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RE: Holoweys...

Jan 26, 2006 04:49 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

1/25/2006 5:07 PM


Dear Peter


            Re: “underground Holoweys (place of religious meeting)”   [ HPB
Art III, p. 282]


I am sorry but I have no idea or other reference on this.  


I however read the FOOTNOTE :


“The strictest secrecy as to the nature of their beliefs, the peculiar rites
practised in their subterranean Holoweys, and the contents of their
canonical books was enjoined upon their followers by H'amsa and Boha-eddin,
the chief and first disciple of the former.”

            [HPB  III  p.282]



It is probably their name in their language for a kind of underground cavern
or crypt. 


In the article, HPB Art III, p. 287 (top) I find it written:


“No more than the Druses do the Lamaists seek to make proselytes. Both
people have their "schools of magic"-- those in Tibet being attached to some
la-khang (lamaseries), and those among the Druses in the closely-guarded
crypts of initiation, no stranger being even allowed inside the buildings. “
HPB Art  III, p. 287 (top) 


“…the visible place of worship, which is merely a large, unfurnished room,
[they] are also the guardians of the Mystical Temple, and the "wise men," or
the initiates of their mysteries, as their name of Okhal implies: Akl being
in Arabic "intelligence" or "wisdom." [ 283 ]


This implies to me that HPB knew their secrets and was familiar with all
these and others of the mystical brotherhoods around the world.


            Some rederences:  On Druzes:  see


PANARION, pp. 375-9; THEOSOPHY Vol. 6, p. 66;  V. 14, p. 516; V. 15, p. 15;
V. 26, p. 8; Druses, seven mandragoras of SECRET DOCTRINE II 27;  


                SECRET DOCTRINE 


Cave(s). See also Cave-Temples, Initiations

Bamian II 338 
of Dordogne II 522 
-dwellers I 208n, 280 
Gimil's, (Norse) II 100 
gupta, near Okhee Math I xxx 
of initiate-hermits II 381, 501 
initiation- I xx; II 181n, 237n, 541, 558 
libraries I xxiv, xxxiv 
Moses initiated at Hor-eb II 541 
Neolithic II 352 
of rishis II 381 
seven, of Nahuatl II 35 &n 
Zoroastrian I 126


decad in Hindu I 321 
Fergusson dates, wrongly II 220n 
perfection of, (Kenealy) I 208-9n 
subterranean passages of II 221

Cedars of Lebanon, initiates & kings called II 494

Temple(s). See also Initiations, Pyramids, Temple of Solomon

body of man is a I 212, 327, 574n; II 470, 651 
bulls in old Hindu II 418n 
curtains in ancient I 125, 462; II 459 
Dracontian, grandeur of II 380 
gods are, of God I 578 
-libraries II 529 
planetary, in Babylon II 456 
rock-cut, of India I 126 
sacred to Sun, dragon II 378-9 
in universe & in us II 651 
Vitruvius gives rules for Greek I 209n

Dragon(s) of Wisdom II 22, 377

adepts & initiates II 203, 210, 353 
blazing, or Logos I 71-2 
crocodile is really a I 219 
fallen angels are II 230 
fiery serpents are not II 212 
four hidden, or four quarters I 408-9 
is the One, or Eka (Saka) I 73 
Kwan-shi-yin or I 470, 472 
of Revelation 12 II 384n 
Satan has become II 234, 507 
Sun-god or II 507


Dracon, Drakon (Gk). See also Draco, Dragons

Greek for dragon II 210 
synonym for "evil one" II 206n



ancient divining rocks II 346 
not works of nature II 347 
once covered the globe II 380, 756 
plans of, destroyed by bishops II 347 
prove ancient doctrines II 756 
serpents, builders, architects & II 380

Draco Volans (Lat) flying dragon, based on actual creature II 387

Dragon(s) II 201, 209-19, 377-90, 400. See also Adepts, Initiates, Nagas,

adepts, initiates I 404, 408-9; II 94n, 210, 212, 215, 280n, 353, 355, 501,
angels w, bodies II 26 
of Apocalypse II 31-2n 
Apophis I 459 
Assyrian, "scaly one" II 354 
Bel &, w Ophites II 379, 503 
black storm- II 425 
in books of Hermes II 25 
born of fire & water I 470 
breaking heads of II 505 
Central Asia inhabited by II 203 
Chaldean, male principle II 104 
Chinese I 408; II 26-7, 203, 205-6, 209-10, 280n, 364-5 
constellations of the I 408, 657; II 352-3 
cosmic, of Kasyapa-Aditya II 382n 
cosmological interpretation of II 386 
crocodile (Egyptian) I 219 
Danavas, Titans, or II 381 
of Darkness, Light I 412 
of the Deep II 53, 61, 183, 477, 503-5 
devil or I 194; II 98, 506 
double II 57 
evil, doesn't exist II 53, 505 
Fall & II 104 
fallen angel, now symbol of II 506 
fiery, of wisdom II 212 
first disciples of dhyanis II 210 
flying II 206 &n, 207n, 387, 486, 516 
four hidden, of wisdom I 409 
four-mouthed II 204 
glyph for astral light I 73 
of Gnostics, Ophites II 386-7 
golden, or Kwan-shi-yin I 452 
of good II 25-6 
Great, (Draco) II 32n, 353, 355 
Great or Old, is Deluge II 351-3 
guard Trees of Knowledge I 128-9n 
highest, lowest meanings of II 355 
Hindu-Buddhist I 407 
Jehovah as, tempted Eve I 73 
Makara, crocodile, or II 354 
mid-Atlanteans called II 756 
Nidhogg (Norse) I 211 
Phaeton awakened polar II 770n 
polar I 407; II 274, 770n, 771n, 786 
prove antiquity of man II 208 
Python is Greek demon II 383, 771n 
Raphael or I 127n; II 115n 
red II 93-4, 379, 513, 771n 
reports of seeing, killing II 207 
of Revelation I 194, 407; II 93n, 354-5 &n, 383-5, 484-5, 497, 506, 771n 
sacred nature of, (Aelianus) II 355 
St John's, & Atlantean magic II 356 
St Michael mastered II 94n, 378 
secret of, given to initiates II 504 
septenary meaning I 407-8; II 208, 355 
serpents & II 204-10, 354-6 
sidereal, ever divine I 407 
Sigurd ate heart of I 404 
-slayers II 212, 380, 384-5 
stories of II 206-7 
symbolic & actual II 217-18 
symbol Moon's ascending & descending nodes I 403 
symbol of Sun II 380 
symbol of wisdom I 657; II 26, 210 
Tahmurath kills II 397 
tail of, & Rahu II 381 
temples sacred to II 380 
third race instructors, adepts II 210 
Tiamat or II 384, 503 
various names for II 354-6, 379-80, 485-6 
Virgin or Madonna crushes I 403 
waters of flood & Great I 460 
winged, of Medea (Levi) I 253n 
Yellow II 365


Initiate(s, ed). See also Adepts, Brotherhood, Dragons, 

Mahatmas, Masters, Seers, Serpents of Wisdom, Twice-Born

Aeschylus an II 419 &n, 524 
angirasas instructors of II 605n 
ape's origin known to I 190 
arhan not highest I 206 
Aristotle not an I 493 
arts & sciences preserved by II 572 
Aryan, built menhirs, zodiacs II 750, 754 
Aryan, knew whole cosmogony II 500 
ashes of, kept seven lunar years II 588n 
Atlantean, taught Cyclopes I 208n 
called little ones II 504 &n 
cannot divulge all he knows II 760 
can trace soul's history I 381 &n 
Christian II 60 
chronology of Brahmin II 49 
-commentator would not explain II 637n 
connected w Sun, wisdom II 210n 
crucified on Tree of Life II 560 
cycles known to II 70 
darkness is absolute light to I 41 
decipher myths II 138-9, 764-5 
descent into Hades, etc II 558 
dhyan-chohans more powerful I 234-5 
"dragons," "serpents," refer to I 408; II 94n, 203, 210n, 213, 280n, 501,
early Greek sages were I 117 
Egyptian, went to England by land II 750 
Enoch an II 506 
Father & Son, knew meaning of II 231n 
feud betw, of left- & right-path II 494, 501 
few, master all seven keys II 584 
five becomes seven at death of II 580 
fourth race, in Central Asia II 339 
of Garden of Eden II 494 
Gnostic sects founded by II 389 
great, fr Advaita School I 522 
-hermits lived in caves II 501 
Hesiod's Theogony history to II 765 
highest, known to few adepts I 611-12 
history of races known to II 133, 437-8 
Hungarian, taught Olcott I xix 
idolatry, sought to stem II 492 
inflectional speech language of II 200 
Jesus an I 577-8, 653; II 504, 566 
Julian an II 587n 
Kapila, of kali-yuga II 572 
knowledge gained by generations of II 700 
know racial figures II 312 
language of, plain II 786-7 
live in every age I xlv 
lives in his astral body II 499 
magi of Persia, Chaldea were II 395 
Marcus an II 563 
meaning of Vedas, Puranas, know I 520 
Moses an I 73, 314, 316, 352; II 212, 456, 465n, 541n 
Mysteries inherited by II 125 
nagas or I 408; II 572 
names given to II 210n, 215 
Nazarenes, among II 96n 
not influenced by genii I 295 &n 
Paul an I 8-9, 240; II 268, 504, 513n, 704 
perfected faultless system II 133 
Plato an II 88, 266, 395, 554 
popes, some early, were I 311 
priest-, knew the noumena II 517-18 
priests read Dracontia II 346 
produced rarely fr age to age I 211 
profane &, will remain I 207 
prophets or II 492 
Puranas, hold key to I 423 
pyramids & II 353, 558 
Pythagoreans were II 153 
Ragon a European I xxxvi 
rakshasas are II 165n 
reborn after crucifixion II 560 
records of, fr beginning of fourth race I 646 
ring pass not & I 131 
rising Sun & II 558, 559 
ruled early fifth races II 364 
rule the gods (devas) II 111 
Russian mystics, in Central Asia I xxxvi 
Sankaracharya greatest I 271-2 
saved w secret teachings II 230 
secret records of I xxxiv 
see beneath maya I 45 
Senzar once known to all I xliii 
serpents & II 26n 
seven number of II 35 
soma given only to II 498 
spiritual overcomes physical w II 499 
swastika over hearts of II 586 
symbolism, knowledge of II 439, 796 
taught evolution of atoms I 522 
three-day trance of II 580 
tomb of an, at Sais II 396 
trials of, symbol for II 505 
twice-born II 70, 111 
veil information re early races II 715n 
war betw, & sorcerers I 419 
will judge angels II 112 
wisdom of early Hebrew I 352 
withhold knowledge II 518


Aryan & Jewish II 469-70 
astrology one of secrets of II 500n 
awakens inner sight II 294n 
Book of Enoch record of II 229, 535 
Buddha overshadows highest I 109 
buddhas meet adepts in I 574 
candidate & dragon fight in II 381 
Christians eliminated memory of I xl 
circle squared at supreme II 450 
cycle of, & sidereal year I 314 
discussed [Lucifer] II 558-9 
Egyptian, & Fall (Lacour) II 215-16n 
facing one's Augoeides in final I 573 
fourth race temples of II 211 
fourth race wisdom only thru II 134 
Greek writers gave truths of I 507 
Julian re II 35 
light of, & Fire Self II 570 
manus, sishtas & third degree of II 308 
mastery of cycles thru I 642 
performed in Great Pyramid I 314, 317-18n; II 461-2, 558 
Phenoch or Enoch symbol of II 617 
into pre-Adamic Mysteries II 452-3 
precede secret teachings I 164 
psychic, spiritual elements & I 229 
religious history related in I 307 
sacred numbers known thru I 66-7 
Secret Doctrine taught to Egyptians at II 137 
secret II 378-80 
secrets of higher II 51 
septenary division taught in I 168 
serpent & tree symbolize II 354-5 
sevenfold mystery of, & lyre II 529 
seven forms of, (Anugita) II 638 
seven grades of I 206 
tau cross, crucifix & II 542-3, 557, 586n 
truth preserved thru I xxxvi 
Upanishads prepared chelas for I 270 
wand of candidate for II 518 
water, fire in II 566n


Builders or II 345n 
first, into Mysteries II 267n 
"Great Sacrifice" called the I 208 
Hanoch, Enoch, Enos & II 529n 
high, creates bodhisattva I 109 
Wondrous Being or I 207-12





Best wishes,




Here is the article with some underlined passages that appear important to



>From  HPB Art III p. 281




MR. L. OLIPHANT'S new work "Land of Gilead" attracts considerable attention.
Reviews appeared some time since, but we had to lay the subject aside until
now for lack of space. We will now have something to say, not of the work
itself--though justice can hardly be sufficiently done to the writings of
that clever author--but of what he tells us respecting the Druses--those
mystics of Mount Lebanon of whom so little is known. We may, perchance, shed
some new light on the subject.

"The Druse," Mr. Oliphant thinks, "has a firm conviction that the end of the
world is at hand. Recent events have so far tallied with the enigmatical
prophecies of his sacred books, that he looks forward to the speedy
resurrection of El Hakim, the founder and divine personage of the sect. In
order to comprehend this, the connection between China and Druse theology
has to be remembered. The souls of all pious Druses are supposed to be
occupying in large numbers certain cities in the west of China. The end of
the world will be signalised by the approach of a mighty army from the East
against the contending powers of Islam and Christianity. This army will be
under the command of the Universal Mind, and will consist of millions of
Chinese Unitarians. To it Christians and Mahomedans will surrender and march
before it to Mecca. El Hakim will then appear; at his command, the Caaba
will be demolished by fire from Heaven, and the resurrection of the dead
will take place. Now that Russia has come into collision with China, the
Druses see the fulfilment of their sacred prophecies, and are eagerly
waiting for an Armageddon in which they believe themselves destined to play
a prominent part."--(Pioneer.) 

Mr. Lawrence Oliphant is, in our opinion, one of England's pest writers. He
is also more deeply acquainted with the inner life of the East than most of
the authors and travellers who have written upon the subject--not even
excepting Captain and Mrs. Burton. But even his acute and observing
intellect could hardly fathom the secret of the profoundly mystical beliefs
of the Druses. 


To begin with: El Hakim is not the founder of their sect. Their ritual and
dogmas were never made known, but to those who have been admitted into their
brotherhood. Their origin is next to unknown. 

As to their external religion, or what has rather transpired of it, that can
be told in a few words. The Druses are believed to be a mixture of Kurds,
Mardi-Arabs, and other semi-civilized tribes. We humbly maintain that they
are the descendants of, and a mixture of, mystics of all nations--mystics,
who, in the face of cruel and unrelenting persecution by the orthodox
Christian Church and orthodox Islamism, have ever since the first centuries
of the Mahomedan propaganda, been gathered together, and who gradually made
a permanent settlement in the fastnesses of Syria and Mount Lebanon, where
they had from the first found refuge. 

Since then, they have preserved the strictest silence upon their beliefs and
truly occult rites. Later on, their warlike character, great bravery, and
unity of purpose which made their foes, whether Mussulmans or Christians,
equally fear them, helped them toward forming an independent community, or,
as we may term it, an imperium in imperio. 

They are the Sikhs of Asia Minor, and their polity offers many points of
similarity with the late "commonwealth" of the followers of Guru Nanak--even
extending to their mysticism and indomitable bravery. 

But the two are still more closely related to a third and still more
mysterious community of religionists, of which nothing, or next to nothing,
is known by outsiders: we mean that fraternity of Tibetan Lamaists, known as
the Brotherhood of Khe-lang, who mix but little with the rest. Even Cosmo de
Koros, who passed several years with the Lamas learned hardly more of the
religion of these Chakravartins (wheel-turners) than what they chose to let
him know of their exoteric rites; and of the Khe-langs, he learned
positively nothing.

The mystery that hangs over the scriptures and religion of the Druses is far
more impenetrable than that connected with the Amritsar and Lahore
"Disciples,"[Sikhs] whose grantha is well known, and has been translated
into European languages more than once. 

Of the alleged forty-five sacred books1
<>  of the Lebanon mystics,
none were ever seen, let alone examined, by any European scholar. Many
manuscripts have never left the underground Holoweys (place of religious
meeting) invariably built under the meeting-room on the ground-floor, and
the public Thursday assemblies of the Druses are simply blinds intended for
over-curious travellers and neighbours.

Verily a strange sect are the "Disciples of H'amsa," as they call
themselves. Their Okhal or spiritual teachers besides having, like the Sikh
Akali, the duty of defending the visible place of worship, which is merely a
large, unfurnished room, are also the guardians of the Mystical Temple, and
the "wise men," or the initiates of their mysteries, as their name of Okhal
implies: Akl being in Arabic "intelligence" or "wisdom." It is improper to
call them Druses, as they regard it as an insult; nor are they in reality
the followers of Daruzi, a heretical pupil of H'amsa, but the true disciples
of the latter. 

The origin of that personage who appeared among them in the eleventh
century, coming from Central Asia, and whose secret or "mystery" name is
"El-Hamma," is quite unknown to our European scholars. His spiritual titles
are "Universal Source, or Mind," "Ocean of Light," and "Absolute or Divine

They are, in short. repetitions of those of the Tibetan Dalai-Lama, whose
appellation "Path to the Ocean,"2
<>  means, Path or "Way to the
Ocean of Light" (Intelligence) or Divine Wisdom--both titles being
identically the same. It is curious that the Hebrew word Lamad should also
mean "the God-taught."

An English Orientalist recently found that the religion of Nanak had a good
deal of Buddhism in it. (Art. Diwali in Calcutta Review.) This would be only
natural since the Empire of Hindustan is the land of Buddhas and
Boddhisattvas. But that the religion of the Druses, between whose
geographical and ethnological position and that of the Hindus there is an
abyss, should be so, is far more incomprehensible and strange. Yet it is a
fact. They are more Lamaists in their beliefs and certain rites, than any
other people upon the face of the globe. 

The fact may be contradicted, but it will be only because Europe knows next
to nothing of either. Their system of government is set down as feudal and
Satriarchal, while it is as theocratic as that of the Lamaists--or as that
of the Sikhs--as it used to be. The mysterious representation of the Deity
appears in H'amsa, whose spirit is said to guide them, and periodically
re-incarnate itself in the person of the chief Okhal of the Druses, as it
does in the Guru-Kings of the Sikhs, some of whom, like Guru Govind, claimed
to be the re-incarnations of Nanak, while the Dalai-Lamas of Tibet claim to
be those of Buddha. The latter, by the way, are loosely called Shaberons and
Khubilghans (both in various degrees re-incarnations not of Buddha, the MAN,
but of his Buddh-like divine spirit) by Abbe Huc and others without any
regard to the difference in the appellation: El Hamma or H'amsa came from
the "Land of the Word of God." Where was that land? 

Swedenborg, the Northern seer, advised his followers to search for the LOST
WORD, among the hierophants of Tartary, Tibet and China. 

To this we may add a few explanatory and corroborative facts. Ll'hassa, the
theocratic metropolis of Tibet, is commonly translated as "God-land," that
is to say, this is the only English equivalent that we can find.3

Though separated by the Karakonum range and little Tibet, the great Tibet is
on the same Asiatic plateau in which our Biblical scholars designate the
table-land of Pamir4 <>  as the
cradle of the human race, the birth-place of the mythical Adam. 

Tibet or Ti-Boutta, will yield, etymologically, the words Ti, which is the
equivalent for God in Chinese, and Buddha, or wisdom: the land, then, of the
Wisdom-Deity, or of the incarnations of Wisdom. It is also called "Bod-Jid."
Now "Jid" and "Jod" are synonymous apocalyptic and phallic names for the
Deity--YOD being the Hebrew name for God. G. Higgins shows in his Celtic
Druids, the Welsh Druids altering the name of Bod-Jid into Buddud which with
them too meant the "Wisdom of Jid" or what people now call "god."5

The religion of the Druses is said to be a compound of Judaism, Mahomedanism
and Christianity, strongly tinged with Gnosticism and the Magian system of
Persia. Were people to call things by their right names, sacrificing all
self-conceit to truth, they might confess things otherwise. They could say,
for instance, that Mahomedanism being a compound of Chaldeism, Christianity
and Judaism; Christianity, a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism and Paganism;
and Judaism, a wholesale Egypto-Chaldean Kabalism, masquerading under
invented names and fables, made to fit the bits and scraps of the real
history of the Israelite tribes--the religious system of the Druses would
then be found one of the last survivals of the archaic Wisdom-Religion. 

It is entirely based on that element of practical mysticism of which
branches have from time to time sprung into existence. They pass under the
unpopular names of Kabalism, Theosophy and Occultism. Except Christianity
which, owing to the importance it gives to the principal prop of its
doctrine of Salvation--(we mean the dogma of Satan) had to anathematize the
practice of theurgy--every religion, including Judaism and Mahomedanism,
credits these above-named branches. 

Civilisation having touched with its materialistic all-levelling, and
all-destroying hand even India and Turkey, amid the din and chaos of
crumbling faiths and old sciences, the reminiscence of archaic truths is now
fast dying out. It has become popular and fashionable to denounce "the old
and mouldy superstitions of our forefathers";--verily even among the most
natural allies of the students of theurgy or occultism--the Spiritualists. 

Among the many creeds and faiths striving to follow the cyclic tide, and
helping it themselves to sweep away the knowledge of old, strangely blind to
the fact, that the same powerful wave of materialism and modern science also
sweeps away their own foundations--the only religions which have remained as
alive as ever to these forgotten truths of old, are those which from the
first have kept strictly aloof from the rest. 

The Druses, while outwardly mixing up with Moslems and Christians alike,
ever ready to read the Kuran as well as the Gospels in their Thursday public
meetings, have never allowed an uninitiated stranger to penetrate the
mysteries of their own doctrines. 

Intelligence6 <>  alone
communicates to the soul (which with them is mortal, though it survives the
body) the enlivening and divine spark of the Supreme Wisdom or
Ti-meami--they say--but it must be screened from all nonbelievers in H'amsa.

The work of the soul is to seek wisdom, and the substance of earthly wisdom
is to know Universal Wisdom, or "God," as other religionists call that
principle. This is the doctrine of the Buddhists and Lamaists who say
"Buddha" where the Druses say "Wisdom"--one word being the translation of
the other. 

"In spite of their external adoption of the religious customs of the
Moslems, of their readiness to educate their children in Christian schools,
their use of the Arabic language, and of their free intercourse with
strangers, the Druses remain even more than the Jews a peculiar
people"--says a writer. They are very rarely if ever converted; they marry
within their own race; and adhere most tenaciously to their traditions,
baffling all efforts to discover their cherished secrets. Yet they are
neither fanatical, nor do they covet proselytes.

In his Journey through Tartary, Tibet, and China, Huc speaks with great
surprise of the extreme tolerance and even outward respect shown by the
Tibetans to other religions. 

A grand Lama, or a "living Buddha," as he calls him, whom the two
missionaries met at Choang-Long, near Koum-boum certainly had the best of
them in good breeding as well as tact and deference to their feelings. The
two Frenchmen, however, neither understood nor appreciated the act, since
they seemed quite proud of the insult offered by them to the Hobilgan. "We
were waiting for him . . . seated on the kang . . . and purposely did not
rise to receive him, but merely made him a slight salutation"-- boasts Huc
(vol. ii. p. 35-36). The Grand Lama "did not appear disconcerted" though;
upon seeing that they as "purposely" withheld from him "an invitation to sit
down" he only looked at them "surprised," as well he might. A breviary of
theirs having attracted his attention, he demanded "permission to examine
it"; and then, carrying it "solemnly to his brow" he said: "It is your book
of prayer; we must always honour and reverence other people's prayers." 

It was a good lesson, yet they understood it not. We would like to see that
Christian missionary who would reverently carry to his brow the Vedas, the
Tripitaka, or the Grantha, and publicly honour other people's prayers! While
the Tibetan "savage," the heathen Hobilgan, was all affability and
politeness, the two French "Lamas of Jehovah" as Abbe Huc called his
companion and himself, behaved like two uneducated bullies. And to think
that they even boast of it in print!

No more than the Druses do the Lamaists seek to make proselytes. Both people
have their "schools of magic"--those in Tibet being attached to some
la-khang (lamaseries), and those among he Druses in the closely-guarded
crypts of initiation, no stranger being even allowed inside the buildings. 

As the Tibetan Hobilgans are the incarnations of Buddha's spirit, so the
Druse Okhals--erroneously called "Spiritualists" by some writers--are the
incarnations of H'amsa. Both peoples have a regular system of passwords and
signs of recognition among the neophytes, and we know them to be nearly
identical since they are partially those of he Theosophists.

In the mystical system of the Druses there are five "messengers" or
interpreters of the "Word of the Supreme Wisdom," who occupy he same
position as the five chief Boddhisattvas, or Hobilgans of Tibet, each of
whom is the bodily temple of the spirit of one of the five Buddhas. Let us
see what can be made known of both classes.‘


                        DRUZE HIERARCHY

The names of the five principal Druse "messengers," or rather their
titles--as these names are generic, in both the Druse and Tibetan
hierarchies, and the title passes at the death of each to his

(1)7 <>  H'amsa, or "El Hamma,"
(spiritual wisdom) considered as the Messiah, through whom speaks Incarnate

(2) Ismail--Ti-meami--(the universal soul). He prepares the Druses before
their initiation to receive "wisdom."

(3) Mohammed--(the Word). His duty is to watch over the behaviour and
necessities of the brethren;--a kind of Bishop.

(4) Se-lama, (the "Preceding") called the "Right Wing."

(5) Mokshatana Boha-eddin, (the "Following") named the "Left Wing."

These last are both messengers between H'amsa and the Brotherhood. 

Above these living mediators who remain ever unknown to all but the chief
Okhals stand the ten Incarnates of the "Supreme Wisdom," the last of whom is
to return at the end of the cycle, which is fast approaching--though no one
but El Hamma knows the day--that last "messenger" in accordance with the
cyclic recurrences of events being also the first who came with H'amsa,
hence Boha-eddin. 

The names of the Druse Incarnations are Ali A-llal who appeared in India
(Kabir we believe); Albar in Persia; Alya in Yemen; Moill and Kahim, in
Eastern Africa; Moessa and Had-di in Central Asia; Albou and Manssour in
China; and Buddea, that is, Boha-eddin8
<>  in Tartary, whence he came
and whither he returned. This last one, some say, was dual-sexed on earth. 

Having entered into El-Hakim--the Khalif, a monster of wickedness--he
brought him to be assassinated, and then sent H'amsa to preach and to found
the Brotherhood of Lebanon. El-Hakim then is but a mask. It is Buddea, i.e.,
Bohaeddin they expect.9 <> 


                                LAMAIC HIERARCHY

And now for the Lamaic hierarchy. 

Of the living or incarnate Buddhas there are five also, the chief of whom is
Dalay, or rather Talay, Lama--from Tale "Ocean" or Sea; he being called the
"Ocean of Wisdom." 

Above him, as above H'amsa, there is but the "SUPREME WISDOM"--the abstract
principle from which emanated the five Buddhas—

Maitree Buddha (the last Boddhisattva, or Vishnu in the Kalanki avatar) the
tenth "messenger" expected on earth--included. But this will be the One
Wisdom and will incarnate itself into the whole humanity collectively, not
in a single individual. But of this mystery--no more at present.

These five "Hobilgans" are distributed in the following order:

(1) Talay-Lama, of Lha-ssa--the incarnation of the "Spiritual" "passive"
wisdom--which proceeds from Gautama or Siddartha Buddha, or Fo.

(2) Bande-cha-an Rem-boo-tchi, at Djashi-Loombo. He is "the active earthly

(3) Sa-Dcha-Fo, or the "Mouthpiece of Buddha," otherwise the "word" at

(4) Khi-sson-Tamba--the "Precursor" (of Buddha) at the Grand Kooren.

(5) Tchang-Zya-Fo-Lang, in the altai mountains. He is called the "Successor"
(of Buddha).


The "Shaberons" are one degree lower. They, like the chief Okhals of the
Druses, are the initiates of the great wisdom or Buddh Esoteric religion. 

This double list of the "Five" shows great similarity at least between the
polity of the two systems. 

The reader must bear in mind that they have sprung into their present
visible conditions nearly at the same time. 

It was from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries that modern Lamaism evolved
its ritual and popular religion, which serves the Hobilgans and Shaberons as
a blind, even against the curiosity of the average Chinaman and Tibetan. 

It was in the eleventh century that H'amsa founded the Brotherhood of
Lebanon; and till now no one has acquired its secrets!



It is supremely strange that both the Lamas and Druses should have the same
mystical statistics. They reckon the bulk of the human race at 1,332

When good and evil, they say, shall come to an equilibrium in the scales of
human actions (now evil is far the heavier), then the breath of "Wisdom,"
will annihilate in a wink of the eye just 666 millions of men. The surviving
666 millions will have "Supreme Wisdom" incarnated in them.10
<>  This may have, and
probably has, an allegorical meaning. But what relation might it possibly
bear to the number of the "grand Beast" of John's Revelation? 

If more were known than really is of the religions of Tibet and the Druses,
then would scholars see that there is more affinity, between Turanian
Lamaists and the Semitic, "El-Hammites," or Druses, than was ever suspected.

But all is darkness, conjecture, and mere guesswork whenever the writers
speak of either the one or the other. The little that has transpired of
their beliefs is genially so disfigured by prejudice and ignorance that no
learned Lama or Druse would ever recognise a glimpse of likeness to his
faith in these speculative fantasies. Even the profoundly suggestive
conclusion to which came Godfrey Higgins (Celtic Druids Part I, 101) however
true, is but half so. "It is evident" he writes "that there was a secret
science possessed somewhere (by the ancients) which must have been guarded
by the most solemn oaths . . . and I cannot help suspecting that there is
still a secret doctrine known only in the deep recesses of the crypts of
Tibet." . . .

To conclude with the Druses: As Selama and Boha-eddin--two names more than
suggestive of the words "Lama" and "Buddha"--are the only ones entrusted
with the secret of H'amsa's retreat; and having the means of consulting with
their master, they produce from time to time his directions and commands to
the Brotherhood, so, even to this day do the Okhals of that name travel
every seventh year, through Bussora and Persia into Tartary and Tibet to the
very west of China and return at the expiration of the eleventh year,
bringing them fresh orders from "El' Hamma." 

Owing to the expectation of war between China and Russia, only last year a
Druse messenger passed through Bombay on his way to Tibet and Tartary. This
would explain "the superstitious" belief that "the souls of all pious Druses
are supposed to be occupying in large numbers certain cities in China." 


                        PAMIR PLATEAU

It is around the plateau of the Pamirs--they say with the Biblical
scholars--that the cradle of the true race must be located: but the cradle
of initiated humanity only; of those who have for the first time tasted of
the fruit of knowledge, and these are in Tibet Mongolia, Tartary, China and
India, where also the souls of their pious and initiated brethren
transmigrate, and rebecome "sons of God." 

What this language means every Theosophist ought to know. They discredit the
fable of Adam and Eve, and say that they who first ate of the forbidden
fruit and thus became "Elohim" were Enoch or Hermes (the supposed father of
Masonry), and Seth or Sat-an, the father of secret wisdom and learning,
whose abode, they say, is now in the planet Mercury,11
<>  and whom the Christians
were kind enough to convert into a chief devil, the "fallen Angel." Their
evil one is an abstract principle, and called the "Rival." [Adversary?]

The "millions of Chinese Unitarians" may mean Tibetan Lamas, Hindus, and
others of the East, as well as Chinamen. It is true that the Druses believe
in and expect their resurrection day in Armageddon, which, however, they
pronounce otherwise. As the phrase occurs in the Apocalypse it may seem to
some that they got the idea in St. John's Revelation. It is nothing of the

That day which, according to the Druse teaching "will consummate the great
spiritual plan--the bodies of the wise and faithful will be absorbed into
the absolute essence, and transformed from the many, into the ONE." This is
pre-eminently the Buddhist idea of Nirvana, and that of the Vedantin final
absorption into Parabrahm. 

Their "Persian Magianism and Gnosticism," make them regard St. John as
Oannes, the Chaldean Man-Fish, hence connects their belief at once with the
Indian Vishnu and the Lamaic Symbology. Their "Armageddon" is simply
"Ramdagon,"12 <>  and this is
how it is explained.

The sentence in Revelation is no better interpreted than so many other
things by Christians, while even the non-Kabalistic Jews know nothing of its
real meaning. Armageddon is mistaken for a geographical locality, viz., the
elevated table of Esdraelon or Ar-mageddon "the mountain of Megiddo," where
Gideon triumphed over the Midianites.13
<>  It is an erroneous notion,
for the name in the Revelation refers to a mythical place mentioned in one
of the most archaic traditions of the heathen East, especially among the
Turanian and Semitic races. It is simply a kind of purgatorial Elysium, in
which departed spirits are collected, to await the day of final judgment.
That it is so is proved by the verse in Revelation. "And he gathered them
together into a place called . . . Armageddon (XVI. 16), when the seventh
angel will pour out his vial into the air." 

The Druses pronounce the name of that mystical locality "Ramdagon." It is,
then, highly probable that the word is an anagram, as shown by the author of
the "Commentary on the Apocalypse." It means ''Rama-Dagon,''14
<>  the first signifying
Sun-God of that name, and the second "Dagon" or the Chaldean Holy Wisdom
incarnated in their "Messenger," Oannes--the Man-Fish, and descending on the
"Sons of God" or the Initiates of whatever country; those, in short, through
whom Deific Wisdom occasionally reveals itself to the world.

Theosophist, June, 1881



1 The work presented by Nasr-Allah to the French King as a portion of the
Druse Scriptures, and translated by Petis de la Croix in 1701--is pronounced
a forgery. Not one of the copies now in the possession of the Bodleian,
Vienna, or Vatican Libraries is genuine, and besides each of them is a copy
from the other. Great was always the curiosity of the travellers and greater
yet the efforts of the indomitable and ever-prying missionary, to penetrate
behind the veil of Druse worship, but all have resulted in failure. The
strictest secrecy as to the nature of their beliefs, the peculiar rites
practised in their subterranean Holoweys, and the contents of their
canonical books was enjoined upon their followers by H'amsa and Boha-eddin,
the chief and first disciple of the former. 


2 "Lama" means path or road in the vulgar Tibetan language, but in that
figurative sense it conveys the meaning of way: as the "way to wisdom or
salvation." Strangely enough it also means "cross." 

It is the Roman figure X or ten, the emblem of perfection or perfect number,
and stood for ten with the Egyptians, Chinese, Phœnicians, Romans, &c. It is
also found in the Mexican secular calendars. 

The Tartars call it lama from the Scytho-Turanian word lamh, hand, (from the
number of fingers on both hands), and it is synonymous with the Jod of the
Chaldees, "and thus became the name of a cross, of the High Priest of the
Tartars, and of the Lamaic Messenger of God," says the author of the Book of
God; "Commentaries on the Apocalypse." With the Irish luam signifies the
head of the Church, a spiritual chief. 

3 And a most unsatisfactory term it is, as the Lamaists have no conception
of the anthropomorphic deity which the English word "God" represents. 

Fo or Buddha (the latter name being quite unknown to the common people) is
their equivalent expression for that All-embracing, Superior Good, or Wisdom
from which all proceeds, as does the light from the sun, the cause being
nothing personal, but simply an Abstract Principle. 







-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Bernin [] 
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 12:37 PM
Subject: Holoweys...


Dear Dallas,


Many thanks for your comments on Patanjali, I will reflect on them, and come
back if anything new turns up.


I am just back from our meetings on Wendesday…today we talked about
“Intelligent Design” and we were 17 persons, which is good…


Now I want to ask you about a word which HPB uses in her article Lamas and
Druses which I am translating into Swedish just now… [ HPB Art, Vol. III, p.
281 ]


“……the underground Holoweys (place of religious meeting)…..”



What does the word Holoweys means…is that an English word or a libanese…I
cannot make it out… I do not find it in any dictionary…can you help out?




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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