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Editorial 20

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VOICE in Sinhalese,

Tsongkhapa in Dutch

It may be a boring editorial for most of you who speak neither Sinhalese nor Dutch. But perhaps you like to know the followig anyway. The Voice of the Silence1might well be called the crest jewel of Theosophical literature, and it is but regrettable that it not yet widely known and appreciated thoughout the world. In my view it as as valuable as some other, more well-known of such ‘jewels’, such as the Bhagavad-Gītā, the Dhammapada, Dao De Jing, the Gāthās of Zarathustra, Śaṅkarāchārya’s Vivekacūḍamāni (Crest Jewel of Wisdom), some of the Upaniṣads and other small aphoristic works, all of which have been widely translated.

It was some decades ago that a Sri Lankan Theosophist (who – by the way – once called himself when I met him the only Mahāyāna buddhist of Sri Lanka), the āyurvedic Doctor Harischandra Kaviratne took the initiative to translate The Voice of the Silence into Sinhalese. I am informed by the Sinhalese people that the translation is made in a classical Sinhalese grammar, beatiful, but not easy to read for everyone. The text was printed and published, but seems to have gone lost. The author gave personally to a few respectable friends, among whom some Buddhist monks, but so far I we have not been able to trace a complete copy. I also went to the library of the BuddhistTheosophical Society and to the library of the Colombo museum, I met the director personally, and I visited some temples with Dr. Kaviratne’s daughter Rajeshvari, meeting the head monks among which the one in the temple in which H.S. Olcott, the then President of The Theosophical Society and Mme H.P. Blavatsky took Pañcasīla (i.e. vowing to the five Buddhist virtues to become a formal Buddhist), but to no avail so far. Rajeshvari herself was the only one who owned a copy and that was in a bad state, and regrettably with the last part of Blavatsky’s notes missing. So I thought it useful to save at least this much from extinction. Still, copies might be around somewhere, and we would be happy if we can ever add the notes to fragments II and III. Open The Voice of the Silence in Sinhalese (English title page & Contents or the Sinhalese text

As those among you who follow this website regularly may have noticed, we have spent relatively much attention to Mahāyāna and esoteric? (Vajrayāna) Buddhism of late, and especially to Tsong-kha-pa. Also are adding Asaṅga’s Chapter on Ethics to this site at the moment, and some commentaries by Blavatsky and De Purucker on Mahāyāna Buddhism and its concepts which are available from their published writings. Some more articles will follow. Regrettably – at least from the point of view of the two Dutch born editors of this site – is that practically nothing of the classical Mahāyāna literature is available for the people who speak that language.

Some two decades ago a Theosophical group in Belgium, the Geünieerde Loge van Theosofen (GLT = ULT), took the initiative to publish fifty ‘yellow booklets’ on the life and teachings great occultists, hermetists, alchimists, Rosicrucians and Theosophist and the like mainly from the Greek, European and Arabic tradition. These booklets were than hardly spread outside their own circles. With their permission we have scanned and updated and supplied with added links to modern online information the ‘yellow booklet’ booklet on the great sage Tsong-kha-pa – the fourteenth century Tibetan reformer and purifyier of the (the declined) teachings of the Buddha and founder of the Gelukpa or ‘yellow-capped’ sect (to which belongs all successive Dalai Lamas) and of whom Blavatsky had stated that it was he who sowed the seed for what today is known as The Theosophical Society, founded 500 years later. The Theosophical Society follows but in a sequence of efforts since Tsong-kha-pa and perhaps other initiatives from before his time from Tibet, that Europe and the Western culture in general have continuously been nurtured with some essential spiritual wisdom in the last centuries. We owe them inesteemable gratitude.

It is thanks to him, to Blavatsky c.s. in the 19th, and also to the present 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso in the 20-21st century that for the first time in long history a tip of the true esoteric veil has been lifted for present humanity in spiritual progress, and that a portion of the sacred Tibetan scriptures and even pre-Buddhist texts have been given to us openly. Who was this Tsong-kha-pa? With this interesting question in mind we published this booklet in three issues, for the Dutch, to begin today.Open: Tsong-kha-pa.

  1. in English on this site []