Purucker on the Seven Rays
Oct 16, 1995 05:18 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
Following are some quotes from "Hierarchies and the Doctrine of
Emanations", by G. de Purucker. The book was one of a private series for
members of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society [Point Loma]
that were issued in the 1930's, and later printed in 1987 by Point Loma
These quotes show the Point Loma attitude towards the idea of the "Seven
Rays", both as regards what is found in Theosophy, and likely in
disagreement with the Besant/Leadbeater and Bailey elaborations on the
basic idea. I'm including them to show that I'm not unique in
questioning the status quo regarding the idea of the Seven Rays as it is
taught in the Adyar T.S.
[From page 50:]
> every Monad is a consciousness-center, with a definite swabhava of its
> own, yet always in continuous and uninterrupted activity. This
> activity ... is expressed on the lower planes of being by, we may say,
The basic idea of "rays" is that we, as Monads, establish an outpost of
consciousness on the lower planes. We send forth rays and evolve them as
ourselfs on the lower planes.
[From page 25:]
> every such Chain, Solar or Planetary, is a manifestation of a logoic
> Hierarch, which is the Supreme Logos.
We start off with a system, say a Planetary Chain, and it has its
> Thus the seven or twelve Globes of the Solar Chain are, each one such
> Globe, the product, and therefore in a sense the dwelling, of one of
> the seven, or twelve, Rays from the supreme Solar Logos or Solar
That supreme being or Monad sends out seven or twelve rays of
consciousness into matter.
> The analogy with the constitution of man is perfect and complete.
> Just as the Atman of a man's constitution is the Supreme Hierarch of
> that constitution, so the different foci in each of which dwells a
> Monad, in the human constitution, are the centers of the Rays emanating
> from the Atman of the constitution.
And in us we have the same thing happening. Atman sends out seven rays,
each of which becomes both a principle and an ego or center of
consciousness: the divine ego, spiritual ego, higher human ego, human
ego, beast ego, etc.
[From page 17:]
> Now when this Divine Thought, just mentioned, begins to awaken into
> activity, it emanates from itself rays of divine-spiritual Intelligence,
> and these rays are sevenfold, or even tenfold, or twelvefold in number,
> and are really what are elsewhere called the Cosmic Logoi.
As our world awakens into existence, the rays appear, and they can be
called the Cosmic Logoi.
>These Cosmic Logoi, or what H.P.B. in *The Secret Doctrine* has once
> named the "Cosmic Sons of Light," are called in esoteric Buddhism by
> the term Dhyani-Chohans.
But like the Kumaras, the Dhyani-Buddhas and Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, the
Celestial-Buddhas and Celestial-Bodhisattvas, and many others, we are
talking about poetic names for an action of the Dhyani-Chohans, and not
for individual beings.
[Pages 50-51, footnote:]
> ... I have stated that the Monadic Essence, or the Supreme Hierarch of
> any spacial unit, whether such unit be a Planetary Chain or a Solar
> System, or a Galaxy, emanates 'rays,' and that -- coming down to
> microcosms -- every human being is 'born under' such or another Ray.
The basic teaching, which is open to misunderstanding, is that we are
"born under" one of the seven or twelve rays of our world.
> This statement as thus simply put, without adornment or
> ornamentation, is perfectly true; but there has been a good deal of
> mere guess-work written about these Rays,
When we take this as a simple statement, it is fine, but the further
elaboration of it can lead to errors.
> and furthermore, a great deal of really foolish and more or less
> astralistic nonsense written about them and how -- among many other
> statements -- they affect and guide mankind, and how such or another
> individual 'belongs' to such or another 'Ray.'
We do not "belong to" a Ray. The Rays are not influences that involve
themselves with the affairs of humanity. Basically, from a certain
perspective, we are lifeatoms in one of the Skandhas of a greater being,
and that being has no awareness of governing or providing guidance to us
as one particular class of lifeatoms.
> It is of course true that every human individual is a 'child' of his
> own spiritual Ray, or Sun, or Star,
We have a Parent Star, which is our Inner God, and "gives birth" to our
Divine Monad; our Spiritual Monad is given birth by our solar
system; and our Higher Human Monad is given birth by the planetary
chain. The coming into existence through these particular Logoi leads us
to be associated with rays of their consciousnesses.
> but, as H.P.B. points out in *The Secret Doctrine* (I, 572-73), this
> sun or star must not be confused with the merely astrological sun or
> star which marks the birth-chart of a man when he is born.
The idea of rays has to do with our spiritual-divine origins, and not
with the outer personality, nor the astrological influences of western,
> The spiritual Ray here referred to is his highest and therefore first
> Spiritual Originant, whether it be the Sun of our own Solar System or
> one of the scores of billions of stars forming our glittering Galaxy.
We are talking about the "birth" or our Monads, or how our Monads
originally came into existence in this universe. Our Monads are
lifeatoms thrown off by the Skandhas or principles of the Gods.
> The matter of similarity and likeness among human beings does not mean
> that they come from the same Monadic Esence of any individual, but that
> they belong to identic planetary rays
We as humans are alike each other because we belong to the same
planetary ray. That is, we were born under the same planetary chain,
bearing the impress of a particular Planetary Logos.
> -- in other words that they are family-rays from a grander Monadic
> Essence, a planetary Monad. Human beings resemble each other. They
> are not as different from each other as human beings on Earth are
> different from beings occupying a state equivalent to humanity, let us
> say, on the planet Venus, or on the planet Mars, or on some other
Our appearance and nature is governed by being born into this planetary
chain, and therefore on its rays.
> But among human beings, there are those who resemble each other more
> closely still than merely in similar human traits; and these, as just
> said, belong to the rays from the same planetary Monad. A human
> 'Martian' does not have the same close similarity to a human 'Jovian'
> as he does to some other human being of the 'Martian' type, and so
Regardless of planet, we are human, but have the particular
characteristics of the earth-nature, being humans born into the earth
> I would that I could write at greater length upon this matter of the
> Rays if only in order to point out the errors and mistaken conclusions
> of the many astralistic and psychistic authors in different Theosophical
> societies who have written or said so much flapdoodle about these Rays;
Here Purucker expresses strong disagreement with what is being taught
along the Besant/Leadbeater lines. At the time that this was written, it
was perhaps ten years after Krishnamurti dissolved the Order of the Star
and renounced Theosophy, and both Besant and Leadbeater have passed on.
The idea of the seven rays, as taught in the Besant/Leadbeater school,
and further elaborated by Bailey, is not accepted in the Point Loma
tradition. It's probably dismissed in the ULT as well. And not everyone
in Adyar may subscribe to it. I'm not alone in having troubles with the
> but it would take a volume to untangle all the errors that have been
made with regard to them.
Purucker sees quite a bit wrong with how it has been taught.
> Yet, if the esoteric student will study the brief observations that I
> have hereinbefore set down with regard to the Rays, he will have the
> Ariadne's thread in his hand enabling him to distinguish, at least in a
> general fashion, the genuine occult teachings on the subject from the
> false or only partly true statements that have been made about this
In Purucker's book, he is discussing "Hierarchies and the Doctrine of
Emanations", and offering various keys to understanding the nature of
how life originates and how worlds come into being. He is trying as much
to provide keys as to offer specific teachings.
> Fortunately, in our own beloved T.S., and with the wisdom and reserve
> that our writers have shown due to their admirable training, there is
> very little danger of confusion arising,
The wisdom comes from considerable study and reflection upon the
Teachings, and the reserve is in respect to self-restraint from
speculation upon what has not been taught.
> and I call attention to this matter only because writers belonging to
> certain other Theosophical societies have falled into no small number of
> errors simply because they trusted to misunderstood pictures in the
> lower Astral Light 'seen' by Astralists and Psychists,
Here Purucker is referring to the unreliable nature of information
gleaned from the astral light.
> and forgot the grand basic or fundamental teachings of Occultism
> which have been cherished as so dear amongst all students of the
> Esoteric Science.
And he refers to the teachings of Occultism, which must stand as a
measure against which we can compare our ideas and experiences -- both
inner and outer -- against in our quest for Truth.
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