Part 1, BA G's reply to Jerry S. & others on Maha Vishnu, Garbodaksayi Vishnu, B
Jan 07, 2003 03:54 PM
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami " <email@example.com>
From: "Daniel H. Caldwell <info@b...>" <info@b...>
Date: Sun Jan 5, 2003 6:38 am
Subject: Jerry S. on BAG's latest posting about MAHA VISHNU,
GARBODAKSAYI VISHNU & BRAHMA
Bhakti Ananda Goswami's Comments are at <<<IN CAPS and at >.
Jerry's comments are at JS .
Jerry S. kindly provided the following comments on what BAG has
recently written on MAHA VISHNU, GARBODAKSAYI VISHNU AND BRAHMA. Be
sure to see also Jerry's P.S. at the end of his posting.
JS The following comments are provided at the request of Daniel.
However, I find myself unable to criticize BAG very much, except
perhaps that he does not seem to understand the difference between
exoteric Theosophy and esoteric Theosophy. But then, few do.
> You are correct to note that I have not been commenting on anything
except the 'exoteric' teachings of Theosophy. These are what are
generally available to the public, and what I have been concerned
with in this exchange. I am aware of other teachings. I once moved
to Ojai California so I could study the Theosophical Society and
related groups centered there. As there is a Theosophical Library
there, I had the opportunity to do some reading in Theosophical
sources. During that time I also visited Meditation Mount (A.
Bailey's center)etc. and with the Theosophical Pseudo-Catholic Church
members, Roy Masters people, Krishnamurti and Satya Sai Baba devotees
and other esoteric, New Age, neo-Hindu and neo-Buddhist practitioners
and groups in the area. The Ojai area is an epicenter of such
> Why I Became Interested in the Historical Study OF Theosophy
> At the time I lived in Ojai, I was doing my interdisciplinary
Master's Degree in the History of Religion, Comparative Religion and
Theology. My interest in Theosophy and these related groups was due
to my study of the dominance of Aryanism in the humanities in Western
and Colonial Academia. People have not realized that Anglo-Germanic
Aryanism came to rule in many fields of higher education at the end
of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. Social Studies,
Linguistics, Anthropology, History etc. were pervaded with Euro-
Aryanism. Western Esotericism was similarly pervaded, and certain
Aryanist assumptions began to impede real progress in a number of
fields. My own personal discovery of 'Aryanism' was in the 1960s when
I learned the 'hard way' that it was not ALLOWED to compare certain
African, Semitic and European categories of evidence. Simply put,
research was desirable and supported which reinforced the great
divide between the supposed Aryan Indo-European races, languages,
religions and cultures, and those of the supposed Africans and
Semites. Research like mine, which was focusing on forbidden areas
of interaction between the 'races', or even the possible identity of
one supposed 'race' as another, or a religious group, instead
of a 'race', was NOT wanted in main-stream western academia. Any
research which threatened to blur the well-established Aryanist line
between the races, languages, religions and cultures was not
acceptable. Later I was to learn of the great struggles other
scholars faced with this same tyranny of Aryanism in their respective
fields. Egyptology and Indology especially suffered from Arayanist
doctrinarism. Why was this so ? The pervasive Euro-centric racism
in many fields was at base Aryanist in theory. In my
interdisciplinary research I was constantly running into evidence of
the Aryanist academic 'knowledge filter'. This Aryanist filter
censured, denied and suppressed anomalous information and studies
that suggested anything was wrong with the Aryan model of the
development of the High Civilizations of the Mediterranean and Indian
Sub Continent. The impediments to my own studies were caused by this
Aryanism. Since my personal realization of this in the 1960s, many
other scholars have tackled the problem of Aryanism in their
respective fields. One such treatment of the problem is in work of
Prof. Martin Bernal.
> BLACK ATHENA-The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation -
Volume I: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985" by Martin
Bernal, London:Vintage, 1991
>So it has not been my purpose in this exchange to get into any depth
discussion of the
Theosophical teachings themselves. Instead my interest in this
exchange has been the historicity and genealogy of thought of the
Theosophical Society and the implication of this for subsequent
movements, social and academic developments. I was originally
invited to contribute something on the genealogy of the Eastern
teachings in the Mahatma Letters. So mainly what I have been doing is
merely pointing-out evidence of Sanskrit Vedic-Vaishnava
language and teachings in the Mahatma Letters and HPB's other
writings. This is why, as you have correctly noted, I have not gotten
into any discussion of the 'esoteric' Theosophical teachings per se,
<<<MAHA VISHNU IN NOT WITHIN ANY MATERIAL UNIVERSE. HE IS IN THE
MAHATATTVA PORTION OF THE SPIRITUAL SKY, AND THE INFINITE NUMBER OF
FINITE MATERIAL UNIVERSES (LIKE OUR OWN) ARE MANIFEST LIKE BUBBLES
OUT OF THE 'PORES' OF HIS BODY. THESE ARE EMPTY UNTIL HE GLANCES ON
THEM. HIS GLANCE IS CALLED SHAMBHU, AND THROUGH THIS LOVING GLANCE,
HE MANIFESTS ALL OF THE FINITE JIVA-SOULS WITHIN EACH FINITE
UNIVERSE. MAHA VISHNU THEN ENTERS INTO EACH UNIVERSE AS
GARBODAKSAYI VISHNU, THE SELF-SACRIFICED COSMIC PURUSHA AND THE
PARAMATMA 'HOLY SPIRIT', LORD OF ALL HEARTS. HE ALSO MANIFESTS
HIMSELF AS THE GUNA AVATARAS BRAHMA, VISHNU AND SHIVA, AND AS
INFINITE DIRECT LILA INCARNATIONS AND 'EMPOWERED' SHAKTYAVESHA
JS Blavatsky would like this paragraph. It is a Hindu/Vedanta
depiction of divinity self-expressing into manifold universes.
> One of the things I am advocating is more specificity and clarity
in discussions of such things. This is ONLY a Vaishnava depiction.
The Mayavadi Shaivite Advaita Vedantists and other non-Vaishnava
Hindus have no scriptures depicting such things.
JS From a Buddhist view, I don't care for all of the personified
> Your interpretation of the above as "personified reifications"
shows that you have no understanding of the vast difference between
the modern western concept of 'personification' and the ancient
Eastern concept of the PERSONAL presence of atman and ATMAN
throughout the cosmos and beyond. In the Vaishnava Tradition, ATMAN /
PARABRAHMAN is NOT ultimately impersonal, and thus all emanations and
incarnations, including the jiva-atmas are ALL PERSONAL.
Personification is a concept known to the ancient Vaishnavas, but
considered by them to be similar to idolatry, or the concocted
worship of false 'gods' or Bhutas.
JS But even Buddhism agrees with self-manifestation via Vajradhara to
Vajrasattva and etc.
> The Foundation of Nepalese and Tibetan Pure Land Buddhism (devotion
to Amitabha-Lokeshvara and Their Shakti as Mother Tara) is Krishna-
Vishnu and Tara centric Vaishnavism. This explains their common
doctrines, and why the original texts and prayers etc. of these
traditions are in Vaishnava Sanskrit. This is why the iconography
of Pure Land Buddhism is essentially Vaishnava.
JS "Lila incarnations" probably refers to the mayavic aspect of
all creation while
> Lila 'incarnations' are usually Avataras as THEOPHANIES rather
than actual INCARNATIONS. Some of the prominent Lila Avataras of
Krishna-Vishnu are popularly worshiped in Nepalese and Tibetan
Buddhism. For example the Horse-Headed Hayagriva Lokeshvara, Lion-
Headed Nrisingha Lokeshvara, and Boar-Headed Baraha Lokeshvara.
Vishnu's Guna Avatara as Siva Bairava is Worshiped as Maha Kalah or
Kalah-Bhairab, and Vishnu's Form as Dharma or Yama is worshiped as
Yamantaka. There are scores of other direct connections.
JS "Shaktyavesha incarnations" probably refers to the
karmic aspect of all creation. Every manvantaric manifestation
includes maya and karma at the outset.
> Shaktyavesha incarnations are ACTUAL INCARNATIONS
not 'theophanies'. For example the Dalai Lamas were once considered
incarnations of Amitabha, Lokeshvara or Chen Rei Zei. The Kathmandu
Kumari is considered a 'Shaktyavesha', possessed or empowered
incarnation of KALI. Shankaracarya was / is widely believed to be an
incarnation of Shiva.
<<<VISHNU IS ALSO CALLED HARI, PURUSHA, VASUDEVA, NARAYANA AND MORE
THAN 1000 OTHER NAMES IN SANSKRIT. THE MANY BY-NAMES OF THE BIBLICAL
DEITY ELI-YAHU-ADON, THE EGYPTIAN SUPREME GODHEAD HERU-ASU(OSIRIS)-
ATUM, THE GREEK HELI-OS-AUTOS (ONTOS. ATOMOS), AND JUPITER, ZEUS,
AMMON POLIEUS ARE NAMES OF PURUSHA. >>>
JS There are many Egyptian "supreme godheads" but I am not familiar
with this one, apparently a combination of Horus, Osiris, and Tem.
> HERU was the original Supreme Deity of Egyptian Heliopolitan
Monotheism. His worship was pre-dynastic, was found on Crete and
Rhodes, in the large settlements of the Nile Delta and then
accompanied the rise of the first great civilization in the region,
that of HERU-ASU at Heliopolis and Memphis. ASU or ASAR (Osiris) was
Heru's alter-Form or 'Brother'. To learn more, search for HERU or
HORUS THE ELDER. This Heru should NOT be confused with the much
later HORUS THE SON OF ISIS AND OSIRIS. The Original Heru and Asu /
Osiris are not the same as the ones worshiped over a THOUSAND YEARS
later in the 'Horus son of Osiris' round of stories. At earliest
Heliopolis, Heru and Asu were worshiped together as HELI-US, just as
ELI and YAHU-BAAL were worshiped together in the Levant as ELIYAHU,
and HARI and VASUDEVA (Vishnu) were always worshiped together in the
East. There in earliest Heliopolis, the all-pervasive Form (KA /
KAYA) of Heru-Asu ('Hor-Us' / Heli-Os / Eli-Yahu / Hari-Vasu) was
worshiped as ATM / ATUM / ATMN / ATMAN, which worship was much later
revived by Pharaoh Akhenaten as Heru-ATEN worship.
JS Anyway, we humans do, in fact, tend to give out a lot of names for
the same spiritual principles.
> My point is that there is a profound difference between ordinary
names and the primary 'revealed' Names of God, which exist beyond the
barriers of the racial and linguistic groups we have presently
described in history. For example, OLU and HERU are the Supreme
Deity Names of the Niger and Nilo-Saharan language families of
Africa. HARI, HELI and SOLE are 'Indo-European' cognates of the same
Deity Name, and ILU and ELI are the Sumerian and West Semitic forms
of the same Deity Name. Thus we see COGNATES OF THE SAME DEITY NAME
FOR THE SUPREME GOD OF THE AFRO-EGYPTIANS, INDO-EUROPEANS, SUMERO-
TAMIL AND SEMITES. Many more of Heru's / Hari's by-Names like
ASAR / OSIRIS / ASAR-YAHU / ASSHUR / MARDUK ASARU / AHURA and ASURA
can also be found in the African, Indo-European and Eastern Sanskrit
and Prakrit Languages. Dismissing the many Names and Forms of God as
merely the product of various human cultures or some kind of
Archetypal projection leaves many very important questions unasked
and unanswered. In the 1960s I recognized these cognate Holy Names,
when it was still 'forbidden' to even compare them. Since then, the
whole field of Helleno-Semitica has blossomed, and the computer
assisted field of Super Linguistics has developed. Studies of the
Nostratic Linguistic Super family, plus the Niger and Nilo-Saharan
Linguistic Families are now yielding evidence that supports my 1960s
findings regarding the cognate Names of the ONE GOD in Egyptian, Indo-
European and Semitic Monotheism. Findings in the new field of Super
Linguistics are also being supported by interdisciplinary findings,
such as those in the recent genetic studies of human migration.
<<<THE DOCTRINE OF BRAHMA ON THE COSMIC LOTUS FROM THE BODY OF
GARBODAKSAYI VISHNU IS RELATED TO THE HELIOPOLITAN TRADITION OF THE
COSMIC AXIS MUNDI AT DELPHI (GARBHA = DELPHA), AND THE DOCTRINE OF
HELIOS-PHANES, OR THEOPHANY IN EGYPT, WHERE THE 4 ARMED AND 4 FACED
FORM OF HERU APPEARED AT THE DAWN OF THE COSMIC CREATION ON A LOTUS
FROM THE BODY OF NILUS OR MZRYM / NAHARAIM / NARAYANA. >>>
JS OK. Of course the Egyptian axis mundi was the Nile, shaped
somewhat like a lotus.
> Actually the Omphalos at Delphi was NOT originally a 'Phallic'
symbol, but a navel or umbilicus. It represented the axis mundi that
was Hari's / Heli' s (Vishnu's) navel / umbilicus,
on which HELIOS PHANES APPEARED AT THE DAWN OF CREATION. Delphi was
a Helios Shrine, and Delpha is cognate with GARBHA, the Name of the
Form of Vishnu associated with the cosmic-navel axis mundi. In
Egypt the doctrine Helios Phanes was that this four headed and armed
Form of Helios appeared at the dawn of creation on the cosmic lotus
GROWING FROM THE BODY OF NILUS. The Egyptian Nilus is the same Deity
as Jupiter Marimus, Mizrym, the Semitic Nahariam and Vaishnava
Narayana. Thus the Egyptian Icons of the Cosmic Lotus growing from
the hieroglyph for NHL (Hebrew NHR, Sanskrit NAR) with Helios Phanes
appearing on it are exactly the equivalent of the Vaishnava Icons of
Brahma appearing on the cosmic lotus from the axis mundi navel of
GARBHA -daksayi Vishnu / NARAYANA. The LOTUS or ROSE was the
international symbol of the Feminine Shekinah / Shakti and Sacred
Isle of Helios, the Isle of Rhodes or Nymphia. Rhoda = ROSE, and
the Isle was also called NYMPHIA, which means Lotus, and ASTERIA,
which means STAR. So the Rose, Lotus or Star (especially the HEXAD)
were universal symbols of Helios and His Shakti in the ancient
world. The coinage of Rhodes and sometimes members of the Rhodian
Heliopolitan Asyla Federations (Leagues) often had a Rose, Lotus or
Star on them.
JS I believe that they also accepted a spiritual or cosmic
Nile, the physical Nile being its material reflection.
> Great point ! The material Nile River of MIZRYM descended from
the foot of the Deity Heru-Asu-Nhl in the mountains of the Moon. As
the river of baptism / grace It was thought to descend from outside
the cosmos, beyond the starry heavens from the Foot or Throne of the
Lord Heru-Asu NHL in the Spiritual Sky. Around Jerusalem and
Jericho, the Jordan NHR River of NHRYM descended from the Foot or
Throne of ELI-YAHU, seated on HIs throne in the Heaven of Heavens.
The faithful performed mikveoth / ritual baths in it to wash away
sin, just as in Egypt. This tradition of the NHRYM / NZRYN Nazareans
has been prominently preserved in Christianity. At one time the
entire region of the Rivers (Mesopotamia) was called the land of
NHRYN / NAHARIAM / NARAYANA. The New Testament even describes the
River of Life flowing from the Heavenly Throne of the Lord and The
Lamb! In India, the sacred Ganga (Ganges) is believed to flow from
the Foot of Hari-Vasudeva as Narayana Vishnu, seated on His Throne in
the Vikuntha Heavens. Just as in Egypt's Nile and in the Jordan,
Vaishnavas and all other 'Hindus' immerse themselves in the Ganga to
wash away sin in the saving foot-water of THE SAME TRANSCENDENT GOD
<<<VISHNU WITH 'BUBBLE' UNIVERSES IS MAHA VISHNU OUTSIDE OF ALL
MATERIAL UNIVERSES, AND VISHNU WITH THE LOTUS-NAVEL AND BRAHMA IS
WITHIN EACH 'IMPREGNATED' FINITE COSMIC GLOBE / 'EGG'. >>>
JS Blavatsky refers to creative forces "outside all material
universes" as Parabrahman, and "within each" universe as Brahma.
> Because Brahma is the 'post' of Creator (more properly organizer)
in any set or cosmos, this is correct.
<<<THE THEOSOPHICAL SYSTEM DOES NOT SEEM TO CONCERN ITSELF WITH THE
TRANSCENDENT REALM AND GODHEAD, OR THE EXISTENCE OF OTHER UNIVERSES
OUTSIDE OF OUR OWN. IT SEEMS TO TAKE THE DAYS AND NIGHTS OF BRAHMA AS
AN ULTIMATE AND ENDLESS CYCLE. >>>
JS I would agree that this is largely true for what I have called
exoteric Theosophy. It is not so for esoteric Theosophy. Probably 99%
of Blavatsky's writings, for example, address what appears to us to
be going on within our own manvantara. But she does acknowledge other
universes, and also transcendent realms which she collectively refers
to as Beness outside of our universe and as the "invisible worlds"
within it. She says little about Beness or what she calls the
Absolute (a term which I do not like because she uses it as a blind)
probably because she felt that the public of her day was not ready to
> This is the fact. I agree with all of what you have just stated.
> About the invisible worlds, in Vaishnavism not all of them are
subtler material realms. Some are extra-dimensional access to other
universes and even the Spiritual Sky itself. Just as the 'Kingdom of
Heaven' is also within in Catholic Tradition, in Vaishnavism there is
not only a Transcendent Realm that one can go to by going 'outside'
of any material universe, but because the material worlds are
situated within the Mahatattva within the Spiritual Sky, the
Spiritual Sky interpenetrates all the Mahatattva and material
universes as an extra-dimensional Realm ! Thus one can 'reach' the
Spiritual Sky and God through either cataphatic means or apophatic
means, by journeying either without or within.
<<<THIS IS BASICALLY THE JAIN. THERAVADIN BUDDHIST, AND ADVAITI VIEW,
THAT ENDLESS CYCLING IN THIS UNIVERSE IS ALL THAT THERE IS.>>>
JS Again, I agree largely with this, in that the TSs emphasize it so
much that we forget a more esoteric interpretation is available. And
I have pointed out in many of my past posts that Dallas and others
keep saying in Theosophical terms exactly what is taught in
Hinayana/Theravadin Buddhism but not in Mahayana Buddhism.
> BLESS YOU SIR ! Yes there is a transcendental CORE to Pure Land
Mahayana Buddhism, and despite many centuries of Theravadin attempts
to eradicate this core, it is still accessible if one is determined
to get to it ! For the Theravadin Buddhists, there also is an end to
the endless cycling, but that end is in the VOID of "absolute
nothingness" (see Maseo Abe). However, in the original Pure Land
Tradition, the doctrine of liberation was one of MOKSHA for real
beings, in an infinite PURE LAND Sukhavati, through the salvific
grace of Amitabha-Lokesvara-Hrih the PERSONAL TRI KAYA. The attempt
to reconcile the doctrine of the saving cosmic intercession of
Amitabha, Lokesvara and Bodhisattvas with the doctrine of anatta is
absurd. Why so much effort of not-real beings to 'save' other not-
real beings ? When HPB chose to promote the Pure Land Mahayana
doctrine of 'Nirmanya Kaya' Bodhisattvas over promoting the Theravada
doctrine of nirvana, she was choosing to affirm the existence of
savable atmas as the object of compassion. However, not having a
Dharma Kaya to promote publicly, she kept her chelas and the Mahatmas
endlessly circulating in the great rounds of our universe ! It
should be noted that one NEVER 'falls' back into material birth after
being 'born' in the PURE LAND, and the WAY to get to the PURE LAND is
through FAITH in the salvific OTHER-POWER OF AMITABHA, Lokeshvara,
Their Bodhisattvas, saints and HOLY MOTHER TARA / Kuan Yin.
JS Theosophists seem basically content to spend eternity in mindless
mayavic incarnations. Well, this is not for me, and I can't find the
need to do this in esoteric Theosophy anywhere. Exoteric Theosophy
misses the ball by dismissing the doctrine of liberation, one of
Buddha's four noble truths.
<<<THE BRAHMAN LIGHT (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH BRAHMA) PERVADES BOTH
THIS AND THE SPIRITUAL SKY. MERGING INTO THE BRAHMAN EFFULGENCE OF
THE GODHEAD IS NOT DESIRED BY ANYONE EXCEPT THE BRAHMAVADIS WHO ARE
DEVOTEES, AND THE MAYAVADIS WHO ARE ATHEISTS. THE BRAHMAVADIS
EXPERIENCE A 'MERGING' RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD WHILE IN CONSCIOUSNESS
CONTACT WITH HIS BRAHMAN EFFULGENCE, BUT THE MAYAVADIS
HAVE ONLY A COMPLETELY IMPERSONAL EXPERIENCE. BA G>>>
JS The difference between the Brahmavadis and Mayavadis is night and
day; the former rests on the upper cosmic planes while the latter
rests on the fourth. The former has clarity and bliss while the
latter has nothing at all except perhaps peace.
> Well put, and I greatly appreciate that you know the difference.
Most Hindus and Buddhists don't , what to speak of anyone else ! My
only addition to your statement would be that in Vaishnava Vedanta,
there are also Brahmavadis in the Brahma Jyoti (Brahman) in the
Spiritual Sky. Some of these also have a kind of bliss, because
theirs is an experience of merging with the Brahman, as a beloved may
desire to 'merge' with their Lover. Thus many Sufi Saints for
instance were 'divine love' Brahmavadis. Sri Krishna says
throughout the Shastra that He is the Source of the Brahman
Effulgence, and that He can be worshiped as the Brahman by
impersonalists and devotees too.
PS. Those Theosophists who dislike BAG's criticism of Theosophy have
to remember that he seems to be primarily attacking exoteric
Theosophy as promoted in the TSs and as found in literal
interpretations of the original writings. An esoteric or "higher"
interpretation of those original writings is also available, and to
which his criticisms do not apply. Blavatsky throws out hints of this
esoteric tradition throughout her exoteric writings but one must
be able to see it through all of her blinds.
> Actually I am only pointing out two things, 1. that HPB started
out in the East teaching Theravadin Buddhism, went through a phase of
Advaiti Mayavada and ended up teaching a mix of these and other
things tied together within a predominantly Vaishnava Vedic-Puranic
cosmology and thought system. 2. Because of her hostility to
Christianity, monotheism, and religious authority in general, she was
not trained in the proper understanding of the Vedic-Vaishnava
sources she was studying, and furthermore consistently edited-out,
covered, minimized, ignored and / or explained-away the Personal
GOD of the Vedic-Vaishnava sources she was studying.
>ONE FINAL NOTE ON HBP AND VAISHNAVA ICONOGRAPHY
> See Below. The connection between the Iconography of Vishnu and
esoteric Temple Architecture can be understood in detail from the
Vaishnava Scripture the Silpa Shastra. This elaborate Vaishnava Text
gives the mathematical formulas for both Temple Architecture and the
Icons of Vishnu and Shakti and all the other sacred murtis to inhabit
and adorn temples.
From: "Morten Nymann Olesen" <global-theosophy@a...>
Date: Tue Jan 7, 2003 4:43 am
Subject: Re: Theos-World RE: on our toes What is THEOSOPHY
The teachings of the orthodox dead-letter churches - are dead wisdom,
because there isn't in a certain sense any wisdom there, (or not much
anyway in their minds).But many of the old religious buildings
contains information on Theosophy, the ancient wisdom of all
ages...Some of them exists today. Even some of the Christian churches
contains "the language of the birds" - the alchemists or "builders"
language. The same goes for some of the Mosques of Islam - using
the words to form pictures. And the God Vishnu in India is also often
pictured using this language. A language coinsiding with the use of
the 7 keys - and the mystery language of HPB's. It is said, that
these teachings of symbols contains much wisdom. The teachers of the
dead-letter doesn't understand this. These buildings mention by
Skinner in the above exists many of them today ! Some of them even in
America...! (according to HPB).
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