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SD Upload

Jan 19, 1996 09:00 PM
by Dr.A.M.Bain

In the uploads from ~The Secret Doctrine~ which will appear here
on the list from time to time, various conventions will be
observed, and this information file will preface each upload,
amended as necessary.

The first upload is the title page, dedication, and preface, and
is the easy bit!  The only convention needed in this part is the
use of the underscore key [_] each side of a word or words in order
to indicate italics in the original, including book titles.
Where parentheses are seen ["] they appears as such in the
original text.  Thus the word _upload_ here typed represents
that word in italics, whereas the word "upload" is how it is
printed in the original.

I originally intended consult the Gutenburg guidelines for the
best means to accurately but simply represent the many and
varied accents and foreign words that appear in H.P.B.'s
monumental work, but as these are so numerous and varied, I
have rendered all accents as the simple and obvious nearest English
English character, thus any form of the letters a.e.i.o.u. will appear
as a.e.i.o.u.

This may not make for technical or academic accuracy, but the sense
of the text is little, if in any way affected, and students want a
text they can consult quickly and easily.  E-texts have the great
advantage of providing a readily *searchable* version of a work, but
they are by no means the best way of reading one.

My SD vol. 1 has 740 numbered pages.  To put it simply, I would be
hard pressed to snuggle up by the fire for a good read with my PC
and all its connected bits and pieces.

Sooner or later, if we really care enough, and if we want to know
strongly enough, we will get the printed version. And, I have found
in these matters, when the pupil is ready, the book appears - along
with the cash to buy it .......

Alan Bain.



"Gently to hear, kindly to judge." - Shakespeare.

Since the appearance of Theosophical literature in England, it
has become customary to call its teachings "Esoteric Buddhism."
And, having become a habit - as an old proverb based on daily
experience has it - "Error runs down an inclined plane, while
Truth has to laboriously climb its way up hill.  " Old truisms
are often the wisest. The human mind can hardly remain entirely
free from bias, and decisive opinions are often formed before a
thorough examination of a subject from all its aspects has been
made. This is said with reference to the prevailing double
mistake (a) of limiting Theosophy to Buddhism: and (b) of
confounding the tenets of the religious philosophy preached by
Gautama, the Buddha, with the doctrines broadly outlined in
_Esoteric Buddhism._ Any thing more erroneous than this could be
hardly imagined. It has enabled our enemies to find an effective
weapon against theosophy; because, as an eminent Pali scholar
very pointedly expressed it, there was in the volume named
"neither esotericism nor Buddhism." The esoteric truths,
presented in Mr.  Sinnett's work, had ceased to be esoteric from
the moment they were made public; nor did it contain the
religion of Buddha, but simply a few tenets from a hitherto
hidden teaching which are now supplemented by many more,
enlarged and explained in the present volumes. But even the
latter, though giving out many fundamental tenets from the
SECRET DOCTRINE of the East, raise but a small corner of the
dark veil. For no one, not even the greatest living adept, would
be permitted to, or could - even if he would - give out
promiscuously, to a mocking, unbelieving world, that which has
been so effectually concealed from it for long aeons and ages.

_Esoteric Buddhism_ was an excellent work with a very
unfortunate title, though it meant no more than does the title
of this work, THE SECRET DOCTRINE. It proved unfortunate,
because people are always in the habit of judging things by
their appearance, rather than their meaning; and because the
error has now become so universal, that even most of the Fellows
of the Theosophical Society have fallen victims to the same
misconception. From the first, however, protests were raised by
Brahmins and others against the title; and, in justice to
myself, I must add that _Esoteric Buddhism_ was presented to me
as a completed volume, and that I was entirely unaware of the
manner in which the author intended to spell the word

This has to be laid directly at the door of those who, having
been the first to bring the subject under public notice,
neglected to point out the difference between "Buddhism" - the
religious system of ethics preached by the Lord Gautama, and
named after his title of _Buddha,_ "the Enlightened" - and
_Budha,_ "Wisdom," or knowledge (Vidya), the faculty of
cognizing, from the Sanskrit root "Budh," _to know._ We
theosophists of India are ourselves the real culprits, although,
at the time, we did our best to correct the mistake. (See
_Theosophist,_ June, 1883.) To avoid this deplorable misnomer
was easy; the spelling of the word had only to be altered, and
by common consent both pronounced and written "Budhism," instead
of "Buddhism." Nor is the latter term correctly spelt and
pronounced, as it ought to be called, in English, Buddhaism, and
its votaries "Buddhaists."

This explanation is absolutely necessary at the beginning of a
work like this one. The "Wisdom Religion" is the inheritance of
all the nations, the world over, though the statement was made
in "Esoteric Buddhism" (Preface to the original Edition) that
"two years ago (i.e. 1883), neither I _nor any other European
living,_ knew the alphabet of the Science, here for the first
time put into a scientific shape," etc. This error must have
crept in through inadvertence. For the present writer knew all
that which is "divulged" in "Esoteric Buddhism" - and much more
- _many years before it_ became her duty (in 1880) to impart a
small portion of the Secret Doctrine to two _European_
gentlemen, one of whom was the author of "Esoteric Buddhism";
and surely the present writer has the undoubted, though to her,
rather equivocal, privilege of being a European, by birth and
education. Moreover, a considerable part of the philosophy
expounded by Mr. Sinnett was taught in America, even before
_Isis Unveiled_ was published, to two Europeans and to my
colleague, Colonel H. S. Olcott. Of the three teachers the
latter gentleman has had, the first was a Hungarian Initiate,
the second an Egyptian, the third a Hindu. As permitted, Colonel
Olcott has given out some of this teaching in various ways; if
the other two have not, it has been simply because they were not
allowed: their time for public work having not yet come. But for
others it has, and the appearance of Mr. Sinnett's several
interesting books is a visible proof of the fact. It is above
everything important to keep in mind that no theosophical book
acquires the least additional value from pretended authority.

In etymology _Adi,_ and _Adhi Budha,_ the _one_ (or the First)
and "Supreme Wisdom" is a term used by Aryasanga in his Secret
treatises, and now by all the mystic Northern Buddhists. It is a
Sanskrit term, and an appellation given by the earliest Aryans
to the Unknown deity; the word "Brahma" not being found in the
Vedas and the early works. It means the absolute Wisdom, and
"Adi-bhuta" is translated "the primeval uncreated cause of all"
by Fitzedward Hall. Aeons of untold duration must have elapsed,
before the epithet of Buddha was so humanized, so to speak, as
to allow of the term being applied to mortals and finally
appropriated to one whose unparalleled virtues and knowledge
caused him to receive the title of the "Buddha of Wisdom
unmoved." _Bodha_ means the innate possession of divine
intellect or "understanding"; "Buddha," the acquirement of it by
personal efforts and merit; while _Buddhi_ is the faculty of
cognizing the channel through which divine knowledge reaches the
"Ego," the discernment of good and evil, "divine conscience"
also; and "Spiritual Soul," which is the vehicle of _Atma._
"When _Buddhi_ absorbs our EGO-tism (destroys it) with all its
_Vikaras,_ Avalokiteshvara becomes manifested to us, and
Nirvana, or _Mukti,_ is reached," "Mukti" being the same as
Nirvana, i.e., freedom from the trammels of "Maya" or
_illusion._ "Bodhi" is likewise the name of a particular state
of trance condition, called _Samadhi,_ during which the subject
reaches the culmination of spiritual knowledge.

Unwise are those who, in their blind and, in our age, untimely
hatred of Buddhism, and, by re-action, of "Budhism," deny its
esoteric teachings (which are those also of the Brahmins),
simply because the name suggests what to them, as Monotheists,
are noxious doctrines. _Unwise_ is the correct term to use in
their case. For the Esoteric philosophy is alone calculated to
withstand, in this age of crass and illogical materialism, the
repeated attacks on all and everything man holds most dear and
sacred, in his inner spiritual life. The true philosopher, the
student of the Esoteric Wisdom, entirely loses sight of
personalities, dogmatic beliefs and special religions. Moreover,
Esoteric philosophy reconciles all religions, strips every one
of its outward, human garments, and shows the root of each to be
identical with that of every other great religion. It proves the
necessity of an absolute Divine Principle in nature. It denies
Deity no more than it does the Sun. Esoteric philosophy has
never rejected God in Nature, nor Deity as the absolute and
abstract _Ens._ It only refuses to accept any of the gods of the
so-called monotheistic religions, gods created by man in his own
image and likeness, a blasphemous and sorry caricature of the
Ever Unknowable.

Furthermore, the records we mean to place before the reader
embrace the esoteric tenets of the whole world since the
beginning of our humanity, and Buddhistic occultism occupies
therein only its legitimate place, and no more. Indeed, the
secret portions of the "_Dan_" or "_Jan-na_" ...

{_Dan,_ now become in modern Chinese and Tibetan phonetics
_ch'an,_ is the general term for the esoteric schools, and their
literature. In the old books, the word _Janna_ is defined as "to
reform one's self by meditation and knowledge," a second _inner_
birth. Hence Dzan, _Djan_ phonetically, the "Book of _Dzyan._"}

.. ("Dhyan") of Gautama's metaphysics - grand as they appear
to one unacquainted with the tenets of the Wisdom-Religion of
antiquity - are but a very small portion of the whole. The Hindu
Reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and
physiological aspect of the Wisdom-Religion, to Ethics and MAN
alone. Things "unseen and incorporeal," the mystery of Being
outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely
untouched in his public lectures, reserving the hidden Truths
for a select circle of his Arhats. The latter received their
Initiation at the famous Saptaparna cave (the _Sattapanni_ of
Mahavansa) near Mount Baibhar (the Webhara of the Pali MSS.).
This cave was in Rajagriha, the ancient capital of Mogadha, and
was the _Cheta_ cave of Fa-hian, as rightly suspected by some
archaeologists. - {Mr. Beglor, the chief engineer at Buddhagaya,
and a distinguished archeologist, was the first, we believe, to
discover it.}

Time and human imagination made short work of the purity and
philosophy of these teachings, once that they were transplanted
from the secret and sacred circle of the Arhats, during the
course of their work of proselytism, into a soil less prepared
for metaphysical conceptions than India; i.e., once they were
transferred into China, Japan, Siam, and Burmah. How the
pristine purity of these grand revelations was dealt with may be
seen in studying some of the so-called "esoteric" Buddhist
schools of antiquity in their modern garb, not only in China and
other Buddhist countries in general, but even in not a few
schools in Thibet, left to the care of uninitiated Lamas and
Mongolian innovators.

Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important
difference between _orthodox_ Buddhism - i.e., the public
teachings of Gautama the Buddha, and his esoteric _Budhism._ His
Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the
initiated Brahmins of his day. The Buddha was a child of the
Aryan soil; a born Hindu, a Kshatrya and a disciple of the
"twice born" (the initiated Brahmins) or Dwijas. His teachings,
therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the
whole Buddhist reform merely consisted in giving out a portion
of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the
"enchanted" circle of Temple-Initiates and ascetics.  Unable to
teach _all_ that had been imparted to him - owing to his pledges
- though he taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of
the true esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only
its _outward_ material body and kept its _soul_ for his Elect.
(See also Volume II.) Many Chinese scholars among Orientalists
have heard of the "Soul Doctrine." None seem to have understood
its real meaning and importance.

That doctrine was preserved secretly - too secretly, perhaps -
within the sanctuary. The mystery that shrouded its chief dogma
and aspirations - Nirvana - has so tried and irritated the
curiosity of those scholars who have studied it, that, unable to
solve it logically and satisfactorily by untying the Gordian
knot, they cut it through, by declaring that Nirvana meant
_absolute annihilation._

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

This is the true reason, perhaps, why the outline of a few
fundamental truths from the Secret Doctrine of the Archaic ages
is now permitted to see the light, after long millenniums of the
most profound silence and secrecy. I say "a _few_ truths,"
advisedly, because that which must remain unsaid could not be
contained in a hundred such volumes, nor could it be imparted to
the present generation of Sadducees. But, even the little that
is now given is better than complete silence upon those vital
truths. The world of to-day, in its mad career towards the
unknown - which it is too ready to confound with the unknowable,
whenever the problem eludes the grasp of the physicist - is
rapidly progressing on the reverse, material plane of
spirituality. It has now become a vast arena, a true valley of
discord and of eternal strife, a necropolis, wherein lie buried
the highest and the most holy aspirations of our Spirit-Soul.
That soul becomes with every new generation more paralyzed and
atrophied. The "amiable infidels and accomplished profligates"
of Society, spoken of by Greeley, care little for the revival of
the _dead_ sciences of the past; but there is a fair minority of
earnest students who are entitled to learn the few truths that
may be given to them now; and _now_ much more than ten years
ago, when "Isis Unveiled," or even the later attempts to explain
the mysteries of esoteric science, were published.

One of the greatest, and, withal, the most serious objection to
the correctness and reliability of the whole work will be the
preliminary STANZAS: "How can the statements contained in them
be verified?" True, if a great portion of the Sanskrit, Chinese,
and Mongolian works quoted in the present volumes are known to
some Orientalists, the chief work - that one from which the
Stanzas are given - is not in the possession of European
Libraries. The Book of Dzyan (or "Dzan") is utterly unknown to
our Philologists, or at any rate was never heard of by them
under its present name. This is, of course, a great drawback to
those who follow the methods of research prescribed by official
Science; but to the students of Occultism, and to every genuine
Occultist, this will be of little moment. The main body of the
Doctrines given is found scattered throughout hundreds and
thousands of Sanskrit MSS., some already translated - disfigured
in their interpretations, as usual, - others still awaiting their
turn. Every scholar, therefore, has an opportunity of verifying
the statements herein made, and of checking most of the
quotations. A few new facts (_new_ to the profane Orientalist,
only) and passages quoted from the Commentaries will be found
difficult to trace. Several of the teachings, also, have
hitherto been transmitted orally: yet even those are in every
instance hinted at in the almost countless volumes of
Brahminical, Chinese and Tibetan temple-literature.

However it may be, and whatsoever is in store for the writer
through malevolent criticism, one fact is quite certain. The
members of several esoteric schools - the seat of which is
beyond the Himalayas, and whose ramifications may be found in
China, Japan, India, Tibet, and even in Syria, besides South
America - claim to have in their possession the _sum total_ of
sacred and philosophical works in MSS. and type: all the works,
in fact, that have ever been written, in whatever language or
characters, since the art of writing began; from the ideographic
hieroglyphs down to the alphabet of Cadmus and the Devanagari.

It has been claimed in all ages that ever since the destruction
of the Alexandrian Library (see _Isis Unveiled,_ Vol. II., p.
27), every work of a character that might have led the profane
to the ultimate discovery and comprehension of some of the
mysteries of the Secret Science, was, owing to the combined
efforts of the members of the Brotherhoods, diligently searched
for. It is added, moreover, by those who know, that once found,
save three copies left and stored safely away, such works were
all destroyed. In India, the last of the precious manuscripts
were secured and hidden during the reign of the Emperor Akbar.
- {Prof. Max Muller shows that no bribes or threats of Akbar
could extort from the Brahmans the original text of the Veda;
and boasts that European Orientalists have it (_Lecture on the
"Science of Religion," p. 23_). Whether Europe has the _complete
text_ is very doubtful, and the future may have very
disagreeable surprises in store for the Orientalists.}

It is maintained, furthermore, that every sacred book of that
kind, whose text was not sufficiently veiled in symbolism, or
which had any direct references to the ancient mysteries, after
having been carefully copied in cryptographic characters, such
as to defy the art of the best and cleverest paleographer, was
also destroyed to the last copy. During Akbar's reign, some
fanatical courtiers, displeased at the Emperor's sinful prying
into the religions of the infidels, themselves helped the
Brahmans to conceal their MSS. Such was Badaoni, who had an
_undisguised_ horror for Akbar's mania for idolatrous religions.
- {"His Majesty relished inquiries into the sects of these
infidels (who cannot be counted, so numerous they are, and who
have no end of _revealed books_) - As they (the Sramana and
Brahmins) surpass other learned men in their treatises on
morals, on physical and religious sciences, and reach a high
degree _in their knowledge of the future,_ in spiritual power,
and human perfection, they brought proofs based on reason and
testimony, and inculcated their doctrines so firmly that no man
could now raise a doubt in his Majesty even if mountains were to
crumble to dust, or the heavens were to tear asunder."}

This work "was kept secret, and was not published till the reign
of Jahangir." (Ain i Akbari, translated by Dr. Blochmann, p.
104, note.)}

Moreover in all the large and wealthy lamaseries, there are
subterranean crypts and _cave-libraries,_ cut in the rock,
whenever the _gompa_ and the _lhakhang_ are situated in the
mountains. Beyond the Western Tsaydam, in the solitary passes of
_Kuen-lun_ {Karakorum mountains, Western Tibet.} there are
several such hiding-places. Along the ridge of Altyn-Toga, whose
soil no European foot has ever trodden so far, there exists a
certain hamlet, lost in a deep gorge. It is a small cluster of
houses, a hamlet rather than a monastery, with a poor-looking
temple in it, with one old lama, a hermit, living near by to
watch it. Pilgrims say that the subterranean galleries and halls
under it contain a collection of books, the number of which,
according to the accounts given, is too large to find room even
in the British Museum. - {According to the same tradition the
now desolate regions of the waterless land of Tarim - a true
wilderness in the heart of Turkestan - were in the days of old
covered with flourishing and wealthy cities. At present, hardly
a few verdant oases relieve its dead solitude. One such, sprung
on the sepulchre of a vast city swallowed by and buried under
the sandy soil of the desert, belongs to no one, but is often
visited by Mongolians and Buddhists. The same tradition speaks
of immense subterranean abodes, of large corridors filled with
tiles and cylinders. It may be an idle rumour, and it may be an
actual fact.}

All this is very likely to provoke a smile of doubt. But then,
before the reader rejects the truthfulness of the reports, let
him pause and reflect over the following well known facts. The
collective researches of the Orientalists, and especially the
labours of late years of the students of comparative Philology
and the Science of Religions have led them to ascertain as
follows: An immense, incalculable number of MSS., and even
printed works _known to have existed,_ are now to be found no
more. They have disappeared without leaving the slightest trace
behind them. Were they works of no importance they might, in the
natural course of time, have been left to perish, and their very
names would have been obliterated from human memory. But it is
not so; for, as now ascertained, most of them contained the true
keys to works still extant, and _entirely incomprehensible,_ for
the greater portion of their readers, _without those additional
volumes_ of Commentaries and explanations. Such are, for
instance, the works of Lao-tse, the predecessor of Confucius.  -
{"If we turn to China, we find that the religion of Confucius is
founded on the Five _King_ and the Four _Shu_ books, in
themselves of considerable extent and surrounded by voluminous
Commentaries, without which even the most learned scholars would
not venture to fathom _the depth of their sacred canon."
(Lectures on the "Science of Religion."_ p. 185. Max Muller.)
But they have not fathomed it - and this is the complaint of the
Confucianists, as a very learned member of that body, in Paris,
complained in 1881.}

He is said to have written 930 books on Ethics and religions,
and _seventy_ on magic, _one thousand in all._ His great work,
however, the _heart_ of his doctrine, the "Tao-te-King," or the
sacred scriptures of the _Taosse,_ has in it, as Stanislas
Julien shows, only "about 5,000 words" (_Tao-te-King,_ p.
xxvii.), hardly a dozen of pages, yet Professor Max Muller finds
that "the text is unintelligible without commentaries, so that
Mr. Julien had to consult more than sixty commentators for the
purpose of his translation," the earliest going back as far as
the year 163 B.C., _not earlier,_ as we see. During the four
centuries and a half that preceded this _earliest_ of the
commentators there was ample time to veil the true Lao-tse
doctrine from all but his initiated priests. The Japanese, among
whom are now to be found the most learned of the priests and
followers of Lao-tse, simply laugh at the blunders and
hypotheses of the European Chinese scholars; and tradition
affirms that the commentaries to which our Western Sinologues
have access are not the _real occult_ records, but intentional
veils, and that the true commentaries, as well as almost all the
texts, have long since _disappeared_ from the eyes of the

Uploaded by Alan
Member, Theosophy International.
Member, Human Race.

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