[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

SD Commentary Stanza 1

Jan 27, 1996 02:13 PM
by Dr.A.M.Bain




STANZA I. - The Night of the Universe


     The "Parent Space" is the eternal, ever present cause of all
- the incomprehensible DEITY, whose "invisible robes" are the
mystic root of all matter, and of the Universe. Space is the _one
eternal thing_ that we can most easily imagine, immovable in its
abstraction and uninfluenced by either the presence or absence
in it of an objective Universe. It is without dimension, in every
sense, and self-existent. Spirit is the first differentiation
from THAT, the causeless cause of both Spirit and Matter. It is,
as taught in the esoteric catechism, neither limitless void, nor
conditioned fulness, but both. It was and ever will be. (See
Proem pp. 2 et seq.)

     Thus, the "Robes" stand for the noumenon of undifferentiated
Cosmic Matter. It is not matter as we know it, but the spiritual
essence of matter, and is co-eternal and even one with Space in
its abstract sense. Root-nature is also the source of the subtile
invisible properties in visible matter. It is the Soul, so to
say, of the ONE infinite Spirit. The Hindus call it Mulaprakriti,
and say that it is the primordial substance, which is the basis
of the Upadhi or vehicle of every phenomenon, whether physical,
mental or psychic. It is the source from which Akasa radiates.

     (a) By the Seven "Eternities," aeons or periods are meant.
The word "Eternity," as understood in Christian theology, has no
meaning to the Asiatic ear, except in its application to the ONE
existence; nor is the term sempiternity, the eternal only in
futurity, anything better than a misnomer. - {It is stated in
Book II., ch. viii., of Vishnu Purana: "By immortality is meant
existence to the end of the Kalpa;" and Wilson, the translator,
remarks in a footnote: "This, according to the Vedas, is all that
is to be understood of the immortality (or eternity) of the gods;
they perish at the end of universal dissolution (or Pralaya)."
And Esoteric philosophy says: They "perish" not, but are
_re-absorbed._} - Such words do not and cannot exist in philo-
sophical metaphysics, and were unknown till the advent of
ecclesiastical Christianity. The Seven Eternities meant are the
seven periods, or a period answering in its duration to the seven
periods, of a Manvantara, and extending throughout a Maha-Kalpa
or the "Great Age" - 100 years of Brahma - making a total of
311,040,000,000,000 of years; each year of Brahma being composed
of 360 "days," and of the same number of "nights" of Brahma
(reckoning by the Chandrayana or lunar year); and a "Day of
Brahma" consisting of 4,320,000,000 of mortal years. These
"Eternities" belong to the most secret calculations, in which,
in order to arrive at the true total, every figure must be 7 to
the power of x); x varying according to the nature of the cycle
in the subjective or real world; and every figure or number
relating to, or representing all the different cycles from the
greatest to the smallest - in the objective or unreal world -
must necessarily be multiples of seven. The key to this cannot
be given, for herein lies the mystery of esoteric calculations,
and for the purposes of ordinary calculation it has no sense.
"The number seven," says the Kabala, "is the great number of the
Divine Mysteries;" number ten is that of all human knowledge
(Pythagorean decade); 1,000 is the number ten to the third power,
and therefore the number 7,000 is also symbolical. In the Secret
Doctrine the figure and number 4 are the male symbol only on the
highest plane of abstraction; on the plane of matter the 3 is the
masculine and the 4 the female: the upright and the horizontal
in the fourth stage of symbolism, when the symbols became the
glyphs of the generative powers on the physical plane.

STANZA I. - Continued.


     (a) Time is only an illusion produced by the succession of
our states of consciousness as we travel through eternal
duration, and it does not exist where no consciousness exists in
which the illusion can be produced; but "lies asleep." The
present is only a mathematical line which divides that part of
eternal duration which we call the future, from that part which
we call the past. Nothing on earth has real duration, for nothing
remains without change - or the same - for the billionth part of
a second; and the sensation we have of the actuality of the
division of "time" known as the present, comes from the blurring
of that momentary glimpse, or succession of glimpses, of things
that our senses give us, as those things pass from the region of
ideals which we call the future, to the region of memories that
we name the past. In the same way we experience a sensation of
duration in the case of the instantaneous electric spark, by
reason of the blurred and continuing impression on the retina.
The real person or thing does not consist solely of what is seen
at any particular moment, but is composed of the sum of all its
various and changing conditions from its appearance in the
material form to its disappearance from the earth. It is these
"sum-totals" that exist from eternity in the "future," and pass
by degrees through matter, to exist for eternity in the "past."
No one could say that a bar of metal dropped into the sea came
into existence as it left the air, and ceased to exist as it
entered the water, and that the bar itself consisted only of that
cross-section thereof which at any given moment coincided with
the mathematical plane that separates, and, at the same time,
joins, the atmosphere and the ocean. Even so of persons and
things, which, dropping out of the to-be into the has-been, out
of the future into the past - present momentarily to our senses
a cross-section, as it were, of their total selves, as they pass
through time and space (as matter) on their way from one eternity
to another: and these two constitute that "duration" in which
alone anything has true existence, were our senses but able to
cognize it there.

STANZA I. - Continued.

(celestial beings) TO CONTAIN (hence to manifest) IT (a).

     (a) Mind is a name given to the sum of the states of
Consciousness grouped under Thought, Will, and Feeling. During
deep sleep, ideation ceases on the physical plane, and memory is
in abeyance; thus for the time-being "Mind is not," because the
organ, through which the Ego manifests ideation and memory on the
material plane, has temporarily ceased to function. A noumenon
can become a phenomenon on any plane of existence only by
manifesting on that plane through an appropriate basis or
vehicle; and during the long night of rest called Pralaya, when
all the existences are dissolved, the "UNIVERSAL MIND" remains
as a permanent possibility of mental action, or as that abstract
absolute thought, of which mind is the concrete relative
manifestation. The AH-HI (Dhyan-Chohans) are the collective hosts
of spiritual beings - the Angelic Hosts of Christianity, the
Elohim and "Messengers" of the Jews - who are the vehicle for the
manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will. They
are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her
"laws," while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon
them in a similar manner by still higher Powers; but they are not
"the personifications" of the powers of Nature, as erroneously
thought. This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the
Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army - a "Host,"
truly - by means of which the fighting power of a nation
manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions,
brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate
individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and
limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuali-
ty, to which its own interests are subservient, and each
containing lesser individualities in itself.

STANZA I. - Continued.

     4. THE SEVEN WAYS TO BLISS (Moksha - {Nippang in China;
Neibban in Burmah; or Moksha in India.} - or Nirvana) WERE NOT
(a). THE GREAT CAUSES OF MISERY (Nidana - {The "12" Nidanas (in
Tibetan Ten-brel chug-nyi) the chief causes of existence, effects
generated by a concatenation of causes produced (see Comment.

     (a) There are seven "Paths" or "Ways" to the bliss of Non-
Existence, which is absolute Being, Existence, and Consciousness.
They were not, because the Universe was, so far, empty, and
existed only in the Divine Thought. For it is ...

     (b) The twelve Nidanas or causes of being. Each is the
effect of its antecedent cause, and a cause, in its turn, to its
successor; the sum total of the Nidanas being based on the four
truths, a doctrine especially characteristic of the Hinayana
System. - {See Wassilief on Buddhism, pp. 97 et seq.} - They
belong to the theory of the stream of catenated law which
produces merit and demerit, and finally brings Karma into full
sway. It is based upon the great truth that re-incarnation is to
be dreaded, as existence in this world only entails upon man
suffering, misery and pain; Death itself being unable to deliver
man from it, since death is merely the door through which he
passes to another life on earth after a little rest on its
threshold - Devachan. The Hinayana System, or School of the
"Little Vehicle," is of very ancient growth; while the Mahayana
is of a later period, having originated after the death of
Buddha. Yet the tenets of the latter are as old as the hills that
have contained such schools from time immemorial, and the
Hinayana and Mahayana Schools (the latter, that of the "Great
Vehicle") both teach the same doctrine in reality. _Yana_, or
Vehicle (in Sanskrit, Vahan) is a mystic expression, both
"vehicles" inculcating that man may escape the sufferings of
rebirths and even the false bliss of Devachan, by obtaining
Wisdom and Knowledge, which alone can dispel the Fruits of
Illusion and Ignorance.

     Maya or illusion is an element which enters into all finite
things, for everything that exists has only a relative, not an
absolute, reality, since the appearance which the hidden noumenon
assumes for any observer depends upon his power of cognition. To
the untrained eye of the savage, a painting is at first an
unmeaning confusion of streaks and daubs of colour, while an
educated eye sees instantly a face or a landscape. Nothing is
permanent except the one hidden absolute existence which contains
in itself the noumena of all realities. The existences belonging
to every plane of being, up to the highest Dhyan-Chohans, are,
in degree, of the nature of shadows cast by a magic lantern on
a colourless screen; but all things are relatively real, for the
cogniser is also a reflection, and the things cognised are
therefore as real to him as himself. Whatever reality things
possess must be looked for in them before or after they have
passed like a flash through the material world; but we cannot
cognise any such existence directly, so long as we have
sense-instruments which bring only material existence into the
field of our consciousness. Whatever plane our consciousness may
be acting in, both we and the things belonging to that plane are,
for the time being, our only realities. As we rise in the scale
of development we perceive that during the stages through which
we have passed we mistook shadows for realities, and the upward
progress of the Ego is a series of progressive awakenings, each
advance bringing with it the idea that now, at last, we have
reached "reality;" but only when we shall have reached the
absolute Consciousness, and blended our own with it, shall we be
free from the delusions produced by Maya.

STANZA I. - Continued.

YET FOR THE NEW WHEEL- {That which is called "wheel" is the
symbolical expression for a world or globe, which shows that the
ancients were aware that our Earth was a revolving globe, not a
motionless square as some Christian Fathers taught. The "Great
Wheel" is the whole duration of our Cycle of being, or Maha
Kalpa, i.e., the whole revolution of our special chain of seven
planets or Spheres from beginning to end; the "Small Wheels"
meaning the Rounds, of which there are also Seven.} - AND HIS

     (a) "Darkness is Father-Mother: light their son," says an
old Eastern proverb. Light is inconceivable except as coming from
some source which is the cause of it; and as, in the instance of
primordial light, that source is unknown, though as strongly
demanded by reason and logic, therefore it is called "Darkness"
by us, from an intellectual point of view. As to borrowed or
secondary light, whatever its source, it can be but of a
temporary mayavic character. Darkness, then, is the eternal
matrix in which the sources of light appear and disappear.
Nothing is added to darkness to make of it light, or to light to
make it darkness, on this our plane. They are interchangeable,
and scientifically light is but a mode of darkness and vice
versa. Yet both are phenomena of the same noumenon - which is
absolute darkness to the scientific mind, and but a gray twilight
to the perception of the average mystic, though to that of the
spiritual eye of the Initiate it is absolute light. How far we
discern the light that shines in darkness depends upon our powers
of vision. What is light to us is darkness to certain insects,
and the eye of the clairvoyant sees illumination where the normal
eye perceives only blackness. When the whole universe was plunged
in sleep - had returned to its one primordial element - there was
neither centre of luminosity, nor eye to perceive light, and
darkness necessarily filled the boundless all.

     (b) The Father-Mother are the male and female principles in
root-nature, the opposite poles that manifest in all things on
every plane of Kosmos, or Spirit and Substance, in a less
allegorical aspect, the resultant of which is the Universe, or
the Son. They are "once more One" when in "The Night of Brahma,"
during Pralaya, all in the objective Universe has returned to its
one primal and eternal cause, to reappear at the following Dawn -
 as it does periodically. "Karana" - eternal cause - was alone.
To put it more plainly: Karana is alone during the "Nights of
Brahma." The previous objective Universe has dissolved into its
one primal and eternal cause, and is, so to say, held in solution
in space, to differentiate again and crystallize out anew at the
following Manvantaric dawn, which is the commencement of a new
"Day" or new activity of Brahma - the symbol of the Universe. In
esoteric parlance, Brahma is Father-Mother-Son, or Spirit, Soul
and Body at once; each personage being symbolical of an attrib-
ute, and each attribute or quality being a graduated efflux of
Divine Breath in its cyclic differentiation, involutionary and
evolutionary. In the cosmico-physical sense, it is the Universe,
the planetary chain and the earth; in the purely spiritual, the
Unknown Deity, Planetary Spirit, and Man - the Son of the two,
the creature of Spirit and Matter, and a manifestation of them
in his periodical appearances on Earth during the "wheels," or
the Manvantaras. - (See Part II.  : "_Days and Nights of

STANZA I. - Continued.

IN PARANISHPANNA (b) (absolute perfection, Paranirvana, which is

     (a) The seven sublime lords are the Seven Creative Spirits,
the Dhyan-Chohans, who correspond to the Hebrew Elohim. It is the
same hierarchy of Archangels to which St. Michael, St. Gabriel,
and others belong, in the Christian theogony. Only while St.
Michael, for instance, is allowed in dogmatic Latin theology to
watch over all the promontories and gulfs, in the Esoteric
System, the Dhyanis watch successively over one of the Rounds and
the great Root-races of our planetary chain. They are, moreover,
said to send their Bhodisatvas, the human correspondents of the
Dhyani-Buddhas (of whom _vide infra_) during every Round and
Race. Out of the Seven Truths and Revelations, or rather revealed
secrets, four only have been handed to us, as we are still in the
Fourth Round, and the world also has only had four Buddhas, so
far. This is a very complicated question, and will receive more
ample treatment later on.

     So far "There are only Four Truths, and Four Vedas" - say
the Hindus and Buddhists. For a similar reason Irenaeus insisted
on the necessity of Four Gospels. But as every new Root-race at
the head of a Round must have its revelation and revealers, the
next Round will bring the Fifth, the following the Sixth, and so

     (b) "_Paranishpanna_" is the absolute perfection to which
all existences attain at the close of a great period of activity,
or Maha-Manvantara, and in which they rest during the succeeding
period of repose. In Tibetan it is called Yong-Grub. Up to the
day of the Yogacharya school the true nature of Paranirvana was
taught publicly, but since then it has become entirely esoteric;
hence so many contradictory interpretations of it. It is only a
true Idealist who can understand it. Everything has to be viewed
as ideal, with the exception of Paranirvana, by him who would
comprehend that state, and acquire a knowledge of how Non Ego,
Voidness, and Darkness are Three in One and alone Self-existent
and perfect. It is absolute, however, only in a relative sense,
for it must give room to still further absolute perfection,
according to a higher standard of excellence in the following
period of activity - just as a perfect flower must cease to be
a perfect flower and die, in order to grow into a perfect fruit,
- if a somewhat Irish mode of expression may be permitted.

     The Secret Doctrine teaches the progressive development of
everything, worlds as well as atoms; and this stupendous
development has neither conceivable beginning nor imaginable end.
Our "Universe" is only one of an infinite number of Universes,
all of them "Sons of Necessity," because links in the great
Cosmic chain of Universes, each one standing in the relation of
an effect as regards its predecessor, and being a cause as
regards its successor.

     The appearance and disappearance of the Universe are
pictured as an outbreathing and inbreathing of "the Great
Breath," which is eternal, and which, being Motion, is one of the
three aspects of the Absolute - Abstract Space and Duration being
the other two. When the "Great Breath" is projected, it is called
the Divine Breath, and is regarded as the breathing of the
Unknowable Deity - the One Existence - which breathes out a
thought, as it were, which becomes the Kosmos. (See "Isis
Unveiled.") So also is it when the Divine Breath is inspired
again the Universe disappears into the bosom of "the Great
Mother," who then sleeps "wrapped in her invisible robes."

     (c) By "that which is and yet is not" is meant the Great
Breath itself, which we can only speak of as absolute existence,
but cannot picture to our imagination as any form of existence
that we can distinguish from Non-existence. The three periods -
the Present, the Past, and the Future - are in the esoteric
philosophy a compound time; for the three are a composite number
only in relation to the phenomenal plane, but in the realm of
noumena have no abstract validity. As said in the Scriptures:
"The Past time is the Present time, as also the Future, which,
though it has not come into existence, still is"; according to
a precept in the Prasanga Madhyamika teaching, whose dogmas have
been known ever since it broke away from the purely esoteric
schools. - {See Dzungarian "Mani Kumbum," the "Book of the 10,000
Precepts." Also consult Wassilief's "Der Buddhismus," pp. 327 and
357, etc.} - Our ideas, in short, on duration and time are all
derived from our sensations according to the laws of Association.
Inextricably bound up with the relativity of human knowledge,
they nevertheless can have no existence except in the experience
of the individual ego, and perish when its evolutionary march
dispels the Maya of phenomenal existence. What is Time, for
instance, but the panoramic succession of our states of con-
sciousness? In the words of a Master,

"I feel irritated at having to use these three clumsy words -
Past, Present, and Future - miserable concepts of the objective
phases of the subjective whole, they are about as ill-adapted for
the purpose as an axe for fine carving."

One has to acquire _Paramartha_ lest one should become too easy
a prey to _Samvriti_ - is a philosophical axiom. - {In clearer
words: "One has to acquire true Self-Consciousness in order to
understand _Samvriti_, or the `origin of delusion.'" _Paramartha_
is the synonym of the Sanskrit term _Svasam-vedana_, or "the
reflection which analyses itself." There is a difference in the
interpretation of the meaning of _Paramartha_ between the
Yogacharyas and the Madhyamikas, neither of whom, however,
explain the real and true esoteric sense of the expression. See
further, sloka No. 9.}

STANZA I. - Continued.


     (a) "The Causes of Existence" mean not only the physical
causes known to science, but the metaphysical causes, the chief
of which is the desire to exist, an outcome of Nidana and Maya.
This desire for a sentient life shows itself in everything, from
an atom to a sun, and is a reflection of the Divine Thought
propelled into objective existence, into a law that the Universe
should exist. According to esoteric teaching, the real cause of
that supposed desire, and of all existence, remains for ever
hidden, and its first emanations are the most complete abstrac-
tions mind can conceive. These abstractions must of necessity be
postulated as the cause of the material Universe which presents
itself to the senses and intellect; and they underlie the
secondary and subordinate powers of Nature, which,
anthropomorphized, have been worshipped as God and gods by the
common herd of every age. It is impossible to conceive anything
without a cause; the attempt to do so makes the mind a blank.
This is virtually the condition to which the mind must come at
last when we try to trace back the chain of causes and effects,
but both science and religion jump to this condition of blankness
much more quickly than is necessary; for they ignore the
metaphysical abstractions which are the only conceivable cause
of physical concretions. These abstractions become more and more
concrete as they approach our plane of existence, until finally
they phenomenalise in the form of the material Universe, by a
process of conversion of metaphysics into physics, analogous to
that by which steam can be condensed into water, and the water
frozen into ice.

     (b) The idea of Eternal Non-Being, which is the One Being,
will appear a paradox to anyone who does not remember that we
limit our ideas of being to our present consciousness of
existence; making it a specific, instead of a generic term. An
unborn infant, could it think in our acceptation of that term,
would necessarily limit its conception of being, in a similar
manner, to the intra-uterine life which alone it knows; and were
it to endeavour to express to its consciousness the idea of life
after birth (death to it), it would, in the absence of data to
go upon, and of faculties to comprehend such data, probably
express that life as "Non-Being which is Real Being." In our case
the One Being is the noumenon of all the noumena which we know
must underlie phenomena, and give them whatever shadow of reality
they possess, but which we have not the senses or the intellect
to cognize at present. The impalpable atoms of gold scattered
through the substance of a ton of auriferous quartz may be
imperceptible to the naked eye of the miner, yet he knows that
they are not only present there but that they alone give his
quartz any appreciable value; and this relation of the gold to
the quartz may faintly shadow forth that of the noumenon to the
phenomenon. But the miner knows what the gold will look like when
extracted from the quartz, whereas the common mortal can form no
conception of the reality of things separated from the Maya which
veils them, and in which they are hidden. Alone the Initiate,
rich with the lore acquired by numberless generations of his
predecessors, directs the "Eye of Dangma" toward the essence of
things in which no Maya can have any influence. It is here that
the teachings of esoteric philosophy in relation to the Nidanas
and the Four Truths become of the greatest importance; but they
are secret.

STANZA I. - Continued.

WHICH IS SENSED BY THE "OPENED EYE" - {In India it is called "The
Eye of Siva," but beyond the great range it is known as "Dangma's
opened eye" in esoteric phraseology.} - OF THE DANGMA (b). -
{Dangma means a purified soul, one who has become a Jivanmukta,
the highest adept, or rather a Mahatma so-called. His "opened
eye" is the inner spiritual eye of the seer, and the faculty
which manifests through it is not clairvoyance as ordinarily
understood, i.e., the power of seeing at a distance, but rather
the faculty of spiritual intuition, through which direct and
certain knowledge is obtainable. This faculty is intimately
connected with the "third eye," which mythological tradition
ascribes to certain races of men. Fuller explanations will be
found in Book II.} -

     (a) The tendency of modern thought is to recur to the
archaic idea of a homogeneous basis for apparently widely
different things - heterogeneity developed from homogeneity.
Biologists are now searching for their homogeneous protoplasm and
chemists for their protyle, while science is looking for the
force of which electricity, magnetism, heat, and so forth, are
the differentiations. The Secret Doctrine carries this idea into
the region of metaphysics and postulates a "One Form of Exis-
tence" as the basis and source of all things. But perhaps the
phrase, the "One Form of Existence," is not altogether correct.
The Sanskrit word is Prabhavapyaya, "the place, or rather plane,
whence emerges the origination, and into which is the resolution
of all things," says a commentator. It is not the "Mother of the
World," as translated by Wilson (see Book I., Vishnu Purana); for
Jagad Yoni (as shown by Fitz Edward Hall) is scarcely so much
"the Mother of the World" or "the Womb of the World" as the
"Material Cause of the Universe." The Puranic Commentators
explain it by Karana - "Cause" - but the Esoteric philosophy, by
the _ideal spirit of that cause._ It is, in its secondary stage,
the Svabhavat of the Buddhist philosopher, the eternal cause and
effect, omnipresent yet abstract, the self-existent plastic
Essence and the root of all things, viewed in the same dual light
as the Vedantin views his Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti, the one
under two aspects. It seems indeed extraordinary to find great
scholars speculating on the possibility of the Vedanta, and the
Uttara-Mimansa especially, having been "evoked by the teachings
of the Buddhists,"whereas, it is on the contrary Buddhism (of
Gautama, the Buddha) that was "evoked" and entirely upreared on
the tenets of the Secret Doctrine, of which a partial sketch is
here attempted, and on which, also, the Upanishads are made to
rest. - {And yet, one, _claiming authority,_ namely, Sir Monier
Williams, Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, has just denied
this fact. This is what he taught his audience, on June the 4th,
1888, in his annual address before the Victoria Institute of
Great Britain: "Originally, Buddhism set its face against all
solitary asceticism - to attain sublime heights of knowledge. It
_had no occult, no esoteric system_ of doctrine - withheld from
ordinary men"

(!!) And, again: " - When Gautama Buddha began his career, the
_later and lower_ form of Yoga seems to have been little known."
And then, contradicting himself, the learned lecturer forthwith
informs his audience that "We learn from _Lalita_Vistara_ that
various forms of bodily torture, self-maceration, and austerity
were common in Gautama's time."

(!!) But the lecturer seems quite unaware that this kind of
torture and self-maceration is precisely the _lower_ form of
Yoga, _Hatha_ Yoga, which was "little known" and yet so "_com-
mon_" in Gautama's time.}

The above, according to the teachings of Sri Sankaracharya, is
undeniable.- {It is even argued that all the Six Darsanas
(Schools of philosophy) show traces of Buddha's influence, being
either taken from Buddhism or due to Greek teaching! (See Weber,
Max Muller, etc.) We labour under the impression that Colebrooke,
"the highest authority" in such matters, had long ago settled the
question by showing, that "the Hindus were in this instance the
teachers, not the learners."}

     (b) Dreamless sleep is one of the seven states of conscious-
ness known in Oriental esotericism. In each of these states a
different portion of the mind comes into action; or as a Vedantin
would express it, the individual is conscious in a different
plane of his being. The term "dreamless sleep," in this case is
applied allegorically to the Universe to express a condition
somewhat analogous to that state of consciousness in man, which,
not being remembered in a waking state, seems a blank, just as
the sleep of the mesmerised subject seems to him an unconscious
blank when he returns to his normal condition, although he has
been talking and acting as a conscious individual would.

STANZA I. - Continued.

_(Soul as the basis of all, Anima Mundi)_ WAS IN PARAMARTHA (a)
(Absolute Being and Consciousness which are Absolute Non-Being
and Unconsciousness) AND THE GREAT WHEEL WAS ANUPADAKA (b)?

     (a) Here we have before us the subject of centuries of
scholastic disputations. The two terms "Alaya" and "Paramartha"
have been the causes of dividing schools and splitting the truth
into more different aspects than any other mystic terms. Alaya
is literally the "Soul of the World" or Anima Mundi, the "Over-
Soul" of Emerson, and according to esoteric teaching it changes
periodically its nature. Alaya, though eternal and changeless in
its inner essence on the planes which are unreachable by either
men or Cosmic Gods (Dhyani Buddhas), alters during the active
life-period with respect to the lower planes, ours included.
During that time not only the Dhyani-Buddhas are one with Alaya
in Soul and Essence, but even the man strong in the Yoga (mystic
meditation) "is able to merge his soul with it" (Aryasanga, the
_Bumapa_ school). This is not Nirvana, but a condition next to
it. Hence the disagreement. Thus, while the Yogacharyas (of the
Mahayana school) say that Alaya is the personification of the
Voidness, and yet Alaya (_Nyingpo_ and _Tsang_ in Tibetan) is the
basis of every visible and invisible thing, and that, though it
is eternal and immutable in its essence, it reflects itself in
every object of the Universe "like the moon in clear tranquil
water"; other schools dispute the statement. The same for
Paramartha: the Yogacharyas interpret the term as that which is
also dependent upon other things (_paratantral_); and the
Madhyamikas say that Paramartha is limited to Paranishpanna or
absolute perfection; i.e., in the exposition of these "two
truths" (out of four), the former believe and maintain that (on
this plane, at any rate) there exists only Samvritisatya or
relative truth; and the latter teach the existence of
Paramarthasatya, the "absolute truth." - {"Paramartha" is self-
consciousness in Sanskrit, Svasamvedana, or the "self-analysing
reflection" - from two words, parama (above everything) and artha
(comprehension), Satya meaning absolute true being, or Esse. In
Tibetan Paramarthasatya is Dondampaidenpa. The opposite of this
absolute reality, or actuality, is Samvritisatya - the relative
truth only - "Samvriti" meaning "false conception" and being the
origin of illusion, Maya; in Tibetan Kundzabchi_denpa, "illusion-
creating appearance."} -  "No Arhat, oh mendicants, can reach
absolute knowledge before he becomes one with Paranirvana.
_Parikalpita_ and _Paratantra_ are his two great enemies"
(Aphorisms of the Bodhisattvas). _Parikalpita_ (in Tibetan _Kun-
ttag_) is error, made by those unable to realize the emptiness
and illusionary nature of all; who believe something to exist
which does not - e.g., the Non-Ego. And _Paratantra_ is that,
whatever it is, which exists only through a dependent or causal
connexion, and which has to disappear as soon as the cause from
which it proceeds is removed - e.g., the light of a wick. Destroy
or extinguish it, and light disappears.

     Esoteric philosophy teaches that everything lives and is
conscious, but not that all life and consciousness are similar
to those of human or even animal beings. Life we look upon as
"the one form of existence," manifesting in what is called
matter; or, as in man, what, incorrectly separating them, we name
Spirit, Soul and Matter. Matter is the vehicle for the manifesta-
tion of soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle
on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit, and these
three are a trinity synthesized by Life, which pervades them all.
The idea of universal life is one of those ancient conceptions
which are returning to the human mind in this century, as a
consequence of its liberation from anthropomorphic theology.
Science, it is true, contents itself with tracing or postulating
the signs of universal life, and has not yet been bold enough
even to whisper "Anima Mundi!" The idea of "crystalline life,"
now familiar to science, would have been scouted half a century
ago. Botanists are now searching for the nerves of plants; not
that they suppose that plants can feel or think as animals do,
but because they believe that some structure, bearing the same
relation functionally to plant life that nerves bear to animal
life, is necessary to explain vegetable growth and nutrition. It
hardly seems possible that science can disguise from itself much
longer, by the mere use of terms such as "force" and "energy,"
the fact that things that have life are living things, whether
they be atoms or planets.

     But what is the belief of the inner esoteric Schools? the
reader may ask. What are the doctrines taught on this subject by
the Esoteric "Buddhists"? With them "Alaya" has a double and even
a triple meaning. In the Yogacharya system of the contemplative
Mahayana school, Alaya is both the Universal Soul (Anima Mundi)
and the Self of a progressed adept. "He who is strong in the Yoga
can introduce at will his Alaya by means of meditation into the
true Nature of Existence." The "Alaya has an absolute eternal
existence," says Aryasanga - the rival of Nagarjuna. - {Aryasanga
was a pre-Christian Adept and founder of a Buddhist esoteric
school, though Csoma di K0ros places him, for some reasons of his
own, in the seventh century A.D. There was another Aryasanga, who
lived during the first centuries of our era and the Hungarian
scholar most probably confuses the two.} - In one sense it is
_Pradhana_; which is explained in Vishnu Purana as: "that which
is the unevolved cause, is emphatically called by the most
eminent sages Pradhana, original base, which is subtile Prakriti,
viz., that which is eternal, and which at once is (or compre-
hends) what is and what is not, or is mere process." "Prakriti,"
however, is an incorrect word, and Alaya would explain it better;
for Prakriti is not the "uncognizable Brahma." - {"The indiscreet
cause which is uniform, and both cause and effect, and which
those who are acquainted with first principles call Pradhana and
Prakriti, is the incognizable Brahma who was before all" (Vayu
Purana); i.e., Brahma does not put forth evolution itself or
create, but only exhibits various aspects of itself, one of which
is Prakriti, an aspect of Pradhana.} - It is a mistake of those
who know nothing of the Universality of the Occult doctrines from
the very cradle of the human races, and especially so of those
scholars who reject the very idea of a "primordial revelation,"
to teach that the Anima Mundi, the One Life or "Universal Soul,"
was made known only by Anaxagoras, or during his age. This
philosopher brought the teaching forward simply to oppose the too
materialistic conceptions on Cosmogony of Democritus, based on
his exoteric theory of _blindly_ driven atoms. Anaxagoras of
Clazomene was not its inventor but only its propagator, as also
was Plato. That which he called Mundane Intelligence, the _nous_,
the principle that according to his views is absolutely separated
and free from matter and acts on design, - {Finite Self-con-
sciousness, I mean. For how can the _absolute_ attain it
otherwise than as simply an _aspect_, the highest of which known
to us is human consciousness?} - was called Motion, the ONE LIFE,
or _Jivatma_, ages before the year 500 B.C. in India. Only the
Aryan philosophers never endowed the principle, which with them
is infinite, with the finite "attribute" of "thinking."

     This leads the reader naturally to the "Supreme Spirit" of
Hegel and the German Transcendentalists as a contrast that it may
be useful to point out. The schools of Schelling and Fichte have
diverged widely from the primitive archaic conception of an
ABSOLUTE principle, and have mirrored only an aspect of the basic
idea of the Vedanta. Even the "Absoluter Geist" shadowed forth
by von Hartman in his pessimistic philosophy of the Unconscious,
while it is, perhaps, the closest approximation made by European
speculation to the Hindu Adwaitee Doctrines, similarly falls far
short of the reality.

     According to Hegel, the "Unconscious" would never have
undertaken the vast and laborious task of evolving the Universe,
except in the hope of attaining clear Self-consciousness. In this
connection it is to be borne in mind that in designating Spirit,
which the European Pantheists use as equivalent to Parabrahm, as
unconscious, they do not attach to that expression of "Spirit" -
 one employed in the absence of a better to symbolise a profound
mystery - the connotation it usually bears.

     The "Absolute Consciousness," they tell us, "behind"
phenomena, which is only termed unconsciousness in the absence
of any element of personality, transcends human conception. Man,
unable to form one concept except in terms of empirical phenome-
na, is powerless from the very constitution of his being to raise
the veil that shrouds the majesty of the Absolute. Only the
liberated Spirit is able to faintly realise the nature of the
source whence it sprung and whither it must eventually return. -
  As the highest Dhyan Chohan, however, can but bow in ignorance
before the awful mystery of Absolute Being; and since, even in
that culmination of conscious existence - "the merging of the
individual in the universal consciousness" - to use a phrase of
Fichte's - the Finite cannot conceive the Infinite, nor can it
apply to it its own standard of mental experiences, how can it
be said that the "Unconscious" and the Absolute can have even an
instinctive impulse or hope of attaining clear self-conscious-
ness? - {See Schwegler's "Handbook of the History of Philosophy"
in Sterling's translation, p. 28.} - A Vedantin would never admit
this Hegelian idea; and the Occultist would say that it applies
perfectly to the awakened MAHAT, the Universal Mind already
projected into the phenomenal world as the first aspect of the
changeless ABSOLUTE, but never to the latter. "Spirit and Matter,
or Purusha and Prakriti are but the two primeval aspects of the
One and Secondless," we are taught.

     The matter-moving Nous, the animating Soul, immanent in
every atom, manifested in man, latent in the stone, has different
degrees of power; and this pantheistic idea of a general Spirit-
Soul pervading a]l Nature is the oldest of all the philosophical
notions. Nor was the Archaeus a discovery of Paracelsus nor of
his pupil Van Helmont; for it is again the same Archaeus or
"Father-Ether," - the manifested basis and source of the
innumerable phenomena of life - localised. The whole series of
the numberless speculations of this kind are but variations on
this theme, the key-note of which was struck in this primeval
Revelation. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance.")

     (b) The term Anupadaka, "parentless," or without progeni-
tors, is a mystical designation having several meanings in the
philosophy. By this name celestial beings, the Dhyan-Chohans or
Dhyani-Buddhas, are generally meant. But as these correspond
mystically to the human Buddhas and Bodhisattwas, known as the
"Manushi (or human) Buddhas," the latter are also designated
"Anupadaka," once that their whole personality is merged in their
compound sixth and seventh principles - or Atma-Buddhi, and that
they have become the "diamond-souled" (Vajra-sattvas), - {Vajra-
diamond-holder. In Tibetan _Dorjesempa; sempa_ meaning the soul,
its adamantine quality referring to its indestructibility in the
hereafter. The explanation with regard to the "Anupadaka" given
in the Kala Chakra, the first in the Gyu(t) division of the
Kanjur, is half esoteric. It has misled the Orientalists into
erroneous speculations with respect to the Dhyani-Buddhas and
their earthly correspondences, the Manushi-Buddhas. The real
tenet is hinted at in a subsequent Volume, (see "The Mystery
about Buddha"), and will be more fully explained in its proper
place.} - the full Mahatmas. The "Concealed Lord" (Sangbai
Dag-po), "the one merged with the absolute," can have no parents
since he is Self-existent, and one with the Universal Spirit
(Svayambhu), - {To quote Hegel again, who with Schelling practi-
cally accepted the Pantheistic conception of periodical Avatars
(special incarnations of the World-Spirit in Man, as seen in the
case of all the great religious reformers). - "the essence of man
is spirit -  only by stripping himself of his finiteness and
surrendering himself to pure self-consciousness does he attain
the truth. Christ-man, as man in whom the Unity of God-man
(identity of the individual with the Universal consciousness as
taught by the Vedantins and some Adwaitees) appeared, has, in his
death and history generally, himself presented the eternal
history of Spirit - a history which every man has to accomplish
in himself, in order to exist as Spirit." - _Philosophy of
History._ Sibree's English translation, p. 340.} - the Svabhavat
in the highest aspect. The mystery in the hierarchy of the
Anupadaka is great, its apex being the universal Spirit-Soul, and
the lower rung the Manushi-Buddha; and even every Soul-endowed
man is an Anupadaka in a latent state. Hence, when speaking of
the Universe in its formless, eternal, or absolute condition,
before it was fashioned by the "Builders" - the expression, "the
Universe was Anupadaka." (See Part II., "Primordial Substance.")}

Member, Theosophy International.
Member, Human Race. Lurker, Theos-NZ

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application