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Dallas wrote: "I am not interested in the philology [of Devachan]. . .

Jan 23, 1999 09:57 PM
by Daniel H Caldwell

SUBJECT:  Dallas wrote:  "I am not interested in the philology [of
Devachan]. . . .Be content with your view, and let me be happy with
mine.  Enough."

"W. Dallas TenBroeck" wrote:

> Jan 23rd 1999
> Dear Rich:              Re:  DEVACHAN
> We surely are at cross purposes.  I repeat:  I am not interested
> in the philology, any more than "Tony" is according to his latest
> memo.
> We are discussing (so far as I am concerned), not that HPB may be
> right or wrong, superficially, in her choice of words, but
> whether the meaning behind the words [ in this case "Devachan or
> Deva-Chan ] used in Theosophical doctrine are valuable or not.
> I brought up the chronology, so far as I am able to trace it, of
> the use of this word.  I am not interested in linguistics.  I
> place no special value on them.
> No I am not changing the venue at all, in my esteem.
> The divergence is what ?  Of what lasting value ?
> Be content with your view, and let me be happy with mine.  Enough


Tony, Leon and you may "NOT be interested in the philology [concerning
the word Devachan]", but it would appear that Master KH was INTERESTED
in the philology of this word.

In ML No. 69, p. 204 (Chrono. ed.), Master KH wrote:

"In esoteric teachings "Brahma," "Pitri," and "Deva" lokas, are states
of consciousness belonging to the various ethereal hierarchies or
classes of Dhyanis and Pitris (the "creators" and "ancestors" of
Humanity) and of Devas -- some far higher than man (spiritually) some --
among the Deva classes -- far behind on the descending arc of evolution,
and only destined to reach the human stage in a future Manvantara. --
Exoterically these lokas represent Nirvana, Devachan and the Astral
world.  The meaning of the terms Devachan and Deva-loka, is identical;
"chan" and "loka" equally signifying place or abode.  "Deva" is a word
too indiscriminately used in Eastern writings, and is at times merely a

Now does KH's words throw any light on the subject which Rich has been
writing about?

Can one reconcile what KH wrote with what Rich has written in one of
his previous emails:

"The errors are these: Devachan is demonstrably a TIBETAN word, a very
common Tibetan word, with no relationship to Sanskrit except that the
Tibetans are translating a totally different word from Sanskrit.
Whoever claims that this word Devachan is Sanskrit, doesn't know a word
of Tibetan.  (If that's HPB, then it is clear she didn't know any
Tibetan.) . . . ."

"There is nothing Sanskrit about the word devachan, but it is a Tibetan
translation of the Sanskrit word Sukhavati, which means literally "abode
of the pure." . . . ."

"Further, our Theosophical Glossary is horrendously incorrect in
translating Devachan as "the dwelling of the gods."  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"). The mistake may seem minor, but linguistically it is
hideous and totally, totally wrong.  It shows a complete lack of BOTH
Tibetan and Sanskrit.  And yet the teaching of Devachan is absolutely
central to Theosophical teachings on death and reincarnation, as well as
karmic recompense."

Many questions arise as one COMPARES AND CONTRASTS  what KH wrote with
what Rich wrote.

Of course, you Dallas are probably not interested in these questions in
light of what you wrote, ie. "Be content with your view, and let me be
happy with mine.  Enough."

But for other "delvers after the truth" (please read ISIS, II, pp. iii
and  iv) I set forth a few questions for thoughtful consideration:

Was Madame Blavatsky as well as the Mahatma KH ignorant of what Rich has
written on the term "Devachan"?

And if so, why?

Did Madame Blavatsky know Tibetan?

More importantly did Master KH know Tibetan?

What are some of the other possible implications of Rich's observations?

Has Rich raised several issues that should be carefully considered and
not ignored?

One more thought:

When Dallas says he is not interested in philology, this comment amazes
me. Madame Blavatsky throughout her writings showed a great deal of
interest in philology.  Maybe some of Rich's interest in words and their
meanings comes from HPB's own interest in the same subject.


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