The “Bhagavad-Gita” and “Esoteric Buddhism”: W.Q. Judge & H.P. Blavatsky
Jan 03, 2006 09:09 PM
"The Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads are also core teaching
to some theosophists. We do not necessarily need The Secret
Doctrine to explore that fact. Although one could say, that it is
helpful to some of us depending on our level of development and the
Path we follow of the seven paths mentioned by Blavatsky in the same
book The Secret Doctrine. Contrast can be quite helpful from time to
Your comments reminded me of a letter or article by William Q. Judge
and H.P. Blavatsky's reply.
THE BHAGAVAD-GITA AND ESOTERIC BUDDHISM [by A.P. Sinnett]
[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 5 (53), February, 1884, p. 122]
The only fault I have to find with Mr. Sinnett's book is that he too
often says that: "this knowledge is now being given out for the
first time." He does not do this because he wants glory for himself,
but because he makes a mistake.
Nearly all the leading portions of the doctrine are to be found
broadly stated in the Bhagavad-Gita.
The obscuration periods are most clearly spoken of (chap. VIII, p.
42):* "Those men who know the day of Brahma, which ends after a
thousand ages, and the night which comes on at the end of those
thousand ages, know day and night indeed . . . This collective mass
itself of existing things, thus existing again and again, is
dissolved at the approach of that night. At the approach of that day
it emanates spontaneously."
And in chap. IX, p. 44: "At the conclusion of a Kalpa all existing
things re-enter nature which is cognate with me. But I cause them to
come forth again at the beginning of a Kalpa."
Dhyan-Chohan state is given in the same chapter. "This they call the
highest walk. Those who obtain this never return. This is my supreme
Re-incarnation is stated at chap. IV, p. 24: "I and thou have passed
through many transmigrations." And the return of Buddha in the
same. "For whenever there is a relaxation of duty, I then reproduce
myself for the protection of the good, and the destruction of evil
Devachan is to be found in chap. IX, p. 45: "These, obtaining their
reward . . . Having enjoyed this great world of heaven, they re-
enter the world of mortals, when the reward is exhausted . . . they
indulge in their desires, and obtain a happiness which comes and
That knowledge is more important than mere religious devotion, see
chap. IV, p. 26, "If thou wert even the most sinful of all sinners,
thou wouldst cross over all sin in the bark of spiritual knowledge."
For those who will see, it is all in this wonderful book.
WM. Q. JUDGE, F.T.S.
EDITOR'S [H.P. Blavatsky's] NOTE.—We do not believe our American
brother is justified in his remarks. The knowledge given out in
Esoteric Buddhism is, most decidedly, "given out for the first
time," inasmuch as the allegories that lie scattered in the Hindu
sacred literature are now for the first time clearly explained to
the world of the profane.
Since the birth of the Theosophical Society and the publication of
Isis, it is being repeated daily that all the Esoteric Wisdom of the
ages lies concealed in the Vedas, the Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita.
Yet, unto the day of the first appearance of Esoteric Buddhism, and
for long centuries back, these doctrines remained a sealed letter to
all but a few initiated Brahmans who had always kept the spirit of
it to themselves. The allegorical text was taken literally by the
educated and the uneducated, the first laughing secretly at the
fables and the latter falling into superstitious worship, and owing
to the variety of the interpretations—splitting into numerous sects.
Nor would W. Q. Judge have ever had the opportunity of comparing
notes so easily and, perhaps, even understanding many a mystery, as
he now evidently shows he does by citing relevant passages from the
Bhagavad-Gita, had it not been for Mr. Sinnett's work and plain
Most undeniably, not "nearly all"—but positively all the doctrines
given in Esoteric Buddhism and far more yet untouched, are to be
found in the Gita, and not only there but in a thousand more known
or unknown MSS. of Hindu sacred writings.
But what of that? Of what good to W. Q. Judge or any other is the
diamond that lies concealed deep underground? Of course every one
knows that there is not a gem, now sparkling in a jeweller's shop
but pre-existed and lay concealed since its formation for ages
within the bowels of the earth. Yet, surely, he who got it first
from its finder and cut and polished it, may be permitted to say
that this particular diamond is "given out for the first time" to
the world, since its rays and lustre are now shining for the first
in broad day-light.
So maybe the same remarks would also apply to HPB'S SECRET
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