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Theosophy Cardiff Programme




Five Years Of



Various Theosophical



Mystical, Philosophical, Theosophical, Historical

and Scientific Essays Selected from "The Theosophist"

Edited by George Robert Stow Mead




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The Secret Doctrine by H P Blavatsky


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Mystical, Philosophical, Theosophical, Historical and Scientific Essays

Selected from "The Theosophist"


Edited by George Robert Stow Mead












The "Elixir of Life"

Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish?


Chelas and Lay Chelas

Ancient Opinions upon Psychic Bodies

The Nilgiri Sannyasis

Witchcraft on the Nilgiris

Shamanism and Witchcraft Amongst the Kolarian Tribes

Mahatmas and Chelas

The Brahmanical Thread

Reading in a Sealed Envelope

The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac

The Sishal and Bhukailas Yogis




True and False Personality


Zorastrianism on the Septenary Constitution of Man

Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man

The Septenary Principle in Esotericism

Personal and Impersonal God

Prakriti and Parusha

Morality and Pantheism

Occult Study

Some Inquiries Suggested by Mr. Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism"

Sakya Muni's Place in History

Inscriptions Discovered by General A. Cunningham

Discrimination of Spirit and Not-Spirit

Was Writing Known Before Panini?




What is Theosophy?

How a "Chela" Found His "Guru"

The Sages of the Himavat

The Himalayan Brothers--Do They Exist?

Interview With a Mahatma

The Secret Doctrine




The Puranas on the Dynasty of the Moryas and on Koothoomi

The Theory of Cycles




Odorigen and Jiva

Introversion of Mental Vision


"How Shall We Sleep?"

Transmigration of the Life Atoms

"OM" and its Practical Significance













The "Elixir of Life"

       From a Chela's* Diary.  By G---M---, F.T.S.


"And Enoch walked with the Elohim, and the Elohim took him."





[The curious information-for whatsoever else the world may think of it,

it will doubtless be acknowledged to be that--contained in the article

that follows, merits a few words of introduction. The details given in

it on the subject of what has always been considered as one of the

darkest and most strictly guarded of the mysteries of the initiation

into occultism--from the days of the Rishis until those of the

Theosophical Society--came to the knowledge of the author in a way that

would seem to the ordinary run of Europeans strange and supernatural.

He himself, however, we may assure the reader, is a most thorough

disbeliever in the Supernatural, though he has learned too much to limit

the capabilities of the natural as some do.  Further, he has to make the

following confession of his own belief.  It will be apparent, from a

careful perusal of the facts, that if the matter be really as stated

therein, the author cannot himself be an adept of high grade, as the

article in such a case would never have been written.  Nor does he

pretend to be one.  He is, or rather was, for a few years an humble

Chela. Hence, the converse must consequently be also true, that as

regards the higher stages of the mystery he can have no personal

experience, but speaks of it only as a close observer left to his own

surmises--and no more.  He may, therefore, boldly state that during, and

notwithstanding, his unfortunately rather too short stay with some

adepts, he has by actual experiment and observation verified some of the

less transcendental or incipient parts of the "Course."  And, though it

will be impossible for him to give positive testimony as to what lies

beyond, he may yet mention that all his own course of study, training

and experience, long, severe and dangerous as it has often been, leads

him to the conviction that everything is really as stated, save some

details purposely veiled.  For causes which cannot be explained to the

public, he himself may he unable or unwilling to use the secret he has

gained access to.  Still he is permitted by one to whom all his

reverential affection and gratitude are due--his last guru--to divulge

for the benefit of Science and Man, and specially for the good of those

who are courageous enough to personally make the experiment, the

following astounding particulars of the occult methods for prolonging

life to a period far beyond the common.--G.M.]



* A. Chela is the pupil and disciple of an initiated Guru or





Probably one of the first considerations which move the worldly-minded

at present to solicit initiation into Theosophy is the belief, or hope,

that, immediately on joining, some extraordinary advantage over the rest

of mankind will be conferred upon the candidate.  Some even think that

the ultimate result of their initiation will perhaps be exemption from

that dissolution which is called the common lot of mankind.  The

traditions of the "Elixir of Life," said to be in the possession of

Kabalists and Alchemists, are still cherished by students of Medieval

Occultism--in Europe.  The allegory of the Ab-e Hyat or Water of Life,

is still credited as a fact by the degraded remnants of the Asiatic

esoteric sects ignorant of the real GREAT SECRET. The "pungent and fiery

Essence," by which Zanoni renewed his existence, still fires the

imagination of modern visionaries as a possible scientific discovery of

the future.


Theosophically, though the fact is distinctly declared to be true, the

above-named conceptions of the mode of procedure leading to the

realization of the fact, are known to be false. The reader may or may

not believe it;  but as a matter of fact, Theosophical Occultists claim

to have communication with (living) Intelligences possessing an

infinitely wider range of observation than is contemplated even by the

loftiest aspirations of modern science, all the present "Adepts" of

Europe and America--dabblers in the Kabala--notwithstanding.  But far

even as those superior Intelligences have investigated (or, if

preferred, are alleged to have investigated), and remotely as they may

have searched by the help of inference and analogy, even They have

failed to discover in the Infinity anything permanent but--SPACE.  ALL

IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  Reflection, therefore, will easily suggest to the

reader the further logical inference that in a Universe which is

essentially impermanent in its conditions, nothing can confer

permanency.  Therefore, no possible substance, even if drawn from the

depths of Infinity;  no imaginable combination of drugs, whether of our

earth or any other, though compounded by even the Highest Intelligence;

no system of life or discipline though directed by the sternest

determination and skill, could possibly produce Immutability.  For in

the universe of solar systems, wherever and however investigated,

Immutability necessitates "Non-Being" in the physical sense given it by

the Theists-Non-Being which is nothing in the narrow conceptions of

Western Religionists--a reductio ad absurdum.  This is a gratuitous

insult even when applied to the pseudo-Christian or ecclesiastical

Jehovite idea of God.


Consequently, it will be seen that the common ideal conception of

"Immortality" is not only essentially wrong, but a physical and

metaphysical impossibility. The idea, whether cherished by Theosophists

or non-Theosophists, by Christians or Spiritualists, by Materialists or

Idealists, is a chimerical illusion.  But the actual prolongation of

human life is possible for a time so long as to appear miraculous and

incredible to those who regard our span of existence as necessarily

limited to at most a couple of hundred years.  We may break, as it were,

the shock of Death, and instead of dying, change a sudden plunge into

darkness to a transition into a brighter light.  And this may be made so

gradual that the passage from one state of existence to another shall

have its friction minimized, so as to be practically imperceptible.

This is a very different matter, and quite within the reach of Occult

Science.  In this, as in all other cases, means properly directed will

gain their ends, and causes produce effects. Of course, the only

question is, what are these causes, and how, in their turn, are they to

be produced.  To lift, as far as may be allowed, the veil from this

aspect of Occultism, is the object of the present paper.


We must premise by reminding the reader of two Theosophic doctrines,

constantly inculcated in "Isis" and in other mystic works--namely, (a)

that ultimately the Kosmos is One--one under infinite variations and

manifestations, and (b) that the so-called man is a "compound being"--

composite not only in the exoteric scientific sense of being a congeries

of living so-called material Units, but also in the esoteric sense of

being a succession of seven forms or parts of itself, interblended with

each other.  To put it more clearly we might say that the more ethereal

forms are but duplicates of the same aspect,--each finer one lying

within the inter-atomic spaces of the next grosser.  We would have the

reader understand that these are no subtleties, no "spiritualities" at

all in the Christo-Spiritualistic sense.  In the actual man reflected in

your mirror are really several men, or several parts of one composite

man;  each the exact counterpart of the other, but the "atomic

conditions" (for want of a better word) of each of which are so arranged

that its atoms interpenetrate those of the next "grosser" form.  It does

not, for our present purpose, matter how the Theosophists,

Spiritualists, Buddhists, Kabalists, or Vedantists, count, separate,

classify, arrange or name these, as that war of terms may be postponed

to another occasion.  Neither does it matter what relation each of these

men has to the various "elements" of the Kosmos of which he forms a

part. This knowledge, though of vital importance in other respects, need

not be explained or discussed now.  Nor does it much more concern us

that the Scientists deny the existence of such an arrangement, because

their instruments are inadequate to make their senses perceive it.  We

will simply reply--"get better instruments and keener senses, and

eventually you will."


All we have to say is that if you are anxious to drink of the "Elixir of

Life," and live a thousand years or so, you must take our word for the

matter at present, and proceed on the assumption.  For esoteric science

does not give the faintest possible hope that the desired end will ever

be attained by any other way;  while modern, or so-called exact

science--laughs at it.


So, then, we have arrived at the point where we have determined--

literally, not metaphorically--to crack the outer shell known as the

mortal coil or body, and hatch out of it, clothed in our next.  This

"next" is not spiritual, but only a more ethereal form.  Having by a

long training and preparation adapted it for a life in this atmosphere,

during which time we have gradually made the outward shell to die off

through a certain process (hints of which will be found further on) we

have to prepare for this physiological transformation.


How are we to do it?  In the first place we have the actual, visible,

material body--Man, so called;  though, in fact, but his outer shell--to

deal with. Let us bear in mind that science teaches us that in about

every seven years we change skin as effectually as any serpent;  and

this so gradually and imperceptibly that, had not science after years of

unremitting study and observation assured us of it, no one would have

had the slightest suspicion of the fact.


We see, moreover, that in process of time any cut or lesion upon the

body, however deep, has a tendency to repair the loss and reunite;  a

piece of lost skin is very soon replaced by another. Hence, if a man,

partially flayed alive, may sometimes survive and be covered with a new

skin, so our astral, vital body--the fourth of the seven (having

attracted and assimilated to itself the second) and which is so much

more ethereal than the physical one--may be made to harden its particles

to the atmospheric changes.  The whole secret is to succeed in evolving

it out, and separating it from the visible;  and while its generally

invisible atoms proceed to concrete themselves into a compact mass, to

gradually get rid of the old particles of our visible frame so as to

make them die and disappear before the new set has had time to evolve

and replace them.  We can say no more.  The Magdalene is not the only

one who could be accused of having "seven spirits" in her, though men

who have a lesser number of spirits (what a misnomer that word!) in

them, are not few or exceptional;  they are the frequent failures of

nature--the incomplete men and women.*



* This is not to be taken as meaning that such persons are thoroughly

destitute of some one or several of the seven principles--a man born

without an arm has still its ethereal counterpart;  but that they are so

latent that they cannot be developed, and consequently are to be

considered as non-existing.--Ed. Theos.



Each of these has in turn to survive the preceding and more dense one,

and then die.  The exception is the sixth when absorbed into and blended

with the seventh.  The "Phatu" * of the old Hindu physiologist had a

dual meaning, the esoteric side of which corresponds with the Tibetan

"Zung" (seven principles of the body).


We Asiatics, have a proverb, probably handed down to us, and by the

Hindus repeated ignorantly as to its esoteric meaning.  It has been

known ever since the old Rishis mingled familiarly with the simple and

noble people they taught and led on.  The Devas had whispered into every

man's ear--Thou only--if thou wilt--art "immortal."  Combine with this

the saying of a Western author that if any man could just realize for an

instant, that he had to die some day, he would die that instant.  The

Illuminated will perceive that between these two sayings, rightly

understood, stands revealed the whole secret of Longevity.  We only die

when our will ceases to be strong enough to make us live.  In the

majority of cases, death comes when the torture and vital exhaustion

accompanying a rapid change in our physical conditions becomes so

intense as to weaken, for one single instant, our "clutch on life," or

the tenacity of the will to exist.  Till then, however severe may be the

disease, however sharp the pang, we are only sick or wounded, as the

case may be.



* Dhatu--the seven principal substances of the human body--chyle, flesh,

blood, fat, bones, marrow, semen.



This explains the cases of sudden deaths from joy, fright, pain, grief

or such other causes.  The sense of a life-task consummated, of the

worthlessness of one's existence, if strongly realized, produced death

as surely as poison or a rifle-bullet. On the other hand, a stern

determination to continue to live, has, in fact, carried many through

the crises of the most severe diseases, in perfect safety.


First, then, must be the determination--the Will--the conviction of

certainty, to survive and continue.*  Without that, all else is useless.

And to be efficient for the purpose, it must be, not only a passing

resolution of the moment, a single fierce desire of short duration, but

a settled and continued strain, as nearly as can be continued and

concentrated without one single moment's relaxation.  In a word, the

would-be "Immortal" must be on his watch night and day, guarding self

against-himself.  To live--to live--to live--must be his unswerving

resolve.  He must as little as possible allow himself to be turned aside

from it.  It may be said that this is the most concentrated form of

selfishness,--that it is utterly opposed to our Theosophic professions

of benevolence, and disinterestedness, and regard for the good of

humanity.  Well, viewed in a short-sighted way, it is so.  But to do

good, as in everything else, a man must have time and materials to work

with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powers by

which infinitely more good can be done than without them.



* Col. Olcott has epigrammatically explained the creative or rather the

re-creative power of the Will, in his "Buddhist Catechism."  He there

shows--of course, speaking on behalf of the Southern Buddhists--that

this Will to live, if not extinguished in the present life, leaps over

the chasm of bodily death, and recombines the Skandhas, or groups of

qualities that made up the individual into a new personality.  Man is,

therefore, reborn as the result of his own unsatisfied yearning for

objective existence.  Col. Olcott puts it in this way:


Q.  123.  What is that, in man, which gives him the impression of

having a permanent individuality?


A.  Tanha, or the unsatisfied desire for existence.  The being having

done that for which he must be rewarded or punished in future, and

having Tanha, will have a rebirth through the influence of Karma.


Q.  124.  ....What is it that is reborn?


A.  A new aggregation of Skandhas, or individuality, caused by the last

yearning of the dying person.


Q.  128. To what cause must we attribute the differences in the

combination of the Five Skandhas has which makes every individual

different from every other individual?


A.  To the Karma of the individual in the next preceding birth.


Q.  129.  What is the force or energy that is at work, under the

guidance of Karma, to produce the new being?


A.  Tanha--the "Will to Live."



When these are once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive,

for there comes a moment when further watch and exertion are no longer

needed:--the moment when the turning-point is safely passed.  For the

present as we deal with aspirants and not with advanced chelas, in the

first stage a determined, dogged resolution, and an enlightened

concentration of self on self, are all that is absolutely necessary.  It

must not, however, be considered that the candidate is required to be

unhuman or brutal in his negligence of others.  Such a recklessly

selfish course would be as injurious to him as the contrary one of

expending his vital energy on the gratification of his physical desires.

All that is required from him is a purely negative attitude.  Until the

turning-point is reached, he must not "lay out" his energy in lavish or

fiery devotion to any cause, however noble, however "good," however

elevated.*  Such, we can solemnly assure the reader, would bring its

reward in many ways--perhaps in another life, perhaps in this world, but

it would tend to shorten the existence it is desired to preserve, as

surely as self-indulgence and profligacy.  That is why very few of the

truly great men of the world (of course, the unprincipled adventurers

who have applied great powers to bad uses are out of the question)--the

martyrs, the heroes, the founders of religions, the liberators of

nations, the leaders of reforms--ever became members of the long-lived

"Brotherhood of Adepts" who were by some and for long years accused of

selfishness.  (And that is also why the Yogis, and the Fakirs of modern

India--most of whom are acting now but on the dead-letter tradition, are


required if they would be considered living up to the principles of

their profession--to appear entirely dead to every inward feeling or

emotion.) Notwithstanding the purity of their hearts, the greatness of

their aspirations, the disinterestedness of their self-sacrifice, they

could not live for they had missed the hour.



* On page 151 of Mr. Sinnett's "Occult World," the author's much abused,

and still more doubted correspondent assures him that none yet of his

"degree are like the stern hero of Bulwer's" Zanoni.... "the heartless

morally dried up mummies some would fancy us to be" and adds that few of

them "would care to play the part in life of a desiccated pansy between

the leaves of a volume of solemn poetry."  But our adept omits saying

that one or two degrees higher, and he will have to submit for a period

of years to such a mummifying process unless, indeed, he would

voluntarily give up a life-long labour and--Die.--Ed.



They may at times have exercised powers which the world called

miraculous;  they may have electrified man and subdued Nature by fiery

and self-devoted Will;  they may have been possessed of a so-called

superhuman intelligence;  they may have even had knowledge of, and

communion with, members of our own occult Brotherhood;  but, having

deliberately resolved to devote their vital energy to the welfare of

others, rather than to themselves, they have surrendered life;  and,

when perishing on the cross or the scaffold, or falling, sword in hand,

upon the battle-field, or sinking exhausted after a successful

consummation of the life-object, on death-beds in their chambers, they

have all alike had to cry out at last:  "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani!"


So far so good.  But, given the will to live, however powerful, we have

seen that, in the ordinary course of mundane life, the throes of

dissolution cannot be checked.  The desperate, and again and again

renewed struggle of the Kosmic elements to proceed with a career of

change despite the will that is checking them, like a pair of runaway

horses struggling against the determined driver holding them in, are so

cumulatively powerful, that the utmost efforts of the untrained human

will acting within an unprepared body become ultimately useless.  The

highest intrepidity of the bravest soldier;  the interest desire of the

yearning lover;  the hungry greed of the unsatisfied miser;  the most

undoubting faith of the sternest fanatic;  the practiced insensibility

to pain of the hardiest red Indian brave or half-trained Hindu Yogi;

the most deliberate philosophy of the calmest thinker--all alike fail at

last.  Indeed, sceptics will allege in opposition to the verities of

this article that, as a matter of experience, it is often observed that

the mildest and most irresolute of minds and the weakest of physical

frames are often seen to resist "Death" longer than the powerful will of

the high-spirited and obstinately-egotistic man, and the iron frame of

the labourer, the warrior and the athlete.  In reality, however, the key

to the secret of these apparently contradictory phenomena is the true

conception of the very thing we have already said.  If the physical

development of the gross "outer shell" proceeds on parallel lines and at

an equal rate with that of the will, it stands to reason that no

advantage for the purpose of overcoming it, is attained by the latter.

The acquisition of improved breechloaders by one modern army confers no

absolute superiority if the enemy also becomes possessed of them.

Consequently it will be at once apparent, to those who think on the

subject, that much of the training by which what is known as "a powerful

and determined nature," perfects itself for its own purpose on the stage

of the visible world, necessitating and being useless without a parallel

development of the "gross" and so-called animal frame, is, in short,

neutralized, for the purpose at present treated of, by the fact that its

own action has armed the enemy with weapons equal to its own.  The force

of the impulse to dissolution is rendered equal to the will to oppose

it;  and being cumulative, subdues the will-power and triumphs at last.

On the other hand, it may happen that an apparently weak and vacillating

will-power residing in a weak and undeveloped physical frame, may be so

reinforced by some unsatisfied desire--the Ichcha (wish)--as it is

called by the Indian Occultists (for instance, a mother's heart-yearning

to remain and support her fatherless children)--as to keep down and

vanquish, for a short time, the physical throes of a body to which it

has become temporarily superior.


The whole rationale then, of the first condition of continued existence

in this world, is (a) the development of a Will so powerful as to

overcome the hereditary (in a Darwinian sense) tendencies of the atoms

composing the "gross" and palpable animal frame, to hurry on at a

particular period in a certain course of Kosmic change;  and (b) to so

weaken the concrete action of that animal frame as to make it more

amenable to the power of the Will.  To defeat an army, you must

demoralize and throw it into disorder.


To do this then, is the real object of all the rites, ceremonies, fasts,

"prayers," meditations, initiations and procedures of self-discipline

enjoined by various esoteric Eastern sects, from that course of pure and

elevated aspiration which leads to the higher phases of Adeptism Real,

down to the fearful and disgusting ordeals which the adherent of the

"Left-hand-Road" has to pass through, all the time maintaining his

equilibrium.  The procedures have their merits and their demerits, their

separate uses and abuses, their essential and non-essential parts, their

various veils, mummeries, and labyrinths.  But in all, the result aimed

at is reached, if by different processes.  The Will is strengthened,

encouraged and directed, and the elements opposing its action are

demoralized.  Now, to any one who has thought out and connected the

various evolution theories, as taken, not from any occult source, but

from the ordinary scientific manual accessible to all--from the

hypothesis of the latest variation in the habits of species--say, the

acquisition of carnivorous habits by the New Zealand parrot, for

instance--to the farthest glimpses backwards into Space and Eternity

afforded by the "Fire Mist" doctrine, it will be apparent that they all

rest on one basis. That basis is, that the impulse once given to a

hypothetical Unit has a tendency to continue;  and consequently, that

anything "done" by something at a certain time and certain place tends

to repeat itself at other times and places.


Such is the admitted rationale of heredity and atavism.  That the same

things apply to our ordinary conduct is apparent from the notorious ease

with which "habits,"--bad or good, as the case may be--are acquired, and

it will not be questioned that this applies, as a rule, as much to the

moral and intellectual, as to the physical world.


Furthermore, History and Science teach us plainly that certain physical

habits conduce to certain moral and intellectual results.  There never

yet was a conquering nation of vegetarians. Even in the old Aryan times,

we do not learn that the very Rishis, from whose lore and practice we

gain the knowledge of Occultism, ever interdicted the Kshetriya

(military) caste from hunting or a carnivorous diet.  Filling, as they

did, a certain place in the body politic in the actual condition of the

world, the Rishis as little thought of interfering with them, as of

restraining the tigers of the jungle from their habits.  That did not

affect what the Rishis did themselves.


The aspirant to longevity then must be on his guard against two dangers.

He must beware especially of impure and animal* thoughts. For Science

shows that thought is dynamic, and the thought-force evolved by nervous

action expanding outwardly, must affect the molecular relations of the

physical man.  The inner men,** however sublimated their organism may

be, are still composed of actual, not hypothetical, particles, and are

still subject to the law that an "action" has a tendency to repeat

itself;  a tendency to set up analogous action in the grosser "shell"

they are in contact with, and concealed within.



* In other words, the thought tends to provoke the deed.--G.M.


** We use the word in the plural, reminding the reader that, according

to our doctrine, man is septenary.--G.M.



And, on the other hand, certain actions have a tendency to produce

actual physical conditions unfavourable to pure thoughts, hence to the

state required for developing the supremacy of the inner man.


To return to the practical process.  A normally healthy mind, in a

normally healthy body, is a good starting-point.  Though exceptionally

powerful and self-devoted natures may sometimes recover the ground lost

by mental degradation or physical misuse, by employing proper means,

under the direction of unswerving resolution, yet often things may have

gone so far that there is no longer stamina enough to sustain the

conflict sufficiently long to perpetuate this life;  though what in

Eastern parlance is called the "merit" of the effort will help to

ameliorate conditions and improve matters in another.


However this may be, the prescribed course of self-discipline commences

here.  It may be stated briefly that its essence is a course of moral,

mental, and physical development, carried on in parallel lines--one

being useless without the other.  The physical man must be rendered more

ethereal and sensitive;  the mental man more penetrating and profound;

the moral man more self-denying and philosophical.  And it may be

mentioned that all sense of restraint--even if self-imposed--is useless.

Not only is all "goodness" that results from the compulsion of physical

force, threats, or bribes (whether of a physical or so-called

"spiritual" nature) absolutely useless to the person who exhibits it,

its hypocrisy tending to poison the moral atmosphere of the world, but

the desire to be "good" or "pure," to be efficacious must be

spontaneous.  It must be a self-impulse from within, a real preference

for something higher, not an abstention from vice because of fear of the

law:  not a chastity enforced by the dread of Public Opinion;  not a

benevolence exercised through love of praise or dread of consequences in

a hypothetical Future Life.*



* Col. Olcott clearly and succinctly explains the Buddhist doctrine of

Merit or Karma, in his "Buddhist Catechism."

(Question 83).--G.M.



It will be seen now in connection with the doctrine of the tendency

to the renewal of action, before discussed, that the course of

self-discipline recommended as the only road to Longevity by Occultism

is not a "visionary" theory dealing with vague "ideas," but actually a

scientifically devised system of drill.  It is a system by which each

particle of the several men composing the septenary individual receives

an impulse, and a habit of doing what is necessary for certain purposes

of its own free-will and with "pleasure."  Every one must be practiced

and perfect in a thing to do it with pleasure.  This rule especially

applies to the case of the development of Man.  "Virtue" may be very

good in its way--it may lead to the grandest results. But to become

efficacious it has to be practiced cheerfully not with reluctance or

pain.  As a consequence of the above consideration the candidate for

Longevity at the commencement of his career must begin to eschew his

physical desires, not from any sentimental theory of right or wrong, but

for the following good reason.  As, according to a well-known and now

established scientific theory, his visible material frame is always

renewing its particles;  he will, while abstaining from the

gratification of his desires, reach the end of a certain period during

which those particles which composed the man of vice, and which were

given a bad predisposition, will have departed.  At the same time, the

disuse of such functions will tend to obstruct the entry, in place of

the old particles, of new particles having a tendency to repeat the said

acts.  And while this is the particular result as regards certain

"vices," the general result of an abstention from "gross" acts will be

(by a modification of the well-known Darwinian law of atrophy by

non-usage) to diminish what we may call the "relative" density and

coherence of the outer shell (as a result of its less-used molecules);

while the diminution in the quantity of its actual constituents will he

"made up" (if tried by scales and weights) by the increased admission of

more ethereal particles.


What physical desires are to be abandoned and in what order? First and

foremost, he must give up alcohol in all forms;  for while it supplies

no nourishment, nor any direct pleasure (beyond such sweetness or

fragrance as may be gained in the taste of wine, &c., to which alcohol,

in itself, is non-essential) to even the grossest elements of the

"physical" frame, it induces a violence of action, a rush so to speak,

of life, the stress of which can only be sustained by very dull, gross,

and dense elements, and which, by the operation of the well-known law of

Re-action (in commercial phrase, "supply and demand") tends to summon

them from the surrounding universe, and therefore directly counteracts

the object we have in view.


Next comes meat-eating, and for the very same reason, in a minor degree.

It increases the rapidity of life, the energy of action, the violence of

passions.  It may be good for a hero who has to fight and die, but not

for a would-be sage who has to exist and....


Next in order come the sexual desires;  for these, in addition to the

great diversion of energy (vital force) into other channels, in many

different ways, beyond the primary one (as, for instance, the waste of

energy in expectation, jealousy, &c.), are direct attractions to a

certain gross quality of the original matter of the Universe, simply

because the most pleasurable physical sensations are only possible at

that stage of density.  Alongside with and extending beyond all these

and other gratifications of the senses (which include not only those

things usually known as "vicious," but all those which, though

ordinarily regarded as "innocent," have yet the disqualification of

ministering to the pleasures of the body--the most harmless to others

and the least "gross" being the criterion for those to be last abandoned

in each case)--must be carried on the moral purification.


Nor must it be imagined that "austerities" as commonly understood can,

in the majority of cases, avail much to hasten the "etherealizing"

process.  That is the rock on which many of the Eastern esoteric sects

have foundered, and the reason why they have degenerated into degrading

superstitions.  The Western monks and the Eastern Yogees, who think they

will reach the apex of powers by concentrating their thought on their

navel, or by standing on one leg, are practicing exercises which serve

no other purpose than to strengthen the willpower, which is sometimes

applied to the basest purposes.  These are examples of this one-sided

and dwarf development.  It is no use to fast as long as you require

food.  The ceasing of desire for food without impairment of health is

the sign which indicates that it should be taken in lesser and ever

decreasing quantities until the extreme limit compatible with life is

reached.  A stage will be finally attained where only water will be



Nor is it of any use for this particular purpose of longevity to abstain

from immorality so long as you are craving for it in your heart;  and so

on with all other unsatisfied inward cravings.  To get rid of the inward

desire is the essential thing, and to mimic the real thing without it is

barefaced hypocrisy and useless slavery.


So it must be with the moral purification of the heart.  The "basest"

inclinations must go first--then the others.  First avarice, then fear,

then envy, worldly pride, uncharitableness, hatred;  last of all

ambition and curiosity must be abandoned successively.  The

strengthening of the more ethereal and so-called "spiritual" parts of

the man must go on at the same time. Reasoning from the known to the

unknown, meditation must be practiced and encouraged.  Meditation is the

inexpressible yearning of the inner Man to "go out towards the

infinite," which in the olden time was the real meaning of adoration,

but which has now no synonym in the European languages, because the

thing no longer exists in the West, and its name has been vulgarized to

the make-believe shams known as prayer, glorification, and repentance.

Through all stages of training the equilibrium of the consciousness--the

assurance that all must be right in the Kosmos, and therefore with you a

portion of it--must be retained. The process of life must not be hurried

but retarded, if possible;  to do otherwise may do good to others--

perhaps even to yourself in other spheres, but it will hasten your

dissolution in this.


Nor must the externals be neglected in this first stage. Remember that

an adept, though "existing" so as to convey to ordinary minds the idea

of his being immortal, is not also invulnerable to agencies from

without.  The training to prolong life does not, in itself, secure one

from accidents.  As far as any physical preparation goes, the sword may

still cut, the disease enter, the poison disarrange.  This case is very

clearly and beautifully put in "Zanoni," and it is correctly put and

must be so, unless all "adeptism" is a baseless lie.  The adept may be

more secure from ordinary dangers than the common mortal, but he is so

by virtue of the superior knowledge, calmness, coolness and penetration

which his lengthened existence and its necessary concomitants have

enabled him to acquire;  not by virtue of any preservative power in the

process itself.  He is secure as a man armed with a rifle is more secure

than a naked baboon;  not secure in the sense in which the deva (god)

was supposed to be securer than a man.



If this is so in the case of the high adept, how much more necessary is

it that the neophyte should be not only protected but that he himself

should use all possible means to ensure for himself the necessary

duration of life to complete the process of mastering the phenomena we

call death!  It may be said, why do not the higher adepts protect him?

Perhaps they do to some extent, but the child must learn to walk alone;

to make him independent of his own efforts in respect to safety, would

be destroying one element necessary to his development--the sense of

responsibility.  What courage or conduct would be called for in a man

sent to fight when armed with irresistible weapons and clothed in

impenetrable armour?  Hence the neophyte should endeavour, as far as

possible, to fulfill every true canon of sanitary law as laid down by

modern scientists.  Pure air, pure water, pure food, gentle exercise,

regular hours, pleasant occupations and surroundings, are all, if not

indispensable, at least serviceable to his progress.  It is to secure

these, at least as much as silence and solitude, that the Gods, Sages,

Occultists of all ages have retired as much as possible to the quiet of

the country, the cool cave, the depths of the forest, the expanse of the

desert, or the heights of the mountains.  Is it not suggestive that the

Gods have always loved the "high places";  and that in the present day

the highest section of the Occult Brotherhood on earth inhabits the

highest mountain plateaux of the earth?*



* The stern prohibition to the Jews to serve "their gods upon the high

mountains and upon the hills" is traced back to the unwillingness of

their ancient elders to allow people in most cases unfit for adeptship

to choose a life of celibacy and asceticism, or in other words, to

pursue adeptship.  This prohibition had an esoteric meaning before it

became the prohibition, incomprehensible in its dead-letter sense:  for

it is not India alone whose sons accorded divine honours to the Wise


Ones, but all nations regarded their adepts and initiates as divine.--




Nor must the beginner disdain the assistance of medicine and good

medical regimen.  He is still an ordinary mortal, and he requires the

aid of an ordinary mortal.


"Suppose, however, all the conditions required, or which will be

understood as required (for the details and varieties of treatment

requisite, are too numerous to be detailed here), are fulfilled, what is

the next step?" the reader will ask.  Well if there have been no

backslidings or remissness in the procedure indicated, the following

physical results will follow:--


First the neophyte will take more pleasure in things spiritual and pure.

Gradually gross and material occupations will become not only uncraved

for or forbidden, but simply and literally repulsive to him.  He will

take more pleasure in the simple sensations of Nature--the sort of

feeling one can remember to have experienced as a child.  He will feel

more light-hearted, confident, happy.  Let him take care the sensation

of renewed youth does not mislead, or he will yet risk a fall into his

old baser life and even lower depths.  "Action and Re-action are equal."


Now the desire for food will begin to cease.  Let it be left off

gradually--no fasting is required.  Take what you feel you require.  The

food craved for will be the most innocent and simple.  Fruit and milk

will usually be the best.  Then as till now, you have been simplifying

the quality of your food, gradually--very gradually--as you feel capable

of it diminish the quantity.  You will ask:  "Can a man exist without

food?"  No, but before you mock, consider the character of the process

alluded to.  It is a notorious fact that many of the lowest and simplest

organisms have no excretions.  The common guinea-worm is a very good

instance.  It has rather a complicated organism, but it has no

ejaculatory duct.  All it consumes--the poorest essences of the human

body--is applied to its growth and propagation.  Living as it does in

human tissue, it passes no digested food away.  The human neophyte, at a

certain stage of his development, is in a somewhat analogous condition,

with this difference or differences, that he does excrete, but it is

through the pores of his skin, and by those too enter other etherealized

particles of matter to contribute towards his support.*  Otherwise, all

the food and drink is sufficient only to keep in equilibrium those

"gross" parts of his physical body which still remain to repair their

cuticle-waste through the medium of the blood.  Later on, the process of

cell-development in his frame will undergo a change;  a change for the

better, the opposite of that in disease for the worse--he will become

all living and sensitive, and will derive nourishment from the Ether

(Akas).  But that epoch for our neophyte is yet far distant.



* He is in a state similar to the physical state of a fetus

before birth into the world.--G.M.



Probably, long before that period has arrived, other results, no less

surprising than incredible to the uninitiated will have ensued to give

our neophyte courage and consolation in his difficult task.  It would be

but a truism to repeat what has been again alleged (in ignorance of its

real rationale) by hundreds and hundreds of writers as to the happiness

and content conferred by a life of innocence and purity.  But often at

the very commencement of the process some real physical result,

unexpected and unthought of by the neophyte, occurs.  Some lingering

disease, hitherto deemed hopeless, may take a favourable turn; or he may

develop healing mesmeric powers himself;  or some hitherto unknown

sharpening of his senses may delight him.  The rationale of these things

is, as we have said, neither miraculous nor difficult of comprehension.

In the first place, the sudden change in the direction of the vital

energy (which, whatever view we take of it and its origin, is

acknowledged by all schools of philosophy as most recondite, and as the

motive power) must produce results of some kind.  In the second,

Theosophy shows, as we said before, that a man consists of several men

pervading each other, and on this view (although it is very difficult to

express the idea in language) it is but natural that the progressive

etherealization of the densest and most gross of all should leave the

others literally more at liberty.  A troop of horses may be blocked by a

mob and have much difficulty in fighting its way through;  but if every

one of the mob could be changed suddenly into a ghost, there would be

little to retard it.  And as each interior entity is more rare, active,

and volatile than the outer and as each has relation with different

elements, spaces, and properties of the Kosmos which are treated of in

other articles on Occultism, the mind of the reader may conceive--though

the pen of the writer could not express it in a dozen volumes--the

magnificent possibilities gradually unfolded to the neophyte.


Many of the opportunities thus suggested may be taken advantage of by

the neophyte for his own safety, amusement, and the good of those around

him;  but the way in which he does this is one adapted to his fitness--a

part of the ordeal he has to pass through, and misuse of these powers

will certainly entail the loss of them as a natural result.  The Itchcha

(or desire) evoked anew by the vistas they open up will retard or throw

back his progress.


But there is another portion of the Great Secret to which we must

allude, and which is now, for the first, in a long series of ages,

allowed to be given out to the world, as the hour for it is come.


The educated reader need not be reminded again that one of the great

discoveries which has immortalized the name of Darwin is the law that an

organism has always a tendency to repeat, at an analogous period in its

life, the action of its progenitors, the more surely and completely in

proportion to their proximity in the scale of life.  One result of this

is, that, in general, organized beings usually die at a period (on an

average) the same as that of their progenitors.  It is true that there

is a great difference between the actual ages at which individuals of

any species die.  Disease, accidents and famine are the main agents in

causing this.  But there is, in each species, a well-known limit within

which the Race-life lies, and none are known to survive beyond it.  This

applies to the human species as well as any other.  Now, supposing that

every possible sanitary condition had been complied with, and every

accident and disease avoided by a man of ordinary frame, in some

particular case there would still, as is known to medical men, come a

time when the particles of the body would feel the hereditary tendency

to do that which leads inevitably to dissolution, and would obey it.  It

must be obvious to any reflecting man that, if by any procedure this

critical climacteric could be once thoroughly passed over, the

subsequent danger of "Death" would be proportionally less as the years

progressed.  Now this, which no ordinary and unprepared mind and body

can do, is possible sometimes for the will and the frame of one who has

been specially prepared.  There are fewer of the grosser particles

present to feel the hereditary bias--there is the assistance of the

reinforced "interior men" (whose normal duration is always greater even

in natural death) to the visible outer shell, and there is the drilled

and indomitable Will to direct and wield the whole.*




* In this connection we may as well show what modern science, and

especially physiology has to say as to the power of the human will.

"The force of will is a potent element in determining longevity.  This

single point must be granted without argument, that of two men every way

alike and similarly circumstanced, the one who has the greater courage

and grit will be longer-lived. One does not need to practice medicine

long to learn that men die who might just as well live if they resolved

to live, and that myriads who are invalids could become strong if they

had the native or acquired will to vow they would do so.  Those who have

no other quality favourable to life, whose bodily organs are nearly

all diseased, to whom each day is a day of pain, who are beset by

life-shortening influences, yet do live by will alone."

--Dr. George M. Beard.



From that time forward the course of the aspirant is clearer.  He has

conquered "the Dweller of the Threshold"--the hereditary enemy of his

race, and, though still exposed to ever-new dangers in his progress

towards Nirvana, he is flushed with victory, and with new confidence and

new powers to second it, can press onwards to perfection.


For, it must be remembered, that nature everywhere acts by Law, and that

the process of purification we have been describing in the visible

material body, also takes place in those which are interior, and not

visible to the scientist by modifications of the same process.  All is

on the change, and the metamorphoses of the more ethereal bodies

imitate, though in successively multiplied duration, the career of the

grosser, gaining an increasing wider range of relations with the

surrounding kosmos, till in Nirvana the most rarefied Individuality is

merged at last into the INFINITE TOTALITY.


From the above description of the process, it will be inferred why it is

that "Adepts" are so seldom seen in ordinary life; for, pari passu, with

the etherealization of their bodies and the development of their power,

grows an increasing distaste, and a so-to-speak, "contempt" for the

things of our ordinary mundane existence.  Like the fugitive who

successively casts away in his flight those articles which incommode his

progress, beginning with the heaviest, so the aspirant eluding "Death"

abandons all on which the latter can take hold.  In the progress of

Negation everything got rid of is a help.  As we said before, the adept

does not become "immortal" as the word is ordinarily understood. By or

about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed he is actually

dead, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, he has relieved himself of

all or nearly all such material particles as would have necessitated in

disruption the agony of dying.  He has been dying gradually during the

whole period of his Initiation.  The catastrophe cannot happen twice

over.  He has only spread over a number of years the mild process of

dissolution which others endure from a brief moment to a few hours.  The

highest Adept is, in fact, dead to, and absolutely unconscious of, the

world;  he is oblivious of its pleasures, careless of its miseries, in

so far as sentimentalism goes, for the stern sense of DUTY never leaves

him blind to its very existence.  For the new ethereal senses opening to

wider spheres are to ours much in the relation of ours to the Infinitely

Little.  New desires and enjoyments, new dangers and new hindrances

arise, with new sensations and new perceptions;  and far away down in

the mist--both literally and metaphorically--is our dirty little earth

left below by those who have virtually "gone to join the gods."


And from this account too, it will be perceptible how foolish it is for

people to ask the Theosophist to "procure for them communication with


the highest Adepts."  It is with the utmost difficulty that one or two

can be induced, even by the throes of a world, to injure their own

progress by meddling with mundane affairs.  The ordinary reader will

say:  "This is not god-like. This is the acme of selfishness." .... But

let him realize that a very high Adept, undertaking to reform the world,

would necessarily have to once more submit to Incarnation.  And is the

result of all that have gone before in that line sufficiently

encouraging to prompt a renewal of the attempt?


A deep consideration of all that we have written, will also give the

Theosophists an idea of what they demand when they ask to be put in the

way of gaining practically "higher powers."  Well, there, as plainly as

words can put it, is the PATH .... can they tread it?


Nor must it be disguised that what to the ordinary mortal are unexpected

dangers, temptations and enemies also beset the way of the neophyte.

And that for no fanciful cause, but the simple reason that he is, in

fact, acquiring new senses, has yet no practice in their use, and has

never before seen the things he sees.  A man born blind suddenly endowed

with vision would not at once master the meaning of perspective, but

would, like a baby, imagine in one case, the moon to be within his

reach, and, in the other, grasp a live coal with the most reckless



And what, it may be asked, is to recompense this abnegation of all the

pleasures of life, this cold surrender of all mundane interests, this

stretching forward to an unknown goal which seems ever more

unattainable?  For, unlike some of the anthropomorphic creeds, Occultism

offers to its votaries no eternally permanent heaven of material

pleasure, to be gained at once by one quick dash through the grave.  As

has, in fact, often been the case many would be prepared willingly to

die now for the sake of the paradise hereafter.  But Occultism gives no

such prospect of cheaply and immediately gained infinitude of pleasure,

wisdom and existence.  It only promises extensions of these, stretching

in successive arches obscured by successive veils, in an unbroken series

up the long vista which leads to NIRVANA.  And this too, qualified by

the necessity that new powers entail new responsibilities, and that the

capacity of increased pleasure entails the capacity of increased

sensibility to pain.  To this, the only answer that can be given is

two-fold:  (1st) the consciousness of Power is itself the most exquisite

of pleasures, and is unceasingly gratified in the progress onwards with

new means for its exercise and (2ndly) as has been already said--THIS is

the only road by which there is the faintest scientific likelihood that

"Death" can be avoided, perpetual memory secured, infinite wisdom

attained, and hence an immense helping of mankind made possible, once

that the adept has safely crossed the turning-point.  Physical as well

as metaphysical logic requires and endorses the fact that only by

gradual absorption into infinity can the Part become acquainted with the

Whole, and that that which is now something can only feel, know, and

enjoy EVERYTHING when lost in Absolute Totality in the vortex of that

Unalterable Circle wherein our Knowledge becomes Ignorance, and the

Everything itself is identified with the NOTHING.





Is the Desire to "Live" Selfish?



The passage "to live, to live, to live must be the unswerving resolve,"

occurring in the article on the Elixir of Life, is often quoted by

superficial and unsympathetic readers as an argument that the teachings

of occultism are the most concentrated form of selfishness.  In order to

determine whether the critics are right or wrong, the meaning of the

word "selfishness" must first be ascertained.


According to an established authority, selfishness is that "exclusive

regard to one's own interest or happiness;  that supreme self-love or

self-preference which leads a person to direct his purposes to the

advancement of his own interest, power, or happiness, without regarding

those of others."


In short, an absolutely selfish individual is one who cares for himself

and none else, or, in other words, one who is so strongly imbued with a

sense of the importance of his own personality that to him it is the

crown of all thoughts, desires, and aspirations, and beyond which lies

the perfect blank.  Now, can an occultist be then said to be "selfish"

when he desires to live in the sense in which that word is used by the

writer of the article on the Elixir of Life?  It has been said over and

over again that the ultimate end of every aspirant after occult

knowledge is Nirvana or Mukti, when the individual, freed from all

Mayavic Upadhi, becomes one with Paramatma, or the Son identifies

himself with the Father in Christian phraseology.  For that purpose,

every veil of illusion which creates a sense of personal isolation, a

feeling of separateness from THE ALL, must be torn asunder, or, in other

words, the aspirant must gradually discard all sense of selfishness with

which we are all more or less affected.  A study of the Law of Kosmic

Evolution teaches us that the higher the evolution, the more does it

tend towards Unity.  In fact, Unity is the ultimate possibility of

Nature, and those who through vanity and selfishness go against her

purposes, cannot but incur the punishment of annihilation.  The

occultist thus recognizes that unselfishness and a feeling of universal

philanthropy are the inherent laws of our being, and all he does is to

attempt to destroy the chains of selfishness forged upon us all by Maya.

The struggle then between Good and Evil, God and Satan, Suras and

Asuras, Devas and Daityas, which is mentioned in the sacred books of all

the nations and races, symbolizes the battle between unselfish and

selfish impulses, which takes place in a man, who tries to follow the

higher purposes of Nature, until the lower animal tendencies, created by

selfishness, are completely conquered, and the enemy thoroughly routed

and annihilated.  It has also been often put forth in various

Theosophical and other occult writings that the only difference between

an ordinary man who works along with Nature during the course of Kosmic

evolution and an occultist, is that the latter, by his superior

knowledge, adopts such methods of training and discipline as will hurry

on that process of evolution, and he thus reaches in a comparatively

short time the apex which the ordinary individual will take perhaps

billions of years to reach.  In short, in a few thousand years he

approaches that type of evolution which ordinary humanity attains in the

sixth or seventh Round of the Manvantara, i.e., cyclic progression.  It

is evident that an average man cannot become a MAHATMA in one life, or

rather in one incarnation.  Now those, who have studied the occult

teachings concerning Devachan and our after-states, will remember that

between two incarnations there is a considerable period of subjective

existence.  The greater the number of such Devachanic periods, the

greater is the number of years over which this evolution is extended.

The chief aim of the occultist is therefore to so control himself as to

be able to regulate his future states, and thereby gradually shorten the

duration of his Devachanic existence between two incarnations.  In the

course of his progress, there comes a time when, between one physical

death and his next rebirth, there is no Devachan but a kind of spiritual

sleep, the shock of death, having, so to say, stunned him into a state

of unconsciousness from which he gradually recovers to find himself

reborn, to continue his purpose.  The period of this sleep may vary from

twenty-five to two hundred years, depending upon the degree of his

advancement.  But even this period may be said to be a waste of time,

and hence all his exertions are directed to shorten its duration so as

to gradually come to a point when the passage from one state of

existence into another is almost imperceptible.  This is his last

incarnation, as it were, for the shock of death no more stuns him.  This

is the idea the writer of the article on the Elixir of Life means to

convey when he says:


By or about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed he is

actually dead, in the ordinary sense, that is to say, he has relieved

himself of all or nearly all such material particles as would have

necessitated in disruption the agony of dying.  He has been dying

gradually during the whole period of his Initiation.  The catastrophe

cannot happen twice over, he has only spread over a number of years the

mild process of dissolution which others endure from a brief moment to a

few hours.  The highest Adept is, in fact, dead to, and absolutely

unconscious of, the World;  he is oblivious of its pleasures, careless

of its miseries, in so far as sentimentalism goes, for the stern sense

of Duty never leaves him blind to its very existence....


The process of the emission and attraction of atoms, which the occultist

controls, has been discussed at length in that article and in other

writings.  It is by these means that he gets rid gradually of all the

old gross particles of his body, substituting for them finer and more

ethereal ones, till at last the former sthula sarira is completely dead

and disintegrated, and he lives in a body entirely of his own creation,

suited to his work.  That body is essential to his purposes;  as the

Elixir of Life says:--


To do good, as in every thing else, a man most have time and materials

to Work with, and this is a necessary means to the acquirement of powers

by which infinitely more good can be done than without them.  When these

are once mastered, the opportunities to use them will arrive....


Giving the practical instructions for that purpose, the same paper



The physical man must be rendered more ethereal and sensitive; the

mental man more penetrating and profound;  the moral man more

self-denying and philosophical.


Losing sight of the above important considerations, the following

passage is entirely misunderstood:--


And from this account too, it will be perceptible how foolish it is for

people to ask the Theosophist "to procure for them communication with

the highest Adepts."  It is with the utmost difficulty that one or two

can be induced, even by the throes of a world, to injure their own

progress by meddling with mundane affairs.  The ordinary reader will

say:  "This is not god-like. This is the acme of selfishness." ....But

let him realize that a very high Adept, undertaking to reform the world,


would necessarily have to once more submit to Incarnation.  And is the

result of all that have gone before in that line sufficiently

encouraging to prompt a renewal of the attempt?


Now, in condemning the above passage as inculcating selfishness,

superficial critics neglect many profound truths.  In the first place,

they forget the other extracts already quoted which impose self-denial

as a necessary condition of success, and which say that, with progress,

new senses and new powers are acquired with which infinitely more good

can be done than without them.  The more spiritual the Adept becomes the

less can he meddle with mundane gross affairs and the more he has to

confine himself to spiritual work.  It has been repeated, times out of

number, that the work on the spiritual plane is as superior to the work

on the intellectual plane as the latter is superior to that on the

physical plane.  The very high Adepts, therefore, do help humanity, but

only spiritually:  they are constitutionally incapable of meddling with

worldly affairs.  But this applies only to very high Adepts.  There are

various degrees of Adept-ship, and those of each degree work for

humanity on the planes to which they may have risen.  It is only the

chelas that can live in the world, until they rise to a certain degree.

And it is because the Adepts do care for the world that they make their

chelas live in and work for it, as many of those who study the subject

are aware.  Each cycle produces its own occultists capable of working

for the humanity of the time on all the different planes;  but when the

Adepts foresee that at a particular period humanity will he incapable of

producing occultists for work on particular planes, for such occasions

they do provide by either voluntarily giving up their further progress

and waiting until humanity reaches that period, or by refusing to enter

into Nirvana and submitting to re-incarnation so as to be ready for work

when the time comes.  And although the world may not be aware of the

fact, yet there are even now certain Adepts who have preferred to remain

in statu quo and refuse to take the higher degrees, for the benefit of

the future generations of humanity.  In short, as the Adepts work

harmoniously, since unity is the fundamental law of their being, they

have, as it were, made a division of labour, according to which each

works on the plane appropriate to himself for the spiritual elevation of

us all--and the process of longevity mentioned in the Elixir of Life is

only the means to the end which, far from being selfish, is the most

unselfish purpose for which a human being can labour.


(--H.P. Blavatsky)








A general misconception on this subject seems to prevail.  One confines

oneself for some time in a room, and passively gazes at one's nose, a

spot on the wall, or, perhaps, a crystal, under the impression that such

is the true form of contemplation enjoined by Raj Yoga.  Many fail to

realize that true occultism requires a physical, mental, moral and

spiritual development to run on parallel lines, and injure themselves,

physically and spiritually, by practice of what they falsely believe to

be Dhyan.  A few instances may be mentioned here with advantage, as a

warning to over-zealous students.


At Bareilly the writer met a member of the Theosophical Society from

Farrukhabad, who narrated his experiences and shed bitter tears of

repentance for his past follies--as he termed them.  It appears from his

account that fifteen or twenty years ago having read about contemplation

in the Bhagavad Gita, he undertook the practice of it, without a proper

comprehension of its esoteric meaning and carried it on for several

years.  At first he experienced a sense of pleasure, but simultaneously

he found he was gradually losing self-control;  until after a few years

he discovered, to his great bewilderment and sorrow, that he was no

longer his own master.  He felt his heart actually growing heavy, as

though a load had been placed on it.  He had no control over his

sensations the communication between the brain and the heart had become

as though interrupted.  As matters grew worse, in disgust he

discontinued his "contemplation."  This happened as long as seven years

ago;  and, although since then he has not felt worse, yet he could never

regain his original healthy state of mind and body.


Another case came under the writer's observation at Jubbulpore. The

gentleman concerned, after reading Patanjali and such other works, began

to sit for "contemplation."  After a short time he commenced seeing

abnormal sights and hearing musical bells, but neither over these

phenomena nor over his own sensations could he exercise any control.  He

could not produce these results at will, nor could he stop them when

they were occurring.  Numerous such examples may be cited.  While

penning these lines, the writer has on his table two letters upon this

subject, one from Moradabad and the other from Trichinopoly.  In short,

all this mischief is due to a misunderstanding of the significance of

contemplation as enjoined upon students by all the schools of Occult

Philosophy.  With a view to afford a glimpse of the Reality through the

dense veil that enshrouds the mysteries of this Science of Sciences, an

article, the Elixir of Life, was written.  Unfortunately, in too many

instances, the seed seems to have fallen upon barren ground.  Some of

its readers pin their faith to the following clause in that paper:--

Reasoning from the known to the unknown meditation must be practiced and



But, alas! their preconceptions have prevented them from comprehending

what is meant by meditation.  They forget that the meditation spoken of

"is the inexpressible yearning of the inner Man to 'go out towards the

infinite,' which in the olden time was the real meaning of adoration"--

as the next sentence shows.  A good deal of light would be thrown upon

this subject if the reader were to turn to an earlier part of the same

paper, and peruse attentively the following paragraphs:--


So, then, we have arrived at the point where we have determined--

literally, not metaphorically--to crack the outer shell known as the

mortal coil or body, and hatch out of it, clothed in our next.  This

'next' is not a spiritual, but only a more ethereal form.  Having by a

long training and preparation adapted it for a life in the atmosphere,

during which time we have gradually made the outward shell to die off

through a certain process .... we have to prepare for this physiological



How are we to do it?  In the first place we have the actual, visible,

material body--Man, so called, though, in fact, but his outer shell--to

deal with.  Let us bear in mind that Science teaches us that in about

every seven years we change skin as effectually as any serpent;  and

this so gradually and imperceptibly that, had not science after years of

unremitting study and observation assured us of it, no one would have

had the slightest suspicion of the fact.... Hence, if a man, partially

flayed alive, may sometimes survive and be covered with a new skin, so

our astral, vital body .... may be made to harden its particles to the

atmospheric changes.  The whole secret is to succeed in evolving it out,

and separating it from the visible; and while its generally invisible

atoms proceed to concrete themselves into a compact mass, to gradually

get rid of the old particles of our visible frame so as to make them die

and disappear before the new set has had time to evolve and replace

them.... We can say no more.


A correct comprehension of the above scientific process will give a clue

to the esoteric meaning of meditation or contemplation.  Science teaches

us that man changes his physical body continually, and this change is so

gradual that it is almost imperceptible.  Why then should the case be

otherwise with the inner man?  The latter too is developing and changing

atoms at every moment.  And the attraction of these new sets of atoms

depends upon the Law of Affinity--the desires of the man drawing to his

bodily tenement only such particles as are necessary to give them



For Science shows that thought is dynamic, and the thought-force evolved

by nervous action expanding itself outwardly, must affect the molecular

relations of the physical man.  The inner men, however sublimated their

organism may be, are still composed of actual, not hypothetical,

particles, and are still subject to the law that an "action" has a

tendency to repeat itself;  a tendency to set up analogous action in the

grosser "shell" they are in contact with, and concealed within.--"The

Elixir of Life"


What is it the aspirant of Yog Vidya strives after if not to gain Mukti

by transferring himself gradually from the grosser to the next less

gross body, until all the veils of Maya being successively removed his

Atma becomes one with Paramatma?  Does he suppose that this grand result

can be achieved by a two or four hours' contemplation?  For the

remaining twenty or twenty-two hours that the devotee does not shut

himself up in his room for meditation is the process of the emission of

atoms and their replacement by others stopped?  If not, then how does he

mean to attract all this time only those suited to his end? From the


above remarks it is evident that just as the physical body requires

incessant attention to prevent the entrance of a disease, so also the

inner man requires an unremitting watch, so that no conscious or

unconscious thought may attract atoms unsuited to its progress.  This is

the real meaning of contemplation.  The prime factor in the guidance of

the thought is Will.


Without that, all else is useless.  And, to be efficient for the

purpose, it must be, not only a passing resolution of the moment, a


single fierce desire of short duration, but a settled and continued

strain, as nearly as can be continued and concentrated without one

single moment's remission.


The student would do well to take note of the italicized clause in the

above quotation.  He should also have it indelibly impressed upon his

mind that:


It is no use to fast as long as one requires food.... To get rid of the

inward desire is the essential thing, and to mimic the real thing

without it is barefaced hypocrisy and useless slavery.


Without realizing the significance of this most important fact, any one

who for a moment finds cause of disagreement with any one of his family,

or has his vanity wounded, or for a sentimental flash of the moment, or

for a selfish desire to utilize  the Divine power for gross purposes--at

once rushes into contemplation and dashes himself to pieces on the rock

dividing the known from the unknown.  Wallowing in the mire of

exotericism, he knows not what it is to live in the world and yet be not

of the world;  in other words, to guard self against self is an almost

incomprehensible axiom for the profane.  The Hindu ought to know better

from the life of Janaka, who, although a reigning monarch, was yet

styled Rajarshi and is said to have attained Nirvana. Hearing of his

widespread fame, a few sectarian bigots went to his court to test his

Yoga-power.  As soon as they entered the court-room, the king having

read their thoughts--a power which every chela attains at a certain

stage--gave secret instructions to his officials to have a particular

street in the city lined on both sides by dancing girls singing the must

voluptuous songs.  He then had some gharas (pots) filled with water up

to the brim so that the least shake would be likely to spill their

contents.  The wiseacres, each with a full ghara (pot) on his head, were

ordered to pass along the street, surrounded by soldiers with drawn

swords to be used against them if even so much as a drop of water were

allowed to run over.  The poor fellows having returned to the palace

after successfully passing the test, were asked by the King-Adept what

they had met with in the street they were made to go through.  With

great indignation they replied that the threat of being cut to pieces

had so much worked upon their minds that they thought of nothing but the

water on their heads, and the intensity of their attention did not

permit them to take cognizance of what was going on around them.  Then

Janaka told them that on the same principle they could easily understand

that, although being outwardly engaged in managing the affairs of his

State, he could, at the same time, be an Occultist.  He too, while in

the world, was not of the world.  In other words, his inward aspirations

had been leading him on continually to the goal in which his whole inner

self was concentrated.


Raj Yoga encourages no sham, requires no physical postures.  It has to

deal with the inner man whose sphere lies in the world of thought.  To

have the highest ideal placed before oneself and strive incessantly to

rise up to it, is the only true concentration recognized by Esoteric

Philosophy which deals with the inner world of noumena, not the outer

shell of phenomena.


The first requisite for it is thorough purity of heart.  Well might the

student of Occultism say with Zoroaster, that purity of thought, purity

of word, and purity of deed,--these are the essentials of one who would

rise above the ordinary level and join the "gods."  A cultivation of the

feeling of unselfish philanthropy is the path which has to be traversed

for that purpose.  For it is that alone which will lead to Universal

Love, the realization of which constitutes the progress towards

deliverance from the chains forged by Maya (illusion) around the Ego.

No student will attain this at once, but as our Venerated Mahatma says

in the "Occult World":--


The greater the progress towards deliverance, the less this will be the

case, until, to crown all, human and purely individual personal


feelings, blood-ties and friendship, patriotism and race predilection,

will all give way to become blended into one universal feeling, the only

true and holy, the only unselfish and eternal one, Love, an Immense Love

for Humanity as a whole.


In short, the individual is blended with the ALL.


Of course, contemplation, as usually understood, is not without its

minor advantages.  It develops one set of physical faculties as

gymnastics does the muscles.  For the purposes of physical mesmerism it

is good enough;  but it can in no way help the development of the

psychological faculties, as the thoughtful reader will perceive.  At the

same time, even for ordinary purposes, the practice can never be too

well guarded.  If, as some suppose, they have to be entirely passive and

lose themselves in the object before them, they should remember that, by

thus encouraging passivity, they, in fact, allow the development of

mediumistic faculties in themselves.  As was repeatedly stated--the

Adept and the Medium are the two Poles: while the former is intensely

active and thus able to control the elemental forces, the latter is

intensely passive and thus incurs the risk of falling a prey to the

caprice and malice of mischievous embryos of human beings, and the



It will be evident from the above that true meditation consists in the

"reasoning from the known to the unknown."  The "known" is the

phenomenal world, cognizable by our five senses.  And all that we see in

this manifested world are the effects, the causes of which are to be

sought after in the noumenal, the unmanifested, the "unknown world:"

this is to be accomplished by meditation, i.e., continued attention to

the subject.  Occultism does not depend upon one method, but employs

both the deductive and the inductive.  The student must first learn the

general axioms, which have sufficiently been laid down in the Elixir of

Life and other occult writings.  What the student has first to do is to

comprehend these axioms and, by employing the deductive method, to

proceed from universals to particulars.  He has then to reason from the

"known to the unknown," and see if the inductive method of proceeding

from particulars to universals supports those axioms.  This process

forms the primary stage of true contemplation.  The student must first

grasp the subject intellectually before he can hope to realize his

aspirations. When this is accomplished, then comes the next stage of

meditation, which is "the inexpressible yearning of the inner man to 'go

out towards the infinite.'"  Before any such yearning can be properly

directed, the goal must first be determined.  The higher stage, in fact,

consists in practically realizing what the first steps have placed

within one's comprehension.  In short, contemplation, in its true sense,

is to recognize the truth of Eliphas Levi's saying:--


To believe without knowing is weakness;  to believe, because one knows,

is power.


The Elixir of Life not only gives the preliminary steps in the ladder of

contemplation but also tells the reader how to realize the higher

stages.  It traces, by the process of contemplation as it were, the

relation of man, "the known," the manifested, the phenomenon, to "the

unknown," the unmanifested, the noumenon. It shows the student what

ideal to contemplate and how to rise up to it.  It places before him the

nature of the inner capacities of man and how to develop them.  To a

superficial reader, this may, perhaps, appear as the acme of

selfishness.  Reflection will, however, show the contrary to be the

case.  For it teaches the student that to comprehend the noumenal, he

must identify himself with Nature.  Instead of looking upon himself as

an isolated being, he must learn to look upon himself as a part of the

Integral Whole.  For, in the unmanifested world, it can be clearly

perceived that all is controlled by the "Law of Affinity," the

attraction of the one for the other.  There, all is Infinite Love,

understood in its true sense.


It may now not be out of place to recapitulate what has already been

said.  The first thing to be done is to study the axioms of Occultism

and work upon them by the deductive and the inductive methods, which is

real contemplation.  To turn this to a useful purpose, what is

theoretically comprehended must be practically realized.


--Damodar K. Mavalaukar






Chelas and Lay Chelas



A "chela" is a person who has offered himself to a master as a pupil to

learn practically the "hidden mysteries of Nature and the psychical

powers latent in man."  The master who accepts him is called in India a

Guru;  and the real Guru is always an adept in the Occult Science.  A

man of profound knowledge, exoteric and esoteric, especially the latter;

and one who has brought his carnal nature under the subjection of the

WILL;  who has developed in himself both the power (Siddhi) to control

the forces of Nature, and the capacity to probe her secrets by the help

of the formerly latent but now active powers of his being--this is the

real Guru.  To offer oneself as a candidate for Chelaship is easy

enough, to develop into an adept the most difficult task any man could

possibly undertake.  There are scores of "natural-born" poets,

mathematicians, mechanics, statesmen, &c.  But a natural-born adept is

something practically impossible.  For, though we do hear at very rare

intervals of one who has an extraordinary innate capacity for the

acquisition of occult knowledge and power, yet even he has to pass the

self-same tests and probations, and go through the self-same training as

any less endowed fellow aspirant.  In this matter it is most true that

there is no royal road by which favourites may travel.


For centuries the selection of Chelas--outside the hereditary group

within the gon-pa (temple)--has been made by the Himalayan Mahatmas

themselves from among the class--in Tibet, a considerable one as to

number--of natural mystics.  The only exceptions have been in the cases

of Western men like Fludd, Thomas Vaughan, Paracelsus, Pico di

Mirandolo, Count St. Germain, &c., whose temperament affinity to this

celestial science, more or less forced the distant Adepts to come into

personal relations with them, and enabled them to get such small (or

large) proportion of the whole truth as was possible under their social

surroundings.  From Book IV. of Kui-te, Chapter on "The Laws of

Upasanas," we learn that the qualifications expected in a Chela were:--


1. Perfect physical health;


2. Absolute mental and physical purity;


3. Unselfishness of purpose;  universal charity;  pity for all

animate beings;


4. Truthfulness and unswerving faith in the law of Karma, independent of

the intervention of any power in Nature:  a law whose course is not to

be obstructed by any agency, not to be caused to deviate by prayer or

propitiatory exoteric ceremonies;


5. A courage undaunted in every emergency, even by peril to life;


6. An intuitional perception of one's being the vehicle of the

manifested Avalokiteswara or Divine Atma (Spirit);


7. Calm indifference for, but a just appreciation of, everything that

constitutes the objective and transitory world, in its relation with,

and to, the invisible regions.


Such, at the least, must have been the recommendations of one aspiring

to perfect Chelaship.  With the sole exception of the first, which in

rare and exceptional cases might have been modified, each one of these

points has been invariably insisted upon, and all must have been more or

less developed in the inner nature by the Chela's unhelped exertions,

before he could be actually "put to the test."


When the self-evolving ascetic--whether in, or outside the active

world--has placed himself, according to his natural capacity, above,

hence made himself master of his (1) Sarira--body;  (2) Indriya--senses;

(3) Dosha--faults;  (4) Dukkha--pain;  and is ready to become one with

his Manas--mind;  Buddhi--intellection, or spiritual intelligence;  and

Atma--highest soul, i.e., spirit; when he is ready for this, and,

further, to recognize in Atma the highest ruler in the world of

perceptions, and in the will, the highest executive energy (power), then

may he, under the time-honoured rules, be taken in hand by one of the

Initiates.  He may then be shown the mysterious path at whose farther

end is obtained the unerring discernment of Phala, or the fruits of

causes produced, and given the means of reaching Apavarga--emancipation

from the misery of repeated births, pretya-bhava, in whose determination

the ignorant has no hand.


But since the advent of the Theosophical Society, one of whose arduous

tasks it is to re-awaken in the Aryan mind the dormant memory of the

existence of this science and of those transcendent human capabilities,

the rules of Chela selection have become slightly relaxed in one

respect.  Many members of the Society who would not have been otherwise

called to Chelaship became convinced by practical proof of the above

points, and rightly enough thinking that if other men had hitherto

reached the goal, they too, if inherently fitted, might reach it by

following the same path, importunately pressed to be taken as

candidates.  And as it would be an interference with Karma to deny them

the chance of at least beginning, they were given it.  The results have

been far from encouraging so far, and it is to show them the cause of

their failure as much as to warn others against rushing heedlessly upon

a similar fate, that the writing of the present article has been

ordered.  The candidates in question, though plainly warned against it

in advance, began wrong by selfishly looking to the future and losing

sight of the past.  They forgot that they had done nothing to deserve

the rare honour of selection, nothing which warranted their expecting


such a privilege;  that they could boast of none of the above enumerated

merits.  As men of the selfish, sensual world, whether married or

single, merchants, civilian or military employees, or members of the

learned professions, they had been to a school most calculated to

assimilate them to the animal nature, least so to develop their

spiritual potentialities.  Yet each and all had vanity enough to suppose

that their case would be made an exception to the law of countless

centuries, as though, indeed, in their person had been born to the world

a new Avatar!  All expected to have hidden things taught, extraordinary

powers given them, because--well, because they had joined the

Theosophical Society.  Some had sincerely resolved to amend their lives,

and give up their evil courses:  we must do them that justice, at all



All were refused at first, Col. Olcott the President himself, to begin

with:  and he was not formally accepted as a Chela until he had proved

by more than a year's devoted labours and by a determination which

brooked no denial, that he might safely be tested.  Then from all sides

came complaints--from Hindus, who ought to have known better, as well as

from Europeans who, of course, were not in a condition to know anything

at all about the rules.  The cry was that unless at least a few

Theosophists were given the chance to try, the Society could not endure.

Every other noble and unselfish feature of our programme was ignored--a

man's duty to his neighbour, to his country, his duty to help,

enlighten, encourage and elevate those weaker and less favoured than he;

all were trampled out of sight in the insane rush for adeptship.  The

call for phenomena, phenomena, phenomena, resounded in every quarter,

and the Founders were impeded in their real work and teased

importunately to intercede with the Mahatmas, against whom the real

grievance lay, though their poor agents had to take all the buffets.  At

last, the word came from the higher authorities that a few of the most

urgent candidates should be taken at their word.  The result of the

experiment would perhaps show better than any amount of preaching what

Chelaship meant, and what are the consequences of selfishness and

temerity.  Each candidate was warned that be must wait for year in any

event, before his fitness could be established, and that he must pass

through a series of tests that would bring out all there was in him,

whether bad or good.  They were nearly all married men, and hence were

designated "Lay Chelas"--a term new in English, but having long had its

equivalent in Asiatic tongues.  A Lay Chela is but a man of the world

who affirms his desire to become wise in spiritual things.  Virtually,

every member of the Theosophical Society who subscribes to the second of

our three "Declared Objects" is such;  for though not of the number of

true Chelas, he has yet the possibility of becoming one, for he has

stepped across the boundary-line which separated him from the Mahatmas,

and has brought himself, as it were, under their notice.  In joining the

Society and binding himself to help along its work, he has pledged

himself to act in some degree in concert with those Mahatmas, at whose

behest the Society was organized, and under whose conditional protection

it remains. The joining is then, the introduction;  all the rest depends

entirely upon the member himself, and he need never expect the most

distant approach to the "favour" of one of our Mahatmas or any other

Mahatmas in the world--should the latter consent to become known--that

has not been fully earned by personal merit. The Mahatmas are the

servants, not the arbiters of the Law of Karma.


Lay-Chelaship confers no privilege upon any one except that of working

for merit under the observation of a Master.  And whether that Master be

or be not seen by the Chela makes no difference whatever as to the

result:  his good thought, words and deeds will bear their fruits, his

evil ones, theirs.  To boast of Lay Chelaship or make a parade of it, is

the surest way to reduce the relationship with the Guru to a mere empty

name, for it would be prima facie evidence of vanity and unfitness for

farther progress.  And for years we have been teaching everywhere the

maxim "First deserve, then desire" intimacy with the Mahatmas.


Now there is a terrible law operative in Nature, one which cannot be

altered, and whose operation clears up the apparent mystery of the

selection of certain "Chelas" who have turned out sorry specimens of

morality, these few years past.  Does the reader recall the old proverb,

"Let sleeping dogs lie?"  There is a world of occult meaning in it.  No

man or woman knows his or her moral strength until it is tried.

Thousands go through life very respectably, because they were never put

to the test.  This is a truism doubtless, but it is most pertinent to

the present case. One who undertakes to try for Chelaship by that very

act rouses and lashes to desperation every sleeping passion of his

animal nature.  For this is the commencement of a struggle for mastery

in which quarter is neither to be given nor taken.  It is, once for all,

"To be, or Not to be;"  to conquer, means Adept-ship: to fail, an

ignoble Martyrdom;  for to fall victim to lust, pride, avarice, vanity,

selfishness, cowardice, or any other of the lower propensities, is

indeed ignoble, if measured by the standard of true manhood.  The Chela

is not only called to face all the latent evil propensities of his

nature, but, in addition, the momentum of maleficent forces accumulated

by the community and nation to which he belongs.  For he is an integral

part of those aggregates, and what affects either the individual man or

the group (town or nation), reacts the one upon the other.  And in this

instance his struggle for goodness jars upon the whole body of badness

in his environment, and draws its fury upon him. If he is content to go

along with his neighbours and be almost as they are--perhaps a little

better or somewhat worse than the average--no one may give him a

thought.  But let it be known that he has been able to detect the hollow

mockery of social life, its hypocrisy, selfishness, sensuality, cupidity

and other bad features, and has determined to lift himself up to a

higher level, at once he is hated, and every bad, bigotted, or malicious

nature sends at him a current of opposing will-power.  If he is innately

strong he shakes it off, as the powerful swimmer dashes through the

current that would bear a weaker one away.  But in this moral battle, if

the Chela has one single hidden blemish--do what he may, it shall and

will be brought to light.  The varnish of conventionalities which

"civilization" overlays us all with must come off to the last coat, and

the inner self, naked and without the slightest veil to conceal its

reality, is exposed. The habits of society which hold men to a certain

degree under moral restraint, and compel them to pay tribute to virtue

by seeming to be good whether they are so or not--these habits are apt

to be all forgotten, these restraints to be all broken through under the

strain of Chelaship.  He is now in an atmosphere of illusions--Maya.

Vice puts on its most alluring face, and the tempting passions attract

the inexperienced aspirant to the depths of psychic debasement.  This is

not a case like that depicted by a great artist, where Satan is seen

playing a game of chess with a man upon the stake of his soul, while the

latter's good angel stands beside him to counsel and assist.  For the

strife is in this instance between the Chela's will and his carnal

nature, and Karma forbids that any angel or Guru should interfere until

the result is known.  With the vividness of poetic fancy Bulwer Lytton

has idealized it for us in his "Zanoni," a work which will ever be

prized by the occultist while in his "Strange Story" he has with equal

power shown the black side of occult research and its deadly perils.

Chelaship was defined, the other day, by a Mahatma as a "psychic

resolvent, which eats away all dross and leaves only the pure gold

behind." If the candidate has the latent lust for money, or political

chicanery, or materialistic scepticism, or vain display, or false

speaking, or cruelty, or sensual gratification of any kind the germ is

almost sure to sprout;  and so, on the other hand, as regards the noble

qualities of human nature.  The real man comes out.  Is it not the

height of folly, then, for any one to leave the smooth path of

commonplace life to scale the crags of Chelaship without some reasonable

feeling of certainty that he has the right stuff in him?  Well says the

Bible:  "Let him that standeth take heed lest he fall"--a text that

would-be Chelas should consider well before they rush headlong into the

fray!  It would have been well for some of our Lay Chelas if they had

thought twice before defying the tests.  We call to mind several sad

failures within a twelve-month.  One went wrong in the head, recanted

noble sentiments uttered but a few weeks previously, and became a member

of a religion he had just scornfully and unanswerably proven false.  A

second became a defaulter and absconded with his employer's money--the

latter also a Theosophist.  A third gave himself up to gross debauchery,

and confessed it, with ineffectual sobs and tears, to his chosen Guru.

A fourth got entangled with a person of the other sex and fell out with

his dearest and truest friends.  A fifth showed signs of mental

aberration and was brought into Court upon charges of discreditable

conduct.  A sixth shot himself to escape the consequences of

criminality, on the verge of detection!  And so we might go on and on.

All these were apparently sincere searchers after truth, and passed in

the world for respectable persons.  Externally, they were fairly

eligible as candidates for Chelaship, as appearances go;  but "within

all was rottenness and dead men's bones."  The world's varnish was so

thick as to hide the absence of the true gold underneath;  and the

"resolvent" doing its work, the candidate proved in each instance but a

gilded figure of moral dross, from circumference to core.


In what precedes we have, of course, dealt but with the failures among

Lay Chelas;  there have been partial successes too, and these are

passing gradually through the first stages of their probation.  Some are

making themselves useful to the Society and to the world in general by

good example and precept.  If they persist, well for them, well for us

all:  the odds are fearfully against them, but still "there is no

impossibility to him who Wills."  The difficulties in Chelaship will

never be less until human nature changes and a new order is evolved.

St. Paul (Rom. vii. 18,19) might have had a Chela in mind when he said

"to will is present with me;  but how to perform that which is good I

find not.  For the good I would I do not;  but the evil which I would

not, that I do."  And in the wise Kiratarjuniyam of Bharavi it is



     The enemies which rise within the body,

     Hard to be overcome--the evil passions--

     Should manfully be fought; who conquers these

     Is equal to the conqueror of worlds. (XI. 32.)


(--H.P. Blavatsky)





Ancient Opinions Upon Psychic Bodies



It must be confessed that modern Spiritualism falls very short of the

ideas formerly suggested by the sublime designation which it has

assumed.  Chiefly intent upon recognizing and putting forward the

phenomenal proofs of a future existence, it concerns itself little with

speculations on the distinction between matter and spirit, and rather

prides itself on having demolished Materialism without the aid of

metaphysics.  Perhaps a Platonist might say that the recognition of a

future existence is consistent with a very practical and even dogmatic

materialism, but it is rather to be feared that such a materialism as

this would not greatly disturb the spiritual or intellectual repose of

our modern phenomenalists.*  Given the consciousness with its

sensibilities safely housed in the psychic body which demonstrably

survives the physical carcase, and we are like men saved from shipwreck,

who are for the moment thankful and content, not giving thought whether

they are landed on a hospitable shore, or on a barren rock, or on an

island of cannibals.  It is not of course intended that this "hand to

mouth" immortality is sufficient for the many thoughtful minds whose

activity gives life and progress to the movement, but that it affords

the relief which most people feel when in an age of doubt they make the

discovery that they are undoubtedly to live again.  To the question "how

are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?" modern

Spiritualism, with its empirical methods, is not adequate to reply.  Yet

long before Paul suggested it, it had the attention of the most

celebrated schools of philosophy, whose speculations on the subject,

however little they may seem to be verified, ought not to be without

interest to us, who, after all, are still in the infancy of a

spiritualist revival.



* "I am afraid," says Thomas Taylor in his Introduction to the Phaedo,

"there are scarcely any at the present day who know that it is one thing

for the soul to be separated from the body, and another for the body to

be separated from the soul, and that the former is by no means a

necessary consequence of the latter."



It would not be necessary to premise, but for the frequency with which

the phrase occurs, that the "spiritual body" is a contradiction in

terms.  The office of body is to relate spirit to an objective world.

By Platonic writers it is usually termed okhema--"vehicle."  It is the

medium of action, and also of sensibility.  In this philosophy the

conception of Soul was not simply, as with us, the immaterial subject of

consciousness.  How warily the interpreter has to tread here, every one

knows who has dipped, even superficially, into the controversies among

Platonists themselves.  All admit the distinction between the rational

and the irrational part or principle, the latter including, first, the

sensibility, and secondly, the Plastic, or that lower which in obedience

to its sympathies enables the soul to attach itself to, and to organize

into a suitable body those substances of the universe to which it is

most congruous.  It is more difficult to determine whether Plato or his

principal followers, recognized in the rational soul or nous a distinct

and separable entity, that which is sometimes discriminated as "the

Spirit."  Dr. Henry More, no mean authority, repudiates this

interpretation.  "There can be nothing more monstrous," he says, "than

to make two souls in man, the one sensitive, the other rational, really

distinct from one another, and to give the name of Astral spirit to the

former, when there is in man no Astral spirit beside the Plastic of the

soul itself, which is always inseparable from that which is rational.

Nor upon any other account can it be called Astral, but as it is liable

to that corporeal temperament which proceeds from the stars, or rather

from any material causes in general, as not being yet sufficiently

united with the divine body--that vehicle of divine virtue or power."

So he maintains that the Kabalistic three souls--Nephesh, Ruach,

Neschamah--originate in a misunderstanding of the true Platonic

doctrine, which is that of a threefold "vital congruity."  These

correspond to the three degrees of bodily existence, or to the three

"vehicles," the terrestrial, the aerial, and the ethereal.  The latter

is the augoeides--the luciform vehicle of the purified soul whose

irrational part has been brought under complete subjection to the

rational.  The aerial is that in which the great majority of mankind

find themselves at the dissolution of the terrestrial body, and in which

the incomplete process of purification has to be undergone during long

ages of preparation for the soul's return to its primitive, ethereal

state.  For it must be remembered that the preexistence of souls is a

distinguishing tenet of this philosophy as of the Kabala.  The soul has

"sunk into matter." From its highest original state the revolt of its

irrational nature has awakened and developed successively its "vital

congruities" with the regions below, passing, by means of its "Plastic,"

first into the aerial and afterwards into the terrestrial condition.

Each of these regions teems also with an appropriate population which

never passes, like the human soul, from one to the other--"gods,"

"demons," and animals.*  As to duration, "the shortest of all is that of


the terrestrial vehicle.  In the aerial, the soul may inhabit, as they

define, many ages, and in the ethereal, for ever."



* The allusion here is to those beings of the several kingdoms of the

elements which we Theosophists, following after the Kabalists, have

called the "Elementals."  They never become men.

--Ed. Theos.



Speaking of the second body, Henry More says "the soul's astral vehicle

is of that tenuity that itself can as easily pass the smallest pores of

the body as the light does glass, or the lightning the scabbard of a

sword without tearing or scorching of it."  And again, "I shall make

bold to assert that the soul may live in an aerial vehicle as well as in

the ethereal, and that there are very few that arrive to that high

happiness as to acquire a celestial vehicle immediately upon their

quitting the terrestrial one;  that heavenly chariot necessarily

carrying us in triumph to the greatest happiness the soul of man is

capable of, which would arrive to all men indifferently, good or bad, if

the parting with this earthly body would suddenly mount us into the

heavenly.  When by a just Nemesis the souls of men that are not

heroically virtuous will find themselves restrained within the compass

of this caliginous air, as both Reason itself suggests, and the

Platonists have unanimously determined." Thus also the most

thorough-going, and probably the most deeply versed in the doctrines of

the master among modern Platonists, Thomas Taylor (Introduction.

Phaedo):--"After this our divine philosopher informs that the pure soul

will after death return to pure and eternal natures;  but that the

impure soul, in consequence of being imbued with terrene affections,

will be drawn down to a kindred nature, and be invested with a gross

vehicle capable of being seen by the corporeal eye.*  For while a

propensity to body remains in the soul, it causes her to attract a

certain vehicle to herself;  either of an aerial nature, or composed

from the spirit and vapours of her terrestrial body, or which is

recently collected from surrounding air;  for according to the arcana of

the Platonic philosophy, between an ethereal body, which is simple and

immaterial and is the eternal connate vehicle of the soul, and a terrene

body, which is material and composite, and of short duration, there is

an aerial body, which is material indeed, but simple and of a more

extended duration; and in this body the unpurified soul dwells for a

long time after its exit from hence, till this pneumatic vehicle being

dissolved, it is again invested with a composite body;  while on the

contrary the purified soul immediately ascends into the celestial

regions with its ethereal vehicle alone."



* This is the Hindu theory of nearly every one of the Aryan

philosophies.--Ed. Theos.



Always it is the disposition of the soul that determines the quality of

its body.  "However the soul be in itself affected," says Porphyry

(translated by Cudworth), "so does it always find a body suitable and

agreeable to its present disposition, and therefore to the purged soul

does naturally accrue a body that comes next to immateriality, that is,

an ethereal one."  And the same author, "The soul is never quite naked

of all body, but hath always some body or other joined with it, suitable

and agreeable to its present disposition (either a purer or impurer

one).  But that at its first quitting this gross earthly body, the

spirituous body which accompanieth it (as its vehicle) must needs go

away fouled and incrassated with the vapours and steams thereof, till

the soul afterwards by degrees purging itself, this becometh at length a

dry splendour, which hath no misty obscurity nor casteth any shadow."

Here it will be seen, we lose sight of the specific difference of the

two future vehicles--the ethereal is regarded as a sublimation of the

aerial.  This, however, is opposed to the general consensus of Plato's

commentators. Sometimes the ethereal body, or augoeides, is appropriated

to the rational soul, or spirit, which must then be considered as a

distinct entity, separable from the lower soul.  Philoponus, a Christian

writer, says, "that the Rational Soul, as to its energie, is separable

from all body, but the irrational part or life thereof is separable only

from this gross body, and not from all body whatsoever, but hath after

death a spirituous or airy body, in which it acteth--this I say is a

true opinion which shall afterwards be proved by us.... The irrational

life of the soul hath not all its being in this gross earthly body, but

remaineth after the soul's departure out of it, having for its vehicle

and subject the spirituous body, which itself is also compounded out of

the four elements, but receiveth its denomination from the predominant

part, to wit, Air, as this gross body of ours is called earthy from what

is most predominant therein."--Cudworth, "Intell. Syst."  From the same

source we extract the following:  "Wherefore these ancients say that

impure souls after their departure out of this body wander here up and

down for a certain space in their spirituous vaporous and airy body,

appearing about sepulchres and haunting their former habitation.  For

which cause there is great reason that we should take care of living

well, as also of abstaining from a fouler and grosser diet;  these

Ancients telling us likewise that this spirituous body of ours being

fouled and incrassated by evil diet, is apt to render the soul in this

life also more obnoxious to the disturbances of passions.  They further

add that there is something of the Plantal or Plastic life, also

exercised by the soul, in those spirituous or airy bodies after death;

they being nourished too, though not after the same manner, as those

gross earthy bodies of ours are here, but by vapours, and that not by

parts or organs, but throughout the whole of them (as sponges), they

imbibing everywhere those vapours. For which cause they who are wise

will in this life also take care of using a thinner and dryer diet, that

so that spirituous body (which we have also at this present time within

our proper body) may not be clogged and incrassed, but attenuated.  Over

and above which, those Ancients made use of catharms, or purgations to

the same end and purpose also.  For as this earthy body is washed by

water so is that spirituous body cleansed by cathartic vapours--some of

these vapours being nutritive, others purgative.  Moreover, these

Ancients further declared concerning this spirituous body that it was

not organized, but did the whole of it in every part throughout exercise

all functions of sense, the soul hearing, seeing and perceiving all

sensibles by it everywhere.  For which cause Aristotle himself affirmeth

in his Metaphysics that there is properly but one sense and one Sensory.

He by this one sensory meaneth the spirit, or subtle airy body, in which

the sensitive power doth all of it through the whole immediately

apprehend all variety of sensibles.  And if it be demanded to how it

comes to pass that this spirit becomes organized in sepulchres, and most

commonly of human form, but sometimes in the forms of other animals, to

this those Ancients replied that their appearing so frequently in human

form proceeded from their being incrassated with evil diet, and then, as

it were, stamped upon with the form of this exterior ambient body in

which they are, as crystal is formed and coloured like to those things

which it is fastened in, or reflects the image of them.  And that their

having sometimes other different forms proceedeth from the phantastic

power of the soul itself, which can at pleasure transform the spirituous

body into any shape.  For being airy, when it is condensed and fixed, it

becometh visible, and again invisible and vanishing out of sight when it

is expanded and rarified."  Proem in Arist. de Anima.  And Cudworth

says, "Though spirits or ghosts had certain supple bodies which they

could so far condense as to make them sometimes visible to men, yet is

it reasonable enough to think that they could not constipate or fix them

into such a firmness, grossness and solidity, as that of flesh and bone

is to continue therein, or at least not without such difficulty and pain

as would hinder them from attempting the same.  Notwithstanding which it

is not denied that they may possibly sometimes make use of other solid

bodies, moving and acting them, as in that famous story of Phlegons when

the body vanished not as other ghosts use to do, but was left a dead

carcase behind."


In all these speculations the Anima Mundi plays a conspicuous part.  It

is the source and principle of all animal souls, including the

irrational soul of man.  But in man, who would otherwise be merely

analogous to other terrestrial animals--this soul participates in a

higher principle, which tends to raise and convert it to itself.  To

comprehend the nature of this union or hypostasis it would be necessary

to have mastered the whole of Plato's philosophy as comprised in the

Parmenides and the Timaeus;  and he would dogmatize rashly who without

this arduous preparation should claim Plato as the champion of an

unconditional immortality.  Certainly in the Phaedo the dialogue

popularly supposed to contain all Plato's teaching on the subject--the


immortality allotted to the impure soul is of a very questionable

character, and we should rather infer from the account there given that

the human personality, at all events, is lost by successive immersions

into "matter."  The following passage from Plutarch (quoted by Madame

Blavatsky, "Isis Unveiled," vol. ii. p. 284) will at least demonstrate

the antiquity of notions which have recently been mistaken for fanciful

novelties.  "Every soul hath some portion of nous, reason, a man cannot

be a man without it;  but as much of each soul as is mixed with flesh

and appetite is changed, and through pain and pleasure becomes

irrational.  Every soul doth not mix herself after one sort;  some

plunge themselves into the body, and so in this life their whole frame

is corrupted by appetite and passion;  others are mixed as to some part,

but the purer part still remains without the body.  It is not drawn down

into the body, but it swims above, and touches the extremest part of the

man's head;  it is like a cord to hold up and direct the subsiding part

of the soul, as long as it proves obedient and is not overcome by the

appetites of the flesh.  The part that is plunged into the body is

called soul.  But the incorruptible part is called the nous, and the


vulgar think it is within them, as they likewise imagine the image

reflected from a glass to be in that glass.  But the more intelligent,

who know it to be without, call it a Daemon."  And in the same learned

work ("Isis Unveiled ") we have two Christian authorities, Irenaeus and

Origen, cited for like distinction between spirit and soul in such a

manner as to show that the former must necessarily be regarded as

separable from the latter.  In the distinction itself there is of course

no novelty for the most moderately well-informed.  It is insisted upon

in many modern works, among which may be mentioned Heard's "Trichotomy

of Man" and Green's "Spiritual Philosophy";  the latter being an

exposition of Coleridge's opinion on this and cognate subjects.  But the

difficulty of regarding the two principles as separable in fact as well

as in logic arises from the senses, if it is not the illusion of

personal identity.  That we are particle, and that one part only is

immortal, the non-metaphysical mind rejects with the indignation which

is always encountered by a proposition that is at once distasteful and

unintelligible.  Yet perhaps it is not a greater difficulty (if, indeed,

it is not the very same) than that hard saying which troubled Nicodemus,


and which has been the key-note of the mystical religious consciousness

ever since.  This, however, is too extensive and deep a question to be

treated in this paper, which has for its object chiefly to call

attention to the distinctions introduced by ancient thought into the

conception of body as the instrument or "vehicle" of soul.  That there

is a correspondence between the spiritual condition of man and the

medium of his objective activity every spiritualist will admit to be

probable, and it may well be that some light is thrown on future states

by the possibility or the manner of spirit communication with this one.


--C. C. Massey





The Nilgiri Sannyasis



I was told that Sannyasis were sometimes met with on a mountain called

Velly Mallai Hills, in the Coimbatore District, and trying to meet with

one, I determined to ascend this mountain.  I traveled up its steep

sides and arrived at an opening, narrow and low, into which I crept on

all fours.  Going up some twenty yards I reached a cave, into the

opening of which I thrust my head and shoulders.  I could see into it

clearly, but felt a cold wind on my face, as if there was some opening

or crevice--so I looked carefully, but could see nothing.  The room was

about twelve feet square.  I did not go into it.  I saw arranged round

its sides stones one cubit long, all placed upright.  I was much

disappointed at there being no Sannyasi, and came back as I went,

pushing myself backwards as there was no room to turn.  I was then told


Sannyasis had been met with in the dense sholas (thickets), and as my

work lay often in such places, I determined to prosecute my search, and

did so diligently, without, however, any success.


One day I contemplated a journey to Coimbatore on my own affairs, and

was walking up the road trying to make a bargain with a handy man whom I

desired to engage to carry me there;  but as we could not come to terms,

I parted with him and turned into the Lovedale Road at 6 P.M.  I had not

gone far when I met a man dressed like a Sannyasi, who stopped and spoke

to me.  He observed a ring on my finger and asked me to give it to him.

I said he was welcome to it, but inquired what he would give me in

return, he said, "I don't care particularly about it;  I would rather

have that flour and sugar in the bundle on your back."  "I will give you

that with pleasure," I said, and took down my bundle and gave it to him.

"Half is enough for me," he said;  but subsequently changing his mind

added, "now let me see what is in your bundle," pointing to my other

parcel.  "I can't give you that."  He said, "Why cannot you give me your

swami (family idol)?"  I said, "It is my swami, I will not part with it;

rather take my life."  On this he pressed me no more, but said, "Now you

had better go home."  I said, "I will not leave you."  "Oh you must," he

said, "you will die here of hunger."  "Never mind," I said, "I can but

die once."  "You have no clothes to protect you from the wind and rain;

you may meet with tigers," he said.  "I don't care," I replied.  "It is

given to man once to die.  What does it signify how he dies?"  When I

said this he took my hand and embraced me, and immediately I became

unconscious.  When I returned to consciousness, I found myself with the


Sannyasi in a place new to me on a hill, near a large rock and with a

big shola near.  I saw in the shola right in front of us, that there was

a pillar of fire, like a tree almost.  I asked the Sannyasi what was

that like a high fire.  "Oh," he said, "most likely a tree ignited by

some careless wood-cutters."


"No," I said, "it is not like any common fire--there is no smoke, nor

are there flames--and it's not lurid and red.  I want to go and see it."

"No, you must not do so, you cannot go near that fire and escape alive."

"Come with me then," I begged.  "No--I cannot," he said, "if you wish to

approach it, you must go alone and at your own risk;  that tree is the

tree of knowledge and from it flows the milk of life:  whoever drinks

this never hungers again."  Thereupon I regarded the tree with awe.


I next observed five Sannyasis approaching.  They came up and joined the

one with me, entered into talk, and finally pulled out a hookah and

began to smoke.  They asked me if I could smoke.  I said no.  One of

them said to me, let us see the swami in your bundle (here gives a

description of the same).  I said, "I cannot, I am not clean enough to

do so."  "Why not perform your ablutions in yonder stream?" they said.

"If you sprinkle water on your forehead that will suffice."  I went to

wash my hands and feet, and laved my head, and showed it to them.  Next

they disappeared.  "As it is very late, it is time you returned home,"

said my first friend.  "No," I said, "now I have found you I will not

leave you."  "No, no," he said, "you must go home.  You cannot leave the

world yet;  you are a father and a husband, and you must not neglect

your worldly duties.  Follow the footsteps of your late respected uncle;

he did not neglect his worldly affairs, though he cared for the

interests of his soul;  you must go, but I will meet you again when you

get your fortnightly holiday."  On this he embraced me, and I again

became unconscious. When I returned to myself, I found myself at the

bottom of Col. Jones' Coffee Plantation above Coonor on a path.  Here

the Sannyasi wished me farewell, and pointing to the high road below, he

said, "Now you will know your way home;"  but I would not part from him.

I said, "All this will appear a dream to me unless you will fix a day

and promise to meet me here again."  "I promise," he said.  "No, promise

me by an oath on the head of my idol."  Again he promised, and touched

the head of my idol.  "Be here," he said, "this day fortnight."  When

the day came I anxiously kept my engagement and went and sat on the

stone on the path.  I waited a long time in vain.  At last I said to

myself, "I am deceived, he is not coming, he has broken his oath"--and

with grief I made a poojah.  Hardly had these thoughts passed my mind,

than lo! he stood beside me.  "Ah, you doubt me," he said;  "why this

grief."  I fell at his feet and confessed I had doubted him and begged

his forgiveness.  He forgave and comforted me, and told me to keep in my

good ways and he would always help me;  and he told me and advised me

about all my private affairs without my telling him one word, and he

also gave me some medicines for a sick friend which I had promised to

ask for but had forgotten.  This medicine was given to my friend and he

is perfectly well now.


A verbatim translation of a Settlement Officer's statement to


--E.H. Morgan





Witchcraft on the Nilgiris



Having lived many years (30) on the Nilgiris, employing the various

tribes of the Hills on my estates, and speaking their languages, I have

had many opportunities of observing their manners and customs and the

frequent practice of Demonology and Witchcraft among them.  On the

slopes of the Nilgiris live several semi-wild people:  1st, the

"Curumbers," who frequently hire themselves out to neighbouring estates,

and are first-rate fellers of forest;  2nd, the "Tain" ("Honey

Curumbers"), who collect and live largely on honey and roots, and who do

not come into civilized parts;  3rd, the "Mulu" Curumbers, who are rare

on the slopes of the hills, but common in Wynaad lower down the plateau.

These use bows and arrows, are fond of hunting, and have frequently been

known to kill tigers, rushing in a body on their game and discharging

their arrows at a short distance.  In their eagerness they frequently

fall victims to this animal;  but they are supposed to possess a

controlling power over all wild animals, especially elephants and

tigers;  and the natives declare they have the power of assuming the

forms of various beasts.  Their aid is constantly invoked both by the

Curumbers first named, and by the natives generally, when wishing to be

revenged on an enemy.


Besides these varieties of Curumbers there are various other wild tribes

I do not now mention, as they are not concerned in what I have to



I had on my estate near Ootacamund a gang of young Badagas, some 30

young men, whom I had had in my service since they were children, and

who had become most useful handy fellows.  From week to week I missed

one or another of them, and on inquiry was told they had been sick and

were dead!


One market-day I met the Moneghar of the village to which my gang

belonged and some of his men, returning home laden with their purchases.

The moment he saw me he stopped, and coming up to me, said, "Mother, I

am in great sorrow and trouble, tell me what I can do!"  "Why, what is

wrong?" I asked.  "All my young men are dying, and I cannot help them,

nor prevent it;  they are under a spell of the wicked Curumbers who are

killing them, and I am powerless."  "Pray explain," I said;  "why do the

Curumbers behave in this way, and what do they do to your people?"  "Oh,

Madam, they are vile extortioners, always asking for money;  we have

given and given till we have no more to give.  I told them we had no

more money and then they said,--All right--as you please;  we shall see.

Surely as they say this, we know what will follow--at night when we are

all asleep, we wake up suddenly and see a Curumber standing in our

midst, in the middle of the room occupied by the young men."  "Why do

you not close and bolt your doors securely?" I interrupted.  "What is

the use of bolts and bars to them? they come through stone walls.... Our

doors were secure, but nothing can keep out a Curumber.  He points his

finger at Mada, at Kurira, at Jogie--he utters no word, and as we look

at him he vanishes!  In a few days these three young men sicken, a low

fever consumes them, their stomachs swell, they die.  Eighteen young

men, the flower of my village, have died thus this year.  These effects

always follow the visit of a Curumber at night."  "Why not complain to

the Government?" I said.  "Ah, no use, who will catch them?"  "Then give

them the 200 rupees they ask this once on a solemn promise that they

exact no more"  "I suppose we must find the money somewhere," he said,

turning sorrowfully away.


A Mr. K---is the owner of a coffee estate near this, and like many

other planters employs Burghers.  On one occasion he went down the

slopes of the hills after bison and other large game, taking some seven

or eight Burghers with him as gun carriers (besides other things

necessary in jungle-walking--axes to clear the way, knives and ropes,

&c.).  He found and severely wounded a fine elephant with tusks.

Wishing to secure these, he proposed following up his quarry, but could

not induce his Burghers to go deeper and further into the forests;  they

feared to meet the "Mula Curumbers" who lived thereabouts.  For long he

argued in vain, at last by dint of threats and promises he induced them

to proceed, and as they met no one, their fears were allayed and they

grew bolder, when suddenly coming on the elephant lying dead (oh, horror

to them!), the beast was surrounded by a party of Mulu Curumbers busily

engaged in cutting out the tusks, one of which they had already

disengaged!  The affrighted Burghers fell back, and nothing Mr. K---

could do or say would induce them to approach the elephant, which the

Curumbers stoutly declared was theirs.  They had killed him they said.

They had very likely met him staggering under his wound and had finished

him off.  Mr. K---was not likely to give up his game in this fashion.

So walking threateningly to the Curumbers he compelled them to retire,

and called to his Burghers at the same time.  The Curumbers only said,

"Just you DARE to touch that elephant," and retired.  Mr. K---thereupon

cut out the remaining tusk himself, and slinging both on a pole with no

little trouble, made his men carry them. He took all the blame on

himself, showed them that they did not touch them, and finally declared

he would stay there all night rather than lose the tusks.  The idea of a

night near the Mulu Curumbers was too much for the fears of the

Burghers, and they finally took up the pole and tusks and walked home.

From that day those men, all but one who probably carried the gun,

sickened, walked about like spectres, doomed, pale and ghastly, and

before the month was out all were dead men, with the one exception!


A few months ago, at the village of Ebanaud, a few miles from this, a

fearful tragedy was enacted.  The Moneghar or headman's child was sick

unto death.  This, following on several recent deaths, was attributed to

the evil influences of a village of Curumbers hard by.  The Burghers

determined on the destruction of every soul of them.  They procured the

assistance of a Toda, as they invariably do on such occasions, as

without one the Curumbers are supposed to be invulnerable.  They

proceeded to the Curumber village at night and set their huts on fire,

and as the miserable inmates attempted to escape, flung them back into

the flames or knocked them down with clubs.  In the confusion one old

woman escaped unobserved into the adjacent bushes.  Next morning she

gave notice to the authorities, and identified seven Burghers, among

whom was the Moneghar or headman, and one Toda. As the murderers of her

people they were all brought to trial in the Courts here,--except the

headman, who died before he could be brought in--and were all sentenced

and duly executed, that is, three Burghers and the Toda, who were proved

principals in the murders.


Two years ago an almost identical occurrence took place at Kotaghery,

with exactly similar results, but without the punishment entailed having

any deterrent effect.  They pleaded "justification," as witchcraft had

been practiced on them.  But our Government ignores all occult dealings

and will not believe in the dread power in the land.  They deal very

differently with these matters in Russia, where, in a recent trial of a

similar nature, the witchcraft was admitted as an extenuating

circumstance and the culprits who had burnt a witch were all acquitted.

All natives of whatever caste are well aware of these terrible powers

and too often do they avail themselves of them--much oftener than any

one has an idea of.  One day as I was riding along I came upon a strange

and ghastly object--a basket containing the bloody head of a black

sheep, a cocoanut, 10 rupees in money, some rice and flowers.  These

smaller items I did not see, not caring to examine any closer;  but I

was told by some natives that those articles were to be found in the

basket. The basket was placed at the apex of a triangle formed by three

fine threads tied to three small sticks, so placed that any one

approaching from the roads on either side had to stumble over the

threads and receive the full effects of the deadly "Soonium" as the

natives call it.  On inquiry I learnt that it was usual to prepare such

a "Soonium" when one lay sick unto death;  as throwing it on another was

the only means of rescuing the sick one, and woe to the unfortunate who

broke a thread by stumbling over it!


--E.H. Morgan





Shamanism and Witchcraft Amongst the Kolarian Tribes



Having resided for some years amongst the Mimdas and Hos of Singbhoom,

and Chutia Nagpur, my attention was drawn at times to customs differing

a good deal in some ways, but having an evident affinity to those

related of the Nilghiri "Curumbers" in Mrs. Morgan's article.  I do not

mean to say that the practices I am about to mention are confined simply

to the Kolarian tribes, as I am aware both Oraons (a Dravidian tribe),

and the different Hindu castes living side by side with the Kols, count

many noted wizards among their number;  but what little I have come to

know of these curious customs, I have learnt among the Mimdas and Hos,

some of the most celebrated practitioners among them being Christian

converts.  The people themselves say, that these practices are peculiar

to their race, and not learnt from the Hindu invaders of their plateau;

but I am inclined to think that some, at least, of the operations have a

strong savour of the Tantric black magic about them, though practiced by

people who are often entirely ignorant of any Hindu language.


These remarks must he supplemented by a short sketch of Kol ideas of

worship.  They have nothing that I have either seen or heard of in the

shape of an image, but their periodical offerings are made to a number

of elemental spirits, and they assign a genie to every rock or tree in

the country, whom they do not consider altogether malignant, but who, if

not duly "fed" or propitiated, may become so.


The Singbonga (lit., sun or light spirit) is the chief;  Buru Bonga

(spirit of the hills), and the Ikhir Bonga (spirit of the deep), come

next.  After these come the Darha, of which each family has its own, and

they may be considered in the same light as Lares and Penates.  But

every threshing, flour and oil mill, has its spirit, who must be duly

fed, else evil result may be expected.  Their great festival (the Karam)

is in honour of Singbonga and his assistants;  the opening words of the

priests' speech on that occasion, sufficiently indicate that they

consider Singbonga, the creator of men and things.  Munure Singbonga

manokoa luekidkoa (In the beginning Singbonga made men).


Each village has its Sarna or sacred grove, where the hereditary priest

from time to time performs sacrifices, to keep things prosperous;  but

this only relates to spirits actually connected with the village, the

three greater spirits mentioned, being considered general, are only fed

at intervals of three or more years, and always on a public road or

other public place, and once every ten years a human being was (and as

some will tell you is sacrificed to keep the whole community of spirits

in good train.)  The Pahans, or village priests, are regular servants of

the spirits, and the najo, deona and bhagats are people who in some way

are supposed to obtain an influence or command over them.  The first and

lowest grade of these adepts, called najos (which may be translated as

practitioners of witchcraft pure and simple), are frequently women.

They are accused, like the "Mula Curumbers," of demanding quantities of

grain or loans of money, &c., from people, and when these demands are

refused, they go away with a remark to the effect, "that you have lots

of cattle and grain just now, but we'll see what they are like after a

month or two."  Then probably the cattle of the bewitched person will

get some disease, and several of them die, or some person of his family

will become ill or get hurt in some unaccountable way. Till at last,

thoroughly frightened, the afflicted person takes a little uncooked rice

and goes to a deona or mati (as he is called in the different

vernaculars of the province)--the grade immediately above najo in

knowledge--and promising him a reward if he will assist him, requests

his aid;  if the deona accedes to the request, the proceedings are as

follows.  The deona taking the oil brought, lights a small lamp and

seats himself beside it with the rice in a surpa (winnower) in his

hands.  After looking intently at the lamp flame for a few minutes, he

begins to sing a sort of chant of invocation in which all the spirits

are named, and at the name of each spirit a few grains of rice are

thrown into the lamp.  When the flame at any particular name gives a

jump and flares up high, the spirit concerned in the mischief is

indicated.  Then the deona takes a small portion of the rice wrapped up

in a sal (Shorea robusta) leaf and proceeds to the nearest new white-ant

nest from which he cuts the top off and lays the little bundle, half in

and half out of the cavity. Having retired, he returns in about an hour

to see if the rice is consumed, and according to the rapidity with which

it is eaten he predicts the sacrifice which will appease the spirit.

This ranges from a fowl to a buffalo, but whatever it may include, the

pouring out of blood is an essential.  It must be noted, however, that

the mati never tells who the najo is who has excited the malignity of

the spirit.


But the most important and lucrative part of a deona's business is the

casting out of evil spirits, which operation is known variously as ashab

and langhan.  The sign of obsession is generally some mental alienation

accompanied (in bad cases) by a combined trembling and restlessness of

limbs, or an unaccountable swelling up of the body.  Whatever the

symptoms may be the mode of cure appears to be much the same.  On such

symptoms declaring themselves, the deona is brought to the house and is

in the presence of the sick man and his friends provided with some rice

in a surpa, some oil, a little vermilion, and the deona produces from

his own person a little powdered sulphur and an iron tube about four

inches long and two tikli.*  Before the proceedings begin all the things


mentioned are touched with vermilion, a small quantity of which is also

mixed with the rice.  Three or four grains of rice and one of the tikli

being put into the tube, a lamp is then lighted beside the sick man and

the deona begins his chant, throwing grains of rice at each name, and

when the flame flares up, a little of the powdered sulphur is thrown

into the lamp and a little on the sick man, who thereupon becomes

convulsed, is shaken all over and talks deliriously, the deona's chant

growing louder all the while.  Suddenly the convulsions and the chant

cease, and the deona carefully takes up a little of the sulphur off the

man's body and puts into the tube, which he then seals with the second

tikli.  The deona and one of the man's friends then leave the hut,

taking the iron tube and rice with them, the spirit being now supposed

out of the man and bottled up in the iron tube.  They hurry across

country until they leave the hut some miles behind.  Then they go to the

edge of some tank or river, to some place they know to be frequented by

people for the purposes of bathing, &c., where, after some further

ceremony, the iron is stuck into the ground and left there.  This is

done with the benevolent intention that the spirit may transfer its

attentions to the unfortunate person who may happen to touch it while

bathing.  I am told the spirit in this case usually chooses a young and

healthy person.  Should the deona think the spirit has not been able to

suit itself with a new receptacle, he repairs to where a bazaar is

taking place and there (after some ceremony) he mixes with the crowd,

and taking a grain of the reddened rice jerks it with his forefinger and

thumb in such a way that without attracting attention it falls on the

person or clothes of some.  This is done several times to make certain.

Then the deona declares he has done his work, and is usually treated to

the best dinner the sick man's friends can afford.  It is said that the

person to whom the spirit by either of these methods is transferred may

not be affected for weeks or even months.  But some fine day while he is

at his work, he will suddenly stop, wheel round two or three times on

his heels and fall down more or less convulsed, from that time forward

he will begin to be troubled in the same way as his dis-obsessed

predecessor was.



* Tikli is a circular piece of gilt paper which is stuck on between the

eyebrows of the women of the Province as ornament.



Having thus given some account of the deona, we now come to the bhagat,

called by the Hindus sokha and sivnath.  This is the highest grade of

all, and, as I ought to have mentioned before, the 'ilm (knowledge) of

both the deona and bhagat grades is only to be learned by becoming a

regular chela of a practitioner;  but I am given to understand that the

final initiation is much hastened by a seasonable liberality on the part

of the chela. During the initiation of the sokha certain ceremonies are

performed at night by aid of a human corpse, this is one of the things

which has led me to think that this part at least of these practices is

connected with Tantric black magic.


The bhagat performs two distinct functions:  (1st), a kind of divination

called bhao (the same in Hindi), and (2nd), a kind of Shamanism called

darasta in Hindi, and bharotan in Horokaji, which, however, is resorted

to only on very grave occasions--as, for instance, when several families

think they are bewitched at one time and by the same najo.


The bhao is performed as follows:--The person having some query to

propound, makes a small dish out of a sal leaf and puts in it a little

uncooked rice and a few pice;  he then proceeds to the bhagat and lays

before him the leaf and its contents, propounding at the same time his

query.  The bhagat then directs him to go out and gather two golaichi

(varieties of Posinia) flowers (such practitioners usually having a

golaichi tree close to their abodes);  after the flowers are brought the

bhagat seats himself with the rice close to the inquirer, and after some

consideration selects one of the flowers, and holding it by the stalk at

about a foot from his eyes in his left hand twirls it between his thumb

and fingers, occasionally with his right hand dropping on it a grain or

two of rice.*  In a few minutes his eyes close and he begins to talk--

usually about things having nothing to do with the question in hand, but

after a few minutes of this, he suddenly yells out an answer to the

question, and without another word retires.  The inquirer takes his

meaning as he can from the answer, which, I believe, is always




* This is the process by which the bhagat mesmerizes himself.



The bharotan as I have above remarked is only resorted to when a matter

of grave import has to be inquired about;  the bhagat makes a high

charge for a seance of this description.  We will fancy that three or

four families in a village consider themselves bewitched by a najo, and

they resolve to have recourse to a bhagat to find out who the witch is;

with this view a day is fixed on, and two delegates are procured from

each of five neighbouring villages, who accompany the afflicted people

to the house of the bhagat, taking with them a dali or offering,

consisting of vegetables, which on arrival is formally presented to him.

Two delegates are posted at each of the four points of the compass, and

the other two sent themselves with the afflicted parties to the right of

the bhagat, who occupies the centre of the apartment with four or five

chelas, a clear space being reserved on the left.  One chela then brings

a small earthenware-pot full of lighted charcoal, which is set before

the bhagat with a pile of mango wood chips and a ball composed of dhunia

(resin of Shorea robusta), gur (treacle), and ghee (clarified butter),

and possibly other ingredients.  The bhagat's sole attire consists of a

scanty lenguti (waist-cloth), a necklace of the large wooden beads such

as are usually worn by fakeers, and several garlands of golaichi flowers

round his neck, his hair being unusually long and matted.  Beside him

stuck in the ground is his staff.  One chela stands over the firepot

with a bamboo-mat fan in his hand, another takes charge of the pile of

chips, and a third of the ball of composition, and one or two others

seat themselves behind the bhagat, with drums and other musical

instruments in their hands.  All being in readiness, the afflicted ones

are requested to state their grievance.  This they do, and pray the

bhagat to call before him the najo, who has stirred up the spirits to

afflict them, in order that he may be punished.  The bhagat then gives a

sign to his chelas, those behind him raise a furious din with their

instruments, the fire is fed with chips, and a bit of the composition is

put on it from time to time, producing a volume of thick greyish-blue

smoke; this is carefully fanned over, and towards the bhagat, who, when

well wrapped in smoke, closes his eyes and quietly swaying his body


begins a low chant.  The chant gradually becomes louder and the sway of

his body more pronounced, until he works himself into a state of

complete frenzy.  Then with his body actually quivering, and his head

rapidly working about from side to side, he sings in a loud voice how a

certain najo (whom he names) had asked money of those people and was

refused, and how he stirred up certain spirits (whom he also names) to

hurt them, how they killed so and so's bullocks, some one else's sheep,

and caused another's child to fall ill.  Then he begins to call on the

najo to come and answer for his doings, and in doing so rises to his

feet--still commanding the najo to appear;  meanwhile he reels about;

then falls on the ground and is quite still except for an occasional

whine, and a muttered, "I see him!"  "He is coming!" This state may last

for an hour or more till at last the bhagat sits up and announces the

najo has come;  as he says so, a man, apparently mad with drink, rushes

in and falls with his head towards the bhagat moaning and making a sort

of snorting as if half stifled.  In this person the bewitched parties

often recognize a neighbour and sometimes even a relation, but whoever

he may be they have bound themselves to punish him.  The bhagat then

speaks to him and tells him to confess, at the same time threatening

him, in case of refusal, with his staff.  He then confesses in a

half-stupefied manner, and his confession tallies with what the bhagat

has told in his frenzy.  The najo is then dismissed and runs out of the

house in the same hurry as he came in.  The delegates then hold a

council at which the najo usually is sentenced to a fine--often heavy

enough to ruin him--and expelled from his village.  Before the British

rule the convicted najo seldom escaped with his life, and during the

mutiny time, when no Englishmen were about, the Singbhoom Hos paid off a

large number of old scores of this sort.  For record of which, see

"Statistical Account of Bengal," vol. xvii. p. 52.


In conclusion I have merely to add that I have derived this information

from people who have been actually concerned in these occurrences, and

among others a man belonging to a village of my own, who was convicted

and expelled from the village with the loss of all his movable property,

and one of his victims, a relation of his, sat by me when the above was

being written.


--E.D. Ewen





Mahatmas and Chelas



A Mahatma is an individual who, by special training and education, has

evolved those higher faculties, and has attained that spiritual

knowledge, which ordinary humanity will acquire after passing through

numberless series of re-incarnations during the process of cosmic

evolution, provided, of course, that they do not go, in the meanwhile,

against the purposes of Nature and thus bring on their own annihilation.

This process of the self-evolution of the MAHATMA extends over a number

of "incarnations," although, comparatively speaking, they are very few.

Now, what is it that incarnates?  The occult doctrine, so far as it is

given out, shows that the first three principles die more or less with

what is called the physical death.  The fourth principle, together with

the lower portions of the fifth, in which reside the animal

propensities, has Kama Loka for its abode, where it suffers the throes

of disintegration in proportion to the intensity of those lower desires;

while it is the higher Manas, the pure man, which is associated with the

sixth and seventh principles, that goes into Devachan to enjoy there the

effects of its good Karma, and then to be reincarnated as a higher

personality.  Now an entity that is passing through the occult training

in its successive births, gradually has less and less (in each

incarnation) of that lower Manas until there arrives a time when its

whole Manas, being of an entirely elevated character, is centred in the

individuality, when such a person may be said to have become a MAHATMA.

At the time of his physical death, all the lower four principles perish

without any suffering, for these are, in fact, to him like a piece of

wearing apparel which he puts on and off at will.  The real MAHATMA is

then not his physical body but that higher Manas which is inseparably

linked to the Atma and its vehicle (the sixth principle)--a union

effected by him in a comparatively very short period by passing through

the process of self-evolution laid down by Occult Philosophy.  When

therefore, people express a desire to "see a MAHATMA," they really do

not seem to understand what it is they ask for.  How can they, with

their physical eyes, hope to see that which transcends that sight?  Is

it the body--a mere shell or mask--they crave or hunt after?  And

supposing they see the body of a MAHATMA, how can they know that behind

that mask is concealed an exalted entity?  By what standard are they to

judge whether the Maya before them reflects the image of a true MAHATMA

or not?  And who will say that the physical is not a Maya? Higher things

can be perceived only by a sense pertaining to those higher things;

whoever therefore wants to see the real MAHATMA, must use his

intellectual sight.  He must so elevate his Manas that its perception

will be clear and all mists created by Maya be dispelled.  His vision

will then be bright and he will see the MAHATMA wherever he may be, for,

being merged into the sixth and the seventh principles, which know no

distance, the MAHATMA may be said to be everywhere.  But, at the same

time, just as we may be standing on a mountain top and have within our

sight the whole plain, and yet not be cognizant of any particular tree

or spot, because from that elevated position all below is nearly

identical, and as our attention may be drawn to something which may be

dissimilar to its surroundings--in the same manner, although the whole

of humanity is within the mental vision of the MAHATMA, he cannot be

expected to take special note of every human being, unless that being by

his special acts draws particular attention to himself.  The highest

interest of humanity, as a whole, is the MAHATMA's special concern, for

he has identified himself with that Universal Soul which runs through

Humanity;  and to draw his attention one must do so through that Soul.

This perception of the Manas may be called "faith" which should not be

confounded with blind belief.  "Blind faith" is an expression sometimes

used to indicate belief without perception or understanding;  while the

true perception of the Manas is that enlightened belief which is the

real meaning of the word "faith."  This belief should at the same time

be accompanied by knowledge, i.e., experience, for "true knowledge

brings with it faith."  Faith is the perception of the Manas (the fifth

principle), while knowledge, in the true sense of the term, is the

capacity of the Intellect, i.e., it is spiritual perception. In short,

the individuality of man, composed of his higher Manas, the sixth and

the seventh principle, should work as a unity, and then only can it

obtain "divine wisdom," for divine things can be sensed only by divine

faculties.  Thus a chela should be actuated solely by a desire to

understand the operations of the Law of Cosmic Evolution, so as to be

able to work in conscious and harmonious accord with Nature.







The Brahmanical Thread



I.  The general term for the investiture of this thread is Upanayana;

and the invested is called Upanita, which signifies brought or drawn

near (to one's Guru), i.e., the thread is the symbol of the wearer's



II.  One of the names of this thread is Yajna-Sutra.  Yajna means

Brahma, or the Supreme Spirit, and Sutra the thread, or tie.

Collectively, the compound word signifies that which ties a man to his

spirit or god.  It consists of three yarns twisted into one thread, and

three of such threads formed and knotted into a circle.  Every

Theosophist knows what a circle signifies and it need not be repeated

here.  He will easily understand the rest and the relation they have to

mystic initiation.  The yarns signify the great principle of "three in

one, and one in three," thus:--The first trinity consists of Atma which

comprises the three attributes of Manas, Buddhi, and Ahankara (the mind,

the intelligence, and the egotism).  The Manas again, has the three

qualities of Satva, Raja, and Tama (goodness, foulness, and darkness).

Buddhi has the three attributes of Pratyaksha, Upamiti and Anumiti

(perception, analogy, and inference). Ahankara also has three

attributes, viz., Jnata, Jneya, and Jnan (the knower, the known, and the



III.  Another name of the sacred thread is Tri-dandi.  Tri means three,

and Danda, chastisement, correction, or conquest.  This reminds the

holder of the three great "corrections" or conquests he has to

accomplish.  These are:--(1) the Vakya Sanyama;*  (2) the Manas Sanyama;

and (3) the Indriya (or Deha) Sanyama. Vakya is speech, Manas, mind, and

Deha (literally, body) or Indriya, is the senses.  The three conquests

therefore mean the control over one's speech, thought, and action.



* Danda and Sanyama are synonymous terms.--A.S.



This thread is also the reminder to the man of his secular duties,

and its material varies, in consequence, according to the occupation

of the wearer.  Thus, while the thread of the Brahmans is made of

pure cotton, that of the Kshatriyas (the warriors) is composed of

flax--the bow-string material;  and that of Vaishyas (the traders and

cattle-breeders), of wool.  From this it is not to be inferred that caste

was originally meant to be hereditary. In the ancient times, it depended

on the qualities of the man. Irrespective of the caste of his parents, a

man could, according to his merit or otherwise, raise or lower himself

from one caste to another;  and instances are not wanting in which a man

has elevated himself to the position of the highest Brahman (such as

Vishvamitra Rishi, Parasara, Vyasa, Satyakam, and others) from the very

lowest of the four castes.  The sayings of Yudhishthira on this subject,

in reply to the questions of the great serpent, in the Arannya Parva of

the Maha-Bharata, and of Manu, on the same point, are well known and

need nothing more than bare reference.  Both Manu and Maha-Bharata--the

fulcrums of Hinduism--distinctly affirm that a man can translate

himself from one caste to another by his merit, irrespective of his



The day is fast approaching when the so-called Brahmans will have to

show cause, before the tribunal of the Aryan Rishis, why they should not

be divested of the thread which they do not at all deserve, but are

degrading by misuse.  Then alone will the people appreciate the

privilege of wearing it.


There are many examples of the highest distinctive insignia being worn

by the unworthy.  The aristocracies of Europe and Asia teem with such.


--A. Sarman





Reading in a Sealed Envelope



Some years ago, a Brahman astrologer named Vencata Narasimla Josi, a

native of the village of Periasamudram in the Mysore Provinces, came to

the little town in the Bellary District where I was then employed.  He

was a good Sanskrit, Telugu and Canarese poet, and an excellent master

of Vedic rituals;  knew the Hindu system of astronomy, and professed to

be an astrologer.  Besides all this, he possessed the power of reading

what was contained in any sealed envelope.  The process adopted for this

purpose was simply this:--We wrote whatever we chose on a piece of

paper; enclosed it in one, two or three envelopes, each properly gummed

and sealed, and handed the cover to the astrologer.  He asked us to name

a figure between 1 and 9, and on its being named, he retired with the

envelope to some secluded place for some time; and then he returned with

a paper full of figures, and another paper containing a copy of what was

on the sealed paper--exactly, letter for letter and word for word.  I

tried him often and many others did the same;  and we were all satisfied

that he was invariably accurate, and that there was no deception

whatsoever in the matter.


About this time, one Mr. Theyagaraja Mudalyar, a supervisor in the

Public Works Department, an English scholar and a good Sanskrit and

Telugu poet, arrived at our place on his periodical tour of inspection.

Having heard about the aforesaid astrologer, he wanted to test him in a

manner, most satisfactory to himself. One morning handing to the

astrologer a very indifferently gummed envelope, he said, "Here, Sir,

take this letter home with you and come back to me with your copy in the

afternoon."  This loose way of closing the envelope, and the permission

given to the astrologer to take it home for several hours, surprised the

Brahman, who said, "I don't want to go home.  Seal the cover better, and

give me the use of some room here.  I shall be ready with my copy very

soon."  "No," said the Mudalyar, "take it as it is, and come back

whenever you like.  I have the means of finding out the deception, if

any be practiced."


So then the astrologer went with the envelope;  and returned to the

Mudalyar's place in the afternoon.  Myself and about twenty others were

present there by appointment.  The astrologer then carefully handed the

cover to the Mudalyar, desiring him to see if it was all right.  "Don't

mind that," the Mudalyar answered; "I can find out the trick, if there

be any.  Produce your copy." The astrologer thereupon presented to the

Mudalyar a paper on which four lines were written and stated that this

was a copy of the paper enclosed in the Mudalyar's envelope.  Those four

lines formed a portion of an antiquated poem.


The Mudalyar read the paper once, then read it over again. Extreme

satisfaction beamed over his countenance, and he sat mute for some

seconds seemingly in utter astonishment.  But soon after, the expression

of his face changing, he opened the envelope and threw the enclosure

down, jocularly saying to the astrologer, "Here, Sir, is the original of

which you have produced the copy."


The paper lay upon the carpet, and was quite blank! not a word, nor a

letter on its clean surface.


This was a sad disappointment to all his admirers;  but to the

astrologer himself, it was a real thunderbolt.  He picked up the paper

pensively, examined it on both sides, then dashed it on the ground in a

fury;  and suddenly arising, exclaimed, "My Vidya* is a delusion, and I

am a liar!"



* Secret knowledge, magic.



The subsequent behaviour of the poor man made us fear lest this great

disappointment should drive him to commit some desperate act.  In fact

he seemed determined to drown himself in the well, saying that he was

dishonoured.  While we were trying to console him, the Mudalyar came

forward, caught hold of his hands, and besought him to sit down and

calmly listen to his explanation, assuring him that he was not a liar,

and that his copy was perfectly accurate.  But the astrologer would not

be satisfied; he supposed that all this was said simply to console him;

and cursed himself and his fate most horribly.  However, in a few

minutes he became calmer and listened to the Mudalyar's explanation,

which was in substance as follows The only way for the sceptic to

account for this phenomenon, is to suppose that the astrologer opened

the covers dexterously and read their contents.  "So," he said, "I wrote

four lines of old poetry on the paper with nitrate of silver, which

would be invisible until exposed to the light;  and this would have

disclosed the astrologer's fraud, if he had tried to find out the

contents of the enclosed paper, by opening the cover, however

ingeniously. For, if he opened it and looked at the paper, he would have

seen that it was blank, resealed the cover, and declared that the paper

enveloped therein bore no writing whatever;  or if he had, by design or

accident, exposed the paper to light, the writing would have become

black;  and he would have produced a copy of it as if it were the result

of his own Vidya;  but in either case and the writing remaining, his

deception would have been clear, and it would have been patent to all

that he did open the envelope.  But in the present case, the result

proved conclusively that the cover was not opened at all."


--P. Sreeneevas Row





The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac



The division of the Zodiac into different signs dates from immemorial

antiquity.  It has acquired a world-wide celebrity and is to be found in

the astrological systems of several nations. The invention of the Zodiac

and its signs has been assigned to different nations by different

antiquarians.  It is stated by some that, at first, there were only ten

signs, that one of these signs was subsequently split up into two

separate signs, and that a new sign was added to the number to render

the esoteric significance of the division more profound, and at the same

time to conceal it more perfectly from the uninitiated public.  It is

very probable that the real philosophical conception of the division

owes its origin to some particular nation, and the names given to the

various signs might have been translated into the languages of other

nations.  The principal object of this article, however, is not to

decide which nation had the honour of inventing the signs in question,

but to indicate to some extent the real philosophical meaning involved

therein, and the way to discover the rest of the meaning which yet

remains undisclosed. But from what is herein stated, an inference may

fairly be drawn that, like so many other philosophical myths and

allegories, the invention of the Zodiac and its signs owes its origin to

ancient India.


What then is its real origin, what is the philosophical conception which

the Zodiac and its signs are intended to represent?  Do the various

signs merely indicate the shape or configuration of the different

constellations included in the divisions, or, are they simply masks

designed to veil some hidden meaning?  The former supposition is

altogether untenable for two reasons, viz.:--


I.  The Hindus were acquainted with the precession of the equinoxes, as

may he easily seen from their work on Astronomy, and from the almanacs

published by Hindu astronomers.  Consequently they were fully aware of

the fact that the constellations in the various Zodiacal divisions were

not fixed.  They could not, therefore, have assigned particular shapes

to these shifting groups of fixed stars with reference to the divisions

of the Zodiac.  But the names indicating the Zodiacal signs have all

along remained unaltered.  It is to be inferred, therefore, that the

names given to the various signs have no connection whatever with the

configurations of the constellations included in them.


II. The names assigned to these signs by the ancient Sanskrit writers

and their exoteric or literal meanings are as follows:--


The Names of the Signs ....... Their Exoteric or Literal Meanings


1. Mesha ........................... Ram, or Aries.

2. Rishabha .......................Bull, or Taurus.

3. Mithunam ................... Twins, or Gemini (male and female).

4. Karkataka ...................... Crab, or Cancer.

5. Simha .............................. Lion, or Leo.

6. Kanya ............................. Virgin or Virgo.*

7. Tula .......................... Balance, or Libra.

8. Vrischika ..................... Scorpion, or Scorpio.

9. Dhanus ....................... Archer, or Sagittarius.

10. Makara ........... The Goat, or Capricornus (Crocodile, in Sanskrit).

11. Kumbha .................. Water-bearer, or Aquarius.

12. Meenam ................. Fishes, or Pisces.


The figures of the constellations included in the signs at the time the

division was first made do not at all resemble the shapes of the

animals, reptiles and other objects denoted by the names given them.

The truth of this assertion can be ascertained by examining the

configurations of the various constellations. Unless the shape of the

crocodile** or the crab is called up by the observer's imagination,

there is very little chance of the stars themselves suggesting to his

idea that figure, upon the blue canopy of the starry firmament.



* Virgo-Scorpio, when none but the initiates knew there were twelve

signs.  Virgo-Scorpio was then followed for the profane by Sagittarius.

At the middle or junction-point where now stands Libra and at the sign

now called Virgo, two mystical signs were inserted which remained

unintelligible to the profane.--Ed. Theos.


** This constellation was never called Crocodile by the ancient Western

astronomers, who described it as a horned goat and called it so--

Capricornus.--Ed. Theos.



If, then, the constellations have nothing to do with the origin of the

names by which the Zodiacal divisions are indicated, we have to seek for

some other source which might have given rise to these appellations.  It

becomes my object to unravel a portion of the mystery connected with

these Zodiacal signs, as also to disclose a portion of the sublime

conception of the ancient Hindu philosophy which gave rise to them.  The

signs of the Zodiac have more than one meaning.  From one point of view

they represent the different stages of evolution up to the time the

present material universe with the five elements came into phenomenal

existence. As the author of "Isis Unveiled" has stated in the second

volume of her admirable work, "The key should be turned seven times" to

understand the whole philosophy underlying these signs.  But I shall

wind it only once and give the contents of the first chapter of the

History of Evolution.  It is very fortunate that the Sanskrit names

assigned to the various divisions by Aryan philosophers contain within

themselves the key to the solution of the problem.  Those of my readers

who have studied to some extent the ancient "Mantra" and the "Tantra

Sastras" * of India, would have seen that very often Sanskrit words are

made to convey a certain hidden meaning by means of well-known

pre-arranged methods and a tacit convention, while their literal

significance is something quite different from the implied meaning.



* Works on Incantation and Magic.



The following are some of the rules which may help an inquirer in

ferreting out the deep significance of ancient Sanskrit nomenclature to

be found in the old Aryan myths and allegories:


1. Find out the synonyms of the word used which have other meanings.


2. Find out the numerical value of the letters composing the word

according to the methods given in ancient Tantrika works.


3. Examine the ancient myths or allegories, if there are any, which have

any special connection with the word in question.


4. Permute the different syllables composing the word and examine the

new combinations that will thus be formed and their meanings, &c. &c.


I shall now apply some of the above given rules to the names of the

twelve signs of the Zodiac.


I. Mesha.--One of the synonyms of this word is Aja.  Now, Aja literally

means that which has no birth, and is applied to the Eternal Brahma in

certain portions of the Upanishads. So,  the first sign is intended to

represent Parabrahma, the self-existent, eternal, self-sufficient cause

of all.


II. Rishabham.--This word is used in several places in the Upanishads

and the Veda to mean Pranava (Aum).  Sankaracharya has so interpreted it

in several portions of his commentary.*



* Example, "Rishabhasya--Chandasam Rishabhasya Pradhanasya




III. Mithuna.--As the word plainly indicates, this sign is intended to

represent the first androgyne, the Ardhanareeswara, the bisexual

Sephira--Adam Kadmon.


IV. Karkataka.--When the syllables are converted into the corresponding

numbers, according to the general mode of transmutation so often alluded

to in Mantra Shastra, the word in question will be represented by ////.

This sign then is evidently intended to represent the sacred Tetragram;

the Parabrahmadharaka;  the Pranava resolved into four separate entities

corresponding to its four Matras;  the four Avasthas indicated by

Jagrata (waking) Avastha, Swapna (dreaming) Avastha, Sushupti (deep

sleep) Avastha, and Turiya (the last stage, i.e., Nirvana) Avastha (as

yet in potentiality);  the four states of Brahma called Vaiswanara,

Taijasa (or Hiranyagarbha), Pragna, and Iswara, and represented by

Brahma, Vishna, Maheswara, and Sadasiva;  the four aspects of

Parabrahma, as Sthula (gross), Sukshma (subtle), Vija (seed), and Sakshi

(witness);  the four stages or conditions of the Sacred Word, named

Para, Pasyanti, Madhyama and Vaikhari;  Nadam, Bindu, Sakti and Kala.

This sign completes the first quaternary.


V. Simha.--This word contains a world of occult meaning within itself;

and it may not be prudent on my part to disclose the whole of its

meaning now.  It will be sufficient for the present purpose to give a

general indication of its significance.


Two of its synonymous terms are Panchasyam and Hari, and its number in

the order of the Zodiacal divisions (being the fifth sign) points

clearly to the former synonym.  This synonym--Panchasyam--shows that

the sign is intended to represent the five Brahmas--viz., Isanam,

Aghoram, Tatpurusham, Vamadevam, and Sadyojatam:--the five Buddhas.  The

second synonym shows it to be Narayana, the Jivatma or Pratyagatma.  The

Sukarahasy Upanishad will show that the ancient Aryan philosophers

looked upon Narayana as the Jivatma.* The Vaishnavites may not admit it.

But as an Advaiti, I look upon Jivatma as identical with Paramatma in

its real essence when stripped of its illusory attributes created by

Agnanam or Avidya--ignorance.



* In its lowest or most material state, as the life-principle which

animates the material bodies of the animal and vegetable worlds, &c.

--Ed. Theos.



The Jivatma is correctly placed in the fifth sign counting from Mesham,

as the fifth sign is the putrasthanam or the son's house according to

the rules of Hindu Astrology.  The sign in question represents Jivatma--

the son of Paramatma as it were.  (I may also add that it represents the

real Christ, the anointed pure spirit, though many Christians may frown

at this interpretation.)*  I will only add here that unless the nature

of this sign is fully comprehended it will be impossible to understand

the real order of the next three signs and their full significance.  The


elements or entities that have merely a potential existence in this sign

become distinct separate entities in the next three signs.  Their union

into a single entity leads to the destruction of the phenomenal

universe, and the recognition of the pure Spirit and their separation

has the contrary effect.  It leads to material earth-bound existence and

brings into view the picture gallery of Avidya (Ignorance) or Maya

(Illusion).  If the real orthography of the name by which the sign in

question is indicated is properly understood, it will readily be seen

that the next three signs are not what they ought to be.



* Nevertheless it is a true one.  The Jiv-atma in the Microcosm (man) is

the same spiritual essence which animates the Macrocosm (universe), the

differentiation, or specific difference between the two Jivatmas

presenting itself but in the two states or conditions of the same and

one Force.  Hence, "this son of Paramatma" is an eternal correlation of

the Father-Cause. Purusha manifesting himself as Brahma of the "golden

egg" and becoming Viradja--the universe.  We are "all born of Aditi from

the water" (Hymns of the Maruts, X. 63, 2), and "Being was born from

not-being" (Rig-Veda, Mandala I, Sukta 166).--Ed. Theos.



Kanya or Virgo and Vrischika or Scorpio should form one single sign, and

Thula must follow the said sign if it is at all necessary to have a

separate sign of that name.  But a separation between Kanya and

Vrischika was effected by interposing the sign Tula between the two.

The object of this separation will be understood on examining the

meaning of the three signs.


VI. Kanya.--Means a virgin and represents Sakti or Mahamaya.  The sign

in question is the sixth Rasi or division, and indicates that there are

six primary forces in Nature.  These forces have different sets of names

in Sanskrit philosophy.  According to one system of nomenclature, they

are called by the following names*:--(1) Parasakty;  (2) Gnanasakti;

(3) Itchasakti (will-power); (4) Kriytisakti;  (5) Kundalinisakti;  and

(6) Matrikasakti.  The six forces are in their unity represented by the

Astral Light.**



* Parasakti:--Literally the great or supreme force or power. It means

and includes the powers of light and heat.


Gnanasakti:--Literally the power of intellect or the power of real

wisdom or knowledge.  It has two aspects.


I. The following are some of its manifestations when placed under the

influence or control of material conditions.


(a) The power of the mind in interpreting our sensations;  (b) Its power

in recalling past ideas (memory) and raising future expectation;  (c)

Its power as exhibited in what are called by modern psychologists "the

laws of association," which enables it to form persisting connections

between various groups of sensations and possibilities of sensations,

and thus generate the notion or idea of an external object;  (d) Its

power in connecting our ideas together by the mysterious link of memory,

and thus generating the notion of self or individuality.


II. The following are some of its manifestations when liberated from the

bonds of matter:--


(a) Clairvoyance.  (b) Pyschometry.


Itchasakti:--Literally the power of the will.  Its most ordinary

manifestation is the generation of certain nerve currents which set in

motion such muscles as are required for the accomplishment of the

desired object.


Kriyasakti:--The mysterious power of thought which enables it to produce

external, perceptible, phenomenal results by its own inherent energy.

The ancients held that any idea will manifest itself externally if one's

attention is deeply concentrated upon it.  Similarly an intense volition

will be followed by the desired result.


A Yogi generally performs his wonders by means of Itchasakti and



Kundalinisakti:--Literally the power or force which moves in a

serpentine or curved path.  It is the universal life-principle which

everywhere manifests itself in Nature.  This force includes in itself

the two great forces of attraction and repulsion. Electricity and

magnetism are but manifestations of it.  This is the power or force

which brings about that "continuous adjustment of internal relations to

external relations" which is the essence of life according to Herbert

Spencer, and that "continuous adjustment of external relations to

internal relations" which is the basis of transmigration of souls or

punarjanmam (re-birth) according to the doctrines of the ancient Hindu



A Yogi must thoroughly subjugate this power or force before he can

attain moksham.  This force is, in fact, the great serpent of the Bible.


Matrikasakti:--Literally the force or power of letters or speech or

music.  The whole of the ancient Mantra Shastra has this force or power

in all its manifestations for its subject-matter.  The power of The Word

which Jesus Christ speaks of is a manifestation of this Sakti.  The

influence of its music is one of its ordinary manifestations.  The power

of the mirific ineffable name is the crown of this Sakti.


Modern science has but partly investigated the first, second and fifth

of the forces or powers above named, but it is altogether in the dark as

regards the remaining powers.


** Even the very name of Kanya (Virgin) shows how all the ancient

esoteric systems agreed in all their fundamental doctrines.  The

Kabalists and the Hermetic philosophers call the Astral Light the

"heavenly or celestial Virgin."  The Astral Light in its unity is the

7th.  Hence the seven principles diffused in every unity or the 6 and

one--two triangles and a crown.--Ed. Theos.



VII. Tula.--When represented by numbers according to the method above

alluded to, this word will be converted into 36.  This sign, therefore,

is evidently intended to represent the 36 Tatwams.  (The number of

Tatwams is different according to the views of different philosophers

but by Sakteyas generally and by several of the ancient Rishis, such as

Agastya, Dvrasa and Parasurama, &c., the number of Tatwams has been

stated to be 36). Jivatma differs from Paramatma, or to state the same

thing in other words, "Baddha" differs from "Mukta" * in being encased

as it were within these 36 Tatwams, while the other is free.  This sign

prepares the way to earthly Adam to Nara.  As the emblem of Nara it is

properly placed as the seventh sign.



* As the Infinite differs from the Finite and the Unconditioned

from the Conditioned.--Ed. Theos.



VIII. Vrischika.--It is stated by ancient philosophers that the sun when

located in this Rasi or sign is called by the name of Vishnu (see the

12th Skandha of Bhagavata).  This sign is intended to represent Vishnu.

Vishnu literally means that which is expanded--expanded as Viswam or

Universe.  Properly speaking, Viswam itself is Vishnu (see

Sankaracharya's commentary on Vishnusahasranamam).  I have already

intimated that Vishnu represents the Swapnavastha or the Dreaming State.

The sign in question properly signifies the universe in thought or the

universe in the divine conception.


It is properly placed as the sign opposite to Rishabham or Pranava.

Analysis from Pranava downwards leads to the Universe of Thought, and

synthesis from the latter upwards leads to Pranava (Aum).  We have now

arrived at the ideal state of the universe previous to its coming into

material existence.  The expansion of the Vija or primitive germ into

the universe is only possible when the 36 "Tatwams" * are interposed

between the Maya and Jivatma.  The dreaming state is induced through the

instrumentality of these "Tatwams."  It is the existence of these

Tatwams that brings Hamsa into existence.  The elimination of these

Tatwams marks the beginning of the synthesis towards Pranava and Brahmam

and converts Hamsa into Soham.  As it is intended to represent the

different stages of evolution from Brahmam downwards to the material

universe, the three signs Kanya, Tula, and Vrischika are placed in the

order in which they now stand as three separate signs.


IX. Dhanus (Sagittarius).--When represented in numbers the name is

equivalent to 9, and the division in question is the 9th division

counting from Mesha.  The sign, therefore, clearly indicates the 9

Brahmas--the 9 Parajapatis who assisted the Demiurgus in constructing

the material universe.


X. Makara.--There is some difficulty in interpreting this word;

nevertheless it contains within itself the clue to its correct

interpretation.  The letter Ma is equivalent to number 5, and Kara means

hand.  Now in Sanskrit Thribhujam means a triangle, bhujam or karam

(both are synonymous) being understood to mean a side.  So, Makaram or

Panchakaram means a Pentagon.**



* 36 is three times 12, or 9 Tetraktis, or 12 Triads, the most sacred

number in the Kabalistic and Pythagorean numerals.--Ed. Theos.


** The five-pointed star or pentagram represented the five limbs of

man.--Ed. Theos.



Now, Makaram is the tenth sign, and the term "Dasadisa" is generally

used by Sanskrit writers to denote the faces or sides of the universe.

The sign in question is intended to represent the faces of the universe,

and indicates that the figure of the universe is bounded by Pentagons.

If we take the pentagons as regular pentagons (on the presumption or

supposition that the universe is symmetrically constructed) the figure

of the material universe will, of course, be a Dodecahedron, the

geometrical model imitated by the Demiurgus in constructing the material

universe.  If Tula was subsequently invented, and if instead of the

three signs "Kanya," "Tula," and "Vrischikam," there had existed

formerly only one sign combining in itself Kanya and Vrischika, the sign

now under consideration was the eighth sign under the old system, and it

is a significant fact that Sanskrit writers generally speak also of

"Ashtadisa" or eight faces bounding space.  It is quite possible that

the number of disa might have been altered from 8 to 10 when the

formerly existing Virgo-Scorpio was split up into three separate signs.


Again, Kara may be taken to represent the projecting triangles of the

five-pointed star.  This figure may also be called a kind of regular

pentagon (see Todhunter's "Spherical Trigonometry," p. 143).  If this

interpretation is accepted, the Rasi or sign in question represents the

"microcosm."  But the "microcosm" or the world of thought is really

represented by Vrischika.  From an objective point of view the

"microcosm" is represented by the human body. Makaram may be taken to

represent simultaneously both the microcosm and the macrocosm, as

external objects of perception.


In connection with this sign I shall state a few important facts which I

beg to submit for the consideration of those who are interested in

examining the ancient occult sciences of India.  It is generally held by

the ancient philosophers that the macrocosm is similar to the microcosm

in having a Sthula Sariram and a Suksma Sariram.   The visible universe

is the Sthula Sariram of Viswam;  the ancient philosophers held that as

a substratum for this visible universe, there is another universe--

perhaps we may call it the universe of Astral Light--the real universe

of Noumena, the soul as it were of this visible universe.  It is darkly

hinted in certain passages of the Veda and the Upanishads that this

hidden universe of Astral Light is to be represented by an Icosahedron.

The connection between an Icosahedron and a Dodecahedron is something

very peculiar and interesting, though the figures seem to be so very

dissimilar to each other.  The connection may be understood by the

under-mentioned geometrical construction.  Describe a Sphere about an

Icosahedron;  let perpendiculars be drawn from the centre of the Sphere

on its faces and produced to meet the surface of the Sphere.  Now, if

the points of intersection be joined, a Dodecahedron is formed within

the Sphere.  By a similar process an Icosahedron may be constructed from

a Dodecahedron.  (See Todhunter's "Spherical Trigonometry," p. 141, art.

193).  The figure constructed as above described will represent the

universe of matter and the universe of Astral Light as they actually

exist.  I shall not now, however, proceed to show how the universe of

Astral Light may be considered under the symbol of an Icosahedron.  I

shall only state that this conception of the Aryan philosophers is not

to be looked upon as mere "theological twaddle" or as the outcome of

wild fancy.  The real significance of the conception in question can, I

believe, be explained by reference to the psychology and the physical

science of the ancients.  But I must stop here and proceed to consider

the meaning of the remaining two signs.


XI. Kumbha (or Aquarius).--When represented by numbers, the word is

equivalent to 14.  It can be easily perceived then that the division in

question is intended to represent the "Chaturdasa Bhuvanam," or the 14

lokas spoken of in Sanskrit writings.


XII. Mina (or Pisces).--This word again is represented by 5 when written

in numbers, and is evidently intended to convey the idea of

Panchamahabhutams or the 5 elements.  The sign also suggests that water

(not the ordinary water, but the universal solvent of the ancient

alchemists) is the most important amongst the said elements.


I have now finished the task which I have set to myself in this article.

My purpose is not to explain the ancient theory of evolution itself, but

to show the connection between that theory and the Zodiacal divisions.

I have herein brought to light but a very small portion of the

philosophy imbedded in these signs. The veil that was dexterously thrown

over certain portions of the mystery connected with these signs by the

ancient philosophers will never be lifted up for the amusement or

edification of the uninitiated public.


Now to summarize the facts stated in this article, the contents of the

first chapter of the history of this universe are as follows:


1.  The self-existent, eternal Brahmam.


2.  Pranava (Aum).


3.  The androgyne Brahma, or the bisexual Sephira-Adam Kadmon.


4.  The Sacred Tetragram--the four matras of Pranava--the four

    avasthas--the four states of Brahma--the Sacred Dharaka.


5.  The five Brahmas--the five Buddhas representing in their totality

    the Jivatma.


6.  The Astral Light--the holy Virgin--the six forces in Nature.


7.  The thirty-six Tatwams born of Avidya.


8.  The universe in thought--the Swapna Avastha--the microcosm looked at

    from a subjective point of view.


9.  The nine Prajapatis--the assistants of the Demiurgus.*


10.  The shape of the material universe in the mind of the Demiurgus--



11.  The fourteen lokas.


12.  The five elements.



* The nine Kabalistic Sephiroths emanated from Sephira the 10th and the

head Sephiroth are identical.  Three trinities or triads with their

emanative principle form the Pythagorean mystic Decad, the sum of all

which represents the whole Kosmos.--Ed. Theos.



The history of creation and of this world from its beginning up to the

present time is composed of seven chapters.  The seventh chapter is not

yet completed.


--T. Subba Row

Triplicane, Madras, September 14, 1881





The Sishal and Bhukailas Yogis


We are indebted to the kindness of the learned President of the Adi

Brahmo Samaji for the following accounts of two Yogis, of whom one

performed the extraordinary feats of raising his body by will power, and

keeping it suspended in the air without visible support.  The Yoga

posture for meditation or concentration of the mind upon spiritual

things is called Asana.  There are various of these modes of sitting,

such as Padmasan, &c. &c.  Babu Rajnarain Bose translated this narrative

from a very old number of the Tatwabodhini Patrika, the Calcutta organ

of the Brahmo Samaj. The writer was Babu Akkhaya Kumar Dalta, then

editor of the Patrika, of whom Babu Rajnarain speaks in the following

high terms--"A very truth-loving and painstaking man;  very fond of

observing strict accuracy in the details of a description."


Sishal Yogi


A few years ago, a Deccan Yogi, named Sishal, was seen at Madras, by

many Hindus and Englishmen, to raise his Asana, or seat, up into the

air.  The picture of the Yogi, showing his mode of seating, and other

particulars connected with him, may be found in the Saturday Magazine on

page 28.


His whole body seated in air, only his right hand lightly touched a deer

skin, rolled up in the form of a tube, and attached to a brazen rod

which was firmly stuck into a wooden board resting on four legs.  In

this position the Yogi used to perform his japa (mystical meditation),

with his eyes half shut.  At the time of his ascending to his aerial

seat, and also when he descended from it, his disciples used to cover

him with a blanket.  The Tatwabodhini Patrika, Chaitra, 1768 Sakabda,

corresponding to March 1847.



The Bhukailas Yogi


The extraordinary character of the holy man who was brought to

Bhukailas, in Kidderpore, about 14 years ago, may still be remembered by

many.  In the month of Asar, 1754 Sakabda (1834 A.C.), he was brought to

Bhukailas from Shirpur, where he was under the charge of Hari Singh, the

durwan (porter) of Mr. Jones. He kept his eyes closed, and went without

food and drink, for three consecutive days, after which a small quantity

of milk was forcibly poured down his throat.  He never took any food

that was not forced upon him.  He seemed always without external

consciousness.  To remove this condition Dr. Graham applied ammonia to

his nostrils;  but it only produced tremblings in the body, and did not

break his Yoga state.  Three days passed before he could be made to

speak.  He said that his name was Dulla Nabab, and when annoyed, he

uttered a single word, from which it was inferred that he was a Punjabi.

When he was laid up with gout Dr. Graham attended him, but he refused to

take medicine, either in the form of powder or mixture.  He was cured of

the disease only by the application of ointments and liniments

prescribed by the doctor.  He died in the month of Chaitra 1755 Sakabda,

of a choleric affection.*--The Tatwabodhini Patrika, Chaitra, 1768

Sakabda, corresponding to March, 1847 A.C.



* The above particulars of this holy man have been obtained on

unexceptionable testimony.--Ed. T.B.P.








True and False Personality



The title prefixed to the following observations may well have suggested

a more metaphysical treatment of the subject than can be attempted on

the present occasion.  The doctrine of the trinity, or trichotomy of

man, which distinguishes soul from spirit, comes to us with such

weighty, venerable, and even sacred authority, that we may well be

content, for the moment, with confirmations that should be intelligible

to all, forbearing the abstruser questions which have divided minds of

the highest philosophical capacity.  We will not now inquire whether the

difference is one of states or of entities;  whether the phenomenal or

mind consciousness is merely the external condition of one indivisible

Ego, or has its origin and nature in an altogether different principle;

the Spirit, or immortal part of us, being of Divine birth, while the

senses and understanding, with the consciousness--Ahankara--thereto

appertaining, are from an Anima Mundi, or what in the Sankhya philosophy

is called Prakriti.  My utmost expectations will have been exceeded if

it should happen that any considerations here offered should throw even

a faint suggestive light upon the bearings of this great problem.  It

may be that the mere irreconcilability of all that is characteristic of

the temporal Ego with the conditions of the superior life--if that can

be made apparent--will incline you to regard the latter rather as the

Redeemer, that has indeed to be born within us for our salvation and our

immortality, than as the inmost, central, and inseparable principle of

our phenomenal life.  It may be that by the light of such reflections

the sense of identity will present no insuperable difficulty to the

conception of its contingency, or to the recognition that the mere

consciousness which fails to attach itself to a higher principle is no

guarantee of an eternal individuality.


It is only by a survey of individuality, regarded as the source of all

our affections, thoughts, and actions, that we can realize its intrinsic

worthlessness;  and only when we have brought ourselves to a real and

felt acknowledgment of that fact, can we accept with full understanding

those "hard sayings" of sacred authority which bid us "die to

ourselves," and which proclaim the necessity of a veritable new birth.

This mystic death and birth is the key-note of all profound religious

teaching;  and that which distinguishes the ordinary religious mind from

spiritual insight is just the tendency to interpret these expressions as

merely figurative, or, indeed, to overlook them altogether.


Of all the reproaches which modern Spiritualism, with the prospect it is

thought to hold out of an individual temporal immortality, has had to

encounter, there is none that we can less afford to neglect than that

which represents it as an ideal essentially egotistical and borne.  True

it is that our critics do us injustice through ignorance of the enlarged


views as to the progress of the soul in which the speculations of

individual Spiritualists coincide with many remarkable spirit teachings.

These are, undoubtedly, a great advance upon popular theological

opinions, while some of them go far to satisfy the claim of Spiritualism

to be regarded as a religion.  Nevertheless, that slight estimate of

individuality, as we know it, which in one view too easily allies itself

to materialism, is also the attitude of spiritual idealism, and is

seemingly at variance with the excessive value placed by Spiritualists

on the discovery of our mere psychic survival.  The idealist may

recognise this survival;  but, whether he does so or not, he occupies a

post of vantage when he tells us that it is of no ultimate importance.

For he, like the Spiritualist who proclaims his "proof palpable of

immortality," is thinking of the mere temporal, self-regarding

consciousness--its sensibilities, desires, gratifications, and

affections--which are unimportant absolutely, that is to say, their

importance is relative solely to the individual.  There is, indeed, no

more characteristic outbirth of materialism than that which makes a

teleological centre of the individual.  Ideas have become mere

abstractions;  the only reality is the infinitely little.  Thus

utilitarianism can see in the State only a collection of individuals

whose "greatest happiness," mutually limited by nice adjustment to the

requirements of "the greatest numbers," becomes the supreme end of

government and law.  And it cannot, I think, be pretended that

Spiritualists in general have advanced beyond this substitution of a

relative for an absolute standard.  Their "glad tidings of great joy"

are not truly religious.  They have regard to the perpetuation in time

of that lower consciousness whose manifestations, delights, and activity

are in time, and of time alone.  Their glorious message is not

essentially different from that which we can conceive as brought to us

by some great alchemist, who had discovered the secret of conferring

upon us and upon our friends a mundane perpetuity of youth and health.

Its highest religious claim is that it enlarges the horizon of our

opportunities.  As such, then, let us hail it with gratitude and relief;

but, on peril of our salvation, if I may not say of our immortality, let

us not repose upon a prospect which is, at best, one of renewed labours,

and trials, and efforts to be free even of that very life whose only

value is opportunity.


To estimate the value of individuality, we cannot do better than regard

man in his several mundane relations, supposing that either of these

might become the central, actuating focus of his being--his "ruling

love," as Swedenborg would call it--displacing his mere egoism, or

self-love, thrusting that more to the circumference, and identifying

him, so to speak, with that circle of interests to which all his

energies and affections relate. Outside this substituted Ego we are to

suppose that he has no conscience, no desire, no will.  Just as the

entirely selfish man views the whole of life, so far as it can really

interest him solely in relation to his individual well-being, so our

supposed man of a family, of a society, of a Church, or a State, has no

eye for any truth or any interest more abstract or more individual than

that of which he may be rightly termed the incarnation.  History shows

approximations to this ideal man. Such a one, for instance, I conceive

to have been Loyola;  such another, possibly, is Bismarck.  Now these

men have ceased to be individuals in their own eyes, so far as concerns

any value attaching to their own special individualities.  They are

devotees.  A certain "conversion" has been effected, by which from mere

individuals they have become "representative" men.  And we--the

individuals--esteem them precisely in proportion to the remoteness from

individualism of the spirit that actuates them. As the circle of

interests to which they are "devoted" enlarges--that is to say, as the

dross of individualism is purged away--we accord them indulgence,

respect, admiration and love. From self to the family, from the family

to the sect or society, from the sect or society to the Church (in no

denominational sense) and State, there is the ascending scale and

widening circle, the successive transitions which make the worth of an

individual depend on the more or less complete subversion of his

individuality by a more comprehensive soul or spirit.  The very modesty

which suppresses, as far as possible, the personal pronoun in our

addresses to others, testifies to our sense that we are hiding away some

utterly insignificant and unworthy thing; a thing that has no business

even to be, except in that utter privacy which is rather a sleep and a

rest than living.  Well, but in the above instances, even those most

remote from sordid individuality, we have fallen far short of that ideal

in which the very conception of the partial, the atomic, is lost in the

abstraction of universal being, transfigured in the glory of a Divine

personality.  You are familiar with Swedenborg's distinction between

discrete and continuous degrees. Hitherto we have seen how man--the

individual--may rise continuously by throwing himself heart and soul

into the living interests of the world, and lose his own limitations by

adoption of a larger mundane spirit. But still he has but ascended

nearer to his own mundane source, that soul of the world, or Prakriti,

to which, if I must not too literally insist on it, I may still resort

as a convenient figure.  To transcend it, he must advance by the

discrete degree.  No simple "bettering" of the ordinary self, which

leaves it alive, as the focus--the French word "foyer" is the more

expressive--of his thoughts and actions;  not even that identification

with higher interests in the world's plane just spoken of, is, or can

progressively become, in the least adequate to the realization of his

Divine ideal.  This "bettering" of our present nature, it alone being

recognized as essential, albeit capable of "improvement," is a

commonplace, and to use a now familiar term a "Philistine," conception.

It is the substitution of the continuous for the discrete degree.  It is

a compromise with our dear old familiar selves.  "And Saul and the

people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of

the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not

utterly destroy them;  but everything that was vile and refuse, that

they destroyed utterly."  We know how little acceptable that compromise

was to the God of Israel;  and no illustration can be more apt than this

narrative, which we may well, as we would fain, believe to be rather

typical than historical.  Typical of that indiscriminate and radical

sacrifice, or "vastation," of our lower nature, which is insisted upon

as the one thing needful by all, or nearly all,* the great religions of

the world.  No language could seem more purposely chosen to indicate

that it is the individual nature itself, and not merely its accidental

evils, that has to be abandoned and annihilated.  It is not denied that

what was spared was good;  there is no suggestion of a universal

infection of physical or moral evil;  it is simply that what is good and

useful relatively to a lower state of being must perish with it if the

latter is to make way for something better.  And the illustration is the

more suitable in that the purpose of this paper is not ethical, but

points to a metaphysical conclusion, though without any attempt at

metaphysical exposition.  There is no question here of moral

distinctions; they are neither denied nor affirmed.  According to the

highest moral standard, 'A' may be a most virtuous and estimable person.

According to the lowest, 'B' may be exactly the reverse.  The moral

interval between the two is within what I have called, following

Swedenborg, the "continuous degree."  And perhaps the distinction can be

still better expressed by another reference to that Book which we

theosophical students do not less regard, because we are disposed to

protest against all exclusive pretensions of religious systems.



* Of the higher religious teachings of Mohammedanism I know next to

nothing, and therefore cannot say if it should be excepted from the




The good man who has, however, not yet attained his "son-ship of God" is

"under the law"--that moral law which is educational and preparatory,

"the schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ," our own Divine spirit, or

higher personality.  To conceive the difference between these two states

is to apprehend exactly what is here meant by the false, temporal, and

the true, eternal personality, and the sense in which the word

personality is here intended to be understood.  We do not know whether,

when that great change has come over us, when that great work* of our

lives has been accomplished--here or hereafter--we shall or shall not

retain a sense of identity with our past, and forever discarded selves.

In philosophical parlance, the "matter" will have gone, and the very

"form" will have been changed.  Our transcendental identity with the 'A'

or 'B' that now is** must depend on that question, already disclaimed in

this paper, whether the Divine spirit is our originally central

essential being, or is an hypostasis. Now, being "under the law" implies

that we do not act directly from our own will, but indirectly, that is,

in willing obedience to another will.



* The "great work," so often mentioned by the hermetic philosophers, and

which is exactly typified by the operation of alchemy, the conversion of

the base metals to gold, is now well understood to refer to the

analogous spiritual conversion.  There is also good reason to believe

that the material process was a real one.


** "A person may have won his immortal life, and remained the same inner

self he was on earth, through eternity;  but this does not imply

necessarily that he must either remain the Mr. Smith or Brown he was on

earth, or lose his individuality."--Isis Unveiled, vol. 1. p. 316.



The will from which we should naturally act--our own will--is of course

to be understood not as mere volition, but as our nature--our "ruling

love," which makes such and such things agreeable to us, and others the

reverse.  As "under the law," this nature is kept in suspension, and

because it is suspended only as to its activity and manifestation, and

by no means abrogated, is the law--the substitution of a foreign will--

necessary for us.  Our own will or nature is still central;  that which

we obey by effort and resistance to ourselves is more circumferential or

hypostatic.  Constancy in this obedience and resistance tends to draw

the circumferential will more and more to the centre, till there ensues

that "explosion," as St. Martin called it, by which our natural will is

for ever dispersed and annihilated by contact with the divine, and the

latter henceforth becomes our very own. Thus has "the schoolmaster"

brought us unto "Christ," and if by "Christ" we understand no

historically divine individual, but the logos, word, or manifestation of

God in us--then we have, I believe, the essential truth that was taught

in the Vedanta, by Kapila, by Buddha, by Confucius, by Plato, and by

Jesus.  There is another presentation of possibly the same truth, for a

reference to which I am indebted to our brother J.W. Farquhar. It is

from Swedenborg, in the "Apocalypse Explained," No. 57:--"Every man has

an inferior or exterior mind, and a mind superior or interior.  These

two minds are altogether distinct.  By the inferior mind man is in the

natural world together with men there;  but by the superior mind he is

in the spiritual world with the angels there.  These two minds are so

distinct that man so long as he lives in the world does not know what is

performing within himself in his superior mind;  but when he becomes a

spirit, which is immediately after death, he does not know what is

performing in his mind."  The consciousness of the "superior mind," as

the result of mere separation from the earthly body, certainly does not

suggest that sublime condition which implies separation from so much

more than the outer garment of flesh, but otherwise the distinction

between the two lives, or minds, seems to correspond with that now under



What is it that strikes us especially about this substitution of the

divine-human for the human-natural personality?  Is it not the loss of

individualism?  (Individualism, pray observe, not individuality.)  There

are certain sayings of Jesus which have probably offended many in their

hearts, though they may not have dared to acknowledge such a feeling to

themselves:  "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" and those other

disclaimers of special ties and relationships which mar the perfect

sympathy of our reverence.  There is something awful and

incomprehensible to us in this repudiation of individualism, even in its

most amiable relations.  But it is in the Aryan philosophies that we see

this negation of all that we associate with individual life most

emphatically and explicitly insisted on.  It is, indeed, the

impossibility of otherwise than thus negatively characterizing the soul

that has attained Moksha (deliverance from bonds) which has caused the

Hindu consummation to be regarded as the loss of individuality and

conscious existence.  It is just because we cannot easily dissociate

individuality from individualism that we turn from the sublime

conception of primitive philosophy as from what concerns us as little as

the ceaseless activity and germination in other brains of thought once

thrown off and severed from the thinking source, which is the

immortality promised by Mr. Frederick Harrison to the select specimens

of humanity whose thoughts have any reproductive power.  It is not a

mere preference of nothingness, or unconscious absorption, to limitation

that inspires the intense yearning of the Hindu mind for Nirvana.  Even

in the Upanishads there are many evidences of a contrary belief, while

in the Sankhya the aphorisms of Kapila unmistakably vindicate the

individuality of soul (spirit). Individual consciousness is maintained,

perhaps infinitely intensified, but its "matter" is no longer personal.

Only try to realize what "freedom from desire," the favourite phrase in

which individualism is negated in these systems, implies.  Even in that

form of devotion which consists in action, the soul is warned in the

Bhagavad-Gita that it must be indifferent to results.


Modern Spiritualism itself testifies to something of the same sort.

Thus we are told by one of its most gifted and experienced champions,

"Sometimes the evidence will come from an impersonal source, from some

instructor who has passed through the plane on which individuality is

demonstrable." (M.A. (Oxon.), "Spirit Identity," p. 7.)  Again, "And if

he" (the investigator) "penetrates far enough, he will find himself in a

region for which his present embodied state unfits him:  a region in

which the very individuality is merged, and the highest and subtlest

truths are not locked within one breast, but emanate from representative

companies whose spheres of life are interblended." (Id., p. 15.)  By

this "interblending" is of course meant only a perfect sympathy and

community of thought;  and I should doubtless misrepresent the author

quoted were I to claim an entire identity of the idea he wishes to

convey, and that now under consideration.  Yet what, after all, is

sympathy but the loosening of that hard "astringent" quality (to use

Bohme's phrase) wherein individualism consists?  And just as in true

sympathy, the partial suppression of individualism and of what is

distinctive, we experience a superior delight and intensity of being, so

it may be that in parting with all that shuts us up in the spiritual

penthouse of an Ego--all, without exception or reserve--we may for the

first time know what true life is, and what are its ineffable

privileges.  Yet it is not on this ground that acceptance can be hoped

for the conception of immortality here crudely and vaguely presented ill

contrast to that bourgeois eternity of individualism and the family

affections, which is probably the great charm of Spiritualism to the

majority of its proselytes.  It is doubtful whether the things that "eye

hath not seen, nor ear heard," have ever taken stronghold of the

imagination, or reconciled it to the loss of all that is definitely

associated with the Joy and movement of living.  Not as consummate bliss

can the dweller on the lower plane presume to command that transcendent

life.  At the utmost he can but echo the revelation that came to the

troubled mind in "Sartor Resartus," "A man may do without happiness, and

instead thereof find blessedness."  It is no sublimation of hope, but

the necessities of thought that compel us to seek the condition of true

being and immortality elsewhere than in the satisfactions of

individualism.  True personality can only subsist in consciousness by

participation of that of which we can only say that it is the very

negation of individuality in any sense in which individuality can be

conceived by us.  What is the content or "matter" of consciousness we

cannot define, save by vaguely calling it ideal.  But we can say that in

that region individual interests and concerns will find no place.  Nay,

more, we can affirm that only then has the influx of the new life a free

channel when the obstructions of individualism are already removed.

Hence the necessity of the mystic death, which is as truly a death as

that which restores our physical body to the elements.  "Neither I am,

nor is aught mine, nor do I exist," a passage which has been well

explained by a Hindu Theosophist (Peary Chand Mittra), as meaning "that

when the spiritual state is arrived at, I and mine, which belong to the

finite mind, cease, and the soul, living in the universum and

participating in infinity with God, manifests its infinite state."  I

cannot refrain from quoting the following passage from the same

instructive writer:--


Every human being has a soul which, while not separable from the brain

or nerves, is mind or jivatma, or sentient soul, but when regenerated or

spiritualized by yoga, it is free from bondage and manifests the divine

essence.  It rises above all phenomenal states--joy, sorrow, grief,

fear, hope, and in fact all states resulting in pain or pleasure, and

becomes blissful, realizing immortality, infinitude and felicity of

wisdom within itself. The sentient soul is nervous, sensational,

emotional, phenomenal, and impressional.  It constitutes the natural

life and is finite. The soul and the non-soul are thus the two

landmarks.  What is non-soul is prakriti, or created.  It is not the lot

of every one to know what soul is, and therefore millions live and die

possessing minds cultivated in intellect and feeling, but not raised to

the soul state.  In proportion as one's soul is emancipated from

prakriti or sensuous bondage, in that proportion his approximation to

the soul state is attained;  and it is this that constitutes disparities

in the intellectual, moral, and religious culture of human beings and

their consequent approximation to God.--Spiritual Stray Leaves,

Calcutta, 1879.


He also cites some words of Fichte, which prove that the like conclusion

is reached in the philosophy of Western idealism: "The real spirit which

comes to itself in human consciousness is to be regarded as an

impersonal pneuma--universal reason, nay, as the spirit of God Himself;

and the good of man's whole development, therefore, can be no other than

to substitute the universal for the individual consciousness."


That there may be, and are affirmed to be, intermediate stages, states,

or discrete degrees, will, of course, be understood.  The aim of this

paper has been to call attention to the abstract condition of the

immortalized consciousness;  negatively it is true, but it is on this

very account more suggestive of practical applications.  The connection

of the Theosophical Society with the Spiritualist movement is so

intimately sympathetic, that I hope one of these may he pointed out

without offence.  It is that immortality cannot be phenomenally

demonstrated.  What I have called psychic survival can be, and probably

is.  But immortality is the attainment of a state, and that state the

very negation of phenomenal existence.  Another consequence refers to

the direction our culture should take.  We have to compose ourselves to

death.  Nothing less.  We are each of us a complex of desires, passions,

interests, modes of thinking and feeling, opinions, prejudices, judgment

of others, likings and dislikings, affections, aims public and private.

These things, and whatever else constitutes, the recognizable content of

our present temporal individuality, are all in derogation of our ideal

of impersonal being--saving consciousness, the manifestation of being.

In some minute, imperfect, relative, and almost worthless sense we may

do right in many of our judgments, and be amiable in many of our

sympathies and affections.  We cannot be sure even of this.  Only people

unhabituated to introspection and self-analysis are quite sure of it.

These are ever those who are loudest in their censures, and most

dogmatic in their opinionative utterances.  In some coarse, rude fashion

they are useful, it may be indispensable, to the world's work, which is

not ours, save in a transcendental sense and operation.  We have to

strip ourselves of all that, and to seek perfect passionless

tranquillity.  Then we may hope to die.  Meditation, if it be deep, and

long, and frequent enough, will teach even our practical Western mind to

understand the Hindu mind in its yearning for Nirvana.  One

infinitesimal atom of the great conglomerate of humanity, who enjoys the

temporal, sensual life, with its gratifications and excitements, as much

as most, will testify with unaffected sincerity that he would rather be

annihilated altogether than remain for ever what he knows himself to be,

or even recognizably like it.  And he is a very average moral specimen.

I have heard it said, "The world's life and business would come to an

end, there would be an end to all its healthy activity, an end of

commerce, arts, manufactures, social intercourse, government, law, and

science, if we were all to devote ourselves to the practice of Yoga,

which is pretty much what your ideal comes to."  And the criticism is

perfectly just and true.  Only I believe it does not go quite far

enough.  Not only the activities of the world, but the phenomenal world

itself, which is upheld in consciousness, would disappear or take new,

more interior, more living, and more significant forms, at least for

humanity, if the consciousness of humanity was itself raised to a

superior state.  Readers of St. Martin, and of that impressive book of

the late James Hinton, "Man and his Dwelling-place," especially if they

have also by chance been students of the idealistic philosophies, will

not think this suggestion extravagant.  If all the world were Yogis, the

world would have no need of those special activities, the ultimate end

and purpose of which, by-the-by, our critic would find it not easy to

define. And if only a few withdraw, the world can spare them.  Enough of



Only let us not talk of this ideal of impersonal, universal being in

individual consciousness as an unverified dream.  Our sense and

impatience of limitations are the guarantees that they are not final and

insuperable.  Whence is this power of standing outside myself, of

recognizing the worthlessness of the pseudo--judgments, of the

prejudices with their lurid colouring of passion, of the temporal

interests, of the ephemeral appetites, of all the sensibilities of

egoism, to which I nevertheless surrender myself so that they indeed

seem myself?  Through and above this troubled atmosphere I see a being,

pure, passionless, rightly measuring the proportions and relations of

things, for whom there is, properly speaking, no present, with its

phantasms, falsities, and half-truths;  who has nothing personal in the

sense of being opposed to the whole of related personalities: who sees

the truth rather than struggles logically towards it, and truth of which

I can at present form no conception;  whose activities are unimpeded by

intellectual doubt, un-perverted by moral depravity, and who is

indifferent to results, because he has not to guide his conduct by

calculation of them, or by any estimate of their value.  I look up to

him with awe, because in being passionless he sometimes seems to me to

be without love. Yet I know that this is not so;  only that his love is

diffused by its range, and elevated in abstraction beyond my gaze and

comprehension. And I see in this being my ideal, my higher, my only

true, in a word, my immortal self.


--C.C. Massey








Ideal woman is the most beautiful work of the evolution of forms (in our

days she is very often only a beautiful work of art).  A beautiful woman

is the most attractive, charming, and lovely being that a man can

imagine.  I never saw a male being who could lay any claims to manly

vigour, strength or courage, who was not an admirer of woman.  Only a

profligate, a coward or a sneak would hate women;  a hero and a man

admires woman, and is admired by her.


Women's love belongs to a complete man.  Then she smiles on him his

human nature becomes aroused, his animal desires like little children

begin to clamour for bread, they do not want to be starved, they want to

satisfy their hunger.  His whole soul flies towards the lovely being,

which attracts him with almost irresistible force, and if his higher

principles, his divine spirit, is not powerful enough to restrain him,

his soul follows the temptations of his physical body.  Once again the

animal nature has subdued the divine.  Woman rejoices in her victory,

and man is ashamed of his weakness;  and instead of being a

representation of strength, he becomes an object of pity.


To be truly powerful a man must retain his power and never for a moment

lose it.  To lose it is to surrender his divine nature to his animal

nature;  to restrain his desires and retain his power, is to assert his

divine right, and to become more than a man--a god.


Eliphas Levi says:  "To be an object of attraction for all women, you

must desire none;"  and every one who has had a little experience of his

own must know that he is right.  Woman wants what she cannot get, and

what she can get she does not want. Perhaps it is to the man endowed

with spiritual power, that the Bible refers, when it says:  "To him who

has much, more shall be given, and from him who has little, that little

shall be taken away."


To become perfect it is not required that we should be born without any

animal desires.  Such a person would not be much above an idiot;  he

would be rightly despised and laughed at by every true man and woman;

but we must obtain the power to control our desires, instead of being

controlled by them;  and here lies the true philosophy of temptation.


If a man has no higher aim in life than to eat and drink and propagate

his species;  if all his aspirations and desires are centred in a wish

of living a happy life in the bosom of his family;  there can be no

wrong if he follows the dictates of his nature and is satisfied with his

lot.  When he dies, his family will mourn, his friends will say he was a

good fellow;  they will give him a first-class funeral, and they will

perhaps write on his tombstone something like what I once saw in a

certain churchyard:


     Here is the grave of John McBride,

     He lived, got married, and died.


And that will be the end of Mr. John McBride, until in another

incarnation he will wake up again perhaps as Mr. John Smith, or

Ramchandra Row, or Patrick O'Flannegan, to find himself on much the same

level as he was before.


But if a man has higher aims and objects in life, if he wants to avoid

an endless cycle of re-incarnations, if he wants to become a master of

his destiny, then must he first become a master of himself.  How can he

expect to be able to control the external forces of Nature, if he cannot

control the few little natural forces that reside within his own

insignificant body?


To do this, it is not necessary that a man should run away from his wife

and family, and leave them uncared for.  Such a man would commence his

spiritual career with an act of injustice,--an act that like Banquo's

ghost would always haunt him and hinder him in his further progress.  If

a man has taken upon himself responsibilities, he is bound to fulfill

them, and an act of cowardice would be a bad beginning for a work that

requires courage.


A celibate, who has no temptation and who has no one to care for but

himself, has undoubtedly superior advantages for meditation and study.

Being away from all irritating influences, he can lead what may be

called a selfish life;  because he looks out only for his own spiritual

interest;  but he has little opportunity to develop his will-power by

resisting temptations of every kind.  But the man who is surrounded by

the latter, and is every day and every hour under the necessity of

exercising his will-power to resist their surging violence, will, if he

rightly uses these powers, become strong;  he may not have as much

opportunity for study as the celibate, being more engrossed in material

cares;  but when he rises up to a higher state in his next incarnation,

his will-power will be more developed, and he will be in the possession

of the password, which is CONTINENCE.


A slave cannot become a commander, until after he becomes free. A man

who is subject to his own animal desires, cannot command the animal

nature of others.  A muscle becomes developed by its use, an instinct or

habit is strengthened in proportion as it is permitted to rule, a mental

power becomes developed by practice, and the principle of will grows

strong by exercise;  and this is the use of temptations.  To have strong

passions and to overcome them, makes man a hero.  The sexual instinct is

the strongest of all, and he who vanquishes it, becomes a god.


The human soul admires a beautiful form, and is therefore an idolater.


The human spirit adores a principle, and is the true worshiper.


Marriage is the union of the male spirit with the female soul for the

purpose of propagating the species;  but if in its place there is only a

union of a male and a female body, then marriage becomes merely a brutal

act, which lowers man and woman, not to the level of animals but below

them;  because animals are restricted to certain seasons for the

exercise of their procreative powers;  while man, being a reasonable

being, has it in his power to use or abuse them at all times.


But how many marriages do we find that are really spiritual and not

based on beauty of form or other considerations?  How soon after the

wedding-day do they become disgusted with each other? What is the cause

of this?  A man and a woman may marry and their characters may differ

widely.  They may have different tastes, different opinions and

different inclinations.  All those differences may disappear, and will

probably disappear;  because by living together they become accustomed

to each other, and become equalized in time.  Each influences the other,

and as a man may grow fond of a pet snake, whose presence at first

horrified him, so a man may put up with a disagreeable partner and

become fond of her in course of time.


But if the man allows full liberty to his animal passions, and exercises

his "legal rights" without restraint, these animal cravings which first

called so piteously for gratification, will soon be gorged, and flying

away laugh at the poor fool who nursed them in his breast.  The wife

will come to know that her husband is a coward, because she sees him

squirm under the lash of his animal passions;  and as woman loves

strength and power, so in proportion as he loses his love, will she lose

her confidence. He will look upon her as a burden, and she will look

upon him in disgust as a brute.  Conjugal happiness will have departed,

and misery, divorce or death will be the end.


The remedy for all these evils is continence, and it has been our object

to show its necessity, for it was the object of this article.


--F. Hartmann





Zoroastrianism on the Septenary Constitution of Man



Many of the esoteric doctrines given out through the Theosophical

Society reveal a spirit akin to that of the older religions of the East,

especially the Vedic and the Zendic.  Leaving aside the former, I

propose to point out by a few instances the close resemblance which the

doctrines of the old Zendic Scriptures, as far as they are now

preserved, bear to these recent teachings.


Any ordinary Parsi, while reciting his daily Niyashes, Gehs and Yashts,

provided he yields to the curiosity of looking into the meanings of what

he recites, will, with a little exertion, perceive how the same ideas,

only clothed in a more intelligible and comprehensive garb, are

reflected in these teachings.  The description of the septenary

constitution of man found in the 54th chapter of the Yasna, one of the

most authoritative books of the Mazdiasnian religion, shows the identity

of the doctrines of Avesta and the esoteric philosophy.  Indeed, as a

Mazdiasnian, I felt quite ashamed that, having such undeniable and

unmistakable evidence before their eyes, the Zoroastrians of the present

day should not avail themselves of the opportunity offered of throwing

light upon their now entirely misunderstood and misinterpreted

Scriptures by the assistance and under the guidance of the Theosophical

Society.  If Zend scholars and students of Avesta would only care to

study and search for themselves, they would, perhaps, find to assist

them, men who are in possession of the right and only key to the true

esoteric wisdom;  men, who would be willing to guide and help them to

reach the true and hidden meaning, and to supply them with the missing

links that have resulted in such painful gaps as to leave the meaning

meaningless, and to create in the mind of the perplexed student doubts

that finally culminate in a thorough unbelief in his own religion.  Who

knows but they may find some of their own co-religionists, who, aloof

from the world, have to this day preserved the glorious truths of their

once mighty religion, and who, hidden in the recesses of solitary

mountains and unknown silent caves, are still in possession of;  and

exercising, mighty powers, the heirloom of the ancient Magi.  Our

Scriptures say that ancient Mobeds were Yogis, who had the power of

making themselves simultaneously visible at different places, even

though hundreds of miles apart, and also that they could heal the sick

and work that which would now appear to us miraculous.  All this was

considered facts but two or three centuries back, as no reader of old

books (mostly Persian) is unacquainted with, or will disbelieve a priori

unless his mind is irretrievably biassed by modern secular education.

The story about the Mobed and Emperor Akbar and of the latter's

conversion, is a well-known historical fact, requiring no proof.


I will first of all quote side by side the two passages referring to the

septenary nature of man as I find them in our Scriptures and the



Sub-divisions of septenary        Sub-divisions of septenary

man according to the              man according to Yasna

Occultists.                       (chap.54, para. I).


1. The Physical body, com-        1. Tanwas-i.e., body(the

posed wholly of matter in its       self ) that consists of bones

grossest and most tangible         -grossest form of matter.



2. The Vital principle-(or Jiva)-  2. Ushtanas-Vital heat

a form of force indestructible,        (or force).

and when disconnected with

one set of atoms, becoming

attracted immediately by others.


3. The Astral body (Linga-       3. Keherpas Aerial form,

sharira) composed of highly          the airy mould, (Per. Kaleb).

etherealized matter; in its

habitual passive state, the

perfect but very shadowy

duplicate of the body; its

activity, consolidation and

form depending entirely on

the Kama-rupa.


4. The Astral shape (Kama-        4. Tevishis-Will, or where

rupa or body of desire, a             sentient consciousness is

principle defining the con-          formed, also fore-knowledge.

figuration of--


5. The animal or Physical          5. Baodhas (in Sanskrit,

intelligence or Conscious-           Buddhi)-Body of physical

ness or Ego, analogous to,            consciousness, perception by

though proportionally higher          the senses or animal soul.

in the senses or the animal

degree than the reason,

instinct, memory, imagination

&c., existing in the higher



6. The Higher or Spiritual          6. Urawanem (Per. Rawan)

intelligence or consciousness,        -Soul, that which gets its

spiritual Ego, in which                or reward or punishment

mainly resides the sense of            after death.

consciousness in the perfect

man, though the lower dimmer

animal consciousness co-exists

in No. 5.


7. The Spirit-an emanation from       7. Frawashem or Farohar-

the ABSOLUTE uncreated; eternal;      Spirit (the guiding energy

a state rather than a being.          which is with every man,

                                      is absolutely independent,

                                      and, without mixing with

                                      any worldly object, leads

                                      man to good. The spark

                                      of divinity in every being).



The above is given in the Avesta as follows:--


"We declare and positively make known this (that) we offer (our) entire

property (which is) the body (the self consisting of) bones (tanwas),

vital heat (ushtanas), aerial form (keherpas), knowledge (tevishis),

consciousness (baodhas), soul (urwanem), and spirit (frawashem), to the

prosperous, truth-coherent (and) pure Gathas (prayers)."


The ordinary Gujarathi translation differs from Spiegel's, and this

latter differs very slightly from what is here given.  Yet in the

present translation there has been made no addition to, or omission

from, the original wording of the Zend text.  The grammatical

construction also has been preserved intact.  The only difference,

therefore, between the current translations and the one here given is

that ours is in accordance with the modern corrections of philological

research which make it more intelligible, and the idea perfectly clear

to the reader.


The word translated "aerial form" has come down to us without undergoing

any change in the meaning.  It is the modern Persian word kaleb, which

means a mould, a shape into which a thing is cast, to take a certain

form and features.  The next word is one about which there is a great

difference of opinion.  It is by some called strength, durability, i.e.,

that power which gives tenacity to and sustains the nerves.  Others

explain it as that quality in a man of rank and position which makes him

perceive the result of certain events (causes), and thus helps him in

being prepared to meet them.  This meaning is suggestive, though we

translate it as knowledge, or foreknowledge rather, with the greatest

diffidence.  The eighth word is quite clear.  That inward feeling which

tells a man that he knows this or that, that he has or can do certain

things--is perception and consciousness. It is the inner conviction,

knowledge and its possession.  The ninth word is again one which has

retained its meaning and has been in use up to the present day.  The

reader will at once recognize that it is the origin of the modern word

Rawan.  It is (metaphorically) the king, the conscious motor or agent in

man. It is that something which depends upon and is benefited or injured

by the foregoing attributes.  We say depends upon, because its progress

entirely consists in the development of those attributes.  If they are

neglected, it becomes weak and degenerated, and disappears.  If they

ascend on the moral and spiritual scale, it gains strength and vigour

and becomes more blended than ever to the Divine essence--the seventh

principle. But how does it become attracted toward its monad?  The tenth

word answers the question.  This is the Divine essence in man. But this

is only the irresponsible minister (this completes the metaphor).  The

real master is the king, the spiritual soul.  It must have the

willingness and power to see and follow the course pointed out by the

pure spirit.  The vizir's business is only to represent a point of

attraction, towards which the king should turn.  It is for the king to

see and act accordingly for the glory of his own self.  The minister or

spirit can neither compel nor constrain.  It inspires and electrifies

into action;  but to benefit by the inspiration, to take advantage of

it, is left to the option of the spiritual soul.


If, then, the Avesta contains such a passage, it must fairly be admitted

that its writers knew the whole doctrine concerning spiritual man.  We

cannot suppose that the ancient Mazdiasnians, the Magi, wrote this short

passage, without inferring from it, at the same time, that they were

thoroughly conversant with the whole of the occult theory about man.

And it looks very strange indeed, that modern Theosophists should now

preach to us the very same doctrines that must have been known and

taught thousands of years ago by the Mazdiasnians,--the passage is

quoted from one of their oldest writings.  And since they propound the

very same ideas, the meaning of which has well-nigh been lost even to

our most learned Mobeds, they ought to be credited at least with some

possession of a knowledge, the key to which has been revealed to them,

and lost to us, and which opens the door to the meaning of those

hitherto inexplicable sentences and doctrines in our old writings, about

which we are still, and will go on, groping in the dark, unless we

listen to what they have to tell us about them.


To show that the above is not a solitary instance, but that the Avesta

contains this idea in many other places, I will give another paragraph

which contains the same doctrine, though in a more condensed form than

the one just given.  Let the Parsi reader turn to Yasna, chapter 26, and

read the sixth paragraph, which runs as follows:--


We praise the life (ahum), knowledge (daenam), consciousness (baodhas),

soul (urwanem), and spirit (frawashem) of the first in religion, the

first teachers and hearers (learners), the holy men and holy women who

were the protectors of purity here (in this world).


Here the whole man is spoken of as composed of five parts, as under:--


                                      1. The Physical Body.

1. Ahum-Existence, Life.              2. The Vital Principle.

It includes:                          3. The Astral Body.


2. Daenam-Knowledge.                  4. The Astral shape or

                                         body of desire.


3. Baodhas-Consciousness.             5. The Animal or physical

                                         intelligence or

                                         consciousness or Ego.


4. Urwanem-Soul.                      6. The Higher or Spiritual

                                         intelligence or

                                         consciousness, or

                                         Spiritual Ego.


5. Frawashem-Spirit.                  7. The Spirit.



In this description the first triple group--viz., the bones (or the

gross matter), the vital force which keeps them together, and the

ethereal body, are included in one and called Existence, Life.  The

second part stands for the fourth principle of the septenary man, as

denoting the configuration of his knowledge or desires.*  Then the

three, consciousness (or animal soul), (spiritual) soul, and the pure

Spirit are the same as in the first quoted passage.  Why are these four

mentioned as distinct from each other and not consolidated like the

first part?  The sacred writings explain this by saying that on death

the first of these five parts disappears and perishes sooner or later in

the earth's atmosphere.  The gross elementary matter (the shell) has to

run within the earth's attraction;  so the ahum separates from the

higher portions and is lost.



* Modern science also teaches that certain characteristics of features

indicate the possession of certain qualities in a man. The whole science

of physiognomy is founded on it.  One can predict the disposition of a

man from his features,--i.e., the features develop in accordance with

the idiosyncrasies, qualities and vices, knowledge or the ignorance of




The second (i.e., the fourth of the septenary group) remains, but not

with the spiritual soul.  It continues to hold its place in the vast

storehouse of the universe.  And it is this second daenam which stands

before the (spiritual) soul in the form of a beautiful maiden or an ugly

hag.  That which brings this daenam within the sight of the (spiritual)

soul is the third part (i.e., the fifth of the septenary group), the

baodhas.  Or in other words, the (spiritual) soul has with it, or in it,

the true consciousness by which it can view the experiences of its

physical career.  So this consciousness, this power or faculty which

brings the recollection, is always with, in other words, is a part and

parcel of, the soul itself;  hence, its not mixing with any other part,

and hence its existence after the physical death of man.*


--A Parsi F.T.S.



* Our Brother has but to look into the oldest sacred hooks of China--

namely, the YI KING. or Book of Changes (translated by James Legge)

written 1,200 B.C., to find that same Septenary division of man

mentioned in that system of Divination.  Zhing, which is translated

correctly enough "essence," is the more subtle and pure part of matter--

the grosser form of the elementary ether;  Khi, or "spirit," is the

breath, still material but purer than the zhing, and is made of the

finer and more active form of ether.  In the hwun, or soul (animus) the

Khi predominates and the zhing (or zing) in the pho or animal soul. At

death the hwun (Or spiritual soul) wanders away, ascending, and the pho

(the root of the Tibetan word Pho-hat) descends and is changed into a

ghostly shade (the shell).  Dr. Medhurst thinks that "the Kwei Shans"

(see "Theology of the Chinese," pp. 10-12) are "the expanding and

contracting principles of human life!" "The Kwei Shans" are brought

about by the dissolution of the human frame--and consist of the

expanding and ascending Shan which rambles about in space, and of the

contracted and shrivelled Kwei, which reverts to earth and nonentity.

Therefore, the Kwei is the physical body;  the Shan is the vital

principle the Kwei Shan  the linga-sariram, or the vital soul;  Zhing

the fourth principle or Kama Rupa, the essence of will;  pho, the animal

soul;  Khi, the spiritual soul;  and Hwun the pure spirit--the seven

principles of our occult doctrine!--Ed. Theos.






Brahmanism on the Sevenfold Principle in Man



It is now very difficult to say what was the real ancient Aryan

doctrine.  If an inquirer were to attempt to answer it by an analysis

and comparison of all the various systems of esotericism prevailing in

India, he will soon be lost in a maze of obscurity and uncertainty.  No

comparison between our real Brahmanical and the Tibetan esoteric

doctrines will be possible unless one ascertains the teachings of that

so-called "Aryan doctrine," and fully comprehends the whole range of the

ancient Aryan philosophy.  Kapila's "Sankhya," Patanjali's "Yog

philosophy," the different systems of "Saktaya" philosophy, the various

Agamas and Tantras are but branches of it.  There is a doctrine, though,

which is their real foundation, and which is sufficient to explain the

secrets of these various systems of philosophy and harmonize their

teachings.  It probably existed long before the Vedas were compiled, and

it was studied by our ancient Rishis in connection with the Hindu

scriptures.  It is attributed to one mysterious personage called




* The very title of the present chief of the esoteric Himalayan

Brotherhood.--Ed. Theos.



The Upanishads and such portions of the Vedas as are not chiefly devoted

to the public ceremonials of the ancient Aryans are hardly intelligible

without some knowledge of that doctrine. Even the real significance of

the grand ceremonials referred to in the Vedas will not be perfectly

apprehended without its light being throw  upon them.  The Vedas were

perhaps compiled mainly for the use of the priests assisting at public

ceremonies, but the grandest conclusions of our real secret doctrine are

therein mentioned.  I am informed by persons competent to judge of the

matter, that the Vedas have a distinct dual meaning--one expressed by

the literal sense of the words, the other indicated by the metre and the

swara (intonation), which are, as it were the life of the Vedas.

Learned Pundits and philologists of course deny that swara has anything

to do with philosophy or ancient esoteric doctrines;  but the mysterious

connection between swara and light is one of its most profound secrets.


Now, it is extremely difficult to show whether the Tibetans derived

their doctrine from the ancient Rishis of India, or the ancient

Brahrnans learned their occult science from the adepts of Tibet;  or,

again, whether the adepts of both countries professed originally the

same doctrine and derived it from a common source.*  If you were to go

to the Sramana Balagula, and question some of the Jain Pundits there

about the authorship of the Vedas and the origin of the Brahmanical

esoteric doctrine, they would probably tell you that the Vedas were

composed by Rakshasas** or Daityas, and that the Brahmans had derived

their secret knowledge from them.***



* See Appendix, Note I.


** A kind of demons-devil.


*** And so would the Christian padris.  But they would never admit that

their "fallen angels" were borrowed from the Rakshasas;  that their

"devil" is the illegitimate son of Dewel, the Sinhalese female demon;

or that the "war in heaven" of the Apocalypse--the foundation of the

Christian dogma of the "Fallen Angels" was copied from the Hindu story

about Siva hurling the Tarakasura who rebelled against the gods into

Andhahkara, the abode of Darkness, according to Brahmanical Shastras.



Do these assertions mean that the Vedas and the Brahmanical esoteric

teachings had their origin in the lost Atlantis--the continent that once

occupied a considerable portion of the expanse of the Southern and the

Pacific oceans?  The assertion in "Isis Unveiled," that Sanskrit was the

language of the inhabitants of the said continent, may induce one to

suppose that the Vedas had probably their origin there, wherever else

might be the birthplace of the Aryan esotericism.*  But the real

esoteric doctrine, as well as the mystic allegorical philosophy of the

Vedas, were derived from another source again, whatever that may be--

perchance from the divine inhabitants (gods) of the sacred island which

once existed in the sea that covered in days of old the sandy tract now

called Gobi Desert.  However that may be, the knowledge of the occult

powers of Nature possessed by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis was

learnt by the ancient adepts of India, and was appended by them to the

esoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred island.**  The

Tibetan adepts, however, have not accepted this addition to their

esoteric doctrine;  and it is in this respect that one should expect to

find a difference between the two doctrines.***



* Not necessarily. (See Appendix, Note II.) It is generally held by

Occultists that Sanskrit has been spoken in Java and adjacent islands

from remote antiquity.--Ed. Theos.


** A locality which is spoken of to this day by the Tibetans, and called

by them "Scham-bha-la," the Happy Land. (See Appendix, Note III.)


*** To comprehend this passage fully, the reader must turn to vol. I.

pp. 589-594 of  "Isis Unveiled."



The Brahmanical occult doctrine probably contains everything that was

taught about the powers of Nature and their laws, either in the

mysterious island of the North or in the equally mysterious continent of

the South.  And if you mean to compare the Aryan and the Tibetan

doctrines as regards their teachings about the occult powers of Nature,

you must beforehand examine all the classifications of these powers,

their laws and manifestations, and the real connotations of the various

names assigned to them in the Aryan doctrine.  Here are some of the

classifications contained in the Brahmanical system:


   I. As appertaining to Parabrahmam and existing in the MACROCOSM.


  II. As appertaining to man and existing in the MICROCOSM.


 III. For the purposes of d Taraka Yog or Pranava Yog.


  IV. For the purposes of Sankhya Yog (where they are, as it were,

      the inherent attributes of Prakriti).


   V. For the purposes of Hata Yog.


  VI. For the purposes of Koula Agama.


 VII. For the purposes of Sakta Agama.


VIII. For the purposes of Siva Aqama.


  IX. For the purposes of Sreechakram (the Sreechakram referred

      to in "Isis Unveiled" is not the real esoteric Sreechakram

      of the ancient adepts of Aryavarta).*



* Very true. But who would be allowed to give out the "real" esoteric

one?--Ed. Theos.



   X. In Atharvena Veda, &c.


In all these classifications subdivisions have been multiplied

indefinitely by conceiving new combinations of the Primary Powers in

different proportions.  But I must now drop this subject, and proceed to

consider the "Fragments of Occult Truth" (since embodied in "Esoteric



I have carefully examined it, and find that the results arrived at (in

the Buddhist doctrine) do not differ much from the conclusions of our

Aryan philosophy, though our mode of stating the arguments may differ in

form.  I shall now discuss the question from my own standpoint, though,

following, for facility of comparison and convenience of discussion, the

sequence of classification of the sevenfold entities or principles

constituting man which is adopted in the "Fragments."  The questions

raised for discussion are (1) whether the disembodied spirits of human

beings (as they are called by Spiritualists) appear in the seance-rooms

and elsewhere;  and (2) whether the manifestations taking place are

produced wholly or partly through their agency.


It is hardly possible to answer these two questions satisfactorily

unless the meaning intended to be conveyed by the expression

"disembodied spirits of human beings" be accurately defined. The words

spiritualism and spirit are very misleading.  Unless English writers in

general, and Spiritualists in particular, first ascertain clearly the

connotation they mean to assign to the word spirit, there will be no end

of confusion, and the real nature of these so-called spiritualistic

phenomena and their modus occurrendi can never be clearly defined.

Christian writers generally speak of only two entities in man--the body,

and the soul or spirit (both seeming to mean the same thing to them).

European philosophers generally speak of body and mind, and argue that

soul or spirit cannot be anything else than mind. They are of opinion

that any belief in lingasariram* is entirely unphilosophical.  These

views are certainly incorrect, and are based on unwarranted assumptions

as to the possibilities of Nature, and on an imperfect understanding of

its laws.  I shall now examine (from the standpoint of the Brahmanical

esoteric doctrine) the spiritual constitution of man, the various

entities or principles existing in him, and ascertain whether either of

those entities entering into his composition can appear on earth after

his death, and if so, what it is that so appears.



* The astral body, so called.



Professor Tyndall in his excellent papers on what he calls the "Germ

Theory," comes to the following conclusions as the result of a series of

well-planned experiments:--Even in a very small volume of space there

are myriads of protoplasmic germs floating in ether.  If, for instance,

say water (clear water) is exposed to them, and if they fall into it,

some form of life or other will be evolved out of them.  Now, what are

the agencies for the bringing of this life into existence?  Evidently--


I. The water, which is the field, so to say, for the growth

of life.


II. The protoplasmic germ, out of which life or a living organism

is to be evolved or developed. And lastly--


III. The power, energy, force, or tendency which springs into activity

at the touch or combination of the protoplasmic germ and the water, and

which evolves or develops life and its natural attributes.


Similarly, there are three primary causes which bring the human being

into existence.  I shall call them, for the purpose of discussion, by

the following names


(1) Parabrahmam, the Universal Spirit.


(2) Sakti, the crown of the astral light, combining in itself all the

powers of Nature.


(3) Prakriti, which in its original or primary shape is represented by

Akasa.  (Really every form of matter is finally reducible to Akasa.)*


It is ordinarily stated that Prakriti or Akasa is the Kshetram, or the

basis which corresponds to water in the example we have taken Brahmam

the germ, and Sakti, the power or energy that comes into existence at

their union or contact.**



* The Tibetan esoteric Buddhist doctrine teaches that Prakriti is cosmic

matter, out of which all visible forms are produced;  and Akasa, that

same cosmic matter, but still more subjective--its spirit, as it were.

Prakriti being the body or substance, and Akasa Sakti its soul or



** Or, in other words, "Prakriti, Swabhavat, or Akasa, is SPACE, as the

Tibetans have it;  Space filled with whatsoever substance or no

substance at all--i.e., with substance so imperceptible as to be only

metaphysically conceivable.  Brahman, then, would be the germ thrown

into the soil of that field, and Sakti, that mysterious energy or force

which develops it, and which is called by the Buddhist Arahat of Tibet,

FOHAT.  That which we call form (rupa) is not different from that which

we call space (sunyata)....  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 vedana, or sanjna, or sanskara, or vijnana, they are

each the same as their opposite." .... (Book of Sin-king, or the "Heart

Sutra." Chinese translation of the "Maha-Prajna-Paramita-Hridaya-Sutra,"

chapter on the "Avalokiteshwara," or the manifested Buddha.)  So that

the Aryan and Tibetan or Arhat doctrines agree perfectly in substance,

differing but in names given and the way of putting it.



But this is not the view which the Upanishads take of the question.

According to them, Brahamam* is the Kshetram or basis, Akasa or

Prakriti, the germ or seed, and Sakti, the power evolved by their union

or contact.  And this is the real scientific, philosophical mode of

stating the case.



* See Appendix, Note IV.



Now, according to the adepts of ancient Aryavarta, seven principles are

evolved out of these three primary entities. Algebra teaches us that the

number of combinations of n things, taken one at a time, two at a time,

three at a time, and so forth = 2(n)-1.


Applying this formula to the present case, the number of entities

evolved from different combinations of these three primary causes

amounts to 2(3)-1 = 8-1 = 7.


As a general rule, whenever seven entities are mentioned in the ancient

occult science of India, in any connection whatsoever, you must suppose

that those seven entities came into existence from three primary

entities;  and that these three entities, again, are evolved out of a

single entity or MONAD.  To take a familiar example, the seven coloured

rays in the solar ray are evolved out of three primary coloured rays;

and the three primary colours coexist with the four secondary colours in

the solar rays.  Similarly, the three primary entities which brought man

into existence co-exist in him with the four secondary entities which

arose from different combinations of the three primary entities.


Now these seven entities, which in their totality constitute man, are as

follows.  I shall enumerate them in the order adopted in the

"Fragments," as far as the two orders (the Brahmanical and the Tibetan)



                                 Corresponding names in

                                  Esoteric Buddhism.


I. Prakriti.                      Sthulasariram

(Physical Body).


II. The entity evolved

out of the combination            Sukshmasariram or Lingasariram

of Prakriti and Sakti.             (Astral Body).


III. Sakti.                       Kamarupa (the Perispirit).


IV. The entity evolved out

of the combination of             Jiva (Life-Soul).

Brahmam, Sakti and



V. The entity evolved out

of the combination of             Physical Intelligence (or

Brahmam and Prakriti.              animal soul).




VI. The entity evolved

out of the combination of         Spiritual Intelligence (or Soul).

Brahmam and Sakti.


VII. Brahmam.                     The emanation from the ABSOLUTE,

                                   &c. (or pure spirit.)


Before proceeding to examine these nature of these seven entities, a few

general explanations are indispensably necessary.


I. The secondary principles arising out of the combination of primary

principles are quite different in their nature from the entities out of

whose combination they came into existence.  The combinations in

question are not of the nature of mere mechanical juxtapositions, as it

were.  They do not even correspond to chemical combinations.

Consequently no valid inferences as regards the nature of the

combinations in question can be drawn by analogy from the nature

[variety?] of these combinations.


II. The general proposition, that when once a cause is removed its

effect vanishes, is not universally applicable.  Take, for instance, the

following example:--If you once communicate a certain amount of momentum

to a ball, velocity of a particular degree in a particular direction is

the result.  Now, the cause of this motion ceases to exist when the

instantaneous sudden impact or blow which conveyed the momentum is

completed;  but according to Newton's first law of motion, the ball will

continue to move on for ever and ever, with undiminished velocity in the

same direction, unless the said motion is altered, diminished,

neutralized, or counteracted by extraneous causes.  Thus, if the ball

stop, it will not be on account of the absence of the cause of its

motion, but in consequence of the existence of extraneous causes which

produce the said result.


Again, take the instance of subjective phenomena.


Now the presence of this ink-bottle before me is producing in me, or in

my mind, a mental representation of its form, volume, colour and so



The bottle in question may be removed, but still its mental picture may

continue to exist.  Here, again, you see, the effect survives the cause.

Moreover, the effect may at any subsequent time be called into conscious

existence, whether the original cause be present or not.


Now, in the ease of the filth principle above mentioned-the entity that

came into existence by the combination of Brahmam and Prakriti--if the

general proposition (in the "Fragments of Occult Truth") is correct,

this principle, which corresponds to the physical intelligence, must

cease to exist whenever the Brahmam or the seventh Principle should

cease to exist for the particular individual;  but the fact is certainly

otherwise.  The general proposition under consideration is adduced in

the "Fragments" in support of the assertion that whenever the seventh

principle ceases to exist for any particular individual, the sixth

principle also ceases to exist for him.  The assertion is undoubtedly

true, though the mode of stating it and the reasons assigned for it, are

to my mind objectionable.


It is said that in cases where tendencies of a man's mind are entirely

material, and all spiritual aspirations and thoughts were altogether

absent from his mind, the seventh principle leaves him either before or

at the time of death, and the sixth principle disappears with it.  Here,

the very proposition that the tendencies of the particular individual's

mind are entirely material, involves the assertion that there is no

spiritual intelligence or spiritual Ego in him, it should then have been

said that, whenever spiritual intelligence ceases to exist in any

particular individual, the seventh principle ceases to exist for that

particular individual for all purposes.  Of course, it does not fly off

anywhere.  There can never be any thing like a change of position in the

case of Brahmam.*  The assertion merely means that when there is no

recognition whatever of Brahmam, or spirit, or spiritual life, or

spiritual consciousness, the seventh principle has ceased to exercise

any influence or control over the individual's destinies.



* True--from the standpoint of Aryan Exotericism and the Upanishads, not

quite so in the case of the Arahat or Tibetan esoteric doctrine;  and it

is only on this one solitary point that the two teachings disagree, as

far as we know.  The difference is very trifling, though, resting as it

does solely upon the two various methods of viewing the one and the same

thing from two different aspects.  (See Appendix, Note IV.)



I shall now state what is meant (in the Aryan doctrine) by the seven

principles above enumerated.


I. Prakriti.  This is the basis of Sthulasariram, and represents it in

the above-mentioned classification.


II. Prakriti and Sakti.  This is the Lingasariram, or astral body.


III. Sukti.  This principle corresponds to your Kamarupa. This power or

force is placed by ancient occultists in the Nabhichakram.  This power

can gather akasa or prakriti, and mould it into any desired shape.  It

has very great sympathy with the fifth principle, and can be made to act

by its influence or control.


IV. Brahmam and Sakti, and Prakriti.  This again corresponds to your

second principle, Jiva.


This power represents the universal life-principle which exists in

Nature.  Its seat is the Anahatachakram (heart).  It is a force or power

which constitutes what is called Jiva, or life. It is, as you say,

indestructible, and its activity is merely transferred at the time of

death to another set of atoms, to form another organism.


V. Brahma and Prakriti.  This, in our Aryan philosophy, corresponds to

your fifth principle, called the physical intelligence.  According to

our philosophers, this is the entity in which what is called mind has

its seat or basis.  This is the most difficult principle of all to

explain, and the present discussion entirely turns upon the view we take

of it.


Now, what is mind?  It is a mysterious something, which is considered to

be the seat of consciousness--of sensations, emotions, volitions, and

thoughts.  Psychological analysis shows it to be apparently a congeries

of mental states, and possibilities of mental states, connected by what

is called memory, and considered to have a distinct existence apart from

any of its particular states or ideas.  Now in what entity has this

mysterious something its potential or actual existence? Memory and

expectation, which form, as it were, the real foundation of what is

called individuality, or Ahankaram, must have their seat of existence

somewhere.  Modern psychologists of Europe generally say that the

material substance of brain is the seat of mind;  and that past

subjective experiences, which can he recalled by memory, and which in

their totality constitute what is called individuality, exist therein in

the shape of certain unintelligible mysterious impressions and changes

in the nerves and nerve-centres of the cerebral hemispheres.

Consequently, they say, the mind--the individual mind--is destroyed when

the body is destroyed;  so there is no possible existence after death.


But there are a few facts among those admitted by these philosophers

which are sufficient for us to demolish their theory.  In every portion

of the human body a constant change goes on without intermission.  Every

tissue, every muscular fibre and nerve-tube, and every ganglionic centre

in the brain, is undergoing an incessant change.  In the course of a

man's lifetime there may be a series of complete tranformations of the

substance of his brain.  Nevertheless, the memory of his past mental

states remains unaltered.  There may be additions of new subjective

experiences and some mental states may be altogether forgotten, but no

individual mental state is altered.  The person's sense of personal

identity remains the same throughout these constant alterations in the

brain substance.*  It is able to survive all these changes, and it can

survive also the complete destruction of the material substance of the





* This is also sound Buddhist philosophy, the transformation in

question being known as the change of the skandhas.--Ed. Theos.



This individuality arising from mental consciousness has its seat of

existence, according to our philosophers, in an occult power or force,

which keeps a registry, as it were, of all our mental impressions.  The

power itself is indestructible, though by the operation of certain

antagonistic causes its impressions may in course of time be effaced, in

part or wholly.


I may mention in this connection that our philosophers have

associated seven occult powers with the seven principles or entities

above-mentioned.  These seven occult powers in the microcosm correspond

with, or are the counterparts of, the occult powers in the macrocosm.

The mental and spiritual consciousness of the individual becomes the

general consciousness of Brahmam, when the barrier of individuality is

wholly removed, and when the seven powers in the microcosm are placed

en rapport with the seven powers in the macrocosm.


There is nothing very strange in a power, or force, or sakti, carrying

with it impressions of sensations, ideas, thoughts, or other subjective

experiences.  It is now a well-known fact, that an electric or magnetic

current can convey in some mysterious manner impressions of sound or

speech, with all their individual peculiarities;  similarly, I can

convey my thoughts to you by a transmission of energy or power.


Now, this fifth principle represents in our philosophy the mind, or, to

speak more correctly, the power or force above described, the

impressions of the mental states therein, and the notion of

self-identity or Ahankaram generated by their collective operation.

This principle is called merely physical intelligence in the

"Fragments."  I do not know what is really meant by this expression.  It

may be taken to mean that intelligence which exists in a very low state

of development in the lower animals. Mind may exist in different stages

of development, from the very lowest forms of organic life, where the

signs of its existence or operation can hardly be distinctly realized,

up to man, in whom it reaches its highest state of development.


In fact, from the first appearance of life* up to Tureeya Avastha, or

the state of Nirvana, the progress is, as it were, continuous.



* In the Aryan doctrine, which blends Brahmam, Sakti, and Prakriti in

one, it is the fourth principle then, in the Buddhist esotericisms the

second in combination with the first.



We ascend from that principle up to the seventh by almost imperceptible

gradations.  But four stages are recognized in the progress where the

change is of a peculiar kind, and is such as to arrest an observer's


attention.  These four stages are as follows:--


(1) Where life (fourth principle) makes its appearance.


(2) Where the existence of mind becomes perceptible in conjunction with



(3) Where the highest state of mental abstraction ends, and spiritual

consciousness commences.


(4) Where spiritual consciousness disappears, leaving the seventh

principle in a complete state of Nirvana, or nakedness.


According to our philosophers, the fifth principle under consideration

is intended to represent the mind in every possible state of

development, from the second stage up to the third stage.


IV. Brahmam and Sakti.  This principle corresponds to your "spiritual

intelligence."  It is, in fact, Buddhi (I use the word Buddhi not in the

ordinary sense, but in the sense in which it is used by our ancient

philosophers);  in other words, it is the seat of Bodha or Atmabodha.

One who has Atmabodha in its completeness is a Buddha.  Buddhists know

very well what this term signifies.  This principle is described in the

"Fragments" as  an entity coming into existence by the combination of

Brahmam and Prakriti.   I do not again know in what particular sense the

word Prakriti is used in this connection.  According to our philosophers

it is an entity arising from the union of Brahmam and Sakti.  I have

already explained the connotation attached by our philosophers to the

words Prakriti and Sakti.


I stated that Prakriti in its primary state is Akasa.*


If Akasa be considered to be Sakti or power** then my statement as

regards the ultimate state of Prakriti is likely to give rise to

confusion and misapprehension unless I explain the distinction between

Akasa and Sakti.  Akasa is not, properly speaking, the crown of the

astral light, nor does it by itself constitute any of the six primary

forces.  But, generally speaking, whenever any phenomenal result is

produced, Sakti acts in conjunction with Akasa.  And, moreover, Akasa

serves as a basis or Adhishthanum for the transmission of force currents

and for the formation or generation of force or power correlations.***



* According to the Buddhists, in Akasa lies that eternal, potential

energy whose function it is to evolve all visible things out of

itself.--Ed. Theos.


** It was never so considered, as we have shown it.  But as the

"Fragments" are written in English, a language lacking such an abundance

of metaphysical terms to express ever minute change of form, substance

and state as are found in the Sanskrit, it was deemed useless to confuse

the Western reader, untrained in the methods of Eastern expression, more

than is necessary, with a too nice distinctions of proper technical

terms.  As "Prakriti in its primary state is Akasa," and Sakti "is an

attribute AKASA," it becomes evident that for the uninitiated it is all

one.  Indeed, to speak of the "union of Brahmam and Prakriti" instead of

"Brahmam and Sakti" is no worse than for a theist to write that "That

man has come into existence by the combination of spirit and matter,"

whereas, his word, framed in an orthodox shape, ought to read "man is a

living soul was created by the power (or breath) of God over matter."


*** That is to say, the Aryan Akasa is another word for Buddhist SPACE

(in its metaphysical meaning).--Ed. Theos.



In Mantrasastra the letter Ha represents Akasa, and you will find that

this syllable enters into most of the sacred formula intended to be used

in producing phenomenal results.  But by itself it does not represent

any Sakti.  You may, if you please, call Sakti an attribute of Akasa.


I do not think that, as regards the nature of this principle, there can

in reality exist any difference of opinion between the Buddhist and

Brahmanical philosophers.


Buddhist and Brahmanical initiates know very well that mysterious

circular mirror composed of two hemispheres which reflects as it were

the rays emanating from the "burning bush" and the blazing star--the

spiritual sun Shining in CHIDAKASAM.


The spiritual impressions constituting this principle have their

existence in an occult power associated with the entity in question.

The successive incarnations of Buddha, in fact, mean the successive

transfers of this mysterious power, or the impressions thereof.  The

transfer is only possible when the Mahatma* who transfers it has

completely identified himself with his seventh principle, has

annihilated his Ahankaram, and reduced it to ashes in CHIDAGNIKUNDUM,

and has succeeded in making his thoughts correspond with the eternal

laws of Nature and in becoming a co-worker with Nature.  Or, to put the

same thing in other words, when he has attained the state of Nirvana,

the condition of final negation, negation of individual, or separate




* The highest adept.


* In the words of Agatha in the "Maha-pari-Nirvana Sutra,"

     "We reach a condition of rest

     Beyond the limit of any human knowledge"

--Ed. Theos.



VII. Atma.--The emanation from the absolute, corresponding to the

seventh principle.  As regards this entity there exists positively no

real difference of opinion between the Tibetan Buddhist adepts and our

ancient Rishis.


We must now consider which of these entities can appear after the

individual's death in seance-rooms and produce the so-called

spiritualistic phenomena.


Now, the assertion of the Spiritualists, that the "disembodied spirits"