Ordinary Science can only lead to crass materialism
Sep 05, 2009 10:01 AM
by Morten Nymann Olesen
My views are:
I am almost finished translating the T. S. Glossary by H. P. Blavatsky (posthumously published, 1892) into danish.
Here are a few words from the T.S. Glossary on terms from Buddhismen, which might be useful to consider...
"Triratna, or Ratnatraya (Sk) The Three Jewels, the technical term for the well-known formula "Buddha, Dharma and Sangha" (or Samgha), the two latter terms meaning, in modern interpretation, "religious law" (Dharma), and the "priesthood" (Sangha). Esoteric Philosophy, however, would regard this as a very loose rendering. The words "Buddha, Dharma and Sangha", ought to be pronounced as in the days of Gautama, the Lord Buddha, namely "Bodhi, Dharma and Sangha and interpreted to mean
"Wisdom, its laws and priests ", the latter in the sense of " spiritual exponents ", or adepts. Buddha, however, being regarded as personified " Bodhi" on earth, a true avatar of Âdi-Buddha, Dharma gradually came to be regarded as his own particular law, and Sangha as his own special priesthood. Nevertheless,
it is the profane of the later (now modern) teachings who have shown a greater degree of natural intuition than the actual interpreters of Dharma, the Buddhist priests. The people see the Triratna in the three statues of Amitâbha, Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya Buddha; i.e., in Boundless Light" or Universal Wisdom, an impersonal principle which is the correct meaning of Âdi-Buddha; in the "Supreme Lord" of the Bodhisattvas, or Avalokiteshvara; and in Maitreya Buddha, the symbol of the terrestrial and human Buddha, the "Mânushi Buddha ". Thus, even though the uninitiated do call these three statues "the Buddhas of the Past, the Present and the Future ", still every follower of true philosophical Buddhism-called "atheistical" by Mr. Eitel- would explain the term Triratna correctly. The philosopher of the Yogachârya School would say-as well he could-"Dharma is not a person but an unconditioned and underived entity, combining in itself the spiritual and material principles of the universe, whilst from Dharma proceeded, by emanation, Buddha [ Bodhi rather], as the creative energy which produced, in conjunction with Dharma, the third factor in the trinity, viz., 'Samgha', which is the comprehensive sum total of all real life." Samgha, then, is not and cannot be that which it is now understood to be, namely, the actual " priesthood"; for the latter is not the sum total of all real life, but only of religious life. The real primitive significance of the word Samgha or "Sangha" applies to the Arhats or Bhikshus, or the "initiates", alone, that is to say to the real exponents of Dharma-the divine law and wisdom, coming to them as a reflex light from the one "boundless light ". Such is its philosophical meaning. And yet, far from satisfying the scholars of the Western races, this seems only to irritate them; for E. J. Eitel, of Hongkong, remarks, as to the above : " Thus the dogma of a Triratna, originating from three primitive articles of faith, and at one time culminating in the conception of three persons, a trinity in unity, has degenerated into a metaphysical theory of the evolution of three abstract principles "! And if one of the ablest European scholars will sacrifice every philosophical ideal to gross anthropomorphism, then what can Buddhism with its subtle metaphysics expect at the hands of ignorant missionaries?
Trisharana (Sk.). The same as" Triratna "and accepted by both the Northern and Southern Churches of Buddhism. After the death of the Buddha it was adopted by the councils as a mere kind of formula fidei, enjoining "to take refuge in Buddha ", "to take refuge in Dharma ", and "to take refuge in Sangha ", or his Church, in the sense in which it is now interpreted; but it is not in this sense that the "Light of Asia" would have taught the formula. Of Trikâya, Mr. E. J. Eitel, of Hongkong, tells us in his Handbook of Chinese Buddhism that this "tricho-
tomism was taught with regard to the nature of all Buddhas. Bodhi being the characteristic of a Buddha" -a distinction was made between "essential Bodhi" as the attribute of the Dharmakâya, i.e., "essential body"; "reflected Bodhi" as the attribute of Sambhogakâya; and "practical Bodhi" as the attribute of Nirmânakâya. Buddha combining in himself these three conditions of existence, was said to be living at the same time in three different spheres. Now, this shows how greatly misunderstood is the purely pantheistical and philosophical teaching. Without stopping to enquire how even a Dharmakâya vesture can have any "attribute" in Nirvâna, which state is shown, in philosophical Brahmanism as much as in Buddhism, to be absolutely devoid of any attribute as conceived by human finite thought-it will be sufficient to point to the following -(1) the Nirmânakâya vesture is preferred by the "Buddhas of Compassion" to that of the Dharmakâya state, precisely because the latter precludes him who attains it from any communication or relation with the finite, i.e., with humanity; (2) it is not Buddha (Gautama, the mortal man, or any other personal Buddha) who lives ubiquitously in "three different spheres, at the same time ", but Bodhi, the universal and abstract principle of divine wisdom, symbolised in philosophy by Âdi-Buddha. It is the latter that is ubiquitous because it is the universal essence or principle. It is Bodhi, or the spirit of Buddhaship, which, having resolved itself into its primordial homogeneous essence and merged into it, as Brahmâ (the universe) merges into Parabrahm, the ABSOLUTENESS-that is meant under the name of "essential Bodhi ". For the Nirvânee, or Dhyâni Buddha, must be supposed-by living in Arûpadhâtu, the formless state, and in Dharmakâya-to be that " essential Bodhi" itself. It is the Dhyâni Bodhisattvas, the primordial rays of the universal Bodhi, who live in "reflected Bodhi" in Râpadhâtu, or the world of subjective "forms" ; and it is the Nirmânakâyas (plural) who upon ceasing their lives of " practical Bodhi", in the "enlightened" or Buddha forms, remain voluntarily in the Kâmadhâtu (the world of desire), whether in objective forms on earth or in subjective states in its sphere (the second Buddhakshetra). This they do in order to watch over, protect and help mankind. Thus, it is neither one Buddha who is meant, nor any particular avatar of the collective Dhyâni Buddhas, but verily Âdi-Bodhi-the first Logos, whose primordial ray is Mahâbuddhi, the Universal Soul, ALAYA, whose flame is ubiquitous, and whose influence has a different sphere in each of the three forms of existence, because, once again, it is Universal Being itself or the reflex of the Absolute. Hence, if it is philosophical to speak of Bodhi, which "as Dhyâni Buddha rules in the domain of the spiritual" (fourth Buddhakshetra or region of Buddha); and of the
Dhyâni Bodhisattvas "ruling in the third Buddhakshetra "or the domain of ideation; and even of the Mânushi Buddhas, who are in the second Buddhakshetra as Nirmanakâyas-to apply the "idea of a unity in trinity" to three personalities-is highly unphilosophical."
A more precise version is here:
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A few words by H. P. Blavatsky on ordinary science and other issue....
IS THEOSOPHY A RELIGION?
"Theosophy, as repeatedly declared in print and viva voce by its members and officers, proceeds on diametrically opposite lines to those which are trodden by the Church; and Theosophy rejects the methods of Science, since her inductive methods can only lead to crass materialism. Yet, de facto, Theosophy claims to be both "RELIGION" and "SCIENCE," for theosophy is the essence of both. It is for the sake and love of the two divine abstractions--i.e., theosophical religion and science, that its Society has become the volunteer scavenger of both orthodox religion and modern science; as also the relentless Nemesis of those who have degraded the two noble truths to their own ends and purposes, and then divorced each violently from the other, though the two are and must be one. To prove this is also one of our objects in the present paper. "
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