[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Part 4, B A Goswami's 1-11-03 Summary & Reply to Questions From Theosophists

Jan 12, 2003 03:02 AM
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami " <>



7. Akasha and the Astral Light

Here there is introduced a teaching that goes far beyond anything 
known to today's sciences. Although not easy to grasp at first, it 
will be found to throw much light on areas of experience at present 
little understood even by psychology, for example, the mystical and 

It has been stated (in paragraph 4 above), that there is no such 
thing as empty space in the universe. Esoteric Science teaches that 
the entire cosmos is pervaded by Akasha, primordial substance, or 
rather the noumenon—the non-sensuous reality—beyond substance. In the 
Theosophical Glossary, Akasha (from a Sanskrit word 
meaning "brilliant" or "luminous") is described as "the subtle, 
supersensuous spiritual essence which pervades all space." This 
primordial substance differentiates into all the forms of matter, 
those of the invisible as of the visible regions of the universe. 
Hence the definition of Akasha as "the Universal Soul ¼ from which 
all that exists is born by separation or differentiation. It is the 
cause of existence; it fills all the infinite Space."

The lowest region of Akasha, immediately above the gross physical 
plane, is termed the Astral Light. It is "the invisible region that 
surrounds our globe" and everything in it, and corresponds to the 
subtle vehicle or "double" in man, the Linga-sharira. In it is 
impressed indelibly everything that takes place in the physical, 
psychical, and mental realms. It is thus the storehouse of memory, 
both in the cosmos and in mankind.

[For more information, see Mr. Farthing's Akasha and the Astral 
Light: Part I and Akasha and the Astral Light: Part II.]

BA G >The Theosophists and related New Age groups make much of 
AKASHA, but refering to MW 126 and 127, there is very little 
reference to anything like the / New Age concept in the earliest 
Sanskrit sources. In those texts akasha is more often simply space 
or air. When akasha is used as 'ether' in the earlier Sanskrit texts, 
it is usually as one of the seven 'elements'. Krishna as Sound may 
be associated with it (see BVG). So, while there is an association of 
akasha with Krishna, Brahma and ether, the modern development of this 
idea, with its 'reading the akashic record' is largely part of the 
Theosophical esoteric movement. HPB with her spiritualist 
background made much of the akasha as a source for sui 
generis 'higher wisdom'. In the Bhagavad-gita BVG 7.9 Sri Krishna 
says "I am the sound [sabdah] in the ether [khe]". In BVG 7.4 Sri 
Krishna says " Earth, water, fire, air, ether [kham], mind [manah], 
intelligence [buddhih] and false ego [ahankarah] - altogether these 
eight comprise My separated material energies." See also BVG 13.7-
8, which gives the 5 mahabhuta elements [including ether] plus 
intelligence [buddhi], the gross and subtle senses and their objects 
etc. as the material field of activities. Eastern thought regarding 
the ether, 'being on the mental platform' and exploiting the akasha, 
where all kinds of 'psychic' phenomena take place, is not the focus 
of the orthodox Vaishnavas who usually have nothing but disdain for 
the Left Hand Tantrists and occultists who concern themselves with 
such things. In the above HPB associates the Akasha with attributes 
of the Brahman or Brahma Jyoti pervading the universe. This is a 
Sattvic tradition association and as such would not seem to support 
Tantric related experiments in necromancy, mediumship 
and 'channeling'.   

8. Rebirth

In the study of the constitution of man according to Occultism, two 
aspects of his inner nature are recognized, one mortal—the psyche or 
soul, and the other immortal—the spiritual essence. (In everyday 
parlance, and in much religious usage, the words "soul" and "spirit" 
are used loosely and often interchangeably. Particular attention must 
be paid to the precise meaning attached to them in the present 
study.) The spiritual essence in man, a persistent entity, attaches 
itself periodically to a succession of personalities which it 
projects into the objective world. In so doing, it obeys the 
universal cyclic law that operates throughout Nature. The temporary 
personality comprises a complex mortal non-physical component, the 
psyche or soul, housed in a body of flesh.

It will be seen that rebirth, or reincarnation, is not a peculiarity 
of mankind; it is a particular instance of that law of alternation of 
activity and rest, that may be observed in the natural world—the 
cyclic process of birth, growth, decay, and death of the form, and 
the persistence of the life through successive forms. 

[For more information see Mr. Farthing's Death and Rebirth, Part I 
and Death and Rebirth, Part II. See also H.P. Blavatsky's comments 
in her Key to Theosophy on: On the Mysteries of Re-incarnation and 
On Re-incarnation or Re-birth.]

BA G > Here we see one of the basic problems with HPB's Theosophy.  
THERAVADIN BUDDHISM. HPB took vows with Olcott as a Theravadin 
Buddhist. She also associated herself with the Advaita Vedantist 
Monist Mayavadi Shaivites at one point. For them there is no 
personal persistent entity either, so how can HPB and Theosophy 
introduce these concepts ? These concepts are from the BHAKTI 
SHASTRAS, which reveal the eternal existence of the personal finite 
self / atma and the unlimited Personality of the Supreme Self 
PARAMATMA, and the relationship between God's Infinite Self and the 
finite jiva selves.

"The real object to be kept in view is to so open up or make 
porousthe lower nature that the spiritual nature may shine through it 
become the guide and the is the real man, who is the HIGHER
SELF--being the spark of the Divine...overshadows the visible being,
which has the possibility of becoming united to that spark. Thus it
is said that the higher Spirit is not in the man, but above him...The
object of the student is to let the light of that spirit shine through
the lower covering..." EPITOME 13-14

BA G >This 'Spark' talk is very Kabbalistic. 

"since the MAHATMA is but an advanced occultist, who has so far
controlled his lower "self" as to hold it more or less in complete
subjection to the Cosmic impulse, it is in the nature of things
impossible for him to act in any other but an unselfish manner. No
sooner does he allow his "personal self" to assert itself, than he
ceases to be a MAHATMA..."
TH. MVT. X p. 138-9

BA G >Self Realization in the Vedic-Vaishnava Tradition of the Gita 
PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD. The goal of Theravadin Buddhism is to 
extinguish the false idea of any self, and likewise in the Mayavadi 
Shaivite Hindu Tradition the ultimate reality of any finite or 
infinite personal self is denied. These systems are wholly cynical 
and assume that the existence of any self automatically means self-
centeredness / selfishness. However the Bhakti or Divine Love 
Traditions assert that LOVE exists, which can make beings truly other-
centered. This other-centered true love exists first of all within 
the Godhead, which is the PLENUM / PURNAM of all Love, or 'fountain 
fullness' (Full / Plena / Purna ) as described by St. Bonaventure.   
So, the goal of sadhana or practice in the Bhakti Traditions is not 
annihilation or denial of the personal or finite self, but perfection 
of this 'realized' self in other-centered love. 

"Self-Consciousness belongs alone to man and proceeds from the SELF,
the Higher MANAS...whereas the psychic element (or Kama-Manas) is
common to both animal and human physiologist...will ever be
able to solve the mystery of the human mind, in its highest spiritual
manifestations, or in its dual aspect of the psychic and the noetic
(or the manasic)...unless he knows something of, and is prepared to
admit this dual admit a lower (animal), and a higher (or
divine) mind in man...the "personal" and the "impersonal" Egos."

BA G > Associating the 'personal ego' as animal and claiming the 
superiority of the impersonal is an idea found in atheistic Advaita 
Vedanta. Under Advaiti influence, HPB postulates a higher 
or 'impersonal ego', and makes other attempts to reconcile the 
contradictions in her thought system that have arisen from trying 
to 'have her cake and eat it too'. On one hand she wants to keep 
some kind of concept of the self or Atman and God as Parabrahman, but 
on the other, she has adopted certain interpretations, views and 
categories of thought from Theravadin Buddhism and Mayavadi Shaivite 
Hinduism, and these are mutually exclusive with regard to the 
positive personalism of the Vedic-Vaishnava Hymns and Puranas she has 
derived other ideas from. 

The supreme energy resides in the Buddhi, latent--when
wedded to Atman alone, active and irresistible when galvanized by the
essence of "Manas" and when none of the dross of the latter commingles
with that pure essence to weigh it down by its finite nature.."
M L 341-2

" the best and most important teacher is one's seventh principle
[Atma] centred in the sixth [Buddhi]." LETTERS 96

BA G > HPB's teachings were clearly moving in the direction of 
Vaishnava Vedanta away from both anatta Theravadin Buddhism and 
completely atheistic Advaita Vedanta.  

BA G > Regretfully I do not have the strength to comment fully on any 
of these points at present, and will have to entirely skip-over the 
Farthing summary numbers 9. through 11, and 13 and 14. 

12. Rounds and Races

These are the terms used to indicate states in the great evolutionary 
cycles. In our cosmic scheme, they are applied particularly to our 
Earth and its humanity. Like everything else in Nature, planets have 
their period of activity and rest, their days and nights, analogous 
to human life and death. A grand evolutionary program is in operation 
throughout the Cosmos, each part of which—whether it be planet or 
kingdom of nature or human group—has to pass through sequential 
phases of development towards its particular goal.

In the study of the program for humanity, it will be important to 
note that the term "Race" indicates a stage in the evolution of 
humanity. It applies to the development of mental and psychic 
faculties as well as to the superficial physical characteristics such 
as skin color or hair type.

[For more information, see Mr. Farthing's Globes, Rounds and Races:  
Part I and Globes, Rounds and Races: Part II.]


BA G > I have written elsewhere on the fundamental foolishness of 
Theosophical race theory. Here is a post from INDIANCIVILIZATION that 
sums-up the case of the so-called 'ARYAN RACE': 

"Debunking Risley is fairly easy. All his terms are completely 
arbitrary and all his Indian "races" are statistical illusions."

IndianCivilization · Studies of Civilization of Bha_rata 

Message 30024 

From: "V.C.Vijayaraghavan <vij@b...>" <vij@b...> 
Date: Sat Dec 21, 2002 10:51 am
Subject: FWD: Subject: Re: Dravidians from Africa

Lower strata, Older races, Aborginal peoples: Racial anthropoloy and 
mythical history past and present.
J. of Asian studies, 57.2, 1998, p. 423-441 À. 429
[Begin quote]
So, for example, Anantha Krishna Iyer, first Reader in Ethnograhy at
Calcutta university in 1925, connected the ' Dravidians' with the
Africans, Melanesians, and Australians:

"Their spoor [sic!] may be everywhere followed from the flat faced
curl haired Koch of Assam with thick protoburent lips of the Negro
to the dark and irregularly featured Nepalese, to the Santhals
of Chota Nagpur as also the low-caste hillmen of Southern India.
They might justly be regarded as the unimproved descendents
of the manufacturers of the stone implements found in the
Damodar coal fields."

The new 'science' of course, confirmed the old hierarchy in his
home region, Kerala:

" We find Negroid features in the types among the hillmen
and the agrestic serfs, and Dravidian features among the 
people of the plains, and fine Aryan characteristics among
the people of the higher castes .."
[End quote]


The fact is that by 1925, the racial typology of Herbert Risley held 
sway in the academic world. Herbert Risley divided Indian population 
into different races by physical measrements. For example, shape and 
size of nose, nose bridge, hair, height, hairyness and many other 
physical characteriscs were measured by him and on that basis came 
up with these races : Dravidian, Aryan, Aryan-dravidian, Mongolo-
Dravidian, negroid. From that time westerners and Indians in the 
acdemic world started using the sme terminology.

Hence, without debunking Risley, there is no point in debunking 
obscure Indian authors. But for Indians, debunking venerable 
western/colonial figures like Risley is an unimaginable sin.

Debunking Risley is fairly easy. All his terms are completely 
arbitrary and all his Indian "races" are statistical illusions."


BA G >In Farthing's Finale (BA G has capped some of the below for 
emphasis) we see that the ultimate conclusion of HPB's Theosophy 
speaks of a stupendous cosmogony, mentions the PURANAS, and the 
adepts 'wise men', evolution and races, geometrical signs and glyphs, 
and the "soul of things". There is no mention of anything or any ONE 
finite or infinite Who is Transcendental, or of any God, Salvation or 
LOVE. There is only the "...thousands of generations of Seers...", 
who have gained wisdom, but the MONOTHEISTIC DEVOTION OF THESE 


Throughout the study of Esoteric Science, it should be recognized 
that what is presented to us here is not speculation or hypothesis, 
but knowledge—knowledge possessed by men who, by the development 
within themselves of the necessary faculties, made themselves able to 
investigate at first hand the hidden side of Nature.

The Secret Doctrine is the accumulated Wisdom of the Ages, and its 
cosmogony alone is the most stupendous and elaborate system: e.g., 
even in the EXOTERICISM OF THE PURANAS. But such is the mysterious 
power of Occult symbolism, that the facts which have actually 
occupied countless generations of initiated seers and prophets to 
marshal, to set down and explain, in the bewildering series of 
evolutionary progress, are all recorded on a few pages of geometrical 
signs and glyphs. The flashing gaze of those seers has penetrated 
into the very kernel of matter, and recorded the SOUL OF THINGS 
there, where an ordinary profane, however learned, would have 
perceived but the external work of form. But modern science believes 
not in the "SOUL OF THINGS," and hence will reject the whole system 
of ancient cosmogony. It is useless to say that the system in 
question is no fancy of one or several isolated individuals. That it 
is the uninterrupted record covering thousands of generations of 
Seers whose respective experiences were made to test and to verify 
the traditions passed orally by one early race to another, of the 
teachings of higher and exalted beings, who watched over the 
childhood of Humanity. That for long ages, the "Wise Men" of the 
Fifth Race, of the stock saved and rescued from the last cataclysm 
and shifting of continents, had passed their lives in learning, not 
teaching. How did they do so? It is answered: by checking, testing, 
and verifying in every department of nature the traditions of old by 
the independent visions of great adepts; i.e., men who have developed 
and perfected their physical, mental, psychic, and spiritual 
organizations to the utmost possible degree. No vision of one adept 
was accepted till it was checked and confirmed by the visions—so 
obtained as to stand as independent evidence—of other adepts, and by 
centuries of experience. (13) 

[For more on this subject, see From Long-Sealed Ancient Fountains:   
The Origin of Modern Theosophy. See also Mr. Farthing's About 
Esoteric Science, Part I and About Esoteric Science, Part II.]



(1) Blavatsky, H.P. Key to Theosophy, 43
(2) i.e., God, the soul, and man—GAF
(3) Blavatsky, H.P. Key to Theosophy, 83
(4) Bowen Notes, 9
(5) Blavatsky, H.P. Key to Theosophy, 83
(6) Blavatsky, H.P. Key to Theosophy, 89
(7) Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine {I 12, I 40, I 78}
(8) Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine {I 12, I 40, I 78}
(9) Wisdom of Solomon (Apocrypha).
(10) Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine {I 277, I 297, I 320}
(11) Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine {I 274, I 295, I 317}
(12) Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine {I viii, I xxi, I 9}
(13) Blavatsky, H.P. Secret Doctrine {I 272, I 293, I 316

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application