Theosophical University Press Online Edition
The "Occult World" and the "Spiritualist"
Pert Questions and Plain Answers
Answer to * * * 's Misconceptions
Seeing Bright Light with Closed Eyes
Can Females Become Adepts?
To the Editor of The Theosophist
The Best Food for Man
Esoteric Buddhism and Hinduism
The Astral Body
[This chapter contains some of the most important material from the pen of Damodar, consisting of comments and notes by him to articles written by other students, and also answers to questions from inquirers. Wherever possible the articles or questions which Damodar comments upon, have been summarized.
In each case Damodar's signature, as it appears in The Theosophist, has been appended to his contributions in order that there may be no confusion as to authorship. — EDS.]
[From The Theosophist, August, 1881.]
Having just read in the London Spiritualist a review of Mr. Sinnett's book "The Occult World," I find in it more than a doubt expressed as to the reality of the "Brothers," that body of mystics to which the personage known as "Koot Hoomi Lal Singh" belongs. The Editor of that paper would have his readers believe that the said person is a creation of Madame Blavatsky's fancy. "Mr. Sinnett" he says "has never seen Koot Hoomi, nor does he mention that any other Theosophist in India has had that privilege."
As some other persons may express the same doubts, and also some, while admitting their genuine character, may attribute them to agency other than that to which Madame Blavatsky refers them (the so-called "Brothers" &c.,) I hereby declare that not only have I within the last few days seen one of the persons so designated at the Headquarters of the Society at Bombay, but that I have very good reasons (which I cannot go into more fully now) to know that the said persons are not "spirits" but real human beings exercising powers out of the ordinary. Both before and after my connection with the Theosophical Society I have known and conversed with them personally and witnessed the most wonderful results (which would ordinarily be described as miraculous), but I must emphasise my declaration that I do not regard them as supernatural and am altogether materialistic (or rather naturalistic) in my conceptions of the agency producing them. Further I testify that I have the strongest conviction based on reasons which, though authoritative, are purely natural and physical, that the said "Brothers" are a mysterious fraternity the ordinary location of which is the regions north of the Himalayas.
Mirza Moorad Alee Beg,* F. T. S.,
Acting President of the "Saorashtr Theosophical Society" at Bhaunagar.
[*Real name Godolphin Mitford, an English occult student — Eds.]
The criticisms upon Mr. Sinnett's book "The Occult World" force upon me the duty of testifying from personal experience and knowledge to the fact that those whom we call our "Brothers of the First Section" of whom "Koot Hoomi Lal Singh" is one, and who possess the so-called "miraculous" powers, are real and living beings and not disembodied spirits as the Editor of the Spiritualist would have his readers think. It is but by a long course of study and training that such can be attained. It is not belief with me but knowledge, for, if I have seen one of them, I have at least seen about half a dozen on various occasions, in broad daylight, in open places, and have talked to them, not only when Madame Blavatsky was in Bombay but even when she was far away and I here. I have also seen them at times when I was travelling. I was taken to the residences of some of them and once when Col. Olcott and Mme. Blavatsky were with me. Further than that I cannot say, and shall not give any more information either about them or the places they reside in, for I am under a solemn obligation of secrecy and the subject is too sacred for me to be trifled with. I may, however, mention that I know "Koot Hoomi Lal Singh" personally and have seen and conversed with him when Mme. Blavatsky was here as also when she was far away. But under what circumstances I am not at liberty to disclose.
We Hindus who know the "Brothers" think it equally absurd and ridiculous to insinuate that either Madame Blavatsky is a lunatic or an impostor, or that persons like Mr. Sinnett could have ever become her dupes. Neither is she a medium, nor are the "Brothers" "disembodied Spirits." — DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR, F. T. S.
[Supplement to The Theosophist, May, 1882.]
How little the "beliefs and creeds" of the Theosophical Society — which has no belief or creed — are understood by the average public in India after three years of constant explanations, may be inferred by the letter that follows. Crude and childish as it is, yet, finding in it the echo of the public bigotry and blindness to facts and practical proofs, we give it room in our Supplement. Unless we are greatly mistaken, it was written under a direct inspiration than which there is not a more bigoted or more intolerant one the world over — we mean that of a Protestant missionary. [Editorial Note in The Theosophist. — EDS.]
TO THE EDITOR OF THE "THEOSOPHIST"
9th March, 1882.
Madame, — With reference to a leading article that appeared in the Bombay Gazette of the 4th instant, (from the pen of a correspondent, signing himself "Senex,") and also to an extract from Bishop Sargent's Journal, dated October the 24th, which also appeared in the Bombay Gazette of the same date (Saturday, March 4th, 1882), allow me to make the following conclusions: —
"Senex" speaks of "Theosophy" to be a new religion imported into Bombay. Is "Theosophy" a religion, or a belief? Does the Theosophical Society propagate any kind of belief (directly or indirectly)?* [*Useless to repeat that which was asserted over and over again — namely, that the Theosophical Society, as a body, has no religion. — ED. (of The Theosophist)] The Theosophical Society comprises three sections, and each section comprises three classes. I ask whether there is a single member recognized of the first or second section who is permitted (according to the rules of those sections) to retain his orthodox religious views.** [**Most undoubtedly every one of them is allowed to do so if he likes; but whether, after learning the truth, he will do so and persist in his dogmatic views, is another question.--ED. (of The Theosophist)]. I presume to answer the question in the negative. Multum in parvo, "Theosophy" tends to a Buddhistic philosophical and religious belief. Though the rules of the Theosophical Society do not directly compel one to renounce his orthodox religious views, yet indirectly they do so, for one has to renounce his religious orthodoxy if he desires (to be recognized) to be initiated into the higher sections. The "neophytes" receive instruction in what is called "the occult sciences" unknown to the scientists of this day, which sciences treat of "the spirits," and certain fluids and forces in nature. Furthermore "Occultism" teaches man how he can hold direct communication with these forces (by the so-called Occult Psychological Telegraphy), and how he can have a certain amount of control over them, so as to direct these forces, and make them the means of accomplishing certain wonderful phenomena. If such be the case, "Occultism" disproves the truth of miracles (superhuman powers).*** [***Most undoubtedly it does. It rejects the very idea of there being anything supernatural (i. e., above, below, or outside of nature) in this infinite Universe — as a stupendous fallacy. — ED. (of The Theosophist)] "Occultism," then, affects all the popular faiths of this planet, which claim to be of Divine origin (i. e., revealed by God to man miraculously through some prophet).**** [****To "claim," is one thing, and "to be" — and to prove it — is quite another. — ED. (of The Theosophist)] In short, "Occultism" teaches that Paul, Moses, Confucius, Mahomet, Zoroaster, and Buddha were liars and deceivers when they said that they received Divine inspirations.***** [*****We would advise our young friend to study a subject before be presumes to speak of it. Buddha never claimed to have received "Divine Inspiration," since Buddha rejected the very idea of a god, whether personal or impersonal. Therefore, Occultism does not teach that he was a "liar," nor does it give that abusive epithet — so generously bestowed by the Christian padris on all and every other prophet but their own — any more to Moses, than to Mahomet, or Zoroaster, least of all to Confucius, since, no more than Gautama Buddha, has that great sage ever claimed "divine" inspiration. — ED. (of The Theos.)] Thus "the Occult Sciences" as professed by Koot-Hoomi and his brother (and sister) Theosophists do indirectly affect the religions of this world. Mr. Sinnett, in his work entitled "The Occult World," informs us that the Corresponding Secretary of the Theosophical Society "is an adept to the extent of possessing this magnificent power of psychological telegraphy with her Occult friends."
"Senex" goes on to say that "Theosophy" is a speculation of certain visionaries who pretend to be able to hold direct communication with the Deity and to direct and combat the influence of the Deity ("the Supreme Light") by the medium of Genii, (spirits), or demons, or by the agency of stars or fluids (as electricity).* [*If our correspondent is unable to appreciate journalistic humour and wit, and takes the definition copied out by "Senex" from Webster's Dictionary as a Gospel Truth, we cannot help him to more intuitive perceptions than he is endowed with. — ED. (of The Theosophist)] It must not be forgotten that Spiritualists are already wrangling on points of spiritualistic dogma. "Senex" (referring to the spirits of the dead) is of opinion that the theory of the "Theosophists" (that the raiment is fashioned "out of the cosmic matter of the universe") is a trifle less absurd than that of the Spiritualists. I see no difference between "Occultism" of the Theosophists and "Spiritualism" as professed by Zollner, Mrs. Hauffe, Eglinton, Slade** [**This is to be deplored, but so long as our correspondent will rush into print to discuss upon subjects he knows nothing about, he is sure to commit such ridiculous blunders. — ED. (of The Theosophist)] and a score of other mediums in the United States, except that the Spiritualists perform their phenomena through spirits pneumatic, (?) while the adepts of theosophy do theirs by nature's laws without the aid of spirits (apneumatic). Bishop Sargent informs us "that the king-cocoanut, planted by Col. Olcott and the Tinnevelly Brothers in the temple-yard of the Great Pagoda of Tinnevelly, was soon after removed, and that the whole temple-yard had to be ceremonially purified of the contamination it had thus contracted by the intrusion of the foreigner."*** Yet Colonel Olcott makes no mention of this in his address at the Framjee Cowasjee Institute of the 12th January.****
***Which only proves that Bishop Sargent also speaks of what he knows nothing about, or gladly repeats unproved missionary calumnies. (See the remarks under the heading "Milk for Babes and Strong Meat for Men" on page 5 of the Supplement to the last issue). — ED. [of The Theosophist]
****Pleading "guilty" to never reading or paying attention to missionary and other pious organs, and not being endowed with omniscient clairvoyance to help him following the constant intrigues of their editors and their inventions against our Society and its Founders, Colonel Olcott could not "mention" that which he was not aware of: namely that, after the calumny had been well spread by our meek and humble missionaries and as effectively shown to be false, no less a personage than a "Bishop" would take it up, and circulate what he knew was a malicious falsehood. — ED. [of The Theosophist]
Either the Theosophical Society has its inconsistencies or the Bombay public have not been correctly informed concerning these matters.
Would you kindly satisfy me (by letter) on the following points: —
(1) Whether an adept of "theosophy" like Koot-Hoomi and others can "foretell future events"; whether they have such powers?
(2) Whether "adepts" have the power of curing diseases?
(3) And, lastly, whether "adepts" have the power of temporarily raising the dead as "Senex" gives me to understand.
I remain yours &c.,
SECRETARY'S OFFICE OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY,
BREACH CANDY, BOMBAY, INDIA, l0th March, 1882.
Sir, — The Editor of the "THEOSOPHIST" having no leisure to answer letters, but turning that work over to the Secretaries, I have the pleasure to reply to your letter of 9th March. You seem to rest all your arguments upon the two letters in the Bombay Gazette of the 4th instant. One of these is from a correspondent, while the other one is an extract from Bishop Sargent's Journal, dated 24th October, 1881. When reading "Senex's" letter, we were the first to laugh over it heartily, as it is very witty and quite free from any malicious innuendoes, such as some of the hard-headed bigots have been wont to use against us.
At any rate, it is easy to perceive that the writer's intention was far from conveying any such absurd conclusions as you seem to have arrived at — such as "temporarily raising the dead!" Some people seem entirely impermeable to literary wit. They have no sense of true humour, and seem incapable of appreciating it. Hence — their perversion of the meaning.
"Theosophy" and the "Theosophical Society" are two quite different things, since the latter, embracing the former, includes still a few other things. Permit me to remind you that, in our Rules, our objects are defined as follows: —
(1) To form the nucleus of an Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, without distinction of race, creed or colour.
(2) To promote the study of Aryan and other Eastern literature, religions and sciences, and vindicate its importance.
(3) To investigate the hidden mysteries of Nature and the Psychical Powers latent in man.
Of these, the first is the most important for us. It is urged that this Idea is Utopian. But whether it is or is not, is quite beside the question. What people want to know is, whether it is conducive to the happiness and well-being of humanity, and so, worthy of being given a trial — or not. And if it is, that is all we care for. How far we have succeeded in our endeavours, can be seen from the practical results of our work. If we have succeeded so far, it is because we ever kept in mind that we could admit only those who were capable of understanding what that term of Universal Brotherhood meant, and of appreciating the honour of having been accepted within its ranks. Therefore, we extended the Brotherhood only to those who could comprehend and hoped to conquer the immense difficulties encountered between Intellectual Solitude and Intellectual Companionship. This is a position difficult to master; but once mastered, the Theosophical Society has found many recruits capable of forming and leading companies of their own. Thus has the Idea spread, thus have numerous Branches been formed, and thus have our operations extended almost all over the world. And the practical benefits, accruing from such an Organisation, each of our members can testify to, any day. Composed, as we are, of various nationalities and divers religious creeds, it was essentially necessary that we should have certain stringent rules to enforce harmony. And how could we do that except by allowing no one to enter before he pledged himself to abide by the principle of mutual religious Tolerance and Sympathy? There is a great deal of difference between orthodoxy and bigotry. A person may be very orthodox and not at all a bigot. An orthodox will cling tenaciously to his views, whatever they may be, while a bigot will try his best to enforce his ideas upon others, whether they be willing or not. We, therefore, have to admit only such persons who will not interfere with the views of their Fellow Members, but will try to promote mutual Intellectual Sympathy. Between calm and philosophical discussion and bigoted compulsion, there is a world of difference; and a person, who desires to arrive at Truth, must accept it from whatsoever quarter and wheresoever it may be found. Most of us, Asiatics, believe that we can find it in ancient religions, and, therefore, encourage their study. And here comes in Theosophy. But it is a term which is not properly understood, I fancy, by the majority of our critics: hence — there have been many misconceptions about our Society. Ordinary people say that Theosophy, derived from "Theos — God" and "Sophia — wisdom," means the wisdom of God. Hence they rashly jump to the conclusion that we are all believers in a Personal Deity. No graver mistake could ever be committed. "Theosophy" with us (and it did so with Plato and other ancient Theosophists) means "divine wisdom," or rather the knowledge of that which is yet a mystery to the ordinary run of mankind. In this sense, even a Materialist is a Theosophist, because he is ever trying to find the operation of such laws of nature as have not yet been discovered; a Buddhist, — who recognizes no God, — is also one, for he strives to attain to a knowledge of that which he terms "Motion" and with its help to attain "Nirvana"; so also is a Vedantist, as he is in pursuit of the knowledge of that which he calls "Parabrahm," and thus reach "Moksha"; similarly is a Zoroastrian, for he is striving after that course which will enable him to perceive, with his inner eye, the God Zoroaster saw; and so on and on. But, if we take the religious history of the founders of all these different faiths, we find that they proceeded by the same path and arrived at the same conclusions. It might be said: "How is it then that there should be so many antagonistic passages in different religious books?" Here then comes in true Theosophy, which is the only key to unlock the mysteries of all these noble, ancient philosophies. Secure this key, and all these inconsistencies will fade away. At least those, who have tried it and have succeeded, assert this to be a fact. For a student of occultism, these externals have no charm. He tries to penetrate into the spirit of everything. For him, all exotericism is a mere wrangling of terms.
Most certainly, our superior sections are meant only for occultists. Therefore, very few people are in any of those sections. Occultism is not meant for all. Just as, although surgery is open for all, yet not every one can be a skillful surgeon, so also, not every one can be a good occultist. In that line, as in every other, it is better not to touch it at all than to prove a failure. As occultism is not meant for the public, very few can appreciate it or understand its true significance and they, therefore, invent one of their own. Nevertheless, it does seem absurd to find such misconceptions about occultism. Certainly, the students are taught by its proficients to believe there is no such thing as a "miracle." That the idea of something taking place outside of the Laws of Nature is absurd; and, therefore, we reject it most emphatically. To us, however apparently miraculous a thing may appear, yet, we are sure that it always happens in obedience to the impulse of forces of Nature, not of any supernatural cause. This is the position assumed by the occultist. Therefore, he has never said that the miraculous phenomena attributed to the world's sages were not genuine; but only that they were not "miracles," in the sense of the supernatural, and were performed through their knowledge of the operations of the hidden or occult forces of Nature. Anyone can produce them; any one — who is possessed with the purity of Buddha, undergoes the same training and obtains the same knowledge, — may become a Boddhisatwa. Gautama "Buddha" never claimed, to the knowledge of men, any divine inspiration — that is, any influence external to himself, since he rejected the very idea of the existence of God. He obtained his Buddhahood by developing his latent psychological faculties, which every man more or less possesses. The occultists, therefore, never called him or any one of the personages enumerated by you — "liars." From the above you will also realize, it is to be hoped, that no Eastern occultist ever "pretended" or claimed to "hold direct communication with the Deity;" since he believes in and invokes no other Deity but the one enthroned within his own being. Having thoroughly realised that man is the microcosm within the macrocosm, he does not go to seek that in the external universe, which he fails to find within himself.
If you see no difference between occultism and vulgar Spiritualism, it is to be regretted, but it is not our fault. We cannot read books and understand things for you. Instead of seizing one or two humourous remarks made by witty correspondents and interested enemies, if you had carefully, and, with an impartial spirit, read our various books and publications, you would have been spared the trouble of writing your letter.
If you take Bishop Sargent's words as Gospel-Truth, we do not. Here, again, if you had read the other side of the case, you would not have committed such a mistake, as the Editor's note above will perhaps convince you of having made. I again refer you to the Subodha Patrika of 4th December, 1881, as we cannot waste our time with persons, who will take up ex parte statements, to establish their own preconceived theories. You will find in the Subodha Patrika above referred to, the two trustees themselves, of the temple where Colonel Olcott planted the cocoanut, stating that the worshippers of the place, of their own accord, formally purified the place, according to their usual custom, and that no disrespect, as no exception, was meant to Colonel Olcott. According to custom, they would have purified the place just in the same way, if any other European or even a Hindu of a lower caste had entered the place.
The cocoanut plant was never "rooted out," nor was it ever removed from its original place. On the contrary, it is well taken care of, and surrounded by a fence, within the enclosures of which it flourishes and thrives, as if defying the calumnies and malicious lies of our detractors.
No "inconsistencies" in the Theosophical Society, therefore, exist in the mind of any evenly disposed person; but they do, and in a very high degree, in those of partisans, as none are as blind as they who WILL NOT SEE.
I am not at liberty to mention anything about the adepts. For myself, I would never even utter their names to the profane ears of persons bent only upon picking holes in other people's coats. Enough and too much has already been said by Mr. Sinnett in his "Occult World," and any one, who reads that book carefully, has no need to put such childish questions as you have. Upon one more subject I can enlighten you, however, and that is that no living adept has ever set up the ridiculous claim of being able to "raise the dead," once that a person is really dead. To do so, would be a "miracle" indeed — never yet performed in history by any living man — but in Fables — by many.
DAMODAR K. MAVALANKAR,
[Supplement to The Theosophist, September, 1883.]
Our Brother P. T. Srinivasaingar of Negapatam, writes to ask: —
"Can you please explain the following phenomenon?
"If a man closes his eyes, lets two fingers pass over them, presses the lower eyelids tightly with these fingers (meanwhile the eye being closed) and tries to see, then before 2' are over, a bright light begins to develop itself before his (is it mind's?) eye."
Note. — Our Brother Mr. Srinivasaingar does not seem to have read any works on Mesmerism. If he had, and if, moreover, he had witnessed personally Col. Olcott benumbing the limbs of his patients and incapacitating them, by his will-power, from opening their eyes, once that he had passed his hand over them, our Negapatam friend would have seen the rationale of the phenomenon he describes. The effect, he witnesses, is due to Auto-Magnetisation, pure and simple. Once that the eyes are closed and the mind, drawn away from all external objects of sense, is concentrated, what may appropriately be called the sixth sense, or "Siva's eye" — clairvoyant sight — is opened and the Astral Light, one of the correlations of Akasa, becomes perceptible. Those who are mediumistic can achieve this quicker than others and in some instances, on certain occasions, without any effort. But these effects will not be under the control of these peculiarly constituted people who become but passive agents of the elementals and the elementaries. He who desires to develop his psychological capacities has to practise self-Magnetisation and, becoming an active operator, has to subject the nature-forces to his WILL. It was with that view that the ancient Aryans enjoined the performance of the Sandhya Ceremony [religious ceremonies performed in India at sunrise, noon, and sunset. — EDS.] now so much neglected and misunderstood! D. K. M.
Can Females Become Adepts?
[From The Theosophist, October, 1883.]
Will you kindly let me know whether females can attain to adeptship, and whether female adepts exist at all? "An Inquirer."
Note.— It is difficult to see any good reason why females should not become Adepts. None of us, Chelas, are aware of any physical or other defect which might entirely incapacitate them from undertaking the dreary ordeal. It may be more difficult, more dangerous for them than it is for men, still not impossible. The Hindu sacred books and traditions mention such cases, and since the laws of Nature are immutable, what was possible some thousand years ago must be possible now. If our correspondent had referred to the Editorial Notes, page 148, Vol. III, (Article, Re-Incarnations in Thibet) [see The Complete Works of H. P. Blavatsky, Vol. III, footnote, p. 272. — EDS.], he would have found the existence of a female Adept hinted at — the pious Chinese Princess who, after living for ten years a married life, renounced it with her husband's consent and became a Gelung-ma, or Ani, i. e., a nun. She is believed to be still re-incarnating herself "in a succession of female Lamas." The late Tde-shoo Lama's sister is said to be one of such re-incarnations. From this lady-Adept, the Superior of the Nunnery on the Palte-Lake — a Tibetan pedlar of Darjeeling acknowledged to some Bengal Theosophists, who visited that place last year, to have received a talisman. That pedlar is now supposed to be dead; but those Theosophists who heard repeatedly his statement can testify to the fact. In Nepaul, we all know, there is a high female Adept. And in Southern India, flourished at a recent date, another great female Initiate named Ouvaiyar. Her mysterious work in Tamil on Occultism is still extant. It is styled Kural, and is said to be very enigmatically written, and consequently inexplicable. In Benares too lives a certain lady, unsuspected and unknown but to the very few to whom reference has been made in the Theosophist in the article "Swami Dayanand's Views about Yoga" (page 47, Vol. II).* Further information about these few already mentioned or any other female Adepts we may know of, we do not feel at liberty to give. If our numerous correspondents would carefully go over the back Numbers of this journal, they would find many of their questions already anticipated and answered; and thus, they would save us an unnecessary travelling over the same line. D. K. M.
*[This article is the report of a series of questions put to Swami Dayanand by Colonel Olcott, during several interviews at which notes were taken. The passage in question is:
"Q. Can a Yogi thus pass from his own body into that of a woman?
"A. With as much case as a man can, if he chooses, put on himself the dress of a woman, so he can put over his own atma her physical form. Externally, he would then be in every physical aspect and relation a woman; internally, himself.
"Q. I have met two such; that is to say, two persons who appeared women, but who were entirely masculine in everything thing but the body. One of them, you remember, we visited together at Benares, in a temple on the bank of the Ganges.
"A. Yes, 'Majji.'" — EDS.]
Tothe Editor of The Theosophist
[Supplement to The Theosophist, December, 1883.]
Madame, — Will you, with your usual kindness, enlighten me on the following points, some of them being not satisfactorily understood, even by the perusal of "Fragments of Occult Truth" and "Elixir of Life." The questions are raised, as they occurred to me while reading the said articles in your valuable journal. They are asked in the spirit of an inquirer after truth and not in the spirit of a biassed sceptic. I hope, therefore, you will kindly publish the following questions with replies thereto, in one of your ensuing numbers, of course, as soon as it may please you.
1. It is usually affirmed, what is a fact, that the adepts live very much longer than ordinary mortals. What is the maximum number of years for which they live or can live before they die their physical death like men in general, who live or can live for not more than 200 years at the most?
2. Do all adepts of any particular age, live the same or almost the same number of years? Do adepts of all ages live for about the same number of years?
3. In the article "Elixir of Life" (Vol. III, No. 7, p. 171), we read "By or about the time when the Death-limit of his race is passed, he is actually dead . . . gone to join the gods." What is the exact state of an adept by or about the time, when the Death-limit of his race is passed? If he die a physical death at such a time, though without the agonies of dying, where is the difference with respect to longevity between him and an ordinary man who dies at about 100 or 150 or 200 at the most?
4. An adept, after he is dead in the sense in which it is used in the said article, is not reborn, having no will to live or Tanha as they call it. Where is he not reborn? On this earth as well as on any other sphere? What then becomes of his body, the seven principles of which he is formed?
5. When can it be said that an adept has attained Nirvana or Moksha as the Hindus call it? What is the exact state of his body, i. e., the seven principles of which he is composed, when he attains Nirvana?
6. The ancient Rishis of India, such as Vasistha, Valmiki, Viswamitra, Agastya, and other historical adepts do not exist in flesh and blood. Then, how, i. e., in what form do they exist, if they still exist at all in any other form? What has then become of the septenary men of which they were formed?
7. "A very high adept, undertaking to reform the world, would necessarily have to once more submit to Incarnation." (Vol. III, page 17 1, No. 7 [quoted from "The Elixir of Life." — EDS.]) How, where, and when does he submit to Incarnation? Does he become incarnate in the sense in which Vishnu is said to have been incarnate by the Hindus?
8. Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, says that a perfect Yogi, becomes perfectly strong. Does he mean, by that, that he becomes physically stronger than the strongest athlete or gymnast, who is generally physically stronger than an ordinary man not taking exercise? And, if so, what makes him so very strong, since he eats very scanty or no food at all? Who is physically stronger — a vegetarian or a flesh eating man, not to say of the psychic powers he, the vegetarian, acquires?
9. Where is a man, an ordinary man, having Tanha, reborn immediately after his physical death, is it on this terrestrial globe or on any other planet of our system?
10. What becomes of an Elementary in the long run? Does or can it again become a human being? If it does, or can again become a human being, when is it and where, on this earth again or on any other planet of our system?
By throwing some light on the above questions, in an intelligible manner, you would highly oblige
DINANATH PANDURANG DHUMME
21st September, 1883.
Note. — It is to be regretted that the correspondents to this journal do not seem to realize fully the importance of the following four considerations in putting forth their questions and difficulties. —
(1st) The Fragments are but mere crumbs, and necessarily incomplete. Moreover, not being intended for serial publication, as they subsequently were, they cannot but be unsystematic in their arrangement. They were meant rather as food for thought for such as had the capacity to develop the crude ideas presented therein, than as a complete exposition of the Esoteric Doctrine.
(2nd) Most of these crude ideas have been sufficiently expatiated upon in works like the Occult World, Esoteric Buddhism and other subsequent articles in this magazine. These subsequent expositions must be carefully studied before framing any questions.
(3rd) There are certain facts which can be divulged only to such of the Fellows of the Theosophical Society as have proved their worthiness to receive them; others can be taught only to chelas as they progress; while the rest unfold themselves to INITIATES in their onward march towards BUDDHAHOOD.
(4th) For a comprehension of many of these truths the development of the "sixth sense" to which reference has already been made in the replies to "An English F. T. S." — is an essential qualification.
If these four facts could but be realised by the well-meaning and earnest correspondents of the Theosophist, much unnecessary writing would be saved. Being bounded by these lines, the questions of Mr. D. P. D. may now be answered to a certain extent.
Esoteric Buddhism sufficiently deals with the first question. The physical life of the ADEPT is determined more or less by the conditions of the race in which he is born, by the energy of his Will and by various other circumstances. It will be admitted that each subsequent race after the middle point is once passed, must be more and more spiritual. So one ADEPT having to contend with a lesser amount of materiality than his predecessors, has his way much smoother. The exact number of years which an ADEPT of a particular race may live is a perfectly immaterial question and can be set down more to unscientific curiosity than to any philosophical enquiry. It must be at the same time remembered that when a certain stage is reached, the conditions which surround the ADEPTS of different races being nearly identical, their periods of existence must be almost the same. In this answer, question number 2 is anticipated. For a further explanation Esoteric Buddhism may be studied with advantage.
Question three would never have been put by one who had properly studied the article on Elixir of Life and understood the spirit it conveys. Suffice it to say that the passage in that article which tells us that the higher bodies become accustomed to the atmospheric conditions of the earth before the grossest ones are cast off, is a broad hint for a student of occultism who has begun to live the life. Question four is partly answered in the above reply and partly in Esoteric Buddhism.
The ADEPT attains Nirvana or Moksha when he identifies himself with the ONE LIFE or rather puts himself en rapport with it. His state then is something like that of the Dhyan Chohans of the Buddhists or the Prajapatis of the Hindus. D. P. D. would do well to study the Upanishads.
The four Rishis mentioned in the article live now as Dhyan Chohans. This of course does not mean that all the ancient sages have reached that stage.
The incarnation of Adepts is to be understood in the same sense in which Occultists interpret the incarnations of Vishnu.
What Patanjali means is that the Yogi becomes strong owing to the development of his Will Power to an enormous extent. Upon what he lives, is sufficiently answered in the article on the Elixir of Life. Akasa is the mother of all phenomena and the source of nourishment of him who knows how to use it. Vegetables have properties which are not fully known, and if certain undiscovered (to the general world) vegetables were prepared and eaten in a certain way, there is no reason why they should not give even more strength than animal food. Meat-eating is full of dangers, not only psychological but even physical; and the law which teaches the spread of contagion ought to have made this fact evident. How many diseases are inherent in an organised body and yet remain unsuspected? Vegetable diet is not attended with so many dangerous results.
The question of rebirth is extensively treated upon in the Fragments and in Esoteric Buddhism and it would be mere waste of space to go over the same ground. The tenth question also is pretty fully discussed there. —D . K. M. (Chela)
[From The Theosophist, March, 1884.]
[The following is a reply to a letter from "K. C. M." who asks what is the real meaning of prayer, and if there is any harm in the various forms or methods of approaching the "Great-self" in prayer. He says: ". . . I find that prayer is allowed in all the known religions of the world. There must have been some strong grounds for enjoining the practice. Was it because the Teachers thought it advisable not to meddle with the natural feelings of their followers? . . ." — EDS.]
We act upon the principle that what is meat for one is death for another. While, therefore, some people may not be able to develop their latent psychic capacities without prayer, there are others who can. We set no value upon the words uttered. For, if the words had any effect, how is it that different religionists, although using different forms of expression, obtain the same result? Again, those who pray silently and intensely gain their object, while those who merely mumble some formula without understanding the meaning, get no answers to their prayers. As has been said in Isis Unveiled, we believe prayer is the giving of expression to the desire, which generates Will. And this WILL is all-powerful; its effect depending, of course, upon all the surrounding conditions. Philosophers can be but few. They need no external ceremony or object for the purpose of concentrating their Will-force. We cannot expect the ordinary mortals, whose sensuous perceptions and avocations do not permit them to penetrate behind the mask, to do without the help of some external process. What we regret is the degeneration of this real prayer — the outward expression of the inward feeling — into a meaningless jumble of words. The prayer of the philosopher is his contemplation, an article on which subject will be found in the last number of the Theosophist.* — D. K. M.
*[This refers to Damodar's own article on Contemplation, which appears in Chapter II of the present volume. — EDS.]
[Supplement to The Theosophist, April, 1884.]
In the Supplement to the February issue, I find registered two occurrences under the head "Phenomenal" [the article in question is too long and detailed to summarize, and, though interesting in itself, is not needed for an for appreciation of Damodar's illuminating remarks upon the use of phenomena made by the Mahatmans in the early days of the Theosophical Society. — ED.], which are remarkable, — remarkable, not in the hackneyed unmeaning sense of the newspapers, but remarkable in the literal sense of the word — worthy of remark.
My first observation is that the record of these occurrences says either too much or too little for the reading public, among whom are members of the Theosophical Society and the uninitiated as well. It says too much, because while publishing a lot of details connected with the phenomena, it excites a hope well warranted under the circumstances in the breast of every one, that members of the Theosophical Society, in addition to the mental and moral progress they secure, are constantly under the guidance of their "Masters," who interfere (pardon the word) in almost every trifling affair of this world, even to the extent of compensating in hard cash for the pecuniary losses which the members may "unjustly" be subjected to — a hope which I need hardly say is thoroughly out of place and almost inconsistent with the high moral tone of the eloquent and impressive admonition which the President addresses to the candidates at the initiation time.
The record again says too little, because while the writers honestly believe that they have given to the public all that is necessary for them to know that the occurrences registered are free from jugglery, there is an amount of omission, very important omission indeed, which leaves a very unpleasant impression that the statements published are only those elicited in the "Examination-in-chief " of a witness by a partial advocate; that much of the cross-examination and re-examination have been most unwisely omitted, and that fuller statements were deemed either ruinous to the cause and purposely suppressed or omitted from an inadequate appreciation of their great importance. I believe it is the latter.
The object of the first phenomenon was to check Mr. S. Ramaswami Iyer's vehement talk. He was doing this in the presence of a venerable lady, which fact alone should have curbed the ribald license of the tongue. And what was this "rather warm" and "vehement" tone, which a single look from any ordinary lady, much more of Madame Blavatsky could not chasten and tone down? Was the interference from the spiritual world a necessity in the case? I find the substance of all this big talk omitted in the record, and that purposely — an omission which I do not regret; and knowing, as I do, some particulars connected with it, it would be a breach of ordinary propriety were I to mention them in spite of the intentional silence of Mr. Cooppooswami Iyer: but I must say that to my mind at least the cause that excited the vehement tone was most trivial compared with the grand machine that was used for its removal: a quiet snub from Madame Blavatsky would have done all the good the young man required, and Master S. Ramaswami Iyer in his teens would have richly deserved a few cuts on the back from the strong hand of the President. As it is, there has been a waste of energy and force, which is one of the sins against Laws of nature and (pardon me) an abuse of power. Suppose an officer, who is a Theosophist as well, is ordered to lead a forlorn hope, would you not think him fit for the lunatic asylum if he talked "vehemently" and "rather warmly" against the orders and waited for a Mahatma to give him an encouraging word? And why should he not wait in hope inasmuch as the Mahatma had condescended to do so in one case, comparatively a trivial case, and could not in fairness be justified in withholding his aid in another and more serious case?
Now the next case. Does the Mahatma undertake to indemnify every Theosophist who bears "an unjust expense?" The absurdities of the question are on its very face, and yet one would be justified in raising it. The "unjust" nature of the expense Mr. Subrammanya Iyer has not explained: that explanation would have shewn how far the Theosophist who bore the expense was not himself to blame for it, how far he was not a careless victim of his own credulity and deserved the indemnity. There are fools and villains in this world, and the latter are constantly living at the expense of the former, and a great deal of the consequent misery is due to ignorance, to wipe off which is the grand object of the Mahatmas, not in the direct way, which has been most singularly adopted in the present instance, but by teachings.
"But who are you to lay the law down for the Mahatmas? They act as they will, your duty is to believe and admire," will probably be the remark of the Editor of the Theosophist. A similar reprimand has been addressed in the "Occult World." I shall bear this reprimand and, aye, a great deal more. God knows I am not a critic for the sake of criticism. Knowledge is my thirst, and the publications of such phenomena push me back a considerable distance in my way onwards. Would it be difficult for the Mahatmas to exhibit a phenomenon at each initiation? Would not the Theosophical Society be simply mobbed for initiation under such circumstances? and yet how long would such a state of things last? and how long would the initiated remain content after the first experience? The craving is the most unhealthy ever known and is never satiated. Miracles, using the word in its ordinary sense, have never done much good. On the grandest occasions — I cannot even conceive of such occasions — a miracle may be justifiable: but man's fate in this world is to struggle on, is to study, is to see through the hollowness of this material world by observation and contemplation, and not to be waiting for money compensations for "unjust" losses or for words of encouragement from the Mahatmas at every petty annoyance that he must suffer by thousands as long as he is in this world.
Theosophy has a deep foundation of its own; if its sublime principles were not found sufficient enough to convert the world, such phenomenal occurrences as these would prove simply impotent. They may for a time excite curiosity, wonder, and be the talk of a few for a month: then they lose their effect and there is a craving for more: you must satisfy it: you try to repress it, it is at your peril. K. H.'s letters in the "Occult World" are explicit on this point: his theory is sublime: his participation, however, in the two recorded phenomena has staggered me. Will you teach me to reconcile the theory with the practice?
Note. -- I must state at the outset that I have the greatest respect for the writer, for he is one of the very, very few enlightened natives of India who have joined our Society for the sake of the Philosophy and its high aims and objects and not for the sake of "phenomena." In fact what kept him so long from us was the latter. If the percentage of such exceptional men were to steadily increase, that would indeed be a very hopeful sign of the intellectual and philosophical progress of humanity. In the present case, our brother's remarks are directed against the two articles appearing under the heading of "Phenomenal" in the February Number. I shall, however, show that his criticisms, although well meant, are to some extent misdirected.
In the first place, he seems to think that the interference of Mr. Ramaswamier's GURU, in what he calls a trivial matter, was a waste of power. This observation betrays an ignorance of the mode of communication between the Adepts and their Chelas or fellow-initiates. A careful consideration of the article on PRECIPITATION [unsigned article in The Theosophist, Dec.-Jan., 1883-84; republished in Five Years of Theosophy, pp. 518-521. — EDS.] will show that the Adept and the Chela or another Adept are like the two signallers at the two ends of a Telegraphic line. It is only when the batteries are out of order, or moisture or some such cause prevents the free working of the wires — that expense has to be undergone to restore or keep the communication intact. In the same way the Adepts have to use no power in communicating with one another or with their Chelas of a certain degree, unless either of them is ill or exhausted by fatigue, &c., or unless some antagonistic influence interferes with the Astral Wires, if I may use the expression. In the case under notice, Mme. Blavatsky, who is in constant communication with the Adepts, was there. The presence of all the Chelas helped to keep the Astral Telegraph free from any disturbance, and little or no power had to be used to send the letter in question to Mr. Ramaswamier. Mme. Blavatsky could no doubt have checked the vehemence of the language used by Mr. R., but at the same time Mr. Coopooswami Iyer's description indicates that the check exercised by the Mahatma was only one of the purposes of the letter in question. Advantage was probably taken of the opportunity, while communicating serious matters, to also add a few words of reprimand in regard to the subject then vehemently discussed. This latter fact, however, was "phenomenal" for those who have no idea of the possibilities of Occult powers, and naturally enough Mr. Coopooswami Iyer gave prominence to the same. My brother should remember that what is "phenomenal" for an outsider, is not necessarily so for a Chela. If others were to see my MASTER as I see Him, they would consider it a "phenomenon": I do not, for I know that as the usual mode of communication between an Adept and his Chela. The same remarks more or less apply to the second phenomenon mentioned by Mr. Subramania Iyer. There was no intention of exhibiting "occult powers." The absence of Mme. Blavatsky and other Chelas would have prevented the occurrence; for in that case an appreciable amount of "power" would have to be used to lay the Astral Telegraphic Line. The two gentlemen in question only took advantage of the opportunity of their presence on those occasions to mention what they saw, for the benefit of those who were then absent. Surely our philosophic brother does not mean to deny that the overwhelming testimony of eyewitnesses to facts, influences people in favour of the same, and that there are many, who now "despise phenomena" as tamasha, but were led to a study of the philosophy by the force of unrebuttable evidence poured forth before them through the "Occult" literature. Happy would be that day indeed when the noumenal will supersede the phenomenal; but till then we have a duty to perform, and that is to hasten its approach, though not by any radical means. If these occurrences then, in which no special power had to be exercised, can stimulate not a few to enquire into the philosophy, why should they be lost, without turning them to some advantage, however slight that advantage may be? I would also refer those interested in the matter to the article on "Occult Phenomena" in the current number of the Theosophist.*
D. K. M.
[*Article signed AN AMERICAN BUDDHIST. The writer shows that there is nothing 'magic' in the work of the Mahatmans, but that they use what for them are simple and natural means to carry on their work among the Theosophists. The sooner, says the author, ignorant critics "accustom themselves to look upon our revered Masters as teachers and friends and wise men, instead of looking at them with the same feeling of awe and superstition and fear with which the Fiji-islander looks upon his Deity; the sooner will they find that the so-called 'Occult Phenomena' are neither intended to convert incredulous sceptics, nor are they produced for the purpose of astonishing the public; but are principally methods of communication or instruction. To appreciate a thing properly and according to its true value, we must neither depreciate its importance, nor over-estimate the same." — EDS.]
[From The Theosophist, April, 1884.]
[The following is a comment by Damodar on an article by Purmeshri Dass, F. T. S., in its turn commenting on an article in The Theosophist (Dec., 1883, March, 1884) by Mrs. Anna Kingsford, M. D., F. T. S., entitled "The Best Food For Man." Purmeshri Dass's article takes an even stricter stand than does Mrs. Kingsford herself for the cause of vegetarianism, and criticises her for advising that cheese, milk, butter, and eggs may be properly used to fill out a vegetarian diet. — EDS.]
Note. — I beg to remind my brother that Theosophy admits of no dogmatic assertion of the fitness of things; therefore no particular kind of food is ordered imperatively, neither is there any that is "forbidden" or "prohibited" in the strict sense of the terms. The Occultist, after careful investigation of all the facts and circumstances of the whole case and their impartial consideration with a broad and enlightened vision, recommends a certain course of action as the best. He always takes his stand in the middle, and, surveying the lines pointing to the extremities, comes to a decision. There are people who argue that destruction is the order of the universe, that everywhere we see one creature preying upon another, itself being the food of a third, and that it is therefore perfectly natural for people to kill animals for food. There are others who say that everywhere is to be seen in nature a feeling of love, an affection — the mother taking care of the children and so on. Therefore no life should be destroyed. There are not a few who say that they use animal food merely because they find animals already dead or killed, but that on no account would they allow slaughter intended solely for themselves. A dispassionate consideration of these three arguments is now necessary. The first class show that they have not risen above their animal nature. Otherwise they would see that this beastly tendency, this desire for the assimilation of animal food with their physical frames, has the effect of chaining them down to a physical plane from the meshes of which no rising is possible unless a more human feeling begins to assert itself. The latent spark of this noble feeling is inherent in animals too, for if they did not have it, they would not feel that tenderness towards their young which they manifest. This class, therefore, we must leave out of consideration for the present. The sophistry of the third class is self-evident. Our answer to them is that they must remember that an appreciable decrease in the number of flesh eaters must have the effect of lessening the number of slaughtered animals. If they use the flesh of dead animals, they may just as well be asked to follow the example of the Chinese who do not spare the flesh of dead persons. We must now divert our attention to the second class. If the theory that no life should be destroyed be carried to its legitimate extent, the very existence of man would become impossible, for even the air he breathes is full of animalculae, which he must inhale when the respiratory process is in operation. Nay — we can go still further: the ONE LIFE permeates all; each and every atom has latent life in it, and therefore every atom we displace in our movements is an injury to life. The great problem is how to get out of this difficulty. The Occultist recognises the important fact that everything in nature progresses gradually and nothing is achieved by starts or jumps. At the same time he realises that destruction and creation are relative and interchangeable terms, since destruction relates only to form — the substance remaining always permanent — and that the destruction of one form is the creation of another. These relative ideas therefore cease, when the phenomenal and the noumenal are blended together into THE ONE SUBSTANCE. The aim of the Occult Student is therefore to gradually progress on the path of perfection, so that he may get out of this world of forms and be merged into the ARUPI TOTALITY. This is not the work of a day, nor of a few years, but of ages. He therefore gradually by a special training induces in himself such conditions as would enable him to rise higher and higher on the path of perfection. He does nothing violently: he only anticipates, by his knowledge, the usually slow processes of Nature, and he conforms his mode of living to the then conditions of his existence, bearing also in mind that it is but temporary since a higher state of existence requires a better mode. The neophyte gradually leaves off eating until he reaches a stage where no food is necessary. And the ultimate stage is that where all relativity ceases and he identifies himself with the ABSOLUTE EXISTENCE. So long, therefore, as we are in the phenomenal world, we cannot but guide our actions by the law of relativity and have always to make a choice between two evils. A true philosopher, one who has put himself en-rapport with his Buddhi, makes the right choice. It is for this reason that Occult Science is useful. It gives its votaries a right sense of discrimination and enables them to adopt only that course which would not come in the way of progress, while ordinary humanity, engulfed in the trammels of Avidya, gropes in the dark and many a time does exactly the opposite of what may be conducive to progress. This should not be assumed to mean an occultist is infallible; but by his superior knowledge he is in a better position to do what is right than one whose perceptions are clouded by Maya. This explanation, I believe, is sufficient to show that no hard and fast rules can be laid down for general guidance. There is an infinite gradation of progress towards the ABSOLUTE, where alone all difference can come to an end. As regards the use of animal food, the answer to the first class of men under consideration covers the point. D. K. M.
[From The Theosophist, May, 1884.]
A few years ago I was visiting some relatives in Z. . . . Switzerland, one evening there was a social gathering at our house, and it was proposed to try to hold a circle. The Protestant minister who was present objected, but his objection was overruled, and the table began to tip. The spirit (?), on being asked its name, gave that of a seamstress, who had died only shortly before. On hearing this name every one began to laugh, because the said seamstress had been a very queer and eccentric person; but soon this hilarity was followed by a more serious mood, because on being asked where she was, she (the spirit) said that she was in hell. She then related that she had poisoned her mother, gave the name of the poison, the name of the place where it was bought, and other detailed circumstances. She also gave the particulars of her own burial and the text of the funeral sermon; but this part of the communication can be explained by the presence of the identical minister who preached it.
However there was no suspicion about her mother's death having been an unnatural one; but public opinion, being aroused by this spirit communication, it provoked enquiry and investigation. The body was exhumed and examined, the poison was found, the purchase of the same traced to the indicated chemist shop, and the story corroborated in every detail. — A. v. H. . . .
Note. — The corroboration of the facts concerning the murder of the communicating spirit's mother will perhaps be taken by some as a proof that it was a "genuine spirit" communication. Let us see, however, if any other explanation, more reasonable and scientific, can be given. It has been stated on the authority of our occult doctrines that in the case of ordinary humanity, the shell (composed of the fourth, and the grossest portion of the fifth, principles) survives the death of the physical body for a certain period. This period largely depends upon the Karma of the individual, whether in mental desires or physical acts. Thus it is not difficult to conceive the possibility that the feeling of repentance for the horrible act of matricide may have so strongly impressed the dying thought of the seamstress as to effect for the time being the union between the fourth and the lower portions of the fifth principle, wherein reside memory and physical consciousness. The presence of the minister — one of a class whose whole bent of mind, owing to professional proclivities, is generally directed towards penitent sinners — and the further fact of his being the very priest who officiated at her funeral are sufficient to give the shell a stimulus, if any were needed (since the seamstress had died but a very short time previous to the seance and consequently hardly needed any) to give vent to a thought of so oppressive a nature. The confession of the "shell" of the seamstress that she "was in hell," is enough to show to any thinking mind that the communicating principle could not have been a "spirit," and spoke of hell simply because it found the ready picture of one in the priest's brain. It is needless to mention here that occultism admits of no orthodox Hell, although evil personalities have their various degrees of mental suffering in the state of Avitchi. — D. K. [M. ?]*
*[Signed "D. K." but possibly by Djual Khool. — EDS.]
[From The Theosophist, June, 1884.]
[Note by Damodar to an article signed "A Brahman Theosophist" discussing A. P. Sinnett's book Esoteric Buddhism in connection with Hinduism. — EDS.]
Note. — We print the above letter as it expresses in courteous language and in an able manner the views of a large number of our Hindu brothers. At the same time it must be stated that the name of Esoteric Buddhism was given to Mr. Sinnett's latest publication, not because the doctrine propounded therein is meant to be specially identified with any particular form of Faith, but because Buddhism means the doctrine of the Buddhas, the Wise, i. e., the WISDOM-RELIGION. At least that was the understanding on which the name was permitted to be used. We have now only to make one remark in regard to what our correspondent says concerning Exoteric Hinduism. The Hindus have devoted ages to a study of religious problems. Hence all possible phases of thought are propounded by different schools. Extreme materialists, positivists, theists, dualists, non-dualists, &c. &c., can, one and all, quote some ancient authority or other in their favour. Hence it is extremely difficult to say whether exoteric Hinduism is nearer the Esoteric Doctrine than any other Faith. One can say that a particular form of Hinduism approaches the Occult Doctrine much nearer than any other; and that is all. We must say a few words more. Although the book of Mr. Sinnett employs a Buddhistic phraseology, our correspondent must have noticed that the Theosophist almost invariably uses the Vedantic form of expression. Thus readers of the Theosophic literature will see that, although the two Faiths may use different phraseology, the ideas underlying the same are identical. — D. K. M.
[From The Theosophist, January, 1885.]
[The following is appended as a footnote to a statement made in an open letter, under the above title, to the Editor of the Statesman, and signed "L. S." The statement commented upon by Damodar is as follows: ". . . For, let it be understood, the fundamental doctrine of all Theosophic teaching is this, — that there are truths which cannot be reached by our ordinary mental processes; and that there have been, at all times, men, who, by an extraordinary process, which, for the want of a better designation, we shall call psychic, did succeed in grasping, more or less clearly, a portion of those hidden truths. This you have now come to acknowledge in one of your articles of your impression of the 30th instant; but you just behave in this respect, as one of those who ought to have known long before, and you tell us now 'that the doctrine is a travesty of a very solemn doctrine taught by the Christian Scriptures, &c.'" — EDS.]
The correspondent of the Statesman might well have retorted by saying that if Theosophy is supposed to be "a travesty of a very solemn doctrine taught by the Christian Scriptures," the latter themselves are, not unoften, a very ridiculous caricature of some of the most "solemn" teachings and doctrines inculcated in "Heathen" scriptures of remote antiquity; and that, while the Theosophical Society does not claim to teach any nothing [anything] new but, on the contrary, proclaims its intention of a revival of ancient learning and wisdom, popular Christianity, at any rate, pretends to have received a "Revelation" only 1884 years ago, implying thereby that, before that time, there was no such thing as "divine wisdom," or civilization, or learning. The aim of the Theosophical Society is to try to remove such "travesties" from all popular theologies by uniting together their intellectual representatives in the search after "Truth," and thus helping to make religion scientific and science religious. If some of the prominent members of the Theosophical Society had now and then to speak in uncomplimentary terms of exoteric Christianity, it is because the "travesties" of "solemn doctrines" by the latter now and then assume a most offensive form and also because its intolerant spirit manifests itself in a dangerous aspect. — D. K. M.