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Eastern School of Theosophy (20)

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(Echoes of the Orient p. 463-466 (=end))

Eastern School of Theosophy

Suggestions and Aids


Subsidiary Papers 463

earth or plane, but became such only from the moment they ensoul the animal man, thus endowing him with his Higher Mind. Each is a “Breath” or principle, called the Human Soul or Manas, the mind. As the teachings say: “Each is a Pillar of Light. Having chosen its vehicle, it expanded, surrounding with an Ākāśic Aura the human animal, while the Divine (Manasic) Principle settled within that human form.”

Ancient Wisdom teaches, moreover, that from this first incarnation, the Lunar Pitṛis, who had made men out of their Chāyās, or Shadows, are absorbed by this auric essence, and a distinct astral form is now produced for each forthcoming Personality of the reincarnating series of each Ego.

The Secret Doctrine II:92, in the Section discussing the Fire Dhyānis, says:

Having projected their shadows and made men of one element (ether), the progenitors reascend to Maharloka, whence they periodically descend, when the world is renewed, to give birth to new men. “The subtle bodies remain without understanding (Manas) until the advent of the Suras (gods), now called Asuras (not gods).”

Now that Commentary issued from London assumes that H.P.B. made an error in this and wrote loosely, thus creating confusion. In the note on page 9 of the Commentary it is assumed that the Lunar Pitṛis, mentioned in the quotation from the Instructions given above, are the same and identical with the “progenitors” mentioned in The Secret Doctrine, as above quoted, who are said to have gone back to Maharloka. This mistake has also been made by others, who have compared together the quotation from The Secret Doctrine and the quotation from the Instructions. The Commentary to which I have referred, and the note, are wrong, and the mistake was due to careless reading of the matter under discussion and to confusing the things together probably because in each instance the beings referred to “projected their shadows.”

That part of the quotation from the Instructions which speaks of the Lunar Pitṛis, refers to a step taken subsequently to the first one in the formation of man, and does not contradict that part of The Secret Doctrine where the same process was shown as gone through with by the “progenitors” referred to. The progenitors referred to in The Secret Doctrine are the Lords of Fire who, in the process of making the future man and before the Lunar Pitṛis came on the scene, made this “future man” out of one element, that is, ether, of which their shadows were composed. That is to say this first body is the fire body, that portion of us which belongs to the fire element and which we still possess. It is 464 Echoes of the Orient always made first in the beginning of a new world, and when finished, those who make it “reascend to Maharloka.”

There is no necessity for their remaining longer, as their function is solely to construct a fire body, or the first substructure on which the grosser will accumulate later. Now after this, at a later period, the Lunar Pitṛis appear upon the scene, and themselves have to carry on a somewhat similar process to that of the Fire Lords in the production, however, of a more gross body upon the first. This body they make over and upon the fire body previously constructed by those Fire Lords who have been called in the quotation from The Secret Doctrine “progenitors.” It is perfectly right, therefore, to say, in both cases, that they made men out of their shadows. You will at once observe quite a different conclusion for the Lunar Pitṛis to that spoken of regarding the Fire Lords. In the case of the Fire Lords, they reascend to Maharloka. In the case of the Lunar Pitṛis they are absorbed by the auric essence, which is the Auric Egg, and they are ourselves. Therefore these great events, looked at historically in the great cosmic history, mean that we ourselves did this very thing which we are trying to explain. And after this was done, a distinct astral form begins to be produced for each new personality. It has been before attempted to explain the seeming difficulty by assuming that the Auric Body in which the Lunar Pitṛis are absorbed, is the same as Maharloka, and therefore that the two classes of Pitṛis are the same. This explanation however, is only confusion. The right view is that taken above, and strictly accords with what H.P.B. said in her very private teachings, and agrees also with what several other great schools and Adepts know very well and teach. Furthermore, without this explanation you will not be able to explain the presence of the element of fire in the body nor the well-known so-called fire-body. Without the explanation you would be obliged to assume that all the fire we have is the fire created by friction in the body among its atoms, and from the outside; which is not correct.

All “progenitors” and all classes of Pitṛis are concerned in the evolution of man, both physical and spiritual. The term “ancestors” applies to all these classes. If this is remembered there will not be so much confusion and obscurity. Stanza 4 shows most distinctly that each and every class or division of Dhyānis goes through a similar process to every other, only that each produces thereby that which specially belongs to it. This is why H.P.B. when speaking of one class will say: “They projected their ‘shadows,’ “ and then later, say the same thing of another class. Both projected their doubles — which became “homogeneous” in appearance, but gave two — or more — different

Subsidiary Papers 465

qualities or powers. The Stanza says: “Seven times seven shadows (chāyās) of future men (or Amānasas) [without mind] were born, each of his own color,”. etc.1

The word “born” may be changed to “projected.” These were, as the Stanza says, boneless and mindless. They were the bodies of fire, or electricity, or Ākāśa, and therefore “called the Chāyā Race.” The numbers given show that the process of projecting was done by the “Seven Hosts” who “separated [projected] men from themselves.” This was done seven times by each, and that made forty-nine in all. So that we can say that in the process of making man forty-nine kinds of shadows, or doubles, were projected by the various progenitors, all of the forty-nine uniting to form the future being. Hence it is so often said that we have a complicated physical, psychical, and spiritual heredity or ancestry. It is elsewhere said that the intellectual line of evolution is represented by the Agnishvāttas — a class of Fire Lords. This should not be regarded as another confusion, for it is not. The Intellect is to be compared only to Fire and only a class of Fire Lords could cause it to arise. Besides this there are many classes of Fire Dhyānis. So there is no confusion, while it may be there is difficulty inasmuch as Occultism is as vast as the Cosmos.


It is a sad thing to know that in the E.S.T., notwithstanding all that has been said and written, several members think they can investigate and also pursue occultism entirely separate from ethics, and that indeed ethics are not as important to them as occultism. This is not new in the world, because it has been full of those who pursue the investigation and attempt the practice of occultism or magic without having at the same time any regard whatever for religion, virtue or ethics. They pursue it simply for the powers and knowledge which it might confer and reveal. It is an old story, and a story full of the horrors, which always result from such a mental position. It is quite true that one may disregard ethics and study occultism, but that is the beginning of black magic and it means that one has started on an enterprise wherein he must succeed against the entire Cosmos, must be the enemy of everything but himself, or else he shall fail. If any wish to take this up in that manner no one can prevent them. But the student of human nature knows how weak men of today are, and knows furthermore, that out of all these tyros in the practice of

466 Echoes of the Orient

occultism, there are today in Europe and America probably not over two who will ever be able to meet with even partial success. But it is the duty of the Theosophist who is also studying occultism, to bind the two together, for then alone will he be able to obtain assistance and to accomplish in some degree the destiny which it is intended he should fulfill. He should not decry occultism, and always to say that nothing is good but ethics, but should allow those who wish to study both, to do so without interference, and himself should try to find out where and whereby the two may be united.


  1. [S.D. II:90.] []
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