A Living Philosophy For Humanity

Volume V
No. 5 (29) - January-February 1949

[Cover photo: Grand Canyon of Arizona.
(By kind permission of J.T. Poling, Manager, Greater Arizona, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona.)]


Published every Two Months. Sponsored by an International Group of Theosophists
To disseminate the teachings of the Ancient Wisdom.
To uphold and promote the Original Principles of the modern Theosophical Movement, as set forth by H. P. Blavatsky and her Teachers.
To challenge bigotry and superstition in every form.
To foster mutual understanding and co-operation among all students of Theosophy, irrespective of their affiliation.
EDITOR: Boris de Zirkoff.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Irene Ponsonby, J. Emory Clapp, Mary K. Neff, Arthur L. Joquel, Robert F. Kerr, Katherine Heck, Polly Carr, Nancy Browning.
COMMITTEE OF SPONSORS: T. Marriot, G. C. LeGros, Jan H. Venema, Col. J.M. Prentice, Dudley W. Barr, Dr. Sven Eek, William L. Biersach.
Subscription: $1.50 a year (six issues); single copy 25 cents.
Send all subscriptions, renewals and correspondence to: Room 240, Western Bldg., 553 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles 5, California. Make checks payable to "Theosophia."
None of the organized Theosophical Societies, as such, are responsible for any ideas expressed in this magazine, unless contained in an official document. The Editors are responsible for unsigned articles only.



"The world indeed is in a dangerous situation just at present; and it is my keen realization of the existence of much as yet unexhausted European and American racial karman which urges me to impress upon the minds of all our members, and indeed upon the minds of Theosophists everywhere, our supreme present duty: to do our utmost to bring back to the consciousness of the humanity of our day a keen and lively sense of the inevitability of karmic retribution - a sense which humanity has almost lost - and to make universal this sense or feeling of our responsibility towards each other and towards our fellows; and if we succeed in awaking this sense of responsibility, because of its permeating and powerful influence, it will surely work strongly in the counsels and deliberations of those representative men whom our western peoples set over themselves as guides and governors in national affairs and in international relations.

"No normal human being who is awake to the fact that Nature is infinitely just and metes out retribution with unerring and infallible action, will ever do other than strive to his utmost to deal with justice, impartiality, and impersonal fairness by all other men, irrespective of what expediency or individual or national profit may, from short-sighted vision, otherwise urge upon him. Let us spread this great and consoling teaching of Nature's unerring retributive justice everywhere, my Brothers, and by every means in our power, supporting our presentation of it with all the scientific and philosophical knowledge at our command, and with all the persuasive logic that we are capable of. Only a universal awakening to a lively sense of the great fact that reason and not chance governs world-affairs, will restore to mankind in general the instinctive sense of the ever-present need to do right and to give impartial justice unto all, and that the doing of right brings success of all kinds and all true and lasting worth in its train." - G. de Purucker, Messages to Conventions, pp. 233-234. [3]


Boris de Zirkoff

"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
"For without are dogs and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." - St. John, Revelation, xxii, 14-15.

Happy New Year to All!

A friendly thought expressed at an opportune time.

Yet it is hard to imagine, even for an optimist, that the opening year will be "happy" for the majority of the human race. Certainly not for the 300 million children who are underfed and half-naked, according to the report of the U.N.; or the estimated 60 million children who have already been injured by starvation beyond the possibility of recuperation; or the untold millions who are pushed around, driven from pillar to post, by invading armies, and counter-attacking hordes, belonging to this, that, and the other war lord or international bandit in one or another part of the "civilized" world.

At the opening of 1949 - with its two ominous nines staring at one - we stand just exactly where we have stood before, as far as the level of our worldwide ethical standard is concerned.

As a matter of fact, there is no more pressing problem in the world today than to find a way and a method whereby to arouse among people at large, and in every part of the globe, a sense of ethical behavior, a realization of the fact that Nature is based on orderly procedures, and that "freedom" is not unbridled license, and never can be such.

The approach to ethics on the part of Science is both shallow and useless, because it is mainly a negative approach, whereby certain supposed laws of general behavior are deduced from consideration of mutual convenience and expediency. The approach of certain organized religious bodies is becoming more and more ironical with every day, when we witness some Churches, of both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant sects, appealing for peace, goodwill and universal tolerance, while their hands are still red from the massacres of innocent victims, burned and slaughtered for centuries, on doctrinal points alone. It is hard to believe that anyone, short of being totally ignorant of history, is going to accept as Teachers of ethics representatives from that side of the fence.

As to philosophy, we do not know of any, at least in the Occidental world, that could possibly command the attention of the people, apart froth certain Oriental concepts, originating in the great philosophical schools of ancient times, and now gradually entering the mentality of the people of tile West.

It is quite probable that in the midst of the ethical morass of the present generation, these ancient spiritual-intellectual concepts contain within themselves a greater regenerating power than all the rest put together, and are due to become better known and more universally respected as time goes on.

This, of course, will be interpreted by some people as meaning that students of Theosophy regard "Christian" ethics and precepts as mere chaff, not worth the bother. It has been so interpreted in years past. But the reason for this attitude is mainly due to the fact that people fail to realize that the ethics and the precepts of the great Teacher known as Jesus of Nazareth are typically Oriental, practically identical with those of Buddhism, and cannot be excluded, on mere historical grounds, if nothing else, from the concept of Oriental Wisdom. What is meant by "Christian" ethics or precepts? We know of none. The founder of the religion of the West was a Syrian, versed in all the knowledge of the Orient, while the Western world of the time was largely occupied, as it is today, with mutual invasions, massacres, rapine, and plunder.

Students of the ancient wisdom have a profound respect for the magnificent ethics of the Gospel story, and think that the very nature of these precepts [4] and teachings identifies them with the overall occult heritage of the human race, and identifies their Teacher as an adept belonging to the Brotherhood of Compassion.

But the above considerations should by no means be misinterpreted to mean that students of the ancient wisdom are so blind as to confuse the ethics of the Gospel story with the practical demonstration engaged in for centuries past by the organized religious sects which assumed the name of "Christian." That there have been in the Occidental religious world many true exponents of the Sermon on the Mount, and many saintly men and women whose lives were a blessing to others, is unquestionably true. But it is equally true that the world of today is suffering the heavy penalty and the karmic curse for pretty nearly 2,000 years of religious fanaticism, violence and bloodshed, conditions which the Buddhist world never originated and never made itself guilty of. And it is certainly not front the camp of organized religion that we can expect those compelling forces of noble ethical conduct to arise which alone can regenerate this world.

Those regenerative forces exist in every human being as such; they can be induced to manifest themselves by the example of men and women whose lives are already based on them. There are such people, but they are not many. Their number must increase before we call look forward to a change of ethical behavior at large. The ideas, the precepts, the teachings, exist today, as they have ever existed. They have never changed, and are not likely to change in the future. They are contained in the message of every great Seer, Sage, adept, Avatara, or Master of Life. Before these precepts can become a living power among men, and form the foundation of a new type of world civilization, certain definite realizations must dawn upon the masses and their befuddled leaders. For instance, here are some of them:

That war, violence, and bloodshed, are unconditionally wrong and can never be justified by either motive or objective.

That coercion under any form is a denial of the divine privilege of free choice in those to be coerced.

That freedom consists in co-ordinating one's life with the functions and operations of Universal Law - the Laws of Nature, and not in the exercise of unrestricted "free will," meaning in most cases uncontrolled license.

What ethics are not human conventions, but are fundamental functions of Nature, based upon unchangeable operations of Nature's forces, and cannot be superseded by mere "morals," altering with every historical season or grouping of nations and states.

That competition is as unethical as is coercion, when interpreted in terms of selfish gain or personal success.

That the universal structure is based on mutual co-operation and harmonious integration of forces and substances, not on the triumph of a few at the expense of the many.

That cause and effect are inherent in every operation and function of Nature, great and small, visible and invisible, material and spiritual, and that this co-relation between them is not severed by the mere temporary withdrawal of man from this outward sphere of existence, but continues from one life to the next.

That the noble ethical and spiritual precepts of the Teachers were not intended as mere subjects for "religions instruction" on the seventh day of the week, but were given to the human race as scientific laws upon which to base both individual and collective life, the life of the family and the life of the state.

Either the Great Spiritual Teachers of mankind were Sages and Seers of supreme wisdom and insight, or they were all cheats and liars, peddling trumped-up schemes of behavior for the delusion of many and the benefit of a few.

We prefer to consider them as the former and to try and follow in their footsteps the best we can. [5]


H. P. Blavatsky
A Long-delayed Promise Fulfilled*
[Originally published in Lucifer, London, Vol. XV, September and October, 1894, pp. 9-17 and 97-104.]

*[This article, in two installments, seems to belong to a series originally prepared by H.P.B. for The Theosophist, but for some reason set aside and never published therein. As the date shows, this material appeared in Lucifer after H.P.B.'s passing. Although an editorial note in Lucifer suggests that this series may be continued "for some months," no further installments appeared, and no information is available as to what became of the remainder of that series.
The work quoted from in this article, Buddha and Early Buddhism, was written by Arthur Lillie (New York, (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1882). H.P.B. wrote a number of polemical articles in which the assertions of Arthur Lillie regarding Buddhism were analyzed and opposed by her. - Editor.]

"They who are on the summit of a mountain can see all men; in like manner they who are intelligent and free from sorrow are enabled to ascend above the paradise of the Gods; and when they there have seen the subjection of man to birth and death and the sorrows by which he is afflicted, they open the doors of the immortal." - From the Tched-du brjod-pai tsoms of the BKAH-HGYUR.

IN the January number of The Theosophist for 1882, we promised our readers the opinions of the Venerable Chohan-Lama - the chief of the Archive-registrars of the libraries containing manuscripts on esoteric doctrines belonging to the Ta-loi and Ta-shuhlumpo Lamas Rim-boche of Tibet - on certain conclusions arrived at by the author of Buddha and Early Buddhism. Owing to the brotherly kindness of a disciple of the learned Chohan, than whom no one in Tibet is more deeply versed in the science of esoteric and exoteric Buddhism, we are now able to give a few of the doctrines which have a direct bearing on these conclusions. It is our firm belief that the learned Chohan's letters, and the notes accompanying them, could not arrive at a more opportune time. Besides the many and various misconceptions of our doctrines, we have more than once been taken severely to task by some of the most intelligent Spiritualists for misleading them as to the real attitude and belief of Hindus and Buddhists as to "spirits of the departed." Indeed, according to some Spiritualists "the Buddhist belief is permeated by the distinctive and peculiar note of modern Spiritualism, the presence and guardianship of departed spirits," and the Theosophists have been guilty of misrepresenting this belief. They have had the hardihood, for instance, to maintain 'that this "belief in the intervention of departed human spirits" was anathema maranatha in the East, whereas it is "in effect, a permeating principle of Buddhism."

What every Hindu, of whatever caste and education, thinks of the "intervention of departed spirits" is so well known throughout the length and breadth of India that it would be loss of time to repeat the oft-told tale. There are a few converts to modern Spiritualism, such as Babu Peary Chand Mittra, whose great personal purity of life would make such intercourse harmless for him, even were he not indifferent to physical phenomena, holding but to the purely spiritual, subjective side of such communion. But, if these be excepted, we boldly reassert what we have always maintained: that there is not a Hindu who does not loathe the very idea of the reappearance of a departed "spirit" whom he will ever regard as impure; and that with these exceptions no Hindu believes that, except in cases of suicide, or death by accident, any spirit but an evil one can return to earth. Therefore, leaving the Hindus out of the question, we will give the ideas of the Northern Buddhists on the subject, hoping to add those of the Southern Buddhists to them in good time. And, when we say [6] "Buddhists," we do not include the innumerable heretical sects teeming throughout Japan and China who have lost every right to that appellation. With these we have nought to do. We think but of Buddhists of the Northern and Southern Churches - the Roman Catholics and the Protestants of Buddhism, so to say.

The subject which our learned Tibetan correspondent treats is based on a few direct questions offered by us with a humble request that they should be answered, and the following paragraphs from Buddha and Early Buddhism:

"I have dwelt somewhat at length on this supernaturalism, because it is of the highest importance to our theme. Buddhism was plainly an elaborate apparatus to nullify the action of evil spirits by the aid of good spirits operating at their highest potentiality through the instrumentality of the corpse or a portion of the corpse of the chief aiding spirit. The Buddhist temple, the Buddhist rites, the Buddhist liturgy, all seem based on this one idea that a whole or portions of a dead body was necessary. What were these assisting spirits? Every Buddhist, ancient or modern, would at once admit that a spirit that has not yet attained the Bodhi or spiritual awakenment cannot be a good spirit. It can do no good thing; more than that, it must do evil things.

"The answer of Northern Buddhism is that the good spirits are the Buddhas, the dead prophets. They come from certain 'fields of the Buddhas' " to commune with earth.

Our learned Tibetan friend writes:

"Let me say at once that monks and laymen give the most ridiculously absurd digest of the Law of Faith, the popular beliefs of Tibet. The Capuchin Della Penna's account of the brotherhood of the 'Byang-tsiub' is simply absurd. Taking from the Bkah-hgyur and other books of the Tibetan laws some literal descriptions, he then embellishes them with his own interpretation. Thus he speaks of the fabled worlds of 'spirits,' where live the 'Lha, who are like gods'; adding that the Tibetans imagine 'these places to be in the air above a great mountain, about a hundred and sixty thousand leagues high and thirty-two thousand leagues in circuit; which is made up of four parts, being of crystal to the east, of the red ruby to the west, of gold to the north, and of the green precious stone - lapis lazuli - to the south. In these abodes of bliss they - the Lha - remain as long as they please, and then pass to the paradise of other worlds.'

"This description resembles far more - if my memory of the missionary-school-going period at Lahoula does not deceive me - the 'new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven' in John's vision - that city which measured 'twelve thousand furlongs,' whose walls were of 'jasper,' the buildings of 'pure gold,' the foundations of the walls 'garnished with all manner of precious stones' and 'the twelve gates were twelve pearls' - than the city of the Jang-Chhub either in the Bkah-hgyur or in the ideas of the Tibetans. In the first place, the sacred canon of the Tibetans, the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur, comprises one thousand seven hundred and seven distinct works - one thousand and eighty-three public and six hundred and twenty-four secret volumes - the former being composed of three hundred and fifty and the latter of seventy-seven folio volumes.

"Could they even by chance have seen them, I can assure the theosophists that the contents of these volumes could never be understood by anyone who had not been given the key to their peculiar character, and to their hidden meaning.

"Every description of localities is figurative in our system; every name and word is purposely veiled; and a student, before he is given any further instruction, has to study the mode of deciphering, and then of comprehending and learning the equivalent secret term or synonym for nearly every word of our religious language. The Egyptian enchorial or hieratic system is child's play to the deciphering of our sacred puzzles. Even in those volumes to which [7] the masses have access, every sentence has a dual meaning, one intended for the unlearned, and the other for those who have received the key to the records.

"If the efforts of such well-meaning, studious and conscientious men as the authors of Buddhist Records of the Western World, and Buddha and Early Buddhism - whose poetical hypotheses may be upset and contradicted, one by one, with the greatest ease - resulted in nought, verily then, the attempts of the predecessors and successors of the Abbés Huc, Gabet and others must prove a sorry failure; since the former have not and the latter have, an object to achieve in purposely disfiguring the unparalleled and glorious teachings of our blessed master, Shakya Thub-pa.

"In The Theosophist for October, 1881, a correspondent correctly informs the reader that Gautama the Buddha, the wise, 'insisted upon initiation being thrown open to all who were qualified.' This is true; such was the original design put for some time in practice by the great Sang-gyas, and before he had become the All-Wise. But three or four centuries after his separation from this earthly coil, when Asoka, the great supporter of our religion, had left the world, the Arhat initiates, owing to the secret but steady opposition of the Brâhmans to their system, had to drop out of the country one by one and seek safety beyond the Himalayas. Thus, though popular Buddhism did not spread in Tibet before the seventh century, the Buddhist initiates of the mysteries and esoteric system of the Aryan Twice-born, leaving their motherland, India, sought refuge with the pre-Buddhistic ascetics; those who had the Good Doctrine, even before the days of Shakya-Muni. These ascetics had dwelt beyond the Himalayan ranges from time immemorial. They are the direct successors of those Aryan sages who, instead of accompanying their Brahman brothers in the pre-historical emigration from Lake Manasarovara across the Snowy Range into the hot plains of the Seven Rivers, had preferred to remain in their inaccessible and unknown fastnesses. No wonder, indeed, if the Aryan esoteric doctrine and our Arahat doctrines are found to be almost identical. Truth, like the sun over our heads, is one; but it seems as if this eternal truism must be constantly reiterated to make the dark, as much as the white, people remember it. Only that truth may be kept pure and unpolluted by human exaggerations - its very votaries betimes seeking to adapt it, to pervert and disfigure its fair face to their own selfish ends - it has to be hidden far away from the eye of the profane. Since the days of the earliest universal mysteries up to the time of our great Shakya Tathâgata Buddha, who reduced and interpreted the system for the salvation of all, the divine Voice of the Self, known as Kwan-yin, was heard but in the sacred solitude of the preparatory mysteries.

"Our world-honoured Tsong-kha-pa closing his fifth Dam-ngag reminds us that 'every sacred truth, which the ignorant are unable to comprehend under its true light, ought to be hidden within a triple casket concealing itself as the tortoise conceals his head within his shell; ought to show her face but to those who are desirous of obtaining the condition of Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi' - the most merciful and enlightened heart.

"There is a dual meaning, then, even in the canon thrown open to the people, and, quite recently, to Western scholars. I will now try to correct the errors - too intentional, I am sorry to say, in the case of the Jesuit writers. No doubt but that the Chinese and Tibetan Scriptures, so-called, the standard works of China and Japan, some written by our most learned scholars, many of whom - as uninitiated though sincere and pious men - commented upon what they never rightly understood, contain a mass of mythological and legendary matter more fit for nursery folklore than an exposition of the Wisdom Religion as preached by the world's Saviour. But none of these are to be found in the canon; and, [8] though preserved in most of the Lamasery libraries, they are read and implicitly believed in only by the credulous and pious whose simplicity forbids them ever stepping across the threshold of reality. To this class belong The Buddhist Cosmos, written by the Bonze Jin-ch'an, of Peking; The Shing-Tao-ki, or 'The Records of the Enlightenment of Tathagata,' by Wang-Puh, in the seventh century, The Hi-shai Sutra, or 'Book of Creation,' various volumes on heaven and hell, and so forth--poetic fictions grouped around a symbolism evolved as an after-thought.

"But the records from which our scholastic author, the monk Della Penna quotes - or I should rather say, misquotes - contain no fiction, but simply information for future generations, who may, by that time, have obtained the key to the right reading of them. The 'Lha' of whom Della Penna speaks but to deride the fable, they who 'have attained the position of saints in this world,' were simply the initiated Arhats, the adepts of many and various grades, generally known under the name of Bhante or Brothers. In the book known as the Avatamsaka Sutra, in the section on 'the Supreme Atman - Self - as manifested in the character of the Arhats and Pratyeka Buddhas,' it is stated that 'Because from the beginning, all sentient creatures have confused the truth, and embraced the false; therefore has there come into existence a hidden knowledge called Alaya Vijnana.' 'Who is in the possession of the true hidden knowledge?' 'The great teachers of the Snowy Mountain,' is the response in The Book of Law. The Snowy Mountain is the 'mountain a hundred and sixty thousand leagues high.' Let us see what this means. The last three ciphers being simply left out, we have a hundred and sixty leagues; a Tibetan league is nearly five miles; this gives us seven hundred and eighty miles from a certain holy spot, by a distinct road to the west. This becomes as clear as can be, even in Della Penna's further description, to one who has but a glimpse of the truth. 'According to their law,' says that monk, 'in the west of this world, is an eternal world, a paradise, and in it a saint called Ho-pahme, which means "Saint of Splendour and Infinite Light." This saint has many distinct "powers," who are all called "chang-chub",' which - he adds in a footnote - means 'the spirits of those who, on account of their perfection, do not care to become saints, and train and instruct the bodies of the reborn Lamas, so that they may help the living.'

"This shows that these presumably dead 'chang-chubs' are living Bodhisatwas or Bhante, known under various names among Tibetan people; among others, Lha, or 'spirits,' as they are supposed to have an existence more in spirit than in flesh. At death they often renounce Nirvana - the bliss of eternal rest, or oblivion of personality - to remain in their spiritualized astral selves for the good of their disciples and humanity in general.

"To some Theosophists, at least, my meaning must be clear, though some are sure to rebel against the explanation. Yet we maintain that there is no possibility of an entirely pure 'self' remaining in the terrestrial atmosphere after his liberation from the physical body, in his own personality, in which he moved upon earth. Only three exceptions are made to this rule:

"The holy motive prompting a Bodhisatwa, a Sravaka, or Rahat to help to the same bliss those who remain behind him, the living; in which case he will stop to instruct them either from within or without; or, secondly, those who, however pure, harmless and comparatively free from sin during their lives, have been so engrossed with some particular idea in connection with one of the human mayas as to pass away amidst that all-absorbing thought; and, thirdly, persons in whom an intense and holy love, such as that of a mother for her orphaned children, creates or generates an indomitable will fed by that boundless love to tarry with and among the living in their inner selves.

"The periods allotted for these exceptional cases vary. In the first case, [9] owing to the knowledge acquired in his condition of Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi - the most holy and enlightened heart - the Bodhisatwa has no fixed limit. Accustomed to remain for hours and days in his astral form during life, he has power after death to create around him his own conditions, calculated to check the natural tendency of the other principles to rejoin their respective elements, and can descend or even remain on earth for centuries and millenniums. In the second case, the period will last until the all-powerful magnetic attraction of the subject of the thought - intensely concentrated at the moment of death - becomes weakened and gradually fades out. In the third, the attraction is broken either by the death or the moral unworthiness of the loved ones. It cannot in either case last more than a lifetime.

"In all other cases of apparitions or communications by whatever mode, the 'spirit' will prove a wicked 'bhuta' or 'ro-lang' at best - the soulless shell of an 'elementary.' The 'Good Doctrine' is rejected on account of the unwarranted accusation that 'adepts' only claim the privilege of immortality. No such claim was ever brought forward by any eastern adept or initiate. Very true, our Masters teach us 'that immortality is conditional,' and that the chances of an adept who has become a proficient in the Alaya Vijnana, the acme of wisdom, are tenfold greater than those of one who, being ignorant of the potentialities centered within his Self, allows them to remain dormant and undisturbed until it is too late to awake them in this life. But the adept knows no more on earth, nor are his powers greater here than will be the knowledge and powers of the average good man when the latter reaches his fifth and especially his sixth cycle or round. Our present mankind is still in the fourth of the seven great cyclic rounds. Humanity is a baby hardly out of its swaddling clothes, and the highest adept of the present age knows less than he will know as a child in the seventh round. And as mankind is an infant collectively, so is man in his present development individually. As it is hardly to be expected that a young child, however precocious, should remember his existence from the hour of his birth, day by day, with the various experiences of each, and the various clothes he was made to wear on each of them, so no 'self,' unless that of an adept having reached Samma-Sambuddha - during which an illuminate sees the long series of his past lives throughout all his previous births in other worlds - was ever able to recall the distinct and various lives he passed through But that time must come one day. Unless a man is an irretrievable sensualist, dooming himself thereby to utter annihilation after one of such sinful lives, that day will dawn when, having reached the state of absolute freedom from any sin or desire, he will see and recall to memory all his past lives as easily as a man of our age turns back and passes in review, one by one, every day of his existence."

We may add a word or two in explanation of a previous passage, referring to Kwan-yin. This divine power was finally anthropomorphized by the Chinese Buddhist ritualists into a distinct double-sexed deity with a thousand hands and a thousand eyes, and called Kwan-shai-yin Bodhisatwa, the Voice-Deity, but in reality meaning the voice of the ever-present latent divine consciousness in man; the voice of his real Self, which can be fully evoked and heard only through great moral purity. Hence Kwanyin is said to be the son of Amitabha Buddha, who generated that Saviour, the merciful Bodhisatwa, the "Voice" or the "Word" that is universally diffused, the "Sound" which is eternal. It has the same mystical meaning as the Vach of the Brahmans. While the Brahmans maintain the eternity of the Vedas from the eternity of "sound," the Buddhists claim by synthesis the eternity of Amitabha, since he was the first to prove the eternity of the Self-born, Kwan-yin. Kwan-yin is the Vachishvara or Voice-Deity of the Brahmans. Both proceed from the same origin as the Logos of the [10] neo-platonic Greeks; the "manifested deity" and its "voice" being found in man's Self, his conscience; Self being the unseen Father, and the "voice of Self" the Son; each being the relative and the correlative of the other. Both Vachishvara and Kwan-yin had, and still have, a prominent part in the Initiation Rites and Mysteries in the Brahmanical and Buddhist esoteric doctrines.

We may also point out that Bodhisatwas or Rahats need not be adepts; still less, Brahmans, Buddhists, or even "Asiatics," but simply holy and pure men of any nation or faith, bent all their lives on doing good to humanity.
(To Be Continued)


Mary K. Neff

As we go to press, news comes of the passing of Mary K. Neff to her well-earned peace. While the personal side of us may grieve over the temporary loss, we nevertheless know that hers is a wonderful spiritual experience, and that her mystic journey starts at the auspicious season of the Winter Solstice.
Mary K. Neff was for many years a great authority on the facts pertaining to H.P. Blavatsky's life and work, and has written extensively on this subject. Apart from a large number of valuable essays published in The Theosophist, she was the author of two works: The "Brothers" of Madame Blavatsky, and Personal Memoirs of H.P. Blavatsky. She also published very valuable chronological lists of the Letters from the Masters written to A.P. Sinnett, and of the Letters from H.P.B. to the same gentleman, the actual dating of both being in many instances very uncertain.
Aside from the present contribution from her pen, Theosophia will have the privilege of publishing several other essays which Mary K. Neff turned over to us some time ago.
We wish to note in particular Mary K. Neff's invaluable help given for many years, while she resided at Adyar and was in charge of the Archives of the Theosophical Society, in connection with the compilation of H.P.B.'s Complete Works, four volumes of which have appeared so far.
We bid her bon voyage and look forward to further collaboration in the Cause of Theosophy, maybe in some nobler age. - Editor.

So far as is known, Madame Blavatsky came to America in 1851, 1853, and 1873. On her first visit she landed at Quebec - a runaway wife from an elderly husband, to whom she had jokingly become engaged, never dreaming her relatives would force her into such an incongruous marriage, during the absence of her father and the severe illness of her grandmother. Her mother had died when she was eleven.

Her beloved aunt, Nadyezhda Andreyevna de Fadeyev, only three years her senior, said of it: "She had simply been defied one day by her governess, to find any man who would be her husband, in view of her temper and disposition ... even the old man she had found so ugly and had laughed at so much, calling him a 'plumeless raven.'"

That was enough; three days after she had made him propose ..." (Incidents in the Life of Mme. Blavatsky, A. P. Sinnett, p. 54.)

To A. P. Sinnett, trying in 1885 to extract information from her for a series of memoirs, she wrote: "Details about my marriage? Well now they say that I wanted to marry the old whistle-breechesmyself. Let it be. My father was 4,000 miles off. My grandmother was too ill. It was as I told you. I had engaged myself to spite the governess never thinking I could no longer disengage myself. Well - Karma followed my sin." (The Letters of H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett, p.157.)

"My aunt Mme. Witte swore before the image of some St. flap-doodle that she would curse me on her death-bed if I permitted my Memoirs to be published, so long as all my relatives are yet living ..." (op. cit., p. 217.)

"Matters were such, that for one sentence mentioning my prayers and supplications not to be married to old B--- would have brought down protests and denials froth my cousins who deem it their duty to prove that it was not my grandparents or aunt, but my father and I who had to be blamed for the ridiculous marriage." (op.cit., p. 214.)

So, she was married on July 7, 1849, before her seventeenth birthday, July [11] 31 (old style). After several futile attempts over a period of three months more or less, she managed to escape from her husband, who was then Vice-governor of the Province of Erivan in Transcaucasia, "without," says her aunt Nadyezhda, "giving him any opportunity ever to think of her as his wife." Then, financed by her sympathizing father, the idol of whose regiment she had been as a child, traveling from place to place with his artillery command, she began a world-tour in pursuit of - Magic.

In 1851, after considerable traveling, she landed at Quebec, where she made the acquaintance of Red Indians, and inquired as to Magic and Medicine Men, the net result being the loss of a valuable pair of Russian boots.

Thence she made her way to New Orleans where she studied Negro Voodooism, "a sect of Negroes of the West Indies." She may have gone there by sea, because she does not count this, her first trip to America, as a visit to the United States.

After leaving New Orleans she crossed Texas into Mexico, "protected in these hazardous travels," says Sinnett, "by the sheer force of her own fearlessness, and her fierce scorn of all considerations however remotely associated with the 'magnetism of sex'." It may he added that site was protected also by the fact that she often traveled in disguise. She wrote to Sinnett, when he was gathering material for his book:

"Suppose I were to tell that I was in man's clothes (for I Was very thin then) which is solemn truth, what would people say? So I was in Egypt with the old Countess who liked to see me dressed as a man student, 'gentleman student' she said. Now you understand my difficulties? That which would pass with any other as eccentricity, oddity, would serve now only to incriminate me in the eyes of the world." (op. cit., p. 151.) Today, in the United States where half the women wear men's clothing, it would no longer be a source of scandal or counted against her morals.

She left the Western Hemisphere for India, via the West Indies towards the end of 1852. This is her 1851-52 itinerary according to A. P. Sinnett; but a slip of paper mentioning her travels was found by Dr. Annie Besant, which adds South America to the list. That she journeyed beyond Mexico is revealed by a mistake on the part of Mr. Sinnett; he placed Copan in Mexico. The name appears as Copau in his book. Copau is a non-existent place; but Copan is a village in Honduras, famous for the remarkable ruins in its neighborhood. This is in keeping with her references to Copan in Isis Unveiled (II, 561, 567.).

To quote the words of A.P. Sinnett (Incidents, pp. 65-66.):

"She resolved during her Mexican wanderings that she would go to India, fully alive already to the necessity of seeking beyond the northern frontiers of that country for the further acquaintanceship of those great teachers of the highest mystic science, with whom the guardian of her visions was associated in her mind. She wrote, therefore, to a certain Englishman, whom she had met in Germany two years before, and whom she knew to be on the same quest as herself, to join her in the West Indies, in order that they might go to the East together. He duly came, but the party was further augmented by the addition of a Hindu [12] whom Mme. Blavatsky met at Copau, in Mexico, and whom she soon ascertained to be what is called a 'chela,' or pupil of the Masters, or adepts of oriental occult science. The three pilgrims of mysticism went out via the Cape to Ceylon, and thence in a sailing ship to Bombay, where, as I make out the dates, they must have arrived at quite the end of 1852."

Notice the reference to her quest: "She wrote ... to a certain Englishman ... on the same quest as herself ... that they might go to the East together." What is more - she is joined by a Hindu who was "what is called a 'chela,' or pupil of the ... adepts of oriental occult science." Does she know of these oriental adepts?

Yes. This is what she wrote to Sinnett when he was collecting material for his Incidents: "I saw Master in my visions ever since my childhood. In the year of the first Nepaul Embassy (when?) saw and recognized him. Saw him twice. Once he came out of the crowd, then He ordered me to meet him in Hyde Park." (Letters to Sinnett, p.150.)

When? The Prime Minister of Nepal, Prince Jung Rahadur Koonwar Ranajee, and his retinue, sailed from Calcutta for London on April 7, 1850, and returned from Marseilles to Calcutta on December 19, 1850. In that year young Madame Blavatsky toured Europe in the company of Princess Bagration-Muhransky, visiting Germany where she met the Englishman mentioned before, and staying in England where she met the Master of her visions, as he was a member of the retinue of Prince Jung Rahadur.

As this was the first visit of any Indian Prince to England, it was a great occasion in both countries, the subject of wide press comment long before his arrival, and throughout the progress of the visit. Thus The London Times of March 2nd, 1850, quoted from The Englishman of Calcutta, issue of February 26:

"The long-expected mission from His highness the Rajah of Nepaul, composed of the following officers who are in charge of a complimentary letter to Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen, and rare articles as gifts to her, is about to take its departure from Katmandoo, so as to arrive at Patna by the 10th proximo:

Jung Bahadur Koonwar Ranajee, Prime Minister and Commander in Chief; Col. Juggut Shumshere Kounwar Ranajee, and Col. Dhere Shumshere Kuonwar Ranajee, brothers of the Premier; Capt. Runmihr Singh Adikaree, Khajee Kurbeer Khutree, Khajee Hamdul Singh Khutree, Lieut. Kurbeer Khutree, Lieut. Lal Singh Khutree, Lieut. Beem Sell Rana, Two Subas, One Subadar, One Nepalese doctor, Col. G. St. P. Lawrence, who is to accompany the Minister to England."

The 300 sepoys and the train of elephants, which formed part of the procession, were left behind in Patna, India, while the Prince and his party embarked to cross what the Hindus call the Kala Pani, the "Black waters," or the ocean.

The arrival of the Nepaulese Embassy is also recorded in the Annual Register (Vol. for 1850, sec. "Chronicle," pp.71-72.), published in London regularly for the last hundred and fifty years or so.

Madame Blavatsky speaks of the "first Nepaul embassy," as though there had been a second. But there never was a second embassy from Nepal. Her meaning may have been that it was the very first embassy to go to England from the Indian States; or she may have had in mind tile fact that the next year, 1851, Nepal sent a delegation to the great International Exhibition in London.

The question presents itself: why should Master Morya of the Rajput Kingdom of Udaipur accompany a Prince of Nepal to England? The records of Indian history reveal the fact that the present ruling house of Nepal is the Goorkha or Gurkhali dynasty, and that it is lineally descended from the Rajput Princes of Udaipur. This may have had a bearing upon the circumstances mentioned above.

It is a matter of speculation as to which one of the individuals mentioned by The London Times as being in the retinue of Prince Jung Rahadur was [13] Madame Blavatsky's Teacher. The names of Lieut. Lal Singh Khutree and Khajee Hamdul Singh Khutree may be, for various reasons, of special interest in this connection.

Countess Constance Wachtmeister, friend and confidant of Madame Blavatsky's later years, tells something about this momentous first meeting with the Master in her book Reminiscences of H. P. Blavatsky and "The Secret Doctrine" (pp. 56-57.):

"When she was in London, in 1851, with her father, Colonel Hahn, she was one day out walking when, to her astonishment, she saw a tall Hindu in the street with some Indian princes. She immediately recognized him, as the same person that she had seen in the Astral. Her first impulse was to rush forward to speak to him, and he made her a sign not to move, and she stood as if spellbound while he passed on. The next day she wept into Hyde Park for a stroll, that she might be alone and free to think over her extraordinary adventure. Looking up, she saw the same form approaching her, and then her Master told her that he had come to London with the Indian princes on an important mission, and that he was desirous of meeting her personally, as he required her co-operation in a work which he was about to undertake. He then told her how the Theosophical Society was to be formed, and that he wished her to be the founder. He gave her a slight sketch of all the troubles she would have to undergo, and also told her that she would have to spend three years in Tibet to prepare her for the important task."

Countess Wachtmeister adds that she consulted her father, and decided to accept the offer, leaving shortly afterwards for India.

There is reason to doubt one point of the Countess' statement, namely, that the Master mentioned the name of the Society which was to be formed at some future date. He may have done so, but it is not very probable. It's true that we find H.P. Blavatsky using the term "theosophy" months before the founding of the Theosophical Society, in a letter postmarked February 1875, to Professor Hiram Corson, of Cornell University. She wrote to him: "I found at last, and many years ago, the craving of my mind satisfied by this theosophy taught by the angels."* (* She had constant need to use "blinds" in her efforts to teach occultism to an uncumprehending public. This is one of them - "angels" being palpably a blind fur "Adepts" or "Masters." Probably no one in the United States in 1875 would have known what a "Master" was. She taught that to the Western world. But Spiritualists - and Professor H. Corson was one - accepted teaching from "spirits," whom they sometimes called "angels.")

On the other hand, there exists the following interesting evidence. In her Scrapbook I, now in the Archives of The Theosophical Society (Adyar), H.P.B. pasted a clipping from the Spiritual Scientist, Boston, dated September 23, 1875. It was one of her own articles published in this journal under the title of "From Madame H.P. Blavatsky to her Correspondents. An Open Letter such as few Can Write" (See Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. I, pp. 62-67.). To this clipping, H.P.B. added the following pen-and-ink comment: "Orders received from India direct to establish a philosophico-religious Society and choose a name for it - also choose Olcott. July, 1875." This would mean that the name of the future Society was not known at the time.

We see her late in 1851 en route to India by way of America; and Sinnett in his Incidents mentions that at New Orleans her Master guided her away from researches in Voodooism - "magic practices," he says, "that no highly trained occult student would have anything to do with, but which nevertheless presented attractions to Madame Blavatsky, not yet far advanced enough in the knowledge held in reserve for her, to distinguish 'black' from 'white' varieties of mystic exercise ... Mme. Blavatsky might have been drawn dangerously far into association with them ... but the strange guardianship that had so often asserted itself to her advantage during her childhood, which had by this time assumed a more definite shape, for she had now met, as a living [14] man the long familiar figure of her visions, again came to her rescue. She was warned in a vision of the risk she was running with the Voodoos, and at once moved off to fresh fields and pastures new." (op.cit., pp. 63-64.)

The fact is she had met her Master, not once but twice, before beginning her "quest." She herself has testified to this most graphically in a sketchbook she carried with her on her travels, which is carefully preserved in the Archives of the Theosophical Society at Adyar, India. She devoted a page to sketching a small sail-boat, near a landing-stage and some boat-houses ( Facsimile in The Theosophist, Vol. LII, No. 11, August, 1931). Underneath she has written in French (she was not then conversant with English):** (**She has written: "... I was taught dreadful Yorkshire by my nurse called Governess. From the time my father brought me to England, when fourteen, thinking I spoke beautiful English - and people asked him if he had me educated in Yorkshire or Ireland - and laughed at my accent and way of speaking - I gave up English altogether trying to avoid speaking it as much as I could. From fourteen till I was over forty I never spoke it, let alone writing and forgot it entirely. I could read - which I did very little in English - I could not speak it. I remember how difficult it was for me to understand a well written book in English so far back only as 1867 in Venice. All I knew when I came to America in 1873 was to speak a little and this Olcott and Judge and all who knew me then can testify to." (Letter of H.P.B. to A. P. Sinnett, dated Wurzburg, January 6, 1886, in The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, p. 479.))

"Nuit memorable! Certaine nuit, par un clair de lune qui se couchait a Ramsgate 12 Aout: 1851.* lorsque je rencontrais M ... le Maitre de mes reves!! (* le 12 Aout - c'est Juillet 31 style russe - jour de ma naissance - Vingt ans!" Translated into English, this means: "Memorable night! On a certain night by the light of the moon that was setting at Ramsgate on August 12, 1851, when I met M .'. , the Master of my dreams!!)

August 12 is July 31 Russian style - my birthday - Twenty years!"

In her Reminiscences Countess Wachtmeister, having in mind this sketch, relates that "On seeing the manuscript I asked why he had written 'Ramsgate' instead of 'London,' and H.P.B. told me that it was a blind; so that anyone casually taking up her book would not know where she had met her Master, and that her first interview with him had been in London as she had previously told me." This explanation was a blind for the Countess - to prevent her knowing Madame Blavatsky had met the Master twice: at London in 1850 and at Ramsgate in 1851. Had the idea of two meetings flashed upon the Countess' mind, she would have seen the truth in H.P.B.'s concluding remark that "her first interview with him had been in London, as she had previously told me." Probably H.P.B. was under an obligation of secrecy as regards these meetings; for she once wrote to Mr. Sinnett: "I cannot, I must not speak of this."

Furthermore, it would have hardly been possible to meet the Master privately in Hyde Park in 1851; for the first great International Exhibition was in full swing at Hyde Park that year. It was opened in the newly built Crystal Palace by Their Majesties Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on May 1st; May 30th was the first "shilling day," and throughout the summer and autumn thousands poured into Hyde Park and the Crystal Palace built over its trees. Ramsgate, a resort down the River Thames, near the coast, offered facilities for privacy; hence the quiet interview there on August 12, 1851, by moonlight, perhaps in the boat she sketched.
(To be continued.) [15]


Fermin Arteche

"Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out ..." - St. John, Revelation, iii, 2.

Salvation and Immortality, like Soul and Spirit, are terms belonging definitely to the Sacred literature of all the world religions, and as such are widely used in a rather confused sense. In popular religion, particularly in the Christian, there is hardly any distinction made between soul and spirit; both terms being treated ordinarily as synonyms. Then, to confuse and confound the unwary, it is stressed as at truism that "man has a soul" - just like owning a coat or a bank account "eternal and immortal."

As there are no higher qualifications than those already attributed to the "soul," the term spirit becomes just another word with a nebulous meaning, just another name for the soul.

Now, if the "soul" has been created at birth, as it is said, how can it be eternal, and what about the owner of the soul himself?

Following this line of reasoning, no satisfactory answer can be given to these and other important questions, and one may feel inclined to reject the whole of the statements as false, were it not for the fact that the average human being, regardless of any religious beliefs, has the feeling that behind this theological jumble there must be a substratum of real truths. Lack of time and interest prevent most people from doing any real thinking on this paramount subject, since they are convinced that belief and faith of some sort will make them a fit subjects for "salvation," which is true in at certain sense.

Indeed, this is it paramount theme; it is the only true objective of universal evolution, and it is more than worthwhile to find the time and arouse the interest to dig deep into it. So doing we shall see that "soul" and "man" are synonyms, but the irony of it all is that man or soul, as such, are neither "eternal" nor unconditionally "immortal." It is the "spirit" or spiritual monad which is really eternal and immortal. Man or "soul" - the human ego - is but a transitory aspect in the manvantaric evolution of the monad; a reflection of the monad, which with the dawning of mind becomes self-conscious of its apparent existence as a separate entity.

"[That] It is not divided into beings; yet it stands as if divided; It is to be known as the supporter of beings, the Devourer and also the Emanator." - Bhagavad-Gita, xiii,16.

In a sort of rhetorical manner, we may say that the monad begins its pilgrimage as an unconscious entity, to complete its evolutionary cycle as it self-conscious one. Many are, indeed, the aspects of its manifestations, one of them, and perhaps the most important one, being man, for it is here, at this particular point, that the concept of true immortality has any meaning, and has possibilities of becoming a reality.

Man - the Maya - is the means by which the self finds the object of its search - the Self. The whole object and finality of Religion is the realization of Immortality; the self-conscious union of the "spirit" with its parent-source. The word religion itself, like yoga, has that connotation in its original meaning: to unite, to bind, to become one. Most of tile religious sects of today have lost sight of this, religion's true meaning and objective, and in order to fill in some way the vacuum created by their dead-letter-theology, they stress "salvation," the salvation of the "soul." There is a whole world of difference between "salvation" and the Immortality taught by all the great World Teachers.

The truly religious individual, the mystic, the chela, has no interest in "salvation"; his aspiration is set on freeing himself from the bonds of Maya, from all the worlds of illusion. His goal, therefore, is Immortality of [16] the Self. Salvation has to do with heavens and hells, devachan and avichi, svarga, etc. Man, the Maya, by beliefs, piety, and the observance of the conventional ethics of the age, and the ceremonies and rituals of his faith, is saved; he goes to heaven as a reward for his beliefs. Man, the illusion, goes to an illusory Paradise of his own creation, to vegetate and dream about the fulfilment of his noblest aspirations, but to return again and again, impelled by his unspent karman, back to the world of misery, disease, old age and death.

Once man awakens in himself the thirst for Immortality, and thereby enters the "stream," as it is called in The Voice of the Silence, he knows he has but a limited number of such "salvations" ahead of him in which to extinguish his karman; he is eager to make his sojourn in that Paradise as short as possible, for his business is not dreaming but self-conscious meditation. Thus he becomes the destroyer of illusion, the master of his mind; he is himself the path of liberation, for Maya is not outside, but within his own mind.



We wish to draw the attention of our readers to the serious and high-type philosophical work conducted by our good friend, Manly Palmer Hall - a fellow-pilgrim on the age-old path of spiritual endeavor. We recommend a visit to the Library of his Philosophical Research Society, a unique institution, located at 3441 Griffith Park Blvd., Los Angeles 27, Calif. (NO-12222). It contains the finest collection of occult literature in this country, as well as a vast number of works and manuscripts on the philosophies of both the Occident and the Orient. The Library can be used for research-work.

In the words of Manly P. Hall, "The Philosophical Research Society was created to perpetuate the teachings of those illumined men and women of the past whose lives and words are the richest heritage of our race. We are resolved to protect, insofar as possible the spirit flame they guarded with their lives."

The Publishing House of the Society is a center from which issues a steady stream of valuable philosophical literature. The writings of Manly P. Hall, and his outstanding quarterly, Horizon ($3.00 per year), have been for years a source of inspiration to many. His frequent reference to the work of H.P. Blavatsky, and his unconditional endorsement of her position in the occult world, are sufficient evidence of the spiritual value of his own thought and work.

We suggest that our readers secure a list of the publications of the Philosophical Research Society and become better acquainted with its work. - Editor.


(Partial Directory)

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Adyar, Madras, India. C. Jinarajadasa, President. Off. Organ of the Pres.: The Theosophist.
United States Section: James S. Perkins, Gen. Sec'y, "Olcott," Wheaton, Ill. Off. Organ: The American Theosophist. Canadian Section: Lt.-Col. E. L. Thomson, Gen. Sec'y, 52 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario. Off. Organ: The Canadian Theosophist (Albert E.S. Smythe, Editor).
Literature: The Theosophical Publishing House. Adyar, Madras, India, and 68 Great Russell St., London W.C. 1, England. - The Theosophical Press, '"Olcott," Wheaton, Ill. - Editions Adyar, 4 Square Rapp, Paris vii, France.

THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY: Intern'l Hdqrts., Covina, Calif., U.S.A. Arthur L. Conger, Leader. Off. Organ: The Theosophical Forum.
American-Canadian Section: Maj. Oliver J. Schoonmaker, Pres., 802 Jackson Ave., Washington 12, D.C.
Literature: Theosophical University Press, Covina, Calif. - Theosophical Book Co., 119 Stoughton Rd., Guildford, Surrey, England. - U.M., C.A.J. van Dishoek c.v., Nwe. 's-Graveland-scheweg 36, Bussum, Holland. - Box 1292 G.P.O., Sydney, Australia. - Teosofiska Bokforiaget, Tegnersgatan 29, Stockholm, Sweden.

THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS: selected list of centers -
Los Angeles 7, Calif., 245 West 33rd St. Literature: Theosophy Company, publishers of the magazine Theosophy.
Bombay, India, 51 Mahatma Gandhi Rd. Literature: Theosophy Company, Ltd., Publishers of the magazine The Theosophical Movement. - International Book House, Ltd., Bombay 1. - "Aryasangha," Malabar Hill, Bombay 6, Editors of the magazine The Aryan Path.
London, England, 17 Great Cumberland Place.
Paris v, France, 14 Rue de l'Abbe de l'Epee.
Sydney, Australia, Federation House, 166 Philip St.