Aug 08, 2007 03:52 AM
This is other gift of that book
Also I have found unpublished letter of her on line
I think the TUP gives all.
The foundation gives the book not to be downloaded for me.
I am of interst to see things she did in Tibet.
I have several books , so i am looking for special material.
Esoteric Axioms And Spiritual Speculations
In a lengthy review of A. Lillie's book, Buddha and Early
Buddhism, by M. A. (Oxon), our esteemed friend, the critic, takes
the opportunity for another quiet little fling at his well-wishers,
the Theosophists. On the authority (?) of Mr. Lillie, who seems to
know all about it, the reviewer contradicts and exposes the
assertions made and theories enunciated by the Theosophists. We will
now quote from his review "Buddhism and Western Thought," published
in the October number of the Psychological Review:
"It will be evident to any reader, who has followed me so far,
that the Buddhist belief is permeated by what I have described as a
distinctive, 'a peculiar note of Modern Spiritualism ? the presence
and guardianship of departed spirits'(!?)1 I confess that this
struck me with some surprise, and, I may say, pleased surprise, for
I had come to think that there was a marked antagonism between
Eastern and Western modes of thought and belief on this point. We
have heard much in disparagement of this special article of faith
from some friends who have told us a great deal about the
theosophical beliefs of the Hindus and who have chanted the praises
of the Buddhistic as against the Christian faith with vehement
laudation of the one and with abundant scorn of the other. . . . But
be this as it may, we have been told so often, that we have come to
accept it as a lesson from those who know better than ourselves,
that our Western belief in the action of departed human spirits in
this world of ours is a crazy fallacy. We have believed at least
that such was the Eastern creed. For ourselves, we (some of us at
least) prefer our own experience to the instructions of any whose
dogmatic statements are so sweeping as those with which we are met
from Eastern experts. The statements and claims made have seemed to
us altogether too vast. It may be, we are driven to think, that
departed spirits do not operate in the East, but at any rate we find
that they do act in the West. And while we are far from declining to
recognize the truth that pervades much of the Spiritualism of the
East, and have tried our best to induce our friends to widen their
view by adopting it in some degree, we have been sad to think that
it should so absolutely contradict the experience of the West.
"Mr. Lillie affords me some consolation. I find throughout his
book not only most instructive variety of opinion, which I can
correlate with my own beliefs and theories to benefit and advantage,
but I find that the belief in the intervention of departed human
spirits, which we had all of us imagined to be anathema maranatha in
the East is, in effect, a permeating principle of Buddhism in his
estimation!" ? (Part II, p. 174.)
The writer, after that, proceeds to speak of "Buddhistic
Spiritualism" . . . a "root-principle" of which is "a belief that
the living may be brought en rapport with their departed friends";
of adepts being "highly developed mediums"; and quotes an
interesting clause from a chapter of Mr. Lillie's book. Says the
"I have dwelt at length on this supernaturalism, because it is
of the highest importance to our theme. Buddhism was plainly an
elaborate apparatus to nullify the action of evil spirits by the aid
of good spirits operating at their highest potentiality through the
instrumentality of the corpse or a portion of the corpse of the
chief aiding spirit. The Buddhist temple, the Buddhist rites, the
Buddhist liturgy, all seem based on this one idea that a whole or
portions of a dead body was necessary. What were these assisting
spirits? Every Buddhist, ancient or modern, would admit at once that
a spirit that has not yet attained the Bodily or Spiritual
awakenment cannot be a good spirit. It is still in the domains of
Kama (death, appetite).2 It can do no good thing; more than that, it
must do evil things. . . . The answer of Northern Buddhism, if we
consult such books as the 'White Lotus of Dharma' and the 'Lalita
Vistara,' is that the good spirits are the Buddhas, the dead
prophets. They come from the 'fields of the Buddhas' to commune with
For all this M. A. (Oxon) rejoices, as he thinks it corroborates
the Spiritual theories and is calculated to confound the
Theosophists. We, however, are afraid that it will confound, in the
end, but Mr. Lillie. "The life of Buddha is permeated," says the
reviewer, "with what seems to me uncompromising
Spiritualism . . . "; and in triumph adds: "It is a significant fact
that throughout this elucidation of Buddhistic Spiritualism we have
not once come upon an Elemental or Elementary Spirit."
No wonder since they have in Buddhistic and Brahmanical
Esotericism their own special and technical names whose
significance, Mr. Lillie ? if he understood their meaning as
correctly as he did the word Kama ? was just the person to overlook,
or include in the generic name of "Spirits." We will not try to
personally argue out the vexed question with our friend, M. A.
(Oxon), as our voice might have no more authority with him than Mr.
Lillie's has with us. But we will tell him what we have done. As
soon as his able review reached us, we marked it throughout, and
sent both the numbers of the magazine containing it, to be, in their
turn, reviewed and corrected by two authorities. We have the
weakness to believe that these Specialists in the matter of esoteric
Buddhism may be regarded as far greater than Mr. Lillie or any other
European authority is likely to ever be; for these two are: ? (1) H.
Sumangala Unnanse, Buddhist High Priest of Adam's Peak, Ceylon, the
teacher of Mr. Rhys Davids, a member of our General Council and the
most learned expounder of Southern Buddhism; and (2) the Chohan-Lama
of Rinch-cha-tze (Tibet) the Chief of the Archive-registrars of the
secret Libraries of the Dalai and Ta-shii-hlumpo-Lamas-Rim-boche, ?
also a member of our Society. The latter, moreover, is a "Pan-
chhen," or great teacher, one of the most learned theologians of
Northern Buddhism and esoteric Lamaism. From the latter we have
already received the promise of showing how very erroneous are, in
every case, the views of both, the author and his reviewer, the
message being accompanied by a few remarks to the address of the
former which would have hardly flattered his vanity as an author.
The High Priest Sumangala, we hope, will give his ideas
upon "Buddhistic Spiritualism" as well, as soon as he finds leisure ?
no easy matter, by the way, considering his engagements. If the
authority and learning of Mr. Lillie, after that, will still be
placed higher than that of the two most learned Buddhist expounders
of Southern and Northern Buddhism of our day, then we will have
nothing more to say.
Meanwhile, none will deny that esoteric Buddhism and Brahmanism
are one for the former is derived from the latter. It well-known,
the most important feature of reform, perhaps, was that Buddha made
adeptship or enlightenment (through the dhyâna practices of Iddhi)
open to all, whereas the Brahmans had been jealously excluding all
men without the pale of their own haughty caste from this privilege
of learning the perfect truth. Therefore, in the present connection
we will give the ideas of a learned Brahman upon Spiritualism as
viewed from the esoteric stand-point. The author of the article
which follows, than whom, no layman, perhaps, in India is better
versed in the Brahmanical Occult Sciences3 outside the inner
conclave of the adepts ? reviews in it the seven-fold principle in
man, as given in Fragments of Occult Truth, and establishes for that
purpose an exhaustive comparison between the two esoteric doctrines ?
the Brahmanical and Buddhistic ? which he considers "substantially
identical." His letter was written at our personal request, with no
view to polemics, the writer himself being probably very far from
the thought while answering it that it would ever be published.
Having obtained his permission, however, to that effect, we now
gladly avail ourselves of the opportunity. Besides being the best
review we are likely to ever obtain upon so abstruse a subject, it
will show M. A. (Oxon), and our other friends, the Spiritualists,
how far such authors as Mr. Lillie have seized the "root-principle"
of the Asiatic religions and philosophy. At all events the readers
will be enabled to judge, how much modern Spiritualism, as now
expounded, is "a permeating principle" of Brahmanism, the elder
sister of Buddhism.
Theosophist January, 1882
H. P. Blavatsky
1 The italics and points of exclamation are ours. We would like to
know what the learned priests of Ceylon, the lights of Buddhism,
such as Sumangala Unnanse, would have to say to this? ? Ed.
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2 We have not read Mr. Lillie's book: but if he teaches in it many
other things no truer than his idea that Kama means "Death" his
authority is likely to prove of a most fragile kind Kama never meant
death, but lust, desire; in this sense ? a passionate desire to live
again. ? Ed.
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3 See article [by Subba Row] "The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac" by the
same author in the November number of the Theosophist. ? ED.
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