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Sacred Texts: The Voice of the Silence

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    ModeratorTN
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    The Voice of the Silence

    Fragment 1

    Translation: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky

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    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      FRAGMENT I.
      ———

      These instructions are for those ignorant of the dangers of the lower IDDHI.1

      ————————

      He who would hear the voice of Nāda,2 “the Soundless Sound,” and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dhāraṇā.3

      Having become indifferent to objects of perception, the pupil must seek out the rājā of

      2 THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE
      the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion.

      The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.

      Let the Disciple slay the Slayer. {2}

      For:—

      When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams;

      When he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE—the inner sound which kills the outer.

      Then only, not till then, shall he forsake the region of Asat, the false, to come unto the realm of Sat, the true.

      Before the Soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion.

      Before the Soul can hear, the image (man) has to become as deaf to roarings as to whispers, to cries of bellowing elephants as to the silvery buzzing of the golden fire-fly.


      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        Here’s the text of the first footnote:
        (1). The Pali word Iddhi, is the synonym of the Sanskrit Siddhis, or psychic faculties, the abnormal powers in man. There are two kinds of Siddhis. One group which embraces the lower, coarse, psychic and mental energies; the other is one which exacts the highest training of Spiritual powers. Says Krishna in Śrîmad Bhâgavatam: —
        “He who is engaged in the performance of yoga, who has subdued his senses and who has concentrated his mind in me (Krishna), such yogis all the Siddhis stand ready to serve.”


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      And say:—

      If thy Soul smiles while bathing in the Sunlight of thy Life; if thy soul sings within her chrysalis of flesh and matter; if thy soul weeps inside her castle of illusion; if thy soul struggles to break the silver thread that binds her to the MASTER;4 know, O Disciple, thy Soul is of the earth.

      When to the World’s turmoil thy budding

      soul lends ear; when to the roaring voice of the Great Illusion thy Soul responds; when frightened at the sight of the hot tears of pain, when deafened by the cries of distress, thy Soul withdraws like the shy turtle within the carapace of SELFHOOD, learn, O Disciple, of her Silent “God,” thy Soul is an unworthy shrine.


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      When waxing stronger, thy Soul glides forth from her secure retreat; and breaking loose from the protecting shrine, extends her silver thread and rushes onward; when beholding her image on the waves of Space she whispers, “This is I,”—declare, O Disciple, that thy Soul is caught in the webs of delusion.7

      This Earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare thy EGO by the delusion called “Great Heresy”.8


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      From the Voice of the Silence Glossary:
      the Siddhis can refer to the six Abhijnā according to the following classical list:
      1) iddhi (comprising all kinds of marvelous powers, but being characteristic of a lower type of magic);
      2) “divine hearing” (= “deva-hearing”), clairaudience, hearing human and divine voices from a distance (and understanding their meaning);
      3) perception of the thoughts of others;
      4) remembering past lives;
      5) “divine sight or eye” (= the deva-sight), clairvoyance, which knows the cycles of rebirth of all beings according to the rules of Karma;
      6) realizing the state of liberation by means of the extinction of the vagaries caused by desire and ignorance.

      The Voice of the Silence – Glossary – S


      The first Abhijna comprises the following (Iddhipada-vibhanga Sutta, SN 51.20) [5]
      1. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one.
      2. He appears. He vanishes.
      3. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, & mountains as if through space.
      4. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water.
      5. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land.
      6. Sitting crosslegged he flies through the air like a winged bird.
      7. With his hand he touches & strokes even the sun & moon, so mighty & powerful.
      8. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

      All of the above can be found in Buddhaghosa’s Visuddhimagga (XII, XIII).

      Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras contains another listing of Siddhis:
      III.16, Knowledge of the past, present, and the future; III.17. Knowledge of the meaning of sounds produced by all beings; III.18. Knowledge of previous births and arising of future births; III.21. Disappearance of the body from view; III.22. Foreknowledge of birth, harm, or death; III.23. Loving- kindness in all; III.24. Extraordinary strength; III.25. Knowledge at a distance; III.26. Knowledge of the outer universe; III.27–28. Knowledge of the inner universe; III.29. Knowledge of the composition and coordination of bodily energies; III.30. Liberation from hunger and thirst; III.31. Exceptional stability, balance, or health; III.32–36. Vision of higher beings, knowledge of everything that is knowable, knowing of the origins of all things, knowledge of the true self; III.38. Influencing others; III.39, III.40. Blazing radiance; III.41. Clairaudience; III.42. Levitation, III.43. Freedom from bodily awareness and temporal attachments; III.44–45. Mastery over the elements; III.46. Perfection of the body.

      Additionally, Vaishnavism lists 8 primary Siddhis, Saivism has 5 primary and 10 secondary Siddhis (Bhagavata Purana), Samkhya has 8 Siddhis (Samkhyakarika and Tattvasamasa,), and Sikhism has 8 Siddhis (the Mul Mantar in the Guru Granth Sahib).

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Mark Casady.

      • Peter
        Moderator
        Peter

        Hi Mark, Thanks. And we could also add to your helpful list the following six primary powers (saktis) that HPB refers to in the Secret Doctrine when quoting from Subba Row’s article ‘The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac.’:

        …there are six primary forces in Nature (synthesized by the Seventh) . . . These Sakti stand as follows :—

        (1.) Parasakti. Literally the great or Supreme Force or power. It means and includes the powers of light and heat.

        (2.) Jnanasakti. . . . The power of intellect, of real Wisdom or Knowledge. It has two aspects:
        The following are some of its manifestations when placed under the influence or control of material conditions. (a) The power of the mind in interpreting our sensations. (b) Its power in recalling past ideas (memory) and raising future expectation. (c) Its power as exhibited in what are called by modern psychologists “ the laws of association,” which enables it to form persisting connections between various groups of sensations and possibilities of sensations, and thus generate the notion or idea of an external object. (d) Its power in connecting our ideas together by the mysterious link of memory, and thus generating the notion of self or individuality ; some of its manifestations when liberated from the bonds of matter are — (a) Clairvoyance, (b) Psychometry.

        (3.) Itchasakti — the power of the Will. Its most ordinary manifestation is the generation of certain nerve currents which set in motion such muscles as are required for the accomplishment of the desired object.

        (4.) Kriyasakti. The mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy. The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally if one’s attention is deeply concentrated upon it. Similarly an intense volition will be followed by the desired result.
        A Yogi generally performs his wonders by means of Itchasakti and Kriyasakti.

        (5.) Kundalini Sakti. The power or Force which moves in a curved path. It is the Universal life-Principle manifesting everywhere in nature. This force includes the two great forces of attraction and repulsion. Electricity and magnetism are but manifestations of it. This is the power which brings about that “ continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations ” which is the essence of life according to Herbert Spencer, and that “ continuous adjustment of external relations to internal relations ” which is the basis of transmigration of souls, punar janman (re-birth) in the doctrines of the ancient Hindu philosophers. A Yogi must thoroughly subjugate this power before he can attain Moksham. . . .

        (6.) Mantrika-sakti. The force or power of letters, speech or music. The Mantra Shastra has for its subject-matter this force in all its manifestations. . . . . The influence of melody is one of its ordinary manifestations. The power of the ineffable name is the crown of this Sakti.
        Modern Science has but partly investigated the first, second and fifth of the forces above named, but is altogether in the dark as regards the remaining powers. The six forces are in their unity represented by the “ Daiviprakriti ” (the Seventh, the light of the Logos).

        The above is quoted to show the real Hindu ideas on the same. It is all esoteric, though not covering the tenth part of what might be said.

        (Secret Doctrine vol I 292-293)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      My pleasure Peter, and thanks for responding to the trumpet call. Quite an esoteric text, and since this first part is probably the most esoteric/tantric of the three, I think it can be useful for many aspects of the this section. For a basic comparison from the Hindu esoteric works, I guess one could refer to the six Shaktis in the Shaiva Siddhanta, a work favored by Kashmiri Shaivism /Southern India.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Mark Casady.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      The quote from the first footnote is from the Baghavata Purana (11,15). The translation seems taken from a text that originally appeared as a series of three articles beginning with the very first issue of the Theosophist (October 1879), entitled Yoga-Vidya and was later reprinted in the first two Theosophical editions of Patajanli, The Yoga Philosophy: Being the Text of Patanjali, Tookaram Tatya(1885)

      An interesting texts on many accounts, notably the first presentation of the distinctive theosophical esoteric notions of Kama Rupa, Mayavi Rupa and Linga Sarira. Below is the relevant passage:

      The student of Yoga will observe a great difference in Siddhis (‘Superhuman faculties,’ this is rendered; but not correctly, unless we agree that ‘ human’ shall only mean that which pertains to physical man. ‘Psychic faculties’ would convey the idea much better : man can do nothing superhuman) that are said to be attainable by Yoga. There is one group which exacts a high training, of the spiritual powers ; and another group which concerns the lower and coarser psychic and mental energies. In the Shrimad Baghavata, Krishna says : ” He who is engaged in the performance of Yoga, who has subdued his senses, and who has concentrated his mind in me (Krishna)such Yogis [all] the Siddhis stand ready to serve.’’

      Then Uddhava asks : ” Oh, Achyuta (Infallible One) since’ thou art the bestower of [all] the Siddhis on the Yogis, pray tell me by what dharana* and how, is a Siddhi attained and how many Siddhis there are. Bhaghavan replies : “Those who have transcended the dharana and yog» say that there are eighteen Siddhis, eight of which contemplate me as the chief object of attainment (or are attainable through me), and the [remaining] ten are derivable from the gunas;” — the commentator explains — from the preponderance of satva guna. These eight superior Siddhis are : Anima, Mahima, Laghima [of the body], Prapti (attainment by the senses), Prakashya, Ishita, Vashita and an eighth which enables one to attain bliss every wish. *’ These,” said Krishna, ” are my Siddhis.”

      The Siddhis of Krishna may be thus defined:
      1. Anima — the power to atomize ” the body;’’to make it become smallest of the smallest.

      2. Mahima, — the power to magnify one’s body to any dimensions,.

      3. Laghima — the power to become lightest of the lightest.

      These three, the commentator says, relate to ‘’the body ;” but he does not enlighten, us as to whether the outer or inner — the physical or astral — body is meant.

      *Dharana – The intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon one interior object; – accompanied by complete abstraction from things of the external world.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      2-He who would hear the voice of Nâda (2), “the Soundless Sound,” and comprehend it, he has to learn the nature of Dhâranâ (3).

      (2). The “Soundless Voice,” or the “Voice of the Silence.” Literally perhaps this would read “Voice in the Spiritual Sound,” as Nâda is the equivalent word in Sanskrit, for the Sen-sar term.
      (3). Dhâranâ, is the intense and perfect concentration of the mind upon some one interior object, accompanied by complete abstraction from everything pertaining to the external Universe, or the world of the senses.

      From the Theosophical Glossary we have:
      Dhârana (Sk). That state in Yoga practice when the mind has to be fixed unflinchingly on some object of meditation.

      Notice that footnote 3 is also similar to the Yoga Vidya text. I think that a perusal of the Nadabindu Upanishad would be useful for this section. From the VotS Glossary:
      Nāda (Sk.) H
      From the root nad: to resound, to thunder, to roar. A sound (Sk.: Śabda) with a mighty resonance. As a mystical sound, the Nāda-bindu (Sk.) refers to the great original vibration, the primordial sound having unfolded the universe: Nādabrahman (Brahman, expressed as Nāda) refers to the “divine resonance” of the sound of AUṀ which can be heard by the mystic. See: The Theosophist I, p.131-2, on Nādabrahman and Nādaśriṣṭi (“the whole resonant system supposed to be innermostly pervading the universe”).

      Dhāraṇā (Sk.) H. (I 3, 36, 41]
      The fixation of the mind on a chosen subject of meditation. Cf. the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali where Dhāraṇā (the sixth degree of Yoga) leads, together with Dhyāna and Samādhi, to Saṁyama, the state of perfect meditation. In The Voice of the Silence, Dhāraṇā is equal to a complete abstraction of the influences of the senses and to the silenced play of the memory, which makes it thus possible to concentrate the perceptive powers of the consciousness upon one single spiritual object only.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Related to the Subba Row list – from another article useful for the study of the VotS:
      “There are four (out of the many other) names of the various kinds of Esoteric Knowledge or Sciences given, even in the esoteric Purânas. There is
      (1) Yajna-Vidya,1 knowledge of the occult powers awakened in Nature by the performance of certain religious ceremonies
      (2) Maha-vidya, the “great knowledge,” the magic of the Kabalists and of the Tantrika worship, often Sorcery of the worst description.
      (3) Guhya-Vidya, knowledge of the mystic powers residing in Sound (Ether), hence in the Mantras (chanted prayers or incantations) and depending on the rhythm and melody used; in other words a magical performance based on Knowledge of the Forces of Nature and their correlation; and
      (4) ATMA-VIDYA, a term which is translated simply “knowledge of the Soul,” true Wisdom by the Orientalists, but which means far more.
      This last is the only kind of Occultism that any theosophist who admires Light on the Path, and who would be wise and unselfish, ought to strive after.”(Occultism versus the Occult Arts, Lucifer, May, 1888)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      3 -Having become indifferent to objects of perception, the pupil must seek out the rājā of the senses, the Thought-Producer, he who awakes illusion.

      There is a term in Plotinus that reminds me of the term ‘rājā’ (king) of the senses’: ‘’Sense Perception is our messenger, but the mind is our king’’(Plotinus V.3.3,45).


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      Before the Soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united, just as the form to which the clay is modeled, is first united with the potter’s mind.

      For then the soul will hear, and will remember.

      And then to the inner ear will speak—

      And say:—

      If thy Soul smiles while bathing in the Sunlight of thy Life; if thy soul sings within her chrysalis of flesh and matter; if thy soul weeps inside her castle of illusion; if thy soul struggles to break the silver thread that binds her to the MASTER;4 know, O Disciple, thy Soul is of the earth.

      When to the World’s turmoil thy budding

      soul lends ear; when to the roaring voice of the Great Illusion thy Soul responds; when frightened at the sight of the hot tears of pain, when deafened by the cries of distress, thy Soul withdraws like the shy turtle within the carapace of SELFHOOD, learn, O Disciple, of her Silent “God,” thy Soul is an unworthy shrine.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      thanks Mod, that was a little experimental warmup run – I’d like to try to continue all the way through the whole text – I just need to catch up a bit on some basic texts and I should be a little more fluid in a week or two…


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      There is nothing here that has not been said before, nor do I have any skill in composition. Due to the insufficiency of my abilities I do not think that this commentary is conducive to the benefit of others and I have composed this solely to season my own mind. Owing to this, the power of my faith increases to cultivate virtue. Moreover, if someone else with a disposition like my own examines this, it may be meaningful.

      4-The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real.
      5-Let the Disciple slay the Slayer.
      40. Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind.

      The mind as the slayer of the real, relating to the previous line, as a thought-producer which creates maya. Slaying the mind in eastern texts tends to mean pacifying the mind, stabilizing the mind. Yoga is the cessation of the modifications of the mind:

      ”Being indifferent towards all objects, the Yogin having controlled his passions, should by continual practice concentrate his attention upon the sound which destroys the mind.” (Nadabindu Upanishad, 40)

      ”Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.” (Dhammapada 3, 35)

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

      • Kirk Marzulo
        Participant
        Kirk Marzulo

        Is it the sound which “slays” or subdues the mind, or it an altruistic motive focused upon hearing (see ladder of the mystic sounds, p. 11 VOS) the true nature of the sound in combination with a calm, one-pointed concentration upon the meaning of the sound (its cosmic or universal significance, its meaning for all of humanity, for example) which eventually quiets, stills and subdues the lower machinations of the thinking principle…while also eventually wakening the higher mind and heart?


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      I’d say both. Summarizing the text so far: ‘Disciples can pacify their mind by concentrating on their inner sound.’ I think a good meditation practice should have both stabilizing and analytical meditation (samatha / vipassana). Concentrating on the sound for stabilizing and contemplating on the meaning for analytical.

      ”It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (the Akasa where Chit prevails).” (Nadabindu Upanishad, 39)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      (6) For: —
      When to himself his form appears unreal, as do on waking all the forms he sees in dreams;

      Even after Atma-Jnana (knowledge of Atman or Self) has awakened (in one), Prarabdha does not leave (him); but he does not feel Prarabdha after the dawning of Tattva-Jnana (knowledge of Tattva or truth) because the body and other things are Asat (unreal), like the things seen in a dream to one on awaking from it. (Nada Bindu Upanishad, 22-23(a))

      We live, while we see the sun,
      Where life and dreams are as one;
      And living has taught me this,
      Man dreams the life that is his,
      Until his living is done.
      The king dreams he is king, and he lives
      In the deceit of a king,
      Commanding and governing;
      And all the praise he receives
      Is written in wind, and leaves
      A little dust on the way
      When death ends all with a breath.
      Where then is the gain of a throne,
      That shall perish and not be known
      In the other dream that is death?
      Dreams the rich man of riches and fears,
      The fears that his riches breed;
      The poor man dreams of his need,
      And all his sorrows and tears;
      Dreams he that prospers with years,
      Dreams he that feigns and foregoes,
      Dreams he that rails on his foes;
      And in all the world, I see,
      Man dreams whatever he be,
      And his own dream no man knows.
      And I too dream and behold,
      I dream I am bound with chains,
      And I dreamed that these present pains
      Were fortunate ways of old.
      What is life? a tale that is told;
      What is life? a frenzy extreme,
      A shadow of things that seem;
      And the greatest good is but small,
      That all life is a dream to all,
      And that dreams themselves are a dream.
      (Pedro Calderon de la Barca – 1635)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      (7) When he has ceased to hear the many, he may discern the ONE — the inner sound which kills the outer.
      ”It (the mind) becoming insensible to the external impressions, becomes one with the sound as milk with water and then becomes rapidly absorbed in Chidakasa (the Akasa where Chit prevails).” (Nadabindu Upanishad, 39)

      The movement from multiplicity to unity is a basic concept in Neoplatonic mysticism.

      (8) Then only, not till then, shall he forsake the region of Asat, the false, to come unto the realm of Sat, the true.
      Concerning the real and the unreal, you will see that the unreal is illusory while the real is eternal. (Jnaneshwari, 2, 133)

      (9) Before the soul can see, the Harmony within must be attained, and fleshly eyes be rendered blind to all illusion.
      Just as the bee drinking the honey (alone) does not care for the odour, so the Chitta which is always absorbed in sound, does not long for sensual objects, as it is bound by the sweet smell of Nada and has abandoned its flitting nature. (Nadabindu Upanishad 42-43(a))

      (10) Before the Soul can hear, the image (man) has to become as deaf to roarings as to whispers, to cries of bellowing elephants as to the silvery buzzing of the golden fire-fly.
      The sound serves the purpose of a sharp goad to control the maddened elephant – Chitta which roves in the pleasure-garden of the sensual objects. (Nadabindu Upanishad 44(b)-45(a))

      The sound which he thus practises makes him deaf to all external sounds. (Nadabindu Upanishad 32)

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      (11) Before the soul can comprehend and may remember, she must unto the Silent Speaker be united just as the form to which the clay is modelled, is first united with the potter’s mind.

      As the clay is the material cause of the pot so one learns from Vedanta that Ajnana is the material cause of the universe and when Ajnana ceases to exist, where then is the cosmos ?(Nadabindu Upanishad
      25(b)-26(a).)

      (12) For then the soul will hear, and will remember.

      This reminds of the Platonic notion of recollection. Having a amassed experienced and knowledge in previous existences, we need to recover the memory of this storehouse of knowledge that we possess. See The Meno or the Phaedo.

      (13) And then to the inner ear will speak —

      There is the theosophical notion of the inner man, therefore we have inner faculties, subtle bodies, one could say astral senses.

      (14) THE VOICE OF THE SILENCE

      The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (Akasa-Sankalpa). Beyond this, is the (Asabda) soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramatman. (Nadabindu Upanishad 47(b)-48(a))

      but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. (1 Kings 19:11-13)

      No one can serve his body and the higher Soul, and do his family duty and his universal duty, without depriving either one or the other of its rights; for he will either lend his ear to the “still small voice” and fail to hear the cries of his little ones, or, he will listen but to the wants of the latter and remain deaf to the voice of Humanity. (Blavatsky, Occultism versus the Occult Arts, CW 9, 249)

      With perseverance and devotion
      I mastered the vina’s errant chords;
      but then practicing the unborn, unstruck sound
      I, Vinapa, lost my self.
      (Mahasiddha Vinapa (The Musician), Masters of Mahamudra: Songs and Histories of the Eighty-four Buddhist Siddhas” by Keith Dowman, Publisher: State University of New York Press p.91)

      You could say that this first set of stanzas comprises a section.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      The notion of the Nada, the Voice of the Silence, is part of what you could call the mysticism of sound (see Guy L. Beck Sonic Theology: Hinduism and Sacred Sound https://books.google.ca/books/about/Sonic_Theology.html?id=cY1Xw1ZlIeQC&redir_esc=y) which is related to theosophical doctrine of the Logos (i.e. Word of God, Sabda Brahman). Esoteric notions of sound, speech, words, letters, and music are inter-connected. Related Eastern terms include Vach, Om, Pranava, Mantra and Blavatsky mentions Anâhata-śabda and this opens up a vast domain of mystical texts. Below is a basic explanation of this concept in Tantra cosmology:

      As Śruti says: “He saw” (Sa aiksata, aham bahu syām prajāyeya). He thought to Himself “May I be many.” “Sa aiksata” was itself a manifestation of Śakti, the Paramāpūrva-nirvāna-śakti of Brahman as Śakti.3 From the Brahman, with Śakti (Parahaktimaya) issued Nāda (Śiva-Śakti as the “Word” or “Sound”), and from Nāda, Bindu appeared. Kālicharana in his commentary on the Sat cakra-nirūpana4 says that Śiva and Nirvāna-Śakti bound by a māyik bond and covering, should be thought of as existing in the form of Param Bindu.
      3 Sat-cakra-nirupan a. Commentary on verse 49, “The Serpent Power.”
      4 Ibid., verse 37.

      The Sāradā1 says: Saccidānanda-vibhavāt sakalāt parameśvarāt āsicchaktistato nādo, nadad bindusamudbhavah. (“From Parameśvara vested with the wealth of Saccidananda and with Prakrti (sakala) issued Śakti; from Śakti came Nāda and from Nāda was born Bindu”). The state of subtle body which is known as Kāma-kalā is the mūla of mantra. The term mūlamantrātmikā, when applied to the Devī, refers to this subtle body of Hers known as the Kāma-kalā.2 The Tantra also speaks of three Bindus, namely, Śiva-maya, Śakti-maya, and Śiva-Śakti maya.3

      The param-bindu is represented as a circle, the centre of which is the brahma-pada, or place of Brahman, wherein are Prakrti-Purusa, the circumference of which is encircling māyā.4 It is on the crescent of nirvāna-kalā the seventeenth, which is again in that of Amā-kalā, the sixteenth digit (referred to in the text) of the moon-circle (Candra-mandala), which circle is situate above the Sun-Circle (Sūrya-mandala), the Guru and the Hamsah, which are in the pericarp of the thousand-petalled lotus (saharārapadrna). Next to the Bindu is the fiery Bodhinī, or Nibodhikā (v. post).
      1 Śārada-tilaka (chap. i).
      2 See Bhāskararāya’s Commentary on the Lalitāsahasranāma, verse 36.
      3 Prāna-tosini (p. 8).
      4 Māyābandhanacchaditaprakr tipurusa-param binduh. Commentary to verse 49 of the Satcakra-nirupana.
      (Introduction to Tantra Sastra, Sir John Woodroffe, 1952, pp.5-6)

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Below is a brief study of the logos concept from a comparative perspective (Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Platonism, Christianity):
      The burnt offering was accompanied, as we have already said, by prayer, a hymn interpretive of the symbols, a hymn of praise (stouti), adding a spiritual to the material offering. This had been taught by Vach (the latin Vox), the sacred ‘’speech,’’ the ‘’Word,’’ the ‘’first of speaking beings,’’ the ‘’treasure of prayer,’’ whom one of the hymns of the fourth mandala of the Rig Veda celebrates in these magnificent words:-‘’I am queen and mistress of riches, I am wise… He who is born, who breathes, who hears, feeds with me on this sacred food. He who knows me not is lost. Listen then to me, for I speak words worthy of belief. I speak good things for the gods, and for the children of manu (men). Whom I love I make terrible, pious, wise, bright. … I traverse heaven and earth. I exist in all worlds, and extend towards the heavens. Like the wind, I breathe in all worlds. My greatness extends beyond this world, and reaches even beyond heaven itself.’’(…)

      Vach, or Saravasti, the Goddess of Speech, the Sakti, or female form of Brahma, to whom frequent hymns are addressed in the Rig Veda, seems to have been worshipped as an audible manifestation of the Deity, corresponding to the Avalokitesvara, or Kwan Yin, the Sakti of Amitabha, of the later Buddhists-‘’the manifested voice (of the Deity).’’ (See the translation of The Confessional Services of the Great Compassionate Kwan Yin, by Rec. S. Beal. Journ. R.A.S. Vol. ii., part ii. (New Series))

      The Honover of the Zend Avesta seems to have had much the same character as Vach, but to have been considered the ‘’Word,’’ or command, of the Deity employed in calling creation into existence, and was therefore the ‘’Creating Word,’’ or the ‘’Word Creator.’’

      The Wisdom (Chochmah) of Solomon, as the idea is first presented in the 8th and 9th chapters of the Book of Proverbs, and afterwards more completely developed in the book called ‘’The Wisdom of Solomon,’’ appears to be an attempt to define an intermediate, or mediating power between God and man- a divine teacher and instructor to lead man to God, or an attempt to personify the action of the Deity in the moral world.

      The Memra, or Word, of the Jews-an expression first employed in the Targum of Onkelos-is one of the phrases so commonly substituted by the Jews for the name of God in all that related to the relations of the Deity with man.

      The Logos of the Greek and later Hebrew philosophy was used in a double sense: one as Reason, ‘’the immanent word,’’ logos endiatheros; the other, ‘’the enunciative word’’-the Word, properly so called, logos prophorikos. The one prepared men’s minds for the revelation of the Holy Spirit, the other for the manifestation of the Son of God.(…)

      ‘’GLORY BE TO THE MANFIFESTED WORD’’ may be read over the doors of nearly all the Buddhist temples in China and Japan. This Buddhist ascription of praise to Kwan-yin is Nmamo Kwan-shai-yin Pusah,i.e., ‘’Glory of the Bodhisatwa Kwan-shai-yin.’’ Now shai-yin is the phrase which the first translators of the Gospel of St. John into Chinese designed to employ as equivalent to the Logos of the Evangelist; and the word kwan, although commonly rendered in the active voice as ‘’he or she who beholds,’’ is really the equivalent of the Sansrit Avalokita, that is, ‘’the manifested.’’ The whole phrase, therefore, (…) is, ‘’Glory be to the manifested Word or voice, Bodhisatwa,’’ where Bodhisatwa implies a Supreme Being in a human form.

      The connection of the Wisdom (Chochman) of Solomon with this worship of Vach and Honover is remarkable and interesting, especially when it is remembered that Solomon’s fleets were in direct communication with the East, and when a comparison is made of the hymn in the text with the 8th and 9th chapters of Proverbs; though, as might be expected, the doctrine in the latter is purer, and bears evidences of the acquaintance of the writer with divine revelation. In these passages Wisdom is anterior to Creation, and witnesses, but takes no part in the act. Her ‘’delights were with the sons of men’’; her office to guide and direct mankind to choose the better path.

      The Memra of the Targum does not seem to have had any connection with this Wisdom; but the adoption of the phrase certainly contributed to the spread of the Alexandrine doctrine of the Logos, which, at any rate in Palestine, appears to have embodied the idea of an outward mediator between God and man-of the Angel of the Covenant. (A Manual of the Ancient History of the East, Volume 2, François Lenormant, Elisabeth Chevallier, 1871)

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        For an excellent theosophical explanation of the concept of sacred sound see Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled II, pp.409-410.

        The Name, which is no name, but a Sound or rather Motion. The mystery of the Logos, Verbum and Vâch has ever been concealed in the mystery of Names. These Names, in whatever tongue, or among whatever people, all represent permutations of the “Ineffable Name.”In this connection, the following passage from the Pistis-Sophia (page 378, 379) is of great interest. Jesus, in explaining the Mystery of the Light of his Father, the Baptisms of Smoke and of the Spirit of the Holy Light, and the Spiritual Anointing, to his Disciples, continues:

        “Nothing, then, is more excellent than these Mysteries, into which ye inquire, unless it be the Mystery of the Seven Voices, and their Nine-and-forty Powers and Numberings (ps‘phôn), nor is any name more excellent than all of them, the Name, in which are all Names, and all Lights and all Powers. He therefore, who shall depart out of the Body of Hyle (Note: not necessarily at death only, but during Samâdhi, or mystic trance) knowing that Name, no Smoke (Note: i.e. no theological delusion) nor Authority, nor Ruler of the Sphere of Fate, nor Angel, nor Archangel, nor Power, shall be able to prevent that Soul; nay, if on quitting the World, a man shall speak that Name to the Fire, it shall be extinguished, and the Mist shall withdraw. And if he shall speak it to the Daemons and the Receivers of the Outer Mist (Darkness), and to its Rulers, Authorities, and Powers, all shall perish, so that their Flame is consumed, and they cry out, ‘Thou art hallowed, the sanctified one, thou blessed one, of all them who are holy.’ And if they shall speak that Name to the Receivers of Evil Condemnation, and their Authorities and all their powers, and also to Barbelo and the Invisible Deity, and the Three Triple-Powers, forthwith all will collapse in those regions, so that they shall be compelled to dissolve and perish, and cry out: ‘O Light of every Light, which is in the infinite Light, remember us also, and cleanse us’.”

        With regard to this passage, it is remarked in The Secret Doctrine, II, 570: “It is easy to see who this Light and Name are: the light of Initiation and the name of the ‘Fire Self,’ which is no name, no action, but a Spiritual, ever-living Power, higher even than the ‘Invisible God, as this Power is ITSELF. (Blavatsky, Collected Writings, vol. 13, pp. 42)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      There are two brahmans to be named, sound and the soundless. The soundless is revealed through sound. The sound is OM. By it one goes out upward and finds cessation in the soundless. This is the bourn, this is immortality, this is union and also ultimate bliss. Just as a spider goes up outwards by its thread and finds space, so one meditates on OM and by it goes up outwards and finds independence. (Maitri Upanishad, 6, 22)

      I propose to end this lengthy, but not entirely unnecessary excursis on sacred sound or sonic theology with reflections on divine resonance, the Om, and the Nada Brahma by W.Q. Judge:
      We may picture to ourselves the immensity of universal space as traversed by a simple and homogeneous vibration of sound which acts with an awakening and vivifying energy, and rouses into motion every molecule of ether. This is represented in every language by the vowel a, which takes precedence over all the others. This is the word, the verbum, the logos of the Christian’s St. John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. (St. John, chap, i., v.I.) It is Creation, for without this resonance, without this movement amongst the quiescent molecules, there would have been no visible universe. That is to say, on this sound, or as the Aryans call it, this Nada Brahma (divine resonance) depends the evolution of the visible from the invisible.

      Meditating on the tone, as expressed in the Sanscrit syllable, Om leads us to the knowledge of the secret doctrine. In the human voice we find the seven divisions of the Divine essence for the microcosm, being a copy of the macrocosm; our halting measures contain collectively that of the whole, in the seven notes of the scale. This brings us to the seven colours, and so on, step by step, from stage to stage, until we reach the divine radiation itself, or Aum. For this divine resonance of which we have spoken is not actually the same as Divine light in its perfection. Resonance is but the expression of the complete sound Aum, which continues for, according to what the Hindous term, the duration of a day, and night of Brahma, and which they give as 1,000 ages. It not only acts as the force which excites and animates the molecules of the universe, but also as an incitement to the evolution and dissolution of man, and of the animal and mineral kingdoms and solar systems. In the planetary system, the Aryans represented this force by Mercury, which has always been held to represent the ruler of the intellectual faculties and stimulator of universal life.

      The Divine Resonance, or the sound au, the universal energy which remains constant in quality during the continuation of each day of Brahma, and which, when the great night falls, is reabsorbed in the All. Appearing and disappearing continually, it transforms itself incessantly, covered at intervals by the veil of matter, which we call its invisible manifestation, and which is never lost, but is always changing one aspect for another.

      We may now comprehend both the beauty and the utility shown in the construction of Sanscrit words. Nada Brahma is the divine resonance; if, after having pronounced the word Nada, with the word Brahm, we should naturally conclude that the final m symbolised the Pralaya, and this would contradict our hypothesis that the divine resonance is everlasting, for if it stops it is lost. For this reason an a is added to the end of the word Brahm in order to indicate that under the title of Brahma the second will continue to exist. But space is wanting in which to examine this question as we should like to. and these few allusions have no other aim than to indicate the real and practical meaning of Aum.

      For us, Om is a real and living fact. It represents the continuous courant of that silent meditation which man should follow, even while occupying himself with the duties and necessities of life. There is one constant effort common to all finite beings towards a given end, and this we do not even confine to them alone, but include the whole animal kingdom; for these inferior beings only await their turn to evolve to a superior condition, and unconsciously, perhaps, but none the less effectively, do they assimilate the same nourishment. (AUM!, The Path, April, 1886)

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Just as, without fuel, a fire
      Dies down in its own birthplace
      On the ceasing of its movements, the mind
      Dies down in its own birthplace.

      For the mind which, desiring truth,
      Has died down in its own birthplace
      And is not deluded, the sense objects,
      In the power of desire, are false.
      (Maitri Upanishad, 6.4)

      Summing up so far, this first section, which provides the namesake for the title of the whole work (a less attractive, but more descriptive title would be ‘’Three Fragments from the Book of the Golden Precepts’’,as noted in the sub-title) stanzas 1-13 presents a kind of overview of the path of silent liberation, ending in hearing the voice of the nada, the soundless sound and the requirements thereof- very much the standard practices of Advaita Vedanta – it requires the practice of concentration, controlling the senses through detachment, pacifying the mind, overcoming the delusion caused by identifying with the material world, achieving inner harmony, complete equanimity, intimate identification with the higher self, thus attaining to deep wellsprings of soul memory and use of the inner, spiritual senses. As Blavatsky states in the preface, these types of teachings are common to many eastern texts, such as the Katha Upanishads, the Sutta Nippata and that Rajah of mystic texts, the Baghavad Gita.

      Regarding the dangers of the lower iddhis, HPB has some choice words in a key text:
      ”Let him aspire to no higher than he feels able to accomplish. Let him not take a burden upon himself too heavy for him to carry. Without ever becoming a “Mahatma,” a Buddha or a Great Saint, let him study the philosophy and the “Science of Soul,” and he can become one of the modest benefactors of humanity, without any superhuman powers. Siddhis (or the Arhat powers) are only for those who are able to “lead the life,” to comply with the terrible sacrifices required for such a training, and to comply with them to the very letter”(Occultism Versus the Occult Arts, C.W. IX, p. 249).

      She also gives some pertinent information on another aspect of sacred sound:
      “The Yajna,” say the Brahmans, “exists from eternity, for it proceeded forth from the Supreme One. . . in whom it lay dormant from ‘no beginning.’ It is the key to TRAIVIDYA, the thrice sacred science contained in the Rig verses, which teaches the Yagus or sacrificial mysteries. ‘The Yajna’ exists as an invisible thing at all times; it is like the latent power of electricity in an electrifying machine, requiring only the operation of a suitable apparatus in order to be elicited. It is supposed to extend from the Ahavaniya or sacrificial fire to the heavens, forming a bridge or ladder by means of which the sacrificer can communicate with the world of gods and spirits, and even ascend when alive to their abodes.”–Martin Hauge’s Aitreya Brahmana.”
      “This Yajna is again one of the forms of the Akasa; and the mystic word calling it into existence and pronounced mentally by the initiated Priest is the Lost Word receiving impulse through WILL-POWER.” Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, Intr. See Aitareya Brahmana, Hauge.

      I propose to section the next part as stanzas 14-21, making for a short section beginning with the image of the shy turtle and ending with the image of the great bird of life (or goose, see David Reigle’s recent article Kalamasa: The Soft-Spoken Goose); giving certain admonitions and warnings regarding selflessness.

      Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      When waxing stronger, thy Soul glides forth from her secure retreat; and breaking loose from the protecting shrine, extends her silver thread and rushes onward; when beholding her image on the waves of Space she whispers, “This is I,”—declare, O Disciple, that thy Soul is caught in the webs of delusion.7

      This Earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare thy EGO by the delusion called “Great Heresy”.8

      This earth, O ignorant Disciple, is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light—that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel. {5}


      • Gerry Kiffe
        Moderator
        Gerry Kiffe

        Would anyone care to elaborate the meaning of this beguiling passage?:

        This earth, O ignorant Disciple, is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light—that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel.

        What correlation might we draw to the interior principles in man in relation to the light mentioned here?


        • Peter
          Moderator
          Peter

          Hi Gerry,
          One of the key characteristics of twilight is that we experience the light of the sun in the world while the sun itself is below (or ‘beyond’) our horizon. We sense it’s light while the source of that light is yet beyond our sight. It’s the period of time in the morning from first light until the sun rises over the horizon. And its the period of time in the evening from when the sun dips below the horizon, still lighting up the sky, until darkness itself arrives and night begins.

          Perhaps one way to look at that passage from ‘The Voice’ is that we have the potential in our earthly life to feel, sense, be aware of an illumination that ever comes from ‘within’ while, as yet, not knowing directly the source of that illumination. If we consider enlightenment to be an awakening then the analogy of first light and then eventually the sun rising over the horizon in the morning is quite fitting.
          Of course, we know, or we should know only too well that it is not the sun that rises over the horizon but the earth which turns towards the sun. No doubt this is what we must learn to do in our daily lives (‘the dismal entrance’) as we become of aware of those first faint glimpses of illumination. We must discover how to turn towards the source of that light:

          ‘that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel.’

          Might we say this period of first light up until final illumination or awakening is analogous to the path we have to travel, the bridge of illumination between the world of shadows and the realm of light, the bridge that we ourselves have to forge and which HPB calls the ‘antahkarana’ – the bridge between the lower and higher manas (Mind)? This would suggest that we are ourselves the path we have to travel and that paradoxically the source of that illumination is also an intrinsic part of what we truly are. The final passage in this section of ‘The Voice’ appears to suggest this is the case:

          ‘Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search’

          ~~


          • barbara
            Participant
            barbara

            Thank you, Peter, for the beautiful illustration.


          • Gerry Kiffe
            Moderator
            Gerry Kiffe

            Amazingly helpful. Thank you. It brought to mind this additional passage of the Voice

            ” Silence thy thoughts and fix thy whole attention on thy Master whom yet thou dost not see, but whom thou feelest.” Like twilight.

            gk


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      14 – And say: —
      If thy soul smiles while bathing in the Sunlight of thy Life; if thy soul sings within her chrysalis of flesh and matter; if thy soul weeps inside her castle of illusion; if thy soul struggles to break the silver thread that binds her to the MASTER (4); know, O Disciple, thy Soul is of the earth.
      (4). The “great Master” is the term used by lanoos or chelas to indicate one’s “Higher Self.” It is the equivalent of Avalokitesvara, and the same as Âdi-Budha with the Buddhist Occultists, Âtman the “Self” (the Higher Self) with the Brahmins, and Christos with the ancient Gnostics.

      Higher Self
      Higher Self. The Supreme Divine Spirit overshadowing man. The crown of the upper spiritual Triad in man—Atmân. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Atma, the “Higher Self,” is neither your Spirit nor mine, but like sunlight shines on all. It is the universally diffused “divine principle,” and is inseparable from its one and absolute Meta-Spirit, as the sunbeam is inseparable from sunlight. (The Key to Theosophy, 134)
      THE HIGHER SELF is Atma the inseparable ray of the Universal and ONE SELF. It is the God above, more than within, us. Happy the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it! (The Key to Theosophy, p. 175)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Avalokiteśvara
      Avalokiteswara (Sk.) “The on-looking Lord” In the exoteric interpretation, he is Padmapâni (the lotus bearer and the lotus-born) in Tibet, the first divine ancestor of the Tibetans, the complete incarnation or Avatar of Avalokiteswara; but in esoteric philosophy Avaloki, the “on-looker”, is the Higher Self, while Padmapâni is the Higher Ego or Manas. The mystic formula “Om mani padme hum” is specially used to invoke their joint help. While popular fancy claims for Avalokiteswara many incarnations on earth, and sees in him, not very wrongly, the spiritual guide of every believer, the esoteric interpretation sees in him the Logos, both celestial and human. Therefore, when the Yogâchârya School has declared Avalokiteswara as Padmâpani “to be the Dhyâni Bodhisattva of Amitâbha Buddha”, it is indeed, because the former is the spiritual reflex in the world of forms of the latter, both being one—one in heaven, the other on earth. (Theosophical Glossary)

      It is, when correctly interpreted, in one sense “the divine Self perceived or seen by Self,” the Atman or 7th principle ridded of its mayavic distinction from its Universal Source — which becomes the object of perception for, and by the individuality centred in Buddhi, the 6th principle, — something that happens only in the highest state of Samadhi. This is applying it to the microcosm. In the other sense Avalokitesvara implies the 7th Universal Principle, as the object perceived by the Universal Buddhi or “Mind” or Intelligence which is the synthetic aggregation of all the Dhyan Chohans, as of all other intelligences whether great or small, that ever were, are, or will be.

      “Speech or Vach was regarded as the Son or the manifestation of the Eternal Self, and was adored under the name of Avalokitesvara, the manifested God.” This shows as clearly as can be — that Avalokitesvara is both the unmanifested Father & the manifested Son, the latter proceeding from, and identical with, the other; — namely, the Parabrahm and Jivatman, the Universal and the individualized 7th Principle, — the Passive and the Active, the latter the Word, Logos, the Verb. (Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnet, 111/59

      Âdi-Budha – Âdi-Buddha(?)
      Âdi-Buddha (Sk.). The First and Supreme Buddha—not recognised in the Southern Church. The Eternal Light. (Theosophical Glossary)
      “Parabrahman or Adi-Buddha is eternally manifesting itself as Jivatma (7th principle) or Avalokiteswara.” (Blavatsky, CW 6,p. 179)
      (Ādi-Buddha) The first or supreme Buddha. A term used in Northern Buddhism to denote the One unknown, without beginning or end. Helena P. BLAVATSKY writes that it is identical with PARABRAHMAN or AIN SOPH. It is to be distinguished from Adi-Budha, which means “first or primeval wisdom” (SD I:55). “The universal decrees of Karma and Adi-Budh” are carried out only by Narada in Hindu esotericism (SD II:48). A related term is Adi-Buddhi, which is “absolute consciousness.”

      Atmâ
      Atmâ (or Atman) (Sk.). The Universal Spirit, the divine Monad, the 7th Principle, so-called, in the septenary constitution of man. The Supreme Soul. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Christos
      Christos, or the ” Christ-condition,” was ever the synonym of the ” Mahatmic-condition,” i.e., the union of the man with the divine principle in him. (Blavatsky, CW 8, 190 [Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 3, November, 1887, pp. 173-180] THE ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS)
      Christos (Greek), the Higher Self, Isvara.—Working Glossary (WQJ)
      “the real Christ of every Christian is the Vach, the “mystical Voice,” while the man Jeshu was but a mortal like any of us, an adept more by his inherent purity and ignorance of real Evil, than by what he had learned with his initiated Rabbis and the already (at that period) fast degenerating Egyptian Hierophants and priests.” (Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnet, 111/59) https://theosophy.wiki/en/Mahatma_Letter_No._111
      The Material Mind (Kâma-Manas) was to be purified and so become one with the Spiritual Mind (Buddhi-Manas). In the nomenclature of the Gnosis, this was expressed by the Redemption of Sophia by the Christos, who delivered her from her ignorance (agnoia) and sufferings. It is not then surprising that we should find Sophia, whether regarded as a unity, or as a duality, or again as cosmic mind, possessed of many names. (Blavatsky, Collected Writings, vol. 13, pp. 40-41)

      Silver Thread

      It is the Sûtrâtmâ, the silver “thread” which “incarnates” from the beginning of Manvantara to the end, stringing upon itself the pearls of human existence, in other words, the spiritual aroma of every personality it follows through the pilgrimage of life….It is also the material from which the Adept forms his Astral Bodies, from the Augoeides and the Mâyâvi Rûpa downwards. (Secret Doctrine 3, p. 446)
      The ancient works refer to it as Karana Sarira on the plane of Sutratma, which is the golden thread on which, like beads, the various personalities of this higher Ego are strung. (Secret Doctrine 2, p. 79)

      Comments
      Avalokiteśvara
      “How sweetly mysterious is the Transcendental Sound of Avalokiteshvara! It is the pure Brahman Sound. It is the subdued murmur of the seatide setting inward. Its mysterious Sound brings liberation and peace to all sentient beings who in their distress are calling for aid; it brings a sense of permanency to those who are truly seeking the attainment of Nirvana’s Peace . . .”
      “All the Brothers in this Great Assembly, and you too, Ananda, should reverse your outward perception of hearing and listen inwardly for the perfectly unified and intrinsic sound of your own Mind-Essence, for as soon as you have attained perfect accommodation, you will have attained to Supreme Enlightenment.” (The Śūraṅgama Sūtra, in Buddhist Bible, Goddard, p.257))

      Âdi-Buddha
      There are several similar terms in Theosophy, Adi- Budha, Adi-Buddha, Adi-Budhi, Adi-Buddhi, Adi-Buddhic – the Philalethian edition of the Voice corrects the term to Adi-Buddha, and that seems OK – it corresponds well to the term in the Kalachakra Tantra:
      “He, that does not know the chief first Buddha (Adi-Buddha), knows not the circle of time (Kalachakra). He, that does not know the circle of time, knows not the exact enumeration of the divine attributes. He that does not know the exact enumeration of the divine attributes, knows not the supreme intelligence. He, that does not know the supreme intelligence, knows not the tantric principles. He, that does not know the tantric principles, and all such, are wanderers in the orb transmigratos, and are out of the way of the supreme triumphator. Therefore Adi-Buddha must be taught by every true lama, and every true disciple who aspires to liberation must hear them” (quoted by Körös, 1984, pp. 21, 22). No other tantra has made the idea of the ADI BUDDHA so central to its teaching as the Kalachakra Tantra.

      At the end of his initiation, in one tantric text he proudly cries out: “I make the universe manifest within myself in the Sky of Consciousness. I, who am the universe, am its creator. [….] The universe dissolves within me. I who am the flame of the great eternal fire of Consciousness.” (quoted by Dyczkowski, 1987, p. 189). Of course, these sentences are not addressed to an individual “ego”, but rather the “superego” of a divine universal being.

      Christos

      You can find this concept of the Chistos in the Pistis Sophia and also in the Ophite story of Sophia in Hyppolytus:
      As the mother of all living, Sophia is the medium between the intellectual and material worlds. In consequence of this, when Bythos and Ennoia, charmed with her beauty, furnished her with the divine Light, Sophia produced two new Emanations–the one perfect, Christos, the other imperfect, Sophia-Achamoth. (This scheme resembles the Buddhistic; Bythos answering to the First Buddha; Sige, Sophia, Christos, Achamoth, Ildabaoth, to the successive other Five.)
      Of these emanations Christos was designed for the guide of all who proceed from God; Achamoth, for the guide of all proceeding out of matter; nevertheless, the Perfect One was intended to assist and lead upwards his imperfect sister. (King, Gnostics and their Remains, P. 96)

      Silver Thread
      I assume here, from the context, that Silver Thread signifies Sutratma. The term Thread-Soul is common, but the term Silver Thread for Sutratma has only come up once in my search and also once as Golden Thread.

      The term is seems derived from Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 in the Jewish Bible or Christian Old Testament. As translated from the original Hebrew in The Complete Tanakh:[6] “Before the silver cord snaps, and the golden fountain is shattered, and the pitcher breaks at the fountain, and the wheel falls shattered into the pit. And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God, Who gave it.”

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      15 When to the World’s turmoil thy budding soul (5) lends ear; when to the roaring voice of the great illusion thy Soul responds (6); when frightened at the sight of the hot tears of pain, when deafened by the cries of distress, thy soul withdraws like the shy turtle within the carapace of SELFHOOD, learn, O Disciple, of her Silent “God,” thy Soul is an unworthy shrine.
      (5). Soul is used here for the Human Ego or Manas, that which is referred to in our Occult Septenary division as the “Human Soul” (Vide the Secret Doctrine) in contradistinction to the Spiritual and Animal Souls.

      Manas (Sk.). Lit., “the mind”, the mental faculty which makes of man an intelligent and moral being, and distinguishes him from the mere animal; a synonym of Mahat. Esoterically, however, it means, when unqualified, the Higher EGO, or the sentient reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified it is called by Theosophists Buddhi-Manas or the Spiritual Soul in contradistinction to its human reflection—Kâma-Manas. (Theosophical Glossary)

      See the SD Vol. 2, p. 596

      (6). Mahâ Mâyâ “Great Illusion,” the objective Universe.

      Mahâ Mâyâ (Sk.). The great illusion of manifestation. This universe, and all in it in their mutual relation, is called the great Illusion or Mahâmâyâ It is also the usual title given to Gautama the Buddha’s Immaculate Mother—Mayâdêvi, or the “Great Mystery”, as she is called by the Mystics.

      Eastern texts use a similar turtle imagery, but with a different meaning:
      He who, having withdrawn the organs within, like a turtle its limbs (within its shell), is with the actions of the organs and the mind annihilated, without desires, without possessing any object as his own, without dualities, without prostrations, without the oblations to pity devatās (they being with desires), without mine or I, without awaiting anything, without the desire to be happy, and living in places where men do not live—he alone is emancipated.
      (Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad 3,7)

      16 When waxing stronger, thy Soul glides forth from her secure retreat: and breaking loose from the protecting shrine, extends her silver thread and rushes onward; when beholding her image on the waves of Space she whispers, “This is I,” — declare, O Disciple, that thy soul is caught in the webs of delusion (7).
      (7) Sakkâyaditthi “delusion” of personality.

      Sakkayaditthi. Delusion of personality; the erroneous idea that “I am I ”, a man or a woman with a special name, instead of being an inseparable part of the whole. (Theosophical Glossary)

      This passage seems to refer to astral travel. In which case the term silver thread might not be the same as the previous reference (14). It might mean the silver cord of the astral body, but Blavatsky doesn’t usually use that term, she calls it the umbilical cord of the linga sharira.

      17 This Earth, Disciple, is the Hall of Sorrow, wherein are set along the Path of dire probations, traps to ensnare thy EGO by the delusion called “Great Heresy” (8).
      (8).Attavâda, the heresy of the belief in Soul or rather in the separateness of Soul or Self from the One Universal, infinite Self.

      Attavada (Pali). The sin of personality. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Two more unnamed skandhas are the ones responsible for the illusion of Sakkayaditthi, “the ‘heresy or delusion of individuality’ and of Attavada [Sk. Atma-vada] ‘the doctrine of Self,’ both of which (in the case of the fifth principle, the soul) lead to the maya of heresy and belief in the efficacy of vain rites and ceremonies, in prayers and intercession” ((Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnet, 68/16).

      The Pali canon’s Sutta Pitaka identifies ten “fetters of becoming”:
      1 -belief in a self (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi)

      18 This earth, O ignorant Disciple, is but the dismal entrance leading to the twilight that precedes the valley of true light — that light which no wind can extinguish, that light which burns without a wick or fuel.


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      19 Saith the Great Law: — “In order to become the knower of ALL SELF (9) thou hast first of self to be the knower.” To reach the knowledge of that self, thou hast to give up Self to Non-Self, Being to Non-Being, and then thou canst repose between the wings of the GREAT BIRD. Aye, sweet is rest between the wings of that which is not born, nor dies, but is the AUM (10) throughout eternal ages (11).
      (9). The Tattvajñânin is the “knower” or discriminator of the principles in nature and in man; and Âtmajñânin is the knower of Âtman or the Universal, One Self.

      22-23(a). Even after Atma-Jnana (knowledge of Atman or Self) has awakened (in one), Prarabdha does not leave (him); but he does not feel Prarabdha after the dawning of Tattva-Jnana (knowledge of Tattva or truth) because the body and other things are Asat (unreal), like the things seen in a dream to one on awaking from it.
      23(b)-24. That (portion of the) Karma which is done in former births and called Prarabdha does not at all affect the person (Tattva-Jnani), as there is no rebirth to him. As the body that exists in the dreaming state is untrue, so is this body. (Nadabindu Upanishad)

      SELF-KNOWLEDGE.
      THE first necessity for obtaining self-knowledge is to become profoundly conscious of ignorance ; to feel with every fibre of the heart that one is ceaselessly self-deceived.
      The second requisite is the still deeper conviction that such knowledge-such intuitive and certain knowledge-can be obtained by effort.
      The third and most important is an indomitable determination to obtain and face that knowledge.
      Self-knowledge of this kind is unattainable by what men usually call ” self-analysis.” It is not reached by reasoning or any brain process ; for it is the awakening to consciousness of the Divine nature of man.
      To obtain this knowledge is a greater achievement than to command the elements or to know the future.
      (Lucifer Vol. 1, p. 89, 1887)

      (10). Kala Hamsa, the “Bird” or Swan (Vide No. 11). Says the Nâda-Bindu Upanishad (Rig Veda) translated by the Kumbakonam Theos. Society — “The syllable a is considered to be its (the bird Hamsa’s) right wing, u, its left, m, its tail, and the Ardha-mâtra (half metre) is said to be its head.”
      (See The Theosophist VOL. X. No. 116.—MAY 1889, 478-82)

      Kalahansa or Hamsa (Sk). A mystic title given to Brahma (or Parabrahman); means “the swan in and out of time”. Brahmâ (male) is called Hansa-Vahan, the vehicle of the “Swan” (Theosophical Glossary)

      Hamsa or Hansa (Sk.) “Swan or goose”, according to the Orientalists ; a mystical bird in Occultism analogous to the Rosicrucian Pelican. The sacred mystic name which, when preceded by that of KALA (infinite time), i.e. Kalahansa, is name of Parabrahm ; meaning the “ Bird out of space and time”. Hence Brahmâ (male)is called Hansa Vahana “the Vehicle of Hansa” (the Bird). We find the same idea in the Zohar, where Ain Suph (the endless and infinite) is said to descend into the universe, for purposes of manifestation, using Adam Kadmon (Humanity) as a chariot or vehicle. (Theosophical Glossary)

      (11). Eternity with the Orientals has quite another signification than it has with us. It stands generally for the 100 years or “age” of Brahmâ, the duration of a Kalpa or a period of 4,320,000,000 years.

      Brahmâ’s Day. A period of 2,160,000,000 years during which Brahmâ having emerged out of his golden egg (Hiranyagarbha), creates and fashions the material world (being simply the fertilizing and creative force in Nature). After this period, the worlds being destroyed in turn, by fire and water, he vanishes with objective nature, and then comes Brahmâ’s Night. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Brahmâ’s Night. A period of equal duration, during which Brahmâ. is said to be asleep. Upon awakening he recommences the process, and this goes on for an AGE of Brahmâ composed of alternate “Days”, and “Nights”, and lasting 100 years (of 2,160,000,000 years each). It requires fifteen figures to express the duration of such an age; after the expiration of which the Mahapralaya or the Great Dissolution sets in, and lasts in its turn for the same space of fifteen figures. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Kalpa (Sk.). The period of a mundane revolution, generally a cycle of time, but usually, it represents a “day” and “night” of Brahmâ, a period of 4,320,000,000 years. (Theosophical Glossary)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      20 Bestride the Bird of Life, if thou would’st know (12).
      (12). Says the same Nâda-Bindu, “A Yogi who bestrides the Hamsa (thus contemplates on Aum) is not affected by Karmic influences or crores of sins.”

      The passage below (a kind of Macrocosmic-Microcosmic correspondence) is perhaps similar to the image of Adam Kadmon’s body and the correspondences with the Sefirot, thus adding to the correspondence mentioned in the Hamsa TG entry:
      1. The syllable ‘A’ is considered to be its (the bird Om’s) right wing, ‘Upanishad’, its left; ‘M’, its tail; and the Ardha-Matra (half-metre) is said to be its head.
      2. The (Rajasic and Tamasic) qualities, its feet upwards (to the loins); Sattva, its (main) body; Dharma is considered to be its right eye, and Adharma, its left.
      3. The Bhur-Loka is situated in its feet; the Bhuvar-Loka, in its knees; the Suvar-Loka, in its loins; and the Mahar-Loka, in its navel.
      4. In its heart is situate the Janoloka; Tapoloka in its throat and the Satya-Loka in the centre of the forehead between the eyebrows.
      5(a). Then the Matra (or Mantra) beyond the Sahasrara (thousand-rayed) is explained (viz.,) should be explained.
      5(b)-6(a). An adept in Yoga who bestrides the Hamsa (bird) thus (viz., contemplates on Om) is not affected by Karmic influences or by tens of Crores of sins. (Nadabindu Upanishad)

      See nice essay on the Kalahamsa in theosophical doctrine
      Kalahamsa

      21 Give up thy life, if thou would’st live (13).
      (13). Give up the life of physical personality if you would live in spirit.

      Those who try to gain their own life will lose it; but those who lose their life for my sake will gain it. (Matthew 10:39)
      For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it. (Matthew 16:25) For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. (Mark 8:35) For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life for my sake, you will save it. (Luke 9:24) Those who love their own life will lose it; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. (John 12:25)

      The voice of the Masters is always in the world; but only those hear it whose ears are no longer receptive of the sounds which affect the personal life. Laughter no longer lightens the heart, anger may no longer enrage it, tender words bring it no balm. For that within, to which the ears are as an outer gateway, is an unshaken place of peace in itself which no person can disturb. (Light on the Path, Comment 2)

      Some might say, to his own destruction. And why? Because from the hour when he first tastes the splendid reality of living he forgets more and more his individual self. No longer does he fight for it, or pit its strength against the strength of others. No longer does he care to defend or to feed it. Yet when he is thus indifferent to its welfare, the individual self grows more stalwart and robust, like the prairie grasses and the trees of untrodden forests. It is a matter of indifference to him whether this is so or not. Only, if it is so, he has a fine instrument ready to his hand; and in due proportion to the completeness of his indifference to it is the strength and beauty of his personal self. (Through the Gates of Gold, 5, 2)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      How is everybody doing? I cannot begin to say how much I’ve learned since embarking on this study. I’ve come to notice this text fits rather well within a certain framework of other texts such as the Nadabindu Upanishad, Light on the Path, Baghavad Gita/Janeshwari and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, so there is a harmony there that gives a wider background. I think we are beginning to make some headway now. This marks the completion of the second section (stanzas 14-21). This section, quite diverse, had some reflections regarding the astral plane, the importance of selflessness:
      He who truly arrives there
      Cuts free from himself.
      — JOHN of the CROSS

      From an absolutely impersonal point of view, otherwise your sight is colored. Therefore impersonality must first be understood.
      Intelligence is impartial: no man is your enemy: no man is your friend. All alike are your teachers. Your enemy becomes a mystery that must be solved, even though it take ages: for man must be understood. Your friend becomes a part of yourself, an extension of yourself, a riddle hard to read. Only one thing is more difficult to know — your own heart. Not until the bonds of personality are loosed, can that profound mystery of self begin to be seen. Not till you stand aside from it will it in any way reveal itself to your understanding. Then, and not till then, can you grasp and guide it. Then, and not till then, can you use all its powers, and devote them to a worthy service. (Light on the Path, Note, Section 2, 10)

      and a mystical imperative regarding the Kalahamsa.
      For some information of Tantric concepts of the Kalamsa, the Nada and the Bindu see the following two articles.
      The Hindu Theory of Vibration as the Producer of Sounds, Forms and Colors,” The Theosophist, Vol. XII, October and November, 1893, written by C. Kotyya, F.T.S.

      HAMSA RAHASYA: The Secret of Hamsa. – David Frawley, Veda Net

      With the next part (Stanzas 22-38), we explore the three halls: the Hall of Ignorance, the Hall of Learning, and the Hall of Wisdom – stay tuned, lanoo…


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Read carefully, Lanoo, light your lamp with care, the following terms must be studied well before passing on to the next stage…

      Iddhi/ Siddhi
      Nâda
      Dhâranâ
      rājā of the senses
      Slayer of the Real
      Asat
      Sat
      Silent Speaker
      inner ear
      Voice of the Silence
      Great Master
      Higher Self
      Avalokiteśvara
      Âdi-Buddha
      Atmâ
      Christos
      Silver Thread
      shy turtle
      Mahâ Mâyâ
      Manas
      Human Ego
      Sakkâyaditthi
      Attavâda
      Tattvajñânin
      Âtmajñânin
      Bird of Life
      Kalahansa
      Age of Brahmâ
      Kalpa

      Since Sarasvati Devi is also a rider of the Hamsa, it behooves me to signal the useful Glossary entry on Vak:
      Vâch (Sk.) To call Vâch “speech” simply, is deficient in clearness. Vâch is the mystic personification of speech, and the female Logos, being one with Brahmâ, who created her out of one-half of his body, which he divided into two portions; she is also one with Virâj (called the “female” Virâj) who was created in her by Brahmâ. In one sense Vâch is “speech” by which knowledge was taught to man; in another she is the “mystic, secret speech” which descends upon and enters into the primeval Rishis, as the “tongues of fire” are said to have “sat upon” the apostles. For, she is called “the female creator ”, the “mother of the Vedas ”, etc., etc. Esoterically, she is the subjective Creative Force which, emanating from the Creative Deity (the subjective Universe, its “privation ”, or ideation) becomes the manifested “world of speech ”, i.e., the concrete expression of ideation, hence the “Word” or Logos. Vâch is “the male and female” Adam of the first chapter of Genesis, and thus called “Vâch-Virâj” by the sages. (See Atharva Veda.) She is also “the celestial Saraswatî produced from the heavens ”, a “voice derived from speechless Brahmâ” (Mahâbhârata); the goddess of wisdom and eloquence. She is called Sata-rûpa, the goddess of a hundred forms. (Theosophical Glossary)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      21 – Three Halls, O weary pilgrim, lead to the end of toils. Three Halls, O conqueror of Mâra, will bring thee through three states (14) into the fourth (15) and thence into the seven worlds (16), the worlds of Rest Eternal.
      (14). The three states of consciousness, which are Jâgrat, the waking; Svapna, the dreaming; and Sushupti, the deep sleeping state. These three Yogi conditions, lead to the fourth, or —

      Jagrata (Sk.). The waking state of consciousness. When mentioned in Yoga philosophy, Jagrata-avastha is the waking condition, one of the four states of Pranava in ascetic practices, as used by the Yogis. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Svapna (Sk). A trance or dreamy condition. Clairvoyance. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Svapna Avasthâ (Sk.). A dreaming state; one of the four aspects of Prânava; a Yoga practice. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Sushupti Avasthâ (Sk.). Deep sleep; one of the four aspects of Prânava. (Theosophical Glossary)

      (15). The Turîya, that beyond the dreamless state, the one above all, a state of high spiritual consciousness.

      Turîya (Sk.). A state of the deepest trance—the fourth state of the Târaka Râja Yoga, one that corresponds with Âtmâ, and on this earth with dreamless sleep—a causal condition. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Turîya Avasthâ (Sk.). Almost a Nirvânic state in Samâdhi, which is itself a beatific state of the contemplative Yoga beyond this plane. A condition of the higher Triad, quite distinct (though still inseparable) from the conditions of Jagrat (waking), Svapna (dreaming), and Sushupti (sleeping). (Theosophical Glossary)
      The Manduka Upanishad partitions the symbol Aum in three different morae and adds a fourth mora-less part instructing that the mora-less part alone is ultimately real and not the other three representing “wakefulness”, “dream” and the “sleep” states of consciousness. The mora-less part of Aum has correspondence with the fourth dimension of metaphysics, the Atman.[3] Ramachandra Dattatrya Ranade. A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy. Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 246.

      (16). Some Sanskrit mystics locate seven planes of being, the seven spiritual lokas or worlds within the body of Kala Hamsa, the Swan out of Time and Space, convertible into the Swan in Time, when it becomes Brahmâ instead of Brahma (neuter).
      The opening of the Nadabindu Upanishad, see references for stanza 20.

      Mâra (Sk.). The god of Temptation, the Seducer who tried to turn away Buddha from his PATH. He is called the “Destroyer” and “Death” (of the Soul). One of the names of Kâma, God of love. (Theosophical Glossary)

      22 – If thou would’st learn their names, then hearken, and remember.

      23 – The name of the first Hall is IGNORANCE — Avidyâ.

      Avidyâ (Sk.). Opposed to Vidyâ, Knowledge. Ignorance which proceeds from, and is produced by the illusion of the Senses or Viparyaya. (Theosophical Glossary)

      24- It is the Hall in which thou saw’st the light, in which thou livest and shalt die (17).
      (17). The phenomenal World of Senses and of terrestrial consciousness — only.

      In stanza 17, it is called the Hall of Sorrow.

      25- The name of Hall the second is the Hall of Learning.* In it thy Soul will find the blossoms of life, but under every flower a serpent coiled (18).
      [*The Hall of Probationary Learning.]
      (18). The astral region, the Psychic World of super-sensuous perceptions and of deceptive sights — the world of Mediums. It is the great “Astral Serpent” of Éliphas Lévi. No blossom plucked in those regions has ever yet been brought down on earth without its serpent coiled around the stem. It is the world of the Great Illusion.

      For Levi’s astral serpent, see The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 511-512.

      See rules, Part I of Light on the Path ‘’ These written above are the first of the rules which are written on the walls of the Hall of Learning. Those that ask shall have. Those that desire to read shall read. Those who desire to learn shall learn.’’

      See also the rules, part 2 : ‘’OUT of the silence that is peace a resonant voice shall arise. And this voice will say, It is not well; thou hast reaped, now thou must sow. And knowing this voice to be the silence itself thou wilt obey.
      Thou who art now a disciple, able to stand, able to hear, able to see, able to speak, who hast conquered desire and attained to self-knowledge, who hast seen thy soul in its bloom and recognized it, and heard the voice of the silence, go thou to the Hall of Learning and read what is written there for thee.’’


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      “Lucifer, the Astral Light . . . . is an intermediate force existing in all creation, it serves to create and to destroy, and the Fall of Adam was an erotic intoxication which has rendered his generation a slave to this fatal light . . . every sexual passion that overpowers our senses is a whirlwind of that light which seeks to drag us towards the abyss of death, Folly. Hallucinations, visions, ecstasies are all forms of a very dangerous excitation due to this interior phosphorus (?). Thus light, finally, is of the nature of fire, the intelligent use of which warms and vivifies, and the excess of which, on the contrary, dissolves and annihilates. Thus man is called upon to assume a sovereign empire over that (astral) light and conquer thereby his immortality, and is threatened at the same time with being intoxicated, absorbed, and eternally destroyed by it. This light, therefore, inasmuch as it is devouring, revengeful, and fatal, would thus really be hell-fire, the serpent of the legend; the tormented errors of which it is full, the tears and the gnashing of teeth of the abortive beings it devours, the phantom of life that escapes them, and seems to mock and insult their agony, all this would be the devil or Satan indeed.” (Histoire de la Magie, p. 197).

      There is no wrong statement in all this; nothing save a superabundance of ill-applied metaphors, as in the application of Adam — a myth — to the illustration of the astral effects. Akasa — the astral light* — can be defined in a few words; it is the universal Soul, the Matrix of the Universe, the “Mysterium Magnum” from which all that exists is born by separation or differentiation. It is the cause of existence; it fills all the infinite Space; is Space itself, in one sense, or both its Sixth and Seventh principles.* But as the finite in the Infinite, as regards manifestation, this light must have its shadowy side — as already remarked. And as the infinite can never be manifested, hence the finite world has to be satisfied with the shadow alone, which its actions draw upon humanity and which men attract and force to activity.

      Hence, while it is the universal Cause in its unmanifested unity and infinity, the Astral light becomes, with regard to Mankind, simply the effects of the causes produced by men in their sinful lives. It is not its bright denizens — whether they are called Spirits of Light or Darkness — that produce Good or Evil, but mankind itself that determines the unavoidable action and reaction in the great magic agent. It is mankind which has become the “Serpent of Genesis,” and thus causes daily and hourly the Fall and sin of the “Celestial Virgin” — which thus becomes the Mother of gods and devils at one and the same time; for she is the ever-loving, beneficent deity to all those who stir her Soul and heart, instead of attracting to themselves her shadowy manifested essence, called by Eliphas Levi — “the fatal light” which kills and destroys. Humanity, in its units, can overpower and master its effects; but only by the holiness of their lives and by producing good causes.

      It has power only on the manifested lower principles — the shadow of the Unknown and Incognizable Deity in Space. But in antiquity and reality, Lucifer, or Luciferus, is the name of the angelic Entity presiding over the light of truth as over the light of the day. In the great Valentinian gospel Pistis Sophia (§ 361) it is taught that of the three Powers emanating from the Holy names of the Three [[Tridunameis]], that of Sophia (the Holy Ghost according to these gnostics — the most cultured of all), resides in the planet Venus or Lucifer.” (The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 511-512)

      26 – The name of the third Hall is Wisdom, beyond which stretch the shoreless waters of AKSHARA, the indestructible Fount of Omniscience (19).
      (19). The region of the full Spiritual Consciousness beyond which there is no longer danger for him who has reached it.
      Akshara (Sk.). Supreme Deity; lit., “indestructible”, ever perfect. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Presumably, the Gates of Gold bar the entrance to this third Hall.
      From Wikipedia: Aksara is a Sanskrit term translating to “imperishable, indestructible, fixed, immutable” (i.e. from अ, a- “not” and, kṣar- “melt away, perish”). It has two main fields of application, in Sanskrit grammatical tradition (śikṣā) and in Vedanta philosophy. The uniting aspect of these uses is the mystical view of language, or shabda, in Hindu tradition, and especially the notion of the syllable as a kind of immutable (or “atomic”) substance of both language and truth, most prominently, the mystical syllable Aum, which is given the name of ekākṣara (i.e. eka-akṣara), which can be translated as both “the sole imperishable thing” and as “a single syllable”. In the explicitly monotheistic tradition of Bhakti yoga, both akṣara and aum become seen as a symbol or name of God.

      Madhavananda in his commentary on the Brahmopanishad belonging to the Atharvaveda, explains that vide Mundaka Upanishad I.7 and II.1-2 the term Aksara signifies Brahman in Its aspect of the manifesting principle who Pippalada says is the thread (Sutram) to be worn instead of the sacrificial thread on the body which should be discarded.[4]
      And, because it is the term applied to Aum it is called the Aksara, the symbol of God who is the lord of all created things. It is a descriptive synonym of Brahman (Bhagavad Gita VIII.3) who is said to have arisen from Aksara (Bhagavad Gita III.15).[5]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aksara


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Table of the Cosmic Bird correspondences

      ‘A—————————– right wing
      ‘Upanishad’——————– left
      ‘M’—————————- tail
      Ardha-Matra (half-metre)——- head
      (Rajasic and Tamasic)———- feet upwards (to the loins)
      Sattva————————–(main) body
      Dharma————————–right eye
      Adharma————————-Left eye

      Correspondences with the 7 lokas
      Bhur-Loka——-Feet
      Bhuvar-Loka——-Knees
      Suvar-Loka——–Loins
      Mahar-Loka——–navel.
      Janoloka———-Heart
      Tapoloka———-Throat
      Satya-Loka——–centre of the forehead

      Subba Row has an interesting list of correspondences with the four avasthas (Twelve Signs of the Zodiac)
      4 Avasthâs—– 4 states Brahmâ—–Gods–4 asp. Parabrahmam–4 forms of Vach—4 stages 0f Sacred Word
      Jâgrat (waking)—–Vaishwânar—–Brahmâ——–Sthûla——Parâ—————Nâda
      Swapna (dream)——Taîjasa —— Vishnu——–Sûkshma—–Pasyantî———–Bindu
      Sushupti (deep sleep)Prajña——- Mahêshwara—-Bîja——–Madhyamâ———–Shakti
      Turîya—————— Ìshwara——–Sadâshiva———-Sâkshi——Vykhâri————Kala

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Mark Casady.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      27- If thou would’st cross the first Hall safely, let not thy mind mistake the fires of lust that burn therein for the Sunlight of life.

      28- If thou would’st cross the second safely, stop not the fragrance of its stupefying blossoms to inhale. If freed thou would’st be from the Karmic chains, seek not for thy Guru in those Mâyâvic regions.

      But the disciple is expected to deal with the snake, his lower self, unaided; to suppress his human passions and emotions by the force of his own will. He can only demand assistance of a master when this is accomplished, or at all events, partially so. Otherwise the gates and windows of his soul are blurred, and blinded, and darkened, and no knowledge can come to him. (Light on the Path, Comments, 3)

      29- The WISE ONES tarry not in pleasure-grounds of senses.

      30- The WISE ONES heed not the sweet-tongued voices of illusion.

      31- Seek for him who is to give thee birth (20), in the Hall of Wisdom, the Hall which lies beyond, wherein all shadows are unknown, and where the light of truth shines with unfading glory.
      (20). The Initiate who leads the disciple through the Knowledge given to him to his spiritual, or second, birth is called the Father guru or Master.

      to hear the voice of the silence is to understand that from within comes the only true guidance; to go to the Hall of Learning is to enter the state in which learning becomes possible. Then will many words be written there for thee, and written in fiery letters for thee easily to read. For when the disciple is ready the Master is ready also. (Light on the Path, Note on section 2)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      32- That which is uncreate abides in thee, Disciple, as it abides in that Hall. If thou would’st reach it and blend the two, thou must divest thyself of thy dark garments of illusion. Stifle the voice of flesh, allow no image of the senses to get between its light and thine that thus the twain may blend in one. And having learnt thine own Ajñâna (21), flee from the Hall of Learning. This Hall is dangerous in its perfidious beauty, is needed but for thy probation. Beware, Lanoo, lest dazzled by illusive radiance thy Soul should linger and be caught in its deceptive light.
      (21). Ajñâna is ignorance or non-wisdom the opposite of “Knowledge,” jñâna.

      Ajnâna (Sk.)
      or Agyana (Bengali). Non-knowledge; absence of knowledge rather than “ignorance” as generally translated. An Ajnâni means a “profane”. (Theosophical Glossary)

      There is reference to a kind of mystical union here upon reaching the Hall of Wisdom (which perhaps can be call the divine astral plane). One needs to blend the microcosm of one’s inner being to the macrocosm of the divine plane.

      ‘’Of course every occultist knows by reading Eliphas Levi and other authors that the “astral” plane is a plane of unequalized forces, and that a state of confusion necessarily prevails. But this does not apply to the “divine astral” plane, which is a plane where wisdom, and therefore order, prevails’’ (Light on the Path, Commentary 4).

      33- This light shines from the jewel of the Great Ensnarer, (Mâra) (22). The senses it bewitches, blinds the mind, and leaves the unwary an abandoned wreck.
      (22). Mâra is in exoteric religions a demon, an Asura, but in esoteric philosophy it is personified temptation through men’s vices, and translated literally means “that which kills” the Soul. It is represented as a King (of the Mâras) with a crown in which shines a jewel of such lustre that it blinds those who look at it, this lustre referring of course to the fascination exercised by vice upon certain natures.

      34- The moth attracted to the dazzling flame of thy night-lamp is doomed to perish in the viscid oil. The unwary Soul that fails to grapple with the mocking demon of illusion, will return to earth the slave of Mâra.

      35- Behold the Hosts of Souls. Watch how they hover o’er the stormy sea of human life, and how exhausted, bleeding, broken-winged, they drop one after other on the swelling waves. Tossed by the fierce winds, chased by the gale, they drift into the eddies and disappear within the first great vortex.

      This reminds of Scylla and Charybdis from Homer’s Odyssey (book 12).

      Those only sentimentally desirous of liberation and only apparently free from passion, seeking to cross the ocean of conditioned existence, are seized by the shark of desire, being caught by the neck, forcibly dragged into the middle and drowned. (81)

      He only who slays the shark of desire with the sword of supreme dispassion, reaches without obstacles the other side of the ocean of conditioned existence. (Vivekachudamani 82)

      36- If through the Hall of Wisdom, thou would’st reach the Vale of Bliss, Disciple, close fast thy senses against the great dire heresy of separateness that weans thee from the rest.

      5. Kill out all sense of separateness.
      Note on Rule 5. — Do not fancy you can stand aside from the bad man or the foolish man. They are yourself, though in a less degree than your friend or your master. But if you allow the idea of separateness from any evil thing or person to grow up within you, by so doing you create Karma, which will bind you to that thing or person till your soul recognizes that it cannot be isolated. Remember that the sin and shame of the world are your sin and shame; for you are a part of it; your Karma is inextricably interwoven with the great Karma. And before you can attain knowledge you must have passed through all places, foul and clean alike. Therefore, remember that the soiled garment you shrink from touching may have been yours yesterday, may be yours tomorrow. And if you turn with horror from it, when it is flung upon your shoulders, it will cling the more closely to you. The self-righteous man makes for himself a bed of mire. Abstain because it is right to abstain — not that yourself shall be kept clean. (Light on the Path, Note 5).

      Verily all this universe, known through mind and speech, is the spirit; verily nothing is except the spirit which lies on the other side of \prakriti. Are the various kinds of earthen vessels different from the earth? The embodied ego, deluded by the wine of \maayaa, speaks of “I” and “you”. (Vivekachudamani 392)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      37- Let not thy “Heaven-born,” merged in the sea of Mâyâ, break from the Universal Parent (SOUL), but let the fiery power retire into the inmost chamber, the chamber of the Heart (23) and the abode of the World’s Mother (24).
      (23). The inner chamber of the Heart, called in Sanskrit Brahmapura. The “fiery power” is Kundalinî.
      (24). The “Power” and the “World-mother” are names given to Kundalinî — one of the mystic “Yogi powers.” It is Buddhi considered as an active instead of a passive principle (which it is generally, when regarded only as the vehicle, or casket of the Supreme Spirit Âtma). It is an electro-spiritual force, a creative power which when aroused into action can as easily kill as it can create.

      Kundalini Sakti (Sk.). The power of life; one of the Forces of Nature; that power that generates a certain light in those who sit for spiritual and clairvoyant development. It is a power known only to those who practise concentration and Yoga. (Theosophical Glossary)

      KUNDALINI-SAKTI, the serpentine force, the astral fire, an aspect of buddhi, the basic force of all manifested nature. (kundalini, annular, spiral, winding; sakti, force.) (WQJ – Working Glossary)

      Brahmapura
      Brahmapura literally means ‘city of Brahman’.
      This word has been used in the Upaniṣads in several senses. Just as a city (pura = city) full of people and various goods supplies the needs of the king, this body of several limbs and sense-organs supplies the needs of Brahman who resides in it in the form of the jīva or the individual soul. Hence it is called ‘brahmapura’ or ‘the city of Brahman’.[1]
      Sometimes the word is also applied to the ‘lotus of the heart’ (hṛdayapuṇḍarīka—the psychic heart, where meditation is practiced) since it ‘houses’ Brahman; i.e., Brahman is realized there by the meditating on it.[2]
      References
      1- Chāndogya Upaniṣad 8.1.1
      2- Mundaka Upaniṣad 2.2.7
      (The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore)
      http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Brahmapura

      The six Chakrams are located in the Sthula-sarira, but they are not visible when a body is dissected, because the leaves and petals described in the books have no objective existence, but represent so many powers or energies.

      For instance, Sahasraram is considered to have eight main petals, and the meaning of this is that the brain has eight poles. Similarly the letters, characters, symbols, goddesses, etc, said in the books to exist in these Chakrams, all symbolize different power.

      The reason of the differences between the Chakrams is that in the seven centres seven powers are located, and it is said that as the Kundalini breaks through each Chakram it causes the man to subdue that Chakram.

      As Kundalini goes on breaking through the Chakrams one by one, it gains control over so many forces connected with the elements, the astral counterparts of which are located in the respective Chakrams. The location of the mind is said to be between the eyebrows by the Hata Yogis.

      The Chakra Sammalanam mentioned in the books means that when Kundalini passes through one Chakram, it takes Its essence or energy, and so on with the rest, and finally joins all into a sort of united current.

      The seven Chakrams are connected with the seven planets in the following order, beginning with Muladharam : Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon, Sun. The moon is connected with the mind of man, because it is so changeable and vacillating.

      The mind of man never penetrates (as sometimes asserted) into the Chakrams but the Kundalini does so penetrate, and the mind itself will finally combine with Kundalini when the latter gets near the Agna Chakram, and then the man becomes clairvoyant.

      Kundalini is a power or energy in the Muladharam sometimes called the astral serpent. It has its head in the region of the navel; it can be roused by increasing the fire in the Muladharam. It is said to be like a serpent, because it moves in carves, it appears to move round and round in a circle, Ida and Pingala alternate on account of its motion.

      Kundalini is said in the books to have three and a half circles to show that it pervades the three and half matras of Pranava. In some cases it is represented as light, because its energy runs through Ashtaprakriti. Sometimes it is represented as four.

      Some say that, in order to attain Raja Yoga, one should investigate Mahavakyam ; others that the mind must be concentrated on a point and the Yogi must contemplate Parabrahm; some say one’s own Guru is the true subject of contemplation, and it is enough to lead a good life; some say the repetition of the Pranava is in itself Raj Yog, and others say you must cultivate will-power : which of these ways is the true one ? All these are necessary and much more—read “Light on the Path.” The end of Raj Yog is the attainment of immortality.
      (T. Subba Row – Notes on Hatha Yoga – Theosophist 1886 v8 December p.138-139 /
      A Collection of Esoteric Writings (1910), pp. 253-55)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      In stanza 37, There is mention of the ‘’death of the soul’’ doctrine (see stanza 14, breaking the silver thread)
      This passage also has some echoes from a Tantric Kundalini practice description from the Jnaneshvari (Verses 192 -318). The Jnaneshvari is a commentary on the Gita, this passage is from Chapter 6, The Yoga of Meditation.
      See also THE THEOSOPHIST, Jan. 1880, pp. 86-87 YOGA PHILOSOPHY. (By Truth-seeker.)
      [See http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/theosoph/theos4a.htm#yoga ]

      And The Dream of Ravan, which has the Janeshvari passage and some comments (See Introduction to the Dream of Ravan on Universal Theosophy):

      ‘THE ILLUMINED.
      ‘When this path is beheld, then hunger and thirst are forgotten, night and day are undistinguished in this path.
      * * * * * * *
      ‘Whether one would set out to the bloom of the east or come to the chambers of the west, without moving, oh holder of the bow, is the travelling in this road. In this path, to whatever place one would go, that place one’s own self becomes! How shall I easily describe this? Thou thyself shalt experience it.
      * * * * * * *
      ‘The ways of the tubular vessel (nerves) are broken, the nine-fold property of wind (nervous either) departs, on which account the functions of the body no longer exist.
      * * * * * * *
      ‘Then the moon and the sun, or that supposition which is so imagined, appears but like the wind upon a lamp, in such a manner as not to be laid hold of. The bud of understanding is dissolved, the sense of smell no longer remains in the nostrils, but, together with the Power,* retires into the middle chamber. Then with a discharge from above, the reservoir of moon fluid of immortality (contained in the brain) leaning over on one side, communicates into the mouth of the Power. Thereby the tubes (nerves) are filled with the fluid, it penetrates into all the members; and in every direction the vital breath dissolves thereinto.
      * Note from’Dublin U.M.’: — This extraordiary power who is termed elsewhere the World Mother — the casket of Supreme Spirit, is technically called Kundalini, serpentine or annular. Some things related of it would make one imagine it to be electricity personified.

      A probable reference to Kundalini in the Secret Doctrine: ‘’This “fire” is spoken of in all the Hindu Books, as also in the Kabalistic works. The Zohar explains it as the “white hidden fire, in the Resha trivrah” (the White Head), whose Will causes the fiery fluid to flow in 370 currents in every direction of the universe. It is identical with the “Serpent that runs with 370 leaps” of the Siphrah Dzenioota, which, when the “Perfect Man,” the Metatron, is raised, i.e., when the divine man indwells in the animal man, it, the Serpent, becomes three spirits, that is to say, is Atma-Buddhi-Manas, in our theosophical phraseology’’ (SD I 339).

      I think it’s safe to assume that what the Christian mystics called the fire of love corresponds to Kundalini. This is from Evelyn Underhill’s introduction to Richard Rolle’s Fire of Love:

      The “first state” of burning love to which Rolle attained when his purification was at an end, does seem to have produced in him such a psycho-physical hallucination. He makes it plain in the prologue of the Incendium that he felt, in a physical sense, the spiritual fire, truly, not imaginingly; as St. Teresa–to take a well-known historical example–felt the transverberation of the seraph’s spear which pierced her heart. This form of automatism, though not perhaps very common, is well known in the history of religious experience; and many ascetic writers discuss it.

      Thus in that classic of spiritual common sense, “The Cloud of Unknowing,” we find amongst the many delusions which may beset “young presumptuous contemplatives,” “Many quaint heats and burnings in their bodily breasts”–which may sometimes indeed be the work of good angels (i.e., the physical reflection of true spiritual ardour) yet should ever be had suspect, as possible devices of the devil.

      Again, Walter Hilton includes in his list of mystical automatisms, and views with the same suspicion, “sensible heat, as it were fire, glowing and warming the breast.” In the seventeenth century Augustine Baker, in his authoritative work on the prayer of contemplation mentions “warmth about the heart” as one of the “sensible graces,” or physical sensations of religious origin, known to those who aspire to union with God.

      In our own day, the Carmelite nun Soeur Therese de l’Enfant-Jesus describes an experience in which she “felt herself suddenly pierced by a dart of fire.” “I cannot,” she says, “explain this transport, nor can any comparison express the intensity of this flame. It seemed to me that an invisible force immersed me completely in fire.” Allowing for the strong probability that the form of Soeur Therese’s transport was influenced by her knowledge of the life of her great namesake, we have no grounds for doubting the honesty of her report; the fact that she felt in a literal sense, though in a way hard for less ardent temperaments to understand, the burning of the divine fire. Her simple account–glossing, as it were, the declarations of the historian and the psychologist–surely gives us a hint as to the way in which we ought to read the statements of other mystics, concerning their knowledge of the “fire of love.”


      • Peter
        Moderator
        Peter

        Is the ‘death of the soul’ something that concerns/affects the only the individual? Might it be something that could take place in a group, an organisation, a religion, a nation, or even a Race? Are there wider implications for this doctrine that we don’t normally consider?

        ~~


        • Mark Casady
          Participant
          Mark Casady

          On breaking the silver thread:
          “From the First-Born ( primitive, or the first man) the Thread between the Silent Watcher and his Shadow becomes more strong and radiant with every change (re-incarnation) (a)”. …. the “Watcher” and his “Shadows”-the latter numbering as many as there are re-incarnations for the monad-are one. The Watcher, or the divine prototype, is at the upper rung of the ladder of being; the shadow, at the lower. Withal, the Monad of every living being, unless his moral turpitude breaks the connection and runs loose and “astray into the lunar path” – to use the Occult expression – is an individual Dhyan Chohan, distinct from others, a kind of spiritual individuality of its own, during one special Manvantara”. The Secret Doctrine, Vol I, Stanza VII, sloka 6, p. 264.

          For a more specific hint to a possible answer, one can consult Isis Unveiled I, Ch. 9, pp. 318-319
          https://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/isis/iu1-09.htm

          I’m also reminded of this passage from the Key, p.202:
          Do you not perceive that the aggregate of individual Karma becomes that of the nation to which those individuals belong, and further, that the sum total of National Karma is that of the World? The evils that you speak of are not peculiar to the individual or even to the Nation, they are more or less universal; and it is upon this broad line of Human interdependence that the law of Karma finds its legitimate and equable issue.

          ENQUIRER. Do I, then, understand that the law of Karma is not necessarily an individual law?

          THEOSOPHIST. That is just what I mean. It is impossible that Karma could readjust the balance of power in the world’s life and progress, unless it had a broad and general line of action. It is held as a truth among Theosophists that the interdependence of Humanity is the cause of what is called Distributive Karma, and it is this law which affords the solution to the great question of collective suffering and its relief. It is an occult law, moreover, that no man can rise superior to his individual failings, without lifting, be it ever so little, the whole body of which he is an integral part. In the same way, no one can sin, nor suffer the effects of sin, alone. In reality, there is no such thing as “Separateness”; and the nearest approach to that selfish state, which the laws of life permit, is in the intent or motive.


        • Gerry Kiffe
          Moderator
          Gerry Kiffe

          That makes sense to me. Everything that comes into the world (manifestation) must run its cycle. Knowing that everything naturally has a beginning, middle and end and then a new beginning suggests the need for detachment from form of any kind.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      ‘’but the Raj Yogi, without using either of these methods, has a way of rousing the Kundalini, The means the Raj Yogi employs belong to the mysteries of initiation’’ (T. Subba Row – Notes on Hatha Yoga – Theosophist 1886 v8 December p.138).

      Perhaps what Subba Row was referring to can be glimpsed in the following by Bhavani Shankar:

      The Doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita” – Chapter 3
      The light of Ishwara which his Gurudeva had transmitted to him at the time of the first initiation has now by his profound devotion and renunciation been transmuted into electro-spiritual force which is called the higher Kundalini and rises upwards.

      It now rises from the heart into the head and there brings into full functioning all the spiritual centres in the brain which upto now it was vivifying, and it passes on to what Shri Shankaracharya calls the Dhi-guha, the cave of the intellect, the space between the brows, and there electrifies Buddhi into a dynamic power resulting in spiritual clairvoyance. It then merges in the great Goddess seated in the centre of the full-blown Sahasrara (thousand-petalled lotus).

      And through these higher spiritual centres the initiate subdues and controls the lower Chakras.
      According to Hindu books of Yoga, there is in the brain the Sahasrara Chakram. “It is an unopened bud in the ordinary mortal and just as the lotus opens its petals and expands in all its bloom and beauty when the sun rises above the horizon and sheds his rays on the flower, so does the Sahasraram of the neophyte open and expand when Ishwara begins to pour His life into its centre. When fully expanded, it becomes the glorious seat of the Devi (Daivi-prakriti), and sitting on this flower the great Goddess pours out the waters of life and grace for the gratification and regeneration of the human soul.”

      H.P.B. refers to this spiritual process in the following passage in the Voice of the Silence and in her notes thereon. “Let not thy ‘Heaven-Born,’ merged in the sea of Maya, break from the Universal Parent (Soul), but let the fiery power retire into the inmost chamber, the chamber of the Heart and the abode of the World’s Mother. Then from the heart that Power shall rise into the sixth, the middle region, the place between thine eyes, when it becomes the breath of the ONE SOUL, the voice which filleth all, thy Master’s Voice.”

      In her note on the words “power” and the “world mother” in the above passage she says, “these are names given to Kundalini – one of the mystic ‘Yogi powers’. It is Buddhi considered as an active instead of a passive principle. …” Thus the electro-spiritual force called Kundalini is the result of the spiritual development of man and has nothing to do with physical and mechanical processes.

      But there is the lower Kundalini also, seated in the Muladhara Chakra, at the base of the spine, which Hata-yogis try to awaken by Pranayama (restraint of breath). It is a dangerous process and has nothing to do with spirituality. There is another set of teachers who, by external stimuli such as crystal gazing, and focussing the attention and gaze on the Chakra between the eye-brows, advocate the development of clairvoyance, psychic vision, which is quite distinct from spiritual clairvoyance. The tiny serpent seen in this Chakram by the psychic is not the real spiritual power called Kundalini.

      The psychic sees different objects in a finer world just as we see here the physical objects, but there is in him the sense of separateness as deep, if not deeper, as in the ordinary man and he accentuates this separateness by setting his false and petty self against the surroundings, and striving for domination over them.

      This is a process, the reverse of spiritual, a projection of the lower and false into the higher and the real. Saints and sages have time and oft taught, distinguishing real spirituality from these artificial methods, which are prompted by thirst for power and Siddhis. Thus the great sage Jnaneshwara in his “Dwadashakshari (the well-known twelve syllabled mantra) Abhanga” says: “Awakening the serpent by the control of the nine gates and passing it through Sushumna, which is one of the three Nadis, such is not, say the Munis, the path. The fount of liberation is in ceaseless contemplation of Nara-Hari.”

      Similarly does Machhendra teach his disciple Gorakh while telling him the real qualifications of a Chela: “Arousing the Kundalini and forcing it up to the Brahmarandhra (the crown of the head) and thus acquiring the power of walking on water and of prophecy, do not constitute a spiritual man – such is not fit to be a Chela.”

      Real spiritual clairvoyance develops in the initiate as naturally as a bud at its proper time blooms into a flower. It is vision and feeling blended into one wherein the separateness of the seer, the seeing and the seen, is altogether absent. It is this spiritual clairvoyance that Shri Shankaracharya refers to in the following sloka in the Aparokshanubhooti. “Vision is to be concentrated there where the triad – the seer, the seeing and the seen, – vanishes, and not on the base of the nose (Agneya-chakra).”

      As a result of his harmonising his astral centre with the Adhidaiva centre, the basis of all devatas, through the higher Kundalini, he sees the hierarchies of cosmic intelligences, the Devas, and realises that they and himself are essentially one being – expressions of the one Divine life which, expressing Itself in all these and in himself, transcends all and remains itself.

      He has now all the great higher Siddhis which are not so much control acquired over something outside, but knowledge realised of the inwardness of cosmic processes – the expansion of his Buddhi into the cosmic Buddhi. With the possession of all these Siddhis the outstanding characteristic of the initiate now is his utter humility. His Abhimana, thirst for individual power and glory, has vanished. He is therefore called a Kuteechaka, one who resides in a humble hut of leaves. He has now that power which enables him to appear as nothing in the eyes of men. “Be humble, if thou wouldst attain to Wisdom. Be humbler still when Wisdom thou hast mastered.” (The Voice of the Silence)
      http://www.phx-ult-lodge.org/Doctrine%20of%20the%20Bhagavad%20Gita%20Bhavani%20Shankar.html


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      38- Then from the heart that Power shall rise into the sixth, the middle region, the place between thine eyes, when it becomes the breath of the ONE-SOUL, the voice which filleth all, thy Master’s voice.

      A very mystical sloka – referring apparently to the the sixth chakra, the Ajna or to the third eye or eye of Shiva, called the eye of Dangma in the stanza of Dzyan, also related to the Pineal Gland:
      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. SD I ,16

      39- ‘Tis only then thou canst become a “Walker of the Sky” (25) who treads the winds above the waves, whose step touches not the waters.

      (25). Khechara or “sky-walker” or “goer.” As explained in the 6th Adhyâya of that king of mystic works the Jñâneśvari — the body of the Yogi becomes as one formed of the wind; as “a cloud from which limbs have sprouted out,” after which — “he (the Yogi) beholds the things beyond the seas and stars; he hears the language of the Devas and comprehends it, and perceives what is passing in the mind of the ant.”

      Keshara (Sk.). “Sky Walker”, i.e., a Yogi who can travel in his astral form. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Slokas 37-39 are quite mystical, the text below may give some additional information:
      Occult Physiology, Narrain Aswamy Iyer, “The Theosophist”, March 1891
      https://cdn.website-editor.net/e4d6563c50794969b714ab70457d9761/files/uploaded/Siftings_V6_A9a.pdf


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      And so we come to the end of another stanza (Slokas 22-40), which saw us enter the three halls, the hall of ignorance (physical plane), the hall of learning (astral plane), and the hall of wisdom (spiritual plane) and their relation to the four avasthas , the seven lokas and the Vale of Bliss. We learn that: ‘’The WISE ONES tarry not in pleasure-grounds of senses. The WISE ONES heed not the sweet-tongued voices of illusion’’. The hall of learning is full of delusional dangers, so one should seek one’s teacher in the hall of wisdom. The temptations of Mara are great and one needs to guard against the illusion of separateness. Finally, a type of Kundalini Yoga practice is presented, leading to the possibility of astral projection.

      Some terms to remember:
      Three Halls,Akshara,Four states,Jâgrat, Svapna, Asura, Sushupti,Turîya, Ajñâna, heresy of separateness, Heaven-born, Seven spiritual lokas,all of Ignorance, Hall of Learning, Hall of Wisdom, Vale of Bliss, Astral Serpent,Universal Parent, Mâra,fiery power, Avidyâ, chamber of the Heart, middle region, Master’s voice, Walker of the Sky

      The next stanza, slokas 41-49, is concerned with the seven mystic sounds, linked to the Nadabindu Upanishad and also the Hamsa Upanishad.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      41-Before thou set’st thy foot upon the ladder’s upper rung, the ladder of the mystic sounds, thou hast to hear the voice of thy inner GOD* in seven manners.
      [*The Higher SELF.]
      42-The first is like the nightingale’s sweet voice chanting a song of parting to its mate.
      43-The second comes as the sound of a silver cymbal of the Dhyânis, awakening the twinkling stars.
      44-The next is as the plaint melodious of the ocean-sprite imprisoned in its shell.
      45-And this is followed by the chant of Vînâ (26).

      (26). Vînâ is an Indian stringed instrument like a lute.
      46-The fifth like sound of bamboo-flute shrills in thine ear.
      47-It changes next into a trumpet-blast.
      48-The last vibrates like the dull rumbling of a thunder-cloud.
      49-The seventh swallows all the other sounds. They die, and then are heard no more.

      Although there is a similar passage in the Nadabindu Upanishad (and other texts), the above seems influenced by the quote from the Oupanekhat in YOGA PHILOSOPHY. (By Truth-seeker.) ] THE THEOSOPHIST, Jan. 1880, pp. 86-87

      The “Oupanekhat” was put together by Sultan Mohammed Dara Shikhoh in 1656, consisting of a Persian translation of 50 Upanishads and who prefaced it as the best book on religion. The text from the Oupanekhat is known as Hensnad (i.e. Hamsa-nada). The original Sanskrit text is known as the Hamsa Upanishad related to the Nrisimhatapaniya and the Ramatapaniya Upanishads

      The text was made available in the West in 1805 in a Latin translation by Anquetil du Perron. The original Sanskrit translation into English only appeared in The Theosophist in 1891. So it seems here that the passage is influenced by an English translation from a Latin translation of a Persian translation. It seems to me that this points to an importance of what can be called Hamsa Vidya, a form of mysticism based on the symbolism if the Hamsa, of which there are some suggestive passages in the Secret Doctrine. (See Parallel Columns: What Does This Mean? Daniel H. Caldwell
      http://blavatskyarchives.com/voiceparallelcolumns.htm )


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Below are some similar passages from some Yoga Upanishads:
      It (Nada, sound) is (begun to be heard as) of ten kinds. The first is Chini (like the sound of that word); the second is Chini-Chini; the third is the sound of bell; the fourth is that of conch; the fifth is that of Tantiri (lute); the sixth is that sound of Tala (cymbals); the seventh is that of flute; the eighth is that of Bheri (drum); the ninth is that of Mridanga (double drum); and the tenth is that of clouds (viz., thunder). He may experience the tenth without the first nine sounds (through the initiation of a Guru). (Hamsa-Upanishad, 10)

      When air (prana) enters the Brahmarandhra, nada (sound) is also produced there. resembling at first the sound of a conchblast (sankha-dhvani) and like the thunder-clap (megha-dhvani) in the middle; and when the air has reached the middle of the head, like the roaring of a mountain cataract (giri-prasravana) Thereafter, 0 great wise one! the Atman, mightily pleased, will actually appear in front of thee. Then there will be the ripeness of the knowledge of Atman(Divine) from Yoga and the disowning by the Yogi of worldly existence. (Darsana-Upanishad (6.36.-38))

      The first sound is like the hum of the honey-intoxicated bee, next that of a flute, then a harp; after this, by gradual practice of Yoga, the destroyer of the darkness of the world, he hears the sounds of ringing bells; then sounds like roar of thunder. When one fixes his full attention on this sound, being free from fear, he gets absorption, O my beloved! (The Siva Samhita – Chapter V, 27)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      50- When the six (27) are slain and at the Master’s feet are laid, then is the pupil merged into the ONE (28), becomes that ONE and lives therein.
      (27). The six principles; meaning when the lower personality is destroyed and the inner individuality is merged into and lost in the Seventh or Spirit.
      (28). The disciple is one with Brahmâ or the Âtman.

      From the Hamsa Upanishad
      In the first stage, his body becomes Chini-Chini;
      in the second, there is the (Bhanjana) breaking (or affecting) in the body;
      in the third, there is the (Bhedana) piercing;
      in the fourth, the head shakes;
      in the fifth, the palate produces saliva;
      in the sixth, nectar is attained;
      in the seventh, the knowledge of the hidden (things in the world) arises;
      in the eighth, Para-Vak is heard;
      in the ninth, the body becomes invisible and the pure divine eye is developed;
      in the tenth, he attains Para-Brahman in the presence of (or with) Atman which is Brahman.
      After that, when Manas destroyed, when it which is the source of Sankalpa and Vikalpa disappears, owing to the destruction of these two, and when virtues and sins are burnt away, then he shines as Sadashiva of the nature of Sakti pervading everywhere, being effulgence in its very essence, the immaculate, the eternal, the stainless and the most quiescent Om.

      In this fourth section, stanzas 41-50, we were introduced to the 7-step ladder of mystics sounds of the inner God: 1- Nightingale song; 2-Cymbal; 3- Sea Shell; 4- Vina (lute); 5- Flute; 6-Trumpet blast/thunder; 7- Silence

      Based on the other yoga texts and stanza 50, I think it is plausible to assume that the 7 mystical sounds are related to the Chakras and Kundalini and 7 states of consciousness (and the 7 principles) accompanied by related Siddhis. Some texts equate the sound of thunder with the Om.

      The next section (stanzas 51-65) deals with the self and the Self.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      We’ve made it through the first half of Fragment I. Hosannah! I think it’s been an interesting trajectory thus far, with many texts giving insight into this work coming to light. We began almost three months ago, so perhaps we can quicken the pace a bit, I will try to aim at posting 10 stanzas a week, although if the discussion should lead to limiting this pace, I would not want to prevent interesting insights and information to emerge.

      51-Before that path is entered, thou must destroy thy lunar body (29), cleanse thy mind-body (30) and make clean thy heart.
      (29). The astral form produced by the Kâmic principle, the Kâma rûpa or body of desire.
      (30). Mânasa rûpa. The first refers to the astral or personal Self; the second to the individuality or the reincarnating Ego whose consciousness on our plane or the lower Manas — has to be paralyzed.

      Kamarupa (Sk.). Metaphysically, and in our esoteric philosophy, it is the subjective form created through the mental and physical desires and thoughts in connection with things of matter, by all sentient beings, a form which survives the death of their bodies. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Manas, Kâma (Sk.). Lit., “the mind of desire.” With the Buddhists it is the sixth of the Chadâyatana (q.v.), or the six organs of knowledge, hence the highest of these, synthesized by the seventh called Klichta, the spiritual perception of that which defiles this (lower) Manas, or the “Human-animal Soul”, as the Occultists term it. While the Higher Manas or the Ego is directly related to Vijnâna (the 10th of the 12 Nidânas)—which is the perfect knowledge of all forms of knowledge, whether relating to object or subject in the nidânic concatenation of causes and effects; the lower, the Kâma Manas is but one of the Indriya or organs (roots) of Sense. Very little can be said of the dual Manas here, as the doctrine that treats of it, is correctly stated only in esoteric works. Its mention can thus be only very superficial. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Astral Body, or Astral “Double”. The ethereal counterpart or shadow of man or animal. The Linga Sharira, the “Doppelgäinger”. The reader must not confuse it with the ASTRAL SOUL, another name for the lower Manas, or Kama-Manas so-called, the reflection of the HIGHER EGO. (Theosophical Glossary)
      Manas (Sk.). Lit., “the mind”, the mental faculty which makes of man an intelligent and moral being, and distinguishes him from the mere animal; a synonym of Mahat. Esoterically, however, it means, when unqualified, the Higher EGO, or the sentient reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified it is called by Theosophists Buddhi-Manas or the Spiritual Soul in contradistinction to its human reflection—Kâma-Manas. (Theosophical Glossary)

      52-Eternal life’s pure waters, clear and crystal, with the monsoon tempest’s muddy torrents cannot mingle.
      53-Heaven’s dew-drop glittering in the morn’s first sun-beam within the bosom of the lotus, when dropped on earth becomes a piece of clay; behold, the pearl is now a speck of mire.

      The image of the mind as a tranquil or stormy/muddy body of water is a prevalent image in eastern texts (see Anguttara Nikaya 5.193), the quote below also alludes to this notion:

      It is upon the serene and placid surface of the unruffled mind that the visions gathered from the invisible find a representation in the visible world. Otherwise you would vainly seek those visions, those flashes of sudden light which have already helped to solve so many of the minor problems and which alone can bring the truth before the eye of the soul. It is with jealous care that we have to guard our mind-plane from all the adverse influences which daily arise in our passage through earth-life. (Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 11)

      Those who dedicate their actions to God, abandoning all attachment, remain untouched by sin, just as a lotus leaf is untouched by water. (B.G. 5.10)

      The river must be calm in order to reflect the full moon ~ Thich Nhat Hanh.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      “From the remotest antiquity mankind as a whole have always been convinced of the existence of a personal spiritual entity within the personal physical man. This inner entity was more or less divine, according to its proximity to the crown. The closer the union the more serene man’s destiny, the less dangerous the external conditions. This belief is neither bigotry nor superstition, only an ever-present, instinctive feeling of the proximity of another spiritual and invisible world, which, though it be subjective to the senses of the outward man, is perfectly objective to the inner ego. Furthermore, they believed that there are external and internal conditions which affect the determination of our will upon our actions. They rejected fatalism, for fatalism implies a blind course of some still blinder power.
      But they believed in destiny or Karma, which from birth to death every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided by that presence termed by some the guardian angel, or our more intimate astral inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the man of flesh or the personality. Both these lead on MAN, but one of them must prevail; and from the very beginning of the invisible affray the stern and implacable law of compensation and retribution steps in and takes its course, following faithfully the fluctuating of the conflict. When the last strand is woven, and man is seemingly enwrapped in the net-work of his own doing, then he finds himself completely under the empire of this self-made destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell against the immovable rock, or like a feather carries him away in a whirlwind raised by his own actions.” ISIS UNVEILED (Vol. II. 593)

      54-Strive with thy thoughts unclean before they overpower thee. Use them as they will thee, for if thou sparest them and they take root and grow, know well, these thoughts will overpower and kill thee. Beware, Disciple, suffer not, e’en though it be their shadow, to approach. For it will grow, increase in size and power, and then this thing of darkness will absorb thy being before thou hast well realized the black foul monster’s presence.

      … every thought of man upon being evolved passes into the inner world and becomes an active entity by associating itself – coalescing, we might term it – with an elemental; that is to say with one of the semi-intelligent forces of the kingdoms. It survives as an active intelligence, a creature of the mind’s begetting, for a longer or shorter period proportionate with the original intensity of the cerebral action which generated it. Thus, a good thought is perpetuated as an active beneficent power; an evil one as a maleficent demon. And so man is continually peopling his current in space with impulses, and passions, a current which reacts upon any sensitive or and nervous organization which comes in contact with it in proportion to its dynamic intensity. The Buddhists call this his “Skandha,” the Hindu gives it the name of “Karma”; the Adept evolves these shapes consciously, other men throw them off unconsciously. (Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, 32-33)

      About such men as Appolonius, Iamblichus, Plotinus and Porphyry, there gathered this heavenly nimbus. It was evolved by the power of their own souls in close unison with their spirits; by the superhuman morality and sanctity of their lives, and aided by frequent interior ecstatic contemplation. Such holy men pure spiritual influences could approach. Radiating around an atmosphere of divine beneficence, they caused evil spirits to flee before them. Not only is it not possible for such to exist in their aura, but they cannot even remain in that of obsessed persons, if the thraumaturgist exercises his will, or even approaches them. This is MEDIATORSHIP, not mediumship. Such persons are temples in which dwells the spirit of the living God; but if the temple is defiled by the admission of an evil passion, thought or desire, the mediator falls into the sphere of sorcery. The door is opened; the pure spirits retire and the evil ones rush in. This is still mediatorship, evil as it is; the sorcerer, like the pure magician, forms his own aura and subjects to his will congenial inferior spirits. (Isis 1, p. 487)
      This seems similar to the concept of the Dweller on the Threshold

      55-Before the “mystic Power” (31)* can make of thee a god, Lanoo, thou must have gained the faculty to slay thy lunar form at will.
      [*Kundalinî, the “Serpent Power” or mystic fire.]
      (31). Kundalinî is called the “Serpentine” or the annular power on account of its spiral-like working or progress in the body of the ascetic developing the power in himself. It is an electric fiery occult or Fohatic power, the great pristine force, which underlies all organic and inorganic matter.
      See stanza 51, More on Kundalini:
      Yoga and Enlightenment, David Pratt
      https://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/path/oc-prat.htm


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      T. Subba Row described the image of the Dweller as being similar to that of the battle described in the Bhagavad Gita. He wrote:
      Philosophically it is the great battle in which the human Spirit has to fight against the lower passions in the physical body. Many of our readers have probably heard about the so-called ‘Dweller on the Threshold,’ so vividly described in Lytton’s novel, Zanoni. According to this author’s description, the Dweller on the Threshold seems to be some elemental, or other monster of mysterious form, appearing before the neophyte just as he is about to enter the mysterious land, and attempting to shake his resolution with menaces of unknown dangers if he is not fully prepared.

      There is no such monster in reality. The description must be taken in a figurative sense. But nevertheless there is a Dweller on the Threshold, whose influence on the mental plane is far more trying than any physical terror can be. The real Dweller on the Threshold is formed of the despair and despondency of the neophyte, who is called upon to give up all his old affections for kindred, parents and children, as well as his aspirations for objects of worldly ambition, which have perhaps been his associates for many incarnations. When called upon to give up these things, the neophyte feels a kind of blank, before he realizes his higher possibilities. After having given up all his associations, his life itself seems to vanish into thin air. He seems to have lost all hope, and to have no object to live and work for. He sees no signs of his own future progress. All before him seems darkness; and a sort of pressure comes upon the soul, under which it begins to droop, and in most cases he begins to fall back and gives up further progress. But in the case of a man who really struggles, he will battle against that despair, and be able to proceed on the Path. . .

      We are each of us called upon to kill out all our passions and desires, not that they are all necessarily evil in themselves, but that their influence must be annihilated before we can establish ourselves on the higher planes. The position of Arjuna is intended to typify that of a chela, who is called upon to face the Dweller on the Threshold.[4]
      T. Subba Rao, “On the Bhagavad Gita” Adyar Pamphlet No. 17, (Adyar, Madras:The Theosophist Office, 1912).

      The Mahatma Letters refers to the actual case of Stainton MOSES, the famous medium, who was tormented by Dwellers. In September 1875, Moses asked Madame Blavatsky whether Bulwer Lytton had eaten underdone pork chops and dreaming when he wrote about the Dweller. Blavatsky replied: “Make yourself ready,” she answered, “in about twelve months more you will have to face and fight with them.” In October 1876, they predicted event happened. Moses wrote: “I am fighting” a hand to hand battle with all the legions of the Fiend for the past three weeks. My nights are made hideous with their torments, temptations and foul suggestions. I see them all around, glaring at me, gabbling, howling, grinning! Every form of filthy suggestion, of bewildering doubt, of mad and shuddering fear is upon me . . . I can understand Zanoni’s Dweller now . . . I have not wavered yet . . . and their temptations are fainter, the presence less near, the horror less . . .” (ML, p. 61).
      http://www.blavatsky.net/index.php/dweller-of-the-threshold


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      I went into a bit of a digression on the Dweller on the Threshold, however I do not foresee introducing any lengthy texts for the remainder of this 5th section.

      56-The Self of matter and the SELF of Spirit can never meet. One of the twain must disappear; there is no place for both.

      That (higher being) which is to all creatures a night, is to the selfmastering sage his waking (his luminous day of true being, knowledge and power); the life of the dualities which is to them their waking (their day, their consciousness, their bright condition of activity) is a night (a troubled sleep and darkness of the soul) to the sage who sees. (BG. 2.69.)

      Elevate yourself through the power of your mind, and not degrade yourself, for the mind can be the friend and also the enemy of the self. (BG 6.5)

      By your great enemy, I mean yourself. If you have the power to face your own soul in the darkness and silence, you will have conquered the physical or animal self which dwells in sensation only. (Light on the Path, Comment 2)

      See William Q. Judge “The Self is the Friend of Self and also its Enemy”

      57-Ere thy Soul’s mind can understand, the bud of personality must be crushed out, the worm of sense destroyed past resurrection.

      Therefore, when these sense-pleasures are totally removed from the mind, anger and hate are automatically destroyed. (Jnaneshwari 2:321-332).

      Until a man has become, in heart and spirit, a disciple, he has no existence for those who are teachers of disciples. And he becomes this by one method only — the surrender of his personal humanity. (Light on the Path, Comm. 4)

      58-Thou canst not travel on the Path before thou hast become that Path itself (32).

      (32). This “Path” is mentioned in all the Mystic Works. As Krishna says in the Jñâneśvari: “When this Path is beheld . . . whether one sets out to the bloom of the east or to the chambers of the west, without moving, O holder of the bow, is the travelling in this road. In this path, to whatever place one would go, that place one’s own self becomes.” “Thou art the Path” is said to the adept guru and by the latter to the disciple, after initiation. “I am the way and the Path” says another Master.

      See Jnaneshwari 156-160/ b-g 6.10:
      (Adhyaya 6: http://bvbpune.org/images/dnyaneshawri-pdf/chapter-6.pdf)

      Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’’ (John 14, 6).

      Turn round, and instead of standing against the forces, join them; become one with Nature, and go easily upon her path. Do not resist or resent the circumstances of life any more than the plants resent the rain and the wind. Then suddenly, to your own amazement, you find you have time and strength to spare, to use in the great battle which it is inevitable every man must fight, — that in himself, that which leads to his own conquest. (Through the Gates of Gold 5,2)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      59-Let thy Soul lend its ear to every cry of pain like as the lotus bares its heart to drink the morning sun.
      60-Let not the fierce Sun dry one tear of pain before thyself hast wiped it from the sufferer’s eye.
      61-But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed.

      OUT of kindliness springs compassion, which is a fellow-feeling with all men; for none can share the griefs of all, save him who is kind. Compassion is an inward movement of the heart, stirred by pity for the bodily and ghostly griefs of all men. Such a man will also regard with pity the bodily needs of his neighbours, and the manifold sufferings of human nature; seeing men hungry, thirsty, cold, naked, sick, poor, and abject; the manifold oppressions of the poor, the grief caused by loss of kinsmen, friends, goods, honour, peace; all the countless sorrows which befall the nature of man. These things move the just to compassion, so that they share the sorrows of all. This work of compassion and of common neighbourly love overcomes and casts out the third mortal sin, that is hatred or Envy. For compassion is a wound in the heart, whence flows a common love to all mankind and which cannot be healed so long as any suffering lives in man; for God has ordained grief and sorrow of heart before all the virtues. (John of Ruysbroeck, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage (C.A. Wynschenk Dom, transl., Bk. I, Ch. 28)

      ***
      62-These tears, O thou of heart most merciful, these are the streams that irrigate the fields of charity immortal. ‘Tis on such soil that grows the midnight blossom of Buddha (33) more difficult to find, more rare to view than is the flower of the Vogay tree. It is the seed of freedom from rebirth. It isolates the Arhat both from strife and lust, it leads him through the fields of Being unto the peace and bliss known only in the land of Silence and Non-Being.
      (33). Adeptship — the “blossom of Bodhisattva.”
      Arhans and Sages of the boundless Vision (30) are rare as is the blossom of the Udumbara tree. Arhans are born at midnight hour, together with the sacred plant of nine and seven stalks (31), the holy flower that opes and blooms in darkness, out of the pure dew and on the frozen bed of snow-capped heights, heights that are trodden by no sinful foot. (Voice of the Silence, 172)

      (22). The Shangna robe, from Shangnavasu of Râjagriha the third great Arhat or “Patriarch” as the Orientalists call the hierarchy of the 33 Arhats who spread Buddhism. “Shangna robe” means metaphorically, the acquirement of Wisdom with which the Nirvâna of destruction (of personality) is entered. Literally, the “initiation robe” of the Neophytes. Edkins states that this “grass cloth” was brought to China from Tibet in the Tong Dynasty. “When an Arhan is born this plant is found growing in a clean spot” says the Chinese as also the Tibetan legend.

      There was never a time yet, nor ever will be, while this human race lasts, when anything more than a small minority would devote themselves to the mighty task of self-conquest and spiritual evolution. The adept is as rare as the flower of the Vogay tree, which, the Tamil proverb says, is most difficult to see. (Blavatsky, Questions About Esoteric Theosophy Answered Theosophist, August, 1882)

      Like seeing the flower of a fig tree. (rare) (A Classical Collection of Tamil Proverbs, Herman Jensen, #1423)

      Udumbara (Sk.)
      A lotus of gigantic size, sacred to Buddha: the Nila Udumbara or “blue lotus”, regarded as a supernatural omen when ever it blossoms, for it flowers but once every three thousand years. One such, it is said, burst forth before the birth of Gautama, another, near a lake at the foot of the Himalayas, in the fourteenth century, just before the birth of Tsong-kha-pa, etc., etc. The same is said of the Udumbara tree (ficus glomerata) because it flowers at intervals of long centuries, as does also a kind of cactus, which blossoms only at extra ordinary altitudes and opens at midnight. (Theosophical Glossary)

      All Buddhas come into the world
      But rarely, and are hard to meet;
      And when they appear in the world,
      It’s hard for them to speak the Dharma.
      Throughout countless ages, too,
      It’s difficult to hear this Dharma.
      And those who can hear this Dharma—
      Such people too, are rare,
      Like the udumbara flower,
      In which all take delight,
      Which the gods and humans prize,
      For it blooms but once in a long, long time.[16]
      (“Chapter Two: Expedient Devices”. Lotus Sutra. Buddhist Text Translation Society)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      63-Kill out desire; but if thou killest it take heed lest from the dead it should again arise.

      Kill out desire of life. (Light on the Path 1, 2)

      In fact, to have lost the power to wound, implies that the snake is not only scotched, but killed. When it is merely stupefied or lulled to sleep it awakes again and the disciple uses his knowledge and his power for his own ends, and is a pupil of the many masters of the black art, for the road to destruction is very broad and easy, and the way can be found blindfold. (Light on the Path Comm. 4)

      A slightest trace of desires remaining in the mind destroys discretion. (2:320). Mere memory of these sense-pleasures creates desire for them in the mind of even a detached person. Passions then arise in the mind and where there is passion there is also anger. Anger leads to thoughtlessness. Thoughtlessness leads to loss of memory and then the intellect is engulfed by the darkness of ignorance. The intellect then suffers and loses direction. Thus, the loss of memory leads to confused intellect and this in turn destroys all knowledge. In this way, even occasional memory of the sense-pleasures can lead to such downfall. Therefore, when these sense-pleasures are totally removed from the mind, anger and hate are automatically destroyed. When anger and hate are destroyed then even if the organs become engaged in the sense-pleasures they do no harm. (Jnaneshwari 2:321-332).

      64-Kill love of life, but if thou slayest tanhâ (34), let this not be for thirst of life eternal, but to replace the fleeting by the everlasting.
      (34). Tanhâ — “the will to live,” the fear of death and love for life, that force or energy which causes the rebirths.

      Tanha (Pali). The thirst for life. Desire to live and clinging to life on this earth. This clinging is that which causes rebirth or reincarnation. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Taṇhā is a Pāli word, which originates from the Vedic Sanskrit word tṛ́ṣṇā, which means “thirst, desire, wish”, from Proto-Indo-Iranian *tŕ̥šnas. It is an important concept in Buddhism, referring to “thirst, desire, longing, greed”, either physical or mental.[1][2] It is typically translated as craving,[3] and is of three types: kāma-taṇhā (craving for sensual pleasures), bhava-taṇhā (craving for existence), and vibhava-taṇhā (craving for non-existence).[4][5] Taṇhā appears in the Four Noble Truths, wherein taṇhā is the cause of dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness) and the cycle of repeated birth, becoming and death (Saṃsāra).[1][2][4]
      The third noble truth teaches that the cessation of taṇhā is possible. For example, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta states:[17] Ajahn Sucitto (2010), Kindle Locations 1341-1343
      Bhikkhus, there is a noble truth about the cessation of suffering. It is the complete fading away and cessation of this craving [tanha]; its abandonment and relinquishment; getting free from and being independent of it.
      According to the four noble truths, cessation of taṇhā can be obtained by following the Noble Eightfold Path. Within this path, contemplating the impermanent nature of all things is regarded as a specific antidote to taṇhā.

      65-Desire nothing. Chafe not at Karma, nor at Nature’s changeless laws. But struggle only with the personal, the transitory, the evanescent and the perishable.

      Who abandons all desires and lives and acts free from longing, who has no “I” or “mine” (who has extinguished his individual ego in the One and lives in that unity), he attains to the great peace. (B-G. 2 71)

      Finally: if you ask me how we understand Theosophical duty practically and in view of Karma, I may answer you that our duty is to drink without a murmur to the last drop, whatever contents the cup of life may have in store for us, to pluck the roses of life only for the fragrance they may shed on others, and to be ourselves content but with the thorns, if that fragrance cannot be enjoyed without depriving some one else of it. (Blavatsky, Key to Theosophy Sect. 12, 1)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      We’ve finished the 5th section (Stanzas 56-65) which essentially deals with the heady business of the Higher Self conquering the lower self, which in Christian mysticism is called the path of purification.
      Ere thy Soul’s mind can understand, the bud of personality must be crushed out, the worm of sense destroyed past resurrection. (57)

      There was also a brief but eloquent call to compassion.
      But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed. (61)

      The next section (stanzas 66-78) deals with gates and ladders, a kind of prelude to a description of the seven stages, which seems similar to the eightfold yoga path. Before beginning, I thought it would be good to have a look at the seven qualities of the sage from book 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, since there are many similarities with this first fragment.

      (1) Satisfaction in the Self.
      55. The Blessed Lord said: When a man expels, O Partha, all desires from the mind, and is satisfied in the self by the self, then is he called stable in intelligence.

      (2) Equanimity in pleasure and pain.
      56. He whose mind is undisturbed in the midst of sorrows and amid pleasures is free from desire, from whom liking and fear and wrath have passed away, is the sage of settled understanding.

      (3) Absence of attachment, delight and aversion.
      57. Who in all things is without affection though visited by this good or that evil and neither hates nor rejoices, his intelligence sits firmly founded in wisdom.

      (4) Complete withdrawal of senses from objects.
      58. Who draws away the senses from the objects of sense, as the tortoise draws in his limbs into the shell, his intelligence sits firmly founded in wisdom.

      (5) Devotion to the Lord.
      61. Having brought all the senses under control, he must sit firm in Yoga, wholly given up to Me; for whose senses are mastered, of him the intelligence is firmly established (in its proper seat).

      (6) The Universe, a mere dream to the Sage.
      69. That (higher being) which is to all creatures a night, is to the selfmastering sage his waking (his luminous day of true being, knowledge and power); the life of the dualities which is to them their waking (their day, their consciousness, their bright condition of activity) is a night (a troubled sleep and darkness of the soul) to the sage who sees.

      (7) Subjugation of desire and personal self.
      71. Who abandons all desires and lives and acts free from longing, who has no “I” or “mine” (who has extinguished his individual ego in the One and lives in that unity), he attains to the great peace.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Section 6 – Gates and Ladders (Stanzas 66-78)

      66-Help Nature and work on with her; and Nature will regard thee as one of her creators and make obeisance.

      Cultivate, I say, and neglect nothing. Only remember, all the while you tend and water, that you are impudently usurping the tasks of Nature herself. Having usurped her work, you must carry it through until you have reached a point when she has no power to punish you, when you are not afraid of her, but can with a bold front return her her own. (Gates of Gold 5, 2)

      They have to prove both destructive and constructive — destructive in the pernicious errors of the past, in the old creeds and superstitions which suffocate in their poisonous embrace like the Mexican weed nigh all mankind; but constructive of new institutions of a genuine, practical Brotherhood of Humanity where all will become co-workers of nature, will work for the good of mankind with and through the higher planetary Spirits — the only “Spirits” we believe in. (Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnet, 6)

      67-And she will open wide before thee the portals of her secret chambers, lay bare before thy gaze the treasures hidden in the very depths of her pure virgin bosom. Unsullied by the hand of matter she shows her treasures only to the eye of Spirit — the eye which never closes, the eye for which there is no veil in all her kingdoms.

      The outer man, the adoring, the acting, the living personification, goes its own way hand in hand with Nature, and shows all the superb strength of the savage growth of the earth, lit by that instinct which contains knowledge. For in the inmost sanctuary, in the actual temple, the man has found the subtile essence of Nature herself. (Gates of Gold 5, 3)

      68-Then will she show thee the means and way, the first gate and the second, the third, up to the very seventh. And then, the goal — beyond which lie, bathed in the sunlight of the Spirit, glories untold, unseen by any save the eye of Soul.

      In your explanatory note on this passage you quote the book of Khiu-ti, which says that “to force oneself upon the current of immortality, or rather to secure for oneself an endless series of rebirths as conscious individualities, one must become a co-worker with nature, either for good or for bad, in her work of creation and reproduction, or in that of destruction. ( [The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 2, November, 1882, pp. 28-20], CW IV, 250)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      69-There is but one road to the Path; at its very end alone the “Voice of the Silence” can be heard. The ladder by which the candidate ascends is formed of rungs of suffering and pain; these can be silenced only by the voice of virtue. Woe, then, to thee, Disciple, if there is one single vice thou hast not left behind. For then the ladder will give way and overthrow thee; its foot rests in the deep mire of thy sins and failings, and ere thou canst attempt to cross this wide abyss of matter thou hast to lave thy feet in Waters of Renunciation.

      The voice of the silence remains within him, and though he leave the path utterly, yet one day it will resound and rend him asunder and separate his passions from his divine possibilities. Then with pain and desperate cries from the deserted lower self he will return. (Light on the Path, Note 21)

      That man attains peace, who, abandoning all desires, moves about without attachment, without selfishness, without vanity. That man of renunciation, who, entirely abandoning all desires, goes through life content with the bare necessities of life, who has no attachment even for those bare necessities of life, who regards not as his even those things which are needed for the mere bodily existence, who is not vain of his knowledge,—such a man of steady knowledge, • that man who knows Brahman, attains peace, the end of all the misery of samsara (mundane existence). In short, he becomes the very Brahman. (Sankara, Commentary on the Bhagavad Gita, 2,71)

      Beware lest thou should’st set a foot still soiled upon the ladder’s lowest rung. Woe unto him who dares pollute one rung with miry feet. The foul and viscous mud will dry, become tenacious, then glue his feet unto the spot, and like a bird caught in the wily fowler’s lime, he will be stayed from further progress. His vices will take shape and drag him down. His sins will raise their voices like as the jackal’s laugh and sob after the sun goes down; his thoughts become an army, and bear him off a captive slave.

      See stanza 54 and comments on the Dweller on the Threshold.

      You were told, however, that the path to Occult Sciences has to be trodden laboriously and crossed at the danger of life; that every new step in it leading to the final goal, is surrounded by pit-falls and cruel thorns; that the pilgrim who ventures upon it is made first to confront and conquer the thousand and one furies who keep watch over its adamantine gates and entrance — furies called Doubt, Skepticism, Scorn, Ridicule, Envy and finally Temptation — especially the latter; and that he, who would see beyond had to first destroy this living wall; that he must be possessed of a heart and soul clad in steel, and of an iron, never failing determination and yet be meek and gentle, humble and have shut out from his heart every human passion, that leads to evil. (Mahatma Letter No. 62 )


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      70-Kill thy desires, Lanoo, make thy vices impotent, ere the first step is taken on the solemn journey.

      For he has conquered once for all that shifting serpent in himself which turns from side to side in its constant desire of contact, in its perpetual search after pleasure and pain. (Gates of Gold 5, 2)

      15. Dispassion is the having overcome one’s desires.
      That is — the attainment of a state of being in which the consciousness is unaffected by passions, desires, and ambitions, which aid in causing modifications of the mind. (Patanjali Yoga Sutras)

      71-Strangle thy sins, and make them dumb for ever, before thou dost lift one foot to mount the ladder.
      72-Silence thy thoughts and fix thy whole attention on thy Master whom yet thou dost not see, but whom thou feelest.

      “From the very day when the first mystic found the means of communication between this world and the worlds of the invisible host, between the sphere of matter and that of pure spirit, he concluded that to abandon this mysterious science to the profanation of the rabble was to lose it. An abuse of it might lead mankind to speedy destruction; it was like surrounding a group of children with explosive batteries, and furnishing them with matches. The first self-made adept initiated but a select few, and kept silence with the multitudes. He recognized his God and felt the great Being within himself. The “Atman,” the Self,** the mighty Lord and Protector, once that man knew him as the “I am,” the “Ego Sum,” the “Ahmi,” showed his full power to him who could recognize the “still small voice.” From the days of the primitive man described by the first Vedic poet, down to our modern age, there has not been a philosopher worthy of that name, who did not carry in the silent sanctuary of his heart the grand and mysterious truth. If initiated, he learnt it as a sacred science; if otherwise, then, like Socrates repeating to himself, as well as to his fellow-men, the noble injunction, “O man, know thyself,” he succeeded in recognizing his God within himself. “Ye are gods,” the king-psalmist tells us, and we find Jesus reminding the scribes that the expression, “Ye are gods,” was addressed to other mortal men, claiming for himself the same privilege without any blasphemy.* And, as a faithful echo, Paul, while asserting that we are all “the temple of the living God,”** cautiously adds, that after all these things are only for the “wise,” and it is “unlawful” to speak of them.” (Isis Unveiled II, pp.317-18)

      The closer the approach to one’s Prototype, “in Heaven,” the better for the mortal whose personality was chosen, by his own personal deity (the seventh principle), as its terrestrial abode. For, with every effort of will toward purification and unity with that “Self-god,” one of the lower rays breaks and the spiritual entity of man is drawn higher and ever higher to the ray that supersedes the first, until, from ray to ray, the inner man is drawn into the one and highest beam of the Parent-SUN. (SDI, 638)

      “I never gave myself out for a full-blown occultist, but only for a student of Occultism for the last thirty-five or forty years. Yet I am enough of an occultist to know that before we find the Master within our own hearts and seventh principle – we need an outside Master. As the Chinese Alchemist says, speaking of the necessity of a living teacher: “Every one seeks long life (spiritual), but the secret is not easy to find. If you covet the precious things of Heaven you must reject the treasures of the earth. You must kindle the fire that springs from the water and evolve the Om contained within the Tong: One word from a wise Master and you possess a draught of the golden water.”(HPB letter to Hartmann, 5)

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      This is actually two posts merged into one; since I tend to add complementary texts, hence less stanzas, so I figured it would be good to maintain a pace of at least one stanza a day (although we made the 10 stanza quota this – I plan on posting roughly six stanzas per week, because I realized that I have too much material to fit in 10 stanzas per week). Have a great weekend.

      73-Merge into one sense thy senses, if thou would’st be secure against the foe. ‘Tis by that sense alone which lies concealed within the hollow of thy brain, that the steep path which leadeth to thy Master may be disclosed before thy Soul’s dim eyes.

      Now, this ethereal body has its own organs which are the essence or real basis of the senses described by men. The outer eye is only the instrument by which the real power of sight experiences that which relates to sight; the ear has its inner master — the power of hearing, and so on with every organ. These real powers within flow from the spirit to which we referred at the beginning of this paper. That spirit approaches the objects of sense by presiding over the different organs of sense. And whenever it withdraws itself the organs cannot be used. As when a sleep-walker moves about with open eyes which do not see anything, although objects are there and the different parts of the eye are perfectly normal and uninjured. CULTURE OF CONCENTRATION — William Q. Judge Path, July, 1888

      For which cause Aristotle affirmeth in his Metaphysics that there is properly but one sense, and but one sensory ;he, by this one sensory, meaning the spirit, or subtile airy body, in which the sensitive power doth all of it, though the whole, immediately apprehend all variety of sensibles. (Philopponus in Mead, Orpheus, 279)

      74-Long and weary is the way before thee, O Disciple. One single thought about the past that thou hast left behind, will drag thee down and thou wilt have to start the climb anew.
      75-Kill in thyself all memory of past experiences. Look not behind or thou art lost.
      76-Do not believe that lust can ever be killed out if gratified or satiated, for this is an abomination inspired by Mara.

      It is by feeding vice that it expands and waxes strong, like to the worm that fattens on the blossom’s heart.
      There is a road, steep and thorny, beset with perils of every kind,
      but yet a road, and it leads to the very heart of the Universe:
      I can tell you how to find those who will show you
      the secret gateway that opens inward only,
      and closes fast behind the neophyte for evermore.
      There is no danger that dauntless courage cannot conquer;
      there is no trial that spotless purity cannot pass through;
      there is no difficulty that strong intellect cannot surmount.
      For those who win onwards there is a reward past all telling
      the power to bless and save humanity;
      for those who fail, there are other lives in which success may come.
      Blavatsky CW,XIII, p. 219 (The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 10, July, 1883, pp. 10-11)

      77-The rose must re-become the bud born of its parent stem, before the parasite has eaten through its heart and drunk its life-sap.

      21. Look for the flower to bloom in the silence that follows the storm: not till then.
      It shall grow, it will shoot up, it will make branches and leaves and form buds, while the storm continues, while the battle lasts. But not till the whole personality of the man is dissolved and melted — not until it is held by the divine fragment which has created it, as a mere subject for grave experiment and experience — not until the whole nature has yielded and become subject unto its higher self, can the bloom open. Then will come a calm such as comes in a tropical country after the heavy rain, when Nature works so swiftly that one may see her action. Such a calm will come to the harassed spirit. And in the deep silence the mysterious event will occur which will prove that the way has been found. Call it by what name you will, it is a voice that speaks where there is none to speak — it is a messenger that comes, a messenger without form or substance; or it is the flower of the soul that has opened. It cannot be described by any metaphor. But it can be felt after, looked for, and desired, even amid the raging of the storm. The silence may last a moment of time or it may last a thousand years. But it will end. Yet you will carry its strength with you. Again and again the battle must be fought and won. It is only for an interval that Nature can be still. (Light on the Path 1, 21)

      78-The golden tree puts forth its jewel-buds before its trunk is withered by the storm.

      The soul must be unfettered, the desires free. But until they are fixed only on that state wherein there is neither reward nor punishment, good nor evil, it is in vain that he endeavors. He may seem to make great progress, but some day he will come face to face with his own soul, and will recognize that when he came to the tree of knowledge he chose the bitter fruit and not the sweet; and then the veil will fall utterly, and he will give up his freedom and become a slave of desire. Therefore be warned, you who are but turning toward the life of occultism. Learn now that there is no cure for desire, no cure for the love of reward, no cure for the misery of longing, save in the fixing of the sight and hearing upon that which is invisible and soundless. Begin even now to practice it, and so a thousand serpents will be kept from your path. Live in the eternal. (Light on the Path, Karma)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      The next section, the seventh (stanzas 79-92) is quite difficult, the text skips and jumps somewhat and there are technical descriptions that resemble Ashtanga Yoga, but are rather cryptic. And since this fragment is more on the Hinduistic side, it could be useful to present a passage from an early esoteric discussion of Sankara’s Four Qualifications from Man, Fragments of a Forgotten History, Laura Holloway & Mohini Chatterji (1885) from a chapter full of interest in regards to the esoteric path. http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/man-fragments/13_occult.htm

      1- Discrimination between the eternal and non-eternal (Viveka)
      2- Detachment from the enjoyment of the fruits of action (Vairaga)
      3- The virtues (Samadi Guna)
      a- Peace Tranquility(Sama)
      b- Self-Control (Dama)
      c- Self-Withdrawal (Uparatti)
      d- Forebearance (Titiksha)
      e- Faith (Sraddha)
      f- One-pointedness (Samadhana)
      4- Intense Longing for Liberation (Mumuksutva)

      The second “accomplishment” marks the next step on the path, and is the permanent effect produced on the mind by the theoretical knowledge which forms the preceding accomplishment. When the neophyte has once grasped the illusive character of the objects around him, he ceases to crave for them; and is thus prepared to acquire the second accomplishment, which is a perfect indifference to the enjoyment of the fruit of one’s actions, both here and hereafter.
      Exoteric students fall into a grievous error by their failure to catch the true spirit of the injunction against acting under the impulse of desire. They erroneously suppose that the best preparation for spiritual life is to forcibly repress all outward expression of desire, entirely losing sight of the fact that even the most rigid abstinence from physical acts does not produce inactivity on the higher planes of spiritual or mental existence. Sankaracharya, in his commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita — one of the most authoritative of the Brahmanical sacred writings — says that such a conclusion is simply delusive. A hasty supposition might here be made that these considerations will have the effect of sanctioning persistence in evil; but when the desire for improvement is constantly present in the mind, and the character of the evil thoroughly realized, each failure to harmonise the inward with the outward nature will, by the revulsion of feeling thus produced, strengthen the determination to such an extent that the evil desire will be speedily crushed. This is why Eliphas Levi so vehemently denounces the institution of forced celibacy among the Romish priests. The personality of a man at any one moment is the result of all his previous acts, thoughts, and emotions, the energy of which constantly inclines the mind to act in a particular way. All attempts, therefore, to cure this mental bias by repressing its expression on the outer plane is as hurtful as to throw back into the circulation unhealthy blood seeking a natural outlet. The internal desire is always forging fresh links in the chain of material existence, even though denied outward manifestation. The only way to free oneself from the bonds of Karma, producing birth and death, is to let the store-up energy exhaust itself merely as a portion of the great cosmic energy, and not to colour it with personality by referring it to self. The Bhagavad Gita itself speaks on this subject with no uncertain sound. The great Teacher Krishna reproves his pupil Arjuna for having expressed a disinclination to perform the duties pertaining to his sphere of life. The reason is perfectly plain: in reference to the great reality everything of this world is unreal; therefore, to renounce the duties entailed upon us by our birth for something equally unreal, only accentuates the ignorance which makes the unreal appear as the real. The wisest course, suggested by Krishna, is that Arjuna should perform all his duties, unselfishly. “Thy right is only to the act”, says the Teacher; “it ends with the performance of the act, and never extends to the result.” We must perform our duty for its own sake, and never allow the mind to dwell on the fruit of our actions, either with pleasure or with pain. Purified from the taint of selfishness, the act passes by, like water over the lotus-leaf, without wetting it. But if the act is done as a means to the attainment of a personal end, the mind acquires a tendency to repeat the act, and thus necessitates further incarnations to exhaust that tendency.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      79- The pupil must regain the child-state he has lost ‘ere the first sound can fall upon his ear.

      2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4 New King James Version (NKJV))


      80- The light from the ONE Master, the one unfading golden light of Spirit, shoots its effulgent beams on the disciple from the very first. Its rays thread through the thick dark clouds of matter.

      THE HIGHER SELF is Atma the inseparable ray of the Universal and ONE SELF. It is the God above, more than within, us. Happy the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it! (Key to Theosophy 176)

      81- Now here, now there, these rays illumine it, like sun-sparks light the earth through the thick foliage of the jungle growth. But, O Disciple, unless the flesh is passive, head cool, the soul as firm and pure as flaming diamond, the radiance will not reach the chamber (23), its sunlight will not warm the heart, nor will the mystic sounds of the Âkâśic heights (35) reach the ear, however eager, at the initial stage.
      (35). These mystic sounds or the melody heard by the ascetic at the beginning of his cycle of meditation called Anâhata-śabda by the Yogis.

      Akâsa (Sk.). The subtle, supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space; the primordial substance erroneously identified with Ether. But it is to Ether what Spirit is to Matter, or Âtmâ to Kâma-rûpa. It is, in fact, the Universal Space in which lies inherent the eternal Ideation of the Universe in its ever-changing aspects on the planes of matter and objectivity, and from which radiates the First Logos, or expressed thought. This is why it is stated in the Purânas that Âkâsa has but one attribute, namely sound, for sound is but the translated symbol of Logos—“Speech” in its mystic sense. In the same sacrifice (the Jyotishtoma Agnishtoma) it is called the “God Âkâsa”. In these sacrificial mysteries Âkâsa is the all-directing ‘and omnipotent Deva who plays the part of Sadasya, the superintendent over the magical effects of the religious performance, and it had its own appointed Hotri (priest) in days of old, who took its name. The Âkâsa is the indispensable agent of every Krityâ (magical performance) religious or profane. The expression “to stir up the Brahmâ”, means to stir up the power which lies latent at the bottom of every magical operation, Vedic sacrifices being in fact nothing if not ceremonial magic. This power is the Âkâsa—in another aspect, Kundalini—occult electricity, the alkahest of the alchemists in one sense, or the universal solvent, the same anima mundi on the higher plane as the astral light is on the lower. “At the moment of the sacrifice the priest becomes imbued with the spirit of Brahmâ, is, for the time being, Brahmâ himself”. (Isis Unveiled). (Theosophical Glossary)

      Anahata sounds (or the melody) are the mystic sounds heard by the Yogi at the beginning of his cycle of meditation. This subject is termed Nada-Anusandhana or an enquiry into the mystic sounds. This is a sign of purification of the Nadis or astral currents, due to Pranayama. The sounds can also be heard after the uttering of the Ajapa Gayatri Mantra, “Hamsah Soham,” a lakh of times. The sounds are heard through the right ear with or without closing the ears. The sounds are distinct when heard through closed ears. The ears can be closed by introducing the two thumbs into the ears through the process of Yoni Mudra. Sit in Padma or Siddha Asana, close the ears with right and left thumbs, and hear the sounds very attentively. Occasionally, you can hear the sounds through the left ear also. Practise to hear from the right ear only. Why do you hear through the right ear only or hear distinctly through the right ear? Because of the solar Nadi (Pingala) which is on the right side of the nose. The Anahata sound is also called Omkara Dhvani. It is due to the vibration of Prana in the heart. http://sivanandaonline.org/public_html/?cmd=displaysection&section_id=1721

      It is, the God Sabda Bramham called also Kala Bramham Gouri— one of the mystic names for Akasa, which gives rise to occult sound— the initiates say. And the ancient Greek mystics, equally with the Western occultists and the adept Bramhans, agreed all in teaching that sound emanated from the Astral Light, or Akasa ,in its purest essence. The Hindu occultist, or devotee, while practising Raja Yoga, hears the occult sounds as emanating from his own Moola Adharam— the first of the series of six centres of force in the human body (fed at the inexhaustible source of the seventh or the Unity, as the sum total of all) and knows that it emanates from there, and from nowhere else. But, before our correspondent can realise fully our meaning, he will have to learn the important difference between A tral Fire and Astral Light. (Blavatsky (note) ‘’Tharana’’ or Mesmerism, N. Chidambaram Iyer, The Theosophist,v.3, n.35, Aug. 1882, 269)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras list the Ashtanga or eight-branch system of Yoga, which is progressive:
      · Yama – the five restraints or the “don’ts”
      o Ahimsa – Non-violence
      o Satya – Truthfulness
      o Brahmacharya – Control of the senses and celibacy
      o Asteya – Non-stealing
      o Aparigraha – Non-covetousness and non-acceptance of gifts
      · Niyama – the five observances or the “do’s”
      o Saucha – Purity, cleanliness
      o Santosha – Contentment
      o Tapas – Austerity
      o Swadhyaya – Self-study, study of scriptures
      o Ishwara Pranidhana – Surrender to God’s will
      · Asana – Steady posture
      · Pranayama – Control of prana or life force
      · Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses
      · Dharana – Concentration
      · Dhyana – Meditation
      · Samadhi – Super-conscious state

      Râja-Yoga (Sk.). The true system of developing psychic and spiritual powers and union with one’s Higher Self—or the Supreme Spirit, as the profane express it. The exercise, regulation and concentration of thought. Râja-Yoga is opposed to Hatha-Yoga, the physical or psycho physiological training in asceticism.

      These stanzas seem to refer to a kind of Pratyahara. Yama and Niyama were perhaps contained in earlier sections. Since Hatha Yoga is not encouraged, probably Asana and Pranayama are not included. See Pranayama and Raja Yoga:
      Pranayama and Raja Yoga

      82- Unless thou hearest, thou canst not see.
      83- Unless thou seest thou canst not hear. To hear and see this is the second stage.

      This could be a reference to synesthesia – where sounds have colors, and colors have sounds.

      5. Listen to the song of life
      Note on Rule 5. — Look for it and listen to it first in your own heart. At first you may say it is not there; when I search I find only discord. Look deeper. If again you are disappointed, pause and look deeper again. There is a natural melody, an obscure fount in every human heart. It may be hidden over and utterly concealed and silenced — but it is there. At the very base of your nature you will find faith, hope, and love. He that chooses evil refuses to look within himself, shuts his ears to the melody of his heart, as he blinds his eyes to the light of his soul. He does this because he finds it easier to live in desires. But underneath all life is the strong current that cannot be checked; the great waters are there in reality. Find them, and you will perceive that none, not the most wretched of creatures, but is a part of it, however he blind himself to the fact and build up for himself a phantasmal outer form of horror. In that sense it is that I say to you — All those beings among whom you struggle on are fragments of the Divine. And so deceptive is the illusion in which you live, that it is hard to guess where you will first detect the sweet voice in the hearts of others. But know that it is certainly within yourself. Look for it there, and once having heard it, you will more readily recognize it around you. (Light on the Path, 2,5, note)

      As the eyes are the windows of the soul, so are the ears its gateways or doors. Through them comes knowledge of the confusion of the world. The great ones who have conquered life, who have become more than disciples, stand at peace and undisturbed amid the vibration and kaleidoscopic movement of humanity. (Light on the Path, Comment 2)

      To have acquired the astral senses of sight and hearing; or in other words to have attained perception and opened the doors of the soul, are gigantic tasks and may take the sacrifice of many successive incarnations. And yet, when the will has reached its strength, the whole miracle may be worked in a second of time. Then is the disciple the servant of Time no longer.
      These two first steps are negative; that is to say they imply retreat from a present condition of things rather than advance towards another. The two next are active, implying the advance into another state of being. (Light on the Path, Comment 2)
      . . . . . . . . .
      I take this dotted line to indicate that text for the third stage has been omitted. I suspect there are other gaps in various spots.

      84- When the disciple sees and hears, and when he smells and tastes, eyes closed, ears shut, with mouth and nostrils stopped; when the four senses blend and ready are to pass into the fifth, that of the inner touch — then into stage the fourth he hath passed on.
      See stanza 73

      Having obtained the use of the inner senses, having conquered the desires of the outer senses, having conquered the desires of the individual soul, and having obtained knowledge, prepare now, O disciple, to enter upon the way in reality. The path is found: make yourself ready to tread it. (Light on the Path, 2,14)

      80. Contemplation on [the space between] the eyebrows, in my view, leads to the attainment of the Unmani Avastha in a short time. Even for people of a modest intellect, this is a suitable means for attaining the state of Raja Yoga. The state of absorption arising from Nada gives immediate experience.
      81. In the hearts of great Yogins who remain in a state of Samadhi through concentration on Nada, there is a plenitude of Bliss, unequaled, surpassing all description, and which the blessed Teacher (Shri Gurunatha) alone knows.
      82. The contemplative man (Muni), having closed his ears with the [thumbs of the] hands, should focus his mind on the [mystical] sound [that is heard within] until he attains the immutable (Turya) (Hatha Yoga Pradipika 4, 80-82)


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      Saith the Great Law:—“In order to become the knower of ALL SELF,9 thou hast first of self to be the knower.” To reach the knowledge of that self, thou hast to give up Self to Non-Self, Being to Non-Being, and then thou canst repose between the wings of the GREAT BIRD. Aye, sweet is rest between the wings of that which is not born, nor dies, but is the AUM10 throughout eternal ages.

      Book 1 The Voice of the Silence


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      85- And in the fifth, O slayer of thy thoughts, all these again have to be killed beyond reanimation (36).
      (36). This means that in the sixth stage of development which, in the occult system is Dhâranâ, every sense as an individual faculty has to be “killed” (or paralyzed) on this plane, passing into and merging with the Seventh sense, the most spiritual.

      86- Withhold thy mind from all external objects, all external sights. Withhold internal images, lest on thy Soul-light a dark shadow they should cast.

      It is by ranging over the objects with the senses, but with senses subject to the self, freed from liking and disliking, that one gets into a large and sweet clearness of soul and temperament in which passion and grief find no place; the intelligence of such a man is rapidly established (in its proper seat). (Bhagavad Gita, 2, 64-65.)

      People get trapped by the sense organs (Note: The five sense organs are: Eyes, ears, tongue, nose and skin) and when they experience the feelings like hot and cold etc., they get subjected to the feelings of pleasure and pain. Nature of the sense organs is such that it makes them feel there is nothing better than sensual pleasures of the body and mind. And these sense objects are impermanent like a mirage. Therefore you should not keep their company.
      Pleasure and pain do not touch a person who is not influenced by these sense objects, nor has he to go through rebirth. Keep in mind that he who is not trapped by the sense objects is totally indestructible. (Jnaneshvari, 2:119-124).

      87- Thou art now in DHÂRANÂ (37), the sixth stage.

      (37). See stanza 2.

      Patajali’s Yoga Sutras BOOK 3 (W. Q. Judge Commentary)
      1. Fixing the mind on a place, object, or subject is attention.
      This is called Dharana.
      2. The continuance of this attention is contemplation.
      This is called Dhyana.
      3. This contemplation, when it is practised only in respect to a material subject or object of sense, is meditation.
      This is called Samadhi.
      4. When this fixedness of attention, contemplation, and meditation are practised with respect to one object, they together constitute what is called Sanyama.
      We have no word in English corresponding to Sanyama. The translators have used the word restraint, but this is inadequate and misleading, although it is a correct translation. When a Hindu says that an ascetic is practising restraint according to this system in respect to any object, he means that he is performing Sanyama, while in English it may indicate that he is restraining himself from some particular thing or act, and this is not the meaning of Sanyama. We have used the language of the text, but the idea may perhaps be better conveyed by “perfect concentration.”
      5. By rendering Sanyama — or the operation of fixed attention, contemplation, and meditation — natural and easy, an accurate discerning power is developed.
      This “discerning power” is a distinct faculty which this practice alone develops, and is not possessed by ordinary persons who have not pursued concentration.
      6. Sanyama is to be used in proceeding step by step in overcoming all modifications of the mind, from the more apparent to those the most subtle.
      [See note to Aphorism 2, Book I.] The student is to know that after he has overcome the afflictions and obstructions described in the preceding books, there are other modifications of a recondite character suffered by the mind, which are to be got rid of by means of Sanyama. When he has reached that stage the difficulties will reveal themselves to him.
      7. The three practices — attention, contemplation, and meditation — are more efficacious for the attainment of that kind of meditation called, “that in which there is distinct cognition,” than the first five means heretofore described as “not killing, veracity, not stealing, continence, and not coveting.”
      See Aphorism 17, Book I.
      8. Attention, contemplation, and meditation are anterior to and not immediately productive of that kind of meditation in which the distinct cognition of the object is lost, which is called meditation without a seed.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      88- When thou hast passed into the seventh, O happy one, thou shalt perceive no more the sacred three (38), for thou shalt have become that three thyself. Thyself and mind, like twins upon a line, the star which is thy goal, burns overhead (39). The three that dwell in glory and in bliss ineffable, now in the world of Mâyâ have lost their names. They have become one star, the fire that burns but scorches not, that fire which is the Upâdhi (40) of the Flame.
      (38). Every stage of development in Râja Yoga is symbolised by a geometrical figure. This one is the sacred Triangle and precedes Dhâranâ. The [triangle] is the sign of the high chelas, while another kind of triangle is that of high Initiates. It is the symbol “I” discoursed upon by Buddha and used by him as a symbol of the embodied form of Tathâgata when released from the three methods of the Prajñâ. Once the preliminary and lower stages passed, the disciple sees no more the [triangle] but the — the abbreviation of the —, the full Septenary. Its true form is not given here, as it is almost sure to be pounced upon by some charlatans and — desecrated in its use for fraudulent purposes.
      (39). The star that burns overhead is the “the star of initiation.” The caste-mark of Śaivas, or devotees of the sect of Śiva, the great patron of all Yogins, is a black round spot, the symbol of the Sun now, perhaps, but that of the star of initiation, in Occultism, in days of old.
      (40). The basis (upâdhi) of the ever unreachable “flame,” so long as the ascetic is still in this life.

      I’m not quite sure what the star of initiation is exactly, but below are some possibilities:
      “The star under which a human Entity is born, says the Occult teaching, will remain forever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara. But this is not his astrological star. The latter is concerned and connected with the personality, the former with the INDIVIDUALITY. The ‘Angel’ of the Star, or the Dhyani-Buddha, will be either the guiding or simply the presiding ‘Angel’, so to say, in every new rebirth of the monad, which is part of his own essence, though his vehicle, man, may remain forever ignorant of this fact. The Adepts have each their Dhyani-Buddha, their elder ‘twin-Soul’, [6] and they know it, calling it ‘Father-Soul’ and ‘Father-Fire’. It is only at the last and supreme initiation, however, that they learn it when placed face to face with the bright ‘Image’. How much has Bulwer-Lytton known of this mystic fact when describing, in one of his highest inspirational moods, Zanoni face to face with his Augoeides?” (SD I, 572)

      “And this ‘true and perfect Serpent’ is the seven-lettered God who is now credited with being Jehovah, and Jesus One with him. To this Seven-vowelled god the candidate for initiation is sent by Christos, in the Pistis Sophia, a work earlier than St. John’s Revelation, and evidently of the same school. … … These seven vowels are represented by the Swastika signs on the crowns of the seven heads of the Serpent of Eternity, in India, among esoteric Buddhists, in Egypt, in Chaldea, etc., etc., and among the Initiates of every other country. … The seven-headed serpent has more than one signification in the Arcane teachings. It is the seven-headed Draco, each of whose heads is a star of the Lesser Bear; but it was also, and pre-eminently, the Serpent of Darkness (i.e., inconceivable and incomprehensible) whose seven heads were the seven Logoi, the reflections of the one and first manifested Light – the universal Logos.”[37] (SD I, 410-411)

      Sirius (Gr.). In Egyptian, Sothis. The dog-star: the star worshipped in Egypt and reverenced by the Occultists; by the former because its heliacal rising with the Sun was a sign of the beneficent inundation of the Nile, and by the latter because it is mysteriously associated with Thoth-Hermes, god of wisdom, and Mercury, in another form. Thus Sothis-Sirius had, and still has, a mystic and direct influence over the whole living heaven, and is connected with almost every god and goddess. It was “Isis in the heaven ” and called Isis-Sothis, for Isis was “in the constellation of the dog ”, as is declared on her monuments. “The soul of Osiris was believed to reside in a personage who walks with great steps in front of Sothis, sceptre in hand and a whip upon his shoulder.” Sirius is also Anuhis, and is directly connected with the ring“Pass me not” ; it is, moreover, identical with Mithra, the Persian Mystery god, and with Horus and even Hathor, called sometimes the goddess Sothis. Being connected with the Pyramid, Sirius was, therefore, connected with the initiations which took place in it. A temple to Sirius-Sothis once existed within the great temple of Denderah. To sum up, all religions are not, as Dufeu, the French Egyptologist, sought to prove, derived from Sirius, the dog-star, but Sirius-Sothis is certainly found in connection with every religion of antiquity. (Theosophical Glossary)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      89- And this, O Yogi of success, is what men call Dhyâna (41), the right precursor of Samâdhi (42).
      (41). Dhyâna is the last stage before the final on this Earth unless one becomes a full mahatma. As said already in this state the Râja Yogi is yet spiritually conscious of Self, and the working of his higher principles. One step more, and he will be on the plane beyond the Seventh (or fourth according to some schools). These, after the practice of Pratyâhâra — a preliminary training, in order to control one’s mind and thoughts — count Dhâranâ, Dhyâna and Samâdhi and embraces the three under the generic name of Samyama.
      (42). Samâdhi is the state in which the ascetic loses the consciousness of every individuality including his own. He becomes — the All.

      Dhyâna
      (Sk.). In Buddhism one of the six Paramitas or perfections, a state of abstraction which carries the ascetic practising it far above this plane of sensuous perception and out of the world of matter.
      Lit., “contemplation”. The six stages of Dhyan differ only in the degrees of abstraction of the personal Ego from sensuous life.

      Samâdhi
      (Sk.). A state of ecstatic and complete trance. The term comes from the words Sam-âdha, “self-possession ”. He who possesses this power is able to exercise an absolute control over all his faculties, physical or mental; it is the highest state of Yoga.

      Samâdhindriya (Sk.). Lit., “the root of concentration”; the fourth of the five roots called Pancha Indriyâni, which are said in esoteric philosophy to be the agents in producing a highly moral life, leading to sanctity and liberation ; when these are reached, the two spiritual roots lying latent in the body (Atmâ and Buddhi) will send out shoots and blossom. Samâdhindriya is the organ of ecstatic meditation in Râj-yoga practices.

      Indriya or Deha Sanyama
      (Sk.). The control of the senses in Yoga practice. These are the ten external agents; the five senses which are used for perception are called Jnana-indriya, and the five used for action—Karma-indriya. Pancha-indryani means literally and in its occult sense “the live roots producing life”(eternal). With the Buddhists, it is the five positive agents producing five supernal qualities. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Blavatsky commented much on an interesting western study of yoga, since she alludes to a trance state in regards to Samadhi, below are some extracts on trance states, which Blavatsky approves.
      Commentary on A Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy, Dr. N. C. Paul, G.B., M.C., 1850. (Theosophist, September, 1880)

      Comment.—This is more like the real Raja-Yoga, and is the true scientific one.—Ed. Theos.

      Both these faqirs were Hatha Yogis. They practised the Khechari Mudra, successfully, and thereby acquired the power of abstinence from air, water, and food, for a long time.
      2. — Bhuchari Mudra. — This consists in directing the sight to the point of the nose, while seated in the posture called Padmasana. Both the Khechari and Bhuchari mudras produce self-trance in a short time.
      3, — Cachari Mudra. To practise this mudra the sight is fixed on a point three inches in front of the eyes. In this mudra the sight should be direct, and fixed for a long time. When the Yogi is fatigued, he turns his eyes to the point of the nose, and then to the part between the eyebrows, until self-trance is effected.
      4. — Agochari Mudra. — This is the method of producing self-trance through the function of hearing. A Yogi who practises this mudra, plugs the ears with balls of waxed cotton, and listens to the sounds of the left ear with the right ear, bending the head a little laterally, towards the right shoulder, until self-trance is effected.
      5 — Unamani Mudra. — This is the method of suspending the breath, by shutting all the outlets of the body, after a deep inspiration. A Yogi who practises this mudra, successfully, is said to be able to recall the soul, to awaken it, and enjoy heavenly felicity. He needs not prayers nor hymns. He becomes self-tranced.

      Commentary on A Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      90- And now thy Self is lost in SELF, thyself unto THYSELF, merged in THAT SELF from which thou first didst radiate.

      ‘The “Master” in the Sanctuary of our souls is “the Higher Self” – the divine spirit whose consciousness is based upon and derived solely (at any rate during the mortal life of the man in whom it is captive) from the Mind, which we have agreed to call the Human Soul (the “Spiritual Soul” being the vehicle of the Spirit). In its turn the former (the personal or human soul) is a compound in its highest form, of spiritual aspirations, volitions, and divine love; and in its lower aspect, of animal desires and terrestrial passions imparted to it by its associations with its vehicle, the seat of all these. It thus stands as a link and a medium between the animal nature of man which its higher reason seeks to subdue, and his divine spiritual nature to which it gravitates, whenever it has the upper hand in its struggle with the inner animal … It is only when the power of the passions is dead altogether, and when they have been crushed and annihilated in the retort of an unflinching will; when not only all the lusts and longings of the flesh are dead, but also the recognition of the personal Self is killed out and the “astral” has been reduced in consequence to a cipher, that the Union with the “Higher Self” can take place. Then when the “Astral” reflects only the conquered man, the still living but no more the longing, selfish personality, then the brilliant Augoeides, the divine SELF, can vibrate in conscious harmony with both the poles of the human Entity – the man of matter purified, and the ever pure Spiritual Soul – and stand in the presence of the MASTER SELF, the Christos of the mystic Gnostic, blended, merged into, and one with IT for ever’. (Blavatsky ; Practical Occultism, CW 9 255-7)

      91- Where is thy individuality, Lanoo, where the Lanoo himself? It is the spark lost in the fire, the drop within the ocean, the ever-present Ray become the all and the eternal radiance.

      That is to say, that from the point of view of a disciple the divine principle Âtma-Buddhi is later in respect of time, for union therewith is not attained till the end of the Path is reached. Yet this spark of the divine Fire was before the personality of the neophyte, for it is eternal and in all men, though not manifested. (SD I 490)

      9. This Light is the One Reality which illuminates every man that cometh into the world.
      That is to say, we all have a spark of the Divine Essence within us. (Cw 11 488 Commentary on Gospel of John)

      That is that “Spark” which “hangs from the flame?” It is JIVA, the MONAD in conjunction with MANAS, or rather its aroma — that which remains from each personality, when worthy, and hangs from Atma-Buddhi, the Flame, by the thread of life. In whatever way interpreted, and into whatever number of principles the human being is divided, it may easily be shown that this doctrine is supported by all the ancientreligions, from the Vedic to the Egyptian, from the Zoroastrian to the Jewish. In the case of the last-mentioned, the Kabalistic works offer abundant proof of this statement. The entire system of the Kabalistic numerals is based on the divine septenary hanging from the Triad (thus forming the Decade) and its permutations 7, 5, 4, and 3, which, finally, all merge into the ONE itself: an endless and boundless Circle. Sd 1 238-39

      6. The root of life was in every drop of the ocean of immortality (Amrita)* and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire and heat and motion. (STANZA III. — Sd 1 69)

      We all regard ourselves as Units, although essentially we are one indivisible Unit, drops in the ocean of Being, not to be distinguished from other drops. (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge) (cw 10 326-327)

      Man needs four flames and three fires to become one on Earth, and he requires the essence of the forty-nine fires § to be perfect. (§ The “Three Fires,” Pavaka, Pavamâna, and Suchi, who had forty-five sons, who, with their three fathers and their Father Agni, constitute the 49 fires. Pavamâna (fire produced by friction) is the parent of the fire of the Asuras; Suchi (Solar fire) is the parent of the fire of the gods; and Pavaka (electric fire) is the father of the fire of the Pitris (See Vâyu Purâna.) But this is an explanation on the material and the terrestrial plane. The flames are evanescent and only periodical; the fires—eternal in their triple unity. They correspond to the four lower, and the three higher human principles. (SD2, 57)

      92- And now, Lanoo, thou art the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, Light in the Sound, and the Sound in the Light.

      The seven prismatic colors are direct emanations from the Seven Hierarchies of Being, each of which has a direct bearing upon and relation to one of the human principles, since each of these Hierarchies is, in fact, the creator and source of the corresponding human principle. Each prismatic color is called in Occultism the “Father of the Sound” which corresponds to it; sound being the Word, or the Logos, of its Father-Thought. This is the reason why sensitives connect every color with a definite sound, a fact well recognized in modern science (e.g., Francis Galton’s Nature and Nurture*). But black and white are entirely negative colors, and have no representatives in the world of subjective being. (Cw 12 549)

      . . . “And no name is more excellent than all these (seven) vowels. A name wherein be contained all names, all Lights, and all (the forty-nine) powers, knowing it, if a man quits this body of matter† no smoke (i.e., no theological delusion),‡ no darkness, nor Ruler of the Sphere (no personal genius or planetary spirit called God), or of Fate (karma) shall be able to hold back the soul that knoweth that name. . . If he shall utter that (Name) unto the fire, the darkness shall flee away. . . And if he shall utter that name unto. . . . all their Powers, nay, even unto Barbelo,* the Invisible God, and the triple-powered Gods, so soon as he shall have uttered that name in those places, they shall all be shaken and thrown one upon the other, so that they shall be ready to melt, perish and disappear, and shall cry aloud, ‘O, Light of all Lights that art in the Boundless Light, remember us also and purify us!’ ”
      It is easy to see who this Light and Name are: the light of Initiation and the name of the “Fire-Self,” which is no name, no action, but a Spiritual, ever-living Power, higher even than the “Invisible God,” as this Power is Itself. ( SD2, 2, XXIII. The Upanishads in Gnostic Literature 569-570)

      • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Mark Casady.

      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        The seventh section (stanzas 82-92) is completed. A kind of sevenfold Raja Yoga system is outlined, similar to the Eightfold yoga system, beginning with the Pratyahara stage, where a process of merging the five inner senses is explained. The next three stages correspond to the to three Sanyama practices. Upon achieving accomplishment in Samadhi, one becomes ‘’the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, Light in the Sound, and the Sound in the Light’’. Below is a chart outline:
        1- Hearing (Pratyahara – 1-5)
        2- Seeing
        3- Smelling
        4- Tasting
        5- Touching
        6- Dharana
        7- Dhyana
        Samadhi

        The emphasis on the last four stages of the eightfold Yoga path is consistent with the priority of Raja Yoga practices over Hatha Yoga practices.

        Sankara’s Aparokshanubhuti has many good notions of an esoteric Raja Yoga. Note that he allows Hatha Yoga for those not ready for the more abstract level:
        119-120. The negation of the phenomenal world is known as rechaka [breathing out], the thought, “I am verily Reality”, is called puraka [breathing in], and the steadiness of that thought thereafter is called kumbhaka [restraining the breath]. This is the real course of pranayama for the enlightened, whereas the ignorant only torture the nose.
        143. Thus has been described Raja Yoga consisting of these steps mentioned above. With this is to be combined Hatha Yoga for the benefit of those whose worldly desires are partially attenuated.
        It would be useful to also have some knowledge of the Pancha Indriyas (from Charaka Samhita Sutrastahan, Ch. 8) https://easyayurveda.com/2017/05/05/indriya-pancha-panchaka/ :

        Chakshu – Seeing – Agni/Tejas (Fire)
        Shotra – Hearing – Akasha (Space)
        Graahna – Smelling – Prithivi (Earth)
        Rasana – Tasting – Jala/Apas (Water)
        Sparshana – Touching – Vayu – (Air)

        The eighth section (stanzas 93-100), the final one, deals with the Four Noble Truths and the Five Hindrances.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      We are rapidly approaching the end of the first fragment. This eighth and final section (stanzas 93-100) deals with the Four Noble Truths and the Five Hindrances.

      93-Thou art acquainted with the five impediments, O blessed one. Thou art their conqueror, the Master of the sixth, deliverer of the four modes of Truth (43). The light that falls upon them shines from thyself, O thou who wast disciple but art Teacher now.
      (43). The “four modes of truth” are, in Northern Buddhism, Ku “suffering or misery”; Tu the assembling of temptations; Mu “their destructions” and Tao, the “path.” The “five impediments” are the knowledge of misery, truth about human frailty, oppressive restraints, and the absolute necessity of separation from all the ties of passion and even of desires. The “Path of Salvation” — is the last one.

      Not sure what Master of the sixth means – the sixth hindrance? Or the sixth stage, Dharana? I haven’t really gone over the corrected Boris de Zirkoff text or others, but here some corrections need to be noted. This is the Four Noble Truths with the Chinese terms, Boris de Zirkoff corrects to K’u, Chi, Mieh, Tao. Peking edition has Ku, Tsi, Mi-eh, Tao. Below is another version: see David Reigle https://prajnaquest.fr/blog/boris-de-zirkoffs-edition-of-the-voice-of-the-silence/ :

      The Truth of Suffering [Chin.: kǔ 苦 | Sansk.: Dukkha satya]
      The Truth of the Cause of Suffering [Chin.: jí 集 | Sansk.: Samudaya satya]
      The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering [Chin.: miè滅 | Sansk.: Nirodha satya]
      The Truth of the Path leading to the Cessation of Suffering [Chin.: dào道 | Sansk.: Magga satya

      Hard to say what happened, but the definition of the five impediments is actually from the same definition of the Four Noble Truths from Rev. Joseph Edkins’ 1880 book, Chinese Buddhism, p. 23, fn.:

      These are, Ku, “misery,” Tsi, “assembling,” Mie, “destruction,” and Tau, “the path,” consisting in knowledge of misery, truth, oppressive restraints, the need of separation from the ties of passion, the possibility of destroying the desires, and the path of salvation as and regards the practical Buddhist life.

      The five hindrances are:
      1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda): the particular type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
      2. Ill-will (vyāpāda; also spelled byāpāda): all kinds of thought related to wanting to reject; feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
      3. Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-middha): heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
      4. Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind.
      5. Doubt (vicikicchā): lack of conviction or trust.

      In terms of gaining insight into and overcoming the Five Hindrances, according to the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha proclaimed:
      How, monks, does a monk live contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances?
      Herein, monks, when sense-desire is present, a monk knows, “There is sense-desire in me,” or when sense-desire is not present, he knows, “There is no sense-desire in me.” He knows how the arising of the non-arisen sense-desire comes to be; he knows how the abandoning of the arisen sense-desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the abandoned sense-desire comes to be.[7]

      The Buddha gives the following analogies in the Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2, “The Fruits of the Contemplative Life”):
      “… [W]hen these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security.”[8][d]

      Similarly, in the Saṅgārava Sutta (SN 46.55), the Buddha compares sensual desire with looking for a clear reflection in water mixed with lac, turmeric and dyes; ill will with boiling water; sloth-and-torpor with water covered with plants and algae; restlessness-and-worry with wind-churned water; and, doubt with water that is “turbid, unsettled, muddy, placed in the dark.”[9]


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      94-And of these modes of Truth: —
      Hast thou not passed through knowledge of all misery — Truth the first?

      The Chinese term for the Four Noble Truths is sìshèngdì. The Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, “Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion”:
      Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

      Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving [taṇhā, “thirst”] which leads to re-becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, craving for disbecoming.

      Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.

      Now this, bhikkhus, is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is this noble eightfold path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.[web 9] Bikkhu Bodhi (translator), Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta. Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11. “Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma”.

      95-Hast thou not conquered the Mâras’ King at Tsi, the portal of assembling — truth the second? (44).

      (44). At the portal of the “assembling” the King of the Mâras the Mahâ Mâra stands trying to blind the candidate by the radiance of his “Jewel.”

      (See Stanza 22) Mara has also been associated with the Hindu deity Kama, a god linked with sensuous desire and love. This identification does not appear in the earliest Buddhist writings, but appears to be a later development. The implication is clear: Kama’s domain is essentially the same as Mara’s, seen through the lens of Buddhist thought. According to the second Noble Truth of Buddhism desire is a cause of suffering; in other words, the realm of Kama leads to the realm of Mara (ie., death). new world encyclopedia/entry/Mara

      See Thai painting of Mara with crown holding jewel: http://nilsoeynhausen.de/the-life-of-buddha-siddhartha-gautama/

      He went to sit under a banyan tree (Pippala), or tree of Bodhi. The god Indra brought him a straw seat. He sat here, resolved not to move till the transformation he was about to undergo should be completed.

      The king of the Maras, perceiving that the walls and foundations of his palace were shaking, thought in himself, ” Gautama is now attaining perfect knowledge. Before he has reached the height of wisdom, I will go and trouble him.” He went with bow and arrows, and attendant demons, to the tree where the object of his attack was sitting. He then addressed him—” Bodhisattwa ! give up the monastic principle {c’hu-kia fa), and become a ‘wheel king.’ If you rise not, I will shoot my darts at you.” The Bodhisattwa was unmoved. The darts, as they fell, became lotus flowers. The king of the Maras then offered him his three daughters to attend on him. Shakyamuni said, “You attained, by a small act of virtue, the body of a Deva. You think not on the perishing, but seek to tempt me. You may leave me; I need you not.” The king of the Maras again said, “I will resign to you my throne as a Deva, with the instruments of all the five pleasures.” “No,” replied the Bodhisattwa, “you attained the rank of Ishwara by some charitable deed. But this happiness has an end. I wish it not.” An army of spirits now issued from the ground and rebuked the tempter, who, as his last device, summoned a host of demons to assault the unconquerable youth. The air was filled with grim faces, gnashing teeth, and bristling spears. The Bodhisattwa looked on this scene as if it were child’s play. A spirit in the air was now suddenly heard to say, ” The Bodhisattwa attains this day, under the Bodhi tree, the perfection of knowledge. Here stands the diamond throne of many past Buddhas. It is not for you to disturb him. Cease your hostility, and wait upon him with respect.” The king of the Maras then returned to his palace. (Edkins, Rev. Joseph Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 23)

      96-Hast thou not sin at the third gate destroyed and truth the third attained?
      97-Hast not thou entered Tao, “the Path” that leads to knowledge — the fourth truth? (45).

      (45). This is the fourth “Path” out of the five paths of rebirth which lead and toss all human beings into perpetual states of sorrow and joy. These “paths” are but subdivisions of the One, the Path followed by Karma.

      It is added, that he comes to the complete knowledge of the unreality of all he once knew as good and evil acting, long and short life, and the five paths of the metempsychosis, leading all living beings into a perpetual interchange of sorrow and joy. (Edkins, Rev. Joseph Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 23)

      In traditional Buddhist cosmology the rebirth, also called reincarnation or metempsychosis, can be in any of six realms. These are called the Gati in cycles of re-becoming, Bhavachakra.[4] The six realms of rebirth include three good realms – Deva (heavenly, god), Asura (demigod), Manusya (human); and three evil realms – Tiryak (animals), Preta (ghosts), and Naraka (hellish).[4] The realm of rebirth is conditioned by the karma (deeds, intent) of current and previous lives;[44] good karmas will yield a happier rebirth into good realm, bad karmas is believed to produce rebirth which is more unhappy and evil .[4] (Robert E. Buswell Jr.; Donald S. Lopez Jr. (2013). The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press. pp. 708–709.)

      Buddhist cosmology typically identifies six realms of rebirth and existence: gods, demi-gods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts and hells.[39] Earlier Buddhist texts refer to five realms rather than six realms; when described as five realms, the god realm and demi-god realm constitute a single realm.[6] (Buswell 2004, p. 711-712)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      98-And now, rest ‘neath the Bodhi tree, which is perfection of all knowledge, for, know, thou art the Master of SAMÂDHI — the state of faultless vision.

      He went to sit under a banyan tree (Pippala), or tree of Bodhi. The god Indra brought him a straw seat. He sat here, resolved not to move till the transformation he was about to undergo should be completed. (Edkins, Rev. Joseph Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 23)

      54. The Yogin’s Chitta having given up fame or disgrace is in Samadhi above the three states.
      55. Being freed from the waking and the sleeping states, he attains to his true state.
      56. When the (spiritual) sight becomes fixed without any object to be seen, when the Vayu (Prana) becomes still without any effort, and when the Chitta becomes firm without any support, he becomes of the form of the internal sound of Brahma-Pranava. (Nadabindu Upanishad)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      99-Behold! thou hast become the light, thou hast become the Sound, thou art thy Master and thy God. Thou art THYSELF the object of thy search: the VOICE unbroken, that resounds throughout eternities, exempt from change, from sin exempt, the seven sounds in one, the
      VOICE OF THE SILENCE

      46(b)-47(a). The sound proceeding from Pranava which is Brahman is of the nature of effulgence; the mind becomes absorbed in it; that is the supreme seat of Vishnu.
      47(b)-48(a). The sound exists till there is the Akasic conception (Akasa-Sankalpa). Beyond this, is the (Asabda) soundless Para-Brahman which is Paramatman.
      48(b). The mind exists so long as there is sound, but with its (sound’s cessation) there is the state called Unmani of Manas (viz., the state of being above the mind).
      49(a). This sound is absorbed in the Akshara (indestructible) and the soundless state is the supreme seat.
      49(b)-50(a). The mind which along with Prana (Vayu) has (its) Karmic affinities destroyed by the constant concentration upon Nada is absorbed in the unstained One. There is no doubt of it.
      50(b)-51(a). Many myriads of Nadas and many more of Bindus – (all) become absorbed in the Brahma-Pranava sound.
      51(b)-52(a). Being freed from all states and all thoughts whatever, the Yogin remains like one dead. He is a Mukta. There is no doubt about this. (Nadabindu Upanishad)

      … he attains Parabrahman in the presence of (or with) Āṭmā which is Brahman. After that, when manas is destroyed, when it which is the source of saṅkalpa and vikalpa disappears, owing to the destruction of these two, and when virtues and sins are burnt away, then he shines as Saḍāśiva of the nature of Śakṭi pervading everywhere, being effulgence in its very essence, the immaculate, the eternal, the stainless and the most quiescent Om. Thus is the teaching of the Veḍas; and thus is the Upanishaḍ.” (Hamsa Upanishad 214,6)
      See stanzas 90-92.

      The question now mooted in Science, whether a sound is capable of calling forth impressions of light and colour in addition to its natural sound impressions, has been answered by Occult Science ages ago. Every impulse or vibration of a physical object producing a certain vibration of the air, that is, causing the collision of physical particles, the sound of which is capable of affecting the ear produces at the same time a corresponding flash of light, which will assume some particular colour. For, in the realm of hidden Forces, an audible sound is but a subjective colour; and a perceptible colour, but an inaudible sound; both proceed from the same potential substance, which Physicists used to call ether, and now refer to under various other names; but which we call plastic, through invisible SPACE. This may appear a paradoxical hypothesis, but facts are there to prove it. Complete deafness, for instance, does not preclude the possibility of discerning sounds; medical science has several cases on record which prove that these sounds are received by, and conveyed to, the patient’s organ of sight, through the mind, under the form of chromatic impressions. The very fact that the intermediate tones of the chromatic musical scale were formerly written in colours shows an unconscious reminiscence of the ancient Occult teaching that colour and sound are two out of the seven correlative aspects, on our plane, of one and the same thing, viz., Nature’s first differentiated Substance. (SD3 508)

      The Spiritual Man corresponds directly with the higher “colored circles,” the Divine Prism which emanates from the One Infinite White Circle; while physical man emanates from the Sephîrôth, which are the Voices or Sounds of Eastern Philosophy. And these “Voices” are lower than the “Colors,” for they are the seven lower Sephîrôth, or the objective Sounds, seen, not heard, as the Zohar (ii, 81, 6) shows, and even the Old Testament also. For, when properly translated, verse 18 of chapter xx, Exodus, would read: “And the people saw the Voices” (or Sounds, not the “thunderings”, as now translated); and these Voices or Sounds are the Sephîrôth.(Blavatsky, CW 12, 545)

      There are three things, Bhikshus, that are everlastingly the same, upon which no vicissitude, no modification can ever act: these are the Law, Nirvana, and Space, [ Akasha. It is next to impossible to render the mystic word “Tho-og” by any other term than”Space,” and yet, unless coined on purpose, no new appellation can render it so well to the mind of the Occultist. The term “Aditi” is also translated “Space,” and there is a world of meaning in it.] and those three are One, since the first two are within the last, and that last one a Maya, so long as man keeps within the whirlpool of sensuous existences. One need not have his mortal body die to avoid the clutches of concupiscence and other passions. The Arhat who observes the seven hidden precepts of Bas-pa may become Dang-ma and Lha. [Dang-ma, a purified soul, and Lha, a freed spirit within a living body: an Adept or Arhat. In the popular opinion in Tibet, a Lha is a disembodied spirit, something similar to the Burmese Nat—only higher.] He may hear the “holy voice” of . . . [Kwan-yin], [Kwan-yin is a synonym, for in the original another term is used, but the meaning is identical. It is the divine voice of Self, or the “Spirit-voice” in man, and the same as Vachishvara (the “Voice-deity”) of the Brahmans. In China, the Buddhist ritualists have degraded its meaning by anthropomorphizing it into a Goddess of the same name, with one thousand hands and eyes, and they call it Kwan-shai-yin-Bodhisat. It is the Buddhist “daimon”-voice of Socrates.] and find himself within the quiet precincts of his Sangharama [Sanharama is the sanctum sanctorum of an ascetic, a cave or any place he chooses for his meditation.] transferred into Amitabha Buddha. [ Amitabha Buddha is in this connection the “boundless light” by which things of the subjective world are perceived.] Becoming one with Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi, [ Esoterically, “the unsurpassingly merciful and enlightened heart,” said of the “Perfect Ones,” the Jivan-muktas, collectively.] he may pass through all the six worlds of Being (Rupaloka) and get into the first three worlds of Arupa. [These six worlds—seven with us—are the worlds of Nats or Spirits, with the Burmese Buddhists, and the seven higher worlds of the Vedantins.] . . . He who listens to my secret law, preached to my select Arhats, will arrive with its help at the knowledge of Self, and thence at perfection. (From an Unpublished Discourse by the Buddha, Sd3 394)


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      Next section:

      Bestride the Bird of Life, if thou would’st know

      Give up thy life, if thou would’st live.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      100-Om Tat Sat

      Om Tat Sat is a mantra in Sanskrit found in verse 17.23 of the Bhagavad Gita. It means “Om, that is Truth”, “Om, it is Reality”, “Om it is good”. It is the threefold designation of the Hindu metaphysical concept called Brahman.

      It is more perfectly illustrated by considering life as a grand musical movement that is brought to a close by using at once all the tones sounded throughout the whole preceding portion. The result will be a combined sound, expressing neither the highest nor lowest notes, or the sweetest or less sweet, but the resultant of all. And this last sound is the fixed vibration that governs the entity, sounding all through him, and throwing him into the state to which it corresponds or of which it is the key. Thus it is easily seen that in each thought lie the possibilities of a harmony or a discord for life’s conclusion. (Judge, W. Q., Notes on the Bhagavad Gita, 2)

      4. Samadhi (concentration)
      Concentration (samadhi) has been described by Venerable Buddhaghosa in the Path of Purification (visuddhi magga) as “the state, in virtue of which, consciousness and it’s concomitants remain evenly and rightly on a single object un-distracted and unscattered”. It can also be described as calming the mind or wholesome one-pointedness of the mind free from unwholesome states of greed (lobha), aversion (dosa) and delusion (moha). Concentration can be either mundane or supramundane. When concentration is developed in relation to the three worlds of existence namely, sensual world (kama loka), fine material world (rupa loka) and the formless immaterial world (arupa loka) it is mundane concentration. When it is developed in relation to the supramundane path of liberation from suffering and all existence it is supramundane concentration (4).
      Concentration is mentioned at least four times within the thirty seven requisites of enlightenment:

      Concentration as one of the five spiritual faculties (pancha indriya)
      Concentration as one of the five spiritual powers (pancha bala)
      Concentration as the sixth of the seven factors of enlightenment (samadhi sambojjhanga)
      Right concentration (samma samadhi) as the eighth factor of the Noble Eightfold path

      In concentration meditation the aim is to develop and maintain a state of deep concentration or one-pointedness of mind by focussing one’s attention on a single meditation object. This state will be maintained as long as the attention of the meditator is completely absorbed into that particular object. As the concentration of the mind becomes deeper and deeper, the five mental hindrances of sensual desire (kamacchanda), ill-will (vyapada), sloth and topor (thina middha), restlessness and remorse (uddacca kukkucca) and sceptical doubt (vicikicca) become gradually suppressed. With the establishment of deep concentration and suppression of the five mental hindrances, five qualities or attributes called Jhanic factors develop and become strong. The mind could then remain in deep concentration continuously and the meditator can experience tranquillity, calmness and bliss. The five Jhanic factors are;

      Initial application (vitakka)
      Sustained application (vicara)
      Rapture or joy (piti)
      Mental bliss or happiness (sukha)
      One-pointedness with equanimity (ekaggata with upekkha)

      During meditation, as the concentration on a meditation object deepens from preliminary concentration through access concentration and fixed concentration, deep absorption states (jhana) arise in the mind during the periods of strong and deep concentration. In the Indriya Vibhanga sutta of the Samyutta nikaya, the Buddha has described the faculty of concentration as the attainment of the first, second, third and the fourth state of deep absorption (jhana) in concentration meditation (5).

      The main differences among the four Jhana states are the depth of concentration and the number of Jhanic factors involved. As the Jhana state progresses, the number of Jhanic factors involved become less and less while the concentration becomes calmer and finer compared to the preceding Jhana state. In addition to attaining the states of deep mental absorptions and tranquillity, the deep state of concentration and the removal of the mental hindrances could provide the necessary foundation for the development of insight or wisdom into the real nature of physical and mental phenomena.
      Five Spiritual Faculties (pancha indriya) in Theravada Buddhism


      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        We have reached the end of the first fragment of the The Voice of the Silence. Thank you fellow lanoos, for participating in this ambitious undertaking. It was certainly a big learning experience for me. I was genuinely surprised to discover the rich supply of amazing texts related to these teachings. I will be taking a short break before adding some concluding comments and pondering whether to soldier on with the next fragment. The first one was probably the most difficult, with twice the amount of footnotes as the other two, and a lot of Sanskrit terms, so perhaps it’ll be easier going should we continue. Stay tuned, lanoos…

        Section 1 – (stanzas 1-13).
        presents a kind of overview of the path of silent liberation, ending in hearing the voice of the nada, the soundless sound and the requirements thereof- very much the standard practices of Advaita Vedanta – it requires the practice of concentration, controlling the senses through detachment, pacifying the mind, overcoming the delusion caused by identifying with the material world, achieving inner harmony, complete equanimity, intimate identification with the higher self, thus attaining to deep wellsprings of soul memory and use of the inner, spiritual senses.
        Section 2 (stanzas 14-21). This section, quite diverse, had some reflections regarding the astral plane, the importance of selflessness: and a mystical imperative regarding the Kalahamsa.
        Section 3 (Stanzas 22-40). The three halls, the hall of ignorance (physical plane), the hall of learning (astral plane), and the hall of wisdom (spiritual plane) and their relation to the four avasthas and the seven lokas. We learn that: ‘’The WISE ONES tarry not in pleasure-grounds of senses. The WISE ONES heed not the sweet-tongued voices of illusion’’. The hall of learning is full of delusional dangers, so one should seek one’s teacher in the hall of wisdom. The temptations of Mara are great and one needs to guard against the illusion of separateness. Finally, a type of Kundalini Yoga practice is presented, leading to the possibility of astral projection.
        Section 4 (Stanzas 41-50) is concerned with the seven mystic sounds, linked to the Nadabindu Upanishad and also the Hamsa Upanishad. The 7-step ladder of mystics sounds of the inner God: 1- Nightingale song; 2-Cymbal; 3- Sea Shell; 4- Vina (lute); 5- Flute; 6-Trumpet blast/thunder; 7- Silence
        Based on the other yoga texts and stanza 50, I think it is plausible to assume that the 7 mystical sounds are related to the Chakras and Kundalini and 7 states of consciousness (and the 7 principles) accompanied by related Siddhis.
        Section 5 (stanzas 51-65) deals with the heady business of the Higher Self conquering the lower self, which in Christian mysticism is called the path of purification. Ere thy Soul’s mind can understand, the bud of personality must be crushed out, the worm of sense destroyed past resurrection. (57) There was also a brief but eloquent call to compassion. But let each burning human tear drop on thy heart and there remain, nor ever brush it off, until the pain that caused it is removed. (61)
        Section 6 (stanzas 66-78) deals with gates and ladders, a kind of prelude to a description of the seven stages, which seems similar to the eightfold yoga path. It warns of the serious difficulties of this path and the importance of overcoming all of one’s vices before attempting to enter it.
        Section 7 (stanzas 79-92) A kind of sevenfold Raja Yoga system is outlined, similar to the Eightfold yoga system, beginning with the Pratyahara stage, where a process of merging the five inner senses is explained. The next three stages correspond to the to three Sanyama practices. Upon achieving accomplishment in Samadhi, one becomes ‘’the doer and the witness, the radiator and the radiation, Light in the Sound, and the Sound in the Light’’.
        Section 8 (stanzas 93-100) deals with the Four Noble Truths and the Five Hindrances as the conquerer of Mara sits victoriously in Samadhi under the Bodhi tree.


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      Three Halls, O weary pilgrim, lead to the end of toils. Three Halls, O conqueror of Māra, will bring thee through three states14 into the fourth,15 and thence into the seven worlds,16 the worlds of Rest Eternal.

      If thou would’st learn their names, then hearken, and remember. {6}

      The name of the first Hall is IGNORANCE—Avidyā.

      It is the Hall in which thou saw’st the light, in which thou livest and shalt die.17

      The name of Hall the second is the Hall of Learning.A In it thy Soul will find the blossoms
      of life, but under every flower a serpent coiled.


    • ModeratorTN
      Keymaster
      ModeratorTN

      The name of the third Hall is Wisdom, beyond which stretch the shoreless waters of AKṢARA, the indestructible Fount of Omniscience.19

      If thou would’st cross the first Hall safely, let not thy mind mistake the fires of lust that burn therein for the Sunlight of life.

      If thou would’st cross the second safely, stop not the fragrance of its stupefying blossoms to inhale. If {7} freed thou would’st be from the Karmic chains, seek not for thy Guru in those Māyāvic regions.

      The WISE ONES tarry not in pleasure-grounds of senses.

      The WISE ONES heed not the sweet-tongued voices of illusion.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Below is a list of Theosophical texts cited in the commentary of Fragment I:

      Anon. Bestride the Bird of Life, if thou would’st know
      Anon. Self knowledge. Lucifer Vol. 1, 1887, p. 89
      Anon, The Dream of Ravan
      J.Mr./P.S.H., Kuṇḍalinī. Theosophical Encyclopedia
      Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnet,
      Blavatsky, H. P., “Comments on a Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy“, Blavatsky [The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 12, September, 1880, pp. 312-315] CW 2, 453-473
      Blavatsky, H. P., (Note) ‘’Tharana’’ or Mesmerism, N. Chidambaram Iyer, The Theosophist,v.3, n.35, Aug. 1882, CW 4, 162-166.
      Blavatsky, H. P., Questions About Esoteric Theosophy Answered. Theosophist, August, 1882, CW IV, 170-71
      Blavatsky, H. P., Notes and footnotes to “three unpublished essays, The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 6 March, 1884, No. 7 April, No. 8 May CW 6, 176-180
      Blavatsky, H. P., The Esoteric Character of the Gospels , Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 3, November, 1887, pp. 173-180, CW 8, 172-217
      Blavatsky, H. P., Letter to Franz Hartmann, 5, CW 8
      Blavatsky, H. P., Occultism Versus the Occult Arts, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 9, May, 1888, CW 9, 249-261
      Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, CW 9, 255-7
      Blavatsky, H. P., Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, CW 10
      Blavatsky, H. P., Commentary on the Gospel of John, CW 11
      Blavatsky, H. P., Esoteric Instructions, CW 12
      Blavatsky, H. P., Pistis Sophia, Commentary and Notes, CW 13
      Blavatsky, H. P., There is a Road, Steep and Thorny,…, The Theosophist, Vol. IV, No. 10, July, 1883, CW13, 219
      Blavatsky, H. P., Isis Unveiled II,
      Blavatsky, H. P., Key to Theosophy
      Blavatsky, H. P., The Theosophical Glossary
      Blavatsky, H. P., The Secret Doctrine, Vols. 1-3
      Caldwell, Daniel H., Parallel Columns: What Does This Mean?
      Caldwell, Daniel, comp., Concentration and Union with the Higher Self
      Chund, Lalla Buttun, Hints to the Student of Yoga Vidya, The Theosophist, November 1879, 46
      Collins, Mabel, Light on the Path
      Collins, Mabel, Through the Gates of Gold
      Holloway Laura & Mohini Chatterji, Man, Fragments of a Forgotten History, (1885)
      Iyer, Narrain Aswamy, Occult Physiology, “The Theosophist”, March 1891
      Judge, William Q., AUM!, The Path, April, 1886
      Judge, William Q., Culture of Concentration, The Path, July, 1888
      Judge, William Q., The Ocean of Theosophy
      Judge, W. Q., Notes on the Bhagavad Gita
      Judge, William Q., “The Self is the Friend of Self and also its Enemy”, Branch Paper No. 5, August, 1890.
      Judge, William Q, Working Glossary
      Kotyya, C. “The Hindu Theory of Vibration as the Producer of Sounds, Forms and Colors,” The Theosophist, Vol. XII, October and November, 1893
      Pratt, David, Yoga and Enlightenment
      Reigle David, Boris de Zirkoff Edition of the Voice of the Silence,
      Reigle,David, Kalahaṃsa: the Soft-spoken Goose,
      Truth-seeker ,Yoga Philosophy. The Theosophist, Jan. 1880, pp. 86-87
      Row, T. Subba, Notes on Hatha Yoga, Theosophist, 1886, v8, December, 138
      Row, T. Subba, Notes on the Bhagavad Gita.
      Row, T. Subba, The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac
      Shankar, Bhavani, The Doctrine of the Bhagavad Gita


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Below is a list of Eastern (Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese) texts cited in the commentary of Fragment I:

      Amritananda Upanishad (Aiyar, Narayanasvami (1914). “Thirty minor Upanishads”. Madras)
      Bhagavad Gita. Pondicherry. All India Books. 1986. Aurobindo, transl.
      Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad. The Upanishads. Valerie J. Roebuck, transl. Penguin, 2003.
      Buddhaghosa, Visuddhimagga The Path of Freedom (Vimuttimagga) by the Arahant Upatissa. N.R.M. Ehara (trans.), Soma Thera (trans.) and Kheminda Thera (trans.) (1995). Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society.
      Charaka Samhita Sutrastahan, (Ch. 8)
      Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta. Samyutta Nikaya LVI, 11. “Setting in Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma”. Peter Harvey, translator, 2007
      Dhammapada. Gil Fronsdal, transl. Shambhala, 2006.
      Dnyneshwari, Vishwatmak Jangli Maharaj Ashram Trust, 2006.
      Guru Granth Sahib Mul Mantar. Guru-Granth Sahib Vol.1. Taplinger Publishing Co.
      Hamsa Upanishad (Aiyar, Narayanasvami (1914). “Thirty minor Upanishads”. Madras)
      Hatha Yoga Pradipika, with Commentary by Brahmananada. Srinivasa Iyangar, transl. Adyar Library and Research Center, 1972.
      Lotus Sutra. Buddhist Text Translation Society.
      Mahasiddha Vinapa (The Musician), Masters of Mahamudra: Songs and Histories of the Eighty-four Buddhist Siddhas” , Keith Dowman, tranls., State University of New York Press, 1986.
      Maitri Upanishad. The Upanishads. Valerie J. Roebuck, transl. Penguin, 2003.
      Manduka Upanishad. The Upanishads. Valerie J. Roebuck, transl. Penguin, 2003.
      Nadabindu Upanishad (Aiyar, Narayanasvami (1914). “Thirty minor Upanishads”. Madras) (See also The Theosophist VOL. X. No. 116.—MAY 1889, 478-82)
      Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad. (Aiyar, Narayanasvami (1914). “Thirty minor Upanishads”. Madras.
      Patajanli, The Yoga Philosophy: Being the Text of Patanjali, Tookaram Tatya (1885)
      Samkhyakarika. Classical Samkhya and Yoga – An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Mike Burley, Routledge, 2012.
      Sankaracharya Sastry, Alladi Mahadeva. Bhagavad Gita with the Commetary of Sri Sankaracharya. Madras. Samata Books. 1897/1979.
      Shiva Samhita. James Mallinson, Yogaviday.com, New York, 2007.
      Śūraṅgama Sūtra. The Buddhist Bible, Dwight Goddard, editor. Thetford, VT, 1932.
      Tattvasamasa, Gerald James Larson, Ram Shankar Bhattacharyglisha, Karl H. Potter, The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies, Volume 4: Samkhya, 1987, p. 443-44.
      Satipatthana Sutta. Soma Thera, transl. Kandy: Buddhist Publication,
      Samaññaphala Sutta (DN 2, “The Fruits of the Contemplative Life”). Thanissaro Bhikkhu, transl. 1997.
      Saṅgārava Sutta (AN 3:61). Thanissaro, Bikkhu, transl.
      Vivekachudamani. The Vivekacudamani of Sankaracarya Bhagavatpada John Grimes, transl,. Motilal Banarsidass, 2004.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Below is a final list of references, mainly general western sources.
      Additional Sources
      Anon, Mara. New World Encyclopedia, 2008 web
      Attar. Conference of the Birds. Afkham Darbandi and Dick Davis transl. Penguin Classics 1984
      Buswell Jr.; Robert E., Donald S. Lopez Jr. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press, 2013.
      Ecclesiastes, Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. The Jewish Publication Society; 1985
      Edkins’ Rev. Joseph, Chinese Buddhism, 1880
      Frawley, David. Hamsa-Rahasya the Secret of Hamsa. American Institute of Vedic Studies, 2019 web
      Garg , Ganga Ram, ed. Akshara Encyclopaedia of the Hindu World:Ak-Aq. Concept Publishing Company, 1992
      Homer. Odyssey. The Odyssey: The Verse Translation by Alexander Pope, CreateSpace , 2013
      Jensen, Herman A Classical Collection of Tamil Proverbs. Routledge, 2014
      John, Luke, Mark, Matthew. Lattimore Richmond A. , transl. The Four Gospels and the Revelation. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
      King, C. W. The Gnostics and their Remains. London, 1887
      Lenormant, François & Elisabeth Chevallier A Manual of the Ancient History of the East, Volume 2, , 1871
      Mead, G.R.S. Orpheus. Theosophical Publishing Society, 1896
      Oeynhausen, Nils. The Life of Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, 2018 web
      Paul, Dr. N. C. Commentary on A Treatise on the Yoga Philosophy, G.B., M.C., 1850.
      Plotinus, Enneads, vol. V. A. H. Armstrong, transl., Cambridge, 1984
      Underhill, Evelyn. Introduction, Richard Rolle, Fire of Love. Methuen, 1914
      Ranade, Ramachandra Dattatrya . A Constructive Survey of Upanishadic Philosophy. Oriental Books Agency, 1926
      Ruysbroeck, John of. The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage. A. Wynschenk Dom, transl., 1951
      Sivananda. Anahata Sounds. The Divine Life Society. 2011 web
      Trimondi Victor & Victoria. The Shadow of the Dalai Lama – Part I – 8. The ADI Buddha: His mystic body and his astral aspects web
      Ubeysekara, Dr. Ari. Five Spiritual Faculties (pancha indriya) in Theravada Buddhism, 2018 web
      Woodroffe, Sir John. Introduction to Tantra Sastra, Madras: Ganesh & co., 1952
      Zhuo, Shi Yan. Four Noble Truths. My Inner Temple, 2019 web

      Suggested Additional Reading
      Anon. Notes on Sri Sankaracharya’s Harimi Dastotram. The Theosophist, vol. 14, March, 1893
      Beck, Guy L. Sonic Theology: Hinduism and Sacred Sound. Motilal Banarsidass Publ., 1995
      Iyer, Narrain Aswamy, Occult Physiology, “The Theosophist”, March 1891
      Pandurang, Rao Bahadur Dadoba. The Mystic Syllable Onkara, its meaning, antiquity and Universal Application. The Theosophist, February, 1880, 131-132


      • Gerry Kiffe
        Moderator
        Gerry Kiffe

        Remarkable, Mark!


        • Mark Casady
          Participant
          Mark Casady

          Thanks Gerry – it was quite an educational odyssey, most def – stay tuned for fragment 2, which I’ll be starting in a week or two – although with the the holiday season just around the corner, it probably won’t really take off until the new year…


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      In my eagerness, I have thoughtlessly undertaken this work. Would a firefly show its light in the presence of the sun? Just as the tithiba bird tries to sound the depth of the ocean with its tiny beak, similarly, with little knowledge I am setting out on this task. Therefore, I ask you to add whatever may be lacking and to reject whatever is superfluous. Om.

      Fragment 2: THE TWO PATHS.

      1-And now, O Teacher of Compassion, point thou the way to other men. Behold, all those who knocking for admission, await in ignorance and darkness, to see the gate of the Sweet Law flung open!

      I think one could divide the first nine stanzas into a section, although the text seems more fluid, not as easy to determine cleavage points. But the first nine stanzas could be said to form an introductory section, explaining the notion of the two paths, the exoteric and the esoteric. There seems to be a continuity from the first fragment. In stanza 93, it is stated: The light that falls upon them shines from thyself, O thou who wast disciple but art Teacher now.

      An aspirational text, with a passage on aspiring to be a teacher:
      Please lead all beings from the swamp of the cycle of existence!
      Now bestow the fruition of the four embodiments of the sugatas!
      May I become a spiritual mentor (teacher) to guide All limitless, parent sentient beings throughout space.
      Please lead all beings from the swamp of the cycle of existence.
      (Liṅpa, Karma. Prayer to the lineage. 2- The Natural Liberation of the Mind-Itself;The Four-Session Yoga of the Spiritual Activity of the Secret Mantra Vajrayāna. Natural liberation: Padmasambhavas teachings on the six bardos. Allan Wallace, transl. Wisdom Publications, Sommerville, Ma, 1998)

      There are many Tibetan texts on the spiritual teacher, for example Chapter 4, Relying on a Spiritual Teacher in Tsong-kha-pa The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Volume 1) Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, Transl., Snow Lion Publications, Ithaca, NY, 2000.

      The ten qualifications of the teacher:
      One should follow a spiritual teacher who is disciplined, peaceful, serene,
      Endowed with special qualities, diligent, rich in scriptural learning,
      Highly realized concerning the nature of reality, skilled in speaking,
      The embodiment of love, and indefatigable.
      Maitreya, Ornament of Mahāyāna Sūtras, XVII, 10
      (Maitreya. Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature (Mahayanasutralamkara) (Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences) Lobsang Jamspal, Robert Thurman and the American Institute of Buddhist Studies translation committee. American Institute of Buddhist Studies. New York, 2004.)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      2-The voice of the Candidates:
      Shalt not thou, Master of thine own Mercy, reveal the Doctrine of the Heart? (1) Shalt thou refuse to lead thy Servants unto the Path of Liberation?

      (1). The two schools of Buddha’s doctrine, the esoteric and the exoteric, are respectively called the “Heart” and the “Eye” Doctrine. Bodhidharma called them in China — from whence the names reached Tibet — the Tsung-men (esoteric) and Kiau-men (exoteric school). It is so named, because it is the teaching which emanated from Gautama Buddha’s heart, whereas the “Eye” Doctrine was the work of his head or brain. The “Heart Doctrine” is also called “the seal of truth” or the “true seal,” a symbol found on the heading of almost all esoteric works.

      See Edkins’ Rev. Joseph, Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 158 (referencing a text called San-kiau-yi-su, Supplementary Account of the Three Religions):
      The second native writer, already quoted, thus compares Buddha and Bodhidharma. The former, ” Julai ” {Tathagata), taught great truths and the causes of things. He became the instructor of men and Devas. He saved multitudes, and spoke the contents of more than five hundred works. Hence arose the Kiau-men, or exoteric branch of the system, and it was believed to be the tradition of the wards of Buddha. Bodhidharma brought from the Western heaven ” the seal of truth ” (true seal), and opened the fountain of contemplation in the East. He pointed directly to Buddha’s heart and nature, swept away the parasitic and alien growth of book instruction, and thus established the Tsung-men, or esoteric branch of the system, containing the tradition of the heart of Buddha. Yet, he adds, the two branches, while presenting of necessity a different aspect, form but one whole.

      See also Blavatsky, H. P. The “Doctrine of the Eye” & the “Doctrine of the Heart,” or the “Heart’s Seal”. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 428 (Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp. 443-453):
      The common [Chinese] word for the esoteric schools is dan, the Sanskrit Dhyâna. . . . (Edkins)

      For the symbol:
      The “Heart Doctrine,” or the “Heart’s Seal” (the Sin Yin) is the only real one (Blavatsky, 425).

      Sin Yin The symbol of this esoteric principle, communicated orally without books, is man or wan. This, in Chinese, means “10,000,” and implies the possession of 10,000 perfections. It is usually placed on the heart of Buddha in images and pictures of that divinity. It is sometimes called sin-yin, ” heart’s seal.” It contains within it the whole mind of Buddha. In Sanscrit it is called svastika. It was the monogram of Vishnu and Shiva, the battle-axe of Thor in Scandinavian inscriptions, an ornament on the crowns of the Bonpa deities in Thibet, and a favourite symbol with the Peruvians (Edkins, 63).

      Svastika (S.) manji (J.) The svastika is one of the sixty-five marks of Buddhahood found in the imprint of the Buddha’s foot. On some of the images of the Buddha, it is on his breast, and may also be represented on him before the lotus-throne; it is called by the Chinese sin-yin (heart-seal). As a Buddhist symbol it represents the esoteric doctrine of the Buddha, and was adopted by several sects (Getty, Alice. The Gods of Northern Buddhism: Their History and Iconography. New York, Dover, 1928, p. 196)

      Today’ western scholars place the beginning of Esoteric Buddhism in China about two centuries later:
      The Tantric masters Śubhakarasiṃha, Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra, established the Esoteric Buddhist Zhenyan (Chinese: 真言, “true word”, “mantra”) tradition from 716 to 720 during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. It employed mandalas, mantras, mudras, abhiṣekas, and deity yoga.
      wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Esoteric_Buddhism


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      3-Quoth the Teacher:
      The Paths are two; the great Perfections three; six are the Virtues that transform the body into the Tree of Knowledge (2).

      (2). The “tree of knowledge” is a title given by the followers of the Bodhidharma (Wisdom religion) to those who have attained the height of mystic knowledge — adepts. Nâgârjuna the founder of the Mâdhyamika School was called the “Dragon Tree,” Dragon standing as a symbol of Wisdom and Knowledge. The tree is honoured because it is under the Bodhi (wisdom) Tree that Buddha received his birth and enlightenment, preached his first sermon and died.

      Nagarjuna (Ryuju, literally “naga [dragon]-tree”): Nagarjuna was born beneath a tree and taken and raised by a naga-king. Later, he became the son of a king in southern India. Hence his name, Nagarjuna. For a tantric interpretation of Dragon Tree/Nagarjuna see Cleary, Thomas. Text Sources. Zen and the Art of Insight. Boston. Shambhala Publications, 1999.

      Trees of Life.
      From the highest antiquity trees were connected with the gods and mystical forces in nature. Every nation had its sacred tree, with its peculiar characteristics and attributes based on natural, and also occasionally on occult properties, as expounded in the esoteric teachings. Thus the peepul or Âshvattha of India, the abode of Pitris (elementals in fact) of a lower order, became the Bo-tree or ficus religiosa of the Buddhists the world over, since Gautama Buddha reached the highest knowledge and Nirvâna under such a tree. (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary. London, Theosophical Publishing Society, 1892)

      Nâga (Sk.).
      Literally “Serpent”. The name in the Indian Pantheon of the Serpent or Dragon Spirits, and of the inhabitants of Pâtâla, hell. In Esotericism, however, and as already stated, this is a nick-name for the “wise men” or adepts in China and Tibet, the “Dragons.” are regarded as the titulary deities of the world, and of various spots on the earth, and the word is explained as meaning adepts, yogis, and narjols. The term has simply reference to their great knowledge and wisdom. This is also proven in the ancient Sûtras and Buddha’s biographies. In China the “worship” of the Nâgas was widespread, and it has become still more pronounced since Nâgarjuna (the “great Nâga”, the “great adept” literally), the fourteenth Buddhist patriarch, visited China. The “Nâgas” are regarded by the Celestials as “the tutelary Spirits or gods of the five regions or the four points of the compass and the centre, as the guardians of the five lakes and four oceans” (Eitel). This, traced to its origin and translated esoterically, means that the five continents and their five root-races had always been under the guardianship of “terrestrial deities”, i.e., Wise Adepts. The tradition that Nâgas washed Gautama Buddha at his birth, protected him and guarded the relics of his body when dead, points again to the Nâgas being only wise men, Arhats, and no monsters or Dragons. This is also corroborated by the innumerable stories of the conversion of Nâgas to Buddhism. The Nâga of a lake in a forest near Râjagriha and many other “Dragons” were thus converted by Buddha to the good Law. (The Theosophical Glossary.)

      The six virtues are most likely generosity, ethical discipline, tolerance, diligence, meditation, and wisdom. For the three great Perfections, they don’t seem to be specified in the literature. A basic assumption could be the Trikaya (called Three Vestures in the Voice), or else it could refer to the perfections of the Sambhogakaya, of which there are a few cryptic references in Blavatsky’s writings (Boris de Zirkoff refers to the Platform Sutra, but I didn’t notice any reference to perfections):
      * The three bodies are (1) the Nirmânakâya (Tul-pa’i-Ku in Tibetan), in which the Bodhisattva after entering by the six Pâramitâs [generosity, virtue, patience, vigor, meditation & wisdom] the Path to Nirvâna, appears to men in order to teach them; (2) Sambhogakâya (Dzog-pa’i-Ku), the body of bliss impervious to all physical sensations, received by one who has fulfilled the three conditions of moral perfection; and (3) Dharmakâya (in Tibetan, Cho-Ku), the Nirvânic body. [Cf. Voice of the Silence, pp. 95-97; and Hui Neng’s Platform Sutra, ch. 6.] (Blavatsky, H. P. The Mystery of Buddha. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 379; CW 14, 392n)

      David Reigle has written an interesting article on this question: The three great Perfections in The Voice of the Silence, prajnaquest.fr/blog/category/book-of-the-golden-precepts/


      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        In Fragment 3, we have 7 virtues – but wisdom is technically not counted, because it is considered the culmination of the six, so equanimity here would be the sixth.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      4-Who shall approach them?
      5-Who shall first enter them?
      6-Who shall first hear the doctrine of two Paths in one, the truth unveiled about the Secret Heart? (3) The Law which, shunning learning, teaches Wisdom, reveals a tale of woe.

      (3). “Secret Heart” is the esoteric doctrine.

      These teachings were passed down orally to Dolpopa (also written Dolbupa, 1292-1361) who set into writing the shen-tong or “empty of other” teachings in his most famous book, The Mountain Dharma — The Ocean of Definitive Meaning (ri chos nges don rgya mtsho). These teachings are referred to as the “heart doctrine” (snying po’i don), so Dolpopa describes his book as the “Lamp of the Heart Doctrine.” [4]
      Reigle, David. Theosophy in Tibet: The Teachings of the Jonangpa School blavatskyarchives.com/reigle04.html

      7-Alas, alas, that all men should possess Alaya, be one with the great Soul, and that possessing it, Alaya should so little avail them!

      Alaya (Sk.). The Universal Soul (See Secret Doctrine Vol. I. pp. 47 et seq.). The name belongs to the Tibetan system of the contemplative Mahâyâna School. Identical with Âkâsa in its mystic sense, and with Mulâprâkriti, in its essence, as it is the basis or root of all things. (Theosophical Glossary)
      AnimaMundi (Lat.) The“Soul of the World”, the same as the Alaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine essence which permeates, animates and informs all, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense the “seven-skinned mother” of the stanzas in the Secret Doctrine, the essence of seven planes of sentience, consciousness and differentiation, moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvâna, in its lowest Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes. Of igneous, ethereal nature in theobjective world of form (and then ether), and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it means, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, which is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal ABSOLUTE. (Theosophical Glossary)

      Basic Buddhist definition:
      Alaya – basis for all (Tibetan: kun-gzhi): A synonym for rigpa (pure awareness), used primarily in treasure texts of the mind division.
      glossary.studybuddhism.com/
      see also studybuddhism.com/en/glossary/alayavijnana

      According to Thomas McEvilley, although Vasubandhu had postulated numerous ālāya-vijñāna-s, a separate one for each individual person in the parakalpita, this multiplicity was later eliminated in the Fa Hsiang and Huayan metaphysics. These schools inculcated instead the doctrine of a single universal and eternal ālaya-vijñāna. This exalted enstatement of the ālāyavijñāna is described in the Fa Hsiang as “primordial unity”. Thomas McEvilley further argues that the presentation of the three natures by Vasubandhu is consistent with the Neo-platonist views of Plotinus and his universal ‘One’, ‘Mind’, and ‘Soul’. (McEvilley, Thomas. The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. 2012, Allworth Press)

      8-Behold how like the moon, reflected in the tranquil waves, Alaya is reflected by the small and by the great, is mirrored in the tiniest atoms, yet fails to reach the heart of all. Alas, that so few men should profit by the gift, the priceless boon of learning truth, the right perception of existing things, the Knowledge of the non-existent!

      Enlightenment is like the moon reflected on the water.
      The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken.
      Although its light is wide and great,
      The moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide.
      The whole moon and the entire sky
      Are reflected in one dewdrop on the grass.
      Dōgen Zenji (1200-1253) Japanese Buddhist priest, writer, poet, philosopher, and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan. Okumura, Shohaku. Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen’s Shobogenzo. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2010.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      We have completed the first section, we are off and running – this section presents the notions of the Doctrine of the Eye and the Doctrine of the Heart, the exoteric and esoteric paths. It also presents the notion of Alaya, the World Soul, a fundamental theosophical concept. The second section, stanzas 109-119, discusses ignorance and wisdom.

      109-Saith the pupil:
      O Teacher, what shall I do to reach to Wisdom?
      110-O Wise one, what, to gain perfection?

      The Mahayana began with the Prajnaparamita texts, the Perfection of Wisdom.
      According to Edward Conze, the Prajñāpāramitā Sutras are “a collection of about forty texts … composed somewhere around Indian subcontinent between approximately 100 BC and AD 600.” (Conze, E. Perfect Wisdom: The Short Prajnaparamita Texts, Buddhist Publishing Group, 1993)

      111-Search for the Paths. But, O Lanoo, be of clean heart before thou startest on thy journey. Before thou takest thy first step learn to discern the real from the false, the ever-fleeting from the everlasting. Learn above all to separate Head-learning from Soul-Wisdom, the “Eye” from the “Heart” doctrine.

      There might be an allusion to the doctrine of the two truths, Samvrti and Parmartha. The Buddhist doctrine of the two truths (Wylie: bden pa gnyis) differentiates between two levels of satya (Sanskrit), meaning truth or “really existing” in the discourse of the Buddha: the “conventional” or “provisional” (saṁvṛti) truth, and the “ultimate” (paramārtha) truth.
      The exact meaning varies between the various Buddhist schools and traditions. The best known interpretation is from the Madhyamaka school of Mahāyāna Buddhism, whose founder was Nagarjuna. For Nagarjuna, the two truths are epistemological truths. The phenomenal world is accorded a provisional existence. The character of the phenomenal world is declared to be neither real nor unreal, but logically indeterminable. Ultimately, phenomena are empty (sunyata) of an inherent self or essence, but exist depending on other phenomena (Pratītyasamutpāda). (Matilal, Bimal Krishna. Ganeri, Jonardon (ed.). The Collected Essays of Bimal Krishna Matilal, Volume 1. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002, pp. 203-208.)

      In Chinese Buddhism, the Madhyamaka position is accepted and the two truths refer to two ontological truths. Reality exists of two levels, a relative level and an absolute level. Based on their understanding of the Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Chinese supposed that the teaching of the Buddha-nature was, as stated by that sutra, the final Buddhist teaching, and that there is an essential truth above sunyata and the two truths. (Lai, Whalen (1979). “Ch’an Metaphors: waves, water, mirror, lamp”. Philosophy East & West; Vol. 29, no.3, July, 1979, pp.245–253.)

      112-Yea, ignorance is like unto a closed and airless vessel; the soul a bird shut up within. It warbles not, nor can it stir a feather; but the songster mute and torpid sits, and of exhaustion dies.

      The man that hath no music in himself,
      Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
      Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
      The motions of his spirit are dull as night
      And his affections dark as Erebus:
      Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.
      (The Merchant of Venice, 5.1.91-7)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      113-But even ignorance is better than Head-learning with no Soul-wisdom to illuminate and guide it.
      Avidyâ (Sk.). Opposed to Vidyâ, Knowledge. Ignorance which proceeds from, and is produced by the illusion of the Senses or Viparyaya. (The Theosophical Glossary)
      One reason perhaps being if you have head-learning, you can do a lot of harm. For example, see how technology is harming the environment at alarming proportions today.
      The Dhyaneswari is full of commentary on ignorance, especially Chs. 13 & 14:
      Except for the spiritual science, all other branches of knowledge are meaningless. Therefore Arjuna, remember that a person with only bookknowledge is a fool who has not realised the Self. His body has grown out of the seed of ignorance and his learning is a creeper of this ignorance. Whatever he speaks is the flower of ignorance and whatever righteous path he practices is the fruit of the ignorance too. Is there any need of telling that one who does not believe in Knowledge of the Self has not understood its meaning?. (13:839-843) (Jnaneshwar. Jnaneshwar’s Gita. A Rendering of the Jnaneshwari. Kripananda, Swami. Albany SUNY Press, 1989)

      14-The seeds of Wisdom cannot sprout and grow in airless space. To live and reap experience the mind needs breadth and depth and points to draw it towards the Diamond Soul (4). Seek not those points in Mâyâ’s realm; but soar beyond illusions, search the eternal and the changeless sat (5), mistrusting fancy’s false suggestions.
      (4). “Diamond Soul” “Vajrasattva,” a title of the supreme Buddha, the “Lord of all Mysteries,” called Vajradhara and Âdi-Buddha.

      Vajrasattva (Sk.). The name of the sixth Dhyani-Buddha (of whom there are but five in the popular Northern Buddhism)—in the Yogâchârya school, the latter counting seven Dhyâni-Buddhas and as many Bodhisattvas—the “mind-sons” of the former. Hence, the Orientalists refer to Vajrasattva as “a fictitious Bodhisattva”. (The Theosophical Glossary)
      Having reached the Path of Deliverance [Thar-lam] from transmigration, one cannot perform Tulpa† any longer, for to become a Parinirvânî is to close the circle of the Septenary Ku-Sum.‡ He has merged his borrowed Dorjesempa [Vajrasattva] into the Universal and become one with it.
      Vajradhara, also Vajrasattva (Tibetan: Dorjechang and Dorjedzin, or Dorjesempa), is the regent or President of all the Dhyâni-Chohans or Dhyâni-Buddhas, the highest, the Supreme Buddha; personal, yet never manifested objectively; the “Supreme Conqueror,” the “Lord of all Mysteries,” the “One without Beginning or End”—in short, the Logos of Buddhism. For, as Vajrasattva, He is simply the Tsovo (Chief) of the Dhyâni-Buddhas or Dhyâni-Chohans, and the Supreme Intelligence in the Second World; while as Vajradhara (Dorjechang), He is all that which was enumerated above. “These two are one, and yet two,” and over them is “Chang, the Supreme Unmanifested and Universal Wisdom that has no name.” (Blavatsky, H. P. ‘’Reincarnations’’ of Buddha. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 387; CW 14, 400)

      In the esoteric, and even exoteric Buddhism of the North, Adi Buddha (Chogi dangpoi sangye), the One unknown, without beginning or end, identical with Parabrahm and Ain-Soph, emits a bright ray from its darkness. This is the Logos (the first), or Vajradhara, the Supreme Buddha (also called Dorjechang). As the Lord of all Mysteries he cannot manifest, but sends into the world of manifestation his heart – the “diamond heart,” Vajrasattva (Dorjesempa). This is the second logos of creation, from whom emanate the seven (in the exoteric blind the five) Dhyani Buddhas, called the Anupadaka, “the parentless”.( Blavatsky, H.P. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, p.571)

      Vajrasattva (Sanskrit:, Tibetan: Dorje Sempa)[1] is a bodhisattva in the Mahayana, Mantrayana/Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. In the Japanese Vajrayana school of Buddhism, Shingon, Vajrasattva is the esoteric aspect of the bodhisattva Samantabhadra and is commonly associated with the student practitioner who through the master’s teachings, attains an ever-enriching subtle and rarefied grounding in their esoteric practice. In Tibetan Buddhism Vajrasattva is associated with the sambhogakāya and purification practice.(Vajrasattva rdo rje sems dpa’. Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary Page . rywiki.tsadra.org/index.php/rdo_rje_sems_dpa%27. )
      Vajrasattva appears principally in two Buddhists texts: the Mahavairocana Sutra and the Vajrasekhara Sutra. In the Diamond Realm Mandala, Vajrasattva sits to the East near Akshobhya Buddha.In some esoteric lineages, Nagarjuna was said to have met Vajrasattva in an iron tower in South India, and was taught tantra, thus transmitting the esoteric teachings to more historical figures.[2]Vajrasattva’s name translates to Diamond Being or Thunderbolt Being. The vajra is an iconic marker for Esoteric Buddhism (Abe, Ryuichi.The Weaving of Mantra: Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse. Columbia University Press, 1999. pp. 131–133, 198, 221, 222)

      (5). Sat, the one eternal and Absolute Reality and Truth, all the rest being illusion.
      Sat (Sk.). The one ever-present Reality in the infinite world; the divine essence which is, but cannot be said to exist, as it is Absoluteness, Be-ness itself (The Theosophical Glossary)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      15-For mind is like a mirror; it gathers dust while it reflects (6). It needs the gentle breezes of Soul-Wisdom to brush away the dust of our illusions. Seek O Beginner, to blend thy Mind and Soul.
      (6). From Shen-hsiu’s Doctrine, who teaches that the human mind is like a mirror which attracts and reflects every atom of dust, and has to be, like that mirror, watched over and dusted every day. Shen-hsiu was the sixth Patriarch of North China who taught the esoteric doctrine of Bodhidharma.

      This is most likely a reference to the Platform Sutra:
      The body is the bodhi tree.
      The mind is like a bright mirror’s stand.
      At all times we must strive to polish it
      and must not let dust collect.
      Platform Sutra, 6 (Yampolski, Philip B. The platform sutra of the sixth patriarch: the text of the Tun-huang manuscript with translation, introduction, and notes, New York, Columbia University Press, 1967, p. 130)

      The dust on the mirror of the mind is cleansed by the intellect, just as stains on cloth are removed by the washerman’s soap (Janeshwari 13.464). (Jnaneshwar. Jnaneshwar’s Gita. A Rendering of the Janeshwari. Kripananda, Swami. Albany SUNY Press, 1989)

      Shen-hsiu [神秀] (d. 706) (PY Shenxiu;  Jinshū): The founder of the Northern school of Zen (Ch’an) in China. As a young man, he studied Buddhism and the Taoist philosophy of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu. In 625 he entered the priesthood at Lo-yang. In 655 he met Hung-jen, the fifth patriarch of Chinese Zen, and practiced seated meditation under his guidance. Thereafter he left his teacher and continued his practice alone for fifteen years. In 700, at the invitation of Empress Wu, he propagated Zen in Ch’ang-an and Lo-yang in the north, teaching the traditional Zen doctrine of the gradual attainment of enlightenment. The lineage of his teaching therefore came to be called the Northern school of Zen. The Northern school rapidly declined after his death, however. The Southern school of Zen, carried on by Hui-neng, who formulated the doctrine of sudden enlightenment, came to predominate in China. (Soka Gakkai Dictionnary of Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism Library nichirenlibrary.org/en/dic/Content/S/120 )

      16-Shun ignorance, and likewise shun illusion. Avert thy face from world deceptions; mistrust thy senses, they are false. But within thy body — the shrine of thy sensations — seek in the Impersonal for the “eternal man” (7); and having sought him out, look inward: thou art Buddha (8).

      (7). The reincarnating Ego is called by the Northern Buddhists the “true man,” who becomes in union with his Higher-Self — a Buddha.

      No profane ears having heard the mighty Chau-yan [secret and enlightening precepts] of Wu-Wei-chen-jen [Buddha within Buddha],* of our beloved Lord and Bodhisattva, how can one tell what his thoughts really were?
      *The word is translated by the Orientalists as “true man without a position,” (?) which is very misleading. It simply means the true inner man, or Ego, “Buddha within Buddha” meaning that there was a Gautama inwardly as well as outwardly. See also Blavatsky, H. P. The “Doctrine of the Eye” & the “Doctrine of the Heart,” or the “Heart’s Seal”. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 430 (Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp. 443-453)

      Wuwei zhenren: In Chinese, ‘’true man of no rank’’; a CHAN expression attributed to LINJI YIXUAN (d. 867), which is used to refer to the sentience, or ‘’numinous awareness’’ (LINGZHI), of the mind, that constantly moves throught the sense faculties, thus enabling sensory experience; equivalent to the Buddha-nature (FOXING). Linji contrasts this true man of no rank with the ‘’lump of red flesh’’ (CHIROUTUAN), the physical body that is constantly buffeted by sensory experience. The term zhenren is also used within the Daoist tradition to refer to a Daoist ‘’perfected,’’ who has realized perfect freedom both mentally and physically by achieving immortality and transcending all dichotomies (Buswell Jr., Robert E. & Donald S. Lopez Jr. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press, 2013, p. 1005)

      (8). “Buddha” means “Enlightened.”
      Buddha (Sk.). Lit., “The Enlightened”. The highest degree of knowledge. To become a Buddha one has to break through the bondage of sense and personality; to acquire a complete perception of the REAL SELF and learn not to separate it from all otherselves; to learn by experience the utter unreality of all phenomena of the visible Kosmos foremost of all; to reach a complete detachment from all that is evanescent and finite, and live while yet on Earth in the immortal and the everlasting alone, in a supreme state of holiness (The Theosophical Glossary).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      117-Shun praise, O Devotee. Praise leads to self-delusion. Thy body is not self, thy self is in itself without a body, and either praise or blame affects it not.
      Because he lacks pride a man of knowledge does not like to be equated with anybody and he feels awkward if burdened with greatness and honour. He feels nervous by praise or honour or if one openly applauds his worthiness. He does not let greatness to be showered on him. He feels distressed even by obeisance from others. Lest his greatness increase in public eyes he pretends to be a simpleton, hiding his wisdom. Ignoring his greatness he deliberately goes around as if he is a mad person. (Jnaneshwari 13:185- 192).
      Praise and slander do not disturb his balance. (Jnaneshwari 13:343-347).

      118-Self-gratulation, O disciple, is like unto a lofty tower, up which a haughty fool has climbed. Thereon he sits in prideful solitude and unperceived by any but himself.
      Again there arises the thought “I am a student, a holder of a portion of the mystic lore.” Insidiously there steals in the thought “Behold I am a little more than other men, who have not penetrated so far.” Know then oh man, that you are not as great even as they. He who thinks he is wise is the most ignorant of men, and he who begins to believe he is wise is in greater danger than any other man who lives. (William Q. Judge. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, August, 1886)

      119-False learning is rejected by the Wise, and scattered to the Winds by the good Law. Its wheel revolves for all, the humble and the proud. The “Doctrine of the Eye” (9) is for the crowd, the “Doctrine of the Heart,” for the elect. The first repeat in pride: “Behold, I know,” the last, they who in humbleness have garnered, low confess, “thus have I heard” (10).
      (9). See No. 1. The exoteric Buddhism of the masses.
      (10). The usual formula that precedes the Buddhist Scriptures, meaning, that that which follows is what has been recorded by direct oral tradition from Buddha and the Arhats.

      120-“Great Sifter” is the name of the “Heart Doctrine,” O disciple.
      121-The wheel of the good Law moves swiftly on. It grinds by night and day. The worthless husks it drives from out the golden grain, the refuse from the flour. The hand of Karma guides the wheel; the revolutions mark the beatings of the Karmic heart.
      122-True knowledge is the flour, false learning is the husk. If thou would’st eat the bread of Wisdom, thy flour thou hast to knead with Amrita’s* clear waters. But if thou kneadest husks with Mâyâ’s dew, thou canst create but food for the black doves of death, the birds of birth, decay and sorrow.

      [*Immortality.]

      Amrita (Sk.). The ambrosial drink or food of the gods; the food giving immortality. The elixir of life churned out of the ocean of milk in the Purânic allegory. An old Vedic term applied to the sacred Soma juice in the Temple Mysteries (The Theosophical Glossary).

      The wheel of doctrine revolved thrice. There was first didactic statement, then exhortation, and lastly appeal to evidence and personal experience. The image is that of grinding. The chaff and refuse are forced from the good flour by repeated revolutions of the wheel. The statement of facts, the urgent appeal, and the proof are repeated in the inculcation of each of the ” four truths.” The wheel of Buddhist preaching was thus made to perform twelve revolutions. * Reference: Shi-er-ling-fa-lun. (Edkins’ Rev. Joseph, Chinese Buddhism, 1880, 27-28)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      And the Wheel turns, lanoos – Section two (stanzas 109-122) continued to explain the exoteric and esoteric concepts, while contrasting ignorance and wisdom, as well as humility and pride. Section three deals (stanzas 123-137) with the problems of selfishness, inaction, quietism, and isolationism on the spiritual path.

      123-If thou art told that to become Arhan thou hast to cease to love all beings — tell them they lie.

      The Bodhisattva loves all creatures/From the bottom of his heart;/As one loves an only child,/Ever desiring to seek its good (Ornament of Sutras 10:3Atisa. A Lamp for the Path and Commentary. R. Sherburne, transl. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1983, p.19)

      NOW the man shall go out towards himself and towards all men of good-will, and shall taste and behold how that they are tied and bound together in love; and he shall beseech and pray God that He may let His customary gifts flow forth, that thereby all may be confirmed in His love and His eternal worship. This enlightened man shall faithfully and discreetly teach and instruct, reprove and serve, all men; for he bears in him a love towards all. (Ruysbroeck, John of. The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage. A. Wynschenk Dom, transl., 1951, Bk. II, Ch. 43)

      124-If thou art told that to gain liberation thou hast to hate thy mother and disregard thy son; to disavow thy father and call him “householder” (11); for man and beast all pity to renounce — tell them their tongue is false.
      (11). Rathapâla the great Arhat thus addresses his father in the legend called Rathapâla Sûtrasanne. But as all such legends are allegorical (e.g. Rathapâla’s father has a mansion with seven doors) hence the reproof, to those who accept them literally.

      And it is in St. Luke’s Gospel that one reads the terrible words, put in the mouth of Jesus: “If` any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, HE CANNOT BE MY DISCIPLE.” (xiv, 26.) In Book IV of Kiu-ti, in the chapter on “the Laws of Upasans” (disciples), the qualifications expected in a “regular chela” are “(1.) Perfect physical health.* (2.) Absolute mental and physical purity. (3.) Unselfishness of purpose; universal charity; pity for all animate beings. (4.) Truthfulness and unswerving faith in the laws of Karma. (5.) A courage undaunted in the support of truth, even in the face of peril to life. (6.) An intuitive perception of one’s being the vehicle of the manifested divine Atman (spirit). (7.) Calm indifference for, but a just appreciation of, everything that constitutes the objective and transitory world. (8.) Blessings of both parents † and their permission to become an Upasana (chela); and (9.) Celibacy, and freedom from any obligatory duty.”
      The two last rules are most strictly enforced. No man convicted of disrespect to his father or mother, or unjust abandonment of his wife, can ever be accepted even as a lay chela. Blavatsky, H.P. ANSWERS TO QUERIES. [Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 4, December, 1887, pp. 325-328] Collected Writings, Volume 8, 293

      125-Thus teach the Tîrthikas, the unbelievers.*
      [*Brahman ascetics.]
      Tîrthakas, or Tîrthika and Tîrthyas (Sk.). “Heretical teachers.” An epithet applied by the Buddhist ascetics to the Brahmans and certain Yogis of India (The Theosophical Glossary).
      The Tîrthya, ou Tîrthika, or also Tîrthakara, literally means ‘’he who does the pilgrimages of the sacred ponds’’. (Burnouf, Emile. Introduction à l’histoire du bouddhisme indien, 1876. 140 n2)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      For the Buddhist legend see the Ratthapala Sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya 82. The Majjhima Nikaya is collection of middle-length discourses, part of the Tripitaka Buddhist canon. Also see the Raṭṭhapālapadāna, tr Mabel Bode, in “The Legend of Raṭṭhapāla in the Pali Apadāna and Buddhaghosa’s Commentary.” In Melanges d’Indianisme: offerts par ses élèves à Sylvain Lévi, Paris, 1911: 183–192. The Apadāna is a collection of biographical stories found in the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Pāli Canon, the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism. A complete translation of the Apadāna into English has now been made by Jonathan S. Walters: Legends of the Buddhist Saints: Apadānapāli [2], Whitman College, 2017.

      1. Ratthapala Thera
      Chief of those who had left the world through faith (saddhapabbajitanam) (A.i.24). He was born at Thullakotthita in the Kuru country as the son of a very wealthy councillor and was called by his family name of Ratthapala. Given to the family because it retrieved the fortunes of a disrupted kingdom, says the Commentary. He lived in great luxury, and, in due course, married a suitable wife. When the Buddha visited Thullakotthita, Ratthapala went to hear him preach and decided to leave the world. His parents would not, however, give their consent till he threatened to starve himself to death. Realizing then that he was in earnest, they agreed to let him go on condition that he would visit them after his ordination. (Ratthapala, aka: Ratthapāla, Raṭṭhapāla; 1 Definition(s). Theravada glossary. https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/ratthapala)

      But Blavatsky is probably referencing Spence Hardy: to induce him to take this important step, may be inferred from the legend of Rathapala, as it appears in the Rathapala-sutra-sanne (Hardy, R. Spence. Eastern Monachism, 1860, p. 38). A “sanne” (or “sannaya”) is a Sinhalese paraphrased translation/commentary or a “interverbal paraphrase/interpretation” of a sutra/sutta. Thus the “Ratthapala Sutra-Sanne” is such a paraphrase/interpretation of the Ratthapala Sutta. From the Sinahalese Dictionary, p. 649: “සන්නය [sannaya], n. translation, paraphrase, exposition, explanation, අර්‍ථකීම.” See Ratthapala Sutra-Sanne in Hettiarachchi, D. E, වෙසතුරු දා සන්නෙ [vesaturu dā sanne], 1950, Introduction, p. 86.

      special assistance from a very knowledgeable mysterious stranger 😉

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Mark Casady.
      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      126-If thou art taught that sin is born of action and bliss of absolute inaction, then tell them that they err. Non-permanence of human action; deliverance of mind from thraldom by the cessation of sin and faults, are not for “Deva Egos.”* Thus saith the “Doctrine of the Heart.”
      [*The reincarnating Ego.]

      4. Not by abstention from works does a man enjoy actionlessness, nor by mere renunciation (of works) does he attain to his perfection (to siddhi, the accomplishment of the aims of his self-discipline by Yoga). (Bhagavad Gita 3, 4)
      IMPORTANCE OF ACTIONS Abandoning action is not non-action If without doing the prescribed actions first one says that “I am abandoning actions like a Siddha”, then that will not at all constitute non-action for him. Because it is foolish to think that non-action is the same thing as not doing the duties that have fallen to one’s lot. As long as one is in his body and has desires, actions cannot be abandoned; certain natural duties (like earning livelihood, preparation of food, having progeny etc.) have perforce to be performed. But the actions become non-actions when one is ceaselessly content. Therefore one who wants to achieve non-action should never give up the prescribed actions. (Jnaneshwari 3:45- 50)

      127-The Dharma of the “Eye” is the embodiment of the external, and the non-existing.

      Compare: Samvriti (Sk.). False conception—the origin of illusion.
      Samvritisatya (Sk.). Truth mixed with false conceptions (Samvriti); the reverse of absolute truth—or Paramârthasatya, self-consciousness in absolute truth or reality (The Theosophical Glossary).

      128-The Dharma of the “Heart” is the embodiment of Bodhi,* the Permanent and Everlasting.
      [*True, divine Wisdom.]

      Bodhi or Sambodhi (Sk.). Receptive intelligence, in contradistinction to Buddhi, which is the potentiality of intelligence (The Theosophical Glossary).
      Compare: Paramartha (Sk) Absolute existence (The Theosophical Glossary).

      129-The Lamp burns bright when wick and oil are clean. To make them clean a cleaner is required. The flame feels not the process of the cleaning. “The branches of a tree are shaken by the wind; the trunk remains unmoved.”

      The lamp flame consumes the wick, burns the oil and yet causes soot everywhere. When sprinkled with water it splutters, when fanned it is extinguished and if it touches anything, it causes an all consuming fire. Even while giving a feeble light, it causes heat. A man of non-wisdom is like this flame with few merits and many faults. (Jnaneshwar. Jnaneshwar’s Gita. A Rendering of the Jnaneshwari. Kripananda, Swami. Albany SUNY Press, 1989, Ch. 13)


      • Gerry Kiffe
        Moderator
        Gerry Kiffe

        Why do you suppose the metaphor of the Eye and Heart are used to describe the Esoteric and Exoteric paths?


        • Mark Casady
          Participant
          Mark Casady

          It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince, 1943)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      130-Both action and inaction may find room in thee; thy body agitated, thy mind tranquil, thy Soul as limpid as a mountain lake.
      Zazen
      The moon reflected
      In a mind clear
      As still water:
      Even the waves, breaking,
      Are reflecting its light.
      (Dogen. Steve Heine, transl. The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace. Tuttle Publishing, 1997)

      131-Would’st thou become a Yogi of “Time’s Circle”? Then, O Lanoo: —

      This could be a reference to the Sanskrit Kalachakra:
      Blavatsky was aware that The Kalachakra Tantra was the first item in the tantra division of the Kagyur, since she mentioned that fact in one of her notes. She explained, however, that the seven secret folios were not actually part of the published Kiu-te, and thus we do not find anything similar to The Stanzas of Dzyan in that collection.
      It is unclear to what extent Blavatsky actually studied the Kalachakra texts directly. The earliest Western material on the topic was an 1833 article entitled “Note on the Origins of the Kalachakra and Adi-Buddha Systems” by the Hungarian pioneer scholar Alexander Csomo de Kцrцs (Kцrцsi Csoma Sandor).
      De Kцrцs compiled the first dictionary and grammar of Tibetan in a Western language, English, in 1834. Jakov Schmidt’s Tibetan-Russian Dictionary and Grammar soon followed in 1839.
      Most of Blavatsky’s familiarity with Kalachakra, however, came from the chapter entitled “The Kalachakra System” in Emil Schlagintweit’s Buddhism in Tibet (1863), as evidenced by her borrowing many passages from that book in her works. Following her translation principle, however, she rendered Shambhala in terms of similar concepts in Hinduism and the Occult (Berzin, Alexander Mistaken Foreign Myths about Shambhala 2003 from BerzinArchives Website).

      132-Believe thou not that sitting in dark forests, in proud seclusion and apart from men; believe thou not that life on roots and plants, that thirst assuaged with snow from the great Range — believe thou not, O Devotee, that this will lead thee to the goal of final liberation.

      You think, oh man, that because you have obtained a portion of occult knowledge, that it entitles you to withdraw from contact with the rest of mankind. It is not so. If you have obtained true knowledge it forces you to meet all men not only half way, but more than that to seek them. It urges you not to retire but, seeking contact, to plunge into the misery and sorrow of the world, and with your cheering word, if you have no more (the Mystic has little else) strive to lighten the burden for some struggling soul. (William Q. Judge. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, August, 1886, October, 1886, February, 1887)

      133-Think not that breaking bone, that rending flesh and muscle, unites thee to thy “silent Self” (12). Think not, that when the sins of thy gross form are conquered, O Victim of thy Shadows (13), thy duty is accomplished by nature and by man.

      (12). The “Higher Self” the “seventh” principle.
      (13). Our physical bodies are called “Shadows” in the mystic schools.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      134-The blessed ones have scorned to do so. The Lion of the Law, the Lord of Mercy,* perceiving the true cause of human woe, immediately forsook the sweet but selfish rest of quiet wilds. From Âranyaka (14) He became the Teacher of mankind. After Julai (15) had entered the Nirvâna, He preached on mount and plain, and held discourses in the cities, to Devas, men and gods (16).
      [*Buddha.]
      (14). A hermit who retires to the jungles and lives in a forest, when becoming a Yogi.
      Âranyaka (Sk.). Holy hermits, sages who dwelt in ancient India in forests. Also a portion of the Vedas containing Upanishads, etc (The Theosophical Glossary)..
      (15). Julai the Chinese name for Tathâgata, a title applied to every Buddha.
      (16). All the Northern and Southern traditions agree in showing Buddha quitting his solitude as soon as he had resolved the problem of life — i.e., received the inner enlightenment — and teaching mankind publicly.

      135-Sow kindly acts and thou shalt reap their fruition. Inaction in a deed of mercy becomes an action in a deadly sin.
      Thus saith the Sage.

      “Not doing wrong action,
      Sincerely doing every kind of good,
      naturally clarifies this mind.
      This is the Teaching of all the Buddhas.”
      This is the universal precept of the Seven Buddhas, our Founding Ancestors, and is truly transmitted by earlier Buddhas to later Buddhas and is received by later Buddhas from earlier Buddhas. It is not only the Teaching of the Seven Buddhas but of all the Buddhas. This principle must be investigated and mastered through practice.
      (Dogen, “Shoaku makusa : Not Doing Wrong Action” Anzan Hoshin roshi, Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi, transl, 2007) https://wwzc.org/dharma-text/shoaku-makusa-not-doing-wrong-action

      Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self. (Dōgen. Shobogenzo Zuimonki [Things Overheard at the Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma], Masunaga, Reiho, transl.Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press; New Ed edition, June 1975, III, 3)

      136-Shalt thou abstain from action? Not so shall gain thy soul her freedom. To reach Nirvâna one must reach Self-Knowledge, and Self-Knowledge is of loving deeds the child.
      In all nature we can find no instance where effort of some kind is not required. We find there is a natural result from such effort. He who would life the life or find wisdom can only do so by continued effort. If one becomes a student, and learns to look partially within the veil, or has found within his own being something that is greater than his outer self, it gives no authority for one to sit down in idleness or fence himself in from contact with the world. Because one sees the gleam of the light ahead he cannot say to his fellow “I am holier than thee” or draw the mantle of seclusion around himself (William Q. Judge. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path II. The Path, October, 1886).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Section 3 (123-136) gave the following advice: love all beings, do not neglect your parents, non-action does not mean inaction, the lamp burns bright when wick and old are clean, one can face physical agitation and still have a tranquil mind, solitary forest asceticism is not the way to final liberation, physical punishment and conquering physical vices are not the final steps, after reaching enlightenment, one has a duty to reach out to others, kind actionsgive merit while failing to do acts of charity is a fault, Self-Knowledge comes through good deeds and actions. Section 4 (Stanzas137-146) deals with the doctrine of the Three Vestures of Trikaya.

      137-Have patience, Candidate, as one who fears no failure, courts no success. Fix thy Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray thou art (17), the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown.
      (17). Every spiritual Ego is a ray of a “Planetary Spirit” according to esoteric teaching.
      See Fragment I, stanza 88 and commentary.

      138-Have perseverance as one who doth for evermore endure. Thy shadows live and vanish (18); that which in thee shall live for ever, that which in thee knows, for it is knowledge (19), is not of fleeing life: it is the man that was, that is, and will be, for whom the hour shall never strike.
      (18). “Personalities” or physical bodies called “shadows” are evanescent.
      (19). Mind (Manas) the thinking Principle or Ego in man, is referred to “Knowledge” itself, because the human Egos are called Mânasa-putras the sons of (universal) Mind.

      This sword in the form of knowledge of Self will destroy this tree of the universe, as the wind scatters the clouds and the sun destroys darkness and waking destroys a dream. (Jnaneshwar. Jnaneshwar’s Gita. A Rendering of the Jnaneshwari. Kripananda, Swami. Albany SUNY Press, 1989, 15,265)

      139- If thou would’st reap sweet peace and rest, Disciple, sow with the seeds of merit the fields of future harvests. Accept the woes of birth.

      A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:7-10. Lattimore Richmond A. , transl. The Four Gospels and the Revelation. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015).
      Peacemakers who sow in peace reap the fruit of righteousness (James 3:18).

      “According to the seed that’s sown,
      So is the fruit you reap there from,
      Doer of good will gather good,
      Doer of evil, evil reaps,
      Down is the seed and thou shalt taste
      The fruit thereof.”
      SN I, XI, I, 10 (Davids, C. A. F. Rhys & F. L. Woodward tr. The Book of the Kindred Sayings, Bristol: Pali Text Society part 1, 1917, Samyutta Nikaya I, XI, Bk 1-Sagatha-vagga, Ch. XI-Sakka, I, s.10, p. 293)

      Vipāka (Sanskrit and Pāli) is a Buddhist term for the ripening or maturation of karma (Pāli kamma), or intentional actions. The theory of karmic action and result (kamma-vipāka) is a central belief within the Buddhist tradition.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      140-Step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others. The tears that water the parched soil of pain and sorrow, bring forth the blossoms and the fruits of Karmic retribution. Out of the furnace of man’s life and its black smoke, winged flames arise, flames purified, that soaring onward, ‘neath the Karmic eye, weave in the end the fabric glorified of the three vestures of the Path (20).
      (20). Vide Part III. Glossary, paragraph 34 et seq.
      “He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.” (Mitchell, Stephen, transl. Tao Te Ching. Frances Lincoln, London, 1999, chapter 24)

      141-These vestures are: Nirmânakâya, Sambhogakâya, and Dharmakâya, robe Sublime. (21).
      (21). Ibid.

      142-The Shangna robe (22), ’tis true, can purchase light eternal. The Shangna robe alone gives the Nirvâna of destruction; it stops rebirth, but, O Lanoo, it also kills — compassion. No longer can the perfect Buddhas, who don the Dharmakâya glory, help man’s salvation. Alas! shall selves be sacrificed to Self; mankind, unto the weal of Units?
      (22). The Shangna robe, from Shangnavasu of Râjagriha the third great Arhat or “Patriarch” as the Orientalists call the hierarchy of the 33 Arhats who spread Buddhism. “Shangna robe” means metaphorically, the acquirement of Wisdom with which the Nirvâna of destruction (of personality) is entered. Literally, the “initiation robe” of the Neophytes. Edkins states that this “grass cloth” was brought to China from Tibet in the Tong Dynasty. “When an Arhan is born this plant is found growing in a clean spot” says the Chinese as also the Tibetan legend.

      Tong should probably be corrected to T’ang:
      The Pratyeka Buddha said, ” This is called the Shangna robe. With it the acquirement of wisdom can be made, and with it the Nirvana of destruction should be entered.” He then took wing, performed the eighteen movements in the air, and entered the Nirvana.
      This cloth was brought to China from Thibet and other western countries in the T’ang dynasty. It was white, fine, thick, and strong. The plant of which it was made had nine stalks. When an Arhan is born this plant is found growing in some clean spot. (Edkins’ Rev. Joseph, Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 66)

      Sanakavasa is another name for Shangnavasu:
      Again, there is here the Sanghati robe, in nine pieces 184 of Sanakavasa; the colour is a deep red (rose-red) ; it is made of the bark (peel) of the She-no kia plant. Sanakavasa was the disciple of Ananda. In a former existence he had given the priests garments made of the Sanaka plant (fibre), on the conclusion of the rainy season. By the force of this meritorious action during 500 successive births he wore only this (kind of) garment, and at his last birth he was born with it. As his body increased so his robe grew larger, until the time when .3 converted by Ananda and left his home (i.e., became an ascetic). Then his robe changed into a religious garment; and when he was fully ordained it again changed into a Sanghati, composed of nine pieces. When he was about to arrive at Nirvana he entered into the condition of Samadhi, bordering on complete extinction, and by the force of his vow in attaining wisdom (he arrived at the knowledge) that this kashdya garment would last till the bequeathed law (testament) of Sakya (was established), and after the destruction of this law then his garment also would perish. At the present time it is a little fading, for faith also is small at this time (Beal, Samuel SI-YU-KI: Buddhist Records of the Western World (1884). 53)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Sorry to be posting long texts, but since Blavatsky presents some important esoteric ideas about the Trikaya, I thought it might to be useful to share some basic notions about the Trikaya from an exoteric, or semi-esoteric perspective, in order to compare. In Fragment 3, I will post some more material by Blavatsky on the Trikaya.

      The Trikaya doctrine of Buddhism, i.e., the doctrine that the Buddha has three “bodies,” is notorious for its complexities. Attributed to the Yogacara, but regarded as typical of the Mahayana in general, it is customarily cited in books on Buddhism in terms of the triad dharma-kaya, sambhoga-kaya (or sambhogika-kaya) and nirmana-kaya (or nairmanika-kaya). Taking these in ascending order of abstraction, the nirmana-kaya, usually translated “apparitional body,” “phantom body,” “transformation body,” etc., is the physical manifestation of Buddhahood, the ordinary perishable human form, as exemplified by the “historical Buddha,” Siddhartha Gautama. The sambhoga-kaya (“body of bliss,” “reward body,” “enjoyment body,” etc.) is a more exalted and splendid manifestation of the enlightened personality, still in the realm of form, but visible only to bodhisattvas, those of advanced spiritual capabilities. By contrast, the dharma-kaya (“Dianna-body,” “Body of Truth,” “Cosmic Body,” “Absolute Body,” etc.) is both formless and imperishable, representing the identification of the Buddha with the truth which he revealed, or with reality itself. As such the dharma-kaya is often linked with various terms for reality, such as dharmata, dharma-dhatu, and so on, and has even been regarded as a kind of Buddhist absolute, or at least at one with it.2 In this light the dharma-kaya is understood as the primal “source” or “ground” from which the other two types of bodies emanate.3 While many scholars are content to describe this in purely abstract terms, others impute personal characteristics to it;4 and at least one writer has gone so far as to compare it to the Christian idea of Godhead.(Harrison, Paul (1992). Is the Dharma-Kāya the Real “Phantom Body” of the Buddha?. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 15 (1), 44)

      TRIKAYA Tib. Skugsum) lit. 3 bodies, or threefold embodiment. (1.) Three representations of Buddha, viz. his statue, his teachings, and his stupa (q. v.) (2.) The historical Buddha, as uniting in himself 3 bodily qualities, see Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya. (3.) Buddha, as having passed through, and still existing in, 3 forms or persons, viz. (a) as ” Sakyamuni (or earthly Buddha, endowed with the Nirmanakdya which passed through 100,000 kotis of transformations ” (on earth) ; (b.) as ” Lochana (or heavenly Dhyani Bodhisattva, endowed with the) Sambhogakaya of absolute completeness ” (in Dhyana); (c.) as “Vairochana (or Dhyani Buddha, endowed with the Dharmakaya of absolute purity ” (in Nirvana). In speaking of Buddha as now combining the foregoing (historically arranged) persons or forms of existence, the order here given is, of course, reversed. As to how this doctrine arose, we can only guess. Primitive Buddhism in China distinguished a material, visible and perishable body (rupa kaya) and an immaterial, invisible and immortal body, dharma kaya, as attributes of human existence. This dichotomy— probably taught by Sakyamuni himself—was even afterwards retained in characterizing the nature of ordinary human beings. But in later ages, when the combined influence of Shivaism, which ascribed to Shiva a threefold body (Dharmakaya, Sarmbhogakaya and Nirmanakaya) and Brahminism, with its Trimurti (of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) gave rise to the Buddhist dogma of a Triratna (Buddha, Dharma and Sahgha), trichotomism was taught with regard to the nature of all Buddhas. Bodlhi being the characteristic of a Buddha, a distinction was now made of ” essential Bodhi ” as the attribute of the Dharmakaya, ” reflected Bodhi ” as the attribute of the Sambhogakaya, and ” practical Bodhi” as the attribute of the Nirmanakaya; and Buddha, combining in himself these 3 conditions of existence, was said to be living, at the same time, in 3 different spheres, viz. (1.) as ” having essentially entered Nirvana,” being as such a Dhyani Buddha, living in Arupadhatu in the Dharmakaya state of essential Bodhi, (2.) as ” living in reflex in Rupa dhatu ” and being, as such, in the intermediate degree of a Dhyani Bodhisattva in the Sambhogakaya state of reflected Bodhi, and (3.) as “living practically in Kamadhatu,” in the elementary degree of a Manuchi Buddha in the Nirmanakaya state of practical Bodhi. In each of these 3 forms of existence, Buddha has a peculiar mode of existence, viz., (1.) absolute purity as Dhyani Buddha, (2.) absolute completeness as Dhyani Bodhisattva, and (3.) numberless transformations as Manuchi Buddha. Likewise also Buddha’s influence has a different sphere in each of these 3 forms of existence, viz., (1.) as Dhyani Buddha he rules in the “domain of the spiritual ” (4th Buddha kchetra), (2.) as Dhyani Bodhisattva he rules in the “domain of success ” (3rd Buddha kchetra), and (3.) as “Manuchi Buddha he rules in the domain of mixed qualities ” (1st and 2nd Buddhakchetra). There is clearly the idea of a unity in trinity underlying these distinctions and thus the dogmas of the Trailokya, Trikaya’ and the Triratna (q. T.) are interlinked, as the subjoined synoptic table shows in detail (Eitel, Ernest J. Handbook of Buddhism, Hong Kong, 1888).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      143-Know, O beginner, this is the Open Path, the way to selfish bliss, shunned by the Bodhisattvas of the “Secret Heart,” the Buddhas of Compassion.
      In Sufism, there is a doctrine of subtle bodies, one of which is the Sir, secret of secrets, which can mean secret heart:
      The heart is the secret inside the secret (Jalaluddin Rumi in Barks, Coleman. Rumi The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems, Deckle Edge, 200).
      Some have interpreted secret as meaning a heart that is purified of all carnal vices and stains caused by attachment to anything else other than the Lord, and which has a clear relationship with the world of spirit.
      Based on the verse (11:31), God knows the best whatever is in their inner worlds, we can describe a secret as being a pure bosom full of loyalty and faithfulness, open to Prophetic messages, and preferring God and the other world to all else. We can regard secret in this sense as being the heart at the level of secret (Gülen, Fethullah. ‘’Sir (Secret)’’. Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism-2. 2006)
      https://fgulen.com/en/fethullah-gulens-works/sufism/key-concepts-in-the-practice-of-sufism-2/25429-sir-secret
      In mystical Christianity, the notion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is perhaps a similar notion:
      34. The wrongs of others wound the Son of God, and the stripes of others fall on his flesh. He is smitten with the pains of all creatures, and his heart is pierced with their wounds. There is no offence done and he suffers not, nor any wrong and he is not hurt thereby. For his heart is in the breast of every creature, and his blood in the veins of all flesh. (Anna Kingsford, The Perfect Way, Lecture 4, Part III, 20)

      144-To live to benefit mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious virtues (23) is the second.
      (23). To “practise the Pâramitâ Path” means to become a Yogi with a view of becoming an ascetic.
      Those true men bent on renunciation,
      Detached from all the planes of being,
      Plow their course for the good of the world,
      Striving to fulfill the paaramiis.
      (Caryapitaka atthakatha in A Treatise on the Paramis. From the Commentary to the Cariyapitaka by Acariya Dhammapala, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl., 2005)

      145-To don Nirmânakâya’s humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for Self, to help on man’s salvation. To reach Nirvâna’s bliss, but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step — the highest on Renunciation’s Path.
      For comparison sake, here is the basic renunciation principle in Mahayana Buddhism. A Bodhisattva vow is found at the end of the Avatamsaka Sutra by Samantabhadra. In the Bodhisattvacaryāvatāra, Shantideva explains that the Bodhisattva vow is taken with the following famous two verses from Sutra:
      Just as all the previous Sugatas, the Buddhas
      Generated the mind of enlightenment
      And accomplished all the stages
      Of the Bodhisattva training,
      So will I too, for the sake of all beings,
      Generate the mind of enlightenment
      And accomplish all the stages
      Of the Bodhisattva training.[1]
      May I purify an ocean of realms,
      May I liberate an ocean of sentient beings,
      May I see an ocean of truths,
      And may I realize an ocean of wisdom.
      May I perform an ocean of perfect deeds,
      May I perfect an ocean of prayers,
      May I revere an ocean of Buddhas (Avatamsaka Sutra, chapter 39 near the end)
      (Cleary, Thomas. The flower ornament scripture : a translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Boston, Shambhala, 1993).


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      146-Know, O Disciple, this is the Secret Path, selected by the Buddhas of Perfection, who sacrificed The SELF to weaker Selves. Work for tomorrow

      DHARMAKAYA (Tib. Cos kyi sku) lit. the spiritual body. (1.) The first of the 3 qualities (v. Tiikaya) belonging to the body of every Buddha, viz. luminous spirituality. (2) The 4th of the Buddhakchetras.
      SAMBHOGA KAYA lit. the body of compensation. (1.) The 2nd of the 3 qualities (v. Trikaya) of a Buddha’s body, viz. reflected spirituality, corresponding with his merits. (2.) The 3rd of the Buddhakchetras.
      NIRMANAKAYA (Tib. spnil &L lit. a body capable of transformation. (1.) One of the Trikaya (q.v.), the power of assuming any form of appearance in order to propagate Buddhism. (2.) The incarnate avatara of a deity (Tib. Chutuktu. Mong. Chubilgan). See also Anupapadaka. detail (Eitel, Ernest J. Handbook of Buddhism, Hong Kong, 1888).

      Three manifestations of the Nirmanakaya:
      One is the manifestation of a completely realized Buddha, such as Gautama Siddhartha, who is born into the world and teaches in it;
      another is a seemingly ordinary being who is blessed with a special capacity to benefit others: a tulku; and
      the third is actually a being through whom some degree of enlightenment works to benefit and inspire others through various arts, crafts, and sciences.

      (Gyatso, Tenzin H. H. the Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, Quest Books, 1966, pp. 123-125)

      AK. Coomaraswamy says that the sväbhävih-hya, sämbhogih-hya, and nairmänih-hya correspond respectively to “the Father,” “the figure of Christ in Glory, and “the visible Jesus (A.K. Coomaraswamy, Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism (Bombay, etc., 1956), p. 239)

      Here are a few tantric mystical aspects of the Trikaya:
      I take refuge in the triple refuge
      Of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
      I supplicate the three roots
      Of the guru, yidam, and dakini.
      Bestow the blessing of the three perfections
      Of dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya.
      (Rangjung, Yshe Tsogya, Kunsang, Erik Pema, transl. The Lotus-born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava
      Yeshe Publications, 2004, ch. 41, p. 203)

      The seven branches of the three Kayas:
      1- (Nirmanakaya) The highest compassion for all sentient beings being uninterrupted
      2- Your mindstream being completely filled by great compassion.
      3- Being without obstacles.
      4- (Dharmakaya) The union of emptiness and compassion, natureless and without any elaboration.
      5- (Sambohgakaya) Permanent enjoyment of the prayer wheel of the deep and profound mantra.
      6- Union achieved with uniting the wisdom kaya with the consort, which is one’s own


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Section four taught us to have patience, as one who fears no failure, courts no success; fix your Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray you are. Have perseverance as one who for evermore endures; sow with the seeds of merit the fields of future harvests; accept the woes of birth; step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others.
      Through the pain of karmic retribution, we can weave the three vestures: Nirmânakâya, Sambhogakâya, and Dharmakâya. The way of the Bodhisattvas of the “Secret Heart is explained: To live to benefit mankind is the first step; to practise the six virtues is the second. To don the Nirmânakâya robe is to forego eternal bliss for Self, to help on man’s salvation. To reach Nirvâna’s bliss, but to renounce it, is the the final step — the highest on Renunciation’s Path. Section 5 (Stanzas 147- 163) deals with karma and humility.

      147-Yet, if the “Doctrine of the Heart” is too high-winged for thee. If thou need’st help thyself and fearest to offer help to others, — then, thou of timid heart, be warned in time: remain content with the “Eye Doctrine” of the Law. Hope still. For if the “Secret Path” is unattainable this “day,” it is within thy reach “to-morrow.” (24). Learn that no efforts, not the smallest — whether in right or wrong direction — can vanish from the world of causes. E’en wasted smoke remains not traceless. “A harsh word uttered in past lives, is not destroyed but ever comes again.”* The pepper plant will not give birth to roses, nor the sweet jessamine’s silver star to thorn or thistle turn.

      [*Precepts of the Prasanga School.]
      (24). “To-morrow” means the following rebirth or reincarnation.
      Prasanga Madhyamika (Sk.). A Buddhist school of philosophy in Tibet. it follows, like the Yogâchârya system, the Mahâyâna or “Great Vehicle” of precepts; but, having been founded far later than the Yogâchârya, it is not half so rigid and severe. It is a semi-exoteric and very popular system among the literati and laymen. (The Theosophical Glossary).

      Buddhapālita, (470–550) was a commentator on the works of Nagarjuna and Aryadeva. His works were criticised by his contemporary Bhāviveka, and then he was defended by the later Candrakīrti, whose terms differentiating the two scholars led to the rise of the Prasaṅgika and Svatantrika schools of Madhyamaka. In this sense, Buddhapālita can be said to have been the founder of the Prasaṅgika Madhyamaka School.

      Perhaps these precepts refer to a Mongolian Mani Kambum:
      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. (SD I, 43)

      The book Mani Kambum. (a name also softened into Mani Gambum), or literally Mani bka’ ‘bum, “a hundred thousand precious commandments,” contains in twelve chapters a most detailed account of the numerous legendary tales respecting Padmapâni’s merits as the propagator of Buddhism in Tibet, and a statement of the origin and application of the sacred formula, “Om mani padme hum.” Some historical events are further added with reference to Srongtsan Gampo (who lived from 617 to 698 A.D.) and his wives, as also a general explanation of the leading doctrines of Buddhism (Schlagintweit, Emil. Buddhism in Tibet, 1863).
      There is an English translation, called the Mani Kabum. The precepts seem be in volume 2.
      Prophecies & Teachings of Great Compassion, MANI KABUM H.E. Trizin Tsering, Rimpoche, Singapore, 2007 http://www.buddhadordenma.org/manikabum2.html

      On this path no effort is wasted, / no gain is ever reversed; / even a little of this practice / will shelter you from great sorrow. (Bhagavad Gita, 2.40 Stephen Mitchell translation)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      148-Thou canst create this “day” thy chances for thy “morrow.” In the “Great Journey,” (25) causes sown each hour bear each its harvest of effects, for rigid Justice rules the World. With mighty sweep of never erring action, it brings to mortals lives of weal or woe, the Karmic progeny of all our former thoughts and deeds.
      (25). “Great Journey” or the whole complete cycle of existences, in one “Round.”

      Charity produceth the harvest in the next birth. (Dawa-Samdup, Lama Kazi, transl. The Ocean of Delight for the Wise Verse 29, in Evans-Wentz, W. Y. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1934, p. 65)

      Beings are owners of their karma, heirs of their kamma, they originate from their kamma, are bound to their kamma, have their kamma as their refuge. It is kamma that distinguishes beings as inferior or superior. (Majjhima Nikaya MN 135. Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta, III 202, 3)

      It seeth everywhere and marketh all: / Do right — it recompenseth! do one wrong — / The equal retribution must be made, / Though DHARMA tarry long.

      It knows not wrath nor pardon; utter-true / Its measures mete, its faultless balance weighs; / Times are as nought, to-morrow it will judge, / Or after many days.

      The Books say well, my Brothers! each man’s life / The outcome of his former living is; / The bygone wrongs bring forth sorrows and woes / The bygone right breeds bliss.

      That which ye sow ye reap. See yonder fields! / The sesamum was sesamum, the corn / Was corn. The Silence and the Darkness knew! / So is a man’s fate born. (Arnold, Sir Edwin, The Light of Asia, Chapt. 8)

      149-Take then as much as merit hath in store for thee, O thou of patient heart. Be of good cheer and rest content with fate. Such is thy Karma, the Karma of the cycle of thy births, the destiny of those, who, in their pain and sorrow, are born along with thee, rejoice and weep from life to life, chained to thy previous actions.

      I, Buddh, who wept with all my brothers’ tears, / Whose heart was broken by a whole world’s woe, / Laugh and am glad, for there is Liberty! / Ho! ye who suffer! Know

      Ye suffer from yourselves. None else compels, / None other holds you that ye live and die, / And whirl upon the wheel, and hug and kiss / Its spokes of agony, (Arnold, Sir Edwin, The Light of Asia, Chapt. 8)

      If you have obtained true knowledge it forces you to meet all men not only half way, but more than that to seek them. It urges you not to retire but, seeking contact, to plunge into the misery and sorrow of the world, and with your cheering word, if you have no more (the Mystic has little else) strive to lighten the burden for some struggling soul (Judge, William Q.. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, August, 1886).

      150-Act thou for them to “day,” and they will act for thee “to morrow.”

      If he shall day by day dwell merciful, / Holy and just and kind and true; and rend / Desire from where it clings with bleeding roots, / Till love of life have end:

      He — dying — leaveth as the sum of him / A life-count closed, whose ills are dead and quit, / Whose good is quick and mighty, far and near, / So that fruits follow it (Arnold, Sir Edwin, The Light of Asia, Chapt. 8).

      Shall those whom we now know or whom we are destined to know before this life ends be our friends or enemies, our aiders or obstructors in that coming life? And what will make them hostile or friendly to us then? Not what we shall say or do to and for them in the future life. For no man becomes your friend in a present life by reason of present acts alone. He was your friend, or you his, before in a previous life. Your present acts but revive the old friendship, renew the ancient obligation.

      Was he your enemy before, he will be now even though you do him service now, for these tendencies last always more than three lives. They will be more and still more our aids if we increase the bond of friendship of today by charity. Their tendency to enmity will be one-third lessened in every life if we persist in kindness, in love, in charity now. And that charity is not a gift of money, but charitable thought for every weakness, to every failure (Judge, William Q., Friends or Enemies in the FutureThe Path, January, 1893)

      Hence, if the soul that we do love inhabits another physical frame, it is the law–a part of the law of Reincarnation not often stated or dwelt on–that we will again, when incarnated, meet that same soul in the new tenement. We cannot, however, always recognize it. But that, the recognition or memory of those whom we knew before, is one of the very objects of our study and practice. Not only is this the law as found in ancient books, but it has been positively stated, in the history of the Theosophical Society, in a letter from an Adept addressed not many years ago to some London theosophists. In it he asked them if they imagined that they were together as incarnated beings for the first time, stated that they were not, and laid down the rule that the real affinities of soul life drew them together on earth. (Judge, William Q., Respecting Reincarnation The Path, August, 1888)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      151- ‘Tis from the bud of Renunciation of the Self, that springeth the sweet fruit of final Liberation.

      The Supreme Path of Altruism is a short-cut,
      Leading to the Realm of the Conquerors,-
      A track more speedy than that of a racing horse;
      The selfish, however, know naught of it. (Dawa-Samdup, Lama Kazi, transl. The Ocean of Delight for the Wise Verses 25-28 in Evans-Wentz, W. Y. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1934, p. 64)

      Accordingly, the abandonment of all actions is possible for him alone who, realising the Supreme Reality, is not a ‘body-wearer,’ i. e., does not regard the body as the Self. (Sankara, Commentary on the Baghavad Gita, 18,11)

      152- To perish doomed is he, who out of fear of Mâra refrains from helping man, lest he should act for Self. The pilgrim who would cool his weary limbs in running waters, yet dares not plunge for terror of the stream, risks to succumb from heat. Inaction based on selfish fear can bear but evil fruit.

      In all nature we can find no instance where effort of some kind is not required. We find there is a natural result from such effort. He who would live the life or find wisdom can only do so by continued effort. If one becomes a student, and learns to look partially within the veil, or has found within his own being something that is greater than his outer self, it gives no authority for one to sit down in idleness or fence himself in from contact with the world (Judge, William Q.. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, August, 1886).

      153- The Selfish devotee lives to no purpose. The man who does not go through his appointed work in life — has lived in vain.

      Verily, the abandonment of an obligatory duty is not proper ; the abandonment thereof from ignorance is declared to be Tamasic (Baghavad Gita, 18, 7)
      He must work, and if he cannot have the sort he desires or deems best suited to him, then must he take and perform that which presents itself. It is that which he most needs. It is not intended either, that he do it to have it done. It is intended that he work as if it was the object of his life, as if his whole heart was in it (Judge, William Q.. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path II. The Path, October, 1886).

      Even Blavatsky only mentions the term Pratyeka towards the end of this fragment, I thought it would be good to present it now, because the preceding passages seem to be hinting towards this idea:
      Pratyeka-buddha, (Sanskrit: “independent, or separate, buddha”)Pali pacceka-buddha, in Buddhism, one who attains enlightenment through his own efforts, as distinct from one who reaches the goal by listening to the teachings of a buddha. The pratyeka-buddha, who is not omniscient and cannot enlighten others, is to be distinguished from the “complete buddha” sammasam-buddha (“complete buddha”), who is and can.
      In early Buddhism, the various yanas, or ways of enlightenment, included the way of the disciple (shravakayana) and the way of the self-enlightened buddha (pratyeka-buddhayana). The latter concept was retained only in the Theravada tradition. By contrast, Mahayana Buddhists emphasize the ideal of the bodhisattva, who postpones his own final enlightenment while he works toward the salvation of others, and they consider both the pratyeka-buddha and the arhat (perfected master) to be too limited achievements. (Pratyeka-buddha)
      https://www.britannica.com/topic/pratyeka-buddha


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      154- Follow the wheel of life; follow the wheel of duty to race and kin, to friend and foe, and close thy mind to pleasures as to pain. Exhaust the law of Karmic retribution. Gain Siddhis for thy future birth.

      He cometh, reaper of the things he sowed, / Sesamum, corn, so much cast in past birth; / And so much weed and poison-stuff, which mar / Him and the aching earth.
      If he shall labor rightly, rooting these, / And planting wholesome seedlings where they grew, / Fruitful and fair and clean the ground shall be, / And rich the harvest due.
      If he who liveth, learning whence woe springs, / Endureth patiently, striving to pay / His utmost debt for ancient evils done / In Love and Truth I; (Arnold, Sir Edwin, The Light of Asia, Chapt. 8)

      Duty is that which is due to Humanity, to our fellow-men, neighbours, family, and especially that which we owe to all those who are poorer and more helpless than we are ourselves. This is a debt which, if left unpaid during life, leaves us spiritually insolvent and moral bankrupts in our next incarnation. Theosophy is the quintessence of duty.
      Finally: if you ask me how we understand Theosophical duty practically and in view of Karma, I may answer you that our duty is to drink without a murmur to the last drop, whatever contents the cup of life may have in store for us, to pluck the roses of life only for the fragrance they may shed on others, and to be ourselves content but with the thorns, if that fragrance cannot be enjoyed without depriving some one else of it. (Blavatsky, Key, Section 12)

      The Wheel of Life (Bhavacakra) is painted on the outside walls of nearly every Tibetan Buddhist temple in Tibet and India, to instruct non-monastic audience about the Buddhist teachings. The bhavacakra consists of the following elements:

      The pig, rooster and snake in the hub of the wheel represent the three poisons of ignorance, attachment and aversion.
      The second layer represents karma.
      The third layer represents the six realms of samsara.
      The fourth layer represents the twelve links of dependent origination.
      The fierce figure holding the wheel represents impermanence.[8]
      The moon above the wheel represents liberation from samsara or cyclic existence.
      The Buddha pointing to the white circle indicates that liberation is possible.

      (Rinchen, Geshe Sonam. How Karma Works: The Twelve Links of Dependent Arising. Snow Lion, 2006, pp. 8-9)

      155- If Sun thou can’st not be, then be the humble planet. Aye, if thou art debarred from flaming like the noon-day Sun upon the snow-capped mount of purity eternal, then choose, O Neophyte, a humbler course.

      If you desire to labor for the good of the world, it will be unwise for you to strive to include it all at once in your efforts. If you can help elevate or teach but one soul — that is a good beginning, and more than is given to many(Judge, William Q.. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, August, 1887).

      156- Point out the “Way” — however dimly, and lost among the host — as does the evening star to those who tread their path in darkness.

      Enter the Path! There is no grief like Hate! / No pains like passions, no deceit like sense! / Enter the Path far hath he gone whose foot / Treads down one fond offence.
      Enter the Path! There spring the healing streams / Quenching all thirst! there bloom th’ immortal flowers / Carpeting all the way with joy! there throng / Swiftest and sweetest hours! (Arnold, Sir Edwin, The Light of Asia, Chapt. 8)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      157- Behold Migmar,* as in his crimson veils his “Eye” sweeps over slumbering Earth. Behold the fiery aura of the “Hand” of Lhagpa† extended in protecting love over the heads of his ascetics. Both are now servants to Nyima‡ (26) left in his absence silent watchers in the night. Yet both in Kalpas past were bright Nyimas, and may in future “Days” again become two Suns. Such are the falls and rises of the Karmic Law in nature.
      [*Mars.]
      [†Mercury.]
      [‡The Sun.]
      (26). Nyima, the Sun in Tibetan Astrology. Migmar or Mars is symbolized by an “Eye,” and Lhagpa or Mercury by a “Hand.”

      Tibetan astrologers take account of the seven traditional planets: the Sun (Nyima), the Moon (Dawa), Mercury (Lhakpa), Mars (Mikmar), Venus (Pasang), Jupiter (Phurbu), and Saturn (Penpa), to which they add the Nodes of the Moon (Rahu and Ketu) as shadow planets. The planets are represented by the symbols shown in the illustration of page 144, which can be found in all the astrological diagrams.
      The Legends of the Planets
      In the Puranas, ancient Indian texts, there are a number of legends concerning the ten planets, and these legends are found in Tiber also.
      The Sun, Surya, is known as Zadak, Lord of the Planets, or Namkhe Mik, Eye of the Sky, which is somewhat reminiscent of the Eye of Ra, the solar god of the Egyptians. As the provider of light and life, Surya has a chariot drawn by seven horses. He is accompanied by his eight wives and an entourage of servants. Although his is a symbol of life, Surya is also the father of Yama, the Lord of Death. In astrology, Saturn is identified with Yama, under the name of Shinje Dakpo, Lord of Death. It is also known as Nyikye, Born of the Sun and Nyime Bu, Son of the Sun.
      The planet Venus (Tara) is the teacher of the asuras, the jealous gods. She is the wife of Jupiter who, under the name Vrihaspati, teaches the gods. In this role, Jupiter is also known as the Guru, the Master of the Gods.
      The god of the Moon, Candra, is famous for his intelligence, but is also a seducer and a dissolute. One day he seduced Tara. Infuriated b his wife’s pregnancy, Vrihaspati cursed Candra and condemned him to loss of power during the second half of the month. Thanks to the intervention of Surya, Vrihaspati was reconciled to Tara. The son of adultery, Mercury (Budha), was then born. For this reason, Mercury is known as Dakye, ‘’Born of the Moon.’’
      Sun: Red disk
      Moon: White crescent
      Mars: Red and white eye
      Mercury: Blue hand
      Jupiter: Green phurba or ritual dagger
      Venus: White arrowhead
      Saturn: Yellow bundle of wood
      Rahu: Blue and gray bird’s head
      (Cornu, Philippe. Tibetan Astrology. Shambhala. Boston, p. 143-144)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      158- Be, O Lanoo, like them. Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and seek out him who knows still less than thou; who in his wretched desolation sits starving for the bread of Wisdom and the bread which feeds the shadow, without a Teacher, hope or consolation, and — let him hear the Law.

      Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
      Help someone`s soul heal.
      Walk out of your house like a shepherd.
      (Rumi, Jalaluddin. The Diwan of Shams of Tabriz, 3090)

      Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:15–16).

      The Buddha said, “Those who rejoice in seeing others observe the Way will obtain great blessing.” A Sramana asked the Buddha, “Would this blessing be destroyed?” The Buddha replied, “It is like a lighted torch whose flame can be distributed to ever so many other torches which people may bring along; and therewith they will cook food and dispel darkness, while the original torch itself remains burning ever the same. It is even so with the bliss of the Way.” (The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, 10, in: Shaku, Soyen: Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro, trans.,1906,)

      159-Tell him, O Candidate, that he who makes of pride and self-regard bond-maidens to devotion; that he, who cleaving to existence, still lays his patience and submission to the Law, as a sweet flower at the feet of Shakya-Thub-pa,* becomes a Srotâpatti (27) in this birth. The Siddhis of perfection may loom far, far away; but the first step is taken, the stream is entered, and he may gain the eye-sight of the mountain eagle, the hearing of the timid doe.

      [*Buddha.]
      (27). Srotâpatti or “he who enters in the stream” of Nirvâna, unless he reaches the goal owing to some exceptional reasons, can rarely attain Nirvâna in one birth. Usually a Chela is said to begin the ascending effort in one life and end or reach it only in his seventh succeeding birth.

      Srotâpatti (Sk) Lit., “ he who has entered the stream ”, i.e., the stream or path that leads to Nirvâna, or figuratively, to the Nirvânic Ocean. The same as Sowanee.
      Srotāpatti (स्रोतापत्ति Srotāpatti (स्रोतापत्ति).—often writen śrot°, so regularly in Mv, Divy, and mss. of Av (= Pali sotāpatti), ‘entrance into the stream’, conversion to Buddhism, the state of the srota-āpanna, the first of the four stages of Hīnayāna religious development, the others being the states of the sakṛd-āgāmin, anāgāmin, and arhant; esp. often in comp. with -phala, the fruit of this attainment; (Shrotapatti, aka: Śrotāpatti; Wisdom Library, Sanskrit-English dictionary https://www.wisdomlib.org/definition/shrotapatti)

      “Next is the Srotaâpanna. The Srotaâpanna dies seven times and is born seven times, when he finally attains Arhatship. (The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, 1; in: Shaku, Soyen: Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro, trans.,1906, p. 159 )

      160-Tell him, O Aspirant, that true devotion may bring him back the knowledge, that knowledge which was his in former births. The deva-sight and deva-hearing are not obtained in one short birth.

      Devoted each to his own duty, man attains perfection ; (18, 45)
      Perfection (samsiddhi) : which consists in the body and senses being qualified for the devotion of knowledge (jnana-nishtha) after all their impurities have been washed away by the performance of one’s own duty. (Sankara, Commentary on the Baghavad Gita, 18,11)


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      Mark Casady

      161-Be humble, if thou would’st attain to Wisdom.

      By thinking of all sentient beings
      As more precious than a wish-fulfilling jewel
      For accomplishing the highest aim,
      I will always hold them dear.

      Whenever I’m in the company of others,
      I will regard myself as the lowest among all,
      And from the depths of my heart
      Cherish others as supreme.
      (Tangpa, Langri. Eight Verses of Training the Mind, 1-2)

      162-Be humbler still, when Wisdom thou hast mastered.

      Again there arises the thought “I am a student, a holder of a portion of the mystic lore.” Insidiously there steals in the thought “Behold I am a little more than other men, who have not penetrated so far.” Know then, oh man, that you are not as great even as they. He who thinks he is wise is the most ignorant of men, and he who begins to believe he is wise is in greater danger than any other man who lives (Judge, William Q. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, August, 1886).

      163-Be like the Ocean which receives all streams and rivers. The Ocean’s mighty calm remains unmoved; it feels them not.

      Just as the ocean remains full in the rainy season as well as in summer, so pleasant and unpleasant things do not affect him. (Jnaneshwari, 13, 9, 601)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      My apologies for this lengthy text, which may seem digressive. Because the page count for Fragment 2 is still well below that of Fragment 1, I felt that this lengthy insert would be tolerable. This post ends section 5, we move on to section 6 (of 7) next, which deals with the notion of the spiritual combat.

      For the fuller of pride any one is himself, the more impatient will he be at the smallest instances of it in other people. And the less humility any one has in his own mind, the more will he demand and be delighted with it in other people.
      You must therefore act by a quite contrary measure, and reckon yourself only so far humble, as you impose every instance of humility upon yourself, and never call for it in other people, so far an enemy to pride, as you never spare it in yourself, nor ever censure it in other persons.
      Now, in order to do this, you need only consider that pride and humility signify nothing to you, but so far as they are your own; that they do you neither good nor harm, but as they are the tempers of your own heart.
      The loving, therefore, of humility, is of no benefit or advantage to you, but so far as you love to see all your own thoughts, words, and actions, governed by it. And the hating of pride does you no good, is no perfection in you, but so far as you hate to harbour any degree of it in your own heart.
      Now in order to begin, and set out well, in the practice of humility, you must take it for granted that you are proud, that you have all your life been more or less infected with this unreasonable temper.
      You should believe also, that it is your greatest weakness, that your heart is most subject to it, that it is so constantly stealing upon you, that you have reason to watch and suspect its approaches in all your actions.
      For this is what most people, especially new beginners in a pious life, may with great truth think of themselves.
      For there is no one vice that is more deeply rooted in our nature, or that receives such constant nourishment from almost everything that we think or do: there being hardly anything in the world that we want or use, or any action or duty of life, but pride finds some means or other to take hold of it. So that at what time soever we begin to offer ourselves to God, we can hardly be surer of anything, than that we have a great deal of pride to repent of.
      If, therefore, you find it disagreeable to your mind to entertain this opinion of yourself, and that you cannot put yourself amongst those that want to be cured of pride, you may be as sure as if an angel from heaven had told you, that you have not only much, but all your humility to seek.
      For you can have no greater sign of a more confirmed pride, than when you think that you are humble enough. He that thinks he loves God enough, shows himself to be an entire stranger to that holy passion; so he that thinks he has humility enough, shows that he is not so much as a beginner in the practice of true humility. (Law, William. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, 1729, Ch. 16)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      In the preceding section (Section 5, Stanzas 147- 163) it was taught that if one does not feel ready for the esoteric path, then one can pursue the exoteric path, accumulate merit and wait for the chance to pursue the secret path in future lives. One is also advised to accept the law of Karma and be patient with your fate. One is advised to be kind and helpful to one’s colleagues because we are linked to them through many incarnations.

      ‘’’Tis from the bud of Renunciation of the Self, that springeth the sweet fruit of final Liberation’’. It is said to be a mistake to avoid helping others out of fear of succumbing to temptations, while living in seclusion. One has to actively pursues one’s duties in life, following the wheel of life, enduring pleasure and pain, purifying your karma and gaining merit and spiritual development for future incarnations.

      If one cannot pursue the path with tireless heroic energy, one can pursue a humbler course by doing one’s best to live and promote the spiritual path. ‘’Be, O Lanoo, like them. Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and seek out him who knows still less than thou; who in his wretched desolation sits starving for the bread of Wisdom and the bread which feeds the shadow, without a Teacher, hope or consolation, and — let him hear the Law.’’
      The Srotâpatti stage is the first stage on the path and one enters it with humility. Through devotion, one may gain Siddhis that one had in previous births. One needs to be humble to acquire wisdom, and even humbler when one acquires whatever level of wisdom one can attain, and this comes with a great deal of equanimity.

      In Section 6 (Stanzas 164-178), deals with the combat between the lower self and the higher Self, the quest for Nirvana and more on the Nirmanakaya vesture.

      164- Restrain by thy Divine thy lower Self.

      The lower principles are like wild beasts, and the higher Manas is the rational man who tames or subdues them more or less successfully. (Blavatsky, Appendix on Dreams, Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge 2, 1891)

      165- Restrain by the Eternal the Divine.

      Lower self: Sthula, Prana, Linga, Kama-Manas; Divine Self: Manas, Buddhi; Eternal Self: Atma.
      Compare this threefold division of lower, Self, Divinge Self, Eternal Self with the animal, king and god in Through the Gates of Gold: When the animal rules the kingdom, the godly power serves to intensify the power for sensual gratification immensely. What is required is a revolutionary action that evicts the animal from power and restores the rightful heir to its throne…
      And the god in his capacity of servant adds a thousand-fold to all this, by making physical life so much more filled with keenness of pleasure, — rare, voluptuous, aesthetic pleasure, — and by intensity of pain so passionate that one knows not where it ends and where pleasure commences. So long as the god serves, so long the life of the animal will be enriched and increasingly valuable. But let the king resolve to change the face of his court and forcibly evict the animal from the chair of state, restoring the god to the place of divinity. (Collins, Mabel, Through the Gates of Gold, 5,3)

      166- Aye, great is he, who is the slayer of desire.

      Therefore, if a man wears the armor of renunciation and mounts the steed of the highest yoga, if he holds the sword of meditation in the hand of discrimination and strikes down all obstacles great or small, he enters the battlefield of worldly life like the rising sun and wins as his bride the glorious victory of liberation (Jnaneshwari 18,52 1044-45)
      He then destroys the enemy ‘desire’, which makes even the ascetics tremble, begets the vicious fault of wrath and remains famished, the more it is fed. With the destruction of desire, wrath is automatically destroyed. Just as when the tree is uprooted its branches get destroyed, so the eradication of desire brings about the destruction of wrath (Jnaneshwari 18,53 1058-1060).


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      167- Still greater he, in whom the Self Divine has slain the very knowledge of desire.

      6. Kill out desire for sensation.
      7. Kill out the hunger for growth. (Collins, Mabel, Light on the Path)

      He whose reason is not attached anywhere, whose self is subdued, from whom desire has fled, he by renunciation attains the supreme state of freedom from action. (Bhagavad Gita 18,49)

      See also Fragment I, Stanzas 63-65

      168 – Guard thou the Lower lest it soil the Higher.

      Like a frontier city well-guarded within and without, so guard yourself (Dhammapada, 22, 315).

      In this way the mad elephant of the mind should be watched diligently so that it is not loosed while tied to the great pillar of the thought of Dharma (Santideva. A guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Wallace, Vesan & Alan, transl. Boulder, Snow Lion, 1997. 5, 40, p.52).

      169- The way to final freedom is within thy self.

      Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)

      170- That way begins and ends outside of Self (28).

      (28). Meaning the personal lower “Self.”

      Seek the way by retreating within.
      Seek the way by advancing boldly without. (Collins, Mabel,. Light on the Path, Part 1, 18-19)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      171- Unpraised by men and humble is the mother of all Rivers, in Tîrthika’s proud sight; empty the human form though filled with Amrita’s sweet waters, in the sight of fools. Withal, the birth-place of the sacred rivers is the sacred land (29), and he who Wisdom hath, is honoured by all men.
      (29). Tîrthikas are the Brahmanical Sectarians “beyond” the Himalayas called “infidels” by the Buddhists in the sacred land, Tibet, and vice versa.

      Tîrthikas See also Stanza 125, notes.
      Amrita see Stanza 122 notes.

      172-Arhans and Sages of the boundless Vision (30) are rare as is the blossom of the Udumbara tree. Arhans are born at midnight hour, together with the sacred plant of nine and seven stalks (31), the holy flower that opes and blooms in darkness, out of the pure dew and on the frozen bed of snow-capped heights, heights that are trodden by no sinful foot.
      (30). Boundless Vision or psychic, superhuman sight. An Arhan is credited with “seeing” and knowing all at a distance as well as on the spot.
      See also Fragment 2, stanzas 159-160
      (31). Vide supra 22: Shangna plant.

      See also Fragment I, Stanza 62

      173- No Arhan, O Lanoo, becomes one in that birth when for the first the Soul begins to long for final liberation. Yet, O thou anxious one, no warrior volunteering fight in the fierce strife between the living and the dead (32), not one recruit can ever be refused the right to enter on the Path that leads toward the field of Battle.
      (32). The “living” is the immortal Higher Ego, and the “dead” — the lower personal Ego.

      “Not for himself, but for the world, he lives,” as soon as he has pledged himself to the work. Much is forgiven during the first years of probation. But, no sooner is he “accepted” than his personality must disappear, and he has to become a mere beneficent force in Nature. There are two poles for him after that, two paths, and no midward place of rest. He has either to ascend laboriously, step by step, often through numerous incarnations and no Devachanic break, the golden ladder leading to Mahatmaship (the Arhat or Bodhisatva condition), or–he will let himself slide down the ladder at the first false step, and roll down into Dugpaship. . . . (Blavatsky, H. P., Occultism Versus the Occult Arts, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 9, May, 1888, CW 9, 249-261)

      True, we have our schools and teachers, our neophytes and shaberons (superior adepts), and the door is always opened to the right man who knocks. And, we invariably welcome the new comer; — only, instead of going over to him he has to come to us. (Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, L.2)

      Every human being contains within himself vast potentialities, and it is the duty of the adepts to surround the would-be chela with circumstances which shall enable him to take the “right-hand path,” — if he have the ability in him. We are no more at liberty to withhold the chance from a postulant than we are to guide and direct him into the proper course (Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, L.54)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      174- For, either he shall win, or he shall fall.

      Those who believe in Karma have to believe in destiny, which, from birth to death, every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided either by the heavenly voice of the invisible prototype outside of us, or by our more intimate astral, or inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the embodied entity called man. Both these lead on the outward man, but one of them must prevail; and from the very beginning of the invisible affray the stern and implacable law of compensation steps in and takes its course, faithfully following the fluctuations. When the last strand is woven, and man is seemingly enwrapped in the net-work of his own doing, then he finds himself completely under the empire of this self-made destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell against the immovable rock, or carries him away like a feather in a whirlwind raised by his own actions, and this is—KARMA. (Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine I, 639)

      175- Yea, if he conquers, Nirvâna shall be his. Before he casts his shadow off his mortal coil, that pregnant cause of anguish and illimitable pain — in him will men a great and holy Buddha honour.

      As one who stands on yonder snowy horn / Having nought o’er him but the boundless blue, / So, these sins being slain, the man is come / NIRVANA’S verge unto.
      Him the Gods envy from their lower seats; / Him the Three Worlds in ruin should not shake; / All life is lived for him, all deaths are dead; / Karma will no more make (Arnold, Sir Edwin. The Light of Asia. Chapter 8).

      Nirvâna (Sk.). According to the Orientalists, the entire “blowing out”, like the flame of a candle, the utter extinction of existence. But in the esoteric explanations it is the state of absolute existence and absolute consciousness, into which the Ego of a man who has reached the highest degree of perfection and holiness during life goes, after the body dies, and occasionally, as in the case of Gautama Buddha and others, during life. (See “Nirvânî”.)
      Nirvânî (Sk.). One who has attained Nirvana—an emancipated soul. That Nirvâna means nothing of the kind asserted by Orientalists every scholar who has visited China, India and Japan is well aware. It is “escape from misery” but only from that of matter, freedom from Klêsha, or Kâma, and the complete extinction of animal desires. If we are told that Abidharma defines Nirvâna “as a state of absolute annihilation”, we concur, adding to the last word the qualification “of everything connected with matter or the physical world”, and this simply because the latter (as also all in it) is illusion, mâyâ. Sâkya-mûni Buddha said in the last moments of his life that “the spiritual body is immortal” (See Sans. Chin. Dict.). As Mr. Eitel, the scholarly Sinologist, explains it: “The popular exoteric systems agree in defining Nirvâna negatively as a state of absolute exemption from the circle of transmigration; as a state of entire freedom from all forms of existence; to begin with, freedom from all passion and exertion; a state of indifference to all sensibility” and he might have added “death of all compassion for the world of suffering”. And this is why the Bodhisattvas who prefer the Nirmânakâya to the Dharmakâya vesture, stand higher in the popular estimation than the Nirvânîs. But the same scholar adds that: “Positively (and esoterically) they define Nirvâna as the highest state of spiritual bliss, as absolute immortality through absorption of the soul (spirit rather) into itself, but preserving individuality so that, e.g., Buddhas, after entering Nirvâna, may reappear on earth”—i.e., in the future Manvantara (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary)..

      176- And if he falls, e’en then he does not fall in vain; the enemies he slew in the last battle will not return to life in the next birth that will be his.

      If making none to lack, he throughly purge / The lie and lust of self forth from his blood; / Suffering all meekly, rendering for offence / Nothing but grace and good:
      If he shall day by day dwell merciful, / Holy and just and kind and true; and rend / Desire from where it clings with bleeding roots, / Till love of life have end:
      He — dying — leaveth as the sum of him / A life-count closed, whose ills are dead and quit, / Whose good is quick and mighty, far and near, / So that fruits follow it.
      Lo! like fierce foes slain by some warrior, / Ten sins along these Stages lie in dust, / The Love of Self, False Faith, and Doubt are three, / Two more, Hatred and Lust.
      Who of these Five is conqueror hath trod / Three stages out of Four: yet there abide / The Love of Life on earth, Desire for Heaven, / Self-Praise, Error, and Pride (Arnold, Sir Edwin. The Light of Asia. Chapter 8).


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      177- But if thou would’st Nirvâna reach, or cast the prize away (33), let not the fruit of action and inaction be thy motive, thou of dauntless heart.
      (33). Vide infra Part III. par. 34.

      See stanza 130 ‘’Both action and inaction may find room in thee; thy body agitated, thy mind tranquil, thy Soul as limpid as a mountain lake’’. To further elaborate on what the text means by action and inaction, besides the compelling video demonstrating the Dharma of Fiona, I think it is similar to the theory of action of the Bhagavad Gita (See Sankara’s commentary to 18,30 below). In this context, action would mean right action, action in accordance to a wisdom tradition, ethical teachings and texts. Inaction would mean action detached from the desire for the fruits and results, actions motivation by devotion to the Isvara, selfless action motivated by duty, free from delusion.

      He hates not evil action, nor is he attached to a good one,—he who has abandoned, pervaded by Sattva and possessed of wisdom, his doubts cut asunder (Bhagavad Gita 18,10)

      That which knows action and inaction, what ought to be done and what ought not to be done, fear and absence of fear, bondage and liberation, that intellect is Sattvic, O Partha (Bhagavad Gita 18,30)
      Action (pravrtti): the cause of bondage, the karmamarga, the path of action as taught in the sastra. Inaction (nivritti) : the cause of liberation, the path of sawnyasa. —As ‘ action ‘ ( pravritti ) and ‘ inaction’ (nivrtti) occur in connection with ‘bondage’ (bandha) and ‘ liberation,’ (moksha), they have been interpreted to mean the paths of action and renunciation (karma and samnyasa) (Sankara, Commentary on the Baghavad Gita, 18,30)

      178- Know that the Bodhisattva who liberation changes for Renunciation to don the miseries of “Secret Life,” (34) is called, “thrice Honoured,” O thou candidate for woe throughout the cycles.
      (34). The “Secret Life” is life as a Nirmânakâya.

      Nirmânakâya
      (Sk.). Something entirely different in esoteric philosophy from the popular meaning attached to it, and from the fancies of the Orientalists. Some call the Nirmânakâya body “Nirvana with remains” (Schlagintweit, etc.) on the supposition, probably, that it is a kind of Nirvânic condition during which consciousness and form are retained. Others say that it is one of the Trikâya (three bodies), with the “power of assuming any form of appearance in order to propagate Buddhism” (Eitel’s idea); again, that “it is the incarnate avatâra of a deity” (ibid.), and so on. Occultism, on the other hand, says:that Nirmânakâya, although meaning literally a transformed “body”, is a state. The form is that of the adept or yogi who enters, or chooses, that post mortem condition in preference to the Dharmakâya or absolute Nirvânic state. He does this because the latter kâya separates him for ever from the world of form, conferring upon him a state of selfish bliss, in which no other living being can participate, the adept being thus precluded from the possibility of helping humanity, or even devas. As a Nirmânakâya, however, the man leaves behind him only his physical body, and retains every other “principle” save the Kamic—for he has crushed this out for ever from his nature, during life, and it can never resurrect in his post mortem state. Thus, instead of going into selfish bliss, he chooses a life of self-sacrifice, an existence which ends only with the life-cycle, in order to be enabled to help mankind in an invisible yet most effective manner. (See The Voice of the Silence, third treatise, “The Seven Portals”.) Thus a Nirmânakâya is not, as popularly believed, the body “in which a Buddha or a Bodhisattva appears on earth”, but verily one, who whether a Chutuktu or a Khubilkhan, an adept or a yogi during life, has since become a member of that invisible Host which ever protects and watches over Humanity within Karmic limits. Mistaken often for a “Spirit”, a Deva, God himself, &c., a Nirmânakâya is ever a protecting, compassionate, verily a guardian angel, to him who becomes worthy of his help. Whatever objection may be brought forward against this doctrine; however much it is denied, because, forsooth, it has never been hitherto made public in Europe and therefore since it is unknown to Orientalists, it must needs be “a myth of modern invention”—no one will be bold enough to say that this idea of helping suffering mankind at the price of one’s own almost interminable self-sacrifice, is not one of the grandest and noblest that was ever evolved from human brain (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).
      Chutuktu (Tib.) An incarnation of Buddha or of some Bodhisattva, as believed in Tibet, where there are generally five manifesting and two secret Chutuktus among the high Lamas.
      Khubilkhan (Mong.), or Shabrong. In Tibet the names given to the supposed incarnations of Buddha. Elect Saints (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).


      • Mark Casady
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        Mark Casady

        Stanza 177: For more on the concepts of action and inaction see stanza 126.


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Section 6 (Stanzas 164-178), dealt with the combat between the lower self and the higher Self, the quest for Nirvana and more on the Nirmanakaya vesture.
      Restrain the lower Self by the Divine self. Restrain the Divine by the Eternal. Great is the slayer of desire. Greater is one who has slain the very knowledge of desire. Guard the Lower self lest it soil the Higher self. The way to final freedom is within yourself. That way begins and ends outside of the lower self.
      He who has Wisdom is honoured by all men. Arhans and Sages of the boundless Vision are exceedingly rare. No Arhan, becomes one in that birth when one begins to long for final liberation. Not one recruit can ever be refused the right to enter on the Path that leads toward the field of Battle. ‘’For, either he shall win, or he shall fall. Yea, if he conquers, Nirvâna shall be his’’; and in him will men honour a Buddha.
      ‘’And if he falls, e’en then he does not fall in vain; the enemies he slew in the last battle will not return to life in the next birth that will be his.’’ If one would reach Nirvâna, or the Nirmanakaya state, let not the fruit of action and inaction be your motive. A Bodhisattva who chooses the Nirmanakaya vesture is called, “thrice Honoured.”

      And so here we are, fellow lanoos, after much soul searching, eclectic commentary, we have already arrived at the final section. Section 7 (Stanzas 179-195) deals with the two paths and the secret life and so concludes things nicely.

      179- The path is one, Disciple, yet in the end, twofold. Marked are its stages by four and seven Portals. At one end — bliss immediate, and at the other — bliss deferred. Both are of merit the reward: the choice is thine.

      The four portals are probably the Four Noble Truths see Fragment I , stanzas 94-97; the seven Portals are the seven Paramitas, see Fragment 3, The Seven Portals (although the 7 steps / stages of the Voice of the Silence are also called gates).


      • Mark Casady
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        Mark Casady

        Correction: The four portals are more likely to be the four-fold path of Dhyana, (known exoterically as the four stages of enlightenment, Sotāpanna, Sakadāgāmi, Anāgāmi, and Arahant) mentioned in Fragment 3, stanza 198, schloka 2.


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      180- The One becomes the two, the Open and the Secret (35). The first one leadeth to the goal, the second, to Self-Immolation.
      (35). The “Open” and the “Secret Path” — or the one taught to the layman, the exoteric and the generally accepted, and the other the Secret Path — the nature of which is explained at initiation.

      In short, this doctrine is that of the Râja-Yoga in its practice of the two kinds of the Samâdhi state; one of the “Paths” leading to the sphere of bliss (Sukhâvatî or Devachan), where man enjoys perfect, unalloyed happiness, but is yet still connected with personal existence; and the other the Path that leads to entire emancipation from the worlds of illusion, self, and unreality. The first one is open to all and is reached by merit simply; the second—a hundredfold more rapid—is reached through knowledge (Initiation). Thus the followers of the Prasanga School are nearer to Esoteric Buddhism than are the Yogacharyâs; for their views are those of the most secret Schools, and only the echo of these doctrines is heard in the [texts by] Jam-yang-shay-ba‡ and other works in publiccirculation and use. (Blavatsky, H. P. A Few More Misconceptions Corrected, The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 420; Collected Writings, Volume 14, p. 432)

      181- When to the Permanent is sacrificed the Mutable, the prize is thine: the drop returneth whence it came. The Open path leads to the changeless change — Nirvâna, the glorious state of Absoluteness, the Bliss past human thought.

      No need hath such to live as ye name life; / That which began in him when he began / Is finished: he hath wrought the purpose through / Of what did make him Man.
      Never shall yearnings torture him, nor sins / Stain him, nor ache of earthly joys and woes / Invade his safe eternal peace; nor deaths / And lives recur. He goes
      Unto NIRVANA. He is one with Life / Yet lives not. He is blest, ceasing to be. / OM, MANI PADME, OM! the Dewdrop slips / Into the shining sea! (Arnold, Sir Edwin. The Light of Asia. Chapter 8).

      182-Thus, the first Path is liberation.
      183-But Path the Second is — renunciation, and therefore called the “Path of Woe.”

      Occultism is not the acquirement of powers, whether psychic or intellectual, though both are its servants. Neither is occultism the pursuit of happiness, as men understand the word; for the first step is sacrifice, the second, renunciation (Blavatsky, H. P., Occultism Versus the Occult Arts, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 9, May, 1888, CW 9, 249-261).

      This philosophy recognises two paths, both having the same end, a glorified immortality. The one is the steady natural path of progress through moral effort, and practice of the virtues. A natural coherent and sure growth of the soul is the result, a position of firm equilibrium is reached and maintained, which cannot be overthrown or shaken by any unexpected assault. It is the normal method followed by the vast mass of humanity, and this is the course Sankaracarya recommended to all his Sanyasis and successors. The other road is the precipitous path of occultism, through a series of initiations. Only a few specially organised and peculiar natures are fit for this path. Occult progress, growth along this path, is effected by the adept directing through the chela various occult forces, which enable him to obtain prematurely, so to speak, a knowledge of his spiritual nature: and to obtain powers to which he is not morally entitled by degree of his progress. Under these circumstances it may happen that the chela loses his moral balance, and falls into the dugpa path. From this it must not be concluded that the Southern Indian school of occultism regards adeptship and initiation as a mistake, as a violent and dangerous usurpation of nature’s functions.
      The adept hierarchy is as strictly a product of nature as a tree is: it has definite and indispensable purpose and function in the development of the human race. This function is to keep open the upward path, through which descend the light and leading without which our race would require to make each step by the wearisome, never-ending method of trial and failure in every direction, until chance showed the right way. In fact the function of the adept hierarchy is to provide religious teachers for the stumbling masses of mankind.
      But this path is eminently dangerous to those who do not hold the talisman which ensures safety; this talisman is a perfectly unselfish, self-forgetting, self-annihilating devotion to the religious good of mankind, a self-abnegation, which is not temporal, but must have no end for ever, and the object of which is the religious enlightenment of the human race. Without this talisman, though the progress of the chela may be very rapid for a time, a point will come when his upward advance will be arrested, when real moral worth will tell; and the man who progressed along the slow and steady path may be the first to merge himself in the light of the Logos.
      This school recommended as the best path for all, a devotion to virtue, a gradual withdrawal from the grosser material concerns, a withdrawal of the life forces from the outward world and its interests, and the direction of these forces to the inner life of the soul, until the man is able to withdraw himself within himself, so to speak. Then, turning round to direct himself towards the Logos and the spiritual life and away from the material plane, he passes first into the astral life, and then into spiritual life, till at last the Logos is reached, and he attains Nirvana.
      It is, therefore, wiser not to seek the path of chelaship; if the man is fit for it, his Karma will lead him to it imperceptibly and infallibly; for the path of occultism seeks the chela and will not fail to find him, when the fit man presents himself. (T. Subba Row. The Occultism of Southern India. Esoteric Writings, Chapter IX, 1910, The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, 1910, p. 106-114)


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      Mark Casady

      184-That Secret Path leads the Arhan to mental woe unspeakable; woe for the living Dead (36), and helpless pity for the men of Karmic sorrow, the fruit of Karma Sages dare not still.
      (36). Men ignorant of the Esoteric truths and Wisdom are called “the living Dead.”

      He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:3-6).

      Alas! Alas! The impermanent phenomena of the cycle of existence
      Are an inescapable, deep ocean of karma.
      Alas for every sentient being who is afflicted by karma!
      Bless us that the ocean of suffering may dry up!

      Beings who are afflicted by ignorance and karma
      Engage in deeds of suffering due to their desire for happiness.
      Alas for every sentient being who is unskilled in methods!
      (Liṅpa, Karma. Introduction
      2- The Natural Liberation of the Mind-Itself;The Four-Session Yoga of the Spiritual Activity of the Secret Mantra Vajrayāna. Natural liberation: Padmasambhavas teachings on the six bardos Allan Wallace, transl. Wisdom Publications, Sommerville, Ma, 1998)

      185-For it is written: “teach to eschew all causes; the ripple of effect, as the great tidal wave, thou shalt let run its course.”

      On the contrary; though unable to help me directly for they dare not meddle with my Karma, they are too just not to desire to see me defended by all those who feel honestly that I am innocent. (Blavatsky, H. P. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, Ryder, 1925, p. 114)

      But one law governing them is easy to state and ought not to be difficult for the understanding. They do not, will not, and must not interfere with Karma; that is, however apparently deserving of help an individual may be, they will not extend it in the manner desired if his Karma does not permit it; and they would not step into the field of human thought for the purpose of bewildering humanity by an exercise of power which on all sides would be looked upon as miraculous. Some have said that if the Theosophical Adepts were to perform a few of their feats before the eyes of Europe, an immense following for them would at once arise; but such would not be the result. Instead of it there would be dogmatism and idolatry worse than have ever been, with a reaction of an injurious nature impossible to counteract (Judge, William Q. Echoes from the Orient, Chapter 11)

      186- The “Open Way,” no sooner hast thou reached its goal, will lead thee to reject the Bodhisattvic body and make thee enter the thrice glorious state of Dharmakâya (37) which is oblivion of the World and men for ever.

      (37). Vide infra Part III. 34.

      Dharmakâya (Sk). Lit., “the glorified spiritual body” called the “Vesture of Bliss”. The third, or highest of the Trikâya (Three Bodies), the attribute developed by every “Buddha”, i.e., every initiate who has crossed or reached the end of what is called the “fourth Path” (in esotericism the sixth “portal” prior to his entry on the seventh). The highest of the Trikâya, it is the fourth of the Buddhakchêtra, or Buddhic planes of consciousness, represented figuratively in Buddhist asceticism as a robe or vesture of luminous Spirituality.
      In popular Northern Buddhism these vestures or robes are:
      (1) Nirmanakâya (2) Sambhogakâya (3) and Dharmakâya the last being the highest and most sublimated of all, as it places the ascetic on the threshold of Nirvâna. (See, however, the Voice of the Silence, page 96, Glossary, for the true esoteric meaning.) (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      This pertains to the cosmology of the Secret Doctrine:
      Q. The “One Rejected” is the sun of our system. Astronomically is there any explanation of Marttanda’s rejection?
      A. The sun is older than any of its planets—though younger than the moon. Its “rejection” means that when bodies or planets began to form, helped by its rays, magnetic radiance or heat, and especially by its magnetic attraction, it had to be stopped, otherwise it would have swallowed all the younger bodies like as Saturn is fabled to have treated his progeny. This does not mean that all the planets are thrown out from the sun, as modern Science teaches, but simply that under the Rays of the sun they acquire their growth. Aditi is the ever-equilibrizing mother-nature on the purely spiritual and subjective plane. She is the Sakti, the female power or potency of the fecundating spirit; and it is for her to regulate the behavior of the sons born in her bosom. The Vedic allegory is very suggestive.
      Q. Were all the planets in our solar system first comets and then suns?
      A. They were not suns in our, or their present solar systems, but comets in space. All began life as wanderers over the face of the infinite Kosmos. They detached themselves from the common storehouse of already prepared material, the Milky Way (which is nothing more or less than the quite developed world-stuff, all the rest in space being the crude material, as yet invisible to us); then, starting on their long journey they first settled in life where conditions were prepared for them by Fohat, and gradually became suns. Then each sun, when its Pralaya arrived, was resolved into millions and millions of fragments. Each of these fragments moved to and fro in space collecting fresh materials, as it rolled on, like an avalanche, until it came to a stop through the laws of attraction and repulsion, and became a planet in our own, as in other systems, beyond our telescopes. The sun’s fragments will become just such planets after the Solar pralaya. It was a comet once upon a time, in the beginning of Brahma’s Age. Then it came to its present position, whence it will burst asunder, and its atoms will be whirled into space for aeons and aeons like all other comets and meteors, until each, guided by Karma, is caught in the vortex of the two forces, and fixed in some higher and better system.
      Thus the Sun will live in his children as a portion of the parents lives in their offspring. When that day comes, the semblance or reflection of the Sun which we see, will first fall off like a veil from the face of the true Sun. No mortal will see it, for no mortal eye could bear its radiance. Were this veil once removed for even a second, all the planets of its system would be instantaneously reduced to ashes, as the sixty thousand of King Sagara’s Sons were destroyed by a glance of Kapila’s eye. (Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge, Stanza 4, Schloka 5, SD I 100-103)

      • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      187- The “Secret Way” leads also to Paranirvânic bliss — but at the close of Kalpas without number; Nirvânas gained and lost from boundless pity and compassion for the world of deluded mortals.
      188- But it is said “The last shall be the greatest,” Samyak Sambuddha, the Teacher of Perfection, gave up his SELF for the salvation of the World, by stopping at the threshold of Nirvâna — the pure state.

      So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen (Matthew 20:16)

      Samma Sambuddha (Pali). The recollection of all of one’s past incarnations; a yoga phenomenon. A title of the Lord Buddha, the “Lord of meekness and resignation”; it means “perfect illumination ”.

      Trikâya (Sk) Lit., three bodies, or forms. This is a most abstruse teaching which, however, once understood, explains the mystery of every triad or trinity, and is a true key to every three-fold metaphysical symbol. In its most simple and comprehensive form it is found in the human Entity in its triple division into spirit, soul, and body, and in the universe, regarded pantheistically, as a unity composed of a Deific, purely spiritual Principle, Supernal Beings—its direct rays — and Humanity. The origin of this is found in the teachings of the pre historic Wisdom Religion, or Esoteric Philosophy. The grand Pantheistic ideal, of the unknown and unknowable Essence being transformed first into subjective, and then into objective matter, is at the root of all these triads and triplets. Thus we find in philosophical Northern Buddhism (1) Âdi-Buddha (or Primordial Universal Wisdom) ; ( 2) the Dhyâni-Buddhas (or Bodhisattvas); (3) the Mânushi (Human) Buddhas. In European conceptions we find the same: God, Angels and Humanity symbolized theologically by the God-Man. The Brahmanical Trimûrti and also the three-fold body of Shiva, in Shaivism, have both been conceived on the same basis, if not altogether running on the lines of Esoteric teachings. Hence, no wonder if one finds this conception of the triple body—or the vestures of Nirmânakâya, Sambhogakâya and Dharmakâya, the grandest of the doctrines of Esoteric Philosophy— accepted in a more or less disfigured form by every religious sect, and explained quite incorrectly by the Orientalists. Thus, in its general application, the three-fold body symbolizes Buddha’s statue, his teachings and his stûpas ; in the priestly conceptions it applies to the Buddhist profession of faith called the Triratna, which is the formula of taking “refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha”. Popular fancy makes Buddha ubiquitous, placing him thereby on a par with an anthropomorphic god, and lowering him to the level of a tribal deity; and, as a result, it falls into flat contradictions, as in Tibet and China. Thus the exoteric doctrine seems to teach that while in his Nirmâ kâya body (which passed through 100,000 kotis of transformations on earth), he, Buddha, is at the same time a Lochana (a heavenly Dhyâni-Bodhisattva), in his Sambhogakâya “robe of absolute completeness”, and in Dhyâna, or a state which must cut him off from the world and all its connections; and finally and lastly he is, besides being a Nirmânakâya and a Sambhogakâya, also a Dharmakâya “of absolute purity”, a Vairotchana or Dhyâni-Buddha in full Nirvâna! (See Eitel’s Sanskrit-Chinese Dictionary.) This is the jumble of contradictions, impossible to reconcile, which is given out by missionaries and certain Orientalists as the philosophical dogmas of Northern Buddhism. If not an intentional confusion of a philosophy dreaded by the upholders of a religion based on inextricable contradictions and guarded “mysteries”, then it is the product of ignorance. As the Trailokya, the Trikâya, and the Triratna are the three aspects of the same conceptions, and have to be, so to say, blended in one, the subject is further explained under each of these terms. (See also in this relation the term “ Trisharana”.) (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).
      . . . . . . . . .
      189- Thou hast the knowledge now concerning the two Ways. Thy time will come for choice, O thou of eager Soul, when thou hast reached the end and passed the seven Portals. Thy mind is clear. No more art thou entangled in delusive thoughts, for thou hast learned all. Unveiled stands truth and looks thee sternly in the face. She says:
      190- “Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of Self; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty. Aye, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow men.”
      191- He, who becomes Pratyeka-Buddha (38), makes his obeisance but to his Self. The Bodhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the prize within his palm, yet says in his divine compassion:

      (38). Pratyeka Buddhas are those Bodhisattvas who strive after and often reach the Dharmakâya robe after a series of lives. Caring nothing for the woes of mankind or to help it, but only for their own bliss, they enter Nirvâna and — disappear from the sight and the hearts of men. In Northern Buddhism a “Pratyeka Buddha” is a synonym of spiritual Selfishness.

      Pratyêka Buddha (S.k). The same as “Pasi-Buddha”. The Pratyêka Buddha is a degree which belongs exclusively to the Yogâchârya school, yet it is only one of high intellectual development with no true spirituality. It is the dead-letter of the Yoga laws, in which intellect and comprehension play the greatest part, added to the strict carrying out of the rules of the inner development. It is one of the three paths to Nirvâna, and the lowest, in which a Yogi—“without teacher and without saving others”—by the mere force of will and technical observances, attains to a kind of nominal Buddhaship individually; doing no good to anyone, but working selfishly for his own salvation and himself alone. The Pratyêkas are respected outwardly but are despised inwardly by those of keen or spiritual appreciation. A Pratyêka is generally compared to a “Khadga” or solitary rhinoceros and called Ekashringa Rishi, a selfish solitary Rishi (or saint). “As crossing Sansâra (‘the ocean of birth and death’ or the series of incarnations), suppressing errors, and yet not attaining to absolute perfection, the Pratyêka Buddha is compared with a horse which crosses a river swimming, without touching the ground.” (Sanskrit-Chinese Dict.) He is far below a true “Buddha of Compassion”. He strives only for the reaching of Nirvâna (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Fellow sravakas and lanoos, we are already fast approaching the end of the second fragment, and I hope that these comments have been informative and useful. It seems like this started only yesterday and yet somehow much information has been posted. I have been trying to keep things short and succinct, but ask for your patience one last time as I present a somewhat lengthy excursion on the sravaka/ pratyeka question, with some recent exoteric texts and comparisons with the theosophical material.

      Here is an exoteric explanation of the Sravaka, Pratyeka, Bodhisattva paths, similar to Blavatsky’s, except that the Dharma-Kaya plays the role of Nimanakaya.
      – A Sravaka is a disciple of a Buddha. A disciple may be a monk or a nun, a layman or a laywoman. Bent on his or her liberation, a Sravaka follows and practises the reaching of the Buddha and finally attains Nirvana. He also serves others, but his capacity to do so is limited.
      – A Pratyekabuddha (Individual Buddha) is a person who realizes Nirvana alone by himself at a time when there is no Samyaksambuddha in the world. He also renders service to others, but in a limited way. He is not capable of revealing the Truth to others as a Samyaksambuddha, a fully Enlightened Buddha does.
      – A Bodhisattva is a person (monk or layman) who is in a position to attain Nirvana as a Sravaka or as a Pratyekabuddha, but out of great compassion (maha karuna) for the world, he renounces it and goes on suffering in samsara for the sake of others, perfects himself during an incalculable period of time and finally realizes Nirvana and becomes a Samyaksambuddha, a fully Enlightened Buddha. He discovers The Truth and declares it to the world. His capacity for service to others is unlimited.

      This is also called Vimukti-Kaya (Liberation-body), and in it there is no difference between the three. That means that there are no three different Nirvanas or Vimuktis for three persons. Nirvana or Vimukti is the same for all. But only a Buddha achieves the complete liberation from all the obstructions to the knowable, i.e., obstructions to knowledge (Jneyyavaranavisuddhi), not the Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas. This also is called Dharma-Kaya (Dharma-body), and it is in this and many other innumerable qualities, capacities and abilities that the Buddha becomes incomparable and superior to Sravakas and Pratyekabuddhas. (Rahula, Ven. Dr. Walpola. Bodhisattva Ideal in Buddhism “Gems of Buddhist Wisdom”, Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1996) https://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebdha126.htm

      In the 4th century Mahāyāna abhidharma work Abhidharmasamuccaya, Asaṅga describes those who follow the Śrāvaka Vehicle (Skt. śrāvakayanika). These people are described as having weak faculties, following the Śrāvaka Dharma, utilizing the Śrāvaka Piṭaka, being set on their own liberation, and cultivating detachment in order to attain liberation.[1] While those in the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle (Skt. pratyekabuddhayānika) are portrayed as also utilizing the Śrāvaka Piṭaka, they are said to have medium faculties, to follow the Pratyekabuddha Dharma, and to be set on their own personal enlightenment.[1] Finally, those in the Mahāyāna (Skt. mahāyānika) are portrayed as utilizing the Bodhisattva Piṭaka, as having sharp faculties, following the Bodhisattva Dharma, and set on the perfection and liberation of all beings, and the attainment of complete enlightenment.[1] (Boin-Webb, Sara (tr). Rahula, Walpola (tr). Asanga. Abhidharma Samuccaya: The Compendium of Higher Teaching. 2001. p. 199-200)

      There is a basic Mahayana division of three paths, Theravada/Hinayana/Sravakayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana, There is also a fourfold division that includes the Pratyekayaka, see Gyatso, Tenzin H. H. the Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, Quest Books, 1966, pp. 104-119):
      In this context, the basic vehicle (Hinayana) emphasizes alleviating one’s own suffering, and attaining the state of “enlightenment” for oneself only. In contrast, the great vehicle (Mahayana) emphasizes following the path with the ultimate goal to eliminate suffering for all sentient beings, and to help all beings reach the state of enlightenment. This great motivation is said to lead one to the highest state of enlightenment, called Buddhahood.[1] Finally, the daimond vehicle (Vajrayana) provides a wealth of “skillful means”–special practices that enable the practitioner to progress quickly on the path.[2] (Thurman, Robert (1997). Essential Tibetan Buddhism. Castle Books: 2-3, 291)

      In this system of categorization, the Mahayana includes the teachings of the Hinayana, and the Vajrayana is inclusive of both the Mahayana and Hinayana. Ringu Tulku writes:
      All three vehicles form an integral system of instruction, and their categorization is just for the sake of easier understanding. The Shravakayana (Basic Vehicle) contains the most fundamental teachings. Without this basis it is not possible to understand the Mahayana or Vajrayana. The relationship of the three yanas can be illustrated in terms of three concentric circles. The outer circle is the Vajrayana. It embraces and encompasses the other two. The next is Mahayana, which embraces the Shravakaya at the center… Whatever is taught in the Shravakayana system is not rejected by the Mahayana or Vajrayana teachings. It is just further clarified and revealed to open the way for our understanding to develop into ever deepening levels, until true depth is attained.[3](Ringu Tulku 2005, pp. 16-17. Ringu Tulku (2005), Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism, Snow Lion)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      The Mahayana texts have both accepting and critical comments on the Sravaka and Pratyeka paths:
      The merits and virtues of all sentient beings in worlds of ten quarters, or those of adepts and neophytes alike aspiring for Sravaka, Pratyeka-Buddha of Hinayana School, or those of all Tathagatas and Bodhisattvas, I acquiesce willingly in all their endeavors (Discourse on Samantabhadra’s Beneficence Aspirations – Avatamsaka Sutra).

      The gate to their wisdom is hard to enter and difficult to understand.
      None of the śrāvakas and pratyeka buddhas may be capable of understanding it. Why is this? The buddhas have closely attended innumerable hundredsof thousands of myriads of koṭis of other buddhas (Lotus Sutra, Chapter 2 Skillful Means, 23 (Taishō Volume 9, Number 262)
      Translated from the Chinese of Kumārajiva by Tsugunari Kubo and Akira Yuyam.
      Numata Center for for Buddhist Translation and Research, Berkeley, California, 2007).

      The Avatamsaka Sutra includes the notion of renouncing Nirvana and other features similar to the Theosophical doctrine:
      Those pioneers of Bodhi consummation, who likened to the lamps illuminating cosmos of the ten quarters, I do so earnestly entreat that they will perpetuate the rotation of Dharma-cakra.
      Comes the time for the Buddhas to set for Nirvana, I earnestly entreat that they may remain for further duration of boundless Kalpas to benefit and delight all sentient beings.
      With this Vyakarana of Tathagata, I would transmute Nirmanakayas by countless myriads in number, all possessive of vast sagacity for pervading over the ten quarters of cosmos, to engage in beneficence endeavours reaching everywhere inhabited with sentient beings.
      (Discourse on Samantabhadra’s Beneficence Aspirations – Avatamsaka Sutra)

      A brief summary of notions of the existence of Arhats, post-enlightenment:
      Hinayana schools do not recognize any existence after death for an Arhat. The Mahayana schools do, and all except Asanga’s say that Arhats manifest in different forms, no longer helplessly reborn according to karma, and continue to cultivate wisdom and merit until they have become Buddhas. Because Asanga and his followers say that there are Arhats who do not go on to Buddhahood, they must explain that those Arhats are born in the pure lands of Buddhas and abide there forever in meditative absorption (Cozort, Daniel & Craig Preston. Buddhist Philosophy Losang Gonchok’s Short Commentary to Jamyang Shayba’s Root Text on Tenets. Snow Lion, 2003)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      192- “For others’ sake this great reward I yield” — accomplishes the greater Renunciation.
      An example of the Mahayana Bodhisattva ideal of altruism, selflessness, compassion, sacrifice and renunciation; Bodhicitta being a key term:
      Alas! All phenomena are empty and identityless.
      Pity every sentient being who fails to realize this!
      So that these beings worthy of compassion may attain enlightenment,
      I shall dedicate my body, speech, and mind to virtue.
      For the sake of all sentient beings in the six states of existence,
      From now until enlightenment is attained,
      I shall generate the spirit of supreme enlightenment,
      Not only for myself, but for all beings.
      Pity all those who are without Dharma, who shackle themselves
      In the immeasurable ocean of suffering!
      So that these beings worthy of compassion may be brought to joy,
      I shall generate the spirit of supreme enlightenment.
      All limitless sentient beings and I
      Are primordially of the nature of the Buddha.
      I shall generate the spirit of supreme enlightenment
      As a great being to know that
      We are indeed of the nature of the Buddha.
      The ocean of the world’s cycle of existence is like an illusion.
      No composites are permanent.
      Their nature is empty and identityless.
      But these children who fail to realize that
      Wander through the twelve links of dependent origination
      In the cycle of becoming.
      So that those stuck in the swamp of name and form
      May attain buddhahood, I shall dedicate
      My body, speech, and mind to virtue

      In the Buddha, Dharma, and supreme assembly
      I take refuge until enlightenment.
      By my merit of practicing generosity and so forth,
      May I accomplish buddhahood for the benefit of the world.

      May I become a spiritual mentor to guide
      All limitless beings without exception.
      (Liṅpa, Karma. Generating the Mahāyāna Spirit of Awakening
      2- The Natural Liberation of the Mind-Itself;The Four-Session Yoga of the Spiritual Activity of the Secret Mantra Vajrayāna. Natural liberation: Padmasambhavas teachings on the six bardos Allan Wallace, transl. Wisdom Publications, Sommerville, Ma, 1998)

      193- A Saviour of the World is he.
      “a saviour of the helpless, a defender of the defenceless, a refuge to those without refuge, a place to rest to those without resting place, the final relief of those who are without it, an island to those without one, a light to the blind, a guide to the guideless, a resort to those without one and….guide to the path those who have lost it, and you shall become a support to those who are without support.” (Conze, Edward. Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Parivarta 27, The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines. Four Seasons Foundation , Bolinas CA, 1975).

      on the Bodhisattva ideal and Theosophy see also (Reigle, David. What are the Books of Kiu-te? High Country Theosophist 9.2 (Feb. 1994): 2-9) https://www.theosophyforward.com/theosophy/39-articles/theosophy/388-what-are-the-books-of-kiu-te-


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      194- Behold! The goal of bliss and the long Path of Woe are at the furthest end. Thou canst choose either, O aspirant to Sorrow, throughout the coming cycles! . . . .

      Man of Sorrows is paramount among the prefigurations of the Messiah identified by Christians in the passages of Isaiah 53 (Servant songs) in the Hebrew Bible. It is also an iconic devotional image that shows Christ, usually naked above the waist, with the wounds of his Passion prominently displayed on his hands and side (the “ostentatio vulnerum”, a feature of other standard types of image), often crowned with the Crown of Thorns and sometimes attended by angels. It developed in Europe from the 13th century and was especially popular in Northern Europe.
      The image continued to spread and develop iconographical complexity until well after the Renaissance, but the Man of Sorrows in its many artistic forms is the most precise visual expression of the piety of the later Middle Ages, which took its character from mystical contemplation rather than from theological speculation. (Schiller, G. Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. II, Lund Humphries, London, 1972, p. 198)

      195- Om Vajrapâni hum.

      Vajrapâni (Sk.), or Manjushrî, the Dhyâni-Bodhisattva (as the spiritual reflex, or the son of the Dhyâni.Buddhas, on earth) born directly from the subjective form of existence; a deity worshipped by the profane as a god, and by Initiates as a subjective Force, the real nature of which is known only to, and explained by, the highest Initiates of the Yogâchârya School (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).

      Vajrapāṇi (from Sanskrit vajra, “thunderbolt” or “diamond” and pāṇi, lit. “in the hand”) is one of the earliest bodhisattvas of Mahayana Buddhism. He is the protector and guide of the Buddha, and rose to symbolize the Buddha’s power. Vajrapani was used extensively in Buddhist iconography as one of the three protective deities surrounding the Buddha. Each of them symbolizes one of the Buddha’s virtues: Manjusri (the manifestation of all the Buddhas’ wisdom), Avalokitesvara (the manifestation of all the Buddhas’ compassion) and Vajrapani (the manifestation of all the Buddhas’ power) (Santangelo, Paolo Zibuyu, “What The Master Would Not Discuss”, according to Yuan Mei (1716 – 1798): A Collection of Supernatural Stories (2 vols). BRILL, 2013, p. 217-218 fn)

      From the buddha heart comes the dharma rain.
      From the wisdom moon spread the compassion rays.
      Vajrapani with his vajra scepter
      Is indeed the Lord of Secrets.
      (Lu, Master Sheng-yen. Cheng Yew Chung, transl., Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra, US Daden Culture, Chapter 26: Mantra of Vajrapani Bodhisattva)

      Many Buddhist students, for life, will chant the Mantras of the Three Great Bodhisattvas — as a way to keep strength, compassion and wisdom present in our present moment. The Three Bodhisattvas, of course, are: Vajrapani, Avalokiteshvara and Manjushri:
      Vajrapani: Om Vajrapani Hum (In Tibetan “Om Benza Pani Hung”)
      Avalokiteshvara: Om Mani Padme Hum (In Tibetan “Om Mani Peme Hung”)
      Manjushri: Oṃ A Ra Pa Tza Na Dhīḥ (Tza is generally pronounced “cha” and when transliterated from Sanskrit is written “ca”.) (Kane, Lee) buddhaweekly.com
      https://buddhaweekly.com/hand-buddha-defeats-three-poisons-vajrapani-literally-vajra-hand-guardian-shakyamuni-vajrapani-power-mind-overcome-obstacles-pride-anger/


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Fellow Lanoos, Sravakas – we have reached the end of Fragment 2 – for those who have embarked on the journey, I hope the commentary has provided some degree of instructive insight; this winter exploration has enriched my nomenclature considerably and provided foundations for future fruitful flights of inspirational study, to be sure. I’m going to take a short break, two weeks or so, to organize my notes, recharge my batteries, and prepare to undertake the study of Fragment 3 – what surprises, mysteries, and recondite teachings will be discovered, who can say? Won’t you stay tuned and see how it all unfolds…

      In this final seventh section (stanzas 179-195) we are given a general summary of the Eye doctrine and the Heart doctrine, which can be roughly described as something similar to the Pratyeka and Bodhisattva paths in Mahayana Buddhism. The Eye doctrine teaches the path of liberation where one enters the Dharmakaya state and Nirvana. The concern is mainly with personal salvation only.

      The Heart doctrine teaches the path of renunciation, the path of woe, the secret path where or of pity and boundless compassion for suffering humanity, one , by choosing the Nirmanakaya vesture, delays entering the Nirvana state to continue working for the salvation of the world. One enters Nirvana after countless kalpas, (at the Maha-Pralaya at the end of the seventh round). “Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of Self; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty. Aye, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow men.”

      ”Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
      There’s still time to change the road you’re on”
      (Plant, Robert. ”’Stairway to Heaven”. Led Zeppelin IV. Atlantic, 1971)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Section one (stanzas 101-108) this section presents the notions of the Doctrine of the Eye and the Doctrine of the Heart, the exoteric and esoteric paths. It also presents the notion of Alaya, the World Soul, (see https://blavatskytheosophy.com/alaya-th … rsal-soul/ ) a fundamental theosophical concept.
      Section two (109-122) continues to explain the exoteric and esoteric concepts, while contrasting ignorance and wisdom, as well as humility and pride.
      Section 3 (123-136) Section three deals with the problems of selfishness, inaction, quietism, and isolationism on the spiritual path. It gives the following advice: love all beings, do not neglect your parents, non-action does not mean inaction, the lamp burns bright when wick and old are clean, one can face physical agitation and still have a tranquil mind, solitary forest asceticism is not the way to final liberation, physical punishment and conquering physical vices are not the final steps, after reaching enlightenment, one has a duty to reach out to others, kind actions give merit while failing to do acts of charity is a fault, Self-Knowledge comes through good deeds and actions.
      Section four (137-146) teaches to have patience, as one who fears no failure, courts no success; fix your Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray you are. Have perseverance as one who for evermore endures; sow with the seeds of merit the fields of future harvests; accept the woes of birth; step out from sunlight into shade, to make more room for others.
      Through the pain of karmic retribution, we can weaves the three vestures: Nirmânakâya, Sambhogakâya, and Dharmakâya. The way of the Bodhisattvas of the “Secret Heart is explained:To live to benefit mankind is the first step; to practise the six virtues is the second. To don the Nirmânakâya robe is to forego eternal bliss for Self, to help on man’s salvation. To reach Nirvâna’s bliss, but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step — the highest on Renunciation’s Path.
      Section five (147- 163) it was taught that if one does not feel ready for the esoteric path, then one can pursue the exoteric path, accumulate merit and wait for the chance to pursue the secret path in future lives. One is also advised to accept the law of Karma and be patient with your fate. One is advised to be kind and helpful to one’s colleagues because we are linked to them through many incarnations.
      ‘’’Tis from the bud of Renunciation of the Self, that springeth the sweet fruit of final Liberation’’. It is said to be a mistake to avoid helping others out of fear of succumbing to temptations, while living in seclusion. One has to actively pursues one’s duties in life, following the wheel of life, enduring pleasure and pain, purifying your karma and gaining merit and spiritual development for future incarnations.
      If one cannot pursue the path with tireless heroic energy, one can pursue a humbler course by doing one’s best to live and promote the spiritual path. ‘’Be, O Lanoo, like them. Give light and comfort to the toiling pilgrim, and seek out him who knows still less than thou; who in his wretched desolation sits starving for the bread of Wisdom and the bread which feeds the shadow, without a Teacher, hope or consolation, and — let him hear the Law.’’
      The Srotâpatti stage is the first stage on the path and one enters it with humility. Through devotion, one may gain Siddhis that one had in previous births. One needs to be humble to acquire wisdom, and even humbler when one acquires whatever level of wisdom one can attain, and this comes with a great deal of equanimity.
      Section 6 (Stanzas 164-178), deals with the combat between the lower self and the higher Self, the quest for Nirvana and more on the Nirmanakaya vesture. Restrain the lower Self by the Divine self. Restrain the Divine by the Eternal. Great is the slayer of desire. Greater is one who has slain the very knowledge of desire. Guard the Lower self lest it soil the Higher self. The way to final freedom is within yourself. That way begins and ends outside of the lower self.
      He who has Wisdom is honoured by all men. Arhans and Sages of the boundless Vision are exceedingly rare. No Arhan, becomes one in that birth when one begins to long for final liberation. Not one recruit can ever be refused the right to enter on the Path that leads toward the field of Battle. ‘’For, either he shall win, or he shall fall. Yea, if he conquers, Nirvâna shall be his’’; and in him will men honour a Buddha.
      ‘’And if he falls, e’en then he does not fall in vain; the enemies he slew in the last battle will not return to life in the next birth that will be his.’’ If one would reach Nirvâna, or the Nirmanakaya state, let not the fruit of action and inaction be your motive. A Bodhisattva who chooses the Nirmanakaya vesture is called, “thrice Honoured.”
      Section seven (stanzas 179-195) we are given a general summary of the Pratyeka path and the Bodhisattva path. The Pratyeka path is the path of liberation where one enters the Dharmakaya state and Nirvana. The concern is mainly with personal salvation only.
      The Bodhisattva path is the path of renunciation, the path of woe, the secret path where or of pity and boundless compassion for suffering humanity, one delays entering the Nirvana state to continue working for the salvation of the world. One enters Nirvana after countless kalpas, (at the Maha-Pralaya at the end of the seventh round). “Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of Self; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty. Aye, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow men.”


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Theosophical References
      Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 1923.
      Blavatsky, H. P. A Few More Misconceptions Corrected. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, pp. 414-423; (Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp , (432-442)
      Blavatsky, H. P. ‘’Reincarnations’’ of Buddha. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, pp. 386-391; (Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp. 400-407).
      Blavatsky, H. P. The “Doctrine of the Eye” & the “Doctrine of the Heart,” or the “Heart’s Seal”. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, pp. 424-431 (Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp. 443-453).
      Blavatsky, H. P. The Mystery of Buddha. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 39-385; Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp. 388-399).
      Blavatsky, H.P. Answers to Queries. Lucifer, Vol. I, No. 4, December, 1887, pp. 325-328 (Collected Writings, Volume 8, 293)
      Blavatsky, H. P. Occultism Versus the Occult Arts, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 9, May, 1888, (CW 9, 249-261).
      Blavatsky, Appendix on Dreams, Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge 2, 1891.
      Blavatsky, The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, T. Fisher Unwin ltd. London : Adelphi Terrace, 1925.
      Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary. London, Theosophical Publishing Society, 1892.
      Blavatsky, H.P. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1. London, Theosophical Publishing Company. 1888.
      Collins, Mabel, Light on the Path. London: George Redway, 1885.
      Collins, Mabel, Through the Gates of Gold. Boston, Robert Brothers, 1887.
      Judge, William Q. Echoes from the Orient, New York, Aryan Press, 1890.
      Judge, William Q., Friends or Enemies in the Future, The Path, January, 1893.
      Judge, William Q.. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path I. The Path, October, 1886.
      Judge, William Q. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path II. The Path, , February, 1887.
      Judge, William Q.. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path III. The Path, August, 1887.
      Judge, William Q. Respecting Reincarnation. The Path, August, 1888.
      Kingsford, Anna & Edward Maitland. The Perfect Way, or the Finding of Christ. London: Scribner & Welford, 1882.
      David, Reigle. The three great Perfections in The Voice of the Silence, Prajna Quest, August 7, 2018.
      Reigle, David. Theosophy in Tibet: The Teachings of the Jonangpa School. Blavatskyarchives.com
      Row, T. Subba. Esoteric Writings. Theosophical Publishing House, 1931.
      Further Reading
      Anon. Alaya – The Universal Soul. Blavatskytheosophy.com.
      Gyatso, Tenzin, His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Maitreya’s Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras: Illuminating the Path to Enlightenment, Chapter 3, Relying on the Spiritual Teacher.
      Mani Kabum, Prophecies & Teachings of Great Compassion. H.E. Trizin Tsering, Rimpoche, transl. Singapore, 2007. http://www.buddhadordenma.org/manikabum2.html
      Raṭṭhapālapadāna, Mabel Bode, tr . in “The Legend of Raṭṭhapāla in the Pali Apadāna and Buddhaghosa’s Commentary.” In Mélanges d’Indianisme: offerts par ses élèves à Sylvain Lévi. Paris, 1911, (pp.183–192).
      Walters, Jonathan S. Legends of the Buddhist Saints: Apadānapāli. Whitman College, 2017.
      Wassiljew, W. Der Buddhismus, St. Petersburg, 1860.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Eastern Texts
      Asanga. Boin-Webb, Sara (tr). Rahula, Walpola (tr). Abhidharma Samuccaya: The Compendium of Higher Teaching, Asian Humanities Press, 2001.
      Bhagavad Gita. Flood, Gavin & Charles Martin, transl. New York. W. E. Norton Company, 2002.
      Caryapitaka atthakatha in A Treatise on the Paramis. From the Commentary to the Cariyapitaka by Acariya Dhammapala, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl., 2005)
      Cleary, Thomas. The Flower Ornament Scripture : a translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Boston. Shambhala, 1993.
      Conze, Edward, Transl. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, Four Seasons Foundation , Bolinas CA, 1975.
      Davids, C. A. F. Rhys & F. L. Woodward tr. The Book of the Kindred Sayings, Bristol: Pali Text Society part 1, 1917.
      Dawa-Samdup, Lama Kazi, transl. The Ocean of Delight for the Wise, in Evans-Wentz, W. Y. Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1934
      Dhammapada. Gil Fronsdal, transl. Boston. Shambhala, 2006.
      Dogen. “Shoaku makusa : Not Doing Wrong Action” Hoshin roshi, Anzan and Yasuda Joshu Dainen roshi (2007).
      Dōgen. Shobogenzo Zuimonki [Things Overheard at the Treasury of the Eye of the True Dharma], Masunaga, Reiho, transl. Honolulu. University of Hawaii Press, 1975.
      Dogen. The Zen Poetry of Dogen: Verses from the Mountain of Eternal Peace. Tuttle Publishing, 1997.
      Jnaneshwar. Jnaneshwar’s Gita. A Rendering of the Jnaneshwari. Kripananda, Swami. Albany SUNY Press, 1989.
      Lattimore Richmond A. , transl. The Four Gospels and the Revelation. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015
      Liṅpa, Karma. The Natural Liberation of the Mind-Itself;The Four-Session Yoga of the Spiritual Activity of the Secret Mantra Vajrayāna. in Natural liberation: Padmasambhavas Teachings on the Six Bardos. Wallace, Allan ,transl. Sommerville, Ma. Wisdom Publications, 1998)
      Lotus Sutra, Translated from the Chinese of Kumārajiva by Tsugunari Kubo and Akira Yuyam.
      Numata Center for for Buddhist Translation and Research, Berkeley. California, 2007.
      Maitreya. Universal Vehicle Discourse Literature (Mahayanasutralamkara) (Treasury of the Buddhist Sciences) Lobsang Jamspal, Robert Thurman and the American Institute of Buddhist Studies translation committee. American Institute of Buddhist Studies. New York, 2004.
      Majjhima Nikaya. Nanamoli, Bhikkhu and Bhikkhu Bodhi (trans.), The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya, Somerville. Wisdom Publications, 1995.
      Nagarjuna, Bodhicitta, in Lucien Styk, ed. World of the Buddha, New York, Anchor Books, 1968.
      Okumura, Shohaku. Realizing Genjokoan: The Key to Dogen’s Shobogenzo. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2010.
      Rinchen, Geshe Sonam. How Karma Works: The Twelve Links of Dependent Arising. Snow Lion, 2006.
      Rumi, Jalaluddin. Barks, Coleman, transl. Rumi The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems. Deckle Edge, 2000
      Rumi, Jalaluddin. Nicholson, R. A. Transl. Selected Poems from the Divan-e Shams-e Tabrizi: Along With the Original Persian. Ibex Publisher, 2001.
      Platform Sutra. Yampolski, Philip B., transl. The platform sutra of the sixth patriarch: the text of the Tun-huang manuscript with translation, introduction, and notes, New York. Columbia University Press, 1967.
      Ornament of Sutras 10:3 Atisa. A Lamp for the Path and Commentary. Sherburne, R. transl. London. George Allen & Unwin, 1983.
      Santideva. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Wallace, Vesan & Alan, transl. Boulder. Snow Lion, 1997.
      The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, in: Shaku, Soyen: Suzuki, Daisetz Teitaro, transl. 1906.
      Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures. The Jewish Publication Society; 1985
      Tangpa, Langri. Eight Verses of Training the Mind.in Essential Mind Training. Jinpa, Thupten. Boston. Wisdom Publications, 2011.
      Tao Te Ching. Mitchell, Stephen, transl. Frances Lincoln, London, 1999.
      Tsogyal, Yeshe. The Lotus-born: The Life Story of Padmasambhava. Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 2004.
      Tsong-kha-pa. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Volume 1) Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, Transl., Ithaca, New York. Snow Lion Publications., 2000.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Modern Texts
      Abe, Ryuichi.The Weaving of Mantra: Kukai and the Construction of Esoteric Buddhist Discourse. Columbia University Press, 1999.
      Anon. Alayavijnana. Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia.
      Anon. Alayavijnana. Glossary. StudyBuddhism.com.
      Anon. all-encompassing foundation consciousness. Glossary. StudyBuddhism.com.
      Anon. Pratyeka-buddha. Encyclopedia Britannica.
      Anon. Ratthapala, aka: Ratthapāla, Raṭṭhapāla; Wisdom Library.
      Anon. Shen-hsiu. Soka Gakkai Dictionnary of Buddhism, Nichiren Buddhism Library
      Anon. Vajrasattva rdo rje sems dpa’. Rangjung Yeshe Dictionary Page .
      Arnold, Sir Edwin, The Light of Asia. London, 1879.
      Beal, Samuel. SI-YU-KI: Buddhist Records of the Western World. 1884.
      Berzin, Dr. Alexander. The Major Facets of Dzogchen. Studybuddhism.com
      Berzin, Dr. Alexander. Alaya and Impure Appearance-Making: Non-Gelug Positions
      Berzin, Alexander. Mistaken Foreign Myths about Shambhala. StudyBuddhism.com. 2003.
      Burnouf, Emile. Introduction à l’histoire du bouddhisme indien. 1876.
      Buswell Jr., Robert E. & Donald S. Lopez Jr. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism. Princeton University Press, 2013.
      Cleary, Thomas. Zen and the Art of Insight. Boston. Shambhala Publications, 1999.
      Clough, Benjamin. Sinhalese-English dictionary. 1892.
      Conze, Edward. Perfect Wisdom: The Short Prajnaparamita Texts. Buddhist Publishing Group, 1993.
      Cozort, Daniel & Craig Preston. Buddhist Philosophy: Losang Gonchok’s Short Commentary to Jamyang Shayba’s Root Text on Tenets. New York. Snow Lion, 2003.
      Coomaraswamy, A.K. Buddha and the Gospel of Buddhism. Bombay, 1956.
      Edkins. Rev. Joseph, Chinese Buddhism, 1880.
      Cornu, Philippe. Tibetan Astrology. Shambhala. Boston, 1997.
      Eitel, Ernest J. Handbook of Buddhism, Hong Kong, 1888.
      Getty, Alice. The Gods of Northern Buddhism: Their History and Iconography. New York, Dover, 1928.
      Gülen, Fethullah. ‘’Sir (Secret)’’. Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism-2. 2006.
      Gyatso, Tenzin H. H. the Dalai Lama. The Opening of the Wisdom-Eye. Wheaton, Quest Books, 1966.
      Harrison, Paul (1992). Is the Dharma-Kāya the Real “Phantom Body” of the Buddha?. Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 15 (1), 44-94.
      Hettiarachchi, D. E, වෙසතුරු දා සන්නෙ [vesaturu dā sanne], 1950.
      Kane, Lee. The Hand of Buddha Defeats the Three Poisons. Buddha Weekly.
      Law, William. A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life. 1729.
      Lu, Master Sheng-yen. Cheng Yew Chung, transl., Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra. US Daden Culture, Chapter 26: Mantra of Vajrapani Bodhisattva.
      Matilal, Bimal Krishna. Ganeri, Jonardon (ed.). The Collected Essays of Bimal Krishna Matilal, Volume 1. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002,
      McEvilley, Thomas. The Shape of Ancient Thought: Comparative Studies in Greek and Indian Philosophies. Allworth Press, 2012.
      Lai, Whalen (1979). “Ch’an Metaphors: waves, water, mirror, lamp”. Philosophy East & West; Vol. 29, no.3, July, 1979, pp.245–253.
      Rahula, Ven. Dr. W. Bodhisattva Ideal in “Gems of Buddhist Wisdom”, Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1996.
      Ringu Tulku. Daring Steps Toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism. Snow Lion, 2005.
      Shakespeare. The Merchant of Venice, 1600.
      Ruysbroeck, John of. The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage. A. Wynschenk Dom, transl., 1951.
      Santangelo, Paolo Zibuyu. “What The Master Would Not Discuss”, according to Yuan Mei (1716 – 1798): A Collection of Supernatural Stories (2 vols). BRILL, 2013
      Schiller, G. Iconography of Christian Art, Vol. II. London. Lund Humphries,1972.
      Schlagintweit, Emil. Buddhism in Tibet. 1863
      Thurman, Robert. Essential Tibetan Buddhism. Castle Books, 1997.
      Van Schaik, Sam. Approaching the Great Perfection: Simultaneous and Gradual Methods of Dzogchen Practice in the Longchen Nyingtig. Simon and Schuster, 2013.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      ‘Tis well, Śrâvaka. Prepare thyself, for thou wilt have to travel on alone. The Teacher can but point the way. The Path is one for all, the means to reach the goal must vary with the Pilgrims (197).

      It is too true that I who am commenting on the devout life am not myself devout, but most certainly I am not without the wish to become so, and it is this wish which encourages me to share these comments. A notable literary man has said that a good way to learn is to study, a better to listen, and the best to teach. And Saint Augustine, writing to the devout Flora, says, that giving is a claim to receive, and teaching a way to learn.
      Assuredly I neither desire, nor ought to write in this book anything but what has been already said by others before me. I offer you the same flowers, dear reader, but the bouquet will be somewhat different from theirs, because it is differently made up.

      For the schedule, like the Taoist butcher of Chuang Tzu, I have tried to section our quaesitum into sections according to the natural cleavage points, for a more harmonious operation:

      Section 1 (Stanzas 196-214) Introduction to the Paramitas.
      Section 2 (Stanzas 215-229) Attuning to Alaya, the World-Soul.
      Section 3 (Stanzas 230- 232) The Seven Gates – 1- Dana
      Section 4 (Stanzas 233- 235) The Seven Gates – 2- Sila
      Section 5 (Stanzas 236- 241) The Seven Gates – 3- Kshanti
      Section 6 (Stanzas 242- 248) The Seven Gates – 4- Viraga
      Section 7 (Stanzas 249- 260) Building the Isle.
      Section 8 (Stanzas 261- 272 ) Fixing the Mind
      Section 9 (Stanzas 273- 276 ) The Seven Gates – 5- Virya
      Section 10 (Stanzas 277- 280 ) The Seven Gates – 6- Dhyana
      Section 11 (Stanzas 281- 295 ) Nirmanakaya
      Section 12 (Stanzas 296- 305 ) Compassion
      Section 13 (Stanzas 306- 308 ) The Trikaya
      Section 14 (Stanzas 309- 316 ) The Seven Gates – 7- Wisdom


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Fellow Sravakas, Lanoos, Chelas, we’re back in action! Happy to be with y’all to spend the Spring months on this third and final fragment. Like the last time, I’ll try to post about ten stanzas a week, three times a week. May you reach the terrace of enlightenment. Om.

      FRAGMENT III.
      THE SEVEN PORTALS.
      196 Upâdhyâya (1), the choice is made, I thirst for Wisdom. Now hast thou rent the veil before the secret Path and taught the greater Yâna (2). Thy servant here is ready for thy guidance.”

      (1). Upâdhyâya is a spiritual preceptor, a Guru. The Northern Buddhists choose these generally among the “Naljor,” saintly men, learned in gotrabhû-ñâna and ñâna-dassana-suddhi teachers of the Secret Wisdom.

      Narjol (Tib.). A Saint; a glorified Adept (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).
      In Buddhism, an upadhyaya is a religious functionary responsible for guiding novices, hearing monastic vows and entrusting monastic precepts on ordinands. The word is usually translated either as abbot, preceptor or master of novices. An upadhyaya has customarily spent at least ten years in a Buddhist monastery before given this appointment. (The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, 1998, p. 843)
      Change-of lineage (gotrabhu) (13th of 16 stages of insight)
      The last purification, purification by knowledge and vision, consists of the knowledge of the four supramundane paths – the path of stream-entry, the path of the once-returner, the path of the non-returner, and the path of arahatship. However, immediately after conformity knowledge and before the moment of the first path, there occurs one thought-moment called change-of-lineage knowledge (gotrabhu-nana). This knowledge has the function of adverting to the path. Because it occupies an intermediate position it belongs neither to purification by knowledge and vision of the way nor to purification by knowledge and vision, but is regarded as unassignable. It receives the name “change-of-lineage” because by reaching this stage of knowledge the meditator “passes out of the lineage, the category, the plane, of the ordinary man (puthujjana) and enters the lineage, the category, the plane, of the Noble Ones.”1 In bringing about such a radical transformation change-of-lineage is clearly a most important and crucial moment of spiritual development.
      (Chapter VI Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Way (Patipadananadassanavisuddhi) 80.
      A Guide to the Progressive Stages of Buddhist Meditation.The Venerable Mahathera Matara Sri Nanarama. Translated from the Sinhala, Buddhist Publication Society Kandy Sri Lanka)

      Patipadā-ñānadassana-visuddhi: ‘purification by knowledge and vision of the path-progress’ forms the 6th stage of purification visuddhi. (Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.) There are seven purifications/visuddhis.
      The sixth Visuddhi is Patipada nanadassana visuddhi. Patipadameans the course of practice, nana means knowledge, dassana means vision. Nina and dassana are here referred to in the same sense. In order to lay emphasis on penetration, the text used the two words in the same sense knowledge and vision. So Patipada nanadassana visuddhi means Purification of Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice. It means that when we have passed Maggamaggananadassana visuddhi, we are on the right path which leads to Arahantship or the cessation of suffering. (Chanmyay Sayadaw. Vipassana Meditation Lectures on Insight Meditation. 05 April, 2018)

      (2). Yâna — vehicle: thus Mahâyâna is the “Great Vehicle,” and Hînayâna, the “Lesser Vehicle,” the names for two schools of religious and philosophical learning in Northern Buddhism.
      Mahayâna (Pal.). A school; lit., “the great vehicle”. A mystical system founded by Nâgârjuna. Its books were written in the second century B.C. (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).
      Hinayana (Sk.). The “ Smaller Vehicle”; a Scripture and a School of the Northern Buddhists, opposed to the Mahayana, “the Greater Vehicle”, in Tibet. Both schools are mystical. (See “Mahayana”.) Also in exoteric superstition the lowest form of transmigration (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).
      For the complex development of yanas in Buddhism see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yana_(Buddhism)
      See notes for Stanza 191. I mentioned that the two paths of Fragment two were broadly similar to the Theravada and Mahayana schools, and this note would seem to corroborate this.
      If he demands to become a neophyte, he at once becomes a servant. Yet his service is sublime, if only from the character of those who share it. For the masters are also servants; they serve and claim their reward afterwards. (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 2, 3)

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Mark Casady.

      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        Tibetan Buddhist practitioners define yoga slightly differently than their Hindu counterparts. The word yoga, according to the Tibetan Buddhist Master Namkhai Norbu is rendered “naljor” in Tibetan. According to Norbu, “nal literally means original or authentic and jor means to discover or possess this condition. Accordingly, the meaning of naljor is to discover our real condition.”
        https://www.gaia.com/article/naljor-buddhist-approach-to-yoga


      • Mark Casady
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        Mark Casady

        For the terms gotrabhû-ñâna and ñâna-dassana-suddhi see also Hardy, Spence, Eastern Monachism, 1860, p.281.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      197 ‘Tis well, Śrâvaka (3). Prepare thyself, for thou wilt have to travel on alone. The Teacher can but point the way. The Path is one for all, the means to reach the goal must vary with the Pilgrims.
      (3). Śrâvaka — a listener, or student who attends to the religious instructions. From the root “Śru.” When from theory they go into practice or performance of asceticism, they become Śramanas, “exercisers,” from Śrama, action. As Hardy shows, the two appellations answer to the words akoustikoi and asketai of the Greeks.

      Srâvaka (Sk.). Lit., “he who causes to hear ”; a preacher. But in Buddhism it denotes a disciple or chela (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).

      See notes for Stanza 191. – A Sravaka is a disciple of a Buddha. A disciple may be a monk or a nun, a layman or a laywoman. Bent on his or her liberation, a Sravaka follows and practises the reaching of the Buddha and finally attains Nirvana. He also serves others, but his capacity to do so is limited (Rahula, Ven. Dr. W. Bodhisattva Ideal in Buddhism “Gems of Buddhist Wisdom”, Buddhist Missionary Society, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 1996)
      Here’s the reference, akoustikoi is Pythagorean – asketai is early Christian – the ancient Greek term being more applied to athletic discipline:

      The priests of Budha have received various names, of which the following are the principal: — 1. Srawakas, from the root sru, to hear, answering to the akoustikoi of the Greeks. 2. Sarmanas, from srama, the performance of asceticism, answering to the asketai, exercisers, of the ancient church. By the Chinese the word is written Cha men and Sang men, and is said by Klaproth to mean ” celui qui restreint ses pensees, ou celui qui s’efforce et se re- streint.” It is probable that the epithet Samanean, as applied to the religious system of Tartary, is derived from the same word. (Hardy, Spence, Eastern Monachism, 1860, p.10)

      There is a law of nature which insists that a man shall read these mysteries for himself. By no other method can he obtain them. A man who desires to live must eat his food himself: this is the simple law of nature — which applies also to the higher life. A man who would live and act in it cannot be fed like a babe with a spoon; he must eat for himself (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 2, 1).

      198 Which wilt thou choose, O thou of dauntless heart? The Samtan (4) of “eye Doctrine,” four-fold Dhyâna, or thread thy way through Pâramitâs (5), six in number, noble gates of virtue leading to Bodhi and to Prajñâ, seventh step of Wisdom?
      (4). Samtan (Tibetan), the same as the Sanskrit Dhyâna, or the state of meditation, of which there are four degrees.
      Four stages, called (in Sanskrit) dhyanas or (in Pali) jhanas, are distinguished in the shift of attention from the outward sensory world: (1) detachment from the external world and a consciousness of joy and ease, (2) concentration, with suppression of reasoning and investigation, (3) the passing away of joy, with the sense of ease remaining, and (4) the passing away of ease also, bringing about a state of pure self-possession and equanimity.
      (Kuiper, Kathleen. Buddhist Meditation. Encyclopedia Britannica) https://www.britannica.com/topic/Buddhist-meditation
      (5). Pâramitâs, the six transcendental virtues; for the priests there are ten.
      The chapter of ten grounds (26th) in the Avataṃsaka Sūtra gives a listing of the paramitas in stages, the 10 Bodhisattva Bhumis. The 10 grounds are:

      1- Great Joy: It is said that being close to enlightenment and seeing the benefit for all sentient beings, one achieves great joy, hence the name. In this bhūmi the bodhisattvas practice all perfections (pāramitās), but especially emphasizing generosity (dāna).
      2- Stainless: In accomplishing the second bhūmi, the bodhisattva is free from the stains of immorality, therefore, this bhūmi is named “stainless”. The emphasized perfection is moral discipline (śīla).
      3- Luminous: The light of Dharma is said to radiate for others from the bodhisattva who accomplishes the third bhūmi. The emphasized perfection is patience (kṣānti).
      4- Radiant: This bhūmi it is said to be like a radiating light that fully burns that which opposes enlightenment. The emphasized perfection is vigor (vīrya).
      5- Very difficult to train: Bodhisattvas who attain this ground strive to help sentient beings attain maturity, and do not become emotionally involved when such beings respond negatively, both of which are difficult to do. The emphasized perfection is meditative concentration (dhyāna).
      6- Obviously Transcendent: By depending on the perfection of wisdom, [the bodhisattva] does not abide in either saṃsāra or nirvāṇa, so this state is “obviously transcendent”. The emphasized perfection is wisdom (prajñā).
      7- Gone afar: Particular emphasis is on the perfection of skillful means (upāya), to help others.
      8- Immovable: The emphasized virtue is aspiration. This “immovable” bhūmi is where one becomes able to choose his place of rebirth.
      9- Good Discriminating Wisdom: The emphasized virtue is the understanding of self and non-self.
      10- Cloud of Dharma: The emphasized virtue is the practice of primordial wisdom.

      After the ten bhūmis, according to Mahāyāna Buddhism, one attains complete enlightenment and becomes a Buddha (Cleary, Thomas. The Flower Ornament Scripture : a translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Boston. Shambhala, 1993)
      Bodhi or Sambodhi (Sk.). Receptive intelligence, in contradistinction to Buddhi, which is the potentiality of intelligence (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      It looks like this first section will be somewhat lenghty, because I think that it is useful to present some basic Buddhist meditation and ethical concepts. Also, the four factors of enlightenment have some interesting theosophical commentary, although I do not plan on covering the full esoteric commentary on Buddhism from Blavatsky’s writings.

      199 – The rugged Path of four-fold Dhyâna winds on uphill. Thrice great is he who climbs the lofty top.
      The Thrice-great references seem to refers to the Trikaya.
      There are the four basic Jhanas and also the four formless Jhanas, making eight Jahnas in Theravada Buddhism:

      First dhyāna: the first dhyana can be entered when one is secluded from sensuality and unskillful qualities, due to withdrawal and right effort. There is pīti (“rapture”) and non-sensual sukha (“pleasure”) as the result of seclusion, while vitarka-vicara (“discursive thought”) continues;[note 5]
      Second dhyana: there is pīti (“rapture”) and non-sensual sukha (“pleasure”) as the result of concentration (samadhi-ji, “born of samadhi”[30]); ekaggata (unification of awareness) free from vitarka-vicara (“discursive thought”); sampasadana (“inner tranquility”);[25][note 6]
      Third dhyana: upekkhā[note 7] (equanimous; “affective detachment”[25]), mindful, and alert, and senses pleasure with the body;
      Fourth dhyana: upekkhāsatipārisuddhi[note 7] (purity of equanimity and mindfulness); neither-pleasure-nor-pain. Traditionally, the fourth jhāna is seen as the beginning of attaining psychic powers (abhijñā][note 8]
      (Anguttara Nikaya 5.28)

      The four arupas are:
      fifth jhāna: infinite space (Pali ākāsānañcāyatana, Skt. ākāśānantyāyatana),
      sixth jhāna: infinite consciousness (Pali viññāṇañcāyatana, Skt. vijñānānantyāyatana),
      seventh jhāna: infinite nothingness (Pali ākiñcaññāyatana, Skt. ākiṃcanyāyatana),
      eighth jhāna: neither perception nor non-perception (Pali nevasaññānāsaññāyatana, Skt. naivasaṃjñānāsaṃjñāyatana).
      (Digha Nikaya 15)

      Jhānas are normally described according to the nature of the mental factors which are present in these states, generally five are given, sometimes equanimity is added:
      Movement of the mind onto the object (vitakka; Sanskrit: vitarka)
      Retention of the mind on the object (vicāra)
      Joy (pīti; Sanskrit: prīti)
      Happiness (sukha)
      Equanimity (upekkhā; Sanskrit: upekṣā)
      One-pointedness (ekaggatā; Sanskrit: ekāgratā)

      200 – The Pâramitâ heights are crossed by a still steeper path. Thou hast to fight thy way through portals seven, seven strongholds held by cruel crafty Powers — passions incarnate.

      The term pāramitā, commonly translated as “perfection,” has two etymologies. The first derives it from the word parama, meaning “highest”, “most distant”, and hence “chief”, “primary”, “most excellent”. Hence, the substantive can be rendered “excellence” or “perfection”. This reading is supported by the Madhyāntavibhāga (V.4), where the twelve excellences (parama) are associated with the ten perfections (pāramitā). A more creative yet widely reported etymology divides pāramitā into pāra and mita, with pāra meaning “beyond”, “the further bank, shore or boundary,” and mita, meaning “that which has arrived,” or ita meaning “that which goes.” Pāramitā, then means “that which has gone beyond,” “that which goes beyond,” or “transcendent.” This reading is reflected in the Tibetan translation pha rol tu phyin pa (“gone to the other side”) (Lopez, Donald S. Jr. The Heart Sutra Explained: Indian and Tibetan Commentaries. SUNY Press. 1988 p. 21)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      201 – Be of good cheer, Disciple; bear in mind the golden rule. Once thou hast passed the gate Srotâpatti (6), “he who the stream hath entered”; once thy foot hath pressed the bed of the Nirvânic stream in this or any future life, thou hast but seven other births before thee, O thou of adamantine Will.

      Good Cheer: Who master is of self, will ever bear / A smiling face; he puts away all frowns /Is first to greet another, and to share / His all. This friend of all the world, Truth crowns (Santideva. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Wallace, Vesan & Alan, transl. Boulder. Snow Lion, 1997, Stanza 72.)

      (6). Srotâpatti — (lit.) “he who has entered the stream” that leads to the Nirvânic ocean. This name indicates the first Path. The name of the second is the Path of Sakridâgâmin, “he who will receive birth (only) once more.” The third is called Anâgâmin, “he who will be reincarnated no more,” unless he so desires in order to help mankind. The fourth Path is known as that of Rahat or Arhat. This is the highest. An Arhat sees Nirvâna during his life. For him it is no post-mortem state, but Samâdhi, during which he experiences all Nirvânic bliss.*
      [*How little one can rely upon the Orientalists for the exact words and meaning, is instanced in the case of three “alleged” authorities. Thus the four names just explained are given by R. Spence Hardy as: 1. Sowân; 2. Sakradâgâmi; 3. Anâgâmi, and 4. Arya.By the Rev. J. Edkins they are given as: 1. Srôtâpanna; 2. Sagardagam; 3. Anagamin, and 4. Arhan. Schlagintweit again spells them differently each, moreover, giving another and a new variation in the meaning of the terms.]
      See Hardy, Eastern Monachism, 1860, pp. 280-282; Edkins, Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 311; Schlagintweit, Buddhism in Tibet, 1863, pp. 26-28.

      On seven rebirths, see also notes for stanza 159.

      Srotâpatti (Sk) Lit., “ he who has entered the stream ”, i.e., the stream or path that leads to Nirvâna, or figuratively, to the Nirvânic Ocean. The same as Sowanee.
      Sakradagamin (Sk.). Lit., “he who will receive birth (only) once more” before Nirvâna is reached by him; he who has entered the second of the four paths which lead to Nirvana and has almost reached perfection.
      Anâgâmin (Sk.). Anagam. One who is no longer to be reborn into the world of desire. One stage before becoming Arhat and ready for Nirvâna. The third of the four grades of holiness on the way to final Initiation.
      Arahat (Sk.). Also pronounced and written Arhat, Arhan, Rahat, &c., “the worthy one”, lit., “deserving divine honours”. This was the name first given to the Jain and subsequently to the Buddhist holy men initiated into the esoteric mysteries. The Arhat is one who has entered the best and highest path, and is thus emancipated from rebirth (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).

      The four stages of enlightenment in Theravada and Early Buddhism are the four progressive stages culminating in full enlightenment as an Arahant.
      These four stages are Sotāpanna, Sakadāgāmi, Anāgāmi, and Arahant.

      The four stages are associated with freedom from the ten fetters:
      A Stream-enterer (Sotāpanna) is free from:

      1. Identity view (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi), the belief that there is an unchanging self or soul in the five impermanent skandhas
      2. Attachment to rites and rituals
      3. Doubt about the teachings
      A Once-returner (Sakadāgāmin) has greatly attenuated:
      4. Sensual desire
      5. Ill will
      A Non-returner (Anāgāmi) is free from:
      4. Sensual desire
      5. Ill will
      An Arahant is free from all of the five lower fetters and the five higher fetters, which are:
      6. Attachment to the four meditative absorptions, which have form (rupa jhana)
      7. Attachment to the four formless absorptions (ārupa jhana)
      8. Conceit
      9. Restlessness
      10. Ignorance

      (Ñāṇamoli, Bhikkhu & Bhikkhu Bodhi (2001). The Middle Length Discourse of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikāya. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications. pp. 41-43.)

      The Srotâpatti is one who has attained the first Path of comprehension in the real and the unreal;
      the Sakridâgâmin is the candidate for one of the higher Initiations: “one who is to receive birth once more”;
      the Anâgâmin is he who has attained the “third Path,” or literally, “he who will not be reborn again” unless he so wishes it, having the option of being reborn in any of the “worlds of the Gods,” or of remaining in Devachan, or of choosing an earthly body with a philanthropic object.
      An Arhat is one who has reached the highest Path; he may merge into Nirvâna at will, while here on earth (Blavatsky, H. P. A Few More Misconceptions Corrected. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, pp. 416; Collected Writings, Vol. 14, p. 434fn)

      (b) There are four grades of initiation mentioned in exoteric works, which are known respectively in Sanskrit as “Scrotapanna,” “Sagardagan,” “Anagamin,” and “Arhan” — the four paths to Nirvana, in this, our fourth Round, bearing the same appellations. The Arhan, though he can see the Past, the Present, and the Future, is not yet the highest Initiate; for the Adept himself, the initiated candidate, becomes chela (pupil) to a higher Initiate. Three further higher grades have to be conquered by the Arhan who would reach the apex of the ladder of Arhatship. There are those who have reached it even in this fifth race of ours, but the faculties necessary for the attainment of these higher grades will be fully developed in the average ascetic only at the end of this Root-Race, and in the Sixth and Seventh. Thus there will always be Initiates and the Profane till the end of this minor Manvantara, the present life-cycle. The Arhats of the “fire-mist” of the 7th rung are but one remove from the Root-Base of their Hierarchy — the highest on Earth, and our Terrestrial chain. (Blavatsky, H.P. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1. London, Theosophical Publishing Company. 1888, 206-207)

      In order to become a “Perfect” one the sakridâgâmin (“he who will receive new birth,” lit.) had, among other trials to descend into pâtâla, the “nether world,” after which process only he could hope to become an anâgâmin—”one who will be reborn no more.” The full initiate had the option of either entering this (second) Path by appearing at will in the world of men under a human form, or he could choose to first rest in the World of Gods (the Devachan of the initiate), and then only to be reborn on this our earth. Thus the next stage shows the postulant preparing for this journey—(3 ) . (Blavatsky. Collected Writings, Vol. 14, p. 262)

      XXII. NIRWANA : ITS PATHS AND FRUITION.
      As the subject upon wvhich we now enter is one of the questiones vexace of Budhism, and is in itself of deep interest, a larger space will be required for its elucidation ; and as no western opinion will be regarded as of any authority, we shall confine ourselves almost entirely to extracts from native writers. In the former pages of this work we have received nirwana as meaning simply, the cessation of existence. 1 . The Paths.—There are four paths, margga, an entrance into any of which secures, either immediately or more remotely, the attainment of nirwana. They are:—1. Sowan, 2. Sakradagami. 3. Anagami. 4. Arya. Each path is divided into two grades :—1. The perception of the path. 2. Its fruition, or enjoyment, margga-ph’ala.

      (1.) The path sowan, or srotapatti, is so called because it is the first stream that is entered before arriving at nirwana. It is divided into twenty-four sections, and after it has been entered, there can be only seven more births between that period and the attainment of nirwana, which may be in any world but the four hells.

      (2.) The path sakradagami is so called because he who enters it will receive one more birth. He may enter this path in the world of men, and afterwards be born in a dewa-loka; or he may enter it in a dewa-loka, and afterwards be born in the world of men. It is divided into twelve sections.
      (3.) The path anagami is so called because he who enters it will not again be born in a kama-loka ; he may, by the apparitional birth, enter a brahma-loka, and from that world attain nirwana. This path is divided into forty-eight sections.

      (4.) The path arya, or aryahat, is so called because he who enters it has overcome or destroyed, as an enemy, all klesha. It is divided into twelve sections. When the fruit-tree is cut down, the latent fruit that is in it, which has not yet appeared, but which would appear in due time if it were permitted to remain, is destroyed. In like manner, by margga-bhawana the klesha is destroyed that would otherwise have continued to exist and would have brought forth fruit.

      They who have entered into any of the paths can discern the thoughts of all in the same or the preceding paths. Thus, he who has entered the path sowan can know the thoughts of any being in the same path, but not those of any one in the three other paths. He who has entered the path sakradagami can know the thoughts of any being in the same path or in sowan, but not in the two other paths.He who has entered the path anagami can know the thoughts of any being in the same path, or in sowan and sakradagami, but not the thoughts of one in the fourth path, or the rahat. The rahat can know the thoughts of any one, in any situation whatever.

      The wisdom necessary for the reception of the paths is called gotrabhu-gnyana. When the paths are entered the wisdom that is received by those who have made this attainment is called gnyanadassana- sudhi. A man goes at night to watch the conjunction of the moon and certain stars ; he looks up, but the moon is hid by clouds ; then a wind arises and drives away the clouds, so that the moon becomes visible. The klesha that darkens the mind is like a cloud ; the anuloma-chitta is like the wind ; the looking up is like the sight of nirwana; the moon is like nirwana itself; and the passing away of the clouds is like the revealing of nirwana by the wisdom called gotrabhu-gnyana. The wind has power to disperse the cloud, but it cannot see the moon; so the exercise of anuloma drives away darkness from the mind, but it is insufficient for the seeing of nirwana.

      The man who looks at the moon can see it when the clouds have passed away, but he has no power to disperse the clouds ; in like manner, it is gotrabhu-gnyana that reveals nirwana, but it has no power to disperse the klesha that darkens the mind. When nirwana has been revealed, gotrabhu-gnyana is of no further use ; it is like the guide who is dismissed at the end of the journey. The rahats can receive no further birth ; they cannot be born again, either as dewas, brahmas, men, yakas, pretas, or asurs ; thq power by which conception is received is entirely broken ; the path! of successive existence is destroyed ; all cleaving to existence is cut off; all the sanskharas, the elements of existence, are destroyed; merit and demerit are destroyed ; the winyanas are closed ; and as the principle of life in the seed is destroyed when exposed to the influence of fire, so, in the rahats, the principle of evil desire is eradicated ; all connection with the world is completed and done (Hardy, Spence, Eastern Monachism, 1860, pp. 280-282).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      I mixed up terms for Dhyana and Jnana there – not quite accurate – although both terms can be connected with Dzyan, as the article mentions…


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      202 – Look on. What see’st thou before thine eye, O aspirant to god-like Wisdom?
      Theosophy can be defined as god-like wisdom.

      203 – “The cloak of darkness is upon the deep of matter; within its folds I struggle. Beneath my gaze it deepens, Lord; it is dispelled beneath the waving of thy hand. A shadow moveth, creeping like the stretching serpent coils. . . . It grows, swells out and disappears in darkness.”
      204 – It is the shadow of thyself outside the Path, cast on the darkness of thy sins.

      Shadow / Dweller on the Threshold concept: See stanzas 54-55 and 69.
      Now there is a terrible law operative in nature, one which cannot be altered, and whose operation clears up the apparent mystery of the selection of certain “Chelas” who have turned out sorry specimens of morality, these few years past. Does the reader recall the old proverb, “Let sleeping dogs lie”? There is a world of occult meaning in it. No man or woman knows his or her moral strength until it is tried. Thousands go through life very respectably, because they were never put to the pinch. This is a truism doubtless, but it is most pertinent to the present case. One who undertakes to try for Chelaship by that very act rouses and lashes to desperation every sleeping passion of his animal nature. For this is the commencement of a struggle for the mastery in which quarter is neither to be given nor taken. It is, once for all, “To be, or Not to be”; to conquer, means ADEPTSHIP; to fail, an ignoble Martyrdom: for to fall victim to lust, pride, avarice, vanity, selfishness, cowardice, or any other of the lower propensities, is indeed ignoble, if measured by the standard of true manhood.
      The Chela is not only called to face all the latent evil propensities of his nature, but, in addition, the whole volume of maleficent power accumulated by the community and nation to which he belongs. For he is an integral part of those aggregates, and what affects either the individual man, or the group (town or nation) reacts upon the other. And in this instance his struggle for goodness jars upon the whole body of badness in his environment, and draws its fury upon him. If he is content to go along with his neighbours and be almost as they are–perhaps a little better or somewhat worse than the average–no one may give him a thought. But let it be known that he has been able to detect the hollow mockery of social life, its hypocrisy, selfishness, sensuality, cupidity and other bad features, and has determined to lift himself up to a higher level, at once he is hated, and every bad, or bigoted, or malicious nature sends at him a current of opposing will power. If he is innately strong he shakes it off, as the powerful swimmer dashes through the current that would bear a weaker one away.
      But in this moral battle, if the Chela has one single hidden blemish–do what he may, it shall and will be brought to light. The varnish of conventionalities which “civilization” overlays us all with must come off to the last coat, and the Inner Self, naked and without the slightest veil to conceal its reality, is exposed. The habits of society which hold men to a certain degree under moral restraint, and compel them to pay tribute to virtue by seeming to be good whether they are so or not, these habits are apt to be all forgotten, these restraints to be all broken through under the strain of chelaship. He is now in an atmosphere of illusions–Maya. Vice puts on its most alluring face, and the tempting passions try to lure the inexperienced aspirant to the depths of psychic debasement. This is not a case like that depicted by a great artist, where Satan is seen playing a game of chess with a man upon the stake of his soul, while the latter’s good angel stands beside him to counsel and assist. For the strife is in this instance between the Chela’s Will and his carnal nature, and Karma forbids that any angel or Guru should interfere until the result is known.
      With the vividness of poetic fancy Bulwer Lytton has idealised it for us in his Zanoni, a work which will ever be prized by the occultist; while in his Strange Story he has with equal power shown the black side of occult research and its deadly perils. Chelaship was defined, the other day, by a Mahatma as a “psychic resolvent, which eats away all dross and leaves only the pure gold behind.” If the candidate has the latent lust for money, or political chicanery, or materialistic scepticism, or vain display, or false speaking, or cruelty, or sensual gratification of any kind, the germ is almost sure to sprout; and so, on the other hand, as regards the noble qualities of human nature. The real man comes out. Is it not the height of folly, then, for any one to leave the smooth path of common-place life to scale the crags of chelaship without some reasonable feeling of certainty that he has the right stuff in him? Well says the Bible: “Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall”–a text that would-be Chelas should consider well before they rush headlong into the fray! It would have been well for some of our Lay-Chelas it they had thought twice before defying the tests (H. P. Blavatsky. Chelas and Lay Chelas. Supplement to Theosophist, July, 1883; CW 4, pp. 611-13).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      205 – “Yea, Lord; I see the PATH; its foot in mire, its summits lost in glorious light Nirvânic. And now I see the ever narrowing Portals on the hard and thorny way to Jñâna.”*
      [*Knowledge, Wisdom.]

      Mire: See Stanza 69
      Jhâna (Sk.) or Jnana. Knowledge; Occult Wisdom (Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary).
      “Theosophy is synonymous with the Jnana-Vidya, and with the Brahma-Vidya (1) of the Hindus, and again with the Dzyan of the trans-Himalayan adepts, the science of the true Raj-Yogis, who are much more accessible than one thinks. This science has many schools in the East. But its offshoots are still more numerous, each one having ended by separating itself from the parent stem — the true Archaic Wisdom — and changing its form. (THE BEACON OF THE UNKNOWN La Revue Théosophique, Paris, Vol. I, Nos. 3,4,5,6; May 21 , 1889, pp. 1-9; June 21, 1889; pp. 1-7; July 21, 1889, pp. 1-6; August 21, 1889, pp. 1-9] CW 11, p.256)

      206 – Thou seest well, Lanoo. These Portals lead the aspirant across the waters on “to the other shore” (7). Each Portal hath a golden key that openeth its gate; and these keys are: —
      (7). “Arrival at the shore” is with the Northern Buddhists synonymous with reaching Nirvâna through the exercise of the six and the ten Pâramitâs (virtues).

      In the same way, monks, I have taught the Dhamma [dharma] compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas.” (Alagaddupama (Water Snake Simile) Sutta of the Sutta-pitaka. Majjhima Nikaya 22)

      The Prajñapāramitā sūtras (प्रज्ञापारमिता सूत्र), and a large number of other Mahāyāna texts list six perfections:[15][16]

      1- Dāna pāramitā (दान पारमिता): generosity, giving of oneself (in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese, 布施波羅蜜; in Tibetan, སྦྱིན་པ sbyin-pa)
      2- Śīla pāramitā (शील पारमिता): virtue, morality, discipline, proper conduct (持戒波羅蜜; ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས tshul-khrims)
      3- Kṣānti pāramitā (क्षांति पारमिता): patience, tolerance, forbearance, acceptance, endurance (忍辱波羅蜜; བཟོད་པ bzod-pa)
      4- Vīrya pāramitā (वीर्य पारमिता): energy, diligence, vigor, effort (精進波羅蜜; བརྩོན་འགྲུས brtson-’grus)
      5- Dhyāna pāramitā (ध्यान पारमिता): one-pointed concentration, contemplation (禪定波羅蜜, བསམ་གཏན bsam-gtan)
      6- Prajñā pāramitā (प्रज्ञा पारमिता): wisdom, insight (般若波羅蜜; ཤེས་རབ shes-rab)

      (Wright, Dale Stuar.t The Six Perfections: Buddhism and the Cultivation of Character. Oxford University Press, 2009. pp. 3–4).

      In the Ten Stages Sutra, four more pāramitās are listed (Chapter 26th of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra also contains this sutra (Cleary, Thomas. The Flower Ornament Scripture : a translation of the Avatamsaka Sutra. Boston. Shambhala, 1993).
      7. Upāya pāramitā (उपाय पारमिता): skillful means (方便波羅蜜)
      8. Praṇidhāna pāramitā (प्राणिधान पारमिता): vow, resolution, aspiration, determination (願波羅蜜)
      9. Bala pāramitā (बल पारमिता): spiritual power (力波羅蜜)
      10. Jñāna pāramitā (ज्ञान पारमिता): knowledge (智波羅蜜)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Please note that the previous TG definition Jhana or Jnana is slightly askew. Jhana is Pali for the Sanskrit Dhyana, although the definition corresponds to Jnana, so it is correct if you disregard Jhana.

      207 – 1. Dâna, the key of charity and love immortal.

      If those who want to be awake have to give even their bodies,
      What need is there to talk about things that you simply own.
      Be generous, not looking
      For any return or result — this is the practice of a bodhisattva (25)
      (Zong-po, Tokmé. A Summary of How an Awakening Being Behaves (37 Practices of a Bodhisattva). Unfettered Mind.org, stanza 25)
      https://unfetteredmind.org/37-practices … dhisattva/

      208- 2. Shîla, the key of Harmony in word and act, the key that counterbalances the cause and the effect, and leaves no further room for Karmic action.

      If you can’t tend to your needs because you have no moral discipline,
      Then intending to take care of the needs of others is simply a joke.
      Observe ethical behavior without concern
      For conventional existence — this is the practice of a bodhisattva
      (Zong-po, Tokmé, 26).

      209 – 3. Kshânti, patience sweet, that nought can ruffle.

      For bodhisattvas who want to be rich in virtue
      A person who hurts you is a precious treasure.
      Cultivate patience for everyone,
      Completely free of irritation or resentment — this is the practice of a bodhisattva
      (Zong-po, Tokmé, 27)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      210 – 4. Virâg’, indifference to pleasure and to pain, illusion conquered, truth alone perceived.

      Vyragya, one of the four qualifications in Advaita Vedanta, is a term rarely used in Buddhism (Spierenburg , Henk J. The Buddhism of H.P. Blavatsky. Pasadena. Point Loma Publications, 1991, p.165). There is however, a similar term, upekkha. To practice upekkha is to be unwavering or to stay neutral in the face of the eight vicissitudes of life—which are otherwise known as the eight worldly winds or eight worldly conditions: loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, and sorrow and happiness (the Attha Loka Dhamma.(Vitthāra) Loka,dhamma Sutta The Discourse on the Worldly Conditions (Detailed) A 8.6 /4:157-160)

      211 – 5. Vîrya, the dauntless energy that fights its way to the supernal TRUTH, out of the mire of lies terrestrial.

      Listeners and solitary buddhas, working only for their own welfare,
      Are seen to practice as if their heads were on fire.
      To help all beings, pour your energy into practice:
      It’s the source of all abilities — this is the practice of a bodhisattva (Zong-po, Tokmé, 28).

      212 – 6. Dhyâna, whose golden gate once opened leads the Naljor* toward the realm of Sat eternal and its ceaseless contemplation.

      [*A saint, an adept.]
      Or yogi, see notes to stanza 196.

      Understanding that emotional reactions are dismantled
      By insight supported by stillness,
      Cultivate meditative stability that passes right by
      The four formless states — this is the practice of a bodhisattva (Zong-po, Tokmé, 29).


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      213 – 7. Prajñâ, the key to which makes of a man a god, creating him a Bodhisattva, son of the Dhyânis.

      Without wisdom, the five perfections
      Are not enough to attain full awakening.
      Cultivate wisdom, endowed with skill
      And free from the three domains — this is the practice of a bodhisattva (Zong-po, Tokmé, 30).

      Pragna (Sk.) or Prajna. A synonym of Mahat the Universal Mind. The capacity for perception.
      (S. D., I. 139) Consciousness. (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).
      Bodhisattva (Sk). Lit., “he, whose essence (sattva) has become intelligence (bodhi)”; those who need but one more incarnation to become perfect Buddhas, i.e., to be entitled to Nirvâna. This, as applied to Manushi (terrestrial) Buddhas. In the metaphysical sense, Bodhisattva is a title given to the sons of the celestial Dhyâni Buddhas
      Dhyani Bodhisattyas (Sk.). In Buddhism, the five sons of the Dhyani-Buddhas. They have a mystic meaning in Esoteric Philosophy.
      Dhyani Buddhas (Sk.). They “of the Merciful Heart”; worshipped especially in Nepaul. These have again a secret meaning. (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).

      214 – Such to the Portals are the golden keys.

      Further, Mahamati said: It is again said by the Blessed One that by fulfilling the six Paramitas Buddhahood is realised. What are the six (237) Paramitas? And how are they fulfilled?
      The Blessed One replied: Mahamati, there are three kinds of Paramitas. What are the three? They are the worldly, the super-worldly, and the highest super-wordly. Of these, Mahamati, the worldly Paramitas [are practised thus]: Adhering tenaciously to the notion of an ego-soul and what belongs to it and holding fast to dualism, those who are desirous for this world of form, etc., will practise the Paramita of charity in order to obtain the various realms of existence. In the same way, Mahamati, the ignorant will practise the Paramitas of morality, patience, energy, Dhyana, and Prajna. Attaining the psychic powers they will be born in Brahma’s heaven.


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Lanoo-Sravakas, we have completed the first section, Section 1 (Stanzas 196-214) Introduction to the Paramitas, a heady introduction wherein were presented the ten Paramitas, the Four-fold Dhyana, Four Stages of Enlightenment, to which we added the Sixteen Stages of Vipassana Knowledge, the Seven Stages of Purification, the Ten Fetters, the Eight Dyanas / Jahnas, the 6 Mental Factors of jhana, and the 10 Bodhisattva Fields (Bhumis).

      The disciple, apprised of the two paths, the four-fold Dhyan path of the eye doctrine and the sevenfold paramita path of the Heart Doctrine, and has chosen the esoteric path. But the disciple must ‘’travel on alone. The Teacher can but point the way. The Path is one for all, the means to reach the goal must vary with the Pilgrims’’.
      The disciple should be of good cheer and know that after entering the Srotapatii phase, there are seven incarnations before reaching the goal.But the chela sees foreboding visions : ‘’It is the shadow of thyself outside the Path, cast on the darkness of thy sins’’. But also : ‘’the PATH; its foot in mire, its summits lost in glorious light Nirvânic. And now I see the ever narrowing Portals on the hard and thorny way to Jñâna.”

      The paramita path has seven gates, guarded by cruel crafty Powers, as well as seven golden keys. 1- Dâna, charity, 2- Shîla, harmony 3. Kshânti, patience 4. Virâg’, indifference to pleasure and to pain 5. Vîrya, dauntless energy 6. Dhyâna, ceaseless contemplation of Sat 7. Prajñâ, the key to becoming a Bodhisattva, son of the Dhyânis.

      Stay tuned for another heady section, 2 (Stanzas 215-229) Attuning to Alaya, the World-Soul.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Section 2 (Stanzas 215-229) Attuning to Alaya, the World-Soul.
      215 – Before thou canst approach the last, O weaver of thy freedom, thou hast to master these Pâramitâs of perfection — the virtues transcendental six and ten in number — along the weary Path.

      Paramitas of perfections: a somewhat odd term because paramita means perfection, so the term amounts to ‘perfections of perfection’. I thought it might be a misreading of ‘Paramitas, or perfections’, but it recurs often enough to assume that it is the desired term, so it would signify a superlative attainment of the perfections.

      When you have a generosity that is disinterested in and unattached to resources, you take up ethical discipline. When you have an ethical discipline which restrains you from wrongdoing, you become patient with those who harm you. When you have the patience wherein you do not become dispirited with hardships, the conditions for rejecting virtue are few, so you are able to persevere joyously. Once you joyously persevere day and night, you will produce the meditative concentration that facilitates the application of your attention to virtuous objects of meditation. When your mind is in meditative equipoise, you will know reality exactly (Tsong-kha-pa. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Volume 2) Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, Transl., Ithaca, New York. Snow Lion Publications., 2000. 2:111)

      Faith will be perfected by practising the following five deeds: (i) charity (dana) \ (2) morality {sila\ (3) patience (kshanti)\ (4) energy (virya); (5) cessation [or tranquilisation, samatha\ and intellectual insight (vidarana or vipassana).

      How should people practise charity (dana) (i) If persons come and ask them for something, they should, as far as their means allow, supply it ungrudgingly and make them rejoice in it. (2) If they see people threatened with danger, they should try every means of rescuing them and impart to them a feeling of fearlessness (vaseradya). (3) If they have people who come to them desiring instruction in the Doctrine, they should, so far as they are acquainted with it, and, according to their own discretion, deliver speeches on religious discipline. And when they are performing those three acts of charity, let them not cherish any desire for fame or advantages, nor covet any worldly rewards. Only thinking of those benefits and blessings that are at once for themselves and others, let them aspire to the most excellent, most perfect knowledge anuttara samyak sambodhi.

      How should they practise morality (sila)? Those Bodhisattvas who have families [i. e., lay members of Buddhism] should abstain from killing, stealing, adultery, Ijnng, duplicity, slander, frivolous talk, covetousness, malice, currying favor, and false doctrines. In the case of (Jramanas, they should, in order to vanquish all prejudices {klesha or asrava), retire from the boisterousness of worldly life, and, abiding in solitude {aranya), should practise those deeds which lead to moderation and contentment as well as those of the Dhutaguna. Even at the violation of minor rules (sila) they should deeply feel fear, shame, and remorse. Strictly observing all those precepts given by the Tathagata, they should not call forth the blame or disgust of the outsider, but they should endeavor to induce all beings to abandon the evil and to practise the good.

      How should they practise patience (kshanti)? If they meet with the ills of life they should not shun them. If they suffer sufferings, they should not feel afflicted. But they should always rejoice in contemplating the deepest significance of the Dharma.

      How should they practise energy (virya) Practising all good deeds, they should never indulge in indolence (kausidya). They should think of all their great mental and physical sufferings, which they are now vainly suffering on account of their having coveted worldly objects during their existences in innumerable former ages (kalpa), and which do not give the least nourishment to their spiritual life. They should, therefore, in order to be emancipated from those sufferings in the future, be indefatigably energetic, and never raise the thought of indolence, but endeavor, out of deep compassion (mahakaruna), to benefit all beings. Though disciplining themselves in faith, all novice Bodhisattvas, on account of the hindrances of their evil karma (karmavarana) produced by the violation of many important precepts in their previous existences, may sometimes be annoyed by evil Maras, sometimes entangled in worldly engagements, sometimes threatened by various diseases. As these things will severally disturb their religious course and make them neglect practising good deeds, they should dauntlessly, energetically, unintermittently, all six watches, day and night, pay homage to all Buddhas, make offerings (puja) to them, praise them, repent and confess (kshama) to them, aspire to the most excellent knowledge (samyaksambodhi), make great vows (mahdpranidhana) ; and thereby annihilate the hindrances of evils and increase the root of merit (kusalamula).

      How should they practise cessation [or tranquilisation, (samatha)] and intellectual insight (vidarsana or vipasyana)? To bring all mental states that produce frivolous sophistries to a stand is called cessation. To understand adequately the law of causality and transformation is called intellectual insight. Each of them should be practised separately by the beginner. But when by degrees he obtains facility and finally attains to perfection, the two will naturally become harmonised. Those who practise cessation should dwell in solitude (aranyaka) and, sitting cross-legged, rectify the attitude and pacify the mind. Do not fix the thoughts on the breath (anapanasmrti)-; do not fix the thoughts on the forms (samjna) and colors ; do not fix the thoughts on space (akasa) ; do not fix the thoughts on earth, water, fire, and ether ; do not fix the thoughts on what you see, hear, learn, or memorise (vijnanakrtsnayatana). All particularisations, imaginations and recollections should be excluded from consciousness, even the idea of exclusion being excluded; because [the suchness of] all things is uncreate, eternal, and devoid of all attributes (alakshana). (Asvagosha’s Discourse on Awakening of the faith in the Mahayana. Suzuki, D. T. transl. Chicago, Open Court 1900, pp. 128-134)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      216 – For, O Disciple! Before thou wert made fit to meet thy Teacher face to face, thy MASTER light to light, what wert thou told?
      [“Face to face,” means in this instance a study independent or apart from others, when the disciple gets his instruction face to face either with himself (his higher, Divine Self) or–his guru. It is then only that each receives his due of information, according to the use he has made of his knowledge. This can happen only toward the end of the cycle of instruction.]

      2. Before the disciple shall be permitted to study “face to face,” he has to acquire preliminary understanding in a select company of other lay upasaka (disciples), the number of whom must be odd (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158).

      Face to face: The emphasis on ‘mind to mind transmission’ is a form of esoteric transmission, in which “the tradition and the enlightened mind is transmitted face to face”. Metaphorically this can be described as the transmission from a flame from one candle to another candle, or the transmission from one vein to another.[139] In exoteric transmission requires “direct access to the teaching through a personal discovery of one’s self. This type of transmission and identification is symbolized by the discovery of a shining lantern, or a mirror.” (Borup, Jørn. Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion, Brill, 2008, p. 9).

      Thus with the disciple, he must first become a disciple before he can even see the paths to choose between. This effort of creating himself as a disciple, the re-birth, he must do for himself without any teacher. Until the four rules are learned no teacher can be of any use to him; and that is why “the Masters” are referred to in the way they are. No real masters, whether adepts in power, in love, or in blackness, can affect a man till these four rules are passed (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 2, 2)
      But the disciple is expected to deal with the snake, his lower self, unaided; to suppress his human passions and emotions by the force of his own will. He can only demand assistance of a master when this is accomplished, or at all events, partially so. Otherwise the gates and windows of his soul are blurred, and blinded, and darkened, and no knowledge can come to him (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 2, 3)
      For when the disciple is ready the Master is ready also (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1, note on sect. 2)

      “I never gave myself out for a full-blown occultist, but only for a student of Occultism for the last thirty or forty years. Yet I am enough of an occultist to know that before we find the Master within our own hearts and seventh principle–we need an outside Master…I got my drop from my Master (the living one)…He is a Saviour, he who leads you to finding the Master within yourself. It is ten years already that I preach the inner Master and God and never represented our Masters as Saviours in the Christiansense.”
      (Letters of HPB to Dr. Hartmann I, The Path Vol. 10, No. 10 January 1896, p. 367) http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/hpb_teach.html

      “…as I venerate the Master, and worship MY MASTER–the sole creator of my inner Self which but for His calling it out, awakening it from its slumber, would never have come to conscious being–not in this life, at all events…”
      (Blavatsky, H. P. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, T. Fisher Unwin ltd. London : Adelphi Terrace, 1925, p. 104)

      • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      217 – Before thou canst approach the foremost gate thou hast to learn to part thy body from thy mind, to dissipate the shadow, and to live in the eternal. For this, thou hast to live and breathe in all, as all that thou perceivest breathes in thee; to feel thyself abiding in all things, all things in SELF.

      For a similar description of mystical union see stanza 33
      Part the body from the mind: The first great basic delusion you have to get over is the identification of yourself with the physical body. The form of language in vogue in this material ago of ours has much to answer for in this egregious error that has taken root in us. Even in childhood our susceptible nature is broken upon the wheel of this crushing blunder when we hear all around us sounds of “I go,” “I come,” and so on, when it is merely the physical envelope that is seen to perform the act. The ascetics of India are the only people who always speak of “ Sarira” as distinct from them¬selves and thus take care not to mislead people into an erroneous belief. Consider within yourself, without being deluded by the false notions floating around you, and begin to think of this body as nothing better than the house you have to dwell in for a time, and then you will never yield to its temptations. Wherein, dear friend, does the mass of flesh you are not ashamed to call yourself, differ from the tree in your garden? (Gyanbhikshachari. Divine Heartache.The Theosophist. Volume 8, No. 9. June 1887, pp. 551-52).
      “Starting upon the long journey immaculate; descending more and more into sinful matter, and having connected himself with every atom in manifested Space — the Pilgrim, having struggled through and suffered in every form of life and being, is only at the bottom of the valley of matter, and half through his cycle, when he has identified himself with collective Humanity. ( Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine I, p. 268)
      Live neither in the present nor the future, but in the eternal. This giant weed cannot flower there: this blot upon existence is wiped out by the very atmosphere of eternal thought (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1, 4).
      He serves humanity and identifies himself with the whole world; he is ready to make vicarious sacrifice for it at any moment — by living not by dying for it. Why should he not die for it? Because he is part of the great whole, and one of the most valuable parts of it. Because he lives under laws of order which he does not desire to break. His life is not his own, but that of the forces which work behind him. He is the flower of humanity, the bloom which contains the divine seed (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 2, 4).

      218 – Thou shalt not let thy senses make a playground of thy mind.

      See stanza 30- The WISE ONES tarry not in pleasure-grounds of senses.
      Stanza 34- This light shines from the jewel of the Great Ensnarer, (Mâra) (22). The senses it bewitches, blinds the mind, and leaves the unwary an abandoned wreck.
      “Since the mind of one difficult to convert is like an ape, govern his mind by using certain methods and it can then be broken in” (Vimalakirti Sutra. In Dudbridge, Glen. 1970. The Hsi-yu chi: a study of antecedents to the sixteenth century Chinese novel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1970, p. 168)
      A good practical exercize in controlling the senses:
      Eat only when you are hungry and drink when you are thirsty and never otherwise. If some particular preparation attracts your palate, do not allow yourself to be seduced into taking it simply to gratify that craving. Think that the pleasure which you derive from it had no existence some seconds before, and it will cease to exist some seconds afterwards; that it is a transient pleasure ; that that which is a pleasure now, will turn into pain if you take it in large quantities; that it gives pleasure only to your tongue ; that if you are put to a great trouble to get at that thing ; that, if you allow yourself to be seduced by it, you will not be ashamed at anything to get it ; that while there is another object that can give you eternal bliss, this centering your affections on a transient thing is sheer folly; that you are neither the body nor the sense, and as such, the pleasures or the pains which these enjoy can never affect you really, and so on. Practise the same train of reasoning in the case of every other temptation, and though you will fall often, you will effect a surer success. (Nisna, Iswar , B. A ., F. T. S. A Mumukshus Daily Life. The Theosophist v.10, n. 119, p. 649) .

      219- Thou shalt not separate thy being from BEING, and the rest, but merge the Ocean in the drop, the drop within the Ocean.

      Drop in Ocean: See stanza 91.
      We all regard ourselves as Units, although essentially we are one indivisible Unit, drops in the ocean of Being, not to be distinguished from other drops (Blavatsky. Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge 1, 1891. CW 10, p. 326).
      It is the Ring that separates (Circle of the Pass-Not) the world (or plane) of pure spirit from that of Matter, for the incarnating Monads and men striving towards purification (those who descend and ascend) who, are progressing toward that day when man, freeing himself from the trammels of ignorance, and recognising fully the non-separateness of the Ego within his personality — erroneously regarded as his own — from the UNIVERSAL EGO (Anima Supra-Mundi), merges thereby into the One Essence to become not only one “with us” (the manifested universal lives which are “ONE” LIFE), but that very life itself. (the day “Be-With-Us”;) . (Blavatsky, H.P. The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1. London, Theosophical Publishing Company. 1888, 130-31)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      220- So shalt thou be in full accord with all that lives; bear love to men as though they were thy brother-pupils, disciples of one Teacher, the sons of one sweet mother.

      In brief, directly or indirectly,
      I will offer help and happiness to all my mothers,
      And secretly take upon myself
      All their hurt and suffering.
      (Tangpa, Langri. Eight Verses of Training the Mind.in Essential Mind Training. Jinpa, Thupten. Boston. Wisdom Publications, 2011, stanza 7)
      This refers to the Buddhist notion that because of reincarnation through endless kalpas, all beings at some time in the past have been our own mothers.
      Intelligence is impartial: no man is your enemy: no man is your friend. All alike are your teachers. Your enemy becomes a mystery that must be solved, even though it take ages: for man must be understood. Your friend becomes a part of yourself, an extension of yourself, a riddle hard to read. Only one thing is more difficult to know — your own heart. (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1, Note on Rule 10. )
      3. Before thou (the teacher) shalt impart to thy Lanoo (disciple) the good (holy) words of LAMRIN, or shall permit him “to make ready” for Dubjed, thou shalt take care that his mind is thoroughly purified and at peace with all, especially with his other Selves. Other wise the words of Wisdom and of the good Law, shall scatter and be picked up by the winds.
      [“Lamrin” is a work of practical instructions, by Tson-kha-pa, in two portions, one for ecclesiastical and esoteric purposes, the other for esoteric use. “To make ready” for Dubjed, is to prepare the vessels used for seership, such as mirrors and crystals. The “other selves.” refers to the fellow students. Unless the greatest harmony reigns among the learners, no success is possible. It is the teacher who makes the selections according to the magnetic and electric natures of the students, bringing together and adjusting most carefully the positive and the negative elements.]
      4. The upasaka while studying must take care to be united as the fingers on one hand. Thou shalt impress upon their minds that whatever hurts one should hurt the others, and if the rejoicing of one finds no echo in the breasts of the others, then the required conditions are absent, and it is useless to proceed.
      [This can hardly happen if the preliminary choice made was consistent with the magnetic requirements. It is known that chelas otherwise promising and fit for the reception of truth, had to wait for years on account of their temper and the impossibility they felt to put themselves in tune with their companions. For–] (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158)
      7. None can feel the difference between himself and his fellow-students, such as “I am the wisest,” “I am more holy and pleasing to the teacher, or in my community, than my brother,” etc.,–and remain an upasaka. His thoughts must be predominantly fixed upon his heart, chasing therefrom every hostile thought to any living being. It (the heart) must be full of the feeling of its non-separateness from the rest of beings as from all in Nature; otherwise no success can follow (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158).

      221 – Of teachers there are many; the MASTER-SOUL is one (8), Alaya, the Universal Soul. Live in that MASTER as Its ray in thee. Live in thy fellows as they live in It.
      (8). The “MASTER-SOUL” is Alaya, the Universal Soul or Âtman, each man having a ray of it in him and being supposed to be able to identify himself with and to merge himself into it.

      See stanzas 38 (Parent-Soul) and 107
      Only the progress one makes in the study of Arcane knowledge from its rudimental elements, brings him gradually to understand our meaning. Only thus, and not otherwise, does it, strengthening and refining those mysterious links of sympathy between intelligent men — the temporarily isolated fragments of the universal Soul and the cosmic Soul itself — bring them into full rapport. Once this established, then only will these awakened sympathies serve, indeed, to connect MAN with — what for the want of a European scientific word more competent to express the idea, I am again compelled to describe as that energetic chain which binds together the material and Immaterial Kosmos, — Past, Present, and Future — and quicken his perceptions so as to clearly grasp, not merely all things of matter, but of Spirit also (Mahatma Letter to A.P.Sinnett, Letter 8).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Similar notions to the concept of Alaya, short for Alaya Vijnana as the Universal Soul, can be found in the more mystical forms of Buddhism, notably with the main writings of the Tathagatagharba concept (I suggest this because stanza 116 mentions an equivalent term for Tathagatagharba, Wuwei zhenren). S. T. Suzuki’s introduction to his translation of the mystical Lankavatara Sutra gives a good general overview, describing two aspects of Alaya, one absolute, and the other, mutable. The great Chinese Buddhist philosopher Fa-Tsang or Fazang, in his commentary on The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana develops an idea close to the notion of Alaya as World Soul further.
      The Turning back (parāvṛitti) – This Paravritti, according to the Lanka, takes place in the Alaya-vijnana or All-conserving Mind, which is assumed to exist behind our individual empirical consciousnesses. The Alaya is a metaphysical entity, and no psychological analysis can reach it. What we ordinarily know as the Alaya is its working through a relative mind The Mahayana calls this phase of the Alaya tainted or defiled (klishta) and tells us to be cleansed of it in order to experience a Paravritti for the attainment of ultimate reality. Paravritti in another sense, therefore, is purification (visuddhi). In Buddhism terms of colouring are much used, and becoming pure, free from all pigment, means that the Alaya is thoroughly washed off its dualistic accretion or outflow (asrava), that is, that the Tathagata has effected his work of purification in the mind of a sentient being, which has so far failed to perceive its own oneness and allness. Being pure is to remain in its own selfhood or selfnature (svabhava). While Paravritti is psychological, it still retains its intellectual flavour as most Buddhist terms do. Relation Between the Various Functions The Alaya, according to the Lanka, has two aspects: the Alaya as it is in itself, which is in the Sagathakam called Paramalaya-vijnana, and the Alaya as mental representation called Vijnaptir Alaya. These two aspects are also known respectively as the Prabandha (incessant) and the Lakshana (manifested). The Alaya is incessant because of its uninterrupted existence; it is manifested because of its activity being perceptible by the mind. From this, we can see that the Alaya is conceived in the Lanka as being absolute in one respect and in the other as being subject to “evolution” (pravritti). It is this evolving aspect of the Alaya that lends itself to the treacherous interpretation of Manas. As long as the Alaya remains in and by itself, it is beyond the grasp of an individual, empirical consciousness, it is almost like Emptiness itself although it ever lies behind all the Vijnana-activities, for the latter will cease working at once when the Alaya is taken out of existence.
      Manas is conscious of the presence behind itself of the Alaya and also of the latter’s uninterrupted working on the entire system of the Vijnanas. Reflecting on the Alaya and imagining it to be an ego, Manas clings to it as if it were reality and disposes of the reports of the six Vijnanas accordingly. In other words, Manas is the individual will to live and the principle of discrimination. The notion of an ego-substance is herein established, and also the acceptance of a world external to itself and distinct from itself.
      The Manas backed by the Alaya has been the seat of desire or thirst (trishna), karma, and ignorance. The seeds grow out of them, and are deposited in the Alaya. When the waves are stirred up in the Alaya-ocean by the wind of objectivity—so interpreted by the Manas—these seeds give a constant supply to the uninterrupted flow of the Vijnana-waters. In this general turmoil in which we sentient beings are all living, the Alaya is as responsible as the Manas; for if the Alaya refused to take the seeds in that are sent up from the region of the Vijnana, Manas may not have opportunities to exercise its two fundamental functions, willing and discriminating. But at the same time it is due to the Alaya’s self-purifying nature that there takes place a great catastrophe in it known as “turning-back”. With this “turning-back” in the Alaya, Manas so intimately in relation with it also experiences a transformation in its fundamental attitude towards the Vijnanas. The latter are no more regarded as reporters of an external world which is characterised with individuality and manifoldness. This position is now abandoned, the external world is no more adhered to as such, that is, as reality; for it is no more than a mere reflection of the Alaya. The Alaya has been looking at itself in the Manas’ mirror. There has been from the very first nothing other than itself. Hence the doctrine of Mind-only (cittamatra), or the Alaya-only.
      The Religious Signification The necessity of conceiving Alaya in its double aspect, (1) as absolute reality (viviktadharma) and (2) as subject to causation (hetuka), comes from the Mahayana idea of Buddhahood (buddhata). If Buddhahood is something absolutely solitary, all the efforts put forward by sentient beings to realise enlightenment would be of no avail whatever. In other words, all that the Tathagata wants to do for sentient beings would never have its opportunity to reach them. There must be something commonly shared by each so that when a note is struck at one end a corresponding one will answer at the other. The Alaya is thus known on the one hand as Tathagata-garbha, the womb of Tathagatahood, and on the other hand imagined by the ignorant as an ego-soul (pudgala or atman).
      The Tathagata-garbha, therefore, whose psychological name is Alayavijnana, is a reservoir of things good and bad, pure and defiled. Expressed differently, the Tathagata-garbha is originally, in its self-nature, immaculate, but because of its external dirt (agantuklesa) it is soiled, and when soiled—which is the state generally found in all sentient beings—an intuitive penetration (pratyaksha) is impossible. When this is impossible as is the case with the philosophers and ignorant masses, the Garbha is believed sometimes to be a creator (karana) and sometimes to be an ego-substance (atman). As it is so believed, it allows itself to transmigrate through the six paths of existence. Let there be, however, an intuitive penetration into the primitive purity (prakritipurisuddhi) of the Tathagata-garbha, and the whole system of the Vijnanas goes through a revolution. If the Tathagata-garbha or Alaya-vijnana were not a mysterious mixture of purity and defilement, good and evil, this abrupt transformation (paravritti) of an entire personality would be an impossibility. That is to say, if the Garbha or the Alaya while absolutely neutral and colourless in itself did not yet harbour in itself a certain irrationality, no sentient beings would ever be a Buddha, no enlightenment would be experienced by any human beings. Logicalness is to be transcended somewhere and somehow. And as this illogical-ness is practically possible, the Mahayana establishes the theory of Mind-only (cittamatra). 21 ] (Introduction. The Lanvatara Sutra. Suzuki, D. T. London, 1932)
      Now, Mahamati, three aspects are distinguishable in the insight belonging to the group of the Tathagata-vehicle. They are: (1) an insight whereby one sees into the self-nature of things, which is no self-nature; (2) an exalted insight which is the attainment of self-realisation; and (3) an insight into the immensity of the external Buddha-lands. When, Mahamati, these three aspects are disclosed one after another and also when the inconceivable realm of the Alayavijnana is disclosed, where body, property, and abode are seen to be the manifestation of Mind itself, a man will not be frightened, nor terrified, nor show any sign of fear; then such a one is to be known as of the group of people whose insight belongs to the Tathagata-vehicle. This is, (65) Mahamati, the characteristic feature of the insight of those who belong to the Tathagata-vehicle.But the Sravaka who will purify his own habit-energy of passions by attaining an inner perception into the Alaya and by seeing into the egolessness of things, will settle himself in the bliss of the Samadhi and finally will attain the body of Tathagatahood (Chapte 2, 20, 64-65)
      (272) 57. So the flood of the Alayavijnana is always stirred by the winds of objectivity (vishaya), and goes on dancing with the various Vijnana-waves.
      58. Because there is that which is seized and that which seizes, mind rises in all beings; there are no such signs visible [in the world] as are imagined by the ignorant.
      59. There is the highest Alayavijnana, and again there is the Alaya as thought-construction (vijnapti); I teach suchness (tathata) that is above seized and seizing.
      60. Neither an ego, nor a being, nor a person exists in the Skandhas; [there is birth when] the Vijnana is born, and [cessation when] the Vijnana ceases. [Sagathakam, 272, 57-60] (The Lanvatara Sutra. Suzuki, D. T. transl. London, 1932)
      http://lirs.ru/do/lanka_eng/lanka-nondiacritical.htm


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Happy White Lotus Day One and All-
      Dwight Goddard’s rendering of the Lankavatara Sutra is very interpretative, condensed, and freely re-arranged, yet is probably more accessible and has quite a theosophical outlook. If one replaces the word Mind with Soul, the description of Alaya would fit quite well with the theosophical definition:
      THEN SAID MAHAMATI to the Blessed One: Pray tell us, Blessed One, about Universal Mind and its relation to the lower mind-system?
      The Blessed One replied: The sense-minds and their centralised discriminating-mind are related to the external world which is a manifestation of itself and is given over to perceiving, discriminating, and grasping its maya-like appearances. Universal Mind (Alaya-vijnana) transcends all individuation and limits. Universal Mind is thoroughly pure in its essential nature, subsisting unchanged and free from faults of impermanence, undisturbed by egoism, unruffled by distinctions, desires and aversions. Universal Mind is like a great ocean, its surface ruffled by waves and surges but its depths remaining forever unmoved. In itself it is devoid of personality and all that belongs to it, but by reason of the defilement upon its face it is like an actor and plays a variety of parts, among which a mutual functioning takes place and the mind-system arises. The principle of intellection becomes divided and mind, the functions of mind, the evil out-flowings of mind, take on individuation. The sevenfold gradation of mind appears: namely, intuitive self-realisation, thinking-desiring-discriminating, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and all their interactions and reactions take their rise.
      The discriminating-mind is the cause of the sense-minds and is their support and with them is kept functioning as it describes and becomes attached to a world of objects, and then, by means of its habit-energy, it defiles the face of Universal Mind. Thus Universal Mind becomes the storage and clearing house of all the accumulated products of mentation and action since beginningless time.
      Between Universal Mind and the individual discriminating-mind is the intuitive-mind (manas) which is dependent upon Universal Mind for its cause and support and enters into relations with both. It partakes of the universality of Universal Mind, shares its purity, and like it, is above form and momentariness. It is through the intuitive-mind that the good non out-flowings emerge, are manifested and are realised. Fortunate it is that intuition is not momentary for if the enlightenment which comes by intuition were momentary the wise would lose their “wiseness” which they do not. But the intuitive-mind enters into relations with the lower mind-system, shares its experiences and reflects upon its activities.
      Intuitive-mind is one with Universal Mind by reason of its participation in Transcendental Intelligence (Arya-jnana), and is one with the mind-system by its comprehension of differentiated knowledge (vijnana). Intuitive-mind has no body of its own nor any marks by which it can be differentiated. Universal Mind is its cause and support but it is evolved along with the notion of an ego and what belongs to it, to which it clings and upon which it reflects. Through intuitive-mind, by the faculty of intuition which is a mingling of both identity and perceiving, the inconceivable wisdom of Universal Mind is revealed and made realisable. Like Universal Mind it can not be the source of error.
      The discriminating-mind is a dancer and a magician with the objective world as his stage. Intuitive-mind is the wise jester who travels with the magician and reflects upon his emptiness and transiency. Universal Mind keeps the record and knows what must be and what may be. It is because of the activities of the discriminating-mind that error rises and an objective world evolves and the notion of an ego-soul becomes established. If and when the discriminating-mind can be gotten rid of, the whole mind-system will cease to function and Universal Mind will alone remain. Getting rid of the discriminating-mind removes the cause of all error. (Goddard, Dwight. Lankavatara Sutra. The Buddhist Bible. Thetford, VT, 1932. 93-94 Ch. 5)
      There may be some some technical points to work out, but overall I suggest that the Plotinian Neoplatonic description of the World Soul is quite theosophical.
      The Divine Names
      The system of Plotinus is a system of necessary Emanation, Procession or Irradiation accompanied by necessary Aspiration or Reversion-to-Source: all the forms and phases of Existence flow from the Divinity and all strive to return Thither and to remain There.
      This Divinity is a graded Triad.
      3.: THE ALL-SOUL
      Its three Hypostases—or in modern religious terminology, “Persons”—are, in the briefest description—
      1. The One, or First Existent.
      2. The Divine Mind, or First Thinker and Thought.
      3. The All-Soul, or First and Only Principle of Life.
      “Of all things the governance and the existence are in these Three.”
      The Third Hypostasis of the Divinity—the All-Soul, the Universal Life-Principle—includes, and is, all the souls: the human soul is, therefore, the All-Soul: but it is the All-Soul set into touch with the lower: it is the All-Soul particularised for the space, at least, of the mortal life of man.
      This particularisation is necessarily a limitation: it sets bounds: it comports a provisory application to this rather than that; we may, therefore, discern phases of the All-Soul in us. These phases or images of the Divine-Soul are found to be three: they are:—
      1. The Intellective-Soul, or Intuitive, Intellectual or Intelligent Soul, or the Intellectual-Principle of the Soul.
      2. The Reasoning-Soul.
      3. The Unreasoning-Soul.
      BIBLIOGRAPHY AND EXPLANATORY MATTER NOTES V.: TERMINOLOGY 3.: THE ALL-SOUL
      Plotinus, The Ethical Treatises, being the Treatises of the First Ennead, with Porphry’s Life of Plotinus, and the Preller-Ritter Extracts forming a Conspectus of the Plotinian System, translated from Greek by Stephen Mackenna (Boston: Charles T. Branford, 1918).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      222- Before thou standest on the threshold of the Path; before thou crossest the foremost Gate, thou hast to merge the two into the One and sacrifice the personal to SELF impersonal, and thus destroy the “path” between the two — Antahkarana (9).
      (9). Antahkarana is the lower Manas, the Path of communication or communion between the personality and the higher Manas or human Soul. At death it is destroyed as a Path or medium of communication, and its remains survive in a form as the Kâmarûpa — the “shell.”

      Antahkarana (Sk.)., or Antaskarana. The term has various meanings, which differ with every school of philosophy and sect. Thus Sankârachârya renders the word as “understanding”; others, as “the internal instrument, the Soul, formed by the thinking principle and egoism”; whereas the Occultists explain it as the path or bridge between the Higher and the Lower Manas, the divine Ego, and the personal Soul of man. It serves as a medium of communication between the two, and conveys from the Lower to the Higher Ego all those personal impressions and thoughts of men which can, by their nature, be assimilated and stored by the undying Entity, and be thus made immortal with it, these being the only elements of the evanescent Personality that survive death and time. It thus stands to reason that only that which is noble, spiritual and divine in man can testify in Eternity to his having lived (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).
      Merge two into one: See stanza 33, 50
      11. Meditation, abstinence in all, the observation of moral duties, gentle thoughts, good deeds and kind words, as good will to all and entire oblivion of Self, are the most efficacious means of obtaining knowledge and preparing for the reception of higher wisdom (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158).

      223- Thou hast to be prepared to answer Dharma, the stern law, whose voice will ask thee at thy first, at thy initial step:

      Dharma
      (Sk.). The sacred Law; the Buddhist Canon (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).

      224-“Hast thou complied with all the rules, O thou of lofty hopes?”

      An example of rules for esoteric instruction:
      from Book IV of Kiu-te, Chapter on “the Laws of Upasans,” we learn that the qualifications expected in a Chela were:-
      1. Perfect physical health;
      2. Absolute mental and physical purity;
      3. Unselfishness of purpose; universal charity; pity for all animate beings;
      4. Truthfulness and unswerving faith in the law of Karma, independent of any power in nature that could interfere: a law whose course is not to be obstructed by any agency, not to be caused to deviate by prayer or propitiatory exoteric ceremonies;
      5. A courage undaunted in every emergency, even by peril to life;
      6. An intuitional perception of one’s being the vehicle of the manifested Avalokitesvara or Divine Atman (Spirit);
      7. Calm indifference for, but a just appreciation of everything that constitutes the objective and transitory world, in its relation with, and to, the invisible regions.
      Such, at the least, must have been the recommendations of one aspiring to perfect Chelaship. With the sole exception of the 1st, which in rare and exceptional cases might have been modified, each one of these points has been invariably insisted upon, and all must have been more or less developed in the inner nature by the Chela’s UNHELPED EXERTIONS, before he could be actually put to the test. (Blavatsky, H. P. Chelas and Lay Chelas. Supplement to Theosophist, July, 1883; CW 4, pp. 611-13).
      12. It is only by virtue of a strict observance of the foregoing rules that a Lanoo can hope to acquire in good time the Siddhis of the Arhats, the growth which makes him become gradually One with the UNIVERSAL ALL (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      225 – “Hast thou attuned thy heart and mind to the great mind and heart of all mankind? For as the sacred River’s roaring voice whereby all Nature-sounds are echoed back (10), so must the heart of him ‘who in the stream would enter,’ thrill in response to every sigh and thought of all that lives and breathes.”
      (10). The Northern Buddhists, and all Chinamen, in fact, find in the deep roar of some of the great and sacred rivers the key-note of Nature. Hence the simile. It is a well-known fact in Physical Science, as well as in Occultism, that the aggregate sound of Nature — such as heard in the roar of great rivers, the noise produced by the waving tops of trees in large forests, or that of a city heard at a distance — is a definite single tone of quite an appreciable pitch. This is shown by physicists and musicians. Thus Prof. Rice (Chinese Music) shows that the Chinese recognized the fact thousands of years ago by saying that “the waters of the Hoang-ho rushing by, intoned the kung” called “the great tone” in Chinese music; and he shows this tone corresponding with the F, “considered by modern physicists to be the actual tonic of Nature.” Professor B. Silliman mentions it, too, in his Principles of Physics, saying that “this tone is held to be the middle F of the piano; which may, therefore, be considered the key-note of Nature.”
      (Rice Isaac Leopold What is Music? New York. D. Appleton, 1875, p. 9) Siliman quote on the same page.
      (Silliman, jr., Benjamin Principle’s of Physics, or Natural Philosophy; Philadelphia: Theodore Bliss & Co. 1865, p. 252)

      “As the aggregate sound of nature is shown to be a single definite tone, a keynote vibrating from and through eternity; having an undeniable existence per se yet possessing an appreciable pitch but for “the acutely fine ear” so the definite harmony or disharmony of man’s external nature is seen by the observant to depend wholly on the character of the keynote struck for the outer by inner man. It is the spiritual EGO or SELF that serves as the fundamental base, determining the tone of the whole life of man – that most capricious, uncertain and variable of all instruments, and which more than any other needs constant tuning; it is its voice alone, which like the sub-base of an organ underlies the melody of his whole life.” (Blavatsky, H. P. Are Dreams but Idle Visions? [The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 4, January, 1882, pp. 104-105] CW 3, 434)

      226 – Disciples may be likened to the strings of the soul-echoing Vînâ; mankind, unto its sounding board; the hand that sweeps it to the tuneful breath of the great world-soul. The string that fails to answer ‘neath the Master’s touch in dulcet harmony with all the others, breaks — and is cast away. So the collective minds of Lanoo-Śrâvakas. They have to be attuned to the Upâdhyâya’s mind — one with the Over-Soul — or, break away.

      5. The co-disciples must be tuned by the guru as the strings of a lute (vina), each different from the others, yet each emitting sounds in harmony with all. Collectively they must form a key-board answering in all its parts to thy lightest touch (the touch of the Master). Thus their minds shall open for the harmonies of Wisdom, to vibrate as knowledge through each and all, resulting in effects pleasing to the presiding gods (tutelary or patron-angels) and useful to the Lanoo. So shall Wisdom be impressed forever on their hearts and the harmony of the law shall never be broken. (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158).
      12. It is only by virtue of a strict observance of the foregoing rules that a Lanoo can hope to acquire in good time the Siddhis of the Arhats, the growth which makes him become gradually One with the UNIVERSAL ALL. Blavatsky, (Blavatsky, H. P., Practical Occultism, Lucifer, Vol. II, No. 8, April, 1888, pp. 150-154. CW 9, p. 158)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      227- Thus do the “Brothers of the Shadow” — the murderers of their Souls, the dread Dad-Dugpa clan (11).
      (11). The Bons or Dugpas, the sect of the “Red Caps,” are regarded as the most versed in sorcery. They inhabit Western and little Tibet and Bhutan. They are all Tântrikas. It is quite ridiculous to find Orientalists who have visited the borderlands of Tibet, such as Schlagintweit and others, confusing the rites and disgusting practices of these with the religious beliefs of the Eastern Lamas, the “Yellow Caps,” and their Naljors or holy men.

      Bhons (Tib.). The followers of the old religion of the Aborigines of Tibet; of pre-buddhistic temples and ritualism; the same as Dugpas,“red caps”, though the latter appellation usually applies only to sorcerers.
      Dugpas (Tib.). Lit., “Red Caps,” a sect in Tibet. Before the advent of Tsong-ka-pa in the fourteenth century, the Tibetans, whose Buddhism had deteriorated and been dreadfully adulterated with the tenets of the old Bhon religion,—were all Dugpas. From that century, however, and after the rigid laws imposed upon the Gelukpas (yellow caps) and the general reform and purification of Buddhism (or Lamaism), the Dugpas have given themselves over more than ever to sorcery, immorality, and drunkenness. Since then the word Dugpas has become a synonym of “sorcerer”, “adept of black magic” and everything vile. There are few, if any, Dugpas in Eastern Tibet, but they congregate in Bhutan, Sikkim, and the borderlands generally. Europeans not being permitted to penetrate further than those borders, the Orientalists never having studied Buddho-Lamaism in Tibet proper, but judging of it on hearsay and from what Cosmo di Köros, Schlagintweit, and a few others have learnt of it from Dugpas, confuse both religions and bring them under one head. They thus give out to the public pure Dugpaism instead of Buddho-Lamaism. In short Northern Buddhism in its purified, metaphysical form is almost entirely unknown (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).

      Brothers of the Shadow, murderers of their souls:
      Pythagoras taught that the entire universe is one vast system of mathematically correct combinations. Plato shows the deity geometrizing. The world is sustained by the same law of equilibrium and harmony upon which it was built. The centripetal force could not manifest itself without the centrifugal in the harmonious revolutions of the spheres; all forms are the product of this dual force in nature. Thus, to illustrate our case, we may designate the spirit as the centrifugal, and the soul as the centripetal, spiritual energies. When in perfect harmony, both forces produce one result; break or damage the centripetal motion of the earthly soul tending toward the centre which attracts it; arrest its progress by clogging it with a heavier weight of matter than it can bear, and the harmony of the whole, which was its life, is destroyed. Individual life can only be continued if sustained by this two-fold force. The least deviation from harmony damages it; when it is destroyed beyond redemption the forces separate and the form is gradually annihilated. After the death of the depraved and the wicked, arrives the critical moment. If during life the ultimate and desperate effort of the inner-self to reunite itself with the faintly-glimmering ray of its divine parent is neglected; if this ray is allowed to be more and more shut out by the thickening crust of matter, the soul, once freed from the body, follows its earthly attractions, and is magnetically drawn into and held within the dense fogs of the material atmosphere. Then it begins to sink lower and lower, until it finds itself, when returned to consciousness, in what the ancients termed Hades. The annihilation of such a soul is never instantaneous; it may last centuries, perhaps; for nature never proceeds by jumps and starts, and the astral soul being formed of elements, the law of evolution must bide its time. Then begins the fearful law of compensation, the Yin-youan of the Buddhists.
      This class of spirits are called the “terrestrial” or “earthly elementary,” in contradistinction to the other classes, as we have shown in the introductory chapter. In the East they are known as the “Brothers of the Shadow.” Cunning, low, vindictive, and seeking to retaliate their sufferings upon humanity, they become, until final annihilation, vampires, ghouls, and prominent actors. These are the leading “stars” on the great spiritual stage of “materialization,” which phenomena they perform with the help of the more intelligent of the genuine-born “elemental” creatures, which hover around and welcome them with delight in their own spheres. Henry Kunrath, the great German kabalist, has on a plate of his rare work, Amphitheatri Sapientiae AEternae, representations of the four classes of these human “elementary spirits.” Once past the threshold of the sanctuary of initiation, once that an adept has lifted the “Veil of Isis,” the mysterious and jealous goddess, he has nothing to fear; but till then he is in constant danger (Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled I, Ch. 9, pp. 318-319 )

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      One more post to go for this section, which admittedly, has been rather lengthy; but we are bout one third through . The next third will be just as lengthy. What can I say? Fragment three is about the seven perfections and the Nirmanakaya path, but there is much more interspersed.

      228- Hast thou attuned thy being to Humanity’s great pain, O candidate for light?
      See stanzas 59-61, 184

      In reality these fires are not separate, any more than are the souls or monads to him who sees beyond the veil of matter or illusion.
      He who would be an occultist must not separate either himself or anything else from the rest of creation or non-creation. For, the moment he distinguishes himself from even a vessel of dishonor, he will not be able to join himself to any vessel of honor. He must think of himself as an infinitesimal something, not even as an individual atom, but as a part of the world-atoms as a whole, or become an illusion, a nobody, and vanish like a breath leaving no trace behind. As illusions, we are separate distinct bodies, living in masks furnished by Maya. Can we claim one single atom in our body as distinctly our own? Everything, from spirit to the tiniest particle, is part of the whole, at best a link. Break a single link and all passes into annihilation; but this is impossible. There is a series of vehicles becoming more and more gross, from spirit to the densest matter, so that with each step downward and outward we get more and more the sense of separateness developed in us. Yet this is illusory, for if there were a real and complete separation between any two human beings, they could not communicate with, or understand each other in any way (Blavatsky. Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge 1, 1891. CW 10, p. 326). 137

      Of course, the greater the progress towards deliverance, the less this will be the case, until, to crown all, human and purely individual personal feelings — blood-ties and friendship, patriotism and race predilection — all will give away, to become blended into one universal feeling, the only true and holy, the only unselfish and Eternal one — Love, an Immense Love for humanity — as a Whole! For it is “Humanity” which is the great Orphan, the only disinherited one upon this earth, my friend. And it is the duty of every man who is capable of an unselfish impulse, to do something, however little, for its welfare. Poor, poor humanity! It reminds me of the old fable of the war between the Body and its members: here too, each limb of this huge “Orphan” — fatherless and motherless — selfishly cares but for itself. The body uncared for suffers eternally, whether the limbs are at war or at rest. Its suffering and agony never cease. . . . And who can blame it — as your materialistic philosophers do — if, in this everlasting isolation and neglect it has evolved gods, unto whom “it ever cries for help but is not heard!” . . . Thus — Since there is hope for man only in man “I would not let one cry whom I could save! . . .” (Mahatma Letter to A.P.Sinnett, Letter 8).

      Therefore, in order to alleviate my own suffering and to alleviate the suffering of others, I give myself up to others and I accept others as my own self.
      O mind, make this resolve: ‘’I am bound to others.’’ From now on you must not be concerned with anything but the welfare of all sentient beings. (Santideva. A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life. Wallace, Vesan & Alan, transl. Boulder. Snow Lion, 1997,Ch 8, 136-37)

      Through his wisdom the bodhisattva perfects within himself the character of a Buddha, through his compassion the ability to perform the work of a Buddha. Through wisdom he brings himself across (the stream of becoming), through compassion he leads others across. Through wisdom he understands the suffering of others, through compassion he strives to alleviate their suffering. Through wisdom he becomes disenchanted with suffering, through compassion he accepts suffering. Through wisdom he aspires for nibbaana, through compassion he remains in the round of existence. Through compassion he enters samsaara, through wisdom he does not delight in it. Through wisdom he destroys all attachments, but because his wisdom is accompanied by compassion he never desists from activity that benefits others. Through compassion he shakes with sympathy for all, but because his compassion is accompanied by wisdom his mind is unattached. Through wisdom he is free from “I-making” and “mine-making,” through compassion he is free from lethargy and depression (Caryapitaka atthakatha in A Treatise on the Paramis. From the Commentary to the Cariyapitaka by Acariya Dhammapala, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl., 2005, (vi) What is their condition?) https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut … el409.html

      You, however, have not been appointed to decree vengeance upon men’s deeds and works, but rather to ask for mercy for the world, to keep vigil for salvation of all, and to partake in every man’s suffering, both the just and sinner’s. Instead of an avenger, be a deliverer. Instead of a faultfinder, be a soother. Instead of a betrayer, be a martyr. Instead of a chider, be a defender. Beseech God in behalf of sinners that they receive mercy, and pray to Him for the righteous that they be preserved [in their righteousness]. Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of justice to shame by your compassion. Remember that the sins of all men go before them to the judgment seat.”
      St. Isaac the Syrian, The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 64, “On Prayer, Prostrations, Tears, Reading, Silence, and Hymnody”


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      229- Thou hast? . . . Thou mayest enter. Yet, ere thou settest foot upon the dreary Path of sorrow, ’tis well thou should’st first learn the pitfalls on thy way.
      Sorrow, pitfalls: See stanza 194
      First in order, from without inwards, the Crucifixion of the Man of God implies that persistent attitude of scorn, distrust, and menace with which the Ideal and Substantial is always met by the worldly and superficial, and to the malignant expression of which ill-will the Idealist is always exposed. We have noted that Isaias, rebuking the materialists for their impure and cruel rites, addresses them as “rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah.” So likewise, the Seer of the Apocalypse speaks of the two divine Witnesses as slain “in the streets of the great city, which is called spiritually Sodom and Egypt, where also the Lord was crucified.” This city, then, is the world, the materializing, the idolatrous, the blind, the sensual, the unreal; the house of bondage, out of which the sons of God are called. And the world being all these, is cruel as hell, and will always crucify the Christ and the Christ-Idea. For the world, which walks in a vain shadow, can have no part in the kingdom of heaven; the man who seeks the Within and the Beyond is to it a dotard, a fool, an impostor, a blasphemer, or a madman, and according to the sense of its verdict, it ridicules, maligns, despoils, punishes, or sequesters him. And thus every great and merciful deed, every noble life, every grand and holy name, is stamped with the hall-mark of the Cross. Scorn and contumely and the cries of an angry crowd surround that altar on which the Son of God makes oblation of himself; and cross after cross strews the long Via Dolorosa of the narrow path that leadeth unto Life. For indeed the world is blind, and every redemption must be purchased by blood. (Kingsford, Anna & Edward Maitland. The Perfect Way, or the Finding of Christ. London: Scribner & Welford, 1882, sect. 23)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      We have finished the second section, an important one, Section 2 (Stanzas 215-229) Attuning to Alaya, the World-Soul. We are now ready to approach gates to the Paramitas. Before one made fit to meet one’s Teacher face to face, one has to :
      1- learn to part your body from your mind,
      2- dissipate the shadow,
      3- live in the eternal
      4- live and breathe in all, as all that you perceive breathes in you;
      5- feel yourself abiding in all things, all things in SELF.
      6- not let your senses make a playground of your mind.
      7- not separate your being from BEING, and the rest, but merge the Ocean in the drop, the drop within the Ocean.
      8- be in full accord with all that lives;
      9- bear love to men as though they were your brother-pupils, disciples of one Teacher, sons of one mother.
      10- know that there are many teachers, such as the Master-Soul, live in that Alaya, the Universal Soul as Its ray in you.
      11- Live in your fellows as they live in It.
      Before you stand on the threshold of the Path; before you cross the foremost Gate, you have to
      12- merge the two into the One and
      13- sacrifice the personal to SELF impersonal, and thus
      14- destroy the “path” between the two — Antahkarana.
      15-answer Dharma, the stern law, at the initial step, ask: Have you complied with all the rules,?
      16- Have you attuned your heart and mind to the great mind and heart of all mankind?
      17- Disciples should be inspired by the tuneful breath of the great world-soul.
      18- the collective minds of Lanoo-Śrâvakas have to be attuned to the Upâdhyâya’s mind — one with the Over-Soul
      19- ask : have you attuned your being to Humanity’s great pain?
      20- as you set foot upon the dreary Path of sorrow, it is well that you should first learn the pitfalls on your way.


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Section 3 (Stanzas 230- 232) The Seven Gates – 1- Dana
      Prior to entering the first portal, below is a brief selection of passages on generosity, which is how dana is generally translated nowadays, whereas the Voice uses charity, culled from some basic traditional sources.
      Generosity has three classifications:
      A. giving wealth,
      B. giving fearlessness, and
      C. giving Dharma.
      The practice of giving wealth will stabilize others’ bodies, giving fearlessness will stabilize others’ lives, and giving Dharma stabilizes others’ minds. Furthermore, the first two generosity practices establish others’ happiness in this life. Giving Dharma establishes their happiness hereafter. (Gampopa. Gyaltshen, Khenchen Könchog, transl. Jewel Ornament of Liberation. Snow Lion, 1998, Ch. 12.3)

      (Dana) is the virtue of a generous attitude, and the physical and verbal actions which are motivated by this.
      Bringing the perfection of generosity to completion is not contingent on removing beings’ poverty by gifts to others. Otherwise, since there still remain many destitute living beings, all the earlier conquerors* would not have attained perfect generosity. Therefore, the physical and verbal aspects of generosity are not the main thing; the main thing is the mental aspect. – (Tsong-kha-pa. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Volume 2) Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, Transl., Ithaca, New York. Snow Lion Publications., 2000. 2:114-5)

      (1) Giving is stated at the beginning: (a) because it is common to all beings, since even ordinary people practice giving; (b) because it is the least fruitful; and (c) because it is the easiest to practice (Caryapitaka atthakatha in A Treatise on the Paramis. From the Commentary to the Cariyapitaka by Acariya Dhammapala, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl., 2005) https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut … el409.html (iv) What is their sequence?)
      (1) Giving has the characteristic of relinquishing; its function is to dispel greed for things that can be given away; its manifestation is non-attachment, or the achievement of prosperity and a favorable state of existence; an object that can be relinquished is its proximate cause (Dhammapala (v) What are their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes?)
      He should arouse a desire to give things away without concern by reflecting: “Good returns to the one who gives without his concern, just as the boomerang[9] returns to the one who threw it without his concern.” If a dear person asks for something, he should arouse joy by reflecting: “One who is dear is asking me for something.” If an indifferent person asks for something, he should arouse joy by reflecting: “Surely, if I give him something he will become my friend, since giving to those who ask wins their affection.” And if a hostile person asks for something, he should be especially happy, thinking: “My foe is asking me for something; though he is hostile toward me, by means of this gift he will surely become my dear friend.” Thus he should give to neutral and hostile people in the same way he gives to dear people, having first aroused loving-kindness and compassion (Dhammapala (vi) What is their condition?)

      And the generous man who sees the errors and disorders of others, and their unrighteousness, beseeches and prays God, with ardent faith, that He will let His Divine gifts flow forth, that He will show His generosity to all men, and they may know Him and turn to the Truth. The generous man also marks with compassion the bodily needs of all men, and he serves, and he gives, and he lends, and he consoles everyone, according to the needs of each, in so far as he is able, with prudent discretion.
      By generosity of heart all other virtues are increased, and all the powers of the soul are adorned; for the generous man is always blithe in spirit and untroubled of heart, and he flows forth with desire and in his works of virtue, to all men in common. Whosoever is generous, and loves not earthly goods how poor soever he be, he is like God: for all that he has in himself, and all that he feels, flow forth and are given away. And in this way he has cast out the fourth mortal sin, which is covetousness or Avarice. Of all such Christ says: Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy in that day when they shall hear these words: Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you—because of your mercy,—from the foundation of the world (Ruysbroeck, John of, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage (C.A. Wynschenk Dom, transl.) Bk. I, Ch. 19).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      230- Armed with the key of Charity, of love and tender mercy, thou art secure before the gate of Dâna, the gate that standeth at the entrance of the path.

      From this compassion springs generosity; for none can be generous in a supernatural way, with faithfulness and goodwill towards all, save him who has a pitiful heart—though a man may often show generosity to a particular person without charity and without supernatural generosity. Because of this generosity men are wont to practise the seven works of mercy; the rich do them by their alms and because of their riches, the poor by their goodwill and by their hearty desire to do as the rich if they could. And thus the virtue of generosity is made perfect. (from John of Ruysbroeck, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage (C.A. Wynschenk Dom, transl.) Bk. I, Ch. 19)
      7 Works of Mercy, Corporal
      To feed the hungry.
      To give water to the thirsty.
      To clothe the naked.
      To shelter the homeless.
      To visit the sick.
      To visit the imprisoned, or ransom the captive.
      To bury the dead.

      Spiritual
      To instruct the ignorant.
      To counsel the doubtful.
      To admonish the sinners.
      To bear patiently those who wrong us.
      To forgive offenses.
      To comfort the afflicted.
      To pray for the living and the dead.

      (John Stephen Bowden Encyclopedia of Christianity. Oxford University Press, 2005)

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Mark Casady.

    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      231- Behold, O happy Pilgrim! The portal that faceth thee is high and wide, seems easy of access. The road that leads therethrough is straight and smooth and green. ‘Tis like a sunny glade in the dark forest depths, a spot on earth mirrored from Amitâbha’s paradise. There, nightingales of hope and birds of radiant plumage sing perched in green bowers, chanting success to fearless Pilgrims. They sing of Bodhisattvas’ virtues five, the fivefold source of Bodhi power, and of the seven steps in Knowledge.

      Special thanks to Xon Fucius for most of the references for this stanza.

      Amitâbha. The Chinese perversion of the Sanskrit Amrita Buddha, or the “Immortal Enlightened”, a name of Gautama Buddha. The name has such variations as Amita, Abida, Amitâya, etc., and. is explained as meaning both “Boundless Age” and “Boundless Light”. The original conception of the ideal of an impersonal divine light has been anthropomorphized with time (Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary).

      The above passage refers to the Amitabha Sutra, as it is known in Chinese. In Sanskrit it is called the Shorter Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra (see bold highlight for textual similarities in Edkins):
      In the Wu-liang-sheu-king (Amitabha Sutra), Buddha tells a tale of a king in a former kalpa who left the world, adopted the monkish life, assumed the name Fa-tsang, ” Treasure of the law,” and became, by his rapid growth in knowledge and virtue, a Bodhisattwa. To the Buddha who was his teacher he uttered forty-eight wishes,having reference to the good he desired to accomplish for all living beings, if he should attain the rank of Buddha. Ten kalpas since, he received that title with the name ” Amitabha ‘*’ (0-mi-to Fo), and now resides in a world far in the West, to fulfil his forty-eight wishes for the benefit of mankind. Ten million kingdoms of Buddhas separate his world from our own. It is composed of gold, silver, lapis-lazuli, coral, amber, a stone called ch’a-ku, and cornelian. There is there no Sumeru mountain, nor iron mountain girdle, nor are there any prisons for punishment. There is no fear of becoming a hungry ghost, or an animal by transmigration, for such modes of life are unknown there. There are all kinds of beautiful flowers, which the inhabitants pluck to present as offerings to the thousands and millions of Buddhas that reside in other parts of space. Birds of the most beautiful plumage sing day and night of the five principles of virtue, the five sources of moral power, and the seven steps in knowledge (Edkins. Rev. Joseph, Chinese Buddhism, 1880, p. 233).

      Letter 16 of the Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett also quotes from that Sutra, reference Samual Beal’s translation A Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese (1871). pp. 378-379:, but not the same passage, although there is a gloss added that is similar to the passage ‘a spot on earth mirrored from Amitabha’s paradise’.
      (1) The Deva-Chan, or land of “Sukhavati,” is allegorically described by our Lord Buddha himself. What he said may be found in the Shan-Mun-yi-Tung. Says Tathâgata:—
      “Many thousand myriads of systems of worlds beyond this (ours) there is a region of Bliss called Sukhavati. . . . This region is encircled with seven rows of railings, seven rows of vast curtains, seven rows of waving trees; this holy abode of Arahats is governed by the Tathâgatas (Dhyan Chohans) and is possessed by the Bodhisatwas. It hath seven precious lakes, in the midst of which flow crystaline waters having ‘seven and one’ properties, or distinctive qualities (the 7 principles emanating from the ONE). This, O, Sariputra is the ‘Deva Chan.’ Its divine Udambara flower casts a root in the shadow of every earth, and blossoms for all those who reach it. Those born in the blessed region are truly felicitous, there are no more griefs or sorrows in that cycle for them. . . . Myriads of Spirits (Lha) resort there for rest and then return to their own regions.1 Again, O, Sariputra, in that land of joy many who are born in it are Avaivartyas . . .”2 etc., etc. (Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 1923, Letter 16) See also Some Mahatma Letters Sources By David Reigle on April 30, 2017

      • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Mark Casady.

      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        Faculties and powers The five faculties(pañc’indriya) are traditionally said to be “the qualities of a leader” (frominda,Sktindra,meaning “leader”). However, as spiritual faculties, they are the tools for personal development.When these spiritual faculties become “unshakable” by their opposites, they are then known as “spiritualpowers” (bala).
        (1) faith (saddhā),
        (2) energy (viriya),
        (3) mindfulness (sati),
        (4) concentration (samādhi),
        (5) wisdom (paññā).
        According tothe Pañca Bala Sutta2 (A 5.15) the faculties are transformed into powersin this manner:
        (1) Faith, seen in the 4 qualities of the stream-winner (sotpannassa agni);13
        (2)Effort, seen in the 4 right exertions (samma-p,padhnni);14
        (3)Mindfulness, seen in the 4 focusses of mindfulness (sati’pahna);15
        (4)Concentration, seen in the 4 dhyanas (jhana);
        (5)Wisdom, seen in the comprehension of the 4 noble truths.
        (A 5.15/3:11 f)

        In Buddhism, the Seven Factors of Awakening (Pali: satta bojjhaṅgā or satta sambojjhaṅgā; Skt.: sapta bodhyanga) are:
        • Mindfulness (sati, Sanskrit smrti). To maintain awareness of reality (dharma).
        • Investigation of the nature of reality (dhamma vicaya, Skt. dharmapravicaya).
        • Energy (viriya, Skt. vīrya) also determination, effort
        • Joy or rapture (pīti, Skt. prīti)
        • Relaxation or tranquility (passaddhi, Skt. prashrabdhi) of both body and mind
        • Concentration, (samādhi) a calm, one-pointed state of mind,[1] or clear awareness
        • Equanimity (upekkha, Skt. upekshā). To accept reality as-it-is (yathā-bhuta) without craving or aversion.
        In the Samyutta Nikaya’s “Fire Discourse,” the Buddha identifies that mindfulness is “always useful” (sabbatthika); while, when one’s mind is sluggish, one should develop the enlightenment factors of investigation, energy and joy; and, when one’s mind is excited, one should develop the enlightenment factors of tranquility, concentration and equanimity.
        Samyutta Nikaya’s “Fire Discourse,” “Fire Discourse” (Aggi Sutta, SN 46.53) (Bodhi, 2000, pp. 1605-7; Walshe, 1985, sutta 58, pp. 69-70).
        In A.VII.3, the powers of moral shame (hiri) and moral dread (ottappa) are added to the aforementioned five Several other groups of 2 (s. patisankhāna-bala), 4, 5 and more powers are mentioned in the texts. –
        See; the “thirty-seven limbs of enlightenment (bodhipakshika-dharma).” For example in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      232- Pass on! For thou hast brought the key; thou art secure.

      The first gate, the gate of love and charity, introduced us to an esoteric aspect of the Amitabha Sutra, the five faculties / powers and the seven factors of awakening.

      Section 4 (Stanzas 233- 235) The Seven Gates – 2- Sila
      Moral ethics (Sila) has three classifications:
      A. moral ethics of restraint,
      B. morality of accumulating virtuous Dharma, and
      C. morality of benefitting sentient beings.
      The first means to restrain your mind in a proper place; the second one means to mature the Dharma qualities of your mind; and the third one means to fully mature sentient beings.( (Gampopa. Jewel Ornament of Liberation:Chapter 13.3)
      Tsong-kha-pa calls the Perfection of Ethical Discipline “an attitude of abstention that turns your mind away from harming others and from the sources of such harm” (Tsong-kha-pa. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Volume 2) Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, Transl., Ithaca, New York. Snow Lion Publications., 2000, 2:143)
      (2) Virtue is stated immediately after giving: (a) because virtue purifies both the donor and the recipient; (b) to show that, while giving benefits others, virtue prevents the affliction of others; (c) in order to state a factor of abstinence immediately after a factor of positive activity; and (d) in order to show the cause for the achievement of a favorable state of future existence right after the cause for the achievement of wealth. (Caryapitaka atthakatha in A Treatise on the Paramis. From the Commentary to the Cariyapitaka by Acariya Dhammapala, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl., 2005) https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut … el409.html (iv) What is their sequence?)
      (2) Virtue has the characteristic of composing (siilana); co-ordinating (samaadhaana) and establishing (pati.t.thaana) are also mentioned as its characteristic. Its function is to dispel moral depravity, or its function is blameless conduct; its manifestation is moral purity; shame and moral dread are its proximate cause (Dhammapala (v) What are their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes?)
      Virtue should be reflected upon as the basis for rapture and joy; as granting immunity from fear of self-reproach, the reproach of others, temporal punishment, and an evil destination after death; as praised by the wise; as the root-cause for freedom from remorse; as the basis for security; and as surpassing the achievements of high birth, wealth, sovereignty, long life, beauty, status, kinsmen, and friends. For great rapture and joy arise in the virtuous man when he reflects on his own accomplishment in virtue: “I have done what is wholesome, I have done what is good, I have built myself a shelter from fear.” The virtuous man does not blame himself, and other wise men do not blame him, and he does not encounter the dangers of temporal punishment or an evil destination after death. To the contrary, the wise praise the noble character of the virtuous man, and the virtuous man is not subject to the remorse which arises in the immoral man when he thinks: “I have committed evil, wicked, sinful deeds.” And virtue is the supreme basis for security, since it is the foundation for diligence, a blessing, and a means for achieving great benefits, such as preventing the loss of wealth, etc.
      If, due to their cumulative force, states antithetical to virtue such as aversion should arise from time to time, the aspirant should reflect: “Did you not make the resolution to win full enlightenment? One defective in virtue cannot even succeed in mundane affairs, much less in supramundane matters. You should reach the peak of virtue, for virtue is the foundation for supreme enlightenment, the foremost of all achievements. You should always be well behaved, safeguarding your virtue perfectly, more carefully than a hen safeguarding its eggs. Further, by teaching the Dhamma you should help beings to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles (see pp.1-2). But the word of a morally dubious man is no more reliable than the remedy of a doctor who does not consider what is suitable for his patients. How can I be trustworthy, so that I can help beings to enter and reach maturity in the three vehicles? I must be pure in character and in virtue. How can I acquire the distinguished attainments such as the jhaanas, etc., so that I will be capable of helping others and of fulfilling the perfection of wisdom, etc.? The distinguished attainments such as the jhaanas, etc., are not possible without purification of virtue. Therefore virtue should be made perfectly pure.” (Dhammapala (vi) What is their condition?)
      WHOSOEVER wishes to obtain and to keep these virtues should adorn and possess and rule his soul like a kingdom. Free-will is the king of the soul. It is free by nature and still more free by grace. It shall be crowned with a crown that is called charity. This king, free-will, should dwell in the chief city of the kingdom; namely, in the desirous power of the soul. And he should be clad and adorned with a garment of two parts. The right side of his garment should be a virtue called strength, that therewith he may be strong and mighty to overcome all hindrances, and to ascend up to heaven, into the palace of the most high Emperor, and to bow down his crowned head before the most high King, with love, and with self-surrendered desire. The left side of the garment should be a cardinal virtue called moral force.
      This king should also choose councillors in his kingdom: the wisest in the country. These should be two divine virtues: knowledge and discretion, enlightened by the light of Divine grace. They should dwell near the king, in a palace called the rational power of the soul, and they should be clad and adorned with a moral virtue called temperance, so that the king may always do or leave undone according to their counsels. This king, free-will, should also appoint in his kingdom a judge: that is, righteousness. This is a divine virtue when it springs from love, and it is one of the highest of moral virtues. This judge should dwell in the heart, in the midst of the kingdom, in the irascible power. And he should be adorned with a moral virtue called prudence; for righteousness cannot be perfect without prudence (Ruysbroeck, John of, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage (C.A. Wynschenk Dom, transl.) Bk. I, Ch. 24).


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      233- And to the second gate the way is verdant too. But it is steep and winds up hill; yea, to its rocky top. Grey mists will over-hang its rough and stony height, and all be dark beyond. As on he goes, the song of hope soundeth more feeble in the pilgrim’s heart. The thrill of doubt is now upon him; his step less steady grows.
      Indulge not in apprehensions of what evil might happen if things should not go as your worldly wisdom thinks they ought; doubt not, for this complexion of doubt unnerves and pushes back one’s progress. To have cheerful confidence and hope is quite another thing from giving way to the fool’s blind optimism: the wise man never fights misfortune in advance (Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 1923, Letter 45)

      234- Beware of this, O candidate! Beware of fear that spreadeth, like the black and soundless wings of midnight bat, between the moonlight of thy Soul and thy great goal that loometh in the distance far away.
      In travelling your own throny path I say again courage and hope (Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 1923, Letter 33)
      Like despondency, like doubt, like fear, like vanity, pride, and self-satisfaction, these powers too are used by Nature as traps to detain us. Every occurrence, every object, every energy may be used for or against the great end: in each Nature strives to contain Spirit, and Spirit strives to be free. Shall the substance paralyze the motion, or shall the motion control the substance? The interrelations of these two is manifestation. The ratio of activity governs spiritual development; when the great Force has gained its full momentum, It carries us to the borders of the Unknown. It is a force intelligent, self-conscious, and spiritual: Its lower forms, or vehicles, or correlates may be evoked by us, but Itself comes only of its own volition. We can only prepare a vehicle for It, in which, as Behmen says, “the Holy Ghost may ride in Its own chariot.” (Judge, Willia, Q. Letters that have helped me, 1891, 10)

      235- Fear, O disciple, kills the will and stays all action. If lacking in the Śîla virtue, — the pilgrim trips, and Karmic pebbles bruise his feet along the rocky path.
      Do not feel despondent. Courage my good friend and remember you are working off by helping her your own law of retribution for more than one cruel fling she receives is due to K.H.’s friendship for you, for his using her as the means of communication. But – Courage (Barker, A. T., ed.,Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, 1923, Letter 41)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      In Section 4 (Stanzas 233- 235) The Seven Gates – 2- Sila, we learnt that: ”Fear, O disciple, kills the will and stays all action. If lacking in the Śîla virtue, — the pilgrim trips, and Karmic pebbles bruise his feet along the rocky path”.
      Section 5 (Stanzas 236- 241) The Seven Gates – 3- Kshanti
      Patience has three classifications:
      • the patience of feeling ease toward someone harmful,
      • the patience of accepting suffering, and
      • patience in understanding the nature of Dharma.
      The first one is practicing patience by investigating the nature of the one who creates harm. The second one is practicing patience by investigating the nature of suffering. The third one is practicing patience by investigating the unmistakable nature of all phenomena. Put another way, the first two are practiced in the conventional state, and the third one is practiced according to the ultimate state. (Gampopa. Jewel Ornament of Liberation: Chapter 14.3)
      The following Perfection, Patience, is (1) disregarding harm done to you, (2) accepting the suffering arising in your mind-stream, and (3) being certain about the teachings and firmly maintaining belief in them. There are three sets of factors incompatible with these: for the first, hostility; for the second, hostility and loss of courage; and for the third, disbelief and dislike. Perfecting patience means that you simply complete your conditioning to a state of mind wherein you have stopped your anger and the like. It is not contingent upon all living beings becoming free from undisciplined conduct because you would not be able to bring this about, and because you accomplish your purpose just by disciplining your own mind. (Tsong-kha-pa. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Volume 2) Lamrim Chenmo Translation Committee, Transl., Ithaca, New York. Snow Lion Publications., 2000, 2:152-3)
      (6) Patience has the characteristic of acceptance; its function is to endure the desirable and undesirable; its manifestation is tolerance or non-opposition; seeing things as they really are is its proximate cause ( Acariya Dhammapala, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl.,A Treatise on the Paramis. 2005, (v) What are their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes?) https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut … el409.html
      Patience should be further fortified by reflection: “Those who lack patience are afflicted in this world and apply themselves to actions which will lead to their affliction in the life to come.” And: “Although this suffering arises through the wrong deeds of others, this body of mine is the field for that suffering, and the action which is its seed was sown by me alone.” And: “This suffering will release me from the debt of that kamma.” And: “If there were no wrong-doers, how could I accomplish the perfection of patience?” And: “Although he is a wrong-doer now, in the past he was my benefactor.” And: “A wrong-doer is also a benefactor, for he is the basis for developing patience.” And: “All beings are like my own children. Who becomes angry over the misdeeds of his own children?” And: “He wrongs me because of some residue of anger in myself; this residue I should remove.” And: “I am just as much the cause as he for the wrong on account of which this suffering has arisen.” And: “All those phenomena by which wrong was done, and those to whom it was done — all those, at this very moment, have ceased. With whom, then, should you now be angry, and by whom should anger be aroused? When all phenomena are non-self, who can do wrong to whom?” (Dhammapala (vi) What is their condition?)
      Patience is a peaceful endurance of all things that may befall a man either from God or from the creatures. Nothing can trouble the patient man; neither the loss of earthly goods, of friends and kinsmen, nor sickness, nor disgrace, nor life, nor death, nor purgatory, nor devil, nor hell. For he has abandoned himself in perfect charity to the will of God, and as he is not burdened by mortal sin, everything that God imposes on him, in time and in eternity, is light to him. By this patience a man is also adorned and armed against peevishness and sudden wrath, and impatience in suffering; which often stir a man from within and from without, and lay him open to many temptations perfect (Ruysbroeck, John of, The Adornment of the Spiritual Marriage (C.A. Wynschenk Dom, transl.) Bk. I, Ch. 25).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      236-Be of sure foot, O candidate. In Kshânti’s* essence bathe thy Soul; for now thou dost approach the portal of that name, the gate of fortitude and patience.
      [*Kshânti, “patience,” vide supra the enumeration of the golden keys.]
      be patient, content with little and – never ask for more if you would hope to get it (Letters from the Masters of Wisdom 1881-1888 C. Jinarajadasa letter 22).

      237- Close not thine eyes, nor lose thy sight of Dorje (12); Mâra’s arrows ever smite the man who has not reached Virâga* (13).
      [*Ibid.]
      (12). Dorje is the Sanskrit Vajra, a weapon or instrument in the hands of some gods (the Tibetan Dragshed, the Devas who protect men), and is regarded as having the same occult power of repelling evil influences by purifying the air as Ozone in chemistry. It is also a Mudrâ a gesture and posture used in sitting for meditation. It is, in short, a symbol of power over invisible evil influences, whether as a posture or a talisman. The Bons or Dugpas, however, having appropriated the symbol, misuse it for purposes of Black Magic. With the “Yellow Caps,” or Gelugpas, it is a symbol of power, as the Cross is with the Christians, while it is in no way more “superstitious.” With the Dugpas, it is like the double triangle reversed, the sign of sorcery.
      (13). Virâga is that feeling of absolute indifference to the objective universe, to pleasure and to pain. “Disgust” does not express its meaning, yet it is akin to it.
      See Vajrasattva: stanza 114
      Vajra (Sk.). Lit., “diamond club” or sceptre. In the Hindu works, the sceptre of Indra, similar to the thunderbolts of Zeus, with which this deity, as the god of thunder, slays his enemies. But in mystical Buddhism, the magic sceptre of Priest-Initiates, exorcists and adepts—the symbol of the possession of Siddhis or superhuman powers, wielded during certain ceremonies by the priests and theurgists. It is also the symbol of Buddha’s power over evil spirits or elementals. The possessors of this wand are called Vajrapâni (q.v.) (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary).
      * 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 correspondencies, the Manushi-Buddhas (Blavatsky. The Secret Doctrine I, p. 51).
      Mara: see stanzas 22 and 95.

      238- Beware of trembling. ‘Neath the breath of fear the key of Kshânti rusty grows: the rusty key refuseth to unlock.

      Young friend, study and prepare and especially master your nervousness. One who becomes a slave to any physical weakenss never becomes the master of even the lower powers of nature (Jinarajadasa, C., ed. Letters from the Masters of Wisdom 1881-1888. Theosophical Publishig House. Adyar. 1919, letter 22)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      239- The more thou dost advance, the more thy feet pitfalls will meet. The path that leadeth on, is lighted by one fire — the light of daring, burning in the heart. The more one dares, the more he shall obtain. The more he fears, the more that light shall pale — and that alone can guide. For as the lingering sunbeam, that on the top of some tall mountain shines, is followed by black night when out it fades, so is heart-light. When out it goes, a dark and threatening shade will fall from thine own heart upon the path, and root thy feet in terror to the spot.

      Frozen feet: see stanza 69
      ‘’To dare, to will, to act and remain silent’’ is our motto as that of every Kabalist and Occultist (Jinarajadasa, C., ed. Letters from the Masters of Wisdom 1881-1888. Theosophical Publishig House. Adyar. 1919, letter 66).
      Let him remember the universal Kabalistic axiom. “To know, to dare, to will and be silent.” Let him read the impressive phrase translated by Eliphas Levi from the Book of Numbers in Vol. I of “Dogme de la Haute Magie,” p. 115. (Blavatsky, H. P. The Letters of H. P. Blavatsky to A. P. Sinnett, T. Fisher Unwin ltd. London : Adelphi Terrace, 1925, p. 17)

      TO DARE, TO WILL, TO ACHIEVE AND KEEP SILENT is the motto of the true Occultist, from the first adept of our fifth Race down to the last Rosecroix. True Occultism, i.e., genuine Raj-Yoga powers, are not pompously boasted of, and advertised in “Dailies” and monthlies, like Beecham’s pills or Pears’ soap. “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes; for the wise man feareth and keeps silent, but the fool layeth open his folly.” (Blavatsky, H. P. The Year Is Dead, Long Live The Year! Lucifer, January, 1889)

      To dare, to know, to will, and REMAIN SILENT, was their constant rule; to be beneficent, unselfish, and unpretending were, with them, spontaneous impulses. Disdaining the rewards of petty traffic, spurning wealth, luxury, pomp, and worldly power, they aspired to knowledge as the most satisfying of all acquisitions.
      He who has learned to know, to will, to dare, and to be silent, is upon the true path that leads to immortal life, but by those who move merely in the sensual plane, or whose minds are absorbed in external things of the intellectual plane, even the meaning of these words will not be understood.
      We must dare to act and throw off low desires, instead of waiting inactively until they desert us. We must dare to tear ourselves loose from accustomed habits, irrational thoughts, and selfish considerations, and from everything that is an impediment to our recognition of truth. We must dare to conquer ourselves and the world by becoming like a disinterested spectator, taking no part in the performance,* – not on account of any stupid indifference or mournful acquiescence to the decrees of fate, nor on account of being a “pessimist” or a misanthrope; but on account of having outgrown the follies of the lower world and realising the beauties of the high (Hartmann, Franz. Magic White and Black. 1888, pp. 66-7).

      240- Beware, disciple, of that lethal shade. No light that shines from Spirit can dispel the darkness of the nether Soul, unless all selfish thought has fled therefrom, and that the pilgrim saith: “I have renounced this passing frame; I have destroyed the cause: the shadows cast can, as effects, no longer be.”

      Shadow / Dweller: see stanza 204
      Serve the body only if it helps you in serving your God; otherwise it were far better for you that it should perish and be scattered in pieces than serve the purpose of creating a host of delusions to enslave you. ork for it never so faithfully, it will inevitably betray you some ay; so take warning while yet there is time. Sink into nothingness all concerns about its comforts, and awakening to the true object for which you are born, devote every moment of your timo in advancing towards the centre of Light that is beckoning you from afar. W hen you have in some degree realised the insignificance of the gross body, you will begin to doubt if the idea of self, which springs up almost entirely from the sensations derived from the body, is really youi4 true self; How can the world, in relation to which alono the false self exists, have any more reality and permanency than a dream , when there is absolutely no proof of the objective existence of m atter, apftrt from the cognising mind ? Analyse thus constantly the phantom to Which you have given the name of self and reflect upon its illusory character. Try also with consistent attempts to conquer the prominent weaknesses of your nature by developing thought in the direction that will kill each particular passion (Gyanbhikshachari. Divine Heartache.The Theosophist. Volume 8, No. 9. June 1887, pp. 551-52).

      And as a moral law of nature–a counterpart to the mathematical–if the rules of harmony in the world of causes and effects are not observed during life, then our inner idol is as liable to turn out a maleficent demon (a bhoot) and to be taken possession of by other “evil” spirits, which are called by us “Elementaries” though treated almost as gods by sentimental ignoramuses (Blavatsky, H. P. Chinese Spirits. [Lucifer, Vol. IX, No. 51, November, 1891, pp. 182-187] Blavatsky Collected Writings, Volume 7. p. 208) .

      For now the last great fight, the final war between the Higher and the Lower Self, hath taken place. Behold, the very battlefield is now engulphed in the great war, and is no more.

      Higher / Lower Self: see stanzas 164-170
      Though one should conquer in battle thousands upon thousands of men, yet he who conquers himself is (truly) the greatest in battle.
      It is indeed better to conquer oneself than to conquer other people. Of a man who has subdued himself, (and) who lives (self-)controlled,
      neither a god nor a celestial musician (gandhabba), nor Mara together with Brahma, can undo the victory – the victory of a person who is (subdued and controlled) like that. (Dhammapada. Sangharakshita, Transl. Windhorse Publications, 2000. Ch. 8, 103-105)

      241- But once that thou hast passed the gate of Kshânti, step the third is taken. Thy body is thy slave. Now, for the fourth prepare, the Portal of temptations which do ensnare the inner man.

      The next qualification, the complete mastery over our bodily acts (“Dama” in Sanscrit) follows, as anecessary consequence, from the one already discussed, and does not require much explanation (Holloway Laura & Mohini Chatterji, Man, Fragments of a Forgotten History, 1885, p. 74).


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      Section 6 (Stanzas 242- 250) The Seven Gates – 4- Viraga
      Viraga is the second of the four qualifications of Adaita Vedanta and explained in early Theosophy.
      The second “accomplishment” marks the next step on the path, and is the permanent effect produced onthe mind by the theoretical knowledge which forms the preceding accomplishment. When the neophyte has once grasped the illusive character of the objects around him, he ceases to crave for them; and isthus prepared to acquire the second accomplishment, which is a perfect indifference to the enjoyment ofthe fruit of one’s actions, both there and hereafter.
      Exoteric students fall into a grievous error by their failure to catch the true spirit of the injunction againstacting under the impulse of desire. They erroneously suppose that the best preparation for spiritual life toforcibly repress all outward expression of desire, entirely losing sight of the fact that even the most rigidabstinence from physical acts does not produce inactivity on the higher planes of spiritual or mentalexistence. Sankaracharya, in his commentaries on the Bhagavad Gita – one of the most authoritative of the Brahmanical sacred writings – says that such a conclusion is simply delusive. A hasty supposition might here be made that these considerations will have the effect of sanctioning persistence in evil; but when the desire for improvement is constantly present in the mind, and the character of the evil thoroughly realized, each failure to harmonise the inward with the outward nature will, by the revulsion of feeling thus produced, strengthen the determination to such an extent that the evil desire will be speedily crushed. This is why Eliphas Levi so vehemently denounces the institution of forced celibacy among the Romish priests. The personality of a man at any one moment is the result of all his previous acts,thoughts, and emotions, the energy of which constantly inclines the mind to act in a particular way. All attempts, therefore, to cure this mental bias by repressing its expression on the outer plane is as hurtful as to throw back into the circulation unhealthy blood seeking a natural outlet. The internal desire is always forging fresh links in the chain of material existence, even though denied outward manifestation.The only way to free oneself from the bonds of Karma, producing birth and death, is to let the store-up energy exhaust itself merely as a portion of the great cosmic energy, and not to colour it with personality by referring it to self. The Bhagavad Gita itself speaks on this subject with no uncertain sound. The great Teacher Krishna reproves his pupil Arjuna for having expressed a disinclination to perform the duties pertaining to his sphere of life. The reason is perfectly plain: in reference to the great reality everything of this world is unreal; therefore, to renounce the duties entailed upon us by our birth for something equally unreal, only accentuates the ignorance which makes the unreal appear as the real.The wisest course, suggested by Krishna, is that Arjuna should perform all his duties, unselfishly. “Thy right is only to the act”, says the Teacher; “it ends with the performance of the act, and never extends to the result.” We must perform our duty for its own sake, and never allow the mind to dwell on the fruit of our actions, either with pleasure or with pain. Purified from the taint of selfishness, the act passes by, like water over the lotus-leaf, without wetting it. But if the act is done as a means to the attainment of a personal end, the mind acquires a tendency to repeat the act, and thus necessitates further incarnations to exhaust that tendency.From the above considerations it is abundantly clear that occultism enjoins upon its votaries the necessity of an ardent and sleepless desire for the performance of duty, the sphere of which is enlarged by the first accomplishment, which requires a thorough recognition of the unity of the individual with the all. It is not enough to have a sentimental perception of this great truth,but it must be realized in every act of life. The student, therefore, to begin with, must do everything in his power to benefit all on the ordinary physical plane, transferring his activity, however, to the higher intellectual and spiritual planes as his development proceeds care (Holloway Laura & Mohini Chatterji, Man, Fragments of a Forgotten History, 1885, pp. 73-74).

      Since Viraga is not part of the traditional six Buddhsit paramitas, I’ve included passages on Uppekha, which is similar.
      (10) Equanimity has the characteristic of promoting the aspect of neutrality; its function is to see things impartially; its manifestation is the subsiding of attraction and repulsion: reflection upon the fact that all beings inherit the results of their own kamma is its proximate cause (Dhammapala, Acariya. A Treatise on the Paramis, Bodhi Bhikkhu transl., 2005, (v) What are their characteristics, functions, manifestations, and proximate causes?) https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut … el409.html
      (10) The perfection of equanimity should be considered thus: “When there is no equanimity, the offensive actions performed by beings cause oscillation in the mind. And when the mind oscillates, it is impossible to practice the requisites of enlightenment.” And: “Even though the mind has been softened with the moisture of loving-kindness, without equanimity one cannot purify the requisites of enlightenment and cannot dedicate one’s requisites of merit along with their results to furthering the welfare of beings.”
      Moreover, the undertaking, determination, fulfillment, and completion of all the requisites of enlightenment succeed through the power of equanimity. For without equanimity, the aspirant cannot relinquish something without making false discriminations over gifts and recipients. Without equanimity, he cannot purify his virtue without always thinking about the obstacles to his life and to his vital needs. Equanimity perfects the power of renunciation, for by its means he overcomes discontent and delight. It perfects the functions of all the requisites (by enabling wisdom) to examine them according to their origin. When energy is aroused to excess because it has not been examined with equanimity, it cannot perform its proper function of striving. Forbearance and reflective acquiescence (the modes of patience) are possible only in one possessed of equanimity. Because of this quality, he does not speak deceptively about beings or formations. By looking upon the vicissitudes of worldly events with an equal mind, his determination to fulfill the practices he has undertaken becomes completely unshakeable. And because he is unconcerned over the wrongs done by others, he perfects the abiding in loving-kindness. Thus equanimity is indispensable to the practice of all the other paaramiis. (Dhammapala (vi) What is their condition?)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      242- Ere thou canst near that goal, before thine hand is lifted to upraise the fourth gate’s latch, thou must have mustered all the mental changes in thy Self and slain the army of the thought sensations that, subtle and insidious, creep unasked within the Soul’s bright shrine.

      Slaying the toughts: See stanzas 54-56

      243-If thou would’st not be slain by them, then must thou harmless make thy own creations, the children of thy thoughts, unseen, impalpable, that swarm round humankind, the progeny and heirs to man and his terrestrial spoils. Thou hast to study the voidness of the seeming full, the fullness of the seeming void. O fearless Aspirant, look deep within the well of thine own heart, and answer. Knowest thou of Self the powers, O thou perceiver of external shadows?

      This leads us to the consideration of the third accomplishment, which is the acquisition of the “sixqualifications” in the order they are treated of here. The first of them is called in Sanscrit “Sama;” itconsists in obtaining perfect mastery over the mind (the seat of emotions and desires), and in forcing it to act in subordination to the intellect, which has been purified and strengthened in attaining the twodegrees of development already dwelt upon. This done, the mind is thoroughly cleansed of all evil andfoolish desires.
      The injunction to chasten our minds before purifying our acts might at first sight appear strange, but thepractical utility of the course laid down will be obvious on reflection. We have already seen how varyingeffects are produced by a fixed amount of energy, according to the plane on which it is expended, andcertainly the plane of the mind is superior to the plane of our senses. In the next place, forced abstinencefrom physical evil goes but very little way towards the evolution of that energy which alone can give usthe power of approaching the truth. Our thoughts, governed under ordinary circumstances by the law ofassociation, make us contemplate incidents in our past life, and thus produce as much mentaldisturbance and draw as much on our mental energy as if we had repeated the acts in question manytimes over. “Sama” then, is really the breaking-up of the law of the association of ideas, which enslavesour imagination; when our imagination is purified, the chief difficulty is removed (Holloway Laura & Mohini Chatterji, Man, Fragments of a Forgotten History, 1885, pp. 73-74) http://theosophy.katinkahesselink.net/m … occult.htm

      244- If thou dost not — then art thou lost.
      Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind –wrought.

      If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow (Dhammapada. Sangharakshita, Transl. Windhorse Publications, 2000. Ch. 1, 2)
      Just as rain does not break through a well-thatched house,
      so passion never penetrates a well-developed mind (Dhammpada Ch. 1, 14)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      245- For, on Path fourth, the lightest breeze of passion or desire will stir the steady light upon the pure white walls of Soul. The smallest wave of longing or regret for Mâyâ’s gifts illusive, along Antahkarana — the path that lies between thy Spirit and thy self, the highway of sensations, the rude arousers of Ahankâra (14) — a thought as fleeting as the lightning flash will make thee thy three prizes forfeit — the prizes thou hast won.
      (14). Ahankâra — the “I” or feeling of one’s personality, the “I-am-ness.”

      Ahankâra
      (Sk.). The conception of “I”, Self-consciousness or Self- identity; the “I”, the egotistical and mâyâvic principle in man, due to our ignorance which separates our “I” from the Universal ONE-SELF Personality, Egoism (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary).

      See also Attavâda and Sakkayaditthi, stanza 17
      Antahkarana: see stanza 222
      See also Judge, William Q. Echoes from the Orient, Vol. 3. 1st printing. San Diego, Point Loma Publications, 1987, pp. 314-15, 377, 385-86, 408, 545.

      246- For know, that the ETERNAL knows no change.

      Live neither in the present nor the future, but in the eternal. This giant weed cannot flower there: this blot upon existence is wiped out by the very atmosphere of eternal thought (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1, 4).

      247- “The eight dire miseries forsake for evermore. If not, to wisdom, sure, thou can’st not come, nor yet to liberation,” saith the great Lord, the Tathâgata of perfection, “he who has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors.” (15).
      (15). “One who walks in the steps of his predecessors” or “those who came before him,” is the true meaning of the name Tathâgata.
      Tathâgata (Sk.). “One who is like the coming”; he who is, like his predecessors (the Buddhas) and successors, the coming future Buddha or World-Saviour. One of the titles of Gautama Buddha, and the highest epithet, since the first and the last Buddhas were the direct immediate avatars of the One Deity (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary).

      eight dire miseries: or the eight vicissitudes of life—which are otherwise known as the eight worldly winds or eight worldly conditions: loss and gain, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and censure, and sorrow and happiness (the Attha Loka Dhamma).(Vitthāra) Loka,dhamma Sutta The Discourse on the Worldly Conditions (Detailed) A 8.6 /4:157-160) Aṅguttara Nikāya Lokavipatti Sutta | The Failings of the World The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Complete Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya. Wisdom Publications. 2012. Bhikkhu Bodhi, transl.

      248- Stern and exacting is the virtue of Virâga. If thou its path would’st master, thou must keep thy mind and thy perceptions far freer than before from killing action.

      Whatever foe may do to foe, or hater to hater, greater is the harm done (to oneself) by a wrongly directed mind.
      Neither mother nor father, nor any other relative, can do one as much good as a perfectly directed mind (Dhammapada. Ch. 3, 42-3).

      Before the voice can speak in the presence of the Masters it must have lost the power to wound (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1).


      • Mark Casady
        Participant
        Mark Casady

        Correction; Eight Miseries (Edkins, Chinese Buddhsim, p. 18): Birth; decay; sickness; death; to be conjoined with things which we dislike; to be separated from things we like; not to get what we want; and to get that which we do not want. (see Samyutta Nikaya, chapter 56)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      Although not explicit, this seems to be the beginning of a bridge section, perhaps indicating a correspondence of the paramitas and the sevenfold principles. There is mention of a middle portal, a gate of balance (presumably between the lower and higher selves), prior to which one must build a protecting wall around the holy isle. Hence the first four paramitas could represent the lower quaternary, with the following section being a bridge to the higher trinity.

      Section 7 (Stanzas 249- 261) Building the Isle

      249- Thou hast to saturate thyself with pure Alaya, become as one with Nature’s Soul-Thought. At one with it thou art invincible; in separation, thou becomest the playground of Samvriti (16), origin of all the world’s delusions.
      (16). Samvriti is that one of the two truths which demonstrates the illusive character or emptiness of all things. It is relative truth in this case. The Mahâyâna school teaches the difference between these two truths — Paramârthasatya and Samvritisatya (Satya, “truth”). This is the bone of contention between the Mâdhyamikas and the Yogâchâras, the former denying and the latter affirming that every object exists owing to a previous cause or by a concatenation. The
      Mâdhyamikas are the great Nihilists and Deniers, for whom everything is parikalpita, an illusion and an error in the world of thought and the subjective, as much as in the objective universe. The Yogâchâras are the great spiritualists. Samvriti, therefore, as only relative truth, is the origin of all illusion.

      Samvriti (Sk.). False conception—the origin of illusion.
      Samvritisatya (Sk.). Truth mixed with false conceptions (Samvriti); the reverse of absolute truth—or Paramârthasatya, self-consciousness in absolute truth or reality.
      Paramartha (Sk) Absolute existence Deity.
      Nirguna (Sk.). Negative attribute; unbound, or without Gunas (attributes), i.e., that which is devoid of all qualities, the opposite of Saguna, that which has attributes (Secret Doctrine, II. 95), e.g.,
      Parabrahmam is Nirguna; Brahmâ, Saguna. Nirguna is a term which shows the impersonality of the thing spoken of (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary).
      See notes to stanza 111
      Alaya : Stanza I. 9. But where was the Dangma when the Alaya of the Universe (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)? 48
      (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. 49
      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 manifestation 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 Koros 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. 50
      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 comprehends) 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 ([[nous]]), the principle that according to his views is absolutely separated and free from matter and acts on design,† 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.”
      † Finite Self-consciousness, 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?
      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. 51
      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 phenomena, 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-consciousness?* 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.
      * See Schwegler’s “Handbook of the History of Philosophy” in Sterling’s translation, p. 28.
      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 all 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.”) (Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine I, 48-52)


    • Mark Casady
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      Mark Casady

      250- All is impermanent in man except the pure bright essence of Alaya. Man is its crystal ray; a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower surface. That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self. Thy Soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body; control and master both, and thou art safe when crossing to the nearing “Gate of Balance.”

      “Manas is a “principle,” and yet it is an “Entity” and individuality or Ego. He is a “God,” and yet he is doomed to an endless cycle of incarnations, for each of which he is made responsible, and for each of which he has to suffer. …
      “Try to imagine a “Spirit,” a celestial Being, whether we call it by one name or another, divine in its essential nature, yet not pure enough to be one with the ALL, and having, in order to achieve this, to so purify its nature as to finally gain that goal. It can do so only by passing individually and personally, i.e., spiritually and physically, through every experience and feeling that exists in the manifold or differentiated Universe. It has, therefore, after having gained such experience in the lower kingdoms, and having ascended higher and still higher with every rung on the ladder of being, to pass through every experience on the human planes. In its very essence it is THOUGHT, and is, therefore, called in its plurality Manasa putra, “the Sons of the (Universal) mind.” This individualised “Thought” is what we Theosophists call the real human EGO, the thinking Entity imprisoned in a case of flesh and bones. This is surely a Spiritual Entity, not Matter, and such Entities are the incarnating EGOS that inform the bundle of animal matter called mankind, and whose names are Manasa or “Minds.” But once imprisoned, or incarnate, their essence becomes dual: that is to say, the rays of the eternal divine Mind, considered as individual entities, assume a two-fold attribute which is (a) their essential inherent characteristic, heaven-aspiring mind (higher Manas), and (b) the human quality of thinking, or animal cogitation, rationalised owing to the superiority of the human brain, the Kama-tending or lower Manas. One gravitates toward Buddhi, the other, tending downward, to the seat of passions and animal desires. The latter have no room in Devachan, nor can they associate with the divine triad which ascends as ONE into mental bliss. Yet it is the Ego, the Manasic Entity, which is held responsible for all the sins of the lower attributes, just as a parent is answerable for the transgressions of his child, so long as the latter remains irresponsible.” (Blavatsky, H.P. The Key to Theosophy, pp.183-184)

      The admonition to sever soul from body is not, of course, to be understood spatially- that separation stands made in Nature- the reference is to holding our rank, to use of our thinking, to an attitude of alienation from the body in the effort to lead up and attach to the over-world, equally with the other, that phase of soul seated here and, alone, having to do with body, creating, moulding, spending its care upon it.
      11. Since there is a Soul which reasons upon the right and good- for reasoning is an enquiry into the rightness and goodness of this rather than that- there must exist some permanent Right, the source and foundation of this reasoning in our soul; how, else, could any such discussion be held? Further, since the soul’s attention to these matters is intermittent, there must be within us an Intellectual-Principle acquainted with that Right not by momentary act but in permanent possession. Similarly there must be also the principle of this principle, its cause, God. This Highest cannot be divided and allotted, must remain intangible but not bound to space, it may be present at many points, wheresoever there is anything capable of accepting one of its manifestations; thus a centre is an independent unity; everything within the circle has its term at the centre; and to the centre the radii bring each their own. Within our nature is such a centre by which we grasp and are linked and held; and those of us are firmly in the Supreme whose collective tendency is There.
      12. Possessed of such powers, how does it happen that we do not lay hold of them, but for the most part, let these high activities go idle- some, even, of us never bringing them in any degree to effect?
      The answer is that all the Divine Beings are unceasingly about their own act, the Intellectual-Principle and its Prior always self-intent; and so, too, the soul maintains its unfailing movement; for not all that passes in the soul is, by that fact, perceptible; we know just as much as impinges upon the faculty of sense. Any activity not transmitted to the sensitive faculty has not traversed the entire soul: we remain unaware because the human being includes sense-perception; man is not merely a part [the higher part] of the soul but the total.
      None the less every being of the order of soul is in continuous activity as long as life holds, continuously executing to itself its characteristic act: knowledge of the act depends upon transmission and perception. If there is to be perception of what is thus present, we must turn the perceptive faculty inward and hold it to attention there. Hoping to hear a desired voice, we let all others pass and are alert for the coming at last of that most welcome of sounds: so here, we must let the hearings of sense go by, save for sheer necessity, and keep the soul’s perception bright and quick to the sounds from above (Plotinus. On the Three Initial Hypostases. 5,1,10-12)
      As regards the nature of soul in general, the differences have been defined in the passage in which we mentioned the secondary and tertiary orders and laid down that, while all souls are all-comprehensive, each ranks according to its operative phase- one becoming Uniate in the achieved fact, another in knowledge, another in desire, according to the distinct orientation by which each is, or tends to become, what it looks upon. The very fulfillment and perfectionment attainable by souls cannot but be different. (Plotinus. Problems of the Soul. 3. 4, 3, 8)


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      251- Be of good cheer, O daring pilgrim “to the other shore.” Heed not the whisperings of Mâra’s hosts; wave off the tempters, those ill-natured Sprites, the jealous Lhamayin (17) in endless space.
      (17). Lhamayin are elementals and evil spirits adverse to men and their enemies.

      Lhamayin (Tib.). Elemental sprites of the lower terrestrial plane. Popular fancy makes of them demons and devils. (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary).

      The malignant spirits are designated by names expressive of their hostility towards man, as Da, “enemy,” Geg, “devil;” the most dreaded are the Lhamayin and the Dudpos.
      To the Lhamayin, amongst which also man may be re-born (see p. 92), the Yakshas, the Nâgas, the Râkshasas, and many other groups of ill-natured spirits are subjected; their particular adversaries are the four Maharajas (Tib. Gyalchen zhi), who dwell upon the fourth step of the mount Mêru.[1]
      [1. See Burnouf, “Introduction,” p. 603. Schmidt, in Mém. de l’Acad. de Petersb., Vol. II., p. 33 et seq.]
      Amongst these evil spirits those deserve a particular notice who cause the Dusmayinpar chi, or “untimely death.” According to the belief of the Tibetans, that is considered an untimely death, which, in opposition to the ordinary course of nature, is accelerated by the evil spirits, such as Sringan, Dechad, Jungpo, and others. As a consequence of premature decease, the “Bardo,” is prolongated. This is the middle state between the death and the new re-birth, which does not follow immediately, but there exists an interval, which is shorter for the good than for the bad. The prolongation of this intermediate state is considered as a punishment caused by evil spirits who have only power over sinful men. The soul exists during this interval without any shape whatever, and the wretched ones, who have been seized by the spirits, make earnest efforts but without success to get placed within a body. At such moments they appear to men as a raw, shapeless piece of meat, and such a vision is considered unlucky, boding illness and even death., Dhârânîs and particular offerings are supposed to keep off such dreaded visions, and the wealthy have magical sentences and treatises printed, of which the following are the most frequently met with:[1] Choichi gyalpoi shed dul, “to break the power of Choigyal,” an epithet of Shinje; Tamdin gyalpoi sri nanpa, “to subdue the honourable King Tamdin”; Dragpo chinsreg, “the fierce sacrifice;”[2] Jig grol gyi pavo “the hero delivering from the danger (of Bardo).”[3]
      The Dudpos, the assistants of Shinje, the judge of the dead, and often likewise called Shinjes, inhabit the region Paranirmita Vasavartin (“that exercises a power over the metamorphoses produced by others”), the highest in the world of desire. They try to hinder the depopulation of the world by supporting man in evil desire, and by keeping off the Bôdhisattvas from attaining the Bôdhi; it is they who disturb the devoutness of assembled Buddhists, and put an end to steady meditation by assuming the shape of a beautiful woman, or by suggesting ludicrous ideas, by asserting that those who do not enjoy the pleasures of life shall be re-born in hell, with many other tricks of a similar nature. But they are also those spirits who, when the time of death has arrived, seize the released soul and bring it before Shinje, their King, to be tried and sentenced according to its works. The apparent contradiction of this function with their tendency to induce man to abandon himself to pleasure in existence, is to be explained from the dogma, “that birth and decay cannot be separated;” whence it results that the gods who cause existence simultaneously bring. into action the destructive power, which is the unavoidable consequence of existence.[1]
      [1. Untimely death is also enumerated in a Tantra of the Kanjur amongst the objects of fear against which protection is obtained by the Dhâranîs therein mentioned. Csoma, “Analysis,” As. Res., Vol. XX., p. 519. Respecting the dogma of the Bardo, see Wassiljew, “Der Buddhismus,” p. 110.
      2. Chinsreg is the Tibetan name for the burnt-offering, a description of which is to be found in Chapter XV., No. 2; about Tamdin compare No. 5.
      3. In full title: Bardo phrang grol gyi sol debjig grol gyi pavo zhechava “a petition protecting from the chasm of Bardo, or a hero delivering from the danger (of Bardo).”] (Schlagintweit, Buddhism in Tibet, 1863, pp. 110-111).

      Good cheer : There is no idleness for the Mystic. He finds his daily life among the roughest and hardest of the labors and trials of the world perhaps, but goes his way with smiling face and joyful heart, nor grows too sensitive for association with this fellows, nor so extremely spiritual as to forget that some other body is perhaps hungering for food.
      You think, oh man, that because you have obtained a portion of occult knowledge, that it entitles you to withdraw from contact with the rest of mankind. It is not so. If you have obtained true knowledge it forces you to meet all men not only half way, but more than that to seek them. It urges you not to retire but, seeking contact, to plunge into the misery and sorrow of the world, and with your cheering word, if you have no more (the Mystic has little else) strive to lighten the burden for some struggling soul (Judge, William Q. Musings on the True Theosophist’s Path, Part I – The Path, Aug 1886 pp. 155-156).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      252- Hold firm! Thou nearest now the middle portal, the gate of Woe, with its ten thousand snares.
      In eastern poetics, ten thousand generally signifies innumerable, a large unspecified quantity. For example: Ten thousand Named (yu-ming), the mother (mu) of ten thousand things (Tao Te Ching, Ellen Chen, transl. 1,4)

      253- Have mastery o’er thy thoughts, O striver for perfection, if thou would’st cross its threshold.
      As a fletcher straightens the arrow, so the man of understanding makes straight the trembling unsteady mind, which is difficult to guard (and) difficult to restrain. (Dhammapada. Ch. 3, 33).

      254- Have mastery o’er thy Soul, O seeker after truths undying, if thou would’st reach the goal.
      Should you act as you advise others to act, then it would be (a case of) one who was (self-) controlled exercising control (over others). The self is truly difficult to control.
      One is indeed one’s own saviour (or: protector). What other saviour should there be? With oneself well-controlled, one finds a saviour (who is) hard to find (Dhammapada. Ch. 12, 159-60).255- Thy Soul-gaze centre on

      255- Thy Soul-gaze centre on the One Pure Light, the Light that is free from affection, and use thy golden Key.

      For within you is the light of the world — the only light that can be shed upon the Path. If you are unable to perceive it within you, it is useless to look for it elsewhere. It is beyond you; because when you reach it you have lost yourself. It is unattainable, because it for ever recedes. You will enter the light, but you will never touch the flame (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1, 12).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      . . . . . . . . .
      257- Thou hast now crossed the moat that circles round the gate of human passions. Thou hast now conquered Mâra and his furious host.

      Perceiving the body to be (fragile) like a clay pot, (and) fortifying the mind as though it were a city, with the sword of wisdom make war on Mara. Free from attachment, keep watch over what has been (Dhammapada. Ch. 3, 40).

      258- Thou hast removed pollution from thine heart and bled it from impure desire. But, O thou glorious combatant, thy task is not yet done. Build high, Lanoo, the wall that shall hedge in the Holy Isle,* the dam that will protect thy mind from pride and satisfaction at thoughts of the great feat achieved.
      [*The Higher Ego, or Thinking Self.]

      “This “Higher Self” is ATMA, and of course it is “non-materializable,” as Mr Sinnett says. Even more, it can never be “objective” under any circumstances, even to the highest spiritual perception. For Atman or the “Higher Self” is really Brahman, the ABSOLUTE, and indistinguishable from it. In hours ofSamadhi, the higher spiritual consciousness of the Initiate is entirely absorbed in the ONE essence, which is Atman, and therefore, being one with the whole, there can be nothing objective for it. Now some of our Theosophists have got into the habit of using the words “Self” and “Ego” as synonymous, of associating the term “Self” with only man’s higher individual or even personal “Self” or Ego, whereas this term ought never to be applied except to the One universal Self. Hence the confusion.
      Speaking of Manas, the “causal body,” we may call it –when connecting it with the Buddhic radiance –the “HIGHER EGO,” never the “Higher Self.” For even Buddhi, the “Spiritual Soul,” is not the SELF, but the vehicle only of SELF. All the other “Selves” –such as the “Individual” self and “personal” self –ought never to be spoken or written of without their qualifying and characteristic adjectives.” . . .“To avoid henceforth such misapprehensions, I propose to translate literally from the Occult Easternterms their equivalents in English, and offer these for future use.
      “THE HIGHER SELF is –Atma, the inseparable ray of the Universal and ONE SELF. It is the God above, more than within, us. Happy the man who succeeds in saturating his inner Ego with it!
      “THE SPIRITUAL divine EGO, is –the Spiritual soul or Buddhi, in close union withManas, the mind-principle, without which it is no EGO at all, but only the AtmicVehicle.“
      THE INNER, or HIGHER “Ego” is –Manas, the “Fifth” Principle, so called, independently of Buddhi. The Mind-Principle is only the Spiritual Ego when merged into one with Buddhi, –no materialist being supposed to have in him such an Ego, however great his intellectual capacities. It is the permanent Individuality or the “Reincarnating Ego.”
      “THE LOWER, or PERSONAL “Ego” is –the physical man in conjunction with his lowerSelf,i.e., animal instincts, passions, desires, etc. It is called the “false personality,” and consists of the lower Manas combined with Kama-rupa, and operating through the Physical body and its phantom or “double.”“The remaining “Principle” “Prana,” or “Life,” is, strictly speaking, the radiating force or Energy of Atma –as the Universal Life and the ONE SELF, –ITS lower or rather (in its effects) more physical, because manifesting, aspect. Prana or Life permeates the whole being of the objective Universe; and is called a “principle” only because it is an indispensable factor and thedeus ex machine of the living man (Blavatsky, H.P. The Key to Theosophy, 174)

      By means of energy, mindfulness, self-restraint, and control, let the man of understanding (medhavi) make (for himself) an island that no flood can overwhelm (Dhammapada. Ch. 2, 25).

      Before the soul can stand in the presence of the Masters its feet must be washed in the blood of the heart (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1).
      Seek in the heart the source of evil and expunge it. It lives fruitfully in the heart of the devoted disciple as well as in the heart of the man of desire. Only the strong can kill it out. The weak must wait for its growth, its fruition, its death. And it is a plant that lives and increases throughout the ages. It flowers when the man has accumulated unto himself innumerable existences. He who will enter upon the path of power must tear this thing out of his heart. And then the heart will bleed, and the whole life of the man seem to be utterly dissolved. This ordeal must be endured; it may come at the first step of the perilous ladder which leads to the path of life: it may not come until the last. But, O disciple, remember that it has to be endured: and fasten the energies of your soul upon the task (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 1, 4).


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      259- A sense of pride would mar the work. Aye, build it strong, lest the fierce rush of battling waves, that mount and beat its shore from out the great World Mâyâ’s Ocean, swallow up the pilgrim and the isle — yea, even when the victory’s achieved.

      I have said, a little way back, that after parting with the sense of individual rights, the disciple must part also with the sense of self-respect and of virtue. This may sound a terrible doctrine, yet all occultists know well that it is not a doctrine, but a fact. He who thinks himself holier than another, he who has any pride in his own exemption from vice or folly, he who believes himself wise, or in any way superior to his fellow men, is incapable of discipleship. A man must become as a little child before he can enter into the kingdom of heaven.
      Virtue and wisdom are sublime things; but if they create pride and a consciousness of separateness from the rest of humanity in the mind of a man, then they are only the snakes of self re-appearing in a finer form. At any moment he may put on his grosser shape and sting as fiercely as when he inspired the actions of a murderer who kills for gain or hatred, or a politician who sacrifices the mass for his own or his party’s interests. (Collins, Mabel. Light on the Path, 2, 4).

      “In proportion to your humility you are given patience in your woes; and in proportion to your patience the burden of your afflictions is made lighter and you will find consolation; in proportion to your consolation, your love of God increases; and in proportion to your love, your joy in the Holy Spirit is magnified. Once men have truly become His sons, our tenderly compassionate Father does not take away their temptations from them when it is His pleasure to ‘make for them a way to escape’ (1 Cor. 10:13), but instead He gives His sons patience in their trials. All these good things are given into the hand of their patience for the perfecting of their souls.” (St. Isaac the Syrian, Ascetical Homilies. Holy Transfiguration Monastery; 2nd edition edition, 2011, 42).

      Section 7 (Stanzas 249- 261) Crossing the moat and hedging in the Holy Isle. In this section, it is explained that one is crossing to the nearing “Gate of Balance”, the middle portal, the gate of Woe, the moat that circles round the gate of human passions. One then has to build the wall that shall hedge in the Holy Isle, in order to protect thy mind from pride and satisfaction.

      One has to centre Thy Soul-gaze on the One Pure Light and use thy golden Key.
      This One Pure light is of the pure bright essence of Alaya. Man is its crystal ray; a beam of light immaculate within, a form of clay material upon the lower surface. That beam is thy life-guide and thy true Self, the Watcher and the silent Thinker, the victim of thy lower Self. Hence one has saturate thyself with pure Alaya, become as one with Nature’s Soul-Thought.

      Soul cannot be hurt but through thy erring body; control and master both, mastery o’er thy thought, mastery o’er thy Soul. Be of good cheer and wave off the tempters, those ill-natured Sprites. Success here means to have removed pollution from thine heart and bled it from impure desire.


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      There seems to be another important section in this bridge between the quaternary and the trinity of the 7 Paramitas:
      Section 8 (Stanzas 260- 272 ) Jnana Marga and the Unshakeable Fixity of Mind

      260- Thine “Isle” is the deer, thy thoughts the hounds that weary and pursue his progress to the stream of Life. Woe to the deer that is o’ertaken by the barking fiends before he reach the Vale of Refuge — Jñâna Mârga, “path of pure knowledge” named.

      From the Mani-Kabum : ‘’The arguments should shoot forth like a deer chased by fresh hounds, without hesitation or pause.’’
      (Waddell, Laurence Austine. The Buddhism of Tibet. W.H. Allen & Company, 1895, p. 176)

      261- Ere thou canst settle in Jñâna Mârga (18) and call it thine, thy Soul has to become as the ripe mango fruit: as soft and sweet as its bright golden pulp for others’ woes, as hard as that fruit’s stone for thine own throes and sorrows, O Conqueror of Weal and Woe.
      (18). Jñâna-Mârga is the “Path of Jñâna,” literally; or the Path of pure knowledge, of Paramârtha or (Sanskrit) Svasamvedana “the self-evident or self-analysing reflection.”

      Jnana, knowledge, especially of the higher truths of religion and philosophy. (See Vidya.)
      Jnana-Marga, knowledge of the way. (jnana, knowledge; marga path.)
      (Judge, William Q. A working glossary for the use of Students of Theosophical Literature. 1892)
      Gnâna (Sk.) Knowledge as applied to the esoteric sciences.
      Gnânasakti (Sk.) The power of true knowledge, one of the seven great forces in Nature (six, exoterically). (Blavatsky, H. P. The Theosophical Glossary).

      Paramartha see stanza 251

      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 .”) (Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine I, 49).

      Nevertheless, that the Hindu expects his Kalki-Avatâra, the Buddhist his Maitreya, the Pârsî his Saoshyant and the Jew his Messiah, and so would the Christian expect thence his Christ— if he only knew of it.
      There, and there alone, reigns Parinishpanna (Yong-Grüb), the absolutely perfect comprehension of Being and Non-Being, the changeless true Existence in Spirit, even while the latter is seemingly still in the body, every inhabitant thereof being a Non-Ego because he has become the Perfect Ego. Their voidness is “self-existent and perfect”—if there were profane eyes to sense and perceive it—because it has become absolute; the unreal being transformed into conditionless Reality, and the realities of this, our world, having vanished in their own nature into thin (non-existing) air. The “Absolute Truth” (Don-dampa’i-den pa; Sanskrit: Paramârthasatya), having conquered “relative truth” (Kun zab chi-den pa; Sanskrit: Samvritisatya), the inhabitants of the mysterious region are thus supposed to have reached the state called in mystic phraseology Svasamvedanâ (“self-analyzing reflection”) and Paramârtha, or that absolute consciousness of the personal merged into the impersonal Ego, which is above all, hence above illusion in every sense. Its “Perfect” Buddhas and Bodhisattvas may be on every nimble Buddhist tongue as celestial—therefore unreachable Beings, while these names may suggest and say nothing to the dull perceptions of the European profane. What matters it to Those who, being in this world, yet live outside and far beyond our illusive earth! Above Them there is but one class of Nirvânîs, namely, the Cho-ku (Dharmakâya), or the Nirvânîs “without remains”—the pure Arupa, the formless Breaths.*
      * It is an erroneous idea which makes the Orientalists take literally the teaching of the Mahâyâna School about the three different kinds of bodies, namely, the Tul-pa’i-Ku, the Long-chod-Dzog-pa’i-Ku, and the Cho-Ku, as all pertaining to the Nirvânic condition. There are two kinds of Nirvâna: the earthly, and that of the purely disembodied Spirits. These three “bodies” are the three envelopes—all more or less physical—which are at the disposal of the Adept who has entered and crossed the six Pâramitâs, or “Paths” of Buddha. Once He enters upon the seventh, He can return no more to earth. [See Csoma, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1st series, Vol. VII (1838), p. 142ff; and Schott, Buddhismus, p. 9 who give it otherwise. Cited on p. 38 of Schlagintweit’s Buddhism in Tibet.] (Blavatsky, H. P. A Few More Misconceptions Corrected. The Secret Doctrine, Volume 3, London, Theosophical Publishing House, 1897, p. 417; (Collected Writings, Vol. 14, pp. 432-44) 436.

      262-Make hard thy Soul against the snares of Self; deserve for it the name of “Diamond-Soul.” (19).

      (19). Vide Glossary of Part II., Number 4. “Diamond-Soul” or Vajradhara presides over the Dhyâni-Buddhas.

      Vajradhara : see stanza 114

      * 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 correspondencies, 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 (Blavatsky, H. P. The Secret Doctrine I, 49).

      263- For, as the diamond buried deep within the throbbing heart of earth can never mirror back the earthly lights; so are thy mind and Soul; plunged in Jñâna Mârga, these must mirror nought of Mâyâ’s realm illusive.

      Mirror: see stanza 115

      264- When thou hast reached that state, the Portals that thou hast to conquer on the Path fling open wide their gates to let thee pass, and Nature’s strongest mights possess no power to stay thy course. Thou wilt be master of the sevenfold Path: but not till then, O candidate for trials passing speech.

      Nature’s power: See stanza 66


    • Mark Casady
      Participant
      Mark Casady

      265- Till then, a task far harder still awaits thee: thou hast to feel thyself ALL-THOUGHT, and yet exile all thoughts from out thy Soul.

      Thought, meditation, Vichara—- herein lies the secret of success. Does not the thrice-great Hermes say “ without philosophy there is no lofty religion,” and does not the Holy Sankara entreat you thus :— “‘Kasyatwam vá kuba áyata Tattwam chintaya adidam bhrata.”

      “ O brother! meditate upon the truth as to whose you are and whence you come.” Here is the path for you to follow. Develop thought—ponder day and night over the unreality of all your surroundings and of yourself, and try with unceasing effort to realize that underneath this array of phantoms there is an essence, unknown and unheeded in the tumult of every-day life, but nevertheless, the only Reality from whence has sprung all that has the appearance of beauty, of love and of joy.
      Begin then by checking all thoughts that relate to the illusory life. Depend no more on the mercy of such noble and elevating thoughts as may chance at intervals to sweep over your heart. No appreciable change will be observed if you leave yourself to the help of such fortuitous advents of spiritual impulse. Look around and see how untiringly men have to work to obtain such trifles as have aroused their fancy. Think you, then that such a glorious result as freedom from the clutches of Death and Misery—supposed to be the inevitable companions of human life can be attained without hard labour ? Ah no ! All your energies, active and dormant—will ha