Re: Theos-World Shri Shankaracharya and Democracy - Its relevance to TS today
Sep 25, 2008 08:37 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
TO all readers
The following from The Key to Theosophy might be worthwhile to add:
ON THE SOURCE OF THE HUMAN SOUL
ENQUIRER. How, then, do you account for man being endowed with a Spirit and
Soul? Whence these?
THEOSOPHIST. From the Universal Soul. Certainly not bestowed by a personal
God. Whence the moist element in the jelly-fish? From the Ocean which
surrounds it, in which it lives and breathes and has its being, and whither
it returns when dissolved.
ENQUIRER. So you reject the teaching that Soul is given, or breathed into
man, by God?
THEOSOPHIST. We are obliged to. The "Soul" spoken of in ch. ii. of Genesis
(v. 7) is, as therein stated, the "living Soul" or Nephesh (the vital,
animal soul) with which God (we say "nature" and immutable law) endows man
like every animal. Is not at all the thinking soul or mind; least of all is
it the immortal Spirit.
ENQUIRER. Well, let us put it otherwise: is it God who endows man with a
human rational Soul and immortal Spirit?
THEOSOPHIST. Again, in the way you put the question, we must object to it.
Since we believe in no personal God, how can we believe that he endows man
with anything? But granting, for the sake of argument, a God who takes upon
himself the risk of creating a new Soul for every new-born baby, all that
can be said is that such a God can hardly be regarded as himself endowed
with any wisdom or prevision. Certain other difficulties and the
impossibility of reconciling this with the claims made for the mercy,
justice, equity and
omniscience of that God, are so many deadly reefs on which this theological
dogma is daily and hourly broken.
ENQUIRER. What do you mean? What difficulties?
THEOSOPHIST. I am thinking of an unanswerable argument offered once in my
presence by a Cingalese Buddhist priest, a famous preacher, to a Christian
missionary - one in no way ignorant or unprepared for the public discussion
during which it was advanced. It was near Colombo, and the Missionary had
challenged the priest Megattivati to give his reasons why the Christian God
should not be accepted by the "heathen." Well, the Missionary came out of
that for ever memorable discussion second best, as usual.
ENQUIRER. I should be glad to learn in what way.
THEOSOPHIST. Simply this: the Buddhist priest premised by asking the padri
whether his God had given commandments to Moses only for men to keep, but to
be broken by God himself. The missionary denied the supposition indignantly.
Well, said his opponent, "you tell us that God makes no exceptions to this
rule, and that no Soul can be born without his will. Now God forbids
adultery, among other things, and yet you say in the same breath that it is
he who creates every baby born, and he who endows it with a Soul. Are we
then to understand that the millions of children born in crime and adultery
are your God's work? That your God forbids and punishes the breaking of his
laws; and that, nevertheless, he creates daily and hourly souls for just
such children? According to the simplest logic, your God is an accomplice in
the crime; since, but for his help
and interference, no such children of lust could be born. Where is the
justice of punishing not only the guilty parents but even the innocent babe
for that which is done by that very God, whom yet you exonerate from any
guilt himself?" The missionary looked at his watch and suddenly found it was
getting too late for further discussion.
ENQUIRER. You forget that all such inexplicable cases are mysteries, and
that we are forbidden by our religion to pry into the mysteries of God.
THEOSOPHIST. No, we do not forget, but simply reject such impossibilities.
Nor do we want you to believe as we do. We only answer the questions you
ask. We have, however, another name for your "mysteries."
Sometimes the some persons aught to know, when they are promoting a religion
which is NOT build on a rock. Especially the Christians.
----- Original Message -----
From: "MKR" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: <email@example.com>; "theos-l" <theos-L@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 3:51 PM
Subject: Theos-World Shri Shankaracharya and Democracy - Its relevance to TS
Shri Shankaracharya and Democracy - Its relevance to TS today
Shri Shankaracharya, the great religious reformer of India, who was born
some years after Lord Buddha left the world. According to HPB, Shri
Shankaracharya is the incarnation of one of the Kumaras and so we can
understand His spiritual status. He lived only till the age of 32 and did
such monumental reforms that even today he is highly revered in India.
One of the key reforms he introduced was Democracy among Hindu Monks or
Sanyasis. He organized them and made them elect the leader democratically by
voting by the Sanyasis. Mind you this is long before the world was
introduced to Democracy of the West. Also it was days when groups of wise
men made all critical decisions in secrecy and it worked because the public
had implicit faith in the altruism, honesty and unselfishness of these wise
One of the key results of organizing the Monks in a democratic setup, was
the power of the Monks to influence the Hindus in India. It was this power
that prevented the English colonizers from bringing the Anglican Church to
convert all Hindus to Christianity. Look at what happened in other colonies
especially in the South American. English understood that there would be a
rebellion in India which they will not be able to deal with. The result was,
English rulers kept their hands off the religious conversion.
I think this is a lesson TS can use today when attempt is being made to take
away our direct voting rights in the election of the International
President. I think it is proper to remember the close involvement of the
Adepts in the early days of TS and their contacts with HPB & HSO and They
should have had a reason for advising the founders when the issue of
election of the President was settled.
Let us not mess with a system that has worked. Today's key issue before the
TS is not rules and regulations or International management. It is the
precipitous drop and low retention of members in the west, especially in the
USA. The key seems to be to make the lodges across the country more vigorous
in their activity and this cannot be done e-mail or nice magazines or
scholarly articles or use of Internet. The key is some of the officials to
visit each and every branch and see what can be done to improve the
activities there and also follow Olcott's model in opening up new lodges.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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