Re: Devachan and Tibetan Buddhism
Jan 28, 1999 08:00 PM
by Leon Maurer
In a message dated 1/24/99 5:54:55 PM, email@example.com writes:
>But Dallas, HPB not only uses the term wrongly, but even if
>you look at exactly how she defines it, there is no such an
>after-death state anywhere mentioned in the Tibetan Book
>of the Dead. This goes, I think, beyond lingusitics.
How far beyond? What has the Tibetan Book of the Dead have to do with
theosophy? What makes you so sure HPB wrote that definition? It could have
been anyone (since, as we all know, she hadn't even finished 1/3 of the
Glossary before she died.
As far as "beyond linguistics" goes... It actually goes just far enough
beyonder into the lowest realm of using it to nit pick theosophy that it
should be totally ignored by serious students.
>The term Devachan (spelled bDe ba can) is given an
>honorable mention in MYRIAD WORLDS where it is said
>to be the Tibetan for Sukhavati "Blissful Realm." (p. 247).
>It is not even considered important enough to describe,
>but in fairness to HBP it is at least mentioned as a "place"
>somewhere on the inner planes.
Actually, comparing, in a theosophical context, the Tibetan word "bDe ba can"
and the word "Devachan" as used by HPB to describe a specific after death
state, is ridiculous... Since, these words would have two different, possibly
unrelated connotations, and could have no relation to each other. Therefore,
any discussion of it being relevant to HPB's teachings of the science,
philosophy, and ethic of theosophy, is a pointless waste of time. Either
HPB's teaching of the final after death state is right or wrong, but whatever
word is used to identify it has no relevance. Consequently one must accept
HPB's description, or not, and either study theosophy, or not, based on that
decision. The truths of theosophy can only be intuited, and no objective
words or concepts can describe its subjective realities. Labels, are just
that--and can never represent a thing or idea as they are.
>The question now becomes, Where did HPB get the idea
>for her definition of Devachan as an after-death state for the
>ego or jiva? This could only have come from the bardo of
>Tibet if you tweak some more definitions. G de P does
>try to do this, and his explanation is probably the best that
>I have ever heard. However, and I think that this is important,
>he carefully says that Devachan as used in Theosophy as
>a state of mind and not a place per se. He points out that
>the deceased in Devachan could be located anywhere at all.
G de P is all wet if he said that... Since Devachan is neither a place nor a
state of mind--but simply a state of higher "consciousness" far above the
level of "mind." That's the problem with self-elected theosophical "teachers"
or critics, and other academic philologists and linguists who try to edit the
Secret Doctrine, and in the course of doing so, show how they have
misinterpreted its basic teachings--and thereby, mangle and distort it. HPB
talked about the realm she labeled "Devachan" so many times in all her
writings, that there cannot be any doubt about what state she meant, or what
its nature and functions are.
Incidentally, FYI, the word "jiva", used in context of the BOTD, refers to the
lower ego or personality, going through the astral on it's way to Kama Loka,
not to the higher Ego afterward on its way to Devachan. Thus, the BOTD, which
is concerned, exoterically, only with these astral realms, has no authority in
confirming or denying the Devachanic or any other esoteric teachings of
>Clearly Blavatsky was not trying to use all of the Tibetan
>ideas--she plainly refuted the idea of transmigration into
>animals, which HH the Dali Lama still believes possible.
>She also refuted the idea of 49 days and instead gives
>the after death thousands of years--an idea that is a
>possibility but not typical in Tibetan Buddhism. She also
>eliminated the six realms of the Tibetan after death state.
True, and rightly so. As a whole, theosophy has nothing to do with Tibetan
"ideas" since it goes back long before Tibet even existed. Most Tibetan ideas
are nothing more that a mixture of Indian Buddhist and native shamanistic
religious and magic teachings that had lost sight of their "root" theosophy
long ago. All the TBOD is concerned with is the Astral realms and has no
connection with the higher mental-spiritual realms such as Devachan (where the
"monad" finally ends up beyond the reach of the "elemental" kingdom).
If the Tibetans speak of six realms of after death states (and if they know
what they are talking about--should you not be talking about the adept
"Tibetans" (really Indians) who taught HPB :-) then such realms would
certainly include the final Devachan--which is actually in three states since
it concerns the higher manas, buddhi,and atma spiritual realms or fields--the
nature of which the BOTD doesn't talk about... While, the lower three are in
the elemental or astral (lower manas-kama-prana fields or states) which the
BOTD DOES talk about.
But all that proves, is that whatever the Tibetans teach, beyond the basic
Buddhist ethics, four noble truths, and eight fold path--has no relationship
to theosophy as a "pure" "SYNTHESIS of science, philosophy and religion"--(but
not those of any particular discipline, cult or sect). And, naturally, the
study of language, or the usage of words is not any part of that teaching.
(And neither is the study of any part of Tibetan Buddhism or Shamanism--except
as weak and twisted reflections of theosophical science and philosophy--which,
incidentally, in its modern form, includes all the findings of Western Science
that no Tibetan teaching or any Eastern philosophy or religion comes even
close to understanding. (Maybe Kipling (a Mason by the way) was right when he
said, "East is east and West is west, and never the twain shall meet.":-)
Incidentally, for the real theosophists in this forum who may be interested;
All fields are triune in nature since they have one pole fed by the negative
material or physical energies and the other by the positive spiritual or
consciousness energies... And, the "Tai-Chi" field "loop" that these energies
take, is in the form of a 3-cycle closed spiral that, in its first harmonic,
forms two mirrored (zero-point) energy foci in addition to the root-field
(for a symbolic visualization of this, study the diagram and description at:
As theosophy teaches, the entire Cosmos is but one Energy eternally
spinning--close in to finite space and infinite mass when asleep and expanded
wide into infinite space and finite mass when awake--in its three and seven
robes, fields or aspects that are, forever, "in coadunition but not in
consustantiality"... (And, obey all the laws of photo-electricity,
relativity, quantum, and sub-quantum physics--as taught and presaged by HPB in
the SD--when manifest on our plane of material existence.)
Understanding the nature and origin of these coadunite fields and their
relationship to the three fundamentals, as well as the linkages between
consciousness, mind and body, can serve as a definitive subjective "proof" of
any theosophical doctrine or derivative application--as well as a means to
directly approach "self realization".
Once that triple "point" is seen, the inner teacher in all of us needs no
further help, guidance nor proofs--through words or concepts (that can only
represent, but never capture pure "ideas")--to confirm what it already knew.
So much for philology, and linguistics as useless tools in teaching or
learning fundamental Theosophy--which is represented and taught in the Secret
Doctrine (as) "The Synthesis of Science, Religion and Philosophy"--that
doesn't depend, in any aspect, upon the language it's written in.
[Back to Top]
Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application