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definitions of the Kumaras

Jul 16, 2007 06:24 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

Following is what is said about the Kumaras from the Encyclopedic
Theosophical Glossary (mostly prepared under G. de Purucker's direction
during his lifetime) and then by his Occult Glossary.


>From The Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary,

Kumara (Sanskrit) [from ku with difficulty + mara mortal] Mortal with
difficulty; often used for child or youth, but philosophically pure
spiritual beings, unself-conscious god-sparks uninvolved with matter who,
destined by evolution to pass through the realms of matter, become mortal,
i.e., material, only with difficulty because of their lofty spirituality.
They are the classes of arupa or solar pitris, along with the agnishvattas
and manasaputras. Of all the seven great divisions of dhyani-chohans, there
is none with which humanity is more concerned than with the kumaras, the
mind-born sons of Brahma-Rudra or Siva, the inveterate destroyer of human
passions: "it is they who, by incarnating themselves within the senseless
human shells of the two first Root-races, and a great portion of the Third
Root-race -- create, so to speak, a new race: that of thinking,
self-conscious and divine men" (SD 1:456-7). In the Puranas their number
varies, given as seven, four, and five. They are often called the Four,
because Sanaka, Sanada, Sanatana, and Sanat-Kumara are the names of four
important groups of kumaras as they spring from the fourfold mystery. The
three secret names of the seven are variously given: Sana, Sanat-Sujata, and
Kapila; or Kapila, Ribhu, and Panchasikha; or Jata, Vodhu, and Panchasikha,
all of which are but aliases. The patronymic name of the kumaras is
Vaidhatra [from vidhatri a title of Brahma as creator of the universe]. 

These kumaras are sometimes also called rudras, adityas, gandharvas, asuras,
maruts, and vedhas. The seven kumaras -- both as groups and as aggregated
individuals -- are intimately connected with the dhyani-buddhas who watch
over the seven rounds of our planetary chain. The four groups of kumaras
generally spoken of are connected equally intimately with the four celestial
bodhisattvas of the four globes of our round, and by correspondence with the
four completed root-races of our earth. They are identical with the angels
of the seven planets, and their name shows their connection with the
constellation Makara or Capricorn. Makara is connected with the birth of the
spiritual microcosm, and the death or dissolution of the physical universe
(its passage into the realm of the spiritual) as are the kumaras. Mara is
the god of darkness, the Fallen one, and death, i.e., death of every
physical thing; but through the karmic lessons learned also the quickener of
the birth of the spiritual. The kumaras are connected also with the sage
Narada. An allegory in the Puranas says that the kumaras, the first progeny
of Brahma, were without desire or passion, inspired with the holy wisdom,
and undesirous of progeny. They refused to create, but were compelled later
on to complete divine man by incarnating in him. The barhishads or lunar
pitris formed the "senseless" astral-physical humanity of the early
root-races. Those beings possessing the living spiritual fire were the
agnishvattas or solar pitris. The sons of Brahma, the kumaras, being
originally themselves unconscious (in our sense) could be of no use in
supplying the mental and kamic principles, as they did not possess them:
they had attained no individual karmic elevation in merit of their own as
had the agnishvattas. The perfection of the kumaras was passive and negative
(nirguna). The kumaras eventually "sacrifice" themselves by incarnating in
mankind, thus corresponding to the manasaputras and fallen angels cast into
hell (material spheres, our earth). 



And from Occult Glossary,


(Sanskrit) A compound of two words: agni, "fire"; shvatta, "tasted" or
"sweetened," from svad, verb-root meaning "to taste" or "to sweeten."
Therefore, literally one who has been delighted or sweetened by fire. A
class of pitris: our solar ancestors as contrasted with the barhishads, our
lunar ancestors. 

The kumaras, agnishvattas, and manasaputras are three groups or aspects of
the same beings: the kumaras represent the aspect of original spiritual
purity untouched by gross elements of matter. The agnishvattas represent the
aspect of their connection with the sun or solar spiritual fire. Having
tasted or been "sweetened" by the spiritual fire -- the fire of
intellectuality and spirituality -- they have been purified thereby. The
manasaputras represent the aspect of intellectuality -- the functions of
higher intellect. 

The agnishvattas and manasaputras are two names for the same class or host
of beings, and set forth or signify or represent two different aspects or
activities of this one class of beings. Thus, for instance, a man may be
said to be a kumara in his spiritual parts, an agnishvatta in his
buddhic-manasic parts, and a manasaputra in his purely manasic aspect. Other
beings could be called kumaras in their highest aspects, as for instance the
beasts, but they are not imbodied agnishvattas or manasaputras. 

The agnishvattas are the solar spiritual-intellectual parts of us, and
therefore are our inner teachers. In preceding manvantaras, they had
completed their evolution in the realms of physical matter, and when the
evolution of lower beings had brought these latter to the proper state, the
agnishvattas came to the rescue of these who had only the physical "creative
fire," thus inspiring and enlightening these lower lunar pitris with
spiritual and intellectual energies or "fires." 

When this earth's planetary chain shall have reached the end of its seventh
round, we, as then having completed the evolutionary course for this
planetary chain, will leave this planetary chain as dhyan-chohans,
agnishvattas; but the others now trailing along behind us -- the present
beasts -- will be the lunar pitris of the next planetary chain to come. 

While it is correct to say that these three names appertain to the same
class of beings, nevertheless each name has its own significance in the
occult teaching, which is why the three names are used with three distinct
meanings. Imagine an unconscious god-spark beginning its evolution in any
one solar or maha-manvantara. We may call it a kumara, a being of original
spiritual purity, but with a destiny through karmic evolution connected with
the realms of matter. 

At the other end of the line, at the consummation of the evolution in this
maha-manvantara, when the evolving entity has become a fully self-conscious
god or divinity, its proper appellation then is agnishvatta, for it has been
"sweetened" or purified by means of the working through it of the spiritual
fires inherent in itself. 

Now then, when such an agnishvatta assumes the role of a bringer of mind or
of intellectual light to a lunar pitri which it overshadows and in which a
ray from it incarnates, it then, although in its own realm an agnishvatta,
functions as a manasaputra or child of mind or mahat. A brief analysis of
the compound elements of these three names may be useful. 

Kumara is from ku meaning "with difficulty" and mara meaning "mortal." The
significance of the word therefore can be paraphrased as "mortal with
difficulty," and the meaning usually given to it by Sanskrit scholars as
"easily dying" is wholly exoteric and amusing, and doubtless arose from the
fact that kumara is a word frequently used for child or boy, everybody
knowing that young children "die easily." The idea therefore is that purely
spiritual beings, although ultimately destined by evolution to pass through
the realms of matter, become mortal, i.e., material, only with difficulty. 

Agnishvatta has the meaning stated above, "delighted" or "pleased" or
"sweetened," i.e., "purified" by fire -- which we may render in two ways:
either as the fire of suffering and pain in material existence producing
great fiber and strength of character, i.e., spirituality; or, perhaps still
better from the standpoint of occultism, as signifying an entity or entities
who have become one in essence through evolution with the aethery fire of

Manasaputra is a compound of two words: manasa, "mental" or "intellectual,"
from the word manas, "mind," and putra, "son" or "child," therefore a child
of the cosmic mind -- a "mind-born son" as H. P. Blavatsky phrases it. (See
also Pitris <> ,
Lunar <>




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