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Re: theos-talk Re: Mahatmas and Buddhism

Feb 27, 2012 09:23 AM
by M. Sufilight

Dear Jaqua 

My views are:

I think I understand why you have reached the conclusion you have. And I see your point.
But never-the-less it is not correct as far as I am aware of the - original - teachings given by Blavatsky. Given as a hypothesis - not as a sectarian belief - to be followed blindly - in an organisation which from the beginning was Absolutely Non-Sectarian. But, yes later theosophist teach something else, this is no doubt true.

Let me seek to explain my view somewhat more carefully...

The quote given by Blavatsky:
"But every learned Buddhist believes in the individual or divine Ego. Those who do not, err in their judgment. "

I think you mistunderstand the english words.
But --- this sentence is only meant in the sense that the "divine Ego" - exists when viewed on one level of consciousness -  and NOT that it is the HIGHEST "principle" or rather ASPECT (not attribute) - when viewed from one or more levels of consciousness.
This can be seen from other teachings given by Blavatsky herself. In reality all is Maya - illusorical reality. The idea of an Ultimate SELF (taken in a dead-letter manner or by the use of thought) behind all and everything is a false teaching within esoteric Adwaita Vedanta and Esoteric Buddhism (Prasanga - also known as Prasangika Buddhism or other esoteric Gelugpa Buddhistic teachings). Parabrahm is the Absolute according to Blavatsky.

Blavatsky also said in the same book The Key to Theosophy:
"ENQUIRER. Do you believe in God? 
THEOSOPHIST. That depends what you mean by the term. 
ENQUIRER. I mean the God of the Christians, the Father of Jesus, and the Creator: the Biblical God of Moses, in short.
THEOSOPHIST. In such a God we do not believe. We reject the idea of a personal, or an extra-cosmic and anthropomorphic God, who is but the gigantic shadow of man, and not of man at his best, either. The God of theology, we say â and prove it â is a bundle of contradictions and a logical impossibility. Therefore, we will have nothing to do with him. "
....... ....... .......
"How can the ABSOLUTE be supposed to thinkâi. e., to have any relation whatever to that which is limited, finite, and conditioned? This is a philosophical, and a logical absurdity. Even the Hebrew Kabala rejects such an idea, and therefore, makes of the one and the Absolute Deific Principle an infinite Unity called Ain-Soph.*"....--- [FOOT-NOTE] -"Ain-Soph,"..."the endless, or boundless, in and with Nature, the non-existent which IS, but is not a Being."
....... ....... .......
"The Parabrahm of the Vedantins is the Deity we accept and believe in." 
(page 222, The Key to Theosophy, 1890)

And this Parabrahm is defined in the Secret Doctrine as:
"The following summary will afford a clearer idea to the reader.
    (1.) The ABSOLUTE; the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the one Reality, SAT, which is, as Hegel says, both Absolute Being and Non-Being."
"Parabraham is not this or that, it is not even consciousness, as it cannot be related to matter or anything conditioned. It is not Ego nor is it Non-ego, not even Atma, but verily the one source of all manifestations and modes of existence." 
(Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 16 and 130 - footnote)


The following diagrams by Blavatsky and Master KH might be helpful in understanding it all much better, when reading the Secret Doctrine - and thereby understand Blavatsky teachings - which was forwaded using a veiled language with several layers of mening in the texts  - and with more than one meaning attached to various terms, -- the 7 keys, where she said that at least 3 or 4 were used when writing the book.
The folowing two diagrams should be connected with each other at The Unmanifested Logos. The upper diagram is also mentioned in text to the Secret Doctrine and in articles found in Blavatsky's Collected Writings Vol. XIV, p. 443-453 and elsewhere. Blavatsky wrote: "The âHeart Doctrine,â or the âHeartâs Sealâ (the Sin Yin) is the only real one. This may be found corroborated by Hiuen Tsang. In his translation of MahÃ-PrajÃÃ-PÃramità (Ta-poh-je-King), in one hundred and twenty volumes, it is stated that it was Buddhaâs âfavourite disciple Ananda,â who, after his great Master had gone into NirvÃna, was commissioned by KÃsyapa to promulgate âthe Eye of the Doctrine,â the âHeartâ of the Law having been left with the Arhats alone." Blavatsky's Collected Writings Vol. XIV, p. 443-453 - Those 120 volumes have not been translated in the Western languages as far as I am aware of it. I wonder how many theosophists have read them - and read them by the use of the 7 keys - and with a sharp understanding of the langauage?

1) The upper triangle:
2) The human and marcocosmic planes. (left-click diagram) (BCW, Vol. XII, p. 524-526)

Also this very short article by another Theosophist:
"So true is the claim that there is no difference whatever between esoteric Buddhism and those Vedantins who understand the correct meaning of Sankaracharyaâs teachingsâthe advanced Advaiteesâthat the latter are spoken of throughout southern India as Prachchhanna Bauddhasâor "Buddhists in disguise""

Annie Besant worte a book named "The Wisdom of the Upanishads." with almost similar views, if I remember correctly - even when she promoted a more or less Antropomorphic Messiah in 1910-1929. --- But, yes a great number of Theosophists are not following this teaching given by Blavatsky - and also the Masters KH and Morya, who also was behind the Secret Doctrine. - But all this is due to the fact that the Theosophical Society was an Absolutely Non-sectarian organisation - at least until 1891 and a bit later, before it fell in 1910. -  In such an organisation everyone are free to promote his or her view, if it is sought to be based on altruism - but not as if on behalf of the Society, but merely on behalf of themselves. In the later years I think we can say that improvements have been made so that the Theosophical Society is less sectarian than it was previously in 1910-1929. But the last sentence is merely my view on the matter.

The misconceptions of the "no-self" are many, and understandable.
Anything might mislead anyone - and - anything might lead anyone. This is important to understand. Therefore some of us are saying that dead-letter teachings can never be a part of the Visdom teachings - if they exist - as some of us claim they do.
Why limit the divine to the thought. If we refuse to limit the Divine to thought - then we easily reach the view of the Adwaita Vedantin and the esoteric Pransangika Gelupa Buddhists. The Divine then must be Absolute Negation (as stated by Blavatsky) or Neither Somthing nor Nothing, beyond the limiting thoughts, time and duality. The Prasangika Buddhists operate with the Absolute Negation of the FOUR EXTREMES:  (1) an affirmation of true existence, (2) a negation of true existence, (3) from the point of view of superficial truth, an affirmation of true existence and from the point of view of deepest truth, a negation of true existence, or (4) neither an affirmation nor a negation of true existence. (See Alexander Berzin's article: "Affirmations, Negations, and Denumerable and Nondenumerable Ultimate Phenomena" - which is very learned in its conent, although minor issues could be mentioned.----

Mahatma KH said in Mahatma Letter no. 10:
" Parabrahm is not a God, but absolute immutable law, and Iswar is the effect of Avidya and Maya, ignorance based upon the great delusion. The word "God" was invented to designate the unknown cause of those effects which man has either admired or dreaded without understanding them, and since we claim and that we are able to prove what we claim â i.e. the knowledge of that cause and causes we are in a position to maintain there is no God or Gods behind them. "......"We are not Adwaitees, but our teaching respecting the one life is identical with that of the Adwaitee with regard to Parabrahm. And no true philosophically brained Adwaitee will ever call himself an agnostic, for he knows that he is Parabrahm and identical in every respect with the universal life and soul â the macrocosm is the microcosm and he knows that there is no God apart from himself, no creator as no being. Having found Gnosis we cannot turn our backs on it and become agnostics. "
(See also Mahatma Letter 15, 25, 59)

Even in the early book "Esoteric Buddhism" by A. P. Sinnett refer to Parabrahm - See page 225, where he also equates Adwaita Vedanta with Esoteric Buddhism.
And that which is non-dual (A-Dwaita - that is Adwaita) is neither being nor non-being.

If you read Blavatsky you find that Parabrahm is the same as Adi-Buddha (given in the Kalachakra Tantra), Ain-Soph (ie. No-Thing, --- given in the Kabalistic books), The Absolute or Absolute Negation, or Zervana Akarna (the Zoroastrian version from teh text named Vedidad), Darkness (Norse Mythology, SD, Vol. p. 427), called TAO (in China in Taoism, the chinese letter chosen determines the meaning), and that Parabrahm most often is named Mulaprakriti by Adwaita Vedantins denoting both Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti at the same time.

These are my views - call it a (non-fanatic) hypothesis. I claim that I know that this Non-duality can be found or "found" - although I am no Dhyan Chohan or high Master, - not yet that is.
But of course others think something different  than I do from time to time. So is the world of duality.
I merely have the hope, that the above might help you or other readers in understanding compassion and wisdom better.

"But to enquire gently, hesitantly, questioning, asking yourself, then out of that comes clarity. And there must be clarity to understand that which is eternal."
(J. Krishamurti in a speech to the United Nations, in 1984)

To enquire is important if one want to remove ignorance.

M. Sufilight

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Mark Jaqua 
  Sent: Monday, February 27, 2012 2:30 PM
  Subject: theos-talk Re: Mahatmas and Buddhism

  Morten Sufilight wrote:
  >Jake you wrote:
  "Sankara and Theosophy says there is a Real Self behind it all."
  >M. Sufilight says:
  >I think this is a mistaken opinion. Do you have a quote or two showing this.

  Well, this is a ridiculous request. That there is a real self behind all is innate in the whole Theosophical Philosophy, with the higher 3 principles, repeated enlessly. You even attach Perry's quote from "Key to Theosophy" saying the same thing:

  "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. "

  A reason I hate the "no-self" idea in exoteric Buddhism so much is that, I believe, the sensation of "no-self" is also associated with pathological states. I read a book by a Buddhist woman some 20 years ago, which I don't remember the details of now - but she claimed she was enlightened and had attained the state of "no-self." She had previously been a hedonist, mixing drugs and sex, et. al., which destroys one of the innate protections of Nature against outside forces, which is purity and innocence. The woman wasn't enlightened, I believe, she had gotten Possessed, and her "no-self" was loss of at least latent contact with her inner spiritual self. She died a few years after publishing the book. People who live only in their heads, with their "no-self" ideas, are setting themselves up for potential serious problems psychologically. People who object to the idea of their being a permanent inner Self _already have them._
  - jake j.

  >1c. Re: Mahatmas and Buddhism
  Posted by: "M. Sufilight" kidhr7
  Date: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:28 am ((PST))

  >Dear Jake and friends
  >My views are:
  >I do not disagree that much in what you wrote Jake.
  >But I hesitate with regard to the following view...
  >Jake you wrote:
  "Sankara and Theosophy says there is a Real Self behind it all."
  >M. Sufilight says:
  >I think this is a mistaken opinion.
  Do you have a quote or two showing this. There are several quotes showing the opposite. The Secret Doctrine is one of the books - when we talk about "theosophy" as a loose term.
  >Sankaras doctrines on Adwaita Vedanta says: Atma = Brahman, and that Brahman or Nirguna Brahman is Neti, Neti (not this, not that). (Try the Adwaita Vedanta Home Page - )
  >1a. Re: Mahatmas and Buddhism
  Posted by: "fernandosob" fernandosob
  Date: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:39 am ((PST))

  >Thank you Jaqua


  --- 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]
  Messages in this topic (11)
  >1b. Re: Mahatmas and Buddhism
  Posted by: "plcoles1" plcoles1
  Date: Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:43 am ((PST))

  >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."

  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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