A STUDY IN MONADS, RAYS, AND PLANETS
Some of the deepest, most profound, and most esoteric information in all of the Theosophical teachings is to be found between p. 566-578 of the first volume of “The Secret Doctrine” by H.P. Blavatsky. This is the section or chapter titled “ON THE ELEMENTS AND ATOMS.”
On p. 569, HPB states: “It may be useful to show what, in the teachings of the old Initiates, the Monad was, and what its origin.”
Reading these words, the student thus begins to make himself or herself more mentally and intuitionally alert, knowing that the information and explanations which follow are bound to be of great import, since not only will it be shown what the Monad is but also where it comes from or how it comes into being, according to the ancient Science of the Initiates.
“The monad – a truly “indivisible thing,” as defined by Good, who did not give it the sense we now do – is here rendered as the Atma in conjunction with Buddhi and the higher Manas. This trinity is one and eternal, the latter being absorbed in the former at the termination of all conditioned and illusive life. The monad, then, can be traced through the course of its pilgrimage and its changes of transitory vehicles only from the incipient stage of the manifested Universe.” (Vol. 1, p. 570)
In Theosophical terminology, the term “monad” is capable of very broad application, “the term Monad being one which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the tiniest atom” (Vol. 1, p. 21). “Monads, he [i.e. Leibnitz] thought (as we do), are everywhere. Thus the human soul is a monad, and every cell in the human body has its monad, as every cell in animal, vegetable, and even in the (so-called) inorganic bodies.” (Vol. 1, p. 630)
However, when speaking specifically of the human constitution, by “the Monad” is meant Atma-Buddhi, the conjunction of the two highest Principles in man. But it is necessary for the Monad to become a Trinity – Atma-Buddhi-Manas – in order to be able to express its divine faculties and latent potentialities or have any direct involvement or interaction on the planes of differentiation.
“Atma (our seventh principle) being identical with the universal Spirit, and man being one with it in his essence, what is then the Monad proper?” (Vol. 1, p. 571)
Atma or Atman is the highermost part of every being. It is the eternal essential nature of all. It is pure eternal Spirit; our Higher Self; the One Universal Self of All. It is indivisible, impartite, unconditioned, undifferentiated, and infinite. It is the Infinite. Although Atma can technically be thought of apart from Buddhi, Buddhi cannot be properly spoken of or thought of without Atma, since Atma is its origin, its source, its life, its essence. Buddhi is viewed as the vehicle of and for the Light of Atma.
But going into the deeper and more specific and detailed metaphysics of the Esoteric Philosophy, the question is posed as to what the Monad actually is, to which this answer is given on p. 571:
“It is that homogeneous spark which radiates in millions of rays from the primeval “Seven;” – of which seven further on. It is the EMANATING spark from the UNCREATED Ray – a mystery.”
We see that the Monad is a spark, a ray, which radiates from the primeval “Seven.” As will soon be shown, this reference to the Seven is very important, for it is central and crucial to the understanding of so much.
HPB then explains that “In the esoteric, and even exoteric Buddhism of the North, Adi Buddha (Chogi dangpoi sangye), the One unknown, without beginning or end, identical with Parabrahm and Ain-Soph, emits a bright ray from its darkness.
“This is the Logos (the first), or Vajradhara, the Supreme Buddha (also called Dorjechang). As the Lord of all Mysteries he cannot manifest, but sends into the world of manifestation his heart – the “diamond heart,” Vajrasattva (Dorjesempa). This is the second logos of creation, from whom emanate the seven (in the exoteric blind the five) Dhyani Buddhas, called the Anupadaka, “the parentless.” These Buddhas are the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal being, the Arupa world, wherein the Intelligences (on that plane only) have neither shape nor name, in the exoteric system, but have their distinct seven names in esoteric philosophy.”
Perhaps this may become clearer if rendered in the following format:
0 – ADI-BUDDHA – The Absolute – The ONE Ultimate Reality – a Buddhist synonym for the Parabrahm of Hinduism, the Ain Soph of the Kabbalah, etc.
1 – VAJRADHARA – The First Logos (Unmanifested Logos) – the primal radiation from the Absolute and which remains unmanifest but emanates…
2 – VAJRASATTVA – The Second Logos (Semi-Manifested Logos) – the Creative Logos, the “Diamond Heart” of Vajradhara and from which emanate…
3 – THE SEVEN DHYANI BUDDHAS – The Third Logos (collectively) – (Manifested Logos) – sometimes termed the Seven Logoi or the Seven Rays.
To repeat: “These [Seven Dhyani] Buddhas are the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal being, the Arupa world, . . .”
On the next page, p. 572, we find the following theogonic outline, an elucidation upon the above:
“The divine, purely Adi-Buddhic monad manifests as the universal Buddhi (the Maha-buddhi or Mahat in Hindu philosophies) the spiritual, omniscient and omnipotent root of divine intelligence, the highest anima mundi or the Logos. This descends “like a flame spreading from the eternal Fire, immoveable, without increase or decrease, ever the same to the end” of the cycle of existence, and becomes universal life on the Mundane Plane. From this Plane of conscious Life shoot out, like seven fiery tongues, the Sons of Light (the logoi of Life); then the Dhyani-Buddhas of contemplation: the concrete forms of their formless Fathers – the Seven Sons of Light, still themselves, to whom may be applied the Brahmanical mystic phrase: “Thou art ‘THAT’ – Brahm.” It is from these Dhyani-Buddhas that emanate their chhayas (Shadows) the Bodhisattvas of the celestial realms, the prototypes of the super-terrestrial Bodhisattvas, and of the terrestrial Buddhas, and finally of men.”
For further clarity and the expansion of our understanding of the various terms used, we might present the following:
0 – ADI-BUDDHA – The Absolute, the Pure Divine, the Eternal Fire, which manifests as…
1 – VAJRADHARA – The First Logos (Unmanifested Logos) – The Highest Anima Mundi – The Universal Buddhi – The Root of Divine Intelligence – a Flame spreading from the Eternal Fire and which “descends” and comes into expression as…
2 – VAJRASATTVA – The Second Logos (Semi-Manifested Logos) – Conscious Universal Life, from which “shoot out, like seven fiery tongues”…
3 – THE SEVEN SONS OF LIGHT which take form as THE SEVEN DHYANI BUDDHAS – The Third Logos (collectively) – (Manifested Logos) – The Seven Logoi of Life.
It is taught in these pages that these “Seven Sons” – here called the Seven Dhyani Buddhas – are the same as the Seven “Mind-Born Sons” of Brahmā (the Manasaputras) of Hindu mysticism, the Seven Archangels of Christian tradition, the Seven Gods of various old religions, and so forth.
Theosophical teachings always emphasise that the Esoteric Doctrine is one and can be found underlying all the world’s religions and mystical traditions, since it is the primeval, archaic source and fountainhead of them all. This is Theosophy itself, Timeless Truth, “the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion.” When one knows what to look for and how to recognise it – and the writings of H.P. Blavatsky provide us with this knowledge – one can see the same Teaching just about everywhere, albeit to varying degrees hidden, shrouded, and often obscured, under layers of theological interpolations and sectarian distortions.
“Truth,” as the Rig Veda famously says, “is One, though the Sages call it by many names.”
Hinduism also speaks of the five Tanmatras, which “The Theosophical Glossary” (p. 319) defines as “The types or rudiments of the five Elements; the subtile essence of these, devoid of all qualities and identical with the properties of the five basic Elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether; i.e., the tanmatras are, in one of their aspects, smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing.”
Here on p. 572 of the first volume of “The Secret Doctrine,” HPB provides insight into what the Tanmatras really are. They are the same as the Seven Dhyani Buddhas, the Seven Rays:
“The Tanmatras are literally the type or rudiment of an element devoid of qualities; but esoterically, they are the primeval noumenoi of that which becomes in the progress of evolution a Cosmic element in the sense given to the term in antiquity, not in that of physics. They are the logoi, the seven emanations or rays of the logos. . . . the five, or rather seven, Dhyani Buddhas, [are] also called “Elements” of Mankind . . . Both, as primordial, intelligent “Elements,” become the creators or the emanators of the monads destined to become human in that cycle; after which they evolve themselves, or, so to say, expand into their own selves as Bodhisattvas or Brahmanas, in heaven and earth, to become at last simple men – “the creators of the world are born here, on earth again and again” – truly.”
With this conception of “Elements,” in the higher metaphysical sense, we can understand why this chapter or section of the book was given the title “ON THE ELEMENTS AND ATOMS, FROM THE STAND-POINT OF SCIENCE AND THAT OF OCCULTISM.”
The Seven Noumenal Universal Elements are the Seven Dhyani Buddhas or, in the language of symbolical imagery, the Seven Rays of the Central Spiritual Sun. And these Seven Logoi or Seven Sons of Light are “the emanators of the monads destined to become human in that cycle.” As we saw, the Seven are themselves “the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal being, the Arupa world” and the Monads of we human beings are sparks “which radiate in millions of rays from the primeval “Seven.””
Thus we can hardly talk about the Monad without also talking about The Seven. Why are they called the Seven Sons of Light?
It is said: “These beings are the “Sons of Light,” because they emanate from, and are self-generated in, that infinite Ocean of Light, whose one pole is pure Spirit lost in the absoluteness of Non-Being, and the other, the matter in which it condenses, crystallizing into a more and more gross type as it descends into manifestation. Therefore matter, though it is, in one sense, but the illusive dregs of that Light whose limbs are the Creative Forces, yet has in it the full presence of the Soul thereof, of that Principle, which none – not even the “Sons of Light,” evolved from its ABSOLUTE DARKNESS – will ever know.” (Vol. 1, p. 481)
Continuing on the bottom of p. 572, we learn that “The “Seven Sons of Light” are also called “Stars.”
“The star under which a human Entity is born, says the Occult teaching, will remain for ever its star, throughout the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara. But this is not his astrological star. The latter is concerned and connected with the personality, the former with the INDIVIDUALITY. The “Angel” of that Star, or the Dhyani-Buddha will be either the guiding or simply the presiding “Angel,” so to say, in every new rebirth of the monad, which is part of his own essence, though his vehicle, man, may remain for ever ignorant of this fact.”
Each human Monad is “born” – or rather, begins “the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara” – “under” one of the Seven Sons of Light. It is literally part of the essence of one of those Seven Sons or Seven Dhyani Buddhas or Seven Primordial Rays or, if one really prefers the term, Seven Angels.
That particular One of the Seven “will remain for ever its [i.e. the Monad’s] star, throughout the whole cycle.”
Each of the Adepts, as stated on p. 573, knows their respective Dhyani Buddha – “their elder “twin Soul,” – and they call it “Father-Soul” and “Father-Fire.” Father-Soul and Father-Fire. Yet “It is only at the last and supreme initiation” that they are “placed face to face with the bright “Image.” How much has Bulwer Lytton known of this mystic fact when describing, in one of his highest inspirational moods, Zanoni face to face with his Augoeides?”
“The Logos, or both the unmanifested and the manifested WORD, is called by the Hindus, Iswara, “the Lord,” though the Occultists give it another name. Iswara, say the Vedantins, is the highest consciousness in nature. “This highest consciousness,” answer the Occultists, “is only a synthetic unit in the world of the manifested Logos – or on the plane of illusion; for it is the sum total of Dhyan-Chohanic consciousnesses.” . . . Atma is not-Spirit in its final Parabrahmic state, Iswara or Logos is Spirit; or, as Occultism explains it, it is a compound unity of manifested living Spirits, the parent-source and nursery of all the mundane and terrestrial monads, plus their divine reflection, which emanate from, and return into, the Logos, each in the culmination of its time. There are seven chief groups of such Dhyan Chohans, which groups will be found and recognised in every religion, for they are the primeval SEVEN Rays. Humanity, occultism teaches us, is divided into seven distinct groups and their sub-divisions, mental, spiritual, and physical.” (p. 573)
In other words, the Manifested Logos – the Logos or One Universal Energy in its fully manifested state – is a synthesis, the sum total and collective aggregate, of the seven chief Hierarchies of Dhyan Chohans or celestial beings.
The human Monads on our Earth exist in seven distinct groups, corresponding to these Seven Hierarchies or Seven Rays or Seven Dhyani Buddhas. Each of the seven human groups also consists of its own sub-divisions.
This makes sense if we recall what was said just a moment ago:
“Each human Monad is “born” – or rather, begins “the whole cycle of its incarnations in one Manvantara” – “under” one of the Seven Sons of Light. It is literally part of the essence of one of those Seven Sons or Seven Dhyani Buddhas or Seven Primordial Rays or, if one really prefers the term, Seven Angels. That particular One of the Seven “will remain for ever its [i.e. the Monad’s] star, throughout the whole cycle.””
This is where the connection comes in with the Seven Sacred Planets, “under each of which is born one of the human groups which is guided and influenced thereby.” (Vol. 1, p. 573)
It is to be understood that the Seven Sons of Light, the Dhyani Buddhas, come into being long before the planets of our own particular solar system come into being. They far transcend the planets and the Planetary Spirits, yet since all of manifestation is fundamentally connected as a unity and since it all follows the sevenfold plan and pattern, their influences and energies reach this little planet of ours through the Seven Sacred Planets, with which they are vitally connected.
As we all know, there are more than seven planets but it is taught that there are only seven which have a very special and direct relation with ours. These are:
Traditionally, people have added the Sun and the Moon in order to make seven but Theosophy maintains that those two are only exoteric substitutes for two mystery planets, which were not permitted by the Initiates and Adepts to be publicly referred to and identified in days of old.
The Sun is not a planet but rather is the central Star of our solar system. The Moon is a dead planet, a decaying remnant which was the previous incarnation of our planet.
The Moon was the exoteric substitute for what is described in “Transactions of the Blavatsky Lodge” (p. 48) as “a planet with a retrograde motion, sometimes visible at a certain hour of night and apparently near the moon. The occult influence of this planet is transmitted by the moon.”
The Sun was the substitute for a trans-Mercurial planet. In the recently published “The Secret Doctrine Dialogues” we find HPB telling her students (p. 319, 398) that it is “the planet between Mercury and the Sun” and “is one of the most sacred planets.” It is closer to the Sun than Mercury is and in Victorian times it was recognised for a while under the name of Vulcan.
It may be said that each of these seven planets serves as a form of focus through which the energies of those Seven Rays reach us and our planet Earth. It is made clear that neither Neptune nor Uranus are counted amongst the Seven Sacred Planets.
HPB comments in a footnote in “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 573:
“There are only seven planets (specially connected with earth), and twelve houses, but the possible combinations of their aspects are countless. As each planet can stand to each of the others in twelve different aspects, their combinations must, therefore, be almost infinite; as infinite, in fact, as the spiritual, psychic, mental, and physical capacities in the numberless varieties of the genus homo, each of which varieties is born under one of the seven planets and one of the said countless planetary combinations.”
Continuing with the subject of there being seven distinct “Ray Groups” of human Monads, on p. 574 HPB quotes the Indian Brahmin Theosophist T. Subba Row from the August 1886 issue of “The Theosophist” as saying:
“Every Buddha meets at his last initiation all the great adepts who reached Buddhahood during the preceding ages . . . every class of adepts has its own bond of spiritual communion which knits them together. . . . . The only possible and effectual way of entering into such brotherhood . . . . is by bringing oneself within the influence of the Spiritual light which radiates from one’s own Logos. I may further point out here . . . . that such communion is only possible between persons whose souls derive their life and sustenance from the same divine RAY, and that, as seven distinct rays radiate from the ‘Central Spiritual Sun,’ all adepts and Dhyan Chohans are divisible into seven classes, each of which is guided, controlled, and overshadowed by one of the seven forms or manifestations of the divine Wisdom.”
“One’s own Logos” means the particular one of the Seven Dhyani Buddhas or Seven Rays of which one is a “ray” and “reflection” on Earth.
Souls “derive their life and sustenance” from one of the Divine Rays or Primeval Monads or Primordial Seven Elements, “the seven forms or manifestations of the divine Wisdom.” Because all human beings “are divisible into seven classes” corresponding to these, so are “all adepts and Dhyan Chohans” since they too are human beings or have been human beings.
“The “triads” born under the same Parent-planet, or rather the radiations of one and the same Planetary Spirit (Dhyani Buddha) are, in all their after lives and rebirths, sister, or “twin-souls,” on this Earth,” says HPB on p. 574, not meaning “twin souls” in the popular sense of the term as used in the New Age Movement, in which the matter is completely degraded into physical and romantic relationships. She continues:
“This was known to every high Initiate in every age and in every country: “I and my Father are one,” said Jesus (John x. 30). When He is made to say, elsewhere (xx. 17): “I ascend to my Father and your Father,” it meant that which has just been stated. It was simply to show that the group of his disciples and followers attracted to Him belonged to the same Dhyani Buddha, “Star,” or “Father,” again of the same planetary realm and division as He did.”
“The identity, and at the same time the illusive differentiation of the Angel-Monad and the Human-Monad is shown by the following sentences: “My Father is greater than I” (John xiv. 26); “Glorify your Father who is in Heaven” (Matt. v. 16); “The righteous will shine in the kingdom of their Father” (not our Father) (Matt. xiii. 43) “Know ye not ye are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. iii. 16); “I ascend to my Father,” etc., etc.”
Now the instruction to the aspirant in “The Voice of the Silence” (p. 34), translated by HPB from the Book of the Golden Precepts, becomes much clearer and more potent in its significance:
“Fix thy Soul’s gaze upon the star whose ray thou art, the flaming star that shines within the lightless depths of ever-being, the boundless fields of the Unknown.”
As the chapter begins to draw to a close, we read that “It is then the “Seven Sons of Light” – called after their planets and (by the rabble) often identified with them – namely Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Venus, and – presumably for the modern critic, who goes no deeper than the surface of old religions – the Sun and Moon, which are, according to the Occult teachings, our heavenly Parents, or “Father,” synthetically. . . . the visible orbs furnishing our Humanity with its outward and inward characteristics, and their “Regents” or Rectors with our Monads and spiritual faculties.” (p. 575)
As was stated earlier, the Seven Sons of Light are not the same as the Seven Sacred Planets, nor do they live on or inhabit them, but instead precede and transcend them whilst maintaining a sacred essential connection and active relation with – and through – them.
And THEY furnish us “with our Monads and spiritual faculties.”
“Every student of Occultism knows that the heavenly bodies are closely related during each Manvantara with the mankind of that special cycle;” says HPB in her posthumously published article “Astrology and Astrolatry,” “and there are some who believe that each great character born during that period has – as every other mortal has, only in a far stronger degree – his destiny outlined within his proper constellation or star, traced as a self-prophecy, an anticipated autobiography, by the indwelling Spirit of that particular star. The human Monad in its first beginning is that Spirit, or the Soul of that star (Planet) itself. As our Sun radiates its light and beams on every body in space within the boundaries of its system, so the Regent of every Planet-star, the Parent-monad, shoots out from itself the Monad of every “pilgrim” Soul born under its house within its own group. The Regents are esoterically seven, whether in the Sephiroth, the “Angels of the Presence,” the Rishis, or the Amshaspends.” [bold added]
In the chapter or section on “Cyclic Evolution and Karma” in Vol. 1 of “The Secret Doctrine,” HPB uses such expressions, between p. 638-639, as:
* “one’s Prototype, “in Heaven,”
* “his celestial PROTOTYPE”
* “the invisible prototype outside of us”
* “his own personal deity”
* “that “Self-god.”
And on p. 265 we find the term “The Watcher, or the divine prototype”:
“This sentence: “The thread between the silent watcher and his shadow (man) becomes stronger” – with every re-incarnation – is another psychological mystery, that will find its explanation in Book II. For the present it will suffice to say that the “Watcher” and his “Shadows” – the latter numbering as many as there are re-incarnations for the monad – are one. The Watcher, or the divine prototype, is at the upper rung of the ladder of being; the shadow, at the lower. Withal, the Monad of every living being, unless his moral turpitude breaks the connection and runs loose and “astray into the lunar path” – to use the Occult expression – is an individual Dhyan Chohan, distinct from others, a kind of spiritual individuality of its own, during one special Manvantara. Its Primary, the Spirit (Atman) is one, of course, with Paramatma (the one Universal Spirit), but the vehicle (Vahan) it is enshrined in, the Buddhi, is part and parcel of that Dhyan-Chohanic Essence; and it is in this that lies the mystery of that ubiquity, which was discussed a few pages back. “My Father, that is in Heaven, and I – are one,” says the Christian Scripture; in this, at any rate, it is the faithful echo of the esoteric tenet.”
HPB was here commenting on the Seventh Stanza on Cosmic Evolution from the Secret Book of Dzyan. That Stanza is given the title “THE PARENTS OF MAN ON EARTH” and contains the following in its fourth to seventh shlokas or verses (Vol. 1, p. 34):
- IT IS THE ROOT THAT NEVER DIES; THE THREE-TONGUED FLAME OF THE FOUR WICKS. THE WICKS ARE THE SPARKS, THAT DRAW FROM THE THREE-TONGUED FLAME SHOT OUT BY THE SEVEN – THEIR FLAME – THE BEAMS AND SPARKS OF ONE MOON REFLECTED IN THE RUNNING WAVES OF ALL THE RIVERS OF EARTH.
- THE SPARK HANGS FROM THE FLAME BY THE FINEST THREAD OF FOHAT. IT JOURNEYS THROUGH THE SEVEN WORLDS OF MAYA. IT STOPS IN THE FIRST, AND IS A METAL AND A STONE; IT PASSES INTO THE SECOND AND BEHOLD – A PLANT; THE PLANT WHIRLS THROUGH SEVEN CHANGES AND BECOMES A SACRED ANIMAL. FROM THE COMBINED ATTRIBUTES OF THESE, MANU, THE THINKER IS FORMED. WHO FORMS HIM? THE SEVEN LIVES, AND THE ONE LIFE. WHO COMPLETES HIM? THE FIVE-FOLD LHA. AND WHO PERFECTS THE LAST BODY? FISH, SIN, AND SOMA. . . . .
- FROM THE FIRST-BORN THE THREAD BETWEEN THE SILENT WATCHER AND HIS SHADOW BECOMES MORE STRONG AND RADIANT WITH EVERY CHANGE. THE MORNING SUN-LIGHT HAS CHANGED INTO NOON-DAY GLORY. . . . .
- THIS IS THY PRESENT WHEEL, SAID THE FLAME TO THE SPARK. THOU ART MYSELF, MY IMAGE, AND MY SHADOW. I HAVE CLOTHED MYSELF IN THEE, AND THOU ART MY VAHAN TO THE DAY, “BE WITH US,” WHEN THOU SHALT RE-BECOME MYSELF AND OTHERS, THYSELF AND ME. THEN THE BUILDERS, HAVING DONNED THEIR FIRST CLOTHING, DESCEND ON RADIANT EARTH AND REIGN OVER MEN – WHO ARE THEMSELVES. . . .
Just as there are seven distinct human groups, so there are seven distinct national groups and seven regions or zones of the Earth (see Vol. 2, p. 29). “Each people and nation . . . has its direct Watcher, Guardian and Father in Heaven” (Vol. 1, p. 576) and every nation was born or came into being under the influence and energy of one or other of The Seven.
“The nations born under Saturn – the Jewish, for instance – with whom he had become Jehovah, after having been held as a son of Saturn, or Ilda-Baoth, by the Ophites, and in the book of Jasher – were eternally fighting with those born under Jupiter, Mercury, or any other planet, except Saturn-Jehovah; genealogies and prophecies notwithstanding, Jesus the initiate (or Jehoshua) – the type from whom the “historical” Jesus was copied – was not of pure Jewish blood, and thus recognised no Jehovah; nor did he worship any planetary god beside his own “Father,” whom he knew, and with whom he communed as every high initiate does, “Spirit to Spirit and Soul to Soul.” This can hardly be taken exception to, unless the critic explains to every one’s satisfaction the strange sentences put in the mouth of Jesus by the author of the Fourth Gospel (chapter viii.) during his disputes with the Pharisees.
“”I know ye are Abraham’s seed . . . I speak the things which I have seen with my Father; and ye do the things which ye heard from your Father. . . . . Ye do the works of your Father. . . . . Ye are of your Father, the Devil. . . . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and stood not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When one speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own; for his father also is a liar and the father thereof,” etc., etc.
“That “Father” of the Pharisees was Jehovah, because identical with Cain, Saturn, Vulcan, etc. – the planet under which they were born, and the God whom they worshipped. Evidently there must be an occult meaning sought in these words and admonitions, however mistranslated, since they are pronounced by one who threatened with hell-fire anyone who says simply raca (fool) to his brother (Matthew v., 22). And evidently, again, the planets are not merely spheres, twinkling in Space, and made to shine for no purpose, but the domains of various beings with whom the profane are so far unacquainted; nevertheless, having a mysterious, unbroken, and powerful connection with men and globes. Every heavenly body is the temple of a god, and these gods themselves are the temples of GOD, the Unknown “Not Spirit.” There is nothing profane in the Universe.” (Vol. 1, p. 577-578)
We may naturally be inclined to ask, “Which of the Seven Dhyanis does my Monad belong to? Which of The Seven was my country or my race born under? Which is the “Heavenly Father” of my nation?”
We will discover the answers when we need to and when we are ready to. Mere curiosity and intellectual or emotional inquisitiveness does not amount to necessity or readiness. If anything, it shows that we are far from ready and have much growing up to do.
It is useless or worse than useless to consult psychics on the matter or to attempt to find the answers in books written by self-proclaimed “Successors” of H.P. Blavatsky, some of whom have written extensively on themes like the Seven Rays but replaced the fundamental philosophy and teachings of HPB and the Masters with a distorted and Christianised system owing its origins to the purported “clairvoyant discoveries” of C.W. Leadbeater.
We discountenance the notion that the First Ray is Will/Power, the Second is Love/Wisdom, the Third Active Intelligence or Intelligent Activity, and so on. These classifications of the Seven Rays are Leadbeater inventions and later popularised more thoroughly by the writings of Alice Bailey. There is no basis for them in the original and authentic teachings of Theosophy; besides which Leadbeater was not a person to be trusted in regard to anything.
HPB often repeated that she gave out to its fullest extent all that the Masters permitted to be given out at this time from “the Secret Archaic Doctrine” and that “it will take centuries before much more is given from it.” (Vol. 1, Introductory, p. xxxviii)
Our task, if we are sincere and devoted students of her and her Adept Teachers, is to study it, absorb it, assimilate it, understand it, and explain and make it as accessible as possible to others, Theosophists and non-Theosophists, on an ever-widening scale. If we are too lazy or selfish to do this, how can we ever hope to expect more, when we have already been given so much and done so little with it?
It was said earlier that at certain times The Seven appear on Earth themselves. The following passages, from “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 638 and Vol. 2, p. 358-359, will shed more light on this:
“In ancient Symbolism it was always the SUN (though the Spiritual, not the visible, Sun was meant), that was supposed to send forth the chief Saviours and Avatars. Hence the connecting link between the Buddhas, the Avatars, and so many other incarnations of the highest SEVEN.”
“When mortals shall have become sufficiently spiritualised, there will be no more need of forcing them into a correct comprehension of ancient Wisdom. Men will know then, that there never yet was a great World-reformer, whose name has passed into our generation, who (a) was not a direct emanation of the LOGOS (under whatever name known to us), i.e., an essential incarnation of one of “the seven,” of the “divine Spirit who is sevenfold”; and (b) who had not appeared before, during the past Cycles. They will recognise, then, the cause which produces in history and chronology certain riddles of the ages; the reason why, for instance, it is impossible for them to assign any reliable date to Zoroaster, who is found multiplied by twelve and fourteen in the Dabistan; why the Rishis and Manus are so mixed up in their numbers and individualities; why Krishna and Buddha speak of themselves as re-incarnations, i.e., Krishna is identified with the Rishi Narayana, and Gautama gives a series of his previous births; and why the former, especially, being “the very supreme Brahmā,” is yet called Amsamsavatara – “a part of a part” only of the Supreme on Earth. Finally, why Osiris is a great God, and at the same time a “prince on Earth,” who reappears in Thoth-Hermes, and why Jesus (in Hebrew, Joshua) of Nazareth is recognised, cabalistically, in Joshua, the Son of Nun, as well as in other personages. The esoteric doctrine explains it by saying that each of these (as many others) had first appeared on earth as one of the seven powers of the LOGOS, individualized as a God or “Angel” (messenger); then, mixed with matter, they had re-appeared in turn as great sages and instructors who “taught the Fifth Race,” after having instructed the two preceding races, had ruled during the Divine Dynasties, and had finally sacrificed themselves, to be reborn under various circumstances for the good of mankind, and for its salvation at certain critical periods; until in their last incarnations they had become truly only “the parts of a part” on earth, though de facto the One Supreme in Nature.
“This is the metaphysics of Theogony. And, as every “Power” among the SEVEN has (once individualized) in his charge one of the elements of creation, and rules over it, hence the many meanings in every symbol, which, unless interpreted according to the esoteric methods, generally lead to an inextricable confusion.”
Let us endeavour to remember some of these terms, for the great truths that they convey: “incarnations of the highest SEVEN” . . . “the divine Spirit who is sevenfold” . . . “the seven powers of the LOGOS.”
The Zoroasters are mentioned here, as also the Manus, Osiris, Hermes, Krishna, Gautama Buddha, and Jesus, and it is stated that “each of these (as many others) had first appeared on earth as one of the seven powers of the LOGOS, individualized as a God or “Angel” (messenger); then, mixed with matter, they had re-appeared in turn as great sages and instructors who “taught the Fifth Race,” after having instructed the two preceding races, had ruled during the Divine Dynasties, and had finally sacrificed themselves, to be reborn under various circumstances for the good of mankind, and for its salvation at certain critical periods.”
There is so much to take in here. Careful thought, contemplation, and meditative reflection upon these teachings is essential if one is to really get anything out of it, beyond a purely intellectual acquisition of information. It is hoped that our readers will look up and study these various passages and references in “The Secret Doctrine” for themselves and also return from time to time to this article, to re-read and contemplate upon these things.
“The blinds which conceal the real mysteries of Esoteric philosophy are great and puzzling, and even now the last word cannot be given. The veil, however, may be a little more removed and some explanations, hitherto denied, may now be offered to the earnest student. . . .
“If all those Manus and Rishis [i.e. in Hinduism] are called by one generic name [i.e. many are given the name of Vaivasvata in Hindu scriptures], this is due to the fact that they are one and all the manifested Energies of one and the same LOGOS, the celestial, as well as the terrestrial messengers and permutations of that Principle which is ever in a state of activity; conscious during the period of Cosmic evolution, unconscious (from our point of view) during Cosmic rest, as the Logos sleepeth in the bosom of THAT which “sleepeth not,” nor is it ever awake – for it is SAT or Be-ness, not a Being. It is from IT that issues the great unseen Logos, who evolves all the other logoi, the primeval MANU who gives being to the other Manus, who emanate the universe and all in it collectively, and who represent in their aggregate the manifested Logos. . . .
“Manu declares himself created by Viraj, or Vaiswanara, (the Spirit of Humanity), which means that his Monad emanates from the never resting Principle in the beginning of every new Cosmic activity: that Logos or UNIVERSAL MONAD (collective Elohim) that radiates from within himself all those Cosmic Monads that become the centres of activity – progenitors of the numberless Solar systems as well as of the yet undifferentiated human monads of planetary chains as well as of every being thereon. Each Cosmic Monad is “Swayambhuva,” the SELF-BORN, which becomes the Centre of Force, from within which emerges a planetary chain (of which chains there are seven in our system), and whose radiations become again so many Manus Swayambhuva (a generic name, mysterious and meaning far more than appears), each of these becoming, as a Host, the Creator of his own Humanity.” (Vol. 2, p. 310-311)
“The Secret Doctrine” plainly declares evolution to be a process from within without.
Each lesser Monad – and let us remember that everything is a monad, i.e., a unit – is radiated by, and thus emerges from within, a greater Monad, its nucleus and overshadowing Principle, of which it is veritably a part of the essence. Those greater Monads are themselves radiated by, and emerge from within, still greater Monads.
Ultimately, the whole of manifestation originates from the Universal Monad, which is none other than the First Logos, the Unmanifested Logos, the First Cause which issues forth from the Causeless Cause (the Absolute Divine Principle) when the Universe comes into being. This Universal Monad is the Point within the Circle in esoteric symbolism, which Point is the same as the Pythagorean Monas, the first and highest point of the Pythagorean Triangle. HPB calls it “the real, esoteric LOGOS” (Vol. 1, p. 614) and, in the passage just quoted, “the primeval MANU.” Let us never anthropomorphise it.
Some people talk very glibly about “the Central Spiritual Sun.” This, that we are talking about now, is the Central Spiritual Sun, the one all-ensouling Light and Life of the Universe.
Says HPB in “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 614, in the section on “Gods, Monads, and Atoms”:
“Those unable to seize the difference between the monad – the Universal Unit – and the Monads or the manifested Unity, as also between the ever-hidden and the revealed LOGOS or the Word, ought never to meddle in philosophy, let alone the Esoteric Sciences.”
It is hoped that the difference can now be seized more easily.
What then is the Human Monad? It is a Ray, it is a Spark, an individualisation of or from the Universal Monad. But it does not get here directly, by taking a gigantic leap from the First Logos down to the cycles of human incarnation on planet Earth.
There are Seven Primeval Monads, the Seven Sons of Light, and each Human Monad is a spark, a radiation, of the essence of one of these Seven Rays. Whichever one of the Seven it is for us, is our divine, celestial, heavenly Prototype, our Star, our Father, our Monadic Parent, our Dhyani Buddha, our own Logos. We are linked with it via whichever one of the Seven Sacred Planets specifically corresponds to it.
Like the Adepts and Mahatmas, we may think of it as “Father-Soul” and “Father-Fire” but it is only in some high degree of initiation – before reaching which many awful and frightful trials and tribulations must be passed through successfully – that we will find ourselves placed face to face with the bright “Image” and then, only then, shall we KNOW that “I and my Father are One and the Same.”
~ Blavatsky Theosophy Group UK ~
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“This “World of Truth” can be described only in the words of the Commentary as “A bright star dropped from the heart of Eternity; the beacon of hope on whose Seven Rays hang the Seven Worlds of Being.” Truly so; since those are the Seven Lights whose reflections are the human immortal Monads . . .”