VOL. I., No. 7 - APRIL, 1880
Section 1 (pp. 165-180)
A Medal of Honor
The Silent Brother
East Indian Materia Medica
Hindu or Arya
A Land of Mystery
Hints to the Students of Yog Vidya
Brahmoism vs Hinduism
A Haunted Castle in the Nineteenth Century
The Office of Religion
The Theosophical Society or Universal Brotherhood
Section 2 (pp. 181-192)
The State of Christianity
Kaliya Mardana or the Crushing of Kaliya — the Great Serpent — by Krishna
The Mind is Material
Ode to India
Physiology of Marriage
Cremation in America
A Personal Statement of Religious Belief
Cock and Bull
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(Extract from the Minutes of the Meeting of the General
Council, held at Bombay, February 5th, 1880.)
With a view to stimulate enquiry, by the Natives of India, into the literature of ancient times, to increase their respect for their ancestors, and to thus accomplish one important object for which the Theosophical Society was formed, it is by the General Council
That there shall be founded a high prize and dignity to be known and designated as 'The Medal of Honor of the Theosophical Society,' for award under competition.
The said medal shall be of pure silver and made from Indian coins melted down for the purpose; and shall be suitably engraved, stamped, carved and embossed with a device expressive of its high character as a Medal of Honor. It shall be annually awarded by a committee of Native scholars, designated by the President, to the Native author of the best original Essay upon any subject connected with the ancient religions, philosophies or sciences; preference being given in the Department of Science, other things being equal, to the occult, or mystical, branch of science as known and practised by the ancients.
The following conditions to govern the award, viz. —
1. The Essay shall be of a high merit.
2. Each Essay shall bear a cipher, initial, verse or motto, but no other sign by which the authorship may be detected. The author's name, in each case, to be written in a closed envelope outside which shall be inscribed the cipher or other device which he has attached to his essay. The manuscript to be placed by the President in the hands of the Jury, and the envelope filed away unopened and not examined until the Jury shall have made their awards.
3. All Essays submitted to be at the disposal of the Society, whose officers may designate such as are pronounced most meritorious for publication in the THEOSOPHIST, with their authors' names attached, so that their learning may be properly appreciated by their country-men.
4. The Society to be allowed to publish as a separate pamphlet, the Essay which shall be deemed worthy of the Medal of Honor, on condition of giving to its author the entire net profits of the publication.
5. Essays to comprise not less than 2,500 nor more than 4,000 words — foot-notes and quotations included.
6. The Jury shall also award to the authors of the Essays which they consider second and third in degree of merit, special diplomas, to be entitled Diplomas of honor and authenticated by the seal of the Society.
7. The Jury may also specifically name three other Essays besides the three aforesaid, for the distinction of certificates of Honorable Mention, to be issued to the respective authors under the seal of the Society.
8. Essays to be submitted in English, but it is not obligatory that the author shall himself know that language.
9. All competing manuscripts to be in the President's hands by 12 o'clock noon of the 1st day of June 1880, and the jury to announce their awards on the 1st day of September 1880.
10. Upon the receipt of the report of the Jury, the President shall at once identify the names of the successful authors, and officially publish the same throughout India, and in all countries where there are branches of the Theosophical Society.
11. Full authority is given to the President to adopt whatever measures may be required to carry into effect this Resolution.
KHARZSEDJI N. SEERVAI,
Joint Recording Secretary.
A VERY EARNEST FRIEND BEGS US TO HEAD A MOVEMENT among the native-born population, to cease using the term "Native" to designate them from foreigners. He bitterly complains that, though innocent enough in itself, it still is employed by those, who are not friendly to them, with a tinge of scorn, very galling to a sensitive man's feelings. The complaint does not seem entirely well grounded. In every country the original inhabitants are called Native to contrast them with all who are not born on the soil. In America, the freest country in the world, and where there is absolute equality before the law, we are proud to call ourselves Natives, when we wish to indicate that we are not immigrants; and some years ago, a great political party, calling itself the Native American, sprang into existence, at a time of excitement caused by the bare suspicion that foreigners were plotting to undermine our liberties. We do not see how the case of India can be made an exception to a custom which seems to us unavoidable. Our correspondent thinks that the word "Bharatians" might be adopted with general concurrence, Bharat having been the ancient name of the country. But this would not better the case much, since the Bharatian would still have to be called what he would be, viz., a Native. For our part, we would feel very proud to be able to boast of such a country as this and such an ancestry, even at the cost of being called "Native," with a fine flavor of scorn. But as to the word "Hindu" the case is different. That was invented as an epithet of scorn and contumely, and we would not be sorry to see it gradually fall into disuse. Such radical changes, however, are very slowly brought about. Our Aryan brothers may meanwhile ponder what another correspondent has to say about "Hindus," in a communication to be found elsewhere.
A PARSI SUBSCRIBER ASKS US THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS, which are suggestive, though not new: —
Poona, l9th February, 1880.
SIR, — I should feel obliged if I could be enlightened on the two following points by your learned Parsi contributors or any member of your learned Society: —
1. Is it right to say my daily prayers in Zendavesta, when I do not understand a single word of that sacred language? Why is it made compulsory by our Dustoors to say them only in Zendavesta? Is it for no better reason than that of the Catholic Popes who kept the Bible in Latin so that the masses of the people might not understand what it contained?
2. Why do Parsis take cow's urine in the morning as soon as they leave their bed?
The strange story I am about to say was given me by one of its principal heroes. Its authenticity cannot be doubted, however sceptical one may feel as to the details of the narrative — and this for three good reasons: (a) the circumstances are well known at Palermo, and the incidents still remembered by a few of the oldest inhabitants; (b) the shock produced by the dreadful occurrence on the narrator was so violent as to turn his hair — the hair of a young man of 26 — as white as snow in one night, and make him a raving lunatic for the next six months; (c) there is an official record of the death-bed confession of the criminal, and it can be found in the family chronicles of the Prince di R-— V-----. For myself at least, no doubt remains as to the veracity of the story.
Glauerbach was a passionate lover of the occult sciences. For a time, his only object was to become a pupil of the famous Cagliostro, then living at Paris, where he attracted universal attention; but the mysterious Count from the first refused to have anything to do with him. Why he declined to accept as pupil a young man of a good family and very intelligent, was a secret which Glauerbach — the narrator of the tale — could never penetrate. Suffice it to say that all he could prevail upon the "Grand Copht" to do for him, was to teach him in a certain degree how to learn the secret thoughts of the persons he associated with, by making them speak such thoughts audibly without knowing that their lips were uttering any sound. And even this comparatively easy magnetic phase of occult science he could not master practically.
In those days, Cagliostro and his mysterious powers were on all tongues. Paris was in a state of high fever about him. At Court, in society, in the Parliament, in the Academy, they spoke but of Cagliostro. The most extraordinary stories were told of him, and the more they were extraordinary the more willingly people believed them. They said that Cagliostro had shown pictures of future events in his magic mirrors to some of the most illustrious statesmen of France, and that these events had all come to pass. The king and the royal family had been of the number of those who were allowed to peer into the unknown. The "magician" had evoked the shades of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, of Mahomet and Nero. Ghengis Khan and Charles the Fifth had held a conversazione with the minister of the police; and an outwardly pious, but secretly sceptical Christian archbishop having shown a desire to have his doubts cleared, one of the gods was summoned — but did not come, for he had never existed in flesh. Marmontel having expressed the desire to meet Belisarius, he, upon seeing the great warrior emerging from the ground, fell senseless. Young, daring and passionate Glauerbach, feeling that Cagliostro would never share with him more than a few crumbs of his great learning, turned in another direction, and at last found an unfrocked abbot, who for a consideration took upon himself to teach him all he knew. In a few months (?) he had learned the weird secrets of black and white magic, i. e., the art of cleverly bamboozling fools. He also visited Mesmer and his clairvoyants, whose number had become very large at that period. The ill-fated French society of 1785 felt its doom approaching; it suffered from spleen and greedily seized upon anything that brought it a change in its killing satiety and lethargic monotony. It had become so sceptical that, at last, from believing in nothing, it ended by believing anything. Glauerbach, under the experienced directions of his abbot, began practising upon human credulity. But he had not been more than eight months at Paris, when the police paternally advised him to go abroad — for his health. There was no appeal from such advice. However convenient the capital of France for old hands at charlatantry, it is less so for beginners. He left Paris and went, via Marseilles, to Palermo.
In that city the intelligent pupil of the abbot got acquainted with, and contracted a friendship with Marquis Hector, youngest son of the Prince R---- V-----, one of the most wealthy and noble families of Sicily. Three years earlier, a great calamity had befallen that house. Hector's eldest brother, Duke Alfonso, had disappeared without leaving any clue; and the old prince, half killed with despair, had left the world for the retirement of his magnificent villa in the suburbs of Palermo, where he led the life of a recluse.
The young Marquis was dying with ennui. Not knowing what better to do with himself, under the directions of Glauerbach he began studying magic, or at least, that which passed under that name with the clever German. The professor and pupil became inseparable.
As Hector was the Prince's second son, he had, during the life of his elder brother, no choice left him, but to join either the army or the church. All the wealth of the family passed into the hands of Duke Alfonso R---- V----- who was betrothed, moreover, to Bianca Alfieri, a rich orphan, left, at the age of ten, heiress to an immense fortune. This marriage united the wealth of both the houses of R---- V----- and Alfieri, and it had all been settled when both Alfonso and Bianca were mere children, without even a thought as to whether they would ever come to like each other. Fate, however, decided it should be so, and the young people formed a mutual and passionate attachment.
As Alfonso was too young to be married, he was sent travelling, and remained absent for over four years. Upon his return, preparations were being made for the celebration of the nuptials, which the old Prince had decided should form one of the future epopees of Sicily. They were planned upon the most magnificent scale. The wealthiest and noblest of the land had assembled two months beforehand and were being royally entertained in the family mansion, which occupied a whole square of the old city, as all were more or less related to either the R---- V-----or the Alfieri families in the second, fourth, twentieth or sixtieth degree. A host of hungry poets and improvisatori had arrived, uninvited, to sing, according to the local custom of those days, the beauty and virtues of the newly-married couple. Livorno sent a ship-load of sonnets, and Rome the Pope's blessing. Crowds of people curious to witness the procession had come to Palermo from afar; and whole regiments of the light-fingered gentry prepared to practise their profession at the first opportunity.
The marriage ceremony had been fixed for a Wednesday. On Tuesday, the bridegroom disappeared without leaving the slightest trace. The police of the whole land was set afoot. Uselessly, alas! Alfonso had for several days been going from town to Monte Cavalli — a lovely villa of his — to superintend in person the preparations for the reception of his lovely bride, with whom he was to pass his honey-moon in that charming village. On Tuesday evening he had repaired there alone and on horseback, as usual, to return home early on the following morning. About ten in the evening two contadini had met and saluted him. That was the last any one saw the young Duke.
Later, it was ascertained that on that night a pirate vessel had been cruising in the waters of Palermo; that the corsairs had been ashore, and carried away several Sicilian women. In the latter part of the last century, Sicilian ladies were considered as very valuable goods: there was a large demand for the commodity in the markets of Smyrna, Constantinople, and the Barbary Coast the rich pachas paying for them enormous sums. Besides pretty Sicilian women, the pirates used to smuggle away rich people for the sake of the ransom. The poor men, when caught, shared the fate of the working-cattle, and fed on flogging. Every one at Palermo firmly believed that young Alfonso had been carried away by the pirates; and it was far from being improbable. The High Admiral of the Sicilian navy immediately despatched after the pirates four swift vessels, renowned above all others for their speed. The old Prince promised mountains of gold to him who would give him back his son and heir. The little squadron being ready, it spread its sails and disappeared on the horizon. On one of the vessels was Hector R-— V-----.
At nightfall, the watchers on the deck had as yet seen nothing. Then the breeze freshened, and about midnight it was blowing a hurricane. One of the vessels returned to port immediately, the two others were driven away before the gale and were never heard of more, and the one, on which was young Hector, returned two days after, dismantled and a wreck, to Trapani.
The night before, the watchers, in one of the beacon towers along the shore, saw a brig far off, which, without mast, sails or flag, was being furiously carried along on the crest of the angry sea. They concluded it must be the pirates' brig. It went down in full sight, and the report spread that every soul on board, to the very last man, had perished.
Notwithstanding all this, emissaries were sent by the old Prince in every direction — to Algiers, Tunis, Morocco, Tripoli, and Constantinople. But they found nothing; and when Glauerbach arrived at Palermo, three years had passed since the event.
The Prince, though having lost a son, did not relish the idea of losing the wealth of the Alfieris in the bargain. He concluded to marry Bianca to his second son, Hector. But the fair Bianca wept, and would not be consoled. She refused point-blank, and declared she would remain faithful to her Alfonso.
Hector behaved like a true knight. "Why make poor Bianca still more miserable, by worrying her with prayers? Perhaps my brother is yet alive" — he said. "How could I, then, in view of such an uncertainty, deprive Alfonso, in case he should return, of his best treasure, and the one dearer to him than life
Touched with the exhibition of such noble feelings, Bianca began to relax her indifference for her Alfonso's brother. The old man did not lose all hopes. Besides, Bianca was a woman; and with women in Sicily, as elsewhere, the absent are always in the wrong. She finally promised, if she should ever have a positive assurance of Alfonso's death, to marry his brother, or — no one. Such was the, state of affairs when Glauerbach — he who boasted of the power of raising the shadows of the dead — appeared at the princely and now mournful and deserted country villa of the R-— V----. He had not been there a fortnight before he captivated the affections and admirations of every one. The mysterious and the occult, and especially dealings with a world unknown, the "silent land," have a charm for every one in general and for the affflicted especially. The old Prince took courage one day and asked the crafty German to solve their cruel doubts. Was Alfonso dead or alive? that was the question. Taking a few minutes to reflect, Glauerbach answered in this wise: — "Prince, what you ask me to do for you is very important. . . . . . Yes, it is quite true. If your unfortunate son is no more, I may be enabled to call forth his shadow; but will not the shock be too violent for you? Will your son and your pupil — the charming Countess Bianca — consent to it."
"Anything rather than cruel uncertainty," the old Prince answered. And so the evocation was decided upon, to take place a week from that day. When Bianca heard of it, she fainted. Recalled to her senses by an abundance of restoratives, curiosity got the better of her scruples. She was a daughter of Eve, as women all are. Hector began by setting himself with all his might against what he regarded as a sacrilege. He did not wish to trouble the rest of the dear departed; he at first said, if his beloved brother was really dead, he preferred not to know it. But at last his growing love for Bianca and the desire to satisfy his father prevailed, and he too consented.
The week, demanded by Glauerbach for preparation and purification, seemed a century to the impatience of all three. Had it been a day longer, they must have all gone mad. Meanwhile, the necromancer had not been losing his time. Suspecting that the demand in this direction would come one day, he had from the first quietly gathered the minutest particulars about the deceased Alfonso, and most carefully studied his life-size portrait which hung in the old Prince's bed-room. This was enough for his purposes. To add to the solemnity, he had enjoined upon the family a strict fast and prayers, day and night, during the whole week. At last the longed-for hour arrived, and the Prince, accompanied by his son and Bianca, entered the necromancer's apartment.
(To be concluded next month)
[Continued from the February Number.]
Following up the list of evacuant () drugs, mostly of bile but in some instances also of other morbid humours, we have the additional: —
The above list completes the enumeration of parts of vegetables, which were credited by Sushruta with the property of evacuating bile and mucus, and we now proceed to the second large class of drugs which have been known to have the opposite virtue of repressing excessive bile action or of repression the excessive and increased flow of mucus, or of the vital spirits or of all combined. This is called the Sanshamana class () , and is divided into thirty-seven groups.
The parts which are to be selected for medicinal use are not specified, but from a practical acquaintance with these drugs, as included in prescriptions given, under the treatment of diseases, by the same author and his school, we are enabled in very many instances to determine them without departing from their theories to any great extent.
This class of remedies, interpreted in the formalities of modern pathological phraseology, would represent drugs which act as repressants of the morbid irritability of mucous membranes or of mucous tissue generally, and of its resulting phenomena of acute or sub-acute inflamation, congestion &c., and may, therefore, be identified with what were called phlogistics by mediaeval writers on Materia Medica. The term phlogistics, however, is not used at the present day for such remedies, and is being replaced by a more rational explanation of the actions which certain drugs produce in the system. They are indicated by sudden changes in the ordinary activity of the system or are recognised by pallor of countenance, depression of the radial pulse, exudation of sweats over the skin, and a feeling of exhaustion in the individual to whom a given remedy is administered.
It seems, however, that Sushruta extended the application of the term still wider, and desired to signify that some of them not only act as temporary depressants of the sympathetic system, but diminish congestions (staces) of blood also, increase annual heat and purify the bile without evacuating it. Such medicines, therefore, would seem to stop increased or excessive morbid action and the consequent waste of tissue, which must occur in all inflammations more or less. They would, therefore, in some measure, play the part of passive tonics in a remote manner.
Though modern therapeutists have not yet recognised the existence or possibility of this action in drugs which will act as depurants of one or more secreting glands and at the same time combine in them the property of imparting tone to the vessels of the secreting surface, yet medical men cannot but concede that this assumed property is perfectly possible and may not be necessarily incompatible in a given drug, should chemical analysis enable us ever to discover the depurating as well as the tonic principles in it.
The recognition of this double property by Sushruta must be taken with considerable reserve, as it is difficult to cull out from his list the special drugs to which he credits these apparently contradictory virtues. Sushruta has not specified the part or parts of vegetables which exhibit these properties, and unless, therefore, we were to experiment on the drugs included in this group with a view to determine the truth of this observation, it would not be safe to take for granted the assumption based on the general ground of experience alone. It would seem, however, that this effect was probable from the presence of starchy and allied principles which are detectable in individuals of this group, when used in their fresh state. Such drugs, Sushruta affirms, are indicated in those morbid states of the system, which are characterised by dryness of the skin and fauces and a feeling of lassitude accompanied by torpidity of bowels and accumulation of gas in them, in a word in a functional derangement of the digestive organs and in coughs and dyspnae following a chronic affection of the air passages and lungs. They do not seem to act energetically on any one of these tissues, and until experience should confirm these observations of Sushruta, they may at present be assumed to act homaeopathically of congestions or of the diminished irritability of such tissues.
The activity of remedies of this group does not seem to be felt by the individual acted on or so marked in all instances as to become apparent to an observer except by assuming that they relieve the system surcharged with products of tissue waste or by relieving an inflamed or torpid organ of its charge by secretary vessels being acted on, some exerting their power on one special organ, and others on another. They may, therefore, be appropriately understood as partial revulsives, exerting their choice for particular organs, some increasing the flow of bile, some of mucus from large mucous tracts, a few increasing the special excretion of the skin and the rest increasing the quantity of urine or so relieving the congested vessels of the urinary glands (kidneys, the functions of which were not accurately determined in Sushruta's time) as to fall under the class of general blood depurants, miscellaneously so termed.
I have pointed out that Sushruta believed in the existence of certain drugs which act by purifying bile without necessarily evacuating it. This statement, though it does not accord with our experience of the present day, seems to have been based on clinical observation alone, and although we cannot accord consent to this extravagant or too broad a generalistation, we may nevertheless bear witness to the presence of this property in a few drugs where its truthfulness may not be questioned altogether.
Take, for instance, the juices of bitters like the foenugreek, eclipta prostrata, tinospora cordifolia and momordica, all of which more or less increase the flow of bile when administered in moderate doses, and cause free, if not copious, alvine discharges without increasing the quantity of their watery constituent. This valuable property, which has been proved in the case of certain American drugs allied in other respects to our Indian ones by the recent experiments of Dr. Brunton, if relied upon and utilised, may prove of immense service in meeting the daily wants of the medical practitioner, as it would prevent exhaustion and conserve energy to the sick when their strength is not far too prostrated by the advance of disease, and afford valuable help in restoring the diseased parts to their functions, by disgorging their congested vessels of morbid secretions of effete products, without diminishing their vitality — by no means a small gain to the sick.
The deranged system would thus be sooner restored to health and with less suffering and cost to the patient than under the use of more active drugs which excite copious, and, therefore, more exhausting evacuations, whether of one or a number of the natural excretions of the body.
Such drugs, therefore, were for plausible reasons held by Sushruta to combine in them tonic or in some cases an indirectly nourishing property, when obtained fresh, and the modern practitioner will do well to take note of his observation and compare his own observation with Sushruta's; for, should his experience confirm the observation, he might utilise the sanative properties or virtues of those vegetables which represent the depurant as well as the tonic principles contained in them, without his having recourse to a separate course of tonic treatment in all cases.
The drugs of this () Sanshamana class are grouped in thirty-seven classes which Sushruta has found severally to possess certain special virtues and are, therefore, recommended to be used in diseases recognised by particular or specific groups of symptoms.
They are as under —
1. Curers of deranged bile and of deranged nerve-action (derangements of the vital air or the phlogiston of Greek writers).
2. Vital astringents, or those which diminish congestions and restore or increase the tone of the mucous tissue generally, with or without exerting a specific action on the bronchial or hepatic or gastro-intestinal mucous membranes.
3. General alteratives or insensible blood-depurants.
4. Pure nerve-stimulants and lithontriptics (remedies which dissolve stony deposits in the kidneys and bladder).
5. Alternatives exerting specific action on special tissues, with a tendency to check fluxes.
6. Powerful or true astringents.
7. Alteratives and detergents.
8. Cordials and antispasmodics.
9. Remedies which remove or prevent obesity or the formation of fat in the tissues of the body.
10. Stimulants, carminatives and digestives, including vermifuges or medicines which prevent the development of intestinal worms.
10. Stimulants, carminatives and digestives, including vermifuges or medicines which prevent the development of intestinal worms.
11. Nervine stimulants (remedies which increase the flow of vital spirits), and cosmetics or those which improve the vigor and color of the skin.
12. Purifiers of the milk secretion in the mammae and blood alteratives.
13. Deobstruents, or remedies which remove visceral congestions or local congestions in vascular tissues.
14. Pure stomachics.
15. Anti-bilious and anti-inflammatory agents, febrifuges, detergents (those which clean suppurating surfaces of ulcers or wounds caused by a breach of the tissues), and alexipharmics (which destroy morbid fluids and poisons).
16. Anti-inflammatory or anti-phlogistic agents including nutritive tonics and galactagogues.
17. Those which diminish the formation of mucus and fat, increase the urinary excretion, which act as lithontriptics (solvents of stony deposits), and as resolvents of internal deposits.
18. Those which diminish or relieve the dryness of the fauces and purify blood. They cool the blood and diminish the excessive formation of heat in the tissues and blood. They are, therefore, indicated in fevers accompanied by the increase of blood-heat.
19. A group similar in action to the above, but no reasons are given for recognising it as a separate class.
20. Cordials, and appetisers, which clear the urine by equalising the circulation of fluids.
21. Sedatives of pain, cordial and cooling.
22. Refrigerants. Also useful in checking inflammatory diarrhoea or dysentry. Detergents also.
23. Astringerants and healers of ulcers.
Also refrigerant and alternatives of the uterine circulation.
24. Cooling and appetisers. Also febrifuge.
25. Refrigerants simply.
26. Relieve congestions, torpidity of circulation and all atonic conditions of the system; are also stomachic and act as alteratives of uterine and mammary circulation. They cure remittent fevers also,
(To be continued).
P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P. P.
It is a rather singular fact, which hitherto seems to have escaped the notice of Ireland's friends and foes, and to have been left to the acute observation of Puck, to discover that many — if not all — of the sources of that country's distress and troubles may be indexed under the letter P. Thus we have Poverty, Pigs, and Potatoes; Priests and Popery; Protestants, Peelers, and Population; Pot heen, Politics, and Pugnacity; Patriotism, Parnell, and St. Patrick, and finally Pat himself. Even to America their fatal P. follows the sons of Erin, but here turns up as the initial of the genial and laughter-loving — Puck.
By B. P. Sankdhar,
Head-Master of the Normal School, Meerut.
The subject I beg to discuss to-day is of great importance, as affecting the future success of our operations, for the gradual re-instatement of our dear
Aryavarta in the place it had long held, and consequently it would have been far better for our purpose, had abler hands than mine taken up the subject, and treated it according to its merits. But, as it is the duty of every true son of this country whether a weak or a powerful hand, to exert his utmost in the coming struggle for her glory, so I thought it incumbent upon me at the risk of being regarded as presumptuous to lay these lines before the public, and ask my readers, Eastern as well as Western, whether my present proposal should not be our first step towards the object we aim at. The question to be settled is, whether we should continue to call ourselves Hindus, or should at once reassume the old designation of Arya? Before venturing to solve this problem, I must at once and for all acknowledge that every reader may at once reply that we need not give ourselves any useless trouble as regards such a trifling matter. It is the same thing, whether a man is called by one name or by another, whether he is called a Hindu or an Arya.
Such and similar ideas are sure to arise before the reader's mind, as soon as he sees this ordinary question. But no, my dear reader, I beg to differ from you on this point, and, consequently, I beg to answer you with another set of queries. Is it the same thing to be called a liar or an honest man; a slave or a free man? Will not our being called by one name or another affect the success of our undertakings? No doubt, it will. Now, in order to decide my original problem, I think I ought to begin by giving the meaning and origin of each of these terms. The word Hindu means. a liar, a slave, a black, an infidel, in short, a man possessed of every evil to be found in the world; while the term Arya means a pious, a learned, a noble, and a wise man, devoted to the true worship of the Eternal. With this explanation, I dare conclude that no man of common sense would like to be called a Hindu, when once he knows its meaning. Anybody can here ask me that, if what I say is true, then, how was it that the people of this country, the once-famous Aryavarta, assumed such a disgusting name. In order to satisfy such an one's curiosity, I beg to say that once this country was called Aryavarta and its inhabitants were known by the name of Aryans. In proof of my above assertion, I beg to state that the words Aryavarta and Arya are the only words that are used to designate our dear country and its inhabitants, in all our extant Sanskrit books. Even in our everyday Sankalpa () a sort of mantra repeated at the performance of every religious ceremony, the word Aryavarta is used as our country's name, while the word Hindu is neither of Sanskrit origin, nor is even once mentioned in any of our Sanskrit books. Had Hindu been our original name, this would not have been the case. The manner in which our fathers came to be known by the latter appellation seems to be as follows. When Darius Hystaspes, the first foreign king, visited this country, about 160 years before Alexander's invasion, it was governed by the kings of the Lunar dynasty, hence he called this country India, meaning the country governed by the kings of the Indu, or Moon dynasty (, the moon). In time they changed the word Ind into Hind, which in their language either signified the meanings already given, or in the blindness of their bigotry they gave these meanings to the term Hindu. And no wonder that they did so, for it is the custom at least amongst orientals that one sect always nicknames the followers of another. Neither were we slow in retorting, i.e., in giving the repartee, for we in return called them "Mlechas" and "Yavans." In time all the foreigners, I mean those of Persia, Arabia, Turkey, Tartary, Cabul, &c., began to call us by that hateful name, for all of them subsequently became followers of Mahomet of Arabia. When the Mohammedans conquered this country, they being our conquerors, cruel and unjust, obliged us to designate ourselves with that odious title. They ruled over us for a period of nearly 600 years, during which interval we grew accustomed to out new name and forgot the old one. And this habit has grown so strong with us that even now, when our persecutors have no more power over us, when we under the present strong government are on a footing of equality with the followers of every other religion, the most learned, enlightened and high-spirited sons of this country do not object to be called Hindus. I also acknowledge, though with deep regret, that until recently thousands of our poor ignorant country-men were nearly unacquainted with the words, Veda and Arya; but now as Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the Luther of India, has made these words echo and re-echo all over the land, so I think, O brothers! O true sons of this once exalted Aryavarta! the time has come, or rather is fast approaching, when we should show our spirit, act with vigour, and try our best towards the re-exaltation of our beloved mother-country! Arise from your long sleep, O ye lovers of this once famous seat of learning and religion, look around you, and see in what a hapless state your country lies! Act like a true magician to your prostrate Mother, support her in her weak state, and give her once more, no doubt as you can, though after time, all the vivacity and freshness of her youth. And now to conclude, I say persevere and you will succeed. Begin at once by casting off your present disgusting and odious appellation; show your spirit and re-assume at once your old and dear name of Arya. Namaste.
MEERUT, 7th February, 1880.
Evidently we, THEOSOPHISTS, are not the only iconoclasts in this world of mutual deception and hypocrisy. We are not the only ones who believe in cycles and, opposing the Biblical chronology, lean towards those opinions which secretly are shared by so many, but publicly avowed by so few. We Europeans, are just emerging from the very bottom of a new cycle, and progressing upwards, while the Asiatics — Hindus especially — are the lingering remnants of the nations which filled the world in the previous and now departed cycles. Whether the Aryans sprang from the archaic Americans, or the latter from the prehistorical Aryans, is a question which no living man can decide. But that there must have been an intimate connection at some time between the old Aryans, the prehistoric inhabitants of America — whatever might have been their name — and the ancient Egyptians, is a matter more easily proved than contradicted. And probably, if there ever was such a connection, it must have taken place at a time when the Atlantic did not yet divide the two hemispheres as it does now.
In his Peruvian Antiquities (see the THEOSOPHIST for March) Dr. Heath, of Kansas City — rara avis among scientific men, a fearless searcher, who accepts truth wherever he finds it, and is not afraid to speak it out in the very face of dogmatic opposition — sums up his impressions of the Peruvian relics in the following words: — "Three times the Andes sank hundreds of feet beneath the ocean level, and again were slowly brought to their present height. A man's life would be too short to count even the centuries consumed in this operation. The coast of Peru has risen eighty feet since it felt the tread of Pizarro. Supposing the Andes to have risen uniformly and without interruption, 70,000 years must have elapsed before they reached their present altitude."
"Who knows, then, but that Jules Verne's fanciful idea* regarding the lost continent Atlanta may be near the truth? Who can say that, where now is the Atlantic Ocean, formerly did not exist a continent, with its dense population, advanced in the arts and sciences, who, as they found their land sinking beneath the waters, retired part east and part west, populating thus the two hemispheres? This would explain the similarity of their archaeological structures and races, and their differences, modified by and adapted to the, character of their respective climates and countries. Thus would the llama and camel differ, although of the same species; thus the algoraba and espino trees; thus the Iroques Indians of North America and the most ancient Arabs call the constellation of the 'Great Bear' by the same name; thus various nations, cut off from all intercourse or knowledge of each other, divide the zodiac into twelve constellations, apply to them the same names, and the Northern Hindus apply the name Andes to their Himalayan mountains, as did the South Americans to their principal chain** Must we fall in the old rut, and suppose no other means of populating the Western Hemisphere except 'by way of Behring's Strait'? Must we still locate a geographical Eden in the East, and suppose a land, equally adapted to man and as old geologically, must wait the aimless wanderings of the 'lost tribe of Israel' to become populated?"
* This "idea" is plainly expressed and asserted as a fact by Plato in his Banquet; and was taken up by Lord Bacon in his New Atlantis.
** "The name America " said Isis Unveiled, (Vol. 2 p. 591) three years ago, "may one day be found closely related to Meru, the sacred mount in the centre of the seven continents." When first discovered, America was found to bear among some native tribes the name of Atlanta. In the States of Central America we find the name Amerih, signifying, like Meru, a great mountain. The origin of the Kamas Indians of America is also unknown.
Go where we may, to explore the antiquities of America — whether of Northern, Central, or Southern America — we are first of all impressed with the magnitude of these relies of ages and races unknown, and then with the extraordinary similarity they present to the mounds and ancient structures of old India, of Egypt and even of some parts of Europe. Whoever has seen one of these mounds has seen all. Whoever has stood before the cyclopean structures of one continent can have a pretty accurate idea of those of the other. Only be it said — we know still less of the age of the antiquities of America than even of those in the Valley of the Nile, of which we know next to nothing. But their symbolism — apart from their outward form — is evidently the same as in Egypt, India, and elsewhere. As before the great pyramid of Cheops in Cairo, so before the great mound, 100 feet high, on the plain of Cahokia, — near St. Louis (Missouri) — which measures 700 feet long by 800 feet broad at the base, and covers upwards of eight acres of ground, having 20,000,000 cubic feet of contents, and the mound on the banks of Brush Creek, Ohio, so accurately described by Squier and Davis, one knows not whether to admire more the geometrical precision, prescribed by the wonderful and mysterious builders in the form of their monuments, or the hidden symbolism they evidently sought to express. The Ohio mound represents a serpent, upwards of 1,000 feet long. Gracefully coiled in capricious curves, it terminates in a triple coil at the tail. "The embankment constituting the effigy, is upwards of five feet in height, by thirty feet base at the centre of the body, slightly diminishing towards the tail."* The neck is stretched out and its mouth wide, opened, holding within its jaws an oval figure.
"Formed by an embankment at four feet in height, this oval is perfectly regular in outline, its transverse and conjugate diameters being 160 and 8 feet respectively," say the surveyors. The whole represents the universal cosmological idea of the serpent and the egg. This is easy to surmise. But how came this great symbol of the Hermetic wisdom of old Egypt to find itself represented in North America? How is it that the sacred buildings found in Ohio and elsewhere, these squares, circles, octagons, and other geometrical figures, in which one recognizes so easily the prevailing idea of the Pythagorean sacred numerals, seem copied from the Book of Numbers? Apart from the complete silence as to their origin, even among the Indian tribes, who have otherwise preserved their own traditions in every case, the antiquity of these ruins is proved by the existence of the largest and most ancient forests growing on the buried cities. The prudent archaeologists of America have generously assigned them 2,000 years. But by whom built, and whether their authors migrated, or disappeared beneath victorious arms, or were swept out of existence by some direful epidemic, or a universal famine, are questions, "probably beyond the power of human investigation to answer," they say. The earliest inhabitants of Mexico, of whom history has any knowledge — more hypothetical than proven — are the Toltecs. These are supposed to have come from the North and believed to have entered Anahuac in the 7th century A. D. They are also credited with having constructed in Central America, where they spread in the eleventh century, some of the great cities whose ruins still exist. In this case it is they who must also have carved the hieroglyphics that cover some of the relics. How is it, then, that the pictorial system of writing of Mexico, which was used by the conquered people and learned by the conquerors and their missionaries, does not yet furnish the keys to the hieroglyphics of Palenque and Copan, not to mention those of Peru? And these civilized Toltecs themselves, who were they, and whence did they come? And who are the Aztecs that succeeded them? Even among the hieroglyphical systems of Mexico, there were some which the foreign interpreters were precluded the possibility of studying. These were the so-called schemes of judicial astrology "given but not explained in Lord Kingsborough's published collection," and set down as purely figurative and symbolical, "intended only for the use of the priests and diviners and possessed of an esoteric significance." Many of the hieroglyphics on the monoliths of Palenque and Copan are of the same character. The "priests and diviners" were all killed off by the Catholic fanatics, — the secret died with them.
* Smithsonian contributions to Knowledge, Vol. I.
Nearly all the mounds in North America are terraced and ascended by large graded ways, sometimes square, often hexagonal, octagonal or truncated, but in all respects similar to the teocallis of Mexico, and to the topes of India. As the latter are attributed throughout this country to the work of the five Pandus of the Lunar Race, so the cyclopean monuments and monoliths on the shores of Lake Titicaca, in the republic of Bolivia, are ascribed to giants, the five exiled brothers "from beyond the mounts." They worshipped the moon as their progenitor and lived before the time of the "Sons and Virgins of the Sun." Here, the similarity of the Aryan with the South American tradition is again but too obvious, and the Solar and Lunar races — the Surya Vansa and the Chandra Vansa — re-appear in America.
This Lake Titicaca, which occupies the centre of one of the most remarkable terrestrial basins on the whole globe, is "160 miles long and from 50 to 80 broad, and discharges through the valley of El Desagvadero, to the south-east into another lake, called Lake Aullagas, which is probably kept at a lower level by evaporation or filtration, since it has no known outlet. The surface of the lake is 12,846 feet above the sea, and it is the most elevated body of waters of similar size in the world." As the level of its waters has very much decreased in the historical period, it is believed on good grounds that they once surrounded the elevated spot on which are found the remarkable ruins of Tiahuanico.
The latter are without any doubt aboriginal monuments pertaining to an epoch which preceded the Incal period, as far back as the Dravidian and other aboriginal peoples preceded the Aryans in India. Although the traditions of the Incas maintain that the great law-giver and teacher of the Peruvians, Manco Capac — the Manu of South America — diffused his knowledge and influence from this centre, yet the statement is unsupported by facts. If the original seat of the Aymara, or "Inca race" was there, as claimed by some, how is it that neither the Incas, nor the Aymaras, who dwell on the shores of the Lake to this day, nor yet the ancient Peruvians, had the slightest knowledge concerning their history? Beyond a vague tradition which tells us of "giants" having built these immense structures in one night, we do not find the faintest clue. And, we have every reason to doubt whether the Incas are of the Aymara race at all. The Incas claim their descent from Manco Capac, the son of the Sun, and the Aymaras claim this legislator as their instructor and the founder of the era of their civilization. Yet, neither the Incas of the Spanish period could prove the one, nor the Aymaras the other. The language of the latter is quite distinct from the Inichua — the tongue of the Incas; and they were the only race that refused to give up their language, when conquered by the descendants of the Sun, as Dr. Heath tells us.
The ruins afford every evidence of the highest antiquity. Some are built on a pyramidal plan, as most of the American mounds are, and cover several acres; while the monolithic doorways, pillars and stone-idols, so elaborately carved, are "sculptured in a style wholly different from any other remains of art yet found in America." D'Orbigny speaks of the ruins in the most enthusiastic manner. "These monuments", he says, "consist of a mound raised nearly 100 feet, surrounded with pillars — of temples from 600 to 1,200 feet in length, opening precisely towards the east, and adorned with colossal angular columns — of porticoes of a single stone, covered with reliefs of skilful execution, displaying symbolical representations of the Sun, and the condor, his messenger — of baltic statues loaded with bass-reliefs, in which the design of the carved head is half Egyptian — and lastly, of the interior of a palace formed of enormous blocks of rock, completely hewn, whose dimensions are often 21 feet in length, 12 in breadth, and 6 in thickness. In the temples and palaces, the portals are not inclined, as among those of the Incas, but perpendicular; and their vast dimensions, and the imposing masses, of which they are composed, surpass in beauty and grandeur all that were afterwards built by the sovereigns of Cuzco." Like the rest of his fellow-explorers, A . D'Orbigny believes these ruins to have been the work of a race far anterior to the Incas.
Two distinct styles of architecture are found in these relics of Lake Titicaca. Those of the island of Coati, for instance, bear every feature in common with the ruins of Tiahuanico; so do the vast blocks of stone elaborately sculptured, some of which, according to the report of the surveyors, in 1846, measure: "3 feet in length by 18 feet in width, and 6 feet in thickness;" while on some of the islands of the Lake Titicaca there are monuments of great extent, "but of true Peruvian type, believed to be the remains of temples destroyed by the Spaniards." The famous sanctuary, with the human figure in it, belongs to the former. Its doorway 10 feet high, 13 feet broad, with an opening 6 feet 4 inches, by 3 feet 2 inches, is cut from a single stone. "Its east front has a cornice, in the centre of which is a human figure of strange form, crowned with rays, interspersed with serpents with crested heads. On each side of this figure are three rows of square compartments, filled with human and other figures, of apparently symbolic design. . ." Were this temple in India, it would undoubtedly be attributed to Shiva; but it is at the antipodes, where neither the foot of a Shaiva nor one of the Nagra tribe has ever penetrated to the knowledge of man, though the Mexican Indians have their Nagal, or chief sorcerer and serpent worshiper. The ruins standing on an eminence, which, from the water-marks around it, seem to have been formerly an island in Lake Titicaca, and "the level of the Lake now being 135 feet lower, and its shores, 12 miles distant, this fact, in conjunction with others, warrants the belief that these remains antedate any others known in America."* Hence, all these relics are unanimously ascribed to the same "unknown and mysterious people who preceded the Peruvians, as the Tulhuatecas or Toltecs did the Aztecs. It seems to have been the seat of the highest and most ancient civlilization of South America and of a people who have left the most gigantic monuments of their power and skill". . . And these monuments are all either Dracontias — temples sacred to the Snake, or temples dedicated to the Sun.
* New American Cyclopedia, Art, "Teotihuacan."
Of this same character are the ruined pyramids of Teotihuacan and the monoliths of Palenque and Copan. The former are some eight leagues from the city of Mexico on the plain of Otumla, and considered among the most ancient in the land. The two principal ones are dedicated to the Sun and Moon, respectively. They are built of cut stone, square, with four stories and a level area at the top. The larger, that of the Sun, is 221 feet high, 680 feet square at the base, and covers an area of 11 acres, nearly equal to that of the great pyramid of Cheops. And yet, the pyramid of Cholula, higher than that of Teotihuacan by ten feet according to Humboldt, and having 1,400 feet square at the base, covers an area of 45 acres!
It is interesting to hear what the earliest writers — the historians who saw them during the first conquest — say even of some of the most modern of these buildings, of the great temple of Mexico, among others. It consisted of an immense square area "surrounded by a wall of stone and lime, eight feet thick, with battlements, ornamented with many stone figures in the form of serpents," says one. Cortez shows that 500 houses might be easily placed within its enclosure. It was paved with polished stones, so smooth, that "the horses of the Spaniards could not move over them without slipping," writes Bernal Diaz. In connection with this, we must remember that it was not the Spaniards who conquered the Mexicans, but their horses. As there never was a horse seen before by this people in America, until the Europeans landed it on the coast, the natives, though excessively brave, "were so awestruck at the sight of horses and the roar of the artillery", that they took the Spaniards to be of divine origin and sent them human beings as sacrifices. This superstitious panic is sufficient to account for the fact that a handful of men could so easily conquer incalculable thousands of warriors.
According to Gomera, the four walls of the enclosure of the temple corresponded with the cardinal points. In the centre of this gigantic area arose the great temple, an immense pyramidal structure of eight stages, faced with stone, 300 feet square at the base and 120 feet in height, truncated, with a level summit, upon which were situated two towers, the shrines of the divinities to whom it was consecrated — Tezcatlipoca and Huitzlipochtli. It was here that the sacrifices were performed, and the eternal fire maintained. Clavigero tells us, that besides this great pyramid, there were forty other similar structures consecrated to various divinities. The one called Tezcacalli, "the House of the Shining Mirrors, sacred to Tezcatlipoca, the God of Light, the Soul of the World, the Vivifier, the Spiritual Sun." The dwellings of priests, who, according to Zarate, amounted to 8,000, were near by, as well as the seminaries and the schools. Ponds and fountains, groves and gardens, in which flowers and sweet smelling herbs were cultivated for use in certain sacred rites and the decoration of altars, were in abundance; and, so large was the inner yard, that "8,000 or 10,000 persons had sufficient room to dance in it upon their solemn festivities — says Solis. Torquemada estimates the number of such temples in the Mexican empire at 40,000 but Clavigero, speaking of the majestic Teocalli (literally, houses of God) of Mexico, estimates the number higher.
So wonderful are the features of resemblance between the ancient shrines of the Old and the New World that Humboldt remains unequal to express his surprise. "What striking analogies exist between the monuments of the old continents and those of the Toltecs who . . . built these colossal structures, truncated pyramids, divided by layers, like the temple of Belus at Babylon! Where did they take the model of these edifices?" — he exclaims.
The eminent naturalist might have also enquired where the Mexicans got all their Christian virtues from, being but poor pagans. The code of the Aztecs, says Prescott, "evinces a profound respect for the great principles of morality, and as clear a perception of these principles as is to be found in the most cultivated nations." Some of these are very curious inasmuch as they show such a similarity to some of the Gospel ethics. "He who looks too curiously on a woman, commits adultery with his eyes", says one of them. "Keep peace with all; bear injuries with humility; God, who sees, will avenge you," declares another. Recognizing but one Supreme Power in Nature, they addressed it as the deity "by whom we live, Omnipresent, that knoweth all thoughts and giveth all gifts, without whom man is as nothing; invisible, incorporeal, one of perfect perfection and purity, under whose wings we find repose and a sure defence." And, in naming their children, says Lord Kingsborough "they used a ceremony strongly resembling the Christian rite of baptism, the lips and bosom of the infant being sprinkled with water, and the Lord implored to wash away the sin that was given to it before the foundation of the world, so that the child might be born anew." "Their laws were perfect; justice, contentment and peace reigned in the kingdom of these benighted heathens," when the brigands and the Jesuits of Cortez landed at Tabasco. A century of murders, robbery, and forced conversion, were sufficient to transform this quiet, inoffensive and wise people into what they are now. They have fully benefited by dogmatic Christianity. And he, who ever went to Mexico, knows what that means. The country is full of blood-thirsty Christian fanatics, thieves, rogues, drunkards, debauchees, murderers, and the greatest liars the world has ever produced! Peace and glory to your ashes, O Cortez and Torquemada! In this case at least, will you never be permitted to boast of the enlightenment your Christianity has poured out on the poor, and once virtuous heathens!
(To be continued)
It is deeply to be regretted that the Tantras have not found favour with some scholars and truth-seekers of this country. People generally feel as if an intuitive repugnance at the very name of Tantra, which seems to associate with it all that is impure, ignoble and immoral; but yet there are many Tantras hiding in their neglected pages golden keys which may well help the earnest pilgrim to open the sealed gates of mysterious nature. The Tantras are an invaluable treasure, embracing, besides religion and theology, law and medicine, cosmology, yoga, spiritulism, rules regarding the elementaries and almost all the branches of transcendental philosophy. They are over 160 in number, but written as they are in the Bengali character, and their study being confined among a very few of the Tantrik sect, the world at large has been deprived of the knowledge of what they really are. The Tantriks, like the Freemasons and Rosicrucians, studiously hide their books and secrets from the outside world.
With a view to disabuse the minds of the Tantra-haters of their misconception about this very instructive and interesting branch of the Hindu literature, I will attempt in the sequel to give a succinct account of the doctrines of the Mahanirvana Tantra as to the Deity.
The Deity, according to the Mahanirvana Tantra, is a duality — the grand, immutable and inseparable combination of mind and matter. It is always indivisible, impersonal, unsusceptible of any feeling, such as pleasure and pain, imperceptibly latent in every created object,* all-pervading and eternal.
It is the fountain-light of the senses and the faculties, itself having neither the one nor the other. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, are the personifications of the centrifugal, sustaining and centripetal energies of the great One, they being never independent entities.* All the created objects from the great to the small are provided with it.**
This Great Cause of Causes is known only to those who are adepts in what is known by the name of Samadhi yoga. The Yogi, to feel it, must be impregnable to feelings of pleasure and pain, happiness and misery, heat and cold, in short, every terrestrial thing that affects the mind of the ordinary mortal. The discipline of the mind is not the less imperative. The practiser of Yoga should stand beyond the control of the passions, regard with an even eye both friend and foe, and completely abstract his mind from the outside world. He is to concentrate his mind upon the vital Mantra, om satchit ekam brahma, which is thus explained. The syllable om is the symbol of the centrifugal, sustaining, and centripetal energies of God: the letter (a) means the sustaining or preservative energy, (u) the destroying (rather decomposing and centripetal) energy, and (m) the creative (rather centrifugal) energy.
I have used the words, centrifugal, centripetal and energy, advisedly. From the Kamadhenu Tantra it would appear that the letter (u) of the Pranava is the symbol of a certain force (call it power if you will) named Adha Kundalini () whose color is like the scarlet Champak embodying the five Devas (that is, Tanmatras or the occult, essences of sound, light, smell, touch and air) and the five Pranas. The color of the force symbolized by (m) is like that of the dawning sun, and it is called the Parama Kandali (); it also embraces the five Devas and Prans. The symbol (a) is of the moon's color, pentangular, embracing the five Devas as above; having three powers (sakti), three attributes, though without any attribute, and itself the divine essence embodied.
Now among the descriptions of Kundalini in Tantrasara these three attributes among others are noticeable, viz., that it is subtle, moving in three and a half circles and encircling the esoteric (procreative will, I believe) of the self-existent Deity.*
Viewing in this light this Kundalini appears to be the grand pristine force which underlies organic and inorganic matter. Modern science also teaches us that heat, light, electricity, magnetism, &c., are but the modifications of one great force. I confess my inability to ascertain the distinction between Adhas Kundalini and Parama Kundali, typifying the negative force and the positive force respectively, but doubtless they are the different manifestations of one great primeval force or power which created the universe. I have substituted the word centripetal for destroying, because it is laid down that, at the time of Mahapralaya, organic matter will be decomposed and withdrawn to whence it issued.
I am struck with an idea, though I am not now in a position, for want of some very valuable Tantrik work, to substantiate my point, that the syllable Om is the esoteric verbal symbol, whereas the cross, Arani, Lingam, &c., is the esoteric physical symbol hiding the same divine meaning underneath. There is the positive vertical force (m) intersecting the negative horizontal force (u), and (a) is the harmonial motion of these two forces, (the harmony being mentioned by three other royal saktis of dignity, energy and counsel) sustaining and preserving the universe, which is but the embodiment of the divine essence ()
But to resume: sat means immortal, rather ever-existent; chit, the fountain of perception, knowledge and wisdom; ekam, unity; and brahma implies greatness. But the concentration of the mind on the mantra is not alone sufficient; the Yogi, to attain beatitude, must realize the Deity explicated by it. (1) And what is Yoga? It is the conjuncture of the Jiva (mind) with the Atma (soul, i.e., God) — it is that worship which unites the servant with the master. (2)
But this state of the mind, the result of the highest culture and training, is attainable only by a few, who devote their whole life and energy to the fearless investigation of truth. The majority of the people getting no such education and addicting themselves to mundane pursuits, are not in a position to appreciate or realize the abstract God. Thrown into the whirlpool of action, tempted by passions and interest, beset by enemies and untoward circumstances, goaded by hope and ambition, struck down by fear and despair, frail man is capable of doing the greatest mischief to himself and to his fellow-brethren. The bond of religion is, therefore, of the highest importance to ensure peace and security. And what religion can the average man appreciate? Certainly not the highest theosophy. To suit the capacity of such men, the sages expounded a system of easily tangible faith founded on the attributes and actions of the Deity (3), keeping in view Prakriti, the fountain-source of matter, and screening out chaitanya, the ocean of intelligence, knowledge and wisdom. But they did not descend to idolatry by one step. Their first lesson was to contemplate attributive images, failing which the untutored mind was instructed to make visible images of Prakriti, symbolizing her attributes. Thus Kali (or Sakti, Prakriti, that is, God manifested in matter) is made of black color, having a crescent on her forehead, three eyes, wearing red cloth, distributing security and boon with her hands, sitting on the scarlet lotus, and having her mouth wide open at the sight in front of drunken Kala (time) dancing. Even as white, purple and other colors are absorbed by the black, so do the elements find their rest in Kali, hence her color is imagined to be black; the symbol of the moon indicates her loveliness; the light of the universe being the sun, moon and fire, the Great Light of Light is made to have three eyes; time masticates and devours all created objects, the blood of which is imagined to be her cloth; the universe upon which she sits being the offspring of the active power (Rajas) — her throne is made of purple lotus. The drink of Kala is folly.
(4) The ritualistic portions of the work are not less interesting; they unfold the means whereby the sentient God as well as its symbolic representations are to be worshipped. My next paper will be devoted to their treatment.
Symbolic worship is by no means soul-lifting. (5) It is only for the benefit of the worldly-minded people — to induce them to the contemplation of something holy and transmundane, and to guard against folly and vice, that such worship has been inculcated. But the soul can never attain beatitude until it breaks off the girdles of Karma, (action) and obtains Gnan (God-knowledge). The Gordian knot of action binds the soul, hand and foot, to the world, where repeatedly it gets birth and dies away until theosophy redeems it from transmigration.
Rajshahi in Bengal, Feb.11th, 1880.
A MOST INTERESTING AND INSTRUCTIVE LETTER has been addressed to the Society by a respectable physician in England, in which advice is asked for the treatment of a gentleman who, since attending some Spiritualistic "circles" to witness the strange phenomenon of "Materlialization," has been obsessed by an evil influence or "bad spirit", despite his efforts to throw it off. The case is so important that it will be specially described in next month's THEOSOPHIST.
The Revue spirite of Paris, a monthly journal established by the late Allan Kardec — the founder of the Spiritistic School in France — and edited by M. P. G. Leymarie, a Fellow of the Theosophical Society, in its February number, 1880, has a most interesting article, discoursing upon Mr. Crookes, the eminent English physicist, interested in the occult studies. It speaks thus of him and his great popularity now in France: —
"Spiritism feels too grateful to the great scientist William Crookes that anything to his greater glory should remain unnoticed. Suffice, then, that he is the author of the admirable Researches on Radiant Matter, of which the whole press entertained lately the French public, to make it our duty to oar readers to welcome the discoveries of the great chemist who did not shrink from the study of spiritist phenomena.* This alone would be sufficient for us, had we not still another motive, one that concerns the cause of Spiritism to its core and heart, as the problem of radiant matter is the problem of Spiritualism itself. That, which Mesmerista and Spiritualists call fluid, is probably only a special manifestation of what Mr. Crookes designates under the name of radiant matter. The discovery of a fourth condition of matter is a door opened for its transformations for ever; it is the invisible and impalpable man that becomes possible without ceasing to be substantial; it is the world of spirits entering the domain of scientific hypotheses without absurdity; it presents a possibility for the materialist to believe in a future life, without renouncing the material substratum which he thinks necessary for the maintenance of individuality. There are other considerations too. We do not mention homeopathy, having never studied it, but it is more than probable that homoeopaths will find arguments as well in the facts of radiant matter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
* The twenty millions of Western believers in the modern phenomena and those who attribute them to the agency of departed spirits or souls (bhutas) are divided into two great sects — the Spiritualists and the Spiritists. The latter are "Re-incarnationists," or believers in the successive re-incarnations or tranamigrations of the human soul. — ED. THEOS.
"Mr. Crookes is not only the chemist known to the scientific world, but at this time there is not a Frenchman well read in journalistic information, who is not aware of the importance of his works, and this name is now for science a dazzling light, a popular glory. To give an idea of his work and of the interest which his experiments at the Paris observatory and at the school of medicine have generally excited throughout the press, we cannot do better than reproduce passages from the numerous articles published by scientific editors."
The first contribution to this effect is given by a letter from M. Camille Flammarion, the astronomer and spiritist, to the journal Le Voltaire on the subject of Radiant Matter, extracts from which letter we now give for the benefit of the readers of the Theosophist.
M. Flammarion says: —
"We had, the other night, at the Observatory, a lecture on physics — physics purely scientific, let it be well understood — very interesting and extremely instructive. Mr. W. Crookes, F. R. S. of London, showed there to a select meeting his curious experiments upon a peculiar state of matter, which he calls radiant matter. M. Salet was the interpreter; in the audience was M. Gambetta, accompanied by General Farre."
M. Flummarion then alleges that Faraday was the first person to conceive the idea of radiant matter, as a hardy hypothesis, in the year 1816. His letter thus proceeds: —
"At the commencement of the century, if any one had asked what is gas, he would have been answered, it is matter diluted and rarefied to the point of being impalpable; except when it is excited by a violent movement, it is invisible; it is incapable of assuming a definite form, like solids; or of forming drops like liquids; it is always in a position to dilate when it encounters no resistance, and to contract under the action of pressure. Such were the principal properties attributed to gas thirty years ago. But the researches of modern science have greatly enlarged and modified our ideas about the constitution of these elastic fluids.
"We now consider gas to be composed of an almost infinite number of little particles or molecules, which are incessantly in movement, and which are animated by a tendency to velocity of movement to the greatest possible degree. As the number of these molecules is exceedingly great, it follows that a molecule cannot move in any direction without quickly striking against another. But if we extract from a closed vessel a great quantity of the air, or of the gas which it contains, the number of the molecules is diminished, and the distance that a given molecule can move without knocking against another is increased, the mean length of its free course being in inverse ratio to the number of molecules remaining.
"The more perfect the vacuum, the greater the average distance that a molecule traverses before colliding; or, in other terms, the mean length of the free course augments, the more the physical properties of the gas become modified. Thus, when we arrive at a certain point, the phenomena of the radiometer become possible; and if we carry the rarefaction of the gas still farther, that is to say, if we diminish the number of the molecules which are found in a given space, and by that means augment the mean length of their free courses, we render the experiments, which are the subject matter of our consideration, possible. As Mr. Crookes says: —
'These phenomena differ so greatly from those presented by gas in its ordinary tension, that we are in the presence of a fourth condition of matter, which is as far removed from the gaseous condition as gas is from the liquid condition.
'The molecules of gas, for example, contained in this envelope of crystal (a globe five inches in diameter) and which are now become comparatively few in number — although there are actually left milliards on milliards — by being no longer impeded reciprocally in their movements, have acquired new properties, of extreme energy. Here are revealed by the most brilliant phenomena some of those mysterious powers of nature, the secret laws of which are yet little known.
'These molecules projected on diamonds and rubies in rapid streams, cause them to shine forth with intense brilliancy of colour, green and red, and the glass under their action becomes illuminated with flashing phosphorescence.
'A rapid current of these particles, which an ingenious lecture-table method of lighting renders visible to all eyes, heats platino-iridium-alloy, to beyond 2,000 degrees, melting it like wax.
'It appears that all these molecules, which have been rendered more free and mobile by reduction of their number, act like bullets so small as to defy imagination, and the number of which, still in this vacuum of which man is so proud, appears to be still infinite.'
"Mr. Crookes, by means of various ingenious experiments, demonstrates the following propositions:
'Wherever radiant matter strikes, it induces an energetic phosphorescent action: — it moves in a straight line; when intercepted by a solid substance it throws a shadow; it exercises an energetic mechanical action upon the bodies it strikes against; it deviates from its straight course under the influence of the magnet; when arrested in its movement, it produces heat.'
"These are some of the experiments so new, so unexpected, and of such deep interest, the author of them has succeeded in making a vacuum in his tubes of a millionth of atmosphere, and he might even attain to a ten millionth or perfectionate it even to a twenty millionth. Very well, such a pneumatic vacuum, far from representing to the mind an absolute vacuum represents, on the contrary, still a real condition of matter, and still an immeasurable number of molecules. Thus, for example, a globe of glass of thirteen centimetres (about five inches) in diameter, like those in which some of the preceding experiments had been made, would contain something like a septillion. Thus: — 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, of molecules of air. Very well, if we make a vacuum there to a millionth of the atmosphere, the globe will still contain a quintillion of molecules. That is no small thing. It is even enormous — unimaginable! Suppose we pierce this globe of glass by the aid of an electric spark, which traverses it by an opening quite microscopic, but sufficient, nevertheless to permit the air to enter; how much time will it take for this quintillion of molecules to get into the globe in which a vacuum has been made? If a hundred millions of molecules should enter in a second, in order to fill this globe there would be a necessity of —
12, 882, 510, 617, 476, 500, Seconds.
or 214, 708, 510, 291, 275, Minutes.
or 3, 578, 475, 171, 521, Hours.
or 149, 103, 132, 147, Days.
or 408, 501, 731, Years.
more than four hundred millions of years. Nevertheless, the vessel is filled in an hour. What are we to conclude by this? Why, that not only a hundred millions of molecules enter in a second, but three hundred quintillions. The smallness of these molecules is, then, absolutely incomprehensible. They are so to speak but mathematical points.
"In the study of this fourth condition, or state of matter, it seems that we have attained a knowledge of, seized, and submitted to our control, the small indivisible atoms which we may consider as forming the physical basis of the Universe, and that we have attained to the limit where matter and force appear to blend — to the obscure domain which marks the frontier that separates the known from the unknown. I hope the learned experimenter will here permit me to make a reflection inspired by his own experiments. That which he calls radiant matter, may it not be simply a mode of electricity? The radiations observed, the luminous and calorific phenomena produced, the deviations obtained under the influence of the magnet and magnetic currents, do they not suggest directly to the mind the existence of actions of the electric order? This idea may well have struck the author himself, and perhaps he might discuss this objection which appears to us direct and quite natural. This objection does not, however, seem to us to be proved. But, whatever may be the adopted theory, these experiments are none the less novel, curious, and of the first order. We will finish by an indiscretion; it was in studying the phenomena of Spiritualism that Mr. Crookes has been led to these magnificent discoveries.
There are eight parts of Yog, viz, Yama, Niyama, Asana, Prannayama, Pratyahara, Dharanna, Dhyana and Samadhi, each of which I shall endeavour to define as briefly as possible.
The principles of Yama enjoin us —
(1) To observe perfect freedom from the desire of injuring others, and to realize in practice real love and heartfelt sympathy for all creatures;
(2) To speak always the truth; making our words convey our exact meaning;
(3) To be free from a desire to misappropriate others' property, however insignificant;
(4) To practise self-denial, or in other words never to allow gratification to carnal passions, even in thought;
(5) To keep always and everywhere aloof from pride and vanity.
The principles of Niyama, enjoin us —
(1) To observe cleanliness of body and purity of mind;
(2) To be content and cheerful under all the vicissitudes of life;
(3) To listen to, and practise, the doctrines calculated to exalt our mind and refine our thoughts;
(4) To read the sacred books, such as the Vedas &c.and to have full faith in the existence of the Infinite Spirit, Om;
(5) To bear always in mind that our actions and thoughts are watched and witnessed by the Omnipresent Spirit.
This treats of the posture to be adopted at the time of performing Yog. The posture assumed should be quite easy and in no way painful or inconvenient. For oriental people, squatting is the one generally preferred.
This relates to the suppression of the inspiration and expiration of breath.
(1) When the breath is exhaled, the student should, before he takes it in again, allow as much time to pass as he conveniently can.
(2) And when it is inhaled, he should suffer the same amount of time to elapse before it is exhaled again.
(3) He should then suspend breathing altogether, of course for a few seconds at the beginning, and never so long as would cause him inconvenience or prove dangerous to his health. In short, his practice must be regulated by his strength.
(4) He should then inhale and exhale his breaths slowly and with less force than usual. I advise no person to practise this part of Yog, unless he has a Yogi at his side, inasmuch as it endangers health and life, if unskillfully attempted and in the absence of an instructor.
This requires us to control our mind so as to exercise full authority over its feelings and emotions.
is to withhold the mind from all external objects and internal thoughts and to concentrate it upon a certain part of the body, either the navel, heart, forehead, nose or tongue, and then to meditate on Om and its attributes.
is to intensify that meditation, and to keep the mind void of any other thought, feeling or emotion.
leads the Yogi to gain that perfection in the intensity of meditation, which enables him to attain absorption in the Infinite Spirit.
In Dhyana the Yogi is conscious of his own self, of his mind, and of the Infinite Spirit; but in Samadhi he loses the consciousness of the first two, and the Infinite Spirit only remains before his mind's eye.
Your readers must know that the writer of this article, not being a Yogi himself, writes this not so much to teach others as to learn himself, and will, therefore, feel highly grateful to any who, being Yogis themselves, will correct him wherever they see him taking a wrong course.
Dharanna, Dhyana and Samadhi are together called Sannyama.
No one should expect to enjoy the bliss of Sannyama, which is beyond all description, without first observing the principles of Yama and Niyama.
God, the primeval cause that pervades the universe, and is the Master of all things, either animate or inanimate, is a Being invisible to the physical eyes, imperceptible to the bodily senses and incomprehensible to our finite intellect. Who dares define such a Being, and in what language? No other language than that of the Deity itself, (if it can be said to have any specific language at all) can boast of representing it as it is. And in Sannyana we are brought face to face with this Being.
The first fruit, that a Yogi reaps, is that his mind is always fearless and his soul happy. These two qualifications are the true attendants that a Yogi can always count upon, and without these no person should be looked upon as a Yogi. It is, indeed, difficult to enter all at once into the state of Samadhi, but Dhyana, I am sure, is a stage that can at any rate be reached even by a beginner.
It is in Dhyana that a student of Yog Vidya begins to hear that mystic music called the Anahad-Shabd (which is so beautifully illustrated at page 87 of the THEOSOPHIST for January 1880, in the article on Yog Philosophy) which varies in its tunes and notes in proportion to the advancement of the student from one stage to another.
In the first stage it resembles the chirping of a sparrow, in the second it is twice as loud, in the third it is like the tolling of bells, in the fourth like the blowing of a great shell, in the fifth like the music of a lute, in the sixth like the clapping of hands, in the seventh like the sound of a flute (Vinna), in the eighth like the beating of a drum, in the ninth like the sound of a small trumpet, and in the tenth like the deep pealing of thunder.
It is in the tenth stage called Samadhi that Hiraninyagarbha, that eternal and unfailing light, which until then penetrated its rays only now and then through the thick cloud of matter, breaks in upon the Yogi in its full brightness and glory, and absorbs him. The Yogis, when they reach this state, gain the power of the Deity, just as a piece of iron gains the property of the magnet when both are brought in close connection with each other. And it is such Yogis that should be looked upon with awe and reverence. However, the farther the student advances from one stage to another, the greater the psychic powers he begins to possess. In the infancy of his spiritual development, future events are revealed to him through dreams, especially those connected with his own person, his intimate friends and nearest relatives. But as his Dhyana makes a move nearer to the attainment of Samadhi, his capacity is so increased as to enable him to see distant objects and future events as happening before him in his semi-Samadhi. And he can also save himself to a certain extent from the attack of diseases and all hurtful creatures.
When the student acquires so much power, it happens in some few cases that he becomes reserved, and looks down upon others. This he should scrupulously avoid, as otherwise he stands face to face with the danger of being pulled down to the point from whence he first started.
He should bear all ill-treatment with patience and be ever forgiving; in short, he should act like the Omnipresent Deity that allows the sun to shine equally both on the good and the wicked. A slight partiality for one and hatred for another is sure to retard his progress.
It should be borne in mind that Dhyana can never be enjoyed unless the mind is quite free of all desires at the time. The ever-wavering state of the mind is a great obstacle in our way of spiritual development, and no mind can be brought to any point of stability unless it is separated from all desires. And to effect this various are the means adopted by different persons. Some engage their mind without reserve in the recitation of either of the following ineffable names of the Deity: — Om, Soham, Hans-Hans, Tut-Sut &c. &c. Others engage their mind directly in searching after Eternal Light, which manifests itself to the devotee in the inner chamber of his heart, called in Sanskrit, Brahm-poori.
Punjab, February 1880.
I have no mind to occupy any space in your esteemed Journal with any discussion as to the relative merits of the two religions, but I propose, with your permission, to point out, to those concerned, why the new religion has not been able to progress so well as it should have in the course of the last half-a-century. Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world, and it must be a religion of love and no dogma that would upset it, if possible. It is a tremendous edifice that has out-lived the raids of time, stood the fury of many a cyclone, and baffled all foreign aggression. It embraces all phases of moral philosophy and is, from a Hindu point of view, the fountain-head of theology. Brahmoism (or the religion of one true Brahma), as originally founded by Rajah Ram Mohun Roy, has sprung out of it. Brahmoism has since received many an accretion from foreign bodies, and alluvium deposited by the washing of the flood of time. It professes to contain the concentrated essence of the sweets of
all the known religions of the earth. It ought, therefore, strictly speaking, to be the prevailing religion at this hour, at least in India. But even in Bengal, it is not the religion of many, but of a few young Bengalis. Why is this? It is not because there is any inherent or latent defect in the system itself, but, because, I believe, there is a fault in its followers. Let it not be understood, however, that any rejection is intended upon the character of all the Brahmos; no, there are very honourable exceptions to the rule. What I emphatically beg to assert is that men like Babu Keshub Chundar Sen — whose public life has been inconsistent throughout, and who, at the close of the nineteenth century, in the midst of all this Western enlightenment and civilization, wants to be regarded as a prophet and to be worshipped like Christ Jesus of Nazareth — cannot guide, far less rule, the spiritual destiny of millions. Besides, if the Brahmos are really in earnest to convert into their
faith their Hindu brethren, they must forsake the aggressive policy and the offending attitude they have lately adopted towards the Hindu society. I have been led into making these remarks by the facts of a case that has lately occurred at Allahabad, and has been fully reported by a correspondent in the columns of the "Prabhati," a vernacular daily published at Calcutta. It appears that a certain teacher in the Government school at Allahabad, a young Baboo, graduate of the Calcutta University and a Brahmo, became an accomplice, at least after the fact, of enticing away, under cover of midnight, a young Hindu girl-widow from the lawful custody of her poor brother. When questioned by the girl's brother and some of his friends, the said teacher, after much hesitation and with great reluctance, confessed that the girl was in his house; and, when pressed to deliver her up, he managed to send her down to Calcutta in the company of the two striplings who had personally brought the girl out from her
home, there to be placed under the custody of a Brahmo, to be educated, initiated into Brahmoism and then married under the Brahmo Marriage Act, to a bridegroom of any caste that may hereafter be chosen by her or on her behalf. An indignation-meeting, attended by almost all the leading members of the Hindu community of Allahabad, was held the other day, and the conduct of the said Bengali teacher was unanimously condemned. If the facts of this case be true (and I have no doubt they are), the Brahmos of Allahabad have not only wounded the feelings of a respectable Hindu family — not only offended the Hindu society at large, but considerably, if not irreparably, injured the chances of the progress of their religion, at least in Upper India. One such example of indiscretion and wickedness as this, is apt to neutralize the effect of the labours of years, and to hinder the advancement of the cause in future. I hope no one in the service of our Government, whose maxim is neutrality in matters of
religion, would be allowed to practise with impunity any questionable traffic on the religious and social feelings of any section of the community. Certainly the argument becomes stronger when applied to the case of a school-master, whose class is supplied with children of men of every shade of religion, and who is, no doubt, by virtue of his position, reckoned and recognised as a representative man in some sense of the term. Let the Brahmos of Allahabad contradict, if they can, the clear version of the facts narrated in detail by the said correspondent, who has given the names of all parties concerned, including those of the witnesses who could depose to each set of those facts. Otherwise there is no escape for them from the serious charge laid against them. We know widow-remarriage is a noble object per se, but, it is submitted, it should not be consummated by any unworthy devices. In one sense, the Hindus are afraid of Brahmoism more than they are of Christianity. The native Christians live
apart from them and do everything in the light of the day; whereas the Brahmos live in their homes, mix with, and move in, the society of their females, and oftentimes bring about their ends surreptitiously. The conviction is gaining ground every day in the Hindu mind that Brahamoism is fast becoming a religion of diplomacy! As an admirer of Brahmoism, I pity the erring Brahmos for the sake of their religion which is essentially one of love, mercy and fellow-feeling — the cardinal virtues of its parent, Hinduism, the soul of which is Fair Play and
24th February 1880.
The castle of D., near Saint-A., mentioned by M. Angol, has been, it appears, visited during several centuries by the inhabitants of the other world. As a proof of what I advance, I will mention the nocturnal sounds so often heard by the master of the place himself, and the sighs and sobs which trouble the sleep of the inhabitants of the house several times a month. They have been heard, and can, no doubt, be heard again distinctly enough to set aside all suspicion of hallucination, and these phenomena were the only ones observed until 1878.
Then, on Easter evening of that year, about nine o'clock, mysterious lights appeared in the shady avenue of the park; they were red, flickering, and peculiar, and they were to be seen for more than an hour. No one could approach them without their instantly dying out and disappearing, and nothing could be more interesting than these luminous phenomena which reminded one of the night of Walpurgis, when the good doctor Faust saw so many marvels.
These extraordinary manifestations were succeeded by others still more strange. Soon the bells, large and small, began to ring of themselves, gently at first, and then loudly and all together. Above, below, everywhere, it was one fantastic peal. In vain we examined the rope of each of the bells — it was motionless! We even assured ourselves that three of them had no connection with the bell, and perhaps had not sounded for a century. The peal continued until daybreak, and, on the next and following evenings, was renewed and redoubled. During more than three weeks, we heard the sound of a hammer striking the barrels in the cellar. It was useless to arm ourselves and go down. Little by little the noise grew less, and by the time we reached the cellar all was still; but the hammer recommenced louder than ever as soon as we were upstairs again, and a frightful noise heard in the upper corridors filled us with terror. Imagine two or three hundred plates rolled with pieces of iron and chains down the stone staircase, add to that loud voices, sharp cries, whistling blows struck to the right, the left, on the ceiling, on the furniture, stones mixed with fine sand falling on us, however closely the doors might be shut, frightful howls sounding at each story, and you will have a faint idea of what passed in the castle every night for more than three weeks.
During a convivial meal the large and heavy dining table began suddenly to move and to turn round, then it pranced like a sportive animal, and loud blows struck underneath it were almost strong enough to disjoin the wood. During this time the plates and dishes jarred against each other, and rising, fell back again noisily.
A conversation of more than an hour followed, the blows answering in four languages with perfect intelligence, — and not only that, but we heard the table howl and imitate in a horrible manner the death-rattle of a criminal in the hands of the hangman, these loud and unpleasant sounds alternating with the questions asked.
The spirit announced himself as a criminal of the olden time, tormented at the very place where he committed his crime — and a legend of the castle really recalls a fact of this kind, and names as the scene of the events, the entrance of a subterranean passage, closed in consequence by an iron grating.
The table performance recommenced several times though never to the same extent, but direct writing was obtained more than a hundred times.
One of us had only to leave a note somewhere about the castle, and, a few minutes after, the answer was written upon it with a red pencil. These answers usually contained baseless threats, and I recognised on the notes certain signs of cabala and occult philosophy — that was all.
I come now to the fact of the apparitions, and to those who say "you thought you saw them." I answer, that we did not think about it, we actually saw them. I cannot force you to believe these statements, but I can assure you, on my honour, that I invent absolutely nothing, and for that matter more than twenty of my friends will affirm that they witnessed what I relate. The fourth evening during a torrential rain, and by the feeble beams of the moon almost veiled by the clouds, we all saw a gigantic spectre majestically cross the great field, and after walking there and groaning more than five minutes, lose itself in the darkness!! To see this supernatural being more than twenty feet high, one had only to manifest his desire, then all noise ceased in the castle, we looked out upon the solitary avenues of the park, and we saw it perfectly, although sometimes the obscurity was so great that one could hardly distinguish the trees and high firs. The spirit kept at a distance, and resembled a phosphorescent column in a human form. Its lamentations touched us to the soul, and it seemed aware of our commiseration. More than fifty times during nearly six months, we contemplated by moonlight this troubled phantom, but it was not prudent to offend it, and the punishment soon followed the fault. My friend J. de D. received a violent blow in the face, which made him bleed for several minutes, and I myself was struck by stones without knowing whence they came. It would be endless if I were to relate all that passed in this mysterious house, but, little by little, the phenomena became slighter and rarer. At the present time certainly strange things still happen, but they are slight, weak, and vague.
One might possibly count one every three weeks, and for the production of the phenomena certain special circumstances are necessary; and, by provoking the spirits a little, I am convinced, the noise could be made to begin again.
In brief, these are the facts, and they were witnessed by all the family of J. de D. and their servants, by M. M. Saladin and H... de M..., and by M. B... priest, and formerly tutor at the castle. There were several other very creditable persons whom I think it useless to name. All these persons have seen and heard. Now discuss as much as you can, like rationalists and learned men, and try to explain it all by the light of your science. Useless will it be for you to make our ears ring with your great words of modern medicine: hallucinations, spectromania, hysterodemonopathia, and such like, which are nought but absurd excuses, the value of which approximates the following: opium produces sleep, for it possesses a soporific virtue in it; castor oil purges in consequence of its cleansing properties, etc. You do not really see, then, that you create words and nothing but words without explaining anything at all! Enough — for here I merely narrate and give facts and my object is not to explain. Only gentlemen sceptics and esprits forts do not presume too much of your powers and try to always bear in mind the words of your houourable colleague, Arago: — "he who outside of pure mathematics pronounces the word 'impossible' lacks prudence." (Revue Spirite, February.)
SEVERAL EMINENT NATIVE SCHOLARS HAVE ALREADY consented to serve on the Jury for the award of the Medal of Honour. The complete list will be announced in the next number of this magazine. It is desired to include among the Native silver coins to be melted up, at least four pieces which would respectively represent the ancient dynasties of Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western India. Will any antiquarian give or sell us such? The more ancient they are the better. Such mementoes of a glorious Past may well glitter on the breast of its modern vindicator.
SINCE THE ABOVE WAS PUT IN TYPE A MESSAGE HAS been received from our respected friend, Rao Bahab Mahabur Manibhai Jasbhai, the Dewan Saheb of Cutch, generously offering to contribute some ancient coins of that State for incorporation in the Medal of Honour. He kindly says that the work of our Society is likely to result in good for India. The Dewan Saheb sends us also a copy of a Resolution of the Cutch Council of Regency, offering two prizes, of Rs. 200 and Rs. 400 respectively, for original essays in Gujrati and translations into that language from English or Sanskrit.
IN SUBMITTING SANSKRIT MSS. — OFTEN CARELESSLY written — to compositors who are totally ignorant of the meaning of the words, errors, more or less important, are inevitable. The fate which befel the Sanskrit contribution to our February number by the learned High Priest of Adam's Peak, the Rt. Rev. H. Sumangala, will be seen from the following list of errata which he has sent us: —
Errata in the THEOSOPHIST, for February 1880. Page 122, Postscript.
In division III the omission of the words "refraining from" before the word "lying" made our learned brother seem to say that Good Speech embraces lying!
By Bhugwandas Munmohundas, Esq.,
Solicitor of the High Court Bombay.
The foundation, in our midst, of the Theosophical Society just at a time when the educated mind of India is almost in a state of chaos and confusion on the all-important subject of religion, may be looked upon as a perfect godsend. The primary and paramount object of this Society has been, I take it, to revive Vedaism, or, in other words, to substitute spiritual for ritual and material worship. No education can be said to be complete without religious instruction and, though the system of English education has directly or indirectly cleared our minds of any lurking faith in the prevailing religions of this country, it has, we must admit, failed to give us a better religion instead. Thrown as we are upon our own resources, we go about manufacturing religions for ourselves; but these man-made, hand-made religions so to speak — not founded on divine ordinances and divine inspiration — will not have any permanent hold upon our minds, manners and morals. A religion without spiritual inspiration is almost as useless as a grate without fire. Sooner or later we shall grow weary of such religions and cast them away to the winds. But, we must have a religion after all. Man is essentially a religious being, much in the same sense as he is a social being. As we believe in the brotherhood of man, so we must believe in the fatherhood of Spirit, and as there are ways and means of associating with our fellow-brethren here, so we must have a way to open up our intercourse, our correspondence, our communication with the Deity. Religion opens this way, and points it out to man. We have simply to follow it up, and the highest end of our life is accomplished. The tendency of our youth is to believe that the end of life is enjoyment. The fault is not theirs, but the faulty and defective character of the education they receive. Nothing but the revival of that primitive religion — the only true religion — the religion of the Vedas — can awaken us to a sense of our duties towards the Deity, and sow in us the seeds of, and win for us, eternal, everlasting life.
As food is the sustenance of the body, so is religion the sustenance of the soul. As the body without food fails to perform its appointed functions, so does the soul without religion fail to perform its appointed function of holding communion with the Spirit — the only sure and safe way of securing spiritual comfort and consolation, and of entering the kingdom of the Eternity.
It is a matter of national pride and pleasure to observe that this ancient religion of our ancient Aryan country has, at this distance of time, attracted to itself, and engaged the attention of a large body of the learned and thinking men of Europe and America, very many of whom have, in order to follow its teaching and precepts, abjured that "model" religion of modern times — Christianity.
[Formed at New York, U. S. of America, October 30th, 1875.]
Principles, Rules, and Bye-Laws, as revised in General Council, at the meeting held at the Palace of H. H. the Maharaja of Vizianagram, Benares, 17th, December, 1879.
I. The Theosophical Society is formed upon the basis of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity. It has been conventionally divided for administrative purposes into Local Branches.
A Branch may, if so desired, be composed solely of co-religionists, as, for instance, Aryas, Buddhists, Hindus, Zoroastrians (or Parsis), Christians, Mahommedans, Jains, &c. — each under its own President, Executive Officers and Council.
II. The whole Society is under the special care of one General Council, and of the President of the Theosophical Society, its Founder, who is himself subject to the authority of a Supreme Council representing the highest section of the Society.
III. The whole Society shall be fully represented in the General Council, and each Branch shall have the right to elect a member to represent it in the General Council of the Theosophical Society, whose head-quarters are for the time being in that locality where the President-Founder may be.
IV. The Society being a Universal Brotherhood, comprising various Branches established in widely separated countries and cities in both hemispheres, all such Branches derive their chartered existence from the Parent Society, and are subordinate to its authority, without which no Branch can be formed.
V. The General Council is composed of the President-Founder, the Vice-Presidents, Corresponding, Secretary, Recording Secretaries, Treasurer, and Librarian of the Parent Society, and as many Councillors as may, from time to time, be found necessary to represent all the different parts of this Universal Brotherhood. By unanimous vote of the Council of Founders, the President-Founder and Corresponding Secretary, H. P. Blavatsky (also one of the principal founders), hold office for life. The term of all other officers is for one year, or until their successors are appointed by the President-Founder, under the advice of a General Council, of which body three members constitute the quoram in all cases.
VI. It is not lawful for any officer of the Parent Society to express, by word or act, any hostility to, or preference for, any one Section, whether religious or philosophical, more than another. All must be regarded and treated as equally the objects of the Society's solicitude and exertions. All have an equal right to have the essential features of their religious belief laid before the tribunal of an impartial world. And no officer of the Society, in his capacity as an officer, has the right to preach his own sectarian views and beliefs to members assembled, except when the meeting consists of his co-religionists. After due warnings, violation of this rule shall be punished by suspension or expulsion, at the discretion of the President and General Council.
VII. The President-Founder has authority to designate any Fellow of capacity and good repute to perform, pro tempore, the duties of any office vacated by death or resignation, or whose incumbent may be obliged to absent himself for a time. He is also empowered and required to define the duties of all officers, and assign specific responsibilities to Members of the General Council, not in conflict with the general plans of the Society.
VIII. These plans are declared to be as follows: —
(a)— To keep alive in man his spiritual intuitions. (b)— To oppose and counteract — after due investigation and proof of its irrational nature — bigotry in every form, whether as an intolerant religious sectarianism or belief in miracles or anything supernatural.
(c)— To promote a feeling of brotherhood among nations; and assist in the international exchange of useful arts and products, by advice, information, and co-operation with all worthy individuals and associations; provided, however, that no benefit or percentage shall be taken by the Society for its corporate services.
(d)— To seek to obtain knowledge of all the laws of Nature, and aid in diffusing it; and especially to encourage the study of those laws least understood by modern people, and so termed the Occult Sciences. Popular superstition and folk-lore, however fantastical, when sifted, may lead to the discovery of long-lost but important secrets of Nature. The Society, therefore, aims to pursue this line of inquiry in the hope to widen the field of scientific and philosophical observation.
(e)— To gather for the Society's library and put into written forms correct information upon the various ancient philosophies, traditions, and legends, and, as the Council shall decide it permissible, disseminate the same in such practicable ways as the translation and publication of original works of value, and extracts from and commentaries upon the same, or the oral instructions of persons learned in their respective departments. (f)— To promote in every practicable way, in countries where needed, the spread of non-sectarian education. (g)— Finally, and chiefly, to encourage and assist individual Fellows in self-improvement, intellectual, moral, and spiritual. But no Fellow shall put to his selfish use any knowledge communicated to him by any member of the First Section; violation of this rule being punished by expulsion. And before any such knowledge can be imparted, the person shall bind himself by a solemn oath not to use, it to selfish purposes, nor to reveal it, except with the permission of the teacher.
IX. The local administration of Branches is vested in their respective officers, but no Branch has the right to operate outside its chartered limits, except when so requested by the Parent Society. Officers of Branches are elected by a majority of the Fellows thereof, for the term of one year, but the President of the Branch may be re-elected an indefinite number of times, provided that the sanction of the General Council be obtained before the expiration of each annual term.
X. The Parent Society, through the President-Founder, has the right to nullify any Charter for cause, and to decree the expulsion of any Fellow of whatever Branch, for disgraceful conduct or the contumacious violation of the bye-laws or rules. The name of the expelled person and the circumstances of his offence being reported to all the Branches, fellowship with him as to Society matters shall cease, upon penalty of expulsion for disobedience. Provided, nevertheless, that no Fellow shall be expelled without an opportunity having been given him for an explanation and defence.
XI. The Society consists of three sections. The highest or First Section is composed exclusively of proficients or initiates in Esoteric Science and Philosophy, who take a deep interest in the Society's affairs and instruct the President-Founder how best to regulate them, but whom none but such as they voluntarily communicate with have the right to know.
The Second Section embraces such Theosophists as have proved by their fidelity, zeal, and courage, and their devotion to the Society, that they have become able to regard all men as equally their brothers, irrespective of caste, colour, race, or creed; and who are ready to defend the life or honour of a brother Theosophist even at the risk of their own lives.
The administration of the superior Sections need not be dealt with at present in a code of rules laid before the public. No responsibilities, connected with these superior grades, are incurred by persons who merely desire ordinary membership of the third class.
The Third is the Section of Probationers. All new Fellows are on probation, until their purpose to remain in the Society has become fixed, their usefulness shown, and their ability to conquer evil habits and unwarranted prejudices demonstrated.
Advancement from Section to Section depends upon merit only. Until a Fellow reaches the first degree of the Second Section, his Fellowship gives him but the following rights — (1) to attend the Society's meetings, (2) access only to printed matter, such as books and pamphlets of the Society's Library, (3) protection and support by the President and Council in case of need and according to personal merit, (4) instruction and enlightenment, upon what he reads and studies, by Fellows of the Second Section; and this whether he remains at home or goes abroad and wherever he finds a Branch of the Theosophical Society: every Fellow being obliged to help the others as much as the circumstances, in which he is placed, will allow.
XII. A uniform initiation fee of one pound sterling, or its equivalent in the local currency, shall be exacted from every Fellow at the time of his application, and held by the Treasurer, subject to the order of the President-Founder and General Council, who shall expend the same for the objects of the Society, such as the purchase of books for the Library, expenses for stationery and postage, rent, labour, instruments needed for various experiments, missions and other various works of a beneficent character, as founding of asylums, schools, &c.
On the 15th and 30th days of every month, Presidents of Branches shall forward to the President-Founder a detailed report of all initiations, with the names and postal addresses of new Fellows, and any necessary explanatory remarks concerning them. All initiation fees in the hands of the treasurer at the end of each quarter of a fiscal year shall be remitted by drafts on London to the President-Founder, to the place where the Society's head-quarters may then be established. It is the business of both the Treasurer and the Recording Secretary of the Parent Society to keep a memorandum of all such accounts, every expenditure requiring previously the sanction of the General Council.
XIII. There are three kinds of Fellows in the third section, viz., Active, Corresponding and Honorary. Of these the Active only are grouped in degrees according to merit; the grade of Corresponding Fellow embraces persons of learning and distinction who are willing to furnish information of interest to the Society; and the diploma of Honorary Fellow is exclusively reserved for persons eminent for their contributions to theosophical knowledge or for their services to humanity.
XIV. Admission for Active Fellows into the Theosophical Society and its Branches is obtained as follows:
Persons of either sex or any race, colour, country, or creed are eligible.
An application is made in writing by the one who wishes to enter, declaring his sympathy with the Society's objects, and promising to obey its rules, which are set forth in this publication, and which it is forbidden to make in any case of such a character as to conflict with personal rights — whether civil, religious, pecuniary, or social.
The Society repudiates all interference on its behalf with the Governmental relations of any nation or community, confining its attention exclusively to the matters set forth in the present document, and hoping thus to enjoy the confidence and aid of all good men.
Two Fellows must endorse the new candidate's application and transmit it, together with the prescribed initiation fee, to the proper authorities — viz., either to the President of the Society, if present, or to the Recording or Corresponding Secretary of the Branch the applicant wishes to join.
Upon his being accepted by the President of the Society or Branch as the case may be, at the expiration of three weeks (unless the President shall, in his discretion, have autedated the application), the candidate shall be invested with the secret signs, words, or tokens by which Theosophists of the third (probationary) Section make themselves known to each other, a solemn obligation upon honour having first been taken from him in writing, and subsequently repeated by him orally before witnesses that he will neither reveal them to any improper person, nor divulge any other matter or thing relating to the Society, especially its experiments in Occult Sciences, which it is forbidden to disclose. Admission to fellowship in the Parent Society carries with it the right of intercourse, with mutual protection and fellowship, in either of the Branches; but Fellows availing themselves of this privilege shall subject themselves to the rules and bye-laws of the Branch selected, during the term of their connection with it.
Any one — who, for reasons that may appear satisfactory to the President admitting him to fellowship, may prefer to keep his connection with the Society a secret — shall be permitted to do so, and no one except the President in question has the right to know the names of all the Fellows under his jurisdiction. The President shall, in such exceptional cases, himself report the names and remit the initiation fees to the President-Founder.
No bye-law shall be adopted by any Branch that conflicts with this rule.
XV. Any Fellow, convicted of an offence against the Penal Code of the country he inhabits, shall be expelled from the Society — after due investigation into the facts has been made on behalf of the Society.
XVI. All bye-laws and rules hitherto adopted, which may be in conflict with the above, are hereby rescinded.
Revised and ratified by the Society, at Bombay, February the 26th, and 28th, 1880.
ATTEST — KHARSEDJI N. SEERVAI,
Joint Recording Secretary.
THE ADDRESS BY MR. W. MARTIN WOOD, BEFORE THE BOMBAY BRANCH of the East India Association, which we find in the Association's Journal, Vol. XI., No. 1, is brimful of practical good sense. It should be read from one end of India to the other, along with Mr. A. O. Hume's splendid pamphlet on Agricultural Reform. Without transferring the whole speech to our columns, we could not do what we consider justice to it. But it may be said that the argument is that, what are most wanted here, are "self-reliance, co-operation, and perseverance." With these assured, there is no limit to the possibilities of Indian regeneration; without them, national decay and extinction are inevitable. Mr. Wood properly emphasises the fact that "a great portion of Indian revenue is spent out of the country." The fact is that our national life-blood is being transfused into the veins of a plethoric nation. India becomes atrophic, England apoplectic. The careful selection of seed-grains; prizes for good crops; the cultivation of useful fibre-plants; the repair of broken tanks for private irrigations; the adoption of crops which combine maximum value with minimum bulk; the improvement of manual industries; all these are among the topics intelligently discussed in this valuable address.