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HPB writings

Aug 08, 2007 03:52 AM
by christinaleestemaker
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Also I have found unpublished letter of her on line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 
last-named authority:

    "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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