This compilation will probably make next to no sense for anyone who has not familiarised themselves with the Theosophical teachings about the origins and evolution of humanity.
It will be of most use to those who are studying, or attempting to study, “The Secret Doctrine.” Anyone who does so will invariably come across frequent mention of classes or groups of beings or entities referred to as the Lunar Pitris and the Solar Pitris. “Pitris” simply means “fathers” or “ancestors” in Sanskrit.
If finding this subject difficult – as many understandably do, due to the profound depth and complexity of it – or if entirely new to it, it will help to first read our articles Human Evolution in The Secret Doctrine, Chains, Globes, Rounds and Root Races, and Manas – The Mystery of Mind, in that order. Other articles listed on the Articles page may also be of help.
The compilation below endeavours to answer, through direct quotations, questions regarding the origins of the Lunar and Solar Pitris, their respective levels of evolution and consciousness, and whether there was any “lighting up of Manas” on the Lunar Chain or Moon Chain like there was here on our Earth.
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The Lunar Pitris: The first class of monads from the lunar chain – They are more advanced than those for whom they project their chhayas (“shadows” or astral forms) at the start of our 1st Root Race, for those (i.e. our monads) are of the second class of lunar monads – The first class are the most developed from that former chain but nonetheless were still devoid of the Higher Manas or Higher Mind.
“. . . when Globe A of the new chain is ready, the first class or Hierarchy of Monads from the Lunar chain incarnate upon it in the lowest kingdom, and so on successively. . . . The most developed Monads (the Lunar Gods or “Spirits,” called, in India, the Pitris), whose function it is to pass in the first Round through the whole triple cycle of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms in their most ethereal, filmy, and rudimentary forms, in order to clothe themselves in, and assimilate, the nature of the newly formed chain. They are those who first reach the human form (if there can be any form in the realm of the almost subjective) on Globe A in the first Round. It is they, therefore, who lead and represent the human element during the second and third Rounds, and finally evolve their shadows at the beginning of the Fourth Round for the second class, or those who come behind them.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 1, p. 173, 174)
“Who are the Lords of the Moon? In India they are called Pitris or “lunar ancestors,” . . . The Barhishad, though possessed of creative fire, were devoid of the higher MAHAT-mic element. Being on a level with the lower principles – those which precede gross objective matter – they could only give birth to the outer man, or rather to the model of the physical, the astral man. . . . It is those who are unable to create the spiritual immortal man, who project the senseless model (the Astral) of the physical Being; . . .” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 75, 79)
“. . . the Barhishad Pitris, or the Pitar-Devata, . . . They would not, simply because they could not, give to man that sacred spark which burns and expands into the flower of human reason and self-consciousness, for they had it not to give. This was left to that class of Devas who became symbolised in Greece under the name of Prometheus, to those who had nought to do with the physical body, yet everything with the purely spiritual man.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 94-95)
“Having projected their shadows and made men of one element (ether), the progenitors re-ascend to Maha-loka, whence they descend periodically, when the world is renewed, to give birth to new men.
“The subtle bodies remained without understanding (Manas) until the advent of the Suras (Gods) now called Asuras (not Gods),” says the Commentary.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 92)
“The Monads take immediate possession of the astral images, the Chhaya of the Lunar Pitris; the Jivas or Manasaputra, [take possession] only at the end of the Third Race. With the child it is just as it is with the First Race. The Monads, Atma-Buddhis, are said to have fully incarnated only when full consciousness is developed in the child mankind – that is to say, the Third Race – and so it is with the child unit, or man. . . . It is not united, because Chhaya – or this image, the astral form – is not conscious of the presence of the Monad, because there is no Manasic element to appreciate or to be conscious of that Monad in it. Therefore, it is just as though he did not have it. So it is with the child. . . . But when the Manas comes, or the mind, then there is the union of all the principles, and all the principles appear all about between seven and eight years when the child becomes conscious.” (“The Secret Doctrine Dialogues” p. 557-558)
“The human stage on the Moon is far inferior to that of the Earth, because every time that the principles of a plane go to form another plane, it is always on a higher scale.” (“The Secret Doctrine Dialogues” p. 466)
The Manasaputras or Agnishvatta Pitris, also called Solar Pitris and Kumaras: Never stated or implied to have been on the lunar chain – Always said that they come from “other Manvantaras” plural, rather than the previous Manvantara or chain – Some were Nirmanakayas, Adepts, Yogis, of long past preceding Manvantaras – They “finished their cycle” in other Manvantaras but have to incarnate in this present one, in the 3rd Root Race, the Lemurian – While the Lunar Pitris literally came from the moon, the Solar Pitris did not literally come from, or live in, the physical sun; the term is symbolic in their case.
“The supposed “rebels,” then, were simply those who, compelled by Karmic law to drink the cup of gall to its last bitter drop, had to incarnate anew, and thus make responsible thinking entities of the astral statues projected by their inferior brethren.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 94)
“. . . the Kumaras . . . the three classes of the Arupa Pitris, endowed with intelligence, . . . doomed by the law of Karma and evolution to be reborn (or incarnated) on Earth. Some of these were Nirmanakayas from other Manvantaras. . . . Some are said to have refused [i.e. to incarnate], because they had not in them the requisite materials . . . since they were arupa. The refusal of others had reference to their having been Adepts and Yogis of long past preceding Manvantaras; . . . But, later on, as Nirmanakayas, they sacrificed themselves for the good and salvation of the Monads which were waiting for their turn, and which otherwise would have had to linger for countless ages in irresponsible, animal-like, though in appearance human, forms.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 93-94)
“Hence, tradition shows the celestial Yogis offering themselves as voluntary victims in order to redeem Humanity . . . To do this they had to give up their natural status . . . exchanging their impersonal individualities for individual personalities – the bliss of sidereal existence for the curse of terrestrial life. This voluntary sacrifice of the Fiery Angels, whose nature was Knowledge and Love, . . .” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 246)
“Manas does not come to be happy and to be developed. Manas comes because it is too pure and being too pure, it has neither merit nor demerit. Therefore, it must come and suffer a little bit, and have the experience of everything that can be got in this cycle of incarnation, and therefore, the same experiences will make it fit to merge in the Absolute. . . . These are distinct entities which incarnate, which in other Manvantaras have finished their cycle, and it is their time to incarnate in this cycle.” (“The Secret Doctrine Dialogues” p. 568-569)
“They are the Fallen angels, metaphorically – “the true mirrors of the Eternal Wisdom.” What is the absolute and complete truth as well as the esoteric meaning about this universal myth? The whole essence of truth cannot be transmitted from mouth to ear. Nor can any pen describe it, not even that of the recording Angel, unless man finds the answer in the sanctuary of his own heart, in the innermost depths of his divine intuitions. It is the great SEVENTH MYSTERY of Creation, the first and the last; and those who read St. John’s Apocalypse may find its shadow lurking under the seventh seal.” (“The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 516)
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In Stanza VII (titled “FROM THE SEMI-DIVINE DOWN TO THE FIRST HUMAN RACES”) in the second volume (Anthropogenesis) of “The Secret Doctrine,” it is explained that the descent and incarnation of the Manasaputras or Solar Pitris was not quite the uniform act that one might imagine, for –
(1) “SOME ENTERED THE CHHAYAS.” – These Manasaputras or Egos incarnated fully because their monads were READY. Those humans became the first Sages and Adepts.
(2) “SOME PROJECTED A SPARK.” – These Manasaputras or Egos could not fully incarnate because their monads were only HALF READY. Those humans “who received but a spark . . . remained destitute of (higher) knowledge” and “the spark burnt low.” This applies and relates to the majority of the humanity of the Fourth Round (i.e. it applies to US!) and who will experience the full and complete incarnation of their Higher Egos, their Higher Manas, only in the Fifth Round.
(3) “SOME DEFERRED TILL THE FOURTH (Race).” – These Manasaputras or Egos delayed their incarnation in their monads until the Atlantean Root Race, as their monads were NOT READY. Those monads were “the latest arrivals among the human monads” and because of having to lag behind the rest of humanity they were “set apart” among the seven primordial human groups. When the Fifth Round begins, this monadic group will then be at the level the above second group is at now in this Fourth Round. It is this group of monads which became referred to symbolically as the “narrow-headed” due to their lack (until the Fourth Root Race) of any Higher Manas and it is they who committed “the sin of the mindless” which produced the earliest forefathers of the apes.
These points can be explored further and in greater detail in “The Secret Doctrine” Vol. 2, p. 161-169, 193-195, 286-287.
The distinction and interrelation between our Monads and our Egos is something else which a student of Theosophy requires a clear conception of, if the above is not to be confusing and incomprehensible. The “three lines of evolution” need to always be kept in mind when studying “The Secret Doctrine” as they help to avert this difficulty. The article The Three Lines of Evolution may assist with this. The article The Seven Primordial Human Groups may help to explain about the groups of monads as might Our Seven Divine Parents: A Study in Monads, Rays, and Planets. Although not directly stated in the Theosophical teachings, an individual’s Monad and Ego belong to one and the same ray of the Seven Rays, hence why certain of the Manasaputras were linked with certain Monads and could only incarnate in their corresponding or linked monadic group, rather than descending into incarnation at random and selecting their human form by chance or preference. As said, HPB does not directly state this but one may strongly infer it; it has also been indicated by B. P. Wadia.
If, after having read this far, one still finds such a study entirely unpalatable and unappealing or if one has tried and made great efforts to read and study “The Secret Doctrine” but still finds it impossible, do not be disheartened or discouraged.
Although important, these particular metaphysical teachings are not the most important teachings of Theosophy. Although valuable, they are not the most valuable to our present human condition and the situations of daily life that we find ourselves in. Robert Crosbie, the founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists, wrote, “It is not necessary that we understand the deeply metaphysical concepts of Theosophy, as it is to comprehend the fundamentals and be able to make an application of them to every problem of life.” (“The Friendly Philosopher” p. 126-127)
What are those fundamental principles of the philosophy of Theosophy? Karma . . . reincarnation . . . the sevenfold nature or constitution of the human being . . . the divinity of all life . . . concentration and living consciously . . . and, most essentially, Universal Brotherhood and the Path of the HEART.
Compassion is the Law of Laws, teaches “The Voice of The Silence” (a book belonging to the same group of esoteric texts as those on which “The Secret Doctrine” is based) and unless one is deliberately developing, cultivating, and practising the “heart qualities” of unity, fraternity, love, compassion, altruism, charity, and recognition and acceptance of the divinity of all – even of those we may not personally like or support or agree with – the rest of one’s Theosophical studies will count for nothing in our soul’s book of life.
This article may have raised more questions about various things. Please make use of the site search function (the magnifying glass symbol at the top of the page) and visit the Articles page to see the complete list of over 300 articles covering all aspects of Theosophy and the Theosophical Movement.