RE: Rich on Devachan
Jan 22, 1999 06:31 PM
by Dallas TenBroeck
Jan 22 1999
The question of where and when DEVACHAN (or Sukhavati after-death
state) was first used caused me to turn to the early pages of
THEOSOPHIST and to the valuable collection of HPB's writings in
the series BLAVATSKY - "COLLECTED WRITINGS." For simplicity I
will use BCW to designate this series.
October 1881, THEOSOPHIST, pp 12-15 "STRAY THOUGHTS ON DEATH AND
SATAN" == SEE "Blavatsky Collected Works," Vol. 3, p 295. On
pages 287 and 291 we are told that the Mahatma M sent notes on
the margin of a copy of THEOSOPHIST to Mr. Sinnett (now preserved
at the British Museum) and on p. 295 the word ""Deva-Chan" is
apparently first used by him.
July 1882 in MAHATMA LETTERS [ 1993 Chronological Edition,
Manila, p. 189 shows this was apparently used in July 1882
"Devachan". The word is frequently used in letters from the
Mahatmas to Mr. Sinnett, as a reference to the Index will show.
November 1882, THEOSOPHIST, Vol. 4, pp 28-30; [ BCW Vol. 4, p
256 ] "DEATH AND IMMORTALITY." BCW Vol. 4, p. 252 footnote,
indicates that Mahatma KH contributed some comments which were
printed in THEOSOPHIST therein. An explanation as to why some of
the teachings, later given, were not included in ISIS UNVEILED is
also to be found there. DEVACHAN and KAMA-LOKA are both
mentioned in the body of this contribution (p. 276).
June 1883, THEOSOPHIST SUPPLEMENT, Vol. 4, p. 1-3, "A LEVY OF
ARMS AGAINST THEOSOPHY" -- "Devachan" is mentioned in the
reprint to be found in BCW Vol. 4, p. 548 footnote.
July 1883, THEOSOPHIST Vol. 4, p. 252-3; "KARMA" --
"Devachan" is mentioned in reprint to be found in BCW, Vol. 4, p.
This information show me that the philological origin of the word
is not important but that the ideas that it represents are. It
was used by those who gave Theosophy to us for some distinct
In the KEY TO THEOSOPHY, HPB gives precise reasons for its usage.
As it would appear from its nature, Theosophy is the root and
basis of all the world's religions and philosophies, it would
hence be logical for it to employ any word or combination of
words that embody ideas and facts for us to study.
> From: Jerry Schueler
> Sent: Friday, January 22, 1999 1:15 PM
> Subject: Re: Rich on Devachan
>You're material on Devachan is interesting, especially since
>months ago claimed that HPB had "invented" the word.
The cause for my claim of invention is the well known statements+
of G de P and others who wrote that deva is from the Sanskrit
and chan is from Tibetan and that she glued the two together.
As you well know, it was only very recently (just a few months
ago) that I discovered that it is actually a corrupt spelling of
a legitimate Tibetan word--one that I have finally at long last
found in a recent book. I also acknowledged publically on
this list that I had been wrong. This is, I think, a very good
example of just how useful this list can be.
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