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Re: Mahatmas and Buddhism

Feb 24, 2012 04:43 AM
by plcoles1

Hi Mark,
Thanks, yes I think the exoteric teachings seem to get caught up in power and control.

I've been re-reading through "The Key to Theosophy" the quote below about  the "excess of exotericism" in Christianity and Buddhism, is quite apparent from what I've seen within the Buddhist writings as well.

The descriptions of the hell realms are just as cruel and gruesome as anything in medieval Christianity and while not eternal the massive lengths of time that beings are said to stay in them, it may as well be eternal, one Buddhist text I have been reading claimed that you could spend trillions of years being tortured in these hot & cold hells.

In the book "Liberation in the palm of your hand" by Pabongka Rinpoche are some descriptions of these hells, all spoken about quite literally. 

I suppose these types of teachings are to keep people in line by those in power and probably grafted themselves onto the original teachings of the Buddha, being carried on from the Hindu stories of Naraka and handed down and taught as literal truth.

And of course many Buddhists would question the literal nature of these hell realms and see them as states created by the person themselves, the "excess of exoterism" though is present in all religions and this is what theosophical writings address and try and take a deeper look into the esoteric truths are that lye behind them.

Quote from key to Theosophy:

"ENQUIRER. But we are distinctly told that most of the Buddhists do not believe in the Soul's immortality?

THEOSOPHIST. No more do we, if you mean by Soul the personal Ego, or life-Soul ? Nephesh. But every learned Buddhist believes in the individual or divine Ego. Those who do not, err in their judgment. They are as mistaken on this point, as those Christians who mistake the theological interpolations of the later editors of the Gospels about damnation and hell-fire, for verbatim utterances of Jesus. Neither Buddha nor "Christ" ever wrote anything themselves, but both spoke in allegories and used "dark sayings," as all true Initiates did, and will do for a long time yet to come. Both Scriptures treat of all such metaphysical questions very cautiously, and both, Buddhist and Christian records, sin by that excess of exotericism; the dead letter meaning far overshooting the mark in both cases."

--- In, "Mark  Jaqua" <hozro@...> wrote:
>       Perry writes:  >The Mahatmas claim to be Buddhist and yet they speak of Atma or Monad as fundamental in their teachings and yet these are anathema to Buddhism.<
>    I don't know Buddhist philosophy, but the original Theosophical idea is that Theosophy comes from a superior and the same source that Buddhism originally did, and that Buddhism as it now is, is exoteric and corrupted to a degree - but the Least corrupted of the major religions.
>         Blavatsky says that Sankara _was_ the same individuality as Buddha [1] (in a rather complex new incarnation - References below) and according to Sinnett in "Esoteric Buddhism" Buddha came again as Sankara 50 years later in order to correct some mistakes or misconceptions left behind. [2]  I don't know of anywhere that Blavatsky later corrected this statement.  The exoteric Buddhists say there is "no self", while Sankara and Theosophy says there is a Real Self behind it all. [3] The Mahatmas say that the "heresy of Individuality" has reference only to the shell [4], or lower personality, with an relatively immortal Real Self, or reincarnating Ego, or monad behind it.   Ultimately and philosophically though, in the face of the great All, nothing is immortal - but practically we have a permanent part of ourself to rely upon in our existence.
> [1]  BCW, v 14, pp. 389-90;  [2] "Esoteric Buddhism," Sinnett, 5th ed., pp. 175-6, also "The Buddhism of H.P. Blavatsky," H.J. Spierenburg, Pt. Loma Publications, 1991, pp. 78-79;  [3] See Shankara's "Essence of the Teaching," "Vakya Sudha," or "Bala Bodhani," Johnston's translation of the English title on, or "Theosophy" mag, July, 1897 at ;  [4] MLs, T.U.P. p. 175
>                                               - jake j.
> --------------------------
> >From: "plcoles1" <plcoles1@...> 
> To: 
> Sent: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:15:57 PM 
> Subject: theos-talk Mahatmas and Buddhism 
> >Hi Everyone, well it's been a while since posting here,I hope you are all doing well! 
> >My reason for posting is that I have been doing a lot of head scratching over the following issue and would be interested to hear other theosophists opinions. 
> >It is regarding the relationship between the Universal Wisdom Religion (Theosophy) taught in theosophical writings and Exoteric Buddhism and the Mahatmas relationship to Buddhism. 
> >I realise David Reigle has written about this subject and I am slowly going through his book "Blavatsky's Secret Books" at the moment, trying to piece things together with my very limited brain and knowledge. 
> >The Mahatmas claim to be Buddhist and yet they speak of Atma or Monad as fundamental in their teachings and yet these are anathema to Buddhism. 
> >My question is to what extent can they claim to be truly Buddhists of the Yellow Cap or Gelukpa order and yet teach the doctrine of Atma and Svabhava, obviously there would have been a serious conflict here for them being members of that order while at the same time holding to the doctrines of Svabavah and Atma, also the teachings on after death states and reincarnation are quite different i.e. rebirth into literal hells for long,long periods and rebirth into insect and animal forms. 
> >Also while it is mentioned in the writings of HPB that there are chelas from different schools of philosophy under these same teachers i.e KH and M , is there any mention of Adepts who are not Buddhist ? 
> >I am interested to hear what other students may think on this point. 
> >Cheers, 
> >Perry 
> -----------------------
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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