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RE: Dallas on Devachan

Jan 23, 1999 06:55 AM
by Dallas TenBroeck

Jan 23rd.

No, Rich:		Re:  DEVACHAN

I did read the Tibetan version in BCW, but I do not need that,
nor do I use it.  It has no special purpoe FOR ME ( nor for
promulgating the philosophy of theosophy.  The question was as I
understood it was :  When and Who introduced the use of the word.

After all, HPB and the Mahatmas did not write for the benefit of
Orientalists, Philologists, or the Academics.  They wrote for the
general benefit of mankind, and if the Academics wish to isolate
themselves, then they are welcome to that.  In theosophy the
horizon is wide and is also certainly deep in terms of time and
idea.  If one carefully goes through the S D and takes note of
the many corrections which HPB has (and her co-authors, the
Masters of Wisdom) made to wild and uninformed speculations - as
Orientalists  are usually unaware of esotericism - one will find
that a whole new dimension arises.  And that I consider to be

The idea behind the word DEVACHAN is important to me, and the
philology can be secured anytime it is needed - but look at all
this time wasted, and the rather wild statements and
inaccuracies, etc... all detract from the study of PHILOSOPHY
 in this case an understanding of what REINCARNATION implies for
us all - strange that no one has recently asked about that!  Why
does THEOSOPHY use the word "Devachan ?" ] and, securing a
greater grasp on what Theosophical doctrines concerning the fate
of the Ego that is the Real Man, is, after the "death" of the
physical body.

Those are the things that are of importance to me.  And, as I
have written a number of times already, anyone who wants those
details ought to study what HPB teaches in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY.

I think if that is done the problems of literal word derivations
and transcription will vanish

I ran a bookshop in Bombay for about 20 years after I left
College, and specialized in Oriental literature, among other
things. This gave me the opportunity of reviewing (and discussing
with friends of mine who were well versed in their several
religious philosophies) what was being freshly made available -
and, unfortunately, so much of that was being considered from the
superficial or literal point of view ("Eye Doctrine") !

I did discover that the basis I had acquired from Theosophy
enabled me to discuss and delve into all of the Indian
philosophies without difficulty with local Pundits (in various
parts of the country, there) and well-versed "authorities" in
their own philosophies.

And, in India, the seeking for meaning is not of a rigid
religious type (such as found among fundamentalists here), but
rather an active seeking to understand the implications of what
is found written (of old) as a record for posterity.

It is also well-known in India that there are a number of
versions of the ancient texts that are considered by their
adherents to be authoritative.  And these vary from section to
section in the vast country and its many by-ways, where Pundits
are to be found.  In fact no generalizations are useful.

However, an active and receptive inquiry is productive of
friendship, understanding and great mutual respect, on the basis
that we are all seeking for the ONE TRUTH.  The comparison of
texts, and meanings implied, occupies a good part of the time of
Pundit activity;  each of, course, usually limits themselves to
their own specialty;  but, most, are open-minded and willing to
consider other view-points so that they can be included or
excluded on the basis of their coherency and reasonableness.  [ A
rereading of thE early volumes of THEOSOPHIST shows this. ]

In my esteem, it is a question of proportion:  What is more
valuable ?

It has been my view for many years that most Academics try to
prove their value to other academics, and are more concerned with
that than with the real meaning of what is at hand.  To that
extent the discovery of contradictions or innovations is usually
(and sadly for all of us) discouraged.

All that I write above is for illustration and information.  I am
not trying to make any particular point.

Best wishes,


> From: "Richard Taylor" <>
> Sent:	Friday, January 22, 1999 9:15 PM
> Subject: Dallas on Devachan

In a message dated 1/23/99 1:54:35 AM, Dallas wrote:

<<This information shows me that the philological origin of the

is not important but that the ideas that it represents are.  It
was used by
those who gave Theosophy to us for some distinct reason.>>


It is fine if you don't care about the philological origin of the
word.  I'm
not saying we should all become linguists, nor that we should all
excited about "Eye Doctrine."  But when errors are pointed out to
shouldn't we acknowledge them, rather than run and hide?  I will
mention a
crucial bit of information you left out of your report to this
list regarding

In the index to BCW, both volumes 3 & 4, "Devachan" is identified
as of Tibetan origin, spelled "bde-ba-chan."  Curious that you
didn't mention
that fact -- did you wish to hide it?

It is also interesting that you don't address the the central
point of the
discussion.  This is the circumstance that in the Glossary, the
word Devachan
is identified as Sanskrit, and mis-translated as "the dwelling of
the gods,"
while it is a FACT that the word is Tibetan and means "possessed
of bliss."  I
have submitted the *primary* evidence which you requested,
quoting a Tibetan

Is it at all significant that the word Devachan has been
misidentified and
mistranslated for one century in the GLOSSARY which bears HPB's
name?  Is this
something modern-day Theosophists should correct?  I suspect you
will say "no"
to both questions, but I am very curious as to WHY.



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