought is dynamic, and the thought-force evolved by nervousaction expanding outwardly, must affect the molecular relations of thephysical man. The inner men,** however sublimated their organism maybe, are still composed of actual, not hypothetical, particles, and arestill subject to the law that an "action" has a tendency to repeatit*elf; a tendency to set up analogous action in the grosser "shell"they are in contact with, and concealed within.

—————* In other words, the thought tends to provoke the deed.—G.M.

** We use the word in the plural, reminding the reader that, accordingto our doctrine, man is septenary.—G.M.—————

And, on the other hand, certain actions have a tendency to produceactual physical conditions unfavourable to pure thoughts, hence to thestate required for developing the supremacy of the inner man.

To return to the practical process. A normally healthy mind, in anormally healthy body, is a good starting-point. Though exceptionallypowerful and self-devoted natures may sometimes recover the ground lostby mental degradation or physical misuse, by employing proper means,under the direction of unswerving resolution, yet often things may havegone so far that there is no longer stamina enough to sustain theconflict sufficiently long to perpetuate this life; though what inEastern parlance is called the "merit" of the effort will help toameliorate conditions and improve matters in another.

However this may be, the prescribed course of self-discipline commenceshere. It may be stated briefly that its essence is a course of moral,mental, and physical development, carried on in parallel lines—onebeing useless without the other. The physical man must be rendered moreethereal and sensitive; the mental man more penetrating and profound;the moral man more self-denying and philosophical. And it may bementioned that all sense of restraint—even if self-imposed—is useless.Not only is all "goodness" that results from the compulsion of physicalforce, threats, or bribes (whether of a physical or so-called"spiritual" nature) absolutely useless to the person who exhibits it,its hypocrisy tending to poison the moral atmosphere of the world, butthe desire to be "good" or "pure," to be efficacious must bespontaneous. It must be a self-impulse from within, a real preferencefor something higher, not an abstention from vice because of fear of thelaw: not a chastity enforced by the dread of Public Opinion; not abenevolence exercised through love of praise or dread of consequences ina hypothetical Future Life.*

* Col. Olcott clearly and succinctly explains the Buddhist doctrine of
Merit or Karma, in his "Buddhist Catechism."
(Question 83).—G.M.

It will be seen now in connection with the doctrine of the tendencyto the renewal of action, before discussed, that the course ofself-discipline recommended as the only road to Longevity by Occultismis not a "visionary" theory dealing with vague "ideas," but actually ascientifically devised system of drill. It is a system by which eachparticle of the several men composing the septenary individual receivesan impulse, and a habit of doing what is necessary for certain purposesof its own free-will and with "pleasure." Every one must be practicedand perfect in a thing to do it with pleasure. This rule especiallyapplies to the case of the development of Man. "Virtue" may be verygood in its way—it may lead to the grandest results. But to becomeefficacious it has to be practiced cheerfully not with reluctance orpain. As a consequence of the above consideration the candidate forLongevity at the commencement of his career must begin to eschew hisphysical desires, not from any sentimental theory of right or wrong, butfor the following good reason. As, according to a well-known and nowestablished scientific theory, his visible material frame is alwaysrenewing its particles; he will, while abstaining from thegratification of his desires, reach the end of a certain period duringwhich those particles which composed the man of vice, and which weregiven a bad predisposition, will have departed. At the same time, thedisuse of such functions will tend to obstruct the entry, in place ofthe old particles, of new particles having a tendency to repeat the saidacts. And while this is the particular result as regards certain"vices," the general result of an abstention from "gross" acts will be(by a modification of the well-known Darwinian law of atrophy bynon-usage) to diminish what we may call the "relative" density andcoherence of the outer shell (as a result of its less-used molecules);while the diminution in the quantity of its actual constituents will he"made up" (if tried by scales and weights) by the increased admission ofmore ethereal particles.

What physical desires are to be abandoned and in what order? First andforemost, he must give up alcohol in all forms; for while it suppliesno nourishment, nor any direct pleasure (beyond such sweetness orfragrance as may be gained in the taste of wine, &c., to which alcohol,in itself, is non-essential) to even the grossest elements of the"physical" frame, it induces a violence of action, a rush so to speak,of life, the stress of which can only be sustained by very dull, gross,and dense elements, and which, by the operation of the well-known law ofRe-action (in commercial phrase, "supply and demand") tends to summonthem from the surrounding universe, and therefore directly counteractsthe object we have in view.

Next comes meat-eating, and for the very same reason, in a minor degree.It increases the rapidity of life, the energy of action, the violence ofpassions. It may be good for a hero who has to fight and die, but notfor a would-be sage who has to exist and….

Next in order come the sexual desires; for these, in addition to thegreat diversion of energy (vital force) into other channels, in manydifferent ways, beyond the primary one (as, for instance, the waste ofenergy in expectation, jealousy, &c.), are direct attractions to acertain gross quality of the original matter of the Universe, simplybecause the most pleasurable physical sensations are only possible atthat stage of density. Alongside with and extending beyond all theseand other gratifications of the senses (which include not only thosethings usually known as "vicious," but all those which, thoughordinarily regarded as "innocent," have yet the disqualification ofministering to the pleasures of the body—the most harmless to othersand the least "gross" being the criterion for those to be last abandonedin each case)—must be carried on the moral purification.

Nor must it be imagined that "austerities" as commonly understood can,in the majority of cases, avail much to hasten the "etherealizing"process. That is the rock on which many of the Eastern esoteric sectshave foundered, and the reason why they have degenerated into degradingsuperstitions. The Western monks and the Eastern Yogees, who think theywill reach the apex of powers by concentrating their thought on theirnavel, or by standing on one leg, are practicing exercises which serveno other purpose than to strengthen the willpower, which is sometimesapplied to the basest purposes. These are examples of this one-sidedand dwarf development. It is no use to fast as long as you requirefood. The ceasing of desire for food without impairment of health isthe sign which indicates that it should be taken in lesser and everdecreasing quantities until the extreme limit compatible with life isreached. A stage will be finally attained where only water will berequired.

Nor is it of any use for this particular purpose of longevity to abstainfrom immorality so long as you are craving for it in your heart; and soon with all other unsatisfied inward cravings. To get rid of the inwarddesire is the essential thing, and to mimic the real thing without it isbarefaced hypocrisy and useless slavery.

So it must be with the moral purification of the heart. The "basest"inclinations must go first—then the others. First avarice, then fear,then envy, worldly pride, uncharitableness, hatred; last of allambition and curiosity must be abandoned successively. Thestrengthening of the more ethereal and so-called "spiritual" parts ofthe man must go on at the same time. Reasoning from the known to theunknown, meditation must be practiced and encouraged. Meditation is theinexpressible yearning of the inner Man to "go out towards theinfinite," which in the olden time was the real meaning of adoration,but which has now no synonym in the European languages, because thething no longer exists in the West, and its name has been vulgarized tothe make-believe shams known as prayer, glorification, and repentance.Through all stages of training the equilibrium of the consciousness—theassurance that all must be right in the Kosmos, and therefore with you aportion of it—must be retained. The process of life must not be hurriedbut retarded, if possible; to do otherwise may do good to others—perhaps even to yourself in other spheres, but it will hasten yourdissolution in this.

Nor must the externals be neglected in this first stage. Remember thatan adept, though "existing" so as to convey to ordinary minds the ideaof his being immortal, is not also invulnerable to agencies fromwithout. The training to prolong life does not, in itself, secure onefrom accidents. As far as any physical preparation goes, the sword maystill cut, the disease enter, the poison disarrange. This case is veryclearly and beautifully put in "Zanoni," and it is correctly put andmust be so, unless all "adeptism" is a baseless lie. The adept may bemore secure from ordinary dangers than the common mortal, but he is soby virtue of the superior knowledge, calmness, coolness and penetrationwhich his lengthened existence and its necessary concomitants haveenabled him to acquire; not by virtue of any preservative power in theprocess itself. He is secure as a man armed with a rifle is more securethan a naked baboon; not secure in the sense in which the deva (god)was supposed to be securer than a man.

If this is so in the case of the high adept, how much more necessary isit that the neophyte should be not only protected but that he himselfshould use all possible means to ensure for himself the necessaryduration of life to complete the process of mastering the phenomena wecall death! It may be said, why do not the higher adepts protect him?Perhaps they do to some extent, but the child must learn to walk alone;to make him independent of his own efforts in respect to safety, wouldbe destroying one element necessary to his development—the sense ofresponsibility. What courage or conduct would be called for in a mansent to fight when armed with irresistible weapons and clothed inimpenetrable armour? Hence the neophyte should endeavour, as far aspossible, to fulfill every true canon of sanitary law as laid down bymodern scientists. Pure air, pure water, pure food, gentle exercise,regular hours, pleasant occupations and surroundings, are all, if notindispensable, at least serviceable to his progress. It is to securethese, at least as much as silence and solitude, that the Gods, Sages,Occultists of all ages have retired as much as possible to the quiet ofthe country, the cool cave, the depths of the forest, the expanse of thedesert, or the heights of the mountains. Is it not suggestive that theGods have always loved the "high places"; and that in the present daythe highest section of the Occult Brotherhood on earth inhabits thehighest mountain plateaux of the earth?*

————-* The stern prohibition to the Jews to serve "their gods upon the highmountains and upon the hills" is traced back to the unwillingness oftheir ancient elders to allow people in most cases unfit for adeptshipto choose a life of celibacy and asceticism, or in other words, topursue adeptship. This prohibition had an esoteric meaning before itbecame the prohibition, incomprehensible in its dead-letter sense: forit is not India alone whose sons accorded divine honours to the WiseOnes, but all nations regarded their adepts and initiates as divine.—G.M.————-

Nor must the beginner disdain the assistance of medicine and goodmedical regimen. He is still an ordinary mortal, and he requires theaid of an ordinary mortal.

"Suppose, however, all the conditions required, or which will beunderstood as required (for the details and varieties of treatmentrequisite, are too numerous to be detailed here), are fulfilled, what isthe next step?" the reader will ask. Well if there have been nobackslidings or remissness in the procedure indicated, the followingphysical results will follow:—

First the neophyte will take more pleasure in things spiritual and pure.Gradually gross and material occupations will become not only uncravedfor or forbidden, but simply and literally repulsive to him. He willtake more pleasure in the simple sensations of Nature—the sort offeeling one can remember to have experienced as a child. He will feelmore light-hearted, confident, happy. Let him take care the sensationof renewed youth does not mislead, or he will yet risk a fall into hisold baser life and even lower depths. "Action and Re-action are equal."

Now the desire for food will begin to cease. Let it be left offgradually—no fasting is required. Take what you feel you require. Thefood craved for will be the most innocent and simple. Fruit and milkwill usually be the best. Then as till now, you have been simplifyingthe quality of your food, gradually—very gradually—as you feel capableof it diminish the quantity. You will ask: "Can a man exist withoutfood?" No, but before you mock, consider the character of the processalluded to. It is a notorious fact that many of the lowest and simplestorganisms have no excretions. The common guinea-worm is a very goodinstance. It has rather a complicated organism, but it has noejacul*tory duct. All it consumes—the poorest essences of the humanbody—is applied to its growth and propagation. Living as it does inhuman tissue, it passes no digested food away. The human neophyte, at acertain stage of his development, is in a somewhat analogous condition,with this difference or differences, that he does excrete, but it isthrough the pores of his skin, and by those too enter other etherealizedparticles of matter to contribute towards his support.* Otherwise, allthe food and drink is sufficient only to keep in equilibrium those"gross" parts of his physical body which still remain to repair theircuticle-waste through the medium of the blood. Later on, the process ofcell-development in his frame will undergo a change; a change for thebetter, the opposite of that in disease for the worse—he will becomeall living and sensitive, and will derive nourishment from the Ether(Akas). But that epoch for our neophyte is yet far distant.

————-* He is in a state similar to the physical state of a fetusbefore birth into the world.—G.M.————-

Probably, long before that period has arrived, other results, no lesssurprising than incredible to the uninitiated will have ensued to giveour neophyte courage and consolation in his difficult task. It would bebut a truism to repeat what has been again alleged (in ignorance of itsreal rationale) by hundreds and hundreds of writers as to the happinessand content conferred by a life of innocence and purity. But often atthe very commencement of the process some real physical result,unexpected and unthought of by the neophyte, occurs. Some lingeringdisease, hitherto deemed hopeless, may take a favourable turn; or he maydevelop healing mesmeric powers himself; or some hitherto unknownsharpening of his senses may delight him. The rationale of these thingsis, as we have said, neither miraculous nor difficult of comprehension.In the first place, the sudden change in the direction of the vitalenergy (which, whatever view we take of it and its origin, isacknowledged by all schools of philosophy as most recondite, and as themotive power) must produce results of some kind. In the second,Theosophy shows, as we said before, that a man consists of several menpervading each other, and on this view (although it is very difficult toexpress the idea in language) it is but natural that the progressiveetherealization of the densest and most gross of all should leave theothers literally more at liberty. A troop of horses may be blocked by amob and have much difficulty in fighting its way through; but if everyone of the mob could be changed suddenly into a ghost, there would belittle to retard it. And as each interior entity is more rare, active,and volatile than the outer and as each has relation with differentelements, spaces, and properties of the Kosmos which are treated of inother articles on Occultism, the mind of the reader may conceive—thoughthe pen of the writer could not express it in a dozen volumes—themagnificent possibilities gradually unfolded to the neophyte.

Many of the opportunities thus suggested may be taken advantage of bythe neophyte for his own safety, amusem*nt, and the good of those aroundhim; but the way in which he does this is one adapted to his fitness—apart of the ordeal he has to pass through, and misuse of these powerswill certainly entail the loss of them as a natural result. The Itchcha(or desire) evoked anew by the vistas they open up will retard or throwback his progress.

But there is another portion of the Great Secret to which we mustallude, and which is now, for the first, in a long series of ages,allowed to be given out to the world, as the hour for it is come.

The educated reader need not be reminded again that one of the greatdiscoveries which has immortalized the name of Darwin is the law that anorganism has always a tendency to repeat, at an analogous period in itslife, the action of its progenitors, the more surely and completely inproportion to their proximity in the scale of life. One result of thisis, that, in general, organized beings usually die at a period (on anaverage) the same as that of their progenitors. It is true that thereis a great difference between the actual ages at which individuals ofany species die. Disease, accidents and famine are the main agents incausing this. But there is, in each species, a well-known limit withinwhich the Race-life lies, and none are known to survive beyond it. Thisapplies to the human species as well as any other. Now, supposing thatevery possible sanitary condition had been complied with, and everyaccident and disease avoided by a man of ordinary frame, in someparticular case there would still, as is known to medical men, come atime when the particles of the body would feel the hereditary tendencyto do that which leads inevitably to dissolution, and would obey it. Itmust be obvious to any reflecting man that, if by any procedure thiscritical climacteric could be once thoroughly passed over, thesubsequent danger of "Death" would be proportionally less as the yearsprogressed. Now this, which no ordinary and unprepared mind and bodycan do, is possible sometimes for the will and the frame of one who hasbeen specially prepared. There are fewer of the grosser particlespresent to feel the hereditary bias—there is the assistance of thereinforced "interior men" (whose normal duration is always greater evenin natural death) to the visible outer shell, and there is the drilledand indomitable Will to direct and wield the whole.*

—————-* In this connection we may as well show what modern science, andespecially physiology has to say as to the power of the human will."The force of will is a potent element in determining longevity. Thissingle point must be granted without argument, that of two men every wayalike and similarly circ*mstanced, the one who has the greater courageand grit will be longer-lived. One does not need to practice medicinelong to learn that men die who might just as well live if they resolvedto live, and that myriads who are invalids could become strong if theyhad the native or acquired will to vow they would do so. Those who haveno other quality favourable to life, whose bodily organs are nearlyall diseased, to whom each day is a day of pain, who are beset bylife-shortening influences, yet do live by will alone."—Dr. George M. Beard.——————-

From that time forward the course of the aspirant is clearer. He hasconquered "the Dweller of the Threshold"—the hereditary enemy of hisrace, and, though still exposed to ever-new dangers in his progresstowards Nirvana, he is flushed with victory, and with new confidence andnew powers to second it, can press onwards to perfection.

For, it must be remembered, that nature everywhere acts by Law, and thatthe process of purification we have been describing in the visiblematerial body, also takes place in those which are interior, and notvisible to the scientist by modifications of the same process. All ison the change, and the metamorphoses of the more ethereal bodiesimitate, though in successively multiplied duration, the career of thegrosser, gaining an increasing wider range of relations with thesurrounding kosmos, till in Nirvana the most rarefied Individuality ismerged at last into the INFINITE TOTALITY.

From the above description of the process, it will be inferred why it isthat "Adepts" are so seldom seen in ordinary life; for, pari passu, withthe etherealization of their bodies and the development of their power,grows an increasing distaste, and a so-to-speak, "contempt" for thethings of our ordinary mundane existence. Like the fugitive whosuccessively casts away in his flight those articles which incommode hisprogress, beginning with the heaviest, so the aspirant eluding "Death"abandons all on which the latter can take hold. In the progress ofNegation everything got rid of is a help. As we said before, the adeptdoes not become "immortal" as the word is ordinarily understood. By orabout the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed he is actuallydead, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, he has relieved himself ofall or nearly all such material particles as would have necessitated indisruption the agony of dying. He has been dying gradually during thewhole period of his Initiation. The catastrophe cannot happen twiceover. He has only spread over a number of years the mild process ofdissolution which others endure from a brief moment to a few hours. Thehighest Adept is, in fact, dead to, and absolutely unconscious of, theworld; he is oblivious of its pleasures, careless of its miseries, inso far as sentimentalism goes, for the stern sense of DUTY never leaveshim blind to its very existence. For the new ethereal senses opening towider spheres are to ours much in the relation of ours to the InfinitelyLittle. New desires and enjoyments, new dangers and new hindrancesarise, with new sensations and new perceptions; and far away down inthe mist—both literally and metaphorically—is our dirty little earthleft below by those who have virtually "gone to join the gods."

And from this account too, it will be perceptible how foolish it is forpeople to ask the Theosophist to "procure for them communication withthe highest Adepts." It is with the utmost difficulty that one or twocan be induced, even by the throes of a world, to injure their ownprogress by meddling with mundane affairs. The ordinary reader willsay: "This is not god-like. This is the acme of selfishness." …. Butlet him realize that a very high Adept, undertaking to reform the world,would necessarily have to once more submit to Incarnation. And is theresult of all that have gone before in that line sufficientlyencouraging to prompt a renewal of the attempt?

A deep consideration of all that we have written, will also give theTheosophists an idea of what they demand when they ask to be put in theway of gaining practically "higher powers." Well, there, as plainly aswords can put it, is the PATH …. can they tread it?

Nor must it be disguised that what to the ordinary mortal are unexpecteddangers, temptations and enemies also beset the way of the neophyte.And that for no fanciful cause, but the simple reason that he is, infact, acquiring new senses, has yet no practice in their use, and hasnever before seen the things he sees. A man born blind suddenly endowedwith vision would not at once master the meaning of perspective, butwould, like a baby, imagine in one case, the moon to be within hisreach, and, in the other, grasp a live coal with the most recklessconfidence.

And what, it may be asked, is to recompense this abnegation of all thepleasures of life, this cold surrender of all mundane interests, thisstretching forward to an unknown goal which seems ever moreunattainable? For, unlike some of the anthropomorphic creeds, Occultismoffers to its votaries no eternally permanent heaven of materialpleasure, to be gained at once by one quick dash through the grave. Ashas, in fact, often been the case many would be prepared willingly todie now for the sake of the paradise hereafter. But Occultism gives nosuch prospect of cheaply and immediately gained infinitude of pleasure,wisdom and existence. It only promises extensions of these, stretchingin successive arches obscured by successive veils, in an unbroken seriesup the long vista which leads to NIRVANA. And this too, qualified bythe necessity that new powers entail new responsibilities, and that thecapacity of increased pleasure entails the capacity of increasedsensibility to pain. To this, the only answer that can be given istwo-fold: (1st) the consciousness of Power is itself the most exquisiteof pleasures, and is unceasingly gratified in the progress onwards withnew means for its exercise and (2ndly) as has been already said—THIS isthe only road by which there is the faintest scientific likelihood that"Death" can be avoided, perpetual memory secured, infinite wisdomattained, and hence an immense helping of mankind made possible, oncethat the adept has safely crossed the turning-point. Physical as wellas metaphysical logic requires and endorses the fact that only bygradual absorption into infinity can the Part become acquainted with theWhole, and that that which is now something can only feel, know, andenjoy EVERYTHING when lost in Absolute Totality in the vortex of thatUnalterable Circle wherein our Knowledge becomes Ignorance, and theEverything itself is identified with the NOTHING.

Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish?

The passage "to live, to live, to live must be the unswerving resolve,"occurring in the article on the Elixir of Life, is often quoted bysuperficial and unsympathetic readers as an argument that the teachingsof occultism are the most concentrated form of selfishness. In order todetermine whether the critics are right or wrong, the meaning of theword "selfishness" must first be ascertained.

According to an established authority, selfishness is that "exclusiveregard to one's own interest or happiness; that supreme self-love orself-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to theadvancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regardingthose of others."

In short, an absolutely selfish individual is one who cares for himselfand none else, or, in other words, one who is so strongly imbued with asense of the importance of his own personality that to him it is thecrown of all thoughts, desires, and aspirations, and beyond which liesthe perfect blank. Now, can an occultist be then said to be "selfish"when he desires to live in the sense in which that word is used by thewriter of the article on the Elixir of Life? It has been said over andover again that the ultimate end of every aspirant after occultknowledge is Nirvana or Mukti, when the individual, freed from allMayavic Upadhi, becomes one with Paramatma, or the Son identifieshimself with the Father in Christian phraseology. For that purpose,every veil of illusion which creates a sense of personal isolation, afeeling of separateness from THE ALL, must be torn asunder, or, in otherwords, the aspirant must gradually discard all sense of selfishness withwhich we are all more or less affected. A study of the Law of KosmicEvolution teaches us that the higher the evolution, the more does ittend towards Unity. In fact, Unity is the ultimate possibility ofNature, and those who through vanity and selfishness go against herpurposes, cannot but incur the punishment of annihilation. Theoccultist thus recognizes that unselfishness and a feeling of universalphilanthropy are the inherent laws of our being, and all he does is toattempt to destroy the chains of selfishness forged upon us all by Maya.The struggle then between Good and Evil, God and Satan, Suras andAsuras, Devas and Daityas, which is mentioned in the sacred books of allthe nations and races, symbolizes the battle between unselfish andselfish impulses, which takes place in a man, who tries to follow thehigher purposes of Nature, until the lower animal tendencies, created byselfishness, are completely conquered, and the enemy thoroughly routedand annihilated. It has also been often put forth in variousTheosophical and other occult writings that the only difference betweenan ordinary man who works along with Nature during the course of Kosmicevolution and an occultist, is that the latter, by his superiorknowledge, adopts such methods of training and discipline as will hurryon that process of evolution, and he thus reaches in a comparativelyshort time the apex which the ordinary individual will take perhapsbillions of years to reach. In short, in a few thousand years heapproaches that type of evolution which ordinary humanity attains in thesixth or seventh Round of the Manvantara, i.e., cyclic progression. Itis evident that an average man cannot become a MAHATMA in one life, orrather in one incarnation. Now those, who have studied the occultteachings concerning Devachan and our after-states, will remember thatbetween two incarnations there is a considerable period of subjectiveexistence. The greater the number of such Devachanic periods, thegreater is the number of years over which this evolution is extended.The chief aim of the occultist is therefore to so control himself as tobe able to regulate his future states, and thereby gradually shorten theduration of his Devachanic existence between two incarnations. In thecourse of his progress, there comes a time when, between one physicaldeath and his next rebirth, there is no Devachan but a kind of spiritualsleep, the shock of death, having, so to say, stunned him into a stateof unconsciousness from which he gradually recovers to find himselfreborn, to continue his purpose. The period of this sleep may vary fromtwenty-five to two hundred years, depending upon the degree of hisadvancement. But even this period may be said to be a waste of time,and hence all his exertions are directed to shorten its duration so asto gradually come to a point when the passage from one state ofexistence into another is almost imperceptible. This is his lastincarnation, as it were, for the shock of death no more stuns him. Thisis the idea the writer of the article on the Elixir of Life means toconvey when he says:

By or about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed he isactually dead, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, he has relievedhimself of all or nearly all such material particles as would havenecessitated in disruption the agony of dying. He has been dyinggradually during the whole period of his Initiation. The catastrophecannot happen twice over, he has only spread over a number of years themild process of dissolution which others endure from a brief moment to afew hours. The highest Adept is, in fact, dead to, and absolutelyunconscious of, the World; he is oblivious of its pleasures, carelessof its miseries, in so far as sentimentalism goes, for the stern senseof Duty never leaves him blind to its very existence….

The process of the emission and attraction of atoms, which the occultistcontrols, has been discussed at length in that article and in otherwritings. It is by these means that he gets rid gradually of all theold gross particles of his body, substituting for them finer and moreethereal ones, till at last the former sthula sarira is completely deadand disintegrated, and he lives in a body entirely of his own creation,suited to his work. That body is essential to his purposes; as theElixir of Life says:—

To do good, as in every thing else, a man most have time and materialsto Work with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powersby which infinitely more good can be done than without them. When theseare once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive….

Giving the practical instructions for that purpose, the same papercontinues:—

The physical man must be rendered more ethereal and sensitive; themental man more penetrating and profound; the moral man moreself-denying and philosophical.

Losing sight of the above important considerations, the followingpassage is entirely misunderstood:—

And from this account too, it will be perceptible how foolish it is forpeople to ask the Theosophist "to procure for them communication withthe highest Adepts." It is with the utmost difficulty that one or twocan be induced, even by the throes of a world, to injure their ownprogress by meddling with mundane affairs. The ordinary reader willsay: "This is not god-like. This is the acme of selfishness." ….Butlet him realize that a very high Adept, undertaking to reform the world,would necessarily have to once more submit to Incarnation. And is theresult of all that have gone before in that line sufficientlyencouraging to prompt a renewal of the attempt?

Now, in condemning the above passage as inculcating selfishness,superficial critics neglect many profound truths. In the first place,they forget the other extracts already quoted which impose self-denialas a necessary condition of success, and which say that, with progress,new senses and new powers are acquired with which infinitely more goodcan be done than without them. The more spiritual the Adept becomes theless can he meddle with mundane gross affairs and the more he has toconfine himself to spiritual work. It has been repeated, times out ofnumber, that the work on the spiritual plane is as superior to the workon the intellectual plane as the latter is superior to that on thephysical plane. The very high Adepts, therefore, do help humanity, butonly spiritually: they are constitutionally incapable of meddling withworldly affairs. But this applies only to very high Adepts. There arevarious degrees of Adept-ship, and those of each degree work forhumanity on the planes to which they may have risen. It is only thechelas that can live in the world, until they rise to a certain degree.And it is because the Adepts do care for the world that they make theirchelas live in and work for it, as many of those who study the subjectare aware. Each cycle produces its own occultists capable of workingfor the humanity of the time on all the different planes; but when theAdepts foresee that at a particular period humanity will he incapable ofproducing occultists for work on particular planes, for such occasionsthey do provide by either voluntarily giving up their further progressand waiting until humanity reaches that period, or by refusing to enterinto Nirvana and submitting to re-incarnation so as to be ready for workwhen the time comes. And although the world may not be aware of thefact, yet there are even now certain Adepts who have preferred to remainin statu quo and refuse to take the higher degrees, for the benefit ofthe future generations of humanity. In short, as the Adepts workharmoniously, since unity is the fundamental law of their being, theyhave, as it were, made a division of labour, according to which eachworks on the plane appropriate to himself for the spiritual elevation ofus all—and the process of longevity mentioned in the Elixir of Life isonly the means to the end which, far from being selfish, is the mostunselfish purpose for which a human being can labour.

(—H.P. Blavatsky)


A general misconception on this subject seems to prevail. One confinesoneself for some time in a room, and passively gazes at one's nose, aspot on the wall, or, perhaps, a crystal, under the impression that suchis the true form of contemplation enjoined by Raj Yoga. Many fail torealize that true occultism requires a physical, mental, moral andspiritual development to run on parallel lines, and injure themselves,physically and spiritually, by practice of what they falsely believe tobe Dhyan. A few instances may be mentioned here with advantage, as awarning to over-zealous students.

At Bareilly the writer met a member of the Theosophical Society fromFarrukhabad, who narrated his experiences and shed bitter tears ofrepentance for his past follies—as he termed them. It appears from hisaccount that fifteen or twenty years ago having read about contemplationin the Bhagavad Gita, he undertook the practice of it, without a propercomprehension of its esoteric meaning and carried it on for severalyears. At first he experienced a sense of pleasure, but simultaneouslyhe found he was gradually losing self-control; until after a few yearshe discovered, to his great bewilderment and sorrow, that he was nolonger his own master. He felt his heart actually growing heavy, asthough a load had been placed on it. He had no control over hissensations the communication between the brain and the heart had becomeas though interrupted. As matters grew worse, in disgust hediscontinued his "contemplation." This happened as long as seven yearsago; and, although since then he has not felt worse, yet he could neverregain his original healthy state of mind and body.

Another case came under the writer's observation at Jubbulpore. Thegentleman concerned, after reading Patanjali and such other works, beganto sit for "contemplation." After a short time he commenced seeingabnormal sights and hearing musical bells, but neither over thesephenomena nor over his own sensations could he exercise any control. Hecould not produce these results at will, nor could he stop them whenthey were occurring. Numerous such examples may be cited. Whilepenning these lines, the writer has on his table two letters upon thissubject, one from Moradabad and the other from Trichinopoly. In short,all this mischief is due to a misunderstanding of the significance ofcontemplation as enjoined upon students by all the schools of OccultPhilosophy. With a view to afford a glimpse of the Reality through thedense veil that enshrouds the mysteries of this Science of Sciences, anarticle, the Elixir of Life, was written. Unfortunately, in too manyinstances, the seed seems to have fallen upon barren ground. Some ofits readers pin their faith to the following clause in that paper:—Reasoning from the known to the unknown meditation must be practiced andencouraged.

But, alas! their preconceptions have prevented them from comprehendingwhat is meant by meditation. They forget that the meditation spoken of"is the inexpressible yearning of the inner Man to 'go out towards theinfinite,' which in the olden time was the real meaning of adoration"—as the next sentence shows. A good deal of light would be thrown uponthis subject if the reader were to turn to an earlier part of the samepaper, and peruse attentively the following paragraphs:—

So, then, we have arrived at the point where we have determined—literally, not metaphorically—to crack the outer shell known as themortal coil or body, and hatch out of it, clothed in our next. This'next' is not a spiritual, but only a more ethereal form. Having by along training and preparation adapted it for a life in the atmosphere,during which time we have gradually made the outward shell to die offthrough a certain process …. we have to prepare for this physiologicaltransformation.

How are we to do it? In the first place we have the actual, visible,material body—Man, so called, though, in fact, but his outer shell—todeal with. Let us bear in mind that Science teaches us that in aboutevery seven years we change skin as effectually as any serpent; andthis so gradually and imperceptibly that, had not science after years ofunremitting study and observation assured us of it, no one would havehad the slightest suspicion of the fact…. Hence, if a man, partiallyflayed alive, may sometimes survive and be covered with a new skin, soour astral, vital body …. may be made to harden its particles to theatmospheric changes. The whole secret is to succeed in evolving it out,and separating it from the visible; and while its generally invisibleatoms proceed to concrete themselves into a compact mass, to graduallyget rid of the old particles of our visible frame so as to make them dieand disappear before the new set has had time to evolve and replacethem…. We can say no more.

A correct comprehension of the above scientific process will give a clueto the esoteric meaning of meditation or contemplation. Science teachesus that man changes his physical body continually, and this change is sogradual that it is almost imperceptible. Why then should the case beotherwise with the inner man? The latter too is developing and changingatoms at every moment. And the attraction of these new sets of atomsdepends upon the Law of Affinity—the desires of the man drawing to hisbodily tenement only such particles as are necessary to give themexpression.

For Science shows that thought is dynamic, and the thought-force evolvedby nervous action expanding itself outwardly, must affect the molecularrelations of the physical man. The inner men, however sublimated theirorganism may be, are still composed of actual, not hypothetical,particles, and are still subject to the law that an "action" has atendency to repeat itself; a tendency to set up analogous action in thegrosser "shell" they are in contact with, and concealed within.—"TheElixir of Life"

What is it the aspirant of Yog Vidya strives after if not to gain Muktiby transferring himself gradually from the grosser to the next lessgross body, until all the veils of Maya being successively removed hisAtma becomes one with Paramatma? Does he suppose that this grand resultcan be achieved by a two or four hours' contemplation? For theremaining twenty or twenty-two hours that the devotee does not shuthimself up in his room for meditation is the process of the emission ofatoms and their replacement by others stopped? If not, then how does hemean to attract all this time only those suited to his end? From theabove remarks it is evident that just as the physical body requiresincessant attention to prevent the entrance of a disease, so also theinner man requires an unremitting watch, so that no conscious orunconscious thought may attract atoms unsuited to its progress. This isthe real meaning of contemplation. The prime factor in the guidance ofthe thought is Will.

Without that, all else is useless. And, to be efficient for thepurpose, it must be, not only a passing resolution of the moment, asingle fierce desire of short duration, but a settled and continuedstrain, as nearly as can be continued and concentrated without onesingle moment's remission.

The student would do well to take note of the italicized clause in theabove quotation. He should also have it indelibly impressed upon hismind that:

It is no use to fast as long as one requires food…. To get rid of theinward desire is the essential thing, and to mimic the real thingwithout it is barefaced hypocrisy and useless slavery.

Without realizing the significance of this most important fact, any onewho for a moment finds cause of disagreement with any one of his family,or has his vanity wounded, or for a sentimental flash of the moment, orfor a selfish desire to utilize the Divine power for gross purposes—atonce rushes into contemplation and dashes himself to pieces on the rockdividing the known from the unknown. Wallowing in the mire ofexotericism, he knows not what it is to live in the world and yet be notof the world; in other words, to guard self against self is an almostincomprehensible axiom for the profane. The Hindu ought to know betterfrom the life of Janaka, who, although a reigning monarch, was yetstyled Rajarshi and is said to have attained Nirvana. Hearing of hiswidespread fame, a few sectarian bigots went to his court to test hisYoga-power. As soon as they entered the court-room, the king havingread their thoughts—a power which every chela attains at a certainstage—gave secret instructions to his officials to have a particularstreet in the city lined on both sides by dancing girls singing the mustvoluptuous songs. He then had some gharas (pots) filled with water upto the brim so that the least shake would be likely to spill theircontents. The wiseacres, each with a full ghara (pot) on his head, wereordered to pass along the street, surrounded by soldiers with drawnswords to be used against them if even so much as a drop of water wereallowed to run over. The poor fellows having returned to the palaceafter successfully passing the test, were asked by the King-Adept whatthey had met with in the street they were made to go through. Withgreat indignation they replied that the threat of being cut to pieceshad so much worked upon their minds that they thought of nothing but thewater on their heads, and the intensity of their attention did notpermit them to take cognizance of what was going on around them. ThenJanaka told them that on the same principle they could easily understandthat, although being outwardly engaged in managing the affairs of hisState, he could, at the same time, be an Occultist. He too, while inthe world, was not of the world. In other words, his inward aspirationshad been leading him on continually to the goal in which his whole innerself was concentrated.

Raj Yoga encourages no sham, requires no physical postures. It has todeal with the inner man whose sphere lies in the world of thought. Tohave the highest ideal placed before oneself and strive incessantly torise up to it, is the only true concentration recognized by EsotericPhilosophy which deals with the inner world of noumena, not the outershell of phenomena.

The first requisite for it is thorough purity of heart. Well might thestudent of Occultism say with Zoroaster, that purity of thought, purityof word, and purity of deed,—these are the essentials of one who wouldrise above the ordinary level and join the "gods." A cultivation of thefeeling of unselfish philanthropy is the path which has to be traversedfor that purpose. For it is that alone which will lead to UniversalLove, the realization of which constitutes the progress towardsdeliverance from the chains forged by Maya (illusion) around the Ego.No student will attain this at once, but as our Venerated Mahatma saysin the "Occult World":—

The greater the progress towards deliverance, the less this will be thecase, until, to crown all, human and purely individual personalfeelings, blood-ties and friendship, patriotism and race predilection,will all give way to become blended into one universal feeling, the onlytrue and holy, the only unselfish and eternal one, Love, an Immense Lovefor Humanity as a whole.

In short, the individual is blended with the ALL.

Of course, contemplation, as usually understood, is not without itsminor advantages. It develops one set of physical faculties asgymnastics does the muscles. For the purposes of physical mesmerism itis good enough; but it can in no way help the development of thepsychological faculties, as the thoughtful reader will perceive. At thesame time, even for ordinary purposes, the practice can never be toowell guarded. If, as some suppose, they have to be entirely passive andlose themselves in the object before them, they should remember that, bythus encouraging passivity, they, in fact, allow the development ofmediumistic faculties in themselves. As was repeatedly stated—theAdept and the Medium are the two Poles: while the former is intenselyactive and thus able to control the elemental forces, the latter isintensely passive and thus incurs the risk of falling a prey to thecaprice and malice of mischievous embryos of human beings, and theelementaries.

It will be evident from the above that true meditation consists in the"reasoning from the known to the unknown." The "known" is thephenomenal world, cognizable by our five senses. And all that we see inthis manifested world are the effects, the causes of which are to besought after in the noumenal, the unmanifested, the "unknown world:"this is to be accomplished by meditation, i.e., continued attention tothe subject. Occultism does not depend upon one method, but employsboth the deductive and the inductive. The student must first learn thegeneral axioms, which have sufficiently been laid down in the Elixir ofLife and other occult writings. What the student has first to do is tocomprehend these axioms and, by employing the deductive method, toproceed from universals to particulars. He has then to reason from the"known to the unknown," and see if the inductive method of proceedingfrom particulars to universals supports those axioms. This processforms the primary stage of true contemplation. The student must firstgrasp the subject intellectually before he can hope to realize hisaspirations. When this is accomplished, then comes the next stage ofmeditation, which is "the inexpressible yearning of the inner man to 'goout towards the infinite.'" Before any such yearning can be properlydirected, the goal must first be determined. The higher stage, in fact,consists in practically realizing what the first steps have placedwithin one's comprehension. In short, contemplation, in its true sense,is to recognize the truth of Eliphas Levi's saying:—

To believe without knowing is weakness; to believe, because one knows,is power.

The Elixir of Life not only gives the preliminary steps in the ladder ofcontemplation but also tells the reader how to realize the higherstages. It traces, by the process of contemplation as it were, therelation of man, "the known," the manifested, the phenomenon, to "theunknown," the unmanifested, the noumenon. It shows the student whatideal to contemplate and how to rise up to it. It places before him thenature of the inner capacities of man and how to develop them. To asuperficial reader, this may, perhaps, appear as the acme ofselfishness. Reflection will, however, show the contrary to be thecase. For it teaches the student that to comprehend the noumenal, hemust identify himself with Nature. Instead of looking upon himself asan isolated being, he must learn to look upon himself as a part of theIntegral Whole. For, in the unmanifested world, it can be clearlyperceived that all is controlled by the "Law of Affinity," theattraction of the one for the other. There, all is Infinite Love,understood in its true sense.

It may now not be out of place to recapitulate what has already beensaid. The first thing to be done is to study the axioms of Occultismand work upon them by the deductive and the inductive methods, which isreal contemplation. To turn this to a useful purpose, what istheoretically comprehended must be practically realized.

—Damodar K. Mavalaukar

Chelas and Lay Chelas

A "chela" is a person who has offered himself to a master as a pupil tolearn practically the "hidden mysteries of Nature and the psychicalpowers latent in man." The master who accepts him is called in India aGuru; and the real Guru is always an adept in the Occult Science. Aman of profound knowledge, exoteric and esoteric, especially the latter;and one who has brought his carnal nature under the subjection of theWILL; who has developed in himself both the power (Siddhi) to controlthe forces of Nature, and the capacity to probe her secrets by the helpof the formerly latent but now active powers of his being—this is thereal Guru. To offer oneself as a candidate for Chelaship is easyenough, to develop into an adept the most difficult task any man couldpossibly undertake. There are scores of "natural-born" poets,mathematicians, mechanics, statesmen, &c. But a natural-born adept issomething practically impossible. For, though we do hear at very rareintervals of one who has an extraordinary innate capacity for theacquisition of occult knowledge and power, yet even he has to pass theself-same tests and probations, and go through the self-same training asany less endowed fellow aspirant. In this matter it is most true thatthere is no royal road by which favourites may travel.

For centuries the selection of Chelas—outside the hereditary groupwithin the gon-pa (temple)—has been made by the Himalayan Mahatmasthemselves from among the class—in Tibet, a considerable one as tonumber—of natural mystics. The only exceptions have been in the casesof Western men like Fludd, Thomas Vaughan, Paracelsus, Pico diMirandolo, Count St. Germain, &c., whose temperament affinity to thiscelestial science, more or less forced the distant Adepts to come intopersonal relations with them, and enabled them to get such small (orlarge) proportion of the whole truth as was possible under their socialsurroundings. From Book IV. of Kui-te, Chapter on "The Laws ofUpasanas," we learn that the qualifications expected in a Chela were:—

1. Perfect physical health;

2. Absolute mental and physical purity;

3. Unselfishness of purpose; universal charity; pity for allanimate beings;

4. Truthfulness and unswerving faith in the law of Karma, independent ofthe intervention of any power in Nature: a law whose course is not tobe obstructed by any agency, not to be caused to deviate by prayer orpropitiatory exoteric ceremonies;

5. A courage undaunted in every emergency, even by peril to life;

6. An intuitional perception of one's being the vehicle of themanifested Avalokiteswara or Divine Atma (Spirit);

7. Calm indifference for, but a just appreciation of, everything thatconstitutes the objective and transitory world, in its relation with,and to, the invisible regions.

Such, at the least, must have been the recommendations of one aspiringto perfect Chelaship. With the sole exception of the first, which inrare and exceptional cases might have been modified, each one of thesepoints has been invariably insisted upon, and all must have been more orless developed in the inner nature by the Chela's unhelped exertions,before he could be actually "put to the test."

When the self-evolving ascetic—whether in, or outside the activeworld—has placed himself, according to his natural capacity, above,hence made himself master of his (1) Sarira—body; (2) Indriya—senses;(3) Dosha—faults; (4) Dukkha—pain; and is ready to become one withhis Manas—mind; Buddhi—intellection, or spiritual intelligence; andAtma—highest soul, i.e., spirit; when he is ready for this, and,further, to recognize in Atma the highest ruler in the world ofperceptions, and in the will, the highest executive energy (power), thenmay he, under the time-honoured rules, be taken in hand by one of theInitiates. He may then be shown the mysterious path at whose fartherend is obtained the unerring discernment of Phala, or the fruits ofcauses produced, and given the means of reaching Apavarga—emancipationfrom the misery of repeated births, pretya-bhava, in whose determinationthe ignorant has no hand.

But since the advent of the Theosophical Society, one of whose arduoustasks it is to re-awaken in the Aryan mind the dormant memory of theexistence of this science and of those transcendent human capabilities,the rules of Chela selection have become slightly relaxed in onerespect. Many members of the Society who would not have been otherwisecalled to Chelaship became convinced by practical proof of the abovepoints, and rightly enough thinking that if other men had hithertoreached the goal, they too, if inherently fitted, might reach it byfollowing the same path, importunately pressed to be taken ascandidates. And as it would be an interference with Karma to deny themthe chance of at least beginning, they were given it. The results havebeen far from encouraging so far, and it is to show them the cause oftheir failure as much as to warn others against rushing heedlessly upona similar fate, that the writing of the present article has beenordered. The candidates in question, though plainly warned against itin advance, began wrong by selfishly looking to the future and losingsight of the past. They forgot that they had done nothing to deservethe rare honour of selection, nothing which warranted their expectingsuch a privilege; that they could boast of none of the above enumeratedmerits. As men of the selfish, sensual world, whether married orsingle, merchants, civilian or military employees, or members of thelearned professions, they had been to a school most calculated toassimilate them to the animal nature, least so to develop theirspiritual potentialities. Yet each and all had vanity enough to supposethat their case would be made an exception to the law of countlesscenturies, as though, indeed, in their person had been born to the worlda new Avatar! All expected to have hidden things taught, extraordinarypowers given them, because—well, because they had joined theTheosophical Society. Some had sincerely resolved to amend their lives,and give up their evil courses: we must do them that justice, at allevents.

All were refused at first, Col. Olcott the President himself, to beginwith: and he was not formally accepted as a Chela until he had provedby more than a year's devoted labours and by a determination whichbrooked no denial, that he might safely be tested. Then from all sidescame complaints—from Hindus, who ought to have known better, as well asfrom Europeans who, of course, were not in a condition to know anythingat all about the rules. The cry was that unless at least a fewTheosophists were given the chance to try, the Society could not endure.Every other noble and unselfish feature of our programme was ignored—aman's duty to his neighbour, to his country, his duty to help,enlighten, encourage and elevate those weaker and less favoured than he;all were trampled out of sight in the insane rush for adeptship. Thecall for phenomena, phenomena, phenomena, resounded in every quarter,and the Founders were impeded in their real work and teasedimportunately to intercede with the Mahatmas, against whom the realgrievance lay, though their poor agents had to take all the buffets. Atlast, the word came from the higher authorities that a few of the mosturgent candidates should be taken at their word. The result of theexperiment would perhaps show better than any amount of preaching whatChelaship meant, and what are the consequences of selfishness andtemerity. Each candidate was warned that be must wait for year in anyevent, before his fitness could be established, and that he must passthrough a series of tests that would bring out all there was in him,whether bad or good. They were nearly all married men, and hence weredesignated "Lay Chelas"—a term new in English, but having long had itsequivalent in Asiatic tongues. A Lay Chela is but a man of the worldwho affirms his desire to become wise in spiritual things. Virtually,every member of the Theosophical Society who subscribes to the second ofour three "Declared Objects" is such; for though not of the number oftrue Chelas, he has yet the possibility of becoming one, for he hasstepped across the boundary-line which separated him from the Mahatmas,and has brought himself, as it were, under their notice. In joining theSociety and binding himself to help along its work, he has pledgedhimself to act in some degree in concert with those Mahatmas, at whosebehest the Society was organized, and under whose conditional protectionit remains. The joining is then, the introduction; all the rest dependsentirely upon the member himself, and he need never expect the mostdistant approach to the "favour" of one of our Mahatmas or any otherMahatmas in the world—should the latter consent to become known—thathas not been fully earned by personal merit. The Mahatmas are theservants, not the arbiters of the Law of Karma.

Lay-Chelaship confers no privilege upon any one except that of workingfor merit under the observation of a Master. And whether that Master beor be not seen by the Chela makes no difference whatever as to theresult: his good thought, words and deeds will bear their fruits, hisevil ones, theirs. To boast of Lay Chelaship or make a parade of it, isthe surest way to reduce the relationship with the Guru to a mere emptyname, for it would be prima facie evidence of vanity and unfitness forfarther progress. And for years we have been teaching everywhere themaxim "First deserve, then desire" intimacy with the Mahatmas.

Now there is a terrible law operative in Nature, one which cannot bealtered, and whose operation clears up the apparent mystery of theselection of certain "Chelas" who have turned out sorry specimens ofmorality, these few years past. Does the reader recall the old proverb,"Let sleeping dogs lie?" There is a world of occult meaning in it. Noman or woman knows his or her moral strength until it is tried.Thousands go through life very respectably, because they were never putto the test. This is a truism doubtless, but it is most pertinent tothe present case. One who undertakes to try for Chelaship by that veryact rouses and lashes to desperation every sleeping passion of hisanimal nature. For this is the commencement of a struggle for masteryin which quarter is neither to be given nor taken. It is, once for all,"To be, or Not to be;" to conquer, means Adept-ship: to fail, anignoble Martyrdom; for to fall victim to lust, pride, avarice, vanity,selfishness, cowardice, or any other of the lower propensities, isindeed ignoble, if measured by the standard of true manhood. The Chelais not only called to face all the latent evil propensities of hisnature, but, in addition, the momentum of maleficent forces accumulatedby the community and nation to which he belongs. For he is an integralpart of those aggregates, and what affects either the individual man orthe group (town or nation), reacts the one upon the other. And in thisinstance his struggle for goodness jars upon the whole body of badnessin his environment, and draws its fury upon him. If he is content to goalong with his neighbours and be almost as they are—perhaps a littlebetter or somewhat worse than the average—no one may give him athought. But let it be known that he has been able to detect the hollowmockery of social life, its hypocrisy, selfishness, sensuality, cupidityand other bad features, and has determined to lift himself up to ahigher level, at once he is hated, and every bad, bigotted, or maliciousnature sends at him a current of opposing will-power. If he is innatelystrong he shakes it off, as the powerful swimmer dashes through thecurrent that would bear a weaker one away. But in this moral battle, ifthe Chela has one single hidden blemish—do what he may, it shall andwill be brought to light. The varnish of conventionalities which"civilization" overlays us all with must come off to the last coat, andthe inner self, naked and without the slightest veil to conceal itsreality, is exposed. The habits of society which hold men to a certaindegree under moral restraint, and compel them to pay tribute to virtueby seeming to be good whether they are so or not—these habits are aptto be all forgotten, these restraints to be all broken through under thestrain of Chelaship. He is now in an atmosphere of illusions—Maya.Vice puts on its most alluring face, and the tempting passions attractthe inexperienced aspirant to the depths of psychic debasem*nt. This isnot a case like that depicted by a great artist, where Satan is seenplaying a game of chess with a man upon the stake of his soul, while thelatter's good angel stands beside him to counsel and assist. For thestrife is in this instance between the Chela's will and his carnalnature, and Karma forbids that any angel or Guru should interfere untilthe result is known. With the vividness of poetic fancy Bulwer Lyttonhas idealized it for us in his "Zanoni," a work which will ever beprized by the occultist while in his "Strange Story" he has with equalpower shown the black side of occult research and its deadly perils.Chelaship was defined, the other day, by a Mahatma as a "psychicresolvent, which eats away all dross and leaves only the pure goldbehind." If the candidate has the latent lust for money, or politicalchicanery, or materialistic scepticism, or vain display, or falsespeaking, or cruelty, or sensual gratification of any kind the germ isalmost sure to sprout; and so, on the other hand, as regards the noblequalities of human nature. The real man comes out. Is it not theheight of folly, then, for any one to leave the smooth path ofcommonplace life to scale the crags of Chelaship without some reasonablefeeling of certainty that he has the right stuff in him? Well says theBible: "Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall"—a text thatwould-be Chelas should consider well before they rush headlong into thefray! It would have been well for some of our Lay Chelas if they hadthought twice before defying the tests. We call to mind several sadfailures within a twelve-month. One went wrong in the head, recantednoble sentiments uttered but a few weeks previously, and became a memberof a religion he had just scornfully and unanswerably proven false. Asecond became a defaulter and absconded with his employer's money—thelatter also a Theosophist. A third gave himself up to gross debauchery,and confessed it, with ineffectual sobs and tears, to his chosen Guru.A fourth got entangled with a person of the other sex and fell out withhis dearest and truest friends. A fifth showed signs of mentalaberration and was brought into Court upon charges of discreditableconduct. A sixth shot himself to escape the consequences ofcriminality, on the verge of detection! And so we might go on and on.All these were apparently sincere searchers after truth, and passed inthe world for respectable persons. Externally, they were fairlyeligible as candidates for Chelaship, as appearances go; but "withinall was rottenness and dead men's bones." The world's varnish was sothick as to hide the absence of the true gold underneath; and the"resolvent" doing its work, the candidate proved in each instance but agilded figure of moral dross, from circumference to core.

In what precedes we have, of course, dealt but with the failures amongLay Chelas; there have been partial successes too, and these arepassing gradually through the first stages of their probation. Some aremaking themselves useful to the Society and to the world in general bygood example and precept. If they persist, well for them, well for usall: the odds are fearfully against them, but still "there is noimpossibility to him who Wills." The difficulties in Chelaship willnever be less until human nature changes and a new order is evolved.St. Paul (Rom. vii. 18,19) might have had a Chela in mind when he said"to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good Ifind not. For the good I would I do not; but the evil which I wouldnot, that I do." And in the wise Kiratarjuniyam of Bharavi it iswritten:—

The enemies which rise within the body,
Hard to be overcome—the evil passions—
Should manfully be fought; who conquers these
Is equal to the conqueror of worlds. (XI. 32.)

(—H.P. Blavatsky)

Ancient Opinions Upon Psychic Bodies

It must be confessed that modern Spiritualism falls very short of theideas formerly suggested by the sublime designation which it hasassumed. Chiefly intent upon recognizing and putting forward thephenomenal proofs of a future existence, it concerns itself little withspeculations on the distinction between matter and spirit, and ratherprides itself on having demolished Materialism without the aid ofmetaphysics. Perhaps a Platonist might say that the recognition of afuture existence is consistent with a very practical and even dogmaticmaterialism, but it is rather to be feared that such a materialism asthis would not greatly disturb the spiritual or intellectual repose ofour modern phenomenalists.* Given the consciousness with itssensibilities safely housed in the psychic body which demonstrablysurvives the physical carcase, and we are like men saved from shipwreck,who are for the moment thankful and content, not giving thought whetherthey are landed on a hospitable shore, or on a barren rock, or on anisland of cannibals. It is not of course intended that this "hand tomouth" immortality is sufficient for the many thoughtful minds whoseactivity gives life and progress to the movement, but that it affordsthe relief which most people feel when in an age of doubt they make thediscovery that they are undoubtedly to live again. To the question "howare the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?" modernSpiritualism, with its empirical methods, is not adequate to reply. Yetlong before Paul suggested it, it had the attention of the mostcelebrated schools of philosophy, whose speculations on the subject,however little they may seem to be verified, ought not to be withoutinterest to us, who, after all, are still in the infancy of aspiritualist revival.

————-* "I am afraid," says Thomas Taylor in his Introduction to the Phaedo,"there are scarcely any at the present day who know that it is one thingfor the soul to be separated from the body, and another for the body tobe separated from the soul, and that the former is by no means anecessary consequence of the latter."—————-

It would not be necessary to premise, but for the frequency with whichthe phrase occurs, that the "spiritual body" is a contradiction interms. The office of body is to relate spirit to an objective world.By Platonic writers it is usually termed okhema—"vehicle." It is themedium of action, and also of sensibility. In this philosophy theconception of Soul was not simply, as with us, the immaterial subject ofconsciousness. How warily the interpreter has to tread here, every oneknows who has dipped, even superficially, into the controversies amongPlatonists themselves. All admit the distinction between the rationaland the irrational part or principle, the latter including, first, thesensibility, and secondly, the Plastic, or that lower which in obedienceto its sympathies enables the soul to attach itself to, and to organizeinto a suitable body those substances of the universe to which it ismost congruous. It is more difficult to determine whether Plato or hisprincipal followers, recognized in the rational soul or nous a distinctand separable entity, that which is sometimes discriminated as "theSpirit." Dr. Henry More, no mean authority, repudiates thisinterpretation. "There can be nothing more monstrous," he says, "thanto make two souls in man, the one sensitive, the other rational, reallydistinct from one another, and to give the name of Astral spirit to theformer, when there is in man no Astral spirit beside the Plastic of thesoul itself, which is always inseparable from that which is rational.Nor upon any other account can it be called Astral, but as it is liableto that corporeal temperament which proceeds from the stars, or ratherfrom any material causes in general, as not being yet sufficientlyunited with the divine body—that vehicle of divine virtue or power."So he maintains that the Kabalistic three souls—Nephesh, Ruach,Neschamah—originate in a misunderstanding of the true Platonicdoctrine, which is that of a threefold "vital congruity." Thesecorrespond to the three degrees of bodily existence, or to the three"vehicles," the terrestrial, the aerial, and the ethereal. The latteris the augoeides—the luciform vehicle of the purified soul whoseirrational part has been brought under complete subjection to therational. The aerial is that in which the great majority of mankindfind themselves at the dissolution of the terrestrial body, and in whichthe incomplete process of purification has to be undergone during longages of preparation for the soul's return to its primitive, etherealstate. For it must be remembered that the preexistence of souls is adistinguishing tenet of this philosophy as of the Kabala. The soul has"sunk into matter." From its highest original state the revolt of itsirrational nature has awakened and developed successively its "vitalcongruities" with the regions below, passing, by means of its "Plastic,"first into the aerial and afterwards into the terrestrial condition.Each of these regions teems also with an appropriate population whichnever passes, like the human soul, from one to the other—"gods,""demons," and animals.* As to duration, "the shortest of all is that ofthe terrestrial vehicle. In the aerial, the soul may inhabit, as theydefine, many ages, and in the ethereal, for ever."

————-* The allusion here is to those beings of the several kingdoms of theelements which we Theosophists, following after the Kabalists, havecalled the "Elementals." They never become men.—Ed. Theos.————-

Speaking of the second body, Henry More says "the soul's astral vehicleis of that tenuity that itself can as easily pass the smallest pores ofthe body as the light does glass, or the lightning the scabbard of asword without tearing or scorching of it." And again, "I shall makebold to assert that the soul may live in an aerial vehicle as well as inthe ethereal, and that there are very few that arrive to that highhappiness as to acquire a celestial vehicle immediately upon theirquitting the terrestrial one; that heavenly chariot necessarilycarrying us in triumph to the greatest happiness the soul of man iscapable of, which would arrive to all men indifferently, good or bad, ifthe parting with this earthly body would suddenly mount us into theheavenly. When by a just Nemesis the souls of men that are notheroically virtuous will find themselves restrained within the compassof this caliginous air, as both Reason itself suggests, and thePlatonists have unanimously determined." Thus also the mostthorough-going, and probably the most deeply versed in the doctrines ofthe master among modern Platonists, Thomas Taylor (Introduction.Phaedo):—"After this our divine philosopher informs that the pure soulwill after death return to pure and eternal natures; but that theimpure soul, in consequence of being imbued with terrene affections,will be drawn down to a kindred nature, and be invested with a grossvehicle capable of being seen by the corporeal eye.* For while apropensity to body remains in the soul, it causes her to attract acertain vehicle to herself; either of an aerial nature, or composedfrom the spirit and vapours of her terrestrial body, or which isrecently collected from surrounding air; for according to the arcana ofthe Platonic philosophy, between an ethereal body, which is simple andimmaterial and is the eternal connate vehicle of the soul, and a terrenebody, which is material and composite, and of short duration, there isan aerial body, which is material indeed, but simple and of a moreextended duration; and in this body the unpurified soul dwells for along time after its exit from hence, till this pneumatic vehicle beingdissolved, it is again invested with a composite body; while on thecontrary the purified soul immediately ascends into the celestialregions with its ethereal vehicle alone."

—————* This is the Hindu theory of nearly every one of the Aryanphilosophies.—Ed. Theos.—————

Always it is the disposition of the soul that determines the quality ofits body. "However the soul be in itself affected," says Porphyry(translated by Cudworth), "so does it always find a body suitable andagreeable to its present disposition, and therefore to the purged souldoes naturally accrue a body that comes next to immateriality, that is,an ethereal one." And the same author, "The soul is never quite nakedof all body, but hath always some body or other joined with it, suitableand agreeable to its present disposition (either a purer or impurerone). But that at its first quitting this gross earthly body, thespirituous body which accompanieth it (as its vehicle) must needs goaway fouled and incrassated with the vapours and steams thereof, tillthe soul afterwards by degrees purging itself, this becometh at length adry splendour, which hath no misty obscurity nor casteth any shadow."Here it will be seen, we lose sight of the specific difference of thetwo future vehicles—the ethereal is regarded as a sublimation of theaerial. This, however, is opposed to the general consensus of Plato'scommentators. Sometimes the ethereal body, or augoeides, is appropriatedto the rational soul, or spirit, which must then be considered as adistinct entity, separable from the lower soul. Philoponus, a Christianwriter, says, "that the Rational Soul, as to its energie, is separablefrom all body, but the irrational part or life thereof is separable onlyfrom this gross body, and not from all body whatsoever, but hath afterdeath a spirituous or airy body, in which it acteth—this I say is atrue opinion which shall afterwards be proved by us…. The irrationallife of the soul hath not all its being in this gross earthly body, butremaineth after the soul's departure out of it, having for its vehicleand subject the spirituous body, which itself is also compounded out ofthe four elements, but receiveth its denomination from the predominantpart, to wit, Air, as this gross body of ours is called earthy from whatis most predominant therein."—Cudworth, "Intell. Syst." From the samesource we extract the following: "Wherefore these ancients say thatimpure souls after their departure out of this body wander here up anddown for a certain space in their spirituous vaporous and airy body,appearing about sepulchres and haunting their former habitation. Forwhich cause there is great reason that we should take care of livingwell, as also of abstaining from a fouler and grosser diet; theseAncients telling us likewise that this spirituous body of ours beingfouled and incrassated by evil diet, is apt to render the soul in thislife also more obnoxious to the disturbances of passions. They furtheradd that there is something of the Plantal or Plastic life, alsoexercised by the soul, in those spirituous or airy bodies after death;they being nourished too, though not after the same manner, as thosegross earthy bodies of ours are here, but by vapours, and that not byparts or organs, but throughout the whole of them (as sponges), theyimbibing everywhere those vapours. For which cause they who are wisewill in this life also take care of using a thinner and dryer diet, thatso that spirituous body (which we have also at this present time withinour proper body) may not be clogged and incrassed, but attenuated. Overand above which, those Ancients made use of catharms, or purgations tothe same end and purpose also. For as this earthy body is washed bywater so is that spirituous body cleansed by cathartic vapours—some ofthese vapours being nutritive, others purgative. Moreover, theseAncients further declared concerning this spirituous body that it wasnot organized, but did the whole of it in every part throughout exerciseall functions of sense, the soul hearing, seeing and perceiving allsensibles by it everywhere. For which cause Aristotle himself affirmethin his Metaphysics that there is properly but one sense and one Sensory.He by this one sensory meaneth the spirit, or subtle airy body, in whichthe sensitive power doth all of it through the whole immediatelyapprehend all variety of sensibles. And if it be demanded to how itcomes to pass that this spirit becomes organized in sepulchres, and mostcommonly of human form, but sometimes in the forms of other animals, tothis those Ancients replied that their appearing so frequently in humanform proceeded from their being incrassated with evil diet, and then, asit were, stamped upon with the form of this exterior ambient body inwhich they are, as crystal is formed and coloured like to those thingswhich it is fastened in, or reflects the image of them. And that theirhaving sometimes other different forms proceedeth from the phantasticpower of the soul itself, which can at pleasure transform the spirituousbody into any shape. For being airy, when it is condensed and fixed, itbecometh visible, and again invisible and vanishing out of sight when itis expanded and rarified." Proem in Arist. de Anima. And Cudworthsays, "Though spirits or ghosts had certain supple bodies which theycould so far condense as to make them sometimes visible to men, yet isit reasonable enough to think that they could not constipate or fix theminto such a firmness, grossness and solidity, as that of flesh and boneis to continue therein, or at least not without such difficulty and painas would hinder them from attempting the same. Notwithstanding which itis not denied that they may possibly sometimes make use of other solidbodies, moving and acting them, as in that famous story of Phlegons whenthe body vanished not as other ghosts use to do, but was left a deadcarcase behind."

In all these speculations the Anima Mundi plays a conspicuous part. Itis the source and principle of all animal souls, including theirrational soul of man. But in man, who would otherwise be merelyanalogous to other terrestrial animals—this soul participates in ahigher principle, which tends to raise and convert it to itself. Tocomprehend the nature of this union or hypostasis it would be necessaryto have mastered the whole of Plato's philosophy as comprised in theParmenides and the Timaeus; and he would dogmatize rashly who withoutthis arduous preparation should claim Plato as the champion of anunconditional immortality. Certainly in the Phaedo the dialoguepopularly supposed to contain all Plato's teaching on the subject—theimmortality allotted to the impure soul is of a very questionablecharacter, and we should rather infer from the account there given thatthe human personality, at all events, is lost by successive immersionsinto "matter." The following passage from Plutarch (quoted by MadameBlavatsky, "Isis Unveiled," vol. ii. p. 284) will at least demonstratethe antiquity of notions which have recently been mistaken for fancifulnovelties. "Every soul hath some portion of nous, reason, a man cannotbe a man without it; but as much of each soul as is mixed with fleshand appetite is changed, and through pain and pleasure becomesirrational. Every soul doth not mix herself after one sort; someplunge themselves into the body, and so in this life their whole frameis corrupted by appetite and passion; others are mixed as to some part,but the purer part still remains without the body. It is not drawn downinto the body, but it swims above, and touches the extremest part of theman's head; it is like a cord to hold up and direct the subsiding partof the soul, as long as it proves obedient and is not overcome by theappetites of the flesh. The part that is plunged into the body iscalled soul. But the incorruptible part is called the nous, and thevulgar think it is within them, as they likewise imagine the imagereflected from a glass to be in that glass. But the more intelligent,who know it to be without, call it a Daemon." And in the same learnedwork ("Isis Unveiled ") we have two Christian authorities, Irenaeus andOrigen, cited for like distinction between spirit and soul in such amanner as to show that the former must necessarily be regarded asseparable from the latter. In the distinction itself there is of courseno novelty for the most moderately well-informed. It is insisted uponin many modern works, among which may be mentioned Heard's "Trichotomyof Man" and Green's "Spiritual Philosophy"; the latter being anexposition of Coleridge's opinion on this and cognate subjects. But thedifficulty of regarding the two principles as separable in fact as wellas in logic arises from the senses, if it is not the illusion ofpersonal identity. That we are particle, and that one part only isimmortal, the non-metaphysical mind rejects with the indignation whichis always encountered by a proposition that is at once distasteful andunintelligible. Yet perhaps it is not a greater difficulty (if, indeed,it is not the very same) than that hard saying which troubled Nicodemus,and which has been the key-note of the mystical religious consciousnessever since. This, however, is too extensive and deep a question to betreated in this paper, which has for its object chiefly to callattention to the distinctions introduced by ancient thought into theconception of body as the instrument or "vehicle" of soul. That thereis a correspondence between the spiritual condition of man and themedium of his objective activity every spiritualist will admit to beprobable, and it may well be that some light is thrown on future statesby the possibility or the manner of spirit communication with this one.

—C. C. Massey

The Nilgiri Sannyasis

I was told that Sannyasis were sometimes met with on a mountain calledVelly Mallai Hills, in the Coimbatore District, and trying to meet withone, I determined to ascend this mountain. I traveled up its steepsides and arrived at an opening, narrow and low, into which I crept onall fours. Going up some twenty yards I reached a cave, into theopening of which I thrust my head and shoulders. I could see into itclearly, but felt a cold wind on my face, as if there was some openingor crevice—so I looked carefully, but could see nothing. The room wasabout twelve feet square. I did not go into it. I saw arranged roundits sides stones one cubit long, all placed upright. I was muchdisappointed at there being no Sannyasi, and came back as I went,pushing myself backwards as there was no room to turn. I was then toldSannyasis had been met with in the dense sholas (thickets), and as mywork lay often in such places, I determined to prosecute my search, anddid so diligently, without, however, any success.

One day I contemplated a journey to Coimbatore on my own affairs, andwas walking up the road trying to make a bargain with a handy man whom Idesired to engage to carry me there; but as we could not come to terms,I parted with him and turned into the Lovedale Road at 6 P.M. I had notgone far when I met a man dressed like a Sannyasi, who stopped and spoketo me. He observed a ring on my finger and asked me to give it to him.I said he was welcome to it, but inquired what he would give me inreturn, he said, "I don't care particularly about it; I would ratherhave that flour and sugar in the bundle on your back." "I will give youthat with pleasure," I said, and took down my bundle and gave it to him."Half is enough for me," he said; but subsequently changing his mindadded, "now let me see what is in your bundle," pointing to my otherparcel. "I can't give you that." He said, "Why cannot you give me yourswami (family idol)?" I said, "It is my swami, I will not part with it;rather take my life." On this he pressed me no more, but said, "Now youhad better go home." I said, "I will not leave you." "Oh you must," hesaid, "you will die here of hunger." "Never mind," I said, "I can butdie once." "You have no clothes to protect you from the wind and rain;you may meet with tigers," he said. "I don't care," I replied. "It isgiven to man once to die. What does it signify how he dies?" When Isaid this he took my hand and embraced me, and immediately I becameunconscious. When I returned to consciousness, I found myself with theSannyasi in a place new to me on a hill, near a large rock and with abig shola near. I saw in the shola right in front of us, that there wasa pillar of fire, like a tree almost. I asked the Sannyasi what wasthat like a high fire. "Oh," he said, "most likely a tree ignited bysome careless wood-cutters."

"No," I said, "it is not like any common fire—there is no smoke, norare there flames—and it's not lurid and red. I want to go and see it.""No, you must not do so, you cannot go near that fire and escape alive.""Come with me then," I begged. "No—I cannot," he said, "if you wish toapproach it, you must go alone and at your own risk; that tree is thetree of knowledge and from it flows the milk of life: whoever drinksthis never hungers again." Thereupon I regarded the tree with awe.

I next observed five Sannyasis approaching. They came up and joined theone with me, entered into talk, and finally pulled out a hookah andbegan to smoke. They asked me if I could smoke. I said no. One ofthem said to me, let us see the swami in your bundle (here gives adescription of the same). I said, "I cannot, I am not clean enough todo so." "Why not perform your ablutions in yonder stream?" they said."If you sprinkle water on your forehead that will suffice." I went towash my hands and feet, and laved my head, and showed it to them. Nextthey disappeared. "As it is very late, it is time you returned home,"said my first friend. "No," I said, "now I have found you I will notleave you." "No, no," he said, "you must go home. You cannot leave theworld yet; you are a father and a husband, and you must not neglectyour worldly duties. Follow the footsteps of your late respected uncle;he did not neglect his worldly affairs, though he cared for theinterests of his soul; you must go, but I will meet you again when youget your fortnightly holiday." On this he embraced me, and I againbecame unconscious. When I returned to myself, I found myself at thebottom of Col. Jones' Coffee Plantation above Coonor on a path. Herethe Sannyasi wished me farewell, and pointing to the high road below, hesaid, "Now you will know your way home;" but I would not part from him.I said, "All this will appear a dream to me unless you will fix a dayand promise to meet me here again." "I promise," he said. "No, promiseme by an oath on the head of my idol." Again he promised, and touchedthe head of my idol. "Be here," he said, "this day fortnight." Whenthe day came I anxiously kept my engagement and went and sat on thestone on the path. I waited a long time in vain. At last I said tomyself, "I am deceived, he is not coming, he has broken his oath"—andwith grief I made a poojah. Hardly had these thoughts passed my mind,than lo! he stood beside me. "Ah, you doubt me," he said; "why thisgrief." I fell at his feet and confessed I had doubted him and beggedhis forgiveness. He forgave and comforted me, and told me to keep in mygood ways and he would always help me; and he told me and advised meabout all my private affairs without my telling him one word, and healso gave me some medicines for a sick friend which I had promised toask for but had forgotten. This medicine was given to my friend and heis perfectly well now.

A verbatim translation of a Settlement Officer's statement to

—E.H. Morgan

Witchcraft on the Nilgiris

Having lived many years (30) on the Nilgiris, employing the varioustribes of the Hills on my estates, and speaking their languages, I havehad many opportunities of observing their manners and customs and thefrequent practice of Demonology and Witchcraft among them. On theslopes of the Nilgiris live several semi-wild people: 1st, the"Curumbers," who frequently hire themselves out to neighbouring estates,and are first-rate fellers of forest; 2nd, the "Tain" ("HoneyCurumbers"), who collect and live largely on honey and roots, and who donot come into civilized parts; 3rd, the "Mulu" Curumbers, who are rareon the slopes of the hills, but common in Wynaad lower down the plateau.These use bows and arrows, are fond of hunting, and have frequently beenknown to kill tigers, rushing in a body on their game and dischargingtheir arrows at a short distance. In their eagerness they frequentlyfall victims to this animal; but they are supposed to possess acontrolling power over all wild animals, especially elephants andtigers; and the natives declare they have the power of assuming theforms of various beasts. Their aid is constantly invoked both by theCurumbers first named, and by the natives generally, when wishing to berevenged on an enemy.

Besides these varieties of Curumbers there are various other wild tribesI do not now mention, as they are not concerned in what I have torelate.

I had on my estate near Ootacamund a gang of young Badagas, some 30young men, whom I had had in my service since they were children, andwho had become most useful handy fellows. From week to week I missedone or another of them, and on inquiry was told they had been sick andwere dead!

One market-day I met the Moneghar of the village to which my gangbelonged and some of his men, returning home laden with their purchases.The moment he saw me he stopped, and coming up to me, said, "Mother, Iam in great sorrow and trouble, tell me what I can do!" "Why, what iswrong?" I asked. "All my young men are dying, and I cannot help them,nor prevent it; they are under a spell of the wicked Curumbers who arekilling them, and I am powerless." "Pray explain," I said; "why do theCurumbers behave in this way, and what do they do to your people?" "Oh,Madam, they are vile extortioners, always asking for money; we havegiven and given till we have no more to give. I told them we had nomore money and then they said,—All right—as you please; we shall see.Surely as they say this, we know what will follow—at night when we areall asleep, we wake up suddenly and see a Curumber standing in ourmidst, in the middle of the room occupied by the young men." "Why doyou not close and bolt your doors securely?" I interrupted. "What isthe use of bolts and bars to them? they come through stone walls…. Ourdoors were secure, but nothing can keep out a Curumber. He points hisfinger at Mada, at Kurira, at Jogie—he utters no word, and as we lookat him he vanishes! In a few days these three young men sicken, a lowfever consumes them, their stomachs swell, they die. Eighteen youngmen, the flower of my village, have died thus this year. These effectsalways follow the visit of a Curumber at night." "Why not complain tothe Government?" I said. "Ah, no use, who will catch them?" "Then givethem the 200 rupees they ask this once on a solemn promise that theyexact no more" "I suppose we must find the money somewhere," he said,turning sorrowfully away.

A Mr. K—-is the owner of a coffee estate near this, and like manyother planters employs Burghers. On one occasion he went down theslopes of the hills after bison and other large game, taking some sevenor eight Burghers with him as gun carriers (besides other thingsnecessary in jungle-walking—axes to clear the way, knives and ropes,&c.). He found and severely wounded a fine elephant with tusks.Wishing to secure these, he proposed following up his quarry, but couldnot induce his Burghers to go deeper and further into the forests; theyfeared to meet the "Mula Curumbers" who lived thereabouts. For long heargued in vain, at last by dint of threats and promises he induced themto proceed, and as they met no one, their fears were allayed and theygrew bolder, when suddenly coming on the elephant lying dead (oh, horrorto them!), the beast was surrounded by a party of Mulu Curumbers busilyengaged in cutting out the tusks, one of which they had alreadydisengaged! The affrighted Burghers fell back, and nothing Mr. K—-could do or say would induce them to approach the elephant, which theCurumbers stoutly declared was theirs. They had killed him they said.They had very likely met him staggering under his wound and had finishedhim off. Mr. K—-was not likely to give up his game in this fashion.So walking threateningly to the Curumbers he compelled them to retire,and called to his Burghers at the same time. The Curumbers only said,"Just you DARE to touch that elephant," and retired. Mr. K—-thereuponcut out the remaining tusk himself, and slinging both on a pole with nolittle trouble, made his men carry them. He took all the blame onhimself, showed them that they did not touch them, and finally declaredhe would stay there all night rather than lose the tusks. The idea of anight near the Mulu Curumbers was too much for the fears of theBurghers, and they finally took up the pole and tusks and walked home.From that day those men, all but one who probably carried the gun,sickened, walked about like spectres, doomed, pale and ghastly, andbefore the month was out all were dead men, with the one exception!

A few months ago, at the village of Ebanaud, a few miles from this, afearful tragedy was enacted. The Moneghar or headman's child was sickunto death. This, following on several recent deaths, was attributed tothe evil influences of a village of Curumbers hard by. The Burghersdetermined on the destruction of every soul of them. They procured theassistance of a Toda, as they invariably do on such occasions, aswithout one the Curumbers are supposed to be invulnerable. Theyproceeded to the Curumber village at night and set their huts on fire,and as the miserable inmates attempted to escape, flung them back intothe flames or knocked them down with clubs. In the confusion one oldwoman escaped unobserved into the adjacent bushes. Next morning shegave notice to the authorities, and identified seven Burghers, amongwhom was the Moneghar or headman, and one Toda. As the murderers of herpeople they were all brought to trial in the Courts here,—except theheadman, who died before he could be brought in—and were all sentencedand duly executed, that is, three Burghers and the Toda, who were provedprincipals in the murders.

Two years ago an almost identical occurrence took place at Kotaghery,with exactly similar results, but without the punishment entailed havingany deterrent effect. They pleaded "justification," as witchcraft hadbeen practiced on them. But our Government ignores all occult dealingsand will not believe in the dread power in the land. They deal verydifferently with these matters in Russia, where, in a recent trial of asimilar nature, the witchcraft was admitted as an extenuatingcirc*mstance and the culprits who had burnt a witch were all acquitted.All natives of whatever caste are well aware of these terrible powersand too often do they avail themselves of them—much oftener than anyone has an idea of. One day as I was riding along I came upon a strangeand ghastly object—a basket containing the bloody head of a blacksheep, a cocoanut, 10 rupees in money, some rice and flowers. Thesesmaller items I did not see, not caring to examine any closer; but Iwas told by some natives that those articles were to be found in thebasket. The basket was placed at the apex of a triangle formed by threefine threads tied to three small sticks, so placed that any oneapproaching from the roads on either side had to stumble over thethreads and receive the full effects of the deadly "Soonium" as thenatives call it. On inquiry I learnt that it was usual to prepare sucha "Soonium" when one lay sick unto death; as throwing it on another wasthe only means of rescuing the sick one, and woe to the unfortunate whobroke a thread by stumbling over it!

—E.H. Morgan

Shamanism and Witchcraft Amongst the Kolarian Tribes

Having resided for some years amongst the Mimdas and Hos of Singbhoom,and Chutia Nagpur, my attention was drawn at times to customs differinga good deal in some ways, but having an evident affinity to thoserelated of the Nilghiri "Curumbers" in Mrs. Morgan's article. I do notmean to say that the practices I am about to mention are confined simplyto the Kolarian tribes, as I am aware both Oraons (a Dravidian tribe),and the different Hindu castes living side by side with the Kols, countmany noted wizards among their number; but what little I have come toknow of these curious customs, I have learnt among the Mimdas and Hos,some of the most celebrated practitioners among them being Christianconverts. The people themselves say, that these practices are peculiarto their race, and not learnt from the Hindu invaders of their plateau;but I am inclined to think that some, at least, of the operations have astrong savour of the Tantric black magic about them, though practiced bypeople who are often entirely ignorant of any Hindu language.

These remarks must he supplemented by a short sketch of Kol ideas ofworship. They have nothing that I have either seen or heard of in theshape of an image, but their periodical offerings are made to a numberof elemental spirits, and they assign a genie to every rock or tree inthe country, whom they do not consider altogether malignant, but who, ifnot duly "fed" or propitiated, may become so.

The Singbonga (lit., sun or light spirit) is the chief; Buru Bonga(spirit of the hills), and the Ikhir Bonga (spirit of the deep), comenext. After these come the Darha, of which each family has its own, andthey may be considered in the same light as Lares and Penates. Butevery threshing, flour and oil mill, has its spirit, who must be dulyfed, else evil result may be expected. Their great festival (the Karam)is in honour of Singbonga and his assistants; the opening words of thepriests' speech on that occasion, sufficiently indicate that theyconsider Singbonga, the creator of men and things. Munure Singbongamanokoa luekidkoa (In the beginning Singbonga made men).

Each village has its Sarna or sacred grove, where the hereditary priestfrom time to time performs sacrifices, to keep things prosperous; butthis only relates to spirits actually connected with the village, thethree greater spirits mentioned, being considered general, are only fedat intervals of three or more years, and always on a public road orother public place, and once every ten years a human being was (and assome will tell you is sacrificed to keep the whole community of spiritsin good train.) The Pahans, or village priests, are regular servants ofthe spirits, and the najo, deona and bhagats are people who in some wayare supposed to obtain an influence or command over them. The first andlowest grade of these adepts, called najos (which may be translated aspractitioners of witchcraft pure and simple), are frequently women.They are accused, like the "Mula Curumbers," of demanding quantities ofgrain or loans of money, &c., from people, and when these demands arerefused, they go away with a remark to the effect, "that you have lotsof cattle and grain just now, but we'll see what they are like after amonth or two." Then probably the cattle of the bewitched person willget some disease, and several of them die, or some person of his familywill become ill or get hurt in some unaccountable way. Till at last,thoroughly frightened, the afflicted person takes a little uncooked riceand goes to a deona or mati (as he is called in the differentvernaculars of the province)—the grade immediately above najo inknowledge—and promising him a reward if he will assist him, requestshis aid; if the deona accedes to the request, the proceedings are asfollows. The deona taking the oil brought, lights a small lamp andseats himself beside it with the rice in a surpa (winnower) in hishands. After looking intently at the lamp flame for a few minutes, hebegins to sing a sort of chant of invocation in which all the spiritsare named, and at the name of each spirit a few grains of rice arethrown into the lamp. When the flame at any particular name gives ajump and flares up high, the spirit concerned in the mischief isindicated. Then the deona takes a small portion of the rice wrapped upin a sal (Shorea robusta) leaf and proceeds to the nearest new white-antnest from which he cuts the top off and lays the little bundle, half inand half out of the cavity. Having retired, he returns in about an hourto see if the rice is consumed, and according to the rapidity with whichit is eaten he predicts the sacrifice which will appease the spirit.This ranges from a fowl to a buffalo, but whatever it may include, thepouring out of blood is an essential. It must be noted, however, thatthe mati never tells who the najo is who has excited the malignity ofthe spirit.

But the most important and lucrative part of a deona's business is thecasting out of evil spirits, which operation is known variously as ashaband langhan. The sign of obsession is generally some mental alienationaccompanied (in bad cases) by a combined trembling and restlessness oflimbs, or an unaccountable swelling up of the body. Whatever thesymptoms may be the mode of cure appears to be much the same. On suchsymptoms declaring themselves, the deona is brought to the house and isin the presence of the sick man and his friends provided with some ricein a surpa, some oil, a little vermilion, and the deona produces fromhis own person a little powdered sulphur and an iron tube about fourinches long and two tikli.* Before the proceedings begin all the thingsmentioned are touched with vermilion, a small quantity of which is alsomixed with the rice. Three or four grains of rice and one of the tiklibeing put into the tube, a lamp is then lighted beside the sick man andthe deona begins his chant, throwing grains of rice at each name, andwhen the flame flares up, a little of the powdered sulphur is throwninto the lamp and a little on the sick man, who thereupon becomesconvulsed, is shaken all over and talks deliriously, the deona's chantgrowing louder all the while. Suddenly the convulsions and the chantcease, and the deona carefully takes up a little of the sulphur off theman's body and puts into the tube, which he then seals with the secondtikli. The deona and one of the man's friends then leave the hut,taking the iron tube and rice with them, the spirit being now supposedout of the man and bottled up in the iron tube. They hurry acrosscountry until they leave the hut some miles behind. Then they go to theedge of some tank or river, to some place they know to be frequented bypeople for the purposes of bathing, &c., where, after some furtherceremony, the iron is stuck into the ground and left there. This isdone with the benevolent intention that the spirit may transfer itsattentions to the unfortunate person who may happen to touch it whilebathing. I am told the spirit in this case usually chooses a young andhealthy person. Should the deona think the spirit has not been able tosuit itself with a new receptacle, he repairs to where a bazaar istaking place and there (after some ceremony) he mixes with the crowd,and taking a grain of the reddened rice jerks it with his forefinger andthumb in such a way that without attracting attention it falls on theperson or clothes of some. This is done several times to make certain.Then the deona declares he has done his work, and is usually treated tothe best dinner the sick man's friends can afford. It is said that theperson to whom the spirit by either of these methods is transferred maynot be affected for weeks or even months. But some fine day while he isat his work, he will suddenly stop, wheel round two or three times onhis heels and fall down more or less convulsed, from that time forwardhe will begin to be troubled in the same way as his dis-obsessedpredecessor was.

————* Tikli is a circular piece of gilt paper which is stuck on between theeyebrows of the women of the Province as ornament.————

Having thus given some account of the deona, we now come to the bhagat,called by the Hindus sokha and sivnath. This is the highest grade ofall, and, as I ought to have mentioned before, the 'ilm (knowledge) ofboth the deona and bhagat grades is only to be learned by becoming aregular chela of a practitioner; but I am given to understand that thefinal initiation is much hastened by a seasonable liberality on the partof the chela. During the initiation of the sokha certain ceremonies areperformed at night by aid of a human corpse, this is one of the thingswhich has led me to think that this part at least of these practices isconnected with Tantric black magic.

The bhagat performs two distinct functions: (1st), a kind of divinationcalled bhao (the same in Hindi), and (2nd), a kind of Shamanism calleddarasta in Hindi, and bharotan in Horokaji, which, however, is resortedto only on very grave occasions—as, for instance, when several familiesthink they are bewitched at one time and by the same najo.

The bhao is performed as follows:—The person having some query topropound, makes a small dish out of a sal leaf and puts in it a littleuncooked rice and a few pice; he then proceeds to the bhagat and laysbefore him the leaf and its contents, propounding at the same time hisquery. The bhagat then directs him to go out and gather two golaichi(varieties of Posinia) flowers (such practitioners usually having agolaichi tree close to their abodes); after the flowers are brought thebhagat seats himself with the rice close to the inquirer, and after someconsideration selects one of the flowers, and holding it by the stalk atabout a foot from his eyes in his left hand twirls it between his thumband fingers, occasionally with his right hand dropping on it a grain ortwo of rice.* In a few minutes his eyes close and he begins to talk—usually about things having nothing to do with the question in hand, butafter a few minutes of this, he suddenly yells out an answer to thequestion, and without another word retires. The inquirer takes hismeaning as he can from the answer, which, I believe, is alwaysambiguous.

————-* This is the process by which the bhagat mesmerizes himself.————-

The bharotan as I have above remarked is only resorted to when a matterof grave import has to be inquired about; the bhagat makes a highcharge for a seance of this description. We will fancy that three orfour families in a village consider themselves bewitched by a najo, andthey resolve to have recourse to a bhagat to find out who the witch is;with this view a day is fixed on, and two delegates are procured fromeach of five neighbouring villages, who accompany the afflicted peopleto the house of the bhagat, taking with them a dali or offering,consisting of vegetables, which on arrival is formally presented to him.Two delegates are posted at each of the four points of the compass, andthe other two sent themselves with the afflicted parties to the right ofthe bhagat, who occupies the centre of the apartment with four or fivechelas, a clear space being reserved on the left. One chela then bringsa small earthenware-pot full of lighted charcoal, which is set beforethe bhagat with a pile of mango wood chips and a ball composed of dhunia(resin of Shorea robusta), gur (treacle), and ghee (clarified butter),and possibly other ingredients. The bhagat's sole attire consists of ascanty lenguti (waist-cloth), a necklace of the large wooden beads suchas are usually worn by fakeers, and several garlands of golaichi flowersround his neck, his hair being unusually long and matted. Beside himstuck in the ground is his staff. One chela stands over the firepotwith a bamboo-mat fan in his hand, another takes charge of the pile ofchips, and a third of the ball of composition, and one or two othersseat themselves behind the bhagat, with drums and other musicalinstruments in their hands. All being in readiness, the afflicted onesare requested to state their grievance. This they do, and pray thebhagat to call before him the najo, who has stirred up the spirits toafflict them, in order that he may be punished. The bhagat then gives asign to his chelas, those behind him raise a furious din with theirinstruments, the fire is fed with chips, and a bit of the composition isput on it from time to time, producing a volume of thick greyish-bluesmoke; this is carefully fanned over, and towards the bhagat, who, whenwell wrapped in smoke, closes his eyes and quietly swaying his bodybegins a low chant. The chant gradually becomes louder and the sway ofhis body more pronounced, until he works himself into a state ofcomplete frenzy. Then with his body actually quivering, and his headrapidly working about from side to side, he sings in a loud voice how acertain najo (whom he names) had asked money of those people and wasrefused, and how he stirred up certain spirits (whom he also names) tohurt them, how they killed so and so's bullocks, some one else's sheep,and caused another's child to fall ill. Then he begins to call on thenajo to come and answer for his doings, and in doing so rises to hisfeet—still commanding the najo to appear; meanwhile he reels about;then falls on the ground and is quite still except for an occasionalwhine, and a muttered, "I see him!" "He is coming!" This state may lastfor an hour or more till at last the bhagat sits up and announces thenajo has come; as he says so, a man, apparently mad with drink, rushesin and falls with his head towards the bhagat moaning and making a sortof snorting as if half stifled. In this person the bewitched partiesoften recognize a neighbour and sometimes even a relation, but whoeverhe may be they have bound themselves to punish him. The bhagat thenspeaks to him and tells him to confess, at the same time threateninghim, in case of refusal, with his staff. He then confesses in ahalf-stupefied manner, and his confession tallies with what the bhagathas told in his frenzy. The najo is then dismissed and runs out of thehouse in the same hurry as he came in. The delegates then hold acouncil at which the najo usually is sentenced to a fine—often heavyenough to ruin him—and expelled from his village. Before the Britishrule the convicted najo seldom escaped with his life, and during themutiny time, when no Englishmen were about, the Singbhoom Hos paid off alarge number of old scores of this sort. For record of which, see"Statistical Account of Bengal," vol. xvii. p. 52.

In conclusion I have merely to add that I have derived this informationfrom people who have been actually concerned in these occurrences, andamong others a man belonging to a village of my own, who was convictedand expelled from the village with the loss of all his movable property,and one of his victims, a relation of his, sat by me when the above wasbeing written.

—E.D. Ewen

Mahatmas and Chelas

A Mahatma is an individual who, by special training and education, hasevolved those higher faculties, and has attained that spiritualknowledge, which ordinary humanity will acquire after passing throughnumberless series of re-incarnations during the process of cosmicevolution, provided, of course, that they do not go, in the meanwhile,against the purposes of Nature and thus bring on their own annihilation.This process of the self-evolution of the MAHATMA extends over a numberof "incarnations," although, comparatively speaking, they are very few.Now, what is it that incarnates? The occult doctrine, so far as it isgiven out, shows that the first three principles die more or less withwhat is called the physical death. The fourth principle, together withthe lower portions of the fifth, in which reside the animalpropensities, has Kama Loka for its abode, where it suffers the throesof disintegration in proportion to the intensity of those lower desires;while it is the higher Manas, the pure man, which is associated with thesixth and seventh principles, that goes into Devachan to enjoy there theeffects of its good Karma, and then to be reincarnated as a higherpersonality. Now an entity that is passing through the occult trainingin its successive births, gradually has less and less (in eachincarnation) of that lower Manas until there arrives a time when itswhole Manas, being of an entirely elevated character, is centred in theindividuality, when such a person may be said to have become a MAHATMA.At the time of his physical death, all the lower four principles perishwithout any suffering, for these are, in fact, to him like a piece ofwearing apparel which he puts on and off at will. The real MAHATMA isthen not his physical body but that higher Manas which is inseparablylinked to the Atma and its vehicle (the sixth principle)—a unioneffected by him in a comparatively very short period by passing throughthe process of self-evolution laid down by Occult Philosophy. Whentherefore, people express a desire to "see a MAHATMA," they really donot seem to understand what it is they ask for. How can they, withtheir physical eyes, hope to see that which transcends that sight? Isit the body—a mere shell or mask—they crave or hunt after? Andsupposing they see the body of a MAHATMA, how can they know that behindthat mask is concealed an exalted entity? By what standard are they tojudge whether the Maya before them reflects the image of a true MAHATMAor not? And who will say that the physical is not a Maya? Higher thingscan be perceived only by a sense pertaining to those higher things;whoever therefore wants to see the real MAHATMA, must use hisintellectual sight. He must so elevate his Manas that its perceptionwill be clear and all mists created by Maya be dispelled. His visionwill then be bright and he will see the MAHATMA wherever he may be, for,being merged into the sixth and the seventh principles, which know nodistance, the MAHATMA may be said to be everywhere. But, at the sametime, just as we may be standing on a mountain top and have within oursight the whole plain, and yet not be cognizant of any particular treeor spot, because from that elevated position all below is nearlyidentical, and as our attention may be drawn to something which may bedissimilar to its surroundings—in the same manner, although the wholeof humanity is within the mental vision of the MAHATMA, he cannot beexpected to take special note of every human being, unless that being byhis special acts draws particular attention to himself. The highestinterest of humanity, as a whole, is the MAHATMA's special concern, forhe has identified himself with that Universal Soul which runs throughHumanity; and to draw his attention one must do so through that Soul.This perception of the Manas may be called "faith" which should not beconfounded with blind belief. "Blind faith" is an expression sometimesused to indicate belief without perception or understanding; while thetrue perception of the Manas is that enlightened belief which is thereal meaning of the word "faith." This belief should at the same timebe accompanied by knowledge, i.e., experience, for "true knowledgebrings with it faith." Faith is the perception of the Manas (the fifthprinciple), while knowledge, in the true sense of the term, is thecapacity of the Intellect, i.e., it is spiritual perception. In short,the individuality of man, composed of his higher Manas, the sixth andthe seventh principle, should work as a unity, and then only can itobtain "divine wisdom," for divine things can be sensed only by divinefaculties. Thus a chela should be actuated solely by a desire tounderstand the operations of the Law of Cosmic Evolution, so as to beable to work in conscious and harmonious accord with Nature.


The Brahmanical Thread

I. The general term for the investiture of this thread is Upanayana;and the invested is called Upanita, which signifies brought or drawnnear (to one's Guru), i.e., the thread is the symbol of the wearer'scondition.

II. One of the names of this thread is Yajna-Sutra. Yajna meansBrahma, or the Supreme Spirit, and Sutra the thread, or tie.Collectively, the compound word signifies that which ties a man to hisspirit or god. It consists of three yarns twisted into one thread, andthree of such threads formed and knotted into a circle. EveryTheosophist knows what a circle signifies and it need not be repeatedhere. He will easily understand the rest and the relation they have tomystic initiation. The yarns signify the great principle of "three inone, and one in three," thus:—The first trinity consists of Atma whichcomprises the three attributes of Manas, Buddhi, and Ahankara (the mind,the intelligence, and the egotism). The Manas again, has the threequalities of Satva, Raja, and Tama (goodness, foulness, and darkness).Buddhi has the three attributes of Pratyaksha, Upamiti and Anumiti(perception, analogy, and inference). Ahankara also has threeattributes, viz., Jnata, Jneya, and Jnan (the knower, the known, and theknowledge).

III. Another name of the sacred thread is Tri-dandi. Tri means three,and Danda, chastisem*nt, correction, or conquest. This reminds theholder of the three great "corrections" or conquests he has toaccomplish. These are:—(1) the Vakya Sanyama;* (2) the Manas Sanyama;and (3) the Indriya (or Deha) Sanyama. Vakya is speech, Manas, mind, andDeha (literally, body) or Indriya, is the senses. The three conqueststherefore mean the control over one's speech, thought, and action.

————* Danda and Sanyama are synonymous terms.—A.S.————-

This thread is also the reminder to the man of his secular duties,and its material varies, in consequence, according to the occupationof the wearer. Thus, while the thread of the Brahmans is made ofpure cotton, that of the Kshatriyas (the warriors) is composed offlax—the bow-string material; and that of Vaishyas (the traders andcattle-breeders), of wool. From this it is not to be inferred that castewas originally meant to be hereditary. In the ancient times, it dependedon the qualities of the man. Irrespective of the caste of his parents, aman could, according to his merit or otherwise, raise or lower himselffrom one caste to another; and instances are not wanting in which a manhas elevated himself to the position of the highest Brahman (such asVishvamitra Rishi, Parasara, Vyasa, Satyakam, and others) from the verylowest of the four castes. The sayings of Yudhishthira on this subject,in reply to the questions of the great serpent, in the Arannya Parva ofthe Maha-Bharata, and of Manu, on the same point, are well known andneed nothing more than bare reference. Both Manu and Maha-Bharata—thefulcrums of Hinduism—distinctly affirm that a man can translatehimself from one caste to another by his merit, irrespective of hisparentage.

The day is fast approaching when the so-called Brahmans will have toshow cause, before the tribunal of the Aryan Rishis, why they should notbe divested of the thread which they do not at all deserve, but aredegrading by misuse. Then alone will the people appreciate theprivilege of wearing it.

There are many examples of the highest distinctive insignia being wornby the unworthy. The aristocracies of Europe and Asia teem with such.

—A. Sarman

Reading in a Sealed Envelope

Some years ago, a Brahman astrologer named Vencata Narasimla Josi, anative of the village of Periasamudram in the Mysore Provinces, came tothe little town in the Bellary District where I was then employed. Hewas a good Sanskrit, Telugu and Canarese poet, and an excellent masterof Vedic rituals; knew the Hindu system of astronomy, and professed tobe an astrologer. Besides all this, he possessed the power of readingwhat was contained in any sealed envelope. The process adopted for thispurpose was simply this:—We wrote whatever we chose on a piece ofpaper; enclosed it in one, two or three envelopes, each properly gummedand sealed, and handed the cover to the astrologer. He asked us to namea figure between 1 and 9, and on its being named, he retired with theenvelope to some secluded place for some time; and then he returned witha paper full of figures, and another paper containing a copy of what wason the sealed paper—exactly, letter for letter and word for word. Itried him often and many others did the same; and we were all satisfiedthat he was invariably accurate, and that there was no deceptionwhatsoever in the matter.

About this time, one Mr. Theyagaraja Mudalyar, a supervisor in thePublic Works Department, an English scholar and a good Sanskrit andTelugu poet, arrived at our place on his periodical tour of inspection.Having heard about the aforesaid astrologer, he wanted to test him in amanner, most satisfactory to himself. One morning handing to theastrologer a very indifferently gummed envelope, he said, "Here, Sir,take this letter home with you and come back to me with your copy in theafternoon." This loose way of closing the envelope, and the permissiongiven to the astrologer to take it home for several hours, surprised theBrahman, who said, "I don't want to go home. Seal the cover better, andgive me the use of some room here. I shall be ready with my copy verysoon." "No," said the Mudalyar, "take it as it is, and come backwhenever you like. I have the means of finding out the deception, ifany be practiced."

So then the astrologer went with the envelope; and returned to theMudalyar's place in the afternoon. Myself and about twenty others werepresent there by appointment. The astrologer then carefully handed thecover to the Mudalyar, desiring him to see if it was all right. "Don'tmind that," the Mudalyar answered; "I can find out the trick, if therebe any. Produce your copy." The astrologer thereupon presented to theMudalyar a paper on which four lines were written and stated that thiswas a copy of the paper enclosed in the Mudalyar's envelope. Those fourlines formed a portion of an antiquated poem.

The Mudalyar read the paper once, then read it over again. Extremesatisfaction beamed over his countenance, and he sat mute for someseconds seemingly in utter astonishment. But soon after, the expressionof his face changing, he opened the envelope and threw the enclosuredown, jocularly saying to the astrologer, "Here, Sir, is the original ofwhich you have produced the copy."

The paper lay upon the carpet, and was quite blank! not a word, nor aletter on its clean surface.

This was a sad disappointment to all his admirers; but to theastrologer himself, it was a real thunderbolt. He picked up the paperpensively, examined it on both sides, then dashed it on the ground in afury; and suddenly arising, exclaimed, "My Vidya* is a delusion, and Iam a liar!"

————-* Secret knowledge, magic.————-

The subsequent behaviour of the poor man made us fear lest this greatdisappointment should drive him to commit some desperate act. In facthe seemed determined to drown himself in the well, saying that he wasdishonoured. While we were trying to console him, the Mudalyar cameforward, caught hold of his hands, and besought him to sit down andcalmly listen to his explanation, assuring him that he was not a liar,and that his copy was perfectly accurate. But the astrologer would notbe satisfied; he supposed that all this was said simply to console him;and cursed himself and his fate most horribly. However, in a fewminutes he became calmer and listened to the Mudalyar's explanation,which was in substance as follows The only way for the sceptic toaccount for this phenomenon, is to suppose that the astrologer openedthe covers dexterously and read their contents. "So," he said, "I wrotefour lines of old poetry on the paper with nitrate of silver, whichwould be invisible until exposed to the light; and this would havedisclosed the astrologer's fraud, if he had tried to find out thecontents of the enclosed paper, by opening the cover, howeveringeniously. For, if he opened it and looked at the paper, he would haveseen that it was blank, resealed the cover, and declared that the paperenveloped therein bore no writing whatever; or if he had, by design oraccident, exposed the paper to light, the writing would have becomeblack; and he would have produced a copy of it as if it were the resultof his own Vidya; but in either case and the writing remaining, hisdeception would have been clear, and it would have been patent to allthat he did open the envelope. But in the present case, the resultproved conclusively that the cover was not opened at all."

—P. Sreeneevas Row

The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac

The division of the Zodiac into different signs dates from immemorialantiquity. It has acquired a world-wide celebrity and is to be found inthe astrological systems of several nations. The invention of the Zodiacand its signs has been assigned to different nations by differentantiquarians. It is stated by some that, at first, there were only tensigns, that one of these signs was subsequently split up into twoseparate signs, and that a new sign was added to the number to renderthe esoteric significance of the division more profound, and at the sametime to conceal it more perfectly from the uninitiated public. It isvery probable that the real philosophical conception of the divisionowes its origin to some particular nation, and the names given to thevarious signs might have been translated into the languages of othernations. The principal object of this article, however, is not todecide which nation had the honour of inventing the signs in question,but to indicate to some extent the real philosophical meaning involvedtherein, and the way to discover the rest of the meaning which yetremains undisclosed. But from what is herein stated, an inference mayfairly be drawn that, like so many other philosophical myths andallegories, the invention of the Zodiac and its signs owes its origin toancient India.

What then is its real origin, what is the philosophical conception whichthe Zodiac and its signs are intended to represent? Do the varioussigns merely indicate the shape or configuration of the differentconstellations included in the divisions, or, are they simply masksdesigned to veil some hidden meaning? The former supposition isaltogether untenable for two reasons, viz.:—

I. The Hindus were acquainted with the precession of the equinoxes, asmay he easily seen from their work on Astronomy, and from the almanacspublished by Hindu astronomers. Consequently they were fully aware ofthe fact that the constellations in the various Zodiacal divisions werenot fixed. They could not, therefore, have assigned particular shapesto these shifting groups of fixed stars with reference to the divisionsof the Zodiac. But the names indicating the Zodiacal signs have allalong remained unaltered. It is to be inferred, therefore, that thenames given to the various signs have no connection whatever with theconfigurations of the constellations included in them.

II. The names assigned to these signs by the ancient Sanskrit writersand their exoteric or literal meanings are as follows:—

The Names of the Signs ……. Their Exoteric or Literal Meanings

1. Mesha ……………………… Ram, or Aries.2. Rishabha …………………..Bull, or Taurus.3. Mithunam ………………. Twins, or Gemini (male and female).4. Karkataka …………………. Crab, or Cancer.5. Simha ………………………… Lion, or Leo.6. Kanya ……………………….. Virgin or Virgo.*7. Tula …………………….. Balance, or Libra.8. Vrischika ………………… Scorpion, or Scorpio.9. Dhanus ………………….. Archer, or Sagittarius.10. Makara ……….. The Goat, or Capricornus (Crocodile, in Sanskrit).11. Kumbha ……………… Water-bearer, or Aquarius.12. Meenam …………….. Fishes, or Pisces.

The figures of the constellations included in the signs at the time thedivision was first made do not at all resemble the shapes of theanimals, reptiles and other objects denoted by the names given them.The truth of this assertion can be ascertained by examining theconfigurations of the various constellations. Unless the shape of thecrocodile** or the crab is called up by the observer's imagination,there is very little chance of the stars themselves suggesting to hisidea that figure, upon the blue canopy of the starry firmament.

————* Virgo-Scorpio, when none but the initiates knew there were twelvesigns. Virgo-Scorpio was then followed for the profane by Sagittarius.At the middle or junction-point where now stands Libra and at the signnow called Virgo, two mystical signs were inserted which remainedunintelligible to the profane.—Ed. Theos.

** This constellation was never called Crocodile by the ancient Westernastronomers, who described it as a horned goat and called it so—Capricornus.—Ed. Theos.————

If, then, the constellations have nothing to do with the origin of thenames by which the Zodiacal divisions are indicated, we have to seek forsome other source which might have given rise to these appellations. Itbecomes my object to unravel a portion of the mystery connected withthese Zodiacal signs, as also to disclose a portion of the sublimeconception of the ancient Hindu philosophy which gave rise to them. Thesigns of the Zodiac have more than one meaning. From one point of viewthey represent the different stages of evolution up to the time thepresent material universe with the five elements came into phenomenalexistence. As the author of "Isis Unveiled" has stated in the secondvolume of her admirable work, "The key should be turned seven times" tounderstand the whole philosophy underlying these signs. But I shallwind it only once and give the contents of the first chapter of theHistory of Evolution. It is very fortunate that the Sanskrit namesassigned to the various divisions by Aryan philosophers contain withinthemselves the key to the solution of the problem. Those of my readerswho have studied to some extent the ancient "Mantra" and the "TantraSastras" * of India, would have seen that very often Sanskrit words aremade to convey a certain hidden meaning by means of well-knownpre-arranged methods and a tacit convention, while their literalsignificance is something quite different from the implied meaning.

————-* Works on Incantation and Magic.————-

The following are some of the rules which may help an inquirer inferreting out the deep significance of ancient Sanskrit nomenclature tobe found in the old Aryan myths and allegories:

1. Find out the synonyms of the word used which have other meanings.

2. Find out the numerical value of the letters composing the wordaccording to the methods given in ancient Tantrika works.

3. Examine the ancient myths or allegories, if there are any, which haveany special connection with the word in question.

4. Permute the different syllables composing the word and examine thenew combinations that will thus be formed and their meanings, &c. &c.

I shall now apply some of the above given rules to the names of thetwelve signs of the Zodiac.

I. Mesha.—One of the synonyms of this word is Aja. Now, Aja literallymeans that which has no birth, and is applied to the Eternal Brahma incertain portions of the Upanishads. So, the first sign is intended torepresent Parabrahma, the self-existent, eternal, self-sufficient causeof all.

II. Rishabham.—This word is used in several places in the Upanishadsand the Veda to mean Pranava (Aum). Sankaracharya has so interpreted itin several portions of his commentary.*

* Example, "Rishabhasya—Chandasam Rishabhasya Pradhanasya

III. Mithuna.—As the word plainly indicates, this sign is intended torepresent the first androgyne, the Ardhanareeswara, the bisexualSephira—Adam Kadmon.

IV. Karkataka.—When the syllables are converted into the correspondingnumbers, according to the general mode of transmutation so often alludedto in Mantra Shastra, the word in question will be represented by ////.This sign then is evidently intended to represent the sacred Tetragram;the Parabrahmadharaka; the Pranava resolved into four separate entitiescorresponding to its four Matras; the four Avasthas indicated byJagrata (waking) Avastha, Swapna (dreaming) Avastha, Sushupti (deepsleep) Avastha, and Turiya (the last stage, i.e., Nirvana) Avastha (asyet in potentiality); the four states of Brahma called Vaiswanara,Taijasa (or Hiranyagarbha), Pragna, and Iswara, and represented byBrahma, Vishna, Maheswara, and Sadasiva; the four aspects ofParabrahma, as Sthula (gross), Sukshma (subtle), Vija (seed), and Sakshi(witness); the four stages or conditions of the Sacred Word, namedPara, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari; Nadam, Bindu, Sakti and Kala.This sign completes the first quaternary.

V. Simha.—This word contains a world of occult meaning within itself;and it may not be prudent on my part to disclose the whole of itsmeaning now. It will be sufficient for the present purpose to give ageneral indication of its significance.

Two of its synonymous terms are Panchasyam and Hari, and its number inthe order of the Zodiacal divisions (being the fifth sign) pointsclearly to the former synonym. This synonym—Panchasyam—shows thatthe sign is intended to represent the five Brahmas—viz., Isanam,Aghoram, Tatpurusham, Vamadevam, and Sadyojatam:—the five Buddhas. Thesecond synonym shows it to be Narayana, the Jivatma or Pratyagatma. TheSukarahasy Upanishad will show that the ancient Aryan philosopherslooked upon Narayana as the Jivatma.* The Vaishnavites may not admit it.But as an Advaiti, I look upon Jivatma as identical with Paramatma inits real essence when stripped of its illusory attributes created byAgnanam or Avidya—ignorance.

————-* In its lowest or most material state, as the life-principle whichanimates the material bodies of the animal and vegetable worlds, &c.—Ed. Theos.————-

The Jivatma is correctly placed in the fifth sign counting from Mesham,as the fifth sign is the putrasthanam or the son's house according tothe rules of Hindu Astrology. The sign in question represents Jivatma—the son of Paramatma as it were. (I may also add that it represents thereal Christ, the anointed pure spirit, though many Christians may frownat this interpretation.)* I will only add here that unless the natureof this sign is fully comprehended it will be impossible to understandthe real order of the next three signs and their full significance. Theelements or entities that have merely a potential existence in this signbecome distinct separate entities in the next three signs. Their unioninto a single entity leads to the destruction of the phenomenaluniverse, and the recognition of the pure Spirit and their separationhas the contrary effect. It leads to material earth-bound existence andbrings into view the picture gallery of Avidya (Ignorance) or Maya(Illusion). If the real orthography of the name by which the sign inquestion is indicated is properly understood, it will readily be seenthat the next three signs are not what they ought to be.

————* Nevertheless it is a true one. The Jiv-atma in the Microcosm (man) isthe same spiritual essence which animates the Macrocosm (universe), thedifferentiation, or specific difference between the two Jivatmaspresenting itself but in the two states or conditions of the same andone Force. Hence, "this son of Paramatma" is an eternal correlation ofthe Father-Cause. Purusha manifesting himself as Brahma of the "goldenegg" and becoming Viradja—the universe. We are "all born of Aditi fromthe water" (Hymns of the Maruts, X. 63, 2), and "Being was born fromnot-being" (Rig-Veda, Mandala I, Sukta 166).—Ed. Theos.—————-

Kanya or Virgo and Vrischika or Scorpio should form one single sign, andThula must follow the said sign if it is at all necessary to have aseparate sign of that name. But a separation between Kanya andVrischika was effected by interposing the sign Tula between the two.The object of this separation will be understood on examining themeaning of the three signs.

VI. Kanya.—Means a virgin and represents Sakti or Mahamaya. The signin question is the sixth Rasi or division, and indicates that there aresix primary forces in Nature. These forces have different sets of namesin Sanskrit philosophy. According to one system of nomenclature, theyare called by the following names*:—(1) Parasakty; (2) Gnanasakti;(3) Itchasakti (will-power); (4) Kriytisakti; (5) Kundalinisakti; and(6) Matrikasakti. The six forces are in their unity represented by theAstral Light.**

————-* Parasakti:—Literally the great or supreme force or power. It meansand includes the powers of light and heat.

Gnanasakti:—Literally the power of intellect or the power of realwisdom or knowledge. It has two aspects.

I. The following are some of its manifestations when placed under theinfluence or control of material conditions.

(a) The power of the mind in interpreting our sensations; (b) Its powerin recalling past ideas (memory) and raising future expectation; (c)Its power as exhibited in what are called by modern psychologists "thelaws of association," which enables it to form persisting connectionsbetween various groups of sensations and possibilities of sensations,and thus generate the notion or idea of an external object; (d) Itspower in connecting our ideas together by the mysterious link of memory,and thus generating the notion of self or individuality.

II. The following are some of its manifestations when liberated from thebonds of matter:—

(a) Clairvoyance. (b) Pyschometry.

Itchasakti:—Literally the power of the will. Its most ordinarymanifestation is the generation of certain nerve currents which set inmotion such muscles as are required for the accomplishment of thedesired object.

Kriyasakti:—The mysterious power of thought which enables it to produceexternal, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy.The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally if one'sattention is deeply concentrated upon it. Similarly an intense volitionwill be followed by the desired result.

A Yogi generally performs his wonders by means of Itchasakti and

Kundalinisakti:—Literally the power or force which moves in aserpentine or curved path. It is the universal life-principle whicheverywhere manifests itself in Nature. This force includes in itselfthe two great forces of attraction and repulsion. Electricity andmagnetism are but manifestations of it. This is the power or forcewhich brings about that "continuous adjustment of internal relations toexternal relations" which is the essence of life according to HerbertSpencer, and that "continuous adjustment of external relations tointernal relations" which is the basis of transmigration of souls orpunarjanmam (re-birth) according to the doctrines of the ancient Hinduphilosophers.

A Yogi must thoroughly subjugate this power or force before he canattain moksham. This force is, in fact, the great serpent of the Bible.

Matrikasakti:—Literally the force or power of letters or speech ormusic. The whole of the ancient Mantra Shastra has this force or powerin all its manifestations for its subject-matter. The power of The Wordwhich Jesus Christ speaks of is a manifestation of this Sakti. Theinfluence of its music is one of its ordinary manifestations. The powerof the mirific ineffable name is the crown of this Sakti.

Modern science has but partly investigated the first, second and fifthof the forces or powers above named, but it is altogether in the dark asregards the remaining powers.

** Even the very name of Kanya (Virgin) shows how all the ancientesoteric systems agreed in all their fundamental doctrines. TheKabalists and the Hermetic philosophers call the Astral Light the"heavenly or celestial Virgin." The Astral Light in its unity is the7th. Hence the seven principles diffused in every unity or the 6 andone—two triangles and a crown.—Ed. Theos.—————-

VII. Tula.—When represented by numbers according to the method abovealluded to, this word will be converted into 36. This sign, therefore,is evidently intended to represent the 36 Tatwams. (The number ofTatwams is different according to the views of different philosophersbut by Sakteyas generally and by several of the ancient Rishis, such asAgastya, Dvrasa and Parasurama, &c., the number of Tatwams has beenstated to be 36). Jivatma differs from Paramatma, or to state the samething in other words, "Baddha" differs from "Mukta" * in being encasedas it were within these 36 Tatwams, while the other is free. This signprepares the way to earthly Adam to Nara. As the emblem of Nara it isproperly placed as the seventh sign.

————-* As the Infinite differs from the Finite and the Unconditionedfrom the Conditioned.—Ed. Theos.————-

VIII. Vrischika.—It is stated by ancient philosophers that the sun whenlocated in this Rasi or sign is called by the name of Vishnu (see the12th Skandha of Bhagavata). This sign is intended to represent Vishnu.Vishnu literally means that which is expanded—expanded as Viswam orUniverse. Properly speaking, Viswam itself is Vishnu (seeSankaracharya's commentary on Vishnusahasranamam). I have alreadyintimated that Vishnu represents the Swapnavastha or the Dreaming State.The sign in question properly signifies the universe in thought or theuniverse in the divine conception.

It is properly placed as the sign opposite to Rishabham or Pranava.Analysis from Pranava downwards leads to the Universe of Thought, andsynthesis from the latter upwards leads to Pranava (Aum). We have nowarrived at the ideal state of the universe previous to its coming intomaterial existence. The expansion of the Vija or primitive germ intothe universe is only possible when the 36 "Tatwams" * are interposedbetween the Maya and Jivatma. The dreaming state is induced through theinstrumentality of these "Tatwams." It is the existence of theseTatwams that brings Hamsa into existence. The elimination of theseTatwams marks the beginning of the synthesis towards Pranava and Brahmamand converts Hamsa into Soham. As it is intended to represent thedifferent stages of evolution from Brahmam downwards to the materialuniverse, the three signs Kanya, Tula, and Vrischika are placed in theorder in which they now stand as three separate signs.

IX. Dhanus (Sagittarius).—When represented in numbers the name isequivalent to 9, and the division in question is the 9th divisioncounting from Mesha. The sign, therefore, clearly indicates the 9Brahmas—the 9 Parajapatis who assisted the Demiurgus in constructingthe material universe.

X. Makara.—There is some difficulty in interpreting this word;nevertheless it contains within itself the clue to its correctinterpretation. The letter Ma is equivalent to number 5, and Kara meanshand. Now in Sanskrit Thribhujam means a triangle, bhujam or karam(both are synonymous) being understood to mean a side. So, Makaram orPanchakaram means a Pentagon.**

—————* 36 is three times 12, or 9 Tetraktis, or 12 Triads, the most sacrednumber in the Kabalistic and Pythagorean numerals.—Ed. Theos.

** The five-pointed star or pentagram represented the five limbs ofman.—Ed. Theos.—————

Now, Makaram is the tenth sign, and the term "Dasadisa" is generallyused by Sanskrit writers to denote the faces or sides of the universe.The sign in question is intended to represent the faces of the universe,and indicates that the figure of the universe is bounded by Pentagons.If we take the pentagons as regular pentagons (on the presumption orsupposition that the universe is symmetrically constructed) the figureof the material universe will, of course, be a Dodecahedron, thegeometrical model imitated by the Demiurgus in constructing the materialuniverse. If Tula was subsequently invented, and if instead of thethree signs "Kanya," "Tula," and "Vrischikam," there had existedformerly only one sign combining in itself Kanya and Vrischika, the signnow under consideration was the eighth sign under the old system, and itis a significant fact that Sanskrit writers generally speak also of"Ashtadisa" or eight faces bounding space. It is quite possible thatthe number of disa might have been altered from 8 to 10 when theformerly existing Virgo-Scorpio was split up into three separate signs.

Again, Kara may be taken to represent the projecting triangles of thefive-pointed star. This figure may also be called a kind of regularpentagon (see Todhunter's "Spherical Trigonometry," p. 143). If thisinterpretation is accepted, the Rasi or sign in question represents the"microcosm." But the "microcosm" or the world of thought is reallyrepresented by Vrischika. From an objective point of view the"microcosm" is represented by the human body. Makaram may be taken torepresent simultaneously both the microcosm and the macrocosm, asexternal objects of perception.

In connection with this sign I shall state a few important facts which Ibeg to submit for the consideration of those who are interested inexamining the ancient occult sciences of India. It is generally held bythe ancient philosophers that the macrocosm is similar to the microcosmin having a Sthula Sariram and a Suksma Sariram. The visible universeis the Sthula Sariram of Viswam; the ancient philosophers held that asa substratum for this visible universe, there is another universe—perhaps we may call it the universe of Astral Light—the real universeof Noumena, the soul as it were of this visible universe. It is darklyhinted in certain passages of the Veda and the Upanishads that thishidden universe of Astral Light is to be represented by an Icosahedron.The connection between an Icosahedron and a Dodecahedron is somethingvery peculiar and interesting, though the figures seem to be so verydissimilar to each other. The connection may be understood by theunder-mentioned geometrical construction. Describe a Sphere about anIcosahedron; let perpendiculars be drawn from the centre of the Sphereon its faces and produced to meet the surface of the Sphere. Now, ifthe points of intersection be joined, a Dodecahedron is formed withinthe Sphere. By a similar process an Icosahedron may be constructed froma Dodecahedron. (See Todhunter's "Spherical Trigonometry," p. 141, art.193). The figure constructed as above described will represent theuniverse of matter and the universe of Astral Light as they actuallyexist. I shall not now, however, proceed to show how the universe ofAstral Light may be considered under the symbol of an Icosahedron. Ishall only state that this conception of the Aryan philosophers is notto be looked upon as mere "theological twaddle" or as the outcome ofwild fancy. The real significance of the conception in question can, Ibelieve, be explained by reference to the psychology and the physicalscience of the ancients. But I must stop here and proceed to considerthe meaning of the remaining two signs.

XI. Kumbha (or Aquarius).—When represented by numbers, the word isequivalent to 14. It can be easily perceived then that the division inquestion is intended to represent the "Chaturdasa Bhuvanam," or the 14lokas spoken of in Sanskrit writings.

XII. Mina (or Pisces).—This word again is represented by 5 when writtenin numbers, and is evidently intended to convey the idea ofPanchamahabhutams or the 5 elements. The sign also suggests that water(not the ordinary water, but the universal solvent of the ancientalchemists) is the most important amongst the said elements.

I have now finished the task which I have set to myself in this article.My purpose is not to explain the ancient theory of evolution itself, butto show the connection between that theory and the Zodiacal divisions.I have herein brought to light but a very small portion of thephilosophy imbedded in these signs. The veil that was dexterously thrownover certain portions of the mystery connected with these signs by theancient philosophers will never be lifted up for the amusem*nt oredification of the uninitiated public.

Now to summarize the facts stated in this article, the contents of thefirst chapter of the history of this universe are as follows:

1. The self-existent, eternal Brahmam.

2. Pranava (Aum).

3. The androgyne Brahma, or the bisexual Sephira-Adam Kadmon.

4. The Sacred Tetragram—the four matras of Pranava—the four
avasthas—the four states of Brahma—the Sacred Dharaka.

5. The five Brahmas—the five Buddhas representing in their totality
the Jivatma.

6. The Astral Light—the holy Virgin—the six forces in Nature.

7. The thirty-six Tatwams born of Avidya.

8. The universe in thought—the Swapna Avastha—the microcosm looked at from a subjective point of view.

9. The nine Prajapatis—the assistants of the Demiurgus.*

10. The shape of the material universe in the mind of the Demiurgus— the DODECAHEDRON.

11. The fourteen lokas.

12. The five elements.

————* The nine Kabalistic Sephiroths emanated from Sephira the 10th and thehead Sephiroth are identical. Three trinities or triads with theiremanative principle form the Pythagorean mystic Decad, the sum of allwhich represents the whole Kosmos.—Ed. Theos.————

The history of creation and of this world from its beginning up to thepresent time is composed of seven chapters. The seventh chapter is notyet completed.

—T. Subba Row
Triplicane, Madras, September 14, 1881

The Sishal and Bhukailas Yogis

We are indebted to the kindness of the learned President of the AdiBrahmo Samaji for the following accounts of two Yogis, of whom oneperformed the extraordinary feats of raising his body by will power, andkeeping it suspended in the air without visible support. The Yogaposture for meditation or concentration of the mind upon spiritualthings is called Asana. There are various of these modes of sitting,such as Padmasan, &c. &c. Babu Rajnarain Bose translated this narrativefrom a very old number of the Tatwabodhini Patrika, the Calcutta organof the Brahmo Samaj. The writer was Babu Akkhaya Kumar Dalta, theneditor of the Patrika, of whom Babu Rajnarain speaks in the followinghigh terms—"A very truth-loving and painstaking man; very fond ofobserving strict accuracy in the details of a description."

Sishal Yogi

A few years ago, a Deccan Yogi, named Sishal, was seen at Madras, bymany Hindus and Englishmen, to raise his Asana, or seat, up into theair. The picture of the Yogi, showing his mode of seating, and otherparticulars connected with him, may be found in the Saturday Magazine onpage 28.

His whole body seated in air, only his right hand lightly touched a deerskin, rolled up in the form of a tube, and attached to a brazen rodwhich was firmly stuck into a wooden board resting on four legs. Inthis position the Yogi used to perform his japa (mystical meditation),with his eyes half shut. At the time of his ascending to his aerialseat, and also when he descended from it, his disciples used to coverhim with a blanket. The Tatwabodhini Patrika, Chaitra, 1768 Sakabda,corresponding to March 1847.

The Bhukailas Yogi

The extraordinary character of the holy man who was brought toBhukailas, in Kidderpore, about 14 years ago, may still be remembered bymany. In the month of Asar, 1754 Sakabda (1834 A.C.), he was brought toBhukailas from Shirpur, where he was under the charge of Hari Singh, thedurwan (porter) of Mr. Jones. He kept his eyes closed, and went withoutfood and drink, for three consecutive days, after which a small quantityof milk was forcibly poured down his throat. He never took any foodthat was not forced upon him. He seemed always without externalconsciousness. To remove this condition Dr. Graham applied ammonia tohis nostrils; but it only produced tremblings in the body, and did notbreak his Yoga state. Three days passed before he could be made tospeak. He said that his name was Dulla Nabab, and when annoyed, heuttered a single word, from which it was inferred that he was a Punjabi.When he was laid up with gout Dr. Graham attended him, but he refused totake medicine, either in the form of powder or mixture. He was cured ofthe disease only by the application of ointments and linimentsprescribed by the doctor. He died in the month of Chaitra 1755 Sakabda,of a choleric affection.*—The Tatwabodhini Patrika, Chaitra, 1768Sakabda, corresponding to March, 1847 A.C.

————* The above particulars of this holy man have been obtained onunexceptionable testimony.—Ed. T.B.P.——————————


True and False Personality

The title prefixed to the following observations may well have suggesteda more metaphysical treatment of the subject than can be attempted onthe present occasion. The doctrine of the trinity, or trichotomy ofman, which distinguishes soul from spirit, comes to us with suchweighty, venerable, and even sacred authority, that we may well becontent, for the moment, with confirmations that should be intelligibleto all, forbearing the abstruser questions which have divided minds ofthe highest philosophical capacity. We will not now inquire whether thedifference is one of states or of entities; whether the phenomenal ormind consciousness is merely the external condition of one indivisibleEgo, or has its origin and nature in an altogether different principle;the Spirit, or immortal part of us, being of Divine birth, while thesenses and understanding, with the consciousness—Ahankara—theretoappertaining, are from an Anima Mundi, or what in the Sankhya philosophyis called Prakriti. My utmost expectations will have been exceeded ifit should happen that any considerations here offered should throw evena faint suggestive light upon the bearings of this great problem. Itmay be that the mere irreconcilability of all that is characteristic ofthe temporal Ego with the conditions of the superior life—if that canbe made apparent—will incline you to regard the latter rather as theRedeemer, that has indeed to be born within us for our salvation and ourimmortality, than as the inmost, central, and inseparable principle ofour phenomenal life. It may be that by the light of such reflectionsthe sense of identity will present no insuperable difficulty to theconception of its contingency, or to the recognition that the mereconsciousness which fails to attach itself to a higher principle is noguarantee of an eternal individuality.

It is only by a survey of individuality, regarded as the source of allour affections, thoughts, and actions, that we can realize its intrinsicworthlessness; and only when we have brought ourselves to a real andfelt acknowledgment of that fact, can we accept with full understandingthose "hard sayings" of sacred authority which bid us "die toourselves," and which proclaim the necessity of a veritable new birth.This mystic death and birth is the key-note of all profound religiousteaching; and that which distinguishes the ordinary religious mind fromspiritual insight is just the tendency to interpret these expressions asmerely figurative, or, indeed, to overlook them altogether.

Of all the reproaches which modern Spiritualism, with the prospect it isthought to hold out of an individual temporal immortality, has had toencounter, there is none that we can less afford to neglect than thatwhich represents it as an ideal essentially egotistical and borne. Trueit is that our critics do us injustice through ignorance of the enlargedviews as to the progress of the soul in which the speculations ofindividual Spiritualists coincide with many remarkable spirit teachings.These are, undoubtedly, a great advance upon popular theologicalopinions, while some of them go far to satisfy the claim of Spiritualismto be regarded as a religion. Nevertheless, that slight estimate ofindividuality, as we know it, which in one view too easily allies itselfto materialism, is also the attitude of spiritual idealism, and isseemingly at variance with the excessive value placed by Spiritualistson the discovery of our mere psychic survival. The idealist mayrecognise this survival; but, whether he does so or not, he occupies apost of vantage when he tells us that it is of no ultimate importance.For he, like the Spiritualist who proclaims his "proof palpable ofimmortality," is thinking of the mere temporal, self-regardingconsciousness—its sensibilities, desires, gratifications, andaffections—which are unimportant absolutely, that is to say, theirimportance is relative solely to the individual. There is, indeed, nomore characteristic outbirth of materialism than that which makes ateleological centre of the individual. Ideas have become mereabstractions; the only reality is the infinitely little. Thusutilitarianism can see in the State only a collection of individualswhose "greatest happiness," mutually limited by nice adjustment to therequirements of "the greatest numbers," becomes the supreme end ofgovernment and law. And it cannot, I think, be pretended thatSpiritualists in general have advanced beyond this substitution of arelative for an absolute standard. Their "glad tidings of great joy"are not truly religious. They have regard to the perpetuation in timeof that lower consciousness whose manifestations, delights, and activityare in time, and of time alone. Their glorious message is notessentially different from that which we can conceive as brought to usby some great alchemist, who had discovered the secret of conferringupon us and upon our friends a mundane perpetuity of youth and health.Its highest religious claim is that it enlarges the horizon of ouropportunities. As such, then, let us hail it with gratitude and relief;but, on peril of our salvation, if I may not say of our immortality, letus not repose upon a prospect which is, at best, one of renewed labours,and trials, and efforts to be free even of that very life whose onlyvalue is opportunity.

To estimate the value of individuality, we cannot do better than regardman in his several mundane relations, supposing that either of thesemight become the central, actuating focus of his being—his "rulinglove," as Swedenborg would call it—displacing his mere egoism, orself-love, thrusting that more to the circumference, and identifyinghim, so to speak, with that circle of interests to which all hisenergies and affections relate. Outside this substituted Ego we are tosuppose that he has no conscience, no desire, no will. Just as theentirely selfish man views the whole of life, so far as it can reallyinterest him solely in relation to his individual well-being, so oursupposed man of a family, of a society, of a Church, or a State, has noeye for any truth or any interest more abstract or more individual thanthat of which he may be rightly termed the incarnation. History showsapproximations to this ideal man. Such a one, for instance, I conceiveto have been Loyola; such another, possibly, is Bismarck. Now thesem*n have ceased to be individuals in their own eyes, so far as concernsany value attaching to their own special individualities. They aredevotees. A certain "conversion" has been effected, by which from mereindividuals they have become "representative" men. And we—theindividuals—esteem them precisely in proportion to the remoteness fromindividualism of the spirit that actuates them. As the circle ofinterests to which they are "devoted" enlarges—that is to say, as thedross of individualism is purged away—we accord them indulgence,respect, admiration and love. From self to the family, from the familyto the sect or society, from the sect or society to the Church (in nodenominational sense) and State, there is the ascending scale andwidening circle, the successive transitions which make the worth of anindividual depend on the more or less complete subversion of hisindividuality by a more comprehensive soul or spirit. The very modestywhich suppresses, as far as possible, the personal pronoun in ouraddresses to others, testifies to our sense that we are hiding away someutterly insignificant and unworthy thing; a thing that has no businesseven to be, except in that utter privacy which is rather a sleep and arest than living. Well, but in the above instances, even those mostremote from sordid individuality, we have fallen far short of that idealin which the very conception of the partial, the atomic, is lost in theabstraction of universal being, transfigured in the glory of a Divinepersonality. You are familiar with Swedenborg's distinction betweendiscrete and continuous degrees. Hitherto we have seen how man—theindividual—may rise continuously by throwing himself heart and soulinto the living interests of the world, and lose his own limitations byadoption of a larger mundane spirit. But still he has but ascendednearer to his own mundane source, that soul of the world, or Prakriti,to which, if I must not too literally insist on it, I may still resortas a convenient figure. To transcend it, he must advance by thediscrete degree. No simple "bettering" of the ordinary self, whichleaves it alive, as the focus—the French word "foyer" is the moreexpressive—of his thoughts and actions; not even that identificationwith higher interests in the world's plane just spoken of, is, or canprogressively become, in the least adequate to the realization of hisDivine ideal. This "bettering" of our present nature, it alone beingrecognized as essential, albeit capable of "improvement," is acommonplace, and to use a now familiar term a "Philistine," conception.It is the substitution of the continuous for the discrete degree. It isa compromise with our dear old familiar selves. "And Saul and thepeople spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and ofthe fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would notutterly destroy them; but everything that was vile and refuse, thatthey destroyed utterly." We know how little acceptable that compromisewas to the God of Israel; and no illustration can be more apt than thisnarrative, which we may well, as we would fain, believe to be rathertypical than historical. Typical of that indiscriminate and radicalsacrifice, or "vastation," of our lower nature, which is insisted uponas the one thing needful by all, or nearly all,* the great religions ofthe world. No language could seem more purposely chosen to indicatethat it is the individual nature itself, and not merely its accidentalevils, that has to be abandoned and annihilated. It is not denied thatwhat was spared was good; there is no suggestion of a universalinfection of physical or moral evil; it is simply that what is good anduseful relatively to a lower state of being must perish with it if thelatter is to make way for something better. And the illustration is themore suitable in that the purpose of this paper is not ethical, butpoints to a metaphysical conclusion, though without any attempt atmetaphysical exposition. There is no question here of moraldistinctions; they are neither denied nor affirmed. According to thehighest moral standard, 'A' may be a most virtuous and estimable person.According to the lowest, 'B' may be exactly the reverse. The moralinterval between the two is within what I have called, followingSwedenborg, the "continuous degree." And perhaps the distinction can bestill better expressed by another reference to that Book which wetheosophical students do not less regard, because we are disposed toprotest against all exclusive pretensions of religious systems.

————* Of the higher religious teachings of Mohammedanism I know next tonothing, and therefore cannot say if it should be excepted from thestatement.————

The good man who has, however, not yet attained his "son-ship of God" is"under the law"—that moral law which is educational and preparatory,"the schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ," our own Divine spirit, orhigher personality. To conceive the difference between these two statesis to apprehend exactly what is here meant by the false, temporal, andthe true, eternal personality, and the sense in which the wordpersonality is here intended to be understood. We do not know whether,when that great change has come over us, when that great work* of ourlives has been accomplished—here or hereafter—we shall or shall notretain a sense of identity with our past, and forever discarded selves.In philosophical parlance, the "matter" will have gone, and the very"form" will have been changed. Our transcendental identity with the 'A'or 'B' that now is** must depend on that question, already disclaimed inthis paper, whether the Divine spirit is our originally centralessential being, or is an hypostasis. Now, being "under the law" impliesthat we do not act directly from our own will, but indirectly, that is,in willing obedience to another will.

————* The "great work," so often mentioned by the hermetic philosophers, andwhich is exactly typified by the operation of alchemy, the conversion ofthe base metals to gold, is now well understood to refer to theanalogous spiritual conversion. There is also good reason to believethat the material process was a real one.

** "A person may have won his immortal life, and remained the same innerself he was on earth, through eternity; but this does not implynecessarily that he must either remain the Mr. Smith or Brown he was onearth, or lose his individuality."—Isis Unveiled, vol. 1. p. 316.—————

The will from which we should naturally act—our own will—is of courseto be understood not as mere volition, but as our nature—our "rulinglove," which makes such and such things agreeable to us, and others thereverse. As "under the law," this nature is kept in suspension, andbecause it is suspended only as to its activity and manifestation, andby no means abrogated, is the law—the substitution of a foreign will—necessary for us. Our own will or nature is still central; that whichwe obey by effort and resistance to ourselves is more circumferential orhypostatic. Constancy in this obedience and resistance tends to drawthe circumferential will more and more to the centre, till there ensuesthat "explosion," as St. Martin called it, by which our natural will isfor ever dispersed and annihilated by contact with the divine, and thelatter henceforth becomes our very own. Thus has "the schoolmaster"brought us unto "Christ," and if by "Christ" we understand nohistorically divine individual, but the logos, word, or manifestation ofGod in us—then we have, I believe, the essential truth that was taughtin the Vedanta, by Kapila, by Buddha, by Confucius, by Plato, and byJesus. There is another presentation of possibly the same truth, for areference to which I am indebted to our brother J.W. Farquhar. It isfrom Swedenborg, in the "Apocalypse Explained," No. 57:—"Every man hasan inferior or exterior mind, and a mind superior or interior. Thesetwo minds are altogether distinct. By the inferior mind man is in thenatural world together with men there; but by the superior mind he isin the spiritual world with the angels there. These two minds are sodistinct that man so long as he lives in the world does not know what isperforming within himself in his superior mind; but when he becomes aspirit, which is immediately after death, he does not know what isperforming in his mind." The consciousness of the "superior mind," asthe result of mere separation from the earthly body, certainly does notsuggest that sublime condition which implies separation from so muchmore than the outer garment of flesh, but otherwise the distinctionbetween the two lives, or minds, seems to correspond with that now underconsideration.

What is it that strikes us especially about this substitution of thedivine-human for the human-natural personality? Is it not the loss ofindividualism? (Individualism, pray observe, not individuality.) Thereare certain sayings of Jesus which have probably offended many in theirhearts, though they may not have dared to acknowledge such a feeling tothemselves: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" and those otherdisclaimers of special ties and relationships which mar the perfectsympathy of our reverence. There is something awful andincomprehensible to us in this repudiation of individualism, even in itsmost amiable relations. But it is in the Aryan philosophies that we seethis negation of all that we associate with individual life mostemphatically and explicitly insisted on. It is, indeed, theimpossibility of otherwise than thus negatively characterizing the soulthat has attained Moksha (deliverance from bonds) which has caused theHindu consummation to be regarded as the loss of individuality andconscious existence. It is just because we cannot easily dissociateindividuality from individualism that we turn from the sublimeconception of primitive philosophy as from what concerns us as little asthe ceaseless activity and germination in other brains of thought oncethrown off and severed from the thinking source, which is theimmortality promised by Mr. Frederick Harrison to the select specimensof humanity whose thoughts have any reproductive power. It is not amere preference of nothingness, or unconscious absorption, to limitationthat inspires the intense yearning of the Hindu mind for Nirvana. Evenin the Upanishads there are many evidences of a contrary belief, whilein the Sankhya the aphorisms of Kapila unmistakably vindicate theindividuality of soul (spirit). Individual consciousness is maintained,perhaps infinitely intensified, but its "matter" is no longer personal.Only try to realize what "freedom from desire," the favourite phrase inwhich individualism is negated in these systems, implies. Even in thatform of devotion which consists in action, the soul is warned in theBhagavad-Gita that it must be indifferent to results.

Modern Spiritualism itself testifies to something of the same sort.Thus we are told by one of its most gifted and experienced champions,"Sometimes the evidence will come from an impersonal source, from someinstructor who has passed through the plane on which individuality isdemonstrable." (M.A. (Oxon.), "Spirit Identity," p. 7.) Again, "And ifhe" (the investigator) "penetrates far enough, he will find himself in aregion for which his present embodied state unfits him: a region inwhich the very individuality is merged, and the highest and subtlesttruths are not locked within one breast, but emanate from representativecompanies whose spheres of life are interblended." (Id., p. 15.) Bythis "interblending" is of course meant only a perfect sympathy andcommunity of thought; and I should doubtless misrepresent the authorquoted were I to claim an entire identity of the idea he wishes toconvey, and that now under consideration. Yet what, after all, issympathy but the loosening of that hard "astringent" quality (to useBohme's phrase) wherein individualism consists? And just as in truesympathy, the partial suppression of individualism and of what isdistinctive, we experience a superior delight and intensity of being, soit may be that in parting with all that shuts us up in the spiritualpenthouse of an Ego—all, without exception or reserve—we may for thefirst time know what true life is, and what are its ineffableprivileges. Yet it is not on this ground that acceptance can be hopedfor the conception of immortality here crudely and vaguely presented illcontrast to that bourgeois eternity of individualism and the familyaffections, which is probably the great charm of Spiritualism to themajority of its proselytes. It is doubtful whether the things that "eyehath not seen, nor ear heard," have ever taken stronghold of theimagination, or reconciled it to the loss of all that is definitelyassociated with the Joy and movement of living. Not as consummate blisscan the dweller on the lower plane presume to command that transcendentlife. At the utmost he can but echo the revelation that came to thetroubled mind in "Sartor Resartus," "A man may do without happiness, andinstead thereof find blessedness." It is no sublimation of hope, butthe necessities of thought that compel us to seek the condition of truebeing and immortality elsewhere than in the satisfactions ofindividualism. True personality can only subsist in consciousness byparticipation of that of which we can only say that it is the verynegation of individuality in any sense in which individuality can beconceived by us. What is the content or "matter" of consciousness wecannot define, save by vaguely calling it ideal. But we can say that inthat region individual interests and concerns will find no place. Nay,more, we can affirm that only then has the influx of the new life a freechannel when the obstructions of individualism are already removed.Hence the necessity of the mystic death, which is as truly a death asthat which restores our physical body to the elements. "Neither I am,nor is aught mine, nor do I exist," a passage which has been wellexplained by a Hindu Theosophist (Peary Chand Mittra), as meaning "thatwhen the spiritual state is arrived at, I and mine, which belong to thefinite mind, cease, and the soul, living in the universum andparticipating in infinity with God, manifests its infinite state." Icannot refrain from quoting the following passage from the sameinstructive writer:—

Every human being has a soul which, while not separable from the brainor nerves, is mind or jivatma, or sentient soul, but when regenerated orspiritualized by yoga, it is free from bondage and manifests the divineessence. It rises above all phenomenal states—joy, sorrow, grief,fear, hope, and in fact all states resulting in pain or pleasure, andbecomes blissful, realizing immortality, infinitude and felicity ofwisdom within itself. The sentient soul is nervous, sensational,emotional, phenomenal, and impressional. It constitutes the naturallife and is finite. The soul and the non-soul are thus the twolandmarks. What is non-soul is prakriti, or created. It is not the lotof every one to know what soul is, and therefore millions live and diepossessing minds cultivated in intellect and feeling, but not raised tothe soul state. In proportion as one's soul is emancipated fromprakriti or sensuous bondage, in that proportion his approximation tothe soul state is attained; and it is this that constitutes disparitiesin the intellectual, moral, and religious culture of human beings andtheir consequent approximation to God.—Spiritual Stray Leaves,Calcutta, 1879.

He also cites some words of Fichte, which prove that the like conclusionis reached in the philosophy of Western idealism: "The real spirit whichcomes to itself in human consciousness is to be regarded as animpersonal pneuma—universal reason, nay, as the spirit of God Himself;and the good of man's whole development, therefore, can be no other thanto substitute the universal for the individual consciousness."

That there may be, and are affirmed to be, intermediate stages, states,or discrete degrees, will, of course, be understood. The aim of thispaper has been to call attention to the abstract condition of theimmortalized consciousness; negatively it is true, but it is on thisvery account more suggestive of practical applications. The connectionof the Theosophical Society with the Spiritualist movement is sointimately sympathetic, that I hope one of these may he pointed outwithout offence. It is that immortality cannot be phenomenallydemonstrated. What I have called psychic survival can be, and probablyis. But immortality is the attainment of a state, and that state thevery negation of phenomenal existence. Another consequence refers tothe direction our culture should take. We have to compose ourselves todeath. Nothing less. We are each of us a complex of desires, passions,interests, modes of thinking and feeling, opinions, prejudices, judgmentof others, likings and dislikings, affections, aims public and private.These things, and whatever else constitutes, the recognizable content ofour present temporal individuality, are all in derogation of our idealof impersonal being—saving consciousness, the manifestation of being.In some minute, imperfect, relative, and almost worthless sense we maydo right in many of our judgments, and be amiable in many of oursympathies and affections. We cannot be sure even of this. Only peopleunhabituated to introspection and self-analysis are quite sure of it.These are ever those who are loudest in their censures, and mostdogmatic in their opinionative utterances. In some coarse, rude fashionthey are useful, it may be indispensable, to the world's work, which isnot ours, save in a transcendental sense and operation. We have tostrip ourselves of all that, and to seek perfect passionlesstranquillity. Then we may hope to die. Meditation, if it be deep, andlong, and frequent enough, will teach even our practical Western mind tounderstand the Hindu mind in its yearning for Nirvana. Oneinfinitesimal atom of the great conglomerate of humanity, who enjoys thetemporal, sensual life, with its gratifications and excitements, as muchas most, will testify with unaffected sincerity that he would rather beannihilated altogether than remain for ever what he knows himself to be,or even recognizably like it. And he is a very average moral specimen.I have heard it said, "The world's life and business would come to anend, there would be an end to all its healthy activity, an end ofcommerce, arts, manufactures, social intercourse, government, law, andscience, if we were all to devote ourselves to the practice of Yoga,which is pretty much what your ideal comes to." And the criticism isperfectly just and true. Only I believe it does not go quite farenough. Not only the activities of the world, but the phenomenal worlditself, which is upheld in consciousness, would disappear or take new,more interior, more living, and more significant forms, at least forhumanity, if the consciousness of humanity was itself raised to asuperior state. Readers of St. Martin, and of that impressive book ofthe late James Hinton, "Man and his Dwelling-place," especially if theyhave also by chance been students of the idealistic philosophies, willnot think this suggestion extravagant. If all the world were Yogis, theworld would have no need of those special activities, the ultimate endand purpose of which, by-the-by, our critic would find it not easy todefine. And if only a few withdraw, the world can spare them. Enough ofthat.

Only let us not talk of this ideal of impersonal, universal being inindividual consciousness as an unverified dream. Our sense andimpatience of limitations are the guarantees that they are not final andinsuperable. Whence is this power of standing outside myself, ofrecognizing the worthlessness of the pseudo—judgments, of theprejudices with their lurid colouring of passion, of the temporalinterests, of the ephemeral appetites, of all the sensibilities ofegoism, to which I nevertheless surrender myself so that they indeedseem myself? Through and above this troubled atmosphere I see a being,pure, passionless, rightly measuring the proportions and relations ofthings, for whom there is, properly speaking, no present, with itsphantasms, falsities, and half-truths; who has nothing personal in thesense of being opposed to the whole of related personalities: who seesthe truth rather than struggles logically towards it, and truth of whichI can at present form no conception; whose activities are unimpeded byintellectual doubt, un-perverted by moral depravity, and who isindifferent to results, because he has not to guide his conduct bycalculation of them, or by any estimate of their value. I look up tohim with awe, because in being passionless he sometimes seems to me tobe without love. Yet I know that this is not so; only that his love isdiffused by its range, and elevated in abstraction beyond my gaze andcomprehension. And I see in this being my ideal, my higher, my onlytrue, in a word, my immortal self.

—C.C. Massey


Ideal woman is the most beautiful work of the evolution of forms (in ourdays she is very often only a beautiful work of art). A beautiful womanis the most attractive, charming, and lovely being that a man canimagine. I never saw a male being who could lay any claims to manlyvigour, strength or courage, who was not an admirer of woman. Only aprofligate, a coward or a sneak would hate women; a hero and a manadmires woman, and is admired by her.

Women's love belongs to a complete man. Then she smiles on him hishuman nature becomes aroused, his animal desires like little childrenbegin to clamour for bread, they do not want to be starved, they want tosatisfy their hunger. His whole soul flies towards the lovely being,which attracts him with almost irresistible force, and if his higherprinciples, his divine spirit, is not powerful enough to restrain him,his soul follows the temptations of his physical body. Once again theanimal nature has subdued the divine. Woman rejoices in her victory,and man is ashamed of his weakness; and instead of being arepresentation of strength, he becomes an object of pity.

To be truly powerful a man must retain his power and never for a momentlose it. To lose it is to surrender his divine nature to his animalnature; to restrain his desires and retain his power, is to assert hisdivine right, and to become more than a man—a god.

Eliphas Levi says: "To be an object of attraction for all women, youmust desire none;" and every one who has had a little experience of hisown must know that he is right. Woman wants what she cannot get, andwhat she can get she does not want. Perhaps it is to the man endowedwith spiritual power, that the Bible refers, when it says: "To him whohas much, more shall be given, and from him who has little, that littleshall be taken away."

To become perfect it is not required that we should be born without anyanimal desires. Such a person would not be much above an idiot; hewould be rightly despised and laughed at by every true man and woman;but we must obtain the power to control our desires, instead of beingcontrolled by them; and here lies the true philosophy of temptation.

If a man has no higher aim in life than to eat and drink and propagatehis species; if all his aspirations and desires are centred in a wishof living a happy life in the bosom of his family; there can be nowrong if he follows the dictates of his nature and is satisfied with hislot. When he dies, his family will mourn, his friends will say he was agood fellow; they will give him a first-class funeral, and they willperhaps write on his tombstone something like what I once saw in acertain churchyard:

Here is the grave of John McBride,
He lived, got married, and died.

And that will be the end of Mr. John McBride, until in anotherincarnation he will wake up again perhaps as Mr. John Smith, orRamchandra Row, or Patrick O'Flannegan, to find himself on much the samelevel as he was before.

But if a man has higher aims and objects in life, if he wants to avoidan endless cycle of re-incarnations, if he wants to become a master ofhis destiny, then must he first become a master of himself. How can heexpect to be able to control the external forces of Nature, if he cannotcontrol the few little natural forces that reside within his owninsignificant body?

To do this, it is not necessary that a man should run away from his wifeand family, and leave them uncared for. Such a man would commence hisspiritual career with an act of injustice,—an act that like Banquo'sghost would always haunt him and hinder him in his further progress. Ifa man has taken upon himself responsibilities, he is bound to fulfillthem, and an act of cowardice would be a bad beginning for a work thatrequires courage.

A celibate, who has no temptation and who has no one to care for buthimself, has undoubtedly superior advantages for meditation and study.Being away from all irritating influences, he can lead what may becalled a selfish life; because he looks out only for his own spiritualinterest; but he has little opportunity to develop his will-power byresisting temptations of every kind. But the man who is surrounded bythe latter, and is every day and every hour under the necessity ofexercising his will-power to resist their surging violence, will, if herightly uses these powers, become strong; he may not have as muchopportunity for study as the celibate, being more engrossed in materialcares; but when he rises up to a higher state in his next incarnation,his will-power will be more developed, and he will be in the possessionof the password, which is CONTINENCE.

A slave cannot become a commander, until after he becomes free. A manwho is subject to his own animal desires, cannot command the animalnature of others. A muscle becomes developed by its use, an instinct orhabit is strengthened in proportion as it is permitted to rule, a mentalpower becomes developed by practice, and the principle of will growsstrong by exercise; and this is the use of temptations. To have strongpassions and to overcome them, makes man a hero. The sexual instinct isthe strongest of all, and he who vanquishes it, becomes a god.

The human soul admires a beautiful form, and is therefore an idolater.

The human spirit adores a principle, and is the true worshiper.

Marriage is the union of the male spirit with the female soul for thepurpose of propagating the species; but if in its place there is only aunion of a male and a female body, then marriage becomes merely a brutalact, which lowers man and woman, not to the level of animals but belowthem; because animals are restricted to certain seasons for theexercise of their procreative powers; while man, being a reasonablebeing, has it in his power to use or abuse them at all times.

But how many marriages do we find that are really spiritual and notbased on beauty of form or other considerations? How soon after thewedding-day do they become disgusted with each other? What is the causeof this? A man and a woman may marry and their characters may differwidely. They may have different tastes, different opinions anddifferent inclinations. All those differences may disappear, and willprobably disappear; because by living together they become accustomedto each other, and become equalized in time. Each influences the other,and as a man may grow fond of a pet snake, whose presence at firsthorrified him, so a man may put up with a disagreeable partner andbecome fond of her in course of time.

But if the man allows full liberty to his animal passions, and exerciseshis "legal rights" without restraint, these animal cravings which firstcalled so piteously for gratification, will soon be gorged, and flyingaway laugh at the poor fool who nursed them in his breast. The wifewill come to know that her husband is a coward, because she sees himsquirm under the lash of his animal passions; and as woman lovesstrength and power, so in proportion as he loses his love, will she loseher confidence. He will look upon her as a burden, and she will lookupon him in disgust as a brute. Conjugal happiness will have departed,and misery, divorce or death will be the end.

The remedy for all these evils is continence, and it has been our objectto show its necessity, for it was the object of this article.

—F. Hartmann

Zoroastrianism on the Septenary Constitution of Man

Many of the esoteric doctrines given out through the TheosophicalSociety reveal a spirit akin to that of the older religions of the East,especially the Vedic and the Zendic. Leaving aside the former, Ipropose to point out by a few instances the close resemblance which thedoctrines of the old Zendic Scriptures, as far as they are nowpreserved, bear to these recent teachings.

Any ordinary Parsi, while reciting his daily Niyashes, Gehs and Yashts,provided he yields to the curiosity of looking into the meanings of whathe recites, will, with a little exertion, perceive how the same ideas,only clothed in a more intelligible and comprehensive garb, arereflected in these teachings. The description of the septenaryconstitution of man found in the 54th chapter of the Yasna, one of themost authoritative books of the Mazdiasnian religion, shows the identityof the doctrines of Avesta and the esoteric philosophy. Indeed, as aMazdiasnian, I felt quite ashamed that, having such undeniable andunmistakable evidence before their eyes, the Zoroastrians of the presentday should not avail themselves of the opportunity offered of throwinglight upon their now entirely misunderstood and misinterpretedScriptures by the assistance and under the guidance of the TheosophicalSociety. If Zend scholars and students of Avesta would only care tostudy and search for themselves, they would, perhaps, find to assistthem, men who are in possession of the right and only key to the trueesoteric wisdom; men, who would be willing to guide and help them toreach the true and hidden meaning, and to supply them with the missinglinks that have resulted in such painful gaps as to leave the meaningmeaningless, and to create in the mind of the perplexed student doubtsthat finally culminate in a thorough unbelief in his own religion. Whoknows but they may find some of their own co-religionists, who, alooffrom the world, have to this day preserved the glorious truths of theironce mighty religion, and who, hidden in the recesses of solitarymountains and unknown silent caves, are still in possession of; andexercising, mighty powers, the heirloom of the ancient Magi. OurScriptures say that ancient Mobeds were Yogis, who had the power ofmaking themselves simultaneously visible at different places, eventhough hundreds of miles apart, and also that they could heal the sickand work that which would now appear to us miraculous. All this wasconsidered facts but two or three centuries back, as no reader of oldbooks (mostly Persian) is unacquainted with, or will disbelieve a prioriunless his mind is irretrievably biassed by modern secular education.The story about the Mobed and Emperor Akbar and of the latter'sconversion, is a well-known historical fact, requiring no proof.

I will first of all quote side by side the two passages referring to theseptenary nature of man as I find them in our Scriptures and theTHEOSOPHIST—

Sub-divisions of septenary Sub-divisions of septenaryman according to the man according to YasnaOccultists. (chap.54, para. I).

1. The Physical body, com- 1. Tanwas-i.e., body(theposed wholly of matter in its self ) that consists of bonesgrossest and most tangible -grossest form of matter.form.

2. The Vital principle-(or Jiva)- 2. Ushtanas-Vital heata form of force indestructible, (or force).and when disconnected withone set of atoms, becomingattracted immediately by others.

3. The Astral body (Linga- 3. Keherpas Aerial form,sharira) composed of highly the airy mould, (Per. Kaleb).etherealized matter; in itshabitual passive state, theperfect but very shadowyduplicate of the body; itsactivity, consolidation andform depending entirely onthe Kama-rupa.

4. The Astral shape (Kama- 4. Tevishis-Will, or whererupa or body of desire, a sentient consciousness isprinciple defining the con- formed, also fore-knowledge.figuration of—

5. The animal or Physical 5. Baodhas (in Sanskrit,intelligence or Conscious- Buddhi)-Body of physicalness or Ego, analogous to, consciousness, perception bythough proportionally higher the senses or animal the senses or the animaldegree than the reason,instinct, memory, imagination&c., existing in the higheranimals.

6. The Higher or Spiritual 6. Urawanem (Per. Rawan)intelligence or consciousness, -Soul, that which gets itsspiritual Ego, in which or reward or punishmentmainly resides the sense of after death.consciousness in the perfectman, though the lower dimmeranimal consciousness co-existsin No. 5.

7. The Spirit-an emanation from 7. Frawashem or Farohar-
the ABSOLUTE uncreated; eternal; Spirit (the guiding energy
a state rather than a being. which is with every man,
is absolutely independent,
and, without mixing with
any worldly object, leads
man to good. The spark
of divinity in every being).

The above is given in the Avesta as follows:—

"We declare and positively make known this (that) we offer (our) entireproperty (which is) the body (the self consisting of) bones (tanwas),vital heat (ushtanas), aerial form (keherpas), knowledge (tevishis),consciousness (baodhas), soul (urwanem), and spirit (frawashem), to theprosperous, truth-coherent (and) pure Gathas (prayers)."

The ordinary Gujarathi translation differs from Spiegel's, and thislatter differs very slightly from what is here given. Yet in thepresent translation there has been made no addition to, or omissionfrom, the original wording of the Zend text. The grammaticalconstruction also has been preserved intact. The only difference,therefore, between the current translations and the one here given isthat ours is in accordance with the modern corrections of philologicalresearch which make it more intelligible, and the idea perfectly clearto the reader.

The word translated "aerial form" has come down to us without undergoingany change in the meaning. It is the modern Persian word kaleb, whichmeans a mould, a shape into which a thing is cast, to take a certainform and features. The next word is one about which there is a greatdifference of opinion. It is by some called strength, durability, i.e.,that power which gives tenacity to and sustains the nerves. Othersexplain it as that quality in a man of rank and position which makes himperceive the result of certain events (causes), and thus helps him inbeing prepared to meet them. This meaning is suggestive, though wetranslate it as knowledge, or foreknowledge rather, with the greatestdiffidence. The eighth word is quite clear. That inward feeling whichtells a man that he knows this or that, that he has or can do certainthings—is perception and consciousness. It is the inner conviction,knowledge and its possession. The ninth word is again one which hasretained its meaning and has been in use up to the present day. Thereader will at once recognize that it is the origin of the modern wordRawan. It is (metaphorically) the king, the conscious motor or agent inman. It is that something which depends upon and is benefited or injuredby the foregoing attributes. We say depends upon, because its progressentirely consists in the development of those attributes. If they areneglected, it becomes weak and degenerated, and disappears. If theyascend on the moral and spiritual scale, it gains strength and vigourand becomes more blended than ever to the Divine essence—the seventhprinciple. But how does it become attracted toward its monad? The tenthword answers the question. This is the Divine essence in man. But thisis only the irresponsible minister (this completes the metaphor). Thereal master is the king, the spiritual soul. It must have thewillingness and power to see and follow the course pointed out by thepure spirit. The vizir's business is only to represent a point ofattraction, towards which the king should turn. It is for the king tosee and act accordingly for the glory of his own self. The minister orspirit can neither compel nor constrain. It inspires and electrifiesinto action; but to benefit by the inspiration, to take advantage ofit, is left to the option of the spiritual soul.

If, then, the Avesta contains such a passage, it must fairly be admittedthat its writers knew the whole doctrine concerning spiritual man. Wecannot suppose that the ancient Mazdiasnians, the Magi, wrote this shortpassage, without inferring from it, at the same time, that they werethoroughly conversant with the whole of the occult theory about man.And it looks very strange indeed, that modern Theosophists should nowpreach to us the very same doctrines that must have been known andtaught thousands of years ago by the Mazdiasnians,—the passage isquoted from one of their oldest writings. And since they propound thevery same ideas, the meaning of which has well-nigh been lost even toour most learned Mobeds, they ought to be credited at least with somepossession of a knowledge, the key to which has been revealed to them,and lost to us, and which opens the door to the meaning of thosehitherto inexplicable sentences and doctrines in our old writings, aboutwhich we are still, and will go on, groping in the dark, unless welisten to what they have to tell us about them.

To show that the above is not a solitary instance, but that the Avestacontains this idea in many other places, I will give another paragraphwhich contains the same doctrine, though in a more condensed form thanthe one just given. Let the Parsi reader turn to Yasna, chapter 26, andread the sixth paragraph, which runs as follows:—

We praise the life (ahum), knowledge (daenam), consciousness (baodhas),soul (urwanem), and spirit (frawashem) of the first in religion, thefirst teachers and hearers (learners), the holy men and holy women whowere the protectors of purity here (in this world).

Here the whole man is spoken of as composed of five parts, as under:—

1. The Physical Body.1. Ahum-Existence, Life. 2. The Vital Principle.It includes: 3. The Astral Body.

2. Daenam-Knowledge. 4. The Astral shape or body of desire.

3. Baodhas-Consciousness. 5. The Animal or physical intelligence or consciousness or Ego.

4. Urwanem-Soul. 6. The Higher or Spiritual intelligence or consciousness, or Spiritual Ego.

5. Frawashem-Spirit. 7. The Spirit.

In this description the first triple group—viz., the bones (or thegross matter), the vital force which keeps them together, and theethereal body, are included in one and called Existence, Life. Thesecond part stands for the fourth principle of the septenary man, asdenoting the configuration of his knowledge or desires.* Then thethree, consciousness (or animal soul), (spiritual) soul, and the pureSpirit are the same as in the first quoted passage. Why are these fourmentioned as distinct from each other and not consolidated like thefirst part? The sacred writings explain this by saying that on deaththe first of these five parts disappears and perishes sooner or later inthe earth's atmosphere. The gross elementary matter (the shell) has torun within the earth's attraction; so the ahum separates from thehigher portions and is lost.

————-* Modern science also teaches that certain characteristics of featuresindicate the possession of certain qualities in a man. The whole scienceof physiognomy is founded on it. One can predict the disposition of aman from his features,—i.e., the features develop in accordance withthe idiosyncrasies, qualities and vices, knowledge or the ignorance ofman.————-

The second (i.e., the fourth of the septenary group) remains, but notwith the spiritual soul. It continues to hold its place in the vaststorehouse of the universe. And it is this second daenam which standsbefore the (spiritual) soul in the form of a beautiful maiden or an uglyhag. That which brings this daenam within the sight of the (spiritual)soul is the third part (i.e., the fifth of the septenary group), thebaodhas. Or in other words, the (spiritual) soul has with it, or in it,the true consciousness by which it can view the experiences of itsphysical career. So this consciousness, this power or faculty whichbrings the recollection, is always with, in other words, is a part andparcel of, the soul itself; hence, its not mixing with any other part,and hence its existence after the physical death of man.*

—A Parsi F.T.S.

————-* Our Brother has but to look into the oldest sacred hooks of China—namely, the YI KING. or Book of Changes (translated by James Legge)written 1,200 B.C., to find that same Septenary division of manmentioned in that system of Divination. Zhing, which is translatedcorrectly enough "essence," is the more subtle and pure part of matter—the grosser form of the elementary ether; Khi, or "spirit," is thebreath, still material but purer than the zhing, and is made of thefiner and more active form of ether. In the hwun, or soul (animus) theKhi predominates and the zhing (or zing) in the pho or animal soul. Atdeath the hwun (Or spiritual soul) wanders away, ascending, and the pho(the root of the Tibetan word Pho-hat) descends and is changed into aghostly shade (the shell). Dr. Medhurst thinks that "the Kwei Shans"(see "Theology of the Chinese," pp. 10-12) are "the expanding andcontracting principles of human life!" "The Kwei Shans" are broughtabout by the dissolution of the human frame—and consist of theexpanding and ascending Shan which rambles about in space, and of thecontracted and shrivelled Kwei, which reverts to earth and nonentity.Therefore, the Kwei is the physical body; the Shan is the vitalprinciple the Kwei Shan the linga-sariram, or the vital soul; Zhingthe fourth principle or Kama Rupa, the essence of will; pho, the animalsoul; Khi, the spiritual soul; and Hwun the pure spirit—the sevenprinciples of our occult doctrine!—Ed. Theos.————-

Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man

It is now very difficult to say what was the real ancient Aryandoctrine. If an inquirer were to attempt to answer it by an analysisand comparison of all the various systems of esotericism prevailing inIndia, he will soon be lost in a maze of obscurity and uncertainty. Nocomparison between our real Brahmanical and the Tibetan esotericdoctrines will be possible unless one ascertains the teachings of thatso-called "Aryan doctrine," and fully comprehends the whole range of theancient Aryan philosophy. Kapila's "Sankhya," Patanjali's "Yogphilosophy," the different systems of "Saktaya" philosophy, the variousAgamas and Tantras are but branches of it. There is a doctrine, though,which is their real foundation, and which is sufficient to explain thesecrets of these various systems of philosophy and harmonize theirteachings. It probably existed long before the Vedas were compiled, andit was studied by our ancient Rishis in connection with the Hinduscriptures. It is attributed to one mysterious personage calledMaha.*…..

* The very title of the present chief of the esoteric Himalayan
Brotherhood.—Ed. Theos.

The Upanishads and such portions of the Vedas as are not chiefly devotedto the public ceremonials of the ancient Aryans are hardly intelligiblewithout some knowledge of that doctrine. Even the real significance ofthe grand ceremonials referred to in the Vedas will not be perfectlyapprehended without its light being throw upon them. The Vedas wereperhaps compiled mainly for the use of the priests assisting at publicceremonies, but the grandest conclusions of our real secret doctrine aretherein mentioned. I am informed by persons competent to judge of thematter, that the Vedas have a distinct dual meaning—one expressed bythe literal sense of the words, the other indicated by the metre and theswara (intonation), which are, as it were the life of the Vedas.Learned Pundits and philologists of course deny that swara has anythingto do with philosophy or ancient esoteric doctrines; but the mysteriousconnection between swara and light is one of its most profound secrets.

Now, it is extremely difficult to show whether the Tibetans derivedtheir doctrine from the ancient Rishis of India, or the ancientBrahrnans learned their occult science from the adepts of Tibet; or,again, whether the adepts of both countries professed originally thesame doctrine and derived it from a common source.* If you were to goto the Sramana Balagula, and question some of the Jain Pundits thereabout the authorship of the Vedas and the origin of the Brahmanicalesoteric doctrine, they would probably tell you that the Vedas werecomposed by Rakshasas** or Daityas, and that the Brahmans had derivedtheir secret knowledge from them.***

————-* See Appendix, Note I.

** A kind of demons-devil.

*** And so would the Christian padris. But they would never admit thattheir "fallen angels" were borrowed from the Rakshasas; that their"devil" is the illegitimate son of Dewel, the Sinhalese female demon;or that the "war in heaven" of the Apocalypse—the foundation of theChristian dogma of the "Fallen Angels" was copied from the Hindu storyabout Siva hurling the Tarakasura who rebelled against the gods intoAndhahkara, the abode of Darkness, according to Brahmanical Shastras.————-

Do these assertions mean that the Vedas and the Brahmanical esotericteachings had their origin in the lost Atlantis—the continent that onceoccupied a considerable portion of the expanse of the Southern and thePacific oceans? The assertion in "Isis Unveiled," that Sanskrit was thelanguage of the inhabitants of the said continent, may induce one tosuppose that the Vedas had probably their origin there, wherever elsemight be the birthplace of the Aryan esotericism.* But the realesoteric doctrine, as well as the mystic allegorical philosophy of theVedas, were derived from another source again, whatever that may be—perchance from the divine inhabitants (gods) of the sacred island whichonce existed in the sea that covered in days of old the sandy tract nowcalled Gobi Desert. However that may be, the knowledge of the occultpowers of Nature possessed by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis waslearnt by the ancient adepts of India, and was appended by them to theesoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred island.** TheTibetan adepts, however, have not accepted this addition to theiresoteric doctrine; and it is in this respect that one should expect tofind a difference between the two doctrines.***

* Not necessarily. (See Appendix, Note II.) It is generally held by
Occultists that Sanskrit has been spoken in Java and adjacent islands
from remote antiquity.—Ed. Theos.

** A locality which is spoken of to this day by the Tibetans, and calledby them "Scham-bha-la," the Happy Land. (See Appendix, Note III.)

*** To comprehend this passage fully, the reader must turn to vol. I.pp. 589-594 of "Isis Unveiled."————

The Brahmanical occult doctrine probably contains everything that wastaught about the powers of Nature and their laws, either in themysterious island of the North or in the equally mysterious continent ofthe South. And if you mean to compare the Aryan and the Tibetandoctrines as regards their teachings about the occult powers of Nature,you must beforehand examine all the classifications of these powers,their laws and manifestations, and the real connotations of the variousnames assigned to them in the Aryan doctrine. Here are some of theclassifications contained in the Brahmanical system:

I. As appertaining to Parabrahmam and existing in the MACROCOSM.

II. As appertaining to man and existing in the MICROCOSM.

III. For the purposes of d Taraka Yog or Pranava Yog.

IV. For the purposes of Sankhya Yog (where they are, as it were, the inherent attributes of Prakriti).

V. For the purposes of Hata Yog.

VI. For the purposes of Koula Agama.

VII. For the purposes of Sakta Agama.

VIII. For the purposes of Siva Aqama.

IX. For the purposes of Sreechakram (the Sreechakram referred to in "Isis Unveiled" is not the real esoteric Sreechakram of the ancient adepts of Aryavarta).*

————* Very true. But who would be allowed to give out the "real" esotericone?—Ed. Theos.————

X. In Atharvena Veda, &c.

In all these classifications subdivisions have been multipliedindefinitely by conceiving new combinations of the Primary Powers indifferent proportions. But I must now drop this subject, and proceed toconsider the "Fragments of Occult Truth" (since embodied in "EsotericBuddhism").

I have carefully examined it, and find that the results arrived at (inthe Buddhist doctrine) do not differ much from the conclusions of ourAryan philosophy, though our mode of stating the arguments may differ inform. I shall now discuss the question from my own standpoint, though,following, for facility of comparison and convenience of discussion, thesequence of classification of the sevenfold entities or principlesconstituting man which is adopted in the "Fragments." The questionsraised for discussion are (1) whether the disembodied spirits of humanbeings (as they are called by Spiritualists) appear in the seance-roomsand elsewhere; and (2) whether the manifestations taking place areproduced wholly or partly through their agency.

It is hardly possible to answer these two questions satisfactorilyunless the meaning intended to be conveyed by the expression"disembodied spirits of human beings" be accurately defined. The wordsspiritualism and spirit are very misleading. Unless English writers ingeneral, and Spiritualists in particular, first ascertain clearly theconnotation they mean to assign to the word spirit, there will be no endof confusion, and the real nature of these so-called spiritualisticphenomena and their modus occurrendi can never be clearly defined.Christian writers generally speak of only two entities in man—the body,and the soul or spirit (both seeming to mean the same thing to them).European philosophers generally speak of body and mind, and argue thatsoul or spirit cannot be anything else than mind. They are of opinionthat any belief in lingasariram* is entirely unphilosophical. Theseviews are certainly incorrect, and are based on unwarranted assumptionsas to the possibilities of Nature, and on an imperfect understanding ofits laws. I shall now examine (from the standpoint of the Brahmanicalesoteric doctrine) the spiritual constitution of man, the variousentities or principles existing in him, and ascertain whether either ofthose entities entering into his composition can appear on earth afterhis death, and if so, what it is that so appears.

————* The astral body, so called.————

Professor Tyndall in his excellent papers on what he calls the "GermTheory," comes to the following conclusions as the result of a series ofwell-planned experiments:—Even in a very small volume of space thereare myriads of protoplasmic germs floating in ether. If, for instance,say water (clear water) is exposed to them, and if they fall into it,some form of life or other will be evolved out of them. Now, what arethe agencies for the bringing of this life into existence? Evidently—

I. The water, which is the field, so to say, for the growthof life.

II. The protoplasmic germ, out of which life or a living organismis to be evolved or developed. And lastly—

III. The power, energy, force, or tendency which springs into activityat the touch or combination of the protoplasmic germ and the water, andwhich evolves or develops life and its natural attributes.

Similarly, there are three primary causes which bring the human beinginto existence. I shall call them, for the purpose of discussion, bythe following names

(1) Parabrahmam, the Universal Spirit.

(2) Sakti, the crown of the astral light, combining in itself all thepowers of Nature.

(3) Prakriti, which in its original or primary shape is represented byAkasa. (Really every form of matter is finally reducible to Akasa.)*

It is ordinarily stated that Prakriti or Akasa is the Kshetram, or thebasis which corresponds to water in the example we have taken Brahmamthe germ, and Sakti, the power or energy that comes into existence attheir union or contact.**

————* The Tibetan esoteric Buddhist doctrine teaches that Prakriti is cosmicmatter, out of which all visible forms are produced; and Akasa, thatsame cosmic matter, but still more subjective—its spirit, as it were.Prakriti being the body or substance, and Akasa Sakti its soul orenergy.

** Or, in other words, "Prakriti, Swabhavat, or Akasa, is SPACE, as theTibetans have it; Space filled with whatsoever substance or nosubstance at all—i.e., with substance so imperceptible as to be onlymetaphysically conceivable. Brahman, then, would be the germ throwninto the soil of that field, and Sakti, that mysterious energy or forcewhich develops it, and which is called by the Buddhist Arahat of Tibet,FOHAT. That which we call form (rupa) is not different from that whichwe call space (sunyata)…. Space is not different from form. Form isthe same as space; space is the same as form. And so with the otherskandhas, whether vedana, or sanjna, or sanskara, or vijnana, they areeach the same as their opposite." …. (Book of Sin-king, or the "HeartSutra." Chinese translation of the "Maha-Prajna-Paramita-Hridaya-Sutra,"chapter on the "Avalokiteshwara," or the manifested Buddha.) So thatthe Aryan and Tibetan or Arhat doctrines agree perfectly in substance,differing but in names given and the way of putting it.————-

But this is not the view which the Upanishads take of the question.According to them, Brahamam* is the Kshetram or basis, Akasa orPrakriti, the germ or seed, and Sakti, the power evolved by their unionor contact. And this is the real scientific, philosophical mode ofstating the case.

————* See Appendix, Note IV.————

Now, according to the adepts of ancient Aryavarta, seven principles areevolved out of these three primary entities. Algebra teaches us that thenumber of combinations of n things, taken one at a time, two at a time,three at a time, and so forth = 2(n)-1.

Applying this formula to the present case, the number of entitiesevolved from different combinations of these three primary causesamounts to 2(3)-1 = 8-1 = 7.

As a general rule, whenever seven entities are mentioned in the ancientoccult science of India, in any connection whatsoever, you must supposethat those seven entities came into existence from three primaryentities; and that these three entities, again, are evolved out of asingle entity or MONAD. To take a familiar example, the seven colouredrays in the solar ray are evolved out of three primary coloured rays;and the three primary colours coexist with the four secondary colours inthe solar rays. Similarly, the three primary entities which brought maninto existence co-exist in him with the four secondary entities whicharose from different combinations of the three primary entities.

Now these seven entities, which in their totality constitute man, are asfollows. I shall enumerate them in the order adopted in the"Fragments," as far as the two orders (the Brahmanical and the Tibetan)coincide:—

Corresponding names in
Esoteric Buddhism.

I. Prakriti. Sthulasariram
(Physical Body).

II. The entity evolvedout of the combination Sukshmasariram or Lingasariramof Prakriti and Sakti. (Astral Body).

III. Sakti. Kamarupa (the Perispirit).

IV. The entity evolved out
of the combination of Jiva (Life-Soul).
Brahmam, Sakti and

V. The entity evolved outof the combination of Physical Intelligence (orBrahmam and Prakriti. animal soul).

VI. The entity evolvedout of the combination of Spiritual Intelligence (or Soul).Brahmam and Sakti.

VII. Brahmam. The emanation from the ABSOLUTE,
&c. (or pure spirit.)

Before proceeding to examine these nature of these seven entities, a fewgeneral explanations are indispensably necessary.

I. The secondary principles arising out of the combination of primaryprinciples are quite different in their nature from the entities out ofwhose combination they came into existence. The combinations inquestion are not of the nature of mere mechanical juxtapositions, as itwere. They do not even correspond to chemical combinations.Consequently no valid inferences as regards the nature of thecombinations in question can be drawn by analogy from the nature[variety?] of these combinations.

II. The general proposition, that when once a cause is removed itseffect vanishes, is not universally applicable. Take, for instance, thefollowing example:—If you once communicate a certain amount of momentumto a ball, velocity of a particular degree in a particular direction isthe result. Now, the cause of this motion ceases to exist when theinstantaneous sudden impact or blow which conveyed the momentum iscompleted; but according to Newton's first law of motion, the ball willcontinue to move on for ever and ever, with undiminished velocity in thesame direction, unless the said motion is altered, diminished,neutralized, or counteracted by extraneous causes. Thus, if the ballstop, it will not be on account of the absence of the cause of itsmotion, but in consequence of the existence of extraneous causes whichproduce the said result.

Again, take the instance of subjective phenomena.

Now the presence of this ink-bottle before me is producing in me, or inmy mind, a mental representation of its form, volume, colour and soforth.

The bottle in question may be removed, but still its mental picture maycontinue to exist. Here, again, you see, the effect survives the cause.Moreover, the effect may at any subsequent time be called into consciousexistence, whether the original cause be present or not.

Now, in the ease of the filth principle above mentioned-the entity thatcame into existence by the combination of Brahmam and Prakriti—if thegeneral proposition (in the "Fragments of Occult Truth") is correct,this principle, which corresponds to the physical intelligence, mustcease to exist whenever the Brahmam or the seventh Principle shouldcease to exist for the particular individual; but the fact is certainlyotherwise. The general proposition under consideration is adduced inthe "Fragments" in support of the assertion that whenever the seventhprinciple ceases to exist for any particular individual, the sixthprinciple also ceases to exist for him. The assertion is undoubtedlytrue, though the mode of stating it and the reasons assigned for it, areto my mind objectionable.

It is said that in cases where tendencies of a man's mind are entirelymaterial, and all spiritual aspirations and thoughts were altogetherabsent from his mind, the seventh principle leaves him either before orat the time of death, and the sixth principle disappears with it. Here,the very proposition that the tendencies of the particular individual'smind are entirely material, involves the assertion that there is nospiritual intelligence or spiritual Ego in him, it should then have beensaid that, whenever spiritual intelligence ceases to exist in anyparticular individual, the seventh principle ceases to exist for thatparticular individual for all purposes. Of course, it does not fly offanywhere. There can never be any thing like a change of position in thecase of Brahmam.* The assertion merely means that when there is norecognition whatever of Brahmam, or spirit, or spiritual life, orspiritual consciousness, the seventh principle has ceased to exerciseany influence or control over the individual's destinies.

————* True—from the standpoint of Aryan Exotericism and the Upanishads, notquite so in the case of the Arahat or Tibetan esoteric doctrine; and itis only on this one solitary point that the two teachings disagree, asfar as we know. The difference is very trifling, though, resting as itdoes solely upon the two various methods of viewing the one and the samething from two different aspects. (See Appendix, Note IV.)————

I shall now state what is meant (in the Aryan doctrine) by the sevenprinciples above enumerated.

I. Prakriti. This is the basis of Sthulasariram, and represents it inthe above-mentioned classification.

II. Prakriti and Sakti. This is the Lingasariram, or astral body.

III. Sukti. This principle corresponds to your Kamarupa. This power orforce is placed by ancient occultists in the Nabhichakram. This powercan gather akasa or prakriti, and mould it into any desired shape. Ithas very great sympathy with the fifth principle, and can be made to actby its influence or control.

IV. Brahmam and Sakti, and Prakriti. This again corresponds to yoursecond principle, Jiva.

This power represents the universal life-principle which exists inNature. Its seat is the Anahatachakram (heart). It is a force or powerwhich constitutes what is called Jiva, or life. It is, as you say,indestructible, and its activity is merely transferred at the time ofdeath to another set of atoms, to form another organism.

V. Brahma and Prakriti. This, in our Aryan philosophy, corresponds toyour fifth principle, called the physical intelligence. According toour philosophers, this is the entity in which what is called mind hasits seat or basis. This is the most difficult principle of all toexplain, and the present discussion entirely turns upon the view we takeof it.

Now, what is mind? It is a mysterious something, which is considered tobe the seat of consciousness—of sensations, emotions, volitions, andthoughts. Psychological analysis shows it to be apparently a congeriesof mental states, and possibilities of mental states, connected by whatis called memory, and considered to have a distinct existence apart fromany of its particular states or ideas. Now in what entity has thismysterious something its potential or actual existence? Memory andexpectation, which form, as it were, the real foundation of what iscalled individuality, or Ahankaram, must have their seat of existencesomewhere. Modern psychologists of Europe generally say that thematerial substance of brain is the seat of mind; and that pastsubjective experiences, which can he recalled by memory, and which intheir totality constitute what is called individuality, exist therein inthe shape of certain unintelligible mysterious impressions and changesin the nerves and nerve-centres of the cerebral hemispheres.Consequently, they say, the mind—the individual mind—is destroyed whenthe body is destroyed; so there is no possible existence after death.

But there are a few facts among those admitted by these philosopherswhich are sufficient for us to demolish their theory. In every portionof the human body a constant change goes on without intermission. Everytissue, every muscular fibre and nerve-tube, and every ganglionic centrein the brain, is undergoing an incessant change. In the course of aman's lifetime there may be a series of complete tranformations of thesubstance of his brain. Nevertheless, the memory of his past mentalstates remains unaltered. There may be additions of new subjectiveexperiences and some mental states may be altogether forgotten, but noindividual mental state is altered. The person's sense of personalidentity remains the same throughout these constant alterations in thebrain substance.* It is able to survive all these changes, and it cansurvive also the complete destruction of the material substance of thebrain.

————* This is also sound Buddhist philosophy, the transformation inquestion being known as the change of the skandhas.—Ed. Theos.————

This individuality arising from mental consciousness has its seat ofexistence, according to our philosophers, in an occult power or force,which keeps a registry, as it were, of all our mental impressions. Thepower itself is indestructible, though by the operation of certainantagonistic causes its impressions may in course of time be effaced, inpart or wholly.

I may mention in this connection that our philosophers haveassociated seven occult powers with the seven principles or entitiesabove-mentioned. These seven occult powers in the microcosm correspondwith, or are the counterparts of, the occult powers in the macrocosm.The mental and spiritual consciousness of the individual becomes thegeneral consciousness of Brahmam, when the barrier of individuality iswholly removed, and when the seven powers in the microcosm are placeden rapport with the seven powers in the macrocosm.

There is nothing very strange in a power, or force, or sakti, carryingwith it impressions of sensations, ideas, thoughts, or other subjectiveexperiences. It is now a well-known fact, that an electric or magneticcurrent can convey in some mysterious manner impressions of sound orspeech, with all their individual peculiarities; similarly, I canconvey my thoughts to you by a transmission of energy or power.

Now, this fifth principle represents in our philosophy the mind, or, tospeak more correctly, the power or force above described, theimpressions of the mental states therein, and the notion ofself-identity or Ahankaram generated by their collective operation.This principle is called merely physical intelligence in the"Fragments." I do not know what is really meant by this expression. Itmay be taken to mean that intelligence which exists in a very low stateof development in the lower animals. Mind may exist in different stagesof development, from the very lowest forms of organic life, where thesigns of its existence or operation can hardly be distinctly realized,up to man, in whom it reaches its highest state of development.

In fact, from the first appearance of life* up to Tureeya Avastha, orthe state of Nirvana, the progress is, as it were, continuous.

————* In the Aryan doctrine, which blends Brahmam, Sakti, and Prakriti inone, it is the fourth principle then, in the Buddhist esotericisms thesecond in combination with the first.————

We ascend from that principle up to the seventh by almost imperceptiblegradations. But four stages are recognized in the progress where thechange is of a peculiar kind, and is such as to arrest an observer'sattention. These four stages are as follows:—

(1) Where life (fourth principle) makes its appearance.

(2) Where the existence of mind becomes perceptible in conjunction withlife.

(3) Where the highest state of mental abstraction ends, and spiritualconsciousness commences.

(4) Where spiritual consciousness disappears, leaving the seventhprinciple in a complete state of Nirvana, or nakedness.

According to our philosophers, the fifth principle under considerationis intended to represent the mind in every possible state ofdevelopment, from the second stage up to the third stage.

IV. Brahmam and Sakti. This principle corresponds to your "spiritualintelligence." It is, in fact, Buddhi (I use the word Buddhi not in theordinary sense, but in the sense in which it is used by our ancientphilosophers); in other words, it is the seat of Bodha or Atmabodha.One who has Atmabodha in its completeness is a Buddha. Buddhists knowvery well what this term signifies. This principle is described in the"Fragments" as an entity coming into existence by the combination ofBrahmam and Prakriti. I do not again know in what particular sense theword Prakriti is used in this connection. According to our philosophersit is an entity arising from the union of Brahmam and Sakti. I havealready explained the connotation attached by our philosophers to thewords Prakriti and Sakti.

I stated that Prakriti in its primary state is Akasa.*

If Akasa be considered to be Sakti or power** then my statement asregards the ultimate state of Prakriti is likely to give rise toconfusion and misapprehension unless I explain the distinction betweenAkasa and Sakti. Akasa is not, properly speaking, the crown of theastral light, nor does it by itself constitute any of the six primaryforces. But, generally speaking, whenever any phenomenal result isproduced, Sakti acts in conjunction with Akasa. And, moreover, Akasaserves as a basis or Adhishthanum for the transmission of force currentsand for the formation or generation of force or power correlations.***

————* According to the Buddhists, in Akasa lies that eternal, potentialenergy whose function it is to evolve all visible things out ofitself.—Ed. Theos.

** It was never so considered, as we have shown it. But as the"Fragments" are written in English, a language lacking such an abundanceof metaphysical terms to express ever minute change of form, substanceand state as are found in the Sanskrit, it was deemed useless to confusethe Western reader, untrained in the methods of Eastern expression, morethan is necessary, with a too nice distinctions of proper technicalterms. As "Prakriti in its primary state is Akasa," and Sakti "is anattribute AKASA," it becomes evident that for the uninitiated it is allone. Indeed, to speak of the "union of Brahmam and Prakriti" instead of"Brahmam and Sakti" is no worse than for a theist to write that "Thatman has come into existence by the combination of spirit and matter,"whereas, his word, framed in an orthodox shape, ought to read "man is aliving soul was created by the power (or breath) of God over matter."

*** That is to say, the Aryan Akasa is another word for Buddhist SPACE(in its metaphysical meaning).—Ed. Theos.————-

In Mantrasastra the letter Ha represents Akasa, and you will find thatthis syllable enters into most of the sacred formula intended to be usedin producing phenomenal results. But by itself it does not representany Sakti. You may, if you please, call Sakti an attribute of Akasa.

I do not think that, as regards the nature of this principle, there canin reality exist any difference of opinion between the Buddhist andBrahmanical philosophers.

Buddhist and Brahmanical initiates know very well that mysteriouscircular mirror composed of two hemispheres which reflects as it werethe rays emanating from the "burning bush" and the blazing star—thespiritual sun Shining in CHIDAKASAM.

The spiritual impressions constituting this principle have theirexistence in an occult power associated with the entity in question.The successive incarnations of Buddha, in fact, mean the successivetransfers of this mysterious power, or the impressions thereof. Thetransfer is only possible when the Mahatma* who transfers it hascompletely identified himself with his seventh principle, hasannihilated his Ahankaram, and reduced it to ashes in CHIDAGNIKUNDUM,and has succeeded in making his thoughts correspond with the eternallaws of Nature and in becoming a co-worker with Nature. Or, to put thesame thing in other words, when he has attained the state of Nirvana,the condition of final negation, negation of individual, or separateexistence.**

————-* The highest adept.

* In the words of Agatha in the "Maha-pari-Nirvana Sutra,"
"We reach a condition of rest
Beyond the limit of any human knowledge"
—Ed. Theos.

VII. Atma.—The emanation from the absolute, corresponding to theseventh principle. As regards this entity there exists positively noreal difference of opinion between the Tibetan Buddhist adepts and ourancient Rishis.

We must now consider which of these entities can appear after theindividual's death in seance-rooms and produce the so-calledspiritualistic phenomena.

Now, the assertion of the Spiritualists, that the "disembodied spirits"of particular human beings appear in seance-rooms, necessarily impliesthat the entity that so appears bears the stamp of some particularpersonality.

So, we have to ascertain beforehand in what entity or entitiespersonality has its seat of existence. Apparently it exists in theperson's particular formation of body, and in his subjective experiences(called his mind in their totality). On the death of the individual hisbody is destroyed; his lingasariram being decomposed, the powerassociated with it becomes mingled in the current of the correspondingpower in the macrocosm. Similarly, the third and fourth principles aremingled with their corresponding powers. These entities may again enterinto the composition of other organisms. As these entities bear noimpression of personality, the Spiritualists have no right to say thatthe disembodied spirit of the human being has appeared in theseance-room whenever any of these entities may appear there. In fact,they have no means of ascertaining that they belonged to any particularindividual.

Therefore, we must only consider whether any of the last three entitiesappear in seance-rooms to amuse or to instruct Spiritualists. Let ustake three particular examples of individuals, and see what becomes ofthese three principles after death.

I. One in whom spiritual attachments have greater force than terrestrialattachments.

II. One in whom spiritual aspirations do exist, but are merely ofsecondary importance to him, his terrestrial interests occupying thegreater share of his attention.

III. One in whom there exists no spiritual aspirations whatsoever, onewhose spiritual Ego is dead or non-existent to his apprehension.

We need not consider the case of a complete adept in this connection.In the first two cases, according to our supposition, spiritual andmental experiences exist together; when spiritual consciousness exists,the existence of the seventh principle being recognized, it maintainsits connection with the fifth and sixth principles. But the existenceof terrestrial attachments creates the necessity of Punarjanmam(re-birth), the latter signifying the evolution of a new set ofobjective and subjective experiences, constituting a new combination ofsurrounding circ*mstances, or, in other words, a new world. The periodbetween death and the next subsequent birth is occupied with thepreparation required for the evolution of these new experiences. Duringthe period of incubation, as you call it, the spirit will never of itsown accord appear in this world, nor can it so appear.

There is a great law in this universe which consists in the reduction ofsubjective experiences to objective phenomena, and the evolution of theformer from the latter. This is otherwise called "cyclic necessity."Man is subjected to this law if he do not check and counterbalance theusual destiny or fate, and he can only escape its control by subduingall his terrestrial attachments completely. The new combination ofcirc*mstances under which he will then be placed may be better or worsethan the terrestrial conditions under which he lived; but in hisprogress to a new world, you may be sure he will never turn around tohave a look at his spiritualistic friends.

In the third of the above three cases there is, by our supposition, norecognition of spiritual consciousness or of spirits; so they arenon-existing so far as he is concerned. The case is similar to that ofan organ or faculty which remains unused for a long time. It thenpractically ceases to exist.

These entities, as it were, remain his, or in his possession, when theyare stamped with the stamp of recognition. When such is not the case,the whole of his individuality is centred in his fifth principle. Andafter death this fifth principle is the only representative of theindividual in question.

By itself it cannot evolve for itself a new set of objectiveexperiences, or, to say the same thing in other words, it has nopunarjanmam. It is such an entity that can appear in seance-rooms; butit is absurd to call it a disembodied spirit.* It is merely a power orforce retaining the impressions of the thoughts or ideas of theindividual into whose composition it originally entered. It sometimessummons to its aid the Kamarupa power, and creates for itself someparticular ethereal form (not necessarily human).

————* It is especially on this point that the Aryan and Arahat doctrinesquite agree. The teaching and argument that follow are in every respectthose of the Buddhist Himalayan Brotherhood.—Ed. Theos.————

Its tendencies of action will be similar to those of the individual'smind when he was living. This entity maintains its existence so long asthe impressions on the power associated with the fifth principle remainintact. In course of time they are effaced, and the power in questionis then mixed up in the current of its corresponding power in theMACROCOSM, as the river loses itself in the sea. Entities like thesemay afford signs of there having been considerable intellectual power inthe individuals to which they belonged; because very high intellectualpower may co-exist with utter absence of spiritual consciousness. Butfrom this circ*mstance it cannot be argued that either the spirits orthe spiritual Egos of deceased individuals appear in seance-rooms.

There are some people in India who have thoroughly studied the nature ofsuch entities (called Pisacham). I do not know much about themexperimentally, as I have never meddled with this disgusting,profitless, and dangerous branch of investigation.

The Spiritualists do not know what they are really doing. Theirinvestigations are likely to result in course of time either in wickedsorcery or in the utter spiritual ruin of thousands of men and women.*

————* We share entirely in this idea.—Ed. Theos.————

The views I have herein expressed have been often illustrated by ourancient writers by comparing the course of a man's life or existence tothe orbital motion of a planet round the sun. Centripetal force isspiritual attraction, and centrifugal terrestrial attraction. As thecentripetal force increases in magnitude in comparison with thecentrifugal force, the planet approaches the sun—the individual reachesa higher plane of existence. If, on the other hand, the centrifugalforce becomes greater than the centripetal force, the planet is removedto a greater distance from the sun, and moves in a new orbit at thatdistance—the individual comes to a lower level of existence. These areillustrated in the first two instances I have noticed above.

We have only to consider the two extreme cases.

When the planet in its approach to the sun passes over the line wherethe centripetal and centrifugal force completely neutralize each other,and is only acted on by the centripetal force, it rushes towards the sunwith a gradually increasing velocity, and is finally mixed up with themass of the sun's body. This is the case of a complete adept.

Again, when the planet in its retreat from the sun reaches a point wherethe centrifugal force becomes all-powerful, it flies off in a tangentialdirection from its orbit, and goes into the depths of void space. Whenit ceases to be under the control of the sun, it gradually gives up itsgenerative heat, and the creative energy that it originally derived fromthe sun, and remains a cold mass of material particles wandering throughspace until the mass is completely decomposed into atoms. This coldmass is compared to the fifth principle under the conditions abovenoticed, and the heat, light, and energy that left it are compared tothe sixth and seventh principles.

Either after assuming a new orbit or in its course of deviation from theold orbit to the new, the planet can never go back to any point in itsold orbit, as the various orbits lying in different planes neverintersect each other.

This figurative representation correctly explains the ancientBrahmanical theory on the subject. It is merely a branch of what iscalled the Great Law of the Universe by the ancient mystics.

—T. Subba Row


Note I.

In this connection it will be well to draw the reader's attention to thefact that the country called "Si-dzang" by the Chinese, and Tibet byWestern geographers, is mentioned in the oldest books preserved in theprovince of Fo-kien (the headquarters of the aborigines of China) as thegreat seat of occult learning in the archaic ages. According to theserecords, it was inhabited by the "Teachers of Light," the "Sons ofWisdom" and the "Brothers of the Sun." The Emperor Yu the "Great" (2207B.C.), a pious mystic, is credited with having obtained his occultwisdom and the system of theocracy established by him—for he was thefirst one to unite in China ecclesiastical power with temporalauthority—from Si-dzang. That system was the same as with the oldEgyptians and the Chaldees; that which we know to have existed in theBrahmanical period in India, and to exist now in Tibet—namely, all thelearning, power, the temporal as well as the secret wisdom wereconcentrated within the hierarchy of the priests and limited to theircaste. Who were the aborigines of Tibet is a question which noethnographer is able to answer correctly at present. They practice theBhon religion, their sect is a pre-and anti-Buddhistic one, and theyare to be found mostly in the province of Kam. That is all that isknown of them. But even that would justify the supposition that theyare the greatly degenerated descendants of mighty and wise forefathers.Their ethnical type shows that they are not pure Turanians, and theirrites—now those of sorcery, incantations, and Nature-worship—remindone far more of the popular rites of the Babylonians, as found in therecords preserved on the excavated cylinders, than of the religiouspractices of the Chinese sect of Tao-sse (a religion based upon purereason and spirituality), as alleged by some. Generally, little or nodifference is made, even by the Kyelang missionaries, who mix greatlywith these people on the borders of British Lahoul and ought to knowbetter, between the Bhons and the two rival Buddhist sects, the YellowCaps and the Red Caps. The latter of these have opposed the reform ofTzong-ka-pa from the first, and have always adhered to old Buddhism, sogreatly mixed up now with the practices of the Bhons. Were ourOrientalists to know more of them, and compare the ancient BabylonianBel or Baal worship with the rites of the Bhons, they would find anundeniable connection between the two. To begin an argument here,proving the origin of the aborigines of Tibet as connected with one ofthe three great races which superseded each other in Babylonia, whetherwe call them the Akkadians (a name invented by F. Lenormant), or theprimitive Turanians, Chaldees, and Assyrians, is out of the question.Be it as it may, there is reason to call the trans-Himalayan esotericdoctrine Chaldeo-Tibetan. And when we remember that the Vedas came,agreeably to all traditions, from the Mansarawara Lake in Tibet, and theBrahmins themselves from the far North, we are justified in looking onthe esoteric doctrines of every people who once had or still has it, ashaving proceeded from one and the same source; and to thus call it the"Aryan-Chaldeo-Tibetan" doctrine, or Universal Wisdom-Religion. "Seekfor the Lost Word among the hierophants of Tartary, China, and Tibet,"was the advice of Swedenborg the seer.

Note II.

Not necessarily, we say. The Vedas, Brahmanism, and along with these,Sanskrit, were importations into what we now regard as India. They werenever indigenous to its soil. There was a time when the ancient nationsof the West included under the generic name of India many of thecountries of Asia now classified under other names. There was an Upper,a Lower, and a Western India, even during the comparatively late periodof Alexander; and Persia (Iran) is called Western India in some ancientclassics. The countries now named Tibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartarywere considered by them as forming part of India. When we say,therefore, that India has civilized the world, and was the Alma Mater ofthe civilizations, arts, and sciences of all other nations (Babylonia,and perhaps even Egypt, included), we mean archaic, pre-historic India,India of the time when the great Gobi was a sea, and the lost "Atlantis"formed part of an unbroken continent which began at the Himalayas andran down over Southern India, Ceylon, and Java, to far-away Tasmania.

Note III.

To ascertain such disputed questions, one has to look into and studywell the Chinese sacred and historical records—a people whose erabegins nearly 4,600 years back (2697 B.C.). A people so accurate, andby whom some of the most important inventions of modern Europe and itsso much boasted modern science were anticipated—such as the compass,gunpowder, porcelain, paper, printing, &c.—known and practicedthousands of years before these were rediscovered by the Europeans,ought to receive some trust for their records. And from Lao-tze down toHiouen-Thsang their literature is filled with allusions and referencesto that island and the wisdom of the Himalayan adepts. In the "Catenaof Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese," by the Rev. Samuel Beal, thereis a chapter "On the TIAN-TA'I School of Buddhism" (pp. 244-258) whichour opponents ought to read. Translating the rules of that mostcelebrated and holy school and sect in China founded by Chin-che-K'hae,called Che-chay (the Wise One), in the year 575 of our era, when comingto the sentence which reads "That which relates to the one garment(seamless) worn by the GREAT TEACHERS OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS, the schoolof the Haimavatas" (p. 256), the European translator places after thelast sentence a sign of interrogation, as well he may. The statisticsof the school of the "Haimavatas," or of our Himalayan Brotherhood, arenot to be found in the general census records of India. Further, Mr.Beal translates a rule relating to "the great professors of the higherorder who live in mountain depths remote from men," the Aranyakas, orhermits.

So, with respect to the traditions concerning this island, and apartfrom the (to them) historical records of this preserved in the Chineseand Tibetan sacred books, the legend is alive to this day among thepeople of Tibet. The fair island is no more, but the country where itonce bloomed remains there still, and the spot is well known to some ofthe "great teachers of the Snowy Mountains," however much convulsed andchanged its topography by the awful cataclysm. Every seventh year theseteachers are believed to assemble in SCHAM-BHA-LA, the "Happy Land."According to the general belief it is situated in the north-west ofTibet. Some place it within the unexplored central regions,inaccessible even to the fearless nomadic tribes; others hem it inbetween the range of the Gangdisri Mountains and the northern edge ofthe Gobi desert, south and north, and the more populated regions ofKhoondooz and Kashmir, of the Gya-Pheling (British India), and China,west and east, which affords to the curious mind a pretty large latitudeto locate it in. Others still place it between Namur Nur and theKuen-Lun Mountains, but one and all firmly believe in Scham-bha-la, andspeak of it as a fertile fairy-like land once an island, now an oasis ofincomparable beauty, the place of meeting of the inheritors of theesoteric wisdom of the god-like inhabitants of the legendary island.

In connection with the archaic legend of the Asian Sea and the AtlanticContinent, is it not profitable to note a fact known to all moderngeologists-that the Himalayan slopes afford geological proof that thesubstance of those lofty peaks was once a part of an ocean floor?

Note IV.

We have already pointed out that, in our opinion, the whole differencebetween Buddhistic and Vedantic philosophies was that the former was akind of Rationalistic Vedantism, while the latter might be regarded astranscendental Buddhism. If the Aryan esotericism applies the termjivatma to the seventh principle—the pure and per se unconsciousspirit—it is because the Vedanta, postulating three kinds ofexistence—(1) the paramarthika (the true, the only real one), (2) thevyavaharika (the practical), and (3) the pratibhasika (the apparent orillusory life)—makes the first life or jiva, the only truly existentone. Brahma, or the ONE'S SELF, is its only representative in theuniverse, as it is the universal Life in toto, while the other two arebut its "phenomenal appearances," imagined and created by ignorance, andcomplete illusions suggested to us by our blind senses. The Buddhists,on the other hand, deny either subjective or objective reality even tothat one Self-Existence. Buddha declares that there is neither Creatornor an Absolute Being. Buddhist rationalism was ever too alive to theinsuperable difficulty of admitting one absolute consciousness, as inthe words of Flint, "wherever there is consciousness there is relation,and wherever there is relation there is dualism." The ONE LIFE iseither "MUKTA" (absolute and unconditioned), and can have no relation toanything nor to any one; or it is "BADDHA" (bound and conditioned), andthen it cannot be called the absolute; the limitation, moreover,necessitating another deity as powerful as the first to account for allthe evil in this world. Hence, the Arahat secret doctrine on cosmogonyadmits but of one absolute, indestructible, eternal, and uncreatedUNCONSCIOUSNESS (so to translate) of an element (the word being used forwant of a better term) absolutely independent of everything else in theuniverse; a something ever present or ubiquitous, a Presence which everwas, is, and will be, whether there is a God, gods, or none, whetherthere is a universe, or no universe, existing during the eternal cyclesof Maha Yugs, during the Pralayas as during the periods of Manvantara,and this is SPACE, the field for the operation of the eternal Forces andnatural Law, the basis (as Mr. Subba Row rightly calls it) upon whichtake place the eternal intercorrelations of Akasa-Prakriti; guided bythe unconscious regular pulsations of Sakti, the breath or power of aconscious deity, the theists would say; the eternal energy of aneternal, unconscious Law, say the Buddhists. Space, then, or "Fan,Bar-nang" (Maha Sunyata) or, as it is called by Lao-tze, the "Emptiness,"is the nature of the Buddhist Absolute. (See Confucius' "Praise of theAbyss.") The word jiva, then, could never be applied by the Arahats tothe Seventh Principle, since it is only through its correlation orcontact with matter that Fo-hat (the Buddhist active energy) candevelop active conscious life; and that to the question "how canunconsciousness generate consciousness?" the answer would be: "Was theseed which generated a Bacon or a Newton self-conscious?"

Note V.

To our European readers, deceived by the phonetic similarity, it mustnot be thought that the name "Brahman" is identical in this connectionwith Brahma or Iswara, the personal God. The Upanishads—the VedantaScriptures—mention no such God, and one would vainly seek in them anyallusions to a conscious deity. The Brahman, or Parabrahm, the absoluteof the Vedantins, is neuter and unconscious, and has no connection withthe masculine Brahma of the Hindu Triad, or Trimurti. Some Orientalistsrightly believe the name derived from the verb "Brih," to grow orincrease, and to be in this sense the universal expansive force ofNature, the vivifying and spiritual principle or power spread throughoutthe universe, and which, in its collectivity, is the one Absoluteness,the one Life and the only Reality.

—H.P. Blavatsky

Septenary Division in Different Indian Systems

We give below in a tabular form the classifications, adopted by
Buddhist and by Vedantic teachers, of the principles in man:—

Classification in Vedantic Classification in
Esoteric Buddhism Classification Taraka Raja Yoga

(1.) Sthula sarira Annamaya kosa Sthulopadhi

(2.) Prana
Pranamaya kosa
(3.)The Vehicle
of Prana

(4.) Kama rupa
(a) Volitions Manomaya kosa
(5.) Mind/& feelings &c. Sukshmopadhi
(b) Vignanam Vignanamayakosa

(6.) Spiritual Soul Anandamayakosa Karanopadhi

(7.) Atma Atma Atma

From the foregoing table it will be seen that the third principle in theBuddhist classification is not separately mentioned in the Vedanticdivision as it is merely the vehicle of prana. It will also be seenthat the fourth principle is included in the third kosa (sheath), as thesaid principle is but the vehicle of will-power, which is but an energyof the mind. It must also be noticed that the Vignanamayakosa isconsidered to be distinct from the Manomayakosa, as a division is madeafter death between the lower part of the mind, as it were, which has acloser affinity with the fourth principle than with the sixth and itshigher part, which attaches itself to the latter, and which is, in fact,the basis for the higher spiritual individuality of man.

We may also here point out to our readers that the classificationmentioned in the last column is for all practical purposes connectedwith Raja Yoga, the best and simplest. Though there are sevenprinciples in man, there are but three distinct Upadhis (bases), in eachof which his Atma may work independently of the rest. These threeUpadhis can be separated by an adept without killing himself. He cannotseparate the seven principles from each other without destroying hisconstitution.


The Septenary Principle in Esotericism

Since the exposition of the Arhat esoteric doctrine was begun, many whohad not acquainted themselves with the occult basis of Hindu philosophyhave imagined that the two were in conflict. Some of the more bigotedhave openly charged the Occultists of the Theosophical Society withpropagating rank Buddhistic heresy; and have even gone to the length ofaffirming that the whole Theosophic movement was but a masked Buddhisticpropaganda. We were taunted by ignorant Brahmins and learned Europeansthat our septenary divisions of Nature and everything in it, includingman, are arbitrary and not endorsed by the oldest religious systems ofthe East. It is now proposed to throw a cursory glance at the Vedas,the Upanishads, the Law-Books of Manu, and especially the Vedanta, andshow that they too support our position. Even in their crudeexotericism their affirmation of the sevenfold division is apparent.Passage after passage may be cited in proof. And not only can themysterious number be found traced on every page of the oldest AryanSacred Scriptures, but in the oldest books of Zoroastrianism as well;in the rescued cylindrical tile records of old Babylonia and Chaldea, inthe "Book of the Dead" and the Ritualism of ancient Egypt, and even inthe Mosaic books—without mentioning the secret Jewish works, such asthe Kabala.

The limited space at command forces us to allow a few brief quotationsto stand as landmarks and not even attempt long explanations. It is noexaggeration to say that upon each of the few hints now given in thecited Slokas a thick volume might be written.

From the well-known hymn To Time, in the Atharva-Veda (xix. 53):

"Time, like a brilliant steed with seven rays,
Full of fecundity, bears all things onward.

"Time, like a seven-wheeled, seven-naved car moves on,
His rolling wheels are all the worlds, his axle
Is immortality…."

—down to Manu, "the first and the seventh man," the Vedas, theUpanishads, and all the later systems of philosophy teem with allusionsto this number. Who was Manu, the son of Swayambhuva? The secretdoctrine tells us that this Manu was no man, but the representation ofthe first human races evolved with the help of the Dhyan-Chohans (Devas)at the beginning of the first Round. But we are told in his Laws (BookI. 80) that there are fourteen Manus for every Kalpa or "interval fromcreation to creation" (read interval from one minor "Pralaya" toanother) and that "in the present divine age there have been as yetseven Manus." Those who know that there are seven Rounds, of which wehave passed three, and are now in the fourth; and who are taught thatthere are seven dawns and seven twilights, or fourteen Manvantaras;that at the beginning of every Round and at the end, and on and betweenthe planets, there is "an awakening to illusive life," and "an awakeningto real life," and that, moreover, there are "root-Manus," and what wehave to clumsily translate as the "seed-Manus"—the seeds for the humanraces of the forthcoming Round (a mystery divulged but to those who havepassed the 3rd degree in initiation); those who have learned all that,will be better prepared to understand the meaning of the following. Weare told in the Sacred Hindu Scriptures that "the first Manu producedsix other Manus (seven primary Manus in all), and these produced intheir turn each seven other Manus" (Bhrigu I. 61-63),* the production ofthe latter standing in the occult treatises as 7 x 7. Thus it becomesclear that Manu—the last one, the progenitor of our Fourth RoundHumanity—must be the seventh, since we are on our fourth Round, andthat there is a root-Manu on globe A and a seed-Manu on globe G. Justas each planetary Round commences with the appearance of a "Root-Manu"(Dhyan-Chohan) and closes with a "Seed-Manu," so a root-and a seed-Manuappear respectively at the beginning and the termination of the humanperiod on any particular planet.

———-* The fact that Manu himself is made to declare that he was created byViraj and then produced the ten Prajapatis, who again produced sevenMenus, who in their turn gave birth to seven other Manus (Manu, I.33-36), relates to other still earlier mysteries, and is at the sametime a blind with regard to the doctrine of the Septenary chain.————-

It will be easily seen from the foregoing statement that a Manu-antaricperiod means, as the term implies, the time between the appearance oftwo Manus or Dhyan-Chohans: and hence a minor Manu-antara is theduration of the seven races on any particular planet, and a majorManu-antara is the period of one human round along the planetary chain.Moreover, that, as it is said that each of the seven Manus creates 7 x 7Manus, and that there are 49 root-races on the seven planets during eachRound, then every root-race has its Manu. The present seventh Manu iscalled "Vaivasvata," and stands in the exoteric texts for that Manu whor*presents in India the Babylonian Xisusthrus and the Jewish Noah. Butin the esoteric books we are told that Manu Vaivasvata, the progenitorof our fifth race—who saved it from the flood that nearly exterminatedthe fourth (Atlantean)—is not the seventh Manu, mentioned in thenomenclature of the Root, or primitive Manus, but one of the 49"emanated from this 'root'—Manu."

For clearer comprehension we here give the names of the 14 Manus intheir respective order and relation to each Round:—

1st 1st (Root) Manu on Planet A.-SwayambhuvaRound. 1st (Seed) Manu on Planet G.-Swarochi (or)Swarotisha

2nd 2nd (R.) M. on Planet A.-UttamaRound 2nd (S.) M. " " G.-Thamasa

3rd 3rd (R.) M. " " A.-RaivataRound 3rd (S.) M. " " G.-Chackchuska

4th 4th (R.) M. " " A.-Vaivasvata (our progenitor)Round 4th (S.) M. " " G.-Savarni

5th 5th (R.) M. " " A.-Daksha SavarniRound 5th (S.) M. " " G.-Brahma Savarni

6th 6th (R.) M. on Planet A.-Dharma SavarniRound 6th (S.) M. " " G.-Rudra Savarni

7th 7th (R.) M. " " A.-RouchyaRound 7th (S.) M. " " G.-Bhoutya

Vaivasvata thus, though seventh in the order given, is the primitiveRoot-Manu of our fourth Human Wave (the reader must always remember thatManu is not a man but collective humanity), while our Vaivasvata was butone of the seven Minor Manus who are made to preside over the sevenraces of this our planet. Each of these has to become the witness ofone of the periodical and ever-recurring cataclysms (by fire and waterin turn) that close the cycle of every root-race. And it is thisVaivasvata—the Hindu ideal embodiment called respectively Xisusthrus,Deukalion, Noah, and by other names—who is the allegorical man whor*scued our race when nearly the whole population of one hemisphereperished by water, while the other hemisphere was awakening from itstemporary obscuration.

The number seven stands prominently conspicuous in even a cursorycomparison of the 11th Tablet of the Izdhubar Legends of the Chaldeanaccount of the Deluge and the so-called Mosaic books. In both the numberseven plays a most prominent part. The clean beasts are taken bysevens, the fowls by sevens also; in seven days, it is promised Noah,to rain upon the earth; thus he stays "yet other seven days," and againseven days; while in the Chaldean. account of the Deluge, on theseventh day the rain abated. On the seventh day the dove is sent out;by sevens, Xisusthrus takes "jugs of wine" for the altar, &c. Why suchcoincidence? And yet we are told by, and bound to believe in, theEuropean Orientalists, when passing judgment alike upon the Babylonianand Aryan chronology they call them "extravagant and fanciful!"Nevertheless, while they give us no explanation of, nor have they evernoticed, as far as we know, the strange identity in the totals of theSemitic, Chaldean, and Aryan Hindu chronology, the students of OccultPhilosophy find the following fact extremely suggestive. While theperiod of the reign of the 10 Babylonian antediluvian kings is given as432,000 years,* the duration of the postdiluvian Kali-yug is also givenas 432,000, while the four ages or the divine Maha-yug, yield in theirtotality 4,320,000 years. Why should they, if fanciful and"extravagant," give the identical figures, when neither the Aryans northe Babylonians have surely borrowed anything from each other! Weinvite the attention of our occultists to the three figures given—4standing for the perfect square, 3 for the triad (the seven universaland the seven individual principles), and 2 the symbol of ourillusionary world, a figure ignored and rejected by Pythagoras.

————* See "Babylonia," by George Smith, p. 36. Here again, as with theManus and 10 Prajapatis and the 10 Sephiroths in the Book of Numbers—they dwindle down to seven!————

It is in the Upanishads and the Vedanta though, that we have to look forthe best corroborations of the occult teachings. In the mysticaldoctrine the Rahasya, or the Upanishads—"the only Veda of allthoughtful Hindus in the present day," as Monier Williams is made toconfess, every word, as its very name implies,* has a secret meaningunderlying it. This meaning can be fully realized only by him who has afull knowledge of Prana, the ONE LIFE, "the nave to which are attachedthe seven spokes of the Universal Wheel." (Hymn to Prana, Atharva-Veda,XI. 4.)

Even European Orientalists agree that all the systems in India assign tothe human body: (a) an exterior or gross body (sthula-sarira); (b) aninner or shadowy body (sukshma), or linga-sarira (the vehicle), the twocemented with—(c), life (jiv or Karana sarira, "causal body").** Thesethe occult system or esotericism divides into seven, farther adding tothese—kama, manas, buddhi and atman. The Nyaya philosophy whentreating of Prameyas (by which the objects and subjects of Praman are tobe correctly understood) includes among the 12 the seven "rootprinciples" (see IXth Sutra), which are 1, soul (atman), and 2 itssuperior spirit Jivatman; 3, body (sarira); 4, senses (indriya); 5,activity or will (pravritti); 6, mind (manas); 7, Intellection(Buddhi). The seven Padarthas (inquiries or predicates of existingthings) of Kanada in the Vaiseshikas, refer in the occult doctrine tothe seven qualities or attributes of the seven principles. Thus: 1,substance (dravya) refers to body or sthula-sarira; 2, quality orproperty (guna) to the life principle, jiv; 3, action or act (karman)to the Linga, sarira; 4, Community or commingling of properties(Samanya) to Kamarupa; 5, personality or conscious individuality(Visesha) to Manas; 6, co-inherence or perpetual intimate relation(Samuvuya) to Buddhi, the inseparable vehicle of Atman; 7,non-existence or non-being in the sense of, and as separate from,objectivity or substance (abhava)—to the highest monad or Atman.

———-* Upa-ni-shad means, according to Brahminical authority, "to conquerignorance by revealing the secret spiritual knowledge." According toMonier Williams, the title is derived from the root sad with theprepositions upa and ni, and implies "something mystical that underliesor is beneath the surface."

** This Karana-sarira is often mistaken by the uninitiated forLinga-sarira, and since it is described as the inner rudimentary orlatent embryo of the body, confounded with it. But the Occultistsregard it as the life (body) or Jiv, which disappears at death; iswithdrawn—leaving the 1st and 3rd principles to disintegrate andreturn to their elements.—————

Thus, whether we view the ONE as the Vedic Purusha or Brahman (neuter)the "all-expanding essence;" or as the universal spirit, the "light oflights" (jyotisham jyotih) the TOTAL independent of all relation, of theUpanishads; or as the Paramatman of the Vedanta; or again as Kanada'sAdrishta, "the unseen Force," or divine atom; or as Prakriti, the"eternally existing essence," of Kapila—we find in all these impersonaluniversal Principles the latent capability of evolving out of themselves"six rays" (the evolver being the seventh). The third aphorism of theSankhya-Karika, which says of Prakriti that it is the "root andsubstance of all things," and no production, but itself a producer of"seven things, which produced by it, become also producers," has apurely occult meaning.

What are the "producers" evoluted from this universal root-principle,Mula-prakriti or undifferentiated primeval cosmic matter, which evolvesout of itself consciousness and mind, and is generally called "Prakriti"and amulam mulam, "the rootless root," and Aryakta, the "unevolvedevolver," &c.? This primordial tattwa or "eternally existing 'that,'"the unknown essence, is said to produce as a first producer, 1, Buddhi—"intellect"—whether we apply the latter to the 6th macrocosmic ormicrocosmic principle. This first produced produces in its turn (or isthe source of) Ahankara, "self-consciousness" and manas "mind." Thereader will please always remember that the Mahat or great source ofthese two internal faculties, "Buddhi" per se, can have neitherself-consciousness nor mind; viz., the 6th principle in man can preservean essence of personal self-consciousness or "personal individuality" onlyby absorbing within itself its own waters, which have run through thatfinite faculty; for Ahankara, that is the perception of "I," or thesense of one's personal individuality, justly represented by the term"Ego-ism," belongs to the second, or rather the third, production out ofthe seven, viz., to the 5th principle, or Manas. It is the latter whichdraws "as the web issues from the spider" along the thread of Prakriti,the "root principle," the four following subtle elementary principles orparticles—Tanmatras, out of which "third class," the Mahabhutas or thegross elementary principles, or rather sarira and rupas, are evolved—the kama, linga, Jiva and sthula-sarira. The three gunas of"Prakriti"—the Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas (purity, passionate activity,and ignorance or darkness)—spun into a triple-stranded cord or "rope,"pass through the seven, or rather six, human principles.

It depends on the 5th—Manas or Ahankara, the "I"—to thin the guna,"rope," into one thread—the sattwa; and thus by becoming one with the"unevolved evolver," win immortality or eternal conscious existence.Otherwise it will be again resolved into its Mahabhautic essence; solong as the triple-stranded rope is left unstranded, the spirit (thedivine monad) is bound by the presence of the gunas in the principles"like an animal" (purusha pasu). The spirit, atman or jivatman (the 7thand 6th principles), whether of the macro-or microcosm, though bound bythese gunas during the objective manifestation of universe or man, isyet nirguna—i.e., entirely free from them. Out of the three producersor evolvers, Prakriti, Buddhi and Ahankara, it is but the latter thatcan be caught (when man is concerned) and destroyed when personal. The"divine monad" is aguna (devoid of qualities), while Prakriti, once thatfrom passive Mula-prakriti it has become avyakta (an active evolver) isgunavat—endowed with qualities. With the latter, Purusha or Atman canhave nought to do (of course being unable to perceive it in itsgunuvatic state); with the former—or Mula-prakriti or undifferentiatedcosmic essence—it has, since it is one with it and identical.

The Atma Bodha, or "knowledge of soul," a tract written by the greatSankaracharya, speaks distinctly of the seven principles in man (see14th verse). They are called therein the five sheaths (panchakosa) inwhich is enclosed the divine monad—the Atman, and Buddhi, the 7th and6th principles, or the individuated soul when made distinct (throughavidya, maya and the gunas) from the supreme soul—Parabrahm. The 1stsheath, called Ananda-maya—the "illusion of supreme bliss"—is themanas or fifth principle of the occultists, when united with Buddhi;the 2nd sheath is Vjnana-maya-kosa, the case or "envelope ofself-delusion," the manas when self-deluded into the belief of thepersonal "I," or ego, with its vehicle. The 3rd, the Mano-maya sheath,composed of "illusionary mind" associated with the organs of action andwill, is the Kamarupa and Linga-sarira combined, producing an illusive"I" or Mayavi-rupa. The 4th sheath is called Prana-maya, "illusionarylife," our second life principle or jiv, wherein resides life, the"breathing" sheath. The 5th kosa is called Anna-maya, or the sheathsupported by food—our gross material body. All these sheaths produceother smaller sheaths, or six attributes or qualities each, the seventhbeing always the root sheath; and the Atman or spirit passing throughall these subtle ethereal bodies like a thread, is called the"thread-soul" or sutratman.

We may conclude with the above demonstration. Verily the Esotericdoctrine may well be called in its turn the "thread-doctrine," since,like Sutratman or Pranatman, it passes through and strings together allthe ancient philosophical religious systems, and, what is more,reconciles and explains them. For though seeming so unlike externally,they have but one foundation, and of that the extent, depth, breadth andnature are known to those who have become, like the "Wise Men of theEast," adepts in Occult Science.

—H.P. Blavatsky

Personal and Impersonal God

At the outset I shall request my readers (such of them at least as arenot acquainted with the Cosmological theories of the Idealistic thinkersof Europe) to examine John Stuart Mill's Cosmological speculations ascontained in his examination of Sir William Hamilton's philosophy,before attempting to understand the Adwaita doctrine; and I beg toinform them beforehand that in explaining the main principles of thesaid doctrine, I am going to use, as far as it is convenient to do so,the phraseology adopted by English psychologists of the Idealisticschool of thought. In dealing with the phenomena of our present planeof existence John Stuart Mill ultimately came to the conclusion thatmatter, or the so-called external phenomena, are but the creation of ourmind; they are the mere appearances of a particular phase of oursubjective self, and of our thoughts, volitions, sensations and emotionswhich in their totality constitute the basis of that Ego. Matter thenis the permanent possibility of sensations, and the so-called Laws ofmatter are, properly speaking, the Laws which govern the succession andcoexistence of our states of consciousness. Mill further holds thatproperly speaking there is no noumenal Ego. The very idea of a mindexisting separately as an entity, distinct from the states ofconsciousness which are supposed to inhere in it, is in his opinionillusory, as the idea of an external object, which is supposed to beperceived by our senses.

Thus the ideas of mind and matter, of subject and object, of the Ego andexternal world, are really evolved from the aggregation of our mentalstates which are the only realities so far as we are concerned.

The chain of our mental states or states of consciousness is "adouble-headed monster," according to Professor Bain, which has twodistinct aspects, one objective and the other subjective. Mr. Mill haspaused here, confessing that psychological analysis did not go anyfurther; the mysterious link which connects together the train of ourstates of consciousness and gives rise to our Ahankaram in thiscondition of existence, still remains an incomprehensible mystery toWestern psychologists, though its existence is but dimly perceived inthe subjective phenomena of memory and expectation.

On the other hand, the great physicists of Europe are gradually comingto the conclusion* that mind is the product of matter, or that it is oneof the attributes of matter in some of its conditions. It would appear,therefore, from the speculations of Western psychologists that matter isevolved from mind and that mind is evolved from matter. These twopropositions are apparently irreconcilable.

————* See Tyndall's Belfast Address.—S.R.————

Mill and Tyndall have admitted that Western science is yet unable to godeeper into the question. Nor is it likely to solve the mysteryhereafter, unless it calls Eastern occult science to its aid and takes amore comprehensive view of the capabilities of the real subjective selfof man and the various aspects of the great objective universe. Thegreat Adwaitee philosophers of ancient Aryavarta have examined therelationship between subject and object in every condition of existencein this solar system in which this differentiation is presented. Justas a human being is composed of seven principles, differentiated matterin the solar system exists in seven different conditions. Thesedifferent states of matter do not all come within the range of ourpresent objective consciousness. But they can be objectively perceivedby the spiritual Ego in man. To the liberated spiritual monad of man,or to the Dhyan Chohans, every thing that is material in every conditionof matter is an object of perception. Further, Pragna or the capacityof perception exists in seven different aspects corresponding to theseven conditions of matter. Strictly speaking, there are but six statesof matter, the so-called seventh state being the aspect of cosmic matterin its original undifferentiated condition. Similarly there are sixstates of differentiated Pragna, the seventh state being a condition ofperfect unconsciousness. By differentiated Pragna, I mean the conditionin which Pragna is split up into various states of consciousness. Thuswe have six states of consciousness, either objective or subjective forthe time being, as the case may be, and a perfect state ofunconsciousness, which is the beginning and the end of all conceivablestates of consciousness, corresponding to the states of differentiatedmatter and its original undifferentiated basis which is the beginningand the end of all cosmic evolutions. It will be easily seen that theexistence of consciousness is necessary for the differentiation betweensubject and object. Hence these two phases are presented in sixdifferent conditions, and in the last state there being no consciousnessas above stated, the differentiation in question ceases to exist. Thenumber of these various conditions is different in different systems ofphilosophy. But whatever may be the number of divisions, they all liebetween perfect unconsciousness at one end of the line and our presentstate of consciousness or Bahipragna at the other end. To understandthe real nature of these different states of consciousness, I shallrequest my readers to compare the consciousness of the ordinary man withthe consciousness of the astral man, and again compare the latter withthe consciousness of the spiritual Ego in man. In these threeconditions the objective universe is not the same. But the differencebetween the Ego and the non-Ego is common to all these conditions.Consequently, admitting the correctness of Mill's reasoning as regardsthe subject and object of our present plane of consciousness, the greatAdwaitee thinkers of India have extended the same reasoning to otherstates of consciousness, and came to the conclusion that the variousconditions of the Ego and the non-Ego were but the appearances of oneand the same entity—the ultimate state of unconsciousness. This entityis neither matter nor spirit; it is neither Ego nor non-Ego; and it isneither object nor subject. In the language of Hindu philosophers it isthe original and eternal combination of Purusha and Prakriti. As theAdwaitees hold that an external object is merely the product of ourmental states, Prakriti is nothing more than illusion, and Purush is theonly reality; it is the one existence which remains eternal in thisuniverse of Ideas. This entity then is the Parabrahmam of theAdwaitees. Even if there were to be a personal God with anything like amaterial Upadhi (physical basis of whatever form), from the standpointof an Adwaitee there will be as much reason to doubt his noumenalexistence as there would be in the case of any other object. In theiropinion, a conscious God cannot be the origin of the universe, as hisEgo would be the effect of a previous cause, if the word consciousconveys but its ordinary meaning. They cannot admit that the grandtotal of all the states of consciousness in the universe is their deity,as these states are constantly changing and as cosmic idealism ceasesduring Pralaya. There is only one permanent condition in the universewhich is the state of perfect unconsciousness, bare Chidakasam (field ofconsciousness) in fact.

When my readers once realize the fact that this grand universe is inreality but a huge aggregation of various states of consciousness, theywill not be surprised to find that the ultimate state of unconsciousnessis considered as Parabrahmam by the Adwaitees.

The idea of a God, Deity, Iswar, or an impersonal God (if consciousnessis one of his attributes) involves the idea of Ego or non-Ego in someshape or other, and as every conceivable Ego or non-Ego is evolved fromthis primitive element (I use this word for want of a better one) theexistence of an extra-cosmic god possessing such attributes prior tothis condition is absolutely inconceivable. Though I have been speakingof this element as the condition of unconsciousness, it is, properlyspeaking, the Chidakasam or Chinmatra of the Hindu philosophers whichcontains within itself the potentiality of every condition of "Pragna,"and which results as consciousness on the one hand and the objectiveuniverse on the other, by the operation of its latent Chichakti (thepower which generates thought).

Before proceeding to discuss the nature of Parabrahmam. It is to bestated that in the opinion of Adwaitees, the Upanishads and theBrahmasutras fully support their views on the subject. It is distinctlyaffirmed in the Upanishads that Parabrahmam, which is but the barepotentiality of Pragna,* is not an aspect of Pragna or Ego in any shape,and that it has neither life nor consciousness. The reader will be ableto ascertain that such is really the case on examining the Mundaka andMandukya Upanishads. The language used here and there in the Upanishadsis apt to mislead one into the belief that such language points to theexistence of a conscious Iswar. But the necessity for such languagewill perhaps be rendered clear from the following considerations.

————* The power or the capacity that gives rise to perception.————

From a close examination of Mill's cosmological theory the difficultywill be clearly seen referred to above, of satisfactorily accounting forthe generation of conscious states in any human being from thestandpoint of the said theory. It is generally stated that sensationsarise in us from the action of the external objects around us: they arethe effects of impressions made on our senses by the objective world inwhich we exist. This is simple enough to an ordinary mind, howeverdifficult it may be to account for the transformation of a cerebralnerve-current into a state of consciousness.

But from the standpoint of Mill's theory we have no proof of theexistence of any external object; even the objective existence of ourown senses is not a matter of certainty to us. How, then, are we toaccount for and explain the origin of our mental states, if they are theonly entities existing in this world? No explanation is really given bysaying that one mental state gives rise to another mental state, to acertain extent at all events, under the operation of the so-calledpsychological "Laws of Association." Western psychology honestly admitsthat its analysis has not gone any further. It may be inferred,however, from the said theory that there would be no reason for sayingthat a material Upadhi (basis) is necessary for the existence of mind orstates of consciousness.

As is already indicated, the Aryan psychologists have traced thiscurrent of mental states to its source—the eternal Chinmatra existingeverywhere. When the time for evolution comes this germ of Pragnaunfolds itself and results ultimately as Cosmic ideation. Cosmic ideasare the conceptions of all the conditions of existence in the Cosmosexisting in what may be called the universal mind (the demiurgic mind ofthe Western Kabalists).

This Chinmatra exists as it were at every geometrical point of theinfinite Chidakasam. This principle then has two general aspects.Considered as something objective it is the eternal Asath—Mulaprakritior Undifferentiated Cosmic matter. From a subjective point of view itmay be looked upon in two ways. It is Chidakasam when considered as thefield of Cosmic ideation; and it is Chinmatra when considered as thegerm of Cosmic ideation. These three aspects constitute the highestTrinity of the Aryan Adwaitee philosophers. It will be readily seenthat the last-mentioned aspect of the principle in question is far moreimportant to us than the other two aspects; for, when looked upon inthis aspect the principle under consideration seems to embody withinitself the great Law of Cosmic Evolution. And therefore the Adwaiteephilosophers have chiefly considered it in this light, and explainedtheir cosmogony from a subjective point of view. In doing so, however,they cannot avoid the necessity of speaking of a universal mind (andthis is Brahma, the Creator) and its ideation. But it ought not to beinferred therefrom that this universal mind necessarily belongs to anOmnipresent living conscious Creator, simply because in ordinaryparlance a mind is always spoken of in connection with a particularliving being. It cannot be contended that a material Uphadi isindispensable for the existence of mind or mental states when theobjective universe itself is, so far as we are concerned, the result ofour states of consciousness. Expressions implying the existence of aconscious Iswar which are to be found here and there in the Upanishadsshould not therefore be literally construed.

It now remains to be seen how Adwaitees account for the origin of mentalstates in a particular individual. Apparently the mind of a particularhuman being is not the universal mind. Nevertheless Cosmic ideation isthe real source of the states of consciousness in every individual.Cosmic ideation exists everywhere; but when placed under restrictionsby a material Upadhi it results as the consciousness of the individualinhering in such Upadhi. Strictly speaking, an Adwaitee will not admitthe objective existence of this material Upadhi. From his standpoint itis Maya or illusion which exists as a necessary condition of Pragna. Butto avoid confusion, I shall use the ordinary language; and to enable myreaders to grasp my meaning clearly the following simile may be adopted.Suppose a bright light is placed in the centre with a curtain around it.The nature of the light that penetrates through the curtain and becomesvisible to a person standing outside depends upon the nature of thecurtain. If several such curtains are thus successively placed aroundthe light, it will have to penetrate through all of them; and a personstanding outside will only perceive as much light as is not interceptedby all the curtains. The central light becomes dimmer and dimmer ascurtain after curtain is placed before the observer; and as curtainafter curtain is removed the light becomes brighter and brighter untilit reaches its natural brilliancy. Similarly, universal mind or Cosmicideation becomes more and more limited and modified by the variousUpadhis of which a human being is composed; and when the action orinfluence of these various Upadhis is successively controlled, the mindof the individual human being is placed en rapport with the universalmind and his ideation is lost in Cosmic ideation.

As I have already said, these Upadhis are strictly speaking theconditions of the gradual development or evolution of Bahipragna—orconsciousness in the present plane of our existence—from the originaland eternal Chinmatra, which is the seventh principle in man, and theParabrahmam of the Adwaitees.

This then is the purport of the Adwaitee philosophy on the subject underconsideration, and it is, in my humble opinion, in harmony with theArhat doctrine relating to the same subject. The latter doctrinepostulates the existence of Cosmic matter in an undifferentiatedcondition throughout the infinite expanse of space. Space and time arebut its aspects, and Purush, the seventh principle of the universe, hasits latent life in this ocean of Cosmic matter. The doctrine inquestion explains Cosmogony from an objective point of view.

When the period of activity arrives, portions of the whole differentiateaccording to the latent law. When this differentiation has commenced,the concealed wisdom or latent Chichakti acts in the universal mind, andCosmic energy or Fohat forms the manifested universe in accordance withthe conceptions generated in the universal mind out of thedifferentiated principles of Cosmic matter. This manifested universeconstitutes a solar system. When the period of Pralaya comes, theprocess of differentiation stops and Cosmic ideation ceases to exist;and at the time of Brahmapralaya or Mahapralaya the particles of matterlose all differentiation, and the matter that exists in the solar systemreturns to its original undifferentiated condition. The latent designexists in the one unborn eternal atom, the centre which existseverywhere and nowhere; and this is the one life that existseverywhere. Now, it will be easily seen that the undifferentiatedCosmic matter, Purush, and the ONE LIFE of the Arhat philosophers, arethe Mulaprakriti, Chidakasam, and Chinmatra of the Adwaiteephilosophers. As regards Cosmogony, the Arhat standpoint is objective,and the Adwaitee standpoint is subjective. The Arhat Cosmogony accountsfor the evolution of the manifested solar system from undifferentiatedCosmic matter, and Adwaitee Cosmogony accounts for the evolution ofBahipragna from the original Chinmatra. As the different conditions ofdifferentiated C osmic matter are but the different aspects of thevarious conditions of Pragna, the Adwaitee Cosmogony is but thecomplement of the Arhat Cosmogony. The eternal principle is preciselythe same in both the systems, and they agree in denying the existence ofan extra-Cosmic God.

The Arhats call themselves Atheists, and they are justified in doing soif theism inculcates the existence of a conscious God governing theuniverse by his will-power. Under such circ*mstance the Adwaitee willcome under the same denomination. Atheism and theism are words ofdoubtful import, and until their meaning is definitely ascertained itwould be better not to use them in connection with any system ofphilosophy.

—T. Subba Row

Prakriti and Parusha

Prakriti may be looked upon either as Maya when considered as the Upadhiof Parabrahmam or as Avidya when considered as the Upadhi of Jivatma(7th principle in man).* Avidya is ignorance or illusion arising fromMaya. The term Maya, though sometimes used as a synonym for Avidya, is,properly speaking, applicable to Prakriti only. There is no differencebetween Prakriti, Maya and Sakti; and the ancient Hindu philosophersmade no distinction whatsoever between Matter and Force. In support ofthese assertions I may refer the learned hermit to "SwetaswataraUpanishad" and its commentary by Sankaracharya. In case we adopt thefourfold division of the Adwaitee philosophers, it will be clearly seenthat Jagrata,* Swapna* and Sushupti Avasthas* are the results of Avidya,and that Vyswanara,* Hiranyagarbha* and Sutratma* are the manifestationsof Parabrahmam in Maya or Prakriti. In drawing a distinction betweenAvidya and Prakriti, I am merely following the authority of all thegreat Adwaitee philosophers of Aryavarta. It will be sufficient for meto refer to the first chapter of the celebrated Vidantic treatise, thePanchadasi.

—————* Upadhi—vehicle.

Jagrata—waking state, or a condition of external perception.

Swapna—dreamy state, or a condition of clairvoyance in the astralplane.

Sushupti—a state of extasis; and Avastas—states or conditions of

Vyswanara—the magnetic fire that pervades the manifested solar system—the root objective aspect of the ONE LIFE.

Hiranyagarbha—the one life as manifested in the plane of astral Light.

Sutratma—the Eternal germ of the manifested universe existing in thefield of Mulaprakriti.————-

In truth, Prakriti and Purusha are but the two aspects of the same ONEREALITY. As our great Sankaracharya truly observes at the close of hiscommentary on the 23rd Sutra of the first chapter of the Brahma sutras,"Parabrahmam is Karta (Purush), as there is no other Adhishtatha,* andParabrahmam is Prakriti, there being no other Upadanam." This sentenceclearly indicates the relation between "the One Life" and "the OneElement" of the Arha-philosophers. This will elucidate the meaning ofthe statement so often quoted by Adwaitees—"Sarvam Khalvitham Brahma"** and also of what is meant by saying that Brahmam is the Upadanakarnam(material cause) of the Universe.

—T Subba Row

————-* Adishtatha—that which inheres in another principle—the active agentworking in Prakriti.

** Everything in the universe is Brahma.————-

Morality and Pantheism

Questions have been raised in several quarters as to the inefficiency of
Pantheism (which term is intended to include Esoteric Buddhism, Adwaitee
Vedantism, and other similar religious systems) to supply a sound basis
of morality.

The philosophical assimilation of meum and teum, it is urged, must ofnecessity be followed by their practical confusion, resulting in thesanction of cruelty, robbery, &c. This line of argument points,however, most unmistakably to the co-existence of the objection with anall but utter ignorance of the systems objected to, in the critic'smind, as we shall show by-and-by. The ultimate sanction of morality, asis well known, is derived from a desire for the attainment of happinessand escape from misery. But schools differ in their estimate ofhappiness. Exoteric religions base their morality on the hope of rewardand fear of punishment at the hands of an Omnipotent Ruler of theUniverse by following the rules he has at his pleasure laid down for theobedience of his helpless subjects; in some cases, however, religionsof later growth have made morality to depend on the sentiment ofgratitude to that Ruler for benefits received. The worthlessness, notto speak of the mischievousness, of such systems of morality is almostself-evident. As a type of morality founded on hope and fear, we shalltake an instance from the Christian Bible: "He that giveth to the poorlendeth to the Lord." The duty of supporting the poor is here made todepend upon prudential motives of laying by for a time when the "giverto the poor" will be incapable of taking care of himself. But theMahabharata says that "He that desireth a return for his good deedsloseth all merit; he is like a merchant bartering his goods." The truesprings of morality lose their elasticity under the pressure of suchcriminal selfishness; all pure and unselfish natures will fly away fromit in disgust.

To avoid such consequences attempts have been made by some recentreformers of religion to establish morality upon the sentiment ofgratitude to the Lord. But it requires no deep consideration to findthat, in their endeavours to shift the basis of morality, thesereformers have rendered morality entirely baseless. A man has to dowhat is represented to be a thing "dear unto the Lord" out of gratitudefor the many blessings He has heaped upon him. But as a matter of facthe finds that the Lord has heaped upon him curses as well as blessings.A helpless orphan is expected to be grateful to him for having removedthe props of his life, his parents, because he is told in consolationthat such a calamity is but apparently an evil, but in reality theAll-Merciful has underneath it hidden the greatest possible good. Withequal reason might a preacher of the Avenging Ahriman exhort men tobelieve that under the apparent blessings of the "Merciful" Father therelurks the serpent of evil.

The modern Utilitarians, though the range of their vision is so narrow,have sterner logic in their teachings. That which tends to a man'shappiness is good, and must be followed, and the contrary shunned asevil. So far so good. But the practical application of the doctrine isfraught with mischief. Cribbed, cabined, and confined, by rankMaterialism, within the short space between birth and death, theUtilitarians' scheme of happiness is merely a deformed torso, whichcannot certainly be considered as the fair goddess of our devotion.

The only scientific basis of morality is to be sought for in thesoul-consoling doctrines of Lord Buddha or Sri Sankaracharya. Thestarting-point of the "pantheistic" (we use the word for want of a betterone) system of morality is a clear perception of the unity of the oneenergy operating in the manifested Cosmos, the grand result which it isincessantly striving to produce, and the affinity of the immortal humanspirit and its latent powers with that energy, and its capacity tocooperate with the one life in achieving its mighty object.

Now knowledge or jnanam is divided into two classes by Adwaiteephilosophers—Paroksha and Aparoksha. The former kind of knowledgeconsists in intellectual assent to a stated proposition, the latter inthe actual realization of it. The object which a Buddhist or AdwaiteeYogi sets before himself is the realization of the oneness of existence,and the practice of morality is the most powerful means to that end, aswe proceed to show. The principal obstacle to the realization of thisoneness is the inborn habit of man of always placing himself at thecentre of the Universe. Whatever a man might act, think, or feel, theirrepressible personality is sure to be the central figure. This, aswill appear on reflection, is that which prevents every individual fromfilling his proper sphere in existence, where he only is exactly inplace and no other individual is. The realization of this harmony isthe practical or objective aspect of the GRAND PROBLEM. And thepractice of morality is the effort to find out this sphere; morality,indeed, is the Ariadne's clue in the Cretan labyrinth in which man isplaced. From the study of the sacred philosophy preached by Lord Buddhaor Sri Sankara, paroksha knowledge (or shall we say belief?), in theunity of existence is derived, but without the practice of morality thatknowledge cannot be converted into the highest kind of knowledge, oraproksha jnanam, and thus lead to the attainment of mukti. It availethnaught to intellectually grasp the notion of your being everything andBrahma, if it is not realized in practical acts of life. To confusemeum and teum in the vulgar sense is but to destroy the harmony ofexistence by a false assertion of "I," and is as foolish as the anxietyto nourish the legs at the expense of the arms. You cannot be one withall, unless all your acts, thoughts, and feelings synchronize with theonward march of Nature. What is meant by the Brahmajnani being beyondthe reach of Karma, can be fully realized only by a man who has foundout his exact position in harmony with the One Life in Nature; that mansees how a Brahmajnani can act only in unison with Nature, and never indiscord with it: to use the phraseology of ancient writers onOccultism, a Brahmajnani is a real "co-worker with Nature." Not onlyEuropean Sanskritists, but also exoteric Yogis, fall into the grievousmistake of supposing that, in the opinion of our sacred writers, a humanbeing can escape the operation of the law of Karma by adopting acondition of masterly inactivity, entirely losing sight of the fact thateven a rigid abstinence from physical acts does not produce inactivityon the higher astral and spiritual planes. Sri Sankara has veryconclusively proved, in his commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita, that sucha supposition is nothing short of a delusion. The great teacher showsthere that forcibly repressing the physical body from working does notfree one from vasana or vritti—the inherent inclination of the mind towork. There is a tendency, in every department of Nature, for an act torepeat itself; the Karma acquired in the last preceding birth is alwaystrying to forge fresh links in the chain, and thereby lead to continuedmaterial existence;—and this tendency can only be counteracted byunselfishly performing all the duties appertaining to the sphere inwhich a person is born; such a course alone can produce chitta suddhi,(purification of the mind), without which the capacity of perceivingspiritual truths can never be acquired.

A few words must here be said about the physical inactivity of the Yogior the Mahatma. Inactivity of the physical body (sthula sarira) doesnot indicate a condition of inactivity either on the astral or thespiritual plane of action. The human spirit is in its highest state ofactivity in samadhi, (highest trance) and not, as is generally supposed,in a dormant, quiescent condition. And, moreover, it will be easilyseen, by any one who examines the nature of occult dynamics, that agiven amount of energy expended on the spiritual or astral plane isproductive of far greater results than the same amount expended on thephysical objective plane of existence. When an Adept has placed himselfen rapport with the universal mind he becomes a real power in Nature.Even on the objective plane of existence the difference between brainand muscular energy, in their capacity of producing widespread andfar-reaching results, can he very easily perceived. The amount ofphysical energy expended by the discoverer of the steam-engine might nothave been more than that expended by a hardworking day-labourer. Butthe practical results of the labourer's work can never be compared withthe results achieved by the discovery of the steam-engine. Similarly,the ultimate effects of spiritual energy are infinitely greater thanthose of intellectual energy.

From the above considerations it is abundantly clear that the initiatorytraining of a true Vedantin Raj Yogi must be the nourishing of asleepless and ardent desire of doing all in his power for the good ofmankind on the ordinary physical plane, his activity being transferred,however, to the higher astral and spiritual planes as his developmentproceeds. In course of time, as the Truth becomes realized, thesituation is rendered quite clear to the Yogi, and he is placed beyondthe criticism of any ordinary man. The Mahanirvan Tantra says:—

Charanti trigunatite ko vidhir ko ishedhava.

"For one, walking beyond the three gunas—Satva (feeling ofgratification), Rajas (passional activity) and Tamas (inertness)—whatinjunction or what restriction is there?"—in the consideration of men,walled in on all sides by the objective plane of existence. This doesnot mean that a Mahatma can or will ever neglect the laws of morality,but that he, having unified his individual nature with Great Natureherself, is constitutionally incapable of violating any one of the lawsof nature, and no man can constitute himself a judge of the conduct ofthe Great one without knowing the laws of all the planes of Nature'sactivity. (As honest men are honest without the least consideration ofthe) criminal law, so a Mahatma is moral without reference to the lawsof morality.

These are, however, sublime topics: we shall before conclusion noticesome other considerations which lead the ordinary "pantheist" to thetrue foundation of morality. Happiness has been defined by John StuartMill as the state of absence of opposition. Manu gives the definitionin more forcible terms:

Sarvam paravasam duhkham
Sarva matmavasam sukham
Idam jnayo samasena
Lakshanam sukhaduhkhayo.

"Every kind of subjugation to another is pain, and subjugation to one'sself is happiness: in brief, this is to be known as the characteristicmarks of the two." Now, it is universally admitted that the wholesystem of Nature is moving in a particular direction, and thisdirection, we are taught, is determined by the composition of twoforces—namely, the one acting from that pole of existence ordinarilycalled "matter" towards the other pole called "spirit," and the other inthe opposite direction. The very fact that Nature is moving shows thatthese two forces are not equal in magnitude. The plane on which theactivity of the first force predominates is called in occult treatisesthe "ascending arc," and the corresponding plane of the activity of theother force is styled the "descending arc." A little reflection willshow that the work of evolution begins on the descending arc and worksits way upwards through the ascending arc. From this it follows thatthe force directed towards spirit is the one which must, though notwithout hard struggle, ultimately prevail. This is the great directingenergy of Nature, and, although disturbed by the operation of theantagonistic force, it is this that gives the law to her; the other ismerely its negative aspect, for convenience regarded as a separateagent. If an individual attempts to move in a direction other than thatin which Nature is moving, that individual is sure to be crushed, sooneror later, by the enormous pressure of the opposing force. We need notsay that such a result would be the very reverse of pleasurable. Theonly way, therefore, in which happiness might be attained is by mergingone's nature in great Mother Nature, and following the direction inwhich she herself is moving: this again can only be accomplished byassimilating men's individual conduct with the triumphant force ofNature, the other force being always overcome with terrificcatastrophes. The effort to assimilate the individual with theuniversal law is popularly known as the practice of morality. Obedienceto this universal law, after ascertaining it, is true religion, whichhas been defined by Lord Buddha "as the realization of the True."

An example will serve to illustrate the position. Can a practicalpantheist, or, in other words, an occultist, utter a falsehood? Now, itwill be readily admitted that life manifests itself by the power ofacquiring sensation, temporary dormancy of that power being suspendedanimation. If a man receives a particular series of sensations andpretends they are other than they really are, the result is that heexercises his will-power in opposition to a law of Nature on which, aswe have shown, life depends, and thereby becomes suicide on a minorscale. Space prevents further discussion, but all the ten deadly sinsmentioned by Manu and Buddha can be satisfactorily dealt with in thelight sought to be focused here.

—Mohini M. Chatterji

Occult Study

The practical bearing of occult teaching on ordinary life is veryvariously interpreted by different students of the subject. For manyWestern readers of recent books on the esoteric doctrine, it even seemsdoubtful whether the teaching has any bearing on practical life at all.The proposal which it is supposed sometimes to convey, that all earnestinquirers should put themselves under the severe ascetic regimenfollowed by its regular Oriental disciples, is felt to embody a strainon the habits of modern civilization which only a few enthusiasts willbe prepared to encounter. The mere intellectual charm of an intricatephilosophy may indeed be enough to recommend the study to some minds,but a scheme of teaching that offers itself as a substitute forreligious faith of the usual kind will be expected to yield sometangible results in regard to the future spiritual well-being of thosewho adopt it. Has occult philosophy nothing to give except to those whoare in a position and willing to make a sacrifice in its behalf of allother objects in life? In that case it would indeed be useless to bringit out into the world. In reality the esoteric doctrine affords analmost infinite variety of opportunities for spiritual development, andno greater mistake could be made in connection with the present movementthan to suppose the teaching of the Adepts merely addressed to personscapable of heroic self-devotion. Assuredly it does not discourageefforts in the direction of the highest achievement of occult progress,if any Western occultists may feel disposed to make them; but it isimportant for us all to keep clearly in view the lower range ofpossibilities connected with humbler aspirations.

I believe it to be absolutely true that even the slightest attentionseriously paid to the instructions now emanating from the Indian Adeptswill generate results within the spiritual principles of those whor*nder it—causes capable of producing appreciable consequences in afuture state of existence. Any one who has sufficiently examined thedoctrine of Devachan will readily follow the idea, for the nature of thespiritual existence which in the ordinary course of things must succeedeach physical life, provides for the very considerable expansion of anyaspirations towards real knowledge that may be set going on earth. Iwill recur to this point directly, when I have made clearer the generaldrift of the argument I am trying to unfold. At the one end of the scaleof possibilities connected with occult study lies the supremedevelopment of Adeptship; an achievement which means that the personreaching it has so violently stimulated his spiritual growth within ashort period, as to have anticipated processes on which Nature, in herown deliberate way, would have spent a great procession of ages. At theother end of the scale lies the small result to which I have justalluded—a result which may rather be said to establish a tendency inthe direction of spiritual achievement than to embody such achievement.But between these two widely different results there is no hard and fastline that can be drawn at any place to make a distinct separation in thecharacter of the consequences ensuing from devotion to occult pursuits.As the darkness of blackest night gives way by imperceptible degrees tothe illumination of the brightest sunrise, so the spiritual consequencesof emerging from the apathy either of pure materialism or of dullacquiescence in unreasonable dogmas, brighten by imperceptible degreesfrom the faintest traces of Devachanic improvement into the full blazeof the highest perfection human nature can attain. Without assumingthat the course of Nature which prescribes for each human Ego successivephysical lives and successive periods of spiritual refreshment—withoutsupposing that this course is altered by such moderate devotion tooccult study as is compatible with the ordinary conditions of Europeanlife, it will nevertheless be seen how vast the consequences mayultimately be of impressing on that career of evolution a distincttendency in the direction of supreme enlightenment, of that result whichis described as the union of the individual soul with universal spirit.

The explanations of the esoteric doctrine which have been publiclygiven, have shown that humanity in the mass has now attained a stage inthe great evolutionary cycle from which it has the opportunity ofgrowing upward towards final perfection. In the mass it is, of course,unlikely that it will travel that road: final perfection is not a giftto be bestowed upon all, but to be worked for by those who desire it.It may be put within the theoretical reach of all; there may be nohuman creature living at this moment, of whom it can be said that thehighest possibilities of Nature are impossible of attainment, but itdoes not follow by any means that every individual will attain thehighest possibilities. Regarding each individual as one of the seeds ofa great flower which throws out thousands of seeds, it is manifest thatonly a few, relatively to the great number, will become fully developedflowers in their turn. No unjust neglect awaits the majority. For eachand every one the consequences of the remote future will be preciselyproportioned to the aptitudes he develops, but only those can reach thegoal who, with persistent effort carried out through a long series oflives, differentiate themselves in a marked degree from the generalmultitude. Now, that persistent effort must have a beginning, andgranted the beginning, the persistence is not improbable. Within ourown observation of ordinary life, good habits, even though they may notbe so readily formed as bad ones, are not difficult to maintain inproportion to the difficulty of their commencement. For a moment it maybe asked how this may be applied to a succession of lives separate fromeach other by a total oblivion of their details; but it really appliesas directly to the succession of lives as to the succession of dayswithin one life, which are separated from each other by as many nights.The certain operation of those affinities in the individual Ego whichare collectively described in the esoteric doctrine by the word Karma,must operate to pick up the old habits of character and thought, as lifeafter life comes round, with the same certainty that the thread ofmemory in a living brain recovers, day after day, the impressions ofthose that have gone before. Whether a moral habit is thus deliberatelyengendered by an occult student in order that it may propagate itselfthrough future ages, or whether it merely arises from unintelligentaspirations towards good, which happily for mankind are more widelyspread than occult study as yet, the way it works in each case is thesame. The unintelligent aspiration towards goodness propagates itselfand leads to good lives in the future; the intelligent aspirationpropagates itself in the same way plus the propagation of intelligence;and this distinction shows the gulf of difference which may existbetween the growth of a human soul which merely drifts along the streamof time, and that of one which is consciously steered by an intelligentpurpose throughout. The human Ego which acquires the habit of seekingfor knowledge becomes invested, life after life, with the qualificationswhich ensure the success of such a search, until the final success,achieved at some critical period of its existence, carries it right upinto the company of those perfected Egos which are the fully developedflowers only expected, according to our first metaphor, from a few ofthe thousand seeds. Now, it is clear that a slight impulse in a givendirection, even on the physical plane does not produce the same effectas a stronger one; so, exactly in this matter of engendering habitsrequired to persist in their operation through a succession of lives, itis quite obvious that the strong impulse of a very ardent aspirationtowards knowledge will be more likely than a weaker one to triumph overthe so called accidents of Nature.

This consideration brings us to the question of those habits in lifewhich are more immediately associated in the popular views of the matterwith the pursuit of occult science. It will be quite plain that thegeneration within his own nature by an occult student of affinities inthe direction of spiritual progress, is a matter which has little ifanything to do with the outer circ*mstances of his daily life. Itcannot be dissociated from what may be called the outer circ*mstances ofhis moral life, for an occult student, whose moral nature is consciouslyignoble, and who combines the pursuit of knowledge with the practice ofwrong, becomes by that condition of things a student of sorcery ratherthan of true occultism—a candidate for satanic evolution instead ofperfection. But at the same time the physical habits of life may bequite the reverse of ascetic, while all the while the thinking processesof the intellectual life are developing affinities which cannot fail inthe results just seen to produce large ulterior consequences. Somemisconception is very apt to arise here from the way in which frequentreference is made to the ascetic habits of those who purpose to becomethe regular chelas of Oriental Adepts. It is supposed that what ispracticed by the Master is necessarily recommended for all his pupils.Now this is far from being the case as regards the miscellaneous pupilswho are gathering round the occult teachers lately become known topublic report. Certainly even in reference to their miscellaneous pupilsthe Adepts would not discountenance asceticism. As we saw just now,there is no hard line drawn across the scale on which are defined thevarying consequences of occult study in all its varying degrees ofintensity—so with ascetic practice, from the slightest habits ofself-denial, which may engender a preference for spiritual over materialgratification, up to the very largest developments of asceticismrequired as a passport to chelaship, no such practices can be quitewithout their consequences in the all-embracing records of Karma. But,broadly speaking, asceticism belongs to that species of effort whichaims at personal chelaship, and that which contemplates the patientdevelopment of spiritual growth along the slow track of naturalevolution claims no more, broadly speaking, than intellectualapplication. All that is asserted in regard to the opening now offeredto those who have taken notice of the present opportunity, is, that theymay now give their own evolution an impulse which they may not againhave an opportunity of giving it with the same advantage to themselvesif the present opportunity is thrown aside. True, it is most unlikelythat any one advancing through Nature, life after life, under thedirection of a fairly creditable Karma, will go on always withoutmeeting sooner or later with the ideas that occult study implants. Sothat the occultist does not threaten those who turn aside from histeachings with any consequences that must necessarily be disastrous.

He only says that those who listen to them must necessarily deriveadvantage from so doing in exact proportion to the zeal with which theyundertake the study and the purity of motive with which they promote itin others.

Nor must it be supposed that those which have here been described as thelower range of possibilities in connection with occult study, are a merefringe upon the higher possibilities, to be regarded as a relativelypoor compensation accorded to those who do not feel equal to offeringthemselves for probation as regular chelas. It would be a gravemisconception of the purpose with which the present stream of occultteaching has been poured into the world, if we were to think it auniversal incitement to that course of action. It may be hazardous forany of us who are not initiates to speak with entire confidence of theintention of the Adepts, but all the external facts concerned with thegrowth and development of the Theosophical Society, show its purpose tobe more directly related to the cultivation of spiritual aspirationsover a wide area, than to the excitement of these with supreme intensityin individuals. There are considerations, indeed, which may almost besaid to debar the Adepts from ever doing anything to encourage personsin whom this supreme intensity of excitement is possible, to take thevery serious step of offering themselves as chelas. Directly that bydoing this a man renders himself a candidate for something more than themaximum advantages that can flow to him through the operation of naturallaws—directly that in this way he claims to anticipate the mostfavourable course of Nature and to approach high perfection by violentand artificial processes, he at once puts himself in presence of manydangers which would never beset him if he contented himself with afavourable natural growth. It appears to be always a matter of graveconsideration with the Adepts whether they will take the responsibilityof encouraging any person who may not have it in him to succeed, toexpose himself to these dangers. For any one who is determined to facethem and is permitted to do so, the considerations put forward above inregard to the optional character of personal physical training fall tothe ground. Those ascetic practices which a candidate for nothing morethan the best natural evolution may undertake if he chooses, with theview of emphasizing his spiritual Karma to the utmost, become a sine quanon in regard to the very first step of his progress. But with suchprogress the present explanation is not specially concerned. Itspurpose has been to show the beneficial effects which may flow toordinary people living ordinary lives, from even that moderate devotionto occult philosophy which is compatible with such ordinary lives, andto guard against the very erroneous belief that occult science is apursuit in which it is not worth while to engage, unless Adeptship isheld out to the student as its ultimate result.

—Lay Chela

Some Inquiries Suggested by Mr. Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism"

The object of the following paper is to submit certain questions whichhave occurred to some English readers of "Esoteric Buddhism." We havehad the great advantage of hearing Mr. Sinnett himself explain manypoints which perplexed us; and it is with his sanction that we nowventure to ask that such light as is permissible may be thrown upon somedifficulties which, so far as we can discover, remain as yet unsolved.We have refrained from asking questions on subjects on which weunderstand that the Adepts forbid inquiry, and we respectfully hopethat, as we approach the subject with a genuine wish to arrive at allthe truth possible to us, our perplexities may be thought worthy of anauthorized solution.

We begin, then, with some obvious scientific difficulties.

1. Is the Nebular Theory, as generally held, denied by the Adepts? Itseems hard to conceive of the alternate evolution from the sun's centralmass of planets, some of them visible and heavy, others invisible,—andapparently without weight, as they have no influence on the movements ofthe visible planets.

2. And, further, the time necessary for the manvantara even of oneplanetary chain, much more of all seven, seems largely to exceed theprobable time during which the sun can retain heat, if it is merely acooling mass, which derives no important accession of heat from without.Is some other view as regards the maintenance of the sun's heat held bythe Adepts?

3. The different races which succeed each other on the earth are saidto be separated by catastrophes, among which continental subsidencesoccupy a prominent place. Is it meant that these subsidences are sosudden and unforeseen as to sweep away great nations in an hour? Or, ifnot, how is it that no appreciable trace is left of such highcivilizations as are described in the past? Is it supposed that ourpresent European civilization, with its offshoots all over the globe,can be destroyed by any inundation or conflagration which leaves lifestill existing on the earth? Are our existing arts and languages doomedto perish? or was it only the earlier races who were thus profoundlydisjoined from one another?

4. The moon is said to be the scene of a life even more immersed inmatter than the life on earth. Are there then material organizationsliving there? If so, how do they dispense with air and water, and howis it that our telescopes discern no trace of their works? We shouldmuch like a fuller account of the Adepts' view of the moon, as so muchis already known of her material conditions that further knowledge couldbe more easily adjusted than in the case (for instance) of planetswholly invisible.

5. Is the expression "a mineral monad" authorized by the Adepts? If so,what relation does the monad bear to the atom, or the molecule, ofordinary scientific hypothesis? And does each mineral monad eventuallybecome a vegetable monad, and then at last a human being? Turning nowto some historical difficulties, we would ask as follows:—

6. Is there not some confusion in the letter quoted on p. 62 of"Esoteric Buddhism," where "the old Greeks and Romans" are said to havebeen Atlanteans? The Greeks and Romans were surely Aryans, like theAdepts and ourselves: their language being, as one may say,intermediate between Sanscrit and modern European dialects.

7. Buddha's birth is placed (on p. 141) in the year 643 B.C.. Is thisdate given by the Adepts as undoubtedly correct? Have they any view asto the new inscriptions of Asoka (as given by General A. Cunningham,"Corpus Inscriptionum Indicanum," vol. I. pp. 20-23), on the strength ofwhich Buddha's Nirvana is placed by Barth ("Religions of India," p.106), &c., about 476 B.C., and his birth therefore at about 556 B.C.?It would be exceedingly interesting if the Adepts would give a sketchhowever brief of the history of India in those centuries with authenticdates.

8. Sankaracharya's date is variously given by Orientalists, but alwaysafter Christ. Barth, for instance, places him about 788 A.D. In"Esoteric Buddhism" he is made to succeed Buddha almost immediately (p.149). Can this discrepancy be explained? Has not Sankaracharya beenusually classed as Vishnuite in his teaching? And similarly has notGaudapada been accounted a Sivite? and placed much later than "EsotericBuddhism" (p.147) places him? We would willingly pursue this line ofinquiry, but think it best to wait and see to what extent the Adepts maybe willing to clear up some of the problems in Indian religious historyon which, as it would seem, they must surely possess knowledge whichmight be communicated to lay students without indiscretion.

We pass on to some points beyond the ordinary range of science orhistory on which we should be very glad to hear more, if possible.

9. We should like to understand more clearly the nature of thesubjective intercourse with beloved souls enjoyed in Devachan. Say, forinstance, that I die and leave on earth some young children. Are thesechildren present to my consciousness in Devachan still as children? DoI imagine that they have died when I died? or do I merely imagine themas adult without knowing their life-history? or do I miss them fromDevachan until they do actually die, and then hear from them theirlife-history as it has proceeded between my death and theirs?

10. We do not quite understand the amount of reminiscence attained atvarious points in the soul's progress. Do the Adepts, who, we presume,are equivalent to sixth rounders, recollect their previous incarnations?Do all souls which live on into the sixth round attain this power ofremembrance? or does the Devachan, at the end of each round bring arecollection of all the Devachans, or of all the incarnations, whichhave formed a part of that particular round? And does reminiscencecarry with it the power of so arranging future incarnations as still toremain in company with some chosen soul or group of souls?

We have many more questions to ask, but we scruple to intrude further.And I will conclude here by repeating the remark with which we are mostoften met when we speak of the Adepts to English friends. We find thatour friends do not often ask for so-called miracles or marvels to provethe genuineness of the Adepts' powers. But they ask why the Adepts willnot give some proof—not necessarily that they are far beyond us, butthat their knowledge does at least equal our own in the familiar anddefinite tracks which Western science has worn for itself. A fewpregnant remarks on Chemistry,—the announcement of a new electricallaw, capable of experimental verification—some such communication asthis (our interlocutors say), would arrest attention, command respect,and give a weight and prestige to the higher teaching which, so long asit remains in a region wholly unverifiable, it can scarcely acquire.

We gratefully recognize the very acceptable choice which the Adepts havemade in selecting Mr. Sinnett as the intermediary between us and them.They could hardly have chosen any one more congenial to our Westernminds:—whether we consider the clearness of his written style, theurbanity of his verbal expositions, or the earnest sincerity of hisconvictions. Since they have thus far met our peculiar needs with suchconsiderate judgment, we cannot but hope that they may find themselvesable yet further to adapt their modes of teaching to the requirements ofOccidental thought.

—An English F.T.S.
London, July 1883.

Reply to an English F.T.S


It was not in contemplation, at the outset of the work begun inFragments, to deal as fully with the scientific problems of cosmicevolution as now seems expected. A distinct promise was made, as Mr.Sinnett is well aware, to acquaint the readers with the outlines ofEsoteric doctrines and—no more. A good deal would be given, much morekept back.

This seeming unwillingness to share with the world some of Nature'ssecrets that may have come into the possession of the few, arises fromcauses quite different from the one generally assigned. It is notSELFISHNESS erecting a Chinese wall between occult science and those whowould know more of it, without making any distinction between the simplycurious profane, and the earnest, ardent seeker after truth. Wrong andunjust are those who think so; who attribute to indifference for otherpeople's welfare a policy necessitated, on the contrary, by a far-seeinguniversal philanthropy; who accuse the custodians of lofty physical andspiritual though long rejected truths, of holding them high above thepeople's heads. In truth, the inability to reach them lies entirelywith the seekers. Indeed, the chief reason among many others for such areticence, at any rate, with regard to secrets pertaining to physicalsciences—is to be sought elsewhere.* It rests entirely on theimpossibility of imparting that the nature of which is at the presentstage of the world's development, beyond the comprehension of thewould-be learners, however intellectual and however scientificallytrained may be the latter. This tremendous difficulty is now explainedto the few, who, besides having read "Esoteric Buddhism," have studiedand understood the several occult axioms approached in it. It is safeto say that it will not be even vaguely realized by the general reader,but will offer the pretext for sheer abuse. Nay, it has already.

———-* Needless to remind AN ENGLISH F.T.S. that what is said here, appliesonly to secrets the nature of which when revealed will not be turnedinto a weapon against humanity in general, or its units—men. Secretsof such class could not be given to any one but a regular chela of manyyears' standing and during his successive initiations; mankind as awhole has first to come of age, to reach its majority, which will happenbut toward the beginning of its sixth race—before such mysteries can besafely revealed to it. The vril is not altogether a fiction, as somechelas and even "lay" chelas know.————-

It is simply that the gradual development of man's seven principles andphysical senses has to be coincident and on parallel lines with Roundsand Root-races. Our fifth race has so far developed but its fivesenses. Now, if the Kama or Will-principle of the "Fourth-rounders" hasalready reached that stage of its evolution when the automatic acts, theunmotivated instincts and impulses of its childhood and youth, insteadof following external stimuli, will have become acts of will framedconstantly in conjunction with the mind (Manas), thus making of everyman on earth of that race a free agent, a fully responsible being—theKama of our hardly adult fifth race is only slowly approaching it. Asto the sixth sense of this, our race, it has hardly sprouted above thesoil of its materiality. It is highly unreasonable, therefore, toexpect for the men of the fifth to sense the nature and essence of thatwhich will be fully sensed and perceived but by the sixth—let alone theseventh race—i.e., to enjoy the legitimate outgrowth of the evolutionand endowments of the future races with only the help of our presentlimited senses. The exceptions to this quasi-universal rule have beenhitherto found only in some rare cases of constitutional, abnormallyprecocious individual evolutions; or, in such, where by early trainingand special methods, reaching the stage of the fifth rounders, some menin addition to the natural gift of the latter have fully developed (bycertain occult methods) their sixth, and in still rarer cases theirseventh, sense. As an instance of the former class may be cited theSeeress of Prevorst; a creature born out of time, a rare precociousgrowth, ill adapted to the uncongenial atmosphere that surrounded her,hence a martyr ever ailing and sickly. As an example of the other, theCount St. Germain may be mentioned. Apace with the anthropological andphysiological development of man runs his spiritual evolution. To thelatter, purely intellectual growth is often more an impediment than ahelp. An instance: radiant stuff—"the fourth state of matter"—hasbeen hardly discovered, and no one—the eminent discoverer himself notexcepted—has yet any idea of its full importance, its possibilities,its connection with physical phenomena, or even its bearing upon themost puzzling scientific problems. How then can any "Adept" attempt toprove the fallacy of much that is predicated in the nebular and solartheories when the only means by which he could successfully prove hisposition is an appeal to, and the exhibition of, that sixth sense—consciousness which the physicist cannot postulate? Is not this plain?

Thus, the obstacle is not that the "Adepts" would "forbid inquiry," butrather the personal, present limitations of the senses of the average,and even of the scientific man. To undertake the explanation of thatwhich at the outset would be rejected as a physical impossibility, theoutcome of hallucination, is unwise and even harmful, because premature.It is in consequence of such difficulties that the psychic production ofphysical phenomena—save in exceptional cases—is strictly forbidden.

And now, "Adepts" are asked to meddle with astronomy—a science which,of all the branches of human knowledge has yielded the most accurateinformation, afforded the most mathematically correct data, and of theachievements in which the men of science feel the most justly proud! Itis true that on the whole astronomy has achieved triumphs more brilliantthan those of most other sciences. But if it has done much in thedirection of satisfying man's straining and thirsting mind and hisnoble aspirations for knowledge, physical as to its most importantparticulars, it has ever laughed at man's puny efforts to wrest thegreat secrets of Infinitude by the help of only mechanical apparatus.While the spectroscope has shown the probable similarity of terrestrialand sidereal substance, the chemical actions peculiar to the variouslyprogressed orbs of space have not been detected, nor proven to beidentical with those observed on our own planet. In this particular,Esoteric Psychology may be useful. But who of the men of science wouldconsent to confront it with their own handiwork? Who of them wouldrecognise the superiority and greater trustworthiness of the Adept'sknowledge over their own hypotheses, since in their case they can claimthe mathematical correctness of their deductive reasonings based on thealleged unerring precision of the modern instruments; while the Adeptscan claim but their knowledge of the ultimate nature of the materialsthey have worked with for ages, resulting in the phenomena produced.However much it may he urged that a deductive argument, besides being anincomplete syllogistic form, may often be in conflict with fact; thattheir major propositions may not always be correct, although thepredicates of their conclusions seem correctly drawn—spectrum analysiswill not be acknowledged as inferior to purely spiritual research. Nor,before developing his sixth sense, will the man of science concede theerror of his theories as to the solar spectrum, unless he abjure, tosome degree at least, his marked weakness for conditional anddisjunctive syllogisms ending in eternal dilemmas. At present the"Adepts" do not see any help for it. Were these invisible and unknownprofanes to interfere with—not to say openly contradict—the dicta ofthe Royal Society, contempt and ridicule, followed by charges of crassignorance of the first elementary principles of modern science would betheir only reward; while those who would lend an ear to their"vagaries," would be characterized immediately as types of the "mildlunatics" of the age. Unless, indeed, the whole of that August bodyshould be initiated into the great Mysteries at once, and without anyfurther ado or the preliminary and usual preparations or training, theF.R.S.'s could be miraculously endowed with the required sixth sense,the Adepts fear the task would be profitless. The latter have givenquite enough, little though it may seem, for the purposes of a firsttrial. The sequence of martyrs to the great universal truths has neverbeen once broken; and the long list of known and unknown sufferers,headed with the name of Galileo, now closes with that of Zollner. Is theworld of science aware of the real cause of Zollner's premature death?When the fourth dimension of space becomes a scientific reality like thefourth state of matter, he may have a statue raised to him by gratefulposterity. But this will neither recall him to life, nor will itobliterate the days and months of mental agony that harassed the soul ofthis intuitional, far-seeing, modest genius, made even after his deathto receive the donkey's kick of misrepresentation and to be publiclycharged with lunacy.

Hitherto, astronomy could grope between light and darkness only with thehelp of the uncertain guidance offered it by analogy. It has reduced tofact and mathematical precision the physical motion and the paths of theheavenly bodies, and—no more. So far, it has been unable to discoverwith any approach to certainty the physical constitution of either sun,stars, or even cometary matter. Of the latter, it seems to know no morethan was taught 5,000 years ago by the official astronomers of oldChaldea and Egypt—namely, that it is vaporous, since it transmits therays of stars and planets without any sensible obstruction. But let themodern chemist be asked to tell one whether this matter is in any wayconnected with, or akin to, that of any of the gases he is acquaintedwith; or again, to any of the solid elements of his chemistry. Theprobable answer received will be very little calculated to solve theworld's perplexity; since, all hypotheses to the contrarynotwithstanding, cometary matter does not appear to possess even thecommon law of adhesion or of chemical affinity. The reason for it isvery simple. And the truth ought long ago to have dawned upon theexperimentalists, since our little world (though so repeatedly visitedby the hairy and bearded travelers, enveloped in the evanescent veil oftheir tails, and otherwise brought in contact with that matter) hasneither been smothered by an addition of nitrogen gas, nor deluged by anexcess of hydrogen, nor yet perceptibly affected by a surplus of oxygen.The essence of cometary matter must be—and the "Adepts" say is—totallydifferent from any of the chemical or physical characteristics withwhich the greatest chemists and physicists of the earth are familiar—all recent hypotheses to the contrary notwithstanding. It is to befeared that before the real nature of the elder progeny of Mula Prakritiis detected, Mr. Crookes will have to discover matter of the fifth orextra radiant state; et seq.

Thus, while the astronomer has achieved marvels in the elucidation ofthe visible relations of the orbs of space, he has learnt nothing oftheir inner constitution. His science has led him no farther towards areading of that inner mystery than has that of the geologist, who cantell us only of the earth's superficial layers, and that of thephysiologist, who has until now been able to deal only with man's outershell, or Sthula Sarira. Occultists have asserted, and go on assertingdaily, the fallacy of judging the essence by its outward manifestations,the ultimate nature of the life-principle by the circulation of theblood, mind by the gray matter of the brain, and the physicalconstitution of sun, stars and comets by our terrestrial chemistry andthe matter of our own planet. Verily and indeed, no microscopes,spectroscopes, telescopes, photometers, or other physical apparatusescan ever be focused on either the macro-or micro-cosmical highestprinciples, nor will the mayavirupa of either yield its mystery tophysical inquiry. The methods of spiritual research and psychologicalobservation are the only efficient agencies to employ. We have toproceed by analogy in everything to be sure. Yet the candid men ofscience must very soon find out that it is not sufficient to examine afew stars—a handful of sand, as it were, from the margin of theshoreless, cosmic ocean—to conclude that these stars are the same asall other stars—our earth included; that, because they have attained acertain very great telescopic power, and gauged an area enclosed in thesmallest of spaces when compared with what remains, they have,therefore, concurrently perfected the survey of all that exists withineven that limited space. For, in truth, they have done nothing of thekind. They have had only a superficial glance at that which is madevisible to them under the present conditions, with the limited power oftheir vision. And even though it were helped by telescopes of ahundred-fold stronger power than that of Lord Rosse, or the new LickObservatory, the case would not alter. No physical instrument will everhelp astronomy to scan distances of the immensity of which that ofSirius, situated at the trifle of 130,125,000,000,000 miles away fromthe outer boundary of the spherical area, or even that of (a) Capella,with its extra trifle of 295,355,000,000,000* miles still farther away,can give them, as they themselves are well aware, the faintest idea.For, though an Adept is unable to cross bodily (i.e., in his astralshape) the limits of the solar system, yet he knows that, farstretching beyond the telescopic power of detection, there are systemsupon systems, the smallest of which would, when compared with the systemof Sirius, make the latter seem like an atom of dust imbedded in thegreat Shamo desert. The eye of the astronomer, who thinks he also knowsof the existence of such systems, has never rested upon them, has nevercaught of them, even that spectral glimpse, fanciful and hazy as theincoherent vision in a slumbering mind that he has occasionally had ofother systems, and yet he verily believes he has gauged INFINITUDE! Andyet these immeasurably distant worlds are brought as clear and near tothe spiritual eye of the astral astronomer as a neighbouring bed ofdaisies may be to the eye of the botanist.

* The figures are given from the mathematical calculations of exoteric
Western astronomy. Esoteric astronomy may prove them false some day.

Thus, the "Adepts" of the present generation, though unable to help theprofane astronomer by explaining the ultimate essence, or even thematerial constitution, of star and planet, since European science,knowing nothing as yet of the existence of such substances, or moreproperly of their various states or conditions, has neither proper termsfor, nor can form any adequate idea of them by any description, theymay, perchance, be able to prove what this matter is not—and this ismore than sufficient for all present purposes. The next best thing tolearning what is true is to ascertain what is not true.

Having thus anticipated a few general objections, and traced a limit toexpectations, since there is no need of drawing any veil of mysterybefore "An English F.T.S.," his few questions may be partially answered.The negative character of the replies draws a sufficiently strong lineof demarcation between the views of the Adepts and those of Westernscience to afford some useful hints at least.

Question 1.—Do the Adepts deny the Nebular Theory?

Answer:—No; they do not deny its general propositions, nor theapproximative truths of the scientific hypotheses. They only deny thecompleteness of the present, as well as the entire error of the manyso-called "exploded" old theories, which, during the last century, havefollowed each other in such rapid succession. For instance: whiledenying, with Laplace, Herschel and others, that the variable patches oflight perceived on the nebulous background of the galaxy ever belongedto remote worlds in the process of formation; and agreeing with modernscience that they proceed from no aggregation of formless matter, butbelong simply to clusters of "stars" already formed; they yet add thatmany of such clusters, that pass in the opinion of the astro-physicistsfor stars and worlds already evoluted, are in fact but collections ofthe various materials made ready for future worlds. Like bricks alreadybaked, of various qualities, shapes and colour, that are no longerformless clay but have become fit units of a future wall, each of themhaving a fixed and distinctly assigned space to occupy in someforthcoming building, are these seemingly adult worlds. The astronomerhas no means of recognizing their relative adolescence, except perhapsby making a distinction between the star clusters with the usual orbitalmotion and mutual gravitation, and those termed, we believe, irregularstar-clusters of very capricious and changeful appearances. Throwntogether as though at random, and seemingly in utter violation of thelaw of symmetry, they defy observation: such, for instance, are 5 M.Lyrae, 5 2 M. Cephei, Dumb-Bell, and some others. Before an emphaticcontradiction of what precedes is attempted, and ridicule offeredperchance, it would not be amiss to ascertain the nature and characterof those other so-called "temporary" stars, whose periodicity, thoughnever actually proven, is yet allowed to pass unquestioned. What arethese stars which, appearing suddenly in matchless magnificence andsplendour, disappear as mysteriously as unexpectedly, without leaving asingle trace behind? Whence do they appear? Whither are they engulfed?In the great cosmic deep—we say. The bright "brick" is caught by thehand of the mason—directed by that Universal Architect which destroysbut to rebuild. It has found its place in the cosmic structure and willperform its mission to its last Manvantaric hour.

Another point most emphatically denied by the "Adepts" is, that thereexist in the whole range of visible heavens any spaces void of starryworlds. There are stars, worlds and systems within as without thesystems made visible to man, and even within our own atmosphere, for allthe physicist knows. The "Adept" affirms in this connection thatorthodox, or so-called official science, uses very often the word"infinitude" without attaching to it any adequate importance; rather asa flower of speech than a term implying an awful, a most mysteriousReality. When an astronomer is found in his Reports "gauginginfinitude," even the most intuitional of his class is but too often aptto forget that he is gauging only the superficies of a small area andits visible depths, and to speak of these as though they were merely thecubic contents of some known quantity. This is the direct result of thepresent conception of a three-dimensional space. The turn of afour-dimensional world is near, but the puzzle of science will evercontinue until their concepts reach the natural dimensions of visibleand invisible space—in its septenary completeness. "The Infinite andthe Absolute are only the names for two counter-imbecilities of thehuman (uninitiated) mind;" and to regard them as the transmuted"properties of the nature of things—of two subjective negativesconverted into objective affirmatives," as Sir W. Hamilton puts it, isto know nothing of the infinite operations of human liberated spirit, orof its attributes, the first of which is its ability to pass beyond theregion of our terrestrial experience of matter and space. As anabsolute vacuum is an impossibility below, so is it a like impossibilityabove. But our molecules, the infinitesimals of the vacuum "below," arereplaced by the giant-atom of the Infinitude "above." Whendemonstrated, the four-dimensional conception of space may lead to theinvention of new instruments to explore the extremely dense matter thatsurrounds us as a ball of pitch might surround—say, a fly, but which,in our extreme ignorance of all its properties save those we find itexercising on our earth, we yet call the clear, the serene, and thetransparent atmosphere. This is no psychology, but simply occultphysics, which can never confound "substance" with "centres of Force,"to use the terminology of a Western science which is ignorant of Maya.In less than a century, besides telescopes, microscopes, micrographs andtelephones, the Royal Society will have to offer a premium for such anetheroscope.

It is also necessary in connection with the question under reply that"An English F.T.S." should know that the "Adepts" of the Good Law rejectgravity as at present explained. They deny that the so-called "impacttheory" is the only one that is tenable in the gravitation hypothesis.They say, that if all efforts made by the physicists to connect it withether, in order to explain electric and magnetic distance-action havehitherto proved complete failures, it is again due to the race ignoranceof the ultimate states of matter in Nature, and, foremost of all, of thereal nature of the solar stuff. Believing but in the law of mutualmagneto-electric attraction and repulsion, they agree with those whohave come to the conclusion that "Universal gravitation is a weakforce," utterly incapable of accounting for even one small portion ofthe phenomena of motion. In the same connection they are forced tosuggest that science may he wrong in her indiscriminate postulation ofcentrifugal force, which is neither a universal nor a consistent law.To cite but one instance this force is powerless to account for thespheroidal oblateness of certain planets. For if the bulge of planetaryequators and the shortening of their polar axes is to be attributed tocentrifugal force, instead of being simply the result of the powerfulinfluence of solar electro-magnetic attraction, "balanced by concentricrectification of each planet's own gravitation achieved by rotation onits axis," to use an astronomer's phraseology (neither very clear norcorrect, yet serving our purpose to show the many flaws in the system),why should there be such difficulty in answering the objection that thedifferences in the equatorial rotation and density of various planetsare directly in opposition to this theory? How long shall we see evengreat mathematicians bolstering up fallacies to supply an evidenthiatus! The "Adepts" have never claimed superior or any knowledge ofWestern astronomy and other sciences. Yet turning even to the mostelementary textbooks used in the schools of India, they find that thecentrifugal theory of Western birth is unable to cover all the ground.That, unaided, it can neither account for every spheroid oblate, norexplain away such evident difficulties as are presented by the relativedensity of some planets. How indeed can any calculation of centrifugalforce explain to us, for instance, why Mercury, whose rotation is, weare told, only "about one-third that of the Earth, and its density onlyabout one-fourth greater than the Earth," should have a polarcompression more than ten times greater than the latter? And again, whyJupiter, whose equatorial rotation is said to be "twenty-seven timesgreater, and its density only about one-fifth that of the Earth," shouldhave its polar compression seventeen times greater than that of theEarth? Or, why Saturn, with an equatorial velocity fifty-five timesgreater than Mercury for centrifugal force to contend with, should haveits polar compression only three times greater than Mercury's? To crownthe above contradictions, we are asked to believe in the Central Forcesas taught by modern science, even when told that the equatorial matterof the sun, with more than four times the centrifugal velocity of theearth's equatorial surface and only about one-fourth part of thegravitation of the equatorial matter, has not manifested any tendency tobulge out at the solar equator, nor shown the least flattening at thepoles of the solar axis. In other and clearer words, the sun, with onlyone-fourth of our earth's density for the centrifugal force to workupon, has no polar compression at all! We find this objection made bymore than one astronomer, yet never explained away satisfactorily so faras the "Adepts" are aware.

Therefore do they say that the great men of science of the West, knowingnothing or next to nothing either about cometary matter, centrifugal andcentripetal forces, the nature of the nebulae, or the physicalconstitution of the sun, stars, or even the moon, are imprudent to speakso confidently as they do about the "central mass of the sun" whirlingout into space planets, comets, and whatnot. Our humble opinion beingwanted, we maintain: that it evolutes out, but the life principle, thesoul of these bodies, giving and receiving it back in our little solarsystem, as the "Universal Life-giver," the ONE LIFE gives and receivesit in the Infinitude and Eternity; that the Solar System is as much theMicrocosm of the One Macrocosm, as man is the former when compared withhis own little solar cosmos.

What are the proofs of science? The solar spots (a misnomer, like muchof the rest)? But these do not prove the solidity of the "centralmass," any more than the storm-clouds prove the solid mass of theatmosphere behind them. Is it the non-coextensiveness of the sun'sbody with its apparent luminous dimensions, the said "body" appearing"a solid mass, a dark sphere of matter confined within a fieryprison-house, a robe of fiercest flames?" We say that there is indeed a"prisoner" behind, but that having never yet been seen by any physical,mortal eye, what he allows to be seen of him is merely a giganticreflection, an illusive phantasma of "solar appendages of some sort," asMr. Proctor honestly calls it. Before saying anything further, we willconsider the next interrogatory.

Question II.—Is the Sun merely a cooling mass?

Such is the accepted theory of modern science: it is not what the"Adepts" teach. The former says—the sun "derives no importantaccession of heat from without:"—the latter answer—"the sun needs itnot." He is quite as self dependent as he is self-luminous; and forthe maintenance of his heat requires no help, no foreign accession ofvital energy; for he is the heart of his system, a heart that will notcease its throbbing until its hour of rest shall come. Were the sun "acooling mass," our great life-giver would have indeed grown dim with ageby this time, and found some trouble to keep his watch-fires burning forthe future races to accomplish their cycles, and the planetary chains toachieve their rounds. There would remain no hope for evolutinghumanity; except perhaps in what passes for science in the astronomicaltextbooks of Missionary Schools—namely, that "the sun has an orbitaljourney of a hundred millions of years before him, and the system yetbut seven thousand years old!" (Prize Book, "Astronomy for GeneralReaders.")

The "Adepts," who are thus forced to demolish before they canreconstruct, deny most emphatically (a) that the sun is in combustion,in any ordinary sense of the word; or (b) that he is incandescent, oreven burning, though he is glowing; or (c) that his luminosity hasalready begun to weaken and his power of combustion may be exhaustedwithin a given and conceivable time; or even (d) that his chemical andphysical constitution contains any of the elements of terrestrialchemistry in any of the states that either chemist or physicist isacquainted with. With reference to the latter, they add that, properlyspeaking, though the body of the sun—a body that was never yetreflected by telescope or spectroscope that man invented—cannot be saidto be constituted of those terrestrial elements with the state of whichthe chemist is familiar, yet that these elements are all present in thesun's outward robes, and a host more of elements unknown so far toscience. There seems little need, indeed, to have waited so long forthe lines belonging to these respective elements to correspond with darklines of the solar spectrum to know that no element present on our earthcould ever be possibly found wanting in the sun; although, on the otherhand, there are many others in the sun which have either not reached ornot as yet been discovered on our globe. Some may be missing in certainstars and heavenly bodies still in the process of formation; or,properly speaking, though present in them, these elements on account oftheir undeveloped state may not respond as yet to the usual scientifictests. But how can the earth possess that which the sun has never had?The "Adepts" affirm as a fact that the true Sun—an invisible orb ofwhich the known one is the shell, mask, or clothing—has in him thespirit of every element that exists in the solar system; and his"Chromosphere," as Mr. Lockyer named it, has the same, only in a farmore developed condition, though still in a state unknown on earth; ourplanet having to await its further growth and development before any ofits elements can be reduced to the condition they are in within thatchromosphere. Nor can the substance producing the coloured light in thelatter be properly called solid, liquid, or even "gaseous," as nowsupposed, for it is neither. Thousands of years before Leverrier andPadri Secchi, the old Aryans sung of Surya …. "hiding behind hisYogi,* robes his head that no one could see;" the ascetic's dressbeing, as all know, dyed expressly into a red-yellow hue, a colouringmatter with pinkish patches on it, rudely representing the vitalprinciple in man's blood—the symbol of the vital principle in the sun,or what is now called chromosphere. The "rose-coloured region!" Howlittle astronomers will ever know of its real nature, even thoughhundreds of eclipses furnish them with the indisputable evidence of itspresence. The sun is so thickly surrounded by a shell of this "redmatter," that it is useless for them to speculate with only the help oftheir physical instruments, upon the nature of that which they can neversee or detect with mortal eye behind that brilliant, radiant zone ofmatter.

————-* There is an interesting story in the Puranas relating to this subject.The Devas, it would appear, asked the great Rishi Vasishta to bring thesun into Satya Loka. The Rishi requested the Sun-god to do so. TheSun-god replied that all the worlds would be destroyed if he were toleave his place. The Rishi then offered to place his red-coloured cloth(Kashay Vastram) in the place of the sun's disk, and did so. Thevisible body of the sun is this robe of Vasishta, it would seem.————-

If the "Adepts" are asked: "What then, in your views, is the nature ofour sun and what is there beyond that cosmic veil?"—they answer:beyond rotates and beats the heart and head of our system; externally isspread its robe, the nature of which is not matter, whether solid,liquid, or gaseous, such as you are acquainted with, but vitalelectricity, condensed and made visible.*

————-* If the "English F.T.S." would take the trouble of consulting p. 11 ofthe "Magia Adamica" of Eugenius Philalethes, his learned compatriot, hewould find therein the difference between a visible and an invisibleplanet is clearly hinted at as it was safe to do at a time when the ironclaw of orthodoxy had the power as well as disposition to tear the fleshfrom heretic bones. "The earth is invisible," says he, …. "and whichis more, the eye of man never saw the earth, nor can it be seenwithout art. To make this element visible is the greatest secret inmagic …. As for this feculent, gross body upon which we walk, it isa compost, and no earth but it hath earth in it …. in a word, all theelements are visible but one, namely, the earth: and when thou hastattained to so much perfection as to know why God hath placed the earthin abscondito, thou hast an excellent figure whereby to know Godhimself, and how he is visible, how invisible," The italics are theauthor's, it being the custom of the Alchemists to emphasize those wordswhich had a double meaning in their code. Here "God himself" visibleand invisible, relates to their lapis philosophorum—Nature's seventhprinciple.—————

And if the statement is objected to on the grounds that were theluminosity of the sun due to any other cause than combustion and flame,no physical law of which Western science has any knowledge could accountfor the existence of such intensely high temperature of the sun withoutcombustion; that such a temperature, besides burning with its light andflame every visible thing in our universe, would show its luminosity ofa hom*ogeneous and uniform intensity throughout, which it does not; thatundulations and disturbances in the photosphere, the growing of the"protuberances," and a fierce raging of elements in combustion have beenobserved in the sun, with their tongues of fire and spots exhibitingevery appearance of cyclonic motion, and "solar storms," &c. &c.; tothis the only answer that can be given is the following: theappearances are all there, yet it is not combustion. Undoubtedly werethe "robes," the dazzling drapery which now envelopes the whole of thesun's globe, withdrawn, or even "the shining atmosphere which permits usto see the sun" (as Sir William Herschel thought) removed so as to allowone trifling rent, our whole universe would be reduced to ashes.Jupiter Fulminator revealing himself to his beloved would incinerate herinstantly. But it can never be. The protecting shell is of a thicknessand at a distance from the universal HEART that call hardly be evercalculated by your mathematicians. And how can they hope to see thesun's inner body once that the existence of that "chromosphere" isascertained, though its actual density may be still unknown, when one ofthe greatest, if not the greatest, of their authorities—Sir W.Herschel—says the following: "The sun, also, has its atmosphere, andif some of the fluids which enter into its composition should be of ashining brilliancy, while others are merely transparent, any temporarycause which may remove the lucid fluid will permit us to see the body ofthe sun through the transparent ones." The underlined words, writtennearly eighty years ago, embody the wrong hypothesis that the body ofthe sun might be seen under such circ*mstances, whereas it is only thefar-away layers of "the lucid fluid" that would be perceived. And whatthe great astronomer adds invalidates entirely the first portion of hisassumption: "If an observer were placed on the moon, he would see thesolid body of our earth only in those places where the transparentfluids of the atmosphere would permit him. In others, the opaquevapours would reflect the light of the sun without permitting his viewto penetrate to the surface of our globe." Thus, if the atmosphere ofour earth, which in its relation to the "atmosphere" (?) of the sun islike the tenderest skin of a fruit compared with the thickest husk of acocoa-nut, would prevent the eye of an observer standing on the moonfrom penetrating everywhere "to the surface of our globe," how can anastronomer ever expect his sight to penetrate to the sun's surface, fromour earth and at a distance of from 85 to 95 million miles,* whereas,the moon, we are told, is only about 238,000 miles!

————* Verily, "absolute accuracy in the solution of this problem (ofdistances between the heavenly bodies and the earth) is simply out ofthe question."—————

The proportionately larger size of the sun does not bring it any themore within the scope of our physical vision. Truly remarks Sir W.Herschel that the sun "has been called a globe of fire, perhapsmetaphorically!" It has been supposed that the dark spots were solidbodies revolving near the sun's surface. "They have been conjectured tobe the smoke of volcanoes the scum floating upon an ocean of fluidmatter…. They have been taken for clouds …. explained to be opaquemasses swimming in the fluid matter of the sun…." When all hisanthropomorphic conceptions are put aside, Sir John Herschel, whoseintuition was still greater than his great learning, alone of allastronomers comes near the truth—far nearer than any of those modernastronomers who, while admiring his gigantic learning, smile at his"imaginative and fanciful theories." His only mistake, now shared bymost astronomers, was that he regarded the "opaque body" occasionallyobserved through the curtain of the "luminous envelope" as the sunitself. When saying in the course of his speculations upon the Nasmythwillow-leaf theory—"the definite shape of these objects, their exactsimilarity one to another…. all these characters seem quite repugnantto the notion of their being of a vaporous, a cloudy, or a fluidnature"—his spiritual intuition served him better than his remarkableknowledge of physical science. When he adds: "Nothing remains but toconsider them as separate and independent sheets, flakes…. having somesort of solidity…. Be they what they may, they are evidently theimmediate sources of the solar light and heat"—he utters a granderphysical truth than was ever uttered by any living astronomer. Andwhen, furthermore, we find him postulating—"looked at in this point ofview, we cannot refuse to regard them as organisms of some peculiar andamazing kind; and though it would be too daring to speak of suchorganization as partaking of the nature of life, yet we do know thatvital action is competent to develop at once heat, and light, andelectricity," Sir John Herschel gives out a theory approximating anoccult truth more than any of the profane ever did with regard to solarphysics. These "wonderful objects" are not, as a modern astronomerinterprets Sir J. Herschel's words, "solar inhabitants, whose fieryconstitution enables them to illuminate, warm and electricize the wholesolar system," but simply the reservoirs of solar vital energy, thevital electricity that feeds the whole system in which it lives, andbreathes, and has its being. The sun is, as we say, the storehouse ofour little cosmos, self-generating its vital fluid, and ever receiving amuch as it gives out. Were the astronomers to be asked—what definiteand positive fact exists at the root of their solar theory—whatknowledge they have of solar combustion and atmosphere—they might,perchance, feel embarrassed when confronted with all their presenttheories. For it is sufficient to make a resume of what the solarphysicists do not know, to gain conviction that they are as far as everfrom a definite knowledge of the constitution and ultimate nature of theheavenly bodies. We may, perhaps, be permitted to enumerate:—

Beginning with, as Mr. Proctor wisely calls it, "the wildest assumptionpossible," that there is, in accordance with the law of analogy, somegeneral resemblance between the materials in, and the processes at workupon, the sun, and those materials with which terrestrial chemistry andphysics are familiar, what is that sum of results achieved byspectroscopic and other analyses of the surface and the innerconstitution of the sun, which warrants any one in establishing theaxiom of the sun's combustion and gradual extinction? They have nomeans, as they themselves daily confess, of experimenting upon, hence ofdetermining, the sun's physical condition; for (a) they are ignorant ofthe atmospheric limits; (b) even though it were proved that matter,such as they know of, is continuously falling upon the sun, beingignorant of its real velocity and the nature of the material it fallsupon, they are unable "to discuss of the effect of motions whollysurpassing in velocity …. enormously exceeding even the inconceivablevelocity of many meteors;" (c) confessedly—they "have no means oflearning whence that part of the light comes which gives the continuousspectrum"…. hence no means of determining how great a depth of thesolar substance is concerned in sending out that light. This light "maycome from the surface layers only;" and, "it may be but a shell" ….(truly!); and finally, (d) they have yet to learn "how far combustion,properly so-called, can take place within the sun's mass;" and "whetherthese processes, which we (they) recognize as combustion, are the onlyprocesses of combustion which can actually take place there."Therefore, Mr. Proctor for one comes to the happy and prudent idea afterall "that what had been supposed the most marked characteristic ofincandescent solid and liquid bodies, is thus shown to be a possiblecharacteristic of the light of the glowing gas." Thus, the whole basisof their reasoning having been shaken (by Frankland's objection), they,the astronomers, may yet arrive at accepting the occult theory, viz.,that they have to look to the 6th state of matter, for divulging to themthe true nature of their photospheres, chromospheres, appendages,prominences, projections and horns. Indeed, when one finds one of theauthorities of the age in physical science—Professor Tyndall—sayingthat "no earthly substance with which we are acquainted, nosubstance which the fall of meteors has landed on the earth—wouldbe at all competent to maintain the sun's combustion;" andagain:—"…. multiplying all our powers by millions of millions, we donot reach the sun's expenditure. And still, notwithstanding thisenormous drain in the lapse of human history, we are unable to detect adiminution of his store …."—after reading this, to see the men ofscience still maintaining their theory of "a hot globe cooling," one maybe excused for feeling surprised at such inconsistency. Verily is thatgreat physicist right in viewing the sun itself as "a speck in infiniteextension—a mere drop in the Universal sea;" and saying that, "toNature nothing can be added; from Nature nothing can be taken away; thesum of her energy is constant, and the utmost man can do in the pursuitof physical truth, or in the applications of physical knowledge, is toshift the constituents of the never-varying total. The law ofconservation rigidly excludes both creation and annihilation …. theflux of power is eternally the same." Mr. Tyndall speaks here asthough he were an Occultist. Yet, the memento mori—"the sun iscooling …. it is dying!" of the Western Trappists of Science resoundsas loud as it ever did.

No, we say; no, while there is one man left on the globe, the sun willnot be extinguished. Before the hour of the "Solar Pralaya" strikes onthe watch-tower of Eternity, all the other worlds of our system will begliding in their spectral shells along the silent paths of InfiniteSpace. Before it strikes, Atlas, the mighty Titan, the son of Asia andthe nursling of Aether, will have dropped his heavy manvantaric burdenand—died; the Pleiades, the bright seven Sisters, will have uponawakening hiding Sterope to grieve with them—to die themselves fortheir father's loss. And, Hercules, moving off his left leg, will haveto shift his place in heavens and erect his own funeral pile. Then only,surrounded by the fiery element breaking through the thickening gloom ofthe Pralayan twilight, will Hercules, expiring amidst a generalconflagration, bring on likewise the death of our sun: he will haveunveiled by moving off the "CENTRAL SUN"—the mysterious, theever-hidden centre of attraction of our sun and system. Fables? Merepoetical fiction? Yet, when one knows that the most exact sciences, thegreatest mathematical and astronomical truths went forth into the worldamong the hoi polloi from the circle of initiated priests, theHierophants of the sanctum sanctorum of the old temples, under the guiseof religious fables, it may not be amiss to search for universal truthseven under the patches of fiction's harlequinade. This fable about thePleiades, the seven Sisters, Atlas, and Hercules exists identical insubject, though under other names, in the sacred Hindu books, and haslikewise the same occult meaning. But then like the Ramayana "borrowedfrom the Greek Iliad" and the Bhagavat-Gita and Krishna plagiarized fromthe Gospel—in the opinion of the great Sanskritist, Prof. Weber, theAryans may have also borrowed the Pleiades and their Hercules from thesame source! When the Brahmins can be shown by the ChristianOrientalists to be the direct descendants of the Teutonic Crusaders,then only, perchance, will the cycle of proofs be completed, and thehistorical truths of the West vindicated!

Question III.—Are the great nations to be swept away in an hour?

No such absurdity was ever postulated. The cataclysm that annihilatedthe choicest sub-races of the Fourth race, or the Atlanteans, was slowlypreparing its work for ages; as any one can read in "Esoteric Buddhism"(page 54). "Poseidonis," so called, belongs to historical times, thoughits fate begins to be realized and suspected only now. What was said isstill asserted: every root-race is separated by a catastrophe, acataclysm—the basis and historical foundation of the fables woven lateron into the religious fabric of every people, whether civilized orsavage, under the names of "deluges," "showers of fire," and such like.

That no "appreciable trace is left of such high civilization" is due toseveral reasons. One of these may be traced chiefly to the inability,and partially to the unwillingness (or shall we say congenital spiritualblindness of this our age!) of the modern archeologist to distinguishbetween excavations and ruins 50,000 and 4,000 years old, and to assignto many a grand archaic ruin its proper age and place in prehistorictimes. For the latter the archeologist is not responsible—for whatcriterion, what sign has he to lead him to infer the true date of anexcavated building bearing no inscription; and what warrant has thepublic that the antiquary and specialist has not made an error of some20,000 years? A fair proof of this we have in the scientific andhistoric labeling of the Cyclopean architecture. Traditional archeologybearing directly upon the monumental is rejected. Oral literature,popular legends, ballads and rites, are all stifled in one word—superstition; and popular antiquities have become "fables" and"folk-lore." The ruder style of Cyclopean masonry, the walls of Tyrius,mentioned by Homer, are placed at the farthest end—the dawn ofpre-Roman history; the walls of Epirus and Mycenae—at the nearest. Thelatter are commonly believed the work of the Pelasgi and probably ofabout 1,000 years before the Western era. As to the former, they werehedged in and driven forward by the Noachian deluge till very lately—Archbishop Usher's learned scheme, computing that earth and man "werecreated 4,004 B.C.," having been not only popular but actually forcedupon the educated classes until Mr. Darwin's triumphs. Had it not beenfor the efforts of a few Alexandrian and other mystics, Platonists, andheathen philosophers, Europe would have never laid her hands even onthose few Greek and Roman classics she now possesses. And, as among thefew that escaped the dire fate not all by any means were trustworthy—hence, perhaps, the secret of their preservation—Western scholars gotearly into the habit of rejecting all heathen testimony, whenever truthclashed with the dicta of their churches. Then, again, the modernArcheologists, Orientalists and Historians, are all Europeans; and theyare all Christians, whether nominally or otherwise. However it may be,most of them seem to dislike to allow any relic of archaism to antedatethe supposed antiquity of the Jewish records. This is a ditch intowhich most have slipped.

The traces of ancient civilizations exist, and they are many. Yet, it ishumbly suggested, that so long as there are reverend gentlemen mixed upunchecked in archaeological and Asiatic societies; and Christianbishops to write the supposed histories and religions of non-Christiannations, and to preside over the meetings of Orientalists—so long willArchaism and its remains be made subservient in every branch to ancientJudaism and modern Christianity.

So far, archeology knows nothing of the sites of other and far oldercivilizations, except the few it has stumbled upon, and to which it hasassigned their respective ages, mostly under the guidance of biblicalchronology. Whether the West had any right to impose upon UniversalHistory the untrustworthy chronology of a small and unknown Jewish tribeand reject, at the same time, every datum as every other traditionfurnished by the classical writers of non-Jewish and non-Christiannations, is questionable. At any rate, had it accepted as willingly datacoming from other sources, it might have assured itself by this time,that not only in Italy and other parts of Europe, but even on sites notvery far from those it is accustomed to regard as the hotbed of ancientrelics—Babylonia and Assyria—there are other sites where it couldprofitably excavate. The immense "Salt Valley" of Dasht-Beyad byKhorasson covers the most ancient civilizations of the world; while theShamo desert has had time to change from sea to land, and from fertileland to a dead desert, since the day when the first civilization of theFifth Race left its now invisible, and perhaps for ever hidden, "traces"under its beds of sand.

Times have changed, are changing. Proofs of the old civilizations andthe archaic wisdom are accumulating. Though soldier-bigots and priestlyschemers have burnt books and converted old libraries to base uses;though the dry rot and the insect have destroyed inestimably preciousrecords; though within the historic period the Spanish brigands madebonfires of the works of the refined archaic American races, which, ifspared, would have solved many a riddle of history; though Omar lit thefires of the Alexandrian baths for months with the literary treasures ofthe Serapeum; though the Sybilline and other mystical books of Rome andGreece were destroyed in war; though the South Indian invaders of Ceylon"heaped into piles as high as the tops of the cocoanut trees" the ollasof the Buddhists, and set them ablaze to light their victory—thusobliterating from the world's knowledge early Buddhist annals andtreatises of great importance: though this hateful and senselessVandalism has disgraced the career of most fighting nations—still,despite everything, there are extant abundant proofs of the history ofmankind, and bits and scraps come to light from time to time by whatscience has often called "most curious coincidences." Europe has novery trustworthy history of her own vicissitudes and mutations, hersuccessive races and their doings. What with their savage wars, thebarbaric habits of the historic Goths, Huns, Franks, and other warriornations, and the interested literary Vandalism of the shaveling priestswho for centuries sat upon its intellectual life like a nightmare, anantiquity could not exist for Europe. And, having no Past to recordthemselves, the European critics, historians and archeologists have notscrupled to deny one to others—whenever the concession excited asacrifice of biblical prestige.

No "traces of old civilizations" we are told! And what about thePelasgi—the direct forefathers of the Hellenes, according to Herodotus?What about the Etruscans—the race mysterious and wonderful, if any, forthe historian, and whose origin is the most insoluble of problems? Thatwhich is known of them only shows that could something more be known, awhole series of prehistoric civilizations might be discovered. A peopledescribed as are the Pelasgi—a highly intellectual, receptive, activepeople, chiefly occupied with agriculture, warlike when necessary,though preferring peace; a people who built canals as no one else,subterranean water-works, dams, walls, and Cyclopean buildings of themost astounding strength; who are even suspected of having been theinventors of the so-called Cadmean or Phoenician writing characters fromwhich all European alphabets are derived—who were they? Could they beshown by any possible means as the descendants of the biblical Peleg(Gen. x. 25) their high civilization would have been therebydemonstrated, though their antiquity would still have to be dwarfed to2247 "B.C.." And who were the Etruscans?

Shall the Easterns like the Westerns be made to believe that between thehigh civilizations of the pre-Roman (and we say—prehistoric) Tursenoiof the Greeks, with their twelve great cities known to history; theirCyclopean buildings, their plastic and pictorial arts, and the time whenthey were a nomadic tribe "first descended into Italy from theirnorthern latitudes"—only a few centuries elapsed? Shall it be stillurged that the Phoenicians with their Tyre 2750 "B.C." (a chronology,accepted by Western history), their commerce, fleet, learning, arts, andcivilization, were only a few centuries before the building of Tyre but"a small tribe of Semitic fishermen"? Or, that the Trojan war could nothave been earlier than 1184 B.C., and thus Magna Graecia must be fixedsomewhere between the eighth and the ninth Century "B.C.," and by nomeans thousands of years before, as was claimed by Plato and Aristotle,Homer and the Cyclic Poems, derived from, and based upon, other recordsmillenniums older? If the Christian historian, hampered by hischronology, and the freethinker by lack of necessary data, feel bound tostigmatize every non-Christian or non-Western chronology as "obviouslyfanciful," "purely mythical," and "not worthy of a moment'sconsideration," how shall one, wholly dependent upon Western guides getat the truth? And if these incompetent builders of Universal Historycan persuade their public to accept as authoritative their chronologicaland ethnological reveries, why should the Eastern student, who hasaccess to quite different—and we make bold to say, more trustworthy—materials, be expected to join in the blind belief of those who defendWestern historical infallibility? He believes—on the strength of thedocumentary evidence, left by Yavanacharya (Pythagoras) 607 "B.C." inIndia, and that of his own national "temple records," that instead ofgiving hundreds we may safely give thousands of years to the foundationof Cumaea and Magna Graecia, of which it was the pioneer settlement.That the civilization of the latter had already become effete whenPythagoras, the great pupil of Aryan Masters went to Crotone. And,having no biblical bias to overcome, he feels persuaded that, if it tookthe Celtic and Gaelic tribes Britannicae Insulae, with the ready-madecivilizations of Rome before their eyes, and acquaintance with that ofthe Phoenicians whose trade with them began a thousand years before theChristian era; and to crown all with the definite help later of theNormans and Saxons—two thousand years before they could build theirmedieval cities, not even remotely comparable with those of the Romans;and it took them two thousand five hundred years to get half ascivilized; then, that instead of that hypothetical period, benevolentlystyled the childhood of the race, being within easy reach of theApostles and the early Fathers, it must be relegated to an enormouslyearlier time. Surely if it took the barbarians of Western Europe somany centuries to develop a language and create empires, then thenomadic tribes of the "mythical" periods ought in common fairness—sincethey never came under the fructifying energy of that Christian influenceto which we are asked to ascribe all the scientific enlightenment ofthis age—about ten thousand years to build their Tyres and their Veii,their Sidons and Carthagenes. As other Troys lie under the surface ofthe topmost one in the Troad; and other and higher civilizations wereexhumed by Mariette Bey under the stratum of sand from which thearcheological collections of Lepsius, Abbott, and the British Museumwere taken; and six Hindu "Delhis," superposed and hidden away out ofsight, formed the pedestal upon which the Mogul conqueror built thegorgeous capital whose ruins still attest the splendour of his Delhi;so when the fury of critical bigotry has quite subsided, and Western menare prepared to write history in the interest of truth alone, will theproofs be found of the cyclic law of civilization. Modern Florencelifts her beautiful form above the tomb of Etruscan Florentia, which inher turn rose upon the hidden vestiges of anterior towns. And so alsoArezzo, Perugia, Lucca, and many other European sites now occupied bymodern towns and cities, are based upon the relics of archaiccivilizations whose period covers ages incomputable, and whose namesEcho has forgotten to even whisper through "the corridors of Time."

When the Western historian has finally and Unanswerably proven who werethe Pelasgi, at least, and who the Etruscans, and the as mysteriousIapygians, who seem also to have had an earlier acquaintance withwriting—as proved by their inscriptions—than the Phoenicians, thenonly may he menace the Asiatic into acceptance of his own arbitrary dataand dogmas. Then also may he tauntingly ask "how it is that noappreciable trace is left of such high civilizations as are described inthe Past?"

"Is it supposed that the present European civilization with itsoffshoots …. can be destroyed by any inundation or conflagration?"More easily than was many another civilization. Europe has neither thetitanic and Cyclopean masonry of the ancients, nor even its parchments,to preserve the records of its "existing arts and languages." Itscivilization is too recent, too rapidly growing, to leave any positivelyindestructible relics of either its architecture, arts or sciences.What is there in the whole Europe that could be regarded as evenapproximately indestructible, without mentioning the debacle of thegeological upheaval that follows generally such cataclysms? Is it itsephemeral Crystal Palaces, its theatres, railways, modern fragilefurniture: or its electric telegraphs, phonographs, telephones, andmicrographs? While each of the former is at the mercy of fire andcyclone, the last enumerated marvels of modern science can be destroyedby a child breaking them to atoms. When we know of the destruction ofthe "Seven World's Wonders," of Thebes, Tyre, the Labyrinth, and theEgyptian pyramids and temples and giant palaces, as we now see slowlycrumbling into the dust of the deserts, being reduced to atoms by thehand of Time—lighter and far more merciful than any cataclysm—thequestion seems to us rather the outcome of modern pride than of sternreasoning. Is it your daily newspapers and periodicals, rags of a fewdays; your fragile books bearing the records of all your grandcivilization, withal liable to become annihilated after a few meals aremade on them by the white ants, that are regarded as invulnerable? Andwhy should European civilization escape the common lot? It is from thelower classes, the units of the great masses who form the majorities innations, that survivors will escape in greater numbers; and these knownothing of the arts, sciences, or languages except their own, and thosevery imperfectly. The arts and sciences are like the phoenix of old:they die but to revive. And when the question found on page 58 of"Esoteric Buddhism" concerning "the curious rush of human progresswithin the last two thousand years," was first propounded, Mr. Sinnett'scorrespondent might have made his answer more complete by saying: "Thisrush, this progress, and the abnormal rapidity with which one discoveryfollows the other, ought to be a sign to human intuition that what youlook upon in the light of 'discoveries' are merely rediscoveries, which,following the law of gradual progress, you make more perfect, yet inenunciating, you are not the first to explain them." We learn moreeasily that which we have heard about, or learnt in childhood. If, asaverred, the Western nations have separated themselves from the greatAryan stock, it becomes evident that the races that first peopled Europewere inferior to the root-race which had the Vedas and the pre-historicRishis. That which your far-distant forefathers had heard in thesecrecy of the temples was not lost. It reached their posterity, whichis now simply improving upon details.

Question IV.—Is the Moon immersed in matter?

No "Adept," so far as the writers know, has ever given to "Lay Chela"his "views of the moon," for publication. With Selenography, modernscience is far better acquainted than any humble Asiatic ascetic mayever hope to become. It is to be feared the speculations on pp. 104 and105 of "Esoteric Buddhism," besides being hazy, are somewhat premature.Therefore, it may be as well to pass on to—

Question V.—About the mineral monad.

Any English expression that correctly translates the idea given is"authorized by the Adepts." Why not? The term "monad" applies to thelatent life in the mineral as much as it does to the life in thevegetable and the animal. The monogenist may take exception to the termand especially to the idea while the polygenist, unless he be acorporealist, may not. As to the other class of scientists, they wouldtake objection to the idea even of a human monad, and call it"unscientific." What relation does the monad bear to the atom? Nonewhatever to the atom or molecule as in the scientific conception atpresent. It can neither be compared with the microscopic organismclassed once among polygastric infusoria, and now regarded as vegetableand ranked among algae; nor is it quite the monas of the Peripatetics.Physically or constitutionally the mineral monad differs, of course,from that of the human monad, which is neither physical, nor can itsconstitution be rendered by chemical symbols and elements. In short,the mineral monad is one—the higher animal and human monads arecountless. Otherwise, how could one account for and explainmathematically the evolutionary and spiral progress of the fourkingdoms? The "monad" is the combination of the last two Principles inman, the 6th and the 7th, and, properly speaking, the term "human monad"applies only to the Spiritual Soul, not to its highest spiritualvivifying Principle. But since divorced from the latter the SpiritualSoul could have no existence, no being, it has thus been called. Thecomposition (if such a word, which would shock an Asiatic, seemsnecessary to help European conception) of Buddhi or the 6th principle ismade up of the essence of what you would call matter (or perchance acentre of Spiritual Force) in its 6th and 7th condition or state; theanimating ATMAN being part of the ONE LIFE or Parabrahm. Now theMonadic Essence (if such a term be permitted) in the mineral, vegetableand animal, though the same throughout the series of cycles from thelowest elemental up to the Deva kingdom, yet differs in the scale ofprogression.

It would be very misleading to imagine a monad as a separate entitytrailing its slow way in a distinct path through the lower kingdoms, andafter an incalculable series of transmigrations flowering into a humanbeing; in short, that the monad of a Humboldt dates back to the monadof an atom of hornblende. Instead of saying a mineral monad, thecorrecter phraseology in physical science which differentiates everyatom, would of course have been to call it the Monad manifesting in thatform of Prakriti called the mineral kingdom. Each atom or molecule ofordinary scientific hypotheses is not a particle of something, animatedby a psychic something, destined to blossom as a man after aeons. Butit is a concrete manifestation of the Universal Energy which itself hasnot yet become individualized: a sequential manifestation of the oneUniversal Monas. The ocean does not divide into its potential andconstituent drops until the sweep of the life-impulse reaches theevolutionary stage of man-birth. The tendency towards segregation intoindividual monads is gradual, and in the higher animals comes almost tothe point. The Peripatetics applied the word Monas to the whole Cosmos,in the pantheistic sense; and the Occultists while accepting thisthought for convenience' sake, distinguish the progressive stages of theevolution of the Concrete from the Abstract by terms of which the"Mineral Monad" is one. The term merely means that the tidal wave ofspiritual evolution is passing through that arc of its circuit. The"Monadic Essence" begins to imperceptibly differentiate in the vegetablekingdom. As the monads are uncompounded things, as correctly defined byLeibnitz, it is the spiritual essence which vivifies them in theirdegrees of differentiation which constitutes properly the monad—not theatomic aggregation which is only the vehicle and the substance throughwhich thrill the lower and higher degrees of intelligence.

And though, as shown by those plants that are known as sensitives, thereare a few among them that may be regarded as possessing that consciousperception which is called by Leibnitz apperception, while the rest areendowed but with that internal activity which may be called vegetablenerve-sensation (to call it perception would be wrong), yet even thevegetable monad is still the Monad in its second degree of awakeningsensation. Leibnitz came several times very near the truth, but definedthe monadic evolution incorrectly and often greatly blundered. Thereare seven kingdoms. The first group comprises three degrees ofelementals, or nascent centres of forces—from the first stage of thedifferentiation of Mulaprakriti to its third degree—i.e., from fullunconsciousness to semi-perception; the second or higher group embracesthe kingdoms from vegetable to man; the mineral kingdom thus formingthe central or turning-point in the degrees of the "Monadic Essence"—considered as an Evoluting Energy. Three stages in the elemental side;the mineral kingdom; three stages in the objective physical side—theseare the seven links of the evolutionary chain. A descent of spirit intomatter, equivalent to an ascent in physical evolution; a re-ascent fromthe deepest depths of materiality (the mineral) towards its status quoante, with a corresponding dissipation of concrete organisms up toNirvana—the vanishing point of differentiated matter. Perhaps a simplediagram will aid us:—

[[Diagram here]]

The line A D represents the gradual obscuration of spirit as it passesinto concrete matter; the point D indicates the evolutionary positionof the mineral kingdom from its incipient (d) to its ultimate concretion(a); c, b, a, on the left-hand side of the figure, are the three stagesof elemental evolution; i.e., the three successive stages passed by thespiritual impulse (through the elementals—of which little is permittedto be said) before they are imprisoned in the most concrete form ofmatter; and a, b, c, on the right-hand side, are the three stages oforganic life, vegetable, animal, human. What is total obscuration ofspirit is complete perfection of its polar antithesis—matter; and thisidea is conveyed in the lines A D and D A. The arrows show the line oftravel of the evolutionary impulse in entering its vortex and expandingagain into the subjectivity of the ABSOLUTE. The central thickest line,d d, is the Mineral Kingdom.

The monogenists have had their day. Even believers in a personal god,like Professor Agassiz, teach now that, "There is a manifest progress inthe succession of beings on the surface of the earth. The progressconsists in an increasing similarity of the living fauna, and among thevertebrates especially, in the increasing resemblance to man. Man isthe end towards which all the animal creation has tended from the firstappearance of the first Palaeozoic fishes" ("Principles of Zoology," pp.205-6). The mineral "monad" is not an individuality latent, but anall-pervading Force which has for its Present vehicle matter in itslowest and most concrete terrestrial state; in man the monad is fullydeveloped, potential, and either passive or absolutely active, accordingto its vehicle, the five lower and more physical human principles. Inthe Deva kingdom it is fully liberated and in its highest state—but onedegree lower than the ONE Universal Life.*

—————* The above diagram represents a logical section of the scheme ofevolution, and not the evolutionary history of a unit of consciousness.—————

Question VIII.—Sri Sankaracharya's Date

It is always difficult to determine with precision the date of anyparticular event in the ancient history of India; and this difficultyis considerably enhanced by the speculations of European Orientalists,whose labours in this direction have but tended to thicken the confusionalready existing in popular legends and traditions, which were oftenaltered or modified to suit the necessities of sectarian controversy.The causes that have produced this result will be fully ascertained onexamining the assumptions on which these speculations are based. Thewritings of many of these Orientalists are often characterized by animperfect knowledge of Indian literature, philosophy and religion, andof Hindu traditions, and a contemptuous disregard for the opinions ofHindu writers and pundits. Very often, facts and dates are taken bythese writers from the writings of their predecessors or contemporarieson the assumption that they are correct without any furtherinvestigation by themselves. Even when a writer gives a date with anexpression of doubt as to its accuracy, his follower frequently quotesthe same date as if it were absolutely correct. One wrong date is madeto depend upon another wrong date, and one bad inference is oftendeduced from another inference equally unwarranted and illogical. Andconsequently, if the correctness of any particular date given by thesewriters is to be ascertained, the whole structure of Indian Chronologyconstructed by them will have to be carefully examined. It will beconvenient to enumerate some of the assumptions above referred to beforeproceeding to examine their opinions concerning the date ofSankaracharya.

I. Many of these writers are not altogether free from the prejudicesengendered by the pernicious doctrine, deduced from the Bible, whetherrightly or wrongly, that this world is only six thousand years old. Wedo not mean to say that any one of these writers would now seriouslythink of defending the said doctrine. Nevertheless, it had exercised aconsiderable influence on the minds of Christian writers when they beganto investigate the claims of Asiatic Chronology. If an antiquity offive or six thousand years is assigned to any particular event connectedwith the ancient history of Egypt, India or China, it is certain to berejected at once by these writers without any inquiry whatever regardingthe truth of the statement.

II. They are extremely unwilling to admit that any portion of the Vedacan be traced to a period anterior to the date of the Pentateuch, evenwhen the arguments brought forward to establish the priority of theVedas are such as would be convincing to the mind of an impartialinvestigator untainted by Christian prejudices. The maximum limit ofIndian antiquity is, therefore, fixed for them by the Old Testament;and it is virtually assumed by them that a period between the date ofthe Old Testament on the one side, and the present time on the other,should necessarily be assigned to every book in the whole range of Vedicand Sanskrit literature, and to almost every event of Indian history.

III. It is often assumed without reason that every passage in the Vedascontaining philosophical or metaphysical ideas must be looked upon as asubsequent interpolation, and that every book treating of aphilosophical subject must be considered as having been written afterthe time of Buddha or after the commencement of the Christian era.Civilization, philosophy and scientific investigation had their origin,in the opinion of these writers, within the six or seven centuriespreceding the Christian era, and mankind slowly emerged, for the firsttime, from "the depths of animal brutality" within the last four or fivethousand years.

IV. It is also assumed that Buddhism was brought into existence byGautama Buddha. The previous existence of Buddhism, Jainism and Arhatphilosophy is rejected as an absurd and ridiculous invention of theBuddhists and others, who attempted thereby to assign a very highantiquity to their own religion. In consequence of this erroneousimpression every Hindu book referring to the doctrines of Buddhists isdeclared to have been written subsequent to the time of Gautama Buddha.For instance, Mr. Weber is of opinion that Vyasa, the author of theBrahma Sutras, wrote them in the fifth century after Christ. This isindeed a startling revelation to the majority of Hindus.

V. Whenever several works treating of various subjects are attributed toone and the same author by Hindu writings or traditions, it is oftenassumed, and apparently without any reason whatever in the majority ofcases, that the said works should be considered as the productions ofdifferent writers. By this process of reasoning they have discoveredtwo Badarayanas (Vyasas), two Patanjalis, and three Vararuchis. We donot mean to say that in every case identity of name is equivalent toidentity of personality. But we cannot but protest against suchassumptions when they are made without any evidence to support them,merely for the purpose of supporting a foregone conclusion orestablishing a favourite hypothesis.

VI. An attempt is often made by these writers to establish thechronological order of the events of ancient Indian history by means ofthe various stages in the growth or development of the Sanskrit languageand Indian literature. The time required for this growth is oftenestimated in the same manner in which a geologist endeavours to fix thetime required for the gradual development of the various stratacomposing the earth's crust. But we fail to perceive anything like aproper method in making these calculations. It will be wrong to assumethat the growth of one language will require the same time as that ofanother within the same limits. The peculiar characteristics of thenation to whom the language belongs must be carefully taken intoconsideration in attempting to make any such calculation. The historyof the said nation is equally important. Any one who examines MaxMuller's estimate of the so-called Sutra, Brahmana, Mantra and Khandaperiods, will be able to perceive that no attention has been paid tothese considerations. The time allotted to the growth of these four"strata" of Vedic literature is purely arbitrary.

We have enumerated these defects in the writings of EuropeanOrientalists for the purpose of showing to our readers that it is notalways safe to rely upon the conclusions arrived at by these writersregarding the dates of ancient Indian history.

In examining the various quotations and traditions selected by EuropeanOrientalists for the purpose of fixing Sankaracharya's date, specialcare must be taken to see whether the person referred to was the veryfirst Sankaracharya who established the Adwaitee doctrine, or one of hisfollowers who became the Adhipathis (heads) of the various Mathams(temples) established by him and his successors. Many of the AdwaiteeMathadhipatis who succeeded him (especially of the Sringeri Matham) weremen of considerable renown and were well known throughout India duringtheir time. They are often referred to under the general name ofSankaracharya. Consequently, any reference made to any one of theseMathadhipatis is apt to be mistaken for a reference to the firstSankaracharya himself.

Mr. Barth, whose opinion regarding Sankara's date is quoted by "AnEnglish F.T.S." against the date assigned to that teacher in Mr.Sinnett's book on Esoteric Buddhism, does not appear to have carefullyexamined the subject himself. He assigns no reasons for the date given,and does not even allude to the existence of other authorities andtraditions which conflict with the date adopted by him. The date whichhe assigns to Sankara appears in an unimportant foot-note on page 89 ofhis book on "The Religions of India," which reads thus: "Sankaracharyais generally placed in the eighth century; perhaps we must accept theninth rather. The best accredited tradition represents him as born onthe 10th of the month 'Madhava' in 788 A.D. Other traditions, it istrue, place him in the second and fifth centuries. The author of theDabistan, on the other hand, brings him as far down as the commencementof the fourteenth." Mr. Barth is clearly wrong in saying that Sankarais generally placed in the eight century. There are as many traditionsfor placing him in some century before the Christian era as for placinghim in some century after the said era, and it will also be seen fromwhat follows that in fact evidence preponderates in favour of the formerstatement. It cannot be contended that the generality of Orientalistshave any definite opinions of their own on the subject underconsideration. Max Muller does not appear to have ever directed hisattention to this subject. Monier Williams merely copies the date givenby Mr. Wilson, and Mr. Weber seems to rely upon the same authoritywithout troubling himself with any further inquiry about the matter.Mr. Wilson is probably the only Orientalist who investigated the subjectwith some care and attention; and he frankly confesses that the exactperiod at which "he (Sankara) flourished can by no means be determined"(p. 201 of vol. I. of his "Essays on the Religion of the Hindoos").Under such circ*mstances the foot-note above quoted is certainly verymisleading. Mr. Barth does not inform his readers where he obtained thetradition referred to, and what reasons he has for supposing that itrefers to the first Sankaracharya, and that it is "the best accreditedtradition." When the matter is still open to discussion, Mr. Barthshould not have adopted any particular date if he is not prepared tosupport it and establish it by proper arguments. The other traditionsalluded to are not intended, of course, to strengthen the authority ofthe tradition relied upon. But the wording of the foot-note in questionseems to show that all the authorities and traditions relating to thesubject are comprised therein, when in fact the most important of themare left out of consideration, as will be shown hereafter. No argumentsare to be found in support of the date assigned to Sankara in the otherportions of Mr. Barth's book, but there are a few isolated passageswhich may be taken either as inferences from the statement in questionor arguments in its support, which it will be necessary to examine inthis connection.

Mr. Barth has discovered some connection between the appearance ofSankara in India and the commencement of the persecution of theBuddhists, which he seems to place in the seventh and eighth centuries.In page 89 of his book he speaks of "the great reaction on the offensiveagainst Buddhism which was begun in the Deccan in the seventh and eighthcenturies by the schools of Kumarila and Sankara;" and in page 135 hestates that the "disciples of Kumarila and Sankara, organized intomilitary bands, constituted themselves the rabid defenders oforthodoxy." The force of these statements is, however, considerablyweakened by the author's observations on pages 89 and 134, regarding theabsence of any traces of Buddhist persecution by Sankara in theauthentic documents hitherto examined, and the absurdity of legendswhich represent him as exterminating Buddhists from the Himalaya to CapeComorin.

The association of Sankara with Kumarila in the passages above cited ishighly ridiculous. It is well known to almost every Hindu that thefollowers of Purva Mimamsa (Kumarila commented on the Sutras) were thegreatest and the bitterest opponents of Sankara and his doctrine, andMr. Barth seems to be altogether ignorant of the nature of Kumarila'sviews and Purva Mimamsa, and the scope and aim of Sankara's Vedanticphilosophy. It is impossible to say what evidence the author has forasserting that the great reaction against the Buddhists commenced in theseventh and eighth centuries, and that Sankara was instrumental inoriginating it. There are some passages in his book which tend to showthat this date cannot be considered as quite correct. In page 135 hesays that Buddhist persecution began even in the time of Asoka.

Such being the case, it is indeed very surprising that the orthodoxHindus should have kept quiet for nearly ten centuries withoutretaliating on their enemies. The political ascendency gained by theBuddhists during the reign of Asoka did not last very long; and theHindus had the support of very powerful kings before and after thecommencement of the Christian era. Moreover, the author says, in p. 132of his book, that Buddhism was in a state of decay in the seventhcentury. It is hardly to be expected that the reaction against theBuddhists would commence when their religion was already in a state ofdecay. No great religious teacher or reformer would waste his time andenergy in demolishing a religion already in ruins. But what evidence isthere to show that Sankara was ever engaged in this task? If the mainobject of his preaching was to evoke a reaction against Buddhism, hewould no doubt have left us some writings specially intended tocriticize its doctrines and expose its defects. On the other hand, hedoes not even allude to Buddhism in his independent works.

Though he was a voluminous writer, with the exception of a few remarkson the theory advocated by some Buddhists regarding the nature ofperception, contained in his Commentary on the Brahma-Sutras, there isnot a single passage in the whole range of his writings regarding theBuddhists or their doctrines; and the insertion of even these fewremarks in his Commentary was rendered necessary by the allusionscontained in the Sutras which he was interpreting. As, in our humbleopinion, these Brahma-Sutras were composed by Vyasa himself (and not byan imaginary Vyasa of the fifth century after Christ, evolved by Mr.Weber's fancy), the allusions therein contained relate to the Buddhismwhich existed to the date of Gautama Buddha. From these few remarks itwill be clear to our readers that Sankaracharya had nothing to do withBuddhist persecution. We may here quote a few passages from Mr.Wilson's Preface to the first edition of his Sanskrit Dictionary insupport of our remarks. He writes as follows regarding Sankara'sconnection with the persecution of the Buddhists:—"Although the popularbelief attributes the origin of the Bauddha persecution toSankaracharya, yet in this case we have some reason to distrust itsaccuracy. Opposed to it we have the mild character of the reformer, whois described as uniformly gentle and tolerant; and, speaking from myown limited reading in Vedanta works, and the more satisfactorytestimony of Ram Mohun Roy, which he permits me to adduce, it does notappear that any traces of his being instrumental to any persecution areto be found in his own writings, all which are extant, and the object ofwhich is by no means the correction of the Bauddha or any other schism,but the refutation of all other doctrines besides his own, and thereformation or re-establishment of the fourth religious order." Furtheron he observes that "it is a popular error to ascribe to him the work ofpersecution; he does not appear at all occupied in that odious task,nor is he engaged in particular controversy with any of the Bauddhas."

From the foregoing observations it will be seen that Sankara's datecannot be determined by the time of the commencement of the Buddhistpersecution, even if it were possible to ascertain the said period.

Mr. Barth seems to have discovered some connection between thephilosophical systems of Sankara, Ramanuja and Anandathirtha, and theArabian merchants who came to India in the first centuries of theHejira, and he is no doubt fully entitled to any credit that may begiven him for the originality of his discovery. This mysterious andoccult connection between Adwaita philosophy and Arabian commerce ispointed out in p. 212 of his book, and it may have some bearing on thepresent question, if it is anything more than a figment of his fancy.The only reason given by him in support of his theory is, however, in myhumble opinion, worthless. The Hindus had a Prominent example of agrand religious movement under the guidance of a single teacher in thelife of Buddha, and it was not necessary for them to imitate theadventures of the Arabian prophet. There is but one other passage inMr. Barth's book which has some reference to Sankara's date. In page207 he writes as follows:—"The Siva, for instance, who is invoked atthe commencement of the drama of Sakuntala, who is at once God, priestand offering, and whose body is the universe, is a Vedantic idea. Thistestimony appears to be forgotten when it is maintained, as is sometimesdone, that the whole sectarian Vedantism commences with Sankara." Butthis testimony appears to be equally forgotten when it is maintained, asis sometimes done by Orientalists like Mr. Barth, that Sankara lived insome century after the author of Sakuntala.

From the foregoing remarks it will be apparent that Mr. Barth's opinionregarding Sankara's date is very unsatisfactory. As Mr. Wilson seems tohave examined the subject with some care and attention, we must nowadvert to his opinion and see how far it is based on proper evidence.In attempting to fix Amara Sinha's date (which attempt ultimately endedin a miserable failure), he had to ascertain the period when Sankaralived. Consequently his remarks concerning the said period appear inhis preface to the first edition of his Sanskrit Dictionary. We shallnow reproduce here such passages from this preface as are connected withthe subject under consideration and comment upon them. Mr. Wilsonwrites as follows:—

"The birth of Sankara presents the same discordance as every otherremarkable incident amongst the Hindus. The Kadali (it ought to beKoodali) Brahmins, who form an establishment following and teaching hissystem, assert his appearance about 2,000 years since; some accountsplace him about the beginning of the Christian era, others in the thirdor fourth century after; a manuscript history of the kings of Konga, inColonel Mackenzie's Collection, makes him contemporary with Tiru VikramaDeva Chakravarti, sovereign of Skandapura in the Dekkan, AD. 178; atSringeri, on the edge of the Western Ghauts, and now in the MysoreTerritory, at which place he is said to have founded a College thatstill exists, and assumes the supreme control of the Smarta Brahmins ofthe Peninsula, an antiquity of 1,600 years is attributed to him, andcommon tradition makes him about 1,200 years old. The Bhoja Prabandhaenumerates Sankara among its worthies, and as contemporary with thatprince; his antiquity will then be between eight and nine centuries.The followers of Madhwacharya in Tuluva seem to have attempted toreconcile these contradictory accounts by supposing him to have beenborn three times; first at Sivuli in Tuluva about 1,500 years ago,again in Malabar some centuries later, and finally at Padukachaytra inTuluva, no more than 600 years since; the latter assertion beingintended evidently to do honour to their own founder, whose date thatwas, by enabling him to triumph over Sankara in a supposititiouscontroversy. The Vaishnava Brahmins of Madura say that Sankara appearedin the ninth century of Salivahana, or tenth of our era. Dr. Taylorthinks that, if we allow him about 900 years, we shall not be far fromthe truth, and Mr. Colebroke is inclined to give him an antiquity ofabout 1,000 years. This last is the age which my friend Ram Mohun Roy,a diligent student of Sankara's works, and philosophical teacher of hisdoctrines, is disposed to concur in, and he infers that 'from acalculation of the spiritual generations of the followers of SankaraSwami from his time up to this date, he seems to have lived between theseventh and eighth centuries of the Christian era,' a distance of timeagreeing with the statements made to Dr. Buchanan in his journey throughSankara's native country, Malabar, and in union with the assertion ofthe Kerala Utpatti, a work giving art historical and statistical accountof the same province, and which, according to Mr. Duncan's citation ofit, mentions the regulations of the castes of Malabar by thisphilosopher to have been effected about 1,000 years before 1798. At thesame time, it must be observed, that a manuscript translation of thesame work in Colonel Mackenzie's possession, states Sankaracharya tohave been born about the middle of the fifth century, or betweenthirteen or fourteen hundred years ago, differing in this respect fromMr. Duncan's statement—a difference of the less importance, as themanuscript in question, either from defects in the original ortranslation, presents many palpable errors, and cannot consequently bedepended upon. The weight of authority therefore is altogether infavour of an antiquity of about ten centuries, and I am disposed toadopt this estimate of Sankara's date, and to place him in the end ofthe eighth and beginning of the ninth century of the Christian era."

We will add a few more authorities to Mr. Wilson's list beforeproceeding to comment on the foregoing passage.

In a work called "The Biographical Sketches of Eminent Hindu Authors,"published at Bombay in 1860 by Janardan Ramchenderjee, it is stated thatSankara lived 2,500 years ago, and that, in the opinion of some people,2,200 years ago. The records of the Combaconum Matham give a list ofnearly 66 Mathadhipatis from Sankara down to the present time, and showthat he lived more than 2,000 years ago.

The Kudali Matham referred to by Mr. Wilson, which is a branch of theSringeri Matham, gives the same date as the latter Matham, theirtraditions being identical. Their calculation can safely be relied uponas far as it is supported by the dates given on the places of Samadhi(something like a tomb) of the successive Gurus of the Sringeri Matham;and it leads us to the commencement of the Christian era.

No definite information is given by Mr. Wilson regarding the nature,origin, or reliability of the accounts which place Sankara in the thirdor fourth century of the Christian era or at its commencement; nor doesit clearly appear that the history of the kings of Konga referred tounmistakably alludes to the very first Sancharacharya. These traditionsare evidently opposed to the conclusion arrived at by Mr. Wilson, and itdoes not appear on what grounds their testimony is discredited by him.Mr. Wilson is clearly wrong in stating that an antiquity of 1,600 yearsis attributed to Sankara by the Sringeri Matham. We have alreadyreferred to the account of the Sringeri Matham, and it is preciselysimilar to the account given by the Kudali Brahmins. We have ascertainedthat it is so from the agent of the Sringeri Matham at Madras, who hasrecently published the list of teachers preserved at the said Mathamwith the dates assigned to them. And further, we are unable to see which"common tradition" makes Sankara "about 1,200 years old." As far as ourknowledge goes there is no such common tradition in India. The majorityof people in Southern India have, up to this time, been relying on theSringeri account, and in Northern India there seems to be no commontradition. We have but a mass of contradictory accounts.

It is indeed surprising that an Orientalist of Mr. Wilson's pretensionsshould confound the poet named Sankara and mentioned in Bhoja Prabandhawith the great Adwaitee teacher. No Hindu would ever commit such aridiculous mistake. We are astonished to find some of these EuropeanOrientalists quoting now and then some of the statements contained insuch books as Bhoja Prabandha, Katha Sarit Sagara, Raja-tarangini andPanchatantra, as if they were historical works. In some other part ofhis preface Mr. Wilson himself says that this Bhoja Prabandha isaltogether untrustworthy, as some of the statements contained thereindid not harmonize with his theory about Amarasimha's date; but now hemisquotes its statements for the purpose of supporting his conclusionregarding Sankara's date. Surely, consistency is not one of theprominent characteristics of the writings of the majority of EuropeanOrientalists. The person mentioned in Bhoja Prabandha is always spokenof under the name of Sankara Kavi (poet), and he is nowhere calledSankaracharya (teacher), and the Adwaitee teacher is never mentioned inany Hindu work under the appellation of Sankara Kavi.

It is unnecessary for us to say anything about the Madhwa traditions orthe opinion of the Vaishnava Brahmins of Madurah regarding Sankara'sdate. It is, in our humble opinion, hopeless to expect anything butfalsehood regarding Sankara's history and his philosophy from theMadhwas and the Vaishnavas. They are always very anxious to show to theworld at large that their doctrines existed before the time of Sankara,and that the Adwaitee doctrine was a deviation from their preexistingorthodox Hinduism. And consequently they have assigned to him anantiquity of less than 1,500 years.

It does not appear why Dr. Taylor thinks that he can allow Sankara about900 years, or on what grounds Mr. Colebrooke is inclined to give him anantiquity of about 1,000 years. No reliance can be placed on suchstatements before the reasons assigned therefore are thoroughly sifted.

Fortunately, Mr. Wilson gives us the reason for Ram Mohun Roy's opinion.We are inclined to believe that Ram Mohun Roy's calculation was madewith reference to the Sringeri list of Teachers or Gurus, as that wasthe only list published up to this time; and as no other Matham, exceptperhaps the Cumbaconum Matham, has a list of Gurus coming up to thepresent time in uninterrupted succession. There is no necessity fordepending upon his calculation (which from its very nature cannot beanything more than mere guesswork) when the old list preserved atSringeri contains the dates assigned to the various teachers. As thesedates have not been published up to the present time, and as Ram MohunRoy had merely a string of names before him, he was obliged to ascertainSankara's date by assigning a certain number of years on the average toevery teacher. Consequently, his opinion is of no importance whateverwhen we have the statement of the Sringeri Matham which, as we havealready said, places Sankara some centuries before the Christian era.The same remarks will apply to the calculation in question even if itwere made on the basis of the number of teachers contained in the listpreserved in the Cumbaconum Matham.

Very little importance can be attached to the oral evidence adduced bysome unknown persons before Dr. Buchanan in his travels through Malabar;and we have only to consider the inferences that may be drawn from theaccounts contained in Kerala Utpatti. The various manuscript copies ofthis work seem to differ in the date they assign to Sankaracharya; evenif the ease were otherwise, we cannot place any reliance upon this work,for the following among other reasons:—

I. It is a well-known fact that the customs of Malabar are verypeculiar. Their defenders have been, consequently, pointing to somegreat Rishi or some great philosopher of ancient India as theirlegislator. Some of them affirm (probably the majority) that Parasuramabrought into existence some of these customs and left a special Smritifor the guidance of the people of Malabar; others say that it wasSankaracharya who sanctioned these peculiar customs. It is not verydifficult to perceive why these two persons were selected by them.According to the Hindu Puranas, Parasurama lived in Malabar for sometime, and according to Hindu traditions Sankara was born in thatcountry. But it is extremely doubtful whether either of them hadanything to do with the peculiar customs of the said country. There isno allusion whatever to any of these customs in Sankara's works. Heseems to have devoted his whole attention to religious reform, and it isvery improbable that he should have ever directed his attention to thelocal customs of Malabar. While attempting to revive the philosophy ofthe ancient Rishis, it is not likely that he should have sanctioned thecustoms of Malabar, which are at variance with the rules laid down inthe Smritis of those very Rishis; and as far as our knowledge goes, heleft no written regulations regarding to the castes of Malabar.

II. The statements contained in Kerala Utpatti are opposed to theaccount of Sankara's life given in almost all the Sankara Vijayams(Biographies of Sankara) examined up to this time—viz., Vidyaranya'sSankara Vijayam, Chitsukhachary's Sankara Vijayavilasam, Brihat SankaraVijayam, &c. According to the account contained in these works, Sankaraleft Malabar in his eighth year, and returned to his native village whenhis mother was on her death-bed, and on that occasion he remained thereonly for a few days. It is difficult to see at what period of hislifetime he was engaged in making regulations for the castes of Malabar.

III. The work under consideration represents Malabar as the seat ofBhattapada's triumphs over the Buddhists, and says that this teacherestablished himself in Malabar and expelled the Buddhists from thatcountry. This statement alone will be sufficient to show to our readersthe fictitious character of the account contained in this book.According to every other Hindu work, this great teacher of Purva Mimamsawas born in Northern India; almost all his famous disciples andfollowers were living in that part of the country, and according toVidyaranya's account he died at Allahabad.

For the foregoing reasons we cannot place any reliance upon this accountof Malabar.

From an examination of the traditions and other accounts referred toabove, Mr. Wilson comes to the conclusion that Sankaracharya lived inthe end of the eighth and the beginning of the ninth century of theChristian era. The accounts of the Sringeri, Kudali and CumbaconumMathams, and the traditions current in the Bombay Presidency, as shownin the biographical sketches published at Bombay, place Sankara in somecentury before the Christian era. On the other hand, Kerala Utpatti,the information obtained by Dr. Buchanan in his travels through Malabar,and the opinions expressed by Dr. Taylor and Mr. Colebrooke, concur inassigning to him an antiquity of about 1,000 years. The remainingtraditions referred to by Mr. Wilson are as much opposed to his opinionas to the conclusion that Sankara lived before Christ. We shall nowleave it to our readers to say whether, under such circ*mstances, Mr.Wilson is justified in asserting that "the weight of authority isaltogether in favour" of his theory.

We have already referred to the writings of almost all the EuropeanOrientalists who expressed an opinion upon the subject under discussion;and we need hardly say that Sankara's date is yet to be ascertained.

We are obliged to comment at length on the opinions of EuropeanOrientalists regarding Sankara's date, as there will be no probabilityof any attention being paid to the opinion of Indian and Tibetaninitiates when it is generally believed that the question has beenfinally settled by European Sanskritists. The Adepts referred to by "AnEnglish F.T.S." are certainly in a position to clear up some of theproblems in Indian religious history. But there is very little chanceof their opinions being accepted by the general public under presentcirc*mstances, unless they are supported by such evidence as is withinthe reach of the outside world. As it is not always possible to procuresuch evidence, there is very little use in publishing the informationwhich is in their possession until the public are willing to recognizeand admit the antiquity and trustworthiness of their traditions, theextent of their powers, and the vastness of their knowledge. In theabsence of such proof as is above indicated, there is every likelihoodof their opinions being rejected as absurd and untenable; their motiveswill no doubt be questioned, and some people may be tempted to deny eventhe fact of their existence. It is often asked by Hindus as well as byEnglish men why these Adepts are so very unwilling to publish someportion at least of the information they possess regarding the truths ofphysical science. But, in doing so, they do not seem to perceive thedifference between the method by which they obtain their knowledge andthe process of modern scientific investigation by which the facts ofNature are ascertained and its laws are discovered. Unless an Adept canprove his conclusions by the same kind of reasoning as is adopted by themodern scientist they remain undemonstrated to the outside world. It isof course impossible for him to develop in a considerable number ofhuman beings such faculties as would enable them to perceive theirtruth; and it is not always practicable to establish them by theordinary scientific method unless all the facts and laws on which hisdemonstration is to be based have already been ascertained by modernscience. No Adept can be expected to anticipate the discoveries of thenext four or five centuries, and prove some grand scientific truth tothe entire satisfaction of the educated public after having discoveredevery fact and law of Nature required for the said purpose by suchprocess of reasoning as would be accepted by them. They have toencounter similar difficulties in giving any information regarding theevents of the ancient history of India.

However, before giving the exact date assigned to Sankaracharya by theIndian and Tibetan initiates, we shall indicate a few circ*mstances bywhich his date may be approximately determined. It is our humble opinionthat the Sankara Vijayams hitherto published can be relied upon as faras they are consistent with each other regarding the general outlines ofSankara's life. We cannot, however, place any reliance whatever uponAnandagiri's Sankara Vijaya published at Calcutta. The Calcutta editionnot only differs in some very material points from the manuscript copiesof the same work found in Southern India, but is opposed to every otherSankara Vijayam hitherto examined. It is quite clear from its style andsome of the statements contained therein, that it was not the productionof Anandagiri, one of the four chief disciples of Sankara and thecommentator on his Upanishad Bhashyam. For instance, it representsSankara as the author of a certain verse which is to be found inVidyaranya's Adhikaranaratnamala, written in the fourteenth century. Itrepresents Sankara as giving orders to two of his disciples to preachthe Visishtadwaitee and the Dwaitee doctrines, which are directlyopposed to his own doctrine. The book under consideration says thatSankara went to conquer Mandanamisra in debate, followed bySureswaracharya, though Mandanamisra assumed the latter name at the timeof initiation. It is unnecessary for us here to point out all theblunders and absurdities of this book. It will be sufficient to saythat in our opinion it was not written by Anandagiri, and that it wasthe introduction of an unknown author who does not appear to have beeneven tolerably well acquainted with the history of the Adwaiteedoctrine. Vidyaranya's (otherwise Sayanachary, the great commentator ofthe Vedas) Sankara Vijaya is decidedly the most reliable source ofinformation as regards the main features of Sankara's biography. Itsauthorship has been universally accepted, and the information containedtherein was derived by its author, as may be seen from his ownstatements, from certain old biographies of Sankara existing at the timeof its composition. Taking into consideration the author's vastknowledge and information, and the opportunities he had for collectingmaterials for his work when he was the head of the Sringeri Matham,there is every reason to believe that he had embodied in his work themost reliable information he could obtain. Mr. Wilson, however, saysthat the book in question is "much too poetical and legendary" to beacknowledged as a great authority. We admit that the style is highlypoetical, but we deny that the work is legendary. Mr. Wilson is notjustified in characterizing it as such on account of its description ofsome of the wonderful phenomena shown by Sankara. Probably the learnedOrientalist would not be inclined to consider the Biblical account ofChrist in the same light. It is not the peculiar privilege ofChristianity to have a miracle-worker for its first propagator. In thefollowing observations we shall take such facts as are required fromthis work.

It is generally believed that a person named Govinda Yogi was Sankara'sGuru, but it is not generally known that this Yogi was in factPatanjali—the great author of the Mahabhashya and the Yoga Sutras—under a new name. A tradition current in Southern India represents himas one of the Chelas of Patanjali; but it is very doubtful if thistradition has anything like a proper foundation. But it is quite clearfrom the 94th, 95th, 96th, and 97th verses of the 5th chapter ofVidyaranya's Sankara Vijayam that Govinda Yogi and Patanjali wereidentical. According to the immemorial custom observed amongstinitiates, Patanjali assumed the name of Govinda Yogi at the time of hisinitiation by Goudapada. It cannot be contended that Vidyaranyarepresented Patanjali as Sankara's Guru merely for the purpose ofassigning some importance to Sankara and his teaching. Sankara islooked upon as a far greater man than Patanjali by the Adwaitees, andnothing can be added to Sankara's reputation by Vidyaranya's assertion.Moreover, Patanjali's views are not altogether identical with Sankara'sviews; it may be seen from Sankara's writings that he attached noimportance whatever to the practices of Hatha Yog regarding whichPatanjali composed his Yoga Sutras. Under such circ*mstances, ifVidyaranya had the option of selecting a Guru for Sankara, he would nodoubt have represented Vyasa himself (who is supposed to be stillliving) as his Guru. We see no reason therefore to doubt the correctnessof the statement under examination. Therefore, as Sankara wasPatanjali's Chela, and as Goudapada was his Guru, his date will enableus to fix the dates of Sankara and Goudapada. We may here point out toour readers a mistake that appears in p. 148 of Mr. Sinnett's book onEsoteric Buddhism as regards the latter personage. He is thererepresented as Sankara's Guru; Mr. Sinnett was informed, we believe,that he was Sankara's Paramaguru, and not having properly understood themeaning of this expression, Mr. Sinnett wrote that he was Sankara'sGuru.

It is generally admitted by Orientalists that Patanjali lived before thecommencement of the Christian era. Mr. Barth places him in the secondcentury before the Christian era, accepting Goldstucker's opinion, andMonier Williams does the same thing. Weber, who seems to have carefullyexamined the opinions of all the other Orientalists who have writtenupon the subject, comes to the conclusion that "we must for the presentrest satisfied with placing the date of the composition of the Bhashyabetween B.C. 140 and A.D. 60, a result which considering the wretchedstate of the chronology of Indian Liturgy generally is, despite itsindefiniteness, of no mean importance." And yet even this date restsupon inferences drawn from one or two unimportant expressions containedin Patanjali's Mahabhashya. It is always dangerous to draw suchinferences, and especially so when it is known that, according to thetradition current amongst Hindu grammarians, some portions ofMahabhashya were lost, the gaps being filled up by subsequent writers.Even supposing that we should consider the expression quoted as writtenby Patanjali himself, there is nothing in those expressions which wouldenable us to fix the writer's date. For instance, the connectionbetween the expression "Arunad Yavanah Saketam" and the expedition ofMenander against Ayodhya between B.C. 144 and 120, relied upon byGoldstucker is merely imaginary. There is nothing in the expression toshow that the allusion contained therein points necessarily toMenander's expedition. We believe that Patanjali is referring to theexpedition of Yavanas against Ayodhya during the lifetime of Sagara'sfather described in Harivamsa. This expedition occurred long beforeRama's time, and there is nothing to connect it with Menander.Goldstucker's inference is based upon the assumption that there was noother Yavana expedition against Ayodhya known to Patanjali, and it willbe easily seen from Harivamsa (written by Vyasa) that the saidassumption is unwarranted. Consequently the whole theory constructed byGoldstucker on this weak foundation falls to the ground. No validinferences can be drawn from the mere names of kings contained inMahabhashya, even if they are traced to Patanjali himself, as therewould be several kings in the same dynasty bearing the same name. Fromthe foregoing remarks it will be clear that we cannot fix, as Weber hasdone, B.C. 140 as the maximum limit of antiquity that can be assigned toPatanjali. It is now necessary to see whether any other such limit hasbeen ascertained by Orientalists. As Panini's date still remainsundetermined, the limit cannot be fixed with reference to his date. Butit is assumed by some Orientalists that Panini must have lived at sometime subsequent to Alexander's invasion, from the fact that Paniniexplains in his Grammar the formation of the word Yavanani. We are verysorry that European Orientalists have taken the pains to constructtheories upon this basis without ascertaining the meaning assigned tothe word Yavana, and the time when the Hindus first became acquaintedwith the Greeks. It is unreasonable to assume without proof that thisacquaintance commenced at the time of Alexander's invasion. On theother hand, there are very good reasons for believing that the Greekswere known to the Hindus long before this event. Pythagoras visitedIndia, according to the traditions current amongst Indian initiates, andhe is alluded to in Indian astrological works under the name ofYavanacharya. Moreover, it is not quite certain that the word Yavanawas strictly confined to the Greeks by the ancient Hindu writers.Probably it was originally applied to the Egyptians and the Ethiopians;it was probably extended first to the Alexandrian Greeks, andsubsequently to the Greeks, Persians, and Arabians. Besides the Yavanainvasion of Ayodhya described in Harivamsa, there was another subsequentexpedition to India by Kala Yavana (Black Yavana) during Krishna'slifetime described in the same work. This expedition was probablyundertaken by the Ethiopians. Anyhow, there are no reasons whatever, asfar as we can see, for asserting that Hindu writers began to use theword Yavana after Alexander's invasion. We can attach no importancewhatever to any inferences that may be drawn regarding the dates ofPanini and Katyayana (both of them lived before Patanjali) from thestatements contained in Katha Sarit Sayara, which is nothing more than amere collection of fables. It is now seen by Orientalists that no properconclusions can be drawn regarding the dates of Panini and Katyayanafrom the statements made by Hiuan Thsang, and we need not therefore sayanything here regarding the said statements. Consequently the dates ofPanini and Katyayana still remain undetermined by European Orientalists.Goldstucker is probably correct in his conclusion that Panini livedbefore Buddha, and the Buddhists' accounts agree with the traditions ofthe initiates in asserting that Katyayana was a contemporary of Buddha.From the fact that Patanjali must have composed his Mahabhashyam afterthe composition of Panini's Sutras and Katyayana's Vartika, we can onlyinfer that it was written after Buddha's birth. But there are a fewconsiderations which may help us in coming to the conclusion thatPatanjali must have lived about the year 500 B.C.; Max Muller fixed theSutra period between 500 B.C. and 600 B.C. We agree with him insupposing that the period probably ended with B.C. 500, though it isuncertain how far it extended into the depths of Indian antiquity.Patanjali was the author of the Yoga Sutras, and this fact has not beendoubted by any Hindu writer up to this time. Mr. Weber thinks, however,that the author of the Yoga Sutras might be a different man from theauthor of the Mahabhashya, though he does not venture to assign anyreason for his supposition. We very much doubt if any EuropeanOrientalist can ever find out the connection between the first Anhika ofthe Mahabhashya and the real secrets of Hatha Yoga contained in the YogaSutras. No one but an initiate can understand the full significance ofthe said Anhika; and the "eternity of the Logos" or Sabda is one of theprincipal doctrines of the Gymnosophists of India, who were generallyHatha Yogis. In the opinion of Hindu writers and pundits Patanjali wasthe author of three works, viz., Mahabhashya, Yoga Sutras, and a book onMedicine and Anatomy; and there is not the slightest reason forquestioning the correctness of this opinion. We must, therefore, placePatanjali in the Sutra period, and this conclusion is confirmed by thetraditions of the Indian initiates. As Sankaracharya was a contemporaryof Patanjali (being his Chela) he must have lived about the same time.We have thus shown that there are no reasons for placing Sankara in theeighth or ninth century after Christ, as some of the EuropeanOrientalists have done. We have further shown that Sankara wasPatanjali's Chela, and that his date should be ascertained withreference to Patanjali's date. We have also shown that neither the yearB.C. 140 nor the date of Alexander's invasion can be accepted as themaximum limit of antiquity that can be assigned to him, and we havelastly pointed out a few circ*mstances which will justify us inexpressing an opinion that Patanjali and his Chela Sankara belonged tothe Sutra period. We may, perhaps, now venture to place before thepublic the exact date assigned to Sankaracharya by Tibetan and Indianinitiates. According to the historical information in their possessionhe was born in the year B.C. 510 (fifty-one years and two months afterthe date of Buddha's Nirvana), and we believe that satisfactory evidencein support of this date can be obtained in India if the inscriptions atConjeveram, Sringeri, Jaggurnath, Benares, Cashmere, and various otherplaces visited by Sankara, are properly deciphered. Sankara builtConjeveram, which is considered as one of the most ancient towns inSouthern India; and it may be possible to ascertain the time of itsconstruction if proper inquiries are made. But even the evidence nowbrought before the public supports the opinion of the Initiates aboveindicated. As Goudapada was Sankaracharya's Guru's guru, his dateentirely depends on Sankara's date; and there is every reason tosuppose that he lived before Buddha.

Question VI.—"Historical Difficulty"—Why?

It is asked whether there may not be "some confusion" in the letterquoted on p. 62 of "Esoteric Buddhism" regarding "old Greeks and Romanssaid to have been Atlanteans." The answer is—None whatever. The word"Atlantean" was a generic name. The objection to have it applied to theold Greeks and Romans on the ground that they were Aryans, "theirlanguage being intermediate between Sanskrit and modern Europeandialects," is worthless. With equal reason might a future 6th Racescholar, who had never heard of the (possible) submergence of a portionof European Turkey, object to Turks from the Bosphorus being referred toas a remnant of the Europeans. "The Turks are surely Semites," he mightsay 12,000 years hence, and "their language is intermediate betweenArabic and our modern 6th Race dialects." *

————* This is not to be construed to mean that 12,000 years hence there willbe yet any man of the 6th Race, or that the 5th will be submerged. Thefigures are given simply for the sake of a better comparison with thepresent objection in the case of the Greeks and Atlantis.————-

The "historical difficulty" arises from a certain authoritativestatement made by Orientalists on philological grounds. Professor MaxMuller has brilliantly demonstrated that Sanskrit was the "eldersister"—by no means the mother—of all the modern languages. As tothat "mother," it is conjectured by himself and colleagues to be a "nowextinct tongue, spoken probably by the nascent Aryan race." When askedwhat was this language, the Western voice answers: "Who can tell?"When, "during what geological periods did this nascent race flourish?"the same impressive voice replies: "In prehistoric ages, the durationof which no one can now determine." Yet it must have been Sanskrit,however barbarous and unpolished, since "the ancestors of the Greeks,the Italians, Slavonians, Germans and Kelts" were living within "thesame precincts" with that nascent race, and the testimony borne bylanguage has enabled the philologist to trace the "language of the gods"in the speech of every Aryan nation. Meanwhile it is affirmed by thesesame Orientalists that classical Sanskrit has its origin at the verythreshold of the Christian era; while Vedic Sanskrit is allowed anantiquity of hardly 3,000 years (if so much) before that time.

Now, Atlantis, on the statement of the "Adepts," sank over 9,000 yearsbefore the Christian era.* How then can one maintain that the "oldGreeks and Romans" were Atlanteans? How can that be, since both nationsare Aryans, and the genesis of their languages is Sanskrit? Moreover,the Western scholars know that the Greek and Latin languages were formedwithin historical periods, the Greeks and Latins themselves having noexistence as nations 11,000 B.C.. Surely they who advance such aproposition do not realize how very unscientific is their statement!

—————* The position recently taken up by Mr. Gerald Massey in Light that thestory of Atlantis is not a geological event but an ancient astronomicalmyth, is rather imprudent. Mr. Massey, notwithstanding his rareintuitional faculties and great learning, is one of those writers inwhom the intensity of research bent into one direction has biased hisotherwise clear understanding. Because Hercules is now a constellationit does not follow that there never was a hero of this name. Becausethe Noachian Universal Deluge is now proved a fiction based upongeological and geographical ignorance, it does not, therefore, appearthat there were not many local deluges in prehistoric ages. Theancients connected every terrestrial event with the celestial bodies.They traced the history of their great deified heroes and memorializedit in stellar configurations as often as they personified pure myths,anthropomorphizing objects in Nature. One has to learn the differencebetween the two modes before attempting to classify them under onenomenclature. An earthquake has just engulfed over 80,000 people(87,903) in Sunda Straits. These were mostly Malays, savages with whombut few had relations, and the dire event will be soon forgotten. Had aportion of Great Britain been thus swept away instead, the whole worldwould have been in commotion, and yet, a few thousand years hence, evensuch an event would have passed out of man's memory; and a future GeraldMassey might be found speculating upon the astronomical character andsignification of the Isles of Wight, Jersey, or Man, arguing, perhaps,that this latter island had not contained a real living race of men but"belonged to astronomical mythology," was a "Man submerged in celestialwaters." If the legend of the lost Atlantis is only "like those ofAiryana-Vaejo and Jambu-dvipa," it is terrestrial enough, and therefore"the mythological origin of the Deluge legend" is so far an openquestion. We claim that it is not "indubitably demonstrated," howeverclever the theoretical demonstration.————-

Such are the criticisms passed, such the "historical difficulty." Theculprits arraigned are fully alive to their perilous situation;nevertheless, they maintain the statement. The only thing which mayperhaps here be objected to is, that the names of the two nations areincorrectly used. It may be argued that to refer to the remoteancestors and their descendants equally as "Greeks and Romans," is ananachronism as marked as would be the calling of the ancient KelticGauls, or the Insubres, Frenchmen. As a matter of fact this is true.But, besides the very plausible excuse that the names used were embodiedin a private letter, written as usual in great haste, and which washardly worthy of the honour of being quoted verbatim with all itsimperfections, there may perhaps exist still weightier objections tocalling the said people by any other name. One misnomer is as good asanother; and to refer to old Greeks and Romans in a private letter asthe old Hellenes from Hellas or Magna Graecia, and the Latins as fromLatium, would have been, besides looking pedantic, just as incorrect asthe use of the appellation noted, though it may have sounded, perchance,more "historical." The truth is that, like the ancestors of nearly allthe Indo-Europeans (or shall we say Indo-Germanic Japhetidae?), theGreek and Roman sub-races mentioned have to be traced much farther back.Their origin must be carried far into the mists of that "prehistoric"period, that mythical age which inspires the modern historian with sucha feeling of squeamishness that anything creeping out of its abysmaldepths is sure to be instantly dismissed as a deceptive phantom, themythos of an idle tale, or a later fable unworthy of serious notice.The Atlantean "old Greeks" could not be designated even as theAutochthones—a convenient term used to dispose of the origin of anypeople whose ancestry cannot be traced, and which, at any rate with theHellenes, meant certainly more than simply "soil-born," or primitiveaborigines; and yet the so-called fable of Deukalion and Pyrrha issurely no more incredible or marvelous than that of Adam and Eve—afable that hardly a hundred years ago no one would have dared or eventhought to question. And in its esoteric significance the Greektradition is possibly more truly historical than many a so-calledhistorical event during the period of the Olympiades, though both Hesiodand Homer may have failed to record the former in their epics. Norcould the Romans be referred to as the Umbro-Sabbellians, nor even asthe Itali. Peradventure, had the historians learnt something more thanthey have of the Italian "Autochthones"—the Iapygians—one might havegiven the "old Romans" the latter name. But then there would be againthat other difficulty: history knows that the Latin invaders drovebefore them, and finally cooped up, this mysterious and miserable raceamong the clefts of the Calabrian rocks, thus showing the absence of anyrace affinity between the two. Moreover, Western archeologists keep totheir own counsel, and will accept of no other but their ownconjectures. And since they have failed to make anything out of theundecipherable inscriptions in an unknown tongue and mysteriouscharacters on the Iapygian monuments, and so for years have pronouncedthem unguessable, he who would presume to meddle where the doctorsmuddle would be likely to be reminded of the Arab proverb aboutproffered advice. Thus, it seems hardly possible to designate "the oldGreeks and Romans" by their legitimate, true name, so as to at oncesatisfy the "historians" and keep on the fair side of truth and fact.However, since in the Replies that precede Science had to be repeatedlyshocked by most unscientific propositions, and that before this seriesis closed many a difficulty, philological and archeological as well ashistorical, will have to be unavoidably created—it may be just as wiseto uncover the occult batteries at once and have it over with.

Well, then, the "Adepts" deny most emphatically to Western science anyknowledge whatever of the growth and development of the Indo-Aryan racewhich, "at the very dawn of history," they have espied in its"patriarchal simplicity" on the banks of the Oxus. Before ourproposition concerning "the old Greeks and Romans" can be repudiated oreven controverted, Western Orientalists will have to know more than theydo about the antiquity of that race and the Aryan language; and theywill have to account for those numberless gaps in history which nohypotheses of theirs seem able to fill up. Notwithstanding theirpresent profound ignorance with regard to the early ancestry of theIndo-European nations, and though no historian has yet ventured toassign even a remotely approximate date to the separation of the Aryannations and the origins of the Sanskrit language, they hardly show themodesty that might, under these circ*mstances, be expected from them.Placing as they do that great separation of the races at the first "dawnof traditional history," with the Vedic age as "the background of thewhole Indian world" (of which confessedly they know nothing), they will,nevertheless, calmly assign a modern date to any of the Rik-vedic oldestsongs, on its "internal evidence;" and in doing this, they show aslittle hesitation as Mr. Fergusson when ascribing a post-Christian ageto the most ancient rockcut temple in India, merely on its "externalform." As for their unseemly quarrels, mutual recriminations, andpersonalities over questions of scholarship, the less said the better.

"The evidence of language is irrefragable," as the great OxfordSanskritist says. To which he is answered—"provided it does not clashwith historical facts and ethnology." It may be—no doubt it is, as faras his knowledge goes—"the only evidence worth listening to with regardto ante-historical periods;" but when something of these alleged"prehistorical periods" comes to be known, and when what we think weknow of certain supposed prehistoric nations is found diametricallyopposed to his "evidence of language," the "Adepts" may be, perhaps,permitted to keep to their own views and opinions, even though theydiffer with those of the greatest living philologist. The study oflanguage is but a part—though, we admit, a fundamental part—of truephilology. To be complete, the latter has, as correctly argued byBockt, to be almost synonymous with history. We gladly concede theright to the Western philologist, who has to work in the total absenceof any historical data, to rely upon comparative grammar, and take theidentification of roots lying at the foundation of words of thoselanguages he is familiar with, or may know of, and put it forward as theresult of his study, and the only available evidence. But we would liketo see the same right conceded by him to the student of other races;even though these be inferior to the European races, in the opinion ofthe paramount West: for it is barely possible that, proceeding on otherlines, and having reduced his knowledge to a system which precludeshypothesis and simple affirmation, the Eastern student has preserved aperfectly authentic record (for him) of those periods which his opponentregards as ante-historical. The bare fact that, while Western men ofscience are referred to as "scholars" and scholiasts—nativeSanskritists and archeologists are often spoken of as "Calcutta" and"Indian sciolists"—affords no proof of their real inferiority, butrather of the wisdom of the Chinese proverb that "self-conceit is rarelycompanion to politeness."

The "Adept" therefore has little, if anything, to do with difficultiespresented by Western history. To his knowledge—based on documentaryrecords from which, as said, hypothesis is excluded, and as regardswhich even psychology is called to play a very secondary part—thehistory of his and other nations extends immeasurably beyond that hardlydiscernible point that stands on the far-away horizon of the Westernworld as a landmark of the commencement of its history. Records madethroughout a series of ages, based on astronomical chronology andzodiacal calculations, cannot err. (This new "difficulty"—palaeographical, t his time—that may be possibly suggested by themention of the Zodiac in India and Central Asia before the Christianera, is disposed of in a subsequent article.)

Hence, the main question at issue is to decide which—the Orientalist orthe "Oriental"—is most likely to err. The "English F.T.S." has choiceof two sources of information, two groups of teachers. One group iscomposed of Western historians with their suite of learned Ethnologists,Philologists, Anthropologists, Archeologists and Orientalists ingeneral. The other consists of unknown Asiatics belonging to a racewhich, notwithstanding Mr. Max Muller's assertion that the same "bloodis running in the veins (of the English soldier) and in the veins of thedark Bengalese," is generally regarded by many a cultured Western as"inferior." A handful of men can hardly hope to be listened to,specially when their history, religion, language, origin and sciences,having been seized upon by the conqueror, are now disfigured andmutilated beyond recognition, and who have lived to see the Westernscholar claim a monopoly beyond appeal or protest of deciding thecorrect meaning, chronological date, and historical value of themonumental and palaeographic relics of his motherland. It has little,if ever, entered the mind of the Western public that their scholarshave, until very lately, worked in a narrow pathway obstructed with theruins of an ecclesiastical, dogmatic Past; that they have been crampedon all sides by limitations of "revealed" events coming from God, "withwhom a thousand years are but as one day," and who have thus felt boundto cram millenniums into centuries and hundreds into units, giving atthe utmost an age of 1,000 to what is 10,000 years old. All this tosave the threatened authority of their religion and their ownrespectability and good name in cultured society. And even that, whenfree themselves from preconceptions, they have had to protect the honourof the Jewish divine chronology assailed by stubborn facts; and thushave become (often unconsciously) the slaves of an artificial historymade to fit into the narrow frame of a dogmatic religion. No properthought has been given to this purely psychological but very significanttrifle. Yet we all know how, rather than admit any relation betweenSanskrit and the Gothic, Keltic, Greek, Latin and old Persian, factshave been tampered with, old texts purloined from libraries, andphilological discoveries vehemently denied. And we have also heard fromour retreats, how Dugald Stewart and his colleagues, upon seeing thatthe discovery would also involve ethnological affinities, and damage theprestige of those sires of the world races—Shem, Ham and Japhet—deniedin the face of fact that "Sanskrit had ever been a living, spokenlanguage," supporting the theory that "it was an invention of theBrahmins, who had constructed their Sanskrit on the model of the Greekand Latin." And again we know, holding the proof of the same, how themajority of Orientalists are prone to go out of their way to prevent anyIndian antiquity (whether MSS. or inscribed monument, whether art orscience) from being declared pre-Christian. As the origin and historyof the Gentile world is made to move in the narrow circuit of a fewcenturies "B.C.," within that fecund epoch when mother earth,recuperated from her arduous labours of the Stone age, begat, it seemswithout transition, so many highly civilized nations and falsepretenses, so the enchanted circle of Indian archeology lies between the(to them unknown) year of the Samvat era, and the tenth century of theWestern chronology.

Having to dispose of an "historical difficulty" of such a seriouscharacter, the defendants charged with it can but repeat what they havealready stated; all depends upon the past history and antiquity allowedto the Indo-Aryan nation. The first step to take is to ascertain howmuch History herself knows of that almost prehistoric period when thesoil of Europe had not been trodden yet by the primitive Aryan tribes.From the latest Encyclopedia down to Professor Max Muller and otherOrientalists, we gather what follows; they acknowledge that at someimmensely remote period, before the Aryan nations got divided from theparent stock (with the germs of Indo-Germanic languages in them); andbefore they rushed asunder to scatter over Europe and Asia in search ofnew homes, there stood a "single barbaric (?) people as physical andpolitical representative of the nascent Aryan race." This people spoke"a now extinct Aryan language," from which by a series of modifications(surely requiring more thousands of years than our difficulty-makers arewilling to concede) there arose gradually all the subsequent languagesnow spoken by the Caucasian races.

That is about all Western history knows of its genesis. Like Ravana'sbrother, Kumbhakarna,—the Hindu Rip van Winkle—it slept for a longseries of ages a dreamless, heavy sleep. And when at last it awoke toconsciousness, it was but to find the "nascent Aryan race" grown intoscores of nations, peoples and races, most of them effete and crippledwith age, many irretrievably extinct, while the true origin of theyounger ones it was utterly unable to account for. So much for the"youngest brother." As for "the eldest brother, the Hindu," who,Professor Max Muller tells us, "was the last to leave the central homeof the Aryan family," and whose history this eminent philologist has nowkindly undertaken to impart to him,—he, the Hindu, claims that whilehis Indo-European relative was soundly sleeping under the protectingshadow of Noah's ark, he kept watch and did not miss seeing one eventfrom his high Himalayan fastnesses; and that he has recorded thehistory thereof, in a language which, though as incomprehensible as theIapygian inscriptions to the Indo-European immigrant, is quite clear tothe writers. For this crime he now stands condemned as a falsifier ofthe records of his forefathers. A place has been hitherto purposelyleft open for India "to be filled up when the pure metal of historyshould have been extracted from the ore of Brahmanic exaggeration andsuperstition." Unable, however, to meet this programme, the Orientalisthas since persuaded himself that there was nothing in that "ore" butdross. He did more. He applied himself to contrast Brahmanic"superstition" and "exaggeration" with Mosaic revelation and itschronology. The Veda was confronted with Genesis. Its absurd claims toantiquity were forthwith dwarfed to their proper dimensions by the 4,004years B.C. measure of the world's age; and the Brahmanic "superstitionand fables" about the longevity of the Aryan Rishis, were belittled andexposed by the sober historical evidence furnished in "The genealogy andage of the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah," whose respective days were 930and 950 years; without mentioning Methuselah, who died at the prematureage of nine hundred and sixty-nine.

In view of such experience, the Hindu has a certain right to decline theoffers made to correct his annals by Western history and chronology. Onthe contrary, he would respectfully advise the Western scholar, beforehe denies point-blank any statement made by the Asiatics with referenceto what is prehistoric ages to Europeans, to show that the latter havethemselves anything like trustworthy data as regards their own racialhistory. And that settled, he may have the leisure and capacity to helphis ethnic neighbours to prune their genealogical trees. Our Rajputs,among others, have perfectly trustworthy family records of an unbrokenlineal descent through 2,000 years "B.C." and more, as proved by ColonelTod; records which are accepted by the British Government in itsofficial dealings with them. It is not enough to have studied strayfragments of Sanskrit literature—even though their number should amountto 10,000 texts, as boasted of—allowed to fall into foreign hands, tospeak so confidently of the "Aryan first settlers in India," and assertthat, "left to themselves, in a world of their own, without a past andwithout a future (!) before them, they had nothing but themselves toponder upon," and therefore could know absolutely nothing of othernations. To comprehend correctly and make out the inner meaning of mostof them, one has to read these texts with the help of the esotericlight, and after having mastered the language of the Brahmanic SecretCode—branded generally as "theological twaddle." Nor is itsufficient—if one would judge correctly of what the archaic Aryans didor did not know; whether or not they cultivated the social andpolitical virtues; cared or not for history—to claim proficiency inboth Vedic and classical Sanskrit, as well as in Prakrit and AryaBhasha. To comprehend the esoteric meaning of ancient Brahmanicalliterature, one has, as just remarked, to be in possession of the key tothe Brahmanical Code. To master the conventional terms used in thePuranas, the Aranyakas and Upanishads is a science in itself, and onefar more difficult than even the study of the 3,996 aphoristical rulesof Panini, or his algebraical symbols. Very true, most of the Brahmansthemselves have now forgotten the correct interpretations of theirsacred texts. Yet they know enough of the dual meaning in theirscriptures to be justified in feeling amused at the strenuous efforts ofthe European Orientalist to protect the supremacy of his own nationalrecords and the dignity of his science by interpreting the Hinduhieratic text after a peremptory fashion quite unique. Disrespectfulthough it may seem, we call on the philologist to prove in some moreconvincing manner than usual, that he is better qualified than even theaverage Hindu Sanskrit pundit to judge of the antiquity of the "languageof the gods;" that he has been really in a position to trace unerringlyalong the lines of countless generations the course of the "now extinctAryan tongue" in its many and various transformations in the West, andits primitive evolution into first the Vedic, and then the classicalSanskrit in the East, and that from the moment when the mother-streambegan deviating into its new ethnographical beds, he has followed it up.Finally that, while he, the Orientalist, can, owing to speculativeinterpretations of what he thinks he has learnt from fragments ofSanskrit literature, judge of the nature of all that he knows nothingabout—i.e., to speculate upon the past history of a great nation he haslost sight of from its "nascent state," and caught up again but at theperiod of its last degeneration—the native student never knew, nor canever know, anything of that history. Until the Orientalist has provedall this, he can be accorded but small justification for assuming thatair of authority and supreme contempt which is found in almost everywork upon India and its Past. Having no knowledge himself whatever ofthose incalculable ages that lie between the Aryan Brahman in CentralAsia, and the Brahman at the threshold of Buddhism, he has no right tomaintain that the initiated Indo-Aryan can never know as much of themas the foreigner. Those periods being an utter blank to him, he islittle qualified to declare that the Aryan, having had no politicalhistory "of his own…." his only sphere was "religion andphilosophy…. in solitude and contemplation." A happy thoughtsuggested, no doubt, by the active life, incessant wars, triumphs, anddefeats portrayed in the oldest songs of the Rik-Veda. Nor can he withthe smallest show of logic affirm that "India had no place in thepolitical history of the world," or that "there are no synchronismsbetween the history of the Brahmans and that of other nations before thedate of the origin of Buddhism in India;" for he knows no more of theprehistoric history of those "other nations" than of that of theBrahman. All his inferences, conjectures and systematic arrangements ofhypotheses begin very little earlier than 200 "B.C.," if even so much,on anything like really historical grounds. He has to prove all thisbefore he can command our attention. Otherwise, however "irrefragablethe evidence of language," the presence of Sanskrit roots in all theEuropean languages will be insufficient to prove, either that (a) beforethe Aryan invaders descended toward the seven rivers they had never lefttheir northern regions; or (b) why the "eldest brother, the Hindu,"should have been "the last to leave the central home of the Aryanfamily." To the philologist such a supposition may seem "quitenatural." Yet the Brahman is no less justified in his ever-growingsuspicion that there may be at the bottom some occult reason for such aprogramme. That in the interest of his theory the Orientalist wasforced to make "the eldest brother" tarry so suspiciously long on theOxus, or wherever "the youngest" may have placed him in his "nascentstate" after the latter "saw his brothers all depart towards the settingsun." We find reasons to believe that the chief motive for allegingsuch a procrastination is the necessity to bring the race closer to theChristian era. To show the "brother" inactive and unconcerned, "withnothing but himself to ponder on," lest his antiquity and "fables ofempty idolatry," and perhaps his traditions of other people's doings,should interfere with the chronology by which it is determined to tryhim. The suspicion is strengthened when one finds in the book fromwhich we have been so largely quoting—a work of a purely scientific andphilological character—such frequent remarks and even prophecies as:"History seems to teach that the whole human race required a gradualeducation before, in the fulness of time, it could be admitted to thetruths of Christianity." Or, again "The ancient religions of the worldwere but the milk of Nature, which was in due time to be succeeded bythe bread of life;" and such broad sentiments expressed as that "thereis some truth in Buddhism, as there is in every one of the falsereligions of the world, but…." *

—————-* Max Muller's "History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature."—————-

The atmosphere of Cambridge and Oxford seems decidedly unpropitious tothe recognition of either Indian antiquity, or the merit of thephilosophies sprung from its soil!*

————-* And how one-sided and biased most of the Western Orientalists are maybe seen by reading carefully "The History of Indian Literature," byAlbrecht Weber—a Sanskrit scholiast classed with the highestauthorities. The incessant harping upon the one special string ofChristianity, and the ill-concealed efforts to pass it off as thekeynote of all other religions, is painfully pre-eminent in his work.Christian influences are shown to have affected not only the growth ofBuddhism and Krishna worship, but even that of the Siva-cult and itslegends; it is openly stated that "it is not at all a far-fetchedhypothesis that they have reference to scattered Christianmissionaries!" The eminent Orientalist evidently forgets that,notwithstanding his efforts, none of the Vedic, Sutra or Buddhistperiods can be possibly crammed into this Christian period—theiruniversal tank of all ancient creeds, and of which some Orientalistswould fain make a poor-house for all decayed archaic religions andphilosophy. Even Tibet, in his opinion, has not escaped "Westerninfluence." Let us hope to the contrary. It can be proved that Buddhistmissionaries were as numerous in Palestine, Alexandria, Persia, and evenGreece, two centuries before the Christian era, as the Padris are now inAsia. That the Gnostic doctrines (as he is obliged to confess) arepermeated with Buddhism. Basilides, Valentinian, Bardesanes, andespecially Manes were simply heretical Buddhists, "the formula ofabjuration of these doctrines in the case of the latter, specifyingexpressly Buddha (Bodda) by name."—————

Leaflets from Esoteric History

The foregoing—a long, yet necessary digression—will show that theAsiatic scholar is justified in generally withholding what he may know.That it is not merely on historical facts that hangs the "historicaldifficulty" at issue; but rather on its degree of interference withtime-honoured, long-established conjectures, often raised to theeminence of an unapproachable historical axiom. That no statementcoming from our quarters can ever hope to be given consideration so longas it has to be supported on the ruins of reigning hobbies, whether ofan alleged historical or religious character. Yet pleasant it is, afterthe brainless assaults to which occult sciences have hitherto beensubjected—assaults in which abuse has been substituted for argument,and flat denial for calm inquiry—to find that there remain in the Westsome men who will come into the field like philosophers, and soberly andfairly discuss the claims of our hoary doctrines to the respect due to atruth and the dignity demanded for a science. Those alone whose soledesire is to ascertain the truth, not to maintain foregone conclusions,have a right to expect undisguised facts. Reverting to our subject, sofar as allowable, we will now, for the sake of that minority, give them.

The records of the Occultists make no difference between the "Atlantean"ancestors of the old Greeks and Romans. Partially corroborated and inturn contradicted by licensed or recognized history, their records teachthat of the ancient Latini of classic legend called Itali; of thatpeople, in short, which, crossing the Apennines (as their Judo-Aryanbrothers—let this be known—had crossed before them the Hindoo-Koosh)entered from the north the peninsula—there survived at a period longbefore the days of Romulus but the name, and a nascent language.Profane history informs us that the Latins of the "mythical era" got soHellenized amidst the rich colonies of Magna Grecia that there remainednothing in them of their primitive Latin nationality. It is the Latinsproper, it says, those pre-Roman Italians who by settling in Latium hadfrom the first kept themselves free from the Greek influence, who werethe ancestors of the Romans. Contradicting exoteric history, the Occultrecords affirm that if, owing to circ*mstances too long and complicatedto be related here, the settlers of Latium preserved their primitivenationality a little longer than their brothers who had first enteredthe peninsula with them after leaving the East (which was not theiroriginal home), they lost it very soon, for other reasons. Free fromthe Samnites during the first period, they did not remain free fromother invaders. While the Western historian puts together themutilated, incomplete records of various nations and people, and makesthem into a clever mosaic according to the best and most probable planand rejects entirely traditional fables, the Occultist pays not theslightest attention to the vain self-glorification of alleged conquerorsor their lithic inscriptions. Nor does he follow the stray bits ofso-called historical information, often concocted by interested partiesand found scattered hither and thither in the fragments of classicalwriters, whose original texts themselves have not seldom been tamperedwith. The Occultist follows the ethnological affinities and theirdivergences in the various nationalities, races and sub-races, in a moreeasy way; and he is guided in this as surely as the student whoexamines a geographical map. As the latter can easily trace by theirdifferently coloured outlines the boundaries of the many countries andtheir possessions; their geographical superficies and their separationsby seas, rivers and mountains; so the Occultist can by following the(to him) well distinguishable and defined auric shades and gradations ofcolour in the inner-man unerringly pronounce to which of the severaldistinct human families, as also to what special group, and even smallsub-group of the latter, belongs any particular people, tribe, or man.This will appear hazy and incomprehensible to the many who know nothingof ethnic varieties of nerve-aura, and disbelieve in any "inner-man"theory, scientific but to the few. The whole question hangs upon thereality or unreality of the existence of this inner-man whomclairvoyance has discovered, and whose odyle or nerve-emanations VonReichenbach proves. If one admits such a presence and realizesintuitionally that being closer related to the one invisible Reality,the inner type must be still more pronounced than the outer physicaltype, then it will be a matter of little, if any, difficulty to conceiveour meaning. For, indeed, if even the respective physicalidiosyncrasies and special characteristics of any given person make hisnationality usually distinguishable by the physical eye of the ordinaryobserver—let alone the experienced ethnologist: the Englishman beingcommonly recognizable at a glance from the Frenchman, the German fromthe Italian, not to speak of the typical differences between humanroot-families* in their anthropological division—there seems littledifficulty in conceiving that the same, though far more pronounced,difference of type and characteristics should exist between the innerraces that inhabit these "fleshly tabernacles." Besides this easilydiscernible psychological and astral differences, there are thedocumentary records in their unbroken series of chronological tables andthe history of the gradual branching off of races and sub-races from thethree geological primeval Races, the work of the Initiates of all thearchaic and ancient temples up to date, collected in our "Book ofNumbers," and other volumes.

————-* Properly speaking, these ought to be called "Geological Races," so asto be easily distinguished from their subsequent evolutions—theroot-races. The Occult doctrine has nothing to do with the Biblicaldivision of Shem, Ham and Japhet, and admires, without accepting it, thelatest Huxleyan physiological division of the human races into theirquintuple groups of Australioids, Negroids, Mongoloids, Xanthechroics,and the fifth variety of Melanochroics. Yet it says that the tripledivision of the blundering Jews is closer to the truth, it knows but ofthree entirely distinct primeval races whose evolution, formation anddevelopment went pari passu and on parallel lines with the evolution,formation, and development of three geological strata; namely, theBLACK, the RED-YELLOW, and the BROWN-WHITE RACES.————-

Hence, and on this double testimony (which the Westerns are quitewelcome to reject if so pleased) it is affirmed that, owing to the greatamalgamation of various sub-races, such as the Iapygian, Etruscan,Pelasgic, and later—the strong admixture of the Hellenic andKelto-Gaulic element in the veins of the primitive Itali ofLatium—there remained in the tribes gathered by Romulus on the banks ofthe Tiber about as much Latinism as there is now in the Romanic peopleof Wallachia. Of course if the historical foundation of the fable ofthe twins of the Vestal Silvia is entirely rejected, together with thatof the foundation of Alba Longa by the son of Aeneas, then it stands toreason that the whole of the statements made must be likewise a moderninvention built upon the utterly worthless fables of the "legendarymythical age." For those who now give these statements, however, thereis more of actual truth in such fables than there is in the allegedhistorical Regal period of the earliest Romans. It is to be deploredthat the present statement should clash with the authoritativeconclusion of Mommsen and others. Yet, stating but that which to the"Adepts" is fact, it must be understood at once that all (but thefanciful chronological date for the foundation of Rome-April, 753"B.C.") that is given in old traditions in relation to the Paemerium,and the triple alliance of the Ramnians, Luceres and Tities, of theso-called Romuleian legend, is indeed far nearer truth than whatexternal history accepts as facts during the Punic and Macedonian warsup to, through, and down the Roman Empire to its fall. The founders ofRome were decidedly a mongrel people, made up of various scraps andremnants of the many primitive tribes; only a few really Latinfamilies, the descendants of the distinct sub-race that came along withthe Umbro-Sabellians from the East remaining. And, while the latterpreserved their distinct colour down to the Middle Ages through theSabine element, left unmixed in its mountainous regions, the blood ofthe true Roman was Hellenic blood from its beginning. The famous Latinleague is no fable, but history. The succession of kings descended fromthe Trojan Aeneas is a fact; and the idea that Romulus is to beregarded as simply the symbolical representative of a people, as Aeolus,Dorius, and Ion were once, instead of a living man, is as unwarranted asit is arbitrary. It could only have been entertained by a class ofhistoriographers bent upon condoning their sin in supporting the dogmathat Shem, Ham and Japhet were the historical once living ancestors ofmankind, by making a burnt-offering of every really historical butnon-Jewish tradition, legend, or record which might presume to a placeon the same level with these three privileged archaic mariners, insteadof humbly groveling at their feet as "absurd myths" and old wives' talesand superstitions.

It will thus appear that the objectionable statements on pp. 56 and 62of "Esoteric Buddhism," which are alleged to create an "historicaldifficulty," were not made by Mr. Sinnett's correspondent to bolster awestern theory, but in loyalty to historical facts. Whether they can orcannot be accepted in those particular localities where criticism seemsbased upon mere conjecture (though honoured with the name of scientifichypothesis), is something which concerns the present writers as littleas any casual traveler's unfavourable comments upon the time-scarredvisage of the Sphinx can affect the designer of that sublime symbol.The sentences, "the Greeks and Romans were small sub-races of our ownCaucasian stock" (p. 6), and they were "the remnants of the Atlanteans(the modern belong to the fifth race)" (p. 62), show the real meaning ontheir face. By the old Greeks, "remnants of the Atlanteans" theeponymous ancestors (as they are called by Europeans) of the Aeolians,Dorians and Ionians, are meant. By the connection together of the oldGreeks and Romans without distinction, was meant that the primitiveLatins were swallowed by Magna Graecia. And by "the modern" belonging"to the fifth race"—both these small branchlets from whose veins hadbeen strained out the last drop of the Atlantean blood—it was impliedthat the Mongoloid 4th race blood had already been eliminated.Occultists make a distinction between the races intermediate between anytwo root-races: the Westerns do not. The "old Romans" were Hellenes ina new ethnological disguise; and the still older Greeks the real bloodancestors of the future Romans. In direct relation to this, attentionis drawn to the following fact—one of the many in close historicalbearing upon the "mythical" age to which Atlantis belongs. It is afable and may be charged to the account of historical difficulties. Itis well calculated, however, to throw all the old ethnological andgenealogical divisions into confusion.

Asking the reader to bear in mind that Atlantis, like modern Europe,comprised many nations and many dialects (issues from the three primevalroot-languages of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Races), we may return toPoseidonis, its last surviving remnant of 12,000 years ago. As thechief element in the languages of the 5th race is the Aryan-Sanskrit ofthe "Brown-white" geological stock or race, so the predominating elementin Atlantis was a language which has now survived but in the dialects ofsome American Red-Indian tribes, and in the Chinese speech of theinland Chinamen, the mountainous tribes of Kivang-ze—a language whichwas an admixture of the agglutinate and the monosyllabic, as it would becalled by modern philologists. It was, in short, the language of the"Red-yellow" second or middle geological stock (we maintain the term"geological"). A strong percentage of the Mongoloid or 4th Root-racewas, of course, to be found in the Aryans of the 5th. But this did notprevent in the least the presence at the same time of unalloyed, pureAryan races in it. A number of small islands scattered aroundPoseidonis had been vacated, in consequence of earthquakes, long beforethe final catastrophe, which has alone remained in the memory of men—thanks to some written records. Tradition says that one of the smalltribes (the Aeolians) who had become islanders after emigrating from farnorthern countries, had to leave their home again for fear of a deluge.If, in spite of the Orientalists and the conjecture of M.F. Lenormant—who invented a name for a people whose shadowy outline he dimlyperceived in the faraway Past as preceding the Babylonians—we say thatthis Aryan race that came from Central Asia, the cradle of the 5th raceHumanity, belonged to the "Akkadian" tribes, there will be a newhistorico-ethnological difficulty created. Yet it is maintained thatthese "Akkads" were no more a "Turanian" race than any of the modernBritish people are the mythical ten tribes of Israel, so conspicuouslypresent in the Bible, and absent from history. With such remarkablepacta conventa between modern exact (?) and ancient Occult sciences, wemay proceed with the fable. Belonging virtually, through their originalconnection with the Aryan, Central Asian stock, to the 5th race, the oldAeolians yet were Atlanteans, not only in virtue of their long residencein the now submerged continent, covering some thousands of years, but bythe free intermingling of blood, by intermarriage with them. Perhaps inthis connection Mr. Huxley's disposition to account for his Melanochroi(the Greeks being included under this classification or type)—asthemselves "the result of crossing between the Xanthochroi and theAustralioids," among whom he places the Southern India lower classes andthe Egyptians to some extent—is not far off from fact. Anyhow theAeolians of Atlantis were Aryans on the whole, as much as the Basques—Dr. Pritchard's Allophylians—are now southern Europeans, althoughoriginally belonging to the South Indian Dravidian stock (theirprogenitors having never been the aborigines of Europe prior to thefirst Aryan emigration, as supposed). Frightened by the frequentearthquakes and the visible approach of the cataclysm, this tribe issaid to have filled a flotilla of arks, to have sailed from beyond thePillars of Hercules, and, sailing along the coasts, after several yearsof travel to have landed on the shores of the Aegean Sea in the land ofPyrrha (now Thessaly), to which they gave the name of Aeolia. Thencethey proceeded on business with the gods to Mount Olympus. It may bestated here, at the risk of creating a "geographical difficulty," thatin that mythical age Greece, Crete, Sicily, Sardinia, and many otherislands of the Mediterranean, were simply the far-away possessions, orcolonies, of Atlantis. Hence, the "fable" proceeds to state that allalong the coasts of Spain, France, and Italy the Aeolians often halted,and the memory of their "magical feats" still survives among thedescendants of the old Massilians, of the tribes of the laterCarthago-Nova, and the seaports of Etruria and Syracuse. And hereagain it would not be a bad idea, perchance, even at this late hour, forthe archeologists to trace, with the permission of the anthropologicalsocieties, the origin of the various autochthones through theirfolk-lore and fables, as they may prove both more suggestive andreliable than their "undecipherable" monuments. History catches a mistyglimpse of these particular autochthones thousands of years only afterthey had been settled in old Greece—namely, at the moment when theEpireans cross the Pindus bent on expelling the black magicians fromtheir home to Boeotia. But history never listened to the popularlegends which speak of the "accursed sorcerers" who departed, leaving asan inheritance behind them more than one secret of their infernal arts,the fame of which crossing the ages has now passed into history—or,classical Greek and Roman fable, if so preferred. To this day a populartradition narrates how the ancient forefathers of the Thessalonians, sorenowned for their magicians, had come from behind the Pillars, askingfor help and refuge from the great Zeus, and imploring the father of thegods to save them from the deluge. But the "Father" expelled them fromthe Olympus, allowing their tribe to settle only at the foot of themountain, in the valleys, and by the shores of the Aegean Sea.

Such is the oldest fable of the ancient Thessalonians. And now, whatwas the language spoken by the Atlantean Aeolians? History cannotanswer us. Nevertheless, the reader has only to be reminded of some ofthe accepted and a few of the as yet unknown facts, to cause the lightto enter any intuitional brain. It is now proved that man wasuniversally conceived in antiquity as born of the earth. Such is nowthe profane explanation of the term autochthones. In nearly everyvulgarized popular fable, from the Sanskrit Arya "born of the earth," orLord of the Soil in one sense; the Erechtheus of the archaic Greeks,worshiped in the earliest days of the Akropolis and shown by Homer as"he whom the earth bore" ( Il. ii. 548); down to Adam fashioned of "redearth," the genetical story has a deep occult meaning, and an indirectconnection with the origin of man and of the subsequent races. Thus,the fables of Helen, the son of Pyrrha the red—the oldest name ofThessaly; and of Mannus, the reputed ancestor of the Germans, himselfthe son of Tuisco, "the red son of the earth," have not only a directbearing upon our Atlantis fable, but they explain moreover the divisionof mankind into geological groups as made by the Occultists. It is onlythis, their division, that is able to explain to Western teachers theapparently strange, if not absurd, coincidence of the Semitic Adam—adivinely revealed personage—being connected with red earth, in companywith the Aryan Pyrrha, Tuisco, &c.—the mythical heroes of "foolish"fables. Nor will that division made by the Eastern Occultists, who callthe 5th race people "the Brown-white," and the 4th race the"Red-yellow," Root-races—connecting them with geological strata—appearat all fantastic to those who understood verse iii. 34-9 of the Veda andits occult meaning, and another verse in which the Dasyus are called"Yellow." Hatvi Dasyun pra aryam varanam avat is said of Indra who, bykilling the Dasyus, protected the colour of the Aryans; and again, Indra"unveiled the light for the Aryas and the Dasyus was left on the lefthand" (ii. III 18). Let the student of Occultism bear in mind that theGreek Noah, Deukalion, the husband of Pyrrha, was the reputed son ofPrometheus who robbed Heaven of its fire (i.e., of secret Wisdom "of theright hand," or occult knowledge); that Prometheus is the brother ofAtlas; that he is also the son of Asia and of the Titan Iapetus—theantetype from which the Jews borrowed their Japhet for the exigencies oftheir own popular legend to mask its kabalistic, Chaldean meaning; andthat he is also the antetype of Deukalion. Prometheus is the creator ofman out of earth and water,* who after stealing fire from Olympus—amountain in Greece—is chained on a mount in the far-off Caucasus. FromOlympus to Mount Kazbek there is a considerable distance. TheOccultists say that while the 4th race was generated and developed onthe Atlantean continent—our Antipodes in a certain sense—the 5th wasgenerated and developed in Asia. (The ancient Greek geographer Strabo,for one, calls by the name of Ariana, the land of the Aryas, the wholecountry between the Indian Ocean in the south, the Hindu Kush andParapamisis in the north, the Indus on the east, and the Caspian Gates,Karamania and the mouth of the Persian Gulf, on the west.) The fable ofPrometheus relates to the extinction of the civilized portions of the4th race, whom Zeus, in order to create a new race, would destroyentirely, and Prometheus (who had the sacred fire of knowledge) savedpartially "for future seed." But the origin of the fable antecedes thedestruction of Poseidonis by more than seventy thousand years, howeverincredible it may seem. The seven great continents of the world, spokenof in the Vishnu Purana (B. II., cap. 2) include Atlantis, though, ofcourse, under another name. Ila and Ira are synonymous Sanskrit terms(see Amarakosha), and both mean earth or native soil; and Ilavrita is aportion of Ila, the central point of India (Jambudvipa), the latterbeing itself the centre of the seven great continents before thesubmersion of the great continent of Atlantis, of which Poseidonis wasbut an insignificant remnant. And now, while every Brahmin willunderstand the meaning, we may help the Europeans with a few moreexplanations.

* Behold Moses saying that it requires earth and water to make a living

If, in that generally tabooed work, "Isis Unveiled," the "EnglishF.T.S." turns to page 589, vol. I., he may find therein narrated anotherold Eastern legend. An island …. (where now the Gobi desert lies) wasinhabited by the last remnants of the race that preceded ours: ahandful of "Adepts"—the "Sons of God," now referred to as the BrahmanPitris; called by another yet synonymous name in the Chaldean Kabala."Isis Unveiled" may appear very puzzling and contradictory to those whoknow nothing of Occult Sciences. To the Occultist it is correct, andwhile perhaps left purposely sinning (for it was the first cautiousattempt to let into the West a faint streak of Eastern esoteric light),it reveals more facts than were ever given before its appearance. Letany one read these pages and he may comprehend. The "six such races" inManu refer to the sub-races of the fourth race (p. 590). In addition tothis the reader must turn to the paper on "The Septenary Principle inEsotericism" (p. 187 ante), study the list of the "Manus" of our fourthRound (p. 254), and between this and "Isis" light may, perchance, befocused. On pages 590-6 of the work mentioned above, he will find thatAtlantis is mentioned in the "Secret Books of the East" (as yet virginof Western spoliating hand) under another name in the sacred hieratic orsacerdotal language. And then it will be shown to him that Atlantis wasnot merely the name of one island but that of a whole continent, ofwhose isles and islets many have to this day survived. The remotestancestors of some of the inhabitants of the now miserable fisherman'shovel "Aclo" (once Atlan), near the gulf of Uraha, were allied at onetime as closely with the old Greeks and Romans as they were with the"true inland China-man," mentioned on p. 57 Of "Esoteric Buddhism."Until the appearance of a map, published at Basle in 1522, wherein thename of America appears for the first time, the latter was believed tobe part of India; and strange to him who does not follow the mysteriousworking of the human mind and its unconscious approximations to hiddentruths—even the aborigines of the new continent, the Red-skinnedtribes, the "Mongoloids" of Mr. Huxley, were named Indians. Names nowattributed to chance: elastic word that! Strange coincidence, indeed,to him who does not know—science refusing yet to sanction the wildhypothesis—that there was a time when the Indian peninsula was at oneend of the line, and South America at the other, connected by a belt ofislands and continents. The India of the prehistoric ages was not onlywithin the region at the sources of the Oxus and Jaxartes, but there waseven in the days of history, and within its memory, an upper, a lower,and a western India: and still earlier it was doubly connected with thetwo Americas. The lands of the ancestors of those whom AmmianusMarcellinus calls the "Brahmans of Upper India" stretched from Kashmirfar into the (now) deserts of Schamo. A pedestrian from the north mightthen have reached—hardly wetting his feet—the Alaskan Peninsula,through Manchooria, across the future Gulf of Tartary, the Kurile andAleutian Islands; while another traveler, furnished with a canoe andstarting from the south, could have walked over from Siam, crossed thePolynesian Islands and trudged into any part of the continent of SouthAmerica. On pp. 592-3 of "Isis," vol. I., the Thevetatas—the evil,mischievous gods that have survived in the Etruscan Pantheon—arementioned, along with the "sons of God" or Brahman Pitris. TheInvolute, the hidden or shrouded gods, the Consentes, Complices, andNovensiles, are all disguised relics of the Atlanteans; while theEtruscan arts of soothsaying their Disciplina revealed by Tages comesdirect and in undisguised form from the Atlantean king Thevetat, the"invisible" Dragon, whose name survives to this day among the Siameseand Burmese, as also, in the Jataka allegorical stories of the Buddhistsas the opposing power under the name of Devadat. And Tages was the sonof Thevetat, before he became the grandson of the EtruscanJupiter-Tinia. Have the Western Orientalists tried to find out theconnection between all these Dragons and Serpents; between the "powersof Evil" in the cycles of epic legends, the Persian and the Indian, theGreek and the Jewish; between the contests of Indra and the giant; theAryan Nagas and the Iranian Aji Dahaka; the Guatemalian Dragon and theSerpent of Genesis—&c. &c. &c.? Professor Max Muller discredits theconnection. So be it. But the fourth race of men, "men" whose sightwas unlimited and who knew all things at once, the hidden as theunrevealed, is mentioned in the Popol-Vuh, the sacred books of theGuatemalians; and the Babylonian Xisuthrus, the far later Jewish Noah,the Hindu Vaivaswata, and the Greek Deukalion, are all identical withthe great Father of the Thlinkithians, of Popol-Vuh who, like the restof these allegorical (not mythical) Patriarchs, escaped in his turn andin his days, in a large boat at the time of the last great Deluge—thesubmersion of Atlantis.

To have been an Indo-Aryan, Vaivaswata had not, of necessity, to meetwith his Saviour (Vishnu, under the form of a fish) within the precinctsof the present India, or even anywhere on the Asian continent; nor isit necessary to concede that he was the seventh great Manu himself (seecatalogue of the Manus, in the paper on "The Septenary Principle inEsotericism" cited above), but simply that the Hindu Noah belonged tothe clan of Vaivaswata and typifies the fifth race. Now the last of theAtlantean islands perished some 11,000 years ago; and the fifth raceheaded by the Aryans began its evolution, to the certain knowledge ofthe "Adepts" nearer one million than 900,000 years ago. But thehistorian and the anthropologist with their utmost stretch of liberalityare unable to give more than from twenty to one hundred thousand yearsfor all our human evolution. Hence we put it to them as a fairquestion: at what point during their own conjectural lakh of years dothey fix the root-germ of the ancestral line of the "old Greeks andRomans?" Who were they? What is known or even "conjectured" about theirterritorial habitat after the division of the Aryan nations? And wherewere the ancestors of the Semitic and Turanian races? It is not enoughfor purposes of refutation of other peoples' statements to say that thelatter lived separate from the former, and then come to a full stop—afresh hiatus in the ethnological history of mankind. Since Asia issometimes called the Cradle of Humanity, and it is an ascertained factthat Central Asia was likewise the cradle of the Semitic and Turanianraces (for thus it is taught in Genesis), and we find the Turansagreeably to the theory evolved by the Assyriologists preceding theBabylonian Semitists, where, at what spot of the globe, did theseSemito-Turanian nations break away from the parent stock, and what hasbecome of the latter? It cannot be the small Jewish tribe ofPatriarchs; and unless it can be shown that the garden of Eden was alsoon the Oxus or the Euphrates, fenced off from the soil inhabited by thechildren of Cain, philologists who undertake to fill in the gaps inUniversal History with their made-up conjectures, may be regarded asignorant of this detail as those they would enlighten.

Logically, if the ancestors of these various groups had been at thatremote period massed together, then the self-same roots of a parentcommon stock would have been equally traceable in their perfectedlanguages as they are in those of the Judo-Europeans. And so, sincewhichever way one turns, one is met with the same troubled sea ofspeculation, margined by the treacherous quicksands of hypothesis, andevery horizon bounded by inferential landmarks inscribed with imaginarydates. Again, the "Adepts" ask why should any one be awed intoaccepting as final criterion that which passes for science of highauthority in Europe? For all this is known to the Asiatic scholar—inevery case save the purely mathematical and physical sciences—as littlebetter than a secret league for mutual support, and, perhaps,admiration. He bows with profound respect before the Royal Societies ofPhysicists, Chemists, and, to a degree, even of Naturalists. He refusesto pay the slightest attention to the merely speculative and conjecturalso-called "sciences" of the modern Physiologist, Ethnologist,Philologist, &c., and the mob of self-styling Oedipuses to whom it isnot given to unriddle the Sphynx of Nature, and who therefore throttleher.

With an eye to the above, as also with a certain prevision of thefuture, the defendants in the cases under examination believe that the"historical difficulty" with reference to the non-historical statement,necessitated more than a simple reaffirmation of the fact. They knewthat with no better claims to a hearing than may be accorded by theconfidence of a few, and in view of the decided antagonism of the many,it would never do for them to say "we maintain" while Western professorsmaintained to the contrary. For a body of, so to say, unlicensedpreachers and students of unauthorized and unrecognized sciences tooffer to fight an August body of universally recognized oracles, wouldbe an unprecedented piece of impertinence. Hence their respectiveclaims had to be examined on however small a scale to begin with (inthis as in all other cases) on other than psychological grounds. The"Adepts" in Occult Arts had better keep silence when confronted with the"A.C.S.'s"—Adepts in Conjectural Sciences—unless they could show,partially at least, how weak is the authority of the latter and on whatfoundations of shifting sands their scientific dicta are often built.They may thus make it a thinkable conjecture that the former may beright after all. Absolute silence, moreover, as at present advised,would have been fatal. Besides risking to be construed into inabilityto answer, it might have given rise to new complaints among the faithfulfew, and lead to fresh charges of selfishness against the writers.Therefore have the "Adepts" agreed to smooth in part at least a few ofthe most glaring difficulties and showing a highway to avoid them infuture by studying the non-historical but actual, instead of thehistorical but mythical, portions of Universal History. And this theyhave achieved, they believe (at any rate with a few of their querists),by simply showing, or rather reminding them, that since no historicalfact can stand as such against the "assumption" of the "Adepts"—historians being confessedly ignorant of pre-Roman and Greek originsbeyond the ghostly shadows of the Etruscans and Pelasgians—no realhistorical difficulty can be possibly involved in their statement. Fromobjectors outside the Society, the writers neither demand nor do theyexpect mercy. The "Adept" has no favours to ask at the hands ofconjectural science, nor does he exact from any member of the "LondonLodge" blind faith: it being his cardinal maxim that faith should onlyfollow inquiry. The "Adept" is more than content to be allowed toremain silent, keeping what he may know to himself, unless worthyseekers wish to share it. He has so done for ages, and can do so for alittle longer. Moreover, he would rather not "arrest attention" or"command respect" at present. Thus he leaves his audience to firstverify his statements in every case by the brilliant though ratherwavering light of modern science: after which his facts may be eitheraccepted or rejected, at the option of the willing student. In short,the "Adept"—if one indeed—has to remain utterly unconcerned with, andunmoved by, the issue. He imparts that which it is lawful for him togive out, and deals but with facts.

The philological and archeological "difficulties" next demand attention.

Philological and Archeological "Difficulties"

Two questions are blended into one. Having shown the reasons why theAsiatic student is prompted to decline the guidance of Western History,it remains to explain his contumacious obstinacy in the same directionwith regard to philology and archeology. While expressing the sincerestadmiration for the clever modern methods of reading the past historiesof nations now mostly extinct, and following the progress and evolutionof their respective languages, now dead, the student of Easternoccultism, and even the profane Hindu scholar acquainted with hisnational literature, can hardly be made to share the confidence felt byWestern philologists in these conglutinative methods, when practicallyapplied to his own country and Sanskrit literature. Three facts, atleast, out of many are well calculated to undermine his faith in theseWestern methods:—

1. Of some dozens of eminent Orientalists, no two agree, even in theirverbatim translation of Sanskrit texts. Nor is there more harmony shownin their interpretation of the possible meaning of doubtful passages.

2. Though Numismatics is a less conjectural branch of science, and whenstarting from well-established basic dates, so to say, an exact one(since it can hardly fail to yield correct chronological data, in ourcase, namely, Indian antiquities); archeologists have hitherto failed toobtain any such position. On their own confession, they are hardlyjustified in accepting the Samvat and Salivahana eras as their guidinglights, the real initial points of both being beyond the power of theEuropean Orientalists to verify; yet all the same, the respective dates"of 57 B.C. and 78 A.D." are accepted implicitly, and fanciful agesthereupon ascribed to archeological remains.

3. The greatest authorities upon Indian archeology and architecture—General Cunningham and Mr. Fergusson—represent in their conclusions thetwo opposite poles. The province of archeology is to providetrustworthy canons of criticism, and not, it should seem, to perplex orpuzzle. The Western critic is invited to point to one single relic ofthe past in India, whether written record or inscribed or uninscribedmonument, the age of which is not disputed. No sooner has onearcheologist determined a date—say the first century—than anothertries to pull it forward to the 10th or perhaps the 14th century of theChristian era. While General Cunningham ascribes the construction ofthe present Buddha Gaya temple to the 1st century after Christ—theopinion of Mr. Fergusson is that its external form belongs to the 14thcentury; and so the unfortunate outsider is as wise as ever. Noticingthis discrepancy in a "Report on the Archeological Survey of India"(vol. viii. p. 60), the conscientious and capable Buddha-Gaya ChiefEngineer, Mr. J.D. Beglar, observes that "notwithstanding his(Fergusson's) high authority, this opinion must be unhesitatingly setaside," and forthwith assigns the building under notice to the 6thcentury. While the conjectures of one archeologist are termed byanother "hopelessly wrong," the identifications of Buddhist relics bythis other are in their turn denounced as "quite untenable." And so inthe case of every relic of whatever age.

When the "recognized" authorities agree—among themselves at least—thenwill it be time to show them collectively in the wrong. Until then,since their respective conjectures can lay no claim to the character ofhistory, the "Adepts" have neither the leisure nor the disposition toleave weightier business to combat empty speculations, in number as manyas there are pretended authorities. Let the blind lead the blind, ifthey will not accept the light.*

————* However, it will be shown elsewhere that General Cunningham's latestconclusions about the date of Buddha's death are not all supported bythe inscriptions newly discovered.—T. Subba Row.————-

As in the "historical," so in this new "archeological difficulty,"namely, the apparent anachronism as to the date of our Lord's birth, thepoint at issue is again concerned with the "old Greeks and Romans."Less ancient than our Atlantean friends, they seem more dangerousinasmuch as they have become the direct allies of philologists in ourdispute over Buddhist annals. We are notified by Prof. Max Muller, bysympathy the most fair of Sanskritists as well as the most learned—andwith whom, for a wonder, most of his rivals are found siding in thisparticular question—that "everything in Indian chronology depends onthe date of Chandragupta,"—the Greek Sandracottus. "Either of thesedates (in the Chinese and Ceylonese chronology) is impossible, becauseit does not agree with the chronology of Greece." ("Hist. of the Sans.Lit.," p. 275.) It is then by the clear light of this new AlexandrianPharos shed, upon a few synchronisms casually furnished by the Greek andRoman classical writers, that the "extraordinary" statements of the"Adepts" have now to be cautiously examined. For Western Orientaliststhe historical existence of Buddhism begins with Asoka, though, evenwith the help of Greek spectacles, they are unable to see beyondChandragupta. Therefore, "before that time Buddhist chronology istraditional and full of absurdities." Furthermore, nothing is said inthe Brahmanas of the Bauddhas—ergo, there were none before"Sandracottus," nor have the Buddhists or Brahmans any right to ahistory of their own, save the one evoluted by the Western mind. Asthough the Muse of History had turned her back while events were glidingby, the "historian" confesses his inability to close the immense lacunaebetween the Indo-Aryan supposed immigration en masse across the HindooKush, and the reign of Asoka. Having nothing more solid, he usescontradictory inferences and speculations. But the Asiatic occultists,whose forefathers had her tablets in their keeping, and even somelearned native Pundits—believe they can. The claim, however, ispronounced unworthy of attention. Of the late Smriti (traditionalhistory) which, for those who know how to interpret its allegories, isfull of unimpeachable historical records, an Ariadne's thread throughthe tortuous labyrinth of the Past—has come to be unanimously regardedas a tissue of exaggerations, monstrous fables, "clumsy forgeries of thefirst centuries A.D." It is now openly declared as worthless not onlyfor exact chronological but even for general historical purposes. Thusby dint of arbitrary condemnations, based on absurd interpretations (toooften the direct outcome of sectarian prejudice), the Orientalist hasraised himself to the eminence of a philological mantic. His learnedvagaries are fast superseding, even in the minds of many a EuropeanizedHindu, the important historical facts that lie concealed under theexoteric phraseology of the Puranas and other Smritic literature. Atthe outset, therefore, the Eastern Initiate declares the evidence ofthose Orientalists who, abusing their unmerited authority, play ducksand drakes with his most sacred relics, ruled out of court; and beforegiving his facts he would suggest to the learned European Sanskritistand archeologist that, in the matter of chronology, the difference inthe sum of their series of conjectural historical events, proves them tobe mistaken from A to Z. They know that one single wrong figure in anarithmetical progression will always throw the whole calculation intoinextricable confusion: the multiplication yielding, generally, in sucha case, instead of the correct sum something entirely unexpected. A fairproof of this may, perhaps, be found in something already alluded to—namely, the adoption of the dates of certain Hindu eras as the basis oftheir chronological assumptions. In assigning a date to text ormonument they have, of course, to be guided by one of the pre-ChristianIndian eras, whether inferentially, or otherwise. And yet—in one case,at least—they complain repeatedly that they are utterly ignorant as tothe correct starting-point of the most important of these. The positivedate of Vikramaditya, for instance, whose reign forms the starting pointof the Samvat era, is in reality unknown to them. With some,Vikramaditya flourished "B.C." 56; with others, 86; with others again,in the 6th century of the Christian era; while Mr. Fergusson will notallow the Samvat era any beginning before the "10th century A.D." Inshort, and in the words of Dr. Weber,* they "have absolutely noauthentic evidence to show whether the era of Vikramaditya dates fromthe year of his birth, from some achievement, or from the year of hisdeath, or whether, in fine, it may not have been simply introduced byhim for astronomical reasons." There were several Vikramadityas andVikramas in Indian history, for it is not a name, but an honorary title,as the Orientalists have now come to learn. How then can anychronological deduction from such a shifting premise be anything butuntrustworthy, especially when, as in the instance of the Samvat, thebasic date is made to travel along, at the personal fancy ofOrientalists, between the 1st and the 10th century?

—————-* "The History of Indian Literature," Trubner's Series, 1882, p. 202.—————-

Thus it appears to be pretty well proved that in ascribing chronologicaldates to Indian antiquities, Anglo-Indian as well as Europeanarcheologists are often guilty of the most ridiculous anachronisms.That, in fine, they have been hitherto furnishing History with anarithmetical mean, while ignorant, in nearly every case, of its firstterm! Nevertheless, the Asiatic student is invited to verify andcorrect his dates by the flickering light of this chronologicalwill-o-the-wisp. Nay, nay. Surely "An English F.T.S." would neverexpect us in matters demanding the minutest exactness to trust to suchWestern beacons! And he will, perhaps, permit us to hold to our ownviews, since we know that our dates are neither conjectural nor liableto modifications. Where even such veteran archeologists as GeneralCunningham do not seem above suspicion, and are openly denounced bytheir colleagues, palaeography seems to hardly deserve the name of exactscience. This busy antiquarian has been repeatedly denounced by Prof.Weber and others for his indiscriminate acceptance of that Samvat era.Nor have the other Orientalists been more lenient; especially thosewho, perchance under the inspiration of early sympathies for biblicalchronology, prefer in matters connected with Indian dates to give headto their own emotional but unscientific intuitions. Some would have usbelieve that the Samvat era "is not demonstrable for times antecedingthe Christian era at all." Kern makes efforts to prove that the Indianastronomers began to employ this era "only after the year of grace1000." Prof. Weber, referring sarcastically to General Cunningham,observes that "others, on the contrary, have no hesitation in at oncereferring, wherever possible, every Samvat or Samvatsare-datedinscription to the Samvat era." Thus, e.g., Cunningham (in his "Arch.Survey of India," iii. 31, 39) directly assigns an inscription datedSamvat 5 to the year "B.C. 52," &c., and winds up the statement with thefollowing plaint: "For the present, therefore, unfortunately, wherethere is nothing else (but that unknown era) to guide us, it mustgenerally remain an open question, which era we have to do with in aparticular inscription, and what date consequently the inscriptionbears." *

————* Op. cit., p. 203.————

The confession is significant. It is pleasant to find such a ring ofsincerity in a European Orientalist, though it does seem quite ominousfor Indian archeology. The initiated Brahmans know the positive datesof their eras and remain therefore unconcerned. What the "Adepts" haveonce said, they maintain; and no new discoveries or modified conjecturesof accepted authorities can exert any pressure upon their data. Even ifWestern archeologists or numismatists took it into their heads to changethe date of our Lord and Glorified Deliverer from the 7th century "B.C."to the 7th century "A.D.," we would but the more admire such aremarkable gift for knocking about dates and eras, as though they wereso many lawn-tennis balls.

Meanwhile, to all sincere and inquiring Theosophists, we will sayplainly, it is useless for any one to speculate about the date of ourLord Sanggyas's birth, while rejecting a priori all the Brahmanical,Ceylonese, Chinese, and Tibetan dates. The pretext that these do notagree with the chronology of a handful of Greeks who visited the country300 years after the event in question, is too fallacious and bold.Greece was never concerned with Buddhism, and besides the fact that theclassics furnish their few synchronistic dates simply upon the hearsayof their respective authors—a few Greeks, who themselves livedcenturies before the writers quoted—their chronology is itself toodefective, and their historical records, when it was a question ofnational triumphs, too bombastic and often too diametrically opposed tofact, to inspire with confidence any one less prejudiced than theaverage European Orientalist. To seek to establish the true dates inIndian history by connecting its events with the mythical "invasion,"while confessing that "one would look in vain in the literature of theBrahmans or Buddhists for any allusion to Alexander's conquest, andalthough it is impossible to identify any of the historical eventsrelated by Alexander's companions with the historical tradition ofIndia," amounts to something more than a mere exhibition of incompetencein this direction: were not Prof. Max Muller the party concerned—wemight say that it appears almost like predetermined dishonesty.

These are harsh words to say, and calculated no doubt to shock many aEuropean mind trained to look up to what is termed "scientificauthority" with a feeling akin to that of the savage for his familyfetich. They are well deserved, nevertheless, as a few examples willshow. To such intellects as Prof. Weber's—whom we take as the leaderof the German Orientalists of the type of Christophiles—certainly theword "obtuseness" cannot be applied. Upon seeing how chronology isdeliberately and maliciously perverted in favour of "Greek influence,"Christian interests and his own predetermined theories—another, andeven a stronger term should be applied. What expression is too severeto signify one's feelings upon reading such an unwitting confession ofdisingenuous scholarship as Weber repeatedly makes ("Hist. Ind. Lit.")when urging the necessity of admitting that a passage "has been touchedup by later interpellation," or forcing fanciful chronological placesfor texts admittedly very ancient—"as otherwise the dates would bebrought down too far or too near!" And this is the keynote of hisentire policy: fiat hypothesis, ruat caelum! On the other hand Prof.Max Muller, enthusiastic Indophile as he seems, crams centuries into hischronological thimble without the smallest apparent compunction….

These two Orientalists are instances, because they are accepted beaconsof philology and Indian paleography. Our national monuments are datedand our ancestral history perverted to suit their opinions; thepernicious evil has ensued, that as a result History is now recordingfor the misguidance of posterity the false annals and distorted factswhich, upon their evidence, will be accepted without appeal as theoutcome of the fairest and ablest critical analysis. While Prof. MaxMuller will hear of no other than a Greek criterion for Indianchronology, Prof. Weber (op. cit.) finds Greek influence—his universalsolvent—in the development of India's religion, philosophy, literature,astronomy, medicine, architecture, &c. To support this fallacy the mosttortuous sophistry, the most absurd etymological deductions are resortedto. If one fact more than another has been set at rest by comparativemythology, it is that their fundamental religious ideas, and most oftheir gods, were derived by the Greeks from religions flourishing in thenorth-west of India, the cradle of the main Hellenic stock. This is nowentirely disregarded, because a disturbing element in the harmony of thecritical spheres. And though nothing is more reasonable than theinference that the Grecian astronomical terms were inherited equallyfrom the parent stock, Prof. Weber would have us believe that "it wasGreek influence that just infused a real life into Indian astronomy" (p.251). In fine, the hoary ancestors of the Hindus borrowed theirastronomical terminology and learnt the art of star gazing and eventheir zodiac from the Hellenic infant! This proof engenders another:the relative antiquity of the astronomical texts shall be henceforthdetermined upon the presence or absence in them of asterisms andzodiacal signs, the former being undisguisedly Greek in their names, thelatter are "designated by their Sanskrit names which are translated fromthe Greek" (p. 255). Thus "Manu's law being unacquainted with theplanets," is considered as more ancient than Yajnavalkya's Code, which"inculcates their worship," and so on. But there is still another and abetter test found out by the Sanskritists for determining with"infallible accuracy" the age of the texts, apart from asterisms andzodiacal signs any casual mention in them of the name "Yavana," taken inevery instance to designate the "Greeks." This, apart "from an internalchronology based on the character of the works themselves, and on thequotations, &c., therein contained, is the only one possible," we aretold. As a result the absurd statement that "the Indian astronomersregularly speak of the Yavanas as their teachers" (p. 252). Ergo, theirteachers were Greeks. For with Weber and others "Yavana" and "Greek"are convertible terms.

But it so happens that Yavanacharya was the Indian title of a singleGreek—Pythagoras; as Sankaracharya was the title of a single Hinduphilosopher; and the ancient Aryan astronomical writers cited hisopinions to criticize and compare them with the teachings of their ownastronomical science, long before him perfected and derived from theirancestors. The honorific title of Acharya (master) was applied to himas to every other learned astronomer or mystic; and it certainly didnot mean that Pythagoras or any other Greek "Master" was necessarily themaster of the Brahmans. The word "Yavana" was a generic term employedages before the "Greeks of Alexander" projected "their influence" uponJambudvipa, to designate people of a younger race, the word meaningYuvan "young," or younger. They knew of Yavanas of the north, west,south and east; and the Greek strangers received this appellation asthe Persians, Indo-Scythians and others had before them. An exactparallel is afforded in our present day. To the Tibetans every foreignerwhatsoever is known as a Peling; the Chinese designate Europeans as"red-haired devils;" and the Mussalmans call every one outside of Islama Kuffir. The Webers of the future, following the example now set them,may perhaps, after 10,000 years, affirm, upon the authority of scraps ofMoslem literature then extant, that the Bible was written, and theEnglish, French, Russians and Germans who possessed and translated or"invented" it, lived in Kaffiristan shortly before their era under"Moslem influence." Because the Yuga Purana of the Gargi Sanhita speaksof an expedition of the Yavanas "as far as Pataliputra," therefore,either the Macedonians or the Seleuciae had conquered all India! Butour Western critic is ignorant, of course, of the fact that Ayodhya orSaketa of Rama was for two millenniums repelling inroads of variousMongolian and other Turanian tribes, besides the Indo-Scythians, frombeyond Nepaul and the Himalayas. Prof. Weber seems finally himselffrightened at the Yavana spectre he has raised, for hequeries:—"Whether by the Yavanas it is really the Greeks who are meantor possibly merely their Indo-Scythian or other successors, to whom thename was afterwards transferred." This wholesome doubt ought to havemodified his dogmatic tone in many other such cases.

But, drive out prejudice with a pitch fork it will ever return. Theeminent scholar, though staggered by his own glimpse of the truth,returns to the charge with new vigour. We are startled by the freshdiscovery that Asuramaya:* the earliest astronomer, mentionedrepeatedly in the Indian epics, "is identical with 'Ptolemaios' of theGreeks." The reason for it given is, that "this latter name, as we seefrom the inscriptions of Piyadasi, became in Indian 'Turamaya,' out ofwhich the name 'Asuramaya' might very easily grow; and since, by thelater tradition, this 'Maya' is distinctly assigned to Romaka-pura inthe West." Had the "Piyadasi inscription" been found on the site ofancient Babylonia, one might suspect the word "Turamaya" as derived from"Turanomaya," or rather mania. Since, however, the Piyadasiinscriptions belong distinctly to India, and the title was borne but bytwo kings—Chandragupta and Dharmasoka—what has "'Ptolemaios' of theGreeks" to do with "Turamaya" or the latter with "Asuramaya," except,indeed, to use it as a fresh pretext to drag the Indian astronomer underthe stupefying "Greek influence" of the Upas Tree of Western Philology?Then we learn that, because "Panini once mentions the Yavanas, i.e.,…. Greeks, and explains the formation of the word 'Yavanani,' towhich, according to the Varttika, the word lipi, 'writing,' must besupplied," therefore the word signifies "the writing of the Yavanas" ofthe Greeks and none other. Would the German philologists (who have solong and so fruitlessly attempted to explain this word) be very muchsurprised if told that they are yet as far as possible from the truth?That—Yavanani does not mean "Greek writing" at all, but any foreignwriting whatsoever? That the absence of the word "writing" in the oldtexts, except in connection with the names of foreigners, does not inthe least imply that none but Greek writing was known to them, or thatthey had none of their own, being ignorant of the art of reading andwriting until the days of Panini? (theory of Prof. Max Muller). ForDevanagari is as old as the Vedas, and held so sacred that the Brahmans,first under penalty of death, and later on of eternal ostracism, werenot even allowed to mention it to profane ears, much less to make knownthe existence of their secret temple libraries. So that by the wordYavanani, "to which, according to the Varttika, the word lipi,'writing,' must he supplied," the writing of foreigners in general,whether Phoenician, Roman, or Greek, is always meant. As to thepreposterous hypothesis of Prof. Max Muller that writing "was not usedfor literary purposes in India" before Panini's time (again upon Greekauthority) that matter has been disposed of elsewhere.

————-* Dr. Weber is not probably aware of the fact that this distinguishedastronomer's name was simply Maya; the prefix "Asura" was often addedto it by ancient Hindu writers to show that he was a Rakshasa. In theopinion of the Brahmans he was an "Atlantean" and one of the greatestastronomers and occultists of the lost Atlantis.————-

Equally unknown are those certain other and most important facts, fablethough they seem. First, that the Aryan "Great War," the Mahabharata,and the Trojan War of Homer—both mythical as to personal biographiesand fabulous supernumeraries, yet perfectly historical in the main—belong to the same cycle of events. For the occurrences of manycenturies, among them the separation of sundry peoples and races,erroneously traced to Central Asia alone, were in these immortal epicscompressed within the scope of single dramas made to occupy but a fewyears. Secondly, that in this immense antiquity the forefathers of theAryan Greeks and the Aryan Brahmans were as closely united andintermixed as are now the Aryans and the so-called Dravidians. Thirdly,that before the days of the historical Rama, from whom in unbrokengenealogical descent the Oodeypore sovereigns trace their lineage,Rajpootana was as full of direct post-Atlantean "Greeks," as thepost-Trojan, subjacent Cumaea and other settlements of pre-Magna Graeciawere of the fast Hellenizing sires of the modern Rajpoot. Oneacquainted with the real meaning of the ancient epics cannot refrainfrom asking himself whether these intuitional Orientalists prefer beingcalled deceivers or deceived, and in charity give them the benefit ofthe doubt.*

————-* Further on, Prof. Weber indulges in the following piece ofchronological sleight of hand. In his arduous endeavour "to determineaccurately" the place in history of "the Romantic Legend of SakyaBuddha" (translation by Beale), he thinks "the special points ofrelation here found to Christian legends are very striking. Thequestion which party was the borrower Deals properly leavesundetermined. Yet in all likelihood (!!) we have here simply a similarcase to that of the appropriation of Christian legend by this worshipersof Krishna" (p. 300). Now it is this that every Hindu and Buddhist hasthe right to brand as "dishonesty," whether conscious or unconscious.Legends originate earlier than history and die out upon being sifted.Neither of the fabulous events in connection with Buddha's birth, takenexoterically, necessitated a great genius to narrate them, nor was theintellectual capacity of the Hindus ever proved so inferior to that ofthe Jewish and Greek mob that they should borrow from them even fablesinspired by religion. How their fables, evolved between the second andthird centuries after Buddha's death, when the fever of proselytism andthe adoration of his memory were at their height, could be borrowed andthen appropriated from the Christian legends written during the firstcentury of the Western era, can only be explained by a GermanOrientalist. Mr. T.W. Rhys Davids (Jataka Book) shows the contrary tohave been true. It may be remarked in this connection that, while thefirst "miracles" of both Krishna and Christ are said to have happened ata Mathura, the latter city exists to this day in India—the antiquity ofits name being fully proved—while the Mathura, or Matures in Egypt, ofthe "Gospel of Infancy," where Jesus is alleged to have produced hisfirst miracle, was sought to be identified, centuries ago, by the stumpof an old tree in thee desert, and is represented by an empty spot!—————

What can be thought of Prof. Weber's endeavour when, "to determine moreaccurately the position of Ramayana (called by him the 'artificialepic') in literary history," he ends with an assumption that "it restsupon an acquaintance with the Trojan cycle of legend …. the conclusionthere arrived at is that the date of its composition is to be placed atthe commencement of the Christian era in an epoch when the operation ofthe Greek influence upon India had already set in!" (p. 194.) The caseis hopeless. If the "internal chronology" and external fitness ofthings, we may add presented in the triple Indian epic, did not open theeyes of the hypercritical professors to the many historical factsenshrined in their striking allegories; if the significant mention of"black Yavanas," and "white Yavanas," indicating totally differentpeoples, could so completely escape their notice;* and the enumerationof a host of tribes, nations, races, clans, under their separateSanskrit designations in the Mahbharata, had not stimulated them to tryto trace their ethnic evolution and identify them with their now livingEuropean descendants, there is little to hope from their scholarshipexcept a mosaic of learned guesswork. The latter scientific mode ofcritical analysis may yet end some day in a consensus of opinion thatBuddhism is due wholesale to the "Life of Barlaam and Josaphat," writtenby St. John of Damascus; or that our religion was plagiarized from thatfamous Roman Catholic legend of the eighth century in which our LordGautama is made to figure as a Christian Saint, better still, that theVedas were written at Athens under the auspices of St. George, thetutelary successor of Theseus.

————-* See Twelfth Book of Mahabharata, Krishnas fight with Kalayavana.————-

For fear that anything might be lacking to prove the complete obsessionof Jambudvipa by the demon of "Greek influence," Dr. Weber vindictivelycasts a last insult into the face of India by remarking that if"European Western steeples owe their origin to an imitation of theBuddhist topes* …. on the other hand in the most ancient Hinduedifices the presence of Greek influence is unmistakable" (p. 274).Well may Dr. Rajendralala Mitra "hold out particularly against the ideaof any Greek influence whatever on the development of Indianarchitecture." If his ancestral literature must be attributed to "Greekinfluence," the temples, at least, might have been spared. One canunderstand how the Egyptian Hall in London reflects the influence of theruined temples on the Nile; but it is a more difficult feat, even for aGerman professor, to prove the archaic structure of old Aryavarta aforeshadowing of the genius of the late lamented Sir Christopher Wren!The outcome of this paleographic spoliation is that there is not atittle left for India to call her own. Even medicine is due to the sameHellenic influence. We are told—this once by Roth—that "only acomparison of the principles of Indian with those of Greek medicine canenable us to judge of the origin, age and value of the former;" …. and"a propos of Charaka's injunctions as to the duties of the physician tohis patient," adds Dr. Weber, "he cites some remarkably coincidentexpressions from the Oath of the Asklepiads." It is then settled.India is Hellenized from head to foot, and even had no physic until theGreek doctors came.

—————* Of Hindu Lingams, rather.—————

Sakya Muni's Place in History

No Orientalist, save perhaps, the same wise, not to say deep, Prof.Weber, opposes more vehemently than Prof. Max Muller Hindu and Buddhistchronology. Evidently if an Indophile he is not a Buddhophile, andGeneral Cunningham, however independent otherwise in his archeologicalresearches, agrees with him more than would seem strictly prudent inview of possible future discoveries.* We have then to refute in ourturn this great Oxford professor's speculations.

————-* Notwithstanding Prof. M. Muller's regrettable efforts to invalidateevery Buddhist evidence, he seems to have ill-succeeded in proving hiscase, if we can judge from the openly expressed opinion of his ownGerman confreres. In the portion headed "Tradition as to Buddha's Age"(pp. 283-288) in his "Hist. of Ind. Lit.," Prof. Weber very aptlyremarks, "Nothing like positive certainty, therefore, is for the presentattainable. Nor have the subsequent discussions of this topic by MaxMuller (1859) ('Hist. A.S.L.' p. 264 ff), by Westergaard (1860), 'UeberBuddha's Todesjahr,' and by 'Kern Over de Jaartelling der ZuidelBuddhisten' so far yielded any definite results." Nor are they likelyto.————-

To the evidence furnished by the Puranas and Mahavansa, which he alsofinds hopelessly entangled and contradictory (though the perfectaccuracy of that Sinhalese history is most warmly acknowledged by SirEmerson Tennant, the historian), he opposes the Greek classics and theirchronology. With him, it is always "Alexander's invasion" and"Conquest," and "the ambassador of Seleucus Nicator-Megasthenes," whileeven the faintest record of such "conquest" is conspicuously absent fromBrahmanic record; and although in an inscription of Piyadasi arementioned the names of Antiochus, Ptolemy, Magus, Antigonus, and even ofthe great Alexander himself, as vassals of the king Piyadasi, theMacedonian is yet called the "Conqueror of India." In other words,while any casual mention of Indian affairs by a Greek writer of no greatnote must be accepted unchallenged, no record of the Indians, literaryor monumental, is entitled to the smallest consideration. Until rubbedagainst the touch-stone of Hellenic infallibility it must be set down,in the words of Professor Weber, as "of course mere empty boasting."Oh, rare Western sense of justice! *

—————* No Philaryan would pretend for a moment on the strength of thePiyadasi inscriptions that Alexander of Macedonia, or either of theother sovereigns mentioned, was claimed as an actual "vassal" ofChandragupta. They did not even pay tribute, but only a kind ofquit-rent annually for lands ceded in the north: as the grant-tabletscould show. But the inscription, however misinterpreted, shows mostclearly that Alexander was never the conqueror of India.————-

Occult records show differently. They say—challenging proof to thecontrary—that Alexander never penetrated into India farther thanTaxila; which is not even quite the modern Attock. The murmuring ofthe Macedonian's troops began at the same place, and not as given out,on the banks of the Hyphasis. For having never gone to the Hydaspes orJhelum, he could not have been on the Sutlej. Nor did Alexander everfound satrapies or plant any Greek colonies in the Punjab. The onlycolonies he left behind him that the Brahmans ever knew of, amounted toa few dozens of disabled soldiers, scattered hither and thither on thefrontiers; who with their native raped wives settled around the desertsof Karmania and Drangaria—the then natural boundaries of India. Andunless history regards as colonists the many thousands of dead men andthose who settled for ever under the hot sands of Gedrosia, there wereno other, save in the fertile imagination of the Greek historians. Theboasted "invasion of India" was confined to the regions between Karmaniaand Attock, east and west; and Beloochistan and the Hindu Kush, southand north: countries which were all India for the Greek of those days.His building a fleet on the Hydaspes is a fiction; and his "victoriousmarch through the fighting armies of India," another. However, it is notwith the "world conqueror" that we have now to deal, but rather with thesupposed accuracy and even casual veracity of his captains andcountrymen, whose hazy reminiscences on the testimony of the classicalwriters have now been raised to unimpeachable evidence in everythingthat may affect the chronology of early Buddhism and India.

Foremost among the evidence of classical writers, that of FlaviusArrianus is brought forward against the Buddhist and Chinesechronologies. No one should impeach the personal testimony of thisconscientious author had he been himself an eye-witness instead ofMegasthenes. But when a man comes to know that he wrote his accountsupon the now lost works of Aristobulus and Ptolemy; and that the latterdescribed their data from texts prepared by authors who had never settheir eyes upon one line written by either Megasthenes or Nearchushimself; and that knowing so much one is informed by Western historiansthat among the works of Arrian, Book VII. of the "Anabasis ofAlexander," is "the chief authority on the subject of the Indianinvasion—a book unfortunately with a gap in its twelfth chapter"—onemay well conceive upon what a broken reed Western authority leans forits Indian chronology. Arrian lived over 600 years after Buddha'sdeath; Strabo, 500 (55 "B.C."); Diodorus Siculus—quite a trustworthycompiler!—about the first century; Plutarch over 700 anno Buddhae, andQuintus Curtius over 1,000 years! And when, to crown this army ofwitnesses against the Buddhist annals, the reader is informed by ourOlympian critics that the works of the last-named author—than whom nomore blundering (geographically, chronologically, and historically)writer ever lived—form along with the Greek history of Arrian the mostvaluable source of information respecting the military career ofAlexander the Great—then the only wonder is that the great conquerorwas not made by his biographers to have—Leonidas-like—defended theThermopylean passes in the Hindu Kush against the invasion of the firstVedic Brahmins "from the Oxus." Withal the Buddhist dates are eitherrejected or only accepted pro tempore. Well may the Hindu resent thepreference shown to the testimony of Greeks—of whom some, at least, arebetter remembered in Indian history as the importers into Jambudvipa ofevery Greek and Roman vice known and unknown to their day—against hisown national records and history. "Greek influence" was felt, indeed,in India, in this, and only in this, one particular. Greek damselsmentioned as an article of great traffic for India—Persian and GreekYavanis—were the fore-mothers of the modern nautch-girls, who had tillthen remained pure virgins of the inner temples. Alliances with theAutiochuses and the Seleucus Nicators bore no better fruit than therotten apple of Sodom. Pataliputra, as prophesied by Gautama Buddha,found its fate in the waters of the Ganges, having been twice beforenearly destroyed, again like Sodom, by the fire of heaven.

Reverting to the main subject, the "contradictions" between theCeylonese and Chino-Tibetan chronologies actually prove nothing. If theChinese annalists of Saul in accepting the prophecy of our Lord that "athousand years after He had reached Nirvana, His doctrines would reachthe north" fell into the mistake of applying it to China, whereas Tibetwas meant, the error was corrected after the eleventh century of theTzina era in most of the temple chronologies. Besides which, it may nowrefer to other events relating to Buddhism, of which Europe knowsnothing, China or Tzina dates its present name only from the year 296 ofthe Buddhist era* (vulgar chronology having assumed it from the firstHoang of the Tzin dynasty): therefore the Tathagata could not haveindicated it by this name in his well-known prophecy. If misunderstoodeven by several of the Buddhist commentators, it is yet preserved in itstrue sense by his own immediate Arhats. The Glorified One meant thecountry that stretches far off from the Lake Mansorowara; far beyondthat region of the Himavat, where dwelt from time immemorial the great"teachers of the Snowy Range." These were the great Sraman-acharyas whopreceded Him, and were His teachers, their humble successors trying tothis day to perpetuate their and His doctrines. The prophecy came outtrue to the very day, and it is corroborated both by the mathematicaland historical chronology of Tibet—quite as accurate as that of theChinese. Arhat Kasyapa, of the dynasty of Moryas, founded by one of theChandraguptas near Ptaliputra, left the convent of Panch-Kukkutarama, inconsequence of a vision of our Lord, for missionary purpose in the year683 of the Tzin era (436 Western era) and had reached the great Lake ofBod-Yul in the same year. It is at that period that expired themillennium prophesied.

————* The reference to Chinahunah (Chinese and Huns) in the VishmaParva of the Mahabharata is evidently a later interpolation, asit does not occur in the old MSS. existing in Southern India.————

The Arhat carrying with him the fifth statue of Sakya Muni out of theseven gold statues made after his bodily death by order of the firstCouncil, planted it in the soil on that very spot where seven yearslater was built the first GUNPA (monastery), where the earliest Buddhistlamas dwelt. And though the conversion of the whole country did nottake place before the beginning of the seventh century (Western era),the good law had, nevertheless, reached the North at the timeprophesied, and no earlier. For, the first of the golden statues hadbeen plundered from Bhikshu Sali Suka by the Hiong-un robbers andmelted, during the days of Dharmasoka, who had sent missionaries beyondNepaul. The second had a like fate, at Ghar-zha, even before it hadreached the boundaries of Bod-Yul. The third was rescued from abarbarous tribe of Bhons by a Chinese military chief who had pursuedthem into the deserts of Schamo about 423 Buddhist era (120 "B.C.") Thefourth was sunk in the third century of the Christian era, togetherwith the ship that carried it from Magadha toward the hills ofGhangs-chhen-dzo-nga (Chitagong). The fifth arriving in the nick oftime reached its destination with Arhat Kasyapa. So did the last two.*

————-* No doubt, since the history of these seven statues is not in the handsof the Orientalists, it will be treated as a "groundless fable."Nevertheless such is their origin and history. They date from the firstSynod, that of Rajagriha, held in the season of war following the deathof Buddha, i.e., one year after his death. Were this Rajagriha Councilheld 100 years after, as maintained by some, it could not have beenpresided over by Mahakasyapa, the friend and brother Arhat of Sakyamuni,as he would have been 200 years old. The second Council or Synod, thatof Vaisali, was held 120, not 100 or 110 years as some would have it,after the Nirvana, for the latter took place at a time a little over 20years before the physical death of Tathagata. It was held at the greatSaptapana cave (Mahavansa's Sattapanni), near the Mount Baibhar (theWebhara of the Pali Manuscripts), that was in Rajagriha, the old capitalof Magadha. Memoirs exist, containing the record of his daily life, madeby the nephew of king Ajatasatru, a favourite Bikshu of the Mahacharya.These texts have ever been in the possession of the superiors of thefirst Lamasery built by Arhat Kasyapa in Bod-Yul, most of whose Chohanswere the descendants of the dynasty of the Moryas, there being up tothis day three of the members of this once royal family living in India.The old text in question is a document written in Anudruta Magadhacharacters. (We deny that these or any other characters—whetherDevanagari, Pali, or Dravidian—ever used in India, are variations of,or derivatives from, the Phoenician.) To revert to the texts it istherein stated that the Sattapanni cave, then called "Sarasvati" and"Bamboo-cave," got its latter name in this wise. When our Lord firstsat in it for Dhyana, it was a large six-chambered natural cave, 50 to60 feet wide by 33 deep. One day, while teaching the mendicantsoutside, our Lord compared man to a Saptaparna (seven-leaved) plant,showing them how after the loss of its first leaf every other could beeasily detached, but the seventh leaf—directly connected with the stem."Mendicants," he said, "there are seven Buddhas in every Buddha, andthere are six Bikshus and but one Buddha in each mendicant. What arethe seven? The seven branches of complete knowledge. What are the six?The six organs of sense. What are the five? The five elements ofillusive being. And the ONE which is also ten? He is a true Buddha whodevelops in him the ten forms of holiness and subjects them all to theone—'the silent voice' (meaning Avolokiteswara). After that, causingthe rock to be moved at His command, the Tathagata made it divide itselfinto a seventh additional chamber, remarking that a rock too wasseptenary, and had seven stages of development. From that time it wascalled the Sattapanni or the Saptaparna cave. After the first Synod washeld, seven gold statues of the Bhagavat were cast by order of the king,and each of them was placed in one of the seven compartments." These inafter times, when the good law had to make room to more congenialbecause more sensual creeds, were taken in charge by various Viharas andthen disposed of as explained. Thus when Mr. Turnour states on theauthority of the sacred traditions of Southern Buddhists that the cavereceived its name from the Sattapanni plant, he states what is correct.In the "Archeological Survey of India," we find that Gen. Cunninghamidentifies this cave with one not far away from it and in the sameBaihbar range, but which is most decidedly not our Saptaparna cave. Atthe same time the Chief Engineer of Buddha Gaya, Mr. Beglar, describingthe Chetu cave, mentioned by Fa-hian, thinks it is the Saptaparna cave,and he is right. For that, as well as the Pippal and the other cavesmentioned in our texts, are too sacred in their associations—bothhaving been used for centuries by generations of Bhikkhus, unto the verytime of their leaving India—to have their sites so easily forgotten.————-

On the other hand, the Southern Buddhists, headed by the Ceylonese, opentheir annals with the following event:—

They claim according to their native chronology that Vijaya, the son ofSinhabahu, the sovereign of Lala, a small kingdom or Raj on the Gandakiriver in Magadha, was exiled by his father for acts of turbulence andimmorality. Sent adrift on the ocean with his companions after havingtheir heads shaved, Buddhist-Bhikshu fashion, as a sign of penitence, hewas carried to the shores of Lanka. Once landed, he and his companionsconquered and easily took possession of an island inhabited byuncivilized tribes, generically called the Yakshas. This—at whateverepoch and year it may have happened—is an historical fact, and theCeylonese records, independent of Buddhist chronology, give it out ashaving taken place 382 years before Dushtagamani (i.e., in 543 beforethe Christian era). Now, the Buddhist Sacred Annals record certainwords of our Lord pronounced by Him shortly before His death. InMahavansa He is made to have addressed them to Sakra, in the midst of agreat assembly of Devatas (Dhyan Chohans), and while already "in theexalted unchangeable Nirvana, seated on the throne on which Nirvana isachieved." In our texts Tathagata addresses them to his assembledArhats and Bhikkhuts a few days before his final liberation:—"OneVijaya, the son of Sinhabahu, king of the land of Lala, together with700 attendants, has just landed on Lanka. Lord of Dhyan Buddhas(Devas)! my doctrine will be established on Lanka. Protect him andLanka!" This is the sentence pronounced which, as proved later, was aprophecy. The now familiar phenomenon of clairvoyant prevision, amplyfurnishing a natural explanation of the prophetic utterance without anyunscientific theory of miracle, the laugh of certain Orientalists seemsuncalled for. Such parallels of poetico-religious embellishments asfound in Mahavansa exist in the written records of every religion—asmuch in Christianity as anywhere else. An unbiased mind would firstendeavour to reach the correct and very superficially hidden meaningbefore throwing ridicule and contemptuous discredit upon them.Moreover, the Tibetans possess a more sober record of this prophecy inthe Notes, already alluded to, reverentially taken down by KingAjatasatru's nephew. They are, as said above, in the possession of theLamas of the convent built by Arhat Kasyapa—the Moryas and theirdescendants being of a more direct descent than the Rajput Gautamas, theChiefs of Nagara—the village identified with Kapilavastu—are the bestentitled of all to their possession. And we know they are historical toa word. For the Esoteric Buddhist they yet vibrate in space; and theseprophetic words, together with the true picture of the Sugata whopronounced them, are present in the aura of every atom of His relics.This, we hasten to say, is no proof but for the psychologist. But thereis other and historical evidence: the cumulative testimony of ourreligious chronicles. The philologist has not seen these; but this isno proof of their non-existence.

The mistake of the Southern Buddhists lies in dating the Nirvana ofSanggyas Pan-chhen from the actual day of his death, whereas, as abovestated, He had reached it over twenty years previous to hisdisincarnation. Chronologically, the Southerners are right, both indating His death in 543 "B.C.," and one of the great Councils at 100years after the latter event. But the Tibetan Chohans, who possess allthe documents relating to the last twenty-four years of His external andinternal life—of which no philologist knows anything—can show thatthere is no real discrepancy between the Tibetan and the Ceylonesechronologies as stated by the Western Orientalists.* For the profane,the Exalted One was born in the sixty-eighth year of the BurmeseEeatzana era, established by Eeatzana (Anjana), King of Dewaha; for theinitiated—in the forty-eighth year of that era, on a Friday of thewaxing moon, of May. And it was in 563 before the Christian chronologythat Tathagata reached his full Nirvana, dying, as correctly stated byMahavana—in 543, on the very day when Vijaya landed with his companionsin Ceylon—as prophesied by Loka-ratha, our Buddha.

————-* Bishop Bigandet, after examining all the Burmese authoritiesaccessible to him, frankly confesses that "the history of Buddha offersan almost complete blank as to what regards his doings and preachingsduring a period of nearly twenty-three years." (Vol. I. p. 260.)————-

Professor Max Muller seems to greatly scoff at this prophecy. In hischapter ("Hist. S. L.") upon Buddhism (the "false" religion), theeminent scholar speaks as though he resented such an unprecedentedclaim. "We are asked to believe"—he writes—"that the Ceylonesehistorians placed the founder of the Vijyan dynasty of Ceylon in theyear 543 in accordance with their sacred chronology!" (i.e., Buddha'sprophecy), "while we (the philologists) are not told, however, throughwhat channel the Ceylonese could have received their information as tothe exact date of Buddha's death." Two points may be noticed in thesesarcastic phrases: (a) the implication of a false prophecy by our Lord;and (b) a dishonest tampering with chronological records, reminding oneof those of Eusebius, the famous Bishop of Caesarea, who stands accusedin history of "perverting every Egyptian chronological table for thesake of synchronisms." With reference to charge one, he may be askedwhy our Sakyasinha's prophecies should not be as much entitled to hisrespect as those of his Saviour would be to ours—were we to ever writethe true history of the "Galilean" Arhat. With regard to charge two,the distinguished philologist is reminded of the glass house he and allChristian chronologists are themselves living in. Their inability tovindicate the adoption of December 25 as the actual day of the Nativity,and hence to determine the age and the year of their Avatar's death—even before their own people—is far greater than is ours to demonstratethe year of Buddha to other nations. Their utter failure to establishon any other but traditional evidence the, to them, historicallyunproved, if probable, fact of his existence at all—ought to engender afairer spirit. When Christian historians can, upon undeniablehistorical authority, justify biblical and ecclesiastical chronology,then, perchance, they may be better equipped than at present for thecongenial work of rending heathen chronologies into shreds.

The "channel" the Ceylonese received their information through, was twoBikshus who had left Magadha to follow their disgraced brethren intoexile. The capacity of Siddhartha Buddha's Arhats for transmittingintelligence by psychic currents may, perhaps, be conceded without anygreat stretch of imagination to have been equal to, if not greater than,that of the prophet Elijah, who is credited with the power of havingknown from any distance all that happened in the king's bed chamber. NoOrientalist has the right to reject the testimony of other people'sScriptures, while professing belief in the far more contradictory andentangled evidence of his own upon the self-same theory of proof. IfProfessor Muller is a sceptic at heart, then let him fearlessly declarehimself; only a sceptic who impartially acts the iconoclast has theright to assume such a tone of contempt towards any non-Christianreligion. And for the instruction of the impartial inquirer only, shallit be thought worth while to collate the evidence afforded byhistorical—not psychological—data. Meanwhile, by analyzing someobjections and exposing the dangerous logic of our critic, we may givethe theosophists a few more facts connected with the subject underdiscussion.

Now that we have seen Professor Max Muller's opinions in general aboutthis, so to say, the Prologue to the Buddhist Drama with Vijaya as thehero—what has he to say as to the details of its plot? What weapondoes he use to weaken this foundation-stone of a chronology upon whichare built and on which depend all other Buddhist dates? What is thefulcrum for the critical lever he uses against the Asiatic records?Three of his main points may be stated seriatim with answers appended.He begins by premising that—

1st.—"If the starting-point of the Northern Buddhist chronology turnsout to be merely hypothetical, based as it is on a prophecy of Buddha,it will be difficult to avoid the same conclusion with regard to thedate assigned to Buddha's death by the Buddhists of Ceylon and ofBurmah" (p. 266). "The Mahavansa begins with relating three miraculousvisits which Buddha paid to Ceylon." Vijaya, the name of the founder ofthe first dynasty (in Ceylon), means conquest, "and, therefore, such aperson most likely never existed" (p. 268). This he believesinvalidates the whole Buddhist chronology.

To which the following pendant may be offered:—

William I., King of England, is commonly called the Conqueror; he was,moreover, the illegitimate son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, surnamed leDiable. An opera, we hear, was invented on this subject, and full ofmiraculous events, called "Robert the Devil," showing its traditionalcharacter. Therefore shall we be also justified in saying that Edwardthe Confessor, Saxons and all, up to the time of the union of the housesof York and Lancaster under Henry VII.—the new historical period inEnglish history—are all "fabulous tradition" and "such a person asWilliam the Conqueror most likely never existed?"

2nd.—In the Chinese chronology—continues the dissecting critic—"the list of the thirty-three Buddhist patriarchs …. is of adoubtful character. For Western history the exact Ceylonesechronology begins with 161 B.C." Extending beyond that date thereexists but "a traditional native chronology. Therefore …. what goesbefore …. is but fabulous tradition."

The chronology of the Apostles and their existence has never been provedhistorically. The history of the Papacy is confessedly "obscure."Ennodius of Pavia (fifth century) was the first one to address the RomanBishop (Symmochus), who comes fifty-first in the Apostolic succession,as "Pope." Thus, if we were to write the history of Christianity, andindulge in remarks upon its chronology, we might say that since therewere no antecedent Popes, and since the Apostolic line began withSymmochus (498 A.D.), all Christian records beginning with the Nativityand up to the sixth century are therefore "fabulous traditions," and allChristian chronology is "purely hypothetical."

3rd.—Two discrepant dates in Buddhist chronology are scornfully pointedout by the Oxford Professor. If the landing of Vijaya, in Lanka—hesays—on the same day that Buddha reached Nirvana (died) is infulfilment of Buddha's prophecy, then "if Buddha was a true prophet, theCeylonese argue quite rightly that he must have died in the year of theconquest, or 543 B.C." (p. 270). On the other hand, the Chinese have aBuddhist chronology of their own; and it does not agree with theCeylonese. "The lifetime of Buddha from 1029 to 950 rests on his ownprophecy that a millennium would elapse from his death to the conversionof China. If, therefore, Buddha was a true prophet, he must have livedabout 1000 B.C." (p. 266). But the date does not agree with theCeylonese chronology—ergo, Buddha was a false prophet. As to that other"the first and most important link" in the Ceylonese as well as in theChinese chronology, "it is extremely weak." …. In the Ceylonese "amiraculous genealogy had to be provided for Vijaya," and, "a prophecywas therefore invented" (p. 269).

On these same lines of argument it may be argued that:

Since no genealogy of Jesus, "exact or inexact," is found in any of theworld's records save those entitled the Gospels of SS. Mathew (I—1-17),and Luke (iii. 23—38); and, since these radically disagree—althoughthis personage is the most conspicuous in Western history, and thenicest accuracy might have been expected in his case; therefore,agreeably with Professor Max Muller's sarcastic logic, if Jesus "was atrue prophet," he must have descended from David through Joseph(Matthew's Gospel); and "if he was a true prophet," again, then theChristians "argue quite rightly that he must have" descended from Davidthrough Mary (Luke's Gospel). Furthermore, since the two genealogiesare obviously discrepant and prophecies were, in this instance, truly"invented" by the post-apostolic theologians [or, if preferred, oldprophecies of Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets, irrelevant toJesus, were adapted to suit his case—as recent English commentators (inHoly Orders), the Bible revisers, now concede]; and since, moreover—always following the Professor's argument, in the cases of Buddhist andBrahmanical chronologies—Biblical chronology and genealogy are found tobe "traditional and full of absurdities …. every attempt to bring theminto harmony having proved a failure." (p. 266): have we or have we nota certain right to retort, that if Gautama Buddha is shown on theselines a false prophet, then Jesus must be likewise "a false prophet?"And if Jesus was a true prophet despite existing confusion ofauthorities, why on the same lines may not Buddha have been one?Discredit the Buddhist prophecies and the Christian ones must go alongwith them.

The utterances of the ancient pythoness now but provoke the scientificsmile: but no tripod ever mounted by the prophetess of old was so shakyas the chronological trinity of points upon which this Orientaliststands to deliver his oracles. Moreover, his arguments aredouble-edged, as shown. If the citadel of Buddhism can be underminedby Professor Max Muller's critical engineering, then pari passu that ofChristianity must crumble in the same ruins. Or have the Christiansalone the monopoly of absurd religious "inventions" and the right ofbeing jealous of any infringement of their patent rights?

To conclude, we say, that the year of Buddha's death is correctly statedby Mr. Sinnett, "Esoteric Buddhism" having to give its chronologicaldates according to esoteric reckoning. And this reckoning would alone,if explained, make away with every objection urged, from Professor MaxMuller's "Sanskrit Literature" down to the latest "evidence"—the proofsin the "Reports of the Archeological Survey of India." The Ceyloneseera, as given in Mahavansa, is correct in everything, withholding butthe above given fact of Nirvana, the great mystery of Samma-Sambuddhaand Abhidina remaining to this day unknown to the outsider; and thoughcertainly known to Bikshu Mahanama—King Dhatusena's uncle—it could notbe explained in a work like the Mahavansa. Moreover, the Singhalesechronology agrees in every particular with the Burmese chronology.Independent of the religious era dating from Buddha's death, called"Nirvanic Era," there existed, as now shown by Bishop Bigandet ("Life ofGuadama"), two historical eras. One lasted 1362 years, its last yearcorresponding with 1156 of the Christian era: the other, broken in twosmall eras, the last, succeeding immediately the other, exists to thepresent day. The beginning of the first, which lasted 562 years,coincides with the year 79 A.D. and the Indian Saka era. Consequently,the learned Bishop, who surely can never be suspected of partiality toBuddhism, accepts the year 543 of Buddha's Nirvana. So do Mr. Tumour,Professor Lassen, and others.

The alleged discrepancies between the fourteen various dates of Nirvanacollected by Csoma Corosi, do not relate to the Nyr-Nyang in the least.They are calculations concerning the Nirvana of the precursors, theBoddhisatwas and previous incarnations of Sanggyas that the Hungarianfound in various works and wrongly applied to the last Buddha.Europeans must not forget that this enthusiast acted under protest ofthe Lamas during the time of his stay with them: and that, moreover, hehad learned more about the doctrines of the heretical Dugpas than of theorthodox Gelugpas. The statement of this "great authority (!) onTibetan Buddhism," as he is called, to the effect that Gautama had threewives whom he names—and then contradicts himself by showing ("TibetanGrammar," p. 162, see note) that the first two wives "are one and thesame," shows how little he can be regarded as an "authority." He hadnot even learned that "Gopa, Yasodhara and Utpala Varna" are the threenames for three mystical powers. So with the "discrepancies" of thedates. Out of the sixty-four mentioned by him but two relate to SakyaMuni—namely, the years 576 and 546—and these two err in theirtranscription; for when corrected they must stand 564 and 543. As forthe rest they concern the seven ku-sum, or triple form of the Nirvanicstate and their respective duration, and relate to doctrines of whichOrientalists know absolutely nothing.

Consequently from the Northern Buddhists, who, as confessed by ProfessorWeber, "alone possess these (Buddhist) Scriptures complete," and have"preserved more authentic information regarding the circ*mstances oftheir redaction"—the Orientalists have up to this time learned next tonothing. The Tibetans say that Tathagata became a full Buddha—i.e.,reached absolute Nirvana—in 2544 of the Kali era (according toSouramana), and thus lived indeed but eighty years, as no Nirvanee ofthe seventh degree can be reckoned among the living (i.e., existing)men. It is no better than loose conjecture to argue that it would haveentered as little into the thoughts of the Brahmans to note the day ofBuddha's birth "as the Romans or even the Jews (would have) thought ofpreserving the date of the birth of Jesus before he had become thefounder of a religion." (Max Muller's "Hist. S. L.") For, while theJews had been from the first rejecting the claim of Messiah-ship set upby the Chelas of the Jewish prophet and were not expecting their Messiahat that time, the Brahmans (the initiates, at any rate) knew of thecoming of him whom they regarded as an incarnation of Divine wisdom, andtherefore were well aware of the astrological date of his birth. If, inafter times, in their impotent rage they destroyed every accessiblevestige of the birth, life and death of Him, who in his boundless mercyto all creatures had revealed their carefully concealed mysteries anddoctrines in order to check the ecclesiastical torrent of ever-growingsuperstitions, yet there had been a time when he was met by them as anAvatar. And, though they destroyed, others preserved.

The thousand and one speculations and the torturing of exoteric texts byArcheologist or Paleographer will ill repay the time lost in theirstudy.

The Indian annals specify King Ajatasatru as a contemporary of Buddha,and another Ajatasatru helped to prepare the council 100 years after hisdeath. These princes were sovereigns of Magadha and have naught to dowith Ajatasatru of the Brihad-Aranyaka and the Kaush*taki-Upanishad, whowas a sovereign of the Kasis; though Bhadrasena, "the son of Ajatasatru"cursed by Aruni, may have more to do with his namesake the "heir ofChandragupta" than is generally known, Professor Max Miller objects totwo Asokas. He rejects Kalasoka and accepts but Dharmasoka—inaccordance with "Greek" and in utter conflict with Buddhist chronology.He knows not—or perhaps prefers to ignore—that besides the two Asokasthere were several personages named Chandragupta and Chandramasa.Plutarch is set aside as conflicting with the more welcome theory, andthe evidence of Justin alone is accepted. There was Kalasoka, called bysome Chandramasa and by others Chandragupta, whose son Nanda wassucceeded by his cousin the Chandragupta of Seleucus, and under whom theCouncil of Vaisali took place "supported by King Nanda" as correctlystated by Taranatha. (None of them were Sudras, and this is a pureinvention of the Brahmans.) Then there was the last of theChandraguptas who assumed the name of Vikrama; he commenced the new eracalled the Vikramaditya or Samvat and began the new dynasty atPataliputra, 318 (B.C.)—according to some European "authorities;" afterhim his son Bindusara or Bhadrasena—also Chandragupta, who was followedby Dharmasoka Chandragupta. And there were two Piyadasis—the"Sandracottus" Chandragupta and Asoka. And if controverted, theOrientalists will have to account for this strange inconsistency. IfAsoka was the only "Piyadasi" and the builder of the monuments, andmaker of the rock-inscriptions of this name; and if his inaugurationoccurred as conjectured by Professor Max Muller about 259 B.C., in otherwords, if he reigned sixty or seventy years later than any of the Greekkings named on the Piyadasian monuments, what had he to do with theirvassalage or non-vassalage, or how was he concerned with them at all?Their dealings had been with his grandfather some seventy yearsearlier—if he became a Buddhist only after ten years occupancy of thethrone. And finally, three well-known Bhadrasenas can be proved, whosenames spelt loosely and phonetically, according to each writer's dialectand nationality, now yield a variety of names, from Bindusara,Bimbisara, and Vindusara, down to Bhadrasena and Bhadrasara, as he iscalled in the Vayu Purana. These are all synonymous. However easy, atfirst sight, it may seem to be to brush out of history a real personage,it becomes more difficult to prove the non-existence of Kalasoka bycalling him "false," while the second Asoka is termed "the real," in theface of the evidence of the Puranas, written by the bitterest enemies ofthe Buddhists, the Brahmans of the period. The Vayu and Matsya Puranasmention both in their lists of their reigning sovereigns of the Nandaand the Morya dynasties. And, though they connect Chandragupta with aSudra Nanda, they do not deny existence to Kalasoka, for the sake ofinvalidating Buddhist chronology. However falsified the now extanttexts of both the Vaya and Matsya Puranas, even accepted as they atpresent stand "in their true meaning," which Professor Max Muller(notwithstanding his confidence) fails to seize, they are not "atvariance with Buddhist chronology before Chandragupta." Not, at anyrate, when the real Chandragupta instead of the false Sandrocottus ofthe Greeks is recognized and introduced. Quite independently of theBuddhist version, there exists the historical fact recorded in theBrahmanical as well as in the Burmese and Tibetan versions, that in theyear 63 of Buddha, Susinago of Benares was chosen king by the people ofPataliputra, who made away with Ajatasatru's dynasty. Susinago removedthe capital of Magadha from Rajagriha to Vaisali, while his successorKalasoka removed it in his turn to Pataliputra. It was during the reignof the latter that the prophecy of Buddha concerning Patalibat orPataliputra—a small village during His time—was realized. (SeeMahaparinibbana Sutta).

It will be easy enough, when the time comes, to answer all denyingOrientalists and face them with proof and document in hand. They speakof the extravagant, wild exaggerations of the Buddhists and Brahmans.The latter answer: "The wildest theorists of all are they who, to evadea self-evident fact, assume moral, anti-national impossibilities,entirely opposed to the most conspicuous traits of the BrahmanicalIndian character—namely, borrowing from, or imitating in anything,other nations. From their comments on Rig Veda, down to the annals ofCeylon, from Panini to Matouan-lin, every page of their learned scholiaappears, to one acquainted with the subject, like a monstrous jumble ofunwarranted and insane speculations. Therefore, notwithstanding Greekchronology and Chandragupta—whose date is represented as 'thesheet-anchor of Indian chronology' that 'nothing will ever shake'—it isto be feared that as regards India, the chronological ship of theSanskritists has already broken from her moorings and gone adrift withall her precious freight of conjectures and hypotheses. She is driftinginto danger. We are at the end of a cycle—geological and other—and atthe beginning of another. Cataclysm is to follow cataclysm. The pent-upforces are bursting out in many quarters; and not only will men beswallowed up or slain by thousands, 'new' land appear and 'old' subside,volcanic eruptions and tidal waves appal; but secrets of an unsuspectedpast will be uncovered to the dismay of Western theorists and thehumiliation of an imperious science. This drifting ship, if watched,may be seen to ground upon the upheaved vestiges of ancientcivilizations, and fall to pieces. We are not emulous of the prophet'shonours: but still, let this stand as a prophecy."

Inscriptions Discovered by General A. Cunningham

We have carefully examined the new inscription discovered by General A.Cunningham on the strength of which the date assigned to Buddha's deathby Buddhist writers has been declared to be incorrect; and we are ofopinion that the said inscription confirms the truth of the Buddhisttraditions instead of proving them to be erroneous. The above-mentionedarcheologist writes as follows regarding the inscription underconsideration in the first volume of his reports:—"The most interestinginscription (at Gaya) is a long and perfect one dated in the era of theNirvana or death of Buddha. I read the date as follows:—BhagavatiParinirvritte Samvat 1819 Karttike badi I Budhi—that is, 'in the year1819 of the Emancipation of Bhagavata on Wednesday, the first day of thewaning moon of Kartik.' If the era here used is the same as that of theBuddhists of Ceylon and Burmah, which began in 543 B.C., the date ofthis inscription will be 1819—543 = A.D. 1276. The style of theletters is in keeping with this date, but is quite incompatible withthat derivable from the Chinese date of the era. The Chinese place thedeath of Buddha upwards of 1000 years before Christ, so that accordingto them the date of this inscription would be about A.D. 800, a periodmuch too early for the style of character used in the inscription. Butas the day of the week is here fortunately added, the date can beverified by calculation. According to my calculation, the date of theinscription corresponds with Wednesday, the 17th of September, AD. 1342.This would place the Nirvana of Buddha in 477 B.C., which is the veryyear that was first proposed by myself as the most probable date of thatevent. This corrected date has since been adopted by Professor MaxMuller."

The reasons assigned by some Orientalists for considering this so-called"corrected date" as the real date of Buddha's death have already beennoticed and criticized in the preceding paper; and now we have only toconsider whether the inscription in question disproves the old date.

Major-General Cunningham evidently seems to take it for granted, as faras his present calculation is concerned, that the number of days in ayear is counted in the Magadha country and by Buddhist writers ingeneral on the same basis on which the number of days in a currentEnglish year is counted; and this wrong assumption has vitiated hiscalculation and led him to a wrong conclusion. Three different methodsof calculation were in use in India at the time when Buddha lived, andthey are still in use in different parts of the country. These methodsare known as Souramanam, Chandrarmanam and Barhaspatyamanam. Accordingto the Hindu works on astronomy a Souramanam year consists of 365 days15 ghadias and 31 vighadias; a Chandramanam year has 360 days, and ayear on the basis of Barhaspatyamanam has 361 days and 11 ghadiasnearly. Such being the case, General Cunningham ought to have taken thetrouble of ascertaining before he made his calculation the particularmanam (measure) employed by the writers of Magadha and Ceylon in givingthe date of Buddha's death and the manam used in calculating the yearsof the Buddhist era mentioned in the inscription above quoted. Insteadof placing himself in the position of the writer of the said inscriptionand making the required calculation from that standpoint, he made thecalculation on the same basis of which an English gentleman of thenineteenth century would calculate time according to his own calendar.

If the calculation were correctly made, it would have shown him that theinscription in question is perfectly consistent with the statement thatBuddha died in the year 543 B.C. according to Barhaspatyamanam (the onlymanam used in Magadha and by Pali writers in general). The correctnessof this assertion will be clearly seen on examining the followingcalculation.

543 years according to Barhaspatyamanam are equivalent to 536 years and8 months (nearly) according to Souramanam.

Similarly, 1819 years according to the former manam are equivalent to1798 years (nearly) according to the latter manarn.

As the Christian era commenced on the 3102nd year of Kaliyuga (accordingto Souramanam), Buddha died in the year 2565 of Kaliyuga and theinscription was written in the year 4362 of Kaliyuga (according toSouramanam). And now the question is whether according to the Hindualmanack, the first day of the waning moon of Kartik coincided with aWednesday.

According to Suryasiddhanta the number of days from the beginning ofKaliyuga up to midnight on the 15th day of increasing moon of Aswina is1,593,072, the number of Adhikamasansas (extra months) during theinterval being 1608 and the number of Kshayathithis 25,323.

If we divide this number by 7 the remainder would be 5. As Kaliyugacommenced with Friday, the period of time above defined closed withTuesday, as according to Suryasiddhanta a weekday is counted frommidnight to midnight.

It is to be noticed that in places where Barhaspatyamanam is in useKrishnapaksham (or the fortnight of waning moon) commences first and isfollowed by Suklapaksham (period of waxing moon).

Consequently, the next day after the 15th day of the waxing moon ofAswina will be the 1st day of the waning moon of Kartika to those whoare guided by the Barhaspatyamanam calendar. And therefore the latterdate, which is the date mentioned in the inscription, was Wednesday inthe year 4362 of Kaliyuga.

The geocentric longitude of the sun at the time of his meridian passageon the said date being 174 deg. 20' 16" and the moon's longitude being70 deg 51' 42" (according to Suryasiddhanta) it can be easily seen thatat Gaya there was Padyamitithi (first day of waning moon) for nearly 7ghadias and 50 vighadias from the time of sunrise.

It is clear from the foregoing calculation that "Kartik I Badi"coincided with Wednesday in the year 4362 of Kaliyuga or the year 1261of the Christian era, and that from the standpoint of the person whowrote the inscription the said year was the 1819th year of the Buddhistera. And consequently this new inscription confirms the correctness ofthe date assigned to Buddha's death by Buddhist writers. It would havebeen better if Major-General Cunningham had carefully examined the basisof his calculation before proclaiming to the world at large that theBuddhist accounts were untrustworthy.

Discrimination of Spirit and Not Spirit

(Translated from the original Sanskrit of Sankara Acharya.)

by Mohini M. Chatterji

[An apology is scarcely needed for undertaking a translation of SankaraAcharya's celebrated Synopsis of Vedantism entitled "Atmanatma Vivekah."This little treatise, within a small compass, fully sets forth the scopeand purpose of the Vedanta philosophy. It has been a matter of nolittle wonder, considering the authorship of this pamphlet and its ownintrinsic merits, that a translation of it has not already been executedby some competent scholar. The present translation, though pretendingto no scholarship, is dutifully literal, excepting, however, theomission of a few lines relating to the etymology of the words Sariraand Deha, and one or two other things which, though interesting inthemselves, have no direct bearing on the main subject of treatment.—T.R.]

Nothing is Spirit which can be the object of consciousness. To onepossessed of right discrimination, the Spirit is the subject ofknowledge. This right discrimination of Spirit and Not-spirit is setforth in millions of treatises.

This discrimination of Spirit and Not-spirit is given below:

Q. Whence comes pain to the Spirit?

A. By reason of its taking a body. It is said in the Sruti: * "Not inthis (state of existence) is there cessation of pleasure and pain of aliving thing possessed of a body."

Q. By what is produced this taking of a body?

A. By Karma.**

Q. Why does it become so by Karma?

A. By desire and the rest (i.e., the passions).

Q. By what are desire and the rest produced?

A. By egotism.

Q. By what again is egotism produced?

A. By want of right discrimination.

Q. By what is this want of right discrimination produced?

A. By ignorance.

Q. Is ignorance produced by anything?

A. No, by nothing. Ignorance is without beginning and ineffable byreason of its being the intermingling of the real (sat) and the unreal(asat.)*** It is a something embodying the three qualities**** and issaid to be opposed to Wisdom, inasmuch as it produces the concept "I amignorant." The Sruti says, "(Ignorance) is the power of the Deity andis enshrouded by its own qualities." *****

—————* Chandogya Upanishad.

** This word it is impossible to translate. It means the doing of athing for the attainment of an object of worldly desire.

*** This word, as used in Vedantic works, is generally misunderstood. Itdoes not mean the negation of everything; it means "that which does notexhibit the truth," the "illusory."

**** Satva (goodness), Rajas (foulness), and Tamas (darkness) are thethree qualities; pleasure, pain and indifference considered asobjective principles.

***** Chandogya Upanishad.————

The origin of pain can thus be traced to ignorance and it will not ceaseuntil ignorance is entirely dispelled, which will be only when theidentity of the Self with Brahma (the Universal Spirit) is fullyrealized.* Anticipating the contention that the eternal acts (i.e.,those enjoined by the Vedas) are proper, and would therefore lead to thedestruction of ignorance, it is said that ignorance cannot be dispelledby Karma (religious exercises).

————* This portion has been condensed from the original.————

Q. Why is it so?

A. By reason of the absence of logical opposition between ignorance andact. Therefore it is clear that Ignorance can only be removed byWisdom.

Q. How can this Wisdom be acquired?

A. By discussion—by discussing the nature of Spirit and Non-Spirit.

Q. Who are worthy of engaging in such discussion?

A. Those who have acquired the four qualifications.

Q. What are the four qualifications?

A. (1) True discrimination of permanent and impermanent things. (2)Indifference to the enjoyment of the fruits of one's actions both hereand hereafter. (3) Possession of Sama and the other five qualities.(4) An intense desire of becoming liberated (from conditionalexistence).

(1.) Q. What is the right discrimination of permanent and impermanentthings?

A. Certainty as to the Material Universe being false and illusive, and
Brahman being the only reality.

(2.) Indifference to the enjoyment of the fruits of one's actions inthis world is to have the same amount of disinclination for theenjoyment of worldly objects of desire (such as garland of flowers,sandal-wood paste, women and the like) beyond those absolutely necessaryfor the preservation of life, as one has for vomited food, &c. The sameamount of disinclination to enjoyment in the society of Rambha, Urvasi,and other celestial nymphs in the higher spheres of life beginning withSvarga loka and ending with Brahma loka.*

————* These include the whole range of Rupa loka (the world of forms)in Buddhistic esoteric philosophy.————

(3) Q. What are the six qualities beginning with Sama?

A. Sama, dama, uparati, titiksha, samadhana and sraddha.

Sama is the repression of the inward sense called Manas—i.e., notallowing it to engage in any other thing but Sravana (listening to whatthe sages say about the Spirit), Manana (reflecting on it), Nididhyasana(meditating on the same). Dama is the repression of the externalsenses.

Q. What are the external senses?

A. The five organs of perception and the five bodily organs for theperformance of external acts. Restraining these from all other thingsbut sravana and the rest, is dama.

Uparati is the abstaining on principle from engaging in any of the actsand ceremonies enjoined by the shastras. Otherwise, it is the state ofthe mind which is always engaged in Sravana and the rest, without everdiverging from them.

Titiksha (literally the desire to leave) is the bearing withindifference all opposites (such as pleasure and pain, heat and cold,&c.) Otherwise, it is the showing of forbearance to a person one iscapable of punishing.

Whenever a mind, engaged in Sravana and the rest, wanders to any worldlyobject of desire, and, finding it worthless, returns to the performanceof the three exercises—such returning is called samadhana.

Sraddha is an intensely strong faith in the utterances of one's guru andof the Vedanta philosophy.

(4.) An intense desire for liberation is called mumukshatva.

Those who possess these four qualifications, are worthy of engaging indiscussions as to the nature of Spirit and Not-Spirit, and, likeBrahmacharins, they have no other duty (but such discussion). It isnot, however, at all improper for householders to engage in suchdiscussions; but, on the contrary, such a course is highly meritorious.For it is said—Whoever, with due reverence, engages in the discussionof subjects treated of in Vedanta philosophy and does proper service tohis guru, reaps happy fruits. Discussion as to the nature of Spirit andNot-Spirit is therefore a duty.

Q. What is Spirit?

A. It is that principle which enters into the composition of man and isnot included in the three bodies, and which is distinct from the fivesheaths (Koshas), being sat (existence),* chit (consciousness),** andananda (bliss),*** and witness of the three states.

————* This stands for Purusha.

** This stands for Prakriti, cosmic matter, irrespective of the state weperceive it to be in.

*** Bliss is Maya or Sakti, it is the creative energy producing changesof state in Prakriti. Says the Sruti (Taittiriya Upanishad): "Verilyfrom Bliss are all these bhutas (elements) born, and being born by itthey live, and they return and enter into Bliss."————

Q. What are the three bodies?

A. The gross (sthula), the subtile (sukshma), and the causal (karana).

Q. What is the gross body?

A. That which is the effect of the Mahabhutas (primordial subtileelements) differentiated into the five gross ones (Panchikrita),* isborn of Karma and subject to the six changes beginning with birth.** Itis said:—

What is produced by the (subtile) elements differentiated into the fivegross ones, is acquired by Karma, and is the measure of pleasure andpain, is called the body (sarira) par excellence.

Q. What is the subtile body?

A. It is the effect of the elements not differentiated into five andhaving seventeen characteristic marks (lingas).

Q. What are the seventeen?

A. The five channels of knowledge (Jnanendriyas), the five organs ofaction, the five vital airs, beginning with prana, and manas and buddhi.

———-* The five subtile elements thus produce the gross ones—each ofthe five is divided into eight parts, four of those parts and onepart of each of the others enter into combination, and the resultis the gross element corresponding with the subtile element,whose parts predominate in the composition.

** These six changes are—birth, death, existence in time, growth,decay, and undergoing change of substance (parinam) as milk is changedinto whey.————

Q. What are the Jnandendriyas?

A. [Spiritual] Ear, skin, eye, tongue and nose.

Q. What is the ear?

A. That channel of knowledge which transcends the [physical] ear, islimited by the auricular orifice, on which the akas depends, and whichis capable of taking cognisance of sound.

Q. The skin?

A. That which transcends the skin, on which the skin depends, and whichextends from head to foot, and has the power of perceiving heat andcold.

Q. The eye?

A. That which transcends the ocular orb, on which the orb depends,which is situated to the front of the black iris and has the power ofcognising forms.

Q. The tongue?

A. That which transcends the tongue, and can perceive taste.

Q. The nose?

A. That which transcends the nose, and has the power of smelling.

Q. What are the organs of action?

A. The organ of speech (vach), hands, feet, &c.

Q. What is vach?

A. That which transcends speech, in which speech resides, and which islocated in eight different centres* and has the power of speech.

————* The secret commentaries say seven; for it does not separate the lipsinto the "upper" and "nether" lips. And, it adds to the seven centresthe seven passages in the head connected with, and affected by, vach—namely, the mouth, the two eyes, the two nostrils and the two ears."The left ear, eye and nostril being the messengers of the right side ofthe head; the right ear, eye and nostril, those of the left side." Nowthis is purely scientific. The latest discoveries and conclusions ofmodern physiology have shown that the power or the faculty of humanspeech is located in the third frontal cavity of the left hemisphere ofthe brain. On the other hand, it is a well known fact that the nervetissues inter-cross each other (decussate) in the brain in such a waythat the motions of our left extremities are governed by the righthemisphere, while the motions of our right limbs are subject to the lefthemisphere of the brain.————-

Q. What are the eight centres?

A. Breast, throat, head, upper and nether lips, palate ligature(fraenum), binding the tongue to the lower jaw and tongue.

Q. What is the organ of the hands?

A. That which transcends the hands, on which the palms depend, andwhich has the power of giving and taking…. (The other organs aresimilarly described.)

Q. What is the antahkarana? *

A. Manas, buddhi, chitta and ahankara form it. The seat of the manasis the root of the throat, of buddhi the face, of chitta the umbilicus,and of ahankara the breast. The functions of these four components ofantahkarana are respectively doubt, certainty, retention and egotism.

Q. How are the five vital airs,** beginning with prana, named?

————* A flood of light will be thrown on the text by the note of a learnedoccultist, who says:—"Antahkarana is the path of communication betweensoul and body, entirely disconnected with the former, existing with,belonging to, and dying with the body." This path is well traced in thetext.

** These vitals airs and sub-airs are forces which harmonize theinterior man with his surroundings, by adjusting the relations of thebody to external objects. They are the five allotropic modifications oflife.———-

A. Prana, apana, vyana, udana and samana. Their locations are said tobe:—of prana the breast, of apana the fundamentum, of samana theumbilicus, of udana the throat, and vyana is spread all over the body.Functions of these are:—prana goes out, apana descends, udana ascends,samana reduces the food eaten into an undistinguishable state, and vyanacirculates all over the body. Of these five vital airs there are fivesub-airs—namely, naga, kurma, krikara, devadatta and dhananjaya.Functions of these are:—eructations produced by naga, kurma opens theeye, dhananjaya assimilates food, devadatta causes yawning, and krikaraproduces appetite—this is said by those versed in Yoga.

The presiding powers (or macrocosmic analogues) of the five channels ofknowledge and the others are dik (akas) and the rest. Dik, vata (air),arka (sun), pracheta (water), Aswini, bahni (fire), Indra, Upendra,Mrityu (death), Chandra (moon), Brahma, Rudra, and Kshetrajnesvara,*which is the great Creator and cause of everything. These are thepresiding powers of ear, and the others in the order in which theyoccur.

All these taken together form the linga sarira.** It is also said inthe Shastras:—

The five vital airs, manas, buddhi, and the ten organs form the subtilebody, which arises from the subtile elements, undifferentiated into thefive gross ones, and which is the means of the perception of pleasureand pain.

Q. What is the Karana sarira?

* The principle of intellect (Buddhi) in the macrocosm. For further
explanation of this term, see Sankara's commentaries on the Brahma

** Linga means that which conveys meaning, characteristic mark.————

A. It is ignorance [of different monads] (avidya), which is the causeof the other two bodies, and which is without beginning [in the presentmanvantara],* ineffable, reflection [of Brahma] and productive of theconcept of non-identity between self and Brahma. It is also said:—

"Without a beginning, ineffable avidya is called the upadhi (vehicle)—karana (cause). Know the Spirit to be truly different from the threeupadhis—i.e., bodies."

Q. What is Not-Spirit?

A. It is the three bodies [described above], which are impermanent,inanimate (jada), essentially painful and subject to congregation andsegregation.

————* It must not be supposed that avidya is here confounded with prakriti.What is meant by avidya being without beginning, is that it forms nolink in the Karmic chain leading to succession of births and deaths, itis evolved by a law embodied in prakriti itself. Avidya is ignorance ormatter as related to distinct monads, whereas the ignorance mentionedbefore is cosmic ignorance, or maya-Avidya begins and ends with thismanvantara. Maya is eternal. The Vedanta philosophy of the school ofSankara regards the universe as consisting of one substance, Brahman(the one ego, the highest abstraction of subjectivity from ourstandpoint), having an infinity of attributes, or modes of manifestationfrom which it is only logically separable. These attributes or modes intheir collectivity form Prakriti (the abstract objectivity). It isevident that Brahman per se does not admit of any description other than"I am that I am." Whereas Prakriti is composed of an infinite number ofdifferentiations of itself. In the universe, therefore, the onlyprinciple which is indifferentiable is this "I am that I am" and themanifold modes of manifestation can only exist in reference to it. Theeternal ignorance consists in this, that as there is but onesubstantive, but numberless adjectives, each adjective is capable ofdesignating the All. Viewed in time the most permanent object or moodof the great knower at any moment represents the knower, and in a sensebinds it with limitations. In fact, time itself is one of these infinitemoods, and so is space. The only progress in Nature is the realizationof moods unrealized before.————

Q. What is impermanent?

A. That which does not exist in one and the same state in the threedivisions of time [namely, present, past and future.]

Q. What is inanimate (jada)?

A. That which cannot distinguish between the objects of its owncognition and the objects of the cognition of others….

Q. What are the three states (mentioned above as those of which the
Spirit is witness)?

A. Wakefulness (jagrata), dreaming (svapna), and the state of dreamlessslumber (sushupti).

Q. What is the state of wakefulness?

A. That in which objects are known through the avenue of [physical]senses.

Q. Of dreaming?

A. That in which objects are perceived by reason of desires resultingfrom impressions produced during wakefulness.

Q. What is the state of dreamless slumber?

A. That in which there is an utter absence of the perception ofobjects.

The indwelling of the notion of "I" in the gross body during wakefulnessis visva (world of objects),* in subtile body during dreaming is taijas(magnetic fire), and in the causal body during dreamless slumber isprajna (One Life).

Q. What are the five sheaths?

A. Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vjjnanamaya, and Anandamaya.

Annamaya is related to anna** (food), Pranamaya of prana (life),
Manomaya of manas, Vijnanamaya of vijnana (finite perception),
Anandamaya of ananda (illusive bliss).

———-* That is to say, by mistaking the gross body for self, theconsciousness of external objects is produced.

** This word also means the earth in Sanskrit.———-

Q. What is the Annamaya sheath?

A. The gross body.

Q. Why?

A. The food eaten by father and mother is transformed into sem*n andblood, the combination of which is transformed into the shape of a body.It wraps up like a sheath and hence so called. It is the transformationof food and wraps up the spirit like a sheath—it shows the spiritwhich is infinite as finite, which is without the six changes, beginningwith birth as subject to those changes, which is without the three kindsof pain* as liable to them. It conceals the spirit as the sheathconceals the sword, the husk the grain, or the womb the fetus.

Q. What is the next sheath?

A. The combination of the five organs of action, and the five vitalairs form the Pranamaya sheath.

By the manifestation of prana, the spirit which is speechless appears asthe speaker, which is never the giver as the giver, which never moves asin motion, which is devoid of hunger and thirst as hungry and thirsty.

Q. What is the third sheath?

A. It is the five (subtile) organs of sense (jnanendriya) and manas.

————* The three kinds of pain are:—

Adhibhautika, i.e., from external objects, e.g., from thieves,wild animals, &c.

Adhidaivika, i.e., from elements, e.g., thunder, &c.

Adhyatmika, i.e., from within one's self, e.g., head-ache, &c.See Sankhya Karika, Gaudapada's commentary on the opening Sloka.———-

By the manifestation of this sheath (vikara) the spirit which is devoidof doubt appears as doubting, devoid of grief and delusion as grievedand deluded, devoid of sight as seeing.

Q. What is the Vijnanamaya sheath?

A. [The essence of] the five organs of sense form this sheath incombination with buddhi.

Q. Why is this sheath called the jiva (personal ego), which by reasonof its thinking itself the actor, enjoyer, &c., goes to the other lokaand comes back to this?*

A. It wraps up and shows the spirit which never acts as the actor,which never cognises as conscious, which has no concept of certainty asbeing certain, which is never evil or inanimate as being both.

Q. What is the Anandamaya sheath?

A. It is the antahkarana, wherein ignorance predominates, and whichproduces gratification, enjoyment, &c. It wraps up and shows thespirit, which is void of desire, enjoyment and fruition, as having them,which has no conditioned happiness as being possessed thereof.

Q. Why is the spirit said to be different from the three bodies?

A. That which is truth cannot be untruth, knowledge ignorance, blissmisery, or vice versa.

Q. Why is it called the witness of the three states?

A. Being the master of the three states, it is the knowledge of thethree states, as existing in the present, past and future.**

———-* That is to say, flits from birth to birth.

** It is the stable basis upon which the three states arise anddisappear.———-

Q. How is the spirit different from the five sheaths?

A. This is being illustrated by an example:—"This is my cow," "this ismy calf," "this is my son or daughter," "this is my wife," "this is myanandamaya sheath," and so on*—the spirit can never be connected withthese concepts; it is different from and witness of them all. For itis said in the Upanishad—[The spirit is] "naught of sound, of touch, ofform, or colour, of taste, or of smell; it is everlasting, having nobeginning or end, superior [in order of subjectivity] to Prakriti(differentiated matter); whoever correctly understands it as suchattains mukti (liberation)." The spirit has also been called (above)sat, chit, and ananda.

Q. What is meant by its being sat (presence)?

A. Existing unchanged in the three divisions of time and uninfluencedby anything else.

Q. What by being chit (consciousness)?

A. Manifesting itself without depending upon anything else, andcontaining the germ of everything in itself.

Q. What by being ananda (bliss)?

A. The ne plus ultra of bliss.

Whoever knows without doubt and apprehension of its being otherwise, theself as being one with Brahma or spirit, which is eternal, non-dual andunconditioned, attains moksha (liberation from conditioned existence.)

————* The "heresy of individuality," or attavada of the Buddhists.————

Was Writing Known Before Panini?

I am entrusted with the task of putting together some facts which wouldsupport the view that the art of writing was known in India before thetime of our grammarian—the Siva-taught Panini. Professor Max Muller hasmaintained the contrary opinion ever since 1856, and has the approbationof other illustrious Western scholars. Stated briefly, their positionis that the entire absence of any mention of "writing, reading, paper,or pen" in the Vedas, or during the whole of the Brahmana period, andthe almost, if not quite, as complete silence as to them throughout theSutra period, "lead us to suppose that even then [the Sutra period],though the art of writing began to be known, the whole literature ofIndia was preserved by oral tradition only." ("Hist. Sans. Lit.," p.501.) To support this theory, he expands the mnemonic faculty of ourrespected ancestors to such a phenomenal degree that, like the bull'shide of Queen Dido, it is made to embrace the whole ground needed forthe proposed city of refuge, to which discomfited savants may flee whenhard pressed. Considering that Professor Weber—a gentleman who, weobserve, likes to distil the essence of Aryan aeons down into an attarof no greater volume than the capacity of the Biblical period—admitsthat Europe now possesses 10,000 of our Sanscrit texts; and consideringthat we have, or have had, many other tens of thousands which theparsimony of Karma has hitherto withheld from the museums and librariesof Europe, what a memory must have been theirs!

Under correction, I venture to assume that Panini, who was ranked amongthe Rishis, was the greatest known grammarian in India, than whom thereis no higher in history, whether ancient or modern; further, thatcontemporary scholars agree that the Sanskrit is the most perfect oflanguages. Therefore, when Prof. Muller affirms that "there is not asingle word in Panini's terminology which presupposes the existence ofwriting" (op. cit. 507), we become a little shaken in our loyaldeference to Western opinion. For it is very hard to conceive how oneso pre-eminently great as Panini should have been incapable of inventingcharacters to preserve his grammatical system—supposing that none hadpreviously existed—if his genius was equal to the invention ofclassical Sanskrit. The mention of the word Grantha, the equivalent fora written or bound book in the later literature of India—though appliedby Panini (in B. I. 3, 75) to the Veda; (in B. iv. 3, 87) to any work;(in B. iv. 3, 116) to the work of any individual author; and (in B. iv.3, 79) to any work that is studied, do not stagger Prof. Muller at all.Grantha he takes to mean simply a composition, and this may be handeddown to posterity by oral communication. Hence, we must believe thatPanini was illiterate; but yet composed the most elaborate andscientific system of grammar ever known; recorded its 3,996 rules onlyupon the molecular quicksands of his "cerebral cineritious matter," andhanded them over to his disciples by atmospheric vibration, i.e., oralteaching! Of course, nothing could be clearer; it commends itself tothe simplest intellect as a thing most probable! And in the presence ofsuch a perfect hypothesis, it seems a pity that its author should (op.cit. 523) confess that "it is possible" that he "may have overlookedsome words in the Brahmanas and Sutras, which would prove the existenceof written books previous to Panini." That looks like the militarystrategy of our old warriors, who delivered their attack boldly, butnevertheless tried to keep their rear open for retreat if compelled.The precaution was necessary: written books did exist many centuriesbefore the age in which this radiant sun of Aryan thought rose to shineupon his age. They existed, but the Orientalist may search in vain forthe proof amid the exoteric words in our earlier literature. As theEgyptian hierophants had their private code of hieratic symbols, andeven the founder of Christianity spoke to the vulgar in parables whosemystical meaning was known only to the chosen few, so the Brahmans hadfrom the first (and still have) a mystical terminology couched behindordinary expressions, arranged in certain sequences and mutualrelations, which none but the initiate would observe. That few livingBrahmans possess this key but proves that, as in other archaic religiousand philosophical systems, the soul of Hinduism has fled (to its primalimparters—the initiates), and only the decrepit body remains with aspiritually degenerate posterity.*

———-* Not only are the Upanishads a secret doctrine, but in dozens of otherworks as, for instance, in the Aitareya Aranyaka, it is plainlyexpressed that they contain secret doctrines, that are not to beimparted to any one but a Dwija (twice-born, initiated) Brahman.————

I fully perceive the difficulty of satisfying European philologists of afact which, upon my own statement, they are debarred from verifying. Weknow that from the present mental condition of our Brahmans. But I hopeto be able to group together a few admitted circ*mstances which willaid, at least, to show the Western theory untenable, if not to make abase upon which to rest our claim for the antiquity of Sanskrit writing.Three good reasons may be adduced in support of the claim—though theywill be regarded as circ*mstantial evidence by our opponents.

I.—It can be shown that writing was known in Phoenicia from the date ofthe acquaintance of Western history with her first settlements; andthis may be dated, according to European figures, 2760 B.C., the age ofthe Tyrian settlement.

II.—Our opponents confess to ignorance of the source whence the
Phoenicians themselves got their alphabet.

III.—It can be proved that before the final division and classificationof languages, there existed two languages in every nation: (a) theprofane or popular language of the masses; (b) the sacerdotal or secretlanguage of the initiates of the temples and mysteries—the latter beingone and universal. Or, in other, words, every great people had, likethe Egyptians, its Demotic and its Hieratic writing and language, whichhad resulted first in a pictorial writing or the hieroglyphics, andlater on in a phonetic alphabet. Now it requires a stretch ofprejudice, indeed, to assert upon no evidence whatever that the BrahmanAryans—mystics and metaphysicians above everything—were the only oneswho had never had any knowledge of either the sacerdotal language or thecharacters in which it was recorded. To contradict this gratuitousassumption, we can furnish a whole array of proofs. It can bedemonstrated that the Aryans no more borrowed their writing from theHellenes, or from the Phoenicians, than they were indebted to theinfluence of the former for all their arts and sciences. (Even if weaccept Mr. Cunningham's "Indo-Grecian Period," for it lasted only from250-57 B.C., as he states it.) The direct progenitor of the VedicSanskrit was the sacerdotal language (which has a distinct name amongthe initiates). The Vach—its alter ego or the "mystic self," thesacerdotal speech of the initiated Brahman—became in time the mysterylanguage of the inner temple, studied by the initiates of Egypt andChaldea; of the Phoenicians and the Etruscans; of the Pelasgi andPalanquans; in short, of the whole globe. The appellation DEVANAGARIis the synonym of, and identical with, the Hermetic and HieraticNETER-KHARI (divine speech) of the Egyptians.

As the discussion divides naturally into two parts as to treatment—though a general synthesis must be the final result—we will proceed toexamine the first part—namely, the charge that the Sanskrit alphabet isderived from the Phoenicians. When a Western philologer asserts thatwriting did not exist before a certain period, we assume that he hassome approximate certitude as to its real invention. But so far is thisfrom the truth, that admittedly no one knows whence the Phoenicianslearned the characters, now alleged (by Gesenius first) to be the sourcefrom which modern alphabets were directly derived. De Rouge'sinvestigations make it extremely probable that "they were borrowed, orrather adapted from certain archaic hieroglyphics of Egypt:" a theorywhich the Prisse Papyrus, "the oldest in existence," strongly supportsby its "striking similarities with the Phoenician characters." But thesame authority traces it back one step farther. He says that theascription (by the myth-makers) of the art of writing to Thoth, or toKadmos, "only denotes their belief in its being brought from the East(Kedem), or being perhaps primeval." There is not even a certaintywhether, primevally or archaically, "there were several originalalphabetical systems, or whether one is to be assumed as having givenrise to the various modes of writing in use." So, if conjecture has thefield, it is no great disloyalty to declare one's rebellion against theeminent Western gentlemen who are learnedly guessing at the origin ofthings. Some affirm that the Phoenicians derived their so-calledKadmean or Phoenician writing-characters from the Pelasgians, held alsoto have been the inventors, or at least the improvers, of the so-calledKadmean characters. But, at the same time, this is not proven, theyconfess, and they only know that the latter were in possession of theart of writing "before the dawn of history." Let us see what is known ofboth Phoenicians and Pelasgians.

If we inquire who were the Phoenicians, we learn as follows:—Fromhaving been regarded as Hamites on Bible testimony, they suddenly becameSemites—on geographical and philological evidence(?). Their originbegins, it is said, on the shores of the Erythrian Sea; and that seaextended from the eastern shores of Egypt to the western shores ofIndia. The Phoenicians were the most maritime nation in the world.That they knew perfectly the art of writing no one would deny. Thehistorical period of Sidon begins 1500 B.C. And it is well ascertainedthat in 1250 Sanchoniathon had already compiled from annals and Statedocuments, which filled the archives of every Phoenician city, the fullrecords of their religion. Sanchoniathon wrote in the Phoenicianlanguage, and was mis-translated later on into Greek by Philo of Byblus,and annihilated bodily—as to his works—except one small fragmentpreserved by Eusebius, the literary Siva, the Destroyer of nearly allheathen documents that fell in his way. To see the direct bearing ofthe alleged superior knowledge of the Phoenicians upon the allegedignorance of the Aryan Brahmans, one has but to turn to "EuropeanUniversal History," meagre though its details and possible knowledge,yet I suppose no one would contradict the historical facts given. Somefragments of Dius, the Phoenician who wrote the history of Tyre, arepreserved in Josephus; and Tyre's activity begins 1100 B.C., in theearlier part of the third period of Phoenician history, so called. Andin that period, as we are told, they had already reached the height oftheir power; their ships covered all seas, their commerce embraced thewhole earth, and their colonies flourished far and near. Even onBiblical testimony they are known to have come to the Indies by the RedSea, while trading on Solomon's account about a millennium before theWestern era. These data no man of science can deny. Leaving entirelyaside the thousand-and-one documentary proofs that could be given on theevidence of our most ancient texts on Occult Sciences, of inscribedtablets, &c., those historical events that are accepted by the Westernworld are alone here given. Turning to the Mahabharata, the date ofwhich—on the sole authority of the fancy lore drawn from the innerconsciousness of German scholars, who perceive in the great epic poemproofs of its modern fabrication in the words "Yavana" and others—hasbeen changed from 3300 years to the first centuries after Christ (!!),we find: (1) ample evidence that the ancient Hindus had navigated(before the establishment of the caste system) the open seas to theregions of the Arctic Ocean and held communication with Europe; and (2)that the Pandus had acquired universal dominion and taught thesacrificial mysteries to other races (see Mahabharata, book xiv,). Withsuch proofs of international communication, and more than provedrelations between the Indian Aryans and the Phoenicians, Egyptians andother literate people, it is rather startling to be told that ourforefathers of the Brahmanic period knew nothing of writing.

Admitting, for the argument only, that the Phoenician were the solecustodians of the glorious art of writing, and that as merchants theytraded with India, what commodity, I ask, could they have offered to apeople led by the Brahmans so precious and marketable as this art ofarts, by whose help the priceless lore of the Rishis might be preservedagainst the accidents of imperfect oral transmission? And even if theAryans learned from Phoenicians how to write—to every educated Hindu anabsurdity—they must have possessed the art 2,000 or at least 1,000years earlier than the period supposed by Western critics. Negativeproof, perhaps? Granted: yet no more so than their own, and mostsuggestive.

And now we may turn to the Pelasgians. Notwithstanding the rebuke ofNiebuhr, who, speaking of the historian in general, shows him as hating"the spurious philology, out of which the pretences to knowledge on thesubject of such extinct people arise," the origin of the Pelasgians isconjectured to have been from—(a) swarthy Asiatics (Pellasici) or fromsome (b) mariners—from the Greek Pelagos, the sea; or again to besought for in the (c) Biblical Peleg! The only divinity of theirPantheon well known to Western history is Orpheus, also the "swarthy,"the "dark-skinned;" represented for the Pelasgians by Xoanon, their"Divine Image." Now if the Pelasgians were Asiatics, they must havebeen Turanians, Semites or Aryans. That they could not have been eitherof the two first, and must have been the last named, is shown onHerodotus' testimony, who declared them the forefathers of the Greeks—though they spoke, as he says, "a most barbarous language." Further,unerring philology shows that the vast number of roots common both toGreek and Latin, are easily explained by the assumption of a commonPelasgic linguistic and ethnical stock in both nationalities. But thenhow about the Sanskrit roots traced in the Greek and Latin languages?The same roots must have been present in the Pelasgian tongues? We whoplace the origin of the Pelasgian far beyond the Biblical ditch ofhistoric chronology, have reasons to believe that the "barbarouslanguage" mentioned by Herodotus was simply "the primitive and nowextinct Aryan tongue" that preceded the Vedic Sanskrit. Who could theybe, these Pelasgians? They are described generally on the meagre datain hand as a highly intellectual, receptive, active and simple people,chiefly occupied with agriculture; warlike when necessary, thoughpreferring peace. We are told that they built canals, subterraneanwater-works, dams, and walls of astounding strength and most excellentconstruction. And their religion and worship originally consisted in amystic service of those natural powers—the sun, wind, water, and air(our Surya, Maruts, Varuna, and Vayu), whose influence is visible in thegrowth of the fruits of the earth; moreover, some of their tribes wereruled by priests, while others stood under the patriarchal rule of thehead of the clan or family. All this reminds one of the nomads, theBrahmanic Aryas of old under the sway of their Rishis, to whom weresubject every distinct family or clan. While the Pelasgians wereacquainted with the art of writing, and had thus "a vast element ofculture in their possession before the dawn of history," we are told (bythe same philologists) that our ancestors knew of no writing until thedawn of Christianity!

Thus the Pelasgianic language, that "most barbarous language" spoken bythis mysterious people, what was it but Aryan; or rather, which of theAryan languages could it have been? Certainly it must have been alanguage with the same and even stronger Sanskrit roots in it than theGreek. Let us bear in mind that the Aeolic was neither the language ofAeschylus, nor the Attic, nor even the old speech of Homer. As theOscan of the "barbarous" Sabines was not quite the Italian of Dante noreven the Latin of Virgil. Or has the Indo-Aryan to come to the sadconclusion that the average Western Orientalist will rather incur theblame of ignorance when detected than admit the antiquity of the VedicSanskrit and the immense period which separated this comparatively roughand unpolished language, compared with the classical Sanskrit, and thepalmy days of the "extinct Aryan tongue?" The Latium Antiquum of Plinyand the Aeolic of the Autochthones of Greece present the closestkinship, we are told. They had a common ancestor—the Pelasgian. What,then, was the parent tongue of the latter unless it was the language"spoken at one time by all the nations of Europe—before theirseparation?" In the absence of all proofs, it is unreasonable that theRik-Brahmanas, the Mahabharata and every Nirukti should be treated asflippantly as they now are. It is admitted that, however inferior tothe classical Sanskrit of Panini, the language of the oldest portions ofRig Veda, notwithstanding the antiquity of its grammatical forms, is thesame as that of the latest texts. Every one sees—cannot fail to see andto know—that for a language so old and so perfect as the Sanskrit tohave survived alone, among all languages, it must have had its cycles ofperfection and its cycles of degeneration. And, if one had anyintuition, he might have seen that what they call a "dead language"being an anomaly, a useless thing in Nature, it would not have survived,even as a "dead" tongue, had it not its special purpose in the reign ofimmutable cyclic laws; and that Sanskrit, which came to be nearly lostto the world, is now slowly spreading in Europe, and will one day havethe extension it had thousands upon thousands of years back—that of auniversal language. The same as to the Greek and the Latin: there willbe a time when the Greek of Aeschylus (and more perfect still in itsfuture form) will be spoken by all in Southern Europe, while Sanskritwill be resting in its periodical pralaya; and the Attic will befollowed later by the Latin of Virgil. Something ought to havewhispered to us that there was also a time—before the original Aryansettlers among the Dravidian and other aborigines, admitted within thefold of Brahmanical initiation, marred the purity of the sacredSanskrita Bhasha—when Sanskrit was spoken in all its unalloyedsubsequent purity, and therefore must have had more than once its riseand fall. The reason for it is simply this: classical Sanskrit wasonly restored, if in some things perfected, by Panini. Panini,Katyayana or Patanjali did not create it; it has existed throughoutcycles, and will pass through other cycles still.

Professor Max Miller is willing to admit that a tribe of Semiticnomads—fourteen centuries before the year 1 of the Westerns—knew wellthe art of writing, and had their historically and scientifically proven"book of the covenant and the tables 'with the writing of God uponthem.'" Yet the same authority tells us that the Aryans could neitherread nor write until the very close of the Brahmanic period. "No traceof writing can be discovered (by the philologists) in the Brahmanicalliterature before the days of Panini." Very well, and now what was theperiod during which this Siva-taught sage is allowed to have flourished?One Orientalist (Bohtlingk) refers us to 350 B.C., while less lenientones, like Professor Weber, land the grammarian right in the middle ofthe second century of the Christian era! Only, after fixing Panini'speriod with such a remarkable agreement of chronology (othercalculations ranging variously between 400 B.C. and 460 A.D.), theOrientalists place themselves inextricably between the horns of adilemma. For whether Panini flourished 350 B.C. or 180 A.D., he couldnot have been illiterate; for firstly, in the Lalita Vistara, acanonical book recognized by the Sanskritists, attributed by Max Mullerto the third Buddhist council (and translated into Tibetan), our LordBuddha is shown as studying, besides Devanagari, sixty-three otheralphabets specified in it as being used in various parts of India; andsecondly, though Megasthenes and Nearchus do say that in their time thelaws of Manu were not (popularly) reduced to writing (Strabo, xv. 66 and73) yet Nearchus describes the Indian art of making paper from cotton.He adds that the Indians wrote letters on cotton twisted together(Strabo, xv. 53 and 67). This would be late in the Sutra period, nodoubt, according to Professor Miller's reasoning. Can the learnedgentleman cite any record within that comparatively recent periodshowing the name of the inventor of that cotton-paper, and the date ofhis discovery? Surely so important a fact as that, a novelty sotranscendently memorable, would not have passed without remark. Onewould seem compelled, in the absence of any such chronicle, to acceptthe alternative theory—known to us Aryan students as a fact—thatwriting and writing materials were, as above remarked, known to theBrahmans in an antiquity inconceivably remote—many centuries before theepoch made illustrious by Panini.

Attention has been asked above to the interesting fact that the godOrpheus, of "Thracia" (?) is called the "dark-skinned." Has it escapednotice that he is "supposed to be the Vedic Ribhu or Abrhu, an epithetboth of Indra and the Sun."* And if he was "the inventor of letters,"and is "placed anterior to both Homer and Hesiod," then what follows?That Indra taught writing to the Thracian Pelasgians under the guise ofOrpheus,** but left his own spokesmen and vehicles, the Brahmans,illiterate until "the dawn of Christianity?" Or, that the gentlemen ofthe West are better at intuitional chronology than conspicuous forimpartial research?

———-* "Chamber's Encyclopedia," vii. 127.

** According to Herodotus the Mysteries were actually brought from Indiaby Orpheus.———-

Orpheus was—in Greece—the son of Apollo or Helios, the sun-god,according to corrected mythology, and from him received the phorminx orlyre of seven strings, i.e.—according to occult phraseology—thesevenfold mystery of the Initiation. Now Indra is the ruler of thebright firmament, the disperser of clouds, "the restorer of the sun tothe sky." He is identified with Arjuna in the Samhita SatapathaBrahmana (although Prof. Weber denies the existence of any such personas Arjuna, yet there was indeed one), and Arjuna was the Chief of thePandavas;* and though Pandu the white passes for his father, he is yetconsidered the son of Indra. As throughout India all ancient cyclopeanstructures are even now attributed to the Pandavas, so all similarstructures in the West were anciently ascribed to the Pelasgians.Moreover, as shown well by Poco*cke—laughed at because too intuitionaland too fair though, perchance less, philologically learned—thePandavas were in Greece, where many traces of them can be shown.

———-* Another proof of the fact that the Pandavas were, though Aryans, notBrahmans, and belonged to an Indian tribe that preceded the Brahmans,and were later on Brahmanized, and then out-casted and called Mlechhas,Yavanas (i.e., foreign to the Brahmans), is afforded in the following:Pandu has two wives; and "it is not Kunti, his lawful wife, but Madri,his most beloved wife," who is burnt with the old King when dead, aswell remarked by Prof Max Muller, who seems astonished at it withoutcomprehending the true reason. As stated by Herodotus (v. 5), it was acustom amongst the Thracians to allow the most beloved of a man's wivesto be sacrificed upon his tomb; and Herodotus (iv. 17) asserts asimilar fact of the Scythians, and Pausanias (iv. 2) of the Greeks.("Hist. Sans. Lit." p. 48). The Pandavas and the Kauravas are calledesoterically cousins in the Epic poem because they were two distinct yetAryan tribes, and represent two peoples, not simply two families.————

In the Mahabharata, Arjuna is taught the occult philosophy by Krishna(personification of the universal Divine Principle); and the lessmythological view of Orpheus presents him to us as "a divine bard orpriest in the service of Zagreus …. founder of the Mysteries …. theinventor of everything, in fact, that was supposed to have contributedto the civilization and initiation into a more humane worship of thedeity." Are not these striking parallels; and is it not significantthat, in the cases of both Arjuna and Orpheus, the sublimer aspects ofreligion should have been imparted along with the occult methods ofattaining it by masters of the mysteries? Real Devanagari—non-phoneticcharacters—meant formerly the outward symbols, so to say, the signsused in the intercommunication between gods and initiated mortals.Hence their great sacredness and the silence maintained throughout theVedic and the Brahmanical periods about any object concerned with, orreferring to, reading and writing. It was the language of the gods. Ifour Western critics can only understand what the Ancient Hindu writersmeant by Rhutaliai, so often mentioned in their mystical writings, theywill be in a position to ascertain the source from which the Hindusfirst derived their knowledge of writing.

A secret language, common to all schools of occult science onceprevailed throughout the world. Hence Orpheus learnt "letters" in thecourse of his initiation. He is identified with Indra; according toHerodotus he brought the art of writing from India; his complexionswarthier than that of the Thracians points to his Indo-Aryannationality—supposing him to have been "a bard and priest," and not agod; the Pelasgians are said to have been born in Thracia; they arebelieved (in the West) to have first possessed the art of writing, andtaught the Phoenicians; from the latter all modern alphabets proceed.I submit, then, with all these coincidences and sequences, whether thebalance of proof is on the side of the theory that the Aryanstransmitted the art of writing to the people of the West; or on theside which maintains that they, with their caste of scholarly Brahmans,their noble sacerdotal tongue, dating from high antiquity, theirredundant and splendid literature, their acquaintance with the mostwonderful and recondite potentialities of the human spirit, wereilliterate until the era of Panini, the grammarian and last of theRishis. When the famous theorists of the Western colleges can show us ariver running from its mouth back to its source in the feeble mountainspring, then may we be asked to believe in their theory of Aryanilliteracy. The history of human intellectual development shows thathumanity always passes through the stage of ideography or pictographybefore attaining that of cursive writing. It therefore remains with theWestern critics who oppose the antiquity of Aryan Scriptures to show usthe pictographic proofs which support their position. As these arenotoriously absent, it appears they would have us believe that ourancestors passed immediately from illiteracy to the Devanagaricharacters of Panini's time.

Let the Orientalists bear in mind the conclusions drawn from a carefulstudy of the Mahabharata by Muir in his "Sanskrit Texts" (vol. I. pp.390,480 and 482). It may be conclusively proven on the authority of theMahabharata that the Yavanas (of whom India, as alleged, knew nothingbefore the days of Alexander!) belong to those tribes of Kshatriyas who,in consequence of their non-communication with, and in some casesrejection by, the Brahmins, had become from twice-born, "Vrishalas,"—i.e., outcasts (Mahabharata Anusasanaparvam, vv. 2103 F.): "SakahYavana-Kambojas tastah kshattriya jatayah Vrishalatvam parigatahBrahmananam adarsana. Dravidas cha Kalindas cha Pulindas chapy UsinarahKalisarpa Mahishakas tastah kshattriya jatayah," &c. &c. The samereference may be found in verses 2158-9. The Mahabharata shows theYavanas descended from Turvasu—once upon a time Kshatriya, subsequentlydegraded into Vrishala. Harivamsa shows when and how the Yavanas wereexcommunicated. It may be inferred from the account therein containedof the expedition against Ayodhya by the Yavanas, and the subsequentproceedings of Sagara, that the Yavanas were, previous to the date ofthe expedition, Kshatriyas subject to the government of the powerfulmonarchs who reigned at Ayodhya. But on account of their havingrebelled against their sovereign, and attacked his capital, they wereexcommunicated by Sagara who successfully drove them out of Ayodhya, atthe suggestion of Vasishtha who was the chief minister and guru ofSagara's father. The only trouble in connecting the Pelasgians with,and tracing their origin to, the Kshatriyas of Rajputana, is created bythe Orientalist who constructs a fanciful chronology, based on no proof,and showing only unfamiliarity with the world's real history, and withIndian history even within historical periods.

The value of that chronology—which places virtually the "primitiveIndo-Germanic-period" before the ancient Vedic period (!)—may, inconclusion, be illustrated by an example. Rough as may be thecalculations offered, it is impossible to go deeper into any subject ofthis class within the narrow limits prescribed, and without recourse todata not generally accessible. In the words of Prof. Max Muller:—"TheCode of Manu is almost the only work in Sanskrit literature which, asyet, has not been assailed by those who doubt the antiquity ofeverything Indian. No historian has disputed its claim to that earlydate which had from the first been assigned to it by Sir William Jones"("Hist. Sans, Lit." p. 61). And now, pray, what is this extremely"early date?" "From 880 to 1200 B.C.," we are told. We will then, forthe present purpose, accept this authoritative conclusion. Severalfacts, easily verifiable, have to be first of all noticed:—(1) Manu inhis many enumerations of Indian races, kingdoms and places, never oncementions Bengal; the Aryan Brahmans had not yet reached, in the dayswhen his Code was compiled, the banks of the Ganges nor the plains ofBengal. It was Arjuna who went first to Banga (Bengal) with hissacrificial horse. [Yavanas are mentioned in Rajdharma AnasasanikaParva as part of the tribes peopling it.] (2) In the Ayun a list of theHindu kings of Bengal is given. Though the date of the first king whor*igned over Banga cannot be ascertained, owing to the great gapsbetween the various dynasties; it is yet known that Bengal ceased to bean independent Hindu kingdom from 1203 after Christ. Now if,disregarding these gaps, which are wide and many, we make up the sum ofonly those chronological periods of the reign of the several dynastiesthat are preserved by history, we find the following:—

24 Kshatriya families of kings reigned for a period of 2,418 years9 Kaista kings " " " " 250 "11 Of the Adisur families " " " 714 "10 Of the Bhopal family " " " 689 "10 Of the Pala dynasty (from 855 to 1040 A.D.) " " 185 "10 The Vaidya Rajahs reigned for a period of " " 137 " ———— Years . . . . 4,393 "

If we deduct from this sum 1,203, we have 3,190 years B.C. of successivereigns. If it can be shown on the unimpeachable evidence of theSanskrit texts that some of the reigns happened simultaneously, and theline cannot therefore be shown as successive (as was already tried),well and good. Against an arbitrary chronology set up with apredetermined purpose and theory in view, there will remain but littleto be said. But if this attempt at reconciliation of figures and thesurrounding circ*mstances are maintained simply upon "critical, internalevidence," then, in the presence of these 3,190 years of an unbrokenline of powerful and mighty Hindu kings, the Orientalists will have toshow a very good reason why the authors of the Code of Manu seementirely ignorant even of the existence of Bengal—if its date has to beaccepted as not earlier than 1280 B.C.! A scientific rule which is goodenough to apply to the case of Panini ought to be valid in otherchronological speculations. Or, perhaps, this is one of those poor ruleswhich will not "work both ways?"

—A Chela


What is Theosophy?

According to lexicographers, the term theosophia is composed of twoGreek words—theos "god," and sophas "wise." So far, correct. But theexplanations that follow are far from giving a clear idea of Theosophy.Webster defines it most originally as "a supposed intercourse withGod and superior spirits, and consequent attainment of superhumanknowledge by physical processes, as by the theurgic operations of someancient Platonists, or by the chemical processes of the Germanfire-philosophers."

This, to say the least, is a poor and flippant explanation. Toattribute such ideas to men like Ammonius Saccas, Plotinus, Jamblichus,Porphyry, Proclus, shows either intentional misrepresentation, orignorance of the philosophy and motives of the greatest geniuses of thelater Alexandrian School. To impute to those, whom their contemporariesas well as posterity styled "theodidaktoi," god-taught, a purpose todevelop their psychological, spiritual perceptions by "physicalprocesses," is to describe them as materialists. As to the concludingfling at the fire-philosophers, it rebounds from them upon some of themost eminent leaders of modern science; those in whose mouths the Rev.James Martineau places the following boast: "Matter is all we want;give us atoms alone, and we will explain the universe."

Vaughan offers a far better, more philosophical definition. "ATheosophist," he says, "is one who gives you a theory of God or theworks of God, which has not revelation, but inspiration of his own forits basis." In this view every great thinker and philosopher,especially every founder of a new religion, school of philosophy, orsect, is necessarily a Theosophist. Hence, Theosophy and Theosophistshave existed ever since the first glimmering of nascent thought made manseek instinctively for the means of expressing his own independentopinions.

There were Theosophists before the Christian era, notwithstanding thatthe Christian writers ascribe the development of the EclecticTheosophical system to the early part of the third century of their era.Diogenes Laertius traces Theosophy to an epoch antedating the dynasty ofthe Ptolemies; and names as its founder an Egyptian Hierophant calledPot-Amun, the name being Coptic, and signifying a priest consecrated toAmun, the god of Wisdom. But history shows its revival by AmmoniusSaccas, the founder of the Neo-Platonic School. He and his disciplescalled themselves "Philaletheians"—lovers of the truth; while otherstermed them the "Analogists," on account of their method of interpretingall sacred legends, symbolical myths, and mysteries, by a rule ofanalogy or correspondence so that events which had occurred in theexternal world were regarded as expressing operations and experiences ofthe human soul. It was the aim and purpose of Ammonius to reconcile allsects, peoples, and nations under one common faith—a belief in oneSupreme, Eternal, Unknown, and Unnamed Power, governing the universe byimmutable and eternal laws. His object was to prove a primitive systemof Theosophy, which, at the beginning, was essentially alike in allcountries: to induce all men to lay aside their strifes and quarrels,and unite in purpose and thought as the children of one common mother;to purify the ancient religions, by degrees corrupted and obscured, fromall dross of human element, by uniting and expounding them upon purephilosophical principles. Hence, the Buddhistic, Vedantic and Magian, orZoroastrian systems were taught in the Eclectic Theosophical Schoolalong with all the philosophies of Greece. Hence also, thatpre-eminently Buddhistic and Indian feature among the ancientTheosophists of Alexandria, of due reverence for parents and agedpersons, a fraternal affection for the whole human race, and acompassionate feeling for even the dumb animals. While seeking toestablish a system of moral discipline which enforced upon people theduty to live according to the laws of their respective countries, toexalt their minds by the research and contemplation of the one AbsoluteTruth; his chief object, in order, as he believed, to achieve allothers, was to extract from the various religious teachings, as from amany-chorded instrument, one full and harmonious melody, which wouldfind response in every truth-loving heart.

Theosophy is, then, the archaic Wisdom-Religion, the esoteric doctrineonce known in every ancient country having claims to civilization. This"Wisdom" all the old writings show us as an emanation of the DivinePrinciple; and the clear comprehension of it is typified in such namesas the Indian Buddh, the Babylonian Nebo, the Thoth of Memphis, theHermes of Greece; in the appellations, also, of some goddesses—Metis,Neitha, Athena, the Gnostic Sophia; and, finally, the Vedas, from theword "to know." Under this designation, all the ancient philosophers ofthe East and West, the Hierophants of old Egypt, the Rishis of Aryavart,the Theodidaktoi of Greece, included all knowledge of things occult andessentially divine. The Mercavah of the Hebrew Rabbis, the secular andpopular series, were thus designated as only the vehicle, the outwardshell, which contained the higher esoteric knowledges. The Magi ofZoroaster received instruction and were initiated in the caves andsecret lodges of Bactria; the Egyptian and Grecian hierophants had theirapporiheta, or secret discourses, during which the Mysta became anEpopta—a Seer.

The central idea of the Eclectic Theosophy was that of a single SupremeEssence, Unknown and Unknowable; for "how could one know the knower?"as inquires Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. Their system was characterized bythree distinct features, the theory of the above-named Essence: thedoctrine of the human soul; an emanation from the latter, hence of thesame nature; and its theurgy. It is this last science which has ledthe Neo-Platonists to be so misrepresented in our era of materialisticscience. Theurgy being essentially the art of applying the divinepowers of man to the subordination of the blind forces of Nature, itsvotaries were first decisively termed magicians—a corruption of theword "Magh," signifying a wise or learned man. Sceptics of a century agowould have been as wide of the mark if they had laughed at the idea of aphonograph or telegraph. The ridiculed and the "infidels" of onegeneration generally become the wise men and saints of the next.

As regards the Divine Essence and the nature of the soul and spirit,modern Theosophy believes now as ancient Theosophy did. The popular Devof the Aryan nations was identical with the Iao of the Chaldeans, andeven with the Jupiter of the less learned and philosophical among theRomans; and it was just as identical with the Jahve of the Samaritans,the Tiu or "Tiusco" of the Northmen, the Duw of the Britons, and theZeus of the Thracians. As to the Absolute Essence, the One and All,whether we accept the Greek Pythagorean, the Chaldean Kabalistic, or theAryan philosophy in regard to it, it will all lead to one and the sameresult. The Primeval Monad of the Pythagorean system, which retiresinto darkness and is itself Darkness (for human intellect), was made thebasis of all things; and we can find the idea in all its integrity inthe philosophical systems of Leibnitz and Spinoza. Therefore, whether aTheosophist agrees with the Kabala which, speaking of En-Soph, propoundsthe query; "Who, then, can comprehend It, since It is formless, andnon-existent?" or, remembering that magnificent hymn from the Rig Veda(Hymn 129, Book x.), inquires:

"Who knows from whence this great creation sprang? Whether his will created or was mute. He knows it—or perchance even He knows not."

Or, again, he accepts the Vedantic conception of Brahma, who, in theUpanishads, is represented as "without life, without mind, pure,"unconscious, for Brahma is "Absolute Consciousness." Or, even finally,siding with the Svabhavikas of Nepaul, maintains that nothing exists but"Svabhavat" (substance or nature) which exists by itself without anycreator—he is the true follower of pure and absolute Theosophy. ThatTheosophy which prompted such men as Hegel, Fichte and Spinoza to takeup the labours of the old Grecian philosophers and speculate upon theOne Substance—the Deity, the Divine All proceeding from the DivineWisdom—incomprehensible, unknown and unnamed by any ancient or modernreligious philosophy, with the exception of Judaism, includingChristianity and Mohammedanism. Every Theosophist, then, holding to atheory of the Deity "which has not revelation but an inspiration of hisown for its basis," may accept any of the above definitions or belong toany of these religions, and yet remain strictly within the boundaries ofTheosophy. For the latter is belief in the Deity as the ALL, the sourceof all existence, the infinite that cannot be either comprehended orknown, the universe alone revealing It, or, as some prefer it, Him, thusgiving a sex to that, to anthropomorphize which is blasphemy. TrueTheosophy shrinks from brutal materialization; it prefers believingthat, from eternity retired within itself, the Spirit of the Deityneither wills nor creates; but from the infinite effulgence everywheregoing forth from the Great Centre, that which produces all visible andinvisible things is but a ray containing in itself the generative andconceptive power, which, in its turn, produces that which the Greekscalled Macrocosm, the Kabalists Tikkun or Adam Kadmon, the archetypalman, and the Aryans Purusha, the manifested Brahm, or the Divine Male.Theosophy believes also in the Anastasis, or continued existence, and intransmigration (evolution) or a series of changes of the personal ego,which can be defended and explained on strict philosophical principlesby making a distinction between Paramatma (transcendental, supremespirit) and Jivatma (individual spirit) of the Vedantins.

To fully define Theosophy, we must consider it under all its aspects.The interior world has not been hidden from all by impenetrabledarkness. By that higher intuition acquired by Theosophia, orGod-knowledge, which carries the mind from the world of form into that offormless spirit, man has been sometimes enabled, in every age and everycountry, to perceive things in the interior or invisible world. Hence,the "Samadhi," or Dhyan Yog Samadhi, of the Hindu ascetics; the"Daimonlonphoti," or spiritual illumination of the Neo-Platonists;the "sidereal confabulation of soul," of the Rosicrucians orFire-philosophers; and, even the ecstatic trance of mystics and of themodern mesmerists and spiritualists, are identical in nature, thoughvarious as to manifestation. The search after man's diviner "self," sooften and so erroneously interpreted as individual communion with apersonal God, was the object of every mystic; and belief in itspossibility seems to have been coeval with the genesis of humanity, eachpeople giving it another name. Thus Plato and Plotinus call "Noeticwork" that which the Yogi and the Shrotriya term Vidya. "By reflection,self-knowledge and intellectual discipline, the soul can be raised tothe vision of eternal truth, goodness, and beauty—that is, to theVision of God. This is the epopteia," said the Greeks. "To unite one'ssoul to the Universal Soul," says Porphyry, "requires but a perfectlypure mind. Through self contemplation, perfect chastity, and purity ofbody, we may approach nearer to It, and receive, in that state, trueknowledge and wonderful insight." And Swami Dayanund Saraswati, who hasread neither Porphyry nor other Greek authors, but who is a thoroughVedic scholar, says in his "Veda Bhashya" (opasna prakaru ank. 9)—"Toobtain Diksha (highest initiation) and Yog, one has to practiseaccording to the rules….. The soul in the human body can perform thegreatest wonders by knowing the Universal Spirit (or God) andacquainting itself with the properties and qualities (occult) of all thethings in the universe. A human being (a Diksh*t or initiate) can thusacquire a power of seeing and hearing at great distances." Finally,Alfred R. Wallace, F.R.S., a spiritualist and yet a confessedly greatnaturalist, says, with brave candour: "It is spirit that alone feels,and perceives, and thinks, that acquires knowledge, and reasons andaspires….. There not unfrequently occur individuals so constitutedthat the spirit can perceive independently of the corporeal organs ofsense, or can, perhaps, wholly or partially quit the body for a time andreturn to it again; the spirit communicates with spirit easier thanwith matter." We can now see how, after thousands of years haveintervened between the age of the Gymnosophists* and our own highlycivilized era, notwithstanding, or, perhaps, just because of such anenlightenment which pours its radiant light upon the psychological aswell as upon the physical realms of Nature, over twenty millions ofpeople today believe, under different form, in those same spiritualpowers that were believed in by the Yogis and the Pythagoreans, nearly3,000 years ago.

————* The reality of the Yog-power was affirmed by many Greek and Romanwriters, who call the Yogis Indian Gymnosophists—by Strabo, Lucan,Plutarch, Cicero (Tusculum), Pliny (vii. 2), &c.————

Thus, while the Aryan mystic claimed for himself the power of solvingall the problems of life and death, when he had once obtained the powerof acting independently of his body, through the Atman, "self," or"soul;" and the old Greeks went in search of Atmu, the Hidden one, orthe God-Soul of man, with the symbolical mirror of the Thesmophorianmysteries; so the spiritualists of today believe in the capacity of thespirits, or the souls of the disembodied persons, to communicate visiblyand tangibly with those they loved on earth. And all these, AryanYogis, Greek philosophers, and modern spiritualists, affirm thatpossibility on the ground that the embodied soul and its never embodiedspirit—the real self—are not separated from either the Universal Soulor other spirits by space, but merely by the differentiation of theirqualities, as in the boundless expanse of the universe there can be nolimitation. And that when this difference is once removed—according tothe Greeks and Aryans by abstract contemplation, producing the temporaryliberation of the imprisoned soul, and according to spiritualists,through mediumship—such a union between embodied and disembodiedspirits becomes possible. Thus was it that Patanjali's Yogis, and,following in their steps, Plotinus, Porphyry and other Neo-Platonists,maintained that in their hours of ecstasy, they had been united to, orrather become as one with, God several times during the course of theirlives. This idea, erroneous as it may seem in its application to theUniversal Spirit, was, and is, claimed by too many great philosophers tobe put aside as entirely chimerical. In the case of the Theodidaktoi,the only controvertible point, the dark spot on this philosophy ofextreme mysticism, was its claim to include that which is simplyecstatic illumination, under the head of sensuous perception. In thecase of the Yogis, who maintained their ability to see Iswara "face toface," this claim was successfully overthrown by the stern logic of thefollowers of Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya philosophy. As to thesimilar assumption made for their Greek followers, for a long array ofChristian ecstatics, and, finally, for the last two claimants to"God-seeing" within these last hundred years—Jacob Bohme andSwedenborg—this pretension would and should have been philosophicallyand logically questioned, if a few of our great men of science, who arespiritualists, had had more interest in the philosophy than in the merephenomenalism of spiritualism.

The Alexandrian Theosophists were divided into neophytes, initiates andmasters, or hierophants; and their rules were copied from the ancientMysteries of Orpheus, who, according to Herodotus, brought them fromIndia. Ammonius obligated his disciples by oath not to divulge hishigher doctrines, except to those who were proved thoroughly worthy andinitiated, and who had learned to regard the gods, the angels, and thedemons of other peoples, according to the esoteric hyponia, orunder-meaning. "The gods exist, but they are not what the hoi polloi,the uneducated multitude, suppose them to be," says Epicurus. "He isnot an atheist who denies the existence of the gods, whom the multitudeworship, but he is such who fastens on these gods the opinions of themultitude." In his turn, Aristotle declares that of the "Divine Essencepervading the whole world of Nature, what are styled the gods are simplythe first principles."

Plotinus, the pupil of the "God-taught" Ammonius, tells us that thesecret gnosis or the knowledge of Theosophy, has three degrees-opinion,science, and illumination. "The means or instrument of the first issense, or perception; of the second, dialectics; of the third,intuition. To the last, reason is subordinate; it is absoluteknowledge, founded on the identification of the mind with the objectknown." Theosophy is the exact science of psychology, so to say; itstands in relation to natural, uncultivated mediumship, as the knowledgeof a Tyndall stands to that of a school-boy in physics. It develops inman a direct beholding; that which Schelling denominates "a realizationof the identity of subject and object in the individual;" so that underthe influence and knowledge of hyponia man thinks divine thoughts, viewsall things as they really are, and, finally, "becomes recipient of theSoul of the World," to use one of the finest expressions of Emerson."I, the imperfect, adore my own Perfect," he says in his superb "Essayon the Oversoul." Besides this psychological, or soul state, Theosophycultivated every branch of sciences and arts. It was thoroughlyfamiliar with what is now commonly known as mesmerism. Practical theurgyor "ceremonial magic," so often resorted to in their exorcisms by theRoman Catholic clergy, was discarded by the Theosophists. It is butJamblichus alone who, transcending the other Eclectics, added toTheosophy the doctrine of Theurgy. When ignorant of the true meaning ofthe esoteric divine symbols of Nature, man is apt to miscalculate thepowers of his soul, and, instead of communing spiritually and mentallywith the higher celestial beings, the good spirits (the gods of thetheurgists of the Platonic school), he will unconsciously call forth theevil, dark powers which lurk around humanity, the undying, grimcreations of human crimes and vices, and thus fall from theurgia (whitemagic) into goetia (or black magic, sorcery). Yet, neither white norblack magic are what popular superstition understands by the terms. Thepossibility of "raising spirits," according to the key of Solomon, isthe height of superstition and ignorance. Purity of deed and thoughtcan alone raise us to an intercourse "with the gods" and attain for usthe goal we desire. Alchemy, believed by so many to have been aspiritual philosophy as well as a physical science, belonged to theteachings of the Theosophical School.

It is a noticeable fact that neither Zoroaster, Buddha, Orpheus,Pythagoras, Confucius, Socrates, nor Ammonius Saccas, committed anythingto writing. The reason for it is obvious. Theosophy is a double-edgedweapon and unfit for the ignorant or the selfish. Like every ancientphilosophy it has its votaries among the moderns; but, until late inour own days, its disciples were few in numbers, and of the most varioussects and opinions. "Entirely speculative, and founding no schools, theyhave still exercised a silent influence upon philosophy; and no doubt,when the time arrives, many ideas thus silently propounded may yet givenew directions to human thought," remarks Mr. Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie,himself a mystic and a Theosophist, in his large and valuable work, "TheRoyal Masonic Cyclopaedia" (articles "Theosophical Society of New York,"and "Theosophy," p. 731).* Since the days of the fire-philosophers, theyhad never formed themselves into societies, for, tracked like wildbeasts by the Christian clergy, to be known as a Theosophist oftenamounted, hardly a century ago, to a death-warrant.

* "The Royal Masonic Cycloptedia of History, Rites, Symbolism, and
Biography." Edited by Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie IX. (Cryptonymus) Hon.
Member of the Canongate Kilwinning Lodge, No. 2, Scotland. New York J.
W. Bouton, 706, Broadway. 1877.

The statistics show that, during a period of 150 years, no less than90,000 men and women were burned in Europe for alleged witchcraft. InGreat Britain only, from A.D. 1640 to 1660, but twenty years, 3,000persons were put to death for compact with the "Devil." It was but latein the present century—in 1875—that some progressed mystics andspiritualists, unsatisfied with the theories and explanations ofSpiritualism started by its votaries, and finding that they were farfrom covering the whole ground of the wide range of phenomena, formed atNew York, America, an association which is now widely known as theTheosophical Society.

(—H.P. Blavatsky)

How a "Chela" Found his "Guru"

[Being Extracts from a private letter to Damodar K. Mavalankar, Joint
Recording Secretary of the Theosophical Society.]

….When we met last at Bombay I told you what had happened to me atTinnevelly. My health having been disturbed by official work and worry,I applied for leave on medical certificate and it was duly granted. Oneday in September last, while I was reading in my room, I was ordered bythe audible voice of my blessed Guru, M—-Maharsi, to leave all andproceed immediately to Bombay, whence I was to go in search of MadameBlavatsky wherever I could find her and follow her wherever she went.Without losing a moment, I closed up all my affairs and left thestation. For the tones of that voice are to me the divinest sound inNature, its commands imperative. I traveled in my ascetic robes.Arrived at Bombay, I found Madame Blavatsky gone, and learned throughyou that she had left a few days before; that she was very ill; andthat, beyond the fact that she had left the place very suddenly with aChela, you knew nothing of her whereabouts. And now, I must tell youwhat happened to me after I had left you.

Really not knowing whither I had best go, I took a through ticket toCalcutta; but, on reaching Allahabad, I heard the same well-knownvoice directing me to go to Berhampore. At Azimgunge, in the train, Imet, most providentially I may say, with some Bengali gentlemen (I didnot then know they were also Theosophists, since I had never seen any ofthem), who were also in search of Madame Blavatsky. Some had traced herto Dinapore, but lost her track and went back to Berhampore. They knew,they said, she was going to Tibet and wanted to throw themselves at thefeet of the Mahatmas to permit them to accompany her. At last, as I wastold, they received from her a note, permitting them to come if they sodesired it, but saying that she herself was prohibited from going toTibet just now. She was to remain, she said, in the vicinity ofDarjiling and would see the Mahatma on the Sikkhim Territory, where theywould not be allowed to follow her …. Brother Nobin K. Bannerji, thePresident of the Adhi Bhoutic Bhratru Theosophical Society, would nottell me where Madame Blavatsky was, or perhaps did not then knowhimself. Yet he and others had risked all in the hope of seeing theMahatmas. On the 23rd, at last he brought me from Calcutta toChandernagore, where I found Madame Blavatsky, ready to start by trainin five minutes. A tall, dark-looking hairy Chela (not Chunder Cusho),but a Tibetan I suppose by his dress, whom I met after I had crossed theriver Hugli with her in a boat, told me that I had come too late, thatMadame Blavatsky had already seen the Mahatmas and that he had broughther back. He would not listen to my supplications to take me with him,saying he had no other orders than what he had already executed—namely,to take her about twenty-five miles beyond a certain place he named tome, and that he was now going to see her safe to the station and return.The Bengali brother Theosophists had also traced and followed her,arriving at the station half an hour later. They crossed the river fromChandernagore to a small railway station on the opposite side. When thetrain arrived, she got into the carriage, upon entering which I foundthe Chela! And, before even her own things could be placed in the van,the train, against all regulations and before the bell was rung, startedoff, leaving the Bengali gentlemen and her servant behind, only one ofthem and the wife and daughter of another—all Theosophists andcandidates for Chelaship—having had time to get in. I myself hadbarely the time to jump into the last carriage. All her things, with theexception of her box containing Theosophical correspondence, were leftbehind with her servant. Yet, even the persons that went by the sametrain with her did not reach Darjiling. Babu Nobin Banerjee, with theservant, arrived five days later; and those who had time to take theirseats, were left five or six stations behind, owing to anotherunforeseen accident (?), reaching Darjiling also a few days later. Itrequired no great stretch of imagination to conclude that MadameBlavatsky was, perhaps, being again taken to the Mahatmas, who, for somegood reasons best known to them, did not want us to be following andwatching her. Two of the Mahatmas, I had learned for a certainty, werein the neighbourhood of British territory; and one of them was seen andrecognized, by a person I need not name here, as a high Chutukla ofTibet.

The first days of her arrival Madame Blavatsky was living at the houseof a Bengali gentleman, a Theosophist, refusing to see any one, andpreparing, as I thought, to go again somewhere on the borders of Tibet.To all our importunities we could get only this answer from her: thatwe had no business to stick to and follow her, that she did not want us,and that she had no right to disturb the Mahatmas with all sorts ofquestions that concerned only the questioners, for they knew their ownbusiness best. In despair, I determined, come what might, to cross thefrontier, which is about a dozen miles from here, and find the Mahatmasor—DIE. I never stopped to think that what I was going to undertakewould be regarded as the rash act of a lunatic. I had no permission, no"pass" from the Sikkhim Rajah, and was yet decided to penetrate into theheart of a semi-independent State where, if anything happened, theAnglo-Indian officials would not—if even they could—protect me, sinceI should have crossed over without their permission. But I never evengave that a thought, but was bent upon one engrossing idea—to find andsee my Guru. Without breathing a word of my intentions to any one, onemorning, namely, October 5, I set out in search of the Mahatma. I hadan umbrella and a pilgrim's staff for sole weapons, with a few rupees inmy purse. I wore the yellow garb and cap. Whenever I was tired on theroad, my costume easily procured for me for a small sum a pony to ride.The same afternoon I reached the banks of the Rungit River, which formsthe boundary between British and Sikkhimese territories. I tried tocross it by the aerial suspension bridge constructed of canes, but itswayed to and fro to such an extent that I, who have never known in mylife what hardship was, could not stand it. I crossed the river by theferry-boat, and this even not without much danger and difficulty. Thatwhole afternoon I traveled on foot, penetrating further and further intothe heart of Sikkhim, along a narrow footpath. I cannot now say howmany miles I traveled before dusk, but I am sure it was not less thantwenty or twenty-five miles. Throughout, I saw nothing but impenetrablejungles and forests on all sides of me, relieved at very long intervalsby solitary huts belonging to the mountain population. At dusk I beganto search around me for a place to rest in at night. I met on the road,in the afternoon, a leopard and a wild cat; and I am astonished now tothink how I should have felt no fear then nor tried to run away.Throughout, some secret influence supported me. Fear or anxiety neveronce entered my mind. Perhaps in my heart there was room for no otherfeeling but an intense anxiety to find my Guru. When it was justgetting dark, I espied a solitary hut a few yards from the roadside. Toit I directed my steps in the hope of finding a lodging. The rude doorwas locked. The cabin was untenanted at the time. I examined it on allsides and found an aperture on the western side. It was small indeed,but sufficient for me to jump through. It had a small shutter and awooden bolt. By a strange coincidence of circ*mstances the hillman hadforgotten to fasten it on the inside when he locked the door. Ofcourse, after what has subsequently transpired, I now, through the eyeof faith, see the protecting hand of my Guru everywhere around me. Upongetting inside I found the room communicated, by a small doorway, withanother apartment, the two occupying the whole space of this sylvanmansion. I laid down, concentrating every thought upon my Guru asusual, and soon fell into a profound sleep. Before I went to rest, Ihad secured the door of the other room and the single window. It mayhave been between ten and eleven, or perhaps a little later, that Iawoke and heard sounds of footsteps in the adjoining room. I couldplainly distinguish two or three people talking together in a dialectunknown to me. Now, I cannot recall the same without a shudder. At anymoment they might have entered from the other room and murdered me formy money. Had they mistaken me for a burglar the same fate awaited me.These and similar thoughts crowded into my brain in an inconceivablyshort period. But my heart did not palpitate with fear, nor did I forone moment think of the possibly tragical chances of the moment. I knownot what secret influence held me fast, but nothing could put me out ormake me fear; I was perfectly calm. Although I lay awake staring intothe darkness for upwards of two hours, and even paced the room softlyand slowly without making any noise, to see if I could make my escape,in case of need, back to the forest by the same way I had effected myentrance into the hut—no fear, I repeat, or any such feeling everentered my heart. I recomposed myself to rest. After a sound sleep,undisturbed by any dream, I awoke at daybreak. Then I hastily put on myboots, and cautiously got out of the hut through the same window. Icould hear the snoring of the owners of the hut in the other room. ButI lost no time, and gained the path to Sikkhim (the city) and held on myway with unflagging zeal. From the inmost recesses of my heart Ithanked my revered Guru for the protection he had vouchsafed me duringthe night. What prevented the owners of the hut from penetrating to thesecond room? What kept me in the same serene and calm spirit, as if Iwere in a room of my own house? What could possibly make me sleep sosoundly under such circ*mstances,—enormous, dark forests on all sidesabounding in wild beasts, and a party of cut-throats—as most of theSikkhimese are said to be—in the next room, with an easy and rude doorbetween them and me?

When it became quite light, I wended my way on through hills and dales.Riding or walking, the journey was not a pleasant one for any man not asdeeply engrossed in thought as I was then myself, and quite oblivious toanything affecting the body. I have cultivated the power of mentalconcentration to such a degree of late that, on many an occasion, I havebeen able to make myself quite unconscious of anything around me when mymind was wholly bent upon the one object of my life, as several of myfriends will testify; but never to such an extent as in this instance.

It was, I think, between eight and nine A.M. I was following the roadto the town of Sikkhim, whence, I was assured by the people I met on theroad, I could cross over to Tibet easily in my pilgrim's garb, when Isuddenly saw a solitary horseman galloping towards me from the oppositedirection. From his tall stature and skill in horsemanship, I thoughthe was some military officer of the Sikkhim Rajah. Now, I thought, I amcaught! He will ask me for my pass and what business I have in theindependent territory of Sikkhim, and, perhaps, have me arrested andsent back, if not worse. But, as he approached me, he reined up. Ilooked at and recognized him instantly…. I was in the awful presenceof him, of the same Mahatma, my own revered Guru, whom I had seen beforein his astral body on the balcony of the Theosophical Headquarters. Itwas he, the "Himalayan Brother" of the ever-memorable night of Decemberlast, who had so kindly dropped a letter in answer to one I had givenbut an hour or so before in a sealed envelope to Madame Blavatsky, whomI had never lost sight of for one moment during the interval. The verysame instant saw me prostrated on the ground at his feet. I arose athis command, and, leisurely looking into his face, forgot myselfentirely in the contemplation of the image I knew so well, having seenhis portrait (the one in Colonel Olcott's possession) times out ofnumber. I knew not what to say: joy and reverence tied my tongue. Themajesty of his countenance, which seemed to me to be the impersonationof power and thought, held me rapt in awe. I was at last face to facewith "the Mahatma of the Himavat," and he was no myth, no "creation ofthe imagination of a medium," as some sceptics had suggested. It was nodream of the night; it was between nine and ten o'clock of theforenoon. There was the sun shining and silently witnessing the scenefrom above. I see him before me in flesh and blood, and he speaks to mein accents of kindness and gentleness. What more could I want? Myexcess of happiness made me dumb. Nor was it until some time hadelapsed that I was able to utter a few words, encouraged by his gentletone and speech. His complexion is not as fair as that of MahatmaKoothoomi; but never have I seen a countenance so handsome, a statureso tall and so majestic. As in his portrait, he wears a short blackbeard, and long black hair hanging down to his breast; only his dresswas different: Instead of a white, loose robe he wore a yellow mantlelined with fur, and on his head, instead of the turban, a yellow Tibetanfelt cap, as I have seen some Bhootanese wear in this country. When thefirst moments of rapture and surprise were over, and I calmlycomprehended the situation, I had a long talk with him. He told me togo no further, for I should come to grief. He said I should waitpatiently if I wanted to become an accepted Chela; that many were thosewho offered themselves as candidates, but that only a very few werefound worthy; none were rejected, but all of them tried, and most foundto fail signally, as for example—-and—-. Some, instead of beingaccepted and pledged this year, were now thrown off for a year. TheMahatma, I found, speaks very little English—or at least it so seemedto me—and spoke to me in my mother-tongue—Tamil. He told me that ifthe Chohan permitted Madame Blavatsky to visit Parijong next year, thenI could come with her. The Bengali Theosophists who followed the"Upasika" (Madame Blavatsky) would see that she was right in trying todissuade them from following her now. I asked the blessed Mahatmawhether I could tell what I saw and heard to others. He replied in theaffirmative, and that moreover I would do well to write to you anddescribe all.

I must impress upon your mind the whole situation, and ask you to keepwell in view that what I saw was not the mere "appearance" only, theastral body of the Mahatma, as we saw him at Bombay, but the living man,in his own physical body. He was pleased to say when I offered myfarewell namaskarams (prostration) that he approached the Britishterritory to see the Upasika. Before he left me, two more men came onhorseback, his attendants I suppose, probably Chelas, for they weredressed like lama-gylungs, and both, like himself, with long hairstreaming down their backs. They followed the Mahatma, when he left, ata gentle trot. For over an hour I stood gazing at the place that he hadjust quitted, and then I slowly retraced my steps. Now it was that Ifound for the first time that my long boots had pinched my leg inseveral places, that I had eaten nothing since the day before, and thatI was too weak to walk further. My whole body was aching in every limb.At a little distance I saw petty traders with country ponies, carryingburdens. I hired one of these animals. In the afternoon I came to theRungit River and crossed it. A bath in its cool waters revived me. Ipurchased some fruit in the only bazaar there and ate heartily. I tookanother horse immediately and reached Darjiling late in the evening. Icould neither eat, nor sit, nor stand. Every part of my body wasaching. My absence had seemingly alarmed Madame Blavatsky. She scoldedme for my rash and mad attempt to try to go to Tibet after that fashion.When I entered the house I found with Madame Blavatsky, Bahu ParbatiChurn Roy, Deputy Collector of Settlements and Superintendent of DearahSurvey, and his assistant, Babu Kanty Bhushan Sen, both members of ourSociety. At their prayer and Madame Blavatsky's command, I recountedall that had happened to me, reserving of course my private conversationwith the Mahatma. They were all, to say the least, astounded. Afterall, she will not go this year to Tibet; for which I am sure she doesnot care, since she has seen our Masters and thus gained her onlyobject. But we, unfortunate people! we lose our only chance of goingand offering our worship to the "Himalayan Brothers," who, I know, willnot soon cross over to British territory, if ever, again.

And now that I have seen the Mahatma in the flesh, and heard his livingvoice, let no one dare say to me that the Brothers do not exist. Comenow whatever will, death has no fear for me, nor the vengeance ofenemies; for what I know, I know!

—S. Ramaswamier, F.T.S.

The Sages of the Himavat

While on my tour with Col. Olcott several phenomena occurred, in hispresence as well as in his absence, such as immediate answers toquestions in my Master's handwriting, and over his signature, put by anumber of our Fellows. These occurrences took place before we reachedLahore, where we expected to meet in the body my Master. There I wasvisited by him in the body, for three nights consecutively, for aboutthree hours every time, while I myself retained full consciousness, and,in one case, even went to meet him outside the house. To my knowledgethere is no case on the Spiritualist records of a medium remainingperfectly conscious, and meeting, by previous arrangement, hisspirit-visitor in the compound, re-entering the house with him, offeringhim a seat, and then holding a long converse with the "disembodiedspirit" in a way to give him the impression that he is in personalcontact with an embodied entity. Moreover, him whom I saw in person atLahore was the same I had seen in astral form at the Headquarters of theTheosophical Society, and again, the same whom I had seen in visions andtrances at his house, thousands of miles off, which I reached in myastral Ego by his direct help and protection. In those instances, withmy psychic powers hardly yet developed, I had always seen him as a ratherhazy form, although his features were perfectly distinct and theirremembrance was profoundly graven on my soul's eye and memory, while nowat Lahore, Jummoo, and elsewhere, the impression was utterly different.In the former cases, when making Pranam (salutation) my hands passedthrough his form, while on the latter occasions they met solid garmentsand flesh. Here I saw a living man before me, the original of theportraits in Madame Blavatsky's possession and in Mr. Sinnett's, thoughfar more imposing in his general appearance and bearing. I shall nothere dwell upon the fact of his having been corporeally seen by bothCol. Olcott and Mr. Brown separately for two nights at Lahore, as theycan do so better, each for himself, if they so choose. At Jummoo again,where we proceeded from Lahore, Mr. Brown saw him on the evening of thethird day of our arrival there, and from him received a letter in hisfamiliar handwriting, not to speak of his visits to me almost every day.And what happened the next morning almost every one in Jummoo is awareof. The fact is, that I had the good fortune of being sent for, andpermitted to visit a sacred Ashrum, where I remained for a few days inthe blessed company of several of the Mahatmas of Himavat and theirdisciples. There I met not only my beloved Gurudeva and Col. Olcott'smaster, but several others of the fraternity, including one of thehighest. I regret the extremely personal nature of my visit to thosethrice blessed regions prevents my saying more about it. Suffice itthat the place I was permitted to visit is in the Himalayas, not in anyfanciful Summer Land, and that I saw him in my own sthula sarira(physical body) and found my Master identical with the form I had seenin the earlier days of my Chelaship. Thus, I saw my beloved Guru notonly as a living man, but actually as a young one in comparison withsome other Sadhus of the blessed company, only far kinder, and not abovea merry remark and conversation at times. Thus on the second day of myarrival, after the meal hour, I was permitted to hold an intercourse forover an hour with my Master. Asked by him smilingly what it was thatmade me look at him so perplexed, I asked in my turn:—"How is it,Master, that some of the members of our Society have taken into theirheads a notion that you were 'an elderly man,' and that they have evenseen you clairvoyantly looking an old man past sixty?" To which hepleasantly smiled and said that this latest misconception was due to thereports of a certain Brahmachari, a pupil of a Vedantic Swami in thePunjab,* who had met last year in Tibet the chief of a sect, an elderlyLama, who was his (my Master's) traveling companion at that time. Thesaid Brahmachari, having spoken of the encounter in India, had ledseveral persons to mistake the Lama for himself. As to his beingperceived clairvoyantly as an "elderly man," that could never be, headded, as real clairvoyance could lead no one into such mistakennotions; and then he kindly reprimanded me for giving any importance tothe age of a Guru, adding that appearances were often false, &c., andexplaining other points.

————* See infra. Rajani Kanta Brahmachai's "Interview with a Mahatma."————

These are all stern facts, and no third course is open to the reader.What I assert is either true or false. In the former case, noSpiritualistic hypothesis can hold good, and it will have to be admittedthat the Himalayan Brothers are living men, and neither disembodiedspirits nor creations of the over-heated imagination of fanatics. Ofcourse I am fully aware that many will discredit my account; but Iwrite only for the benefit of those few who know me well enough to seein me neither a hallucinated medium, nor attribute to me any bad motive,and who have ever been true and loyal to their convictions and to thecause they have so nobly espoused. As for the majority who laugh at andridicule what they have neither the inclination nor the capacity tounderstand, I hold them in very small account. If these few lines willhelp to stimulate even one of my brother-Fellows in the Society, or oneright-thinking man outside of it, to promote the cause of Truth andHumanity, I shall consider that I have properly performed my duty.

—Damodar K. Mavalankar

The Himalayan Brothers—Do They Exist?

"Ask and it shall be given unto you; knock and it shall be opened,"this is an accurate representation of the position of the earnestinquirer as to the existence of the Mahatmas. I know of none who tookup this inquiry in right earnest and were not rewarded for their labourswith knowledge, certainty. In spite of all this there are plenty ofpeople who carp and cavil but will not take the trouble of proving thething for themselves. Both by Europeans and a section of our owncountrymen—the too Europeanized graduates of Universities—theexistence of the Mahatmas is looked upon with incredulity and distrust,to give it no harder name. The position of the Europeans is easilyintelligible, for these things are so far removed from theirintellectual horizon, and their self-sufficiency is so great, that theyare almost impervious to these new ideas. But it is much more difficultto conceive why the people of India, who are born and brought up in anatmosphere redolent with the traditions of these things, should affectsuch scepticism. It would have been more natural for them, on the otherhand, to hail such proofs as those I am now laying before the publicwith the same satisfaction as an astronomer feels when a new star, whoseelements he has calculated, swims within his ken. I myself was athorough-going disbeliever only two years back. In the first place Ihad never witnessed any occult phenomena myself, nor did I find any onewho had done so in that small ring of our countrymen for whom only I wastaught to have any respect—the "educated classes." It was only in themonth of October, 1882, that I really devoted any time and attention tothis matter, and the result is that I have as little doubt with respectto the existence of the Mahatmas as of mine own. I now know that theyexist. But for a long time the proofs that I had received were not allof an objective character. Many things which are very satisfactoryproofs to me would not be so to the reader. On the other hand, I haveno right to speak of the unimpeachable evidence I now possess.Therefore I must do the best I can with the little I am permitted togive. In the present paper I have brought forward such evidence aswould be perfectly satisfactory to all capable of measuring itsprobative force.

The evidence now laid before the public was collected by me during themonths of October and November, 1882, and was at the time placed beforesome of the leading members of the Theosophical Society, Mr. Sinnettamong others. The account of Bro. Ramaswamier's interview with his Guruin Sikkhim being then ready for publication, there was no necessity, intheir opinion, for the present paper being brought to light. But sincean attempt has been made in some quarters to minimize the effect of Mr.Ramaswamier's evidence by calling it most absurdly "the hallucinationsof a half-frozen strolling Registrar," I think something might be gainedby the publication of perfectly independent testimony of, perhaps,equal, if not greater, value, though of quite a different character.With these words of explanation as to the delay in its publication, Iresign this paper to the criticism of our sceptical friends. Let themcalmly consider and pronounce upon the evidence of the Tibetan pedlar atDarjiling, supported and strengthened by the independent testimony ofthe young Brahmachari at Dehradun. Those who were present when thestatements of these persons were taken, all occupy very respectablepositions in life—some in fact belonging to the front ranks of HinduSociety, and several in no way connected with the Theosophical movement,but, on the contrary, quite unfriendly to it. In those days I again sayI was rather sceptical myself. It is only since I collected thefollowing evidence and received more than one proof of the actualexistence of my venerated master, Mahatma Koothoomi, whose presence—quite independently of Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott or any "alleged"Chela—was made evident to me in a variety of ways, that I have given upthe folly of doubting any longer. Now I believe no more—I KNOW; andknowing, I would help others to obtain the same knowledge.

During my visit to Darjiling I lived in the same house with severalTheosophists, all as ardent aspirants for the higher life, and most ofthem as doubtful with regard to the Himalayan Mahatmas as I was myselfat that time. I met at Darjiling persons who claimed to be Chelas ofthe Himalayan Brothers and to have seen and lived with them for years.They laughed at our perplexity. One of them showed us an admirablyexecuted portrait of a man who appeared to be an eminently holy person,and who, I was told, was the Mahatma Koothoomi (now my revered master),to whom Mr. Sinnett's "Occult World" is dedicated. A few days after myarrival, a Tibetan pedlar of the name of Sundook accidentally came toour house to sell his things. Sundook was for years well-known inDarjiling and the neighbourhood as an itinerant trader in Tibetanknick-knacks, who visited the country every year in the exercise of hisprofession. He came to the house several times during our stay there,and seemed to us, from his simplicity, dignity of bearing and pleasantmanners, to be one of Nature's own gentlemen. No man could discover inhim any trait of character even remotely allied to the uncivilizedsavages, as the Tibetans are held in the estimation of Europeans. Hemight very well have passed for a trained courtier, only that he was toogood to be one. He came to the house while I was there. On the firstoccasion he was accompanied by a Goorkha youth, named Sundar Lall, anemployee in the Darjiling News office, who acted as interpreter. But wesoon found out that the peculiar dialect of Hindi which he spoke wasintelligible to some of us without any interpreter, and so there wasnone needed on subsequent occasions. On the first day we put him somegeneral questions about Tibet and the Gelugpa sect, to which he said hebelonged, and his answers corroborated the statements of Bogle, Turnourand other travelers. On the second day we asked him if he had heard ofany persons in Tibet who possessed extraordinary powers besides thegreat lamas. He said there were such men; that they were not regularlamas, but far higher than they, and generally lived in the mountainsbeyond Tchigatze and also near the city of Lhassa. These men, he said,produce many and very wonderful phenomena or "miracles," and some oftheir Chelas, or Lotoos, as they are called in Tibet, cure the sick bygiving them to eat the rice which they crush out of the paddy with theirhands, &c. Then one of us had a glorious idea. Without saying one word,the above-mentioned portrait of the Mahatma Koothoomi was shown to him.He looked at it for a few seconds, and then, as though suddenlyrecognizing it, he made a profound reverence to the portrait, and saidit was the likeness of a Chohan (Mahatma) whom he had seen. Then hebegan rapidly to describe the Mahatma's dress and naked arms; thensuiting the action to the word, he took off his outer cloak, and baringhis arms to the shoulder, made the nearest approach to the figure in theportrait, in the adjustment of his dress.

He said he had seen the Mahatma in question accompanied by a numerousbody of Gylungs, about that time of the previous year (beginning ofOctober 1881) at a place called Giansi, two days' journey southward ofTchigatze, whither the narrator dad gone to make purchases for histrade. On being asked the name of the Mahatma, he said to our unboundedsurprise, "They are called Koothum-pa." Being cross-examined and askedwhat he meant by "they," and whether he was naming one man or many, hereplied that the Koothum-pas were many, but there was only one man orchief over them of that name; the disciples being always called afterthe names of their guru. Hence the name of the latter being Koot-hum,that of his disciples was "Koot-hum-pa." Light was shed upon thisexplanation by a Tibetan dictionary, where we found that the word "pa"means "man;" "Bod-pa" is a "man of Bod or Thibet," &c. SimilarlyKoothum-pa means man or disciple of Koothoom or Koothoomi. At Giansi,the pedlar said, the richest merchant of the place went to the Mahatma,who had stopped to rest in the midst of an extensive field, and askedhim to bless him by coming to his house. The Mahatma replied, he wasbetter where he was, as he had to bless the whole world, and not anyparticular man. The people, and among them our friend Sundook, tooktheir offerings to the Mahatma, but he ordered them to be distributedamong the poor. Sundook was exhorted by the Mahatma to pursue his tradein such a way as to injure no one, and warned that such was the onlyright way to prosperity. On being told that people in India refused tobelieve that there were such men as the Brothers in Tibet, Sundookoffered to take any voluntary witness to that country, and convince us,through him, as to the genuineness of their existence, and remarked thatif there were no such men in Tibet, he would like to know where theywere to be found. It being suggested to him that some people refused tobelieve that such men existed at all, he got very angry. Tucking up thesleeve of his coat and shirt, and disclosing a strong muscular arm, hedeclared that he would fight any man who would suggest that he had saidanything but the truth.

On being shown a peculiar rosary of beads belonging to Madame Blavatsky,the pedlar said that such things could only be got by those to whom theTesshu Lama presented them, as they could be got for no amount of moneyelsewhere. When the Chela who was with us put on his sleeveless coatand asked him whether he recognized the latter's profession by hisdress, the pedlar answered that he was a Gylung and then bowing down tohim took the whole thing as a matter of course. The witnesses in thiscase were Babu Nobin Krishna Bannerji, deputy magistrate, Berhampore,M.R. Ry. Ramaswamiyer Avergal, district registrar, Madura (Madras), theGoorkha gentleman spoken of before, all the family of the first-namedgentleman, and the writer.

Now for the other piece of corroborative evidence. This time it camemost accidentally into my possession. A young Bengali Brahmachari, whohad only a short time previous to our meeting returned from Tibet andwho was residing then at Dehradun, in the North-Western Provinces ofIndia, at the house of my grandfather-in-law, the venerable BabuDevendra Nath Tagore of the Brahmo Samaj, gave most unexpectedly, in thepresence of a number of respectable witnesses, the following account:—

On the 15th of the Bengali month of Asar last (1882). being the 12th dayof the waxing moon, he met some Tibetans, called the Koothoompas, andtheir guru in a field near Taklakhar, a place about a day's journey fromthe Lake of Manasarawara. The guru and most of his disciples, who werecalled gylungs, wore sleeveless coats over under-garments of red. Thecomplexion of the guru was very fair, and his hair, which was not partedbut combed back, streamed down his shoulders. When the Brahmachanifirst saw the Mahatma he was reading in a book, which the Brahmachariwas informed by one of the gylungs was the Rig Veda.

The guru saluted him, and asked him where he was coming from. Onfinding the latter had not had anything to eat, the guru commanded thathe should be given some ground gram (Sattoo) and tea. As theBrahmachari could not get any fire to cook food with, the guru askedfor, and kindled a cake of dry cow-dung—the fuel used in that countryas well as in this—by simply blowing upon it, and gave it to ourBrahmachari. The latter assured us that he had often witnessed the samephenomenon, produced by another guru or chohan, as they are called inTibet, at Gauri, a place about a day's journey from the cave of Tarchin,on the northern side of Mount Kailas. The keeper of a flock, who wassuffering from rheumatic fever came to the guru, who gave him a fewgrains of rice, crushed out of paddy, which the guru had in his hand,and the sick man was cured then and there.

Before he parted company with the Koothumpas and their guru, theBrahmachari found that they were going to attend a festival held on thebanks of the Lake of Manasarawara, and that thence they intended toproceed to the Kailas mountains.

The above statement was on several occasions repeated by the Brahmachariin the presence (among others) of Babu Dwijender Nath Tagore ofJorasanko, Calcutta; Babu Cally Mohan Ghose of the TrigonometricalSurcey of India, Dehradun; Babu Cally Cumar Chatterij of the sameplace; Babu Gopi Mohan Ghosh of Dacca; Babu Priya Nath Sastri, clerk toBabu Devender Nath Tagore, and the writer. Comments would here seemalmost superfluous, and the facts might very well have been left tospeak for themselves to a fair and intelligent jury. But the aversenessof people to enlarge their field of experience and the wilfulmisrepresentation of designing persons know no bounds. The nature ofthe evidence here adduced is of an unexceptional character. Bothwitnesses were met quite accidentally. Even if it be granted, which wecertainly do not for a moment grant, that the Tibetan pedlar, Sundook,had been interviewed by some interested person, and induced to tell anuntruth, what can be conceived to have been the motive of theBrahmachari, one belonging to a religious body noted for theirtruthfulness, and having no idea as to the interest the writer took insuch things, in inventing a romance, and how could he make it fitexactly with the statements of the Tibetan pedlar at the other end ofthe country? Uneducated persons are no doubt liable to deceivethemselves in many matters, but these statements dealt only with suchdisunited facts as fell within the range of the narrator's eyes andears, and had nothing to do with his judgment or opinion. Thus, whenthe pedlar's statement is coupled with that of the Dehradun Brahmachari,there is, indeed, no room left for any doubt as to the truthfulness ofeither. It may here be mentioned that the statement of the Brahmachariwas not the result of a series of leading questions, but formed part ofthe account he voluntarily gave of his travels during the year, and thathe is almost entirely ignorant of the English language, and had, to thebest of my knowledge, information and belief, never even so much asheard of the name of Theosophy. Now, if any one refuses to accept themutually corroborative but independent testimonies of the Tibetan pedlarof Darjiling and the Brahmachari of Dehradun on the ground that theysupport the genuineness of facts not ordinarily falling within thedomain of one's experience, all I can say is that it is the very miracleof folly. It is, on the other hand, most unshakably established uponthe evidence of several of his Chelas, that the Mahatma Koothoomi is aliving person like any of us, and that moreover he was seen by twopersons on two different occasions. This will, it is to be hoped,settle for ever the doubts of those who believe in the genuineness ofoccult phenomena, but put them down to the agency of "spirits." Markone circ*mstance. It may be argued that during the pedlar's stay atDarjiling, Madame Blavatsky was also there, and, who knows, she mighthave bribed him (!!) into saying what he said. But no such thing can beurged in the case of the Dehradun Brahmachari. He knew neither thepedlar nor Madame Blavatsky, had never heard of Colonel Olcott, havingjust returned from his prolonged journey, and had no idea that I was aFellow of the Society. His testimony was entirely voluntary. Someothers, who admit that Mahatmas exist, but that there is no proof oftheir connection with the Theosophical Society, will be pleased to seethat there is no a priori impossibility in those great souls taking aninterest in such a benevolent Society as ours. Consequently it is agratuitous insult to a number of self-sacrificing men and women toreject their testimony without a fair hearing.

I purposely leave aside all proofs which are already before the public.Each set of proofs is conclusive in itself, and the cumulative effect ofall is simply irresistible.

—Mohini M. Chatterji

Interview with a Mahatma

At the time I left home for the Himalayas in search of the SupremeBeing, having adopted Brahmacharyashrama (religious mendicancy), I wasquite ignorant of the fact that there was any such philosophical sect asthe Theosophists existing in India, who believed in the existence of theMahatmas or "superior persons." This and other facts connected with myjourney are perfectly correct as already published, and so need not berepeated or contradicted. Now I beg to give a fuller account of myinterview with the Mahatmas.

Before and after I met the so-called Mahatma Koothum-pa, I had the goodfortune of seeing in person several other Mahatmas of note, a detailedaccount of whom, I hope, should time allow, to write to you by-and-by.Here I wish to say something about Koothum-pa only.

When I was on my way to Almora from Mansarowar and Kailas, one day I hadnothing with me to eat. I was quite at a loss how to get on withoutfood. There being no human habitation in that part of the country, Icould expect no help, but pray to God, and take my way patiently on.Between Mansarowar and Taklakhal, by the side of a road, I observed atent pitched and several Sadhus (holy men), called Chohans, sittingoutside it who numbered about seventeen in all. As to their dress, &c.,what Babu M.M. Chatterji says is quite correct. When I went to themthey entertained me very kindly, and saluted me by uttering, "Ram Ram."Returning their salutations, I sat down with them, and they entered uponconversation with me on different subjects, asking me first the place Iwas coming from and whither I was going. There was a chief of themsitting inside the tent, and engaged in reading a book. I inquiredabout his name and the book he was reading from, one of his Chelas, whoanswered me in rather a serious tone, saying that his name was GuruKoothum-pa, and the book he was reading was Rig Veda. Long before, Ihad been told by some Pundits of Bengal that the Tibetan Lamas werewell-acquainted with the Rig Veda. This proved what they had told me.After a short time, when his reading was over, he called me in by one ofhis Chelas, and I went to him. He, also bidding me "Ram Ram," receivedme very gently and courteously, and began to talk with me mildly in pureHindi. He addressed me in words such as follows:—"You should remainhere for some time and see the fair at Mansarowar, which is to come offshortly. Here you will have plenty of time and suitable retreats formeditation, &c. I will help you in whatever I can." He spoke as abovefor some time, and I replied that what he said was right, and that Iwould gladly have stayed, but there was some reason which prevented me.He understood my object immediately, and then, having given me someprivate advice as to my spiritual progress, bade me farewell. Beforethis he had come to know that I was hungry, and so wished me to takesome food. He ordered one of his Chelas to supply me with food, whichhe did immediately. In order to get hot water ready for my ablutions, heprepared fire by blowing into a cow-dung cake, which burst into flamesat once. This is a common practice among the Himalayan Lamas. It isalso fully explained by M.M. Chatterji, and so need not be repeated.

As long as I was there with the said Lama, he never persuaded me toaccept Buddhism or any other religion, but only said, "Hinduism is thebest religion; you should believe in the Lord Mahadeva—he will do goodto you. You are still quite a young man—do not be enticed away by thenecromancy of anybody." Having had a conversation with the Mahatma asdescribed above for about three hours, I at last took leave and resumedmy journey.

I am neither a Theosophist nor a sectarian, but am the worshipper of theonly Om. As regards the Mahatma I personally saw, I dare say that he isa great Mahatma. By the fulfilment of certain of his prophecies, I amquite convinced of his excellence. Of all the Himalayan Mahatmas withwhom I had an interview, I never met a better Hindi speaker than he. Asto his birth-place and the place of his residence, I did not ask him anyquestion. Neither can I say if he is the Mahatma of the Theosophists.As to the age of the Mahatma Koothum-pa, as I told Babu M. M. Chatterjiand others, he was an elderly looking man.

—Rajani Kant Brahmachari

The Secret Doctrine

Few experiences lying about the threshhold of occult studies are moreperplexing and tormenting than those which have to do with the policy ofthe Brothers as to what shall, and what shall not, be revealed to theouter world. In fact, it is only by students at the same time tenaciousand patient—continuously anxious to get at the truths of occultphilosophy, but cool enough to bide their time when obstacles come inthe way—that what looks, at first sight, like a grudging and miserlypolicy in this matter on the part of our illustrious teachers can beendured. Most men persist in judging all situations by the light oftheir own knowledge and conceptions, and certainly by reference tostandards of right and wrong with which modern civilization is familiara pungent indictment may be framed against the holders of philosophicaltruth. They are regarded by their critics as keeping guard over theirintellectual possessions, declaring, "We have won this knowledge withstrenuous effort and at the cost of sacrifice and suffering; we willnot make a present of it to luxurious idlers who have done nothing todeserve it." Most critics of the Theosophical Society and itspublications have fastened on this obvious idea, and have denounced thepolicy of the Brothers as "selfish" and "unreasonable."

It has been argued that, as regards occult powers, the necessity forkeeping back all secrets which would enable unconscientious people to domischief, might be granted, but that no corresponding motives coulddictate the reservation of occult philosophical truth.

I have lately come to perceive certain considerations on this subjectwhich have generally been overlooked; and it seems desirable to putthem forward at once; especially as a very considerable body of occultphilosophical teaching is now before the world, and as those whoappreciate its value best, will sometimes be inclined to protest all themore emphatically against the tardiness with which it has been servedout, and the curious precautions with which its further development iseven now surrounded.

In a nutshell, the explanation of the timid policy displayed is that theBrothers are fully assured that the disclosure of that actual truth(which constitutes the secret doctrine) about the origin of the Worldand of Humanity—of the laws which govern their existence, and thedestinies to which they are moving on—is calculated to have a verymomentous effect on the welfare of mankind. Great results ensue fromsmall beginnings, and the seeds of knowledge now being sown in the worldmay ultimately bear prodigious harvest. We, who are present merely atthe sowing, may not realize the magnitude and importance of the impulsewe are concerned in giving, but that impulse will roll on, and a fewgenerations hence will be productive of tremendous consequences one wayor the other.

For occult philosophy is no shadowy system of speculation like any ofthe hundred philosophies with which the minds of men have beenoverwhelmed; it is the positive Truth, and by the time enough of it islet out, it will be seen to be so by thousands of the greatest men whomay then be living in the world. What will be the consequence? Thefirst effect on the minds of all who come to understand it, is terriblyiconoclastic. It drives out before it everything else in the shape ofreligious belief. It leaves no room for any conceptions belonging evento the groundwork or foundation of ordinary religious faith. And whatbecomes then of all rules of right and wrong, of all sanctions formorality? Most assuredly there are rules of right and wrong thrillingthrough every fibre of occult philosophy really higher than any whichcommonplace theologies can teach; far more cogent sanctions formorality than can be derived at second-hand from the distorted doctrinesof exoteric religions; but a complete transfer of the sanction will bea process involving the greatest possible danger for mankind at thetime. Bigots of all denominations will laugh at the idea of such atransfer being seriously considered. The orthodox Christian—confidentin the thousand of churches overshadowing all western lands, of theenormous force engaged in the maintenance and propagation of the faith,with the Pope and the Protestant hierarchy in alliance for this broadpurpose, with the countless clergy of all sects, and the fiery SalvationArmy bringing up the rear—will think that the earth itself is morelikely to crumble into ruin than the irresistible authority of Religionto be driven back. They are all counting, however, without the progressof enlightenment. The most absurd religions die hard; but when theintellectual classes definitively reject them, they die, with throes ofterrible agony, may be, and, perhaps, like Samson in the Temple, butthey cannot permanently outlive a conviction that they are false in theleading minds of the age. Just what has been said of Christianity maybe said of Mahomedanism and Brahminism. Little or no risk is run whileoccult literature aims merely at putting a reasonable construction onperverted tenets—in showing people that truth may lurk behind even thestrangest theologic fictions. And the lover of orthodoxy, in either ofthe cases instanced, may welcome the explanation with complacency. Forhim also, as for the Christian, the faith which he professes—sanctioned by what looks like a considerable antiquity to the verylimited vision of uninitiated historians, and supported by theattachment of millions grown old in its service and careful to educatetheir children in the convictions that have served their turn—isfounded on a rock which has its base in the foundations of the world.Fragmentary teachings of occult philosophy seem at first to be no morethan annotations on the canonical doctrine. They may even embellish itwith graceful interpretations of its symbolism, parts of which may haveseemed to require apology, when ignorantly taken at the foot of theletter. But this is merely the beginning of the attack. If occultphilosophy gets before the world with anything resembling completeness,it will so command the assent of earnest students that for them nothingelse of that nature will remain standing. And the earnest students insuch eases must multiply. They are multiplying now even, merely on thestrength of the little that has been revealed. True, as yet—for sometime to come—the study will be, as it were, the whim of a few; but"those who know," know among other things that, give it fair-play, andit must become the subject of enthusiasm with all advanced thinkers. Andwhat is to happen when the world is divided into two camps—the wholeforces of intellectuality and culture on the one side, those ofignorance and superstitious fanaticism on the other? With such a war asthat impending, the adepts, who will be conscious that they prepared thelists and armed the combatants, will require some better justificationfor their policy before their own consciences than the reflection that,in the beginning, people accused them of selfishness, and of keeping amiserly guard over their knowledge, and so goaded them with this tauntthat they were induced to set the ball rolling.

There is no question, be it understood, as to the relative merits of themoral sanctions that are afforded by occult philosophy and those whichare distilled from the worn-out materials of existing creeds. If theworld could conceivably be shunted at one coup from the one code ofmorals to the other, the world would be greatly the better for thechange. But the change cannot be made all at once, and the transitionis most dangerous. On the other hand, it is no less dangerous to takeno steps in the direction of that transition. For though existingreligions may be a great power—the Pope ruling still over millions ofconsciences if not over towns and States, the name of the Prophet beingstill a word to conjure with in war, the forces of Brahmanical customholding countless millions in willing subjection—in spite of all this,the old religions are sapped and past their prime. They are in processof decay, for they are losing their hold on the educated minority; itis still the case that in all countries the camps of orthodoxy includelarge numbers of men distinguished by intellect and culture, but one byone their numbers are diminishing. Five-and-twenty years only, inEurope, have made a prodigious change. Books are written now that passalmost as matters of course which would have been impossible no furtherback than that. No further back, books thrilled society with surpriseand excitement, which the intellectual world would now ignore asembodying the feeblest commonplaces. The old creeds, in fact, areslowly losing their hold upon mankind—more slowly in the moredeliberately moving East than Europe, but even here by degrees also—anda time will come, whether occult philosophy is given out to take theirplace or not, when they will no longer afford even such faulty sanctionsfor moral conduct and right as they have supplied in times gone by.Therefore it is plain that something must be given out to take theirplace, and hence the determinations of which this movement in which weare engaged is one of the undulations—these very words some of theforemost froth upon the advancing wave.

But surely, when something which must be done is yet very dangerous inthe doing, the persons who control the operations in progress may beexcused for exercising the utmost caution. Readers of Theosophicalliterature will be aware how bitterly our adept Brothers have beencriticized for choosing to take their own time and methods in the taskof partially communicating their knowledge to the world. Here in Indiathese criticisms have been indignantly resented by the passionateloyalty to the Mahatmas that is so widely spread among Hindus—resentedmore by instinct than reason in some cases perhaps, though in others, nodoubt, as a consequence of a full appreciation of all that is being nowexplained, and of other considerations beside. But in Europe suchcriticisms will have seemed hard to answer. The answer is reallyembodied, however imperfectly, in the views of the situation now setforth. We ordinary mortals in the world work as men traveling by thelight of a lantern in an unknown country. We see but a little way to theright and left, only a little way behind even. But the adepts work asmen traveling by daylight, with the further advantage of being able atwill to get up in a balloon and survey vast expanses of lake and plainand forest.

The choice of time and methods for communicating occult knowledge to theworld necessarily includes the choice of intermediary agent. Hence thedouble set of misconceptions in India and Europe, each adapted to theland of its origin. In India, where knowledge of the Brothers'existence and reverence for their attributes is widely diffused, it isnatural that persons who may be chosen for their serviceability ratherthan for their merits, as the recipients of their direct teaching,should be regarded with a feeling resembling jealousy. In Europe, thedifficulty of getting into any sort of relations with the fountain-headof Eastern philosophy is regarded as due to an exasperatingexclusiveness on the part of the adepts in that philosophy, whichrenders it practically worth no man's while to devote himself to thetask of soliciting their instruction. But neither feeling is reasonablewhen considered in the light of the explanations now put forward. TheBrothers can consider none but public interests, in the largest sense ofthe words, in throwing out the first experimental flashes of occultrevelation into the world. They can only employ agents on whom they canrely for doing the work as they may wish it done—or, at all events, inno manner which may be widely otherwise. Or they can only protect thetask on which they are concerned in another way. They may consentsometimes to a very much more direct mode of instruction than thatprovided through intermediary agents for the world at large, in thecases of organized societies solemnly pledged to secrecy, for the timebeing at all events, in regard to the teaching to be conveyed to them.In reference to such societies, the Brothers need not be on the watch tosee that the teaching is not worked up for the service of the world in away they would consider, for any reasons of their own, likely to beinjurious to final results or dangerous. Different men will assimilatethe philosophy to be unfolded in different ways: for some it will betoo iconoclastic altogether, and its further pursuit, after a certainpoint is reached, unwelcome. Such persons, entering too hastily on thepath of exploration, will be able to drop off from the undertakingwhenever they like, if thoroughly pledged to secrecy in the firstinstance, without being a source of embarrassment afterwards, as regardsthe steady prosecution of the work in hand by other more resolute, orless sensitive, labourers. It may be that in some such societies, ifany should be formed in which occult philosophy may be secretly studied,some of the members will be as well fitted as, or better than, any otherpersons employed elsewhere to put the teachings in shape forpublication, but in that case it is to be presumed that specialqualifications will eventually make themselves apparent. The meaningand good sense of the restrictions, provisionally imposed meanwhile,will be plain enough to any impartial person on reflection, even thoughtheir novelty and strangeness may be a little resented at the firstglance.

—Lay Chela


The Puranas on the Dynasty of the Moryas and on Koothoomi

It is stated in Matsya Puran, chapter cclxxii., that ten Moryas wouldreign over India, and would be succeeded by the Shoongas, and that ShataDhanva will be the first of these ten Maureyas (or Moryas).

In Vishnu Purana (Book IV. chapter iv.) it is stated that there was inthe Soorya dynasty a king called Moru, who through the power of devotion(Yoga) is said to be still living in the village called Katapa, in theHimalayas (vide vol. iii. p. 197, by Wilson), and who, in a future age,will be the restorer of the Kshatriya race, in the Solar dynasty, thatis, many thousands of years hence. In another part of the same Purana(Book IV. chapter xxiv.) it is stated that, "upon the cessation of therace of Nanda, the Moryas* will possess the earth, for Kautilya willplace Chandragupta on the throne." Col. Tod considers Morya, or Maurya,a corruption of Mori, the name of a Rajput tribe.

———-* The particulars of this legend are recorded in the Atthata katha ofthe Uttaraviharo priests.———-

The Commentary on the Mahavanso thinks that the princes of the town Moriwere thence called Mauryas. Vachaspattya, a Sanskrit Encyclopaedia,places the village of Katapa on the northern side of the Himalayas—hence in Tibet. The same is stated in chapter xii. (Skanda) ofBhagavat, vol. iii. p. 325. The Vayu Purana seems to declare that Moruwill re-establish the Kshatriyas in the nineteenth coming Yuga. Inchapter vi. Book III. of Vishnu Purana, a Rishi called Koothoomi ismentioned. Will any of our Brothers tell us how our Mahatmas stand tothese revered personages?

—R. Ragoonath Row

Editor's Note

In the Buddhist Mahavanso, Chandagatto, or Chandragupta, Asoka'sgrandfather, is called a prince of the Moryan dynasty as he certainlywas—or rather as they were, for there were several Chandraguptas. Thisdynasty, as said in the same book, began with certain Kshatriyas(warriors) of the Sakya line closely related to Gautama Buddha, whocrossing the Himavanto (Himalayas) "discovered a delightful location,well watered, and situated in the midst of a forest of lofty bo andother trees. There they founded a town, which was called by its Sakyalords, Morya-Nagara." Prof. Max Muller would see in this legend amade-up story for two reasons: (1) A desire on the part of Buddhists toconnect their king Asoka, "the beloved of gods," with Buddha, and thusnullify the slanders set up by the Brahmanical opponents of Buddhism tothe effect that Asoka and Chandragupta were Sudras; and (2) because thisdocument does not dovetail with his own theories and chronology based onthe fanciful stories of the Greek-Megasthenes and others. It was notthe princes of Morya-Nagara who received their name from the Rajputtribe of Mori, but the latter that became so well known as beingcomposed of the descendants of the Moryan sovereign of Morya-Nagara.Some light is thrown on the subsequent destiny of that dynasty in"Replies to an English F.T.S." (See ante.) The name of Rishi Koothoomiis mentioned in more than one Purana, and his Code is among the eighteenCodes written by various Rishis, and preserved at Calcutta in thelibrary of the Asiatic Society. But we have not been told whether thereis any connection between our Mahatma of that name and the Rishi, and wedo not feel justified in speculating upon the subject. All we know is,that both are Northern Brahmans, while the Moryas are Kshatriyas. Ifany of our Brothers know more, or can discover anything relating to thesubject in the Sacred Books, we shall hear of it with pleasure. Thewords: "The Moryas will possess the earth, for Kautilya will placeChandragupta on the throne," have in our occult philosophy a dualmeaning. In one sense they relate to the days of early Buddhism, when aChandragupta (Morya) was the king "of all the earth," i.e., of Brahmans,who believed themselves the highest and only representatives of humanityfor whom earth was evolved. The second meaning is purely esoteric.Every adept or genuine Mahatma is said to "possess the earth," by thepower of his occult knowledge. Hence, a series of ten Moryas, allinitiated adepts, would be regarded by the occultists, and referred toas "possessing all the earth," or all its knowledge. The names of"Chandragupta" and "Kautilya" have also an esoteric significance. Letour Brother ponder over their Sanskrit meaning, and he will perhaps seewhat bearing the phrase—"for Kautilya will place Chandragupta upon thethrone"—has upon the Moryas possessing the earth. We would also remindour Brother that the word Itihasa, ordinarily translated as "history,"is defined by Sanskrit authorities to be the narrative of the lives ofsome August personages, conveying at the same time meanings of thehighest moral and occult importance.

The Theory of Cycles

It is now some time since this theory—which was first propounded in theoldest religion of the world, Vedaism—has been gradually coming intoprominence again. It was taught by various Greek philosophers, andafterwards defended by the Theosophists of the Middle Ages, but came tobe flatly denied by the wise men of the West, the world of negations.Contrary to the rule, it is the men of science themselves who haverevived this theory. Statistics of events of the most varied nature arefast being collected and collated with the seriousness demanded byimportant scientific questions. Statistics of wars and of the periods(or cycles) of the appearance of great men—at least those who have beenrecognized as such by their contemporaries; statistics of the periodsof development and progress of large commercial centres; of the riseand fall of arts and sciences; of cataclysms, such as earthquakes,epidemics; periods of extraordinary cold and heat; cycles ofrevolutions, and of the rise and fall of empires, &c.: all these aresubjected in turn to the analysis of the minutest mathematicalcalculations. Finally, even the occult significance of numbers in namesof persons and cities, in events, and like matters, receives unwontedattention. If, on the one hand, a great portion of the educated publicis running into atheism and scepticism, on the other hand, we find anevident current of mysticism forcing its way into science. It is thesign of an irrepressible need in humanity to assure itself that there isa power paramount over matter; an occult and mysterious law whichgoverns the world, and which we should rather study and closely watch,trying to adapt ourselves to it, than blindly deny, and dash ourselvesvainly against the rock of destiny. More than one thoughtful mind,while studying the fortunes and reverses of nations and great empires,has been struck by one identical feature in their history—namely, theinevitable recurrence of similar events, and after equal periods oftime. This relation between events is found to be substantiallyconstant, though differences in the outward form of details no doubtoccur. Thus the belief of the ancients in their astrologers,soothsayers and prophets might have been warranted by the verificationof many of their most important predictions, without theseprognostications of future events implying of necessity anything verymiraculous. The soothsayers and augurs having occupied in days of theold civilizations the very same position now occupied by our historians,astronomers and meteorologists, there was nothing more wonderful in thefact of the former predicting the downfall of an empire or the loss of abattle, than in the latter predicting the return of a comet, a change oftemperature, or perhaps the final conquest of Afghanistan. Both studiedexact sciences; for, if the astronomer of today draws his observationsfrom mathematical calculations, the astrologer of old also based hisprognostication upon no less acute and mathematically correctobservations of the ever-recurring cycles. And, because the secret ofthis ancient science is now being lost, does that give any warrant forsaying that it never existed, or that to believe in it, one must beready to swallow "magic," "miracles" and the like? "If, in view of theeminence to which modern science has reached, the claim to prophesyfuture events must be regarded as either child's play or a deliberatedeception," says a writer in the Novoye Vremja, "then we can point atscience which, in its turn, has now taken up and placed on record thequestion, whether there is or is not in the constant repetition ofevents a certain periodicity; in other words, whether these eventsrecur after a fixed and determined period of years with every nation;and if a periodicity there be, whether this periodicity is due to blindchance, or depends on the same natural laws which govern the phenomenaof human life." Undoubtedly the latter. And the writer has the bestmathematical proof of it in the timely appearance of such works as thatof Dr. E. Zasse, and others. Several learned works treating upon thismystical subject have appeared of late, and to some of these works andcalculations we shall presently refer. A very suggestive work by awell-known German scientist, E. Zasse, appears in the Prussian Journalof Statistics, powerfully corroborating the ancient theory of cycles.These periods which bring around ever-recurring events, begin from theinfinitesimally small—say of ten years—rotation, and reach to cycleswhich require 250, 500, 700, and 1000 years to effect their revolutionsaround themselves, and within one another. All are contained within theMaha-Yug, the "Great Age" or Cycle of Manu's calculation, which itselfrevolves between two eternities—the "Pralayas" or Nights of Brahma.As, in the objective world of matter, or the system of effects, theminor constellations and planets gravitate each and all around the sun,so in the world of the subjective, or the system of causes, theseinnumerable cycles all gravitate between that which the finite intellectof the ordinary mortal regards as eternity, and the still finite, butmore profound, intuition of the sage and philosopher views as but aneternity within THE ETERNITY. "As above, so it is below," runs the oldHermetic maxim. As an experiment in this direction, Dr. Zasse selectedthe statistical investigations of all the wars recorded in history, as asubject which lends itself more easily to scientific verification thanany other. To illustrate his subject in the simplest and most easilycomprehensible manner, Dr. Zasse represents the periods of war and theperiods of peace in the shape of small and large wave-lines running overthe area of the Old World. The idea is not a new one, for the image wasused for similar illustrations by more than one ancient and medievalmystic, whether in words or pictures—by Henry Kunrath, for example.But it serves well its purpose, and gives us the facts we now want.Before he treats, however, of the cycles of wars, the author brings inthe record of the rise and fall of the world's great empires, and showsthe degree of activity they have played in the Universal History. Hepoints out the fact that if we divide the map of the Old World into sixparts—into Eastern, Central, and Western Asia, Eastern and WesternEurope, and Egypt—then we shall easily perceive that every 250 years anenormous wave passes over these areas, bringing to each in its turn theevents it has brought to the one next preceding. This wave we may call"the historical wave" of the 250 years' cycle.

The first of these waves began in China 2000 years B.C., in the "goldenage" of this empire, the age of philosophy, of discoveries, of reforms."In 1750 B.C. the Mongolians of Central Asia establish a powerfulempire. In 1500, Egypt rises from its temporary degradation and extendsits sway over many parts of Europe and Asia; and about 1250, thehistorical wave reaches and crosses over to Eastern Europe, filling itwith the spirit of the Argonautic Expedition, and dies out in 1000 the Siege of Troy."

The second historical wave appears about that time in Central Asia."The Scythians leave her steppes, and inundate towards the year 750 B.C.the adjoining countries, directing themselves towards the south andwest; about the year 500, in Western Asia begins an epoch of splendourfor ancient Persia; and the wave moves on to the east of Europe, where,about 250 B.C., Greece reaches her highest state of culture andcivilization—and further on to the west, where, at the birth of Christ,the Roman Empire finds itself at its apogee of power and greatness."

Again, at this period we find the rising of a third historical wave atthe far East. After prolonged revolutions, about this time, China formsonce more a powerful empire, and its arts, sciences and commerceflourish again. Then 250 years later, we find the Huns appearing fromthe depths of Central Asia; in the year 500 A.D., a new and powerfulPersian kingdom is formed; in 750—in Eastern Europe—the Byzantineempire; and in the year 1000—on its western side—springs up thesecond Roman Power, the Empire of the Papacy, which soon reaches anextraordinary development of wealth and brilliancy.

At the same time the fourth wave approaches from the Orient. China isagain flourishing; in 1250, the Mongolian wave from Central Asia hasoverflowed and covered an enormous area of land, including Russia.About 1500, in Western Asia the Ottoman Empire rises in all its might,and conquers the Balkan peninsula; but at the same time, in EasternEurope, Russia throws off the Tartar yoke; and about 1750, during thereign of Empress Catherine, rises to an unexpected grandeur, and coversitself with glory. The wave ceaselessly moves further on to the West;and beginning with the middle of the past century, Europe is living overan epoch of revolutions and reforms, and, according to the author, "ifit is permissible to prophesy, then about the year 2000, Western Europewill have lived through one of those periods of culture and progress sorare in history." The Russian press taking the cue believes, that"towards those days the Eastern Question will be finally settled, thenational dissensions of the European peoples will come to an end, andthe dawn of the new millennium will witness the abolition of armies andan alliance between all the European empires." The signs of regenerationare also fast multiplying in Japan and China, as if pointing to the riseof a new historical wave in the extreme East.

If from the cycle of two-and-a-half centuries we descend to that whichleaves its impress every century, and, grouping together the events ofancient history, mark the development and rise of empires, then we shallfind that, beginning from the year 700 B.C., the centennial wave pushesforward, bringing into prominence the following nations, each in itsturn—the Assyrians, the Medes, the Babylonians, the Persians, theGreeks, the Macedonians, the Carthagenians, the Romans, and the Teutons.

The striking periodicity of the wars in Europe is also noticed by Dr. E.Zasse. Beginning with 1700 A.D., every ten years have been signalizedby either a war or a revolution. The periods of the strengthening andweakening of the warlike excitement of the European nations represent awave strikingly regular in its periodicity, flowing incessantly, as ifpropelled onward by some fixed inscrutable law. This same mysteriouslaw seems also to connect these events with the astronomical wave orcycle, which governs the periodicity of solar spots. The periods whenthe European powers have shown the most destructive energy are marked bya cycle of fifty years' duration. It would be too long and tedious toenumerate them from the beginning of history. We may, therefore, limitour study to the cycle beginning with the year 1712, when all theEuropean nations were fighting each other in the Northern, and theTurkish wars, and the war for the throne of Spain. About 1761, the"Seven Years' War"; in 1810, the wars of Napoleon I. Towards 1861, thewave has been a little deflected from its regular course; but, as if tocompensate for it, or propelled, perhaps, with unusual force, the yearsdirectly preceding, as well as those which followed it, left in historythe records of the most fierce and bloody wars—the Crimean War in theformer, and the American Civil War in the latter period. The periodicityin the wars between Russia and Turkey appears peculiarly striking, andrepresents a very characteristic wave. At first the intervals betweenthe cycles of thirty years' duration—1710, 1740, 1770 then theseintervals diminish, and we have a cycle of twenty years—1790, 1810,1829-30; then the intervals widen again—1853 and 1878. But if we takenote of the whole duration of the in-flowing tide of the war-like cycle,then we shall have at the centre of it—from 1768 to 1812—three wars ofseven years' duration each, and at both ends, wars of two years.

Finally, the author comes to the conclusion that, in view of facts, itbecomes thoroughly impossible to deny the presence of a regularperiodicity in the excitement of both mental and physical forces in thenations of the world. He proves that in the history of all the peoplesand empires of the Old World, the cycles marking the millenniums, thecentennials as well as the minor ones of fifty and ten years' duration,are the most important, inasmuch as neither of them has ever yet failedto bring in its train some more or less marked event in the history ofthe nation swept over by these historical waves.

The history of India is one which, of all histories, is the most vagueand least satisfactory. Yet were its consecutive great events noteddown, and its annals well searched, the law of cycles would be found tohave asserted itself here as plainly as in every other country inrespect of its wars, famines, political exigencies, and other matters.

In France, a meteorologist of Paris went to the trouble of compiling thestatistics of the coldest seasons, and discovered that those years whichhad the figure 9 in them had been marked by the severest winters. Hisfigures run thus:—in 859 A.D., the northern part of the Adriatic Seawas frozen, and was covered for three months with ice. In 1179, In themost moderate zones, the earth was covered with several feet of snow.In 1209, in France the depth of snow and the bitter cold caused such ascarcity of fodder that most of the cattle perished in that country. In1249, the Baltic Sea between Russia, Norway and Sweden remained frozenfor many months, and communication was kept up by sleighs. In 1339,there was such a terrific winter in England, that vast numbers of peopledied of starvation and exposure. In 1409, the river Danube was frozenfrom its sources to its mouth in the Black Sea.

In 1469, all the vineyards and orchards perished in consequence of thefrost. In 1609, in France, Switzerland and Upper Italy, people had tothaw their bread and provisions before they could use them. In 1639,the Harbour of Marseilles was covered with ice to a great distance. In1659, all the rivers in Italy were frozen. In 1699, the winter inFrance and Italy proved the severest and longest of all. The prices forarticles of food were so much raised that half of the population died ofstarvation. In 1709, the winter was no less terrible. The ground wasfrozen in France, Italy and Switzerland to the depth of several feet;and the sea, south as well as north, was covered with one compact andthick crust of ice, many feet deep, and for a considerable distance inthe usually open sea. Numbers of wild beasts, driven out by the coldfrom their dens in the forests, sought refuge in villages and evencities; and the birds fell dead to the ground by hundreds. In 1729,1749 and 1769 (cycles of twenty years' duration), all the rivers andstreams were ice-bound all over France for many weeks, and all the fruittrees perished. In 1789, France was again visited by a very severewinter. In Paris, the thermometer stood at nineteen degrees of frost.But the severest of all winters proved that of 1829. For fifty-fourconsecutive days all the roads in France were covered, with snow severalfeet deep, and all the rivers were frozen. Famine and misery reachedtheir climax in the country in that year. In 1839, there was again inFrance a most terrific and trying cold season. And the winter of 1879has asserted its statistical rights, and proved true to the fatalinfluence of the figure 9. The meteorologists of other countries areinvited to follow suit, and make their investigations likewise, for thesubject is certainly most fascinating as well as most instructive.

Enough has been shown, however, to prove that neither the ideas ofPythagoras on the mysterious influence of numbers, nor the theories ofthe ancient world-religions and philosophies are as shallow andmeaningless as some too forward thinkers would have had the world tobelieve.



Odorigen and Jiva

Professor Yaeger of Stuttgart has made a very interesting study of thesense of smell. He starts from the fact well known in medicaljurisprudence, that the blood of an animal when treated by sulphuric, orindeed by any other decomposing acid, smells like the animal itself towhich it belongs. This holds good even after the blood has been longdried.

Let us state before all what is to be understood by the smell of acertain animal. There is the pure, specific smell of the animal,inherent in its flesh, or, as we shall see hereafter, in certainportions of its flesh. This smell is best perceived when the flesh isgently boiling in water. The broth thereby obtained contains thespecific taste and smell of the animal—I call it specific, becauseevery species, nay every variety of species, has its own peculiar tasteand smell. Think of mutton broth, chicken broth, fish broth, &c. &c. Ishall call this smell, the specific scent of the animal. I need not saythat the scent of an animal is quite different from all such odours asare generated within its organism, along with its various secretions andexcretions: bile, gastric juice, sweat, &c. These odours are againdifferent in the different species and varieties of animals. Thecutaneous exhalation of the goat, the sheep, the donkey, widely differfrom each other; and a similar difference prevails with regard to allthe other effluvia of these animals. In fact, as far as olfactoryexperience goes, we may say that the odour of each secretion andexcretion of a certain species of animals is peculiar to itself, andcharacteristically different in the similar products of another species.

By altering the food of an animal we may considerably alter all theabove-mentioned odours, scents, as well as smells; yet essentially theywill always retain their specific odoriferous type. All this is matterof strict experience.

Strongly diffusive as all these odorous substances are, they permeatethe whole organism, and each of them contributes its share to what inthe aggregate constitutes the smell of the living animal. It isaltogether an excrementitious smell tempered by the scent of the animal.That excrementitious smell we shall henceforth simply call the smell, incontradistinction to the scent of the animal.

To return after this not very pleasant, but nevertheless necessarydigression, to our subject. Professor Yaeger found that blood, treatedby an acid, may emit the scent or the smell of the animal, according asthe acid is weak or strong. A strong acid, rapidly disintegrating theblood, brings out the animal's smell; a weak acid, the animal's scent.

We see, then, that in every drop of blood of a certain species ofanimal, and we may as well say, in each of its blood corpuscles, and inthe last instance, in each of its molecules, the respective animalspecies is fully represented, as to its odorant speciality, under bothaspects of scent and smell.

We have, then, on the one side, the fact before us that wherever we meetin the animal kingdom with difference of shape, form, and construction,so different as to constitute a class, a genus, or a family of its own,there we meet at the same time with a distinct and specific scent andsmell. On the other hand, we know that these specific odours areinvariably interblended with the very life-blood of the animal. Andlastly, we know that these specific odours cannot be accounted for byany agents taken up in the shape of food from the outer world. We are,then, driven to the conclusion that they are properties of the inneranimal; that they, in other words, pertain to the specific protoplasmof the animal concerned.

And thus our conclusion attains almost certainty, when we remember thatit stands the crucial test of experiment—that we need only decomposethe blood in order to find there what we contend to be an essentialingredient of it.

I must now say a few words in explanation of the term protoplasm.Protoplasm is a soft, gelatinous substance, transparent and hom*ogeneous,easily seen in large plant-cells; it may be compared to the white of anegg. When at rest all sorts of vibratory, quivering and tremblingmovements can be observed within its mass. It forms the living materialin all vegetable and animal cells; in fact, it is that component of thebody which really does the vital work. It is the formative agent of allliving tissues. Vital activity, in the broadest sense of the term,manifests itself in the development of the germ into the completeorganism, repeating the type of its parents, and in the subsequentmaintenance of that organism in its integrity and both these functionsare exclusively carried on by the protoplasm. Of course, there is agood deal of chemical and mechanical work done in the organism, butprotoplasm is the formative agent of all the tissues and structures.

Of tissues and structures already formed, we may fairly say that theyhave passed out of the realms of vitality, as they are destined togradual disintegration and decay in the course of life; it is they thatare on the way of being cast out of the organism, when they have oncerun through the scale of retrograde metamorphosis; and it is they thatgive rise to what we have called the smell of the animal. What lives inthem is the protoplasm.

In the shape of food the outer world supplies the organism with all thematerials necessary for the building up of the constantly wastingorganic structures; and, in the shape of heat, there comes from theouter world that other element necessary for structural changes,development and growth—the element of force. But the task of directingall the outward materials to the development and maintenance of theorganism—in other words, the task of the director-general of theorganic economy falls to the protoplasm.

Now this wonderful substance, chemically and physically the same in thehighest animal and in the lowest plant, has been all along the puzzle ofthe biologist. How is it that in man protoplasm works out humanstructure; in fowl, fowl structure, &c. &c., while the protoplasmitself appears to be everywhere the same? To Professor Yaeger belongsthe great merit of having shown us that the protoplasms of the variousspecies of plants and animals are not the same; that each of themcontains, moreover, imbedded in its molecules, odorant substancespeculiar to the one species and not to the other.

That, on the other hand, those odorous substances are by no meansinactive bodies, may be inferred from their great volatility, known asit is in physical science that volatility is owing to a state of atomicactivity. Prevost has described two phenomena that are presented byodorous substances. One is that, when placed on water, they begin tomove; and the other is, that a thin layer of water, extended on aperfectly clean glass plate, retracts when such an odorous substance ascamphor is placed upon it. Monsieur Ligeois has further shown that theparticles of an odorous body, placed on water, undergo a rapid division,and that the movements of camphor, or of benzoic acid, are inhibited, oraltogether arrested, if an odorous substance be brought into contactwith the water in which they are moving.

Seeing, then, that odorous substances, when coming in contact withliquid bodies, assume a peculiar motion, and impart at the same timemotion to the liquid body, we may fairly conclude that the specificformative capacity of the protoplasm is owing, not to the protoplasmitself, since it is everywhere alike, but to the inherent, specific,odoriferous substances.

I shall only add that Professor Yaeger's theory may be carried fartheryet. Each metal has also a certain taste and odour peculiar to itself;in other words, they are also endowed with odoriferous substances. Andthis may help us to explain the fact that each metal, when crystallizingout of a liquid solution, invariably assumes a distinct geometricalform, by which it may be distinguished from any other. Common salt, forinstance, invariably crystallizes in cubes, alum in octohedra, and soon.

Professor Yaeger's theory explains further to us that other greatmystery of Nature—the transmission from parent to offspring of themorphological speciality. This is another puzzle of the biologist.What is there in the embryonal germ that evolves out of the materialsstored up therein a frame similar to the parents? In other words, whatis there that presides over the preservation of the species, working outthe miniature duplicate of the parents' configuration and character? Itis the protoplasm, no doubt; and the female ovum contains protoplasm inabundance. But neither the physicist nor the chemist can detect anydifference between the primordial germ, say of the fowl, and that of afemale of the human race.

In answer to this question—a question before which science standsperplexed—we need only remember what has been said before about theprotoplasmic scent. We have spoken before of the specific scent of theanimal as a whole. We know, however, that every organ and tissue in agiven animal has again its peculiar scent and taste. The scent andtaste of the liver, spleen, brain, &c., are quite different in the sameanimal.

And if our theory is correct, then it could not be otherwise. Each ofthese organs is differently constructed, and as variety of organicstructure is supposed to be dependent upon variety of scent, there mustnecessarily be a specific cerebral scent, a specific splenetic scent, aspecific hepatic scent, &c. &c. What we call, then, the specific scentof the living animal must, therefore, be considered as the aggregate ofall the different scents of its organs.

When we see that a weak solution of sulphuric acid is capable ofdisengaging from the blood the scent of the animal, we shall then bearin mind that this odorous emanation contains particles of all the scentspeculiar to each tissue and organ of the animal. When we further saythat each organ in a living animal draws by selective affinity from theblood those materials which are necessary for its sustenance, we mustnot forget that each organ draws at the same time by a similar selectiveaffinity the specific odorous substances requisite for its constructiverequirements.

We have now only to suppose that the embryonal germ contains, like theblood itself, all the odorous substances pertaining to the varioustissues and organs of the parent, and we shall understand which is themoving principle in the germ that evolves an offspring, shaped in theimage and after the likeness of the parents.

In plants it is the blossom which is entrusted with the function ofreproduction, and the odorous emanations accompanying that process arewell known. There is strong reason to believe that something similarprevails in the case of animals, as may be seen from an examination ofwhat embryologists call the aura seminalis.

Let us now inquire what the effects are of odours generated in the outerworld on animals. The odorous impressions produced may be pleasant orunpleasant, pleasant to one and unpleasant to another animal. What isit that constitutes this sensation of pleasure or displeasure?Professor Yaeger answers, It is harmony or disharmony which makes allthe difference. The olfactory organs of each animal are impregnated byits own specific scent. Whenever the odorous waves of a substanceharmonize in their vibration with the odorous waves emanating from theanimal; in other words, whenever they fall in and agree with eachother, an agreeable sensation is produced; whenever the reverse takesplaces, the sensation is disagreeable. In this way it is that the odourregulates the choice of the food on the part of the animal. In asimilar way the sympathies and antipathies between the various animalsare regulated. For every individual has not only its specific but alsoits individual scent. The selection between the sexes, or what, in thecase of the human race, is called love, has its mainspring in theodorous harmony subsisting in the two individuals concerned.

This individual scent—a variation of the specific odorous type—alters(within the limits of its speciality) with age, with the particular modeof occupation, with the sex, with certain physiological conditions andfunctions during life, with the state of health, and last, but notleast, with the state of our mind.

It is to be remembered that every time protoplasm undergoesdisintegration, specific odours are set free. We have seen howsulphuric acid, or heat, when boiling or roasting meat, brings out thespecific animal odour. But it is an established fact in science, thatevery physical or mental operation is accompanied by disintegration oftissue; consequently we are entitled to say that with every emotionodours are being disengaged. It can be shown that the quality of thoseodours differ with the nature of the emotion. The prescribed limitsprevent further pursuit of the subject; I shall, therefore, contentmyself by drawing some conclusions from Professor Yaeger's theory in thelight of the Esoteric Doctrine.

The phenomena of mesmeric cures find their full explanation in thetheory just enunciated. For since the construction and preservation ofthe organism, and of every organ in particular, is owing to specificscents, we may fairly look upon disease in general as a disturbance ofthe specific scent of the organism, and upon disease of a particularorgan of the body, as a disturbance of the specific scent pertaining tothat particular organ. We have been hitherto in the habit of holdingthe protoplasm responsible for all phenomena of disease. We have nowcome to learn that what acts in the protoplasm are the scents; we shall,therefore, have to look to them as the ultimate cause of morbidphenomena. I have mentioned before the experiment of Mons. Ligeois,showing that odoriferous substances, when brought in contact with water,move; and that the motion of one odoriferous substance may beinhibited, or arrested altogether, by the presence of anotherodoriferous substance. Epidemic diseases, and the zymotic diseases inparticular, have, then, most likely their origin in some local odourswhich inhibit the action of our specific organic odours. In the case ofhereditary diseases, it is most likely the transmission of morbidspecific odours from parent to offspring that is the cause of the evil,knowing, as we do, that in disease the natural specific odour isaltered, and must, therefore, have been altered in the diseased parent.

Now comes the mesmeriser. He approaches the sick with the strongdetermination to cure him. This determination, or effort of the will,is absolutely necessary, according to the agreement of all mesmerisers,for his curative success. Now an effort of the will is a mentaloperation, and is, therefore, accompanied by tissue disintegration. Theeffort being purely mental, we may say it is accompanied bydisintegration of cerebral and nervous tissue. But disintegration oforganic tissue means, as we have seen before, disengagement of specificscents; the mesmeriser emits, then, during his operation, scents fromhis own body. And as the patient's sufferings are supposed to originatefrom a deficiency or alteration of his own specific scent, we can wellsee how the mesmeriser, by his mesmeric or odoriferous emanations, mayeffect a cure. He may supply the want of certain odoriferous substancesin the patient, or he may correct others by his own emanations, knowing,as we do, from the experiment of Mons. Ligeois, that odorant matter doesact on odorant matter.

One remark more and I have done. By the Esoteric Doctrine we are toldthat the living body is divided into two parts:

1. The physical body, composed wholly of matter in its grossest and mosttangible form.

2. The vital principle (or Jiva), a form of force indestructible, and,when disconnected with one set of atoms, becoming attracted immediatelyby others.

Now this division, generally speaking, fully agrees with the teachingsof science. I need only remind you of what I have said before withregard to the formed tissues and structures of the body and itsformative agent the protoplasm. Formed structure is considered asmaterial which has already passed out of the realms of life; what livesin it is the protoplasm. So far the esoteric conception fully agreeswith the result of the latest investigations of modern science.

But when we are told by the Esoteric Doctrine that the vital principleis indestructible, we feel we move on occult, incomprehensible ground,for we know that protoplasm is, after all, as destructible as the bodyitself. It lives as long as life lasts, and, it may be said, it is theonly material in the body that does live as long as life lasts. But itdies with the cessation of life. It is true it is capable of a sort ofresuscitation. For that very dead protoplasm, be it animal orvegetable, serves again as our food, and as the food of all the animalworld, and thus helps to repair our constantly wasting economy. But forall that it could hardly be said to be indestructible; it isassimilable—that is to say, capable of re-entering the domain of life,through its being taken up by a living body. But such an eventualchance does by no means confer upon it the attribute ofindestructibility; for we need only leave the dead animal or plantcontaining the protoplasm alone, and it will rot and decay—organs,tissues, and protoplasm altogether.

To our further perplexity the Esoteric Doctrine tells us that the vitalprinciple is not only indestructible, but it is a form of force, which,when disconnected with one set of atoms, becomes attracted immediatelyby others. The vital principle to the Esoteric Doctrine would thenappear to be a sort of abstract force, not a force inherent in theliving protoplasm—this is the scientific conception—but a force perse, independent altogether of the material with which it is connected.

Now I must confess this is a doctrine which puzzles one greatly,although one may have no difficulty in accepting the spirit of man as anentity, for the phenomena of ratiocination are altogether so widelydifferent from all physical phenomena that they can hardly be explainedby any of the physical forces known to us. The materialist, who tellsus that consciousness, sensation, thought, and the spontaneous power ofthe will, so peculiar to man and to the higher animals, are altogetherso many outcomes of certain conditions of matter and nothing else, makesat best merely a subjective statement. He cannot help acknowledgingthat spontaneity is not a quality of matter. He is then driven to thecontention that what we believe to be spontaneous in us, is, after all,an unconscious result of external impulses only. His contention reststhen on the basis of his own inner experience, or what he believes to besuch. This contention of his is, however, disputed by many, who no lessappeal to their own inner experience, or what they believe to be theirexperience. It is then a question of inner experience of the one partyversus inner experience of the other. And such being the case, thescientific materialist is driven to admit that his theory, howevercorrect it may be, rests, after all, on subjective experience, and can,as such, not claim the rank of positive knowledge. There is then nodifficulty in accepting the entity of the spirit in man, thematerialistic assertion to the contrary notwithstanding. But the vitalforce is exclusively concerned with the construction of matter. Here wehave a right to expect that physical and chemical forces should hold thewhole ground of an explanation, if an explanation is possible at all.Now, physical and chemical forces are no entities; they are invariablyconnected with matter. In fact, they are so intimately connected withmatter that they can never be dissevered from it altogether. The energyof matter may be latent or patent, and, when patent, it may manifestit*elf in one form or the other, according to the condition of itssurroundings; it may manifest itself in the shape of light, heat,electricity, magnetism, or vitality; but in one form or the otherenergy constantly inheres in matter. The correlation of forces is now awell-established, scientific fact, and it is more than plausible thatwhat is called the vital principle, or the vital force, forms a link inthe chain of the other known physical forces, and is, therefore,transmutable into any of them; granted even that there is such a thingas a distinct vital force. The tendency of modern Biology is then todiscard the notion of a vital entity altogether. If vital force is tobe indestructible, then so are also indestructible heat, light,electricity, &c.; they are indestructible in this sense, that whenevertheir respective manifestation is suspended or arrested, they make theirappearance in some other form of force; and in this very same sensevital force may be looked upon as indestructible: whenever vitalmanifestation is arrested, what had been acting as vital force istransformed into chemical, electrical forces, &c., taking its place.

But the Esoteric Doctrine appears to teach something quite differentfrom what I have just explained, and what is, as far as I understand, afair representation of the scientific conception of the subject. TheEsoteric Doctrine tells us that the vital principle is indestructible,and, when disconnected with one set of atoms, becomes attracted byothers. He then evidently holds that, what constitutes the vitalprinciple is a principle or form of force per se, a form of force whichcan leave one set of atoms and go over as such to another set, withoutleaving any substitute force behind. This, it must be said, is simplyirreconcileable with the scientific view on the subject as hithertounderstood.

By the and of Professor Yaeger's theory this difficulty can beexplained, I am happy to say, in a most satisfactory way.

The seat of the vital principle, according to Professor Yaeger's theory,is not the protoplasm, but the odorant matter imbedded in it. And suchbeing the case, the vital principle, as far as it can be reached by thebreaking up of its animated protoplasm, is really indestructible. Youdestroy the protoplasm by burning it, by treating it with sulphuricacid, or any other decomposing agent—the odoriferous substances, farfrom being destroyed, become only so much the more manifest; theyescape the moment protoplasmic destruction or decomposition begins,carrying along with them the vital principle, or what has been acting assuch in the protoplasm. And as they are volatile, they must soon meetwith other protoplasms congenial to their nature, and set up there thesame kind of vital activity as they have done in their former habitat.They are, as the Esoteric Doctrine rightly teaches, indestructible, andwhen disconnected with one set of atoms, they immediately becomeattracted by others.

—L. Salzer, M.D.

Odorigen and Jiva (II.)

There is a well-known Sanskrit treatise, where most of the deductions ofDr. Yaeger are anticipated and practically applied to sexual selectionin the human species. The subject of aura seminalis finds a pretty fulltreatment there. The connection between what Dr. Yaeger calls"odorigen" and jiva or prana, as it is differently called in differentsystems of Indian philosophy, has been well traced. But his remarks onthis subject, able as they no doubt are, call for a few observationsfrom the point of view of occult philosophy. Jiva has been described bya trustworthy authority as a "form of force indestructible, and, whendisconnected with one set of atoms, is immediately attracted by anotherset." Dr. Salzer concludes from this that occult philosophy looks uponit as an abstract force or force per se. But surely this is bending toomuch to the Procrustean phraseology of modern science, and if notproperly guarded will lead to some misapprehension. Matter in occultphilosophy means existence in the widest sense of that word. Howevermuch the various forms of existence, such as physical, vital, mental,spiritual, &c., differ from each other, they are mutually related asbeing parts of the ONE UNIVERSAL EXISTENCE, the Parabrahma of theVedantist. Force is the inherent power or capacity of Parabrahma, orthe "matter" of occultism, to assume different forms. This power orcapacity is not a separate entity, but is the thing itself in which itinheres, just as the three-angled character of a triangle is nothingseparate from the triangle itself. From this it will be abundantlyclear that, accepting the nomenclature of occult science, one cannotspeak of an abstract force without being guilty of a palpable absurdity.What is meant by Jiva being a "form of force," &c., is that it is matterin a state in which it exhibits certain phenomena, not produced by it inits sensuous state; or, in other words, it is a property of matter in aparticular state, corresponding with properties called, under ordinarycirc*mstances, heat, electricity, &c., by modern science, but at thesame time without any correlation to them. It might here be objectedthat if Jiva was not a force per se, in the sense which modern sciencewould attach to the phrase, then how can it survive unchanged the grandchange called death, which the protoplasms it inheres in undergo? andeven granting that Jiva is matter in a particular state, in what part ofthe body shall we locate it, in the teeth of the fact that the mostcareful examination has not been successful in detecting it? Jiva, ashas already been stated, is subtle supersensuous matter, permeating theentire physical structure of the living being, and when it is separatedfrom such structure life is said to become extinct. It is notreasonable therefore to expect it to be subject to detection by thesurgeon's knife. A particular set of conditions is necessary for itsconnection with an animal structure, and when those conditions aredisturbed, it is attracted by other bodies, presenting suitableconditions. Dr. Yaegar's "odorigen" is not Jiva itself, but is one ofthe links which connects it with the physical body; it seems to bematter standing between Sthula Sarira (gross body) and Jiva.

—Dharanidar Kauthumi

Introversion of Mental Vision

Some interesting experiments have recently been tried by Mr. F.W.H.Myers and his colleagues of the Psychic Research Society of London,which, if properly examined, are capable of yielding highly importantresults. With the details of these we are not at present concerned: itwill suffice for our purpose to state, for the benefit of readersunacquainted with the experiments, that in a very large majority ofcases, too numerous to be the result of mere chance, it was found thatthe thought-reading sensitive obtained but an inverted mental picture ofthe object given him to read. A piece of paper, containing therepresentation of an arrow, was held before a carefully blindfoldedthought-reader, who was requested to mentally see the arrow as it wasturned round. In these circ*mstances it was found that when thearrow-head pointed to the right, it was read off as pointing to theleft, and so on. This led some to imagine that there was a mirage inthe inner as well as on the outer plane of optical sensation. But thereal explanation of the phenomenon lies deeper.

It is well known that an object as seen by us and its image on theretina of the eye, are not exactly the same in position, but quite thereverse. How the image of an object on the retina is inverted insensation, is a mystery which physical science is admittedly incapableof solving. Western metaphysics, too, with regard to this point, hardlyfares any better; there are as many theories as there aremetaphysicians. The only philosopher who has obtained a glimpse of thetruth is the idealist Berkeley, who says that a child does really see athing inverted from our standpoint; to touch its head it stretches outit* hands in the same direction of its body as we do of ours to reachour feet. Repeated failures give experience and lead to the correctionof the notions born of one sense by those derived through another; thesensations of distance and solidity are produced in the same way.

The application of this knowledge to the above mentioned experiments ofthe Psychic Research Society will lead to very suggestive results. Ifthe trained adept is a person who has developed all his interiorfaculties, and is on the psychic plane in the full possession of hissenses, the individual, who accidentally, that is, without occulttraining, gains the inner sight, is in the position of a helplesschild—a sport of the freaks of one isolated inner sense. Such was thecase with the sensitives with whom Mr. Myers and his colleaguesexperimented. There are instances, however, when the correction of onesense by another takes place involuntarily and accurate results arebrought out. When the sensitive reads the thoughts in a man's mind,this correction is not required, for the will of the thinker shoots thethoughts, as it were, straight into the mind of the sensitive. Theintroversion under notice will, moreover, be found to take place only inthe instance of such images which cannot be corrected by the alreadyacquired sense-experience of the sensitive. A difficulty may heresuggest itself with regard to the names of persons or the words thoughtof for the sensitive's reading. But allowance must in such cases bemade for the operation of the thinker's will, which forces the thoughtinto the sensitive's mind, and thereby obviates introversion. It isabundantly clear from this that the best way of studying these phenomenais when only one set of inner faculties, that of the sensitive, is inplay. This takes place always when the object the sensitive has toabnormally perceive is independent of the will of any other person, asin the case of its being represented on paper.

Applying the same law to dreams, we can find the rationale of thepopular superstition that facts are generally inverted in dreams. Todream of something good is generally taken to be the precursor ofsomething evil. In the exceptional cases in which dreams have beenfound to be prophetic, the dreamer was either affected by another's willor under the operation of some disturbing forces, which cannot becalculated except for each particular case.

In this connection another very important psychic phenomenon may benoticed. Instances are too numerous and too well authenticated to beamenable to dispute, in which an occurrence at a distance—for instance,the death of a person—has pictured itself to the mental vision of oneinterested in the occurrence. In such cases the double of the dying manappears even at a great distance, and becomes visible usually to hisfriend only, but instances are not rare when the double is seen by anumber of persons. The former case comes within the class of casesunder consideration, as the concentrated thought of the dying man isclairvoyantly seen by the friend, and the incidents correctly reproducedby the operation of the dying man's will-energy, while the latter is theappearance of the genuine mayavirupa, and therefore not governed by thelaw under discussion.

—Mohini M. Chatterji


Or all phenomena produced by occult agency in connection with ourSociety, none have been witnessed by a more extended circle ofspectators, or more widely known and commented on through recentTheosophical publications, than the mysterious production of letters.The phenomenon itself has been so well described in the "Occult World"and elsewhere, that it would be useless to repeat the description here.Our present purpose is more connected with the process than thephenomenon of the mysterious formation of letters. Mr. Sinnett soughtfor an explanation of the process, and elicited the following reply fromthe revered Mahatma, who corresponds with him:—"….Bear in mind theseletters are not written, but impressed, or precipitated, and then allmistakes corrected …. I have to think it over, to photograph everyword and sentence carefully in my brain, before it can be repeated byprecipitation. As the fixing on chemically-prepared surfaces of theimages formed by the camera requires a previous arrangement within thefocus of the object to be represented, for, otherwise—as often foundin bad photographs—the legs of the sitter might appear out of allproportion with the head, and so on—so we here to first arrange oursentences, and impress every letter to appear on paper in our minds,before it becomes fit to be read. For the present, it is all I can tellyou."

Since the above was written, the Masters have been pleased to permit theveil to be drawn aside a little more, and the modus operandi can thus beexplained now more fully to the outsider.

Those having even a superficial knowledge of the science of mesmerismknow how the thoughts of the mesmeriser, though silently formulated inhis mind, are instantly transferred to that of the subject. It is notnecessary for the operator, if he is sufficiently powerful, to bepresent near the subject to produce the above result. Some celebratedpractitioners in this science are known to have been able to put theirsubjects to sleep even from a distance of several days' journey. Thisknown fact will serve us as a guide in comprehending the comparativelyunknown subject now under discussion. The work of writing the lettersin question is carried on by a sort of psychic telegraphy; theMahatmas very rarely write their letters in the ordinary way. Anelectro-magnetic connection, so to say, exists on the psychic planebetween a Mahatma and his chelas, one of whom acts as his amanuensis.When the Master wants a letter to be written in this way, he very oftendraws the attention of the chela, whom he selects for the task, bycausing an astral bell (heard by so many of our Fellows and others) tobe rung near him, just as the despatching telegraph office signals tothe receiving office before wiring the message. The thoughts arising inthe mind of the Mahatma are then clothed in words, pronounced mentally,and forced along currents in the astral light impinge on the brain ofthe pupil. Thence they are borne by the nerve-currents to the palms ofhis hands and the tips of his fingers, which rest on a piece ofmagnetically-prepared paper. As the thought waves are thus impressed onthe tissue, materials are drawn to it from the ocean of akas (permeatingevery atom of the sensuous universe) by an occult process, out of placehere to describe, and permanent marks are left.

From this it is abundantly clear that the success of such writing, asabove described, depends chiefly upon two conditions:—(1) The forceand clearness with which the thoughts are propelled; and (2) thefreedom of the receiving brain from disturbance of every description.The case with the ordinary electric telegraph is exactly the same. If,for some reason or other, the battery supplying the electric power fallsbelow the requisite strength on any telegraph line, or there is somederangement in the receiving apparatus, the message transmitted becomeseither mutilated or otherwise imperfectly legible. Inaccuracies, infact, do very often arise, as may be gathered from what the Mahatma saysin the above extract. "Bear in mind," says he, "that these letters arenot written, but impressed, or precipitated, and then all mistakescorrected." To turn to the sources of error in the precipitation.Remembering the circ*mstances under which blunders arise in telegrams,we see that if a Mahatma somehow becomes exhausted, or allows histhoughts to wander during the process, or fails to command the requisiteintensity in the astral currents along which his thoughts are projected,or the distracted attention of the pupil produces disturbances in hisbrain and nerve-centres, the success of the process is very muchinterfered with.

It is to be regretted that illustrations of the above general principlesare not permitted to be published. Enough, however, has been disclosedto give the public a clue to many apparent mysteries in regard toprecipitated letters, and to draw all earnest and sincere inquirersstrongly to the path of spiritual progress, which alone can lead to thecomprehension of occult phenomena.


"How Shall We Sleep?"

It appears that the opinion of Mr. Seeta Nath Ghose and of Baron VonReichenbach are in direct conflict on the subject of this paper, thelatter recommending the head of the sleeper to be northward, the formerentirely condemning that position.

It is my humble opinion that both writers are right, each from his ownstandpoint, as I shall try to show. What is the reason that ourposition in sleep should be of any consequence? Because our body mustbe in a position at harmony with the main magnetic currents of theearth; but as these currents are not the same in all parts of the worldthe positions of the sleeper must, therefore, vary.

There are three main magnetic currents on our earth—viz., in thenorthern hemisphere, from north pole towards the equator; in thesouthern hemisphere, from south pole towards the equator; these twocurrents meeting in the torrid zone continue their combined course fromeast to west. So the position of the sleeper must vary according as hefinds himself to the north or south of the torrid zone or within it.

In the north frigid or temperate zone, he has to lie with his headnorthward; in the southern, southward; in the torrid zone, eastward—in order that the magnetic current may pass through him from head tofoot without disturbance, as this is the natural position formagnetization.

The following diagram may give a clearer view of the case, and thus helpus to answer the second part of the question, whether and when we oughtto lie on the right or the left side, on the stomach or on the back:—

[[Diagram here]]

The able writer of "How Shall we Sleep?" shows, in his cross diagram,that he thinks the head to be entirely positive and both feet negative.I think that this is not the case, but that the right side of the headand the left foot are positive, and the left side of the head and theright foot negative, and similarly the right hand is negative and theleft hand is positive.

As the north pole is positive and the left side of the head negative,the natural position in sleep for those living within the northern zoneswould be on the right side, head northward; and it is obvious that inthe southern zones the position must be exactly the reverse. As tothose who live under the tropics, lying on the stomach seems to me to bethe most natural position, since the left, or negative side of the head,is turned to the north or positive current, and vice versa.

For many years I and my family have been sleeping with our heads eitherto the north or the west (the right position in our hemisphere, in myopinion), and we had no occasion to regret it; for from that timeforward the physician has become a rare visitor in our house.

Mr. Seeta Nath Ghose says, in his interesting paper on "MedicalMagnetism," that Mandulies (metallic cells) are worn to great advantagein India on diseased parts of the body. The curative properties ofthese cells I have seen verified in authentic instances. When, yearsago (I believe about 1852), cholera was devastating some parts ofEurope, it was remarked at Munich (Bavaria) that among the thousands ofits victims there was not a single coppersmith. Hence, it wasrecommended by the medical authorities of that town to wear disks ofthin copperplate (of about 2 1/2 inch diameter) on a string, on the pitof the stomach, and they proved to be a powerful preventive of cholera.Again, in 1867, cholera visited Odessa.

I and my whole family wore these copper disks; and while all aroundthere were numerous cases of cholera and dysentery, not one of us wasattacked. I propose that serious experiments should be made in thisdirection, and specially in those countries which are periodicallydevastated by that disease: as India, for instance. It is myconviction that one disk of copper on the stomach, and another of zincon the spine, opposite the former, will be of still better service, themore so if the disks are joined by a thin copper chain.

—Gustave Zorn

In the first place it is necessary to say that the rules laid down byGarga, Markandeya and others on the above subject, refer to theinhabitants of the plains only, and not to dwellers on mountains. Therule is that on retiring a man should first lie on his right side forthe period of sixteen breathings, then turn on his left for double thattime, and after that he can sleep in any position. Further, that a manmust not sleep on the ground, on silken or woollen cloth, under asolitary tree, where cross-roads meet, on mountains, or on the sky(whatever that may mean). Nor is he to sleep with damp clothes, wetfeet, or in a naked state; and, unless an initiate, should not sleep onKusha grass or its varieties. There are many more such rules. I mayhere notice that in Sanskrit the right hand or side and south aresignified by the same term. So also the front and north have one andthe same name. The sun is the great and chief source of life andmagnetism in the solar system.

Hence to the world the east is positive as the source of light andmagnetism. For the same reason, to the northern hemisphere the south(the equator and not the north) is positive. Under the laws of dynamicsthe resultant of these two forces will be a current in the directed fromS.E. to N.W. This, I think, is one of the real causes of the prevailingsouth-east wind. At any rate, I do not think the north pole to bepositive, as there would be no snow there in such a case. The auroracannot take place at the source of the currents, but at their close.Hence the source must be towards the equator or south. The course oflife, civilization, light, and almost everything seems to be from E. toW. or S.E. to N.W. The penalty for sleeping with the head to the westis said to be anxiety of mind, while sleeping with the head to the northis considered fatal. I beg to invite the attention of the Hindus to asimilar penalty of death incurred by any but an initiate (Brahman)pronouncing the sacred Pranava (Om). This does not prove that Pranavais really a mischievous bad word, but that, with incompetent men, it isfraught with danger. So also, in the case of ordinary men of theplains, there may be unknown dangers which it would not be prudent forthem to risk so long as they do not know how to meet them, or so long asthey are not under the guidance of men who can protect them. In short,ordinary men should move on in their beaten course, and these rules arefor them only.

As an instance of the infringement of the rule the following anecdote isgiven:—

After Ganesha (Siva's son) was born, all the Devas (gods) came tocongratulate the family and bless the child. Sani or Saturn, was thelast to come, and even then he came after he had been several timesinquired after. When he went to see the infant, it appeared headless!This at once created a sensation, and all the Devas were at their wits'end. At last Saturn himself approached Mahadeva with folded hands andreminded him that it was due to his presence, and the child having beenkept in a bed with its head to the north. For such was the law. Thenthe Devas consulted together and sent out messengers to find out whoelse was sleeping with the head to the north. At last they discoveredan elephant in that position. Its head was immediately cut off andplaced on the shoulders of Ganesha. It need not be said that Ganeshabecame afterwards so learned and wise that if he had not had anelephant's head, a human head would never have been sufficient to holdall he knew. This advantage he owed to the circ*mstance of his sleepingwith head to the north, and the blessing of the Devas. To the elephant,the same position but minus the blessing of the Devas proved absolutedeath.

—Nobin K. Bannerji

Reading Mr. Seeta Nath Ghose's paper on "Medical Magnetism" and havingstudied long ago Baron von Reichenbach's "Researches in Magnetism," I amsorely puzzled, inasmuch as these two authorities appear to clash witheach other most completely—the one asserting "head to north never,under no circ*mstances," the other "head to north ever and under allcirc*mstances." I have pursued the advice of the latter, not knowing ofthe former for many years, but have not found the effect on my healthwhich I had hoped for, and what is of more importance, I have not founda law of certain application to humanity and bringing health to all. Itseems to me on carefully reading this article that a most importantpoint has been omitted or passed over—i.e., the position of thesleeper, whether on his face or on his back? This is most important, fora correct answer may go far to reconcile the two theories, which, be itremembered, claim both to be supported by experiment and by observation.I cannot conceive that a one-sided position is a natural one for man,and thus leave two alternatives. Is the proper position in sleep lyingon the back or on the stomach? Not one word has been said as to theposition in which experiments were tried on either side.

Now the one thing which seems clear in all this is, that positive shouldbe toward negative and negative toward positive. Let us then draw adiagram and these positions will follow with these results—taking thenorth as positive and south as negative, east as negative and west aspositive.

Position I.—Lying on the Back.

A. Head to East ………… Accord in all
B. Head to North ………. Discord—Head and feet
C. Head to South ……….. Accord—Head and feet.
D. Head to West ………… Discord in all.


[[Diagram here]]

Position II.—Lying on Stomach

A'. Head to East …….. Accord—in Head and feet
Discord—in Hands
B'. Head to North ……. Discord in all
C'. Head to South ……. Accord in all
D'. Head to West …….. Discord—Head and feet

Now, from this will come some light, I think on the apparentlycontradictory theories, if we could ascertain: (1) Which position didthe renowned Garga and Markandeya contemplate as the proper position formen to sleep in? (2) In which position did those on whom Baron vonReichenbach experimented lie?

This is a most important question for all who value the gift of health,as well as for those who would be wise. In my sojourn in southerncountries I have noticed that the natives of the lower classes at leastalways sleep on their stomachs, with their back turned to the sun, andall animals do the same, while sleeping on the back is most dangerous,at least in the sun. Is not this a guide or hint as to the trueposition?

Transmigration of the Life-Atoms

It is said that "for three thousand years at least the 'mummy,' notwithstanding all the chemical preparations, goes on throwing off to thelast invisible atoms, which, from the hour of death, reentering thevarious vortices of being, go indeed through every variety of organizedlife-forms. But it is not the soul, the fifth, least of all the sixthprinciple, but the life-atoms of the Jiva, the second principle. At theend of the 3,000 years, sometimes more, and sometimes less, afterendless transmigrations, all these atoms are once more drawn together,and are made to form the new outer clothing or the body of the samemonad (the real soul) which they had already clothed two or threethousand years before. Even in the worst case, that of the annihilationof the conscious personal principle, the monad or individual soul isever the same, as are also the atoms of the lower principles, which,regenerated and renewed in this ever-flowing river of being, aremagnetically drawn together owing to their affinity, and are once morereincarnated together."

This little passage is a new instalment of occult teaching given to thepublic, and opens up a vast field for thought. It suggests, in thefirst instance, that the exoteric doctrine of the transmigration of thesoul through lower forms of existence—so generally believed in by theHindus, though incorrect as regards the soul (fifth principle)—has somebasis of truth when referred to the lower principles.

It is stated further that the mummy goes on throwing off invisibleatoms, which go through every variety of organized life-forms, andfurther on it is stated that it is the life-atoms of the Jiva, thesecond principle, that go through these transmigrations.

According to the esoteric teaching, the Jiva "is a form of forceindestructible, and, when disconnected with one set of atoms, becomingattracted immediately by others."

What, then, is meant by the life-atoms, and their going through endlesstransmigrations?

The invisible atoms of the mummy would mean the imperceptibly decayingatoms of the physical body, and the life-atoms of the Jiva would bequite distinct from the atoms of the mummy. Is it meant to imply thatboth the invisible atoms of the physical body, as well as the atoms ofthe Jiva, after going through various life-forms, return again tore-form the physical body, and the Jiva of the entity that has reachedthe end of its Devachanic state and is ready to be reincarnated again?

It is taught, again, that even in the worst case (the annihilation ofthe Personal Ego) the atoms of the lower principles are the same as inthe previous birth. Here, does the term "lower principles" include theKama rupa also, or only the lower triad of body, Jiva, and Lingasarira?It seems the Kama rupa in that particular case cannot be included, forin the instance of the annihilation of the personal soul, the Kama rupawould be in the eighth sphere.

Another question also suggests itself. The fourth principle (Kama rupa)and the lower portion of the fifth, which cannot be assimilated by thesixth, wander about as shells, and in time disperse into the elements ofwhich they are made. Do the atoms of these principles also reunite,after going through various transmigrations, to constitute over againthe fourth and the lower fifth of the next incarnation?



We would, to begin with, draw attention to the closing sentence of thepassage quoted above: "Such was the true occult theory of theEgyptians," the word "true" being used there in the sense of its beingthe doctrine they really believed in, as distinct from both the tenetsfathered upon them by some Orientalists, and that which the modernoccultists may be now teaching. It does not stand to reason that,outside those occult truths that were known to, and revealed by, thegreat Hierophants during the final initiation, we should accept all thateither the Egyptians or any other people may have regarded as true. ThePriests of Isis were the only true initiates, and their occult teachingswere still more veiled than those of the Chaldeans. There was the truedoctrine of the Hierophants of the inner Temple; then the half-veiledHieratic tenets of the Priest of the outer Temple; and, finally, thevulgar popular religion of the great body of the ignorant, who wereallowed to reverence animals as divine. As shown correctly by SirGardner Wilkinson, the initiated priests taught that "dissolution isonly the cause of reproduction …. nothing perishes which has onceexisted, but things which appear to be destroyed only change theirnatures and pass into another form." To the present case, however, theEgyptian doctrine of atoms coincides with our own occult teachings. Inthe above remarks the words, "The life-atoms of the Jiva," are taken ina strictly literal sense. Without any doubt Jiva or Prana is quitedistinct from the atoms it animates. The latter belong to the lowest orgrossest state of matter—the objectively conditioned; the former, to ahigher state—that state which the uninitiated, ignorant of its nature,would call the "objectively finite," but which, to avoid any futuremisunderstanding, we may, perhaps, be permitted to call the subjectivelyeternal, though, at the same time and in one sense, the subsistentexistence, however paradoxical and unscientific the term may appear.*Life, the occultist says, is the eternal uncreated energy, and it alonerepresents in the infinite universe, that which the physicists haveagreed to name the principle, or the law of continuity, though theyapply it only to the endless development of the conditioned.

But since modern science admits, through her most learned professors,that "energy has as much claim to be regarded as an objective reality asmatter itself"** and as life, according to the occult doctrine, is theone energy acting, Proteus-like, under the most varied forms, theoccultists have a certain right to use such phraseology. Life is everpresent in the atom or matter, whether organic or inorganic—adifference that the occultists do not accept. Their doctrine is thatlife is as much present in the inorganic as in the organic matter: whenlife-energy is active in the atom, that atom is organic; when dormantor latent, then the atom is inorganic.

————* Though there is a distinct term for it in the language of the adepts,how can one translate it into a European language? What name can begiven to that which is objective yet immaterial in its finitemanifestations, subjective yet substantive (though not in our sense ofsubstance) in its eternal existence? Having explained it the best wecan, we leave the task of finding a more appropriate term for it to ourlearned English occultists.

** "Unseen Universe."—————

Therefore, the expression "life-atom," though apt in one sense tomislead the reader, is not incorrect after all, since occultists do notrecognize that anything in Nature can be inorganic, and know of no "deadatoms," whatever meaning science may give to the adjective. The law ofbiogenesis, as ordinarily understood, is the result of the ignorance ofthe man of science of occult physics. It is accepted because the man ofscience is unable to find the necessary means to awaken into activitythe dormant life inherent in what he terms an inorganic atom; hence thefallacy that a living thing can only be produced from a living thing, asthough there ever was such a thing as dead matter in Nature! At thisrate, and to be consistent, a mule ought to be also classed withinorganic matter, since it is unable to reproduce itself and generatelife. We dwell so much upon the above as it meets at once all futureopposition to the idea that a mummy, several thousand years old, can bethrowing off atoms. Nevertheless, the sentence would perhaps havegained in clearness if we had said, instead of the "life-atoms of jiva,"the atoms "animated by dormant Jiva or life-energy." Again, thedefinition of Jiva quoted above, though quite correct on the whole,might be more fully, if not more clearly, expressed. The "jiva," orlife, principle, which animates man, beast, plant, and even a mineral,certainly is "a form of force indestructible," since this force is theone life, or anima mundi, the universal living soul, and that thevarious modes in which objective things appear to us in Nature in theiratomic aggregations, such as minerals, plants, animals, &c., are all thedifferent forms or states in which this force manifests itself. Were itto become—we will not say absent, for this is impossible, since it isomnipresent—but for one single instant inactive, say in a stone, theparticles of the latter would lose instantly their cohesive property,and disintegrate as suddenly, though the force would still remain ineach of its particles, but in a dormant state. Then the continuation ofthe definition, which states that when this indestructible force is"disconnected with one set of atoms, it becomes attracted immediately byothers," does not imply that it abandons entirely the first set, butonly that it transfers its vis viva, or living power—the energy ofmotion—to another set. But because it manifests itself in the next setas what is called kinetic energy, it does not follow that the first setis deprived of it altogether; for it is still in it, as potentialenergy, or life latent.* This is a cardinal and basic truth ofoccultism, on the perfect knowledge of which depends the production ofevery phenomenon. Unless we admit this point, we should have to give upall the other truths of occultism. Thus what is "meant by the life-atomgoing through endless transmigration" is simply this: we regard andcall, in our occult phraseology, those atoms that are moved by kineticenergy as "life-atoms," while those that are for the time being passive,containing but imperceptible potential energy, we call "sleeping atoms;"regarding, at the same time, these two forms of energy as produced byone and the same force or life.

———-* We feel constrained to make use of terms that have become technical inmodern science—though they do not always fully express the idea to beconveyed—for want of better words. It is useless to hope that theoccult doctrine may be ever thoroughly understood, even the few tenetsthat can be safely given to the world at large, unless a glossary ofsuch words is edited; and, what is of a still greater importance, untilthe full and correct meaning of the terms therein taught is thoroughlymastered.————-

Now to the Hindu doctrine of Metempsychosis. It has a basis of truth;and, in fact, it is an axiomatic truth, but only in reference to humanatoms and emanations, and that not only after a man's death, but duringthe whole period of his life. The esoteric meaning of the Laws of Manu(sec. XII. 3, and XII. 54 and ), of the verses asserting that "everyact, either mental, verbal or corporeal, bears good or evil fruit(Karma)," that "the various transmigrations of men (not souls) throughthe highest, middle and lowest stages, are produced by their actions,"and again that "a Brahman-killer enters the body of a dog, bear, ass,camel, goat, sheep, bird, &c.," bears no reference to the human Ego, butonly to the atoms of his body, his lower triad and his fluidicemanations. It is all very well for the Brahmans to distort, in theirown interest, the real meaning contained in these laws, but the words asquoted never meant what they were made to yield later on. The Brahmansapplied them selfishly to themselves, whereas by "Brahman," man'sseventh principle, his immortal monad and the essence of the personalEgo were allegorically meant. He who kills or extinguishes in himselfthe light of Parabrahm—i.e., severs his personal Ego from the Atman,and thus kills the future Devachanee, becomes a "Brahman killer."Instead of facilitating, through a virtuous life and spiritualaspirations, the union of the Buddhi and the Manas, he condemns, by hisown evil acts, every atom of his lower principles to become attractedand drawn in virtue of the magnetic affinity, thus created by hispassions, into the bodies of lower animals. This is the real meaning ofthe doctrine of Metempsychosis. It is not that such amalgamation ofhuman particles with animal or even vegetable atoms can carry in it anyidea of personal punishment per se, for of course it does not. But itis a cause, the effects of which may manifest themselves throughoutsucceeding re-births, unless the personality is annihilated. Otherwise,from cause to effect, every effect becoming in its turn a cause, theywill run along the cycle of re-births, the once given impulse expendingitself only at the threshold of Pralaya. But of this anon.Notwithstanding their esoteric meaning, even the words of the grandestand noblest of all the adepts, Gautama Buddha, are misunderstood,distorted and ridiculed in the same way. The Hina-yana, the lowest formof transmigration of the Buddhist, is as little comprehended as theMaha-yana, its highest form; and, because Sakya Muni is shown to haveonce remarked to his Bhikkhus, while pointing out to them a broom, that"it had formerly been a novice who neglected to sweep out" theCouncil-room, hence was re-born as a broom (!), therefore, the wisest ofall the world's sages stands accused of idiotic superstition. Why nottry and find out, before condemning, the true meaning of the figurativestatement? Why should we scoff before we understand? Is or is not thatwhich is called magnetic effluvium a something, a stuff, or a substance,invisible, and imponderable though it be? If the learned authors of"The Unseen Universe" object to light, heat and electricity beingregarded merely as imponderables, and show that each of these phenomenahas as much claim to be recognized as an objective reality as matteritself, our right to regard the mesmeric or magnetic fluid whichemanates from man to man, or even from man to what is termed aninanimate object, is far greater. It is not enough to say that thisfluid is a species of molecular energy like heat, for instance, thoughof much greater potency. Heat is produced when ever kinetic energy istransformed into molecular energy, we are told, and it may be thrown outby any material composed of sleeping atoms, or inorganic matter as it iscalled; whereas the magnetic fluid projected by a living human body islife itself. Indeed it is "life-atoms" that a man in a blind passionthrows off unconsciously, though he does it quite as effectively as amesmeriser who transfers them from himself to any object consciously andunder the guidance of his will. Let any man give way to any intensefeeling, such as anger, grief, &c., under or near a tree, or in directcontact with a stone, and after many thousands of years any tolerablepsychometer will see the man, and perceive his feelings from one singlefragment of that tree or stone that he had touched. Hold any object inyour hand, and it will become impregnated with your life-atoms, indrawnand outdrawn, changed and transferred in us at every instant of ourlives. Animal heat is but so many life atoms in molecular motion. Itrequires no adept knowledge, but simply the natural gift of a goodclairvoyant subject to see them passing to and fro, from man to objectsand vice versa like a bluish lambent flame. Why, then, should not abroom, made of a shrub, which grew most likely in the vicinity of thebuilding where the lazy novice lived, a shrub, perhaps, repeatedlytouched by him while in a state of anger provoked by his laziness anddistaste for his duty—why should not a quantity of his life-atoms havepassed into the materials of the future besom, and therein have beenrecognized by Buddha, owing to his superhuman (not supernatural) powers?The processes of Nature are acts of incessant borrowing and giving back.The materialistic sceptic, however, will not take anything in any otherway than in a literal, dead-letter sense.

To conclude our too long answer, the "lower principles" mentioned beforeare the first, second and the third. They cannot include the Kama rupa,for this "rupa" belongs to the middle, not the lower principles. And,to our correspondent's further query, "Do the atoms of these (the fourthand the fifth) also re-form, after going through varioustransmigrations, to constitute over again the fourth and the lower fifthof the next incarnation?" we answer, "They do." The reason why we havetried to explain the doctrine of the "life-atoms" at such length, isprecisely in connection with this last question, and with the object ofthrowing out one more fertile hint. We do not feel at liberty atpresent, however, to give any further details.

—H.P. Blavatsky

"OM," And Its Practical Significance

I shall begin with a definition of Om, as given by the late Professor
Theodore Goldstucker:—

"Om is a Sanskrit word which, on account of the mystical notions thateven at an early date of Hindu civilization were connected with it,acquired much importance in the development of Hindu religion. Itsoriginal sense is that of emphatic or solemn affirmation or assent.Thus, when in the White Yajur Veda the sacrificer invites the gods torejoice in his sacrifice, the goddess Savitri assents to his summons bysaying, 'Om' (i.e., be it so); proceed!"

Or, when in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Prajapati, the father of gods,men and demons, asks the gods whether they have understood hisinstructions, he expresses his satisfaction with their affirmative replyin these words, "Om, you have fully comprehended it;" and in the sameUpanishad, Pravahana answers the question of Swetaketu, as to whetherhis father has instructed him, by uttering the word "Om"—i.e.,"forsooth (I am)."

A portion of the Rig Veda called the Aitareya Brahmana, where,describing a religious ceremony at which verses from the Rig Veda, aswell as songs called Gathas, were recited by the priest called Hotri,and responses given by another priest, the Adhwaryu, says: Om is theresponse of the Adhwaryu to the Rig Veda verses (recited by the Hotri),and likewise tatha (i.e., thus) his response to the Gathas, for Om is(the term of assent) used by the gods, whereas tatha is (the term ofassent) used by men (the Rig Veda verses being, to the orthodox Hindu,of divine and the Gathas of human authorship).

In this, the original sense of the word, it is little doubtful that Omis but an older and contracted form of the common Sanskrit word evam("thus"), which, coming from the pronominal base "a," in somederivations changed to "e," may have at one time occurred in the formavam, when, by the elision of the vowel following a, for which there arenumerous analogies in Sanskrit, vum would become aum, and hence,according to the ordinary phonetic laws of the language, Om. Thisetymology of the word, however, seems to have been lost even at an earlyperiod of Sanskrit literature; for another is met with in the ancientgrammarians, enabling us to account for the mysticism which manyreligious and theological works of ancient and medieval India suppose toinhere in it. According to this latter etymology, Om would come from aradical av; by means of an affix man, when Om would be a curtailed formof avman or oman, and as av implies the notion of "protect, preserve,save," Om would be a term implying "protection or salvation," itsmystical properties and its sanctity being inferred from its occurrencein the Vedic writings and in connection with sacrificial acts, such asare alluded to before.

Hence Om became the auspicious word with which the spiritual teacher hadto begin and the pupil to end each lesson of his reading of the Veda.

"Let this syllable," the existing Prati-sakhya, or a grammar of the RigVeda, enjoins, "be the head of the reading of the Veda; for alike to theteacher and the pupil it is the supreme Brahman, the gate of heaven."And Manu ordains: "A Brahman at the beginning and end (of a lesson onthe Veda) must always pronounce the syllable Om; for unless Om precede,his learning will slip away from him; and unless it follows, nothingwill be long retained."

At the time when another class of writings (the Puranas) were added tothe inspired code of Hinduism, for a similar reason Om is theirintroductory word.

That the mysterious power which, as the foregoing quotation from thelaw-book of Manu shows, was attributed to this word must have been thesubject of early speculation, is obvious enough. A reason assigned forit is given by Manu himself. "Brahma," he says, "extracted from thethree Vedas the letter a, the letter u, and the letter m (which combinedresult in Om), together with the (mysterious) words Bhuh (earth), Bhuva(sky), and Swah (heaven);" and in another verse: "These three greatimmutable words, preceded by the syllable Om, and (the sacred Rig Vedaverse called) Gayatri, consisting of three lines, must be considered asthe mouth (or entrance) of Brahman (the Veda)," or, as the commentatorsobserve, the means of attaining final emancipation; and "The syllable Omis the supreme Brahman. (Three) regulated breathings, accompanied withthe mental recitation of Om, the three mysterious words Bhuh, Bhuvah,Swah and the Gayatri, are the highest devotion."

"All rites ordained in the Veda, such as burnt and other sacrifices,pass away, but the syllable Om must be considered as imperishable; forit is (a symbol of) Brahman (the supreme spirit) himself, the Lord ofCreation." In these speculations Manu bears out, and is borne out by,several Upanishads. In the Katha-Upanishad for instance, Yama, the godof death, in replying to a question of Nachiketas, says: "The wordwhich all the Vedas record, which all the modes of penance proclaim,desirous of which religious students perform their duties, this word Iwill briefly tell thee—it is Om. This syllable means the (inferior)Brahman and the supreme (Brahman). Whoever knows this syllable obtainswhatever he wishes." And in the Pras'na-Upanishad the saint Pippaladasays to Satyakama: "The supreme and the inferior Brahman are both theword Om; hence the wise follow by this support the one or the other ofthe two. If he meditates upon its one letter (a) only, he is quicklyborn on the earth; is carried by the verses of the Rig Veda to theworld of man; and, if he is devoted there to austerity, the duties of areligious student and faith, he enjoys greatness. But if he meditatesin his mind on its two letters (a and u), he is elevated by the versesof the Yajur Veda to the intermediate region; comes to the world of themoon and, having enjoyed there power, returns again (to the world ofman). If, however, he meditates on the supreme spirit by means of itsthree letters (a, u, and m) he is produced in light in the sun; as thesnake is liberated from its skin, so is he liberated from sin."According to the Mandukya-Upanishad the nature of the soul issummarized in the three letters a, u, and m in their isolated andcombined form—a being Vaiswanara, or that form of Brahman whichrepresents the soul in its waking condition; a, Taijasa, or that formof Brahman which represents it in its dreaming state; and m, Piajna, orthat form of Brahman which represents it in its state of profound sleep(or that state in which it is temporarily united with the supremespirit); while a, u, m combined (i.e., Om), represent the fourth orhighest condition of Brahman, "which is unaccountable, in which allmanifestations have ceased, which is blissful and without duality. Omtherefore, is soul, and by this soul, he who knows it, enters into (thesupreme) soul." Passages like these may be considered as the key to themore enigmatic expressions used; for instance, by the author of theYoga philosophy where, in three short sentences, he says his (thesupreme lord's) name is Pranava (i.e., Om); its muttering (should bemade) and reflection on its signification; thence comes the knowledgeof the transcendental spirit and the absence of the obstacles (such assickness, languor, doubt, &c., which obstruct the mind of an ascetic).But they indicate, at the same time, the further course whichsuperstition took in enlarging upon the mysticism of the doctrine of theUpanishads. For, as soon as every letter of which the word Om consistswas fancied to embody a separate idea, it is intelligible that othersectarian explanations were grafted on them to serve special purposes.Thus, while Sankara, the great theologian and commentator on theUpanishads, is still contented with an etymological punning by means ofwhich he transforms a into an abbreviation of apti (pervading), sincespeech is pervaded by Vaiswanara; u into an abbreviation of utkartha(superiority), since Taijasa is superior to Vaiswanara; and m into anabbreviation of miti (destruction), Vaiswanara and Taijasa, at thedestruction and regeneration of the world, being, as it were, absorbedinto Prajna—the Puranas make of a, a name of Vishnu; of u, a name ofhis consort "Sri;" and of m, a designation of their joint worshipper;or they see in a, u, m, the Triad—Brahm, Vishnu, and Siva; the firstbeing represented by a, the second by u, and the third by m—each sect,of course, identifying the combination of these letters, or Om withtheir supreme deity. Thus, also, in the Bhagavadgita, which is devotedto the worship of Vishnu in his incarnation as Krishna, though it isessentially a poem of philosophical tendencies based on the doctrine ofthe Yoga, Krishna in one passage says of himself that he is Om; whilein another passage he qualifies the latter as the supreme spirit. Acommon designation of the word Om—for instance, in the last-namedpassages of the Bhagavadgita is the word Pranava, which comes from aso-called radical nu, "praise," with the prefix pra amongst othermeanings implying emphasis, and, therefore, literally means "eulogium,emphatic praise." Although Om, in its original sense as a word of solemnor emphatic assent, is, properly speaking, restricted to the Vedicl*terature, it deserves notice that it is now-a-days often used by thenatives of India in the sense of "yes," without, of course, any allusionto the mystic properties which are ascribed to it in the religiousworks. Monier Williams gives the following account of the mysticsyllable Om: "When by means of repeating the syllable Om, whichoriginally seems to have meant 'that' or 'yes,' they had arrived at acertain degree of mental tranquillity, the question arose what was meantby this Om, and to this various answers were given according as the mindwas to be led up to higher and higher objects. Thus, in one passage, weare told at first that Om is the beginning of the Veda, or as we have todeal with an Upanishad of the Shama Veda, the beginning of the ShamaVeda; so that he who meditates on Om may be supposed to be meditatingon the whole of the Shama Veda.

"Om is the essence of the Shama Veda which, being almost entirely takenfrom the Rig Veda, may itself be called the essence of the Rig Veda. TheRig Veda stands for all speech, the Shama Veda for all breath or life;so that Om may be conceived again as the symbol of all speech and alllife. Om thus becomes the name not only of all our mental and physicalpowers, but is especially that of the living principle of the pran orspirit. This is explained by the parable in the second chapter, whilein the third chapter that spirit within us is identified with the spiritin the sun.

"He, therefore, who meditates on Om, meditates on the spirit in man asidentical with the spirit in Nature or in the sun, and thus the lessonthat is meant to be taught in the beginning of the Khandogya Upanishadis really this that none of the Vedas, with their sacrifices andceremonies, could ever secure the salvation of the worshipers. That is,the sacred works performed, according to the rules of the Vedas, are ofno avail in the end, but meditation on Om, or that knowledge of what ismeant by Om, alone can procure true salvation or true immortality.

"Thus the pupil is led on step by step to what is the highest object ofthe Upanishads—namely, the recognition of the self in man as identicalof the highest soul.

"The lessons which are to lead up to that highest conception of theuniverse, both subjective and objective, are, no doubt, mixed up withmuch that is superstitious and absurd. Still the main object is neverlost sight of. Thus, when we come to the eighth chapter, thediscussion, though it begins with Om ends with the question of theorigin of the world, and the final answer—namely, that Om means Akasa,ether, and that ether is the origin of all things."

Dr. Lake considers electricity as the akas, or the fifth element of the

I shall now give my own opinion on the mystic syllable Om.

Breath consists of an inspiration termed puraka, an interval termedkumbhaka, and an expiration called rechaka. When the respiration iscarried on by the right nostril, it is called the pingala; when it iscarried on by the two nostrils, it is named the susumna; and when it iscarried on by the left nostril, it is called ida.

The right respiration is called the solar respiration, from its heatingnature; while the left respiration is termed the lunar respiration,from its cooling character. The susumna respiration is called theshambhu-nadi. During the intermediate respiration the human mind shouldbe engaged in the contemplation of the supreme soul.

The breath takes its origin from the "indiscreet" or unreflecting form,and the mind from the breath. The organs of sense and action are underthe control of the mind. The Yogis restrain their mind by thesuspension of breath. Breath is the origin of all speech. The wordsoham is pronounced by a deep inspiration followed by expiration carriedon by the nostrils…. This word means, "God is in us." There isanother word called hangsha. This is pronounced by a deep expirationfollowed by inspiration. Its meaning is "I am in God."

The inspiration is sakti, or strength. The expiration is siva, ordeath. The internal or Kumbhaka is a promoter of longevity. When theexpiration is not followed by inspiration death ensues. A forcibleexpiration is always the sure and certain sign of approachingdissolution or death. Both these words soham and hanysha cause thewaste of the animal economy, as they permit the oxygen of the inspiredair to enter the lungs where the pulmonary changes of the blood occur.

According to Lavoissier, an adult Frenchman inhales daily 15,661 grainsof oxygen from the atmosphere, at the rate of 10.87 grains nearly perminute.

The word Om is pronounced by the inspiration of air through the mouthand the expiration of the same by the nostrils.

When a man inspires through the mouth and expires through the nostrils,the oxygen of the inspired air does not enter the lungs where thepulmonary changes of the blood take place. The monosyllable Om thusacts as a substitute for the suspension of the breath.

The waste of the body is proportionate to the quantity of oxygen takeninto the system by the respiration. The waste of a man who breathesquickly is greater than that of one who breathes slowly. Whiletranquillity of mind produces slow breathing, and causes the retardationof the bodily waste, the tranquil respiration has a tendency to producecalmness of mind. The Yogis attain to Nirvana by suspending or holdingthe breath. The Vedantists obtain moksha, or emancipation of the soul,by holding the mind (mental abstraction). Thus Om is the process ofseparating the soul from the body. It is the product of the gaspingbreath which precedes the dissolution of our body. The ancient Hindusutilized the gasping breath of the dying man by discovering the syllableOm.

The syllable Om protects man from premature decay and death, preserveshim from worldly temptations, and saves him from re-birth. It causesthe union of the human soul to the supreme soul. Om has the property ofshortening the length of respiration.

Siva is made to say in a work on "Sharodaya" (an excellent treatise onrespiration) that the normal length of the expiration is 9 inches.During meals and speaking the length of the expiration becomes 13.5inches. In ordinary walking the expiration is lengthened to 18 inches.Running lengthens the expiration to 25.5 inches.

In sexual intercourse the extent of respiration becomes 48.75 inches.During sleep the respiration becomes 75 inches long. As sleep causes agreat waste of the body and invites disease, premature decay and death,the Yogi tries to abstain from it. He lives upon the followingdietary:—rice, 6 ounces troy; milk, 12 ounces troy. He consumes daily:carbon, 156.2 grains; nitrogen, 63.8 grains.

Under this diet he is ever watchful, and spends his time in thecontemplation of Om. From the small quantity of nitrogen contained inhis diet he is free from anger. The Yogi next subdues his carnal desireor sexual appetite. He diminishes day by day his food until it reachesthe minimum quantity on which existence is maintained. He passes hislife in prayer and meditation. He seeks retirement. He lives in hislittle cell; his couch is the skin of tiger or stag; he regards gold,silver, and all precious stones as rubbish. He abstains from flesh,fish, and wine. He never touches salt, and lives entirely on fruits androots. I saw a female mendicant who lived upon a seer of potatoes and asmall quantity of tamarind pulp daily. This woman reduced herself to askeleton. She led a pure, chaste life, and spent her time in the mentalrecitation of Om. One seer of potatoes contains 3,600 grains of solidresidue, which is exactly 7 1/2 ounces troy.

The solid residue of one seer of potatoes consists of the followingultimate ingredients:—

Carbon ………….. 1587.6 grainsHydrogen ………… 208.8 "Nitrogen …………. 43.2 "Oxygen ………….. 1580.4 "Salts ……………..180.0 " ———— 3600.0 "

I saw a Brahman (Brahmachari) who consumed daily one seer of milk, andtook no other food.

Analysis of One Seer of Cow's Milk by Boussingault.

Water ………………….. 12,539.520 grains
Carbon …………………. 1,005.408 "
Hydrogen …………………. 164.736 "
Nitrogen ………………….. 74.880 "
Oxygen ……………………. 525.456 "
Salts ……………………… 90.000 "
14,400.000 "

Now, one seer of cow's milk requires for combustion within the animaleconomy 3278.88 grains of oxygen. The Brahmachari inhaled 2.27 grainsof oxygen per minute. This Brahmachari spent his life in thecontemplation of Om, and led a life of continence. The French adult, whois a fair specimen of well-developed sensuality, inhaled from theatmosphere 10.87 grains of oxygen every minute of his existence.

A retired, abstemious, and austere life is essentially necessary for thepronunciation of Om, which promotes the love of rigid virtue and acontempt of impermanent sensuality. Siva says "He who is free fromlust, anger, covetousness and ignorance is qualified to obtainsalvation, or moksha," or the Nirvana of the Buddhists. The solidresidue of one seer of cow's milk is 1860.48 grains. "In 1784 a studentof physic at Edinburgh confined himself for a long space of time to apint of milk and half a pound of white bread."

The diet of this student contained 1487.5 grains of carbon and 80.1875grains of nitrogen. This food required 4,305 grains of oxygen for thecomplete combustion of its elements. He inspired 2.92 grains of oxygenper minute. In this instance the intense mental culture diminished thequantity of oxygen inspired from the atmosphere. The early Christianhermits, with a view to extinguish carnal desire and overcome sleep,lived upon a daily allowance of 12 ounces of bread and water. Theydaily consumed 4063.084 grains of oxygen. They inhaled oxygen at therate of 2.8215 grains per minute.

According to M. Andral, the great French physiologist, a French boy 10years old, before the sexual appetite is developed, exhales 1852.8grains of carbon in the twenty-four hours. He who wishes to curb hislust should consume 1852.8 grains of carbon in his daily diet.

Now, 6,500 grains of household bread contain 1852 grains of carbon,according to Dr. Edward Smith. This quantity of bread is equal to 14ounces avoirdupois and 375 grains, but the early Christian hermits wholived upon 12 oz. of bread (avoirdupois) consumed daily 1496.25 grainsof carbon. This quantity of carbon was less than that which the Frenchboy consumed daily by 356.55 grains. The French boy consumed 1852.8grains of carbon in his diet, but the Hindu female mendicant, who led alife of continence, consumed in her daily ration of potatoes 1587.6grains of carbon. Hence it is evident that the French boy consumed265.2 grains of carbon more than what was consumed by the female HinduYogi. There lived in Brindavana a Sannyasi, who died at the age of 109years, and who subsisted for forty years upon the daily diet of fourchuttacks of penda and four chuttacks of milk. His diet contained 1,980grains of carbon and 90.72 grains of nitrogen. Abstemiousness shortensthe length of respiration, diminishes the waste of the body, promoteslongevity, and engenders purity of heart. Abstemiousness cures vertigo,cephalalgia, tendency to apoplexy, dyspnoea, gout, old ulcers, impetigo,scrofula, herpes, and various other maladies.

Cornaro, an Italian nobleman, who was given up by all his physicians,regained health by living upon 12 ounces of bread and 15 ounces ofwater, and lived to a great age.

He consumed less than an ounce of flesh-formers in his diet. Accordingto Edward Smith 5401.2 grains of bread contain 1 ounce of flesh-formers.

He who wishes to lead a life of chastity, honesty, meekness, and mercy,should consume daily one ounce of flesh-formers in his diet. As anounce of nitrogenous matter contains 70 grains of nitrogen, one shouldtake such food as yields only 70 grains of azote.

Murder, theft, robbery, cruelty, covetousness, lust, slander, anger,voluptuousness, revenge, lying, prostitution, and envy are sins whicharise from a consumption of a large quantity of aliments containing ahigher percentage of azote.

He who intends to be free from every earthly thought, desire and passionshould abstain from fish, flesh, woman, and wine, and live upon the mostinnocent food.

The following table shows approximately the quantities of variousaliments furnishing 70 grains of nitrogen:

Wheat dried in vacuo ………… 3181.81 grains
Oats ………………………. 3181.81 "
Barley …………………….. 3465.34 "
Indian corn ………………… 3500 "
Rye dried ……………………4117.64 "
Rice dried …………………..5036 "
Milk dried …………………..1750 "
Peas dried …………………..1666.6 "
White haricots dried ….. …….1627.67 "
Horse beans dried …………….1272.72 "
Cabbage dried ………………..1891.89 "
Carrots dried ………………..2916.66 "
Jerusalem artichokes ………….4375 "
Turnips dried ………………..3181.81 "
Bread ……………………….5401.2 "
Locust beans …………………6110 "
Figs ………………………..7172.13 "
Cow's milk fresh ……………..1346.2 "

Abstemiousness begets suspension of breath. From the suspension ofbreath originates tranquillity of mind, which engenders supersensuousknowledge. From supersensuous knowledge originates ecstasy which is theSamadhi of the ancient Hindu sages.

Instead of walking and running, which lengthen the respiration, thedevotees of Om should practice the two tranquil postures termed thepadmasana and siddhasana, described in my mystic tract called "The YogaPhilosophy." According to Siva the normal length of expiration is 9inches. He says that one can subdue his lust and desire by shorteninghis expiration to 8.25 inches, whether by the inaudible pronunciation ofOm or by the suspension of breath (Pranayama); that one can enjoyecstasy by diminishing the length of his expiration to 7.50 inches.

One acquires the power of writing poetry by reducing his expiration to6.75 inches.

When one can reduce his expiration to 6 inches long he acquires thepower of foretelling future events. When one reduces the length of hisexpiration to 5.25 inches he is blessed with the divine eye. He seeswhat is occurring in the distant worlds.

When the inaudible pronunciation of Om reduces the length of theexpiration to 4.50 inches it enables its votary to travel to aerialregions. When the length of expiration becomes 3.75 inches, the votaryof Om travels in the twinkling of an eye through the whole world.

When by the inaudible muttering of Om a man reduces his expiration to 3inches, he acquires ashta Siddhis or consummations (or superhumanpowers). When the expiration is reduced to 2.25 inches, the votary ofOm can acquire the nine precious jewels of the world (Nava nidhi). Sucha man can attract the wealth of the world to him.*

————* Supposing he had any care or use for it—Ed. Theos.————

When the expiration becomes 1.50 inches long from the above practice, hesees the celestial sphere where the Supreme Soul resides. When theinaudible pronunciation of Om reduces the length of expiration to .75inch, the votary becomes deified and casts no shadow.

"Om Amitaya! measure not with words
The immeasurable; nor sink the string of thought
Into the Fathomless! Who asks doth err;
Who answers errs. Say nought!"

"Om mani padma hum. Om the jewel in the lotus."

By the muttering of the above formula the Great Buddha freed himselffrom selfishness, false faith, doubt, hatred, lust, self-praise, error,pride, and attained to Nirvana.

"And how man hath no fate except past deeds,
No Hell but what he makes, no Heaven too high
For those to reach whose passions sleeps subdued."

According to Siva a man acquires Nirvana when his breathing becomesinternal and does not come out of the nostrils. When the breathingbecomes internal—that is, when it is contained within the nostrils, theYogi is free from fainting, hunger, thirst, languor, disease and death.He becomes a divine being, he feels not when he is brought into contactwith fire; no air can dry him, no water can putrefy him, no poisonousserpent can inflict a mortal wound. His body exhales fragrant odours,and can bear the abstinence from air, food, and drink.

When the breathing becomes internal, the Yogi is incapable of committingany sin in deed, thought, and speech, and thereby inherits the Kingdomof Heaven, which is open to sinless souls.

—N.C. Paul



Ab-e-Hyat, Water of Life, supposed to give eternal youth.
Abhava, negation or non-being of individual objects; the
substance, the abstract objectivity.
Adam Kadmon, the bi-sexual Sephira of the Kabalists.
Adept, one who, through the development of his spirit, has
attained to transcendental knowledge and powers.
Adhibhautika, arising from external objects.
Adhidaivika, arising from the gods, or accidents.
Adhikamasansas, extra months.
Adhishthanum, basis a principle in which some other
principle inheres.
Adhyatmika, arising out of the inner-self.
Advaiti, a follower of the school of Philosophy established
by Sankaracharya.
Ahankara, personality; egoism; self identity; the fifth
Ahriman, the Evil Principle of the Universe; so called by
the Zoroastrians.
Ahum, the first three principles of septenary human
constitution; the gross living body of man according to the
A'kasa, the subtle supersensuous matter which pervades all
Amulam Mulam (lit. "the rootless root"); Prakriti; the
material of the universe.
Anahatachakram, the heart, the seat of life.
A'nanda, bliss.
A'nanda-maya-kosha, the blissful; the fifth sheath of the
soul in the Vedantic system; the sixth principle.
Anastasis, the continued existence of the soul.
Anima Mundi, the soul of the world.
Annamaya Kosha, the gross body; the first sheath of the
divine monad (Vedantic).
Antahkarana, the internal instrument, the soul, formed by
the thinking principle and egoism.
Anumiti, inference.
Aparoksha, direct perception.
Apavarya, emancipation from repeated births.
Apporrheta, secret discourses in Egyptian and Grecian
Arahats (lit."the worthy ones"), the initiated holy men of
the Buddhist and Jain faiths.
Aranyakas, holy sages dwelling in forests.
Ardhanariswara, (lit. "the bisexual Lord"); the unpolarized
state of cosmic energy; the bi-sexual Sephira, Adam Kadmon.
Arka, sun.
Aryavarta, the ancient name of Northern India where the
Brahmanical invaders first settled.
A'sana, the third stage of Hatha Yoga; the posture for
Asat, the unreal, Prakriti.
A'shab and Laughan, ceremonies for casting out evil spirits,
so called among the Kolarian tribes.
Ashta Siddhis, the eight consummations of Hatha Yoga.
Asoka (King), a celebrated conqueror, monarch of a large
portion of India, who is called "the Constantine of Buddhism,"
temp. circa 250 B.C.
Astral Light, subtle form of existence forming the basis of
our material universe.
Asuramaya, an Atlantean astronomer, well known in Sanskrit
Asuras, a class of elementals considered maleficent;
Aswini, the divine charioteers mystically they correspond to
Hermes, who is looked upon as his equal. They represent the
internal organ by which knowledge is conveyed from the soul to
the body.
Atharva Veda, one of the four most ancient and revered books
of the ancient Brahmans.
Atlantis, the continent that was submerged in the Southern
and Pacific Oceans.
Atmabodha (lit. "self-knowledge"), the title of a Vedantic
treatise by Sankaracharya.
Atman, &c Atma.
A'tma, the spirit; the divine monad; the seventh principle
of the septenary human constitution.
A'ttavada, the sin of personality (Pali).
Aum, the sacred syllable in Sanskrit representing the
Avalokitesvara, manifested wisdom, or the Divine Spirit in
Avasthas, states, conditions, positions.
Avatar, the incarnation of an exalted being, so called among
the Hindus.
Avesta, the sacred books of the Zoroastrians.
Avyakta, the unrevealed cause.

Baddha, bound or conditioned; the state of an ordinary
human being who has not attained Nirvana.
Bahihpragna, the present state of consciousness.
Baodhas, consciousness; the fifth principle of man.
Barhaspatyamanam, a method of calculating time prevalent
during the later Hindu period in North-eastern India.
Bhadrasena, a Buddhist king of Magadha.
Bhagats (or called Sokha and Sivnath by the Hindus), one who
exorcises an evil spirit.
Bhagavad Gita (lit, the "Lord's Song"), an episode of the
Maha-Bharata, the great epic poem of India. It contains a
dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna on Spiritual Philosophy.
Bhao, ceremony of divination among the Kolarian tribes of
Central India.
Bhashya, commentary.
Bhon, religion of the aborigines of Tibet.
Bikshu, a religious mendicant and ascetic who suppresses all
desire and is constantly occupied in devotion; a Buddhist monk.
Boddhisatwas, Egos evolving towards Buddhahood.
Brahma, the Hindu Deity which personifies the active cosmic
Brahmachari, a Bushman ascetic.
Brahmagnani, one possessed of complete illumination.
Brahman, the highest caste in India; Brahman, the absolute
of the Vedantins.
Brahmana period, one of the four periods into which the
Vedic literature has been divided.
Brihadranyaka Upanishad, one of the sacred books of the
Brahmins; an Aranyaka is a treatise appended to the Vedas, and
considered the subject of special study by those who have retired
to the forest for purposes of religious meditation.
Buddha, the founder of Buddhism; he was a royal prince, by
name Siddhartha, son of Suddhodhana, king of the Sakyas, an Aryan
Buddhi, the spiritual Ego.
Buru Bonga, spirit of the hills worshiped by the Kolarian
tribes of Central India.

Canarese, one of the Dravidian tongues, spoken in Southern
Chandragupta, one of the kings of Magadha, an ancient
province of India.
Chandramanam, the method of calculating time by the
movements of the moon.
Charaka, the most celebrated writer on medicine among the
Chaturdasa Bhuvanam, the fourteen lokas or states.
Chela, a pupil of an adept in occultism; a disciple.
Chichakti, the power which generates thought.
Chidagnikundum (lit. "the fireplace in the heart"), the seat
of the force which extinguishes all individual desires.
Chidakasam, the field of consciousness.
Chinmatra, the germ of consciousness, abstract
Chit, the abstract consciousness.
Chitta suddhi (Chitta, mind, and Suddi, purification),
purification of the mind.
Chutuktu, the five chief Lamas of Tibet.

Daemon, the incorruptible part of man; nous; rational
Daenam (lit. "knowledge"), the fourth principle in man,
according to the Avesta.
Daimonlouphote, spiritual illumination.
Daityas, demons, Titans.
Dama, restraint of the senses.
Darasta, ceremonial magic practised among the Kolarian
tribes of Central India.
Darha, ancestral spirits of the Kolarian tribes of Central
Deona or Mati, one who exercises evil spirits (Kolarian).
Deva, God; beings of the subjective side of Nature.
Devachan, a blissful condition in the after-life; heavenly
Devanagari, the current Sanskrit alphabet.
Dharmasoka, one of the kings of Magadha.
Dhatu, the seven principal substances of the human body
—chyle, flesh, blood, fat, bones, marrow, sem*n.
Dhyan, contemplation. There are six stages of Dhyan,
varying in the degrees of abstraction of the Ego from sensuous
Dhyan Chohans, Devas or Gods planetary spirits.
Dik, space.
Diksha, initiation.
Dosha, fault.
Dravidians, a group of tribes inhabiting Southern India.
Dravya, substance.
Dugpas, the "Red Caps," evil magicians, belonging to the
left-hand path of occultism, so called in Tibet.
Dukkhu, pain.
Dwija Brahman, twice born; the investiture with the sacred
thread constitutes the second birth.

Elementals, generic name for all subjective beings other
than disembodied human creatures.
Epopta, Greek for seer.

Fakir, a Mahomedan recluse or Yogi.
Fan, Bar-nang, space, eternal law.
Fohat, Tibetan for Sakti; cosmic force or energizing power
of the universe.
Fravashem, absolute spirit.

Gaudapada, a celebrated Brahmanical teacher, the author of
commentaries on the Sankhya Karika, Mundukya Upanishad, &c.
Gayatri, the holiest verse of the Vedas.
Gehs, Parsi prayers.
Gelugpas, "Yellow Caps," the true Magi and their school, so
called in Tibet.
Gnansaki, the power of true knowledge, one of the six
Gujarathi, the vernacular dialect of Gujrat, a province of
Western India.
Gunas, qualities, properties.
Gunava, endowed with qualities.
Guru, spiritual preceptor.

Ha, a magic syllable used in sacred formula; represents the
power of Akasa Sakti.
Hangsa, a mystic syllable standing for evolution, it
literally means "I am he."
Hatha Yog, a system of physical training to obtain psychic
powers, the chief feature of this system being the regulation of
Hierophants, the High Priests.
Hina-yana, lowest form of transmigration of the Buddhist.
Hiong-Thsang, the celebrated chinese traveler whose writings
contain the most interesting account of India of the period.
Hwun, spirit; the seventh principle in man (Chinese).

Ikhir Bongo, spirit of the deep of the Kolarian tribes.
Indriya, or Deha Sanyama, control over the senses.
"Isis" ("Isis Unveiled"), book written by Madame Blavatsky
on the Esoteric Doctrine.
Iswara, Personal God, Lord, the Spirit in man, the Divine
principle in its active nature or condition, one of the four
states of Brahma.
Itchasakti, will power; force of desire; one of the six
forces of Nature.
Itchcha, will.
Ivabhavat, the one substance.

Jagrata, waking.
Jagrata Avasta, the waking state; one of the four aspects
of Pranava.
Jains, a religious sect in India closely related to the
Jambudvipa, one of the main divisions of the world,
including India, according to the ancient Brahminical system.
Janaka, King of Videha, a celebrated character in the Indian
epic of Ramayana. He was a great royal sage.
Janwas, gross form of matter.
Japa, mystical practice of the Yogi, consisting of the
repetition of certain formula.
Jevishis, will; Karma Rupa; fourth principle.
Jiva or Karana Sarira, the second principle of man; life.
Jivatma, the human spirit, seventh principle in the
Jnanam, knowledge.
Jnanendrayas, the five channels of knowledge.
Jyotisham Jyotih, the light of lights, the supreme spirit,
so called in the Upanishads.

Kabala, ancient mystical Jewish books.
Kaliyuga, the last of the four ages in which the
evolutionary period of man is divided. It began 3,000 years B.C.
Kalpa, the period of cosmic activity; a day of Brahma,
4,320 million years.
Kama Loka, abode of desire, the first condition through
which a human entity passes in its passage, after death, to
Devachan. It corresponds to purgatory.
Kama, lust, desire, volition; the Hindu Cupid.
Kamarupa, the principle of desire in man; the fourth
Kapila, the founder of one of the six principal systems of
Indian philosophy—viz., the Sankhya.
Karans, great festival of the Kolarian tribes in honour of
the sun spirit.
Karana Sarira, the causal body; Avidya; ignorance; that
which is the cause of the evolution of a human ego.
Karma, the law of ethical causation; the effect of an act
for the attainment of an object of personal desire, merit and
Karman, action; attributes of Linga Sarira.
Kartika, the Indian god of war, son or Siva and Parvati; he
is also the personification of the power of the Logos.
Kasi, another name for the sacred city of Benares.
Keherpas, aerial form; third principle.
Khanda period, a period of Vedic literature.
Khi (lit, breath); the spiritual ego; the sixth principle
in man (Chinese).
Kiratarjuniya of Bkaravi, a Sanskrit epic, celebrating the
encounters of Arjuna, one of this heroes of the Maha-bharata with
the god Siva, disguised as a forester.
Kols, one of the tribes in Central India.
Kriyasakti, the power of thought; one of the six forces in
Kshatriya, the second of the four castes into which the
Hindu nation was originally divided.
Kshetrajnesvara, embodied spirit, the conscious ego in its
highest manifestation.
Kshetram, the great abyss of the Kabbala; chaos; Yoni,
Prakriti; space.
Kumbhaka, retention of breath, regulated according to the
system of Hatha Yoga.
Kundalinisakti, the power of life; one of the six forces of
Kwer Shans, Chinese for third principle; the astral body.

Lama-gylongs, pupils of Lamas.
Lao-teze, a Chinese reformer.

Macrocosm, universe.
Magi, fire worshippers; the great magicians or wisdom-
philosophers of old.
Maha-Bharata, the celebrated Indian epic poem.
Mahabhashya, a commentary on the Grammar of Panini by
Mahabhautic, belonging to the macrocosmic principles.
Mahabhutas, gross elementary principles.
Mahaparinibbana Sutta, one of the most authoritative of the
Buddhist sacred writings.
Maha Sunyata, space or eternal law; the great emptiness.
Mahat, Buddhi; the first product of root-nature and
producer of Ahankara (egotism), and manas (thinking principle).
Mahatma, a great soul; an adept in occultism of the highest
Mahavanso, a Buddhist historical work written by the Bhikshu
Mohanama, the uncle of King Dhatusma.
Maha-Yug, the aggregate of four Yugas, or ages—4,320,000
years—in the Brahmanical system.
Manas, the mind, the thinking principle; the fifth
principle in the septenary division.
Manas Sanyama, perfect concentration of the mind; control
over the mind.
Manomaya Kosha, third sheath of the divine monad, Vedantic
equivalent for fourth and fifth principles.
Mantra period, one of the four periods into which Vedic
literature has been divided.
Mantra Sastra, Brahmanical writings on the occult science of
Mantra Tantra Shastras, works on incantation and Magic.
Manu, the great Indian legislator.
Manvantara, the outbreathing of the creative principle; the
period of cosmic activity between two pralayas.
Maruts, the wind gods.
Mathadhipatis, heads of different religious institutions in
Matras, the quantity of a Sanskrit syllable.
Matrikasakti, the power of speech, one of six forces in
Matsya Puranas, one of the Puranas.
Maya, illusion, is the cosmic power which renders phenomenal
existence possible.
Mayavic Upadhi, the covering of illusion, phenomenal
Mayavirupa, the "double;" "doppelganger;" "perisprit."
Mazdiasnian, Zoroastrian (lit. "worshiping God").
Microcosm, man.
Mobeds, Zoroastrian priests.
Monad, the spiritual soul, that which endures through all
changes of objective existence.
Moneghar, the headman of a village.
Morya, one of time royal houses of Magadha; also the name
of a Rajpoot tribe.
Mukta, liberated; released from conditional existence.
Mukti. See Mukta.
Mula-prakriti, undifferentiated cosmic matter; the
unmanifested cause and substance of all being.
Mumukshatwa, desire for liberation.

Nabhichakram, the seat of the principle of desire, near the
Najo, witch.
Nanda (King), one of the kings of Magadha.
Narayana, in mystic symbology it stands for the life
Nava nidhi, the nine jewels, or consummation of spiritual
Neophyte, a candidate for initiation into the mysteries of
Nephesh, one of the three souls, according to the Kabala;
first three principles in the human septenary.
Neschamah, one of the three souls, according to the Kabala;
seventh principle in the human septenary.
Nirguna, unbound; without gunas or attributes; the soul in
its state of essential purity is so called.
Nirvana, beautitude, abstract spiritual existence,
absorption into all.
Niyashes, Parsi prayers.
Noumena, the true essential nature of being, as
distinguished from the illusive objects of sense.
Nous, spirit, mind; Platonic term, reason.
Nyaya Philosophy, a system of Hindu logic founded by

Occultism, the study of the mysteries of Nature and the
development of the psychic powers latent in man.
Okhema, vehicle; Platonic term for body.

Padarthas, predicates of existing things, so called in the
"Vaiseshikha," or atomic system of philosophy, founded by Kanad
Padma sana, a posture practised by some Indian mystics it
consists in sitting with the legs crossed one over the other and
the body straight.
Pahans, village priests.
Panchakosha, the five sheaths in which is enclosed the
divine monad.
Panchikrita, developed into the five gross elements.
Parabrahm, the supreme principle in Nature; the universal
Paramarthika, one of the three states of existence according
to Vedanta; the true, the only real one.
Paramatma, time Supreme Spirit, one of the six forces of
Nature; the great force.
Parasakti, intellectual apprehension of a truth.
Pataliputra, the ancient capital of the kingdom Magadha, in
Eastern India, a city identified with the modern Patna.
Patanjali, the author of "Yoga Philosophy," one of the six
orthodox systems of India and of the Mahabhashya.
Peling, the name given to Europeans in Tibet.
Phala, retribution; fruit or results of causes.
Pho, animal soul.
Pisacham, fading remnants of human beings in the state of
Kama Loka; shells or elementaries.
Piyadasi, another name for Asoka (q.v.)
Plaster or Plantal, Platonic term for the power which
moulds the substances of the universe into suitable forms.
Popol-Vuh, the sacred book of the Guatemalans.
Poseidonis, the last island submerged of the continent of
Pracheta, the principle of water.
Pragna, consciousness.
Prajapatis, the constructors of the material universe.
Prakriti, undifferentiated matter; the supreme principle
regarded as the substance of the universe.
Pralaya, the period of cosmic rest.
Prameyas, things to be proved, objects of Pramana or proof.
Prana, the one life.
Pranamaya Kosha, the principle of life and its vehicle; the
second sheath of the Divine monad (Vedantic).
Pranatman, the eternal or germ thread on which are strung,
like beads, the personal lives. The same as Sutratma.
Pratibhasika, the apparent or illusory life.
Pratyaksha, perception.
Pretya-bhava, the state of an ego under the necessity of
repeated births.
Punarjanmam, power of evolving objective manifestation;
Puraka, in-breathing, regulated according to the system of
Hatha Yoga.
Puranas (lit. "old writings"). A collection of symbolical
Brahmanical writings. They are eighteen in number, and are
supposed to have been composed by Vyasa, the author of the
Purusha, spirit.
Rajas, the quality of foulness; passionate activity.
Rajarshi, a king-adept.
Raj Yoga, the true science of the development of psychic
powers and union with the Supreme Spirit.
Rakshasas, evil spirits; literally, raw-eaters.
Ramayana, an epic poem describing the life of Rama, a
deified Indian hero.
Ram Mohun Roy, the well-known Indian Reformer, died 1833.
Rechaka, out-breathing, regulated according to the system of
Hatha Yoga.
Rig Veda, the first of the Vedas.
Rishabham, the Zodiacal sign Taurus, the sacred syllable
Rishis (lit. "revealers"), holy sages.
Ruach, one of the souls, according to the Kabala; second
three principles in the human septenary.

Sabda, the Logos or Word.
Saketa, the capital of the ancient Indian kingdom of
Sukshma sariram, the subtile body.
Sakti, the crown of the astral light; the power of Nature.
Sakuntala, a Sanskrit drama by Kalidasa.
Samadhana, incapacity to diverge from the path of spiritual
Sama, repression of mental perturbations.
Samadhi, state of ecstatic trance.
Samanya, community or commingling of qualities.
Samma-Sambuddha, perfect illumination.
Samvat, an Indian era which, is usually supposed to have
commenced 57 B.C.
Sankaracharya, the great expositor of the monistic Vedanta
Philosophy, which denies the personality of the Divine Principle,
and affirms its unity with the spirit of man.
Sankhya Karika, a treatise containing the aphorisms of
Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya system, one of the six schools
of Hindu philosophy.
Sankhya Yog, the system of Yog as set forth by Sankhya
Sannyasi, a Hindu, ascetic whose mind is steadfastly fixed
upon the Supreme Truth.
Sarira, body.
Sat, the real, Purusha.
Sattwa, purity.
Satva, goodness.
Satya Loka, the abode of Truth, one of the subjective
spheres in our solar system.
Shamanism, spirit worship; the oldest religion of Mongolia.
Siddhasana, one of the postures enjoined by the system of
Hatha Yoga.
Siddhi, abnormal power obtained by spiritual development.
Sing Bonga, sun spirit of the Kolarian tribes.
Siva, one of the Hindu gods, with Brahma and Vishnu, forming
the Trimurti or Trinity; the principle of destruction.
Sivite, a worshipper of Siva, the name of a sect among the
Skandhas, the impermanent elements which constitute a man.
Slokas, stanzas (Sanskrit).
Smriti, legal and ceremonial writings of the Hindus.
Soham, mystic syllable representing involution; lit. "that
am I."
Soonium, a magical ceremony for the purpose of removing a
sickness from one person to another.
Soorya, the sun.
Souramanam, a method of calculating time.
Space, Akasa; Swabhavat (q.v.)
Sraddha, faith.
Sravana, receptivity, listening.
Sthula-Sariram, the gross physical body.
Sukshmopadhi, fourth and fifth principles (Raja Yoga.)
Sunyata, space; nothingness.
Suras, elementals of a beneficent order; gods.
Surpa, winnower.
Suryasiddhanta, a Sanskrit treatise on astronomy.
Sushupti Avastha, deep sleep; one of the four aspects of
Sutra period, one of the periods into which Vedic literature
has been divided.
Sutratman, (lit. "the thread spirit,") the immortal
individuality upon which are strung our countless personalities.
Svabhavat, Akasa; undifferentiated primary matter;
Svapna, dreamy condition, clairvoyance.
Swami (lit. "a master"), the family idol.
Swapna Avastha, dreaming state; one of the four aspects of

Tama, indifference, dullness.
Tamas, ignorance, or darkness.
Tanha, thirst; desire for life, that which produces re-birth.
Tanmatras, the subtile elements, the abstract counterpart of
the five elements, earth, water, fire, air and ether, consisting
of smell, taste, feeling, sight and sound.
Tantras, works on Magic.
Tantrika, ceremonies connected with the worship of the
goddess Sakti, who typifies Force.
Taraka Yog, one of the Brahmanical systems for the
development of psychic powers and attainment of spiritual
Tatwa, eternally existing "that;" the different principles
in Nature.
Tatwams, the abstract principles of existence or categories,
physical and metaphysical.
Telugu, a language spoken in Southern India.
Tesshu Lama, the head of the Tibetan Church.
The Laws of Upasanas, chapter in the Book iv. of Kui-te on
the rules for aspirants for chelaship.
Theodidaktos (lit. "God taught "), a school of philosophers
in Egypt.
Theosophy, the Wisdom-Religion taught in all ages by the
sages of the world.
Tikkun, Adam Kadmon, the ray from the Great Centre.
Titiksha, renunciation.
Toda, a mysterious tribe in India that practise black magic.
Tridandi, (tri, "three," danda, "chastisem*nt"), name of
BrahmanicaI thread.
Trimurti, the Indian Trinity—Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,
Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.
Turiya Avastha, the state of Nirvana.
Tzong-ka-pa, celebrated Buddhist reformer of Tibet, who
instituted the order of Gelugpa Lamas.

Universal Monas, the universal spirit.
Upadana Karnam, the material cause of an effect.
Upadhis, bases.
Upamiti, analogy.
Upanayana, investiture with the Brahmanical thread.
Upanishads, Brahmanical Scriptures appended to the Vedas,
containing the esoteric doctrine of the Brahmans.
Upanita, one who is invested with the Brahmanical thread
(lit. "brought to a spiritual teacher").
Uparati, absence of out-going desires.
Urvanem, spiritual ego; sixth principle.
Ushtanas, vital force; second principle.

Vach, speech; the Logos; the mystic Word.
Vaishyas, cattle breeders artisans; the third caste among
the Hindus.
Vakya Sanyama, control over speech.
Varuna or Pracheta, the Neptune of India.
Vasishta, a great Indian sage, one of those to whom the Rig
Veda was revealed in part.
Vata, air.
Vayu, the wind.
Vayu Puranas, one of the Puranas.
Vedantists, followers of the Vedanta School of Philosophy,
which is divided into two branches, monists and dualists.
Vedas, the most authoritative of the Hindu Scriptures. The
four oldest sacred books—Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva—revealed
to the Rishis by Brahma.
Vedic, pertaining to the Vedas.
Vidya, secret knowledge.
Vija, the primitive germ which expands into the universe.
Vijnana-maya-kosha, the sheath of knowledge; the fourth
sheath of the divine monad; the fifth principle in man
Viraj, the material universe.
Vishnu, the second member of the Hindu trinity; the
principle of preservation.
Vishnuite or Vishuvite, a worshiper of Vishnu, the name of a
sect among the Hindus.
Vrishalas, Outcasts.
Vyasa, the celebrated Rishi, who collected and arranged the
Vedas in their present form.
Vyavaharika, objective existence; practical.

Yajna Sutra, the name of the Brahmanical thread.
Yama, law, the god of death.
Yashts, the Parsi prayer-books.
Yasna, religious book of the Parsis.
Yasodhara, the wife of Buddha.
Yavanacharya, the name given to Pythagoras in the Indian
Yavanas, the generic name given by the Brahmanas to younger
Yoga Sutras, a treatise on Yoga philosophy by Patanjali.
Yog Vidya, the science of Yoga; the practical method of
uniting one's own spirit with the universal spirit.
Yogis, mystics, who develop themselves according to the
system of Patanjali's "Yoga Philosophy."
Yudhishthira, the eldest of the five brothers, called
Pandavas, whose exploits are celebrated in the great Sanskrit
epic "Mahabharata."

Zend, the sacred language of ancient Persia.
Zhing, subtle matter; Kama Rupa, or fourth principle
Zoroaster, the prophet of the Parsis.


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Five Years of Theosophy (2024)


Five Years of Theosophy? ›

Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and says that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma. It promotes values of universal brotherhood and social improvement, although it does not stipulate particular ethical codes.

What were the main teachings of theosophy? ›

Theosophy teaches that the purpose of human life is spiritual emancipation and says that the human soul undergoes reincarnation upon bodily death according to a process of karma. It promotes values of universal brotherhood and social improvement, although it does not stipulate particular ethical codes.

Does Theosophy believe in God? ›

Every Theosophist wants to achieve supernatural powers that "will elevated him above other people." The natural continuation of the absence of faith in the "true God" is that the Theosophist, who is a magic practitioner, "considers himself a god." Drujinin summed up: "Exploring Theosophy, we came to the conclusion that ...

What did Madame Blavatsky believe? ›

Theosophy, the Masters, and the "Ancient Wisdom"

Blavatsky's Theosophical ideas were a form of occultism. She subscribed to the anti-Christian current of thought within Western esotericism which emphasized the idea of an ancient and universal "occult science" that should be revived.

What does Theosophy mean? ›

1. : teaching about God and the world based on mystical insight. 2. often capitalized : the teachings of a modern movement originating in the U.S. in 1875 and following chiefly Buddhist and Brahmanic theories especially of pantheistic evolution and reincarnation. theosophical.

What is the motto of Theosophy? ›

Below is written a motto of the Theosophical Society "There is no religion higher than truth." There are several variants of the English translation of the Theosophical motto, which was written in Sanskrit as "Satyāt nāsti paro dharmah." The only correct translation does not exist, because the original contains the ...

Do people still practice theosophy? ›

Their practice is an ancient one. Theosophy was taught by the sun-worshiping Egyptians, the oracular Greeks, the fire burners of Zarathustra. To one degree or another, its tenets are alive today among the Brahmans, Buddhists and Hindus of India, not to mention all the world's hippies.

Does Theosophy still exist? ›

The organization split into the Theosophical Society Adyar (Olcott-Besant) and the Theosophical Society Pasadena (Judge). The former group, headquartered in India, is the most widespread international group holding the name "Theosophical Society" today.

What are the three objects of Theosophy? ›

  • To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or color.
  • To encourage the comparative study of religion, philosophy, and science.
  • To investigate unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in humanity.

What does Theosophy teach us? ›

The first theosophy definition is that theosophy is a philosophy that draws from ancient religions and myths, especially Buddhism and Brahmanism, and teaches that God can be known through mystical insight.

Is theosophy gnostic? ›

Is theosophy a gnostic philosophy? - Quora. Not really. Theosophy is more akin to (somewhat “friendlier”) “systematic spiritualism” that attempts to “de-mystify” reality and is based more on several ideas drawn from Platonism, Neoplatonism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and some ideas from the Jewish Kabbalah.

What religion was founded in 1875? ›

The contemporary theosophical movement was born with the founding of the Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831–91), Henry Steel Olcott (1832–1907), and William Quan Judge (1851–96).

Who invented theosophy? ›

Theosophy is a philosophical movement with ancient roots, but the term is often used to refer to the theosophical movement founded by Helena Blavatsky, a Russian-German spiritual leader who lived during the second half of the 19th century.

What are the principles of theosophy? ›

The seven principles of the human being are: Atman (the universal self), Buddhi (the intellectual principle), Manas (the mental principle), Kama (desire), Prana (subtle vitality), Linga-sarira (astral body), and Sthula-sarira (gross physical matter).

What was the main ideology of Theosophical society? ›

To form a nucleus of the universal brotherhood of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste, or colour. To encourage the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science. To investigate the unexplained laws of nature and the powers latent in man.

What are the practices of Theosophy? ›

Theosophical discipline includes the practice of study, meditation, and service, which are traditionally seen as necessary for a holistic development. Also, the acceptance and practical application of the Society's motto and of its three objectives are part of the Theosophical life.

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