Think What Was Accomplished in "Esoteric Buddhism"....
Aug 14, 2007 09:59 AM
Think What Was Accomplished in "Esoteric Buddhism"....
Take the first edition of Sinnett's "Esoteric Buddhism" which was
published in 1883...
This edition has ONLY 215 pages....
Yet in those 215 pages covering 12 chapters, Mr. Sinnett was able to
give the reader what amounts to a marvellous OVERVIEW or what I
sometimes call a BIRDEYE'S VIEW of the basic teachings of Theosophy.
A fairly concise survey in only 215 pages...not bad!!
Again I give BELOW the Table of Contents for readers to peruse...
As far as I can tell, none of H.P.B.'s works -- considered
individually -- deals with as many subjects and gives such a
birdeye's survey in only 215 pages!
Plus Esoteric Buddhism also gives alot of extracts from the Mahatma
Plus it seems to me that H.P.B. in her various works BUILDS upon the
foundation that was laid by Sinnett in ESOTERIC BUDDHISM. Many
examples could be given here but I give just one.
One of Sinnett's chapters deals with the "Buddha" (See table of
contents BELOW) and in Volume III (1897) in THE SECRET DOCTRINE,
H.P.B. writes a series of essays EXPANDING and ELUCIDATING on what
was given in Sinnett's book.
And a considerable amount of material in THE SECRET DOCTRINE (1888)
is built upon the foundation of what was written in ESOTERIC
BUDDHISM. For example, on the evolution involving the various rounds
and races, etc.
I am only suggesting that Sinnett's book --- because it gives such a
good OVERVIEW of the basic Theosophical teachings --- can serve as an
introduction, gateway or stepping stone to H.P.B.'s books.
In classes I have used Sinnett's book as the basic book and then
provided members with photocopies of selected material from a variety
of HPB's various works [ISIS UNVEILED, SECRET DOCTRINE, ESOTERIC
INSTRUCTIONS, KEY TO THEOSOPHY, etc.] as well as photocopies of
extracts from THE MAHATMA LETTERS.
Such a class and study helps to show the importance not only of
Sinnett's book but the great value of all of HPB's works.
Also it has to be admitted that many readers find at least some of
HPB's writings difficult reading.
For example, I know of persons who have tried to read ISIS UNVEILED
at the very beginning of their Theosophical studies and have been
discouraged and simply quit and left Theosophy.
The same with THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
Of course, THE KEY TO THEOSOPHY is a much better introduction but
unfortunately this text doesn't cover the whole system of Theosophy.
That is why ESOTERIC BUDDHISM is so helpful. It gives a basic
structure and outline and once the reader has that overview then one
can tackle much of HPB's other writings and have a greater
appreciation and understanding of what HPB writes and teaches.
I hope that this posting conveys some of my reasoning and
understanding as to why I think so highly of Sinnett's book.
Blavatsky Study Center
Table of Contents for A.P. Sinnett's ESOTERIC BUDDHISM
CHAPTER I - Esoteric Teachers
Nature of the Present Exposition - Seclusion of Eastern Knowledge -
The Arhats and their Attributes - The Mahatmas - Occultists
generally - Isolated Mystics - Inferior Yogis - Occult Training - The
Great Purpose -Its Incidental Consequences - Present Concessions
CHAPTER II - The Constitution of Man
Esoteric Cosmogony - Where to Begin - Working back from Man to
Universe - Analysis of Man - The Seven Principles
CHAPTER III -The Planetary Chain
Esoteric Views of Evolution - The Chain of Globes - Progress of Man
round them - The Spiral Advance - Original Evolution of the Globes -
The Lower Kingdoms
CHAPTER IV -The World Periods
Uniformity of Nature- Rounds and Races - The Septenary Law -
Objective and Subjective Lives - Total Incarnations - Former Races on
Earth - Periodic Cataclysms - Atlantis - Lemuria - The Cyclic Law
CHAPTER V - Devachan
Spiritual Destinies of the Ego - Karma - Division of the Principles
of Death - Progress of the Higher Duad - Existence in Devachan -
Subjective Progress - Avitchi - Earthly Connection with Devachan -
CHAPTER VI - Kama Loca
The Astral Shell - Its Habitat - Its Nature - Surviving Impulses -
Elementals - Mediums and Shells - Accidents and Suicides - Lost
CHAPTER VII - The Human Tide-Wave
Progress of the Main Wave - Obscurations - Twilight and Dawn of
Evolution - Our Neighbouring Planets - Gradations of Spirituality -
Prematurely Developed Egos - Intervals of Re-Incarnation
CHAPTER VIII - The Progress of Humanity
The Choice of Good or Evil - The Second Half of Evolution - The
Decisive Turning-point - Spirituality and Intellect - The Survival of
the Fittest - The Sixth Sense - Development of the Principles in
their Order - The Subsidence of the Unfit - Provision for All - The
Exceptional Cases - Their Scientific Explanation - Justice Satisfied -
The Destiny of Failures - Human Evolution Reviewed
CHAPTER IX -Buddha
The Esoteric Buddha - Re-Incarnations of Adepts - Buddha's
Incarnation - The Seven Buddhas of the Great Races - Avalokiteshwara -
Addi Buddha - Adeptship in Buddha's Time - Sankaracharya - Vedantin
Doctrines - Tsong-ka-pa - Occult Reforms in Tibet
CHAPTER X - Nirvana
Its Remoteness - Preceding Gradations - Partial Nirvana - The
Threshold of Nirvana - Nirvana - Para Nirvana - Buddha and Nirvana -
Nirvana attained by Adepts - General Progress towards Nirvana -
Conditions of its Attainment - Spirituality and Religion - The
Pursuit of Truth
CHAPTER XI - The Universe
The Days and Night of Brahma - The Various Manvantaras and Pralayas -
The Solar System - The Universal Pralaya - Recommencement of
Evolution - "Creation" - The Great First Cause - The Eternal Cyclic
CHAPTER XII - The Doctrine Reviewed
Correspondences of the Esoteric Doctrine with Visible Nature - Free
Will and Predestination - The Origin of Evil - Geology, Biology, and
the Esoteric Teaching - Buddhism and Scholarship - The Origins of all
Things - The Doctrine as Distorted - The Ultimate Dissolutions of
Consciousness - Transmigration - The Soul and the Spirit -
Personality and Individuality - Karma
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