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Tsong-kha-pa and Planetary Spirits

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From G de Purucker:

Studies in Occult Philosophy

Tsong-kha-pa was the great Tibetan reformer of a degenerate Buddhism. Buddhism was brought to Tibet it is not known exactly when, but in the early part of what we in the west call the Christian era, probably in the sixth or seventh century, by an Indian Buddhist monk called Padma Sambhava, and he labored well and long among the Tibetans and converted practically the whole country by the magic of his word, by the power of his illustrations, and by the persuasion of his fascinating mind. But it was not many centuries before the natural inertia of human understanding and its disinclination always to hold to the highest, began its leisurely work; and little by little, after Padma Sambhava died the Buddhists began to drop from the purity of Buddha’s teaching with its grand ethics and wonderful occultism, dropped down to the level from which Padma Sambhava had raised them; and this level was known, or is known today, by the name of the Bhon or Bon, which is what the Tibetans themselves call it. It is a kind of naturalistic religious philosophy peculiar to Tibet, immensely ancient, archaic indeed, and probably brought over from Atlantean, late Atlantean times. It largely comprises worship of nature spirits, superstitious practices, and above everything else, the practice of magic, white and black; and there is so much akin to the Bhon in what we know as the Tantras of India, the tantric teachings, that I for one have no doubt that they have an identical origin.

Now then, in the fourteenth century appeared Tsong-kha-pa, the greatest spiritual Teacher excepting none that Tibet has ever known. He reformed the degraded or the degenerated or false Buddhism of Tibet, brought it back to its grand pristine purity; and when he died, due to his marvelous genius and ability in spreading ideas and making them more fascinating than the calls that were made upon Tibetans by the Bhon system — when he passed away or vanished or died, call it what you will, he had brought back to the Holy Path, as the Tibetans call it, practically all of Tibet proper, and raised Tibet to a higher plane of thought than it had as yet ever attained in known history; and it is today even the most powerful as well as the official form of Buddhism in Tibet. The Bhon thought and the degenerated Buddhism of Padma Sambhava, still held by people whom Tsong-kha-pa did not succeed in reaching, prevail to this day along the outskirts of Tibet, along the Indian and Chinese and Turkestan and the north frontier; and it is along this frontier that the so-called Red Caps are mainly to be found, not wholly but mainly. In the interior of Tibet you will find a vast majority of the Yellow Caps or those who have followed Tsong-kha-pa. The distinction is really, so far as dress goes, only in the cap or hat, because both the Red Caps and the Yellow Caps of Tsong-kha-pa wear pretty much the same clothing, usually red and dark orange, the old Buddhist robe of India.

Now, what was Tsong-kha-pa? He was what I would call a tulku. A tulku means what was explained at our gathering here a fortnight ago. Like Jesus, but in other ways differing from him, Tsong-kha-pa was both Tulku and Bodhisattva. In fact, tulku means bodhisattva. He was not Buddha, or a Buddha. He had refused the Buddha-state. You may call him one of the highest of the Sambhogakāyas today, or Nirmāṇakāya. I myself am not sure on this point. But he is not a Dharmakāya. That would mean going into the Nirvana, and for ages and ages and ages passing out of all possibility of helping the millions and millions and millions trailing along behind. Going into Nirvāṇa, assuming Dharmakāya, simply means cutting off all connexion with the lower planes and rising up to the highest realms of spirit. Of course this is a consummation which is unspeakably grand, glorious, wonderful. But the Buddhas of Compassion and the Bodhisattvas refuse it. They prefer to remain behind and help those who know less of the Law than they do.

Tsong-kha-pa became a Planetary. Now what is a Planetary? A Planetary is a cosmic spirit. They can be of many different grades on the ladder of life of that planet, our planet in this case. There are high planets, high planetaries, low and intermediate. But I have no doubt that Tsong-kha-pa could be classed among the intermediate, for the simple reason that being a Bodhisattva, he has not cut himself off by ascending so high that re-descent is not possible in this manvantara.

As stated there are high planetaries, intermediate, and low. This is because there are planetaries belonging to our entire planetary chain. The influence of the very highest extends over all the seven or twelve globes of our chain. There are intermediate planetaries whose influence is the very highest over any one globe, such as our earth, or Globe D; and there are lower planetaries who work under these higher planetaries whom we may call those planetary spirits closest in touch with poor mankind. Their work is beautiful, compassionate, indeed sublimest of all the planetaries.

But yet we must remember that when we speak of planetaries, we must not figurate to ourselves anything that even approaches infallibility, for even the low planetaries are not infallible. Think what infallibility means. It would mean having a mind co-extensive with the galaxy, practically boundless infinitude. It would mean having a will co-extensive will with the immense will of nature, in other words you would have to be Mother Nature herself to be infallible, and no planetary is that. But compared with us men even the lowest planetaries have a judgment and a discrimination and a wisdom and an insight and a power which are virtually infallible. They can be trusted. This may sound like an academic discussion, but it is not so. I know there are certain people in the west today who imagine that a certain great Ecclesiastic official is infallible. They are welcome to their opinion. History does not support it.

What the Hindus call the Manus are planetaries of one kind. What they call the Prajapatis are planetaries.You can also say, and you won’t wander far from the truth, that the Manus are also Prajapatis. They are also instances of planetaries so far as the human life-wave is concerned. [They are also] what the Christians, following the Greeks, called angels and archangels. Other instances of planetaries are the references in many of the old religions and religious philosophies