Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press. All rights reserved.
G. de P. — Will you please sound the gong. I am ready now to answer questions.
Student — My question was rather difficult to phrase verbally so I have written it out: In The Secret Doctrine, volume II, page 228, there occurs the following:
"As to those 'Sons of Wisdom' [Manasaputras or Kumaras] who had 'deferred' their incarnation till the Fourth Race, which was already tainted (physiologically) with sin and impurity, they produced a terrible cause, the Karmic result of which weighs on them to this day. . . .
"This was the 'Fall of the angels,' because of their rebellion against Karmic Law."
Then on page 246, same volume:
". . . the Secret Doctrine teaches that the Fire-Devas, the Rudras, and the Kumaras, the 'Virgin-Angels,' . . . the divine 'Rebels' . . . preferred the curse of incarnation and the long cycles of terrestrial existence and rebirths, to seeing the misery (even if unconscious) of the beings (evolved as shadows out of their Brethren) through the semi-passive energy of their too spiritual Creators. . . . To do this they had to give up their natural status and, descending on our globe, take up their abode on it for the whole cycle of the Mahayuga, thus exchanging their impersonal individualities for individual personalities — the bliss of sidereal existence for the curse of terrestrial life. This voluntary sacrifice of the Fiery Angels, whose nature was Knowledge and Love, was construed by the exoteric theologies into a statement that shows 'the rebel angels hurled down from heaven into the darkness of Hell.' . . ."
HPB's Theosophical Glossary defines the manasa-dhyanis as "the Solar Ancestors of Man, those who made of Man a rational being, by incarnating in the senseless forms of semi-ethereal flesh of the men of the third race."
And under manasa: "The Pitris are identical with the Kumara, the Vairajas, the Manasa-Putra (mind sons), and are finally identified with the human 'Egos.'"
It was these passages that gave me the idea that the manasaputras and our higher egos were one and the same. Will you please elucidate further? I am yet somewhat mystified.
G. de P. — It is not surprising that you should be mystified. I have often wondered why so many of you in your questions touch upon the most recondite problems of our philosophy. Your minds seem to run to them. Can it be that there is an instinct working in your minds or in your hearts which really is an intuition?
As I recollect, you formerly asked whether the manasaputras (sometimes called the manasa-dhyanis or the solar devas, the rudras, or the vairajas, the Sons of Flame or the solar lhas) were the same as our egos; and the answer is obviously, no, they are not. Nevertheless they are "identified" with our egos. This may seem a very strange thing to say. It is one of the paradoxes which we so frequently meet with in our studies. You will please remember, dear Companions, that a paradox is not a contradiction. A paradox is a statement of two facts or two sides of a question, two aspects of a question, which in fact mutually complement or support each other, but which when put thus into juxtaposition seem to those who do not know all the details to contradict each other.
The human constitution is composed of a number of elements. Man is a composite being. He is an aggregate. He is not an inseparable unity. He has distinct elements or principles in his composition, consequently he is not a simple unit but is at least a septenary entity. The seven parts of his constitution consist of elements or principles derived from the sevenfold elements or principles of the solar system. There is in man a sun- or solar element, a moon- or lunar element. There is in man a Mars element, a Saturn, a Jupiter, a Mercury element, a Venus, as well as an Earth element. All these elements, or element-principles or principle-elements, when combined by karmic destiny, form man. Man is called man because his consciousness in the present stage of his evolution is centered in what is called the manasa-part of his constitution. This manasa part is the lower part of the essential characteristic of the solar devas, otherwise called the manasaputras or the vairajas.
Man is not yet self-conscious in the higher manasic part of his constitution, which when evolved forth will make of him a manasaputra, a manasa-dhyani, a solar deva. He then will function in the sun part of his constitution. The lower part of his manas we call the lunar part, the moon part, and it is this moon part which came over from the moon. The solar part of us is not yet awakened to full self-consciousness in our constitution; but we are beginning to become cognizant of this higher egoity in us, although we are not yet self-consciously it.
The manasaputras — or the solar element in our constitution — are progressed or evolved egos from a previous manvantara, who attained manasaputric dhyan-chohanship when the moon-chain went into pralaya. When the time came for the earth-chain to begin its evolutionary progress as a chain, these manasa-dhyanis, who are essentially solar gods, although they came from the moon-chain, waited in their own realms until conditions on the earth-chain were appropriate for their manifestation. Then, being as they are members of the cosmic order of buddhic compassion, their opportunity came to inflame the mankind of the third root-race on this fourth globe in this fourth round. Hence it is clear that these manasa-dhyanis, being progressed or evolved egos or individualities from a previous manvantara, are not we humans, and yet they are identified with us because they inflamed us. They aroused into activity our own latent manasic self-consciousness. They warmed us or inspired us with their own manasic rays. They set our own egoity on fire, brought it into active function. In every man today, even yet, although he is fully self-conscious only in his lower manas, the ray from his individual manasaputric savior or awakener or inflamer still works upon him and through him in its own native splendor.
These manasaputras are not our human egos which are the parts of us which were inflamed into becoming self-consciously functioning; nevertheless a vivid ray in each human being comes to him from the manasaputra which set his sleeping lower ego on fire — awakened it. The manasaputras are, therefore, at once we and not we. They are we because we still are bathed in their spiritual flame, but they are not we because we are ourselves. Each one of us is his own human ego.
In similar fashion we human beings, when our own earth-chain shall have reached the end of its seventh round at the end of the earth-manvantara, will become manasaputric dhyan-chohans if we make the race of evolution successfully. Then we shall be manasaputras in our turn, because we shall then have awakened the full manasaputric or solar element in us; and it will be our turn in the planetary chain which will be the child of this earth-chain to overshadow, to set aflame the divine fire of self-consciousness in the hosts of lives now trailing after us, which hosts will be the humanity of that future planetary chain. I refer specifically here to what we now call the beasts, all the hosts of the beasts.
I will try to make a little clearer to you what happened at the so-called "descent" of the manasaputras in the third root-race in this fourth round on this globe. Consider a beast, a beloved horse or pet dog: it is quite possible if one knows the magic of it for a human being to incarnate or imbody a ray from his own self-consciousness into the beast, send a ray from himself into the beast mind, and thus set that beast mind aflame, quicken it, vivify it, arouse it, thus bringing forth the beast's own latent faculties — much as fire warms your body bringing out its natural latent heat, quickening the vibration of the molecules of the body, thus producing heat.
Of course, such an act today would be an act of black magic, not an act of white magic, and this is because the beasts are not yet prepared to receive the manasaputric incarnation. I am using this illustration merely to show you in some degree what took place during the third root-race. Were any one of you to do such an act with your favorite pet, you would be performing an act nearly equivalent to what a manasa-dhyani did to any one of you as an individual human during the third root-race.
There is this great difference to remember, however: it is an analogy, an illustration, and not an identic set of circumstances. Humanity even during the third root-race were not beasts. Man has been human from the beginning. This is an important distinction that you must remember, please. Nevertheless, the above illustration will show you somewhat of the modus operandi, of how the thing is done, and it becomes at once obvious therefore by this illustration that the projected manasaputric ray is not the quickened, vivified, inflamed, newly-brought-into-being ego of the beast-pet, but is yourself. Yet, in a certain sense, it is the beast ego too because thus inflamed and thus vivified, it is bathed in the spiritual splendor of your self-consciousness, and draws its vivifying intellectual life from that spiritual self-consciousness.
The karmic time comes in the spiritual and psychological history of mankind when this act of self-sacrifice on the part of the manasa-dhyanis is called for by evolution, and it becomes the duty of the manasaputras to do it. This act is sometimes spoken of in the ancient literatures as the time of the incarnation of the gods in men, when the gods walked familiarly with men. There is nothing very wonderful or strange about this fact. The identic thing happens today, but after a different manner, in a different way.
When a child goes to school, the teacher awakens its mind. The teacher sets the child's latent faculties aflame, develops or evolves its latent intellectual and psychic powers; and he does it by companionship, by teaching, by example, by appeal. It is the same fact, the same event, but in much smaller degree. We act upon each other and react against each other every day in precisely the same way. Consider how imitative children are, how they copy their teachers and preceptors and parents.
There is something else, and it is a lesson which we can draw from this fact regarding the great care that should be exercised in choosing proper teachers for our little ones. The influence of a bad teacher can be very pernicious indeed on the developing mind of the child.
Some of the ancient literatures have referred to this general rule of nature in various ways. Some speak of it as the passing on of light, others as the communicating of knowledge. Initiation is exactly the same thing, but in a particular set of circumstances. The initiator awakens the higher or spiritual ego in the initiant, brings him to a second birth, a new birth — that of the higher ego; brings out the native faculties and powers of the higher ego, and thus makes him for the time being a quasi-god, a demigod.
What took place in the case of the descent of the manasaputras at the time of the third root-race is simply a grand example, an example in the large, of what takes place in the case of every individual human being today as he grows from childhood to adulthood. In each instance the rule is the same: the quickening of latent faculties, the setting aflame of hitherto sleeping powers within.
So it becomes obvious, therefore, that these manasaputras belonging to the order of buddhic compassion — as we also do as chelas — did their work as an act of compassion. It was a self-sacrifice on their part because with them the act was complete and whole. They actually incarnated in the latent humanity of the third root-race, and awakened it, intellectually quickened it, and made the hitherto quasi-senseless, intellectually somnolent or sleeping man, truly man. Therefore I say that even today the manasaputra of each individual overshadows him. You cannot call it the higher ego, because the higher ego is an essential part of each one of you although not yet awakened, but it will be awakened as evolution does its work in the future. Therefore I say again: the manasaputras are in one sense we; in another sense they are not we. The manasaputras are identified with our egos because they brought our egos forth, but actually they themselves are not our egos.
Take the beast again, in order to make this matter more clear. The beast has everything in it that you have. The horse, the dog, the giraffe, the elephant, the rhinoceros, the cock — any beast — has everything in it that you have, everything. But the higher faculties are not awakened, they have not been set aflame, they have not become self-conscious. There is in each one of you a manasa-dhyani, a manasaputra, in addition to the one which awakened you as an individual; but this essential manasaputra within, you have not yet yourself evolved into becoming. You have not yet become this higher part of your own egoity.
I do trust that this explanation is clear to you. Is it?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Very well, then we can pass on to other questions.
Student — Is the divine monad in the human constitution synonymous with the inner god, or is it a different entity?
G. de P. — No, it is the inner god. But don't confound it with the divine monad of the inflaming or awakening manasaputra.
Student — No, I will not. I have two or three questions. First, you spoke in the first place of the animals that become human beings in the next manvantara — the present animals. Of course that must include the animal monad in our present constitution.
G. de P. — Do you mean the animal monad in the constitution of each human being, or the animal monads of the beasts?
Student — No, the animal monad in the human constitution.
G. de P. — Then my answer is, no. I was referring to the animal monads of the beasts.
Student — Yes, but I wondered if you were also referring to what I said.
G. de P. — No, I was not.
Student — Another thing puzzles me very much. The manasaputra has assumed responsibility for us, and I understand perfectly why it is so from your explanation. But the spiritual monads take care of us between incarnations; and the spiritual monads, you told us a month ago, are not the same as the manasaputras. I cannot quite understand how that happens; and I wondered whether the spiritual monads are making the outer rounds with us between incarnations.
G. de P. — Pardon me, Doctor. May I interrupt lest there be confusion here. Did you correctly understand what I said when you say that I said that the spiritual monads were not our manasaputras?
Student — Well, I asked that question four weeks ago and I understood you to say they were not.
G. de P. — We have come back here to the same confusion. Which manasaputra do you mean: the one sleeping in us, or the one which inflamed us?
Student — Oh! the one which inflamed us.
G. de P. — They are quite different.
Student — Yes. But it is the spiritual monad, I understand, in whose bosom we sleep between incarnations.
G. de P. — It is the individual's own spiritual monad in whose bosom the human monad sleeps between incarnations. That is correct. That is quite right.
Student — So it is the spiritual monad — which is another entity and not the inflaming manasaputra — who takes care of us between incarnations? And it is the awakening or inflaming manasaputra that takes care of us during incarnations. Is that correct?
G. de P. — That is quite correct from one standpoint; and I say this because I understand what you mean. Let me point out that the one which you call the spiritual monad is actually the individual's own manasaputra. But it is not the manasaputra which inflamed or awakened the latent intellectual powers in the individual. Do you now understand?
Student — Thank you, yes, I do.
Student — Is this manasaputra that inflames us, or who inflamed us, our parent-star?
G. de P. — No, no. The parent-star of any individual is the source of the divine-spiritual part of his constitution. The manasaputra which inflamed us is another entity, another individuality, having its own parent-star — possibly the same parent-star.
Student — Is there another relationship then between the manasaputra and us?
G. de P. — When you speak of the manasaputra, do you mean those entities who sacrificed themselves in order to help or awaken mankind intellectually?
Student — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — The relation is a karmic one. For instance, I might ask you: what is the relation between you and me? We are friends, we would do much for each other. We would help each other to the end. That friendship builds up karmic ties which are bound to draw us closer together, in the spiritual sense, all the time. Now just take this same thought and trace in your mind the evolution of an unself-conscious god-spark through the aeons. It builds up ties or links, karmic bonds, with other god-sparks more or less advanced than it. They act and react upon each other, and the more advanced god-spark has a karmic responsibility as regards the less advanced god-sparks. The relationship is closely parallel to the relationship existing between us human beings and the beasts trailing along behind us. The human race has treated the beasts, as a rule, abominably, ignobly, so that this treatment has formed and is forming steadily through the ages karmic ties of a most intimate kind. And the human race will feel, when the time comes for it, these karmic bonds acting upon it, pulling it or attracting it to help the beasts. Such is the relationship. It is composed of karmic ties originated in past manvantaras.
I hope that I have made the thought clear to you.
Student — Yes, you have. Thank you.
Student — When we become manasaputras, will the manasaputras who inflamed us then withdraw?
G. de P. — They will not withdraw. They will have advanced by that time to become gods — full-blown gods. They will then be our divine guides. We as manasaputras will still look up to them as gods, just as we humans now unconsciously look to our inflaming manasaputra-guides as gods.
Student — Could you tell us what happens to the manasaputras who came to awaken our manasaputras after we die? Surely they must have another course than ours to follow.
G. de P. — Do you mean after our physical body dies?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — The manasaputras which inflamed us, or awakened us, during the third root-race, did so because of the karmic bonds of which I have just spoken. These karmic bonds cannot be ruptured at the death of a physical body and thereafter cease to exist. Also each new act becomes a new cause, the karmic bonds continuing to change through the ages. Consequently, when such an insignificant act as the death of the human body occurs — insignificant from the standpoint of the inflaming manasaputra — it has no effect on the inflaming manasaputra at all, nor on its relationship with the ego which it is still overshadowing, and to a certain extent guiding and inflaming. The ties continue through the devachanic period, through the succeeding incarnation, and so on through the ages. Indeed, if you pause a moment in thought, you will see that if karmic ties could be ruptured absolutely, the universe itself could not cohere. It is held together by karmic ties existing mutually among all its parts high and low.
Student — I thought perhaps that between births, between incarnations, the manasaputra had another course to follow.
G. de P. — Oh! The manasaputra which inflamed us is evolving in its own high sphere just as we are evolving here. In many, many cases, perhaps in most cases, the manasaputra which inflamed any human individual is scarcely conscious at the present time that it is the directing genius of some human being. Again, the human body is composed of atoms, of unself-conscious god-sparks. These atoms cohere, are held together, in the body by reason of the encompassing and permeating life of the man. These atoms are, furthermore, his children, his offspring, parts of his own vital essence, attracted back to him in each new life. When the body dies, although these atoms pursue their many, many, many and various peregrinations, and through all the kingdoms, nevertheless they are permeated all the time by a mysterious attraction to each other because they all come from the same source, the same fountain of life which pours forth from the heart of the man whose body they now form. These atoms are like a vital stream. They all belong to the one life-stream.
The manasaputra which inflamed us is evolving on its own lofty plane all the time. It has its destiny as we have ours. Its inflaming of us is but an incident in its karmic career.
I have told you before, Companions, that to speak of the descent of the monads, or even of the manasaputras, is correct as a figure of speech, but this descent is not to be understood as an actual falling down through space into a human body. That is not the idea, nor is it the fact. It is called a descent because it is a descent or change from a higher state to an inferior state. It is somewhat as if a man were partially to incarnate in a beast body in order to give that beast entity a modicum of self-consciousness; meanwhile he might or might not be pursuing his regular avocations. Such an act of psychological magic would not be a descent or a falling through physical space into the beast body, but it would be a descent in the sense of changing a noble degree for an inferior degree.
Student — When you say that the manasaputras inflamed us, what do you mean by "us"?
G. de P. — I thought that I had made that point clear. I mean the undeveloped man, or humanity, of the third root-race in this fourth round on this earth. Those then imperfectly developed or evolved human beings were not beasts. Physically speaking, they were psycho-astral bodies evolved by the lowest class of the lunar pitris who could indeed build a body having animation, having a certain low grade of psychic energy, having physical heredity and so forth; but these lunar pitris could not endow those imperfectly developed beings with mind, because they themselves had it not. The mind was undeveloped. It was there indeed, but unawakened, latent. It was not self-consciously there. Consequently, those men of the early third race lived, as it were, in a trance, in a daydream, very much as a little child with us lives for a year or more after it is born. The human child is not a beast. It has a human physical body. But there is as yet no self-conscious mind there. The germs of mind are indeed there, but mind itself is not yet brought forth, it is not awakened, it is sleeping. Then slowly, as the days and months and years pass, the watchful mother will see the sparkle of intelligence come into the child's eye. Even its acts become different.
It was just so with the third root-race in its first portion, when men lived as it were, in a trance, in a daydream. They grew from childhood to maturity and then died, but all in a daze, remaining in a child-like state their whole life long. There are human beings today who, many of them, live somewhat like that. They are not really fully awake. It is of course perfectly true that they are much more evolved now than the third-race men were then, but nevertheless these present-day individuals that I speak of are only imperfectly developed psychically, mentally, morally, and spiritually. They have not really awakened. The work of the manasaputras, as regards these individuals, was achieved much later in human evolution, perhaps even not until the fourth root-race. These are instances of the cases where some of the manasaputras — as you may read in HPB's The Secret Doctrine — put off their work of compassion until a much later time than others.
Student — The Secret Doctrine speaks of the lower kingdoms, the beast kingdom for instance, being made from the cast-off "skin" of the early humanities.
G. de P. — That is essentially quite right.
Student — Does that not make the kingdoms inseparable from us, thus forming the karmic bond that requires our firing or quickening them when we in our turn pass upwards to the plane of the manasaputras?
G. de P. — You have caught the thought exactly. That is exactly right. We and they are all bound together. No entity can possibly live unto itself alone. We help each other and hurt each other whether we will or whether we nill. It is our duty to help each other deliberately and with a will, rather than to hurt each other deliberately and with a will. This is the difference between the great man and the man who is not great.
Now listen carefully because this is a difficult subject: the beasts, at least the mammalians, the higher classes of the beasts, are bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, because originally they came from us. We were not beasts, but the beasts were born from us — inferior entities that the human race cast off mostly in the second and third root-races. I have tried to explain this mystery in other lectures, and you will find it set forth more or less clearly in the book Theosophy and Modern Science [Republished in 1941 as Man in Evolution].
Student — At a preceding lecture you said, if I remember correctly, that the beasts were a class of elementals. Now are they more advanced and for that reason have they been pushed into this plane, or are they on this plane for some other reason, from some other cause?
G. de P. — The beasts, you mean?
Student — Yes. One gets the impression from reading, and from what one hears of the elemental kingdom, that the beasts are not at the point of evolution that some of the denizens of the elemental kingdom hold. Some of the elementals are actively hostile, some are actively friendly; and many of the entities of the beast kingdom do not seem to be so developed.
G. de P. — You speak of the elemental kingdom, but please remember that the elemental range of life is divided into three distinctly separate kingdoms: the least evolved or original, then the intermediate, and then the most evolved. These three kingdoms of the elementals can themselves be again subdivided into at least seven subdivisions for each kingdom. There may be and probably are ten or twelve subdivisions for each kingdom. This makes, therefore, twenty-one, it may be thirty, or thirty-six, different classes or families or groups of elemental beings, ranging from the least advanced in evolution to the most advanced. Every entity, high, low, or intermediate, in the universe, passes through the elemental stage at some time in its career. We human beings were elementals once, and have passed through all three kingdoms of the elementals. The gods did the same. Every unself-conscious god-spark will become an elemental at some time in the course of its evolution.
Elemental, as a word, is to be construed in its exact etymological sense, meaning the element of an entity which will in the future attain developed self-consciousness, when that element or elemental shall have brought out from within itself, by unrolling, unwrapping, unfolding, what is locked up within it. In other words the god-spark will slowly unfold through the ages its latent powers and faculties.
Now the beasts, all of them from the smallest infusoria up to the ape, are elementals. The ape is on the threshold of becoming a human being. The ape is the highest class of imbodied elementals on this earth. Some of the beasts are low in the scale of elemental lives. So much for that part of the subject, looking at it as an end-to-end line or series of entities, one behind or following the other.
Now let us change our standpoint of vision, and look at the elementals from a new standpoint. There are spiritual elementals, and those less spiritual. There are elementals ethereal. There are astral elementals belonging to the astral world, some classes of which are much more material than others. In other words, the elementals comprise a vast range of beings, and they are called such because they are new to this cosmic plane or series of cosmic planes. They live and work in the elements of this cosmic plane. Do you grasp that thought?
Student — Yes.
G. de P. — Good. Now let's take a long leap ahead. When we humans shall have become gods, full-blown gods, in our present cosmos or universe with its seven cosmic planes, and when we shall then prepare to leave our present universe in order to pass into a higher universe, we shall enter the sevenfold planes as elemental beings in that higher universe, although we shall have attained the status of gods in this universe.
Hence you see again the reason for speaking of the god-spark at the heart of every entity beginning its evolutionary pilgrimage. Every cosmic range of life, or every universe, is a new and wonderful adventure for the entities which enter it. They begin of course at the beginning. They go through all the evolutionary experiences in that new universe, and finally leave it as full-blown gods — for that universe only — in order to begin a new series of experiences in a universe more sublime still.
The beasts are elementals, but there are different kinds of beasts. Some are much more evolved than other beasts are. There are also certain elementals that in this manvantara of our planetary chain will never enter beast bodies. This is because they are not yet ready. But all the beasts that exist today, which is the same as saying that have existed in the past, are on their way to become men, not at all according to the Darwinian theory, but because they will slowly evolve forth from within themselves the latent or dormant spiritual and intellectual powers and faculties. Thus they are inevitably destined to pass through the human phase, to attain the human stage or grade.
So far as the shapes and forms of the elementals in their three kingdoms are concerned, or what comes to the same thing, in their twenty-one or thirty-six classes, they have many kinds of shapes or bodies, some very spiritual, almost arupa — formless; others being definitely rupa or form-like. Some are spiritual, some are ethereal, some are astral. The elementals are all passing through the different respective phases of their evolutionary journey, just as we humans are. Some of the elementals of the highest classes have a human form or shape, or at least quasi-human. If you could see them you might possibly think that they were ethereal human beings of rather strange form; and yet you would pause in your opinion because they would seem to be so strange. To you there would be something weird about them. You would say, manlike, most certainly so; but yet they are not men. They have a quasi-human shape. They evidently copy men. The influence of humans evidently affect them greatly, so that they automatically and distinctly take on somewhat of the human form and shape — but yet they are not men.
It is to this fact that the medieval mystics in European countries have alluded when they spoke of the four great classes of unevolved beings, and called them gnomes, undines, salamanders, and sylphs — respectively elementals of the cosmic elements earth, water, fire, and air. These titles are merely names of course. But all the elementals of whatever class and of whatever type are on their way to becoming men. In order to become men they must first pass through the beast stage. This does not necessarily mean the beasts that we know, but means evolutionary stages equivalent to the beast stage with us. This is a stage below self-consciousness, or the human stage. Do you follow all this?
Many Voices — Yes, Professor.
G. de P. — The world is full of lives. There are elementals in the air that we breathe. There are elementals in our bloodstream, in our brain matter. It is the elementals which form the babe in the womb. It is the elementals by which we grow physically. They follow instinctively, automatically, nature's fundamental laws, and men unconsciously make use of them. It is by elementals that we cook our food. It is elementals that drive our electric trains, our automobiles. It is the elementals that give us our energy to move leg or limb or eye. It is the elementals within us that enable the heart to beat.
Every such elemental began as an unself-conscious god-spark, is now on its way to become a man, and is passing through the beast stage, or a stage equivalent to the beast. Each such elemental will finally blossom out into becoming a full-blown god, a divinity — grand, glorious, nature's most perfect evolutionary work — thereafter, however, only to begin in a new cosmic world or series of worlds a new range of wonderful adventures, but much higher than the one last gone through.
Student — May I ask then if these elementals are not really agents of karma?
G. de P. — They are. Everything is an agent of karma; but in saying so please do not think that karma is an abstract law or entity outside of us. Karma is whatever is. Whatever is, is karmic — karmic consequences.
Student — Could you tell something about the way in which the law of Karma acts? I mean if one performs a certain act, is there something inherent in that act which has the power — I hardly know how to express it! Are there elementals or spirits or beings of some sort who cause the effect to come about?
G. de P. — The elementals cause it. Humans cause it. The gods cause it. Let me tell you what karma really is. From one standpoint, it is consequences, results — that is, the effect of an energy, the effect of a force. Consequently, the cause is an entity which acts, acts from powers innately belonging to it. It acts from and of itself. Then surrounding nature, composed of other entities, instantly reacts. The act is the cause, the reaction is the effect. The entity reacts to the reaction, thus producing cause two. Then surrounding nature reacts to the action two. And so it goes on. Karma otherwise is the adjustment between action and reaction; action originated by and in some entity, the reaction abiding in surrounding lives which react against the act. That is all there is to it. There is no such thing as karma existing apart from entities.
Please do not make the mistake of imagining that karma is a kind of thing that exists apart from us. It is not. There is no such thing. For instance, many people imagine that gravitation is a kind of law of nature to which things are subject. It is not so. Gravitation is merely the working of forces of attraction inherent in acting entities. There are no such things as laws of nature apart from entities which act. It is the acting entity which produces or originates karma. Karma, therefore, is the entity itself in the last analysis.
Student — May I ask a question about avataras? In The Mahatma Letters to A. P. Sinnett, there is a statement indicating that there are still a few avataras on earth. Could you throw some light on this?
G. de P. — I think so. The reference to avataras was a general one and not to specific avataras which are taken as types, like Jesus, or Sankaracharya, or even Gautama the Buddha who was an avatara of a certain type. The meaning in The Mahatma Letters was that certain human individuals even today, sunken in matter as the human race is, nevertheless have attained a more or less self-conscious union with the god within and thus have become avataras of that inner god. The Masters themselves are such avataras, you understand. Specifically, however, and if the word is used without any qualifying adjective, avatara means what I have already told you on several occasions.
Student — You stated at one of these meetings that there were human beings on the earth-chain, on globe A, or rather who were there when we arrived there, whom today we call Masters and Buddhas. I want to ask who they were and where they came from, and if their being what they are is connected with the period of choice in the fifth round — of course I mean the fifth round on the moon-chain?
G. de P. — Yes, it is. The individuals to whom you allude as having attained humanity on globe A or the first globe, even in the first round, were the highest class of the monads coming over from the moon-chain. They were the elders of the stream of lives coming over from the moon, who were so far advanced even on the moon-chain that they became the elders and guides of the lives of the new planetary earth-chain.
Student — Were they the ones that failed to go through on the moon-chain? Would you tell us about the period of choice and what happens to those that fail to go through, and if those were the ones that led on this earth-chain?
G. de P. — What do you mean by the expression, failed to go through?
Student — I understood from what HPB says in The Secret Doctrine that during the fifth round there comes the great period of choice for humanity, and that a certain portion of humanity will not be far advanced enough in evolution to be allowed to go forward, and therefore that they go to sleep, whilst the remainder of humanity go forward. If that is correct, it seems that when the new earth-chain is formed these followers naturally having already gone through four and a half or five rounds, would be the elders of the next humanity. I wondered if that was where the Masters and the Buddhas came from?
G. de P. — You are quite right, and you have explained it well, on the whole. In every planetary chain during the course of its seven rounds there comes what is technically called the period of choice, the final choice. This is always in the fifth round when the manasic part of the constitution of the evolving entities reaches its maximum of development in that planetary manvantara. It is in the manas that resides the human willpower, and the human intelligence, and the human self-consciousness. These three are practically one.
Take our own earth-chain, for instance. We are now in the fourth round. The next round will be the fifth. When we as human beings shall reach the fourth globe or earth during the fifth round, this fourth globe will be the turning point in the fifth round, and then we must make our "final choice" for this planetary chain. If we shall have evolved forth sufficiently the spiritual powers within us to enable us to climb the hill of the sixth round and afterwards of the seventh round, we shall leave this chain as full-blown self-conscious gods — dhyan-chohans. If we have not reached sufficient strength of will and of spiritual intuition, if during the fifth round we shall not have become sufficiently allied with the god within us, each individual with his inner god, then we shall not be able to make successfully the run up the grade of the sixth and the seventh rounds. We shall sink into obscuration, into a sort of aeons-long sleep, until the next planetary manvantara — until the new planetary chain, the child of the earth planetary chain. Then we shall come forth again into evolutionary manifestation as highly evolved human beings, and have our new chance during the new earth-chain. Do you understand?
Many Voices — Yes.
Student — As you have said that all entities must begin as unself-conscious god-sparks in passing from one manvantara, or one chain of globes, to another, like the dhyan-chohans — those who attained dhyan-chohanship on the moon-chain — I suppose that these came on to this earth-chain as unself-conscious god-sparks, and had to go through all the stages of evolution, and hence they must have been human beings at some time on this earth — these manasaputras. Do I explain what I mean?
G. de P. — I think so, Doctor. May I ask the Recorder to read the question. [Question read.]
I am afraid I do not quite understand that question, Doctor. I may point this out. It may help you. I do not think that I said that the entities leaving one chain afterwards enter the next chain as unself-conscious god-sparks. Because they do not.
Student — Then I misunderstood.
G. de P. — I said that they leave one universe in order to go to the next succeeding and higher universe as unself-conscious god-sparks for that new universe.
Student — Then I misunderstood. I thought everything had to go through all the stages on a new chain.
G. de P. — That is true also.
Student — Then I suppose if they have to go through all the stages, the manasaputras must at some time have had to pass through the human stage on the earth.
G. de P. — No, because the manasaputras are evolved or progressed egos from a previous manvantara and are not bound to go through the lowest, the lower, the intermediate, and the higher, stages on the earth-chain succeeding the moon-chain. In other words, a full-grown man does not go back into the kindergarten when he moves to a new town.
Student — But when he is reborn he has to form a new body.
G. de P. — Yes, that is true. But please understand that the manasaputras who inflamed us or awakened us are not egos now belonging to our own planetary chain. They are, however, karmically connected with us. They are entities who in past manvantaras attained humanity and then dhyan-chohanship. They live in their own realms. On the other hand, even the dhyan-chohans who attained dhyan-chohanship when the moon-chain was ended, in the beginning of the new earth-chain must pass a short period in the elementary stages of the new earth-chain, because it is that which they help to build.
For instance, a human being in the beginning of every new reincarnation must pass through all the stages of the growth of the physical body from life-germ to adultship, although he has often been a man before in other incarnations. He must begin the new body as a life-germ. Do you understand me?
Student — Yes. That is exactly what I meant.
G. de P. — And pass through all the stages of intrauterine life before he is born as a babe and can grow into a man again. But that is merely his body and has no reference to the god within him. It is not the god who becomes the life-germ. The god is the product of past manvantaras of humanity. Is the answer responsive?
Student — Yes, quite so, I think. They have to go through —
G. de P. — Whom are you speaking of when you say they?
Student — The manasaputras who were dhyan-chohans on the moon-chain. They are manasaputras on this chain, and they have to use the elementals. Is that correct?
G. de P. — That is correct.
Student — And they have to use all these different forms which will inhabit earth. So I should think that they would also have to use a human form for a short time.
G. de P. — Do you speak of the manasaputras from the moon-chain?
Student — They were dhyan-chohans in the moon-chain. I understand these dhyan-chohans on the moon-chain are our manasaputras.
G. de P. — Do you mean those who inflamed us or our own latent ones?
Student — I mean those who inflamed us.
G. de P. — No, Doctor. The manasaputras who inflamed us are the highly progressed entities from far past manvantaras.
They dwell in their own spiritual realms; but not being sufficiently high to be completely detached from all events on this cosmic plane they are still, therefore, karmically bound to the entities on our earth-chain, the child of the moon-chain. Being thus karmically bound they sacrificed themselves in order to inflame the unevolved manasaputras of the humanity of the third root-race. These baby-manasaputras or unevolved manasaputras are we.
This is a difficult subject, isn't it? It is indeed. It is one which requires years and years and years of careful thought. But once you get the key it is very simple indeed.
Student — That part is not difficult for me to understand — that inflaming. But I understood you to say that we on this chain become dhyan-chohans and pass through the seven grades, the seven rounds on this chain, and that we shall then be those who will inflame the human egos on the next chain.
G. de P. — That is right.
Student — The human egos on the next chain?
G. de P. — That is right.
Student — Then I suppose that they, our present manasaputras, were the dhyan-chohans on the moon-chain.
G. de P. — Not quite. You see, I think that your difficulty arises in the fact of that one word manasaputras being used for several different things. Remember, dear Doctor, that there are many classes of manasaputras, low, intermediate, and high. Manasaputra means "son of mind," a fully awakened mental entity, a fully awakened ego. In every human being there are two manasaputras: the individual's manasaputra not yet evolved to its full powers, nevertheless slowly evolving, and the other manasaputra which inflamed us — you, me, all others. This second manasaputra is an entity from far past periods of evolution. Do you now understand?
Student — Yes, thank you.
G. de P. — Now let me ask you a question. I think it may help to elucidate the matter. What were we humans on the lunar chain?
Student — I suppose that we were beasts.
G. de P. — The answer is practically correct. Or entities corresponding to or holding the position on the moon-chain in evolution that the beasts hold on this earth-chain in the present evolution. That answer is quite correct.
Now what is it that gave us our ego?
Student — Which ego?
G. de P. — Your ego, my ego.
Student — I suppose that we always had that ego, but it was awakened — I suppose you mean the manas element — awakened by the manasaputra. Perhaps I do not understand.
G. de P. — Your answer is correct, but it is not a complete answer. Did the beasts, or beings equivalent to beasts, which we were on the moon-chain have this ego in them then?
Student — Sleeping, certainly.
G. de P. — Correct. Then how is it that we are now humans on this earth-chain?
Student — Because we have been awakened.
G. de P. — Partly correct.
Student — And also because we have evolved.
G. de P. — That makes a complete answer. We have brought out our own faculties by evolution assisted by the manasaputras who inflamed us, who quickened us. But these manasaputras who quickened us, who inflamed us, what relation did they have to the moon-chain?
Student — That is what I have been trying to find out.
G. de P. — Well, I thought so.
Student — I wondered if they awakened the manas element in the human beings there.
G. de P. — That is the answer. And I have been trying to give that answer; and by following Socrates' way — that is by asking you questions, we now have come to understand each other. The manasaputras who inflamed us on this earth-chain also were dhyan-chohans who inflamed entities on the moon-chain.
How did these manasaputras who inflamed us originate?
Student — They have, of course, gone through the grades that we are now going through. In ages past they had been through the human stage, and they have been and are dhyan-chohans. That is the reason I asked whether they were the spiritual monads. I wanted to know how many manvantaras ago they had been human.
G. de P. — As to that, I don't know. I cannot tell you how many manvantaras ago. I simply don't know. The answer depends upon the grade of manasaputras. There are some manasaputras who stand very high. They are really gods. There are other classes of manasaputras who are but slightly more evolved than the essential manasaputras in human beings.
Do you realize, Companions, that you in your human egoity are manasaputras to the beast side of yourselves — that is, to the animal monad within you? There is not only one class of manasaputras operating in the universe. The universe is filled full with gods, with manasaputras, many classes working on different planes. Indeed, even the gods themselves are inflamed at certain periods in their evolution by beings still more sublime who are the manasaputras of the gods.
Nature has one rule throughout, one law of evolution everywhere. If you follow carefully the law or rather the principle of analogy, you will be able to think out many most wonderful problems and arrive at their accurate and exact solutions.
Student — Did I understand you to say that the unself- conscious god-spark, after having evolved into self-conscious godhood, passing after the dissolution of this universe into the succeeding universe, will enter it as an unself-conscious god-spark there?
G. de P. — Yes, in the very beginning of it. But the god-spark will run through the lowest stages in the new universe very rapidly and easily, and assume its godhood again self-consciously. So is it in the case of the human child. Analogy again! The human child is born from a life-germ, but yet that life-germ carries at its heart the reincarnating ego, and very quickly the human child runs through all the earliest stages of human life, and soon assumes its humanity again.
Student — The point is, that I could not understand how any entity, when once it had gained self-consciousness, could ever lose it. I see now that its self-consciousness is merely obscured for a short time.
G. de P. — That is practically the idea. It cannot lose it, if we use the term "lose" absolutely. The self-consciousness simply drops into latency for the time being, just as in the case of the reincarnating human ego. The unborn child is not self-conscious as the man is. Do you understand?
Student — Yes, thank you very much. Now, may I ask one more question? It is very short, but I have thought about it for years. We are told by Mr. Judge and by others, and we know, that the beasts do not make karma in the sense that we do, because they have not developed manas. They have no devachan, Mr. Judge says, for that reason; and yet they suffer so cruelly at the hands of man. I cannot find an explanation of this situation on lines of justice.
G. de P. — Let me tell you something. There are several kinds of karma. The beast makes no karma self-consciously as man does. Therefore there is no moral stigma in what the beast does. Were a man to do beastly acts, there would be very definite moral iniquity about it, because he knows better. He is so much more evolved than the beast is.
But there are other kinds of karma. The atoms have their own karma. The beasts have karma. The elementals have karma. Sun, stars, moon — everything — is governed or runs by karmic lines. Every act, conscious or unconscious, is karmic; because every act issues from, or is the manifestation of, an actor conscious or unconscious. Necessarily, therefore, every act must suffer a reaction, and you thus have the same chain of causation, of consequences, of results.
Now, why do the beasts suffer so? It is wrong to look upon their suffering as we look upon human suffering. Their sufferings are not understood and appreciated, nor in fact felt by them in the sense and in the degree in which human beings understand and appreciate and feel suffering. Nevertheless they suffer. They do, indeed. The sufferings of the beasts are karmic consequences of actions done in previous universes — or rather in previous imbodiments of the solar system. There is your key.
When a boy foolishly puts his finger into the fire as a gesture of bravado, you might say that in such case the molecules of flesh feel the pain of the burn, and that the pain is unjust to those innocent molecules. You might add that their individual existences are temporarily stopped or cut short; that the greater mind of the man has interfered with the karmic life-stream of the molecules and of the atoms. Nevertheless, so accurately and delicately is nature balanced that not one molecule or atom in the parent vehicle suffers unjustly in the last analysis. Any suffering is in a sense simply an automatic reaction. Those molecules of flesh are there at the time when the act happens. They are there by karma.
Student — Does there exist a karmic relation between the two manasaputras: the manasaputra of which we ourselves are an incompletely evolved entity, and the manasaputra that inspired us?
G. de P. — There does — a very intimate relation.
Student — Because if there is, I mean if it is a karmic relationship between the manasaputras themselves, then it must be so far-reaching, so deep, that anything that we ourselves do in our effort to evolve does not enable us to choose for ourselves a manasaputra of a higher order to inspire us.
G. de P. — No, the choice is from above, dear friend. The choice is from above. But the karmic relationship existing between the manasaputra which inflames and the latent or unmanifest manasaputra whose lower part is inflamed, is exceedingly close. Now I will tell you this: in each individual case such inflaming happens because the two manasaputras are usually children of the same star. Their karmic destiny in the universe is intimately interconnected, interallied. Oh! Companions, I tell you that there are most wonderful mysteries in these things. The relationship between chela and teacher is a very intimate one, which goes far deeper than anything that pertains to the physical, deeper than the mental part, deeper even than the spiritual part. It goes back to the very roots of the universe.
It is along this line of thought that you will remember HPB's beautiful quotation from the Esoteric Catechism to the effect that the teacher is closer and nearer and dearer than one's own parents. It is true. The parents give the body, and they are karmically related mentally and spiritually to their children, but the teacher brings to birth the man himself. It is the teacher who brings to birth the inner man. Every teacher in a sense, and to use Socrates' graphic phrase, is a spiritual midwife. Do you understand this?
Many Voices — Yes.
G. de P. — Now, Companions, let us close the meeting for tonight.
[The sounding of the gong. Silence.]
Meeting 28 Supplement