RE: Theos-World: SD original versus Boris de Zirkoff edition of THE SECRET DOCTRINE
May 21, 2001 05:16 PM
Which goes to show that people (all of us) see what we are
prejudiced to "see" m-- hence after study is it not worthwhile
saying to ourselves: Did I really understand ?
And that's why I want to see originals.
Here's another sample from elsewhere
=================== I COPY ================
I do not have my copy of THE LAWS OF MANU as I put them into the
Library at the Lodge -- downtown some 34 miles away, and will not
be able to refer to them till Sunday. In any case the copy I use
is the translation in THE SACRED BOOKS OF THE EAST EDITED by Max
However if you can look up H.P.B.'s article TRANSMIGRATION OF
LIFE ATOMS, ULT edition Vol. II, p 253-5 you will find that the
question of the transmigration of the samskaras from man's
vehicles to those of animals is indicated.
The question of a "Brahmin-Killer" is resolved there [LAWS OF
MANU, Sec. XII, 3, and Sec. XII 54 and 55 Also reprinted in
FIVE YEARS OF THEOSOPHY, pp 338... Original is in THEOSOPHIST --
July and August 1883 ]
I do not know if the translations agree or not.
Let me say in general that any translation will depend on:
1. the original version of the textual authority that is
selected. (if this has been tampered with then the translation
will be to that extent distorted) I would rather see the
Sanskrit ORIGINAL and preferable several versions taken from
various parts of the country -- not just one.
2. the nature of the translator's ability and their character and
honesty is another factor as this will color or serve as a
"filter" for the version made into English from the source. Many
modern translators parrot the views of older "authorities" if
they are afraid to bring forward the views that they are able to
reliable gather on their own. They are afraid of "co-authority"
criticism, rejection or calumny -- their "standing" in the world
of their particular specialty is their primary consideration, and
not the truth, especially if it contradicts or is unpalatable to
those who "review" their writing before publication.
In other words we ought not to believe everything that is
written, nor ought we to take it for granted that all translators
have equal philosophical or scientific abilities, and insights
into the truth.
Theosophy is said to be "sanctified common-sense." Which means
we are obliged, in reading these translations to give them the
widest and most generous of interpretations. Further as students
of Theosophy we have to apply what we know of the FUNDAMENTALS
and the LAWS of NATURE.
Let me put some notes below in the body of your letter (excuse
this quick way of handling it).
To: dalval14@earthlink from Rama
Since the last few days, I have been reading "The Laws of Manu",
translated by Wendy Doniger with Brian K. Smith (Penguin)
I came across quite a few questionable statements. For example,
capital punishment is prescribed for certain acts of misconduct.
On top of it, there is discrimination based on caste.
Sloka 359 in Chapter 8 reads: "A man who is not a priest
deserves to be punished by the loss of his life's breath for
DTB When those Laws were issued (as I understand it) they were
for the Chelas and Disciples of the Secret Schools of the Rishis
and their successors in responsibility.
[The "punishments" (which seem to be provided for in Nature's own
protective Laws, and operated only by NATURE, not by any "man")
have been hinted at in S.D. I 299, 160, 167, 307, 95, 278, 290,
S.D. II 235 396 419 382fn, Isis I 307, II 40; HPB Articles
III 282; H.P.B. Articles II 253-5 ] But as one may surmise,
those "punishments" all took place on the inner (psychic and
spiritual) planes by Nature and were never done by men on the
outer or physical plane. The loss of a connection between the
Lower and the Higher Manas was the result of any breach of
altruism, of the allowing of ay vice or selfishness to creep into
the mind of the disciple.]
Actual MURDER of the physical body of the student would not be
contemplated, as that would only compound the offence and create
more "bad" Karma. As I understand it there was a case that the
Buddha administered whereby a morally disobedient monk was
expelled from the "Order" (Sangha) and no one was to deal with
him in any way thereafter.
But there is a subtler bond, that of the Spiritual Ego dwelling
in the body (Antaskarana -- the bond between the Two Manases:
Buddhi-Manas and Kama-Manas).
If a breach of moral discipline (irresponsibility and rejection
of personal responsibility) such as this, occurs, the bond
between the Personality and the Individuality is severely
shattered if not entirely destroyed. [One may conceive that in
terms of the Secret Schools, the Adept Master is immediately
aware of the offence, and takes Karmic measures, none of which it
is obligatory to reveal to other students.]
Philosophically we may conjecture that some shreds remain of the
Antaskaranic bridge, but those weakened strands can only be
mended by the SELF-MADE efforts of the Personality which realizes
the gravity of the offence it has created, and strives to make
amends, and renew the connection.
What is the offence? The Personality through the influence of
Kama, (lust, deceit, pride, anger, etc...) violates the sacred
bond of the BROTHERHOOD of RESPONSIBILITY.
In the case of lust, if one has agreed to be responsible for a
woman and her children, then that has to be continued as long as
the life in the present personality permits. The bond is equally
valid as between women and men. It is called being faithful to
the vow of marriage -- and, as this age proceeds it is seen that
this concept of chastity, honor and faithfulness is being
violated very widely and at young age irresponsibly.
If that is disregarded, then how can the nature of that
Personality be cured? Only by a strong and persistent effort,
once the nature of the error is seen. [ According to the
suggestions made in the article THE ELIXIR OF LIFE p. 1, in
FIVE YEARS OF THEOSOPHY, there will be at least a seven year
period during which this discipline and connection may be
restored in the present incarnation -- but, this is a surmise
All co-chelas and ascetics will offer their assistance. Karma
takes care of the results.
But if no reform is made, then as the great Buddha did, the false
chela (who is compounding the offence under the pretense of
continued sanctity, will be asked to leave the "sangha." And,
traditionally in such cases it is indicated that in the past, the
ascetics in the Sangha have nothing further to do with him until
such time as he makes the proper amends. It is then said that he
is treated as a dead-personality.
But as far as I am able to discover nothing of a violent nature
is ever done to or against him.
Again there is a sloka in Chapter 12, which reads: "A priest
who is a thief (is reborn) thousands of times in spiders, snakes
and lizards, aquatic animals and violent ghouls (57).
Once the light of manas has been kindled, how can there be
rebirth in animal bodies?
DTB here again I find that there is a precedent.
The spiritual Monad (Atma-Buddhi-Manas) will of course not
"reincarnate" in animal forms. "Once a "man," always a Man," Is
the old precept.
But the skandhas (Monads of lesser experience) impressed with the
force of a deviation from "right conduct" such as theft, lying,
lust, pride, or other vices will go out from the chela and settle
in animal or other forms which are consubstantial to and built
out of those rejected and tainted samskaras.
However as in all things the Universe (Nature) is a mild,
forgiving and forever educative "Mother." She provides by Karma,
every opportunity for those Skandhas (samskaras) to return (as
future "karma" in this or a succeeding life} to the Individual
Ego who was responsible for abusing and distorting them.
He alone is to straighten them out and make sure that those
ancient wrongs are remedied. [ If you look up Mr. Judge's THE
PERSIAN STUDENT'S DOCTRINE -- JUDGE Articles, Vol. I p 107 --
Heart Doctrine, p. 140 -- you will find these details given. See
also in Judge's Articles I p. 125 KARMA IN THE DESATIR. Further
H.P.B. makes direct reference to this in TRANSMIGRATION OF LIFE
ATOMS -- H.P.B. Articles Vol. II p. 253-5).
Further, Mr. Judge in THE MORAL LAW OF COMPENSATION Judge
Articles I p. 127 gives eve more details. But see H.P.B.'s
article TRANSMIGRATION OF LIFE ATOMS as it is the best and
cative "of those rejected an
Last but not least, here is what Manu says about women: "The
bed and the seat, jewelry, lust, anger, crookedness, a malicious
nature, and bad conduct are what Manu assigned to women. There
is no ritual with Vedic verses for women; this is a firmly
established point of law. For women, who have no virile strength
and no Vedic verses, are falsehood; this is well established."
(Chapter 9, slokas 17 and 18).
DTB As I understand it there is no fundamental difference in the
DIVINE EGO (or ATMA-BUDDHI-MANAS -- the MONAD or the ETERNAL
PILGRIM) whether in one incarnation or another it uses a female
or a male body.
There is no question that the psychic environment makes life
easier or more difficult depending on the sex to which KARMA
arranges for the DIVINE EGO to be incarnated in.
In my opinion any differences which seem to have been placed in
the mouth and hand of Manu concerning women, if not placed on an
equal footing, ARE FALSE. Why should Nature have two standards?
What would the basis be ?
Why, Who and Wherefore is to be sought in the minds of those who
have emphasized such differences. They are not according to
Universal Law nor are they binding on the REINCARNATING EGO.
Using common sense one would say that there has been some
interpolations placed in the original Laws of MANU to arrive at
In the S.D. Vol. I p. 382-3 we read that segregation of women
was never practised or thought of in regard to the early Aryans
( which have an antiquity of over 1 million of years -- S.D. I
136fn, 382-3, 270; S.D. II 567 609, 266fn, 203, ...)
On the treatment of women please look up S.D. I 136fn, 382-3.
See also H.P.B. Articles III p. 121 DIAGNOSIS AND PALLIATIVES --
there it is indicated that it was "the ferocious selfishness of
the male" that allowed some more ancient administrators to
establish such terrible and iniquitous laws over women and their
In her article PROGRESS AND CULTURE ( H.P.B. Articles III 313 --
Lucifer August 1890 ) H.P.B. points out how the Laws of Manu was
used (by Peary Chand Mitra) to prove the elevation and regard for
women that was shown in the early days of Manu during the Vedic
The specific point on which I seek light from you is this:
Was WQJ unaware of these provisions in the Laws of Manu? If
not, how come he has expressed nothing but admiration for Manu in
some of his articles?
DTB I am sure you are aware that Mr. Judge was an Indian who
agreed to live "two" lives -- one in India and the other in
Ireland and then in America [ See LETTERS THAT HAVE HELPED ME ,
p. 249 et seq. ] Do read this if you are unaware of it. He was
an advanced Chela, and did his duty for his Master and Theosophy.
According to his responsibility he was well educated in Sanskrit
and knew the Laws of Manu well. So I strongly doubt that he
would have agreed to the bewildering inversions you and those
translators quote. One wonders where they secure their texts
from which those translations were made.
Tony: I thought this would be interesting to you as a parallel.
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