Who, what is this?
who
sources
principles
definitions
 
Site Features:
ask Blavatsky Net
membership
free course
science
research tools
newsletters
 
Original Text
Secret Doctrine
HP Blavatsky
WQ Judge
Masters of Theosophy
other authors
collections of articles
 
Real World
meetings
start a study class
 
Topics
reincarnation
near death experiences
Theosophy on the Bible
Theosophy in religions
 
Confirmation
proofs of Theosophy
pebbles of truths
prophecies fulfilled
 
General
weathervane
refutation
Theosophical movement
statement of purpose
 
Links
organizations
Theosophy online
related sites
ezines
publishers
video
 
Contact Us
To make a donation
 

Blavatsky Net - Theosophy

This site focuses on Madame Blavatsky and her teaching - Theosophy. It features an introduction to Theosophy, study aids, research tools, original text, supporting evidence, membership, and visitor interaction.


Home | Seekerbooks.com| H.P.B. Articles | BN Publications | Contact BN | Who Are We?|

NOTES ON SOME ÂRYAN-ARHAT
ESOTERIC TENETS*


[Vol. III. No. 4, January, 1882.]
NOTES.

THE Tibetan esoteric Buddhist doctrine teaches that Prakriti is cosmic matter, out of which all visible forms are produced; Âkâsha is also cosmic matter, but still more imponderable, its spirit, as it were; Prakriti being the body or substance, and Âkâsha-Shakti its soul or energy.

Prakriti, Svabhâvat or Âkâsha is Space, as the Tibetans have it; Space filled with whatsoever substance or no substance at all, i.e., with substance so imponderable as to be only metaphysically conceivable. Brahman, then, would be the germ thrown into the soil of that field, and Shakti, that mysterious energy or force which develops it, and which is called by the Buddhist Arahats of Tibet, Fohat.

"That which we call Form (Rûpa) is not different from that which we call Space (Shûnyatâ) . . . Space is not different from Form. Form is the same as Space; Space is the same as Form. And so with the other Skandhas, whether Vedanâ, or Sanjña, or Sanskâra or Vijñana they are each the same as their opposite." (Book of Sin-king or the "Heart Sûtra." Chinese translation of the Mahâ-Prajñâ-Pâramitâ-Hridaya-Sûtra; chapter on the "Avalokiteshvara," or Manifested Buddha.)

So that, the Âryan and Tibetan or Arhat doctrines agree perfectly in substance, differing but in names given and the way of putting it, a distinction resulting from the fact that the Vedântin Brâhmans believe in Parabrahman, a deific power, impersonal though it may be, while the Buddhists entirely reject it.

APPENDICES.
I.

The country called Si-dzang by the Chinese, and Tibet by Western geographers, is mentioned in the oldest books preserved in the province of Fo-kien (the chief headquarters of the aborigines of China) as the great seat of occult learning in the archaic ages. According to these records, it was inhabited by the "Teachers of Light," the "Sons of Wisdom" and the "Brothers of the Sun." The Emperor Yu, the "Great" (2207 B.C.), a pious mystic, is credited with having obtained his occult wisdom and the system of theocracy established by him—for he was the first one to unite in China ecclesiastical power with temporal authority—from Si-dzang. That system was the same as with the old Egyptians and the Chaldees—that which we know to have existed in the Brâhmanical period in India, and to exist now in Tibet—namely, all the learning, power, the temporal as well as the secret wisdom were concentrated within the hierarchy of the priests and limited to their caste. Who were the aborigines of Tibet is a question which no ethnographer is able to answer correctly at present. They practise the Bhon religion, their sect was pre-buddhistic and anti-buddhistic, and they are to be found mostly in the province of Kam—that is all that is known of them. But even that would justify the supposition that they are the greatly degenerated descendants of mighty and wise forefathers. Their ethnical type shows that they are not pure Turanians, and their rites—now those of sorcery, incantations, and nature-worship—remind one far more of the popular rites of the Babylonians, as found in the records preserved on the excavated cylinders, than, as alleged by some, of the religious practices of the Chinese sect of Tao-sse—a religion based upon pure reason and spirituality. Generally, little or no difference is made even by the Kyelang missionaries who mix greatly with these people on the borders of British Lahoul—and ought to know better—between the Bhons and the two rival Buddhist sects, the Yellow Caps and the Red Caps. The latter of these have opposed the reform of Tzong-ka-pa from the first, and have always adhered to old Buddhism, so greatly mixed up now with the practices of the Bhons. Were our Orientalists to know more of them, and compare the ancient Babylonian Bel or Baal worship with the rites of the Bhons, they would find an undeniable connection between the two. It is out of the question to begin an argument here to prove the origin of the aborigines of Tibet as connected with one of the three great races which superseded each other in Babylonia, whether we call them the Akkadians (invented by F. Lenormant), or the primitive Turanians, Chaldees and Assyrians. Be it as it may, there is reason to call the Trans-Himâlayan esoteric doctrine Chaldæo-Tibetan. And, when we remember that the Vedas came—agreeably to all traditions—from the Mansarova Lake in Tibet, and the Brâhmans themselves from the far north, we are justified in looking on the esoteric doctrines of every people who once had or still have them, as having proceeded from one and the same source, and to thus call it the "Âryan-Chaldæo-Tibetan" doctrine, or Universal Wisdom Religion. "Seek for the Lost Word among the hierophants of Tartary, China and Tibet," was the advice of Swedenborg, the seer.

II.

The Vedas, Brâhmanism, and along with these Sanskrit, were importations into what we now regard as India. They were never indigenous to its soil. There was a time when the ancient nations of the West included under the generic name of India many of the countries of Asia now classified under other names. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, even during the comparatively late period of Alexander; and Persia, Iran, is called Western India in some ancient classics, and the countries now named Tibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary were considered as forming part of India. When we say, therefore, that India has civilized the world and was the Alma Mater of the civilizations, arts and sciences of all other nations (Babylonia, and perhaps even Egypt, included), we mean archaic, prehistoric India, India of the time when the great Gobi was a sea, and the lost Atlantis formed part of an unbroken continent which began at the Himâlayas and ran down over Southern India, Ceylon, Java, to far-away Tasmania.

III.

To ascertain such disputed questions [as to whether or not the Tibetan adepts are acquainted with the "esoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred Island"], we have to look into and study well the Chinese sacred and historical records—a people whose era begins nearly 4,600 years back (2697 B.C.). A people so accurate—by whom some of the most important ‘-inventions" of modern Europe and its so much boasted modern science (such as the compass, gunpowder, porcelain, paper, printing, etc.), were anticipated, known, and practised thousands of years before these were rediscovered by the Europeans—ought to receive some trust for their records.

From Lao-tze down to Hiouen-Thsang their literature is filled with allusions and references to that Island and the wisdom of the Himâlayan adepts. In the Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese, by the Rev. Samuel Beal, there is a chapter "On the Tian-Ta’i School of Buddhism " (pp. 244-258), which our opponents ought to read. Translating the rules of that most celebrated and holy school and sect in China founded by Chin-che-chay, called the wise one, in the year 575 of our era, on coming to the sentence, "That which relates to the one garment (seamless) worn by the Great Teachers of the Snowy Mountains, the school of the Haimavatas" (p. 256), the European translator places after it a sign of interrogation, as well he may. The statistics of the school of the Haimavatas or of our Himâlayan Brotherhood, are not to be found in the General Census Records of India. Further, Mr. Beal translates a rule relating to "the great professors of the higher order who live in mountain depths remote from men," the Âranyakas, or hermits.

So, with respect to the traditions concerning this Island, and apart from the (to them) historical records of it preserved in the Chinese and Tibetan Sacred Books, the legend is alive to this day among the people of Tibet. The fair Island is no more, but the country where it once bloomed remains there still, and the spot is well known to some of the "great teachers of the snowy mountains," however much convulsed and changed its topography may have been by the awful cataclysm. Every seventh year these teachers are believed to assemble in Scham-bha-la, the "happy land." According to the general belief it is situated in the north-west of Tibet. Some place it within the unexplored central regions, inaccessible even to the fearless nomadic tribes; others hem it in between the range of the Gangdisri Mountains and the northern edge of the Gobi Desert, south and north, and the more populated regions of Khoondooz and Kashmir, of the Gya-Pheling (British India) and China, west and east, which affords to the curious mind a pretty large latitude to locate it in. Others still place it between Namur Nur and the Kuen-Lun Mountains—but one and all firmly believe in Scham-bha-la, and speak of it as a fertile, fairy-like land, once an island, now an oasis of incomparable beauty, the place of meeting of the inheritors of the esoteric wisdom of the god-like inhabitants of the legendary Island.

In connection with the archaic legend of the Asian Sea and the Atlantic Continent, is it not profitable to note a fact known to all modem geologists—that the Himâlayan slopes afford geological proof that the substance of those lofty peaks was once a part of an ocean floor?

IV.

We have already pointed out that, in our opinion, the whole difference between the Buddhistic and Vedântic philosophies was that the former was a kind of rationalistic Vedântism, while the latter might be regarded as transcendental Buddhism. If the Âryan esotericism applies the term Jîvâtma to the seventh principle, the pure, and per se unconscious, spirit—it is because the Vedânta postulating three kinds of existence—(1) the Paramârthika, the true, the only real one; (2) the Vyavahârika, the practical; and (3) the Pratibhâshika, the apparent or illusory life—makes the first Life or Jiva, the only truly existent one. Brahma or the One Self is its only representative in the universe, as it is the universal Life, while the other two are but its "phenomenal appearances," imagined and created by ignorance, and complete illusions suggested to us by our blind senses. The Buddhists, on the other hand, deny either subjective or objective reality even to that one Self-Existence. Buddha declares that there is neither Creator nor an Absolute Being. Buddhist rationalism was ever too alive to the insuperable difficulty of admitting one absolute consciousness, as in the words of Flint—"wherever there is consciousness there is relation, and wherever there is relation there is dualism." The One Life is either absolute and unconditioned (Mukta) and can have no relation to anything nor to anyone; or it is bound and conditioned (Baddha), and then it cannot be called the Absolute; the limitation, moreover, necessitating another deity as powerful as the first to account for all the evil in this world. Hence, the Arahat secret doctrine on cosmogony admits but of one absolute, indestructible, eternal and uncreated Unconsciousness (so to translate), of an element (the word being used for want of a better term) absolutely independent of everything else in the universe; a something ever present or ubiquitous, a Presence which ever was, is, and will be, whether there is a God, gods, or none; whether there is a universe or no universe; existing during the eternal cycles of Mahâ Yugas, during Pralayas and during the periods of Manvantara; and this is Space, the field for the operation of the eternal Forces and natural Law, the basis (as our correspondent rightly calls it) upon which take place the eternal intercorrelations of Akâsha-Prakriti, guided by the unconscious regular pulsations of Shakti—the breath or power of a conscious Deity, the theists would say—the eternal energy of an eternal, unconscious Law, say the Buddhists. Space then, or Fan Bar-nang (Mahâ Shûnyatâ) or, as it is called by Lao-tze, the "Emptiness," is the nature of the Buddhist Absolute. (See Confucius’ Praise of the Abyss.) The word Jîva, then, could never be applied by the Arahats to the seventh principle, since it is only through its correlation or contact with matter that Fohat (the Buddhist active energy) can develop active conscious life; and since to the question "How can unconsciousness generate consciousness?"the answer would be: "Was the seed which generated a Bacon or a Newton self-conscious?"

H.P. Blavatsky


* The following are a collection of notes and appendices on an article, entitled "The Âryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets on the Sevenfold Principle in Man," by T. Subba Row, B.A., B.L.—EDS.
back to text


print version



"No Religion Higher Than Truth"
Support this site by visiting our donation page.
Site copyright © 1996-2014 by Estela Carson-Priede

List of Articles
1888
1890!
African Magic
Ahkoond of Swat
An Astral Prophet
An Unsolved Mystery
Ancient Doctrines Vindicated
Ancient Magic in Modern Science
Animated Statues
Answers to Queries
Antiquity of the Vedas
Apollonius Tyaneus and Simon Magus
Are Chelas "Mediums"?
Are Dreams but Idle Visions?
Arya Samaj
The Babel of Modern Thought
Black Magic in Science
Blessings of Publicity
Bright Spot of Light
Buddhism, Christianity and Phallicism
Buddhism in America
Can the Double Murder?
Can the Mahatmas Be Selfish?
Case of Obsession
Chelas
Chelas and Lay Chelas
Chinese Spirits
Christmas Then and Christmas Now
Civilization, the Death of Art and Beauty
Claims of Occultism
Classification of "Principles"
Count St. Germain
Cross and Fire
Cycle Moveth
Denials and the Mistakes of the Nineteenth Century
Devil's Own-Thoughts on Ormuzd and Ahriman
Diagnoses and Palliatives
Dialogue on the Mysteries of the After Life
Dialogues between the Two Editors
Do the Rishis Exist?
Does Vaccination Prevent Smallpox?
Dr. Beard Criticized
Dreamland and Somnambulism
Drift of Western Spiritualism
Dual Aspect of Wisdomhe
Echoes from India. What is Hindu Spiritualism?
Eddy Manifestations
Editorial Comment
Editorial Appendix
Eighth Wonder
Electric and Magnetic Affinities between Man and Nature
Elementals
Elementaries
Esoteric Axioms and Spiritual Speculations
"Esoteric Buddhism" and its Critic
"Esoteric Buddhism" and the "Secret Doctrine"
Esoteric Character of the Gospels
Fakirs and Tables
Fall of Ideals
Fate of the Occultist
Few Thoughts on Some Wise Words from a Wise Man
Force of Prejudice
Fragments
French View of Women's Rights
Genius
Grand Inquisitor
"H. M." and the Todas
H. P. Blavatsky on Precipitation and Other Matters
H. P. Blavatsky's Masonic Patent
Have Animals Souls?
Hindu Widow-Marriage
History of a "Book"
History of a Planet
Holmes Controversy
Holmes Controversy(continued)
Huxley and Slade
Hypnotism
Hypnotism, and Its Relations to Other Modes of Fascination
Imperfections of Science
Indian Metaphysics
Intro-Version of Mental Vision
Is Creation Possible for Man?
Is Denunciation a Duty?
Is Foeticide a Crime?
"Is it Idle to Argue Further?"
Is Suicide a Crime?
Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish?
Is Theosophy a Religion?
"Isis Unveiled" and the "Theosophist" on Reincarnation
Isis Unveiled and the Vishishtadwaita
"It's the Cat!"
Jews in Russia
Kabalah and the Kabalists
Kabalistic Views of "Spirits"
Karmic Visions
Knout, The. As Wielded by the Great Russian Theosophist
Kosmic Mind
Lack of Unity among Spiritualists
Lamas and Druses
Land of Mystery
Last Song of the Swan
Le Phare de L'Inconnu
Leaven of Theosophy
Leo Tolstoi and His Unecclesiastical Christianity
"Let Every Man Prove His Own Work"
Life and Death
Life Principle
Literary Jottings on Criticism, Authorities, and Other Matters
Lodges of Magic
Logic versus Peripatetic
Madame Blavatsky on "The Himalayan Brothers"
Magic
Mahatmas and Chelas
Memory in the Dying
Mind in Nature
Missing Link
Missionaries Militant
Mistaken Notions on "The Secret Doctrine"
Modern Apostles and Pseudo-Messiahs
Mote and the Beam
Mr. A. Lillie's Delusions
My Books
Mysterious Race
Nature's Human Magnets
Negations of Science
New Cycle
(New) York against Lankester. A new War of the Roses
"Not a Christian"!
Note on Eliphas Levi
Note on "Memory"
Notes on some Aryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets
Notice to Mediums
Number Seven
Number Seven and Our Society
Occult or Exact Science?
Occult Phenomena
Occultism or Magic
Occultism versus the Occult Arts
Old Hindu Ships
Old Philosophers and Modern Critics
On Pseudo-Theosophy
On The New Year's Morrow
"Oppressed Widowhood" in America
Organisation of the Theosophical Society
Origin of Evil
Our Cycle and the Next
Our Three Objects
Paradoxical World
Parting Words
Persian Zoroastrianism and Russian Vandalism
Pertinent Queries
Pertinent Questions
Philosophers and Philosophicules
Popular Idea of Soul-Survival
Posthumous Publication
Practical Occultism
Pralaya of Modern Science
"Precipitation"
Premature and Phenomenal Growths
Progress and Culture
Protest
Psychic and Noetic Action
Psychic Warning
Psychology - The Science of the Soul
Puzzle from Adyar
Puzzle in "Esoteric Buddhism"
Queries and Answers
Questions Answered about Yoga Vidya
Re-Classification of Principles
Rebuke
Recent Progress in Theosophy
Reincarnations in Tibet
Reply to Our Critics, A. Our Final Answer to Several Objections
Republican Citizen
Retort Courteous
Roots of Ritualism in Church and Masonry
Russian Atrocities
Sacred Tree of Kum Bum
Science of Life
Science of Magic
"Scrutator Again"
Search after Occultism
Seeming "Discrepancies"
Seventeen-Rayed Sun-Disc
She Being Dead Yet Speaketh
Signal of Danger
Signs of the Times
Six-Pointed and Five-Pointed Stars
Society Without a Dogma
Some Scientific Questions Answered
Spiritual Progress
Spiritualism and Occult Truth
Spiritualism and Spiritualists
Spiritualism in Russia
Spiritualistic Tricksters
Star-Angel-Worship in the Roman Catholic Church
Stars and Numbers
Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan
Substantial Nature of Magnetism
Tetragrammaton
Theories about Reincarnation and Spirits
Theory of Cycles
"Theosophical Mahatmas"
Theosophical Society: Its Mission and Its Future
Theosophists and their Opponents
Theosophy and Spiritualism
Theosophy or Jesuitism?
Thoughts of the Dead
Thoughts on the Elementals
Tibetan Teachings
Tidal Wave
"To the Readers of 'Lucifer'"
Todas
Transmigration of the Life Atoms
Trickery or Magic?
Universe in a Nut-Shell
Views of the Theosophists
War in Olympus
Warning to Mediums
Was Cagliostro a "Charlatan"?
Washing the Disciples' Feet
What Are the Theosophists?
What is Occultism?
What is Theosophy?
"What Is Truth?"
What of Phenomena?
What Shall We Do for Our Fellow-Men?
What's in a Name? - Why the Magazine is called "Lucifer"
Which First - the Egg or the Bird?
Why Do Animals Suffer?
Why I Do Not Return to India
Why the "Vahan"?
"Word with Our Friends"
World-Improvement or World-Deliverance
Year is Dead, Long Live the Year
Year of Theosophy
Yoga Philosophy
 
Acknowledgement