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schools of knowledge

Mar 28, 1994 09:30 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker

This is by Brenda.

Hi ya all!

How did you enjoy the seminar at Krotona (if you were there)? Eldon
went and had a good time.

Here is a nice thought from TCF by AAB concerning the seven schools
of knowledge mentioned in The Secret Doctrine.

p. 285 TCF "These six schools are:
      a. The school of Logic ........ Proof of right perception.
      b. The atomic school .......... System of particulars. Elements.
                                      Alchemy and chemistry.
      c. The Sankhya school ......... System of numbers. The
                                      materialistic school. The
                                      theory of the seven states
                                      of matter or prakriti.
      d. The school of Yoga ........  Union. The rule of daily life.
      e. The school of Ceremonial
         religion.................... Ritual. Worship of the devas
                                      or Gods.
      f. The Vedanta school ......... Has to do with non-duality.
                                      Deals with the relation of
                                      Atma in man to the Logos.

The Gnosis or hidden knowledge is the same as Atma Vidya, or
Theosophy, and includes the other six."

These seven are not given in any straightforward manner in THE SECRET
DOCTRINE, but are found in Vol 12 COLLECTED WRITINGS, p.  343
footnote, listed similarly to AAB's list.

THE SECRET DOCTRINE, Vol I, p. 168-9 has this related passage:

"Of the four Vidyas~out of the seven branches of knowledge mentioned
in the Puranas~namely, "Yajna-Vidya" (the performance of religious
rites in order to produce certain results); "Maha-Vidya," the great
(Magic) knowledge, now degenerated into Tantrika worship;
"Guhya-Vidya," the science of Mantras and their true rhythm or
chanting, of mystical incantations, etc.~it is only the last one,
"Atma-Vidya," or the true Spiritual and Divine wisdom, which can
throw absolute and final light upon the teachings of the three first
named.  Without the help of Atma-Vidya, the other three remain no
better than surface sciences, geometrical magnitudes having length
and breadth, but no thickness.  They are like the soul, limbs, and
mind of a sleeping man: capable of mechanical motions, of chaotic
dreams and even sleep-walking, of producing visible effects, but
stimulated by instinctual not intellectual causes, least of all by
fully conscious spiritual impulses.  A good deal can be given out and
explained from the three first-named sciences.  But unless the key to
their teachings is furnished by Atma-Vidya, they will remain for ever
like the fragments of a mangled text-book, like the adumbrations of
great truths, dimly perceived by the most spiritual, but distorted
out of all proportion by those who would nail every shadow to the

And on p. 278-79 Vol I,

"This is the view of every one of the six great schools of Indian
philosophy~the six principles of that unit body of WISDOM of which
the "gnosis," the hidden knowledge, is the seventh.  The writer hopes
that, superficially handled as may be the comments on the Seven
Stanzas, enough has been given in this cosmogonic portion of the work
to show Archaic teachings to be more scientific (in the modern sense
of the word) on their very face, than any other ancient Scriptures
left to be regarded and judged on their exoteric aspect.  Since,
however, as confessed before, this work withholds far more than it
gives out, the student is invited to use his own intuitions.  Our
chief care is to elucidate that which has already been given out,
and, to our regret, very incorrectly at times; to supplement the
knowledge hinted at~whenever and wherever possible~by additional
matter; and to bulwark our doctrines against the too strong attacks
of modern Sectarianism, and more especially against those of our
latter-day Materialism, very often miscalled Science, whereas, in
reality, the words " Scientists " and " Sciolists " ought alone to
bear the responsibility for the many illogical theories offered to
the world.  In its great ignorance, the public, while blindly
accepting everything that emanates from " authorities," and feeling
it to be its duty to regard every dictum coming from a man of Science
as a proven fact~the public, we say, is taught to scoff at anything
brought forward from " heathen " sources.  Therefore, as
materialistic Scientists can be fought solely with their own
weapons~those of controversy and argument~an Addendum is added to
every Book contrasting our respective views and showing how even
great authorities may often err.  We believe that this can be done
effectually by showing the weak points of our opponents, and by
proving their too frequent sophisms~made to pass for scientific
dicta~to be incorrect.  We hold to Hermes and his " Wisdom"~in its
universal character; they~to Aristotle as against intuition and the
experience of the ages, fancying that Truth is the exclusive property
of the Western world.  Hence the disagreement.  As Hermes says,
"Knowledge differs much from sense; for sense is of things that
surmount it, but Knowledge (gyi) is the end of sense"~i.e., of the
illusion of our physical brain and its intellect; thus emphasizing
the contrast between the laboriously acquired knowledge of the senses
and mind (manas), and the intuitive omniscience of the Spiritual
divine Soul~Buddhi."

Just short and sweet this time.  If you're not familiar with the
COLLECTED WRITINGS, AAB does expand (or is it extend) on what's
there.  I think the Vidya collection is just the odd numbered
schools.  What does anyone else think?

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