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RE: [theosophia] Re: seven portals

Mar 21, 2006 05:28 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck

3/21/2006 5:23 AM


Dear John:


I wonder if these notes might be of use ?




                        PARAMITA VIRTUES AND THE MIND



            ISIS UNVEILED,  II  p. 320  -  "...the four degrees of Dhyana"


                        What is Dhyana ("Dzyan,"  Gnyana,"  "Jnana," "Zen," 

                                    "Zend," "Vidya"  or contemplative
wisdom) ?




                        Some references are:



            The Dhyana Path -        "fourfold"          VOICE OF THE


            Dhyana means literally "contemplation". 

GLOS 101  Pat. 37  SD I 572 top.


            Dhyana is allied to Gnyana (wisdom), phonetically, also


            Jnana, or Jhana   (occult wisdom -                 GLOS 165-6), 


            Dzyan   (divine knowledge -                          GLOS 107), 


            Zen - Zend   - GLOS 385, and all these are all allied to 


            Vidya (occult science -                                     GLOS



            DHYANI  OR  GNYANI   [ the Wise Men ]



            From this root word/idea comes the designation of the Wise:

                        or DHYANI.  Those who are "enlightened," wise or
perfected in spiritual 

                                    and occult knowledge, and practice it.
[ ex.: Dhyan Chohan ]


             DHYAN CHOHAN - DHYANI BUDDHA  -  Those spiritually enlightened.

                        Those who have attained by self-training through the
moral and

                        the intellectual states to Universal Perception and



                        IN PATANJALI :



            THE DHYANA PATH:   [ from PATANJALI' YOGA SUTRAS - W.Q.Judge ]



Patanjali states that the practice of "contemplation" "in respect to a
material subject or object of sense, is mediation."            PAT p. 37



"By rendering...the operation of fixed attention, contemplation, and
meditation--natural and easy, an accurate discerning power  is developed."
PAT p.38  



This leads to "distinct cognition"             PAT p.39         


The next phase is to pass from the state of the mind being modified by the
object or subject selected, to detach the mind, so to say, becoming engaged
with the Truth Itself.  It is now fixed on one "object" - a "single point."
This is attention and concentration


We can see that all these are descriptions of discipline applied to our
"Lower Manas," our embodied mind here and now  (pp. 40-2).  


This refined "tool" may be employed to see the universal range in space,
time and causation.       (pp. 42-50)  



It also becomes clear that the Lower Manas is dual:  it has a lower and a
Higher aspect.  The "lower" is centered on the needs and desires of our
"Personality."  The "higher" focuses on ideals and virtues as practical
realities and applications of universal Verities and Truths.


It is the Higher aspect of our Lower Manas that is in fact refining its own
"lower" aspect, plunged in this "sea of illusion."             PAT p. 40-50


By familiarity, eventually, using the will alone the ascetic can possess any
knowledge "simply through the desire." (p.51) - therefore showing that this
is still an operation of the Kama-Manas the "lower mind."      PAT p. 51


In the next verse (36, p. 51) Patanjali shows us "that by concentrating his
mind on the true nature of the soul" he may disconnect himself from material
things and their attributes.  Various faculties then become available to him
to use, but, only in the assistance he may give to evolution, because of the
his use of "accurate, discriminative knowledge."   


If he should make use of these faculties and power for himself, personally,
it would degrade them and make "sorcery" possible.  Spiritual knowledge
would be debased into psychic application in such cases.  Since this would
be directed to obstructing the general sweep of Natures' evolution, Karma
would present barriers and obstacles of an educative nature to the
practitioner.                         PAT p. 50




            As a final result Patanjali tells us:--



"When the (Lower) mind no longer conceives itself to be the knower, or

and has become one with the "soul" (Higher Manas) -- the real Knower and
Experiencer -

 "Isolation" is achieved, and the soul (Lower and Higher Manas conjoined) is

[ from the bonds of physical matter.]     PAT p. 61




"Now bend thy head and listen well, O Bodhisattva--Compas-sion speaks and

'Can there be bliss when all that lives must suffer?  Shalt thou be saved
and hear 

the whole world cry ?' "


Now thou hast heard that which was said.


Thou shalt attain the seventh step and cross the gate of final knowledge,
but only to 

wed woe--if thou would'st be Tathagata, follow upon thy predecessor's steps,

unselfish till the endless end.


Thou art enlightened--choose thy way."             VOICE 78




At this point one can recall a statement concerning Occultism that HPB makes

THE SECRET DOCTRINE.                S D  I-520  



"It is on the doctrine of the illusive nature of matter, and the infinite
divisibility of the atom, that the whole science of  occultism is built."
S D  I  520



One of the implications made here is that we, as self-conscious be-ings
stand to the "life-atoms," the "molecules," and the "cells" that con-stitute
our 'physical being,' as "Gods."  By impersonal introspection, we come to
know that our "lower" nature is far from ideal.  


Such being the case, to those "life-atoms" that form our "vehicles" we are
as the Great DHYANIS are to us, presently.  We appear to them as the head of
their universe.  It then becomes our duty and responsibility to bring the
impulses of our "lower nature" into line with the universal spiritual life
so that these beings, dependent on us, may also be brought into the same


Thus we fulfill the continuing responsibility of "educating" our "younger
brothers" -- as these are also immortals, but having less experi-ence than
we have so far acquired over an immense period of time.


The "one life" limitation imposed on our minds by modern education and
speculation, which is limited to the materialistic bias, has to be dropped
if we consider the vast range of potential still left to us to achieve.  It
takes many lives to do this.  


There is in our central Consciousness, the true "I," that which is the
eternal Perceiver, the Witness.  It never dies and stores all experi-ence.
It is in constant relationship with the universal One Spirit.  it gives us
our sense of continuing identity, our "individuality."  The consciousness of
our present life, centered in the "Lower Mind," is like a mask being worn
for this period by the real Man.  It is therefore called the mask: "persona"
or Personality (to distinguish it from the Individual-ity.  It is the task
of the Lower Mind to reform itself.  This can only be done by the practise
of the virtues.


Our present task is to study our own "Lower Minds" and refine them.


A careful review of the Paramita virtues described in The Voice of the
Silence (pp. 52-3) is most helpful in perceiving what we can do.


Universal Brotherhood is the first concept to be realized if virtue is to
have real meaning.  The immortality, in their essence, of all beings is a
fact.  The evolution of intelligence and consciousness, its focalization
into self-consciousness, then, its widening sweep of perception as it
becomes Universal-Self-Consciousness through its own endeavors is the view
that Theosophy offers to us.





                        THE PARAMITAS OR VIRTUES




            1.         Dana or Charity, and Love immortal. All beings are
our brothers.


            2.         Shila or Harmony in word and act.  This
counterbalances the

                                    effects we have caused and therefore
leaves no further   

                                    room for Karmic action.  Harmony


            3.         Kshanti or Patience, which no trouble can alter.
Serenity, a

                                    refusal to react to taunts and
situations that appear to

                                    be adverse.


            4.         Viraga or "indifference to pleasure as to pain."
This leads to

                                    true discernment and the conquest of
illusion (Maya).

                                    Truth, as fact, becomes perceptible to


            5.         Virya - a dauntless energy that drives us to study
and seek for

                                    that which is true and concealed within
the lies of our 

                                    daily lives and situations.  It is the
awakening and fos-    

                                    tering of the Intuition.  A deliberate
linking of ourselves 

                                    with our Voice of Conscience - the
Buddhi (Wisdom) resident   

                                    at the core of our being: the Higher


            6.         Dhyana - perception of the Truth of things, when we
will, or      

                                    desire to perceive it.  This leads the
disciple forward on             

                                    the Path to self-control and perfection
of his lower nature           

                                    and mind.


            7.         Prajna - Through the purity attained by the embodied

                                    through its own enforced
self-discipline, the Lower Self             

                                    has become docile and porous to the
Spiritual Man, the

                                    Higher Self.  It makes of man a "God,"
the "Son of the Wise

                                    Gnyanis.  He has regained the spiritual
state he had lost.



            This is the vista that Patanjali's "oriental" psychology opens
to us.





Best wishes,






-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of John Gray
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 9:57 AM
Subject: Re: [theosophia] Re: seven portals


I think you are right.  We are not so much to worry about the Portals they
will be opened when karma opens them.  We are to continue as the Voice
indicates to live the life necessary.  Our self examination must be the
preparation of our natures.  So often many will rush to enlightenment
without knowing what it means.  There are no steps to be missed, so all such
efforts of rushing will be put aside eventually and a slow steady progress
resumed.  There is much to gain on the Path and it is of benefit to apply
the Voice of the Silence to our daily grind.  To make the mundane, divine.


Thus I understand this far.



I think that when we practice charity or patience there is so much of our
lower personality that is "destroyed" in the process, that the Light then
has the opportunity to be seen.  


I have been reading a little of Ouspensky and his quote, brought to my
attention by a Russian friend and a Canadian student in Vancouver.


"only by getting rid of the self elements in our receptivity do we put
ourselves in a position in which we can propund sensible questions.... But
the worst about a self element is that its presence is never dreamed of till
it is got rid of."

----- Original Message ----- 

From: Steven Levey <>  


Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 9:47 AM

Subject: [theosophia] Re: seven portals


Dear Laura,

   I think it's well that you brought this up. The Seven Portals are 
a mystery, which is not clarified in print anywhere that I've seen. 
Yes, there is an entire chapter devoted to them in The Voice, and 
they are titled: Dana-Shila-kshanti-viraga-virya-dhyana-and prajna. 
Here intention seeming to be, the application of individual 
meditation of the student, being the way into knowledge about The 
   But these are actually the "keys", as she says, not the Portals 
themselves. In thought, before sleep last night, it occurred to me 
that they might be seen as the "chakras" of the Higher Man (in 
distinction to those bandied about in pseudo occultism-only 
applicable to the chakras of the outward man, and dangerous to focus 
on because this may actually hinder normal function), and they are 
given a positive motivation (our motivation, being their motivation, 
if ours is purified enough to effect their "normal operating 
rotation". The inescapable logic of this is that, ignoring or 
actually working against this kind of motivation, being to the 
detrement of the personal man)through the application of 
the "Parimitas seven and ten". The seven being the ones previously 
mentioned, the latter three being those ascribed to the practice of 
committed monks in Buddhism. 
   So, in the way mentioned, and the logic of it may be only 
conveniently decided by me, but it seems viable, even if is not the 
actual teaching per say. The application of these "keys" in daily 
life will have the effect of altering our vestures through the 
attraction of a higher degree of satvically polarized elementals, and 
perhaps (here I'm speculating)give The Portals a decidedly positive 
inclination. What actually occurs during this "positive inclination" 
might be seen (again speculation, but reasonable)as allowing through 
more light from the Higher Man in general, or enlightenment. In this 
sense, then, the altruistic motivated behavior will have the 
reprocussion of a gradual enlightenment while refining the vestures. 
This process seeming to be simultaneous. From the Voice:
   "Self knowledge is of loving deeds, the child". My thinking has 
been based on years of thought regarding this quotation. But its an 
ongoing process, nothing engrained in metal, as it were.


--- In, "John Gray" <classiccontours@...> 
> That seems well worth contemplating and before sleep I will think 
on this.   What about the keys of virtue and the opening of the 
Portals with them? 
> Laura
>   ----- Original Message ----- 
>   From: Steven Levey 
>   To: 
>   Sent: Friday, March 17, 2006 8:08 PM
>   Subject: [theosophia] Re: seven portals
>   Laura,
>      To me, an important point regarding the doctrines within what 
>   called The Heart Doctrine, is that they are all connected. In 
>   way, when we are speaking of Elementals, The Seven Portals or the 
>   Gunas, we are speaking of an interconnected series of concepts, 
>   really, one cannot do or stand on its own without the others.
>      So, from this point of view I have this quotation from A Gita 
>   found on line that I carry in my PDA/cell phone. Actually, I 
>   find the Judge version to do this with.
>       "When the light of knowledge
>        shines in all of the body's
>        senses,
>        then one knows
>        that lucidity prevails."
>   Now in the version I have, the gunas have been put in english 
>   so that "lucidity" is Satva, "dark intertia"-Tamasa, 
and "passion" 
>   for Rajas. These work well. So when, in the previous quotation 
>   about "lucidity" and light, it is, to me, a fine way to look at 
>   action of the prevailance of Satva. The reason I bring this up, 
>   as a reflection of the idea of the interconnection of these 
>   is, that the practical application of the Paramitas, or ethical 
>   behavior, when seen as the Seven Portals, are applied, then manas 
>   driven by this ethical motive, as it enlightens the lower nature, 
>   draws to itself the appropriate material from the surroundings of 
>   lives. This is, also, of course the way we build a lower nature 
>   of "dark intertia" or tamas, if we remain indulgent in the kama-
>   manas. So the logic of this works. In this sense, we are what we 
>   think-literally. 
>      These gunas are not just theoretical polarities within the 
>   of man. Through the character of our thought, they are the 
>   of the material nature we surround ourselves in. This is where 
>   elementals come in. For they have been described, Theosophically, 
>   the points of life which make up every point of Space. Making 
>   Space "full". It is these points of life which "cloth" all 
>   natures. In man because of our karma, and because we can choose 
>   through Manas, we therefore draw and constantly interchange these 
>   points of life and light in our vehicles. The determining factor 
>   being the quality of our thought, this attracts these elementals 
>   ourselves and are called the gunas when polarized into "sets" as 
>   were, as Satva, Rajas, or Tamasa.
>     This is how I understand these ideals. I have modified them as 
>   understand and intuit this business more and more, but the 
>   concept has only become more and more verified.
>   Steve
>   --- In, "John Gray" <classiccontours@> 
>   wrote:
>   >
>   > How are we to understand the seven portals.
>   > 
>   > As a being whose mind is still stuck in the finite.  The only 
>   it is understood is when in the course of the day in difficult 
>   not difficult situations one applies the virtues.  In so doing 
>   discovers an inner knowledge.  
>   > 
>   > It is to be seen when practiced, that when one ignores the 
>   likes and dislikes, wants and don't wants and only applies the 
>   virtues in regards to Universal Brotherhood and the Eternal, that 
>   finds something within that was not previously seen or known.
>   > 
>   > That is a curious thought!  an attraction of elementals which 
>   more porous to the Light!  hmmm.  What would this indicate?  This 
>   will require a little research and possibly a few more quotes.
>   > 
>   > Gita comes to mind as all that we see on this objective plane 
>   made up of an aggregate of beings.
>   > 
>   > Laura
>   >
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