Chapter 15 – (India the cradle of the race) India, Atlantis and Eastern Magical Knowledge
This final chapter completes the accounts of Atlantis begun in the previous chapter and caps off the various running side arguments quite nicely, notably with concluding arguments about India as the cradle of civilization.
1- The Secret Doctrine and Genesis
Genesis – Eden 575 / Samson Shiva 577 / Chaldea – Ceylon connection 578 / Mother goddess 579 / Genesis chapter 4 579 / Adam Eden 580 /
Had the allegories contained in the first chapters of Genesis been better understood, even in their geographical and historical sense, which involve nothing at all esoteric, the claims of its true interpreters, the kabalists, could hardly have been rejected for so long a time. Every student of the Bible must be aware that the first and second chapters of Genesis could not have proceeded from the same pen. They are evidently allegories and parables;* for the two narratives of the creation and peopling of our earth diametrically contradict each other in nearly every particular of order, time, place, and methods employed in the so-called creation. In accepting the narratives literally, and as a whole, we lower the dignity of the unknown Deity. We drag him down to the level of humanity, and endow him with the peculiar personality of man, who needs the “cool of the day” to refresh him; who rests from his labors; and is capable of anger, revenge, and even of using precautions against man, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life.” (A tacit admission, by the way, on the part of the Deity, that man could do it, if not prevented by sheer force.) But, in recognizing the allegorical coloring of the description of what may be termed historical facts, we find our feet instantly on firm ground. 575
2- India, the Cradle of Civilisation (580)
Ginza and serpent myth 582 / Phallic symbolism 583 / India of 6000 years ago 585 / Manu smriti 586 / Kali Yuga 587 / Succession of nations India, Egypt, Greece, Rome 590 / Six races of Manu 590
Can there be any absurdity in the suggestion that the India of 6,000 years ago, brilliant, civilized, overflowing with population, impressed upon Egypt, Persia, Judea, Greece, and Rome, a stamp as ineffaceable, impressions as profound, as these last have impressed upon us? It is on the strength of such circumstantial evidence — that of reason and logic — that we affirm that, if Egypt furnished Greece with her civilization, and the latter bequeathed hers to Rome, Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned,** received her laws, her social institutions, her arts and her sciences, from pre-Vedic India;*** and that therefore, it is in that old initiation of the priests — adepts of all the other countries — we must seek for the key to the great mysteries of humanity.
And when we say, indiscriminately, “India,” we do not mean the India of our modern days, but that of the archaic period. In those ancient times countries which are now known to us by other names were all called India. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, the latter of which is now Persia-Iran. The countries now named Thibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary, were also considered by the ancient writers as India. We will now give a legend in relation to those places which science now fully concedes to have been the cradle of humanity. 590
We believe that the day is not far off when the opponents of this fine and erudite writer will be silenced by the force of irrefutable evidence. And when facts shall once have corroborated his theories and assertions, what will the world find? That it is to India, the country less explored, and less known than any other, that all the other great nations of the world are indebted for their languages, arts, legislature, and civilization. Its progress, impeded for a few centuries before our era — for, as this writer shows, at the epoch of the great Macedonian conqueror, “India had already passed the period of her splendor” — was completely stifled in the subsequent ages. But the evidence of her past glories lies in her literature. What people in all the world can boast of such a literature, which, were the Sanscrit less difficult, would be more studied than now? Hitherto the general public has had to rely for information on a few scholars who, notwithstanding their great learning and trustworthiness, are unequal to the task of translating and commenting upon more than a few books out of the almost countless number that, notwithstanding the vandalism of the missionaries, are still left to swell the mighty volume of Sanscrit literature. And to do even so much is the labor of a European’s lifetime. Hence, people judge hastily, and often make the most ridiculous blunders. 585
3- Atlantis (591)
Atlantis 593 / Lost treasure of Incas 596 /
To continue the tradition, we have to add that the class of hierophants was divided into two distinct categories: those who were instructed by the “Sons of God,” of the island, and who were initiated in the divine doctrine of pure revelation, and others who inhabited the lost Atlantis — if such must be its name — and who, being of another race, were born with a sight which embraced all hidden things, and was independent of both distance and material obstacle. In short, they were the fourth race of men mentioned in the Popol-Vuh, whose sight was unlimited and who knew all things at once. They were, perhaps, what we would now term “natural-born mediums,” who neither struggled nor suffered to obtain their knowledge, nor did they acquire it at the price of any sacrifice. Therefore, while the former walked in the path of their divine instructors, and acquiring their knowledge by degrees, learned at the same time to discern the evil from the good, the born adepts of the Atlantis blindly followed the insinuations of the great and invisible “Dragon,” the King Thevetat (the Serpent of Genesis?). Thevetat had neither learned nor acquired knowledge, but, to borrow an expression of Dr. Wilder in relation to the tempting Serpent, he was “a sort of Socrates who knew without being initiated.” Thus, under the evil insinuations of their demon, Thevetat, the Atlantis-race became a nation of wicked magicians. In consequence of this, war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance may be found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his righteous family. The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis; which finds its imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood: The giants and magicians ” . . . and all flesh died . . . and every man.” All except Xisuthrus and Noah, who are substantially identical with the great Father of the Thlinkithians in the Popol-Vuh, or the sacred book of the Guatemaleans, which also tells of his escaping in a large boat, like the Hindu Noah — Vaiswasvata. 593
4- Asian Magical Knowledge (600)
Gobi desert prediction 600 / Spiritual flowers Buddhism China 601 / Desert spirits 605 / Shark charmers 606 / Eye of victim retains image of murderer 607 /
The “old times” are just like the “modern times”; nothing is changed as to magical practices except that they have become still more esoteric and arcane, and that the caution of the adepts increases in proportion to the traveller’s curiosity. Hiouen-Thsang says of the inhabitants: “The men . . . are fond of study, but pursue it with no ardor. The science of magical formulae has become a regular professional business with them.“** We will not contradict the venerable Chinese pilgrim on this point, and are willing to admit that in the seventh century some people made “a professional business” of magic; so, also, do some people now, but certainly not the true adepts. It is not Hiouen-Thsang, the pious, courageous man, who risked his life a hundred times to have the bliss of perceiving Buddha’s shadow in the cave of Peshawer, who would have accused the holy lamas and monkish thaumaturgists of “making a professional business” of showing it to travellers. The injunction of Gautama, contained in his answer to King Prasenagit, his protector, who called on him to perform miracles, must have been ever present to the mind of Hiouen-Thsang. “Great king,” said Gautama, “I do not teach the law to my pupils, telling them ‘go, ye saints, and before the eyes of the Brahmans and householders perform, by means of your supernatural powers, miracles greater than any man can perform.’ I tell them, when I teach them the law, ‘Live, ye saints, hiding your good works, and showing your sins.’ ”
Struck with the accounts of magical exhibitions witnessed and recorded by travellers of every age who had visited Tartary and Thibet, Colonel Yule comes to the conclusion that the natives must have had “at their command the whole encyclopaedia of modern ‘Spiritualists.’ Duhalde mentions among their sorceries the art of producing by their invocations the figures of Laotsen* and their divinities in the air, and of making a pencil write answers to questions without anybody touching it.“** 600
5- Modern Spiritualism and Ancient Theory (607)
Beethoven sceance 611 / Religion of ancients religion of the future 613 / Animated statues 614 / Fanaticism 615 / Animated statues 616 / After-death elementaries 616
Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mahometanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts. “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh,” writes the prophet Joel. “Verily I say unto you . . . greater works than these shall you do,” promises Jesus. But this can only come to pass when the world returns to the grand religion of the past; the knowledge of those majestic systems which preceded, by far, Brahmanism, and even the primitive monotheism of the ancient Chaldeans. Meanwhile, we must remember the direct effects of the revealed mystery. The only means by which the wise priests of old could impress upon the grosser senses of the multitudes the idea of the Omnipotency of the Creative will or FIRST CAUSE; namely, the divine animation of inert matter, the soul infused into it by the potential will of man, the microcosmic image of the great Architect, and the transportation of ponderous objects through space and material obstacles.
6- Accomplishments of Ancient India (618)
613Achievements of India 618 / Pymander after-life soul journey through the planetary spheres 625 / Egypt came from India 627
Such were the results attained by this ancient and imposing Brahmanical civilization. What have we to offer for comparison? Beside such majestic achievements of the past, what can we place that will seem so grandiose and sublime as to warrant our boast of superiority over an ignorant ancestry? Beside the discoverers of geometry and algebra, the constructors of human speech, the parents of philosophy, the primal expounders of religion, the adepts in psychological and physical science, how even the greatest of our biologists and theologians seem dwarfed! Name to us any modern discovery, and we venture to say, that Indian history need not long be searched before the prototype will be found of record. Here we are with the transit of science half accomplished, and all our ideas in process of readjustment to the theories of force-correlation, natural selection, atomic polarity, and evolution. And here, to mock our conceit, our apprehensions, and our despair, we may read what Manu said, perhaps 10,000 years before the birth of Christ:
“The first germ of life was developed by water and heat” (Manu, book i., sloka 8). “Each being acquires the qualities of the one which immediately precedes it, in such a manner that the farther a being gets away from the primal atom of its series, the more he is possessed of qualities and perfections” (book i., sloka 20).
“Water ascends toward the sky in vapors; from the sun it descends in rain, from the rain are born the plants, and from the plants, animals” (book iii., sloka 76).
“Man will traverse the universe, gradually ascending, and passing through the rocks, the plants, the worms, insects, fish, serpents, tortoises, wild animals, cattle, and higher animals. . . . Such is the inferior degree” (Ibid.).
“These are the transformations declared, from the plant up to Brahma, which have to take place in his world” (Ibid.). 621
The following authors and their works receive notable mention:
Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890)
The Bible in India or The life of Iezeus Christna (1869)
History of the Virgins. Vanished People and Continents (1874)
Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)
The Progress of Religious Ideas through Successive Ages (3 vols., New York, 1855)
John Denison Baldwin (1809-1883)
Pre-Historic Nations or Inquiries Concerning Some of the Great Peoples and Civilizations of Antiquity and Their Probable (1869)
——— (1856). Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen-Thsang [History of the Life of Xuanzang] (in French). Paris.
Wilhelm Schott (1802-1889)
Über den Buddhaismus in Hoch Asien und in China
John L. O’Sullivan (1813-1895)
Max Müller (1823-1890)
De idolorum vanitate (“On the Vanity of Images,”)
Jacques Joseph Champollion-Figeac (1178-1867)
L’Egypt ancienne et moderne (1840)