Re: To new and old theosophical students PRINCIPLES SKANDHAS SAMSKARAS.
Aug 12, 2006 08:18 AM
by W.Dallas TenBroeck
8/12/2006 7:21 AM
Re: To new and old theosophical students
PRINCIPLES SKANDHAS SAMSKARAS
Dear N H Careyta & friends:
May I respond by notes inserted in your text (below) ? AS [DTB ]
Thanks -- best wishes as always,
From: n h careyta
Sent: Friday, August 11, 2006 8:03 PM
Subject: Re: To new and old theosophical students
PRINCIPLES SKANDHAS SAMSKARAS.
Thank you for sharing with us your insights on the matters below.
They are elaborate and very much appreciated.
May I offer a short comment regarding just two of your statements?
You write: why not keep it simple and study the ORIGINALS closely and with
When we learn the interlocking and self-proving logic of the ORIGINALS we
may secure more rapidly and accurately an understanding of all the rest.
Any Science or Theology can be compared with THEOSOPHY -- speculation,
theories, hypothesis, etc.. They stand revealed for what their probable
And further: We can begin with the great text-books of THEOSOPHY made
available (copies of the original versions) to us now [translated from those
truly antique texts by the sacrifice and compassion of the Masters of Wisdom
through from the pen of their accredited Agent: Mme. Blavatsky] :
The SECRET DOCTRINE,
The KEY TO THEOSOPHY,
The VOICE OF THE SILENCE.
The Theosophical Academy was established for this very purpose.
[see below the 1909 statements made when the UNITED LODGE OF
THEOSOPHISTS was started as a kind of "refuge" for sincere yet fully
independent student of THEOSOPHY and admirers of H P B.
U L T HISTORY AND ORGANISATION
[ A similarity of intent is also available :
THE United Lodge of Theosophists was founded by Robert Crosbie (1849-1919).
His long Theosophical experience and deep Theosophical devotion were
instrumental in bringing it to birth in the City of Los Angeles, California,
U.S.A., in 1909.
Other Lodges have been formed from time to time in other cities, all taking
the Declaration of the parent Lodge, and all in fraternal affiliation with
it and with each other.
Each United Lodge is wholly autonomous. This is specially for two reasons:
(a) To do away with any and every vestige of authority in matters which are,
in their very nature, purely spiritual, moral and intellectual; (b) to put
each Associate and each Lodge (or body of Associates) on their own
responsibility under the Declaration and the Pledge of Associates.
"Theosophists is, who Theosophy does," and no amount of official supervision
or procedure, or any loftiness of professions, can do away with Nature's
One is an Associate to the extent that he embodies Theosophy; a Lodge is
United to the extent that it is true to the Declaration.
UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS
The policy of this Lodge is independent devotion to the cause of Theosophy,
without professing attachment to any Theosophical organization. It is loyal
to the great Founders of the Theosophical Movement, but does not concern
itself with dissensions or differences of individual opinion.
The work it has on hand and the end it keeps in view are too absorbing and
too lofty to leave it the time or inclination to take part in side issues.
That work and that end is the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles of
the Philosophy of Theosophy, and the exemplification in practice of those
principles, through a truer realization of the SELF; a profounder conviction
of Universal Brotherhood.
It holds that the unassailable basis for union among Theosophists, wherever
and however situated, is "similarity of aim, purpose and teaching," and
therefore has neither Constitution, By-Laws nor Officers, the sole bond
between its Associates being that basis. And it aims to disseminate this
idea among Theosophists in the furtherance of Unity.
It regards as Theosophists all who are engaged in the true service of
Humanity, without distinction of race, creed, sex, condition or
It welcomes to its Association all those who are in accord with its declared
purposes and who desire to fit themselves, by study and otherwise, to be the
better able to help and teach others.
"The true Theosophist belongs to no cult or sect, yet belongs to each and
The following is the form signed by Associates of the United Lodge
Being in sympathy with the purposes of this Lodge, as set forth in its
I hereby record my desire to be enrolled as an Associate, it being
that such association calls for no obligation on my part, other than that
which 1, myself, determine.
THE UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS ITS MISSION AND FUTURE
Extracts from FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER IN THE BEGINNING ( ? )
PRELIMINARY WORDS FROM R C (from FRIENDLY PHILOSOPHER pp. 409-411 )
Current Monthly Program and Periodical
UNITED LODGE OF THEOSOPHISTS DECLARATION & Associate Card
CATALOG of PUBLICATIONS
[Hard bound are priced]
[ E-mail versions available free ] www.ULT.org ;
THEOSOPHY magazine [ Los Angeles ]
THE THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT [ Bombay ]
The founders, after many years in study and contemplation of various
versions of theosophical writings, writers, organisations and
history, thought that these and other "original", unaltered works of
Madame Blavatsky, together with "The Mahatma Letters to A.P.
Sinnett", to be the most authentic and credible collective
representation of the Ancient Wisdom available to date.
It was also understood that the writers and inspirers of
these "original" works never intended them to be ends in themselves,
nor for them to be authoritative to the exclusion of free thought, as
did some later writers. It seems these works were the basis of newly
released information, coordinated in such a manner as to assist
humanity towards an altogether new way of thinking. Not simply in
terms of additional technical information but more in the form of a
new structure and process.
Perhaps the inestimable value of the "original" Theosophy of Madame
Blavatsky and the Mahatmas lies not only in the profound concepts
they elucidate, which can be "lifetimes changing" in themselves, but
in the manner in which their written form and structure can lead to
dramatically different ways of mind processing.
This free and "holistic" form of thinking is now more vital than ever
in our modern age where competition, singular authority and other
expressions of the separative mindset are so apparent.
With kind regards
THE PAST AND THE PRESENT FORESHADOW THE FUTURE
The present centennial as the new cycle, will represent for many a promise,
a hope for the future of our Earth and ourselves, and also, that the errors
of the past will not repeat themselves.
In 1878 the earliest record of the objects of the THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY was
made in a circular
titled THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY [Its Origin, Plan and Aims]
" The objects of the Society are various. It influences its fellows to
acquire an intimate knowledge of natural law, especially its occult
manifestations. As the highest development, physically and spiritually, on
earth, of the Creative Cause, man should aim to solve the mystery of his
being...study to develop his latent powers...to personally exemplify the
highest morality and religious aspiration, to oppose the materialism of
science, and every form of dogmatic theology, especially the Christian...to
among Western nations the long-suppressed facts about Oriental religious
philosophies, their ethics, chronology, esotericism, symbolism...to
disseminate a knowledge of the sublime teachings of that pure esoteric
system of the archaic period, which are mirrored in the oldest Vedas, and in
the philosophy of Gautama Buddha, Zoroaster and Confucius; finally and
chiefly, to aid in the institution of a Brotherhood of Humanity, wherein all
good and pure men, of every race, shall recognize each other as the equal
effects (upon this planet) of one Uncreate, Universal, Infinite, and
Blavatsky: COLLECTED WORKS (T P H ) Vol. !, pp. 375-8]
The character of the present and coming cycle is twofold: the striving of
the spiritual aspirations of the age and the Karmic of being haunted by the
errors of our past, and thus the possibility of repeating our habitual
patterns of thought. History indicates that we are inclined to repeat our
In an effort to counter these mental patterns, students of Theosophy attempt
to apply the direction given by H.P.B. in THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY ( p. 228):
"...the main, fundamental object ... is to sow germs in the hearts of men,
which may in time sprout, and under more propitious circumstances lead to a
healthy reform, conducive of more happiness to the masses than they have
hitherto enjoyed. "
We do know that individually, any one can bring these propitious
circumstances into focus for themselves. Additionally we know that
spreading the ideals of Theosophy is the process for sowing seed ideas.
These relate to the nature of man's Spirit/Soul immortality, and that one
essential fact, removes the dread of death, and gives a practical
philosophical basis by which to apply the ideas of karma (the Law of the
Universe and of ourselves) and reincarnation in an intelligent manner. These
ideas we share again with each other, as brothers and sisters do, jointly
adventuring on the great Path to Sublime Perfection that all, as Eternal
So did H P B envisage the impact that Theosophy would have on the dedicated,
the studious and the thoughtful, as well as humanity to come. We find that
she wrote pointedly on this in her fourth message to the American
Theosophists assembled in 1891 in the Boston Convention:
"Theosophy first, and Theosophy last: for its practical realization alone
can save the Western world ... from sinking entirely into that mere
luxurious materialism in which it will decay and putrefy as civilizations
have done. In yours hands, brothers, is placed in trust the welfare of the
"It is time Theosophy should enter the arena,." wrote the Great Master in a
letter in 1881 "For our doctrines to practically react on the so-called
moral code, or the ideas of truthfulness, purity, self-denial, charity,
etc., we have to preach and popularize a knowledge of Theosophy."
[THEOSOPHICAL ARTICLES AND NOTES, p. 189.]
And we find Mr. Judge saying elsewhere:
"High scholarship and a knowledge of metaphysics are good things to have,
but the mass of the people are neither scholars nor metaphysicians. If our
doctrines are of any such use as to command the efforts of Sages in helping
on to their promulgation, then it must be that those Sages - our Masters -
desire the doctrines to be placed before as many of the mass as we can
There is no substitute for enthusiasm. In this effort, Mr. Judge exemplified
this in everything he did. Once one recognizes the value of Theosophical
Ideas as they affect every level of human life - physical, mental, moral and
spiritual - enthusiasm to share with others is spontaneous, as shown by the
ongoing efforts of students to publish and study the original writings of H.
P. Blavatsky and William Q. Judge.
This is the work of today as opportunities present themselves. In spite of
the clangor and din of our present civilization, we live in a time when it
is possible to openly proclaim the existence of Theosophy - the
Wisdom-Religion. This has not always been the case, as history shows. We
need not be reticent in publicly stating Theosophical ideas, as they throw
light on the problems and issues facing the human family - birth, death and
dying, education, famine, human rights, justice, religious freedom, social
conflict and war. H.P.B. provided the key to transforming the "mind of the
race" in our era when she said "Learn well the doctrines of Karma and
Reincarnation ... "
In The Secret Doctrine, Vol II, p. 179 Mme. Blavatsky refers to certain
dates which She calls the "birthdays of the Dhyanis." The T S was
inaugurated on one of these: November 17th in 1875.
Several days in each year mark the cyclic return of the impressions of the
day on which, far, far back, early beginnings were made in this Manvantara.
The 17th of November, midnight between the 18th and 19th of February, and
the 7th day of March are three of these she called the "birthdays" of the
Dhyanis. And, in this connection, we may recall a verse in The Voice of the
Silence, p. 72,
"Know if Amitabha, the "Boundless Age," thou would'st become
co-worker, then must thou shed the light acquired, like to the Bodhisattvas
twain, upon the span of all three worlds."
Does this statement give a clue as to why the three "birthdays" are referred
to: these may be those of "Amitabha," and the two "Bodhisattvas." It is
said that two of the Masters saw that it was possible to make an effort to
re-establish the Theosophical Movement in the world.
We are indebted to them and to HPB who agreed to act as their "Messenger."
They also refer to their superior, the Maha-Chohan before whom they stand in
awe and to whose wishes they accede. Before him, they say in one place, the
"book of Karma" stands open. [see also S D I 207-8]
The Dhyanis, the Wise, the "Great Souls," are the Rishis, the Buddhas and
the Mahatmas of antiquity, and of the present. Being immortals They cannot
have a "birthday" in the ordinary sense, since it is posited that all
beings, in their essence, and we, ourselves, as immortals, are faced with
the same quandary. Do we have a birthday? The answer is both "yes," and
"no." "Yes," for this period of manifestation on our Earth. "No," for the
"Eternal Pilgrim" that we are essentially. (SD I 175 268, and 570-575; II
79-80 93-4 103 109-10 167.)
It could be surmised that the "Ray of the One Spirit" which is the human
MONAD (Atma-Buddhi) would have its special "birthday" in the sequence of
Cosmic development in the dim and formative past of the earlier Rounds.
So, neither They--who are alive, nor we, can have a "birthday" in the
eternal sense--only in the temporal sense when a "personality" is used for
expression on this material plane, and, as a gift of service to those who
need that help. Our Karma is focused in every such event.
Other dates are mentioned in Theosophical literature besides the reference
to the "Birthdays of the Dhyanis" (p. 179 of SD II) and on S D I, p. 470,
we have a reference to the mysterious "birthday of the World," which later
on, in one of her articles HPB, identifies with the 4th of January, 14 days
after the Winter equinox--the "birthday" of the Sun. (HPB Articles, Vol.
II, p. 502.)
Midnight between February 17th and 18th is said by HPB to mark the
commencement of the Kali Yuga, in the year 3,102 B.C. (SD II 435), and
earlier in the book she identified this date right down to the second (SD I
662). It is the one date which could probably serve as a basis for true
astrological calculations in this the Kali Yuga age. Many of the dates and
astrological observations used and preserved by the Hindu Brahmins may
belong to that earlier era. [ see SD II 47-49 ]
HPB states in the Secret Doctrine that the Sun in its vast orbit is dragging
the whole system, our Earth included, into new and different spatial
conditions, where there are changes to be anticipated in the properties and
nature of the material elements. One might suppose that only the Mahatmas,
who are fully "awake" know and perceive those differences. Does this
foreshadow a change? Is she warning us that the records of the past may not
always give us the exact conditions physically that we are now experiencing
or are going to experience ?
One may wonder if under Karma, this is the reason why the ancient libraries
of Babylon, Egypt, etc. have been "destroyed" insofar as the general public
and scholars are concerned, (or the important MSS withdrawn), so that any
confusion of times and dates would be removed from the eyes of the merely
curious, and the fevered imagination of those who would profit and mislead
people if they used those figures.
In Isis Unveiled and the Secret Doctrine HPB has given hints from history on
the antiquity of the records seen by historians in Egypt (Herodotus,
Josephus), and in Babylon and Ur (Aristotle, Berosus). These go back almost
50,000 to 200,000 years or more. Those dates are still held to be
incredible by modern archaeologists and paleontologists. Herodotus was
dubbed (until recently) "The Father of Lies." Aristotle (Alexander's tutor,
who accompanied him on his march of conquest to the East) held discussions
with the ancient Sage Berosus in Babylon and Chaldea -- but, those are not
given much publicity.
In the Ocean of Theosophy, p. 131, Mr. Judge defines the use of the word
Dhyanis (also spelled Dzyanis, Gnyanis, Gnanis, Dzu, etc.) calling them
"creators, guides, Great Spirits." One may surmise that these special days,
"birthdays," "festivals," etc...are used by the wise at the junction of
specific solar and lunar (perhaps also planetary) cycles for the edification
(and the reinforcing) in the masses of their sensitivity to reverberations
of ancient and innate truths. Perhaps as a result of their attending such
ceremonies (those conducted by the Mahatmas who were those actual historical
personages !) -- the minds and hearts of the masses being touched by that
influence, if ready, may then in part, awake from their lethargy, and start
seeking for the "Wisdom."
Perhaps the dates of other "birthdays," which may be scattered through the
rest of the months of the year, relate to those Dhyanis who are the Regents
of, and directors of other great and Universal Principles. It may be useful
to consider that in us our three-fold spiritual nature consists of Mind
(manas--the power to think), Wisdom (Buddhi--accumulated experience over
thousands and millions of years ), and Spirit (Atman--the "ray" of the
Spiritual Self of Universal Perception). These form the Spiritual Man, the
"Three-in-One" the "Triune Monad." It is reasonable to conclude that the
three Dhyanis whose birthdays we are given, represent the "regents" of those
faculties on the spiritual planes of Universal as well as mundial being.
We may also consider our own birthday: is it only a date of birth for the
body, then, what about another for the birth of the astral body, the mind,
and another for the initiation of the Lower Manas of the personality into
the knowledge and wisdom of the individuality its symbiotic "Father?" [ see
Transactions pp. 66-76 ] The "birthday" usually is a memory date for the
cycle that we (the MONAD) initiated in this present incarnation in this
particular (physical) body when we emerged from our Mother's womb. The
other birthdays (such as the date of conception, spiritual, mental and
physical) are secret ones, and known only to our Higher Self, the Real
MONADIC Ego within.
The Seven "Rays"
It is said that all humans belong (in essential consciousness) to one or
another of the seven great "Rays" (corresponding to the universal and human
"principles") which constitute differentiations within the great Monadic
Host. Which of these seven do we belong to as a Monad, (Higher Self) and is
this not a matter for self-discovery ? But, looking back, each division of
this septenary "Host" must have had each their "birthday" in this sphere of
manifestation as a "Host." That is still another cyclic beginning, most
difficult to define. ( S D I 570 -573 )
Since the Dhyanis (see Transaction, p. 23-24) have as their responsibility
of guiding under Law, the forces that shape evolution in this World, their
first appearance at the beginning of a new Manvantara, as a center of Energy
and Force on the spiritual Globes and at a definite time in the earlier
"Rounds," would have a specific time set for each by the great Cycle of
Necessity (KARMA), that has caused the beginning of the whole period and
assembled every one of the many "aggregates" or "skandhas" -- with which we
Every one of us, as Monads, belong to the entourage of one or another, or
some combination, of these Great Beings who guide the World in its progress.
And this is not to establish any exclusivity, since we are also within the
area of influence of all the other Great Beings and of the Seven, whether in
or out of manifestation, but some one pair of these are our "parents"
spiritually. [ see SD I 325-358 ]
Symbolically these Seven Great Beings have been represented as "rays" from
the Central Spiritual Sun, [Sri Krishna personifies This, when he states in
the Bhagavad Gita: "I am the EGO seated in the Heart of all beings." p. 73
], which gives light and life to the Universe, as well as to all individual
parts of it.
It is reasonable to suppose that the Adepts know these events as facts, and
in their writings we find evidence that certain dates are respected by them
for this reason. This memory is kept alive by Them for the benefit of the
masses, and it seems reasonable, as They indicate in their letters to Mr.
Sinnett, that because of necessity, they participate in such ceremonies. At
such times, Their presence serves to reinforce the original impulse, and
cause among the "masses" some to awaken when the brain-mind realizes that a
"Path" to perfection exists for it.
Power of Vibration and Sound
The Secret Doctrine states a specific vibration or resonance is set up when
Manvantara begins, in the world of effects called the material (HPB Articles
II, p. 297, 417). This may serve to pierce through the veil of the
materialism of the embodied, lower, the kama-manasic brain-mind, to give
access to the thought realm of analogy and correspondence which alone
provides entrance to the immovable, central field of force which is the
MONADIC core (Atma-Buddhi)in ourselves, and which every "Pilgrim," as an
eternal, but presently "manifested being," whether atom, man or star shares
in. It is the concept of universality on the Spiritual plane carried to its
logical conclusion on our physical plane.
It would be futile for us, without direct reference to Them, to determine
which calendar they use or refer to. No doubt, in the Senzar these cycles
are recorded quite differently, as to base, from ours. And in the ancient
systems of calendar dating and recording: Hindu, Chinese, Zoroastrian,
Egyptian, Mayan, Jewish, etc... we see the remnants of those ancient
systems--and, whatever the form, the mathematical base could be a universal
"Creation and Manvantara"
In publishing The Secret Doctrine, HPB corrects the date used by the "Arya
Magazine," and, she gives on SD II p.68 the occult date for the beginning of
cosmic evolution up to the year 1887. This is 1,995,884,687 years. On page
69 she indicates that the beginning of the human period, the Vaivasvata
Manvantara up to 1887 is 18,618,728 years. This is when Manas was "lit up"
in mankind. On SD II p. 70, she indicates that a Kalpa (a "day" of Brahma)
is a period of 4 billion, 320 million years (4,320,000,000). This was also
made clear earlier in the pages of The Theosophist. The Maha-Kalpa or "Life
of Brahma" is said to be 311 Trillion, 40 billion years
(311,040,000,000,000). [All these factors seem to be based on the 60 x 60 =
3,600 cycle -- see Isis I, p. 30 fn.]
The events They recorded and the "creations" initiated by the Great Dhyanis,
for which the Adepts hold a veneration, are apparently those which continue
to focus certain occult and potent forces in the world and on mankind. We
are not aware of these, and we have not developed the means of gauging them
The Dhyanis, the Adepts, the Mahatmas, with their far ranging wisdom
have recognized this, and for those reasons they caused HPB to record those
dates for us, to learn to use, if we can grasp their significance. Our age
of materialism has prevented us from sensing those subtle influences around
us. If we are wise, we will seek to open our consciousness to the spiritual
afflatus that permeates the world, and which
At the time of HPB's writing, knowledge about the Tibetan calendars and the
records of India and China was limited. More material has been brought to
light since then, but if interpreted now they need an HPB, a WQJ or a
Damodar to secure accuracy within the framework of the Perennial Philosophy.
On S D II p. 78-80, HPB refers to the spiritual Agnishwatta Pitris [also
named the Solar Pitris] who are devoid of the grosser creative fire, and are
unable to create physical man because they have no double (astral), and are
formless. This function was the natural duty of another host of beings.
I suggest a careful reading of Mr. Judge's The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY to secure
a panoramic view of THEOSOPHY and the main content of the SECRET DOCTRINE .
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