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31 IMPORTANT DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEOSOPHY AND NEO-THEOSOPHY.
The seven Kumaras, including Sanat Kumara, are well known in Hinduism. H.P. Blavatsky speaks of them at length in “The Secret Doctrine” and states that they are one and the same group of Beings as the seven Dhyani Buddhas, the seven Archangels, and the seven Elohim, and that these are just different names for the same Seven. Sanat Kumara is not described as being the chief amongst them but it is indicated that Sanaka is the chief of the four exoteric Kumaras (consisting of Sanaka, Sanat Kumara, Sananda, and Sanatana) and that Sanat Sujata is the chief of the three esoteric Kumaras, the other two of that group being Sana and Kapila.
According to the original teachings of Theosophy, the Kumaras are the divine beings with which humanity is most concerned but none of them are described as dwelling at Shamballa.
There is a Lord of Shamballa but, according to HPB and the Masters, he is a Great Being “which has to remain nameless.” This Great One is referred to as the Initiator, the Great Sacrifice, the Nameless One, the Wondrous Being, etc., and it is taught that he entered upon our globe in the early period of the Lemurian Root Race – prior to the awakening of individual consciousness in the general mass of humanity, which began to occur around the middle of that Root Race – into a physical body which had been created for him by Kriyashakti, in order to fulfill the most important and highest possible position here.
Our article titled The Wondrous Being – The Great Sacrifice talks about this in more detail.
HPB made a point of explaining (in Volume 2 of “The Secret Doctrine”) that the Lord of Shamballa she describes is not any of the seven Kumaras but is higher than all of them. He is also not the Planetary Spirit of the Earth, for that Planetary Spirit – also spoken of as the Terrestrial Spirit and the Earth Spirit – is not of a very high grade, according to original Theosophy, and is in fact not a personal individual entity at all but a class or synthesis of “Forces of nature acting under one immutable Law.”
The Wondrous Being who resides at Shamballa is the Supreme Head of the hidden esoteric Brotherhood which guides and watches over the spiritual evolution and advancement of humanity.
However, according to neo-Theosophy or pseudo-Theosophy, the seven Kumaras all live at Shamballa and their chief is Sanat Kumara, who is presented as being not only Lord of Shamballa but also Lord of the World.
It is claimed that he is the physical incarnation and representative on Earth of the “Planetary Logos” (remember that HPB and the Masters never once speak of a Planetary Logos or use this term at all) and that he came to our Earth from Venus in the middle of the Lemurian Root Race. This was 18 million years ago according to Alice Bailey and 6.5 million years ago according to C.W. Leadbeater. Leadbeater describes Sanat Kumara as descending to Earth in a giant fiery chariot from the actual planet Venus, whereas Bailey states that he actually came from “the Venus globe of our Earth Chain,” which is a concept unique to her.
Neither HPB nor the Masters ever indicate any type of connection between the planet Venus and the Lord of Shamballa, nor between the planet Venus and Sanat Kumara. This concept is solely the invention of C.W. Leadbeater.
In pseudo-Theosophy, Sanat Kumara is also called “The Ancient of Days” but in original Theosophy this term refers to the Universal Logos and the Logos is of course not any type of Being or Entity whatsoever, as we have attempted to make clear in the articles Understanding the Logos and The Three Logoi. In Alice Bailey’s book “Initiation: Human and Solar” it is taught that Sanat Kumara is “a direct reflection of the One God,” that “none of us can pass beyond the radiance of his aura” and that it is in him that we live, move, and have our being. He is called “the Great King” by Leadbeater and Annie Besant and is even on occasion directly called “God” by Alice Bailey. This is the very thing which original Theosophy denounces as idolatry, superstition, and foolishness.
Neo-Theosophy or pseudo-Theosophy teaches that Sanat Kumara is the Supreme Head of the spiritual hierarchy of our planet and is assisted by the six other Kumaras. Three of these are purportedly exoteric and actively involved whilst the other three are esoteric and withdrawn. In this system of teaching the three exoteric Kumaras are called the “Pratyeka Buddhas” and “Buddhas of Activity.”
But the term “Pratyeka Buddha,” taken from Buddhism itself, actually means a Buddha of selfishness and refers to someone who seeks and attains enlightenment solely for their own liberation and personal benefit and without having compassion for suffering humanity. This is clearly explained in HPB’s works such as “The Voice of the Silence” where it is shown that a Pratyeka Buddha is the very opposite and antithesis of a Bodhisattva.
Individuals who become Pratyeka Buddhas are held in disregard in Buddhism, precisely for these reasons, yet Annie Besant and Leadbeater maintained – with absolutely no grounds whatsoever for their assertion – that HPB was incorrect and entirely mistaken in what she said about Pratyeka Buddhas and that Pratyeka Buddhas are in fact high spiritual beings. Anyone who researches the matter for themselves can soon see that it was Besant and neo-Theosophy in general which was incorrect and entirely mistaken in its understanding of the Pratyeka Buddhas.
This is but one of a number of reasons why most Buddhists view neo-Theosophy as an ignorant and fantastical teaching. The gross misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the seven Kumaras and a whole mass of other Indian and Oriental concepts besides is similarly one of numerous reasons why most Hindus view neo-Theosophy in the same poor light.
In her article “On Pseudo-Theosophy,” H.P. Blavatsky wrote that “If the “false prophets of Theosophy” are to be left untouched, the true prophets will be very soon – as they have already been – confused with the false.” This has happened countless times, thanks to the likes of Bailey, Leadbeater, and Besant, and many people who rightly view their system as being ignorant, unphilosophical, and childish have automatically assumed that the original teachings of Theosophy are of the same nature and have rejected them too, without even bothering to investigate them, not knowing or suspecting that the difference between genuine Theosophy and pseudo-Theosophy is as the difference between daylight and dark.
Some critical biographers of HPB have berated and ridiculed her in their writings about her life for concocting such a bizarre and fantastical tale as that described above about Sanat Kumara, apparently entirely oblivious to the fact that she never even taught or suggested such a thing. So HPB is ignorantly and unjustly made to pay the price for Leadbeater’s lies and delusions…and those who would like to know what sort of person Leadbeater actually was are invited and encouraged to read The Unavoidable Facts about C.W. Leadbeater.
In spite of all this, it’s nevertheless reassuring to know, from communications received from visitors to the site, that there is a growing dissatisfaction and distrust around the world with neo-Theosophy or pseudo-Theosophy and a renewed interest beginning in the life, work, and teachings of H.P. Blavatsky. We invite all those who are interested in facts and truth rather than fantasy and fiction to visit the Articles page in order to discover more.