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Re: Errors and their importance

Jan 23, 1999 12:56 PM
by Alpha (Tony)

Dear Richard
>THE THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY, p. 98, entry "Devachan."
>The entry reads:
>"DEVACHAN (Sk.) The "dwelling of the gods."  A state intermediate between two
>earth-lives, into which the Ego (Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or the Trinity made One)
>enters, after its separation from Kama Rupa, and the disintegration of the
>lower principles on earth."

>However, it is quite obvious that all this wrangling over linguistics is
>necessarily "Eye Doctrine" (don't even bother to point this out, Dallas and

It doesn't have to be:

>Further, our Theosophical Glossary is horrendously incorrect in translating
>Devachan as "the dwelling of the gods."

Are you so sure?  By what you have written it would be quite correct.  It is
essential to note that in the glossary it is described as:
"the dwelling of the gods."
the dwelling of the gods.

By what you write, the ORIGIN of the word DEVACHAN, its ESSENCE, would
appear to be Sanskrit (?),
>but it is a Tibetan
>translation of the Sanskrit word Sukhavati, which means literally "abode of
>the pure."
HPB (see Key to Theos. Glos as well) makes it clear that this is just what
it isn't, thus putting it:
 "the dwelling of the gods."
            rather than
the dwelling of the gods.
As HPB goes on to say: it is "a state," not an abode.
e.g., translating it (the sanskrit) as
"the dwelling of the gods" is the exoteric version, i.e., the literal
meaning, symbolical of something quite different.  What has now come to mean
"heaven," for example, is a degredation of something full of occult meaning.

 First, it mistakes the Sanskrit word
>"deva" with the Tibetan word "bDe-wa" (which means "happy").  Then, in further
>error, the translator [HPB? WQJ? GRS Mead?] probably mistakes the Tibetan
>"-chan" (which means "belongong to, related to, possessed of") with the
>Sanskrit "sthan" (meaning "land, place, area").

Leon put it so well, this is precisely the danger of getting caught up with
linguistics, philology, etc. The advice is surley good and sound.

"chan" for example, or "-chan," - why on earth tie it down exoterically?
Why on Earth would you want to do such a thing?

When studying the SD, "chan" at times means a "laya centre", or "in
between," amongst other meanings, and here in this "definition" we have
"between two earth-lives" which rings true with the study some of us have
been doing in the SD.  Words come alive, move, vibrate, have colours and
sounds, have varied meanings, numerical values,  mathematics,  music,
architecture, silence,  and so on.......
So when you wish to make your alterations do you take all these things into
consideration?  Or just one aspect?

>Now, one reason why scholars, and thus the public, largely scoff at Theosophy
>and its teachings, is because we make such ridiculous mistakes,

This is just the kind of thing people used to say to HPB, when in Victorian
England, she named her magazine Lucifer.  If predjudices are so strong and
can't get beyond the "Lucifer" bit, how are they going to cope with the rest
of it?

The scoffing (that is nothing, it used to be (still is in some places (?)
murdering and torture) has been going on for thousands and thousands of years.
Lets try and be THEOSOPHISTS!

 >However, because Theosophists have so messed-up the Eye Doctrine, and
>then childishly claim all HPB's works are above criticism, we live with this
>kind of idiocy for 100 years, and wail how the academics have spurned
>Theosophy.  It is largely our own fault, for being both so under-educated and
>so damn stubborn.

HPB (and the Mahatmas) has been criticised, lied about, maligned......Her
works have been altered and changed.  She is continually misquoted......and
so on.  Isn't that enough......?

>This is but one example among scores, probably even hundreds, and not just
>from the Glossary.
Thousands and thousands of so called mistakes by HPB, have been so called
corrected by those who thought they knew better.  It is the age old problem.
It has by its nature to be an exoteric exercise, but sadly one which so
often destroys a far more significant meaning.  And your concerned about
hundreds more.  TRY and see what is already there.  Now we are able to get
facsimiles of some of her original works.

>Of course my opinion is clear, or should be: if we want the Heart Doctrine to
>be taken seriously, the least we can do is clean up our act with the Eye
>Doctrine.  Why would anyone who reads Sanskrit or Tibetan give our works
>another look, when we are so woefully ignorant and then perpetuate our

Why particularly be concerned about people who can read Sanskrit and
Tibetan?  What about all those who can read English?  And then they have to
get to Theosophy, and then get to actually studying and practicing it.  Go
beyond the Sanskrit and Tibetan words.  They can be just one of the many,
many hurdles.  We have to work at it.


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