To the mind of the Eastern student of Occultism, two figures are indissolubly connected with mystic astronomy, chronology, and their cycles. Two grand and mysterious figures, towering like two giants in the Archaic Past, emerge before him, whenever he has to refer to Yugas and Kalpas. When, at what period of pre-history they lived, none save a few men in the world know, or ever can know with that certainty which is required by exact chronology. It may have been 100,000 years ago, it may have been 1,000,000, for all that the outside world will ever know. The mystic West and Freemasonry talk loudly of Enoch and Hermes. The mystic East speaks of NARADA, the old Vedic Rishi, and of ASURAMAYA, the Atlantean.
It has already been hinted that of all the incomprehensible characters in the Mahabharata and the Puranas, Narada, the son of Brahma in Matsya Purana, the progeny of Kasyapa and the daughter of Daksha in the Vishnu Purana, is the most mysterious. He is referred to by the honourable title of Deva Rishi (divine Rishi, more than a demi-god) by Parasara, and yet he is cursed by Daksha and even by Brahma. He informs Kansa that Bhagavat (or Vishnu in exotericism) would incarnate in the eighth child of Devaki, and thus brings the wrath of the Indian Herod upon Krishna's mother; and then, from the cloud on which he is seated — invisible as a true Manasaputra — he lauds Krishna, in delight at the Avatar's feat of killing the monster Kesim. Narada is here, there, and everywhere; and yet, none of the Puranas gives the true characteristics of this great enemy of physical procreation. Whatever those characteristics may be in Hindu Esotericism, Narada — who is called in Cis-Himalayan Occultism Pesh-Hun, the "Messenger," or the Greek Angelos — is the sole confidant and the executor of the universal decrees of Karma and Adi-Budh: a kind of active and ever incarnating logos, who leads and guides human affairs from the beginning to the end of the Kalpa.
"Pesh-Hun" is a general not a special Hindu possession. He is the mysterious guiding intelligent power, which gives the impulse to, and regulates the impetus of cycles, Kalpas and universal events (This is perhaps the reason why, in the Bhagavad Gita, we are told that Brahma had communicated to Narada in the beginning that all men whatsoever, even Mlechchhas, outcasts and barbarians, might know the true nature of Vasudeva and learn to have faith in that deity.). He is Karma's visible adjuster on a general scale; the inspirer and the leader of the greatest heroes of this Manvantara (Period of world-activity. — ED.) In the exoteric works he is referred to by some very uncomplimentary names; such as "Kali-Karaka," strife-maker, "Kapi-vaktra," monkey-faced, and even "Pisuna," the spy, though elsewhere he is called Deva-Brahma. Even Sir W. Jones was strongly impressed with this mysterious character from what he gathered in his Sanskrit Studies. He compares him to Hermes and Mercury, and calls him "the eloquent messenger of the gods" (see Asiat. Res. I. p. 264). All this led the late Dr. Kenealy ("Book of God"), on the ground that the Hindus believe him to be a great Rishi, "who is for ever wandering about the earth, giving good counsel," to see in him one of his twelve Messiahs. He was, perhaps, not so far off the real track as some imagine.
What Narada really is, cannot be explained in print; nor would the modern generations of the profane gather much from the information. But it may be remarked, that if there is in the Hindu Pantheon a deity which resembles Jehovah, in tempting by "suggestion" of thoughts and "hardening" of the hearts of those whom he would make his tools and victims, it is Narada. Only with the latter it is no desire to obtain a pretext for "plaguing," and thus showing that "I am the Lord God." Nor is it through any ambitious or selfish motive; but, verily, to serve and guide universal progress and evolution.
Narada is one of the few prominent characters, save some gods, in the Puranas, who visits the so-called nether or infernal regions, Patala. Whether or not it was from his intercourse with the thousand-headed Sesha, the serpent who bears the seven Patalas and the entire world like a diadem upon his heads, and who is the great teacher of astronomy, that Narada learned all that he knew, certain it is that he surpasses Garga's Guru in his knowledge of cyclic intricacies. It is he who has charge of our progress and national weal or woe. It is he who brings on wars and puts an end to them. In the old Stanzas Pesh-Hun is credited with having calculated and recorded all the astronomical and cosmic cycles to come, and with having taught the Science to the first gazers at the starry vault. And it is Asuramaya, who is said to have based all his astronomical works upon those records, to have determined the duration of all the past geological and cosmical periods, and the length of all the cycles to come, till the end of this life-cycle, or the end of the seventh Race.
There is a work among the Secret Books, called the "Mirror of Futurity," wherein all the Kalpas within Kalpas and cycles within the bosom of Sesha, or infinite Time, are recorded. This work is ascribed to Pesh-Hun Narada. There is another old work which is attributed to various Atlanteans. It is these two Records which furnish us with the figures of our cycles, and the possibility of calculating the date of cycles to come.
(From The Secret Doctrine, II, 47-9; in Sunrise magazine, February 1979. Copyright © 1979 by Theosophical University Press.)
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