The Secret Doctrine by H. P. Blavatsky — Vol. 2
Vol. 2, Page 52 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
NATURE UNAIDED FAILS.
§ (5) After enormous periods the Earth creates monsters. (6) The “Creators” are displeased. (7) They dry the Earth. (8) The forms are destroyed by them. (9) The first great tides. (10) The beginning of incrustation.
5. The Wheel whirled for thirty crores (of years, or 300,000,000*). It constructed rupas (forms). Soft stones, that hardened (minerals); hard plants, that softened (vegetation). Visible from invisible, insects and small lives (sarisripa, swapada). She (the Earth) shook them off her back, whenever they overran the mother (a). After thirty crores of years, she turned round. She laid on her back; on her side. . . . . She would call no sons of Heaven, she would ask no sons of Wisdom. She created from her own bosom. She evolved water-men terrible and bad (b).
(a) This relates to an inclination of the axis — of which there were several — to a consequent deluge and chaos on Earth (having, however, no reference to primeval chaos), in which monsters, half-human, half-animal, were generated. We find it mentioned in the “Book of the Dead,” and also in the Chaldean account of creation, on the Cutha Tablets, however mutilated.
* 300 million years, or Three Occult Ages. The Rig Veda has the same division. In the “Physician’s Hymn,” (X 97 1) it is said that “the plants came into being three ages (Triyugam) before the gods” on our Earth (See “Chronology of the Brahmins” at the end of this Stanza).
Vol. 2, Page 53 THE MONSTERS OF CHAOS.
It is not even allegory. Here we have facts, that are found repeated in the account of Pymander, as well as in the Chaldean tablets of creation. The verses may almost be checked by the Cosmogony, as given by Berosus, which has been disfigured out of recognition by Eusebius, but some of the features of which may yet be found in fragments left by ancient Greek authors — Apollodorus, Alexander Polyhistor, etc., etc. “The water-men terrible and bad,” who were the production of physical nature alone, a result of the “evolutionary impulse” and the first attempt to create man the “crown,” and the aim and goal of all animal life on Earth — are shown to be failures in our Stanzas. Do we not find the same in the Berosian Cosmogony, denounced with such vehemence as the culmination of heathen absurdity? And yet who of the Evolutionists can say that things in the beginning have not come to pass as they are described? That, as maintained in the Puranas, the Egyptian and Chaldean fragments, and even in Genesis, there have not been two, and even more, “creations” before the last formation of the Globe; which, changing its geological and atmospheric conditions, changed also its flora, its fauna, and its men? This claim agrees not only with every ancient Cosmogony, but also with modern science, and even, to a certain degree, with the theory of evolution, as may be demonstrated in a few words.
There is no “dark creation,” no “Evil Dragon” conquered by a Sun-God, in the earliest World-Cosmogonies. Even with the Akkads, the great Deep (the Watery Abyss, or Space) was the birthplace and abode of Ea, Wisdom, the incognizable infinite Deity. But with the Semites and the later Chaldeans, the fathomless Deep of Wisdom becomes gross matter, sinful Substance, and Ea is changed into Tiamat, the dragon slain by Merodach, or Satan, in the astral waves.
In the Hindu Puranas, Brahma, the creator, is seen recommencing de novo several creations after as many failures; and two great creations are mentioned,* the Padma and the Varaha, the present, when the Earth was lifted out of the water by Brahma, in the shape of a boar, or “Varaha Avatar.” Creation is shown as a sport, an amusement (Lila) of the creative god. The Zohar speaks of primordial worlds, which perished as soon as they came into existence. And the same is said in Midraish, Rabbi Abahu explaining distinctly (in Bereschith Rabba, Parscha IX.) that “the Holy One” had successively created and de-
* These two must not be confused with the seven creations or divisions in each Kalpa (See Book I. “The Seven Creations”). The primary and secondary creations are here meant.
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stroyed sundry worlds, before he succeeded in the present one. This does not relate only to other worlds in space, but to a mystery of our own globe contained in the allegory about the “kings of Edom.” For the words, “This one pleases me,” are repeated in Genesis i. 31, though in disfigured terms, as usual. The Chaldean fragments of Cosmogony on the Cuneiform inscriptions, and elsewhere, show two distinct creations of animals and men, the first being destroyed, as it was a failure. The Cosmogonical tablets prove that this our actual creation was preceded by others (See “Hibbert Lectures,” p. 390); and as shown by the author of “The Qabbalah,” in the Zohar, Siphrah Dzeniouta, in Jovah Rabbah, 128a, etc., etc. The Kabala states the same.
(b) Oannes (or Dagon, the Chaldean “Man-fish”) divides his Cosmogony and Genesis into two portions. First the abyss of waters and darkness, wherein resided most hideous beings — men with wings, four and two-faced men, human beings with two heads, with the legs and horns of a goat (our “goat-men,”)* hippocentaurs, bulls with the heads of men, and dogs with tails of fishes. In short, combinations of various animals and men, of fishes, reptiles and other monstrous animals assuming each other’s shapes and countenances. The feminine element they resided in, is personified by Thalatth — the Sea, or “Water” — which was finally conquered by Belus, the male principle. And Polyhistor says: “Belus came and cut the woman asunder, and of one half of her he formed the Earth, and of the other half the heavens, and at the same time he destroyed the animals within her.” As pertinently remarked by I. Myer, “with the Akkadians each object and power of Nature had its Zi, Spirit. The Akkadians formed their deities into triads, usually males (sexless, rather?); the Semites also had triadic deities, but introduced sex” (p. 246) — or phallicism. With the Aryans and the earliest Akkadians all things are emanations through, not by, a creator or logos. With the Semites everything is begotten.
* Whence the identity of the ideas? The Chinese have the same traditions. According to the commentator Kwoh P’oh, in the work called Shan-Hai-King, “Wonders by Sea and Land,” a work which was written by the historiographer Chung Ku from engravings on nine urns made by the Emperor Yu, (b.c. 2255), an interview is mentioned with men having two distinct faces on their heads, before and behind, monsters with bodies of goats and human faces, etc. Gould, in his “Mythical Monsters,” p. 27, giving the names of some authors on Natural History, mentions Shan-Hai-King. According to Kwoh P’oh (a.d. 276-324) this work was compiled three thousand years before his time, or at seven dynasties distance. Yang Sun of the Ming Dynasty (commencing a.d. 1368) states that it was compiled by Kung Chia and Chung Ku (as stated above). Chung Ku at the time of the last emperor of the Hia dynasty, b.c. 1818, fearing that the emperor might destroy the books treating of the ancient time, carried them in his flight to Yin. (See “Mythical Monsters,” by C. Gould, p. 27.)
Vol. 2, Page 55 UNAIDED PHYSICAL NATURE FAILS.
6. The Water-men terrible and bad she herself created. From the remains of others (from the mineral, vegetable and animal remains) from the first, second, and third (Rounds) she formed them. The Dhyani came and looked. . . . . The Dhyani from the bright Father-Mother, from the white (Solar-lunar) regions they came,* from the abodes of the Immortal-Mortals (a).
(a) The explanations given in our Stanzas are far more clear than that which the legend of creation from the Cutha tablet would give, even were it complete. What is preserved on it, however, corroborates them. For, in the tablet, “the Lord of Angels” destroys the men in the abyss, when “there were not left the carcases and waste” after they were slaughtered. After which they, the Great Gods, create men with the bodies of birds of the desert, human beings, “seven kings, brothers of the same family,” etc., which is a reference to the locomotive qualities of the primary ethereal bodies of men, which could fly as well as they could walk,† but who “were destroyed” because they were not “perfect,” i.e., they “were sexless, like the Kings of Edom.”
Weeded of metaphors and allegories, what will science say to this idea of a primordial creation of species? It will object to the “Angels” and “Spirits” having anything to do therewith: but if it is nature and the physical law of evolution that are the creators of all there is now on Earth, why could there be “no such abyss” when the globe was covered with waters, in which numbers of monstrous beings were generated? Is it the “human beings” and animals with human heads and double faces, which are a point of the objection? But if man is only a higher animal and has evolved from the brute species by an infinite series of transformations, why could not the “missing links” have had human heads attached to the bodies of animals, or, being two-headed, have heads of beasts and vice versa, in Nature’s early efforts? Are we not shown during the geological periods, in the ages of the reptiles and the mammalia, lizards with birds’ wings, and serpents’ heads on animal bodies.‡ And, arguing from the standpoint of science, does not even our modern human race occasionally furnish us with monster-specimens: two-headed children, animal bodies with human heads, dog-headed babies, etc., etc.? And this proves that, if nature will still play such
* Gods and planetary Spirits, especially the Ribhus. “The three Ribhus” who yet become “thrice seven in number” of their gifts.
† Remember the “winged Races” of Plato; and the Popol-Vuh accounts of the first human race, which could walk, fly and see objects, however distant.
‡ See “Mythical Monsters,” by Charles Gould.
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freaks now that she has settled for ages into the order of her evolutionary work, monsters, like those described by Berosus, were a possibility in her opening programme; which possibility may even have existed once upon a time as a law, before she sorted out her species and began regular work upon them; which indeed now admits of definite proof by the bare fact of “Reversion,” as science puts it.
This is what the doctrine teaches and demonstrates by numerous proofs. But we shall not wait for the approval of either dogmatic theology or materialistic science, but proceed with the Stanzas. Let these speak for themselves, with the help of the light thrown by the Commentaries and their explanations; the scientific aspect of these questions will be considered later on.
Thus physical nature, when left to herself in the creation of animal and man, is shown to have failed. She can produce the first two and the lower animal kingdoms, but when it comes to the turn of man, spiritual, independent and intelligent powers are required for his creation, besides the “coats of skin” and the “Breath of animal Life.” The human Monads of preceding Rounds need something higher than purely physical materials to build their personalities with, under the penalty of remaining even below any “Frankenstein” animal.*
* In the first volume of the lately published “Introduction a l’etude des Races Humaines,” by M. de Quatrefages, there is proof that since the post-tertiary period and even before that time — since many Races were already scattered during that age on the face of the Earth — man has not altered one iota in his physical structure. And if, surrounded for ages by a fauna that altered from one period or cycle to another, which died out, which was reborn in other forms — so that now there does not exist one single animal on Earth, large or small, contemporary with the man of that period — if, then, every animal has been transformed save man himself, this fact goes to prove not only his antiquity, but that he is a distinct Kingdom. Why should he alone have escaped transformation? Because, says de Quatrefages, the weapon used by him, in his struggle with nature and the ever-changing geological conditions and elements, was “his psychic force, not his physical strength or body,” as in the case of animals. Give man only that dose of intelligence and reason with which other mammalia are endowed, and with his present bodily organization he will show himself the most helpless of creatures of Earth. And as everything goes to prove that the human organism with all its characteristics, peculiarities and idiosyncrasies existed already on our Globe in those far distant geological periods when there was not yet one single specimen of the now-existing forms of mammalia, what is the unavoidable conclusion? Why this: Since all the human races are of one and the same species, it follows that this species is the most ancient of all the now-living mammalia. Therefore it is the most stable and persevering of all, and was already as fully developed as it is now when all the other mammalia now known had not made even their first approach to appearance on this Earth. Such is the opinion of the great French Naturalist, who gives thereby a terrible blow to Darwinism.
Vol. 2, Page 57 THE “DOUBLE DRAGON.”
7. Displeased they were. Our flesh is not there (they said). This is no fit rupa for our brothers of the fifth. No dwellings for the lives.* Pure waters, not turbid, they must drink (a). Let us dry them (the waters).
(a) Says the Catechism (Commentaries): —
“It is from the material Worlds that descend they, who fashion physical man at the new Manvantaras. They are inferior Lha (Spirits), possessed of a dual body (an astral within an ethereal form). They are the fashioners and creators of our body of illusion.” . . . .
“Into the forms projected by the Lha (Pitris) the two letters† (the Monad, called also ‘the Double Dragon’) descend from the spheres of expectation.‡ But they are like a roof with no walls, nor pillars to rest upon.” . . . .
“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. It is those who have deserted the Superior Spheres, the Gods of Will,|| who complete the Manu of illusion. For the ‘Double Dragon’ has no hold upon the mere form. It is like the breeze where there is no tree or branch to receive and harbour it. It cannot affect the form where there is no agent of transmission (Manas, “Mind”) and the form knows it not.”
“In the highest worlds, the three are one,¶ on Earth (at first) the one becomes two. They are like the two (side) lines of a triangle that has lost its bottom line — which is the third fire.” (Catechism Book III., sec. 9.)
Now this requires some explanation before proceeding any further. To do so especially for the benefit of our Aryan Hindu brethren —
* The Monads of the presentments of men of the Third Round, the huge Ape-like forms.
† In the esoteric system the seven principles in man are represented by seven letters. The first two are more sacred than the four letters of the Tetragrammaton.
‡ The intermediate spheres, wherein the Monads, which have not reached Nirvana, are said to slumber in unconscious inactivity between the Manvantaras.
§ Explained elsewhere. The “Three Fires,” Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi, who had forty-five sons, who, with their three fathers and their Father Agni, constitute the 49 fires. Pavamana (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 Vayu Purana). 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.
|| The Suras, who become later the A-Suras.
¶ Atma, Buddhi and Manas. In Devachan the higher element of the Manas is needed to make it a state of perception and consciousness for the disembodied Monad.
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whose esoteric interpretations may differ from our own — we shall have to explain to them the foregoing by certain passages in their own exoteric books, namely, the Puranas. In the allegories of the latter, Brahma, who is collectively the creative Force of the Universe, is said to be “at the beginning of the Yugas (cycles). . . . Possessed of the desire and of the power to create, and, impelled by the potencies of what is to be created, again and again does he, at the outset of a Kalpa, put forth a similar creation,” (see Vishnu Purana, Book I. ch. V., closing Sloka. Also “Manava Dharma Shastra” I. 30.) It is now proposed to examine the exoteric account in the Vishnu Purana, and see how much it may agree or disagree with our occult version.
Creation of Divine Beings in the Exoteric Accounts.
In the Vishnu Purana — which is certainly the earliest of all the scriptures of that name — we find, as in all the others, Brahma assuming as the male God, for purposes of creation, “four bodies invested by three qualities.”* It is said: “In this manner, Maitreya, Jyotsna (dawn), Ratri (night), Ahan (day), and Sandhya (evening twilight) are the four bodies of Brahma” . . (p. 81, Vol. I., Wilson’s translation). As Parasara explains it, when Brahma wants to create the world anew and construct progeny through his will, in the fourfold condition (or the four orders of beings) termed gods (Dhyan Chohans), Demons† (i.e., more material Devas), Progenitors (Pitris) and men, “he collects Yoga-like (Yuyuje) his mind.”
Strange to say, he begins by creating demons, who thus take precedence over the angels or gods. This is no incongruity, nor is it due to inconsistency, but has, like all the rest, a profound esoteric meaning, quite clear to one free from Christian theological prejudice. He who bears in mind that the principle Mahat, or Intellect, the “Universal Mind” (literally “the great”), which esoteric philosophy explains as the “manifested Omniscience” — the “first product” of Pradhana (primordial matter) as Vishnu Purana says, but the first Cosmic aspect of Parabrahm or the esoteric sat, the Universal Soul,‡ as Occultism
* This has in esotericism a direct bearing upon the seven principles of the manifested Brahma, or universe, in the same order as in man. Exoterically, it is only four principles.
† Demons is a very loose word to use, as it applies to a great number of inferior — i.e., more material — Spirits, or minor Gods, who are so termed because they “war” with the higher ones; but they are no devils.
‡ The same order of principles in man: — Atma (Spirit), Buddhi (Soul), its vehicle, as Matter is the Vahan of Spirit, and Manas (mind), the third, or the fifth microcosmically. On the plane of personality, Manas is the first.
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teaches — is at the root of Self-Consciousness, will understand the reason why. The so-called “Demons” — who are (esoterically) the Self-asserting and (intellectually) active Principle — are the positive poles of creation, so to say; hence, the first produced. This is in brief the process as narrated allegorically in the Puranas.
“Having concentrated his mind into itself and the quality of darkness pervading Brahma’s assumed body, the Asuras, issuing from his thigh, were first produced; after which, abandoning this body, it was transformed into night.” (See Part II., § “The Fallen Angels.”)
Two important points are involved herein: — (a) Primarily in the Rig-Veda, the “Asuras” are shown as spiritual divine beings; their etymology is derived from asu (breath), the “Breath of God,” and they mean the same as the Supreme Spirit or the Zoroastrian Ahura. It is later on, for purposes of theology and dogma, that they are shown issuing from Brahma’s thigh, and that their name began to be derived from a privative, and sura, god (solar deities), or not-a-god, and that they became the enemies of the gods. Every ancient theogony without exception — from the Aryan and the Egyptian down to that of Hesiod — places, in the order of Cosmogonical evolution, Night before the Day; even Genesis, where “darkness is upon the face of the deep” before “the first day.” The reason for this is that every Cosmogony — except in the Secret Doctrine — begins by the “Secondary Creation” so-called: to wit, the manifested Universe, the Genesis of which has to open by a marked differentiation between the eternal Light of Primary Creation, whose mystery must remain for ever “Darkness” to the prying finite conception and intellect of the profane, and the Secondary Evolution of manifested visible nature. The Veda contains the whole philosophy of that division without having ever been correctly explained by our Orientalists, because it has never been understood by them.
Continuing to create, Brahma assumes another form, that of the Day, and creates from his breath the gods, who are endowed with the quality of goodness (passivity)*. In his next body the quality of great passivity prevailed, which is also (negative) goodness, and from the side of that personage issued the Pitris, the progenitors of men, because, as the text explains, “Brahma thought of himself (during the process) as the father of the world.”† This is Kriya-sakti — the mysterious Yoga power
* Thus, says the Commentary, the saying “by day the gods are most powerful, and by night the demons,” is purely allegorical.
† This thinking of oneself as this, that, or the other, is the chief factor in the production of every kind of psychic or even physical phenomena. The words “whosoever shall say to this mountain be thou removed and cast into the sea, and shall not doubt . . . . that thing will come to pass,” are no vain words. Only the word “faith” ought to be translated by will. Faith without Will is like a wind-mill without wind — barren of results.
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explained elsewhere. This body of Brahma when cast off became the Sandhya (evening twilight), the interval between day and night.
Finally Brahma assumed his last form pervaded by the quality of foulness, “and from this men, in whom foulness and passion predominate, were produced.” This body when cast off became the dawn, or morning twilight — the twilight of Humanity. Here Brahma stands esoterically for the Pitris. He is collectively the Pitar, “father.”
The true esoteric meaning of this allegory must now be explained. Brahma here symbolizes personally the collective creators of the World and Men — the universe with all its numberless productions of things movable and (seemingly) immovable.* He is collectively the Prajapatis, the Lords of Being; and the four bodies typify the four classes of creative powers or Dhyan Chohans, described in the Commentary directly following Stanza VII. in Book I. The whole philosophy of the so-called “Creation” of the good and evil in this world and of the whole cycle of Manvantaric results therefrom, hangs on the correct comprehension of these Four bodies of Brahma.
The reader will now be prepared to understand the real, the esoteric significance of what follows. Moreover there is an important point to be cleared up. Christian theology having arbitrarily settled and agreed that Satan with his Fallen Angels belonged to the earliest creation, Satan being the first-created, the wisest and most beautiful of God’s Archangels, the word was given, the key-note struck. Henceforth all the pagan scriptures were made to yield the same meaning, and all were shown to be demoniacal, and it was and is claimed that truth and fact belong to, and commence only with, Christianity. Even the Orientalists and Mythologists, some of them no Christians at all but “infidels,” or men of science, entered unconsciously to themselves, and by the mere force of association of ideas and habit, into the theological groove. Purely Brahmanical considerations, based on greed of power and ambition, allowed the masses to remain in ignorance of great truths; and the same causes led the Initiates among the early Christians to remain silent, while those who had never known the truth disfigured the order of things, judging of the hierarchy of “Angels” by their exoteric form. Thus as the Asuras had become the rebellious inferior gods fighting the higher ones in popular creeds, so the highest archangel, in truth the Agathodaemon, the eldest benevolent Logos, became with theology the “Adversary” or Satan. But is this warranted by the correct interpretation of any old Scripture? The answer is, most certainly not. As the Mazdean Scriptures of the
* The same idea is found in the first four chapters of Genesis, with their “Lord” and “God,” which are the Elohim and the Androgynous Eloha.
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Zend-Avesta, the Vendidad and others correct and expose the later cunning shuffling of the gods in the Hindu Pantheon, and restore through Ahura the Asuras to their legitimate place in theogony, so the recent discoveries of the Chaldean tablets vindicate the good name of the first divine Emanations. This is easily proved. Christian Angelology is directly and solely derived from that of the Pharisees, who brought their tenets from Babylonia. The Sadducees, the real guardians of the Laws of Moses, knew not of, and rejected, any angels, opposing even the immortality of the human Soul (not impersonal Spirit). In the Bible the only “Angels” spoken of are the “Sons of God” mentioned in Genesis vi. (who are now regarded as the Nephilim, the Fallen Angels), and several angels in human form, the “Messengers” of the Jewish God, whose own rank needs a closer analysis than heretofore given. (Vide Supra, Stanza I., sub-sections 2, 3, et seq., where it is shown that the early Akkadians called Ea, Wisdom, that which was disfigured by the later Chaldees and Semites into Tismat, Tisalat and the Thallath of Berosus, the female Sea Dragon, now Satan.) Truly — “How art thou fallen (by the hand of man), O bright star and son of the morning”!
Now what do the Babylonian accounts of “Creation,” as found on the Assyrian fragments of tiles, tell us; those very accounts upon which the Pharisees built their angelology? But compare Mr. G. Smith’s “Assyrian Discoveries,” p. 398, and his “Chaldean Account of Genesis,” p. 107. The “Tablet with the story of the Seven Wicked Gods or Spirits,” has the following account — we print the important passages in italics: —
1. In the first days the evil Gods,
2. the angels, who were in rebellion, who in the lower part of heaven
3. had been created,
4. they caused their evil work
5. devising with wicked heads . . . . etc.
Thus we are shown, as plainly as can be, on a fragment which remained unbroken, so that there can be no dubious reading, that the “rebellious angels” had been created in the lower part of heaven, i.e., that they belonged and do belong to a material plane of evolution, although as it is not the plane of which we are made cognizant through our senses, it remains generally invisible to us, and is thus regarded as subjective. Were the Gnostics so wrong, after this, in affirming that this our visible world, and especially the Earth, had been created by lower angels, the inferior Elohim, of which, as they taught, the God of Israel was one. These Gnostics were nearer in time to the records of the Archaic Secret Doctrine, and therefore ought to be allowed to have known better than non-initiated Christians, who took upon themselves, hundreds of years
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later, to remodel and correct what was said. But let us see what the same Tablet says further on: —
7. There were seven of them (the wicked gods) . . . . (then follows the description of these, the fourth being a “serpent,” the phallic symbol of the fourth Race in human Evolution).
15. The seven of them, messengers of the God Anu, their king.
Now Anu belongs to the Chaldean trinity, and is identical with Sin, the “Moon,” in one aspect. And the Moon in the Hebrew Kabala is the Argha of the seed of all material life, and is still more closely connected, kabalistically, with Jehovah, who is double-sexed as Anu is. They are both represented in Esotericism and viewed from a dual aspect: male or spiritual, female or material, or Spirit and Matter, the two antagonistic principles. Hence the “Messengers of Anu,” (who is Sin, the “Moon,”) are shown, in verses 28 to 41, as being finally overpowered by the same Sin with the help of Bel (the Sun) and Ishtar (Venus). This is regarded as a contradiction by the Assyriologists, but is simply metaphysics in the esoteric teaching.
There is more than one interpretation, for there are seven keys to the mystery of the Fall. Moreover there are two “Falls” in Theology: the rebellion of the Archangels and their “Fall,” and the “Fall” of Adam and Eve. Thus the lower as well as the higher Hierarchies are charged with a supposed crime. The word “supposed” is the true and correct term, for in both cases it is founded on misconception. Both are considered in Occultism as Karmic effects, and both belong to the law of Evolution: intellectual and spiritual on the one hand, physical and psychic on the other. The “Fall” is a universal allegory. It sets forth at one end of the ladder of Evolution the “rebellion,” i.e., the action of differentiating intellection or consciousness on its various planes, seeking union with matter; and at the other, the lower end, the rebellion of matter against Spirit, or of action against spiritual inertia. And here lies the germ of an error which has had such disastrous effects on the intelligence of civilized societies for over 1,800 years. In the original allegory it is matter — hence the more material angels — which was regarded as the conqueror of Spirit, or the Archangels who “fell” on this plane. “They of the flaming sword (or animal passions) had put to flight the Spirits of Darkness.” Yet it is the latter who fought for the supremacy of the conscious and divine spirituality on Earth and failed, succumbing to the power of matter. But in theological dogma we see the reverse. It is Michael, “who is like unto God,” the representative of Jehovah, who is the leader of the celestial hosts — as Lucifer, in Milton’s fancy, is of the infernal hosts — who has the best of Satan. It is true that the nature of
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Michael depends upon that of his Creator and Master. Who the latter is, one may find out by carefully studying the allegory of the “War in Heaven” with the astronomical key. As shown by Bentley, the “War of the Titans against the gods” in Hesiod, and also the war of the Asuras (or the Tarakamaya) against the devas in Puranic legend, are identical in all save the names. The aspects of the stars show (Bentley taking the year 945 B.C. as the nearest date for such conjunction) that “all the planets, except Saturn, were on the same side of the heavens as the Sun and Moon,” and hence were his opponents. And yet it is Saturn, or the Jewish “Moon-god,” who is shown as prevailing, both by Hesiod and Moses, neither of whom was understood. Thus it was that the real meaning became distorted.
STANZA II. — Continued.
8. The flames came. The fires with the sparks; the night fires and the day fires (a). They dried out the turbid dark waters. With their heat they quenched them. The Lhas (Spirits) of the high; the Lhamayin (those) of below, came (b). They slew the forms, which were two- and four-faced. They fought the goat-men, and the dog-headed men, and the men with fishes’ bodies.
(a) The “Flames” are a Hierarchy of Spirits parallel to, if not identical with, the “burning” fiery Saraph (Seraphim) mentioned by Isaiah (vi. 2-6), those who attend, according to Hebrew Theogony, “the Throne of the Almighty.” Melha is the Lord of the “Flames.” When he appears on Earth, he assumes the personality of a Buddha, says a popular legend. He is one of the most ancient and revered Lhas, a Buddhist St. Michael.
(b) The word “Below” must not be taken to mean infernal regions, but simply a spiritual, or rather ethereal, Being of a lower grade, because nearer to the Earth, or one step higher than our terrestrial sphere; while the Lhas are Spirits of the highest Spheres — whence the name of the capital of Tibet, Lha-ssa.
Besides a statement of a purely physical nature and belonging to the
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evolution of life on Earth, there may be another allegorical meaning attached to this Sloka, or indeed, as is taught, several. The flames, or “Fires,” represent Spirit, or the male element, and “Water,” matter, or the opposite element. And here again we find, in the action of the Spirit slaying the purely material form, a reference to the eternal struggle, on the physical and psychic planes, between Spirit and Matter, besides a scientific cosmic fact. For, as said in the next verse: —
9. Mother-water, the great sea wept. She arose, she disappeared in the Moon, which had lifted her, which had given her birth (a).
(a) Now what can this mean? Is it not an evident reference to tidal action in the early stage of the history of our planet in its fourth Round? Modern research has been busy of late in its speculations on the Palaeozoic high-tides. Mr. Darwin’s theory was that not less than 52,000,000 years ago — and probably much more — the Moon originated from the Earth’s plastic mass. Starting from the point where research was left by Helmholtz, Ferrel, Sir William Thomson and others, he retraced the course of tidal retardation of the earth’s rotary motions far back into the very night of time, and placed the Moon during the infancy of our planet at only “a fraction of its present distance.” In short, his theory was that it is the Moon which separated from the Earth. The tidal elevation concurring with the swing of the globular mass — centrifugal tendency being then nearly equal to gravity — the latter was overcome, and the tidally elevated mass could thus separate completely from the Earth.*
The Occult teaching is the reverse of this. The Moon is far older than the Earth; and, as explained in Book I., it is the latter which owes its being to the former, however astronomy and geology may explain the fact. Hence, the tides and the attraction to the Moon, as shown by the liquid portion of the Globe ever striving to raise itself towards its parent. This is the meaning of the sentence that “the Mother-Water arose and disappeared in the Moon, which had lifted her, which had given her birth.”
* But see the difficulties suggested later, in the works of various geologists, against this theory. Compare Sir R. S. Bull’s article in “Nature” (Dec. 1, 1881), and also what the American geologists say.
Vol. 2, Page 65 DIVINE WILL BECOMES EROS.
10. When they (the Rupas) were destroyed, Mother-earth remained bare,* she asked to be dried (a).†
(a) The time for its incrustation had arrived. The waters had separated and the process was started. It was the beginning of a new life. This is what one key divulges to us. Another key teaches the origin of Water, its admixture with Fire (liquid fire it calls it),‡ and enters upon an alchemical description of the progeny of the two — solid matter such as minerals and earths. From the “Waters of Space,” the progeny of the male Spirit-Fire and the female (gaseous) Water has become the Oceanic expanse on Earth. Varuna is dragged down from the infinite Space, to reign as Neptune over the finite Seas. As always, the popular fancy is found to be based on a strictly scientific foundation.
Water is the symbol of the female element everywhere; mater, from which the letter M, is derived pictorially from
wavy line a water hieroglyph. It is the universal matrix or the “Great Deep.” Venus, the great Mother-Virgin, issues forth from the Sea-wave, and Cupid or Eros is her son. But Venus is the later mythological variant of Gaia (or Gaea), the Earth, which, in its higher aspect is Nature (Prakriti), and metaphysically Aditi, and even Mulaprakriti, the root of Prakriti or its noumenon.
Hence Cupid or Love in his primitive sense is Eros, the Divine Will, or Desire of manifesting itself through visible creation. Thence Fohat, the prototype of Eros, becomes on Earth the great power “Life-electricity,” or the Spirit of “Life-giving.” Let us remember the Greek Theogony and enter into the spirit of its philosophy. We are taught by the Greeks (See “Iliad” IV., 201, 246) that all things, gods included, owe their being to the Ocean and his wife Tethys, the latter being Gaea, the Earth or Nature. But who is Ocean? Ocean is the immeasurable space (Spirit in Chaos), which is the Deity (see Book I.); and Tethys is not the Earth, but primordial matter in the process of formation. In our case it is no longer Aditi-Gaea who begets Ouranos or Varuna, the chief Aditya among the seven planetary gods, but Prakriti, materialised and localised. The Moon, masculine in its theogonic character, is,
* The goddess who gave birth to these primordial monsters, in the account of Berosus, was Thallath, in Greek Thalassa, “the Sea.”
† See, for comparison, the account of creation by Berosus (Alexander Polyhistor) and the hideous beings born from the two-fold principle (Earth and Water) in the Abyss of primordial creation: Neras (Centaurs, men with the limbs of horses and human bodies), and Kimnaras (men with the heads of horses) created by Brahma in the commencement of the Kalpa.
‡ See Commentary following Sloka 18.
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in its cosmic aspect only, the female generative principle, as the Sun is the male emblem thereof. Water is the progeny of the Moon, an androgyne deity with every nation.
Evolution proceeds on the laws of analogy in Kosmos as in the formation of the smallest globe. Thus the above, ap
lying to the modus operandi at the time when the Universe was appearing, applies also in the case of our Earth’s formation.
This Stanza opens by speaking of thirty crores, 30,000,000, of years. We may be asked — What could the ancients know of the duration of geological periods, when no modern scientist or mathematician is able to calculate their duration with anything like approximate accuracy? Whether they had or had not better means (and it is maintained that they had them in their Zodiacs), still the chronology of the ancient Brahmins shall now be given as faithfully as possible.
The Chronology of the Brahmins.
No greater riddle exists in science, no problem is more hopelessly insoluble, than the question: How old — even approximately — are the Sun and Moon, the Earth and Man? What does modern science know of the duration of the ages of the World, or even of the length of geological periods?
Nothing; absolutely nothing.
If one turns to science for chronological information, one is told by those who are straightforward and truthful, as for instance Mr. Pengelly, the eminent geologist, “We do not know.”* One will learn that, so far, no trustworthy numerical estimate of the ages of the world and man could be made, and that both geology and anthropology are at sea. Yet when a student of esoteric philosophy presumes to bring forward the teachings of Occult Science, he is at once sat upon. Why should this be so, since, when reduced to their own physical methods, the greatest scientists have failed to arrive even at an approximate agreement?
It is true that science can hardly be blamed for it. Indeed, in the Cimmerian darkness of the prehistoric ages, the explorers are lost in a labyrinth, whose great corridors are doorless, allowing no visible exit into the Archaic past. Lost in the maze of their own conflicting speculations, rejecting, as they have always done, the evidence of Eastern tradition, without any clue, or one single certain milestone to guide them, what can geologists or anthropologists do but pick up the slender
* For a similar admission see Prof. Lefevre’s Philosophy, p. 481.
Vol. 2, Page 67 THE RACE THAT NEVER DIES.
thread of Ariadne where they first perceive it, and then proceed at perfect random? Therefore we are first told that the farthest date to which documentary record extends is now generally regarded by Anthropology as but “the earliest distinctly visible point of the pre-historic period.” (Encyclopaedia Britannica.)
At the same time it is confessed that “beyond that period stretches back a vast indefinite series of prehistoric ages.” (Ibid.)
It is with those specified “Ages” that we shall begin. They are “prehistoric” to the naked eye of matter only. To the spiritual eagle eye of the seer and the prophet of every race, Ariadne’s thread stretches beyond that “historic period” without break or flaw, surely and steadily, into the very night of time; and the hand which holds it is too mighty to drop it, or even let it break. Records exist, although they may be rejected as fanciful by the profane; though many of them are tacitly accepted by philosophers and men of great learning, and meet with an unvarying refusal only from the official and collective body of orthodox science. And since the latter refuses to give us even an approximate idea of the duration of the geological ages — save in a few conflicting and contradictory hypotheses — let us see what Aryan philosophy can teach us.
Such computations as are given in Manu and the Puranas — save trifling and most evidently intentional exaggerations — are, as already stated, almost identical with those taught in esoteric philosophy. This may be seen by comparing the two in any Hindu calendar of recognised orthodoxy.
The best and most complete of all such calendars, at present, as vouched for by the learned Brahmins of Southern India, is the already mentioned Tamil calendar called the “Tirukkanda Panchanga,” compiled, as we are told, from, and in full accordance with, secret fragments of Asuramaya’s data. As Asuramaya is said to have been the greatest astronomer, so he is whispered to have also been the most powerful “Sorcerer” of the “White Island, which had become Black with sin,” i.e., of the islands of Atlantis.
The “White Island” is a symbolical name. Asuramaya is said to have lived (see the tradition of Jhana-bhaskara) in Romaka-pura in the West: because the name is an allusion to the land and cradle of the “Sweat-born” of the Third Race. That land or continent had disappeared ages before Asuramaya lived, since he was an Atlantean; but he was a direct descendant of the Wise Race, the Race that never dies. Many are the legends concerning this hero, the pupil of Surya (the Sun-God) himself, as the Indian accounts allege. It matters little whether he lived on one or another island, but the question is to prove that he was no myth, as Dr. Weber and others would make him. The
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fact of “Romaka-pura in the West” being named as the birth-place of this hero of the archaic ages, is the more interesting because it is so very suggestive of the esoteric teaching about the “Sweat-born” Races, the men born from the pores of their parents. “Romakupas” means “hair-pores” in Sanskrit. In Mahabharata XII. 10,308, a people named Raumyas are said to have been created from the pores of Virabhadara, the terrible giant, who destroyed Daksha’s sacrifice. Other tribes and people are also represented as born in this way. All these are references to the later Second and the earlier Third Root Races.
The following figures are from the calendar just referred to; a footnote marks the points of disagreement with the figures of the Arya Samaj school: —
I. From the beginning of cosmic evolution,* up
to the Hindu year Tarana (or 1887) .................... 1,955,884,687 years.
II. The (astral) mineral, vegetable and animal
kingdoms up to Man, have taken to evolve† ........ 300,000,000 years.
III. Time, from the first appearance of
“Humanity” (on planetary chain)........................... 1,664,500,987 years.‡
* The esoteric doctrine says that this “cosmic evolution” refers only to our solar system; while exoteric Hinduism makes the figures refer, if we do not mistake, to the whole Universal System.
† Another point of disagreement. Occultism says: “The astral prototypes of the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms up to man have taken that time (300 million years) to evolve, re-forming out of the cast-off materials of the preceding Round, which, though very dense and physical in their own cycle, are relatively ethereal as compared with the materiality of our present middle Round. At the expiration of these 300 million years, Nature, on the way to the physical and material, down the arc of descent, begins with mankind and works downwards, hardening or materialising forms as it proceeds. Thus the fossils found in strata, to which an antiquity, not of eighteen, but of many hundreds of millions of years, must be ascribed, belong in reality to forms of the preceding Round, which, while living, were far more ethereal than physical, as we know the physical. That we perceive and disinter them as tangible forms, is due to the process of materialization or crystallization referred to, which took place subsequently, at the beginning of the Fourth Round, and reached its maximum after the appearance of man, proceeding parallel with his physical evolution. This alone illustrates the fact that the degree of materiality of the Earth changes pari passu with that of its inhabitants. And thus man now finds, as tangible fossils, what were once the (to his present senses) ethereal forms of the lower kingdoms. The above Brahmanical figures refer to evolution beginning on Globe A, and in the First Round. In this Volume we speak only of this, the Fourth Round.”
‡ This difference and the change of cyphers in the last three triplets of figures, the writer cannot undertake to account for. According to every calculation, once the three hundred millions are subtracted, the figures ought to stand, 1,655,884,687. But they are given as stated in the Tamil calendar above-named and as they were translated. The school of the late Pandit Dayanand Saraswati, founder of the Arya Samaj, gives a date of 1,960,852,987. See the “Arya Magazine” of Lahore, the cover of which bears the words: “Aryan era 1,960,852,987.”
Vol. 2, Page 69 THE VARIOUS PRALAYAS.
IV. The number that elapsed since the “Vaivasvata Manvantara”* — or the human period —
up to the year 1887, is just .......................... 18,618,728 years.
V. The full period of one Manvantara is ..... 308,448,000 years.
VI. 14 “Manvantaras” plus the period of one Satya Yuga make one day of Brahma, or a
complete Manvantara and make .................. 4,320,000,000 years.
Therefore a Maha-Yuga consists of ............. 4,320,000 years.†
The year 1887 is from the commencement of
Kali-Yuga ..................................................... 4,989 years.
To make this still clearer in its details, the following computations by Rao Bahadur P. Sreenivas Row, are given from the “Theosophist” of November, 1885.
360 days of mortals make a year .............................................. 1
Krita Yuga contains ................................................... 1,728,000
Treta Yuga contains .................................................. 1,296,000
Dwapara Yuga contains ............................................... 864,000
Kali Yuga contains ....................................................... 432,000
The total of the said four Yugas constitute a
Maha Yuga ............................................................... 4,320,000
Seventy-one of such Maha-Yugas form the
period of the reign of one Manu ............................... 306,720,000
The reign of 14 Manus embraces the duration
of 994 Maha-Yugas, which is equal to ....................... 4,294,080,000
* Vaivasvata Manu is the one human being — some versions add to him the seven Rishis — who in the Matsya Avatar allegory is saved from the Deluge in a boat, like Noah in the Ark. Therefore, this Vaivasvata Manvantara would be the “post-Diluvian” period. This, however, does not refer to the later “Atlantean” or Noah’s deluge, nor to the Cosmic Deluge or Pralaya of obscuration, which preceded our Round, but to the appearance of mankind in the latter Round. There is a great difference made, however, between the “Naimitika,” occasional or incidental, “Prakritika,” elemental, “Atyantika,” the absolute, and “Nitya,” the perpetual Pralaya; the latter being described as “Brahma’s contingent recoalescence of the Universe at the end of Brahma’s Day.” The question was raised by a learned Brahmin Theosophist: “Whether there is such a thing as Cosmic Pralaya; because, otherwise, the Logos (Krishna) would have to be reborn, and he is Aja (unborn).” We cannot see why. The Logos is said to be born only metaphorically, as the Sun is born daily, or rather a beam of that Sun is born in the morning and is said to die when it disappears, whereas it is simply reabsorbed into the parent essence. Cosmic Pralaya is for things visible, not for the Arupa, formless, world. The Cosmic or Universal Pralaya comes only at the end of one hundred years of Brahma; when the Universal dissolution is said to take place. Then the Avyaya, say the exoteric scriptures, the eternal life symbolized by Vishnu, assuming the character of Rudra, the Destroyer, enters into the Seven Rays of the Sun and drinks up all the waters of the Universe. “Thus fed, the seven solar Rays dilate to seven suns and set fire to the whole Cosmos. . . . . .”
† Since a Maha-Yuga is the 1,000th part of a day of Brahma.
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Add Sandhis, i.e., intervals between the reign of each Manu, which amount to six Maha-Yugas, equal to ..... 25,920,000
The total of these reigns and interregnums of 14 Manus, is 1,000 Maha-Yugas, which constitute a Kalpa, i.e., one day of Brahma ..... 4,320,000,000
As Brahma’s Night is of equal duration, one Day and Night of Brahma would contain .... 8,640,000,000
360 of such days and nights make one year of Brahma make ..... 3,110,400,000,000
100 such years constitute the whole period of Brahma’s age, i.e., Maha-Kalpa ..... 311,040,000,000,000
These are the exoteric figures accepted throughout India, and they dovetail pretty nearly with those of the Secret works. The latter, moreover, amplify them by a division into a number of esoteric cycles, never mentioned in Brahmanical popular writings — one of which, the division of the Yugas into racial cycles, is given elsewhere as an instance. The rest, in their details, have of course never been made public. They are, nevertheless, known to every “Twice-born” (Dwija, or Initiated) Brahmin, and the Puranas contain references to some of them in veiled terms, which no matter-of-fact Orientalist has yet endeavoured to make out, nor could he if he would.
These sacred astronomical cycles are of immense antiquity, and most of them pertain, as stated, to the calculations of Narada and Asuramaya. The latter has the reputation of a giant and a sorcerer. But the antediluvian giants (the Gibborim of the Bible) were not all bad or Sorcerers, as Christian Theology, which sees in every Occultist a servant of the Evil one, would have it; nor were they worse than many of “the faithful sons of the Church.” A Torquemada and a Catherine de Medicis certainly did more harm in their day and in the name of their Master than any Atlantean giant or demigod of antiquity ever did; whether his name was Cyclops, or Medusa, or yet the Orphic Titan, the anguipedal monster known as Ephialtes. There were good “giants” in days of old just as there are bad “pigmies” now; and the Rakshasas and Yakshas of Lanka are no worse than our modern dynamiters, and certain Christian and civilised generals during modern wars. Nor are they myths. “He who would laugh at Briareus and Orion ought to abstain from going to, or even talking of, Karnac or Stonehenge,” remarks somewhere a modern writer.
As the Brahmanical figures given above are approximately the basic calculations of our esoteric system, the reader is requested to carefully keep them in mind.
In the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” one finds, as the last word of science, that the antiquity of man is allowed to stretch only over “tens of thou-
Vol. 2, Page 71 SCIENTIFIC SELF-COMPLACENCE.
sands of years.”* It becomes evident that as these figures may be made to fluctuate between 10,000 and 100,000, therefore they mean very little if anything, and only render still denser the darkness surrounding the question. Moreover, what matters it that science places the birth of man in the “pre- or post-glacial drift,” if we are told at the same time that the so-called “ice age” is simply a long succession of ages which “shaded without abrupt change of any kind into what is termed the human or Recent period . . . the overlapping of geological periods having been the rule from the beginning of time.” The latter “rule” only results in the still more puzzling, even if strictly scientific and correct, information, that “even to-day man is contemporary with the ice-age in the Alpine valleys and in the Finmark.”†
Thus, had it not been for the lessons taught by the Secret Doctrine, and even by exoteric Hinduism and its traditions, we should be left to this day to float in perplexed uncertainty between the indefinite ages of one school of science, the “tens of thousands” of years of the other, and the 6,000 years of the Bible interpreters. This is one of the several reasons why, with all the respect due to the conclusions of the men of learning of our modern day, we are forced to ignore them in all such questions of pre-historic antiquity.
Modern Geology and Anthropology must, of course, disagree with our views. But Occultism will find as many weapons against these two sciences as it has against astronomical and physical theories, in spite of Mr. Laing’s assurances that‡ “in (chronological) calculations of this sort, concerning older and later formations, there is no theory, and they are based on positive facts, limited only by a certain possible (?) amount of error either way,” occultism will prove, scientific confessions in hand, that geology is very much in error, and very often even more so than Astronomy. In this very passage by Mr. Laing, which gives to Geology pre-eminence for correctness over Astronomy, we find a passage in flagrant contradiction to the admissions of the best Geologists themselves. Says the author —
“In short, the conclusions of Geology, at any rate up to the Silurian period,§ when the present order of things was fairly inaugurated, are approximate (truly so) facts and not theories, while the astronomical conclusions are theories based on data so uncertain, that while in some
* See article “Geology,” in “Encyclopaedia Britannica.”
† This allows a chance even to the Biblical “Adam Chronology” of 6,000 years. (Ibid.)
‡ See his “Modern Science and Modern Thought.”
§ To the Silurian period as regards Molluscs and Animal life — granted; but what do they know of man?
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cases they give results incredibly short . . . in others they give results almost incredibly long.”
After which, the reader is advised that the safest course “seems to be to assume that Geology really proves the duration of the present order of things to have been somewhere over 100 millions of years,” as “Astronomy gives an enormous though unknown time in the past, and to come in the future, for the birth, growth, maturity, decline, and death of the Solar System, of which our Earth is a small planet now passing through the habitable phase.” (p. 49.)
Judging from past experience, we do not entertain the slightest doubt that, once called upon to answer “the absurd unscientific and preposterous claims of exoteric (and esoteric) Aryan chronology,” the scientist of “the results incredibly short,” i.e., only 15,000,000 years, and the scientist, who “would require 600,000,000 years,” together with those who accept Mr. Huxley’s figures of 1,000,000,000 “since sedimentation began in Europe” (World Life), would all be as dogmatic one as the other. Nor would they fail to remind the Occultist and the Brahmin, that it is the modern men of science alone who represent exact science, whose duty it is to fight inaccuracy and superstition.
The earth is passing through the “habitable phase” only for the present order of things, and as far as our present mankind is concerned with its actual “coats of skin” and phosphorus for bones and brain.
We are ready to concede the 100 millions of years offered by Geology, since we are taught that our present physical mankind — or the Vaivasvata humanity — began only 18 millions of years ago. But Geology has no facts to give us for the duration of geological periods, as we have shown, no more indeed than has Astronomy. The authentic letter from Mr. W. Pengelly, F.R.S., quoted elsewhere, says that: “It is at present, and perhaps always will be, IMPOSSIBLE to reduce, even approximately, geological time into years or even into millenniums.” And having never, hitherto, excavated a fossil man of any other than the present form — what does Geology know of him? It has traced zones or strata and, with these, primordial zoological life, down to the Silurian. When it has, in the same way, traced man down to his primordial protoplasmic form, then we will admit that it may know something of primordial man. If it is not very material “to the bearings of modern scientific discovery on modern thought,” whether “man has existed in a state of constant though slow progression for the last 50,000 years of a period of 15 millions, or for the last 500,000 years of a period of 150 millions” (“Modern Science, etc.” p. 49), as Mr. S. Laing tells his readers, it is very much so for the claims of the Occultists. Unless the latter show that it is a possibility, if not a perfect certainty, that man
Vol. 2, Page 73 COSMOGONY, AN INTELLIGENT PLAN.
lived 18 millions of years ago, the Secret Doctrine might as well have remained unwritten. An attempt must, therefore, be made in this direction, and it is our modern geologists and men of science generally who will be brought to testify to this fact in the third part of this volume. Meanwhile, and notwithstanding the fact that Hindu Chronology is constantly represented by the Orientalists as a fiction based on no “actual computation,”* but simply a “childish boasting,” it is nevertheless often twisted out of recognition to make it yield to, and fit in with, Western theories. No figures have ever been more meddled with and tortured than the famous 4, 3, 2, followed by cyphers of the Yugas and Maha-Yugas.
As the whole cycle of prehistoric events, such as the evolution and transformation of Races and the extreme antiquity of man, hangs upon the said Chronology, it becomes extremely important to check it by other existing calculations. If the Eastern Chronology is rejected, we shall at least have the consolation of proving that no other — whether the figures of Science or of the Churches — is one whit more reliable. As Professor Max Muller expresses it, it is often as useful to prove what a thing is not as to show what it may be. And once we succeed in pointing out the fallacies of both Christian and scientific computations — by allowing them a fair chance of comparison with our Chronology — neither of the two will have a reasonable ground to stand upon, in pronouncing the esoteric figures less reliable than its own.
We may here refer the reader to our earlier work “Isis Unveiled,” Vol. I., p. 32, for some remarks concerning the figures which were cited a few pages back.
To-day a few more facts may be added to the information there given, which is already known to every Orientalist. The sacredness of the cycle of 4320, with additional cyphers, lies in the fact that the figures which compose it, taken separately or joined in various combinations, are each and all symbolical of the greatest mysteries in Nature. Indeed, whether one takes the 4 separately, or the 3 by itself, or the two together making 7, or again the three added together and yielding 9, all these numbers have their application in the most sacred and occult things, and record the workings of Nature in her eternally periodical phenomena. They are never erring, perpetually recurring numbers, unveiling, to him who studies the secrets of Nature, a truly divine System, an intelligent plan in Cosmogony, which results in natural cosmic divisions of times, seasons, invisible influences, astronomical phenomena, with their action and reaction on terrestrial and even moral nature; on
* Wilson’s “Translation of Vishnu Purana,” Vol. I., pp. 50, 51.
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birth, death, and growth, on health and disease. All these natural events are based and depend upon cyclical processes in the Kosmos itself, producing periodic agencies which, acting from without, affect the Earth and all that lives and breathes on it, from one end to the other of any Manvantara. Causes and effects are esoteric, exoteric, and endexoteric, so to say.
In Isis Unveiled we wrote that which we now repeat: — “We are at the bottom of a cycle and evidently in a transitory state. Plato divides the intellectual progress of the universe during every cycle into fertile and barren periods. In the sublunary regions, the spheres of the various elements remain eternally in perfect harmony with the divine nature, he says; ‘but their parts,’ owing to a too close proximity to earth, and their commingling with the earthly (which is matter, and therefore the realm of evil), ‘are sometimes according, and sometimes contrary to (divine) nature.’ When those circulations — which Eliphas Levi calls ‘currents of the astral light’ — in the universal ether which contains in itself every element, take place in harmony with the divine spirit, our earth and everything pertaining to it enjoys a fertile period. The occult powers of plants, animals, and minerals magically sympathize with the ‘ superior natures,’ and the divine soul of man is in perfect intelligence with these ‘inferior’ ones. But during the barren periods, the latter lose their magic sympathy, and the spiritual sight of the majority of mankind is so blinded as to lose every notion of the superior powers of its own divine spirit. We are in a barren period: the eighteenth century, during which the malignant fever of scepticism broke out so irrepressibly, has entailed unbelief as an hereditary disease upon the nineteenth. The divine intellect is veiled in man; his animal brain alone philosophizes.” And philosophizing alone, how can it understand the “Soul Doctrine”?
In order not to break the thread of the narrative we shall give some striking proofs of these cyclic laws in Part II., proceeding meanwhile with our explanations of geological and racial cycles.