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What Were They The Masters Of ? Parts III and IV together

Nov 25, 2002 07:51 AM
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami


Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 2:52 AM
Subject: WHAT WERE THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY MAHATMAS THE MASTERS OF ? 
PART 2 EDITED (PREVIOUS III AND IV TOGETHER)


  

What Were They Masters Of?
Examining the Claims of the Theosophical Masters
Part Two
By H H Bhakti Ananda Goswami

An Historical Perspective

Whether or not God or gods exist, their worship certainly does, and 
such worship can be studied rigorously in an interdisciplinary way in 
history, the same as any other real-world phenomenon. In the same 
way, the 19th century innovation and diffusion of Madame H.P. 
Blavatsky's Theosophy can be studied. Thoughts, theistic, atheistic 
and agnostic, etc., and the symbols, words and actions which express 
them have history. While people of equal intelligence and integrity 
may dispute the existence of God, gods, or the Theosophical Masters, 
the existence of religions and the Theosophical Society is not 
debated. While theosophy classically defined did not come into 
being with H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), her 19th century presentation of 
the 'theosophy' of the Mahatmas and the Stanzas of Dzyan brought into 
being the existence of the Theosophical Society. Despite the fact 
that this Society is such a recent historical development, there are 
some impediments to understanding the genealogy of its ideas. It 
began as an esoteric study group of sorts, and even as the more 
public Society was developing, at the core of it remained HPB and her 
esoteric section of the exoteric Theosophical Society. It is easier 
to trace the course through time and territory of the popular 
exoteric `Great Religions' than it is to trace the innovations and 
diffusions of the elitist esoteric traditions. Nevertheless, the 
esoteric or occult traditions have real-world history too, and with 
some additional effort, much can be learned about these as well. Paul 
Johnson has noted the sui generis problem (see below). 

Where authenticity comes in, IMO, is in the frank acknowledgment of 
the synthetic nature of the teaching. Cayceites who insist that the 
Readings are direct transcriptions of the Akashic Record; Baha'is who 
insist that Baha'u'llah's writings are direct words of God; 
Christians who insist that Jesus is the one and only Son of God whose 
words are the absolute and ultimate truth; Theosophists who insist 
that HPB's Theosophy is the ancient wisdom tradition from which 
everything else devolved; ad nauseum are engaged in what David Lane 
calls genealogical dissociation. That is, denying the actual, always-
complex genealogy of the belief system and pretending that it is sui 
generis, direct truth straight from The Source. I don't think 
Hinduism or Buddhism are exempt from this behavior pattern, although 
they do tend to a bit more self-honesty about the history of ideas.


The historical and scientific approach to the study of a religion 
(or `spirituality,' I might add) is often experienced as threatening 
by the faithful, which is another problem encountered when 
researchists attempt to objectively trace-out the genealogy, 
innovation and diffusion of thought systems. Thus the resistance of 
the faithful to those attempting to objectively study their tradition 
may result in purposeful non-cooperation in such endeavors, and maybe 
even in the denial of, hiding, distortion, or other obscuration of 
evidence. In even worse cases, the investigators work may be 
suppressed or censured, the investigators personally vilified or 
threatened, their writings and even their careers or lives destroyed 
for daring to attempt to part the veil, and behold the real-world 
genealogy of a 'spirituality' or religion. This ongoing attempt in a 
tradition, to deny the genealogy of its teachings, may create a body 
of apologetic and polemical literatures designed to defend the faith 
from its own origins, and anyone attempting to discover them. Thus 
a considerable barrier may be constructed over time, to the 
understanding of the history of certain ideas. 

Above Paul Johnson used the phrase "...self-honesty about the history 
of ideas." This immediately caught my attention, because as a 
spiritual director, I use the term "self-honesty" on a daily basis 
with those I counsel. I use this term because I define HUMILITY as 
self-honesty or honesty about, and with one's self. This humility is 
the basis of all other virtues and necessary for self-
'realization'. In fact, such humility is in a sense self-
realization. Truth and Honesty are inseparable, and must be held-to 
by persons of integrity, as the foundation of everything knowable and 
worth knowing. Theosophists like to talk about recognizing what is 
mayavic / illusory, but their entire mystical Theosophical Society 
history has apparently been fabricated by persons with no apparent 
self-honesty, who purposely obscured the true sources of their 
information. Thus the faithful of the Theosophical Society bear a 
great burden in having to defend against all evidence and reason, the 
claims of the Society Founders to "...direct truth straight from the 
source" as Mr. Johnson has said. Mr. Johnson also raises the 
question "self-honesty" in Hinduism and Buddhism. 

As someone who has studied the history of ideas in Hinduism, Buddhism 
and other religio-cultural complexes for over 30 years, I have some 
insight into how various esoteric and exoteric traditions have coped 
with, or failed to cope with the fundamental issues of their 
genealogy and self-honesty. There is a rather universal way that 
organized religious traditions, exoteric or esoteric, preserve and 
perpetuate their authentic teachings. In fact, that "...self-honesty 
about the history of ideas." is exactly what the system of sampradaya 
or parampara and GURU, SHASTRA and SADHU (GSS) is all about in the 
authentic teaching lineages of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shakti-ism, 
Buddhism, Catholicism, etc. These exoteric traditions all attempt to 
preserve their sacred heritage, by systems of initiation and 
apostolic succession. For example, one cannot just claim to be a 
Madhvite or Ramanujite Vaishnava master, any more than one could 
claim to be a Coptic Catholic bishop without the authority of the 
Coptic Rite Patriarch. No one can serve as a bishop in the Roman Rite 
Catholic Church, without the proper elevation by the Pope. No one can 
just claim to be the next Dalai Lama or Patriarch of any of the 
Vaishnava, Shaivite, Shankarite Advaitan, Hasidic Jewish, and 
traditional Sufi or Catholic Rite lineages. All of these `Apostolic' 
traditions zealously guard their teaching authority, which preserves 
the guru, shastra and sadhu history of their ideas and practices. The 
real-world checks and balances system of guru (living teacher in 
union with the magisterium), shastra (scripture, canonical body of 
writings) and sadhu (the tradition of the saints, mystics, 
theologians and commentators), provides exoteric religions with a way 
to try to safeguard the historical integrity and continuity of their 
traditions. Thus the legitimate lineages of Vaishnavism, Shaivism and 
Buddhism, etc., are extremely strict about properly identifying their 
history of ideas and practices. No one can speak from the 
Vyasasana `ex cathedra' without proper lineage credentials.
While rejecting the teaching authority of Catholicism for example, 
and these other major exoteric organized religions, 
the 'spiritualities' of the esoteric or occult or Gnostic lineages 
also employ systems of GSS. Thus they speak of initiations, 
hierarchies, masters, chelas, have sacred or revered literatures and 
exemplars (saints) just like the exoteric 'organized' religions they 
oppose. So the esoteric schools of thought have not really 
dispensed with religious authority and the necessary social 
organization to preserve and promote their teachings, they have just 
replaced a more exoteric, popular and widely-accepted religious 
authority with their own esoteric and less known, more elite 
authority.    


The historical outcome of the GSS system of preservation and 
transmission, in practice, means that for example, I can trace 
certain ideas in my specific lineage back thousands of years, because 
each generation in my lineage has identified its accepted sources, 
heroes and associations with those of previous generations. I can 
also trace some of the major and minor branching-out of ideas and 
practices from the main `trunk' of my lineage, and identify some 
groups that are proximately or remotely related to my own today. 
Because there is such a high value placed on such parampara or 
sampradaya lineage affiliations in the main Indic traditions, 
studying these has enormous value for an historian of religion. It is 
because of this "...self honesty of the history..." of their ideas, 
that India and Tibet etc., have any recorded history to be studied at 
all. It has been said that Indians wrote no history of India. 
However, this cannot be said if one is considering the histories of 
the great religious traditions of India, whose vast libraries were 
full of detailed accounts of the lives and thought of the generations 
transmitting their sacred traditions. One of the great tragedies of 
the Muslim invasion of India was the vast destruction of Indian 
religious center monastery-university cities and all their 
libraries. Still, there is an enormous corpus of authentically 
ancient religious literatures extant in India. After India won her 
independence, with Government support, the Bharata Vidya Bhavan went 
on a campaign to rescue, publish and translate the classical 
literatures of Bharata / India, which had been neglected and even 
suppressed under the British Raj. One of my own Vaishnava Mentors 
was the head of the Sanskrit Department of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, 
and More recently some of my Vaishnava godbrothers were funded by the 
Smithsonian Institute to create the Matsya Project to find and 
microfilm the essential texts of the Vedic-Vaishnava Tradition for 
posterity. This Matsya Project is now at the Oxford Centre for 
Vaishnava and Hindu Studies. In addition, the modern leaders of 
various branches of Vaishnavism, including my own branch, have made 
great efforts to begin to translate the canon of their ancient 
scriptures, and more recent but very important traditional 
commentaries, into English and other languages. This means that many 
classic Sanskrit and other Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras (scriptures), 
litanies, hymns, rites, commentaries etc. can now be studied in 
authoritative translations for the first time. This new general 
availability of the ancient Vedic-Vaishnava Sanskrit source-works, 
from their related authentic GSS traditions, means that non-native 
and non-Vaishnava scholars now have the textual resources to analyze 
the relationship of these traditions to Tibetan Pure Land and Tantric 
Buddhism, and other traditions. What must be accomplished therefore 
is a comparative study of the Mahatma Letters and the ancient 
Vaishnava literatures that the Mahatmas' teachings seem to have been 
acquired from. In addition to this, the Letters contain some 
Shaivite and Devi tradition elements, and these should be explored in 
relationship to the Agamic and Tantric literatures of important 
lineages. With regard to the South Indian Shaivite and Devi / Shakti 
Traditions which may have influenced the Mahatmas or their 
Theosophical Society chelas, the sources in Sri Lanka are rapidly 
disappearing.  

Just as the followers of Mohammed destroyed vast libraries of Bhakti 
Shastra in India, unfortunately in our time such destruction of 
temples and libraries is still going on, but this time it is not just 
fanatical Muslims doing it. In Sri Lanka, the center of Theravadin 
Buddhism, the Sinhalese Buddhist `Aryans' (whose historical 
relationship to the Theosophical Society is well known) have recently 
occupied hundreds of Tamil (principally Shaivite and Devi) temples, 
and have destroyed about a hundred thousand volumes of priceless 
Tamil literatures in the last ten years. This campaign for the 
cultural annihilation of the Dravidian Tamils by the so-
called `Aryan' Sinhalese is one reason that scholars of religion, 
such as myself, are concerned about the perpetuation of the `Aryan' 
race-myth. However, despite such barbarism, and in consideration of 
the amazing amount of information still available from ancient texts, 
archeology and the intact living GSS traditions of Hinduism and 
Buddhism, there is ample evidence now available for the study of 
the "Mahatma Letters" in the historical context of their "...complex 
genealogy...". At the time of the first presentations of the 
Mahatma Letters and subsequent foundational writings of HBP and 
friends, their English readers had no general access to the Vedic-
Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras. As a result, it was easy to present 
Buddhist-redacted teachings from those literatures as the sui generis 
teachings of the Theosophical Society Masters. Now with the ready 
availability of the Mahayana Buddhist-related Sanskrit Bhakti 
Scriptures, comparisons can finally be made. Such comparisons will 
go a long way towards establishing the ideological genealogy of HPB's 
Theosophy, and establishing what the Mahatmas were actually the 
masters of.   
Suggestions For an Initial Survey of the Literature
Because we have the Theosophical University Library Edition of 
the "Mahatma Letters" in a searchable format online, one way to 
approach an understanding of the Mahatmas' mastery from the 
perspective of the Tibetan Buddhist-related Hindu and Buddhist GSS 
traditions, is to search the Letters for key terms associated with 
those GSS traditions. Completing such a search can establish the 
initial evidentiary parameters of our textual investigation. In 
assessing what the Mahatmas were the masters of, we can learn much 
from what is NOT INCLUDED IN THE LETTERS.

So let us begin with some of these key terms. The Mahatmas claimed an 
identity with and love for India, which they significantly DID NOT 
CALL 'BHARATA'. The continual use of European terms, instead of the 
ones like `Bharata', which real ancient Indian Mahatmas would be 
expected to use, is one of the most striking things about the Mahatma 
Letters. The letters are also full of errors which can be easily 
detected by anyone knowledgeable about Vedic-Vaishnava Sanskrit. In 
addition, while seeming to deny that they had anything to do with the 
scriptures / "shasters" (see below) the Mahatmas seemed to have 
derived their entire cosmic mega-myth from a corruption of the 
Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras. 

Mahatma Letter # 134 http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mahatma/ml-
134.htm

[Letter from H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett. This letter includes a 
message from Master Morya.]

" What have WE, the DISCIPLE of the true arhats, of esoteric 
Buddhism and of sang-gyas to do with the SHASTERS and orthodox 
Brahmanism? There are 100's of thousands of fakirs, sannyasis and 
sadhus leading the most pure lives, and yet being as they are, ON THE 
PATH OF ERROR, never having had an opportunity to meet, see or even 
hear of us. THEIR FOREFATHERS HAVE DRIVEN AWAY THE FOLLOWERS OF THE 
ONLY TRUE PHILOSOPHY UPON EARTH AWAY FROM INDIA and now, it is not 
for the latter to come to them but for them to come to us if they 
want us. Which of them is ready to BECOME A BUDDHIST, a nastika as 
they call
us? None."


Below I will give a few examples of this obvious derivation of the 
Mahatmas' redacted mega-myth from the Cantos and Chapters of some 
authentic Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras, but first here are some of the 
Sanskrit Shastric terms I have already searched in the over 
100 "Mahatma Letters," and the results, which are quite revealing. In 
my search, I used several variant spellings, and the singular and 
plural forms of the word. However for brevity below, only the main 
search term or name is given with the totals below. Next to the word 
is the total number of references in the Mahatma Letters, pulled up 
by the Theosophical University search program. There seems to be no 
reference to authentic Agamic or Dravidian Vedic spirituality in the 
Mahatma Letters, however there are references to Buddhist Tantrism.  

Places / States

goloka 0
bhuloka 0
bhumi 0
vrindavan 0
bharata 0
kailasa 1
vaikuntha 0
sukhavati 1
lokas 6
loka 8
swarga 0
vyuha 0
bardo 1
nirvana 17
mahatattva 0
garbha 0
sunyata 0
turiya 0
karuna 0


Giver (masculine) Deity Names

Vaishnava

chrishna 2
vishnu 4
hari 0
purusha 4
narayana 0
avatar 3
devadeva 0
surya 2
indra 0
chandra 1
kama 12
vishvakarman 0
brahma 6
mithra 0 
ananta 0
sesha 0 
varuna 0
yama 0
deva(s) 21
shankarshan 0
pradumya 0
vasudeva 0
aniruddha 0
sunya, sunyata 0 (as Name of Vishnu from Sri Vishnu Sahashranama, 
Gita Upanishad)

nirvana 0 (as Name of Vishnu from Sri Vishnu Shahasranama, Gita 
Upanishad) 


Shaivite

rudra 0
shiva 2
kala 0
hara 0
muruga(n) 0
kartikeya 0
skanda 0
ganesha 0
ganapati 0


Related Receiver (Feminine) Divine Names

Vaishnava

radha 0
sakti 2
prakriti 3
ganga 0
ma 2
sarasvati 0
lakshmi 0
sri 1
padma 1
narayani 0
tara 0
gayatri 0
tulasi 0
yogamaya 0

Shaivite

kali 1
uma 0
parvati 0
durga 0
maya 16
devi 0
mahamaya 0


The Tradition of Sita-Rama

ramayana 0
valmiki 0
tulsidas 0
rama 1
ramachandra 0
sita 0
janaki 0
hanuman 0
ravana 0


Some Shastra Titles, Important Names and Terms


purana 0
vyasa 1
vyasadeva 0
mahabharata 0
veda 1
upanishads 0
agama 0
tantra 0
shastra 0 (correct spelling)
shasters 1
samhita 0
sutra (s) 3
sama 0
rig 0
yajur 0
ayurveda 0
saddharma pundarika 0
bhagavadgita 0
bhagavat 1
bhagavatam 0
gita 1
jataka 0
hitopedesha 0
pancatantra 0
srimad bhagavatam 0
bhagavat purana 0


Mahatmas Identified Themselves as / with Buddhists

buddha 18
buddhism 24
buddhist 13
bodhisattva 0


Aryan and Race Term Search

arya 1
aryan 9
aryans 4
race 31
races 16
varna 0
dravidian 0


Material Modes of Nature

sattva 0
raja 3
tama 0
guna 0


Some Additional Important Terms


bhakti 0
buddhi 6
gopis, gopas 0
gandharvas 0
apsarasas 0
kinnaras 0
bhutas 0
manas 5
kama 12
jnana 0
vidya 4
dharma 0
karma 38
ahankara 0
tilaka 0
nyasa 0
amrita 0
ananda 3
reincarnation 8
reincarnating 4
amrita 2
elementaries 8
planetaries 5
akasa 13
yamaduttas 0
dasyas 0
yakshasas 0
rakshasas 0



Ages and Cycles and Related Names / Terms 


mahavishnu 0
manvantara(s) 11
vivisvatamanu 0
manu(s) 0  
praylaya 9
kalpa 1
yuga (s)1
sattya
treta 0
dvarpara 0
kaliyuga 0
yuga avataras 0


Worship and Sacrifice Related Terms

yagna 0
mantra 0
japa 0
puja 3
pujari 0
purohita 0
murti 0
soma 0
agni 0
yupa 0
nama 0
rupa 9
yoga 4
arati 0
tilaka 0
nyasa 0


Some Great Masters Accepted by the Vaishnavas


nityananda 0
caitanya 0
madhva 0
jayatirtha 0
vyasatirtha 0
ramanuja 0
vallabha 0
vishnuswami 0
nimbarka 0
jayadeva goswami 0
caraka 0
shankara 0


Some Master Titles and Lineage Words


rishis 3
dhyan chohans 21
acharya 0
goswami 0
alvars 0
sadhu 0
saddhus 1
sampradaya 0
parampara 0
diksha 0
siksha 0
sannyasi 0

Finite and Supreme Spirit Words

atma 5
atman 2
jiva 2
jivatma 4
paramatma 0
parabrahmn 6
brahman 1
brahma 6
monad (s) 18


  

Of the above, the more significant number of references ranks as so, 
with the Vaishnava Sanskrit-related Shastra names and terms marked 
with an asterix *...

*karma 38
race 31
*buddhism 24
dhyan chohans 21 (identified with the Theravadin Buddhist 
term "Tatagathas") 

*deva(s) 21 (not used as a name of Krishna-Vishnu)
*buddha 18 (not used as an Avatara name of Sri Vishnu) 
monad(s) 18
*nirvana 17 (not used as a name of Sri Krishna)
*maya 16 (never referring to either Mahamaya Devi or Yoga Maya Devi)  
races 16
*devachan 15 (identified with the Sukhavati ) 
*deva chan 13 (identified with the Sukhavati)
*akasa 13
*arya, aryan(s) 14 (often used inauthentically to refer to a 'race')
*loka(s) 14 ( worlds, transcendental lokas or even the 
Sukhavati 'Pure Land' Vaikunthalokas of Vaishnavism are described in 
the Deva Chan of the Theosophical System, and called in some 
places 'imaginary'. )

*buddhist 13
*kama 12 (not used as a Name of Sri Krishna, or for the late 
Kamadeva / Eros, generally used as mayavic force of desire)

reincarnation / ing 12
*manvantaras 11
*pralaya 9
*rupa 9 (associated with the rupa-loka or world of form)
elementaries 8 (associated with 'angel guides')

*parabrahmn 6 (not identified as the form of Vishnu Para-brahman, 
related to the doctrines of His Brahma-jyoti and omnipresent 
Paramatman)

*brahma 6 (not identified as the Guna Avatara of Vishnu in the mode 
of raja guna) 

planetaries 5 (what monads may become)



Of the above Vedic-Vaishnava Sanskrit names and terms, their 
corresponding subjects can be found treated elaborately in the 
ancient Vaishnava Scriptures / Shastras, such as the Srimad 
Bhagavatam (also called the Bhagavat Purana BP ). This text is 
readily available now with the Sanskrit Devagnagari Text, Roman 
transliteration, English Translation and elaborate traditional Madhva-
Gaudiya lineage commentary by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, through 
the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT). Sections regarding the 
structure of a material universe, the kalpas, yugas, manvantaras and 
various manus of a single material universe are spread throughout the 
Cantos of the Bhagavat Purana, one of the principle Scriptures of 
Krishna-centric Vishnu worship (Vaishnavism). For example, Canto 2  
describes the Universal Form of Vishnu as Purusha, His omnipresence 
as the Supersoul / Paramatman, the process of creation, including 
Purusha Sukta, the Yugas and Yuga Avataras of Vishnu. Canto 3 
Chapter 6 describes the creation of the varnas from the self-
sacrifice of Purusha, Chapter 8 the manifestation of Brahma from 
Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, Chapter ten the divisions of a cosmic creation 
and its planetary systems, demigods etc., and Chapter 11 Brahma's 
days and nights. Canto 4 Chapter 1 describes the daughters of 
Manu. Canto 5 chapters 20-26 describe the lokas and how they are 
sustained by Vishnu as Ananta Deva. Canto 8 Chapter 1 again 
describes the Manu Prajapatis. Canto 9 Chapter 2 describes the sons 
of Manu. Throughout this literature, all of the above marked Sanskrit 
names, words and terms are found in their authentic ancient THEISTIC 
context. Akasa, karma, kama, reincarnation, the devas and devis as 
expansions and incarnations of Deva Deva (Krishna the God of gods) 
and Shakti-Devi are all described in elaborate detail. Much of what 
is used by the Mahatmas that is SANSKRIT seems to come from this 
Vaishnava text. However, the corpus of Vaishnava scriptures is so 
vast, and treats these subjects from so many different angles, that 
it is possible that the Mahatmas formed their ideas from more than 
one of these related Vishnu-centric literatures. The Mahabharata is 
another ancient Vaishnava literature treating all these subjects. The 
familiar Bhagavad-Gita- or Gitopanishad, is a small part of the 
enormous Epic, the Mahabharata. 

Although it is obvious from reading these Vaishnava 'Shasters' that 
many of the Mahatmas' ideas come from them, one thing is certain 
though, the THEISTIC CONTEXT AND CONTENT WAS SELECTIVELY EDITED OUT 
of these sources in the Mahatma's version of it all. This editing-
out-God from His own revelatory tradition has precedence before the 
Mahatmas in Indian religious traditions, because the extreme mayavadi 
(atheistic) 'Advaitis', Jains, Theravadin Buddhists and others have 
been doing it for centuries. The most ancient stratum of Vedic 
literature in Sanskrit is clearly devoted to Vishnu (see the Purusha 
Sacrifice of Vishnu in the Purusha Sukta), as the origin of the 
cosmos and the gods. Each attempt to remove Vishnu Purusha from the 
core of His revelatory tradition has resulted in the innovation and 
diffusion of a 'new' Indic religious tradition that denies its 
genealogy of ideas. These later traditions go on using the language 
and categories etc. of Vaishnavism, but without crediting their 
source. So, the Mahatmas are doing nothing new. They wanted the 
creation, or kingdom of God without God, and like all the other later 
corrupting traditions before, them they just took what they wanted 
from the GSS of Vaishnavism, without any historical self-honesty at 
all. Hind sight is 20-20, so from our vantage point now, with the 
literatures available, we can trace-out the history of the Mahatmas' 
ideas, both directly from Vaishnava sources and indirectly through 
Mahayana Buddhism and Sikhism.  

Finally I want to emphasize that when a tradition develops some part 
of its inheritance in keeping with the GSS principle, that there is 
no creation of a new religion with historical amnesia ! Instead the 
parent tradition and its new off-spring have an acknowledged and 
friendly relationship. There is a positive relationship between the 
older and younger faith traditions, who mutually acknowledge each 
other. Thus among Nepalese Mahayana Buddhists and Vaishnavas who are 
not in denial about the identity of Vishnu as Lokesvara, the faithful 
often attend both Buddhist Stupas like Syambhunatha and Bodhinatha 
and Vishnu temples in the same day. They observe both Buddhist and 
Vaishnava holy days, and keep the same Vaishnava-Jewish related 
Saturday (Sanivara) Sabbath. They worship the same forms of Vishnu 
and Lokesvara with the same Sanskrit mantrams and mandalas. They 
perform closely related rites. All this is directly related to 
Tibetan Buddhism in the most intimate way. Thus in "The Cult of Tara 
Magic and Ritual in Tibet" by Stephan Beyer, (1978, University of 
California Press, Berkeley, California ,USA (ISBN # 0-520-03635-2 ), 
where the Sanskrit of the Tibetan Buddhist prayers and rituals is 
given, these are obviously directly related to the Vaishnavism of the 
Nepalese region. 

While studying these connections in Nepal, I viewed thousands of 
Nepalese and Tibetan Buddhist tangkas, temple murtis, yantras / 
mandalas and other sacred art. The principle forms of Amitabha-
Lokevara were forms of Krishna-Vishnu. The wrathful forms of Kalah 
Bairab were those of Kalah Bairava Shiva, who significantly was 
considered an emanation or manifestation of Lokesvara. All of the 
beneficent and wrathful Rupas of Amitabha-Amitayus manifest through 
the Sambhogya Kaya or Nirmanya Kaya of Avalokitesvara were clearly 
associated with earlier Vaishnava traditions of Krishna-Vishnu. Thus 
the Vedic Purusha Sukta Deva forms were all there, as were many of 
the Puranic Lila Avatara Forms. For example, the Lila Forms of 
Vishnu, described in the above text Bhagavat Purana, like Narasimha, 
Varaha, Hayagriva, and Matsya, are worshiped BY BUDDHISTS in Nepal 
and Tibet as the leontocephalous Nrsigha-Lokevara (Yahweh Tzbaoth),  
the boar-headed Baraha-Lokesvar, horse headed Hayagriva-Lokesvara, 
and the form of Lokesvara associated with the great Flood Story of 
Manu and Manu's ark landing on the sacred Himalayan peak of Macchu 
Pucchara (Matsya's Fin).   

In conclusion, The Theosophical Mahatmas / Masters did not 
acknowledge their historical debt to Vaishnavism in any way. They 
may not have even known enough about the orthodox Bhakti Traditions 
of India to even understand what they were dealing with. If Subbha 
Rowe (27 references found to this name in the Mahatma Letters) was an 
Advaiti, as claimed in the Letters, and he was a major contributor to 
the Mahatmas' thought-system, then this would explain the use of 
Vaishnava terms etc. outside of their original context and in an 
atheistic system that stops short of the revelation of the 
transcendental realm, Being and being. Like the Hindu Theravadin 
Buddhist-related Advaitis, the Mahatmas misrepresented ideas from 
Vaishnavism, and several other traditions of Buddhist and Hindu 
thought by taking these out of their historical context and changing 
their content. The result was a masterful work of confusion, in 
which enormous effort was spent to synthesize a system of thought 
created from numerous 'plagiarized', appropriated and often not well 
understood sources. Scholars of the Western Esoteric Traditions and 
sciences, and non-Indian Languages have shown that the Theosophical 
Society writings of HPB contained enormous amounts of material from 
other sources, that were not properly credited by her. In the case 
of the Sanskrit Content of the Mahatma Letters, this is again what 
was obviously done. Ideas and language were appropriated principally 
from classic Vaishnava Source-works in Sanskrit, and these were used 
unjustifyably out of context and often with corrupted meaning to 
create a world-view filled with a pathological obsession about race 
in a Darwinist-related new evolutionary model. The challenging and 
valuable ideas, which ARE THERE in the Mahatma Letters and other 
Theosophical Society Writings, are not sui generis from the claimed 
mystical Mahatmas, who were constructed as their mouth pieces. These 
ideas were clearly collected piece-meal from much earlier Vaishnava 
Sanskrit writings, with nothing new or original added. In fact, much 
of the authentic value of the appropriated sources has been lost in 
the rough handling of their ideas by the Theosophical Masters, who 
were actually neophytes when compared to the real living masters of 
those orthodox "shasters" traditions.  

Furthermore, if the Mahatmas were really masters with such a high 
time-free vantage-point, why did they not ever reveal the astounding 
historical connections of Pure Land Buddhism to Krishna-Centric 
Vaishnavism, and through Vaishnavism to the Mediterranean Proto-
Catholic Jewish-related Heliopolitan Asyla Federations ? Did the 
Mahatmas, who claimed to know about Egyptian and related western 
esoteric traditions, simply forget to mention that the Lion Headed 
form of Lokesvara-Vishnu is the Wrathful form of Krishna Kalah as 
Haryeh / Aryeh (Yahu-Tzabaoth) in both the Bhagavad-Gita and Exodus 
story? Did they forget to say that He was worshiped by the Persians 
as Zervan, the Greeks as Zeus Chronus, the Romans as Jupiter 
Saturnus, the Egyptians as Amun and the Kushites as Apademak ? Did 
they just forget to tell us that the Flood-related form of Vishnu-
Lokesvara is the Dagon, Atargatis, Nereus and Helios Delphinos 
related form of Yahu who saved Noah-Manu-Deucalion etc.? Did they 
forget to say that the Jewel in the Lotus is the Brahma-Samhita Hymn 
related form of Krishna and His Adi Shakti Radha-Padme, who were 
worshiped as RHODOS and RHODA or NYMPHOS and NYMPHIA (Kouros Helios 
and Kore), on the pre-Minoan Era Isle of Rhodes in the Eastern 
Mediterranean ? From their high vantage point overlooking history, 
why did the Mahatmas' not tell divided mankind that Lokesvara, Vishnu 
and the God of the Judeo-Catholic Tradition are the same historical 
Deity ? 

In a short 100 plus years anyone can now learn vastly more important 
connections between the Eastern and Western Wisdom Traditions, than 
what the Mahatmas taught, just by studying the current scientific 
research literature in each field. The Mahatmas' knowledge was bound 
by their mere mortal, time and circumstance frame of reference. They 
were very intelligent and well-read. They exhibited familiarity with 
certain forms of Buddhist and Hindu Advaiti teachings. They had an 
obviously 'classical' western education, as well as a familiarity 
with western occult / esoteric traditions. The Mahatmas were 
clearly a collective effort of HPB and some of her friends. If they 
had just had some self-honesty and presented their synthesis with 
integrity under their own names, admitting its 'genealogy', it would 
have stood on its own merit as a unique contribution to human 
thought. However, the deception and hocus-pocus associated with the 
Letters has cast an unfortunate pall over their whole project, 
generally discrediting it. To finally assess the real contribution 
of HPB's Theosophy, this pall must be removed for readers and truth-
seekers to appreciate the genealogy of her / The Mahatmas thought, 
and understand what they were the actual Masters of.  

I look forward to the work of other Vaishnava and Buddhist Sanskrit 
Scholars who will surely one day realize the importance of examining 
ideas from their respective traditions found in the Mahatma Letters, 
Stanzas of Dzyan and other Theosophical Society writings. 


 




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