Blavatsky/Tantra/Tibet Study: Some 'Points' of Context, History, and Philosophy
Oct 31, 1999 08:02 AM
Some 'Points' of Context, History, and Philosophy.
Contributed by Ken Small of Point Loma Publications, San Diego, California
1) Blavatsky stated she was a Tibetan Buddhist : Letter to Alexander Wilder
in 1877 - "it seems to me that it will be difficult for me to explain what I
am not allowed to, or say anything about the exoteric part what intelligent
people do not already know. I am a Thibetan Buddhist, you know, and pledged
myself to keep certain things secret." -The Word, vol. 7, p. 139.
2) Blavatsky differentiated between white and black tantra: BCW IV, 360
".there are both magic (pure psychic science) and sorcery (its impure
counterpart) so there are what are known as the "white" and "Black" tantras.
The one is an exposition, very clear and exceedingly valuable, of occultism
in its noblest features, the other a devil's chap-book of wicked
instructions to the would-be wizard and sorcerer."
3) Blavatsky's Teacher, Mahatma Morya used tantric imagery: As noted by
Evan- Wentz: "In cosmogony and the work of nature the positive and the
negative or the active and passive forces corresond to the male and female
principles. Your spiritual efflux comes not from 'behind the vale' but is
the male seed falling into the veil of cosmic matter. The active is
attracted by the passive principle and the Great Nag, the serpent emblem of
the eternity, attracts its tail to its mouth forming thereby a circle
(cycles in the eternity) in that incessant pursuit of the negative by the
positive. Hence the emblem of the lingam the phallus and the eteis.[kteis,
meaning yoni] fn:Cf. The Mahatma Letters, page 71. "Eteis", an error in
transcription or typography, should be either cteis or, more correctly,
kteis, a Greek-derived term, meaning yoni, the female organ." p. 10 Right
View versus Wrong Views by W.Y. Evans-Wentz.
4) Blavatsky's Teacher, Koot Humi considered "Tantrika" reference a
compliment: ML p 303: "In the letter enclosed he says-we 'may be
tantrikists' (better ascertain the value of the compliment paid) --."
5) Blavatsky affirmed the Panchen Lama lineage: ".the.Tashilhunpo Lama
Rinpoche. is a 'Panchen', or great teacher, one of themost learned
theologians of Northern Buddhism and esoteric Lamaism." BCW III, p. 398 and
many more citations.
6) The Panchen Lamas practiced Tibetan Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism or what
HPB is referring to as "esoteric Lamaism": See "The Great Seal of Voidness:
The Root Text for the Gelug/Kagyu Tradition of Mahamudra"Library of Tibetan
Works and Archives, 1974, pp. 8 - 11 "There are numerous oral tradition
teachings, such as those of simultaneous Production and Union, the Joined
Amulet Box, Possessing Five, the Six Equal Tastes, the Four Letters, the
Pacifier, the Cutting- Off [Chod], the great Encompassment [Dzogpa Chenpo or
Great Perfection Dzogchen] and the Profound Madhyamika Theory.""p. 8 and on
p. 11 ""These individual oral tradition teachings have different names and
titles. But, if an experienced yogi, who is truly a master of scripture and
of definitive and interpretive meaning, were to examine them all, he would
see that all these theories and teachings are non-contradictory. He would
see how all these different explanations and methods lead in the end to the
same point-a true understanding of Voidness." See also : The Gelug/Kagyu
Tradition of Mahamudra by H.H. the Dalai Lama with Alexander Berzin, Snow
7) Blavatsky on Tashilhunpo spiritual practice: "Within the cloister of
Tashilhunpo and Sidzang, these powers, inherent in every man, called out by
so few, are cultivated to their utmost perfection."
8) Blavatsky on ultimate realization: "...the Arahant secret doctrine on
cosmogony, admits but of one absolute, eternal, and uncreated
UNCONSCIOUSNESS. of an element (the word being used for want of a better
term). a Presence which ever was, is and will be.and this is SPACE, the
field for the operation of the eternal Forces and natural Law, the
basis.upon which take place the eternal intercorrelations of Akasa-Prakriti,
guided by the unconscious regular pulsations of Sakti-the breath or power of
a conscious deity, the theists would say-the eternal energy of an eternal,
unconscious Law, say the Buddhists. Space then, or "Fan", Bar-nang" (Maha
Sunyata) or, as it is called by Lao-Tze, the "Emptiness" is the nature of
the Buddhist Absolute." etc. Tibetan Teachings pp.11-12 HPB notes to an
article by Subba Row.
9) Blavatsky affirmd Tsong Khapa as a realized being: refs: BCW XIV, 427,
Mahatma Letters 43-44 3rd edition.
10) Tsong Khapa studied and practiced with all schools of Tibetan Buddhism,
Kadampa, Kagyu, Nyingma, Sakya and Dzogchen with more than sixty teachers
and practiced and taught Tantric Vajrayana Buddhism.
11) Blavatsky drew a Tibetan/Mongolian Buddhist Tantric protection symbol in
Tibetan and Mongolian (The Theosophist vol. ? I'll locate the reference for
any who wish it.) see also The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs
by Robert Beer - Shambhala 1999pp. 116-121.
12) Blavatsky used a Buddhist mala or rosary for some kind of mantric
recitation practice: "She always wore a loose gown, over which she sometimes
put a yellow robe like what is used by the Buddhist nuns. She often had a
rosary in her hand, which she counted as she inaudibly repeated to herself
certain words." - From Hinduism to Hinduism by Parbati Churn Roy p. 2 of
chapter 8. Roy describing his meeting with Blavatsky in Darjeeling in the
autumn of 1882.
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