[Collected from The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled by H. P. Blavatsky
 This article is by a Christian scholar.
 Offered by DTB after careful checking. June 2005
Summary of the Main Themes in the Bhagavad Gita  August 2006
 Management lessons from Holy Koran, Holy Bible and Holy Gita

 Article  by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief
Technical Examiner ,  to The Govt. of Kerala. May 2006


Christ the Messenger, the Son of God by Swami Vivekananda Dec. 2006

 (Delivered at Los Angeles, California, 1900) A Christmas Greeting.


Stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie
published for the first time.
Vol. 9 Dec. 1920



Mundus Imaginalis,
The Imaginary and the Imaginal   
March 1964

by Henri Corbin


My Talk with the Dalai Lama
by RAGHAVAN   IYER          March 1961


THE HEART             1984
,  pp.207-219.


Science of Identity Foundation
Justine Chase
Public relations executive

Life attracts life.  

Out of body experience: 

Silent Witness Meditation:

The Cosmological Arguments 






 Article  by M.P. Bhattathiri, Retired Chief
Technical Examiner ,  to The Govt. of Kerala.


Management lessons from Holy Koran, Holy Bible and Holy Gita

 The teachings of Koran ( a man’s life is subject to inner storms far more devastating than those in the material world around him. In such storms in the bitter anguish of personal sorrow which almost removed the reason and made life seem meaningless, a new hope was born out of a systematic understanding of Koran which repeatedly warns The Believer to avoid "exceeding the limits" set by God.), The Ten Commandments, the Ten Precepts of the Buddha, and verse 16:1 of the Bhagavad Gita, all clearly state moralistic teachings for human welfare.

Mind is very restless, forceful and strong, O Krishna, it is more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind ~ Arjuna to Sri Krishna Introduction  The ancient (nearly 5000 years old) Indian philosophy of keeping mind and body for the well being, has entered the managerial, medical and judicial domain of the world. Today it has found its place as an alternative to the theory of modern management and also as a means to bring back the right path of peace and prosperity for the human beings. One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita which is considered to be one of  the first revelations from God. The management lessons in this holy book were brought in to light of the world by divine Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Swamy Chinmayananda, and now being popularized by Swami Bodhananda, a renowned seer and teacher of Vedanta, meditation and values, the spiritual philosophy by Swamy Vivekananda, the devotional philosophy by Sri Srila Prabhupada Swami, personality development by Sri. Sri Ravishankar, its relevance to uplift the weaker sections by Mata Amrithanandamayi Devi, and humanism by Sai Baba. Maharishi calls the Bhagavad-Gita, the essence of Vedic Literature and a complete guide to practical life. It provides “all that is needed to raise the consciousness of man to the highest possible level.” , reveals the deep, universal truths of life that speak to the needs and aspirations of everyone. Arjuna got mentally depressed when he saw his relatives with whom he has to fight.( Mental health has become a major international public health concern now). To motivate him the Bhagavad Gita is preached in the battle field Kurukshetra by Lord Krishna to Arjuna as a counseling to do his duty while multitudes of men stood by waiting . It has got all the management tactics to achieve the mental equilibrium and to overcome any crisis situation. The Bhagavad Gita can be experienced as a powerful catalyst for transformation. Bhagavad gita means song of the Spirit, song of the Lord.  The Holy Gita has become a secret driving force behind the unfoldment of one's life. In the days of doubt this divine book will support all  spiritual search. This divine  book will contribute to self reflection, finer feeling and deepen one's inner process. Then life in the world can become a real education—dynamic, full and joyful—no matter what the circumstance. May the wisdom of loving consciousness ever guide us on our journey. What makes the Holy Gita a practical psychology of transformation is that it offers us the tools to connect with our deepest intangible essence and we must learn to participate in the battle of life with right knowledge. Many great thinkers from our times such as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Schweizer as well as Madhvacarya, Sankara and Ramanuja from bygone ages have all contemplated on the Bhagavad Gita and its timeless message. The primary purpose of the Bhagavad Gita is to illuminate for all of humanity the realization of the true nature of divinity; for the highest spiritual conception, to motivate people to do things in a better way, and the greatest material perfection is to attain love of God! The Holy Gita is the essence of the Vedas, Upanishads. It is a universal scripture applicable to people of all temperaments and for all times. It is a book with sublime thoughts and practical instructions on Yoga, Devotion, Vedanta and Action. It is  profound in thought and sublime in heights of vision. It brings peace and solace to souls that are afflicted by the three fires of mortal existence, namely, afflictions caused by one’s own body (disease etc), those caused by beings around one (e.g. wild animals, snakes etc.), and those caused by the gods (natural disasters, earth-quakes, floods etc).

 Mind can be one's friend or enemy. Mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation. The word mind is derived from man to think and the word man derived from manu (sanskrit word for man).  "The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy."  There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field (jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal (bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge (karma yoga). With ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph. 




 Modern Management has become a necessity of everyday life, be it at family, in friend circle, in sports, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort.  Its task is to make people capable of joint performance, to make their weaknesses irrelevant, says the Management Guru Peter Drucker. It creates harmony in working together - equilibrium in thoughts and actions, goals and achievements, plans and performance, products and markets. It resolves situations of scarcity, be they in the physical, technical or human fields, through maximum utilization with the minimum available processes to achieve the goal. Lack of management causes disorder, confusion, wastage, delay, destruction and even depression. Managing men, money and materials in the best possible way, according to circumstances and environment, is the most important and essential factor for a successful management.


Management guidelines from the Bhagavad Gita  There is an important distinction between effectiveness and efficiency in managing.
 ·         Effectiveness is doing the right things.
 ·         Efficiency is doing things right.
 The general principles of effective management can be applied in every field, the differences being more in application than in principle. The Manager's functions can be summed up as:
 ·         Forming a vision
 ·         Planning the strategy to realise the vision.
 ·         Cultivating the art of leadership.
 ·         Establishing institutional excellence.
 ·         Building an innovative organisation.
 ·         Developing human resources.
 ·         Building teams and teamwork.
 ·         Delegation, motivation, and communication.
 ·         Reviewing performance and taking corrective steps when called for.


 Thus, management is a process of aligning people and getting them committed to work for a common goal to the maximum social benefit - in search of excellence.  The critical question in all managers’ minds is how to be effective in their job. The answer to this fundamental question is found in the Bhagavad Gita, which repeatedly proclaims that “you must try to manage yourself.” The reason is that unless a manager reaches a level of excellence and effectiveness, he or she will be merely a face in the crowd.


 Old truths in a new context  The Bhagavad Gita, written thousands of years ago, enlightens us on all managerial techniques leading us towards a harmonious and blissful state of affairs in place of the conflict, tensions, poor productivity, absence of motivation and so on, common in most of Indian enterprises today – and probably in enterprises in many other countries.


 The modern (Western) management concepts of vision, leadership, motivation, excellence in work, achieving goals, giving work meaning, decision making and planning, are all discussed in the Bhagavad Gita. There is one major difference. While Western management thought too often deals with problems at material, external and peripheral levels, the Bhagavad Gita tackles the issues from the grass roots level of human thinking. Once the basic thinking of man is improved, it will automatically enhance the quality of his actions and their results.


 The management philosophy emanating from the West, is based on the lure of materialism and on a perennial thirst for profit, irrespective of the quality of the means adopted to achieve that goal. This phenomenon has its source in the abundant wealth of the West and so 'management by materialism' has caught the fancy of all the countries the world over, India being no exception to this trend. My country, India, has been in the forefront in importing these ideas mainly because of its centuries old indoctrination by colonial rulers, which has inculcated in us a feeling that anything Western is good and anything Indian is inferior. The result is that, while huge funds have been invested in building temples of modem management education, no perceptible changes are visible in the improvement of the general quality of life – although the standards of living of a few has gone up. The same old struggles in almost all sectors of the economy, criminalisation of institutions, social violence, exploitation and other vices are seen deep in the body politic.


 The source of the problem,  The reasons for this sorry state of affairs are not far to seek. The Western idea of management centres on making the worker (and the manager) more efficient and more productive. Companies offer workers more to work more, produce more, sell more and to stick to the organization without looking for alternatives. The sole aim of extracting better and more work from the worker is to improve the bottom-line of the enterprise. The worker has become a hire-able commodity, which can be used, replaced and discarded at will.  Thus, workers have been reduced to the state of a mercantile product. In such a state, it should come as no surprise to us that workers start using strikes (gheraos) sit-ins, (dharnas) go-slows, work-to-rule etc. to get maximum benefit for themselves from the organizations. Society-at-large is damaged. Thus we reach a situation in which management and workers become separate and contradictory entities with conflicting interests. There is no common goal or understanding. This, predictably, leads to suspicion, friction, disillusion and mistrust, with managers and workers at cross purposes. The absence of human values and erosion of human touch in the organizational structure has resulted in a crisis of confidence.
 Western management philosophy may have created prosperity – for some people some of the time at least - but it has failed in the aim of ensuring betterment of individual life and social welfare. It has remained by and large a soulless edifice and an oasis of plenty for a few in the midst of poor quality of life for many.  Hence, there is an urgent need to re-examine prevailing management disciplines - their objectives, scope and content. Management should be redefined to underline the development of the worker as a person, as a human being, and not as a mere wage-earner. With this changed perspective, management can become an instrument in the process of social, and indeed national, development.


 Now let us re-examine some of the modern management concepts in the light of the Bhagavad Gita which is a primer of management-by-values.  Utilization of available resources  The first lesson of management science is to choose wisely and utilize scarce resources optimally. During the curtain raiser before the Mahabharata War, Duryodhana chose Sri Krishna's large army for his help while Arjuna selected Sri Krishna's wisdom for his support. This episode gives us a clue as to the nature of the effective manager - the former chose numbers, the latter, wisdom.


 Work commitment   A popular verse of the Gita advises “detachment” from the fruits or results of actions performed in the course of one's duty. Being dedicated work has to mean “working for the sake of work, generating excellence for its own sake.” If we are always calculating the date of promotion or the rate of commission before putting in our efforts, then such work is not detached. It is not “generating excellence for its own sake” but working only for the extrinsic reward that may (or may not) result.  Working only with an eye to the anticipated benefits, means that the quality of performance of the current job or duty suffers - through mental agitation of anxiety for the future. In fact, the way the world works means that events do not always respond positively to our calculations and hence expected fruits may not always be forthcoming. So, the Gita tells us not to mortgage present commitment to an uncertain future.


 Some people might argue that not seeking the business result of work and actions, makes one unaccountable. In fact, the Bhagavad Gita is full of advice on the theory of cause and effect, making the doer responsible for the consequences of his deeds. While advising detachment from the avarice of selfish gains in discharging one's accepted duty, the Gita does not absolve anybody of the consequences arising from discharge of his or her responsibilities.  Thus the best means of effective performance management is the work itself. Attaining this state of mind (called “nishkama karma”) is the right attitude to work because it prevents the ego, the mind, from dissipation of attention through speculation on future gains or losses.


 Motivation – self and self-transcendence  It has been presumed for many years that satisfying lower order needs of workers - adequate food, clothing and shelter, etc. are key factors in motivation. However, it is a common experience that the dissatisfaction of the clerk and of the Director is identical – only their scales and composition vary. It should be true that once the lower-order needs are more than satisfied, the Director should have little problem in optimizing his contribution to the organization and society. But more often than not, it does not happen like that. (“The eagle soars high but keeps its eyes firmly fixed on the dead animal below.”) On the contrary, a lowly paid schoolteacher, or a self-employed artisan, may well demonstrate higher levels of self-actualization despite poorer satisfaction of their lower-order needs.


 This situation is explained by the theory of self-transcendence propounded in the Gita. Self-transcendence involves renouncing egoism, putting others before oneself, emphasizing team work, dignity, co-operation, harmony and trust – and, indeed potentially sacrificing lower needs for higher goals, the opposite of Maslow.  “Work must be done with detachment.” It is the ego that spoils work and the ego is the centerpiece of most theories of motivation. We need not merely a theory of motivation but a theory of inspiration.  The Great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941, known as "Gurudev") says working for love is freedom in action. A concept which is described as “disinterested work" in the Gita where Sri Krishna says,

   “He who shares the wealth generated only after serving the people, through work done as a sacrifice for them, is freed from all sins. On the contrary those who earn wealth only for themselves, eat sins that lead to frustration and failure.”  Disinterested work finds expression in devotion, surrender and equipoise. The former two are psychological while the third is determination to keep the mind free of the dualistic (usually taken to mean "materialistic") pulls of daily experiences. Detached involvement in work is the key to mental equanimity or the state of “nirdwanda.” This attitude leads to a stage where the worker begins to feel the presence of the Supreme Intelligence guiding the embodied individual intelligence. Such de-personified intelligence is best suited for those who sincerely believe in the supremacy of organizational goals as compared to narrow personal success and achievement. Work culture  An effective work culture is about vigorous and arduous efforts in pursuit of given or chosen tasks. Sri Krishna elaborates on two types of work culture – “daivi sampat” or divine work culture and “asuri sampat” or demonic work culture.


      Daivi work culture – involves fearlessness, purity, self-control, sacrifice, straightforwardness, self-denial, calmness, absence of fault-finding, absence of greed, gentleness, modesty, absence of envy and pride.


      Asuri work culture - involves egoism, delusion, personal desires, improper performance, work not oriented towards service.  Mere work ethic is not enough. The hardened criminal exhibits an excellent work ethic. What is needed is a work ethic conditioned by ethics in work.
 It is in this light that the counsel, “yogah karmasu kausalam” should be understood. “Kausalam” means skill or technique of work which is an indispensable component of a work ethic. “Yogah” is defined in the Gita itself as “samatvam yogah uchyate” meaning an unchanging equipoise of mind (detachment.) Tilak tells us that acting with an equable mind is Yoga.  (Bal Gangadhar Tilak, 1856-1920, the precursor of Gandhiji, hailed by the people of India as "Lokmanya," probably the most learned among the country's political leaders. For a description of the meanings of the word "Yoga", see foot of this page.)  By making the equable mind the bed-rock of all actions, the Gita evolved the goal of unification of work ethic with ethics in work, for without ethical process no mind can attain an equipoise. The guru, Adi Sankara (born circa 800 AD), says that the skill necessary in the performance of one's duty is that of maintaining an evenness of mind in face of success and failure. The calm mind in the face of failure will lead to deeper introspection and see clearly where the process went wrong so that corrective steps could be taken to avoid shortcomings in future. The principle of reducing our attachment to personal gains from the work done is the Gita’s prescription for attaining equanimity. It has been held that this principle leads to lack of incentive for effort, striking at the very root of work ethic. To the
contrary, concentration on the task for its own sake leads to the achievement of excellence – and indeed to the true mental happiness of the worker. Thus, while commonplace theories of motivation may be said to lead us to the bondage or extrinsic rewards, the Gita’s principle leads us to the intrinsic rewards of mental, and indeed moral, satisfaction.  Work results  The Gita further explains the theory of “detachment” from the extrinsic rewards of work in saying:


     If the result of sincere effort is a success, the entire credit should not be appropriated by the doer alone. If the result of sincere effort is a failure, then too the entire blame does not accrue to the doer.  The former attitude mollifies arrogance and conceit while the latter prevents excessive despondency, de-motivation and self-pity. Thus both these dispositions safeguard the doer against psychological vulnerability, the cause of the modem managers' companions of diabetes, high blood pressure and ulcers.


 Assimilation of the ideas of the Gita leads us to the wider spectrum of “lokasamgraha” (general welfare) but there is also another dimension to the work ethic - if the “karmayoga” (service) is blended with “bhaktiyoga” (devotion), then the work itself becomes worship, a “sevayoga" (service for its own sake.)  Along with bhakti yoga as a means of liberation, the Gita espouses the doctrine of nishkamya karma or pure action untainted by hankering after the fruits resulting from that action. Modern scientists have now understood the intuitive wisdom of that action in a new light.

Scientists at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, found that laboratory monkeys that started out as procrastinators, became efficient workers after they received brain injections that suppressed a gene linked to their ability to anticipate a reward. The scientists reported that the work ethic of rhesus macaques wasn't all that different from that of many people: "If the reward is not immediate, you procrastinate", Dr Richmond told LA Times. (This may sound a peculiarly religious idea but it has a wider application. It could be taken to mean doing something because it is worthwhile, to serve others, to make the world a better place – ed.)


 Manager's mental health  Sound mental health is the very goal of any human activity - more so management. Sound mental health is that state of mind which can maintain a calm, positive poise, or regain it when unsettled, in the midst of all the external vagaries of work life and social existence. Internal constancy and peace are the pre-requisites for a healthy stress-free mind.
 Some of the impediments to sound mental health are:
 ·         Greed - for power, position, prestige and money.
 ·         Envy - regarding others' achievements, success, rewards.
 ·         Egotism - about one's own accomplishments.
 ·         Suspicion, anger and frustration.
 ·         Anguish through comparisons.
 The driving forces in today's businesses are speed and competition. There is a distinct danger that these forces cause erosion of the moral fibre, that in seeking the end, one permits oneself immoral means - tax evasion, illegitimate financial holdings, being “economical with the truth”, deliberate oversight in the audit, too-clever financial reporting and so on. This phenomenon may be called as “yayati syndrome”.  In the book, the Mahabharata, we come across a king by the name of Yayati who, in order to revel in the endless enjoyment of flesh exchanged his old age with the youth of his obliging youngest son for a thousand years. However, he found the pursuit of sensual enjoyments ultimately unsatisfying and came back to his son pleading him to take back his youth. This “yayati syndrome” shows the conflict between externally directed acquisitions (extrinsic motivation) and inner value and conscience (intrinsic motivation.)

Management needs those who practise what they preach  “Whatever the excellent and best ones do, the commoners follow,” says Sri Krishna in the Gita. The visionary leader must be a missionary, extremely practical, intensively dynamic and capable of translating dreams into reality. This dynamism and strength of a true leader flows from an inspired and spontaneous motivation to help others. "I am the strength of those who are devoid of personal desire and attachment. O Arjuna, I am the legitimate desire in those, who are not opposed to righteousness," says Sri Krishna in the 10th Chapter of the Gita.  In conclusion  The despondency of Arjuna in the first chapter of the Gita is typically human. Sri Krishna, by sheer power of his inspiring words, changes Arjuna's mind from a state of inertia to one of righteous action, from the state of what the French philosophers call “anomie” or even alienation, to a state of self-confidence in the ultimate victory of “dharma” (ethical action.)  When Arjuna got over his despondency and stood ready to fight, Sri Krishna reminded him of the purpose of his new-found spirit of intense action - not for his own benefit, not for satisfying his own greed and desire, but for the good of many, with faith in the ultimate victory of ethics over unethical actions and of truth over untruth.

 Sri Krishna's advice with regard to temporary failures is, “No doer of good ever ends in misery.” Every action should produce results. Good action produces good results and evil begets nothing but evil. Therefore, always act well and be rewarded. My purport is not to suggest discarding of the Western model of efficiency, dynamism and striving for excellence but to tune these ideals to India's holistic attitude of “lokasangraha” - for the welfare of many, for the good of many. There is indeed a moral dimension to business life. What we do in business is no different, in this regard, to what we do in our personal lives. The means do not justify the ends. Pursuit of results for their own sake, is ultimately self-defeating. (“Profit,” said Matsushita-san in another tradition, “is the reward of correct behaviour.” – ed.)

 A note on the word "yoga".
 Yoga has two different meanings - a general meaning and a technical meaning. The general meaning is the joining together or union of any two or more things. The technical meaning is “a state of stability and peace and the means or practices which lead to that state." The Bhagavad Gita uses the word with both meanings.


[Collected from The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled by H. P. Blavatsky
There is a Mosaic Bible in Hebrew, but written in the Samaritan alphabet and also there is one written in the Samaritan language
and alphabet. 
They have textual differences in the length of the cycles between the flood and Abraham's birth. Rome follows the chronology of the
Hebrew language text.
The Samaritans repudiated the books of Moses, the Psalms, the Talmud and Mishna, claiming that the Talmudists had disfigured the
books of Moses and Joshua out of all recognition.
Hebrew did not exist either as a language or as an alphabet in the days of Moses. The books that now pass current under his name are
not the true records. Moses did not write in Hebrew square letters nor in Samaritan characters, for both alphabets belong to a later date
than Moses.
The Hebrew alphabet is relatively recent and was probably derived from the Palmyrene writing. The Hebrew Bible is written in the
Chaldaic phonographs of Hebrew words. The square letters Jews rely upon are characters of an unknown, dead language as abstruse
as the cuneiform letters on the mountains of Assyria. Scholars do not carry the now known Hebrew square letters beyond the period
of the fourth century A.D. Ancient Hebrew is neither Syriac nor Chaldaic, and was lost after 70 years captivity when the Israelites
assimilated Chaldaic. Ancient Hebrew ceased being spoken at that time.
Jewish history cannot be carried back one day earlier than the time of Moses. The language of Abraham was not Hebrew, but Chaldaic.
The Hebrew, in truth, cannot be called an old language.
The name Jehovah was unknown to Moses or any Jew before David. NEITHER DAVID NOR SOLOMON RECOGNIZED MOSES
OR THE LAW OF MOSES. They aspired to build Jehovic temples along the lines of Venus worship and discarded the initiate teachings
of Moses.
The Old Testament was most undeniably milked out of the most ingenious brains of Hebrew Kabalists familiar with Egyptian and
Babylonian Sanskrit centers of learning and with Hindu Deities. The prototypes of nearly all Biblical personages are found in the early
pantheon of India. The sons of Brahma have become the patriarchs.
The Septuagint [2] manuscript is our most primary source of the Old Testament, and it is claimed to have a miraculous inspiration
when first written in Greek, which copy has long been "lost." The texts used are Hebrew copies that were made from this destroyed
Greek manuscript.
There is much dishonesty surrounding even the writing of the Septuagint manuscript. Yet people persist in talking of the ancient
Hebrew as if one man alive knows one word of it!
The Hebrew Bible exists no more. What exists now are garbled falsifications. I U II 135‑165
With the exception of Paul and Clement of Alexandria, none of the Church Fathers knew much of truth. They were mostly ignorant
and uneducated. Learning and sin were considered synonymous with the early Christians. They were painfully ignorant of
 contemporary teachings on the sphericity of the Earth and the heliocentric system! How great was their ignorance.
The Hebrew scriptures had been tampered with and remodeled, had been lost and rewritten a dozen times before the days of Ezra.
Ezra is probably the renegade Azara, the ambitious Chaldean priest who refabricated the ancient lost books taking stray records and combining them with the numerical 
keys in which he was versed.
The Christian historians state that the scriptures perished in the captivity of Nabuchodnonosar, after which Esdras, the Levite, became
inspired and restored again the whole ancient scriptures.
Kenealy states that the works of Esdras themselves must have been destroyed by Antiochus. Judas Maccabeus or some unknown
compilers must have re‑created the Old Testament probably from Greek sources well after the Christian era.
The Bible is a masterpiece of clever, ingenious fables, whose true meaning is revealed only to initiates. It is tale and allegory, a repertory
of invented personages and of dark sayings and parables and thus quite misleading to the ignorant. Moreover, exoterically, it is
astrolatry and Sabean worship, pure and simple.
That the apostles had received a secret doctrine from Jesus is evident from the words of Jerome who confessed it in an unguarded
moment. Writing to Bishop Chromatius and Bishop Heliodorus, he complains that:
"a difficult work is enjoined since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew, the Apostle, did not
wish to be openly written. He made up this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters, which he put forth that the book might be
possessed by the men most religious. This very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed. This book, having been published
by Seleucus, a disciple of Manichaeus, who also wrote falsely The Acts of the Apostles, exhibited matter not for edification."
Justin Martyr used only this Gospel, as also did most probably Titian, his disciple. The genuine primitive Christians, the Gnostic
[3] Ebionites [4], rejected all other Christian writings except this original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, since destroyed by the Church.
The Ebionites and also the Nazarenes believed that Jesus was but a man, according to Epiphanius.
Jerome states that the Hebrew book written by Matthew, though he translated it twice, was nearly unintelligible to him, for it was
arcane and secret. Jerome knew that this original Gospel of Matthew was the expounder of the only true doctrines of Christ, a work of
the friend and companion of Jesus.
Matthew wrote his gospel in Hebrew and not in Greek, as it was the gospel of the Nazarenes and the Ebionite Gnostics. Jerome
cunningly translated it into Greek with numerous secret meanings purposely changed and called it the original. Matthew's original
Hebrew Gospel did not anthropomorphize Christ.
There were many kicks, blows and murders at the early Church councils where scriptures were edited and selected. Those who abided
by the true writings of Matthew were chastised and humiliated. The Church Fathers resorted to falsification of their scriptures.
The Gospel of John was written by a Greek Platonist, a non-Jew, the name being a forgery.
There is little of Paul left in the writings attributed to him. He was a brave, honest and sincere man who believed not in a personal
Christ, but in a non‑anthropomorphic abstract Christ ideal. Paul was a profoundly learned scholar and high initiate. He had never met
Jesus. He was converted solely on metaphysical philosophy and belonged to the same mystery school as Jesus, analogous to an ancient
Masonic Lodge. Thus Paul calls himself a "Master Builder," a code name of rank in the secret schools then and still used in Masonry
Paul was hated and persecuted by Peter, the John of Revelation and James. John was a Jewish Kabalist, with much inherent hatred of
Greek mysteries. Paul's profound Greek learning had humiliated him and he considered that Paul was polluted because of his
non‑kosher, but superior Greek wisdom. After Paul's death, both Peter and John, who wore the headdress of the Jewish high priests and
their petaloon trousers, zealously resumed preaching the rite of circumcision, an exclusively Jewish covenant that Paul had discarded.
Peter was a Jewish Kabalist and not an initiate.
Such men as Irenaeus[5], Epiphanius and Eusebius[6] have transmitted to posterity a reputation for such untruth and dishonest
practices that the heart sickens at the story of their crimes of that period. The whole Christian scheme rests upon their sayings.
We must not forget that the Christian Church owes its present Gospels and its dogmatism to the Sortes Sanctorum. Unable to agree as
to which were the most divinely inspired of the numerous gospels of the time, the mysterious Council of Nicea [7] concluded to leave the
decision to miraculous intervention. There were 318 bishops in the council and they were a set of illiterate, simple creatures that
understood nothing, according to Sabinus, which is equivalent to saying that they were a set of fools.
Pappus [8] tells of the bit of magic resorted to, to decide which were the true gospels. In his Synodicon to the council Pappus says:
"having promiscuously put all the books that were referred to the Council for determination under a communion‑table in a church, the
besought the Lord that the inspired writings might get upon the table, while the spurious ones remained underneath, and it happened
But we are not told who kept the keys of the council chamber overnight!
The Christian world owes its "Word of God" to a method of divination, for which the Church later would burn thousands at the stake.
In treating of this phenomenon of the self‑sorting manuscripts, the Fathers of the Church say that God himself presides over the Sortes.
St. Augustine confessed to using divination by lots, but never for a worldly purpose. The Fathers found authority for the Sortes in the
verse where it is said "the lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord." Proverbs 16:33. They later reversed
themselves to say that divination was wholly disposed by the Devil. IU II 251
The following letter written by Saint Gregory [9] of Nazianzen, one of the most respected Church Fathers, to Saint Jerome, shows what
posterity got instead of the truth:
"Nothing can impose better on a people than verbiage; the less they understand, the more they admire. Our fathers and doctors have often 
said, not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity forced them to say." IU II 183
- [Collected from The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled by H. P. Blavatsky ]
SAINT GREGORY , consecrated a bishop c.371. He played a leading role at the first Council of Constantinople. His development of
terminology helped to clarify the language of Nicaea and lay the foundation for the debates of the 5th-century ecumenical councils.


 HPB wrote and said: 

  "Let no one imagine that it is a mere fancy, the attaching of importance to the birth of the year.  The astral life of the earth is young and strong between Christmas and Easter.  Those who form their wishes now, will have added strength to fulfill them consistently." ...Let no one mistake the importance and potency of numbers--as symbols.  Everything in the Universe was framed according to the eternal proportions and combinations of numbers.  "God geometrizes," and numbers and numerals are the fundamental basis of all systems of mysticism, philosophy, and religion.  The respective festivals of the year and their dates were all fixed according to the Sun--the "father of all calendars" and of the Zodiac, or the sun-god and the twelve great, but still minor gods..."  



            ULT - HPB Articles I p. 504

  "The 3rd day of the month was sacred to Pallas Athene, the goddess of Wisdom;  and January the 4th is the day of Mercury (Hermes, Budha), who is credited with adding brains to the heads of those who are civil to him...December the 25th was the day of the birth of the sun for those who inhabited the Northern hemisphere..."       ( - idem, p. 505 )


 "According to our theosophical tenets, every man or woman is endowed, more or less, with a magnetic potentiality, which when helped by a sincere, and especially by an intense and indomitable will--is the most effective of magic levers placed by Nature in human hands--for woe as for weal.  Let us then, theosophists, use that will to send a sincere greeting and a wish of good luck for the new Year to every living creature under the sun...Let us try and feel especially kind and forgiving to our foes and persecutors, honest or dishonest..."  

       HPB  "1890"     LUCIFER, Jan 1890, Vol. 5., p. 357.  

            ULT HPB Articles II, p. 495

                        "A HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE NEW YEAR TO ALL  !  “




The vast tsunami in the Indian Ocean that has just been experienced, [Dec. 26 2004] seems to relate in some particulars of historical and ancient geological catastrophes.   The suffering of individuals is of course enormous and deserves all our efforts to help and succor.





It may be noted that the present "plate-tectonics" hypothesis is not endorsed by the S D.  This plausible hypothesis has recently engaged the attention of geologists and geographers.  It advances  the concept that our present known continental patterns are fixed to their "plates."


These in turn "float" and gradually move on a softer subterranean core of a more fluidic mass of hot rock; and the result is that they have participated (without altering shape) over millions of years in "continental drift."   But, this is not a theory that is confirmed by the esoteric history of our Earth, as given in the SECRET DOCTRINE.


In tracing the past history and movements of the RACES, the land masses follow the order of evolution of the RACES from 1st to the 5th.  The book The SECRET DOCTRINE, does not take into account the location and fate of many islands and peninsulas since the face of the Earth has changed many times, and the Poles have been inverted several times [SD II 350 353 360 368 432-3 785-6 436].


The last serious geographical and geological change occurred around 12,000 BC [SD II 8-9] and was followed by the submergence of Posedonis (9,566 BC). 

Change in the elevation of the continents and islands is not always violent states the

SECRET DOCTRINE         [SD II 787fn].





 PART  1  --



               [Part II  contains                Geological chronology,  

                                                             Theosophical Chronology, etc. ]

 Mme. Blavatsky in the SECRET DOCTRINE,  Vol. I pp. 153 - 205 outlines the early ROUNDS whereby the circling and evolving hosts of Mankind pass through the experiences of many degrees of matter until they reach in the middle, the 4th Round, the most gross.  If one refers to the diagram on p. 200  (SD I) it will be seen that this is the balance point were the "matter" being evolved is at its densest.


We as a host of "Human" Monads have just past this mid-point.  At the  Mid point which occurred about 18,618,886 tears ago (SD I 150fn) the significant event called the LIGHTING UP OF MANAS (mind) occurred.  In the 2nd volume of the SD, HPB reviews all these in far greater detail.



 The stature of man (which in the early Astral matter races, was gigantic as compared with ours) has varied and decreased with the concretisation of the material environment.  The passage from the 1st to the 5th RACE following this increased densification is traced in the SD  [SD II 9 224-5 336-8]  On page SD II 338, we read of a still existing series of statues on the north side of the Hindu Kush range that illustrate this decrease.  At  Bamiyan stand carved in stone the record of the decreasing size (173, 120, 60, 27, to 6 feet in height ) of the physical forms that humanity has used.  A few years ago the magazine NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC published photographs of these.


Giant human skeletons are mentioned in SD II 9 151 194-5 278-9 293fn 330 337 347-8 409

               SD II 752-6 774-5  Mahatma Letters, bottom of p. 2]


               OUR POSITION NOW


Our Round is the 4th Round and our Globe is the 4th ("D").  On Globe D so far 4 "Races" have been evolved.  The 3rd was named "Lemurian, " the 4th, "Atlantean," and the 5th (ours) is named "Aryan" (noble).

The LIGHTING UP OF MANAS occurred during the mid-point of the 3rd Root-race (Lemurian) [SD II 154-5, 167, 79]



 Questions concerning the past of Mankind and the old races that had been given names such as Atlanteans, Lemurians, etc.  relate to time periods, and the nature of geological time  measuring, also, the chronology of the SECRET DOCTRINE was asked about.


In considering the past and the attempts to measure and evaluate such misty legends as appear to envelop Lemuria and Atlantis – those periods when we used Lemurian and Atlantean bodies -- for Occultism holds that all of us -- we -- as immortal EGOS, were the same EGO-Minds that were then evolving in those periods and used those bodies.  What does Volume. II of the SECRET DOCTRINE, when compared with modern Geological periods offer us

Establishing of the facts that Esoteric and Oriental Literature and philosophy have recorded in regard to the evolution of our Earth.  This covers each of the first 3 ROUNDS (3 times around the 7 GLOBES) and, specifically, it deals with the history of evolution in this, the 4th ROUND.


In this 4th ROUND it deals with the most recent time period named by HPB in the SD the 4th GLOBE [see Diagram SD I 200].  One must remember that these (ROUNDS, GLOBES, RACES, SUB-RACES) are measures of time.


Another fact that esotericism speaks of is that there have been great changes in material (PHYSICAL), psychological (MIND, FEELINGS, EMOTIONS) and spiritual (MONADIC) development. 


These are traced by occultism and a summary is offered to us, together with explanations in Vol. 2 of the S D.  We can, by reading what is offered there, learn in greater detail about our own past history.  About that which occurred during those vast periods when we incarnated again and again in that “past.”


In S D  I,  p. 181,  HPB gives facts about the three lines of Evolution. 


She describes them and names them:


1.  Spiritual (or MONADIC).


2.  Intellectual (or Manasic), and


3.  Physical. (or material, physical bodily forms).


It will be found that the 2nd Vol. of the S D focuses in still greater detail on the 4 RACES that have preceded ours in this Round. It provides information concerning our evolution there and upon the development of mind, psyche and Soul. 


The physical side of evolution and its remains as fossils  and monuments – contrasting with the Scientific views of geology and archaeology are also discussed as of  the time when HPB wrote which was over 120 years ago.



 It is very important to realize ( and carry this in mind during the following consideration) that the Reincarnating EGO (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) of each human being is an IMMORTAL (as a MONAD).


It (WE) have been named the ETERNAL PILGRIMS. 


It [the Monad] moves from body to body, as the eras and races pass in time, and all the development of faculties are embodied in the character and the talents of each of us.  In all cases there is an increment, and an improving of our range of experience.


We can trace a continual widening of our comprehension of the Universe, and an intuitional inquiry into the causes of both our diversity and coupled with that the paradox of, our close unity.  

Ultimately, we find that the UNITY of ALL dawns on us as a potential and then as an actuality.  It is a most wonderful prospect and gives to each of us a sense of purpose, of dignity, and of an importance, which, once grasped cannot be relinquished. We find that the brotherhood of the immortal Monads is the basis for all relationships -- there is a commonality, a sharing, of spirit, mind and matter, even though we may try to guard that which we think is solely "our own."


Therefore, we, who now use 5th RACE, "Aryan Race" bodies, were the same EGOS that used the old "Atlantean" bodies (through each of its 7-fold Races), and, the still older "Lemurian" bodies (and their 7-fold RACE developments).  


When we speak of those old RACES we are speaking of ourselves when we lived in them and used them.  We are trying to look into our own past history. 

When we visit Cyclopean monuments, we are revisiting buildings in which we may have had a hand in their original construction or subsequent renovation and restoration down the eras of time.


Our present human bodies--that we are using today--each has in its past as heredity, one or a mixture of the Sub-Races of the 5th RACE.  It, the 5 th Race, named "Aryan" (or Noble), is said to be about 1,050,000 years old [ SD II 141, 144-5, 395].  The Aryan race arose among the later sub-races of the Atlanteans, and gradually separated from that older root stock.  There are still human groups and tribes whose heredity can be traced to the Atlanteans; and even to the last sub-races of the Lemuro-Atlanteans.  It takes vast ages for all the traits and characteristics of a great Race to

die out completely.  All this complexity is explained in detail in SD Vol. II.


The 3rd Race (Round 4 - ours) was named Lemurian.


The 4th Race (Round 4 - ours) was named Atlantean.




LEMURIA, as a continent, is said to have begun slipping below the ocean 4,242,352 years back (as of 1888)  [ SD I 439fn].



 998,100                  years ago the Atlantean continent began sinking [SD II 10, 141, 144, ISIS I 557, 593] 


9,664  BC              The last Island related to Atlantis, [“Posedonis”] is said to have sunk 9,664  BC 

                                              [ML 155,  SD II 5, 8, 406, 444fn, ISIS I 589-94].


 1,628 c  Thera (Santorini) Volcano Erupts  (Tree Ring Dating)

                                              [ L A Times,  Aug 29 1996 ]

                                              [ End of Minoan Civilization, and tidal waves overwhelm

                                              the coasts of Eastern Mediterranean.]


In the SD we can find that a special date is drawn attention to (SD I 150 Fn).  It is over 18 million years ago, when the Mind of humanity is said to have been "lighted up."  [ see SD II 167, 254-5, 70-80,  SD I 150fn. ].


Since the description of the facts found narrated in ancient oriental literature and the secret books of the Occult Fraternity, runs in many ways contrary to the hypothesis and theories of our modern Archaeology, one finds that much of the 2nd Volume of the SD is a great polemic, and many arguments are  advanced in contrasting and opposing views:  the theories of Archaeology and the FACTS of Occult Science and History.



Our Sciences of Archaeology, Geology, Paleontology, etc...are hardly 250 years old.  Looking at physical evidence only, theories were devised (based on that material evidence alone) to account for the evolution of living beings on Earth.  There was, and is, an on-going conflict between "evolutionists" and "creationists."


Geology provides details concerning the effect of climate on minerals, plants and the fossils of animals and humans, and archaeology employs these as clues to the timing of evolutionary events.  It is all based on physical evidence.  The evolution of consciousness, mind, intelligence, instinct and intuition are invisible, hence the Scientific speculations based on solely the physical evidence of change cannot possibly give an accurate view of their separate evolution.


When we look at the evidence of geological change, the S D states that in some cases we may also be looking at the concretized remains and evidence of evolutionary change in the ASTRAL periods. Thus some fossils and strata reflect traces of those ancient  Astral conditions and its changes during those past eras in terms of our present highly condensed material -- which now clothes the original Astral forms.  [One might consider (using an analogy) that the space between the Atomic nuclei and their peripheral electrons was even wider in those early days than they are to day, thus making the appearance of "matter" far more tenuous--"misty" to us as a perspective.  As matter "condensed" so did the Astral fossils and strata.]


The great difference between Occult and material Science in this, it lies in a grasp of the nature of the early periods of Astral  development and its changes prior to our present material physical condition.  The early Rounds of our Earth (One, Two, Three to the middle of the 4th ROUND) are evolutionary periods involving only the Astral material and its progress.


Minerals, plants animals and mankind were all astral in form, and just as "solid" to each other then, in those periods, as we are today solid to one another in this present condensed "matter" that we use all the time.  Physical Matter, such as we now are familiar with, and live in, became gradually more concretely manifest and visible in the 4th GLOBE of this, our  ROUND (which is the 4th in the World series of Rounds).  The 4th GLOBE, of this 4th ROUND, being the densest -- which is where we are, as "forms," now.).


In this our 4th GLOBE, the 7 RACES which form it, also, the sub-divisions of time, recapitulate the entire process of development (as the fetus does in the womb) of the 3 earlier ROUNDS.


RACES One, Two and Three (Lemurian) up to the middle of the 3rd were largely Astral forms -- of Astral matter, and these have gradually consolidated as the material conditions changed and densified around them. [ SD I 142, ]


The Astral form is electro-magnetic in character and for each individual intelligence (be this mineral, plant, animal or human) there is a specific and individual "force-field" to which cooperative materials are attracted.  These assist in making a coherent bodily form.  The "materials" are also Monads.


Thus, the Astral is held in esotericism to always precede the physical.


If one considers what Science teaches us today about the constitution of the atom, we can see that if we analyze our physical body to its ultimate nature we are left with "force-fields" that are "atomic" in nature and quality.  But that Power which draws specific atoms to form molecules, cells, and physical structures into a living body, is yet to be located, and subject to analysis.  Yet, it exists since we are here, using our bodies and very conscious in them of both feelings and thoughts.


At our present evolutionary stage, the astral form/entity is entirely interior to the physical.  It forms the mold or framework on which the physical molecules, cells, and other physical structures form a coherent cooperative, in which an Intelligence (called the Human Personality) can reside.  It is far more resistant to change than physical matter and serves as the continuing basis for our appearance, from childhood to old age.



There is an astral BRAIN  which is the true center of Intelligence, and where memory is recorded.  The physical Brain changes and alters from second to second, (as does the living matter of the whole body) and so, the Brain, is constantly renewed as it deteriorates and that which needs removal is replaced.  It is the physical tool of the Astral, the True Brain.



In Man's form, a MIND (in addition to the feeling, sensitive Personality) also resides [SD II 167, 79-80, 254-5].  Man's form has associated with it, all the impulse of a well-developed instinctual and desire nature.  The Mind in man is of the Spiritual essence that inheres in Him; it is THIS (the MONAD -- the HIGHER SELF) that broods over each of our personalities as we live our daily life.  We can thus see that no matter how many fossils are discovered, the astral, the mental and the spiritual heredity and evolution cannot be deduced from them.


Because of this HPB, had to draw comparisons with the facts known to Occultism and those tentative theories and hypotheses that were being advanced by archaeology, and the scientific theories on evolution and heredity that were current in her day – and which, as is usually the case, became accepted as "true" and as a "basis" on which to further pursue study and deposit fresh and additional facts as they were unearthed.  [One ought to become familiar with the 3 books written by Michael Cremo and Richard Thompson regarding FORBIDDEN ARCHAEOLOGY -- which  uncover some of the data that archaeology has been concealed –  if it did not fit those theories. This has retarded real progress.]


Since HPB's time, there have been some changes brought on by fresh discoveries and technical improvements, in the views and dating of modern Science, but the basic distinction between the physical and the astral, the physical and the intellectual, and the physical and the Spiritual consciousness has never yet been derived from fossils.  Nor have their evolution been traced except hypothetically.


The general theories current when the S D was written over 120 years ago, are still in place, but thanks to dating techniques the antiquity of early times and geological ages have been extended and broadened.  In the 2nd part of this essay we offer some data (in terms of times) for comparison on this.


During HPB's time another theory (besides Lyell's 'Gradualism') concerning evolution was also under consideration in France, based on the observations and hypothesis of the eminent scientist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832).




Cuvier as a Zoologist and Chancellor of the University of Paris developed from his observations of fossils found in old geological strata the concept of "Catastrophism."  Great global cataclysms were seen to substantially alter the progress of evolution from time to time. A perspective is needed

to view these.


Geologists have revealed many great catastrophic changes that have left their mark  on global geology.  For example:  (These catastrophic time-frame estimates are made by modern Geology.)


Early CAMBRIAN Age (estimated at 570 million years ago). Unicellular forms seem suddenly to give way to multicellular ones showing mineralized skeletons  -- trilobites, etc... The cause for this change is not known.


End of the ORDOVICIAN Period (estimated at 425 million years ago). The cause  of a vast mass extinction that occurred then is yet to be determined.  This  was apparently accompanied by a long ice age.


Close of the DEVONIAN Age (estimated at 365 million years ago). Another mass extinction of species occurred -- cause yet to be determined.


The PALEOZOIC Era closed (estimated at 225 million years ago). A most violent mass extinction (including the ancient trilobites) occurred leaving only about 5% of all species alive.   It is theorized that the supercontinent "Pangea" -- "mother" of the present continents was then in place.  Water levels diminished, and sea levels lowered dramatically  Massive volcanic action seems to have taken place following that.


TRIASSIC Period ended  (estimated at 190 million years ago). Another mass extinction of living species was observed. This may have been triggered it has been theorized, by the impact of  large meteorite or a small comet in the area of Quebec's Lake Manicougan (60 mile wide crater).  The subsequent ice age caused a massive die-off of living forms.  It is theorized that the hypothetical link (Cotylosaurus) between the dinosaurs and the mammals and reptiles was destroyed at that time.


65 million years ago another comet/meteorite was also estimated to have collided with the Earth and the resulting devastation caused the death of most of the Earth's species.  This included the remaining  dinosaurs and reptiles.  A world wide layer of Iridium between 2 layers of limestone may

have been deposited, as Iridium, rare on Earth, is largely present in meteorites [1980, Alvarez].  Mammals survived and a new distribution of fauna bloomed after this.


35 million years ago saw possibly two impacts (one under the Chesapeake Bay, and another in Siberia) -- that triggered the death of most of the animal species of the Earth, as a great ice age ensued. 


This catalog causes one to observe that long periods of relative stability  can be traced by geologists to be interrupted by violent events: floods or volcanism.  These upheavals alter the course of Life as a whole.


Archaeologists and Geologists wonder if a new era and change in quality of life is marked by the rapid development of new species.  For example it is noticed that fossils indicate a rapid rise in the mammalian population of the Earth following the general demise of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago. Later still, human fossils begin to be found in strata that seems to be around 4 million years old.


In HPB's time a very grudging 40 to 100,000 years was allowed for the  emergence of the human skeletal frame, presumably from that of the apes, which so closely resembled them.




Scientists of HPB's time like Mr. De Quatrefages and others, challenged this  "descent from the Apes theory" because anatomically man's skeleton can be shown to precede that of the Apes. [ S D   II  87fn, 287, 315fn, 665fn, 666-8, 677-8, 680-5]


To explain this:  Man's skeletal form is far more primitive, and the skeletons of the Apes show specializations that could only be derived by environmental requirements placed on them.  Whereas the human skeleton can be shown to remain unchanged in structure no matter how old the strata may be from which his fossils may be found.  The antiquity of the strata shows no variation in man's skeleton.  Further the special characteristics of various human skeletal features can be found today among us.  We are also aware that today with our current highly technological civilization, there are savage tribes and races that still co-exist with us in  South America, Australia, Africa, Polynesia, (not to mention the "inner-city" jungles that we have created in our large cities).


In HPB's time a very grudging 40 to 100,000 years was allowed for the  emergence of the human skeletal frame, presumably from that of the apes, which so closely resembled them.


But the S D teaches that the Apes are the descendents of man and not his predecessor or progenitor.  [ see SD, Vol. I 186, 190-1;  II 87fn, 189, 193, 678, 689 ]


Another important factor is brain size:


                BRAIN SIZE

 An additional factor is the size of the brain.  It has to be noted that Man's cranial capacity, the average -- including those we term 'savages' -- is 100 cubic inches or more.  This is about 3 times as large as the brain volume of the largest Ape, the Gorilla, which measures on the average, 31

cubic inches or less. [SD II 193fn, 661, 676, 682].






                                    ATLANTIS, LEMURIA, GIANTS, etc...   


 Included        Geological Chronology --  Time Charts


                        Chronology of THEOSOPHY and Hindus




It is important as we said at the beginning of Part 1 to remember that the entire evolutionary cycle of the immortal monads we call “humanity” on our Earth is 3 fold: 

 1.  Spiritual (or MONADIC), 

 2.  Intellectual (Mind and Emotion conjoined), and, 

 3.  Physical form.                 [SD I 181].


In all cases the units are immortal MONADS.  The study of evolution is the study of the progress of the Monads as each is assisting in the evolutionary development of others which are less progressed.  In all cases, the wiser assist the rest, who have less experience, in theirs.




It is a vast living and progressive BROTHERHOOD.  It is a vast cooperative.  The first object of the TS is to demonstrate that. The SD was written with that purpose in mind, hence the HISTORY (SD I 267) of the past is opened to all of us as never before. The sweep of esoteric History shows us in retrospect where we have been and how we have participated in the maturation process that has produced our talents, character, and our personality in  general;  it now plays an important part in our motivation.  But, as students of Theosophy we have to always remember that these are not the essential "US."  We are the Spiritual MONAD, which is Atma-Buddhi-Manas.  The "personality" is our vehicle, and our "pupil."


We ought to use the diagram that HPB gives us on p. 200 of SECRET DOCTRINE Vol. I frequently.


This "Part Two" deals mainly with the 3rd, 4th and 5th ROOT RACES of GLOBE "D" in the 4th ROUND. [ the Lemurian, Atlantean, and Aryan root Races through which we have passed, and are now passing, as immortal Egos. ]


If we wish to review the information given in the SECRET DOCTRINE concerning the land masses (continents) that were used (in this the 4th ROUND, GLOBE "D") by the early RACES, when we were incarnated in and used the type of bodies provided by those RACES, we could open the 2nd Vol. of the S D at p. 6 where a table of Continents is given:


            TABLE OF CONTINENTS  [ 4th Round, Globe "D" ]  [S D   II  6 – 9]


1.  "The IMPERISHABLE SACRED LAND" lasts from one end to the other of the Manvantara. Presumably this is an area which is never destroyed by either floods or volcanism but is reserved for the use of the Wise, who alone know its present location.


2.  "The HYPERBOREAN" -- 2nd Continent - extended its promontories south from the North Polar area.  Apollo (the Sun, Hyperboreas) traveled there once a year according to Greek tradition, and for that half year visit, the Sun never set there.


 3.  "The LEMURIAN" -- 3rd Continent -- (the name was invented by P. L. Slater who between 1830-60 asserted its existence on zoological grounds).  He contended (as does the Secret Doctrine) that it stretched, shaped like an enormous crescent from Greenland in the West through England, Europe and North Africa, then passed through Madagascar and Mauritius, through Ceylon and Sumatra, then, including Australia, it crossed the Pacific, touched South America and California and ended in what we call north-east Asia after passing through the area we name the Bering Straits in the East.


4,242, 352 BC            

 Extreme volcanism began the period of Lemurian destruction [SD II 266], and finally its remnants were swept away in a vast flood around 4,242, 352 BC [SD I 439fn].


4.  "ATLANTIS" --  4th Continent.  It included portions of the 2nd and the 3rd Continents, but was chiefly massed in what is now the Atlantic Ocean, permitting the passage over land from Europe to America.  It had many important land masses associated with it, including north Africa and Egypt, as well as portions of Central Asia, and some remnants of Lemuria in the Indian and Pacific ocean areas [SD II 403, 327].


998,100 years BC     

 Atlantis began a cataclysmic sinking around  998,100 years BC [SD II 141], and its largest peninsula was submerged around 850,000

BC [SD II p. 10].   Posedonis, the last island (of which Plato wrote) sank in 9,566 BC [SD II 155 406 444fn  ISIS I 589-594, "Five Years of Theosophy,"  p. 99fn].  A number of archeologists and paleographers have remarked on the close similarity of monuments, zodiacal and astronomical records, and of script that is to be traced on opposite sides of the Atlantic--showing an ancient linkage there.


5.  "AMERICA" -- is the 5th Continent.  However, in old Sanskrit literature it was located at "Patala" -- the "antipodes" to India It is the land mass related to our Race, named the Noble (Aryan). Europe, North Africa and Asia Minor are parts of the 5 th continent; and, more recently, America has once more become more densely inhabited in the last 300 years.  But, as we may see when we consult a map of our Earth, our land masses of today include portions of the older continents that have been heaved up out of the ocean.  Submersion and upheaval are constantly going on.


It should be noted that the records of the SECRET DOCTRINE are not limited by (or to) the present geographical outlines of the configuration of our present continents. 


            12,000  BC

 The last serious geographical and geological change occurred around 12,000 BC [SD II 8-9] and was followed by


9,566 BC

 the submergence of Posedonis (9,566 BC).  Change in the elevation of the continents and islands is not always violent states the S D [SD II 787fn].


            LIBRARIES and RECORDS

 The SECRET DOCTRINE states that a complete record of all these many changes covering millions of years, have been maintained [SECRET DOCTRINE  I xxiv-v, xxxii, xxxix,  II 324-29 334-5]. 


Ancient monuments were erected to show Astronomical time, and record the source of

measures as well as other facts that succeeding civilizations could use when the time came for their civilizations to emerge again [SD I 439fn  II 346 430 501 732].


            FIRST CITIES

 It was in the 5th Sub-race of the 3rd Root Race (Lemurian) that mankind separated sexually [SD II 715fn]  In the 6th and 7th Sub races Cities were built and the first seeds of civilization were scattered under the watchful eyes of the "Divine Instructors" [SD II 20-21,199, 220-1, 317-19, 366, 432,  I xxxiv-v].  It was then that language and writing were developed [SD II 199-201, 346fn, 439-42, 729,  I xxxii].




Our Earth is subject to 7 major periodical entire changes which occur as the RACES change on the GLOBE where they are evolving [SD II 329].


The RACES and their Continents are periodically destroyed alternately by fire (volcanoes and earthquakes) and water [floods] -- this is a doctrine as old as man [SD II 725].


Our continents, like Lemuria and Atlantis, have been several times submerged and then have reappeared so that they may bear their fresh crop of civilized groups of mankind [SD II 332].  AS an example the Egyptian Pyramids are said to have been three times submerged [SD I 313 424 617  II 351-2 462-575 749-50


Such re-emergence is accompanied by a cleansing process whereby the thick deposits that cover the land are disposed of and restore its fertility [SD II 325].






[ We give below a table of Geological Ages as they were estimated in HPB's time, and as they are estimated now.  [SD II 710]




            [ These dates are used by Scientific Geology

            and are approximate estimates only. ]



  Name of                                1888                            2000


=================              ==============        ====================


PRIMORDIAL          .           321,000,000  years,

  [SD II 711-2]



            Laurentian    .           .           .                       1 billion years ?? (+/-)

            Cambrian      .           .           .                       590,000,000   years

            Ordovician    .           .           .                       505,000,000

            Silurian          .           .           .                       438,000,000


PRIMARY     .                      150,000,000 years

  [SD II 712]


            Devonian       .           .           .                       408,000,000   years

            Carboniferous          .           .                       360,000,000

            Permian         .           .           .                       280,000,000


SECONDARY                      45,000,000

  [SD II 713-14]




            Triassic          .           .           .                       248,000,000

            Jurassic          .           .           .                       213,000,000

            Cretaceous    .           .           .                       144,000,000


TERTIARY                            9,000,000

  [SD II 714]




            Paleocene      .           .           .                       65,000,000

            Eocene           .           .           .                      55,000,000

            Oligocene      .           .           .                      38,000,000

            Miocene         .           .           .                      25,000,000

            Pliocene         .           .           .                         5,000,000


QUATERNARY                   1,600,000

  [SD II 715]


            Paleolithic     .           .           .

            Pleistocene    .           .           .                       2,000,000

            Neolithic       .           .           .

            Holocene       .           .           .                          100,000

            Historical      .           .           .                            10,000 (?)



[Origin and Evolution of Mammals considered  SD II 724-738.]




                         THEOSOPHICAL and HINDU CHRONOLOGY


                                                [SD II 68-70]


                                       C H R O N O L O G Y



 Year               Groups, Tribes      Notes and References

 From    To      or Individual



Universal and World  Periods                   SD II 68-70 ;  OCEAN 125



     311,040,000 000 000  years = Maha Kalpa, or Life of Brahma

                                    ( 100 of Brahma's years)

                         [311 trillion, 40 billion]      SD II  70


       3,110,400,000,000  years = 1 Year of Brahma             SD II  70

                         [  3 trillion, 110 billion ]


           8,640,000,000  years = 1 Day + 1 Night of Brahma


           4,320,000,000  years = 1 Kalpa =  l Day of Brahma or

                                    1,000 Maha-Yug as               SD II  69

                                                or 14 Manus              SD II 59-60

                                    see The Theosophist, Nov., 1885, p. 115-6;


1 Day of Brahma =   4,294,080,000  years

                                                 =         994 Maha-Yugas or 14 Manus


                        add         25,920,000  years = 1 Sandhi (twilight)


                                  4,320,000,000  years = 1 Kalpa 1 Day of Brahma

                                                             (4 billion, 320 million)  SD II 69-70


1 Manvantara   =       306,720,000  years = 71 Maha Yugas

                                                                        of 4,320,000 years


                add                 1,728,000  years = 1 Sandhi         SD II  69


                                    308,448,000  years = 1 Manvantara   SD II  69


4 Yugas    [ The 4 "Ages" ]   .    SD II  69  ML p. 121;    IS  I 32


          1,728,000  years = Krita (or Satya, or Golden Age-Yuga)


          1,296,000  years = Treta         (or Silver Age--Yuga )


            864,000  years = Dwapara   ( or Bronze Age--Yuga )


            432,000  years - Kali             ( or Black, Iron Age--Yuga )


          4,320,000  years = 1 Maha Yuga - or 1/1000th of A Day of


                                                SD I 136  II 69  HPB Art. III 422;

                                                Lucif XIII, 183-4; ML 121   

                                                ISIS I 14 32 293 301-4 428 587  II 260




Solar or Heliacal Year     25,868  years      SD I 314  Ocean 121

               ( 1 Sub-race )                      SD I 439fn  II 141fn 330fn 436fn


Metonic Cycle   6,586 days = cycle of eclipses ( or revolution

                           = 18 yrs. 11 1/2 day - the moon's node

                                      [a cycle of 6,585 days (18.041  years)


Grand Cycles            Orpheus:       120,000  years            IS  I 294 fn

                                    Cassandrus   136,000  years            IS  I 294 fn




Our Earth


     1,955,884,687  years (in 1887) from the beginning of

                       "cosmic evolution"                SD II  68fn

            - 300,000,000  Years as a Sandhi (twilight)


     1,664,884,687  years (in 1887) from the first

                                    appearance of "Humanity" (on this planetary

                                    chain) as a physical form   SD II  68fn


Kali Yuga       ours is the 28th age of the 7th Manvantara of

                                    308,448,000 years                  ISIS I 32




B. C.


18,618,727      Lighting up of Manas [ mind ] (as in 1887)

                                                SD I 150fn;  SD II 69 254-5


 4,000,000 c.   Engulfing of Lemuria  (e.g.:--Easter Island)

 4,242,352                               SD  I 439fn  II 68-70 141

                                                [4th Round, 4th Globe, 3rd "Race"]


                        Easter Island - evidence  SD I 322 439 II 224 317


                        Atlantis   [ Titans / Kabiri / Cyclops ]

                                    [4th Round, 4th Globe, 4th "Race"]


 1,050,000       Beginning of the 5th "Race"           SD II 141 144 435


            Vedas             SD I 269-71  II 483-4 450 606 616

                                    T M 5-67  Glos 361  IS I 444   THY 2-468

                                    Theos't I-247 Col. I TOP.  WQJ ART II 82-3

                                    Theos't 9-428


1,050,000 BC


           Vedanta          SD I 7 50-1 269 451  Glos 361 253

                                    (Uttara Mimansa - Vyasa)

                                    Theos't I-201 287  9-411    Lucif 6-119


          Advaita  (non-dualistic) SD I 8 55 522 II 637 GLOS 7

                        (Shankaracharya - founder)           ML 53-4

                                                            Theos't 10-7   Glos 307

          Dwaita   (dualistic)


          Manu Smriti (Code of Manu given Krita Yuga)   IS I 585-6


1,000,000 Aryan Race began          SD II 395   Theosophy 45, p. 219


            Brahmin invasion of N. India        Is II 156fn 169 158

                                    Is II 323 192  SD I 209  II 565  Glos 222

            Persians, Turanians, Goths, Slavs 

                                                                        IS. I 569-576; II 426-433


 c.         1,000,000 - 500,000   B C


998,100   Cataclysms:  Atlantis begins sinking   SD II 141

                                    Is I 557 593  SD II 10 144    Glos 42-3


869,000   Dwapara Yuga Commence  (since 1888) SD II 147

                                    ( Kali-Yuga began 3,102 BC )


850,000   Since submergence of last large peninsula of

                        the Great Atlantis                SD II  10


850,000   Glacial Period est. by Stockwell & Croll SD II 141 144


800,000  Angkor Wat built (2nd most Occult Edifice) Glos 223

                                                            Is I 239 561-8 271-2


                         500,000 - 250,000  B C


470,000   Babylon's astronomical observations go back to

                        this  Nebo or Birs Nimrud, 

                                                BCW 13-274   Isis I 533


450,000   Epoch of Ramayana  (Brahmin estimate)  C & J p. 73

                         Theos't Vol. 10-35   SD II 496  IS II 278 Glos 275


400,000           Egypt was settled by Atlanteans and the Eastern

                        AEtheopeans                                    SD II 750


                         250,000 - 100,000  B C


250,000 + Last Glaciation of Europe                     Isis I  3


            Pyramids were 3 times submerged            SD I 313 424 617

                        S D II 462-6 575 435 749-50 351-3 462 351-2 93 276fn 429

                        GLOS 223  300;  IS I 154 239 296-7 517-21

                                                            THY Vol. 67-p.54


            Sphinx  (Harmachus) SD II 124 618  Glos 135-6  Is I 573


200,000   Chaldean Astronomical Observations extended back at

                        Alexander's invasion -- Berosus    SD I xxvi


200,000           Stockwell & Croll est. of last Glaciation  S  D II 144


             100,000 - 30,000 B C


78,000 +  Denderah Zodiac [Egyptians brought Lanka--Menes ]

                                    SD II 374fn 431-6 456 577 580; IS I 440-1


49,186    Egyptian Records go back to ( Diogenes Laertius )

                        by 8,863 yrs. in 323 BC                    IS  I  33


34,300    Sumerian Tablet gives 32,234 yrs between Deluge

                        and last king of Isin c.200 BC        Thy 16, p.195


             30,000 - 10,000 B C


29,217    Alpha Polaris (Dhruva) (as Pole Star) (in 1888)

                        31,105 yrs ago                       Glos.  17


15,194    Zodiac Originated  1st degree of Aries ( Ram )


15,086    Vernal Equinox and 1st degree of Libra coincided

                        ( 16,984 yrs ago in 1888 )     SD I 658


12,300   Vyasa - Uttara Mimansa & Vedanta taught    Isis II 621

                        "Bhadarayana"                      SD I 50 269 451  Glos 361


11,100    Vega (Alpha Lyrae was Pole Star           Thy 17-18


             10,000 - 6,000 B C


 9,566     Deluge of Deucalion.  Last Island of Atlantis ML p. 155

                        submerged.  Last war between the "Sons of God"

                        of the "White Island" and the last Atlantean sorcerers

                        ISIS I 589-594; 5 Yrs of Thy p. 99;  SD II 406 444fn


9,500   Atlantis - Last Island sank “Timaeus"- Plato as narrated

                        by Priests of Sais to Solon  TM 46-469


8,000     Hindu Initiates had same Secret Philosophy then

                        as now (estimate)    SD II 406  IS II 535


8,000     Tchandalas (Semites) begin to emigrate India to Chaldea

                        SD II 200  Glos 323 165  IS I 135 551-2 578

                        Isis II 438-9  SD I 313fn


7,975     End of the last Sidereal Year  Ocean 129  SD  I 649-50

                         (9,868 yrs. before 1893)  SD II 314 331 432 470


6,500 c   Zarathustra (6,000 yrs. before Plato c 400 BC  Glos. 384-5

                        IS I 19  II 141  SD I 464  II 323  Theos't I-13 Thy 14-97


                Zoroaster was a Title - 24 Zoroasters.  The last

                         was contemp. of Gautama Buddha. c. 600 BC ]


             6,000 - 4,000 B C


6,000/5,000    Trojan War nearer 6,000 BC            S D II 437fn

                                                Thy 27-103  IS I 520 598  Glos 96

                        (Dardanus)                           SD II 101 236 440


5,100     Neith (1st Dynasty)  Lucif 2-465  SD I 399  Glos 77 227 234


4,100 c   Manu-Vina  (Menes) to Masra (Cairo) IS  I 627 516

                                    SD II 335 374 431-2 436 746;  Thy 15, 317


             4,000 - 3,000 B C


3750      Sargon I reigned   (Prof. A.H.Sayce)      SD II 691


3,700     Local Deluge in Middle East                   S D II 691


3,200 c   Date assigned to last Veda Vyasa by

               the Brahmins. [Vyasa is a title.]             Glos  362


3,102     Kali Yuga began  Feb. 16, AM:  2 Hrs, 27 Min, 30 Sec.

              [the only precise time given]  SD I 662  SD II 147 fn


3,102     Krishna's death  (18 Feb. 3,102 BC)  Glos 170 387

                        [ midnight 17/18 ]   Thy. I-p.374; IV-p. 37


3,102     Hindu Zodiac  Begins at sunrise Feb 18th   SD  I 662

                        ( origin of present Hindu era: "Vikram Samvat"

                        and Zodiac, Tiravalour, So. India )


3,100 c   Vikramaditya at Ujjain ("Vikram Samvat") SD I 662

                        [ begins at Sunrise, February 18th 3,102 B C ]


3,100 c   Fu - H'si  ( Krishna of China )                 Thy 14- 308


               Po - H'si  ( 1st Ruler of China)                Thy 14- 1


3,100 c   Arjuna to Patala  ( marries Ulupi )        SD II 214fn

                                    [ Orphean Mysteries ]         Glos  29

                                    ("Patala" = Mexico )  Thy 15, 546  IS II 561fn


3,100 c   Orpheus identified w. Arjuna  Thy 27, 148  Glos 242

                        (On travel to Patala, stops in Greece)

                                    HPB ART III 138  IS I 532  II 129 550

                                    SD I 207 267fn 529 784  Lucif 16-273

                                    Theos't 5-20 Col 2 Bot,

                        "Mysteries of Orpheus" established.



            3,000 - 2,000 B C



3,000 c   Gilgamesh epic "Flood" of Jewish Bible            Thy 16, 307


2,875 c   Akkadians (Semites) Sumer Sargon                 IS I 576-78


2,800 c   Yi-King  (Chinese Kabala --Akkadians)            Thy 25-444


2,700     Hwang-Ti  3rd after Po-H'si   Thy 15-19  Thy 14-310


              Babylon & Assyria             Glos 47 37 IS I 567 ML 152

                                                                        THY 16-194 307


2,253     Chaldean Astronom. Observations for the past 1903 years

                        Calliosthenes to Aristotle (c 350 BC)       IS I  21


            Kasidim         Glos 75 81 39 196  IS I xxviii 534 459 567

                         HPB Art III 134  ML 152  CWB 5-13 326-8  SD II 620


2,200 c   Shu-King and Shi-King  (China)            Thy 14-310  IS I  11


            Hammurabi  (Code) Babylon       Thy 16-196


2,000 c   Sumeria  old texts interlinear Semitic  Thy 16-194

                        translations                           Thy 21-414



            2,000 - 1,000  B C


1,925 c   Hittites capture Babylon             IS I 567-8


1,850 c   Chung-Ki  (China )                                   Thy 14-34


1,700 c   Knossos  (Crete) at its height                 IS I 264  545

                    [ c 3,000 BC - 1,400 BC ]


1,628 c   Thera (Santorini) Volcano Erupts  (Tree Ring Dating)

                                    [ L A Times,  Aug 29 1996 ]

                                    [ End of Minoan Civilization, and tidal waves

                                    overwhelm coasts of Eastern Mediterranean.]


            Chronology interrupted at this point.  DTB






  In The Secret Doctrine, Vol II, p. 179 Mme. Blavatsky refers to certain dates which She calls the "birthdays of the Dhyanis." 


The reference to the "Birthdays of the Dhyanis" is on  p. 179 of SD II, and on S D  I, p. 470 , we have a reference to the mysterious "birthday of the World," which later on, in one of her articles HPB, identifies with the 4th of January, 14 days after the Winter equinox--the "birthday" of the Sun. (HPB Articles II 502.) 


Midnight between February 17th and 18th is said by HPB to mark the commencement of the Kali Yuga, in the year 3,102 B.C. (SD II 435), and earlier in the book she identified this date right down to the second (SD I 662).  It is the one date which could probably serve as a basis for true astrological calculations in this the Kali Yuga age.  Many of the dates and astrological observations used and preserved by the Hindu Brahmins may belong to that earlier era.  [ see SD II 47-49 ]


HPB states in the Secret Doctrine that the Sun in its vast orbit is dragging the whole system, our Earth included, into new and different spatial conditions, where there are changes in the properties and nature of the material elements.  One might suppose that only the Mahatmas, w ho are fully "awake" know and perceive those differences.  Does this foreshadow a change?  Is she warning us that the records of the past may not always give us the exact conditions physically that we are now experiencing or are going to experience ?


Astrology is very interesting to those who wish to peer, however dimly, into the future of this incarnation, whether theirs, or that of others now alive.  This does not seem to have as much value, as the search for meaning and understanding in the philosophical and the moral tenets offered to us.  It is quite possible that some of the Brahmins are in possession of those corrections, and use them in their calculations, and of course make them available annually through their almanacs (panchangams).  Those who are wise, use such references when initiating a new activity.  In 1909 the ULT was started on the 18th of February.  The T S was inaugurated on November 17th in 1875.


One may wonder if under Karma, this is the reason why the ancient libraries of Babylon, Egypt, etc. have been "destroyed" insofar as the general public and scholars are concerned, (or the important MSS withdrawn), so that any confusion of times and dates would be removed from the prying eyes and the fevered imagination of those who would profit and mislead people if they used those figures. 


In Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine HPB has given hints from history on the antiquity of the records seen by historians in Egypt (Herodotus, Josephus), and in Babylon and Ur (Aristotle, Berosus).  These go back almost 50-200,000 years or more.  Those dates are still held to be incredible by modern archaeologists and paleontologists.  Herodotus was dubbed (until recently) "The Father of Lies."  Aristotle (Alexander's tutor, who accompanied him on his march of conquest to the East) held discussions with Berosus in Babylon and Chaldea -- but, those are not given much publicity.


[ see Secret Doctrine, Vol. II pp. 68-70 for a chronological  table. ]


                          The Dhyanis, the Rishis, the Mahatmas -- the Wise


The Dhyanis, the Wise, the "Great Souls," are the Rishis and the Mahatmas, of antiquity, and of the present.  Being immortals They cannot have a "birthday" in the ordinary sense, since it is posited that all beings, in their essence, and we, ourselves, as immortals, are faced with the same quandary.  Do we have a birthday?  The answer is both "yes," and "no." 


"Yes," for this period of manifestation on our Earth. 


"No," for the "Eternal Pilgrim" that we are essentially.  (SD I 175 268, and 570-575;  II 79-80 93-4 103 109-10 167.) It could be surmised that the "Ray of the One Spirit" which is the human MONAD (Atma-Buddhi) would have its special "birthday" in the sequence of Cosmic development in the dim and formative past of the earlier Rounds.


So, neither They--who are alive, nor we, can have a "birthday" in the eternal sense--only in the temporal sense when a "personality" is used for expression on this material plane, and, as a gift of service to those who need that help.  Our Karma is focused in every such event.


In the Ocean of Theosophy, p. 131, Mr. Judge defines the use of the word Dhyanis (also spelled Dzyanis, Gnyanis, Gnanis, etc.) calling them "creators, guides, Great Spirits." 


 One may surmise that these special days, "birthdays," "festivals," etc...are used by the wise at the junction of specific solar and lunar (perhaps also planetary) cycles for the edification (and the reinforcing) in the masses of their sensitivity to reverberations of ancient and innate truths.  Perhaps as a result of their attending such ceremonies (those conducted by the Mahatmas who were those actual historical personages !) -- the minds and hearts of the masses being touched by that influence, if ready, may then in part, awake from their lethargy, and start seeking for the "Wisdom." 


[ Mr. Judge's  narrated an interesting anecdote to J. Niemand for the book "In a Borrowed Body" -- It is about the consecration of the great temple in ancient Conjeevaram (Kanchipuram) in South India, about 50 miles from Madras  (WQJ Letters, p. 256).  [see also Theos. Movement, Vol. 45, p. 121-2,  Echoes, p. 31-2.]  In Theos. Mvt., Vol. 11, pp 4-5 the names of the Holy Cities for pilgrimage in India are given;  also Theos. Mvt., Vol. 7, pp. 98;  Vol. 9, pp. 69, 110 makes reference to these.


                         Cyclic Return of Impressions


  Several days in each year mark the cyclic return of the impressions of those early beginnings in this Manvantara. 


The 17th of November, midnight between the 18th and 19th of February,  and HPB states that these, and the 7th day of March are three of the "birthdays" of the Dhyanis. 


In this connection, we may recall the verse in Voice, p. 72,  "Know if Amitabha, the "Boundless Age," thou would'st become co-worker, then must thou shed the light acquired, like to the Bodhisattvas twain, upon the span of all three worlds." 


Does this statement give a clue as to why the three "birthdays" are referred to:  these may be those of "Amitabha, and the two "Bodhisattvas." 


It is said that two of the Masters saw that it was possible to make an effort to re-establish the Theosophical Movement in the world.  We are indebted to them and to HPB who agreed to act as their "Messenger."  They also refer to their superior, the Maha-Chohan before whom they stand in awe and to whose wishes they accede.  Before him, they say in one place, the "book of Karma" stands open.

            [LETTERS FROM THE MASTERS OF WISDOM, 1st Series, 1919 – p. 47.]


Perhaps the dates of other "birthdays," which may be scattered through the rest of the months of the year, relate to those Dhyanis who are the Regents of, and directors of other great and Universal Principles.  It may be useful to consider that in us our three-fold spiritual nature consists of Mind (manas--the power to think), Wisdom (Buddhi--accumulated experience), and Spirit (Atman--the “ray” of the ONE TRUTH -- of the SPIRITUAL SELF of UNIVERSAL PERCEPTION). These form the Spiritual Man, the "Three-in-One" the "Triune Monad."   It is reasonable to conclude that the three Dhyanis whose birthdays we are given, represent the "regents" of those faculties on the spiritual planes of Universal as well as that of mundial being.


We may also consider our own birthday:  is it only a date of birth for the present body, then, what about another for the birth of the astral body, the mind, and another for the initiation of the Lower Manas of the personality into the knowledge and wisdom of the individuality its symbiotic "Father?"  [ see Transactions pp. 66-76 ]  The "birthday" usually is a memory date for the cycle that we (the MONAD) initiated in this present incarnation in this particular (physical) body when we emerged from our Mother's womb.  The other birthdays (such as the date of conception, spiritual, mental and physical) are secret ones, and known only to our Higher Self, the Real MONADIC Ego within.


                          The Seven "Rays" and the “Monads”


But it is said that all humans belong (in essential consciousness) to one or another of the seven great "Rays" (corresponding to the universal and human "principles") which constitute differentiations within the great Monadic Host. [S D  I 570-575]  


Which of these seven do we belong to as a MONAD, (Higher Self) and is this not a matter for self-discovery ?  But, looking back, each division of this septenary "Host" must have had each their "birthday" in this sphere of manifestation as a "Host."  That is still another cyclic beginning, most difficult to define. 


Since the Dhyanis (see Transaction, p. 23-24) have as their responsibility of guiding under Law, the forces that shape evolution in this World, their first appearance at the beginning of a new Manvantara, as a center of Energy and Force on the spiritual Globes and at a definite time in the earlier "Rounds," would have a specific time set for each by the great Cycle of Necessity (KARMA), that has caused the beginning of the whole period and assembled every one of the many "aggregates" or "skandhas" -- with which we are involved. 


Every one of us, as Monads, belong to the entourage of one or another, or some combination, of these Great Beings who guide the World in its progress.  And this is not to establish any exclusivity, since we are also within the area of influence of all the other Great Beings and of the Seven, whether in or out of manifestation, but some one pair of these are our "parents" spiritually.  [ see SD I 325-358 ]


Symbolically these Seven Great Beings have been represented as "rays" from the Central Spiritual Sun, [ Sri Krishna personifies This, when he states in the Bhagavad Gita:  "I am the EGO seated in the Heart of all beings." p. 73 ], which gives light and life to the Universe, as well as to all individual parts of it. 


It is reasonable to suppose that the Adepts know these events as facts, and in their writings we find evidence that certain dates are respected by them for this reason.  This memory is kept alive by Them for the benefit of the masses, and it seems reasonable, as They indicate in their letters to Mr. Sinnett, that because of necessity, they participate in such ceremonies.  At such times, Their presence serves to reinforce the original impulse, and cause among the "masses" some to awaken when the brain-mind realizes that a "Path" to perfection exists for it.


                         Power of Vibration and Sound


  The Secret Doctrine states a specific vibration or resonance is set up when Manvantara begins, in the world of effects called the material (HPB Articles II, p. 297, 417).   This may serve to pierce through the veil of the materialism of the embodied, lower, the kama-manasic brain-mind, to give access to the thought realm of analogy and correspondence which alone provides entrance to the immovable, central field of force which is the MONADIC core (Atma-Buddhi)in ourselves, and which every "Pilgrim," as an eternal, but presently "manifested being," whether atom, man or star shares in.  It is the concept of universality on the Spiritual plane carried to its logical conclusion on our physical plane.


It would be futile for us, without direct reference to Them, to determine which calendar they use or refer to.  No doubt, in the Senzar these cycles are recorded quite differently, as to base, from ours.  And in the ancient systems of calendar dating and recording:  Hindu, Chinese, Zoroastrian, Egyptian, Mayan, Jewish, etc... we see the remnants of those ancient systems--and, whatever the form, the mathematical base could be a universal one. 


                          "Creation and Manvantara or Re-creation"


In publishing The Secret Doctrine, HPB corrects the date used by the "Arya Magazine," and, she gives on SD II p.68 the occult date for the beginning of cosmic evolution up to the year 1887. 


This is 1,995,884,687 years.  On page 69 she indicates that the beginning of the human period, the Vaivasvata Manvantara up to 1887 is 18,618,728 years.  This is when Manas was "lit up" in mankind. 


On SD II p. 70, she indicates that a Kalpa (a "day" of Brahma) is a period of 4 billion, 320 million years (4,320,000,000).  This was also made clear earlier in the pages of The Theosophist.  The Maha-Kalpa  or "Life of Brahma" is said to be 311 Trillion, 40 billion years (311,040,000,000,000).  [All these factors seem to be based on the 60 x 60 = 3,600 cycle -- see Isis I, p. 30 fn.]


The events They recorded and the "creations" initiated by the Great Dhyanis, for which the Adepts hold a veneration, are apparently those which continue to focus certain occult and potent forces in the world and on mankind.  We are not aware of these, and we have not developed the means of gauging them yet.


The Dhyanis, the Adepts, the Mahatmas, with their far ranging wisdom have recognized this, and for those reasons they caused HPB to record those dates for us, to learn to use, if we can grasp their significance.  Our age of materialism may have prevented us (so far) from sensing those subtle influences around us.  If we are wise, we will seek to open our consciousness to the spiritual afflatus that permeates the world, the UNIVERSE, and which envelops us all.


At the time of HPB's writing, knowledge about the Tibetan calendars and the records of India and China was limited.  More material has been brought to light since then, but if interpreted now they need an HPB, a WQJ or a Damodar to secure accuracy within the framework of the Perennial Philosophy.


On S D II p. 78-80, HPB refers to the spiritual Agnishwatta Pitris [also named the Solar Pitris] who are devoid of the grosser creative fire, and are unable to create physical man because they have no double (astral), and are formless.  This function was the natural duty of another host of beings.


                          Reason for the Seven Human Principles


HPB indicates that two central connecting principles of Manas and Kama are needed to cement the spiritual principles to the Bharishad Pitris [also called the Lunar Pitris] who had the creative fire [from the previous Manvantara] but were devoid of the higher Mahat-mic element, being "on the level" of the precursors of the personality ( Skandhas ? ), and the Kamic elements.  [ see SD II 79-80, 109-10, 167, 255fn, 241, 318fn, 483-4, 584,  I 288fn, 334.]


HPB adds, in symbolic language, the explanation that the "Spiritual Fire" is in the possession of the Triangles and not the (perfect) Cubes, which symbolize the "Angelic Beings." 


In the Voice of the Silence, p. 19, there might be a hint:  "...the light from the One Master, the one unfading golden light of Spirit, shoots its effulgent beams on the disciple from the very first.  Its rays thread through the thick dark clouds of matter…"


There is the danger of materializing concepts if one attempts to compare and make direct connections between symbolic phrases and anyone's personal guesses as to the 7 principles of man (given, let us say, in the KEY) [see Commander Bowen's report on his conversations with HPB, p. 7-9, 10-11, pamphlet  " Mme. Blavatsky on How to Study Theosophy."]


Each Manvantara is the "child" -- or reincarnation of the previous one.  There is no "creation" out of "nothing."  Always reincarnation, rebirth and reformation.  When Manvantara, or manifestation re-begins, the elements that were arrested and stored, for the future, begin to awaken and take root in the several planes under development, where the aggregation of skandhas provided by the past Manvantara, are brought progressively into activity (over several Rounds) to form the basis for the present "evolution" using physical matter.  This provides, as a preliminary, the astral, vital, emotional (Kamic), lower Manasic, and physical basis for the eternal MONAD to live and develop in those "aggregates" an independent, but cooperative self-consciousness, wrapped in the life-principle (prana).


By analogy, in reincarnation, the assembly of the old skandhas at the focus for the rebirth of the Ego , which physically would be in the mother's womb, provides the old material in a new combination of form for that intelligence to enter and thereafter to reside in.  If we then look at the development of intelligence in a child body in its early years, one may see perhaps, a recapitulation of this series of "incarnations" or, aggregations of various forces represented poetically by the "ages of man." 


As the personal vehicle achieves greater stability, the incarnation of "higher" principles becomes progressively possible. 


HPB says that the "central two principles" represented by Kama and the Lower Manas are those that "cement" the higher principles, the cubes to the earthly principles, the triangles;  and the physical body as a fourth--which is needed for the  reflection of the spiritual element to become active on this plane.  The higher aspects of the astral are able to project such "privative limits" as to enable the spiritual atoms to inform their respective molecules and cells, and other structures are aggregated within limits set by the developing model for the divine astral.  [ SD II 79-80 ]


This complexity benefits the developing intelligence of the evolving "little-lives."  They, are like developing "children" in terms of consciousness and experience.  If, through direct experience with more advanced Egos they can acquire a progressive independence of their own, they will take on some of the attributes, good or bad, of that "parent," (ourselves as the more advanced Ego), who is entrusted at present with their use and guidance.  Then, one may surmise, the "seeds" of the higher principles, may begin to find a dwelling place, or, possibly a reflecting place in them.  Reflecting, as the "material side" becomes by purification able to "reflect" something of the spiritual.  That purification is achieved by living a conscious life of harmony with all other beings and with the Law of Karma.


It is in this sense that "we" sacrifice our condition as "returning Nirvanees," who are wise, etc., by informing the aggregations, or "bundles," "skandhas," we call our personalities.  Someone has to serve as the coordinator.  The "returning Nirvanee," plays the part of a tutor, an advisor and has no enforcement powers over the "pupil."  Eventually the "pupil," as it evolves, takes its self-development into its own hands and decides the direction and rate of progress it will maintain.


The "perfect Cubes" might represent the Tetraktis or the  4-fold [Atma-Buddhi-2 Manases] "four-square," as Pythagoras might call it [Isis II 410], and the "Triangles," the lower principles, to which should be added the physical body.  [The Diagram on SD I p. 200 shows this.]  There is an interesting reference on

SD II 592-3 which shows how the interlaced triangles yield the 4 or perfect square.  Such are the wonderful powers of universal symbology and correspondence.


HPB adds that this produces the independence (or a "rebellious" condition) in the "saviors" [the Promethean] of man, raising him out of a state of "inane beatitude" into one of intelligent mental perception and of emotional demand and response on this plane, that reflects their nature.  These spiritual beings, HPB says, are those who were destined to incarnate as  Egos [Higher Manas-Antaskarana-Lower Manas-Kama]  (see Divine Rebels:  SD I 418 195,  II 489, 380 94 243-6 103 247fn. )  In Hindu mythology, the stories that are connected with Narada--the Rishi closely connected with karmic change--who seems to throw confusion by his unwelcome appearance in some well settled situations, may resemble this process.


The teachings about the Antaskarana is one of the keys.  It represents, the aspiring aspect of the lower Manas, raised in understanding towards the virtuous and eternal life of its "Parent" the Higher Manas.  It makes of the embodied, Lower Manas, a dual principle, since on one side it is closely allied to kama and on the other, it reaches towards Higher Manas, the true Human Ego.  When the Lower Manas and Kama are entirely purified (our lives, considered as a Pilgrimage are illustrative of this process) then the Antaskarana is "destroyed" as no longer needed.  The separation of kama-Manas ceases as it has transmuted itself into Buddhi-Manas.  Those elements of "separation"--the lower principles purified, now coincide with the elements of the "Heavenly Man"--the perfect Cube consisting of the deathless memories of its many incarnations and experience therein;  and its deathless principles in close unity with the Higher Self.


In the Voice of the Silence, p. 21, it is said:  "Thyself and mind, like twins upon a line, the star which is thy goal burns overhead.  The three that dwell in glory and in bliss ineffable, now in the world of Maya have lost their names.  They have become one star, the fire that burns, but scorches not, that fire which is the Upadhi of the Flame."  That is suggestive of what is said here.


At the bottom of SD II p. 79, the "returning Nirvanees from earlier Manvantaras" are spoken of, and it is hinted, that our Egos may be some of such "returning Nirvanees."  Again, in the Voice, p. 73, the statement: "Know that the stream of superhuman knowledge and the Deva-Wisdom thou hast won, must, from thyself, the channel of Alaya, be poured forth into another bed."  


And, Voice, p. 36:  "To reach Nirvana's bliss, but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step--the highest on Renunciation's Path."  


Voice, p. 54, also offers:  "Of Teachers there are many;  the Master Soul is one, Alaya, the Universal Soul.  Live in that Master as Its ray in thee.  Live in thy fellows as they live in It." 


And on p. 63:  "All is impermanent in man except the pure bright essence of Alaya.  Man is its crystal ray;  a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower surface.  That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self.  Thy Soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body;  control and master both, and thou art safe when crossing to the nearing "Gate of Balance." ]  


Transactions, p. 28, top has some suggestive statements, and on p. 23-4 in that book, HPB, gives the line of "descent" of the Spiritual Beings into matter, and the change in designations that is used to denote this, as the Manvantara proceeds through several "Rounds," from tenuous, spiritual planes to more material ones.


                        Translations of Oriental Texts – Difficulties


Modern translators of Oriental texts rely heavily on new interpretations by current scholars, some of whom have emigrated from those remote countries.  Why have they not also given attention to what HPB has to say and teach ?  We are not going to find the academics are any more anxious today to consider or prove the accuracy of the Adept records than they were 120 years ago.  Witness, for instance the controversy currently raging between Geologists and Egyptologists over the data that deals with the weathering of the Sphinx by water, not wind-blown dry sand, but rain water around 13,000 or more years ago. The whole weather system of our Earth must have been quite different then.


The Secret Doctrine is written in English for world use.  It almost seems a waste of time and energy to try, with the prejudiced opinions of modern orientalists, to review the statements made in The Secret Doctrine.  It seems also a waste of our energy to try to adjust some unproven source with what is placed in plain English for us to use by the Adepts. 


Surely the Masters, and HPB were aware of the attempts at confusion that could arise.  The Adept proofs are innate to the teachings and do not depend on "academic" theories that are now called "scholarship" by those who are working backwards. 


The Theosophical Adepts were living "Witnesses on the Scene," and Their records are records of observation and not of backward calculations based on the scanty observations of the present.[S D  II 423]


Further, many of the dimensions that Theosophy considers to be more vital than the physical are disregarded by academics.  Those proofs lie in the dimensions of morals, and the eternal process of ever-becoming.  That perception is almost entirely lacking in the academic attitude towards the records of the Adepts. They cannot see the need and value of ethics as an application of facts and laws, to  active Wisdom.  This is what Theosophy offers to all of us. 


Without Karma and Reincarnation, the concept of the Unity and the cooperation of life are mental cul-de-sacs.  And what is more, the purpose of our existence, of any goal or of possible "perfection" is lost.


Why would one become doubtful of the Masters and HPB?  Has not their philosophy been shown to be coherent ?  Are contemporary views destroying it ?  The modern method is to analyze, to try to devise by theory and hypothesis "Universals" from "very scattered particulars." 


Instead of reversing the process, and basing himself on the Universals, the "modern scholar" uses his own limited lower manas to try to review, revise and criticize the observations of living Adepts, who in ancient times  saw what happened.  It is only natural that there will be differences when these partial and experimental hypotheses are compared with the information provided by the Adepts.  Do we have the knowledge and the ability to make clear distinctions in these matters?  Is it significant in regard to the ethical and moral molding of our lives? 


These questions are not raised so as to refute polemically the questions asked, but to give a greater depth of perspective to the problem.  The materialists do not consider the total aims and objectives of evolution nor do they realize the potential of the perpetual motion and the intelligence resident in every atom.  And the atom is made of force-fields, not substance.  (That is, unless one is willing to equate force-fields with substance, and qualify it with unitary intelligence and, this “unit of sub-units,” with a large latitude in degree of freedom of choice.)


What kind of a yard-stick are we to use to determine the veracity and the accuracy of such matters?  This question is offered to demonstrate that the overall value of the philosophy as a whole should be used as the gauge to settle divergence of opinion. 


This is the dimension that modern scholarship lacks -- they do not view the reincarnating Ego, and the goal of refining every last atom of "matter," and freeing it to become a "god" in its own right with self-consciousness as its manifest destiny.  This is why the touchstone of HPB's 4 golden links in the chain:  “Universal Unity and Causation, Human Solidarity, Karma and Reincarnation,”   [ Key, p. 231 ] are so important in their use as tools for our minds to grasp individual statements made in our texts and correlate them elsewhere.




Hitherto comparatively little attention seems to have been paid to these dates as given relative to these cycles.  Individuals may have tried to determine their significance, and mathematical use. 


What is the ethical and moral use ?


For instance there is a threefold festival celebrated in the Buddhist World, when, on the same full-moon day (around May) the Great Buddha, Gautama Siddartha, called the Sakyamuni, was said to have been born, to have attained enlightenment, and when, at the end of 80 years of labor he put off the body.  The date is movable, as we see it occurring, as it is regulated by the Moon.  So is Easter, so is the Muslim Ramadan.  It changes from year to year by our calendar, following the Moon (not the Sun) but it is fixed by the old calendars used by the Buddhists in their religious and secular systems.  This following of old "moon" has some great hidden significance.  If, as HPB says, the "moon" will disappear in the future, then what will be the mental and emotional condition of mankind as a whole by that time ?


                        Eras and Calendars


The calendar and era of the Jews, which is close to 6,000 years old, may have originated when one of the waves of their emigration from India began, some 7,000 B. C.  This chronology whereon they base their calendar is different from the presently used Samvat of the Hindu Panchangams.  [ Annually a Panchangam, or horological calendar based on ancient Hindu astronomical calculations, giving many celestial events, is still published in India (see SD II 47 et seq .) ]  The South Indian one is considered particularly valuable and practical.  It contains dates and times for lunar, solar, and planetary events, the return or position of known comets, the zodiacal relationship of our earth and the sun, etc... 


The Samvat, or commencement of the present Hindu era, is based on the old calculations codified and brought up to date in Central India during the reign of the Adept King Vikramaditya of Ujjain.  This has been kept up-to-date thereafter by and in those Brahmin families who are responsible for the preservative features of this work. 


Chinese and Tibetan calendars differ in era from these, and the Buddhist calendar is one which closely agrees with the Hindu and the Jain.  This was adopted by the early Sangha, the Buddhist fellowship of monks, in making its records. 


The Jains, one of the oldest of the Hindus, [Ujjain was their ancient capital, destroyed long after Vikramaditya, around the 12th-14th century by Mogul invasions] maintain the chronology entrusted to them.  Many of the old Jain families retreated West and North after the fall of Ujjain to the peninsula of Kathiawar, and to the desert fastnesses north of that in Gujerat, and Rajestan on the borders of the Thar desert.  They harmonize with the Hindu environment of the present but their roots antedate both the Vedic and the Aryan Brahmanical lore, said to be close to 1,000,000 years old.  They had a still more ancient and very secret calendar which is said to be several million years old.  It was used in the astronomical calculation in Rajestan, where they lived undisturbed and where a line of ancient Hindu Kshatriya Kings (the "Raj-Rishis") retained their independence up till modern times.  It was from these that the era of the present Hindu Calendar beginning in the reign of King Vikramaditya springs. 


In South India, the Dravidians live.  They are the remnants of the ancient pre-Vedic inhabitants of India.  They made peace with the Aryan invaders, and to some extent a mutual assimilation was affected, and certain Brahmin families are today holders of the ancient line of records, and are the modern heirs of that ancient lore.  Some of those families have retained their ancient oral traditions, passing them from father to son, secretly and in code.  These are not entirely lost, but it would take an Indian brahmin of some great stature to educe from them those ancient secrets.  [ see SD II 47-49 ]


                                    The Brahmanical Code.


HPB writes of the secret code long preserved in sound, words, syllables, rhythms and measures in SD I xxi, 270-1.  Many years ago a ULT student of brahmin descent who had the entree to certain brahmin societies was allowed to make a "tape recording" which offers an example of the kind of vibrational encoding employed by the ancient Brahmins for the oral transmission of their wisdom and sciences.  This encoding requires special keys to make any sense of it as it is a series of sounds and rhythms.  A further code that enables the sounds to be translated into current speech is needed, and this is not revealed on this tape.  One must realized that every one of the sacred texts of ancient India is an enormous repository --  a secret Encyclopedia of information, and it would takes days, weeks, months to fully prepare an oral decoding of any one text.


On this tape one may hear, at first, the usual method of the public chanting of a verse from the Atharva Veda in ancient Sanskrit.


This is followed by the chanting of a single line from that Sanskrit verse--and one hears an extended version of the words used in terms of several permutations of sound and meter rhythms that are used at this second level.  This takes several minutes to expound. 


The next section of the tape focuses on the first word of the original Sanskrit verse.  Again the process of chanting offers (as sound) the verbal extension used;  and it is chanted using a series of particular sound patterns, intonations and rhythms over several minutes.


The fourth decoding takes for analysis or reproduction the first syllable of that original first word -- and again it is astonishing to hear the variations of sound, pitch, vibration and rhythm imposed on that single syllable when this is chanted and decoded. 


And this is taught over many years to the several children of those Brahmin families in the old way, "mouth to ear," until it is PERFECT -- and they are trained to correct each other so that the original intonations are retained.  It is also said that there are included certain cross-checks which enable the masters of this craft to restore accuracy, as any errors that might have been made by any one of the student transmitters shows up as a variant at such a key point.  This permits the master to review and find the exact point at which the change occurred and then re-train the pupils to the needed accuracy. 


Thus the oral transmission of the Vedic texts and their commentaries continues down the ages from past to present, and presumably will continue into the future.


                         Astronomical and Astrological Wisdom


The last well known King Adept of Rajestan (Rajah Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur) lived in the age of Akbar, a wise Mogul Emperor (called by HPB an "Adept") of the 16th-17th century.  It was Akbar's life endeavor to learn about and reconcile all religions ( see his "Din I Illahee --"The Day of Illumination").  In this he was opposed by his horrified, orthodox Muslim ministers, but he was partly assisted by his friend, the independent Rajestani Raja:  Sawai Jai Singh, whose capital, Jaipur, was a few hundred miles South-East of Mogul Delhi. 


Raja Jai Singh was a wise astronomer and a student of the influences of the "stars."  Apparently he was one of the last historical Rajput kings to bring astrology up to date and to employ it.  The Mogul emperor Akbar, gave him the title "Sawai," meaning that he was the man who stood above all the rest in learning.  His observatories in Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer and Delhi are still usable today.  The Delhi observatory was built under his instructions so that the astronomers of the Mogul Emperor could use it. 


The observatories at Ujjain, are now in ruins, and although some attempts have been made to have them partly restored, are virtually unusable, although their original plans are still said to be kept secretly.  In south India, the Brahmins of the Dravidian communities who are some of the oldest in India, have their own records and observatories in Kanchipuram, Tanjavur, Chidambaran, Kumbakonam, Salem, Tirupattur, Tiruvanamalai, Madurai, Sri Rangam and elsewhere.  Astronomical and other data are constantly being added as the old calculations and observations are kept up to date by certain brahmin families who have chosen to serve as the preservers of this ancient lore. 


See for instance the following  from the SECRET DOCTRINE :


Two Antediluvian Astronomers.


The SECRET DOCTRINE offers the following evidence:


“To the mind of the Eastern student of Occultism, two figures are indissolubly connected with mystic astronomy, chronology, and their cycles. Two grand and mysterious figures, towering like two giants in the Archaic Past, emerge before him, whenever he has to refer to Yugas and Kalpas. When, at what period of pre-history they lived, none save a few men in the world know, or ever can know with that certainty which is required by exact chronology. It may have been 100,000 years ago, it may have been 1,000,000, for all that the outside world will ever know. The mystic West and Freemasonry talk loudly of Enoch and Hermes. The mystic East speaks of NARADA, the old Vedic Rishi, and of ASURAMAYA, the Atlantean. …


Narada] … is referred to by the honourable title of Deva Rishi (divine Rishi, more than a demi-god) …Narada is here, there, and everywhere; and yet, none of the Puranas gives the true characteristics of this great enemy of physical procreation. Whatever those characteristics may be in Hindu Esotericism, Narada — who is called in Cis-Himalayan Occultism Pesh-Hun, the "Messenger," or the Greek Angelos is the sole confidant and the executor of the universal decrees of Karma and Adi-Budh: a kind of active and ever incarnating logos, who leads and guides human affairs from the beginning to the end of the Kalpa. [see S D  I  207-210]. "Pesh-Hun" is a general not a special Hindu possession.


He is the mysterious guiding intelligent power, which gives the impulse to, and regulates the impetus of cycles, Kalpas and universal events. He is Karma's visible adjuster on a general scale; the inspirer and the leader of the greatest heroes of this Manvantara. … Nor is it through any ambitious or selfish motive; but, verily, to serve and guide universal progress and evolution. … It is he who has charge of our progress and national weal or woe. It is he who brings on wars and puts an end to them.


In the old Stanzas Pesh-Hun is credited with having calculated and recorded all the astronomical and cosmic cycles to come, and with having taught the Science to the first gazers at the starry vault.


And it is Asuramaya, who is said to have based all his astronomical works upon those records, to have determined the duration of all the past geological and cosmical periods, and the length of the all the cycles to come, till the end of this life-cycle, or the end of the seventh Race.


There is a work among the Secret Books, called the "Mirror of Futurity," wherein all the Kalpas within Kalpas and cycles within the bosom of Sesha, or infinite Time, are recorded. This work is ascribed to Pesh-Hun Narada.


There is another old work which is attributed to various Atlanteans. It is these two Records which furnish us with the figures of our cycles, and the possibility of calculating the date of cycles to come…


The chronology and computations of the Brahmin Initiates are based upon the Zodiacal records of India, and the works of the above-mentioned astronomer and magician — Asuramaya. The Atlantean zodiacal records cannot err, as they were compiled under the guidance of those who first taught astronomy, among other things, to mankind. Asuramaya, to whom the epic tradition points as the earliest astronomer in Aryavarta, one to whom "the Sun-god imparted the knowledge of the stars," in propria persona…[in] "Romaka-pura"… somewhere "in the West…" since it was part and parcel of the last continent of ATLANTIS...  the birth-place of Asuramaya, "as great a magician as he was an Astrologer and an Astronomer"…in any case his calculations agree entirely with those of the Secret Records. From fragments of immensely old works attributed to the Atlantean astronomer, and found in Southern India, the calendar elsewhere mentioned was compiled by two very learned Brahmins* in 1884 and 1885. The work is proclaimed by the best Pundits as faultless — from the Brahmanical standpoint — and thus far relates to the chronology of the orthodox teachings. If we compare its statements with those made several years earlier in "Isis Unveiled," with the fragmentary teachings published by some Theosophists, and with the present data derived from the Secret Books of Occultism, the whole will be found to agree perfectly, save in some details which may not be explained…”

* The "Tirukkanda Panchanga" for the Kali Yug 4986, by Chintamany Raghanaracharya, son of the famous Government astronomer of Madras, and Tartakamala Venkata Krishna Rao.

            S D   II  47-49


                                         Astrology In India

                                    A long-time resident of India narrated:  Twice, and independently of each other, two friends of mine, visited Paithan, a village near Surat, 200 miles North of Bombay, where a certain Brahmin family has an astrological library consisting of many hundred volumes, known as the Soma Shastra (the "Book of the Moon") -- there is another of these I am told in Tirupatti -- these friends of mine had gone there (quite independently and at several years interval) to find what the "future" had in store for them. 


Their shadows, in sunlight were measured at the time they made their request.  Three ancient volumes were then brought then out, and they were told that the prefatory paragraphs would be translated and read to them, and, if these did not suit, to reject that book, but if one suited, then the brahmin would read further from it.  They told me (independently) that one of the volumes so chosen by them, turned out to state some of the outstanding events in their earlier life.  The brahmin read on, and this reading gave them some highlights -- a view into their "future." 


I was told, of these events several years later, when they had actually lived through some of those "future" events and had proved to their satisfaction that the Soma Shastra had a real value and an inherent power. 


One may draw any conclusions one wishes from this, but these are (even if it is only hearsay) within my observation.  Others have spoken of these Shastras, and a few more "incidents" show there is a definite popular knowledge of continuing psychic (spiritual ? lore) and, that owners (trustees ?) of some of the old manuscripts act as their preservers, and have keys to reading  and understanding them.  Elsewhere in India, in the north are said to exist a corresponding library of "Books of the Sun" -- the Surya Shastra, and the facts that were related their were said to have a wider purview: relative to the fate of realms, countries and the World.  This information is only released guardedly to princes or their ministers at certain times of crisis.}




 Concerning the dates questioned.  Why would HPB give us dates that may have been true in 1888, and false thereafter?  That would indeed be futile, and very confusing.  Also it seem it would destroy any confidence in the Theosophical texts she was responsible for.


If one considers the translations of the writings that are currently attributed to Tson-Ka-Pa one is forced to rely on two factors:  1.  the authenticity and accuracy of the manuscripts from which the translations are made, and 2. the fairness and the accuracy of the scholars who have made the translation.  All these factors have to be verified.


It is for this reason that the modern student of Theosophy has to be firmly based in the metaphysical and philosophical tenets of the Wisdom Religion.  He has to be able to view and understand at a glance the evidence inherent in any statement, whether original or translated, of that wisdom.  In considering details and differences, he needs to ask himself constantly whether he is dealing with actual truth, or the "blinds" that were drawn by the writers, or their translators, over those facts. 


There is another and more important consideration:  as time passes, students engaged in the preservation of the original teachings of the Masters as recorded by HPB and WQJ, are, and will be increasingly faced with the suggestion that the records they are faithful to, are no longer in tune with the advances that are being made in our world, that they are no longer true or exact, and that the work of HPB, for instance, has been surpassed and improved upon. 


Does one really believe that allegations and doubts, such as these are constructive to the continuity of the work of the Adepts?  It was very early after HPB's death that Annie Besant and G.R.S.Mead decided to "improve" on what HPB had left.  In fact, taking advantage of HPB's last illness, Mead started to apply his concepts of scholarship to her writings, and began to make changes, that he thought were an "improvement," on them.  As a consequence after her death, the  Secret Doctrine was reedited (1893) with over 40,000 major and minor "alterations." 


Then, in 1897 a spurious "3rd. Volume" was published.  Annie Besant took responsibility for this.  And there is now no trace of the MSS of HPB from which she claimed it was copied for printing.  Changes in later editions of the KEY to THEOSOPHY, and in the VOICE of the SILENCE, and in other of her writings have been sanctioned by Adyar T S "authorities."


Were it not for the work of maintenance by the ULT and its republishing the original texts (starting in 1912 by reprints in the monthly magazine THEOSOPHY, and later by the actual facsimile reprinting of HPB's books we would all be in sad shape.  Probably the Theosophical Movement would be rated as a "failure" by now. 


If we think over the history of the modern Theosophical Movement, we can see how vital the will of perhaps a single individual (Robert Crosbie is a case in point, as is also Mr. Judge) has been to preserve the message for the benefit of the future.  We can think of the "tests" that those individuals were faced with and which they were "successful" in passing through.  We are the beneficiaries, and we owe them a great debt of gratitude.  ULT will remain, if it continues in its work, pure and undeviatingly, a repository for the original teachings.  Its associates should strive for nothing more than that preservative aspect.  And, to make those teachings readily available to others.


Let us take it for granted that HPB and the Adepts, writing for us in our age, used that now universal scientific calendar which we would be using for our calculations, of which they were well aware, as also of the fact that the English language would become the widest used language in the future of the next century (ours) for their writings to be diffused in.  If we begin to pay attention to the external claims of "authorities" and "doubters," we will lose our hold on that which we sense is at the core of the teaching:  a sense of our own immortality, of the accuracy of the Masters' knowledge, of the justice of universal Karma, and finally of the Unity of all Life.  Those are at the core of our wisdom, the rest is detail.


The sole benefit of history (if accurate and non-partisan) is that it enables us to avoid repeating errors.  The lure of change, of "excitement" is kamic, it snatches away the reason, and diverts it by the thrill of "novelty" or “discovery.”  


We ought to recognize that Nature (in her vast life-supportive sensitivity) installed every cooperative interaction ages before modern science began in the last 300 years its task of rediscovery.

            Spiritual Stability and Mayavic Personality

 Buddhi and Higher Manas alone give stability.  So we need to control the gyrations of our own kamic desire, and ambition-impulses, and center our attention on learning the laws of assisting growth which the Adepts have taught.


The most valuable "novelty" is in watching our own perceptions widen and deepen, and the real thrill is in seeing that the lore we are assimilating is proved true every day we live.


In any period of manifestation cycles of finite time exist.  The Wise Dhyanis begin their work in and with Nature at a definite time.  They, we, and all beings, who participate in evolution and manifestation are divine and immortal in our essential nature. 


The personal and physical is illusory and changeable. 


             Teachers and Adepts

 They (the Wise, the Mahatmas, the Adepts, our elder Brothers)stand as examples to us, of the perfection of ages of experience.  They embody that perfection which for us is still only a goal.  Our stage is marked by self-devised and self-directed efforts in learning about ourselves, self-consciousness, and the vast program of cooperation in which we are all engaged, which we call evolution. 


We need, as an objective concept, the example of Those who have achieved, who have reached the goal that life represents as Ideals.  And we need to recall always that we are a deathless, immortal MONAD at heart.  The source of our wisdom in interior, initiation is from within. The ”outer” instructor inspires us to this self-devised task. 


The promulgation of Theosophy by HPB on behalf of the Mahatmas, gives us outlines of both the rules of self-development, and the record of facts in Nature. 


This recent event (of the promulgation of Theosophy) marks a turning point, a change in the way of thinking and understanding Nature and ourselves.  It has been called by Mr. Judge: "a change in the Manas and the Buddhi of the Race."  (WQJ Letters, 72)


Any "birth" is a fresh incarnation.  It is characterized by a curriculum involving the development of individual responsibility, and the duty to learn and practice the ethics of brotherhood, based on eternal and essential unity. 


When a fresh endeavor in the general education of mankind is to be attempted, it would be chosen, by those who are wise, to synchronize with those cycles of spiritual forces which echo from earlier commencements down the ages.  Some of such "echoes" are annual.  Some occur at wider intervals.  The first quarter of each year, and the last quarter of each century is said to be such a cyclic period.


We could take this to represent in our own incarnation, the connection that is reestablished between our three-fold spiritual consciousness and the skandhas (the monadic “life-atoms”) that are simultaneously reassembled to provide the necessary physical bodies for our, and their, continued evolution.  Those living elements of life were used by us in the past, and under karma it is justice that we meet with and continue to work with them for their evolution and ours.


In dealing with the mystery of Man's spiritual nature working in and through a personality, HPB offers a genealogical clue.  She writes:


            "If the reader were told, as in the semi-esoteric allegories, that these Beings [the higher Manas] were returning Nirvanees, from preceding Maha-Manvantaras--ages of incalculable duration which have rolled away in the Eternity, a still more incalculable time ago--he would hardly understand the text correctly..."       (The Secret Doctrine, II, 79-80.)


Theosophy was diffused a century ago, at a time when it became possible to bring to the attention of mankind its psychological importance and make-up. 


             Seven-fold Nature and Man

 This was done through the doctrines of universality and eternity based on the  Unity of the one Source, on Karma, on Reincarnation, and by disclosing the "Key":  the sevenfold nature of man and Nature.  This seven-fold division is represented by the seven primordial Spiritual Instructors, the Rishis and the Mahatmas who are the Dhyanis.  They are those "Planetary Spirits," that guard and preserve mankind and our Cosmos.


The present educational program is being conducted over a vast period of seven great, and a number of seven-fold minor cycles of time (called Rounds, Globes, Races, Sub-races, etc.) in the evolutionary sweep.  The process develops perfection of each one of the seven principles present in man and in Nature, and, the awareness of unity through the patterns of collaboration which the seven great forces of Nature are seen to manifest in the various classes of beings.  These represent stages of conscious development in themselves.  This sense of unity is reinforced by an influence, which we could call a "birthday" when it recurs annually.


H.P.B., as "messenger," presented the doctrines most helpful to review and which it will be the best for us to use to change our moral outlook. 


The Secret Doctrine was deliberately written in English--a language which the Masters knew would be the one most widely diffused in the near future of the world.  It was filled with those notations that our culture and science could understand the reasoning of, so as to open the next vista to us. 


In giving such information we find throughout the book that They used the calendar notation and calculations of our time, rather than one more ancient, which only a part of the race might know of.  Students of the Secret Doctrine find that they are consistent in doing this.



Copied  Mar 13 2005  DTB,   selection was made by Phx U L T





Mundus Imaginalis,
the Imaginary and the Imaginal

by Henri Corbin

In offering the two Latin words mundus imaginalis as the title of this discussion, I intend to treat a precise order of reality corresponding to a precise mode of perception, because Latin terminology gives the advantage of providing us with a technical and fixed point of reference, to which we can compare the various more-or-less irresolute equivalents that our modern Western languages suggest to us.

    I will make an immediate admission. The choice of these two words was imposed upon me some time ago, because it was impossible for me, in what I had to translate or say, to be satisfied with the word imaginary. This is by no means a criticism addressed to those of us for whom the use of the language constrains recourse to this word, since we are trying together to reevaluate it in a positive sense. Regardless of our efforts, though, we cannot prevent the term imaginary, in current usage that is not deliberate, from being equivalent to signifying unreal, something that is and remains outside of being and existence-in brief, something utopian. I was absolutely obliged to find another term because, for many years, I have been by vocation and profession an interpreter of Arabic and Persian texts, the purposes of which I would certainly have betrayed if I had been entirely and simply content-even with every possible precaution-with the term imaginary. I was absolutely obliged to find another term if I did not want to mislead the Western reader that it is a matter of uprooting long-established habits of thought, in order to awaken him to an order of things, the sense of which it is the mission of our colloquia at the "Society of Symbolism" to rouse.

    In other words, if we usually speak of the imaginary as the unreal, the utopian, this must contain the symptom of something. In contrast to this something, we may examine briefly together the order of reality that I designate as mundus imaginalis, and what our theosophers in Islam designate as the "eighth climate"; we will then examine the organ that perceives this reality, namely, the imaginative consciousness, the cognitive Imagination; and finally, we will present several examples, among many others, of course, that suggest to us the topography of these interworlds, as they have been seen by those who actually have been there.

1. "NA-KOJA-ABAD" OR THE "EIGHTH CLIMATE" I have just mentioned the word utopian. It is a strange thing, or a decisive example, that our authors use a term in Persian that seems to be its linguistic calque: Na-kojd-Abad, the "land of No-where." This, however, is something entirely different from a utopia.

    Let us take the very beautiful tales-simultaneously visionary tales and tales of spiritual initiation-composed in Persian by Sohravardi, the young shaykh who, in the twelfth century, was the "reviver of the theosophy of ancient Persia" in Islamic Iran. Each time, the visionary finds himself, at the beginning of the tale, in the presence of a supernatural figure of great beauty, whom the visionary asks who he is and from where he comes. These tales essentially illustrate the experience of the gnostic, lived as the personal history of the Stranger, the captive who aspires to return home.

    At the beginning of the tale that Sohravardi entitles "The Crimson Archangel,"1 the captive, who has just escaped the surveillance of his jailers, that is, has temporarily left the world of sensory experience, finds himself in the desert in the presence of a being whom he asks, since he sees in him all the charms of adolescence, "0 Youth! where do you come from?" He receives this reply: "What? I am the first-born of the children of the Creator [in gnostic terms, the Protoktistos, the First-Created] and you call me a youth?" There, in this origin, is the mystery of the crimson color that clothes his appearance: that of a being of pure Light whose splendor the sensory world reduces to the crimson of twilight. "I come from beyond the mountain of Qaf... It is there that you were yourself at the beginning, and it is there that you will return when you are finally rid of your bonds."

    The mountain of Qaf is the cosmic mountain constituted from summit to summit, valley to valley, by the celestial Spheres that are enclosed one inside the other. What, then, is the road that leads out of it? How long is it? "No matter how long you walk," he is told, "it is at the point of departure that you arrive there again," like the point of the compass returning to the same place. Does this involve simply leaving oneself in order to attain oneself) Not exactly. Between the two, a great event will have changed everything; the self that is found there is the one that is beyond the mountain of Qaf a superior self, a self "in the second person." It will have been necessary, like Khezr (or Khadir, the mysterious prophet, the eternal wanderer, Elijah or one like him) to bathe in the Spring of Life. "He who has found the meaning of True Reality has arrived at that Spring. When he emerges from the Spring, he has achieved the Aptitude that makes him like a balm, a drop of which you distill in the hollow of your hand by holding it facing the sun, and which then passes through to the back of your hand. If you are Khezr, you also may pass without difficulty through the mountain of Qaf.

Two other mystical tales give a name to that "beyond the mountain of Qaf and it is this name itself that marks the transformation from cosmic mountain to psychocosmic mountain, that is, the transition of the physical cosmos to what constitutes the first level of the spiritual universe. In the tale entitled "The Rustling of Gabriel's Wings," the figure again appears who, in the works of Avicenna, is named Hayy ibn Yaqzan ("the Living, son of the Watchman") and who, just now, was designated as the Crimson Archangel. The question that must be asked is asked, and the reply is this: "I come from Na-koja-Abad."2 Finally, in the tale entitled "Vade Mecum of the Faithful in Love" (Mu'nis al-'oshshaq) which places on stage a cosmogonic triad whose dramatis personae are, respectively, Beauty, Love, and Sadness, Sadness appears to Ya'qab weeping for Joseph in the land of Canaan. To the question, "What horizon did you penetrate to come here?," the same reply is given: "I come from Na-koja-Abad, Na-koja-Abad is a strange term. It does not occur in any Persian dictionary, and it was coined, as far as I know, by Sohravardi himself, from the resources of the purest Persian language. Literally, as I mentioned a moment ago, it signifies the city, the country or land (abad) of No-where (Na-koja) That is why we are here in the presence of a term that, at first sight, may appear to us as the exact equivalent of the term ou-topia, which, for its part, does not occur in the classical Greek dictionaries, and was coined by Thomas More as an abstract noun to designate the absence of any localization, of any given situs in a space that is discoverable and verifiable by the experience of our senses. Etymologically and literally, it would perhaps be exact to translate Na-koja-Abad by outopia, utopia, and yet with regard to the concept, the intention, and the true meaning, I believe that we would be guilty of mistranslation. It seems to me, therefore, that it is of fundamental importance to try, at least, to determine why this would be a mistranslation.

    It is even a matter of indispensable precision, if we want to understand the meaning and the real implication of manifold information concerning the topographies explored in the visionary state, the state intermediate between waking and sleep-information that, for example, among the spiritual individuals of Shi'ite Islam, concerns the "land of the hidden Imam'' A matter of precision that, in making us attentive to a differential affecting an entire region of the soul, and thus an entire spiritual culture, would lead us to ask: what conditions make possible that which we ordinarily call a utopia, and consequently the type of utopian man? How and why does it make its appearance? I wonder, in fact, whether the equivalent would be found anywhere in Islamic thought in its traditional form. I do not believe, for example, that when Farabi, in the tenth century, describes the "Perfect City," or when the Andalusian philosopher Ibn Bajja (Avempace), in the twelfth century, takes up the same theme in his "Regime of the Solitary"3 -I do not believe that either one of them contemplated what we call today a social or political utopia. To understand them in this way would be, I am afraid, to withdraw them from their own presuppositions and perspectives, in order to impose our own, our own dimensions; above all, I am afraid that it would be certain to entail resigning ourselves to confusing the Spiritual City with an imaginary City.

    The word Na-koja-Abad does not designate something like unextended being, in the dimensionless state. The Persian word abad certainly signifies a city, a cultivated and peopled land, thus something extended. What Sohravardi means by being "beyond the mountain of Qaf is that he himself, and with him the entire theosophical tradition of Iran, represents the composite of the mystical cities of Jabalqa, Jabarsa, and Hurqalya. Topographically, he states precisely that this region begins "on the convex surface" of the Ninth Sphere, the Sphere of Spheres, or the Sphere that includes the whole of the cosmos. This means that it begins at the exact moment when one leaves the supreme Sphere, which defines all possible orientation in our world (or on this side of the world), the "Sphere" to which the celestial cardinal points refer. It is evident that once this boundary is crossed, the question "where?" (ubi, koja) loses its meaning, at least the meaning in which it is asked in the space of our sensory experience. Thus the name Na-koja-Abad: a place outside of place, a "place" that is not contained in a place, in a topos, that permits a response, with a gesture of the hand, to the question "where?" But when we say, "To depart from the where," what does this mean?

    It surely cannot relate to a change of local position,4 a physical transfer from one place to another place, as though it involved places contained in a single homogeneous space. As is suggested, at the end of Sohravardi's tale, by the symbol of the drop of balm exposed in the hollow of the hand to the sun, it is a matter of entering, passing into the interior and, in passing into the interior, of finding oneself, paradoxically, outside, or, in the language of our authors, "on the convex surface" of the Ninth Sphere--in other words, "beyond the mountain of Qaf The relationship involved is essentially that of the external, the visible, the exoteric ( Arabic, zahir), and the internal, the invisible, the esoteric (Arabic, batin), or the natural world and the spiritual world. To depart from the where, the category of ubi, is to leave the external or natural appearances that enclose the hidden internal realities, as the almond is hidden beneath the shell. This step is made in order for the Stranger, the gnostic, to return home-or at least to lead to that return.

But an odd thing happens: once this transition is accomplished, it turns out that henceforth this reality, previously internal and hidden, is revealed to be enveloping, surrounding, containing what was first of all external and visible, since by means of interiorization, one has departed from that external reality. Henceforth, it is spiritual reality that envelops, surrounds, contains the reality called material. That is why spiritual reality is not "in the where." It is the "where" that is in it. Or, rather, it is itself the "where" of all things; it is, therefore, not itself in a place, it does not fall under the question "where?"-the category ubi referring to a place in sensory space. Its place (its abad) in relation to this is Na-koja (No-where), because its ubi in relation to what is in sensory space is an ubique (everywhere). When we have understood this, we have perhaps understood what is essential to follow the topography of visionary experiences, to distinguish their meaning (that is, the signification and the direction simultaneously) and also to distinguish something fundamental, namely, what differentiates the visionary perceptions of our spiritual individuals (Sohravardi and many others) with regard to everything that our modern vocabulary subsumes under the pejorative sense of creations, imaginings, even utopian madness.

    But what we must begin to destroy, to the extent that we are able to do so, even at the cost of a struggle resumed every day, is what may be called the "agnostic reflex" in Western man, because he has consented to the divorce between thought and being. How many recent theories tacitly originate in this reflex, thanks to which we hope to escape the other reality before which certain experiences and certain evidence place us-and to escape it, in the case where we secretly submit to its attraction, by giving it all sorts of ingenious explanations, except one: the one that would permit it truly to mean for us, by its existence, what it is! For it to mean that to us, we must, at all events, have available a cosmology of such a kind that the most astounding information of modern science regarding the physical universe remains inferior to it. For, insofar as it is a matter of that sort of information, we remain bound to what is "on this side of the mountain of Qaf What distinguishes the traditional cosmology of the theosophers in Islam, for example, is that its structurewhere the worlds and interworlds "beyond the mountain of Qaf that is, beyond the physical universes, are arranged in levels intelligible only for an existence in which the act of being is in accordance with its presence in those worlds, for reciprocally, it is in accordance with this act of being that these worlds are present to it.5 What dimension, then, must this act of being have in order to be, or to become in the course of its future rebirths, the place of those worlds that are outside the place of our natural space? And, first of all, what are those worlds?

    I can only refer here to a few texts. A larger number will be found translated and grouped in the book that I have entitled Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth.6 In his "Book of Conversations," Sohravardi writes: "When you learn in the treatises of the ancient Sages that there exists a world provided with dimensions and extension, other than the pleroma of Intelligences [that is, a world below that of the pure archangelic Intelligences], and other than the world governed by the Souls of the Spheres [that is, a world which, while having dimension and extension, is other than the world of sensory phenomena, and superior to it, including the sidereal universe, the planets and the "fixed stars"], a world where there are cities whose number it is impossible to count, cities among which our Prophet himself named Jabalqa and Jabarsa, do not hasten to call it a lie, for pilgrims of the spirit may contemplate that world, and they find there everything that is the object of their desire."7

    These few lines refer us to a schema on which all of our mystical theosophers agree, a schema that articulates three universes or, rather, three categories of universe. There is our physical sensory world, which includes both our earthly world (governed by human souls) and the sidereal universe (governed by the Souls of the Spheres); this is the sensory world, the world of phenomena (molk). There is the suprasensory world of the Soul or Angel-Souls, the Malakut, in which there are the mystical cities that we have just named, and which begins "on the convex surface of the Ninth Sphere." There is the universe of pure archangelic Intelligences. To these three universes correspond three organs of knowledge: the senses, the imagination, and the intellect, a triad to which corresponds the triad of anthropology: body, soul, spirit-a triad that regulates the triple growth of man, extending from this world to the resurrections in the other worlds.

    We observe immediately that we are no longer reduced to the dilemma of thought and extension, to the schema of a cosmology and a gnoseology limited to the empirical world and the world of abstract understanding. Between the two is placed an intermediate world, which our authors designate as 'alam al-mithal, the world of the Image, mundus imaginalis: a world as ontologically real as the world of the senses and the world of the intellect, a world that requires a faculty of perception belonging to it, a faculty that is a cognitive function, a noetic value, as fully real as the faculties of sensory perception or intellectual intuition. This faculty is the imaginative power, the one we must avoid confusing with the imagination that modern man identifies with "fantasy" and that, according to him, produces only the "imaginary." Here we are, then, simultaneously at the heart of our research and of our problem of terminology.

    What is that intermediate universe? It is the one we mentioned a little while ago as being called the "eighth climate."8 For all of our thinkers, in fact, the world of extension perceptible to the senses includes the seven climates of their traditional geography. But there is still another climate, represented by that world which, however, possesses extension and dimensions, forms and colors, without their being perceptible to the senses, as they are when they are properties of physical bodies. No, these dimensions, shapes, and colors are the proper object of imaginative perception or the "psycho- spiritual senses"; and that world, fully objective and real, where everything existing in the sensory world has its analogue, but not perceptible by the senses, is the world that is designated as the eighth climate. The term is sufficiently eloquent by itself, since it signifies a climate outside of climates, a place outside of place, outside of where (Na-koja-Abad!).

    The technical term that designates it in Arabic, 'alam a mithal, can perhaps also be translated by mundus archetypus, ambiguity is avoided. For it is the same word that serves in Arabic to designate the Platonic Ideas (interpreted by Sohravardi terms of Zoroastrian angelology). However, when the term refers to Platonic Ideas, it is almost always accompanied by this precise qualification: mothol (plural of mithal) aflatuniya nuraniya, the "Platonic archetypes of light." When the term refers to the world of the eighth climate, it designates technically, on one hand, the Archetype-Images of individual and singular things; in this case, it relates to the eastern region of the eighth climate, the city of Jabalqa, where these images subsist preexistent to and ordered before the sensory world. But on the other hand, the term also relates to the western region, the city of Jabarsa, as being the world or interworld in which are found the Spirits after their presence in the natural terrestrial world and as a world in which subsist the forms of all works accomplished, the forms of our thoughts and our desires, of our presentiments and our behavior.9 It is this composition that constitutes 'alam al-mithal, the mundus imaginalis.

    Technically, again, our thinkers designate it as the world of "Images in suspense" (mothol mo'allaqa). Sohravardi! and his school mean by this a mode of being proper to the realities of that intermediate world, which we designate as Imaginalia.10 The precise nature of this ontological status results from vision any spiritual experiences, on which Sohravardi asks that we rely fully, exactly as we rely in astronomy on the observations of Hipparchus or Ptolemy. It should be acknowledged that forms and shapes in the mundus imaginalis do not subsist in the same manner as empirical realities in the physical world; otherwise anyone could perceive them. It should also be noted that the) cannot subsist in the pure intelligible world, since they have extension and dimension, an "immaterial" materiality, certainly, in relation to that of the sensory world, but, in fact, their own "corporeality" and spatiality (one might think here of the expression used by Henry More, a Cambridge Platonist, spissitudo spiritualis, an expression that has its exact equivalent in the work of Sadra Shirazi, a Persian Platonist). For the same reason, that they could have only our thought as a substratum would be excluded, as it would, at the same time, that they might be unreal, nothing; otherwise, we could not discern them, classify them into hierarchies, or make judgments about them. The existence of this intermediate world, mundus imaginalis, thus appears metaphysically necessary; the cognitive function of the Imagination is ordered to it; it is a world whose ontological level is above the world of the senses and below the pure intelligible world; it is more immaterial than the former and less immaterial than the latter.11 There has always been something of major importance in this for all our mystical theosophers. Upon it depends, for them, both the validity of visionary accounts that perceive and relate "events in Heaven" and the validity of dreams, symbolic rituals, the reality of places formed by intense meditation, the reality of inspired imaginative visions, cosmogonies and theogonies, and thus, in the first place, the truth of the spiritual sense perceived in the imaginative data of prophetic revelations.12

    In short, that world is the world of "subtle bodies," the idea of which proves indispensable if one wishes to describe a link between the pure spirit and the material body. It is this which relates to the designation of their mode of being as "in suspense," that is, a mode of being such that the Image or Form, since it is itself its own "matter," is independent of any substratum in which it would be immanent in the manner of an accident.13 This means that it would not subsist as the color black, for example, subsists by means of the black object in which it is immanent, The comparison to which our authors regularly have recourse is the mode of appearance and subsistence of Images "in suspense" in a mirror. The material substance of the mirror, metal or mineral, is not the substance of the image, a substance whose image would be an accident. It is simply the "place of its appearance." This led to a general theory of epiphanic places and forms (mazhar, plural mazahir) so characteristic of Sohravardi's Eastern Theosophy.

    The active Imagination is the preeminent mirror, the epiphanic place of the Images of the archetypal world; that is why the theory of the mundus imaginalis is bound up with a theory of imaginative knowledge and imaginative function--a function truly central and mediatory, because of the median and mediatory position of the mundus imaginalis. It is a function that permits all the universes to symbolize with one another (or exist in symbolic relationship with one another) and that leads us to represent to ourselves, experimentally, that the same substantial realities assume forms corresponding respectively to each universe (for example, Jabalqa and Jabarsa correspond in the subtle world to the Elements of the physical world, while Hurqalya corresponds there to the Sky). It is the cognitive function of the Imagination that permits the establishment of a rigorous analogical knowledge, escaping the dilemma of current rationalism, which leaves only a choice between the two terms of banal dualism: either "matter" or "spirit," a dilemma that the "socialization" of consciousness resolves by substituting a choice that is no less fatal: either "history" or "myth."

    This is the sort of dilemma that has never defeated those familiar with the "eighth climate," the realm of "subtle bodies," of "spiritual bodies," threshold of the Malakut or world of the Soul. We understand that when they say that the world of Hurqalya begins "on the convex surface of the supreme Sphere," they wish to signify symbolically that this world is at the boundary where there is an inversion of the relation of interiority expressed by the preposition in or within, "in the interior of." Spiritual bodies or spiritual entities are no longer in a world, not even in their world, in the way that a material body is in its place, or is contained in another body. It is their world that is in them. That is why the Theology attributed to Aristotle, the Arabic version of the last three Enneads of Plotinus, which Avicenna annotated and which all of our thinkers read and meditated upon, explains that each spiritual entity is "in the totality of the sphere of its Heaven"; each subsists, certainly, independently of the other, but all are simultaneous and each is within every other one. It would be completely false to picture that other world as an undifferentiated, informal heaven. There is multiplicity, of course, but the relations of spiritual space differ from the relations of space understood under the starry Heaven, as much as the fact of being in a body differs from the fact of being "in the totality of its Heaven." That is why it can be said that "behind this world there is a Sky, an Earth, an ocean, animals, plants, and celestial men; but every being there is celestial; the spiritual entities there correspond to the human beings there, but no earthly thing is there."

    The most exact formulation of all this, in the theosophical tradition of the West, is found perhaps in Swedenborg. One cannot but be struck by the concordance or convergence of the statements by the great Swedish visionary with those of Sohravardi, Ibn 'Arabi, or Sadra Shirazi. Swedenborg explains that "all things in heaven appear, just as in the world, to be in place and in space, and yet the angels have no notion or idea of place or space." This is because "all changes of place in the spiritual world are effected by changes of state in the interiors, which means that change of place is nothing else than change of state.... Those are near each other who are in like states, and those are at a distance who are in unlike states; and spaces in heaven are simply the external conditions corresponding to the internal states. For the same reason the heavens are distinct from each other. . . . When anyone goes from one place to another . . . he arrives more quickly when he eagerly desires it, and less quickly when he does not, the way itself being lengthened and shortened in accordance with the desire.... This I have often seen to my surprise. All this again makes clear how distances, and consequently spaces, are wholly in accord with states of the interiors of angels; and this being so, no notion or idea of space can enter their thought, although there are spaces with them equally as in the world."14

    Such a description is eminently appropriate to Na-koja-Abad and its mysterious Cities. In short, it follows that there is a spiritual place and a corporeal place. The transfer of one to the other is absolutely not effected according to the laws of our homogeneous physical space. In relation to the corporeal place, the spiritual place is a No-where, and for the one who reaches Na-koja-Abad everything occurs inversely to the evident facts of ordinary consciousness, which remains orientated to the interior of our space. For henceforth it is the where, the place, that resides in the soul; it is the corporeal substance that resides in the spiritual substance; it is the soul that encloses and bears the body. This is why it is not possible to say where the spiritual place is situated; it is not situated, it is, rather, that which situates, it is situative. Its ubi is an ubique. Certainly, there may be topographical correspondences between the sensory world and the mundus imaginalis, one symbolizing with the other. However, there is no passage from one to the other without a breach. Many accounts show us this. One sets out; at a given moment, there is a break with the geographical coordinates that can be located on our maps. But the "traveler" is not conscious of the precise moment; he does not realize it, with disquiet or wonder, until later. If he were aware of it, he could change his path at will, or he could indicate it to others. But he can only describe where he was; he cannot show the way to anyone.



    We will touch here on the decisive point for which all that precedes has prepared us, namely, the organ that permits penetration into the mundus imaginalis, the migration to the "eighth climate." What is the organ by means of which that migration occurs-the migration that is the return ab extra ad intra (from the exterior to the interior), the topographical inversion (the intussusception)? It is neither the senses nor the faculties of the physical organism, nor is it the pure intellect, but it is that intermediate power whose function appears as the preeminent mediator: the active Imagination. Let us be very clear when we speak of this. It is the organ that permits the transmutation of internal spiritual states into external states, into vision-events symbolizing with those internal states. It is by means of this transmutation that all progression in spiritual space is accomplished, or, rather, this transmutation is itself what spatializes that space, what causes space, proximity, distance, and remoteness to be there.


    A first postulate is that this Imagination is a pure spiritual faculty, independent of the physical organism, and consequently is able to subsist after the disappearance of the latter. Sadra Shirazi, among others, has expressed himself repeatedly on this point with particular forcefulness.15 He says that just as the soul is independent of the physical material body in receiving intelligible things in act, according to its intellective power, the soul is equally independent with regard to its imaginative power and its imaginative operations. In addition, when it is separated from this world, since it continues to have its active Imagination at its service, it can perceive by itself, by its own essence and by that faculty, concrete things whose existence, as it is actualized in its knowledge and in its imagination, constitutes eo ipso the very form of concrete existence of those things (in other words: consciousness and its object are here ontologically inseparable). All these powers are gathered and concentrated in a single faculty, which is the active Imagination. Because it has stopped dispersing itself at the various thresholds that are the five senses of the physical body, and has stopped being solicited by the concerns of the physical body, which is prey to the vicissitudes of the external world, the imaginative perception can finally show its essential superiority over sensory perception.

    "All the faculties of the soul," writes Sadra Shirazi, "have become as though a single faculty, which is the power to configure and typify (taswir and tamthil); its imagination has itself become like a sensory perception of the suprasensory: its imaginative sight is itself like its sensory sight. Similarly, its senses of hearing, smell, taste, and touch-all these imaginative senses-are themselves like sensory faculties, but regulated to the suprasensory. For although externally the sensory faculties are five in number, each having its organ localized in the body, internally, in fact, all of them constitute a single synaisthesis (hiss moshtarik)." The Imagination being therefore like the currus subtilis (in Greek okhema, vehicle, or [in Proclus, Iamblichus, etc.] spiritual body) of the soul, there is an entire physiology of the "subtle body" and thus of the "resurrection body," which Sadra Shirazi discusses in these contexts. That is why he reproaches even Avicenna for having identified these acts of posthumous imaginative perception with what happens in this life during sleep, for here, and during sleep, the imaginative power is disturbed by the organic operations that occur in the physical body. Much is required for it to enjoy its maximum of perfection and activity, freedom and purity. Otherwise, sleep would be simply an awakening in the other world. This is not the case, as is alluded to in this remark attributed sometimes to the Prophet and sometimes to the First Imam of the Shi'ites: "Humans sleep. It is when they die that they awake."

    A second postulate, evidence for which compels recognition, is that the spiritual Imagination is a cognitive power, an organ of true knowledge. Imaginative perception and imaginative consciousness have their own noetic (cognitive) function and value, in relation to the world that is theirs-the world, we have said, which is the 'alam al-mithal, mundus imaginalis, the world of the mystical cities such as Hurqalya, where time becomes reversible and where space is a function of desire, because it is only the external aspect of an internal state.

    The Imagination is thus firmly balanced between two other cognitive functions: its own world symbolizes with the world to which the two other functions (sensory knowledge and intellective knowledge) respectively correspond. There is accordingly something like a control that keeps the Imagination from wanderings and profligacy, and that permits it to assume its full function: to cause the occurrence, for example, of the events that are related by the visionary tales of Sohravardi and all those of the same kind, because every approach to the eighth climate is made by the imaginative path. It may be said that this is the reason for the extraordinary gravity of mystical epic poems written in Persian (from 'Attar to jami and to Nur 'Ali1-Shah), which constantly amplify the same archetypes in new symbols. In order for the Imagination to wander and become profligate, for it to cease fulfilling its function, which is to perceive or generate symbols leading to the internal sense, it is necessary for the mundus imaginalis--the proper domain of the Malakut, the world of the Soul-to disappear. Perhaps it is necessary, in the West, to date the beginning of this decadence at the time when Averroism rejected Avicennian cosmology, with its intermediate angelic hierarchy of the Animae or Angeli caelestes. These Angeli caelestes (a hierarchy below that of the Angeli intellectuales) had the privilege of imaginative power in its pure state. Once the universe of these Souls disappeared, it was the imaginative function as such that was unbalanced and devalued. It is easy to understand, then, the advice given later by Paracelsus, warning against any confusion of the Imaginatio vera, as the alchemists said, with fantasy, "that cornerstone of the mad."16

    This is the reason that we can no longer avoid the problem of terminology. How is it that we do not have in French [or in English] a common and perfectly satisfying term to express the idea of the 'alam al-mithal? I have proposed the Latin mundus imaginalis for it, because we are obliged to avoid any confusion between what is here the object of imaginative or imaginant perception and what we ordinarily call the imaginary. This is so, because the current attitude is to oppose the real to the imaginary as though to the unreal, the utopian, as it is to confuse symbol with allegory, to confuse the exegesis of the spiritual sense with an allegorical interpretation. Now, every allegorical interpretation is harmless; the allegory is a sheathing, or, rather, a disguising, of something that is already known or knowable otherwise, while the appearance of an Image having the quality of a symbol is a primary phenomenon (Urphanomen), unconditional and irreducible, the appearance of something that cannot manifest itself otherwise to the world where we are.

    Neither the tales of Sohravardi, nor the tales which in the Shi'ite tradition tell us of reaching the "land of the Hidden Imam," are imaginary, unreal, or allegorical, precisely because the eighth climate or the "land of No-where" is not what we commonly call a utopia. It is certainly a world that remains beyond the empirical verification of our sciences. Otherwise, anyone could find access to it and evidence for it. It is a suprasensory world, insofar as it is not perceptible except by the imaginative perception, and insofar as the events that occur in it cannot be experienced except by the imaginative or imaginant consciousness. Let us be certain that we understand, here again, that this is not a matter simply of what the language of our time calls an imagination, but of a vision that is Imaginatio vera. And it is to this Imaginatio vera that we must attribute a noetic or plenary cognitive value. If we are no longer capable of speaking about the imagination except as "fantasy," if we cannot utilize it or tolerate it except as such, it is perhaps because we have forgotten the norms and the rules and the "axial ordination" that are responsible for the cognitive function of the imaginative power (the function that I have sometimes designated as imaginatory).

    For the world into which our witnesses have penetrated-we will meet two or three of those witnesses in the final section of this study-is a perfectly real world, more evident even and more coherent, in its own reality, than the real empirical world perceived by the senses. Its witnesses were afterward perfectly conscious that they had been "elsewhere"; they are not schizorphrenics. It is a matter of a world that is hidden in the act itself of sensory perception, and one that we must find under the apparent objective certainty of that kind of perception. That is why we positively cannot qualify it as imaginary, in the current sense in which the word is taken to mean unreal, nonexistent. Just as the Latin word origo has given us the derivative "original," I believe that the word imago can give us, along with imaginary, and by regular derivation, the term imaginal. We will thus have the imaginal world be intermediate between the sensory world and the intelligible world. When we encounter the Arabic term jism mithali to designate the "subtle body" that penetrates into the "eighth climate," or the "resurrection body," we will be able to translate it literally as imaginal body, but certainly not as imaginary body. Perhaps, then, we will have less difficulty in placing the figures who belong neither to "myth" nor to "history," and perhaps we will have a sort of password to the path to the "lost continent."

    In order to embolden us on this path, we have to ask ourselves what constitutes our real, the real for us, so that if we leave it, would we have more than the imaginary, utopia? And what is the real for our traditional Eastern thinkers, so that they may have access to the "eighth climate," to Na-koja-Abad, by leaving the sensory place without leaving the real, or, rather, by having access precisely to the real? This presupposes a scale of being with many more degrees than ours. For let us make no mistake. It is not enough to concede that our predecessors, in the West, had a conception of the Imagination that was too rationalistic and too intellectualized. If we do not have available a cosmology whose schema can include, as does the one that belongs to our traditional philosophers, the plurality of universes in ascensional order, our Imagination will remain unbalanced, its recurrent conjunctions with the will to power will be an endless source of horrors. We will be continually searching for a new discipline of the Imagination, and we will have great difficulty in finding it as long as we persist in seeing in it only a certain way of keeping our distance with regard to what we call the real, and in order to exert an influence on that real. Now, that real appears to us as arbitrarily limited, as soon as we compare it to the real that our traditional theosophers have glimpsed, and that limitation degrades the reality itself. In addition, it is always the word fantasy that appears as an excuse: literary fantasy, for example, or preferably, in the taste and style of the day, social fantasy.

    But it is impossible to avoid wondering whether the mundus imaginalis, in the proper meaning of the term, would of necessity be lost and leave room only for the imaginary if something like a secularization of the imaginal into the imaginary were not required for the fantastic, the horrible, the monstrous, the macabre, the miserable, and the absurd to triumph. On the other hand, the art and imagination of Islamic culture in its traditional form are characterized by the hieratic and the serious, by gravity, stylization, and meaning. Neither our utopias, nor our science fiction, nor the sinister "omega point"-nothing of that kind succeeds in leaving this world or attaining Na-koja-Abad. Those who have known the "eighth climate" have not invented utopias, nor is the ultimate thought of Shi'ism a social or political fantasy, but it is an eschatology, because it is an expectation which is, as such, a real Presence here and now in another world, and a testimony to that other world.



    We ought here to examine the extensive theory of the witnesses to that other world. We ought to question all those mystics who, in Islam, repeated the visionary experience of the heavenly assumption of the Prophet Muhammad (the mi'raj), which offers more than one feature in common with the account, preserved in an old gnostic book, of the celestial visions of the prophet Isaiah. There, the activity of imaginative perception truly assumes the aspect of a hierognosis, a higher sacral knowledge. But in order to complete our discussion, I will limit myself to describing several features typical of accounts taken from Shi'ite literature, because the world into which it will allow us to penetrate seems, at first sight, still to be our world, while in fact the events take place in the eighth climate-not in the imaginary, but in the imaginal world, that is, the world whose coordinates cannot be plotted on our maps, and where the Twelfth Imam, the "Hidden Imam," lives a mysterious life surrounded by his companions, who are veiled under the same incognito as the Imam. One of the most typical of these accounts is the tale of a voyage to "the Green Island situated in the White Sea."

    It is impossible to describe here, even in broad terms, what constitutes the essence of Shi'ite Islam in relation to what is appropriately called Sunni orthodoxy. It is necessary, however, that we should have, at least allusively present in mind, the theme that dominates the horizon of the mystical theosophy of Shi'ism, namely, the "eternal prophetic Reality" (Haqiqat mohammadiya) that is designated as "Muhammadan Logos" or "Muhammadan Light" and is composed of fourteen entities of light: the Prophet, his daughter Fatima, and the twelve Imams. This is the pleroma of the "Fourteen Pure Ones," by means of whose countenance the mystery of an eternal theophany is accomplished from world to world. Shi'ism has thus given Islamic prophetology its metaphysical foundation at the same time that it has given it lmamology as the absolutely necessary complement. This means that the sense of the Divine Revelations is not limited to the letter, to the exoteric that is the cortex and containant, and that was enunciated by the Prophet; the true sense is the hidden internal, the esoteric, what is symbolized by the cortex, and which it is incumbent upon the Imams to reveal to their followers. That is why Shi'ite theosophy eminently possesses the sense of symbols.

    Moreover, the closed group or dynasty of the twelve Imams is not a political dynasty in earthly competition with other political dynasties; it projects over them, in a way, as the dynasty of the guardians of the Grail, in our Western traditions, projects over the official hierarchy of the Church. The ephemeral earthly appearance of the twelve Imams concluded with the twelfth, who, as a young child (in A.H. 260/A.D. 873) went into occultation from this world, but whose parousia the Prophet himself announced, the Manifestation at the end of our Aion, when he would reveal the hidden meaning of all Divine Revelations and fill the earth with justice and peace, as it will have been filled until then with violence and tyranny. Present simultaneously in the past and the future, the Twelfth Imam, the Hidden Imam, has been for ten centuries the history itself of Shi'ite consciousness, a history over which, of course, historical criticism loses its rights, for its events, although real, nevertheless do not have the reality of events in our climates, but they have the reality of those in the "eighth climate," events of the soul which are visions. His occultation occurred at two different times: the minor occultation (260/873) and the major occultation (330/942).17 Since then, the Hidden Imam is in the position of those who were removed from the visible world without crossing the threshold of death: Enoch, Elijah, and Christ himself, according to the teaching of the Qur'an. He is the Imam "hidden from the senses, but present in the heart of his followers," in the words of the consecrated formula, for he remains the mystical pole [qotb] of this world, the pole of poles, without whose existence the human world could not continue to exist. There is an entire Shi'ite literature about those to whom the Imam has manifested himself, or who have approached him but without seeing him, during the period of the Great Occultation.

    Of course, an understanding of these accounts postulates certain premises that our preceding analyses permit us to accept. The first point is that the Imam lives in a mysterious place that is by no means among those that empirical geography can verify; it cannot be situated on our maps. This place "outside of place" nonetheless has its own topography. The second point is that life is not limited to the conditions of our visible material world with its biological laws that we know. There are events in the life of the Hidden Imam-even descriptions of his five sons, who are the governors of mysterious cities. The third point is that in his last letter to his last visible representative, the Imam warned against the imposture of people who would pretend to quote him, to have seen him, in order to lay claim to a public or political role in his name. But the Imam never excluded the fact that he would manifest himself to aid someone in material or moral distress-a lost traveler, for example, or a believer who is in despair.

    These manifestations, however, never occur except at the initiative of the Imam; and if he appears most often in the guise of a young man of supernatural beauty, almost always, subject to exception, the person granted the privilege of this vision is only conscious afterward, later, of whom he has seen. A strict incognito covers these manifestations; that is why the religious event here can never be socialized. The same incognito covers the Imam's companions, that elite of elites composed of young people in his service. They form an esoteric hierarchy of a strictly limited number, which remains permanent by means of substitution from generation to generation. This mystical order of knights, which surrounds the Hidden Imam, is subject to an incognito as strict as that of the knights of the Grail, inasmuch as they do not lead anyone to themselves. But someone who has been led there will have penetrated for a moment into the eighth climate; for a moment he will have been "in the totality of the Heaven of his soul."

    That was indeed the experience of a young Iranian shaykh, 'Ali ibn Fazel Mazandarani, toward the end of our thirteenth century, an experience recorded in the Account of strange and marvelous things that he contemplated and saw with his own eyes on the Green Island situated in the White Sea. I can only give a broad outline of this account here, without going into the details that guarantee the means and authenticity of its transmission.18 The narrator himself gives a long recital of the years and circumstances of his life preceding the event; we are dealing with a scholarly and spiritual personality who has both feet on the ground. He tells us how he emigrated, how in Damascus he followed the teaching of an Andalusian shaykh, and how he became attached to this shaykh; and when the latter left for Egypt, he together with a few other disciples accompanied him. From Cairo he followed him to Andalusia, where the shaykh had suddenly been called by a letter from his dying father. Our narrator had scarcely arrived in Andalusia when he contracted a fever that lasted for three days. Once recovered, he went into the village and saw a strange group of men who had come from a region near the land of the Berbers, not far from the "peninsula of the Shi'ites." He is told that the journey takes twenty-five days, with a large desert to cross. He decides to join the group. Up to this point, we are still more or less on the geographical map.

    But it is no longer at all certain that we are still on it when our traveler reaches the peninsula of the Shi'ites, a peninsula surrounded by four walls with high massive towers; the outside wall borders the coast of the sea. He asks to be taken to the principal mosque. There, for the first time, he hears, during the muezzin's call to prayer, resounding from the minaret of the mosque, the Shl'ite invocation asking that "Joy should hasten," that is, the joy of the future Appearance of the Imam, who is now hidden. In order to understand his emotion and his tears, it is necessary to think of the heinous persecutions, over the course of many centuries and over vast portions of the territory of Islam, that reduced the Shi'ites, the followers of the holy Imams, to a state of secrecy. Recognition among Shi'ites is effected here again in the observation, in a typical manner, of the customs of the "discipline of the arcanum."

    Our pilgrim takes up residence among his own, but he notices in the course of his walks that there is no sown field in the area. Where do the inhabitants obtain their food? He learns that food comes to them from "the Green Island situated in the White Sea," which is one of the islands belonging to the sons of the Hidden Imam. Twice a year, a flotilla of seven ships brings it to them. That year the first voyage had already taken place; it would be necessary to wait four months until the next voyage.The account describes the pilgrim passing his days, overwhelmed by the kindness of the inhabitants, but in an anguish of expectation, walking tirelessly along the beach, always watching the high sea, toward the west, for the arrival of the ships. We might be tempted to believe that we are on the African coast of the Atlantic and that the Green Island belongs, perhaps, to the Canaries or the "Fortunate Isles." The details that follow will suffice to undeceive us. Other traditions place the Green Island elsewhere-in the Caspian Sea, for example-as though to indicate to us that it has no coordinates in the geography of this world.

    Finally, as if according to the law of the "eighth climate" ardent desire has shortened space, the seven ships arrive somewhat in advance and make their entry into the port. From the largest of the ships descends a shaykh of noble and commanding appearance, with a handsome face and magnificent clothes. A conversation begins, and our pilgrim realizes with astonishment that the shaykh already knows everything about him, his name and his origin. The shaykh is his Companion, and he tells him that he has come to find him: together they will leave for the Green Island. This episode bears a characteristic feature of the gnostic's feeling everywhere and always: he is an exile, separated from his own people, whom he barely remembers, and he has still less an idea of the way that will take him back to them. One day, though, a message arrives from them, as in the "Song of the Pearl" in the Acts of Thomas, as in the "Tale of Western Exile" by Sohravardi. Here, there is something better than a message: it is one of the companions of the Imam in person. Our narrator exclaims movingly: "Upon hearing these words, I was overwhelmed with happiness. Someone remembered me, my name was known to them!" Was his exile at an end? From now on, he is entirely certain that the itinerary cannot be transferred onto our maps.

    The crossing lasts sixteen days, after which the ship enters an area where the waters of the sea are completely white; the Green Island is outlined on the horizon. Our pilgrim learns from his Companion that the White Sea forms an uncrossable zone of protection around the island; no ship manned by the enemies of the Imam and his people can venture there without the waves engulfing it. Our travelers land on the Green Island. There is a city at the edge of the sea; seven walls with high towers protect the precincts (this is the preeminent symbolic plan). There are luxuriant vegetation and abundant streams. The buildings are constructed from diaphanous marble. All the inhabitants have beautiful and young faces, and they wear magnificent clothes. Our Iranian shaykh feels his heart fill with joy, and from this point on, throughout the entire second part, his account will take on the rhythm and the meaning of an initiation account, in which we can distinguish three phases. There is an initial series of conversations with a noble personage who is none other than a grandson of the Twelfth Imam (the son of one of his five sons), and who governs the Green Island: Sayyed Shamsoddin These conversations compose a first initiation into the secret of the Hidden Imam; they take place sometimes in the shadow of: mosque and sometimes in the serenity of gardens filled with per fumed trees of all kinds. There follows a visit to a mysterious sanctuary in the heart of the mountain that is the highest pea on the island. Finally, there is a concluding series of conversations of decisive importance with regard to the possibility or in possibility of having a vision of the Imam.

    I am giving the briefest possible summary here, and I must pass over in silence the details of scenery depiction and of an intensely animated dramaturgy, in order to note only the central episode. At the summit or at the heart of the mountain, which is in the center of the Green Island, there is a small temple, with a cupola, where one can communicate with the Imam, because it happens that he leaves a personal message there, but no one is permitted to ascend to this temple except Sayyed Shamsoddin and those who are like him. This small temple stands in the shadow of the Tuba tree; now, we know that this is the name of the tree that shades Paradise; it is the Tree of Being. The temple is at the edge of a spring, which, since it gushes at the base of the Tree of Paradise, can only be the Spring of Life. In order to confirm this for us, our pilgrim meets there the incumbent of this temple, in whom we recognize the mysterious prophet Khezr (Khadir). It is there, at the heart of being, in the shade of the Tree and at the edge of the Spring, that the sanctuary is found where the Hidden Imam may be most closely approached. Here we have an entire constellation of easily recognizable archetypal symbols.

    We have learned, among other things, that access to the little mystical temple was only permitted to a' person who, by attaining the spiritual degree at which the Imam has become his personal internal Guide, has attained a state "similar" to that of the actual descendant of the Imam. This is why the idea of internal conformation is truly at the center of the initiation account, and it is this that permits the pilgrim to learn other secrets of the Green Island: for example, the symbolism of a particularly eloquent ritual.19 In the Shi'ite liturgical calendar, Friday is the weekday especially dedicated to the Twelfth Imam. Moreover, in the lunar calendar, the middle of the month marks the midpoint of the lunar cycle, and the middle of the month of Sha'ban is the anniversary date of the birth of the Twelfth Imam into this world. On a Friday, then, while our Iranian pilgrim is praying in the mosque, he hears a great commotion outside. His initiator, Sayyed, informs him that each time the day of the middle of the month falls on a Friday, the chiefs of the mysterious militia that surrounds the Imam assemble in "expectation of joy," a consecrated term, as we know, which means: in the expectation of the Manifestation of the Imam in this world. Leaving the mosque, he sees a gathering of horsemen from whom a triumphal clamor rises. These are the 313 chiefs of the supernatural order of knights always present incognito in this world, in the service of the Imam. This episode leads us gradually to the final scenes that precede the farewell. Like a leitmotiv, the expression of the desire to see the Imam returns ceaselessly. Our pilgrim will learn that twice in his life he was in the Imams presence: he was lost in the desert and the Imam came to his aid. But as is an almost constant rule, he knew nothing of it then; he learns of it now that he has come to the Green Island. Alas, he must leave this island; the order cannot be rescinded; the ships are waiting, the same one on which he arrived. But even more than for the voyage outward, it is impossible for us to mark out the itinerary that leads from the "eighth climate" to this world. Our traveler obliterates his tracks, but he will keep some material evidence of his sojourn: the pages of notes taken in the course of his conversations with the Imam's grandson, and the parting gift from the latter at the moment of farewell.

    The account of the Green Island allows us an abundant harvest of symbols: (1) It is one of the islands belonging to the son of the Twelfth Imam. (2) It is that island, where the Spring of Life gushes, in the shade of the Tree of Paradise, that ensure the sustenance of the Imams followers who live far away, an that sustenance can only be a "suprasubstantial" food. (3) It situated in the west, as the city of Jabarsa is situated in the we of the mundus imaginalis, and thus it offers a strange analogy with the paradise of the East, the paradise of Amitabha in Pure Land Buddhism; similarly, the figure of the Twelfth Imam suggestive of comparison with Maitreya, the future Buddha; there is also an analogy with Tir-na'n-0g, one of the worlds the Afterlife among the Celts, the land of the West and the forever ever young. (4) Like the domain of the Grail, it is an interworld that is self-sufficient. (5) It is protected against and immune to any attempt from outside. (6) only one who is summoned there can find the way. (7) A mountain rises in the center; we have noted the symbols that it conceals. (8) Like Mont-Salvat, the inviolable Green Island is the place where his followers approach the mystical pole of the world, the Hidden Imam, reigning invisibly over this age- the jewel of the Shi'ite faith.

    This tale is completed by others, for, as we have mentioned, nothing has been said until now about the islands under the reign of the truly extraordinary figures who are the five sons of the Hidden Imam (homologues of those whom Shi'ism designates as the "Five Personages of the Mantle"20 and perhaps also of those whom Manichaeism designates as the "Five Sons of the Living Spirit"). An earlier tale21 (it is from the middle of the twelfth century and the narrator is a Christian) provides us with complementary topographical information. Here again it involves travelers who suddenly realize that their ship has entered a completely unknown area. They land at a first island, al Mobaraka, the Blessed City. Certain difficulties, brought about by the presence among them of Sunni Muslims, oblige them to travel farther. But their captain refuses; he is afraid of the unknown region. They have to hire a new crew. In succession, we learn the names of the five islands and the names of those who govern them: al-Zahera, the City Blooming with Flowers; al Ra'yeqa, the Limpid City; al-Safiya, the Serene City, etc. Whoever manages to gain admittance to them enters into joy forever. Five islands, five cities, five sons of the Imam, twelve months to travel through the islands (two months for each of the first four, four months for the fifth), all of these numbers having a symbolic significance. Here, too, the tale turns into an initiation account; all the travelers finally embrace the Shi'ite faith.

    As there is no rule without an exception, I will conclude by citing in condensed form a tale illustrating a case of manifestation of the Imam in person.22 The tale is from the tenth century. An Iranian from Hamadan made the pilgrimage to Mecca. On the way back, a day's journey from Mecca (more than two thousand kilometers from Hamadan), having imprudently gone astray during the night, he loses his companions. In the morning he is wandering alone in the desert and placing his trust in God, Suddenly, he sees a garden that neither he nor anyone else has ever heard of. He enters it. At the door of a pavilion, two young pages dressed in white await him and lead him to a young mar of supernatural beauty. To his fearful and awestruck astonishment, he learns that he is in the presence of the Twelfth Imam The latter speaks to him about his future Appearance and finally addressing him by name, asks him whether he wants to return to his home and family. Certainly, he wants to do so. The Imam signals to one of his pages, who gives the traveler a purse, take him by the hand, and guides him through the gardens. The, walk together until the traveler sees a group of houses, a mosque, and shade trees that seem familiar to him. Smiling, the page asks him: "Do you know this land?" "Near where I live in Hamadan'' he replies, "there is a land called Asadabad, which exactly resembles this place." The page says to him, "But you are in Asadabad. "Amazed, the traveler realizes that he is actually near his home. He turns around; the page is no longer then he is all alone, but he still has in his hand the viaticum that ha been given to him. Did we not say a little while ago that the where, the ubi of the "eighth climate" is an ubique?

    I know how many commentaries can be applied to these tale depending upon whether we are metaphysicians, traditionalist or not, or whether we are psychologists. But by way of provisional conclusion, I prefer to limit myself to asking three small questions:

    1. We are no longer participants in a traditional culture; we live in a scientific civilization that is extending its control, it said, even to images. It is commonplace today to speak of a "civilization of the image" (thinking of our magazines, cinema, and television). But one wonders whether, like all commonplace this does not conceal a radical misunderstanding, a complete error. For instead of the image being elevated to the level of a world that would be proper to it, instead of it appearing invested with a symbolic function, leading to an internal sense, there is above all a reduction of the image to the level of sensory perception pure and simple, and thus a definitive degradation of the image. Should it not be said, therefore, that the more successful this reduction is, the more the sense of the imaginal is lost, and the more we are condemned to producing only the imaginary?

    2. In the second place, all imagery, the scenic perspective of a tale like the voyage to the Green Island, or the sudden encounter with the Imam in an unknown oasis-would all this be possible without the absolutely primary and irreducible, objective, initial fact (Urphanomen) of a world of image-archetypes or image-sources whose origin is nonrational and whose incursion into our world is unforeseeable, but whose postulate compels recognition?

    3. In the third place, is it not precisely this postulate of the objectivity of the imaginal world that is suggested to us, or imposed on us, by certain forms or certain symbolic emblems (hermetic, kabbalistic; or mandalas) that have the quality of effecting a magic display of mental images, such that they assume an objective reality?

    To indicate in what sense it is possible to have an idea of how to respond to the question concerning the objective reality of supernatural figures and encounters with them, I will simply refer to an extraordinary text, where Villiers de L'Isle-Adam speaks about the face of the inscrutable Messenger with eyes of clay; it "could not be perceived except by the spirit. Creatures experience only influences that arc inherent in the archangelic entity. "Angels," he writes, "are not, in substance, except in the free sublimity of the absolute Heavens, where reality is unified with the ideal.... They only externalize themselves in the ecstasy they cause and which forms a part of themselves."23

    Those last words, an ecstasy ... which forms part of themselves, seem to me to possess a prophetic clarity, for they have the quality of piercing even the granite of doubt, of paralyzing the "agnostic reflex," in the sense that they break the reciprocal isolation of the consciousness and its object, of thought and being; phenomenology is now an ontology. Undoubtedly, this is the postulate implied in the teaching of our authors concerning the imaginal. For there is no external criterion for the manifestation of the Angel, other than the manifestation itself. The Angel is itself the ekstasis, the "displacement" or the departure from ourselves that is a "change of state" from our state. That is why these words also suggest to us the secret of the supernatural being of the "Hidden Imam'' and of his Appearances for the Shi'ite consciousness: the Imam is the ekstasis itself of that consciousness. One who is not in the same spiritual state cannot see him.

    This is what Sohravardi alluded to in his tale of "The Crimson Archangel" by the words that we cited at the beginning: "If you are Khezr, you also may pass without difficulty through the mountain of Qaf."

March 1964



  1. 1.  See LArcbange empourpre, quinze traitis et ricits mystiques, Documents spirituels 14 (Paris: Fayard, 1976), 6: 201-213. For the entirety of the themes discussed here, see our book En Islam iranien: Aspects spirituels et philosophiques, new ed. (Paris: Gallimard, 1978), vol. 4, bk. 7, "Le Douzieme Imam et la chevalerie spirituelle."

  2. 2.  See L'Archange empourpre, 7: 227-239.

  3. 3.  See our Histoire de la philosophic islamique (Paris: Gallimard, 1964), 1: 222 ff., 317 ff.

  4. 4.  That is why the representation of the Sphere of Spheres in Peripatetic or Ptolemaic astronomy is only a schematic indication; it continues to be of value even after this astronomy is abandoned. This means that regardless of how "high" rockets or sputniks can reach, there will not be a single step made toward Na-koja-Abad, for the "threshold" will not have been crossed.

  5. 5.  Regarding this idea of presence, see particularly our introduction to Molla Sadra Shirazi, Le Livre des penetrations metaphysiques (Kitab al-Masha'ir), edition and French translation (Bibliotheque Iranienne, vol. 10), Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1964, index under this term.

  6. 6.  See our work Spiritual Body and Celestial Earth: From Mazdean Iran to Shi'ite Iran (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1977), especially the texts of the eleven authors translated for the first time, in the second part of the work. The notes here refer to the second French edition, Corps spirituel et Terre celeste: de l'Iran mazdeen a l'ran shi'ite (Paris: Buchet-Chastel, 1979).

  7. 7.  Corps spirituel, p. 147.

  8. 8.  For what follows, ibid., pp. 103, 106, 112 ff., 154 ff.

  9. 9.  Ibid., pp. 156 ff., 190 ff.

  10. 10.  Ibid., pp. 112 ff., 154 ff.

  11. 11.  Ibid., p. 155

  12. 12.  Ibid., p. 112.

  13. 13.  Ibid., p. 113.

  14. 14.  Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and its Wonders and Hell, trans. J. C. Ager (New York: Swedenborg Foundation, 1900), §§ 191 to 195. Swedenborg returns repeatedly to this doctrine of space and time-for example in the short book Earths in the Universe. If there is not rigorous awareness of this, his visionary experiences will be objected to by a criticism that is as simplistic as it is ineffective, because it confuses spiritual vision of the spiritual world with what relates to the fantasy of science fiction. There is an abyss between the two.

  15. 15.  See our article "La place de Molla Sadrda Shirazi (ob. 1050/1640) clans la philosophie iranienne," Studia Islamica (1963), as well as the work cited above, note 5.

  16. 16.  See our work L'Imagination creatrice dans le souftsme d'Ibn 'Arabi, 2nd ed. (Paris: Flammarion, 1977), p. 139. (First edition translated as Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi [Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969].) Regarding the theory of the Angeli caelestes, see our book Avicenne et le Recit visionnaire, vol. 1, Bibliotheque Iranienne, vol. 4 (Paris: Adrien-Maisonneuve, 1954; 2nd ed., Paris: Berg international, 1982). English translation of the first edition: Avicenna and the Visionary Recital (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1960).

  17. 17.  For more details, see En Islam iranien, vol. 4, bk. 7; and our Histoire de la philosophic islamique, pp. 101 ff.

  18. 18.  See En Islam iranien, vol. 4, bk. 7, pp. 346 ff.

  19. 19.  Ibid., pp. 361-362.

  20. 20.  Ibid., p. 373.

  21. 21.  Ibid., § 3, pp. 367 ff.

  22. 22.  Ibid., § 4, pp. 374 ff.

  23. 23.  Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, L'Annonciateur (epilogue).

                       Gita Summary

             Summary of the Main Themes in the Bhagavad Gita

 Some key statements made by Krishna to Arjuna, help us in considering the main themes in the Bhagavad Gita.

 Krishna was an “avatar” of the Preserver -- Maha-Vishnu.  His death around February 18th, 3102 BC ushered in the current cycle of the Kali-Yuga (the Black Age).  His teachings to Arjuna (reported here by Vyasa (also a Sage) are deemed to reverberate through the whole length of this dark period among the eternal cycles.  This one is said to be 432,000 years in duration.  [SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol. I, pp 662-5, II 68-70.]

 The BHAGAVAD GITA is included in the MAHA-BHARATA -- an account of the early struggles of the Royal house of the Kurus -- who do NOT represent the LAW in ACTION and therefore are in conflict with their virtuous cousins, the Pandavas (of which Arjuna was one). 

 The scene of this dialog is set on the battlefield named Kuru-Kshetra.  It is the area of conflict in each mind between the Universal Laws of LIFE  (Karma) and the personal and selfish reflection (the ‘isolated’ embodied brain-mind) which we call our Personality.  Virtue (lawfulness) confronts vice (selfish disregard of law), and the EMBODIED Mind decides on its course of action. [It is also an historical area about 55 miles North of Delhi.]

 Krishna, as the highest Spiritual Teacher [ATMA --  the Higher Self], answers questions posed by Arjuna, (the free Mind-man) his pupil. 

 Arjuna was also called “Nara” or Man;  and Krishna was named “Narayana” (the Holy Spirit moving on the waters of Infinite Space -- or a Sage who embodies Universal Laws and virtues, as, ATMA -- the Higher Self in each human being). He gives theoretical and practical advice based on the single concept that the Spiritual Being, whether in the Cos­mos or in Man, or as the Monad resident in any and all “atoms,” is the only permanence and REALITY.  It, being universal and deathless, is the root source of manifestation; and is therefore present everywhere, and at the root of every seemingly independent being, be it an atom, a Man, of a Galaxy.  It is simultaneously the SPIRIT – ever resident in each human being.

 The “embodied self” (or Arjuna-Man-mind)  has to desire to know its Higher Self (or Krishna, the Universal Spirit, as the Atma within its form.)  Since it apprehends ITS exist­ence, only a method of self-control (of the desire nature -- Kama), and therefore, of self-purification (by living a life of strict probity) will lead it to, and activate its own share of that universal wisdom (Buddhi).  Krishna gives theoretical and practical teachings, but does not enforce them.  He recognizes and respects the right to individual choice and decision of every free-willed being, which is making its pilgrimage through reincarnation in many successive lives and human forms .

 At the end of the “song” he says to Arjuna:  ”There dwelleth in the heart of every creature, O Arjuna, the Master--Ishwara--who by his magic power causeth all things and creatures to revolve mounted upon the universal wheel of time.  Take sanctuary with him alone…with all thy soul;  by his grace thou shalt obtain supreme happiness, the eternal place.  Thus have I made known unto thee this knowledge which is more secret than secrecy itself;  ponder it fully in thy mind;  act as seemeth best unto thee.”  [Verses 61, 62, 63  of the 18th Chapter, B. GITA]

 Important statements are repeated and emphasized several times in the text.


                         Summary   (The BHAGAVAD GITA)

 1.         The UNIVERSAL SUPREME SPIRIT, indefinable, changeless and undying pervades All manifestation and antecedes it as “Cause.”

 2.         MANIFESTATION IS PERIODICAL  KARMA eternally guides these successive and multiple areas of  learning.  Every being, going to "sleep and rest" at the end of any period of evolutionary objectivity (Manvantara or Kalpa), re-awakens at the same stage and with its own continued identity, when manifestation restarts.  Nothing is annihilated, destroyed or forgotten.  NATURE (the Spiritual Kosmos) includes everything.

 3.         SPIRIT AND MATTER ARE CO-ETERNAL. [see NOTES ON BHAGAVAD GITA, p. 132-3] . Mind, or consciousness, is the field of interaction between Spirit and Matter and therefore is of many grades.  It is always inde­pendent as to its free choices, but those are partially based on its earlier decisions, and therefore it is indissolubly bound by them (Karma).  We all know this by intuition.  Causes we set into motion will echo back to us.

 4.         CONSCIOUSNESS RELATES TO SPIRIT.  In Kosmos it is Krishna as the Universal SPIRIT.  In man it is ATMA the HIGHER SELF, and this being one, it (as the ONE CONSCIOUSNESS) pierces up and down the seven planes of being, and upholds the memory of the experiences of every being there.  [ Gita Notes, p. 98-100 ]

 5.         ALL BEINGS ARE IMMORTAL IN CONSCIOUSNESS, IN SPIRIT.  The Universe, and each World, is a school of evolving consciousnesses where individual units (imperishable Monads) are developing a knowledge of the Spirit,  and its Laws, which are present in every "creature."  Therefore “brotherhood” is a fact.  The practice of “brotherhood” is the purificatory rite we assume as a duty owed to all, and can observe

 6.         IGNORANCE ARISES FROM IMPERFECT KNOWLEDGE -- DELUSION, AND ILLUSION -- which is the inability to see the One Spirit in every be­ing.  The Life-Atom (Monad), the Monadic Essence, all "forms," contain a "ray," a spark of the One Spirit.  The ONE SPIRIT surrounds everything.  No being is outside of IT. {Some give it names, and call it by those deeming it to be “God,” or, “a God.”  Thus religions are formed and devised.}

 7.         Man (as the embodied Mind) is a trustee, and an Agent, in his position of being free and independent, and having the faculty of choosing  his own method of learning. His responsibility is to the Higher Self within.  He errs when he does not act in accord with its instructions which are an expression of Universal Law, Karma.  The "Voice of Conscience," and of Intuition are evidence that the interior wisdom (called BUDDHI) of the Higher Self is present, will respond with discriminative advice when asked, and, is one with all else.

 8.         In mankind, every "act" is predicated on his freedom of choice.  Every act produces a reaction from living Nature (Karma) according to the motive of the choice.  MOTIVES ARE DUAL: SELFISH (OR ISOLATED AND DISHARMONIOUS), AND UNSELFISH (OR UNIVERSAL AND HARMONIOUS).  THIS IS THE CAUSE OF REINCARNATION.  Reincarnation is like a day spent in the class in the School of Life.  We are the Eternal Pilgrims.  Our objective, Krishna says, is “Perfection.”  This “living wisdom in action” defines the Sage or the Wise Man.

 9.         "Good" and "Evil" are acts and effects which are in either harmony or disharmony with the Law of the Universe.  Our task, as humans, is to learn this distinction, relying on the universal Spirit which is interior to us as our Higher Self, to advise  THE BREAKING OF THE LAW OF BROTHERHOOD IS EVIL.

 10.       Three "qualities" [“Gunas”] pervade Nature in manifestation:  WISDOM,  and the dual choices: ACTION, and INDIFFERENCE. 

 Our plane of wakeful awareness -- of living -- is the plane of action.  The alterna­tives (pairs of opposites) of Wisdom and ignorance (or indifference) confront and help to define our freedom.

 11.       Emancipation, liberation, bliss, Nirvana, are words indicating a hope, or desire for freedom from sorrow and pain that has been cause by past ignorant actions.  It is innate to all, and  is generally called “our Karma.” Final “freedom” is to be viewed as a state of consciousness. It can only be achieved by learning and practicing detachment from "hoped-for" selfish results.

 12.       Actions are to be performed, with discriminative fore-thought as responsible duty, and in the interest of all.  WISDOM IS THE PERCEPTION OF NECESSARY DUTIES.  It is being a true “brother.”  “INACTION IN A DEED OF MERCY IS AN ACTION IN A DEADLY SIN.”

 13.       THE GOAL OF ALL EVOLUTION IS TO EMBODY SPIRITUAL WISDOM in a purified form.  Therefore the purification of motive in man's consciousness results in the subduing of desire, and replacing impulse, passion and emotion with Wisdom.  The truly wise man [bodhisattva],and is a BUDDHA --- an AVATAR.

 14.       Those who become Wise have the continuing duty and respon­sibility of assisting all other "creatures" to attain their state.  They make themselves, through choice, Krishna's agents in the World.  They reject the “bliss” of Nirvana. They are the Buddhas and the Nirmanakayas.

15.       FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS A SPIRITUAL ATTRIBUTE.  It makes us realize as mind-men that we are responsible.  It serves to acti­vate our search for Truth.  It demands that we "know ourselves."


 The Bhagavad Gita

 A Summary of Chapter Contents:

             A survey of the main themes in the Gita can be seen to de­velop in three divisions:

             Each division is comprised of 6 chapters.  These seem to group themselves into three sets, corresponding to the three  natures interblended in each Man-Mind.  [S D  I  181]  As an instance:

                                       I                     II                      III

 Stage                           Aspirant           Devotee           Adept

Human Division         Body                Soul-Mind        Spirit

Condition                    Ignorance         Learning           Mastery

Quality                        Harmony  -       Sacrifice  -        Compassion

The whole system is called Karma-Sanyasa-Yoga, or union with the Divine by the renunciation of interest in the fruits of personal action. 


 A         Karma Yoga  - tilling the "field of living action."

Life in the body with the skandhas as Karma.  United Action - Harmony - Brotherhood

 The work of the "aspirant" plunged in the "The Hall of Ignorance"    [Voice, p. 6.]  Duty, or "Right Action."

             Chapters 1 to 6

 Chapter 1        The field of battle. War and the nature of the contending forces.  Our "past" now haunts us. Despondency of the personality because of ignorance and fear.  It is named: Vishada, or that karma which we created in the past and may be unwilling or unprepared to face now.

 Note:  Chapters 2 to 6 are a dissertation using the various (6) systems of Indian Philosophy (shad {6}-darshanas):  Sankhya Yoga, Karma Yoga, Gnyan Karma Sanyasa Yoga, Sanyasa Yoga, Dhyana Yoga and Buddhi Yoga.

Chapter 2        Arguments for righteousness as a practical ideal.  Spirit immortality, Its application:  Reincarnation.

 Chapter 3        Right livelihood.  Knowledge of and harmonizing with the Divine.  Knowledge-Wisdom is to be acquired.

 Chapter 4        The One Universal Spirit enfolds all beings.  Discrimination as to right action.  Wisdom, like fire, purifies our understanding of motive.  Right choice.

 Chapter 5        Dispassion.  Skill in performing acts.  Nature and control of the mind.  Freeing the Mind from desire. Unselfishness.

 Chapter 6        Duty and discriminating between good and evil actions.  Self-discipline.  Sacrifice by the Spirit a universal law.


 B          Bhakti Yoga -- The Soul of man is Manas, the "Thinker.”  It is conjoined to Kama-emotion.  Selfish to unselfish.  The Eternal Pilgrim sees Time and Space are infinite and it can resolve them intelligently.

 Devotion to others - Self-sacrifice is the "Path" of the Chela-devotee.  This is also called:  "The Hall of (probationary) Learning “  [Voice,

p. 6.]  Devotion to the interests of others.

 From Chapter 7 on we find the most sublime teachings.  They contain an introduction to, and an exposition of, metaphysics, which lead to occult knowledge, culminating in the practice of devotion to the Unmanifest, a portion of which is innate in every being, including man, as his Higher Self, the Krishna within.           (see SD I 86, 169)


                        Chapters 7 to 12

 Chapter 7        All souls are one with the Over-Soul.  Discernment of Buddhi-wisdom is our share of the Universal Spirit.  Higher Mind.  Ideals and aspirations.  Knowledge and its realization

 Chapter 8        Universal Brotherhood.  OM the ONE, fundamental, original, vibratory LIFE.  Constancy.  Devotion.  Choose the True.  The Omnipresent SPIRIT, Indestructible.

 Chapter 9        Universals are changeless.  Arguments are about selfish effects.  Higher Manasic vision: a Kingly science. Kingly knowledge and deep mystery.

 Chapter 10      Righteous company is with "wise" companions. Balancing the 3 planes of life and 3 innate qualities of Nature. The Eternal Lodge of Atma-Buddhic Beings.  Universal, divine perfections in the manifested, and, the transcendent Reality.

Chapter 11      Universal Form is the geometry of Universal consciousness in action.  Atmic vision.  The Universe grows "I."  Kosmic vision.

 Chapter 12      Knowledge of Truth is faith.  High psychology.  Desire transmuted is wisdom, hence, action made harmless and constructive. Skandhas in training.  Devotion in all works to the Spirit.


 C         Gnyan Yoga    Spiritual Wisdom in practice.  The Adept is harmless because Wisdom is harmony with all in Nature.

The Spiritual nature is compassionate and Self-sacrificing.

 The Hall of Wisdom      [Voice, p. 7.]

 Sacrificial Actions of the Wise, by the One Life when Embodied.

                         Chapters 13 to 18

 Chapter 13      Contains the whole of Occultism. The Brotherhood of all Consciousness. Distinguishing the "field," from the "Knower of the Field."  Elimination of Ahankara, a false illusion of "I" :

             1.         Purusha - Narayana - Krishna - Atman

                                    is the "owner of the field."

            2.         Mula-prakriti - Buddhi - all Skandhas as

                                    past experience is the "field."

            3.         These are perceived by Mahat - Higher

                                    Manas - Man-soul.

 These are the "Three in One," the Eternal Self of all Creatures.

 Chapter 14      Discrimination of the 3 Qualities. Experience of the 4th Round is through Trimurthi: 3 forms of the Universe.

 Chapter 15      Knowledge of Maha-Purusha, the Superior

Spirit (Universal Self). Esoteric Wisdom.

 Chapter 16      Knowledge of the pairs of Opposites  enables Mind to control Motive.  The "Field of Desire" shows all choices

as dualities.  Overhead is spiritual dispassion.

 Chapter 17      Shraddha (Faith) is triune.  Equipoise

depends on Manas choosing rightly with Wisdom.  Lower Manas has to reach its perfection through self-reform. Dependence passes to independence and then to inter-dependence. 

 Chapter 18      The Final Sacrifice of Wisdom

                         The Eternal Teachers - "Great Sacrifice"

                                                            [SD I 207-210]

                         Brahm-Atma.  Moksha-Sanyasa-Yoga.

                         Make your own final choice independently


                         In Summary

 1          The Gita affirms we are immortals in our essence.

 2          Nature as a whole is ruled by immutable law.  It is made up of immortal beings.  At this time, some have less experience than we do (life-atoms), and some have more (the Adepts, Mahatmas and Sri Krishna).

 3          The key to progress is first to discharge our karmic debts.  Do no further harm by way of selfishness.  Become wise by study, reflection and disinterested effort: right livelihood.  Develop friendliness to all.  Understand our responsibility to all others as co-immortal brothers.

 4          All beings form a collaborative whole.  Since they are eternals, they are never destroyed.  Harmony, patience and calm­ness are keys to self-purification.

 5          The Universe is a School.  Our World is our classroom.  We are riveted to it because of ancient bonds of attraction.  All beings around us are our eternal co-pupils.

 6          The Lodge of Adepts has always existed in the world.  We conceal it from ourselves by selfishness and by carelessness.  It stores and safeguards WISDOM.

 7          Krishna, the Higher Self is within our spiritual heart.  He is in the heart of all others.  Brotherhood is a fact.

 8          There is no "annihilation."  There is no final or eternal rest in a Universe of infinite extent and perpetual motion.  Wisdom widens our circle of usefulness and deepens our responsibility to all the rest of the evolving mass of beings. 

 9          Law is impersonal, universal and immutable.  "As you sow, so shall you also reap," is the rule of total fairness.

 10        The wise sacrifice their attainment to help all others.



             Universal Spirit

 When a Kalpa closes, all creatures merge into the unmani­fested and then, on the opening of another Day of Brahma they re-emerge at that point where they "fell asleep."  There is, however that, which is not dissolved at that time, it is indivisible, indestructible, unmanifested and exhaustless, "it is called the Supreme Goal."  There Krishna abides.  [see p. 106 ]  All creatures are included in this process.  True devotion brings the Wise to perceive The Universal Spirit present in all, as their attention is constantly focused on it during life.  [ see HPB Articles, Vol. III, p. 265 ]

 "As the all-moving Akasa, by reason of its subtlety passeth everywhere unaffected, so the Spirit, though present in every kind of body, is not attached to action nor affected.  As a sin­gle sun illuminateth the whole world, even so doth the One Spirit illumine every body.  Those who with the eye of wisdom thus per­ceive what is the difference between the body and Spirit and the destruction of the illusion of objects, go to the supreme."   ( p. 98 )

 "The deluded do not see the Spirit...But those who have the eye of wisdom perceive it, and devotees who industriously strive to do so, see it dwelling in their own hearts;  whilst those who have not overcome themselves, who are devoid of discrimination, see it not, even though they strive thereafter...I am in the hearts of all men, and from me come memory, knowledge, and also the loss of both..."             ( pp. 106-108 )

                         Immortality is the condition of the Higher Self

             -                                   THE SPIRIT IN MAN

 "The spirit in the body is called  Maheshwara, the Great Lord, the spectator, the admonisher, the sustainer, the enjoyer, and also the Paramatma, the highest soul."    (G N   p. 96)

 In the second chapter, Krishna speaks of the immortality of the Ego in every man's heart.  That cannot be destroyed at death but exists eternally.

 The One Spirit, Krishna, being everywhere, is the essence of all beings.  Deathless, it sustains all.  It is the Inner Ruler of the body.  Death comes only to the mortal part of man, and rebirth of the immortal Ego is the result of the universal law requiring continuity, and progress.  That is the fulfillment of responsibilities accepted, and choices already made by all.  ( Gita, pp. 11-12 )

 "I am the Ego which is seated in the hearts of all be­ings...I am the beginning, the middle and the end...I am endless time itself, and the preserver whose face is turned on all sides."  ( p. 73-5 ) 

             "I established this whole universe with a single portion of myself, and remain separate."    (p. 76 )

 The "Higher Self" is always the friend of the "lower Self," which, being involved in illusion, caused by the "pairs of oppo­sites," becomes enemy to itself.  Every man, as "lower mind," has to recognize this, and chose to make a change.          ( p. 44 )

 Krishna stands for the spiritual essence [ the "Ray" of the Universal Spirit ] seated in the heart of all things.  He causes the qualities of sattva, rajas and tamas to arise in Nature, but He is not bound by them.  He declares that He is the "Eternal Seed," and he is the "wisdom of the Wise."   All Nature, and eve­ry creature, is produced by His divine illusive power acting through the qualities.  Only those who approach Him directly, know Him, and will be able to surmount illusion. 

 "There dwelleth in the heart of every creature, O son of Pritha, the Master--Ishwara--who by his magic power causeth all things and creatures to revolve mounted upon the universal wheel of time.  Take sanctuary with him alone, O son of Bharata, with all thy soul;  by his grace thou shalt obtain supreme happiness, the eternal place."   (p.130)

 Being deathless, the Higher Self  [ATMA-BUDDHI], knows all creatures in their innermost nature.  He is unrecognized by the deluded be­cause He remains undiscovered, "enveloped in his magic illusion."            ( p. 55 )

                         THE LOWER SELF  --   KAMA-MANAS

 The "lower Self" is man-mind resident in the body.  In our lives, it has the natural duty of consciously representing the "Higher Self" there. It errs when it forgets this agency. 

 "This body, then, is made up of the great ele­ments, Ahankara--egotism, Buddhi--intellect or judgment, the unmanifest, invisible spirit;  the ten centers of action, the mind and the five objects of sense:  desire, aversion, pleasure and pain, persistency of life, and firmness, the power of cohesion..."   ( p. 93 )

 The "Higher Self" is always the friend of the "lower Self," which, being involved in illusion, caused by the "pairs of oppo­sites," becomes enemy to itself.  Every man, as "lower mind," has to recognize this, and chose to make a change.          ( p. 44 )

 The "lower Self" has to chose to discipline itself.  This is "self-conquest," and if successful in it, it becomes self-subdued and freed of selfish desire.  This position, when adopted and maintained, gives the "lower Self" spiritual knowledge and dis­cernment.  This is "equal-mindedness," or true meditation, and is to be practiced in daily life.       ( p. 44 )

                        Self-Discipline:  The Practical Path

 The practical teachings center on the ways in which the em­bodied Soul (Lower Manas) can rise to the plane and awareness of the Inner Spirit.

 The key to right action is detachment and disinterest in results.  The good of mankind gives reason for a Sage's actions.  He sets the example.  Krishna being such a Sage, says: "I am con­stantly in action."               ( pp. 24-25 )

 Krishna assures Arjuna that no one who aspires and practices true discipline ever perishes:  "For never to an evil place goeth one who doeth good." 

 Incarnating again, Krishna says, he will come into:

 "…contact with the knowledge which belonged to him in his former body, and from that time he struggles more dili­gently towards perfection...for even unwittingly by reason of that past practice, he is led and works on."    ( p. 51 )

 By various methods:  meditation contemplation, philosophical study and, works,  men attempt to view the spirit within.  But, Krishna states: 

 "He who seeth the Supreme Being existing alike imperishable in all perishable things, sees indeed."          ( p. 97 )

 Once a man perceives:

 "...the same Lord present in everything and everywhere, he does not by the "lower self" destroy his own soul [lower “Kama-Manas”], but goeth to the supreme end."   ( p. 97 )

 He sees indeed, who perceives that all actions are performed by nature (prakriti) only, and that the Higher Self within is not the actor. 

                         CAUSE FOR OUR IGNORANCE

 "At the time of rebirth, all creatures fall into the "delusion of the opposites which springs from liking and disliking."  It is they who created their present condition through their choices made in past lives.

"But those men of righteous lives whose sins have ceased, being free from this delusion of the 'pairs of oppo­sites,' firmly settled in faith, worship me.   ( pp. 55-6 )

 Prakriti (matter or form) and Purusha (spirit) are co-exist­ent, and they are beginningless and endless.  Nature, or prakri­ti, operates to produce cause and effect from actions  [ Karma ].  Individual spirit or purusha is the cause of experiencing pleas­ure and pain in the body.  When the spirit is embodied it experi­ences the sensations that proceed from matter and this, through attachment, is the cause of its rebirth in good or evil circum­stances.        ( p. 96 )

 "The spirit in the body is called  Maheshwara, the Great Lord, the spectator, the admonisher, the sustainer, the enjoyer, and also the Paramatma, the highest soul."    ( p. 96) 

Two kinds of beings are in the world: the divisible, which are "all things and the creatures;"  [“Matter”] and the Indivisible, [“SPIRITUAL”] which is the Supreme Spirit--Paramatma--"which permeates and sustains the three worlds...He who...knoweth me [the PRESERVER] thus as the Supreme Spir­it, knoweth all things." (p.108)

             Special Hints to Occultists in the Bhagavad Gita

 Krishna gives these hints :

 1.         There is a "path" called "indestructible," which de­scribes the consistent spiritual meditation carried forward from life to life by some devotees.  It is chosen by those who, make themselves "free" from earthly attachments, aim to be Brahmachar­yas (ascetics devoted to studying the Universe and doing good to all creatures).”       G N  67

 2.         Krishna describes this special practice as:  (1) Closing the "gateways" to sense-[Desire / passions – Kamic] perceptions, (2) imprisoning the [Lower] mind in the [BUDDHI] heart, and (3) focusing the vital powers [PRANA and ASTRAL CENTERS] in the head [Brain-mind]. 

 3.         At the time of death, such an one whose soul is in his firm control, using the word "OM," merging it into his individu­ality, passes into the state and presence of the Supreme Spirit.  All beings up to Brahma are subject to this endless process of rebirth and change. 

 4.         "...for those thinking of me as identical with all, constantly worship me, I bear the burden of the responsibility of their happiness."       ( p. 67 )

 5.         WISDOM is discrimination between necessary and unne­cessary actions.  G N

 6.         Nature is to be studied, known, regulated, and subdued. 

 7.         Every act ought to be considered sacred, and dedicated to the Supreme Spirit, which is the Unitary factor basic to all Nature. ( pp. 32-4 )

  6.         A knowledge of the Self within disperses all the mists of confusion.  Regardless of their external appearance, the illu­minated Sage is able to perceive the One Self present in every form. 

 7.         The great secret, that gives the bliss of true under­standing is:  to prevent the "heart" from becoming attached to "objects of sense."  Contact with and adopting "objects of sense" can only give fleeting pleasure.            (p.48)

 8.         Krishna states that the Universal Spirit shows "him­self" only to pure men.  He, Krishna, appears in that manner in which they may recognize him.  Changeless, Krishna, the Supreme Spirit, as the author of manifestation, remains unaffected by the wise or foolish actions of beings.  The Wise perceive the Immut­able to be present in all changes.              (pp. 31-2 )

 9.         "There dwelleth in the heart of every creature, O son of Pritha, the Master--Ishwara--who by his magic power causeth all things and creatures to revolve mounted upon the universal wheel of time.  Take sanctuary with him alone, O son of Bharata, with all thy soul;  by his grace thou shalt obtain supreme happiness, the eternal place."   (p.130)

 10.       "Thus have I made known unto thee this knowledge which is a mystery more secret than secrecy itself;  ponder it fully in thy mind' act as seemeth best unto thee."    [ This is the Ultimate Free-Will of the truly Wise. ]  (Ch. 18)

  [ Free will is the key to that power of choosing, that gives self-progress, this is one of the proofs that the One Con­sciousness (of the Spirit) exists in Man.  It is proof that all lessons learned are self-imposed.  [ Example:  In a school-room pupils receive the lessons for the day.  Their personal applica­tion determines their individual progress.  They have to choose to learn. So, too in life, we choose our own "path." ]

 11.       Krishna states that the "power to achieve" springs from spirit;  but, if it is directed to temporary, short-sighted goals, it can sustain them only temporarily.    ( pp. 54-5 )

 12.       The "lower Self" has to chose to discipline itself.  This is "self-conquest," and if successful in it, it becomes self-subdued and freed of selfish desire.  This position, when adopted and maintained, gives the "lower Self" spiritual knowl­edge and discernment.  This is "equal-mindedness," or true medi­tation, and is to be practiced in daily life.        ( p. 44 )

             The Opportunity

 The embodied consciousness knows that it is of itself seven­fold.  It has seven distinct foci of action that work on four planes of life, and the overseeing "Guide and Friend," abides on the transcendent three.  There is to be found the True EGO, the Real SELF which is eternal and indestructible.  Mme. Blavatsky gives us this illustration in The Secret Doctrine, volume I, page 200, and II 593.  We thus have the 1 in 3 (One), the 7, and the 10.  The mystic totality:  18.  Seven fold man is considered in the Gita as "body," "soul" and "Spirit."  [Spirit is 3-fold.]

 Manas, mind, or "soul" is one, but has two aspects:

 1. the immortal, constantly reincarnating Individuality;  and,

 2. its temporary reflection in a Personal and evanescent form that it ensouls from incarnation to incarnation. 

 Even this Lower Manas could also be considered to be dual.  With the brain's dissolution at the death of the mortal Personal­ity, the memory of all the present life's experiences is trans­lated into the "states after death" and disposed of in that long period of rest and reflection before the next incarnation.  That is a whole separate story which Theosophy explains in detail.   [ see Theosophical Articles and Notes, p. 17-34.]

 All the aspects of Manas and the experiences of living con­sciousness in the last-lived life are reviewed, and the fresh Personality, reborn, as was the Phoenix out of the "ashes"-- ever-living skandhas--of its own past, is prepared for the next "day" of living in a fresh body.

 In our waking state we feel the power of the brain-mind Per­sonality, and our sense of permanence is usually limited to and focused on the experiences and memories of this life.  This is ahankara or the sense of separateness, of "I." 

 But we also sense the existence of the Divine Individuality, the Higher Mind, which some visualize as an overseeing, "guardian angel," a wise being who is also "us," but sensed as the superior "I," symbolized by light.  It has, as task, to assist, warn and caution us, the embodied Lower Mind, in our daily life.  Its wis­dom lies in its power to survey and draw on the experience of many lives, as well as drawing on Universal experience found eve­rywhere in its "brother" Selves, and also indelibly recorded in the divine akasa.  There is a supersensuous, intimate and con­stantly vibrating, living network of consciousness that is ac­cessed all the time on their own spiritual plane by these Monads, (the jiv-atmas) the immortal centers of life.  Our Higher Mind is one with all Higher Minds, the whole Universal Being is the spir­itual brotherhood of the Universal Mind.

 Then, there is our personal karma.  The universal law of justice requires that we adjust all effects produced by our ear­lier will-choices to their preceding causes, and balance any dis­turbance we have caused.  We sometimes call this inner awareness of the Higher Manas conjoined to Buddhi, "the Voice of Con­science."  The embodied brain-mind has to make an effort to pause, listen, understand, and then obey this mentor.  This can be made easier by constant and consistent right livelihood (as Krishna and Gautama, the Buddha, taught:  by adopting the virtues into our common living).  The single phrase:  "Treat others as you would have them treat you" exemplifies brotherhood in action and in fact.

 One of the capabilities of the immortal life-atoms (skand­has) of "matter" with which we are clothed, is retaining the im­press of our thoughts and emotions when they are being used in our personality.  They become the carriers or bearers of our kar­ma.  Each incarnation, when the Ego returns to rebirth, they as­semble according to laws of attraction that span the universe, to provide us, the reincarnating mind-soul with its form and vehicle in a suitable family. 

 The infinitely sensitive nature of these beings determines our future "karma," and, taken as a whole, the forward thrust of general evolution in Nature is seen operating in and through them.  Our mind makes choices and decisions, and these are the causes of our personal karma.  We bring these "children" of ours into the purview of evolution leading to their own individualiza­tion and adoption of the "path" of karma-yoga.  They are assisted to advance, or are retarded in their own progress, by our choic­es. 

 This will be found throughout the Bhagavad Gita as a central theme.  It is called by H.P.B. "Universal Unity and Causation," and from it is derived the central concept, as a fact in nature:  Universal Brotherhood.  The unending pilgrimage of all beings (each an immortal) in this universal life-scheme, constitutes the eternal Guruparampara chain of teacher-pupil-teacher relation­ships which work subtly in all the many directions found in this School.

 The practice of the virtues serves as a "cleaner," as a pu­rifier of the lower mind.  Through the thread-soul, the antaskar­ana, or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, its bond to the "Three in One," the spiritual EGO, is strengthened, till at last in our daily lives we are able to instantly see, and use this light of wisdom, which is the power of the spiritual Indi­viduality. 

 And this results in the quiet, unostentatious practice of yoga, or the self-sacrifice as "right living."  We need not look afar for our "duty."  It is seen "to lie at hand" in the small plain responsibilities of our daily life, and among our friends and families.  If we cannot succeed in making our daily lives harmonious and pure, how could we expect to assume larger and more important duties ?  The pilgrimage of our lives teaches pa­tience, calmness, attention and self-control.

 Reincarnation is the pathway of evolution which periodically brings the conjoint mind-consciousness back into living as a school-boy returns daily to his class-room--we as incarnating beings, return each "life" to the School of Earth.  We do not leave this "School" our World, until we have learned all that it can teach, and have balanced all the debts which we have incurred by our independent, free-willed choices, and have assisted all our "children" to the path of their own independent evolution as mind-beings. 

 Included in this survey of Kurukshetra, the field of battle, which is our personality, are the elements of matter, the "lives," or life-atoms (jivas, or jiv-atmas) so-called.  These are also called "Monads," Atma-Buddhi-Manas taken as a unit.  Each is a point of living energy, a being.  Each commences its independence as an inexperienced and innocent "infant-mind" in the field of infinite experience.  It has not yet generated any karma. 

 We have, much earlier, as self-conscious mind beings, vowed to serve these, our "children," the life-atoms--much as a "par­ent" might, assuming the natural post as their teacher, protector and guide.  We took upon ourselves ( as an act of self-sacrifice) their karma until they "grew up," and reached the stage of inde­pendent self-consciousness. 

 Then each was launched upon the ocean of life-responsibility by the lighting up of its mind faculties--just as our children in family life are gradually educated, their minds awakened, and they are launched into the independence of their adulthood. 

 Each then develops its own independent karmic responsibili­ty, and finds itself on the stormy sea of evolution--which we crossed, and now stand on "the other shore."  So do those who, like Krishna, for Arjuna, constitute themselves, at our request the guru.  When we "return," we seek Them for their continued support, teaching and succor.  They stand and point to the same olden Path and the many rigors we will have to face and experi­ence.  They state that we have to choose and walk the "path" of our own decisions ourselves.  They can only "point the Way."

 We, have to become aware, truly aware, that we are spiritu­ally centered beings.  We have all made some progress and we agreed, aeons ago, to serve as one in the great chain of common responsibility in our Universe, where some are ahead of us in their progress towards perfection, and we serve as the link to those who are to succeed us in this vast work of self-education, where the great law of brotherhood eternally prevails.  This is what the Gita of Sri Krishna teaches, as he appeals to our sense of compassion to understand, to consent to work for our emancipa­tion with diligence, patience and, at the same time, care for and protect all other beings that come within our purview.


                         A PERSONAL BOOK

  Mr. Judge consulted a number of translations when making up his rendition of the Bhagavad Gita:  Wilkins' and Thomson's, to name two. 

 The NOTES he wrote on the Gita were written before this ren­dition was issued.  Important is the declaration he makes that the "Lord's Song" is a "personal" book.  He writes as if it is a guide for every disciple.  It does not lead the pupil to search for a guru outside, but points to the inner God, Krishna "seated at the heart of all beings," including his own heart--and, to be seen seated in the hearts of all beings in the Universe--family, friends, enemies, animals, plants, minerals, elemental forces, the many forces and powers that unify the complex Kosmos in a vast web of eternal and ever-active law.  Everything.

 The first chapter is called by Mr. Judge:  "The Despondency of Arjuna."  In another article he points out that we are all Arjunas.  In simple words, the inner God in each being is experi­encing through them, and through us, those events and the impact of thoughts, emotions, attitudes, a whole panorama of impressions that are provided in the "World of Forms."  One wonders why this is necessary.  An answer comes:  So that the Spirit, also em­bodied in the myriads of "life-atoms" may "know Itself."  It is the process, the story, of developing consciousness. 

 Unconsciousness develops into self-consciousness;  and then, self-consciousness develops by its own efforts into Universal-Self-Consciousness.  [Thus we have 1.  the Kurus, 2. the Panda­vas, and 3. Krishna the Guru of all.  When the passions of the Kurus are "killed," they transform themselves into the Pandavas.  And, when the Pandavas as beings of awakened-minds, fight their way to immortality, they merge in consciousness with Krishna.] 

 Krishna, the inner God of each of us, the Master of Devo­tion, a Perfected Man, constitutes himself by self-sacrifice into the Servant of the Universe, is also Servant of the least of creatures. 

 He returns to Earth as a "professor" in the school of life.  To him come the Pandavas by natural attraction--the ad­vanced, the “higher skandhas”, so to say, or those beings who (hav­ing purified their own natures) can directly assist Him in his work of raising the "whole mass of matter up to the nature and stature of conscious god-hood." 

 In the Gita, Krishna is to be found in the same situation ( seemingly, as the servant of the embodied Mind, Arjuna, who temporarily assumes the character of the divine charioteer, in the "chariot" of the body ) where we, the learning pupil, the consciousness of the devoted student, the disciple, the lanoo, are.  This, for us, is encouraging.

 What is this "chariot of the body?"  Is it the result of karma?  Is it our past personified in the present?  Is it rooted in our past?  Is it inescapable?  Is it produced with all its many variances of type and of ability by the choices we have made?  It is written:  "Man, made of thought, occupant only of many bodies from time to time, is eternally thinking, and that thinking is the cause of his embodiments and all their sequences of action, of pleasure and pain, of good and evil fortune." 

 ( Thy. Vol. 15- p. 12)  This form, made of millions of living enti­ties [MONADS], each intelligent at its own level, each informed with its own "spark" of the One Spirit, is a collaborative whole.  Each of these has been attracted to and used by us.  Impressed with our nature at that time they become the carriers of our karma from the past.

 The teacher is the Spirit within, Krishna.  It is always found to be with us, in all those situations where we, as pupil-Arjunas have made choices that will affect us.  Wise is the pupil who realizes that he can speak to the Highest of Intelligences, seated in his own "heart."  The voice of that Master, which some call "intuition," and others, who have heard it warn, call the "voice of conscience," and know that it always speaks before we make decisions.  Therefore the advice to us all is to consider each moment, each decision as a mystic experience, as a step on our pilgrimage to such perfection as Earth-life gives in poten­tial.  An occult meaning is to be perceived by those who have acuity, who are awake and attentive in each of these events.  We need to seek and guide the causes that are generated within, in­stead of ever seeking to place blame without.

 When wrapped in confusion, the pupil finds himself wrapped in despondence, inertia and stagnation result [TAMAS}.  The power of tamas prevails and his mind ceases its search for meaning.  The voice of custom, of habit and of worldly duty  then is heard, and being confused, the pupil forgets to look to his aspirations, to the universal and eternal goals and ideals he had vowed earlier would be his. 

 Appeal, then, to Krishna brings the response: "All is not lost !"  Out of despondency comes “Hope,” and “Self-energization,”  when the struggling soul, the personal "I" sees that no room for compromise remains.  The urge to do right cuts through all despond.  The sense of immor­tality, that Krishna the Higher Self resides along with us in the body, that our aspiration to immortality and to perfection are real, gives the power of Sattva to direct the energy of rajas to righteous duty.  For this reason rajas (which by itself is called in the Gita "bad," when regulated by Sattva, becomes the force that moves us to righteousness.  

 This leads to a more careful study of the "lower self."  The mystery of it as a consciousness that is evolving into a "god."  Such a mystery is never solved by someone else.  It is solved, each for himself.  It is the manasic element that arises out of the passionate energy that desires its own progress to the Truth.  The expression has been used:  "Life is a series of progressive awakenings."  These must be made by the volunteer, and an entire change in his orientation from selfish-ignorance, to illumined- thought can only be made by himself by his free use of the will. 

 We find in THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE a key sentence of expla­nation, which it may take years to fully understand: 

 "The Self of Matter and the Self of Spirit can never meet.  One of the twain must disappear;  there is no place for both."  (Voice, p. 13)  This is our personal confrontation with that ASSEMBLAGE of “SKANDHAS” which we now perceive to have been our errors.  The maya-illusion we had adopted, as personality, is always plain to the inner Self--Krishna--our Higher Self [serving the UNIVERSE as “Sattva-Guna“ the PRESERVER of KARMA, universal and individual.  [One may note that the function of “preserver” includes all KARMA, and it may be called the supporter of the functions (as a School as well as a “director” of universal initiation for all MONADS), and  this preserves the INDIVIDUALITY of all MONADS (of whatever level of self-progress, through any Pralaya or Mahapralaya).

 But it cannot “speak” until it is ap­pealed to.  [S D  II  167]  This is the condition of Arjuna (and of each of us) at the open set­ting of the Gita.  The battle is renewed now!  The field is engaged.  The forces of evil and of good face each other.  Krishna is at hand.  Our life or death, as a form, on consideration, is not of great import (though the ‘body’ feels pain and pleasure intensely).  We are. as minds, the immortal soldiers.  If death be our lot then rebirth is certain;  and, the fight will be continued, to the endless end, if not for us, then on behalf of others, as we share such wisdom as we have acquired with all who desire it.

 It is in this sense we can understand why Mr. Judge called the Gita a "personal book."  It is the book of our own lives.  Like an ideal autobiography set before us, we can find in it the inspiration and the guidance that assists us in our work:  we are now writing our own, consciously or unconsciously each moment of our lives.  It is this autobiography that forms our dreams, and our deeper thoughts, and finally is the subject of a searching review, after death brings this personality to its summation, and before we are ready to return again.  Once we are aware of this "Life-Diary, our care as attention, in writing it, grows. The pen is wielded by our will, the subjects we enter are our self-chosen and self-directed acts, feelings and thoughts. 

 Far one can wander in the fields of pleasure or forgetful­ness, but a nagging malaise, a sense of missing draws us back to a new point of decision, whether this be postponed or immediate.  Often we deceive ourselves into putting off till the "next day an act or a choice, but that is failing to see that the "most favor­able time" is now, when in waking life, we are aware of the need.  All other times can be classed as either memory or imagination.  These two can be our deceivers, if we do not maintain clear con­tact with the Higher Self within.


                         THE SONG

  Gita is a song.  Bhagavad, or Bhagavan is the Supreme Lord.  The song has meaning.  It is language.  It is Speech, though and feeling action, it demonstrates the continuous generation of karma, and, to be mean­ingful to us, it is cast as a dialogue.

 All communication requires at least two understanding indi­viduals, and is in answer to a question, a comment, or an ob­servation on a chosen subject.  Perspectives, points of view are discussed.  Ideas are given forms by illustration and analogies.  Akasa becomes physical sound.  The dynamics of intelligence oper­ate.  Spiritual wisdom, the knowledge of an eternity of observa­tions, [S D  I  272-3] is seen as a sound basis of experience in that universali­ty and impersonality which, when drawn on, can be focused on present ignorance or speculative enquiry. 

 This is the basis of the "Voice of Conscience”  [of BUDHI-MANAS]. The best decisions are then made with greater assurance.  Laws and cycles of time, enable the choice of the right energy, place and time in which to respond or initiate a fresh beginning.

 In the Gita we have an ideal teaching and learning situa­tion.  it is an ideal for us to apply interiorly since in us we find both Krishna (the wise and universal Sage) and Arjuna (the sincere aspiring disciple).  The quest of Arjuna, the embodied soul (lower Kama-Manas), is to perform service. 

 In the widest scope, all actions are service to oneself, for another, to an Idea, for the Universe.  It is inescapable, since from every action has a companion component: a force of sympathy or of discord, radiates, and has an impact on all beings –MONADS.  This is the source of all karma.  

 The Quest of the Hero, the true Soul is that divine Service which enables him to balance his life and perform all duties that are necessary.  The are of the scholar's work is the field of passion, of the Kurus.  These passions are to be killed as personal things, and transformed, transmuted into the virtues of compassion, generosity, nobility and ultimately, of wisdom.  All the elements of life and learning are already there in us.

 In his quest for ideal solutions, we the Arjunas, the man-minds can decide to follow Krishna's advice:  "Seek this wisdom by doing service, by strong search, by questions, and by humili­ty;  the wise (the Tatva Gnyanis) who see the truth will communi­cate it to thee..."  (Gita p. 35).  The four modes of securing Wisdom are concurrent and operate when we are awake.  Thus those who employ them, although in one state of consciousness at a time, are said to be "four-armed," just as Krishna is four-armed in his wisdom. 

 In the field of the personality the "four modes of Truth" that are used to purify, recommended by the Buddha are analogous to this: the recognition first, that Sorrow Is;  second, that Sorrow has a Cause;  third, that Sorrow can be brought to a Close;  and, finally that the Noble Eightfold Path can be fol­lowed.  Pythagoras spoke and taught the mystery of the Tetraktis, which is an echo of this universal fact.  The effort to become forms the root of the aspiration and life of the devotee.  Every being in nature makes this effort, each in its own way and at the level of its intelligence.  Thus, too, the four divisions of a life are to be considered indicative of the progress that can be made in each incarnation:  student, house holder, public servant, and, fourth, teacher of such wisdom as one has mastered.

 In the Light on the Path is written:  "Life itself has speech and is never silent.  And its utterance is not, as you that are deaf may suppose, a cry:  it is a song."  Each being performs service as it senses it--it is striving to become con­scious to itself, as in man, or does this unconsciously.  The eternal conflicts in the manifested universe are the result of that original vortical motion caused by the "sundering of the One."  The establishment of the polar opposites:  Spirit and mat­ter, when the Universe wakes, is a repetition of the ancient pro­cess across aeons of time. 

 The One Consciousness, the Witness, the Perceiver remains constant, the Eternal Spectator of these many events.  It therefore is wise with the accurate,  impersonal “history” of observations of un­told ancient times. 

 It is in fact, DURATION itself, from one point of view, Itself being timeless.  Events, cycles, past, present, fu­ture--all are one to its gaze.  To it, KARMA is the motive, the act, and the result, all perceived as one.  It is called then, the "ETERNAL NOW."  It is That, which as a 'spark' of the Central Fire, the Universal Spiritual Sun, resides in the "heart" of eve­ry being.  And also surrounds and sustains with its vital [JIVA] life-energy al manifested things. This fact supports the instinctive sense of brotherhood.

 The Song of Life, the vibration of Life's universal Being, is, by each, converted into harmony or discord.  Whether music or noise, it is sound.  Nature's vibrations and rhythms, like her purposive Life is the Great Harmony.  When we attune ourselves to that, we call it gita--"song." 

 But, whoever or whatever sends us into the clangor of discord disturbing our harmony, creating doubt and uncertainty, or which disturbs our repose or our own sense of "service," that is for us the "enemy."  Its nature is to be ascertained.  Its motive understood.  Its potential measured.  In this, for sureness we confer, we refer fearlessly, to the Krishna within, to the immutable Higher Self.  There, alone will we find the security of universality and impersonality at hand, for us to use.

 Circumstances, of whatever nature, are echoes from our past.  These are made more reverberant by our personal natures.  Our reaction, then becomes the seed of our future karma.  This plant­ing of such a seed is done with free-will at the time we plant it.  No one can compel us.  We alone decide.  Then, just as we arrive at the conclusion, we hear for an instant the Voice of the "Inner God," Krishna, calling to us with the sweetness of the eternal player of the flute, using trapped air to play a tune that catches our superior attention.  Again a choice:  we may listen, or we may close our ears to it.  Then only we act.  Then we seal our fate.

 The Gita is educative.  All transmission of wisdom from eld­ers to the young is for the recipients opportunity.  Their re­sponse marks their level of personal attainment, their alliance with Great Nature's objectives, their service due to those and to the wise Krishna within who has sacrificed his well-earned rest and glory, to Serve us.  Ignorant indeed are we, when this is not perceived.  Only harmony will lead out such innate powers as we possess for use and as gifts to others.  The first and the last meaning of true speech, or music, is harmony.  If there is no harmony in the soul (the embodied self--Lower Manas) how can there be calm and peace between ourselves and others?  So long as the least friction subsists between brother immortals on the plane of causes, so long will discord discolor our lives and the future.  When we truly realize that "all is soul and spirit, ever evolving under the rule of law inherent in the whole" then will all quarrels be resolved spontaneously.  It is this perception that Krishna has and which he imparts to Arjuna, and, to us.

 With our embodied self, speech is limited to the Yes and No of Nature as a whole.  These two notes form no harmony.  They are in opposition.  This is the sound of passion: aversion or the desire to possess.  These are found to be the ruling divisions in all the elements of Nature below man's level of conscious life, below the level of independent and self-conscious mind.  This is the voice of their education.  Our imposition of control over them should be educative, as one of our tasks is to fit them to become mind-men in their turn.  At this time they serve us, form our bodies, build and repair them.  If we fail in this their in­stant mindless response is to confront us with our own unwisdom at the earliest opportunity.  They in effect present us with the direct result of our choices.  As we impress them, so they re­spond to us.  If we make them deficient, their cooperation with us and their coadunition make our personality weak and ineffectu­al. 

 Man, further along in the evolution of individual conscious­ness, than the beings who constitute in him the objective tools of his personality (not his own being), calls these his "younger brothers."  Man, desiring to become one with Divinity, can invoke the help of Krishna, can ask for the divine Light Daiviprakriti to shine upon his mind.  As the Higher Self is accessible, so the instruments of his personality are at his hand and trainable by him.  Man's mind stands midway between these two poles of evolu­tion.  Man is the connecting link.  It is one thing to invoke Krishna when we are in trouble.  It is another to make of this connection a "living power in our lives."  The key to such a con­dition is the purity of life of the disciple.  Thus, we find in the beginning of the  Gita, making demands on Krishna.   He asks Him to place his chariot (the body) between the two armies: "That I may behold" the array.  Having seen, he becomes despondent.  Then he tried unsuccessfully to unload his problems on Krishna, and then only did the real dialog commence.  So is it with all of us.


Christ the Messenger, the Son of God by Swami Vivekananda

 (Delivered at Los Angeles, California, 1900)

The wave rises on the ocean, and there is a hollow. Again another wave rises, perhaps bigger than the former, to fall down again, similarly, again to rise--driving onward. In the march of events, we notice the rise and fall, and we generally look towards the rise, forgetting the fall. But both are necessary, and both are great. This is the nature of the universe. Whether in the world of our thoughts, the world of our relations in society, or in our spiritual affairs, the same movement of succession, of rises and falls, is going on. Hence the liberal ideals, are marshaled ahead, to sink down, to digest, as it were, to ruminate over the past--to adjust, to conserve, to gather strength once more for a rise and a bigger rise.

The history of nations also has ever been like that. The great soul, the Messenger we are to study this afternoon, came at a period of the history of his race which we may well designate as a great fall. We catch only little glimpses here and there of the stray records that have been kept of his sayings and doings; for verily it has been well said, that the doings and sayings of that great soul would fill the world if they had all been written down. And the three years of his ministry were like one compressed, concentrated age, which it has taken nineteen hundred years to unfold, and who knows how much longer it will yet take! Little men like you and me are simply the recipients of just a little energy. A few minutes, a few hours, a few years at best, are enough to spend it all, to stretch it out, as it were, to its fullest strength, and then we are gone for ever.

But mark this giant that came; centuries and ages pass, yet the energy that he left upon the world is not yet stretched, nor yet expended to its full. It goes on adding new vigour as the ages roll on.


Now what you see in the life of Christ is the life of all the past. The life of every man is, in a manner, the life of the past. It comes to him through heredity, through surroundings, through education, through his own reincarnation--the past of the race. In a manner, the past of the earth, the past of the whole world is there, upon every soul.

What are we, in the present, but a result, an effect, in the hands of that infinite past? What are we but floating wavelets in the eternal current of events, irresistibly moved forward and onward and incapable of rest? But you and I are only little things, bubbles. There are always some giant waves in the ocean of affairs, and in you and me the life of the past race has been embodied only a little; but there are giants who embody, as it were, almost the whole of the past and who stretch out their hands for the future.

These are the sign-posts here and there which point to the march of humanity; these are verily gigantic, their shadows covering the earth--they stand undying, eternal! As it has been said by the same Messenger, "No man hath seen God at any time, but through the Son." And that is true. And where shall we see God but in the Son?

It is true that you and I, and the poorest of us, the meanest even, embody that God, even reflect that God. The vibration of light is everywhere, omnipresent; but we have to strike the light of the lamp before we can see the light.

The Omnipresent God of the universe cannot be seen until He is reflected by these giant lamps of the earth--the Prophets, the man-Gods, the Incarnations, the embodiments of God.

  We all know that God exists, and yet we do not see Him, we do not understand Him. Take one of these great Messengers of light, compare his character with the highest ideal of God that you ever formed, and you will find that your God falls short of the ideal, and that the character of the Prophet exceeds your conceptions. You cannot even form a higher ideal of God than what the actually embodied have practically realised and set before us as an example.

Is it wrong, therefore, to worship these as God? Is it a sin to fall at the feet of these man-Gods and worship them as the only divine beings in the world? If they are really, actually, higher than all our conceptions of God, what harm is there in worshipping them? Not only is there no harm, but it is the only possible and positive way of worship. However much you may try to struggle, by abstraction, by whatsoever method you like, still so long as you are a man in the world of men, your world is human, your religion is human, and your God is human. And that must be so.

Who is not practical enough to take up an actually existing thing and give up an idea which is only an abstraction, which he cannot grasp, and is difficult of approach except through a concrete medium? Therefore, these Incarnations of God have been worshipped in all ages and in all countries.

We are now going to study a little of the life of Christ, the Incarnation of the Jews. When Christ was born, the Jews were in that state which I call a state of fall between two waves; a state of conservatism; a state where the human mind is, as it were, tired for the time being of moving forward and is taking care only of what it has already; a state when the attention is more bent upon particulars, upon details, than upon the great, general, and bigger problems of life; a state of stagnation, rather than a towing ahead; a state of suffering more than of doing.

Mark you, I do not blame this state of things. We have no right to criticise it--because had it not been for this fall, the next rise, which was embodied in Jesus of Nazareth would have been impossible. The Pharisees and Sadducees might have been insincere, they might have been doing things which they ought not to have done; they might have been even hypocrites; but whatever they were, these factors were the very cause, of which the Messenger was the effect. The Pharisees and Sadducees at one end were the very impetus which came out at the other end as the gigantic brain of Jesus of Nazareth.

The attention to forms, to formulas, to the everyday details of religion, and to rituals, may sometimes be laughed at; but nevertheless, within them is strength. Many times in the rushing forward we lose much strength. As a fact, the fanatic is stronger than the liberal man. Even the fanatic, therefore, has one great virtue, he conserves energy, a tremendous amount of it.

As with the individual so with the race, energy is gathered to be conserved. Hemmed in all around by external enemies, driven to focus in a centre by the Romans, by the Hellenic tendencies in the world of intellect, by waves from Persia, India, and Alexandria--hemmed in physically, mentally, and morally--there stood the race with an inherent, conservative, tremendous strength, which their descendants have not lost even today. And the race was forced to concentrate and focus all its energies upon Jerusalem and Judaism. But all power when once gathered cannot remain collected; it must expend and expand itself.

There is no power on earth which can be kept long confined within a narrow limit. It cannot be kept compressed too long to allow of expansion at a subsequent period.

This concentrated energy amongst the Jewish race found its expression at the next period in the rise of Christianity. The gathered streams collected into a body. Gradually, all the little streams joined together, and became a surging wave on the top of which we find standing out the character of Jesus of Nazareth.

  Thus, every Prophet is a creation of his own times, the creation of the past of his race; he himself is the creator of the future. The cause of today is the effect of the past and the cause for the future. In this position stands the Messenger. In him is embodied all that is the best and greatest in his own race, the meaning, the life, for which that race has struggled for ages; and he himself is the impetus for the future, not only to his own race but to unnumbered other races of the world.

We must bear another fact in mind: that my view of the great Prophet of Nazareth would be from the standpoint of the Orient. Many times you forget, also, that the Nazarene himself was an Oriental of Orientals. With all your attempts to paint him with blue eyes and yellow hair, the Nazarene was still an Oriental. All the similes, the imageries, in which the Bible is written--the scenes, the locations, the attitudes, the groups, the poetry, and symbol,--speak to you of the Orient: of the bright sky, of the heat, of the sun, of the desert, of the thirsty men and animals; of men and women coming with pitchers on their heads to fill them at the wells; of the flocks, of the ploughmen, of the cultivation that is going on around; of the water-mill and wheel, of the mill-pond, of the millstones. All these are to be seen today in Asia.

The voice of Asia has been the voice of religion. The voice of Europe is the voice of politics. Each is great in its own sphere. The voice of Europe is the voice of ancient Greece. To the Greek mind, his immediate society was all in all: beyond that, it is Barbarian. None but the Greek has the right to live. Whatever the Greeks do is right and correct; whatever else there exists in the world is neither right nor correct, nor should be allowed to live. It is intensely human in its symies, intensely natural, intensely artistic, therefore. The Greek lives entirely in this world. He does not care to dream. Even his poetry is practical. His gods and goddesses are not only human beings, but intensely human, with all human passions and feelings almost the same as with any of us. He loves what is beautiful, but, mind you, it is always external nature; the beauty of the hills, of the snows, of the flowers, the beauty of forms and of figures, the beauty in the human face, and, more often, in the human form--that is what the Greeks liked. And the Greeks being the teachers of all subsequent Europeans; the voice of Europe is Greek.

There is another type in Asia. Think of that vast, huge continent, whose mountain-tops go beyond the clouds, almost touching the canopy of heaven's blue; a rolling desert of miles upon miles where a drop of water cannot be found, neither will a blade of grass grow; interminable forests and gigantic rivers rushing down to the sea. In the midst of all these surroundings, the oriental love of the beautiful and of the sublime developed itself in another direction. It looked inside, and not outside.

There is also the thirst for nature, and there is also the same thirst for power; there is also the same thirst for excellence, the same idea of the Greek and Barbarian, but it has extended over a larger circle.

In Asia, even today, birth or color or language never makes a race. That which makes a race is its religion. We are all Christians; we are all Muslims; we are all Hindus, or all Buddhists. No matter if a Buddhist is a Chinaman, or is a man from Persia, they think that they are brothers, because of their professing the same religion. Religion is the tie, unity of humanity. And then again, the Oriental, for the same reason, is a visionary, is a born dreamer.

The ripples of the waterfalls, the songs of the birds, the beauties of the sun and moon and the stars and the whole earth are pleasant enough; but they are not sufficient for the oriental mind. He wants to dream a dream beyond. He wants to go beyond the present. The present, as it were, is nothing to him. The Orient has been the cradle of the human race for ages, and all the vicissitudes of fortune are there--kingdoms succeeding kingdoms, empires succeeding empires, human power, glory, and wealth, all rolling down there; a Golgotha of power and learning. That is the Orient: a Golgotha of power, of kingdoms, of learning.

No wonder, the oriental mind looks with contempt upon the things of this world and naturally wants to see something that changeth not, something which dieth not, something which in the midst of this world of misery and death is eternal, blissful, undying. An oriental Prophet never tires of insisting upon these ideals; and, as for Prophets, you may also remember that without one exception, all the Messengers were Orientals.

We see, therefore, in the life of this great Messenger of life, the first watchword: "Not this life, but something higher"; and, like the true son of the Oriental, he is practical in that.


You people in the West are practical in your own department, in military affairs, and in managing political circles and other things. Perhaps the Oriental is not practical in those ways, but he is practical in his own field; he is practical in religion. If one preaches a philosophy, tomorrow there are hundreds who will struggle their best to make it practical in their lives. If a man preaches that standing on one foot would lead one to salvation, he will immediately get five hundred to stand on one foot. You may call it ludicrous; but, mark you, beneath that is their philosophy--that intense practicality. In the West, plans of salvation mean intellectual gymnastics--plans which are never worked out, never brought into practical life. In the West, the preacher who talks the best is the greatest preacher.

So, we find Jesus of Nazareth, in the first place, the true son of the Orient, intensely practical. He has no faith in this evanescent world and all its belongings. No need of text-torturing, as is the fashion in the West in modern times, no need of stretching out texts until they will not stretch any more. Texts are not India rubber, and even that has its limits. Now, no making of religion to pander to the sense vanity of the present day!

Mark you, let us all be honest. If we cannot follow the ideal, let us confess our weakness, but not degrade it; let not any try to pull it down. One gets sick at heart at the different accounts of the life of the Christ that Western people give. I do not know what he was or what he was not! One would make him a great politician; another, perhaps, would make of him a great military general; another, a great patriotic Jew; and so on.

Is there any warrant in the books for all such assumptions? The best commentary on the life of a great teacher is his own life. "The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." That is what Christ says as the only way to salvation; he lays down no other way.

Let us confess in sackcloth and ashes that we cannot do that. We still have fondness for "me and mine". We want property, money, wealth. Woe unto us! Let us confess and not put to shame that great Teacher of Humanity! He had no family ties. But do you think that, that Man had any physical ideas in him? Do you think that, this mass of light, this God and not-man, came down to earth, to be the brother of animals? And yet, people make him preach all sorts of things.

He had no sex ideas! He was a soul! Nothing but a soul--just working a body for the good of humanity; and that was all his relation to the body. In the soul there is no sex. The disembodied soul has no relation to the animal, no relationship to the body. The ideal may be far away beyond us. But never mind, keep to the ideal. Let us confess that it is our ideal, but we cannot approach it yet.

He had no other occupation in life, no other thought except that one, that he was a spirit. He was a disembodied, unfettered, unbound spirit. And not only so, but he, with his marvelous vision, had found that every man and woman, whether Jew or Gentile, whether rich or poor, whether saint or sinner, was the embodiment of the same undying spirit as himself. Therefore, the one work his whole life showed was to call upon them to realise their own spiritual nature. Give up he says, these superstitious dreams that you are low and that you are poor. Think not that you are trampled upon and tyrannized over as if you were slaves, for within you is something that can never be tyrannized over, never be trampled upon, never be troubled, never be killed.

You are all Sons of God, immortal spirit. "Know", he declared, "the Kingdom of Heaven is within you." "I and my Father are one." Dare you stand up and say, not only that "I am the Son of God", but I shall also find in my heart of hearts that "I and my Father are one"? That was what Jesus of Nazareth said. He never talks of this world and of this life. He has nothing to do with it, except that he wants to get hold of the world as it is, give it a push and drive it forward and onward until the whole world has reached to the effulgent Light of God, until everyone has realised his spiritual nature, until death is vanished and misery banished.

We have read different stories that have been written about him; we know the scholars and their writings, and the higher criticism; and we know all that has been done by study. We are not here to discuss how much of the New Testament is true, we are not here to discuss how much of that life is historical. It does not matter at all whether the New Testament was written within five hundred years of his birth, nor does it matter even, how much of that life is true.


But there is something behind it, something we want to imitate. To tell a lie, you have to imitate a truth, and that truth is a fact. You cannot imitate that which never existed. You cannot imitate that which you never perceived. But there must have been a nucleus, a tremendous power that came down, a marvelous manifestation of spiritual power--and of that we are speaking. It stands there.

Therefore, we are not afraid of all the criticisms of the scholars. If I, as an Oriental, have to worship Jesus of Nazareth, there is only one way left to me, that is, to worship him as God and nothing else. Have we no right to worship him in that way, do you mean to say? If we bring him down to our own level and simply pay him a little respect as a great man, why should we worship at all?

Our scriptures say, "These great children of Light, who manifest the Light themselves, who are Light themselves, they, being worshipped, become, as it were, one with us and we become one with them."

For, you see, in three ways man perceives God. At first the undeveloped intellect of the uneducated man sees God as far away, up in the heavens somewhere, sitting on a throne as a great Judge. He looks upon Him as a fire, as a terror. Now, that is good, for there is nothing bad in it. You must remember that humanity travels not from error to truth, but from truth to truth; it may be, if you like it better, from lower truth to higher truth, but never from error to truth.

Suppose you start from here and travel towards the sun in a straight line. From here the sun looks only small in size. Suppose you go forward a million miles, the sun will be much bigger. At every stage the sun will become bigger and bigger. Suppose twenty thousand photographs had been taken of the same sun, from different standpoints; these twenty thousand photographs will all certainly differ from one another. But can you deny that each is a photograph of the same sun? So all forms of religion, high or low, are just different stages toward that eternal state of Light, which is God Himself. Some embody a lower view, some a higher, and that is all the difference.


Therefore, the religions of the unthinking masses all over the world must be, and have always been, of a God who is outside of the universe, who lives in heaven, who governs from that place, who is a punisher of the bad and a rewarder of the good, and so on. As man advanced spiritually, he began to feel that God was omnipresent, that He must be in him, that He must be everywhere, that He was not a distant God, but clearly the Soul of all souls. As my soul moves my body, even so is God the mover of my soul. Soul within soul. And a few individuals who had developed enough and were pure enough, went still further, and at last found God. As the New Testament says, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." And they found at last that they and the Father were one.

You find that all these three stages are taught by the Great Teacher in the New Testament. Note the Common Prayer he taught: "Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name," and so on--a simple prayer, a child's prayer. Mark you, it is the "Common Prayer" because it is intended for the uneducated masses. To a higher circle, to those who had advanced a little more, he gave a more elevated teaching: "I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you."

Do you remember that? And then, when the Jews asked him who he was, he declared that he and his Father were one, and the Jews thought that that was blasphemy. What did he mean by that? This has been also told by your old Prophets, "Ye are gods and all of you are children of the Most High." Mark the same three stages. You will find that it is easier for you to begin with the first and end with the last.

The Messenger came to show : that the spirit is not in forms, that it is not through all sorts of vexations and knotty problems of philosophy that you know the spirit. Better that you had no learning, better that you never read a book in your life. These are not at all necessary for salvation--neither wealth, nor position nor power, not even learning; but what is necessary is that one thing, purity. "Blessed are the pure in heart," for the spirit in its own nature is pure. How can it be otherwise? It is of God, it has come from God. In the language of the Bible, "It is the breath of God." In the language of the Koran, "It is the soul of God."

Do you mean to say that the Spirit of God can ever be impure? But, alas, it has been, as it were, covered over with the dust and dirt of ages, through our own actions, good and evil. Various works which were not correct, which were not true, have covered the same spirit with the dust and dirt of the ignorance of ages. It is only necessary to clear away the dust and dirt, and then the spirit shines immediately. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you." Where goest thou to seek for the Kingdom of God, asks Jesus of Nazareth, when it is there, within you? Cleanse the spirit, and it is there. It is already yours. How can you get what is not yours? It is yours by right. You are the heirs of immortality, sons of the Eternal Father.

This is the great lesson of the Messenger, and another which is the basis of all religions, is renunciation. How can you make the spirit pure? By renunciation. A rich young man asked Jesus, "Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" And Jesus said unto him, "One thing thou lackest; go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasures in heaven: and come, take up thy cross, and follow Me." And he was sad at that saying and went away grieved; for he had great possessions.

We are all more or less like that. The voice is ringing in our ears day and night. In the midst of our pleasures and joys, in the midst of worldly things, we think that we have forgotten everything else. Then comes a moment's pause and the voice rings in our ears: "Give up all that thou hast and follow Me." "Whosoever will save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake shall find it." For whoever gives up this life for His sake, finds the life immortal. In the midst of all our weakness there is a moment of pause and the voice rings: "Give up all that thou hast; give it to the poor and follow me."

This is the one ideal he preaches, and this has been the ideal preached by all the great Prophets of the world: renunciation. What is meant by renunciation? That there is only one ideal in morality: unselfishness. Be selfless. The ideal is perfect unselfishness. When a man is struck on the right cheek, he turns the left also. When a man's coat is carried off, he gives away his cloak also.

We should work in the best way we can, without dragging the ideal down. Here is the ideal. When a man has no more self in him, no possession, nothing to call "me" or "mine", has given himself up entirely, destroyed himself as it were--in that man is God Himself; for in him self-will is gone, crushed out, annihilated. That is the ideal man.

We cannot reach that state yet; yet, let us worship the ideal, and slowly struggle to reach the ideal, though, maybe, with faltering steps. It may be tomorrow, or it may be a thousand years hence; but that ideal has to be reached. For it is not only the end, but also the means. To be unselfish, perfectly selfless, is salvation itself; for the man within dies, and God alone remains.

One more point. All the teachers of humanity are unselfish. Suppose Jesus of Nazareth was teaching, and a man came and told him, "What you teach is beautiful. I believe that it is the way to perfection, and I am ready to follow it; but I do not care to worship you as the only begotten Son of God."

What would be the answer of Jesus of Nazareth? "Very well, brother, follow the ideal and advance in your own way. I do not care whether you give me the credit for the teaching or not. I am not a shopkeeper. I do not trade in religion. I only teach truth, and truth is nobody's property. Nobody can patent truth. Truth is God Himself. Go forward."

But what the disciples say nowadays is: "No matter whether you practise the teachings or not, do you give credit to the Man? If you credit the Master, you will be saved; if not, there is no salvation for you." And thus the whole teaching of the Master is degenerated, and all the struggle and fight is for the personality of the Man.

They do not know that in imposing that difference, they are, in a manner, bringing shame to the very Man they want to honor--the very Man that would have shrunk with shame from such an idea.

What did he care if there was one man in the world that remembered him or not? He had to deliver his message, and he gave it. And if he had twenty thousand lives, he would give them all up for the poorest man in the world. If he had to be tortured millions of times for a million despised Samaritans, and if for each one of them the sacrifice of his own life would be the only condition of salvation, he would have given his life. And all this without wishing to have his name known even to a single person.


Quiet, unknown, silent, would he work, just as the Lord works. Now, what would the disciple say? He will tell you that you may be a perfect man, perfectly unselfish; but unless you give the credit to our teacher, to our saint, it is of no avail. Why? What is the origin of this superstition, this ignorance? The disciple thinks that the Lord can manifest Himself only once. There lies the whole mistake. God manifests Himself to you in man. But throughout nature, what happens once must have happened before, and must happen in future. There is nothing in nature which is not bound by law; and that means that whatever happens once must go on and must have been going on.

In India they have the same idea of the Incarnations of God. One of their great Incarnations, Krishna, whose grand sermon, the Bhagavad-Gita, some of you might have read, says, "Though I am unborn, of changeless nature, and Lord of beings, yet subjugating My Prakriti, I come into being by My own Maya. Whenever virtue subsides and immorality prevails, then I embody Myself forth. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of Dharma, I come into being, in every age."

Whenever the world goes down, the Lord comes to help it forward; and so He does from time to time and place to place. In another passage He speaks to this effect: Wherever thou findest a great soul of immense power and purity struggling to raise humanity, know that he is born of My splendour, that I am there working through him.

Let us, therefore, find God not only in Jesus of Nazareth, but in all the great Ones that have preceded him, in all that came after him, and all that are yet to come. Our worship is unbounded and free. They are all manifestations of the same Infinite God. They are all pure and unselfish; they struggled and gave up their lives for us, poor human beings. They each and all suffer vicarious atonement for every one of us, and also for all that are to come hereafter.

In a sense you are all Prophets; every one of you is a Prophet, bearing the burden of the world on your own shoulders. Have you ever seen a man, have you ever seen a woman, who is not quietly, patiently, bearing his or her little burden of life? The great Prophets were giants--they bore a gigantic world on their shoulders. Compared with them we are pigmies, no doubt, yet we are doing the same task; in our little circles, in our little homes, we are bearing our little crosses. There is no one so evil, no one so worthless, but he has to bear his own cross.

But with all our mistakes, with all our evil thoughts and evil deeds, there is a bright spot somewhere, there is still somewhere the golden thread through which we are always in touch with the divine. For, know for certain, that the moment the touch of the divine is lost there would be annihilation. And because none can be annihilated, there is always somewhere in our heart of hearts, however low and degraded we may be, a little circle of light which is in constant touch with the divine.

Our salutations go to all the past Prophets whose teachings and lives we have inherited, whatever might have been their race, clime, or creed! Our salutations go to all those Godlike men and women who are working to help humanity, whatever be their birth, colour, or race! Our salutations to those who are coming in the future--living Gods--to work unselfishly for our descendants.


  Below are his thoughts on Jesus Christ and the role of the Church given in a special lecture at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Calcutta at the Christmas Eve meeting in 1954. So profound were his views that the lecture has already gone through nine editions.

�To teach the world faster than it can learn is to court disaster, as Bertrand Russell has put it. The teachings of Jesus relating to the kingdom of God and resurrection were just incomprehensible to most of his hearers. There is the typical instance of the Pharisees demanding Jesus to state when the kingdom of God should come. Jesus answered: �The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, lo here! Or lo there! for, behold the kingdom of God is within you�. (Luke XVII. 20-21) This statement that the kingdom of God is within us can hardly be squared with the dogma of the innate vileness of human nature (projected by the Genesis.)...�

�The crucifixion was a tragedy of the first magnitude; but a greater tragedy was the way it was handled. Woven into the prevailing dogmas, it slowly became central to the new movement. The man of joy, which Jesus undoubtedly was in real life, became transformed into a man of sorrow, in dogma. We may find a forbidding austerity in John the Baptist; but the Son of Man, as he himself has said, came eating and drinking, trailing clouds of humour and laughter. By transforming him into a man of sorrow, dogma has helped to turn his religion into grim and cheerless aspects, with serious consequences for the emotional life of its followers. Only a few great saints have been able to penetrate through this spiritual heaviness. �A sad nun is a bad nun�, wrote St. Theresa; and she exclaimed: �O Lord, save us from sullen saints!��

�The dogma of one man's sin affecting all humanity gave rise to its logical corollary of the dogma of one man's blood washing away the sins of all... The theory that the blood of the martyr is the seed of the church developed out of this dogma; and, in place of calm reason and generous love, frenzy, fanaticism, intolerance and bigotry gripped the propagation of the life-giving message of Jesus down the centuries, destroying as many lives as it undoubtedly helped to build.�

�It is interesting to speculate how the message would have spread... if the divine life and sublime teachings of Jesus had found the central place, instead of the popular and striking dogmas of �the scapegoat� and �the atonement�, physical resurrection and the second advent, earthly kingdom, and the imminence of the Day of Judgement. These dogmas were purely tribal in their scope... They were the nurseries of contemporary Jewish patriotism and national cohesion, sectarian intolerance and political frenzy�...

�The history of Christianity in its twin records of persecution, violence and war, on the one side, and lofty mysticism, moral passion and humanitarianism on the other, bears the impress of this inner division which also explains its recurrent conflicts with science. A successful synthesis needs the guidance of an adequate Weltanschauung, which was not available at the time.�

�The successful synthesis of thought elements, each one of which is vital and powerful, flowing as they do from human experience at various levels�the ethical passion of Judaism, the mystical and humanitarian fervour of Christianity, and the rational temper of science�calls for the guidance of a philosophy of world-view such as that of the Vedanta, which is not afraid of any aspect of experience, but seeks truth in all of them, with zestful detachment and devotion.�

�It is against this background that we view with hope the future of Indian Christianity. Under the guidance of the philosophy of Vedanta, the Christian message in India can achieve that synthesis by which it will flow as an entirely constructive force... It is our earnest hope that the Christian message passing through Indian experience will bear in its look a new charm and force of tolerance and gentleness, peace and fellowship, capturing thus the Master's spirit in full.�

Source. Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Calcutta

  The Bhagavad Gita and the Holy Bible are among the world's most holy scriptures. More than half of humanity is guided by the light of these two books. Both these scriptures speak of the eternal wisdom and infinite love of God. Lord Jesus Christ said "let He who is chiefest among you be servant to all." Management and leadership founded upon this principle will always find a cadre of people willing to complete the task at hand.

The general idea of the origin of Christmas is that the 25th day of December was made notable by the birth of Jesus of Nazareth; and in commemoration of that Being, so divine as to be called the Savior of mankind, the Christ Mass is a season for the giving of gifts -- also, for the expectation of receiving them, one might say, for men have lost all sense of the true meaning of Christmas. Even, as a matter of fact, we know nothing whatever of the birth of Christ. There is no historical record anywhere of His birth at such a date; yet, the choosing of this season of the year for the birth of a Divine Being is really based on fact -- a fact that belongs to the ancients. The Christmas idea is borrowed from those whom we choose to call the pagans.


  Ages before the time of Jesus Christ, among all the ancient peoples, were ceremonies at this season of the year similar in kind to our own, which had reference to a certain occurrence in the events of time. For it is then that the Sun itself returns from its journey southward to the north again -- and this coming of the Sun was understood to be the birth of the Sun.

  But the Christmas season has its own peculiar reference. It is the season of the birth of the Sun -- the coming back and bringing into fructification those seeds and plants needing Sun energy for their growth and expression. It is far more than that, because behind the Sun, as behind every body, there is spirit, life, and intelligence. So, with the return of the Sun, comes a spiritual, a mental, a moral growth and uplifting. There is a springtime not only in the lower kingdoms -- among plants and animals -- but among men. There is an incursion of energy, so to speak, which, if we could take advantage of, would enable us to do much more than we now do. But we have lost the knowledge that we had. We have forgotten, and so we do not apply to ourselves the fact of the recurrence of this real Christmas time -- the season, not only of the physical renewal of the earth and all beings, but also a return of the inner life, and of impulse of a spiritual kind.

   Between Christmas Day and the day called Easter -- which again has its own significance -- the life of the earth is young. Then, too, the inner life has its rejuvenescence and its growth; ideas then taken hold of and carried into expression have tenfold the power which they would have at another time. Christmas is a season of birth and of growth; it is the season of the rebirth of the spiritual nature. The birth of Jesus was made to accord with this old knowledge of the past and ancient observances.

  The whole of life has its recurrent way as well as its recession. Day and night, summer and winter, life and death are the seasons of nature. But the perceiver -- the experiencer -- of these seasons is the self-conscious Man, who lives when the body dies, who is awake when the body rests at night, who is continually observant whether the body is awake or asleep. The Man is conscious every moment. He sees recurrent waves of activity of one kind, then rest; he sees other kinds of activity, then rest. He sees the return of his thoughts and his feelings, reinforced and strengthened on the second coming, or reduced and weakened, according to the degree of energy he has given them. For always there is the return of impressions -- from hour to hour, from month to month, from year to year. It is the course of all beings of every kind to follow the law of action and reaction, to proceed through the coming back of that which was before plus whatever has been incurred in the meantime. There is no cessation of this law; there is an eternality of progress, which is not restricted to any particular form and which is within the means and reach of every individual in every part of the universe. So, we can not work for ourselves alone, nor progress by ourselves alone, but taking advantage of all recurrent waves and seasons of uplift, we may go on from plane to plane, from state to state, from quality of being to quality of being.

  "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune," it is said. This is merely an expression and recognition of the same law of recurrent impression. For the opportunities of each life come from the past; each life as it is has been produced by the life or lives preceding, and aspirations are recurrent ideas of the past. Whenever there is a spiritual idea in the heart or in the mind, then is the beginning of the rising tide for that individual; then is the time for him to take advantage of the cycle -- to make every possible effort in the direction of his purpose. For the time is ripe, and the time will pass again, just as surely as the Sun moves northward and then south again. In that time of rising tide, we must acquire the stamina -- the power of concentrated effort -- which will hold us through the receding tide and give us a better standing when the tide again rises.

  There are also tides in nature for races and civilizations. Every civilization has its beginning and its ending. This present civilization will end as others before it have ended. No civilization, however great, will ever continue as such, because it merely represents a state of mind and a body suited to it; it must reach its limit of expression to then die out. The individuals who made that race, however, will come again with whatever they have gained; they will come on a better basis and from there go on a little further. There is a rising tide in the birth of a nation, and all through its life are various tides rising and falling. For us, a tide of recession has prevailed through many centuries. We are living in the Iron Age, which was preceded by other better Ages known as the Gold, the Silver, and the Bronze Ages. This is a hard and cruel Age -- an Age of spiritual darkness -- but in it we have to make a foundation of all that existed in the other Ages; we have to bring into expression all that existed before, and put the very highest of all that preceded into practical use. Not only have we to pass through this Iron Age with all the aspirations of the other Ages, but we must start a new Golden Age with all that we have gained.

Religion is the realization of Spirit as Spirit; not Spirit as matter.

  Religion is a growth. Each one must experience it for oneself. The Christians believe that Jesus Christ died to save us all. With Christians it is belief in a doctrine and this belief constitutes their salvation. In Vedanta, doctrine has nothing whatever to do with salvation. Each one may believe in whatever doctrine he or she likes, or in no doctrine at all.

  What difference does it make to you whether Jesus Christ lived at a certain time or not? What has it to do with you that Moses saw God in the burning bush? The fact that Moses saw God in the burning bush does not constitute your seeing Him, does it? If it does, then the fact that Moses ate is enough for you; you ought to stop eating. One is just as sensible as the other. Records of great spiritual luminaries of the past do us no good whatever except that they urge us onward to do the same, to experience religion ourselves. Whatever Christ or Moses or anybody else did does not help us in the least, except to urge us on.

  Every one has a special nature peculiar to oneself, which they must follow and through which they will find their way to freedom. Your teacher should be able to tell you what your particular path in nature is and to put you in it. The teacher should know by your face where you belong and should be able to indicate it to you. You should never try to follow another's path, for that is their way, not yours. When your own path is found, you have nothing more to do than fold your arms and the tide will carry you to freedom. Therefore when you find your path, never swerve from it. Your way is the best for you, but that is no proof that it is the best for others as well.

  The truly spiritual see Spirit as Spirit, not as matter. It is Spirit that makes nature move. Spirit is the reality in nature. Action is in nature, not in the Spirit. Spirit is always the same, changeless, eternal. Spirit and matter are in reality the same; but Spirit, as such, never becomes matter; and matter, as such, never becomes Spirit.

  The Spirit never acts. Why should it? It merely is, and that is sufficient. It is pure existence absolute and has no need for action.

You-as Spirit-are not bound by law. Law belongs to nature. The mind is in nature and is bound by law. All nature is bound by law, the law of its own action, and this law can never be broken. If you could break a law of nature, all nature would come to an end in an instant. There would be no more nature. Those who attain freedom break the law of nature, and for them nature fades away and has no more power over them. All of us will one day break the law for all time, and that will end our trouble with nature.

  Relatively speaking, Governments, societies, etc. are evils. All societies are based on bad generalization. The moment you form yourselves into an organization, you begin to hate everybody outside of that organization. When you join an organization, you are putting bounds upon yourself, you are limiting your own freedom. The greatest goodness is the highest freedom. Our aim should be to allow the individual to move towards this freedom. More of goodness, less of artificial laws. Such laws are not laws at all. If it were a law, it could not be broken. The fact that these so-called laws are broken, shows clearly that they are not "laws." A law is that which cannot be broken.

  Whenever you suppress a thought, it is simply pressed down out of sight, in a coil like a spring, only to spring out again at a moment's notice, with all the pent-up force resulting from the suppression, and do in a few moments what it would have done in a much longer period.

  Mind is action of its own nature. Mind-activity means creation. The thought is followed by the word, and the word by the form. All of this creating will have to stop, both mental and physical, before the mind can reflect the Spirit. Mind can travel at the highest speed beyond our imagination.

  At the present time, all our discoveries, our science, our religion, our social and national life are material -- without spirituality. The more the self-conscious spiritual man has gone into matter, the more he has closed his spiritual doors, because his self-consciousness and energy have been put into terrestrial, objective things. But he must go through these stages and emerge from them, bringing with him all the knowledge he has gained thereby. And not only is his effort to gain knowledge for himself, but also to impart his feeling and understanding to the kingdoms below him, in the matter which he uses. Then when he moves up the scale of being, that matter, too, will be lifted up and become more fitting for his use.

In the receding tide, old valued ideas have lost their sway over the minds of men. Minds are searching in every direction for that which is stable, permanent, and true; they are looking for a knowledge which is feasible and practical. A tide comes for the presentment of such knowledge. A tide comes for the appearance of Beings greater than we are -- greater because at some time They took advantage of the rising tide to go far beyond where the ordinary man found himself able to go. These Beings come at certain great seasons, as the heavens tell the story in the Messianic cycle. The passage of the Sun from one sign to another of the Zodiac takes a period of about twenty-one hundred years. -- the cycle of the coming of a great Teacher. We need only to know that a great Teacher existed at some time here to count forward or backward and know when another has been or will be.

  The Real Christmas can come to us in our hearts. We can realize that there has arrived once more the season we can rise with. If we make up our minds to do it, we can follow the Path of our great Predecessors -- the great Saviors of the world, the great Saviors of all times. They all come from the same Body, whether we call Them Buddha, Jesus, or any other name. They are all Beings of the same nature who come among us, and, as was said of Jesus, in all things become like unto us that They may impart to us something of Their great knowledge and point us to the Path They followed. Always, the object of Their coming is that we in time may become even as They are. Always, They leave messages for us which are set down and known as the sayings of the Founders of all the great religions. Jesus, for whom the Christian nations celebrate Christmas, was one of a Body of perfected men. There were many others before Him; there have been others since; there will yet be others.

  Christmas is a time for giving and also for receiving. But there is a giving that is not of things. There is a giving of the heart itself. There is the giving of service, of love, of brotherhood, of every thought that makes for good -- a giving open to all, however poor our personal possessions may be. It is the feeling and the thought in our hearts which reach people and stir their hearts to a better perception, a better feeling, a wider and stronger action -- for all our hearts are based in the same One Life. We draw all our powers and forces from the One Life. The Real Christmas means something to the Real Man, and it applies to the whole of man's nature. Let us take advantage of the resurgence of spiritual, mental, and moral force that comes with the Christmas time and let us hope for a happy and prosperous new year 2007.




Stenographic report of a talk by Robert Crosbie
published for the first time.
Vol. 9  p. 33 Dec. 1920

EAVEN is long enduring and earth continues long. The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is because they do not live of or for themselves. This is how they are able to endure. Therefore the sage puts his own person last, and yet it is found in the foremost place; he treats his person as if it were foreign to him, and yet that person is preserved.—Lao-tze.


THE general idea of the origin of Christmas is that the 25th Day of December was magic notable by the birth of Jesus of Nazareth; and in commemoration of that Being, so divine as to be called the Savior of mankind, the Christ Mass is a season for the giving of gifts also, for the expectation of receiving them, one might say, for men have lost all sense of the true meaning of Christmas. Even as a matter of fact, we know nothing whatever of the birth of Christ. There is no historical record anywhere of His birth at such a date; yet, the choosing of this season of the year for the birth of a Divine Being is really based on fact—a fact that belongs to the ancients. The Christmas idea is borrowed from those whom we choose to call the pagans, as indeed, have all our theological ceremonies, rituals and ideas. Ages before the time of Jesus Christ, among all the ancient peoples, were ceremonies at this season of the year similar in kind to our own, which had reference to a certain occurrence in the events of time. For it is then that the Sun itself returns from its journey southward to the north again—and this coming of the Sun was understood to be the birth of the Sun.

But the Christmas season has its own peculiar occult reference. It is the season of the birth of the Sun—the coming back and bringing into fructification those seeds and plants needing Sun energy for their growth and expression — but, it is more than that, because behind the Sun, as behind every single body, there is spirit, there is life, and there is intelligence. So, there comes with the return of the Sun a spiritual, a mental, a moral growth and uplifting. There is a springtime not only in the lower kingdoms—among plants and animals—but among men. There is an incursion of energy, so to speak, which if we could take advantage of would enable us to do much more than we now do. But we have lost the knowledge that we had. We have forgotten, and so we do not apply to ourselves the fact of the recurrence of this real Christmas time—the season, not only of the physical renewal of the earth and all beings, but also a return of the inner life, and of impulse of a spiritual kind.

Between Christmas Day and the day called Easter—which again has its own significance—the life of the earth is young. Then, too, the inner life has its rejuvenescence and its growth, and ideas then taken hold of and carried into expression have ten-fold the power which they would have at another time. Christmas is a season of birth and of growth; it is the season of the rebirth of the spiritual nature, and the birth of Jesus was made to accord with this old knowledge of the past and ancient observances.

The whole of life has its recurrent way as well as its recession. Day and night, summer and winter, life and death are the seasons of nature. But the perceiver—the experiencer—of those seasons is the self-conscious Man, who lives when the body dies, who is awake when the body rests at night, who is continually observant whether the body is awake or asleep. The Man is conscious every moment. He sees recurrent waves of activity of one kind, then rest; he sees other kinds of activity, then rest. He sees the return of his thoughts and his feelings, reinforced and strengthened on the second coming or reduced and weakened, according to the degree of energy he has given them. For always there is the return of impressions—from hour to hour, from month to month, from year to year. It is the course of all beings of every kind to follow the law of action and reaction—to proceed through the coming back of that which was before plus whatever has been incurred in the meantime—and there is no cessation of this law; there is an eternality of progress, which is not restricted to any particular form and which is within the means and reach of every individual in every part of the universe. So, we can not work for ourselves alone, nor progress by ourselves alone, but taking advantage of all recurrent waves and seasons of uplift we may go on from plane to plane, from state to state, from quality of being to quality of being.

There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, it is said—which is merely an expression and recognition of the same law of recurrent impression. For the opportunities of each life come from the past; each life as it is has been produced by the life or lives preceding, and aspirations are recurrent ideas of the past. Whenever there is a spiritual idea in the heart or in the mind, then is the beginning of the rising tide for that individual; then is the time for him to take advantage of the cycle—to make every possible effort in the direction of his purpose. For the time is ripe, and the time will pass again just as surely as the Sun seems to move northward and then south again; and in that time of rising tide, we must have acquired the stamina—the power of concentrated effort which will hold us through the receding tide and give us a better standing place when the tide again rises.

There are also tides in nature for races and civilizations. Every civilization has its beginning and its ending. This present civilization will end as others before it have ended. No civilization, however great, will ever continue as such, because it merely represents a state of mind and a body suited to it, and it must reach its limit of expression to then die out. The individuals who made that race, however, will come again with whatever they have gained; they will come on a better basis and from there go on a little further. There is a rising tide in the birth of a nation, and all through its life are various tides rising and falling. For us now, a tide of recession has prevailed through many centuries. We are living in the Iron Age, which was preceded by other better Ages known as the Gold, the Silver and the Bronze Ages. It is a hard and cruel Age—an Age of spiritual darkness—but in it we have to remember all that existed in the other Ages; we have to bring into expression all that existed before, and put the very highest of all that preceded into practical use. Not only have we to pass through this Iron Age with all the aspirations of the other Ages, but we must start a new Golden Age with all that we have gained.

At the present time all our discoveries, our science, our religions, our social and national life are material, without spirituality. The more the self-conscious spiritual man has gone into matter, the more he has closed his spiritual doors, because his self-consciousness and energy have been put into the lower kingdoms. But he must go through these stages and emerge from them, bringing with him all the knowledge he has gained thereby; and not only is his effort to gain knowledge for himself, but also to impart his feeling and understanding to the kingdoms below him in the matter which he uses. Then when he moves up the scale of being, that matter, too, will be lifted up and fitting for his use.

In the receding tide, old theological ideas have lost their sway over the minds of men. Minds are searching in every direction for that which is stable, permanent and true; they are looking for a knowledge which is feasible and practical. And a tide comes for the presentment of such knowledge. A tide comes for Beings greater than we are, because at some time They took advantage of the rising tide to go far beyond where the ordinary man found himself able to go. Those Beings come at certain great seasons, as the heavens tell the story in the Messianic cycle. The passage of the Sun from one sign to another of the Zodiac takes a period of about twenty-one hundred years—the cycle of the coming of a great Teacher. We need only to know that a great Teacher existed at some time here to count forward or backward and know when another has been or will be.

The Real Christmas can come to us in our hearts. We can realize that there has come once more the season we can rise with. If we make up our minds to do it, we can follow the Path of our great Predecessors—the great Saviors of the world, the great Saviors of all times, for They all come from the same Body, whether we call Them Buddha, Jesus, or any other name. They are all Beings of the same nature who come among us, and, as was said of Jesus, in all things become like unto us that They may impart to us something of Their great knowledge and point us to the Path They followed. Always the object of Their coming was that we in time might become even as They are. Always They left messages for us which were set down and known as the sayings of the Founders of all the great religions. Jesus for Whom the Christian nations celebrate Christmas, was one of a Body of perfected men. There were many others before Him; there have been others since; there will yet be others.

Christmas is a time for giving and also for receiving. But there is a giving that is not of things. There is a giving of the heart itself. There is the giving of service, of love, of brotherhood, of every thought that makes for good—a giving open to all, however poor our personal possessions may be. It is the feeling and the thought in our hearts which reach people and stir their hearts to a better perception, a better feeling, a wider and stronger action, for all our hearts are based in the same One Life; we draw all our powers and forces from the One Life. The Real Christmas means something to the Real Man, and it applies to the whole of man’s nature. Let us take advantage of the resurgence of spiritual, mental, and moral force that comes with the Christmas time.



Symbols of divine truth were not invented for the amusement of the

ignorant; they are the alpha and omega of philosophic thought.

H. P. Blavatsky



                                     For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the  

outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

I Samuel 16:7

Within the utter darkness of the womb the fertilized egg divides. It divides again and yet again, becoming, in three days’ time, a dozen or so cells gathered in a tiny ball. Soon an inequality in their size marks the beginning of differentiation, small planets destined to play their own specialized part in the scheme of things. Within seven days the minuscule mass of multiplying cells has lodged itself onto the wall of the uterus, wherein rapid changes transform its expanding shape to reveal the folds of the spinal cord and the nodal hood that will become the brain. The curving embryo seems to gather itself around the core of its being, which pulsates regularly to a life rhythm which is already its very own. Within the third week of its development the foetus possesses a heart which, by the twenty-seventh day, has four chambers, though it is much smaller than the proverbial eye of the needle through which the pure in heart may enter into heaven.

By the eighth week the heart is a tiny replica of that of the adult. Its cells are replete with genetic data which rapidly cross, converge and weave a seamless structure which takes shape long before any other major organ. By two months, coronary circulation has begun and the now pea-sized organ assumes its mantle of tireless sovereign and distributor of the body’s vital river of blood, without which life would quickly cease. All depends upon the faithful pumping of the heart and yet no one is able to identify the precise point in foetal development when it begins. The pulsation of the tiny organ is recognizable at four weeks, but the cells clustered together to form the nucleus of what would become a fully shaped heart carry within them the seed of that pulsation which, even in the earliest stages, is the basis for a unique individual rhythm. Just as mysterious is the question of when the beating of the heart ceases. Disembodied hearts, even the separated individual cells of the heart, can continue to beat. Certain separated heart cells commence beating as they multiply in a nutritive liquid and begin to crowd upon one another. The beating cells impart their rhythm to the others until all the cells form a solid sheet of pulsating tissue. Why these certain cells first begin to beat remains a mystery to exoteric science, one which is basic to the question of what makes the heart beat at all.

From whence comes the first pulsation that ripples unobserved through the growing heart? What is the ancestry of that beat which heralds the beginning of a throbbing, to be repeated in an adult more than one hundred thousand times a day? Those who disclaim all but empirical answers leave the question open and focus instead on the marvel that is the heart itself. They see it as a pump, a machine, a wonderful muscular mass whose layers are composed of strands of individual cells which are the labourers of the whole. Linked end to end and side to side in an intricate network, their individual efforts merge to create the vital contractions of what is the largest involuntary muscle in the body. But they are informed by the heart’s own electrical commands as well as those of the autonomic nervous system. In this lies the uniqueness of the heart as a muscle and as a connector and sustainer of life.

Forty-five hundred years ago the medical wisdom of the Yellow Emperor was collected in a work called the Nei Ching, which taught that “the heart is the root of life” and the pulse of a healthy heart “flows and connects . . . like a string of red jade”. Connecting and sustaining life, the heart is necessarily at the centre. If one judges from its encased position in the anatomical scheme of things, Nature does not seem to have intended that it be probed or even easily seen. Unseen, it yet was always believed to be the seat of life and, indeed, the link between lives. The ancient Egyptians believed the heart of one life was linked to that of the next. It was the only organ which the funerary specialists left in mummies or its own canopic jar, the heart being considered indispensable for immortality. Perhaps this was sensed by Cro-Magnon men twenty-five thousand years ago when they painted outsized red ochre hearts in the centre of bison and mammoth figures on the walls of Iberian caves. They wished to possess the life-spirit of so great a beast. They wished to assimilate its power and mystery, not merely ingest its flesh.

From the Aztec sacrifice of the living human heart to the Hindu identification of its essential nature as the Divine Centre, Brahmā, symbolized by the lotus flower emanating the whole of creation, the heart reigns as the indispensable connector to the eternal and the sustainer of the temporal. In its pulsation, in its steady, unfailing flux, it has been thought by many peoples to be the seat of man’s immortal soul. But some, like the ancient Hindus, conceived of the heart as the sacred symbol of the One Central Living God. The Mayan tradition poetically speaks of such a Deity in the words of the Popul Vuh:

Alone was the Creator, the Maker, Tepeu, the Lord, and Gucumatz, the Plumed Serpent, those who engender, those who give being, alone upon the waters like a growing light . . . They are enveloped in green and azure, whence the name Gucumatz, and their being is great wisdom. Lo, how the sky existeth, how the Heart of the Sky existeth — for such is the name of God, as He doth name Himself!

The Quiche Mayan called the Heart of the Sky Hurakan and believed that the lesser gods created the earth through him. Far off in the ancient East theurgists anticipated such inspired notions, referring to the parts of the heart as Brahmā’s Hall and Vishnu’s Chamber. They asserted that each section corresponded to parts of the brain, whilst “the very atoms of the body (as a whole) are the thirty-three crores (in the Hindu pantheon) of gods”. The idea that man is a microcosm of the macrocosm lends special significance to the heart, for surely, some have reasoned, the universe itself must have a heart which throbs and gives it life. In this view, it is most meaningful to identify that Great Heart with God and to express the deepest reverence for it, as did the pharaoh Ikhnaton in his Hymn to the Sun written in the fourteenth century before Christ.

Thou didst create the earth according to thy heart.

Plato spoke of the valve action of the heart and how it was the fiery origin of human passions. Millennia later Matthew Arnold echoed this widely accepted idea, writing that man could not kindle when he would “the fire that in the heart resides”. He poetically suggested that the fire in the heart took its flame from the spirit that comes and goes and that, somehow in this mystery, man’s soul abides. Aristotle, offering a somewhat more mechanical explanation, asserted that the soul’s vital spirit did indeed rest in the heart, contracting and expanding so as to “pull and thrust from one and the same causes”. Most tribal peoples of the globe have also believed that the heart is the seat of the soul and have sometimes put this notion to work in alarming ways. Few engaged in massive human sacrifices like those of the Aztecs, but many people have practised acts of ritual cannibalism wherein the heart was consumed as the organ-seat of the victim’s immortal soul or of their potency and courage. To such an end has fallen many a brave warrior, whilst some, like the thirteenth century Danish crusader whose heart was eaten by the Sakkala peasants of Finland, simply blundered into the unexpected role of sacrificial offering.

Throughout the ages hearts have been depicted as ‘broken’, ‘heavy’, ‘turned to stone’, ‘cold’, ‘warm’, ‘kind’, ‘bleeding’, ‘singing’ and ‘true’. Many of these epithets have to do with feelings or dispositions, but a ‘true heart’ is something unchanging, suggesting that Truth is present in an organ capable of reflecting it. The unswerving dependability of the heart is partly responsible for this association, but behind that rests the notion of what lies at the very core of an individual’s life, the Truth that explains itself. We try to demonstrate our sincerity by ‘speaking from the bottom of the heart’ and we hope that those who hear us will somehow glean from the tone of our voice and the light of our eyes that it is indeed from that hidden cave of Truth that our utterance springs. This ancient idea has ennobled the thought and speech of many people, inspiring the Egyptians to symbolize the judgement at death in terms of weighing the individual’s heart against a feather to measure truth.

For Mercy has a human heart . . .

     William Blake

Not in the busy mind but in the depth of one’s heart is sensed the Divine Presence at the centre of one’s being. Here, the Buddhists say, is to be found the essential nature of Buddha, which is a reservoir of compassionate wisdom. The purity and indestructibility of this fount gives rise to the term ‘Diamond Heart’, which flames forth in seven streams of sound and light. This heart truly sings — the music of the solar system singing in the cosmic stream. The breadth and depth of the Heart Doctrine speaks to the uncluttered hearts of those who are capable of being profoundly moved by its compassionate message. Thus the Tibetans came to accept Buddhism after the Doctrine of the Heart had been introduced into earlier Buddhist teachings to which they had been exposed. However imperfectly, they intuitively sensed the completion of a sacred design. They realized that only through the wisdom of the heart would the hidden Jewel in the Lotus reveal itself, the Good Law becoming the Heart’s Seal on all that came to pass. Through the glimmerings of their hearts men and women may catch glimpses of their connection with the vastitude of the manifest universe.

The Taoists taught that a realized Sage has seven orifices in his heart and they are all open. Such a heart is ‘the seat of Buddha’, wherein all past lives are remembered and where the seven streams flow above the field of synchronized time and bear the essence of the compassionate nature that, through infinite sacrifice and renunciation, ever converts them into manifest rivers of life. According to Gupta Vidya, these are the reflections of the “seven Dhyani-Buddhic rays, which are mirrored by the secondary hierarchies in the complex nervous system”. The spiritual heart in man is the link between the heart of the cosmos and the beating physical organ within the breast. One must think and feel through the heart to understand the ideas of ancient Sages and their deep insight into human physiology.

The history of the empirical knowledge of the heart and its workings stretches far back and is strewn with metaphysical concepts. Four thousand years ago the Egyptians understood that the pulse ‘measured’ the heart and used it to diagnose illnesses, as did the Chinese even earlier. With the Aristotelian emphasis on empirical observation, thought moved from the realm of analogy and correspondence to the concrete possibilities of vivisection. In the second century, Galen, from Pergamon, served as physician to the gladiators for the Romans, during which practice his curiosity about the human body led him to dissect hundreds of animals. A skilled doctor, he was also a shrewd advocate of his methods and became court physician to Marcus Aurelius and chief mentor to medical investigators for several centuries. His influence was felt by such as Andreas Vesalius, who, in the sixteenth century, “determined to dissect everything he could get his hands on” and whose De humani corporis fabrica libri septem became the standard reference on human physiology of his time. Even such genius as that possessed by Leonardo da Vinci was inflamed with similar curiosity, causing him to overcome his “fear of living in the night hours in the company of those corpses” (which he had stolen) in his zeal to dissect them and study their innermost parts. He recognized that the heart was a pump with four chambers and believed that the blood in it was warmed through the action of churning in order for the vivifying process to take place — an interesting mixture of alchemical and empirical reasoning.

There thy Observing Eye first found the Art

Of all the Wheels and Clock-work of the Heart:

The mystiek causes of its Dark Estate,

What Pullies Close its Cells, and what Dilate,

What secret Engines tune the Pulse, whose din

By Chimes without, Strikes how things fare within.

William Harvey, whose seventeenth century colleagues were responsible for the little Rhyme of Appreciation quoted above, was the first to recognize that the human organism contained a fairly constant supply of blood and that it circulated through the whole body as a result of the “function of the heart which it carries out by virtue of its pulsation, and that in sum it constitutes the sole reason for that heart’s pulsatile movement”. Thus, with a pragmatic stroke, the heart was categorized as a pump which moves more than two thousand gallons of blood through the human body each day, which weighs about eleven ounces and is about the size of a fist. Lying beneath the breastbone like a hollow pear-shaped pouch, it is composed of two upper atria and two lower ventricles. The right atrium receives the dark carbon dioxide-laden blood and releases it through a valve into the right ventricle, from which it travels to the lungs, where it is cleansed and oxygenated so that it takes on its familiar bright red colouration. From the lungs it enters into the left atrium, from which it flows through the mitral valve into the left ventricle, where powerful contractions push it out through a semilunar valve into the aorta, its first step in the long circuit through the blood vessels of the body.

Even to one who merely observes it as a physical phenomenon, the heart is “the very essence and poetry of fantastic precision, perfected motion and endurance”. It is composed of muscle fibre whose cells have an abundance of mitochondria which act as power centres, converting food to energy. Electrical currents passing along from fibre to fibre with ease enable the structural lattice-work of separate cells to function like a group that have merged to act as a single cell. As with the separated cells from the disembodied heart, certain cardiac muscle cells of the living heart generate their own electrical current, commanding the rest of the heart’s fibres to contract. The valves of the heart open and close with every heartbeat. They are one-way doors whose perfect function is responsible for keeping the blood moving in a fast and endless stream. Their dysfunction can permit a potentially lethal back-up of blood in the veins and arteries. As each chamber fills and contracts, blood presses against the underside of the valve cusps, closing them as part of an endless rhythm of open and close that takes place more than once a second. Their durability and steady response is one of the great wonders of the heart.

Heart attack has probably struck fear into the minds of human beings for as long as a sedentary way of life has tended to prevail. There is no tradition of death through heart disease among the hunters and gatherers of the world, though some are said to have died of a ‘broken’ heart, like Chief Joseph, who was forced to spend his last years as a captive exile from his beloved Walla Walla home. The Chinese who were familiar with heart problems believed that by putting bad ideas into practice, humans damaged their hearts (whereas wrong thoughts themselves were believed to cause lung trouble). Owing to the suddenness of heart attack, people have often identified it with some sort of lightning-stroke retribution, but it is actually the result of disease attacking the heart’s muscular essence. At least eighty percent of such attacks are caused by diseased coronary arteries often identified as arteriosclerosis. The heart keeps five percent of the blood it pumps for nourishment. The coronary arteries drain the vital fluid from pockets formed by the cusps of the valves and carry it to all parts of the heart. Small branches of these meet in complex junctions where a blood clot or buildup of fat or cholesterol can cut off the flow to crucial areas of the organ, bringing on heart muscle death. A weakened heart can result in congestive heart failure, where either or both of the ventricles fail to empty themselves fully during systole. Thus, cardiac output would decrease while pressure builds up simultaneously in the atria and blood is forced back into the lungs or veins. Besides the narrowing or blocking of the arteries supplying blood to the heart, certain other factors can contribute to its failure. Rheumatic fever affects the valves so that with each heartbeat blood leaks backward and a short-circuiting of the heart’s electrical system can produce cardiac arrhythmia. In this latter case the electrical impulse is blocked or premature and is actually generated from a site other than the sinoatrial node, the heart’s pacemaker. Another electrical circuit problem arises in the form of flutters and fibrillations, sometimes called electrical frenzies. In its ‘circus movement’ the heart’s electrical impulses may, as it were, chase and catch themselves. This produces a chain reaction involving the splitting of impulses, and their multiplication can spread out of control, often in the atria.

The human heart has hidden treasures,

In secret kept, in silence sealed.

Charlotte Brontë

The systole and diastole of the heart are its contraction and dilation, its great and constant pulsation. In the Greek, ἡ συστόλ0 (systole) literally means ‘contraction’ or ‘limitation’, whereas the verb δι"στέλλω (diastello) means to ‘put asunder’ or ‘tear open’ and comes from the root στέλλω, meaning ‘to set in order’, ‘to dispatch’ or ‘array’. With each rippling wave of contraction, the heart twists a quarter turn and then relaxes. This wonderfully complex process is managed in fine split-second rhythm through the electricity generated by the heart’s natural pacemaker. Situated high on the wall of the right atrium, this electrically self-exciting cluster of cells or sinoatrial node has an inherent rhythm of seventy beats per minute. The beat of the heart, along with all the body’s circadian rhythms (governing such things as temperature fluctuation, blood sugar level, adrenal activity, RNA and DNA synthesis and cell division), is innate and persistent. Before birth the human heart rate is constant. This stability or lack of periodicity (relatively speaking) persists even after birth, and it is not until the sixth week after birth that the subtle effects of night and day appear. A clearly defined rhythm takes over only in the latter part of the first year (a similar course being followed by the body temperature, etc.). With growth, the low point of these rhythms moves from the late night hours in the infant to the early morning hours in the adult.

All organisms must adapt to a temporally programmed world. They thus require an endogenous master clock which anticipates external shifts and adapts to them. This process of synchronization or entrainment is carried out by the pineal gland, which translates light into melatonin, a substance which has a biochemical impact on the whole regulatory or autonomic nervous system. It maintains the body’s rhythms in phase with one another through the hypothalamus. If these rhythms are not coupled to the external environment, dyphasis occurs, causing both biochemical and physiological damage. Dance, music, the noises and actions of machines — all are external rhythms that can become so strong as to ‘possess’ individuals and actually affect the synchronization of the ‘internal clocks’. In more subtle ways the aura of the pineal gland vibrates with every sensation translated into conscious experience. Every perception is registered there. Gupta Vidya teaches that the septenary play of light in the aura of the pineal gland is reflected in the heart’s aura, which vibrates and illumines the ‘seven brains’ of the heart, known in the Buddhist tradition as the Saptaparna Cave of the Buddha.

The blood around men’s heart is their thinking.


With these influences from above and from below, the magic of the heart’s electrical system asserts itself always towards balance. Holding the heart in a finely poised state, the parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves cast “their electrochemical spells”, slowing and quickening as they compete for the ‘loyalty’ of the heart. But they themselves are governed by rhythms monitored by the pineal gland and work in conjunction with the heart’s own impulse. The balance to which the heart addresses itself is not merely coordinated with the external physical world nor based only upon the unique qualities of the internal microcosmic world of the human body. It responds to the seven rays reflected in its aura which are themselves reflections of the “hebdomadal Heart of the cosmos and the secret, spiritual heart in man”. The light which is translated by the pineal gland and which, in its transformed state, has so much to do with the rhythms of the physical human microcosm is a shadow of the spiritual light that emanates from the Heart of the cosmos. It is an echo of the Dhyani-Buddhic light that ‘plays’ around the pineal gland and fills the cave of man’s secret heart.

The pulsation of the physical heart is an echo of that of the Central Spiritual Heart (Sun), and its rate of seventy beats per minute is a precise fractional reflection of an overwhelmingly high rate of vibration which is capable of insinuating its throbbing rhythm into every unseen and seen vessel of the entire universe. Thus planets, stars, species and races all have their rate of pulse which is synchronized with the vaster rhythmic pattern of manifestation. In our solar system there is a regular circulation of vital fluid originating on an invisible plane but percolating through the visible sun to affect the whole of physical Nature. The sun contracts as rhythmically as the human heart, taking “the solar blood ten of its years, and a whole year to pass through its auricles and ventricles before it washes the lungs and passes thence to the great veins and arteries of the system”.

The Heart of the Cosmos which is the Central Spiritual Sun self-generates the vital electricity which ever issues forth the regenerating fluid and ever receives back as much as it gives out. During the sandhyas the Spiritual Sun emits creative light only passively. But during active periods of being “it gives rise to streams of ceaseless energy, whose vibrating currents acquire more activity and potency with every rung of the hebdomadic ladder of Being they descend”. The sacred electric source of life within the Spiritual Sun is triple and concealed, manifesting as Seven Fires (the Dhyani-Buddhic Rays) which are responsible for the seven states of consciousness and the senses which are the causes of the phenomena from which the Self is emancipated. Within the Spiritual Sun lies the “reservoir within which divine radiance, already differentiated at the beginning of every creation, is focussed”. In perfect mirroring of this the tiny pulsating heart within the human foetus is the focal point of the descending human monad as it pulsates forth out of the reservoir of its own ancestral potentiality into the growing confines of an earthly form. Just as the visible sun is only a window cut into the real solar presence which reflects the work within, so the physical heart reflects the work of individuated rays of the Dhyanis which continually recharge the macrocosmic and microcosmic systems, breaking down, refining material and washing it clean in the ‘lungs’ of Akashic Space. Weighing in the balance, cleansing and purifying: this is the work of the universal and human heart.

Thus the sun is a heart and the heart is a sun from the most ethereal level to the visible and physical. The Spiritual Sun is the father of the human soul and all divine faculties in man expand with the expansion of its light. Surya/Savitri, Creator and Increaser, “Thou art utterly expressed by the rays of the Sun.” This is true if one tunes the whole of one’s being to the innermost promptings of the heart and enters fully into the vast pattern of purification which is the great work of all manifested life. The human body is kept alive through a circulatory process which ever cleanses and revitalizes. It is precisely this which human beings need to do in their interactions with one another in order to help unite the separately pulsating cells into a continuous, synchronized whole capable of establishing a harmonious rhythm in which love and truth can become the keynote. To do this in whatever degree is to become attuned to the vibrating pulse of the Spiritual Heart of the universe.

The diseases of the heart are produced by fear, selfishness and the cruel acts of omission that drain the world dry of love and leave human minds parched in a desert of dying hopes and cynicism. The fear which continually short-circuits the electrical flow within distorts one’s perspective on everything and encourages the cringing forms of self-protection and indulgence. Fear and such a crippling absorption with one’s own interests are the basis for heartless actions of appalling proportions affecting individuals, groups and whole nations and dehumanizing all who   are connected with them. To go against the heart is to deny one’s humanity and to deny the One Heart of everything that lives. All those who are not utterly without soul know this and intuitively revere the Doctrine of the Heart, which is the Path of the Open and Loving Heart. Enlightened Sages of every age are united consubstantially in the Akashic essence which flows through their hearts and informs their minds. Through compassion they are united in One Truth and their hearts are the links that connect the members of this sacred Fraternity and which overflow as a purifying and vitalizing tonic for humanity. Lesser men are bound together by lesser unities. Their hearts filled with pride, desire, exclusive loyalty and love, they set themselves off against others outside their circles. “The passing sneer, the epithet of revulsion, and their psychic correlations: these are failures of the heart to recognize its own.”

As we look ‘over the head’ of the personality of others, into their heart, we can reverse this tendency to draw only contracting circles. One becomes deeply moved by what one sees in another’s heart, for the entire history of the human race pulsates there in a unique and ever-poignant cadence. The reality of one’s brotherhood with every other human being thus becomes manifest. The open-hearted Sage who does this is as a child among children, a scholar among the learned and a courageous warrior among soldiers. He is at peace with all persons and acts neither in terms of past and future nor loves and aversions, but in terms of the eternal truth which flows freely through his heart.

O Great Antique Heart

That beats within the breast of man,

Never diminished.

Never failed.

Never broken,

Your Divinely Echoed Plan.

HERMES, 1984, pp.207-219.











My Talk with the Dalai Lama

    I MUST warn you at the very outset that I propose to speak to you this afternoon not as former President of the Oxford Union, nor as an Oxford don. I want to abdicate this role and speak to you as a seeker and a pilgrim, because that was the way in which I went to the Dalai Lama. That is the only justification for my trying to tell you what he said to me during that memorable and moving interview which he graciously granted me last March, exactly a year after his exile from Tibet into India. I feel that I must share with you my recollections of what he said to me, particularly in view of his own feeling about this country. He regarded England as a force for good in the world of to-day, as playing a most unique role in the West. He said that London was the spiritual and ethical centre of Europe and when I asked him whether this meant that many wise souls had begun to take incarnation in this country, he assented. He also stated that even the Government in this country was more aware of the position of Tibet than perhaps in any other country of the West. I feel, therefore, that I ought to tell a sympathetic audience of this sort, as faithfully as I can recall it, what the Dalai Lama said to me in answer to a number of questions that I put to him.

    I must first make some preliminary remarks about the distinctive significance of the interview, and the difficulty of reproducing it this afternoon. The Dalai Lama is a remarkable man by any standards, rare in any age but perhaps unique in ours. He is five years younger than I am, and yet throughout the interview I knew I was in the august presence of a man who is ageless, who could assume a variety of poses, utterly without affectation. He was wise and benevolent, but also art-less and child-like; he was intensely involved, yet deeply detached, in every utterance; he was a most lovable man of a divinely meek disposition but he was also something else. He was an impassive, impersonal presence. He spoke as a pure vehicle, as something greater and grander than normally manifests to man. He did not claim to be, one never thought he was, perfect or infallible, but in his company I felt the freshness of immense personal purity, a visible holiness that shone out of an inner wholeness. And not only that I felt that almost for the first time I was communicating effectively and adequately with another human being, and I want to say this at the beginning because it is so difficult to bring back to this kind of atmosphere or perhaps to any other the manner of the communication that took place between the Dalai Lama and myself. All distinctions of personality vanished. There was not the slightest consciousness of the tricks or even the inappropriateness of language. He spoke in Tibetan; I spoke in English with the help of a competent interpreter. He under-stood my English, but I did not understand his Tibetan. Yet right through the interview I felt that here was a man who was articulating every single relevant thought that he had in his mind. If his language was careful and succint his thought was controlled and precise. Far from merely trying to do the right thing by his interrogator, far from being simply polite all that, he was wholly absorbed in the strenuous process as exactly, as pointedly as language would allow, each significant thought that arose in his mind in reference to each enquiry that I raised. This, I suggest, was a most uncommon method of communication. Throughout we both felt that we were human beings beyond peculiarities that affect the limitations of personality. He gave me a sense of equal participation, a sense of something more glorious than either of us, which I have never before had, and which in fact contrasted soon after this interview with other imposing personalities that I had the privilege of meeting in India.

    I now invite you to consider two statements of Eastern wisdom. There is a passage in the Bhagavad Gita, the classic scripture of the Hindu tradition, in which Krishna says to Arjuna, In whatsoever way men approach me, in that way also do I assist them.” There is also an aphorism in a Tibetan text, “Thou canst not travel on the path before thou hast become that path itself” This is a paradox—how to put oneself in advance in that very position in which alone one could properly receive and which one aspires to attain. This was the challenge that I faced.

    To translate this into more familiar terms. I urge you to show “a willing suspension of disbelief.” in a Wordsworthian sense, in receiving what the Dalai Lama had to give me.

    As I have said something about my own attitude to him and to Tibet surely I must show how I came to a position where I felt this special sanctity about the Dalai Lama. Twenty years ago, sometime after the conferment of the traditional sacred thread, I began to feel dubious about decadent orthodoxy of present-day Brahminism, I gradually became more and more aware through Theosophy of the inner identity, the harmony between primeval Hinduism and pure Buddhism, been largely forgotten in India through the centuries, and I drew increasingly to Tibet. I was fortunate to have as a spiritual teacher in India who spoke to me several times, in the fifties, of what the tragedy that lay ahead for Tibet and for the whole world. He told me that after the tragic events that were about to take would be a new and unprecedented coming together of India and Tibet, that we would enter a new phase of history for Asia and the world. Before the end of this century active centres of initiation would be set up in India.. Orthodoxy Would everywhere retreat. A new spiritual force would emerge with a profound message for the world as a whole.

    So I had been prepared, in a manner of speaking, for the recent events in Tibet that have troubled us all. But although I had been told these things I must assure you that I took these remarks with due deference but without, of course, any burning sense of urgency. In May, 1958, my mentor wrote to me from India: “‘Night cometh ‘ no man shall work,’ and this aphorism has several implications.” In August he passed away, at the age of seventy-seven.

    In March of last year, two weeks before the great descent of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama into India, there came into my hands by the strangest of coincidences (what we in the East would call karma or destiny) a little book by the Russian painter and traveller, ‘Nicholas Roerich, called The Heart of Asia, published thirty years ago in 1929. In that book Roerich did not just repeat well-known travellers tales about Tibet. He spoke freely and frankly about some of the ancient prophecies that he had, heard during his enchanting expedition to Mongolia and Tibet. He spoke about the end of the old: order and the second Reformation in Tibet, about the thirteenth incarnation of the Dalai Lama and about the taking over of Tibet by the Panchen Lama, and, above all; about the new incarnation of Shambhalla, and the terrible troubles that were bound to take place before this great event.

    Now I Want every one of you to put yourself in my position. If a book of this sort came into your hands and you read it with intense interest, and then two weeks after that event, without any warning or expectation, you heard the sudden news of the tragic events in Tibet and the providential escape of the Dalai Lama into India, I think it would give you, as it gave me, a feeling that one was ready for anything, that one had entered into a new and strange phase of history that would, affect the world in ways unknown to us at present. Having felt this, I also conceived the desire to see the Dalai Lama during my next visit to India. I was able to arrange my trip early this year.

    As soon as I arrived in Delhi last March, I thought that perhaps the best way of contacting the Dalai Lama would be though the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India. Having been myself briefly in Government service, I thought that would perhaps be the easiest way to manage it. But very soon I found out that this was really unnecessary and even undesirable, that the best way for me to see the Dalai Lama was to write to him directly. The Government did not want to act as an intermediary or a bridge or in any way come between the Dalai Lama and those who wanted to see him. I therefore wrote directly to the Dalai Lama without any expectation of reward or result. I wrote about my own interest for twenty years in Tibetan Wisdom, and the work I was now doing and left it entirely to his convenience to give me an opportunity to see him if he thought fit. Frankly, I was mildly pessimistic because I had been told that the Dalai Lama was then about to move from Mussoorie in the hills near Dehra Dun further north to Dharamsala. I also gathered that he had not been seeing almost anyone for about a month. I was fortunate to hear from his private secretary very soon. I was told that I could see His Holiness at 11 a.m. on 28th March. It was, of course, almost exactly a year since he had entered Indian territory.

I went on the 27th to Dehra Dun and left on the 28th morning for Mussoorie. I asked a number of people about the formalities, and I must say that in most cases I was greeted with surprise and scepticism. In fact, very few people in the Indian cities could see the unusual if not unique significance of the Dalai Lama. This depressed me because I knew that in Oxford itself, and in England. when he left Tibet, even cynics and scoffers as well as the popular press preserved a due deference towards this remarkable man. And yet here in India I found many people not to mention some scurrilous weeklies, pouring scorn upon the Dalai Lama who, at the very least. was a helpless exile with an excellent cause. Much fuss had been made about the physical treasure that he was supposed to have removed from Tibet.

    In Mussoorie I bought a white silk scarf, as was the custom, to present to the Dalai Lama. I went straight to Birla House where he was staying. I was told by the Government clerk there that the Dalai Lama had not granted such an interview for some time, and that it was not likely to last long. The moment I saw his secretary and was conducted straight into the presence of the Dalai Lama, all my concern about the interview vanished. I was greeted by this most radiant personality with outstretched arms and from then on I was completely in his hands. He beckoned me to a comfortable chair on his left. Straight opposite him sat his courteous interpreter and secretary. Opposite me on his right sat a most distinguished looking Lama with a powerful countenance and gentle yet penetrating eyes; and I felt completely disarmed by the Dalai Lama whose utterly restful and benevolent manner came so naturally to him. Throughout the interview I was aware of the encouraging response of the venerable Lama seated opposite to me.

    When we were seated, there was a long pause, a spell of silence during which time itself seemed to have come to stop. I suddenly found that the questions which I had intended to ask him I could not raise. And then I looked at him and said that I was deeply sorry to belong to a people who did not at present appreciate his true significance, who did not understand the inner meaning of his descent into India. His Holiness was visibIy moved, and then be seemed to concentrate his gaze upwards on one particular spot on his right, at which he looked while formulating his answers to all my questions. When I spoke (in English) he looked at me. When he spoke (in Tibetan) he looked at this point in space so that he could be wholly attentive to what he wished to say. He said that he understood how I felt. But we must be patient. People had begun to see the significance of what had happened. These things would take time. We were dealing here not with governments and officals, but with common people. Awareness was already to be found among them of what had happened. This would increase. Then he turned to me and asked me how long I planned to stay on in Delhi. When I said that I was going to  stay on until the beginning of April, he wondered whether I might attend the Afro-Asian Convention on Tibet, organized by Jaya Prakash Narayan I said that I hoped to if I was in Delhi, at the time.

    Then I asked him straight away, without any waste of words, about the Panchen Lama, whether he was in touch with him, and about his own role in relation to the events that were then taking place. He paused and said with complete conviction that the Panchen Lama was not a free agent, but he would not go against the needs of his own religion, his own people, his own country. When I asked him whether recent events were going to lead towards a far reaching Renaissance of Buddhism, of Bodhi-Dharma or the Divine Wisdom, and whether we were entitled to expect the new incarnation from Shambhalla, he assented but also cautioned me most gently against any kind of determinism. Of course we might know what was due to happen, but we must wait upon events. We must not expect things to happen exactly in the order that we might formulate in our own minds. He stressed that we were really at the beginning of a process that was going to take quite some time, that there was now even more evil in the world than had been expected by the wise  Lamas of Tibet. When he said this, he gave me the impression that all the time the initiates with whom he was connected had to come to terms with human free-will, and could not in advance lay down any limits to the depths of human degradation in this dark age.

    I must say that throughout the interview, as at this point, when he spoke about evil in Tibet or anywhere else, he did not speak as a man with a cause, he did not speak as a Tibetan, not even as a custodian of an ancient community. He spoke entirely as a human being seated on some kind of invisible summit but speaking about humanity, about human nature, about the level to which it had begun to sink. As he spoke I felt that any of the customary categories which we apply to describe the contemporary malady would be misleading, not only that, to do this would savour of spiritual conceit I then asked him a direct question about the way in which the cause of Tibet could be advanced, for example, in this country and generally in the West. He spoke with feeling and joy about the work of the Tibet Society. He said that it had done very good work in England, that it was a step in the right direction, and it was in this connection that he said what I mentioned at the very beginning about England and about the British Government.

    Having said this, he went to suggest that I should keep in touch with the Tibet Society with which I have been slightly connected from the beginning, and he also spoke very warmly about Mr. Beaufort-Palmer, who initiated the work of the Society. Then I asked him as to whether in the work of the Society and generally in support of the cause of Tibet, the political or the spiritual side of Tibet should be stressed. Human rights violated. Should attention he drawn to this and to the cause of Tibetan independence, or should one stress much more the spiritual role of Tibet and the less obvious obstacles that had been raised by intruders into Tibet? He said in answer to this that it entirely depended upon circumstances, because we must not lose sight of either aspect of the matter. He said that when people came to stress entirely the political side, then it was the time for us to speak about the indestructible aspect of Tibet. But when on the other hand we had to speak about the spiritual “Tibet we must not underplay the political importance of what had happened. He said with absolute confidence that truth would ultimately triumph, but in our own sphere there was great need to convey to the public around us the full significance of events. He implied that this was not usually to be found, that it was not only necessary not to exaggerate it was equally necessary not to underestimate or play down, the true significance of events.

    Then he spoke about the significance of such events to the whole world. He refered to a tremendous awakening that was taking among large masses of people everywhere, quite independent of ideology or the of states. He said that these newly-awakened forces all over the world must find suitable focal points for effective expression. This represented not merely the conscience of humanity but also the new political awareness on a world-wide plane, the indispensable and indivisible nature of the moral solidarity of mankind. I asked him in this connection about the present predicament of Tibet, and about conditions in Tibet. The Dalai Lama then spoke most movingly about what was happening. He said that monks have been forced to marry, there was desecration of monasteries and of shrines, that although there was much to be reformed in Tibet the method of reformation was wholly violent and wholly materialistic, and there was no recognition of the moral law or the significance of Tibetian tradition. He spoke with complete conviction about the inevitability of the ultimate triumph of truth. I think he meant this in two senses. Anyone who speaks about the cause of Tibet should do so with as much purity as possible, that is, without bringing in irreverent epithets derived from the language of the cold war. If one spoke simply and directly about what was being done to human beings by human beings in that part of the world, then the truth would shine. People would see. Further, if more people began to do this on a world-wide scale the truth in Tibet would shine, the truth of the great tradition that was being torn apart by people to whom it meant nothing.

    Then I asked him about his attitude to Communism, and here, without pronouncing about Communism in general, he turned to me and said with serene satisfaction that the danger of communism in India had completely passed in the last few months. I thought perhaps he was referring to what had happened in Kerala. In fact, he meant much more than that—there was a new awareness among the common people all over the country of the dangers of Communism in India. The sacrifice and the ideation of unseen seers had helped large numbers of people to see clearly, more clearly than before, the nature of Communism in India.

    At this point when talking about how we should combat evil on the political plane. I mentioned to him my own interest in Gandhi and that was writing a book on Gandhi. He spoke of him almost as a forerunner of the new enlightenment. He said that the truths which Gandhi embodied in his life were being increasingly recognized, especially with the advent of nuclear weapons, by people in many parts of the world. It was our duty to uphold the truth as we knew it even in the company of people whose selfishness and short-sightedness prevented them from seeing it. We must always attempt to do this as the mind of man was mutable and the soul of man was unpredictable. We never could say in advance when a person might respond to a genuinely moral and spiritual appeal, based upon personal sacrifice and a clear formulation of the truth as we understand it. However, we must recognize that there were people conditioned to regard themselves and to behave simply as animals, who showed no recognition of truth or the moral law or any of the fundamental decencies of politics and of humanity. When such men were  ruthlessly opposed to our non-violent efforts, we must be ready to realize, and have the courage to see, that to persist in them would be a form of self-murder.

Then I turned to him and asked him whether he was referring to the Dugpas, to sorcerers and to ‘soulless men.’ When I said this, his interpreter could not translate it because the word ‘Dugpa’ has two senses. Literally, it refers to an inhabitant of Bhutan, and using that meaning his interpreter could not make sense of what I was saying. There is another meaning to the word, meaning an evil being, or even a sorcerer, and to my surprise this seemed to be unfamiliar to the interpreter. But the Dalai Lama showed that he understood exactly what I had in mind.
The Dalai Lama hinted at an important point which was understood by Spinoza in Europe but which is often ignored. There is no real distinction in the long run between the true self-interest of a person and an unpleasant duty. There were unfortunately people who persisted in doing things which were going to harm them above all as well as others. He spoke with quiet compassion about these ignorant though cunning evil-doers. It would be most wrong for us, he implied, to condemn them or to dismiss them out of the horizon of our sympathy, as they did more harm to themselves than to other human beings, although they could not see it. Sometimes people were able to see the truth but through selfishness they could not apply it. There were also people who were utterly misguided in their view of what was in their own interest. If only they could know, if only they were not so short-sighted through their own desperation and through their own false concepts, they would see more clearly what was in their interest and that this could not be so very different for different peoples. In all conflicts the combatants ought to realize that their ultimate interests were the same, but this was exactly what was so difficult. Therefore, it was always the people who could stand outside a violent conflict in any part of the world to-day, who, by their awareness of this ultimate identity of interests between both sides in terms of their common survival and in relation to the whole of humanity, could be an active force for good. They could act as a check on the recurrent and ever-increasing nature of evil, generated by folly, selfishness and above all short-sightedness.

    Then I turned to the important question of the relations between Asia and Europe in our time. I mentioned my own feeling that there had been for a long time some sort of glass curtain between Asia and Europe, which was in great danger of being reduced in the coming years to something like the Iron Curtain. He was very interested in this and kindly promised a message for a book that I am editing on this subject. Then he asked me what I thought would be, in terms of my analysis, the likelihood of serious conflict. He asked me this in such a way that I could not refrain from answering. I said, I thought there was a real danger that certain fanatics in the Far East and in Western Europe would play upon these traditional prejudices, and suddenly the old, obscurantist clichés about Asia and Europe would gain greater currency and be put to dangerous uses. He gravely indicated that he shared this fear of growing antagonism. Although in India Communism had receded, if Communism spread elsewhere, it would link up with this ancient antipathy, and that would be a disaster.

    The Dalai Lama then spoke with compelling concern about China as an ancient civilization that had been going down for centuries. He said it had been going down for a long time and it was now in a militant mood.
I asked him whether he feared that it would in fact become more aggressive and move out into other areas of the world, and even come to Europe. He said that though we must be prepared for the worst, we must not be carried away by our pessimism. We should go on speaking a language that was still understood by some people in China. This I thought was most moving. We must not write off China and adopt the hostile posture of the angry anti-Communists. There was still in China a potential response to an ancient language that was part of Chinese tradition, and we must go on speaking it in order to avoid war or in preparation for the period after the great cataclysm.

    Then he spoke in answer to another question about the submerging of the spiritual tradition in Tibet which was taking place at the same time as the subtle diffusion of spiritual teaching on a much wider level in the outside world. He said that there had been a time in the history of Tibet when a similar darkness prevailed. For sixty to seventy years not a text was seen in public, not a monk was allowed to move openly, and spiritual life was driven underground. To-day there was a similar attack in Tibet upon the traditional system of spiritual teaching, but this, of course, would not affect the teachings themselves or their true custodians who would go into retreat. At the same time in India and elsewhere, in India initially, because that is where Tibetan thought was now beginning to move, there would be a revival and a diffusion of Tibetan Buddhism. I must say here that he never once used the phrase ‘Tibetan Buddhism’ because he was not speaking about any ism. He used words signifying gnosis or wisdom, the spiritual life, the Divine Religion or the Ancient Teaching. He also referred, with utmost reverence, to the teaching and the name of the Buddha, but he never used any word with a sectarian sound. Then he spoke once again about a world-wide awakening that was now becoming evident, not only on the political plane but even more on the religious plane. There was a beautiful balance in his answers between the bright and the darker side. He ever had his eye on the essentials. It was not so important that people should call themselves by any partisan label as that they should reveal in their lives an awareness of the teaching of great spiritual instructors like the Buddha regarding the moral law and the means to enlightenment. When I asked him about the pledge* of Kwan-Yin and the choice between salvation and renunciation, he said that true liberation must be for all and was, therefore, inseparable from renunciation.[ * ‘Never will I seek nor receive individual salvation; never will I enter final peace alone; but forever and always will I strive for the redemption of every single creature from the bonds of conditioned existence.”]

    I then asked him about the spiritual treasures of Tibet. The eye of the world being attracted to the externals of life, was focused on the so-called physical treasure. But there must be spiritual treasure which must have come with His Holiness into India. Was I right in this surmise? He replied that priceless texts had been moved out of Tibet well in time; these had never before left Tibet. Now that these precious texts were on Indian soil, this land was blessed thereby.

    Then I asked him about the belief that the Reformation of Tibet in the fourteenth century was connected with the Reformation in Europe and that Tibet was also linked up with the Enlightenment in eighteenth century Europe. Perhaps the time had come for a new Enlightenment and Reformation in Asia, similar to the secularization of spiritual teaching in the West. He agreed and said that we need to translate spiritual and religious truths into a political and social form.

    The interview then ended on a personal note. I told him again about my own work, and I also told him about my little son who had shown intense interest in the Dalai Lama. He very kindly asked his secretary to give me pictures of himself for my son, and also copies of a Hindi translation of a Tibetan text, to which he had written a short but extremely significant preface. In that preface he spoke about the coming together of Tibet, the Land of Bodhi or Divine Wisdom, and India, the Land of the Aryas (using the word in the original, pure sense), the Land of Nobility. The last thing that he uttered was in answer to a specific enquiry of mine for a last word, a last bit of advice, and he said only this, that he was very glad that I was keeping in touch with Jaya Prakash Narayan, for whom he had high respect.

    The interview was over. His Holiness gave me back the white silk scarf that I had presented to him, as was the custom. The security officers were puzzled at the length of the interview because it went on for almost an hour and a half, but they were assured that this had been entirely in accordance with the Dalai Lama’s wish. Then they turned to me and said that not many people besides his disciples came and talked about spiritual matters with His Holiness. When I explained the nature of my interest in the Dalai Lama, one of them, who had looked rather cynical about everything, said, “Actually, for us too, although we do not show it, we find it deeply significant that we are in his presence, and the more we see him and the people round him, the more we respect him and his mother.” This I thought was a very good note on which to end my own visit to Birla House and I left in a state of exaltation and extreme gratitude.


Life attracts life.


When we are attracted to a person, what we are really attracted to is the particle of life, i.e., atma. Without the presence of this atma, without life, you see a body for what it really is: just a hunk of blood, guts, flesh, bones, teeth, stool, mucus, hair, urine, bile, and so on—a bag of chemicals. The monetary value of this bag of chemicals called the aterial body is about $9. ...


What are you worth? Your physical body made of various chemicals is not really worth very much. It may be worth $5 or $10, but is that all you are worth? Is that all your wife or your child, or your friend, or your mother, or your father are worth?


It is the presence of the life particle—the person-- that makes the physical body valuable. If this atma is not present in the body then it has no real value. As soon as the person, the atma, leaves the body, the body becomes worthless.  The closer you are to this understanding, the closer you are to wisdom and sanity.


The material body is valuable only when the infinitely valuable person is present within the body.


The material body can be likened to a computer/machine. Each person operates his own private computer/machine, and when he is finished using his machine, it no longer has any value because no one else can operate it. When the operator is present, the value of the computer certainly exceeds the net worth of its ingredients. Without an operator, however, a computer has no useful function, and is worth no more than the scrap value a junk dealer will pay for its component bits of plastic and metal.


The body is a computer/machine that needs an operator in order to be of value; and the unique nature of each and every body is that it is basically a private computer/machine. It is almost impossible for one person to use someone else’s computer/machine. I can’t operate your body and you can’t operate mine.


The real value of the body lies not in the organization of its components, but rather in the self, in the person who operates and uses that body.


Because it is the self who uses the body, this self sees value in the body. Other people see value in the body of some other self primarily because the body is a means by which that self communicates with them, expresses love to them, works for them, and so on. 


Without the self to operate the body, that body—as complex and organized as it is—is of no more value than a bag of chemicals.


The body and individual body parts are valuable only so long as a self can use them. If there is no self who can use the body, then it is of no value.


It is the nonmaterial self who is valuable.


If a loved one of an enlightened person leaves their body, the enlightened person will understand that the person he loved has departed. He will not see the corpse as the person, i.e., his beloved.


A materialist identifies the person they love with the physical body that person inhabited. Therefore when that person or atma leaves their body and just a corpse remains, the materialist will not know what to think. He will be frightened and confused by the corpse -- because although the body is present, his beloved is not.


Concerning a wise person’s feelings toward the body left behind by a loved one: First, unlike the materialist, he is not attracted to it as though it were the person. Second, he is not afraid or repelled by it because he sees it for what it is: a vehicle, or type of clothing, left behind by the one he loves.

~Jagad Guru Chris Butler, Science of Identity Foundation




Title: Quotes from book & teachings and lectures


Out of body experience:


"Most people who have actually experienced leaving their bodies and existing outside their bodies no longer identify their bodies as themselves. They know that they can and will exist without the body. They no longer view death as the end of their existence." Life Force in Plants:


“Work has been done regarding the life force present in plants. In one typical experiment, electrical wires are connected from an electro sensitive meter to a plant. After a stable reading is obtained on the instruments, a small twig is cut from the plant. Invariably, at that moment, a significant response is perceivable on the meter, indicating that the separation of the twig has disturbed or agitated the plant.” Result of identifying self with the body:


"If you believe that you are your body, you will strive endlessly to give your body sensual pleasure. You will struggle to fill up your inner emptiness with fleeting sensual flashes. But no amount of sensual pleasure will satisfy you. No matter how many taste orgasms, sexual orgasms, and other kinds of orgasms you may have, you still won't be actually satisfied. You’ll always have a never ending desire for more.”



"Many Chinese and Japanese acupuncturists (possibly out of a desire to “prove” the existence of chi to skeptical Westerners) have invented all sorts of electrical technological gadgetry to monitor the flow of chi through the meridians and to precisely locate the acupuncture points.


So although chi cannot be perceived directly, its presence can be detected by a meter that monitors electrical activity."



Silent Witness Meditation:

Relax, and sit or lie in a quiet place. Don’t attempt to control the thinking process by trying to think certain thoughts and not think others. Instead, let your mind think about whatever it may. Now watch your mind and become aware of how you are actually aloof from the thinking process. Say to yourself, “I am the silent witness. I make no effort to think, but thoughts come automatically. I am watching thoughts flow through my mind, but I am aloof from them. I am the silent witness to my mind’s activities.” In this way, you’ll be able to experience that you are separate from the mind.


You can also watch the passing emotions, feelings, desires, fears, and so on as they rise to the surface of the mind and then pass away. The stream of mind-stuff thus flows along, and you are the viewer of it. Just as a person sits by an ever-moving stream, so you, the self, sit by the stream of mind-stuff. Just as a stream may be very clear or very polluted, so the stream of mind-stuff may be very clear or very polluted. In either case, you are the witness of that stream—not the stream itself.


You may not be content to watch the stream of mind-stuff flow freely, but instead may try to control it, redirect it, or stop it completely. But the very fact that you can try to redirect or control your mind, combined with the fact that it is so difficult to succeed in the endeavor, further shows that you, the self, are not the mind or stream of mind-stuff.

~ Jagad Guru Chris Butler, Science of Identity Foundation



"THE QUEST" 2. The Cosmological Arguments:


Information Theory


Nor is sense gratification considered “bad.” Sense gratification comes and goes as a natural occurrence of the senses. For example, one cannot eat without tasting. The point is that a life that is centered around sense enjoyment, that makes sense enjoyment the goal, is a wasted life. Economic development is necessary for the maintenance of the body; so therefore it cannot be neglected. But to seek economic development simply for the sake of endlessly increasing sensual pleasure is foolish. No amount of sensual pleasure will ever really satisfy a person, so no amount of economic development will ever be considered “enough.” This is why people in modern Western societies are still not satisfied, even though they are so economically advanced and thus have so much facility for sense enjoyment. They always want more.


Science of Identity Foundation – Chris Butler Speaks


Information Theory

Now to come to the point: Information Theory casts a shadow of doubt over the belief that chance alone is at the root of the life process. Whenever matter is arranged in a systematic or orderly fashion, in addition to the raw ingredients, a certain amount of information is also required so that the components become arranged correctly. In scientific terms, the quantity of information is expressed in binary units called “information bits” and the sum total of these bits for any given system (be it a living cell, an automobile, a skyscraper building, etc.) is called the "information content" of that system.


Now the information content of a given system is not synonymous with the component parts of that system, but exists in addition to these parts. This implies that for the initial vegetative or generative process to come into being, there must have existed, in addition to the ingredients of that system, the information to facilitate their proper arrangement.


Of course, in the case of a physical system with a very low information content, there is, of course, the possibility that chance could cause the parts of that system to come together in a given design. For example, say you have two pieces of wood in a large box; one in the shape of a peg, and one in the shape of a block with a hole in it. If you shake the box up again and again, the chance manner in which the pieces of wood interact with one another may eventually result in the peg fitting into the hole. But the odds against even such a simple construction process occurring by chance are very unfavorable.


Sometimes, people make games out of this sort of thing, and even then find it difficult with conscious effort to get the peg in the hole, or to cause a little ball to follow the proper pathway through a maze.





Nor is sense gratification considered “bad.” Sense gratification comes and goes as a natural occurrence of the senses. For example, one cannot eat without tasting.

The point is that a life that is centered around sense enjoyment, that makes sense enjoyment the goal, is a wasted life. Economic development is necessary for the maintenance of the body; so therefore it cannot be neglected. But to seek economic development simply for the sake of endlessly increasing sensual pleasure is foolish.


No amount of sensual pleasure will ever really satisfy a person, so no amount of economic development will ever be considered “enough.” This is why people in modern Western societies are still not satisfied, even though they are so economically advanced and thus have so much facility for sense enjoyment. They always want more.

Science of Identity Foundation – Chris Butler Speaks






TEACHER: Well, Michael, the time has come for us to begin our inquiry into the nature of the Absolute Truth. I think that with yesterday’s discussion of the problem of evil we finished with the major objections of the atheists and skeptics-though for me to say we have dealt with all of their arguments certainly would be an overstatement. We have arrived, it seems, at a conclusion not unlike that of the great Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas felt that although God’s existence could be established through natural theology, we could not have a clear and distinct understanding of Him by this means. That has also been our conclusion.


As the conversation we are presently embarking upon unravels itself, however, I’m afraid I’ll have to take issue with Aquinas since he didn’t allow the possibility of gaining a clear understanding of God by any other process, either. If we felt this were the case, there would be little use in continuing our dialogue, would there?


MICHAEL: Not that I can see. Aquinas’s assertion that we cannot know God during this mortal life seems to place undue restrictions on the Supreme Being. If God is all-powerful, it would certainly seem He would have the power to make Himself known to someone if He wished to.


TEACHER: Precisely. Concerning our inquiry into the nature of the Supreme Being-would you agree with me that the heart of the inquiry will be the question as to whether God is a personal Deity or an impersonal force?


MICHAEL: That would have to be the case.


TEACHER: Since the direction of our conversation is already carved out, let’s begin by examining the opinions of a select group of philosophers who have developed good arguments on the subject. Both the personalist and impersonalist points of view can be found in their most highly-developed form in schools of thought which originated in India.


The foremost proponent of the Mayavada or impersonalist school is Sripad Shankaracharya. The Vaishnava or personalist school is best represented in the teachings of Sri Adi Vishnu Swami, Sri Nimbarka (Nimbaditya), Sri Ramanuja, and Sri Madhva, who established the four Vaishnava communities, and also in Sri Krishna Chaitanya, who appeared in the disciplic line of Madhva.


May I take the time to give a brief historical sketch of these great personalities,mentioning the essential points of their philosophies, before we begin our comparative analysis?


MICHAEL: To do so could only add to the richness of our discussion.


TEACHER: We’ll begin with Sripad Shankaracharya.