RE: HPB == HPB on SUNYA and SUNYATA
Jan 15, 1999 06:09 PM
by Dallas TenBroeck
Jan 15th 1999
In the THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY, p. 313
"SUNYA (Sk.) Illusion, in the sense that all existence is but a
phantom, a dream, or a shadow."
"SUNYATA" (Sk.) Void, space, nothingness. The name of our
objective universe in the sense of its unreality and
[ see T. Glos, pp. 200, 211 MAHAMAYA, MAYA; SD I 361 top ]
[see also FIVE YEARS OF THEOSOPHY -- 2ND Edn. 1910 -- Editor's
footnote on "Shunya" p. 102 S. Rao: BRAHMANISM AND THE 7-FOLD
CONSTITUTION OF MAN - with footnotes by HPB ]
As I understand it HPB came as a messenger from the Adepts, the
Masters of Wisdom who originated in the past both Hinduism and
Buddhism. They are the Rishis and the Buddhas of our World and
care for humanity. They are the true IMMORTALS, something that
it is difficult for us to grasp. They have not vanished, but
ever continue working.
It would not be necessary for Them or HPB to adhere strictly
either to the Hindu or the Buddhist texts and usages in either
Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, Chinese, Kabalistic, Egyptian, Chaldean,
Babyonian, Scandinavian, or Zoroastrian texts. They wrote
UNIVERSALLY and aimed to be understood by any and all sincere
seekers and inquirers after occult Wisdom. They are not
concerned with the literalism of scholars or "Orientalists."
Those pursue only the "Eye Doctrine."
Also they did not write for scholars (even modern scholars) of
their time, but they wrote and explained the ancient texts so
that people all over the world, brought up in many different
systems of philosophy or religion would be able to read and
relate their system to others, and thus assure themselves of the
UNIVERSALITY of the theosophical system and the common origin of
their particular birth and educational system with all the rest.
That is the "Doctrine of the Heart."
> From: Jerry Schueler
> Sent: Friday, January 15, 1999 8:53 AM
> Subject: Re: Response to Rich
>No flame here, Jerry. If what you say is true, it would very
>me, since that teaching is so fundamental to mysticism
>Buddhism. But I wonder if HPB does teach this subject, without
>Sanskrit word "sunyata" or "emptiness/voidness."
She does, yes. My problem is that she gives it short shrift,
she felt people weren't ready for it.
> Some Tibetans identify
>reality as "rigpa," an untranslateable term, I fear, but meaning
>like "ultimate, ordinary nature." And rigpa is said by Tibetans
>flavor," no matter what way in which one perceives it. Reminds
me of HPB's
Agreed. It is sometimes translated as the Basis because it is the
or basis of all things (ie., the Source of both samsara and
so equates to HPB's Beness very nicely.
>There is also a curious Meditation Diagram that all serious
students of HPB
>should have. (If any list members don't have it, do email me
>mailing address, and I'll send off a photocopy.) This
>something I believe her Inner Group received, has one begin by
>UNITY, "Expansion in space and infinite in time." This also
seems to me
>functional equivalent of Buddhist emptiness, though again more
>phrased than most Madhyamaka Buddhists (like Tsong Kha Pa) would
Agreed. Her monadic approach seems contrary to the stream
approach of Buddhism but again, this is probably a consession
on her part to Western readers who would not have understood
esoteric Buddhism at that time but who did have a grasp of soul
>So there are hints that HPB is teaching emptiness, though not as
>would have it. Again, I think HPB was not *merely* a Buddhist,
>Theosophists should be aware that HPB was IN FACT a Buddhist, in
>completely literal and symbolic senses.
Agreed. And she was phenomenal for her day.
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