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FW: Dallas - Theosophy and Buddhism

Feb 27, 2003 03:51 AM
by dalval14

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Dallas - Theosophy and Buddhism

Thanks Jerry::

Yes there are differences. Some made plain in the Glossary and
others in Vol. I of The SECRET DOCTRINE

I imagine that there will be others.

However perhaps a reconciliation can be had by reference to ISIS
UNVEILED where H P B writes frequently about the "Pre-Vedic religion
of India. I U II 28, 39, 99, 142, 169, 413, 608, 619, 639,
I 289,

On I U II 142-3 , 169 she states that this ancient religion
(Brahmanism is also referred to as BODHISM) is identical with
Buddhism as its primitive source.

Regardless of the current name of the religious or philosophical or
esoteric/exoteric systems, H P B declares that WISDOM is the primitive
source, and therefore any practices or any "esoteric groups" would
follow such rules and laws as may be in line with WISDOM. Wisdom is
not sectarian, nor is it any one's patent property.

If there have been deviations, then the current product is to that
extent a departure from the original truth/wisdom. I am sure that the
Masters of Wisdom know this and have tried to make is plain to us
through H P B's writings.

These days, regardless of any religious affiliation, all scientists
regard the discoveries of the rules and laws of Nature to be paramount
to "belief" or to "dogma."

Since this might be of interest I will use the THEOSOPHICAL GLOSSARY
a little further, so as to show how inclusive is the information that
Theosophy considers and offers:

Notes below



-----Original Message-----
From: Gerald Schueler [
Sent: Wednesday, February 26, 2003 6:03 AM
To: Theosophy Study List
Subject: Dallas - Theosophy and Buddhism

Dallas, thanks for the quotes. I only have a few comments:

<<<DORJESHANG (Tib.). A title of Buddha in his highest aspect; a name
of the supreme Buddha; also Dorje. T. Glos p. 104>>>


Dorje is Tibetan for the Sanskrit vajra and both mean indivisible and
indestructable. The literal meaning is diamond. Vajradhara is
traditionally said to have originally given man the tantric teachings.


VAJRA (Sk.). Lit., "diamond club" or sceptre. In the Hindu works, the
sceptre of Indra, similar to the thunderbolts of Zeus, with which this
deity, as the god of thunder, slays his enemies. But in mystical
Buddhism, the magic sceptre of Priest-Initiates, exorcists and
adepts-the symbol of the possession of Siddhis or superhuman powers,
wielded during certain ceremonies by the priests and theurgists. It is
also the symbol of Buddha's power over evil spirits or elementals. The
possessors of this wand are called Vajrapâni (q.v.).
Glos 359


<<<They are-as higher Devas-called by the Buddhists, Bodhisattvas.
Exoterically they are five in number, whereas in the esoteric schools
they are seven, and not single Entities but Hierarchies.>>>


Here Blavatsky is either dead wrong or is talking about "esoteric
schools" that we still don't know about. As far as I know from Tibetan
texts there are five Dhyani Buddhas, not seven, and they are
personifications of our purified skandhas. Each have female consorts
who are the personifications of the five elements, and these are often
visualized in sexual union to show the essential unity of the 5
elements and skandhas. When purified, the elements and skandhas form
the tri-kaya of a Buddha.


VAJRAPÂNI (Sk.), or Manjushrî, the Dhyâni-Bodhisattva (as the
spiritual reflex, or the son of the Dhyâni.Buddhas, on earth) born
directly from the subjective form of existence; a deity worshipped by
the profane as a god, and by Initiates as a subjective Force, the real
nature of which is known only to, and explained by, the highest
Initiates of the Yogâchârya School.

VAJRASATTVA (Sk.). The name of the sixth Dhyani-Buddha (of whom there
are but five in the popular Northern Buddhism)-in the Yogâchârya
school, the latter counting seven Dhyâni-Buddhas and as many
Bodhisattvas-the "mind-sons" of the former. Hence, the Orientalists
refer to Vajrasattva as "a fictitious Bodhisattva". Glos p. 359-60

DHYANI BODHISATTYAS (Sk.). In Buddhism, the five sons of the
Dhyani-Buddhas. They have a mystic meaning in Esoteric Philosophy.

DHYANI BUDDHAS (Sk.). They "of the Merciful Heart"; worshipped
especially in Nepaul. These have again a secret meaning.

TRIKÂYA (Sk) Lit., three bodies, or forms. This is a most abstruse
teaching which, however, once understood, explains the mystery of
every triad or trinity, and is a true key to every three-fold
metaphysical symbol. In its most simple and comprehensive form it is
found in the human Entity in its triple division into spirit, soul,
and body, and in the universe, regarded pantheistically, as a unity
composed of a Deific, purely spiritual Principle, Supernal Beings-its
direct rays - and Humanity. The origin of this is found in the
teachings of the pre historic Wisdom Religion, or Esoteric Philosophy.
The grand Pantheistic ideal, of the unknown and unknowable Essence
being transformed first into subjective, and then into objective
matter, is at the root of all these triads and triplets. Thus we find
in philosophical Northern Buddhism (1) Âdi-Buddha (or Primordial
Universal Wisdom) ; ( 2) the Dhyâni-Buddhas (or Bodhisattvas); (3) the
Mânushi (Human) Buddhas. In European conceptions we find the same:
God, Angels and Humanity symbolized theologically by the God-Man. The
Brahmanical Triműrti and also the three-fold body of Shiva, in
Shaivism, have both been conceived on the same basis, if not
altogether running on the lines of Esoteric teachings. Hence, no
wonder if one finds this conception of the triple body-or the vestures
of Nirmânakâya, Sambhogakâya and Dharmakâya, the grandest of the
doctrines of Esoteric Philosophy- accepted in a more or less
disfigured form by every religious sect, and explained quite
incorrectly by the Orientalists. Thus, in its general application, the
three-fold body symbolizes Buddha's statue, his teachings and his
stűpas ; in the priestly conceptions it applies to the Buddhist
profession of faith called the Triratna, which is the formula of
taking "refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha". Popular fancy makes
Buddha ubiquitous, placing him thereby on a par with an
anthropomorphic god, and lowering him to the level of a tribal deity;
and, as a result, it falls into flat contradictions, as in Tibet and
China. Thus the exoteric doctrine seems to teach that while in his
Nirmâ kâya body (which passed through 100,000 kotis of transformations
on earth), he, Buddha, is at the same time a Lochana (a heavenly
Dhyâni-Bodhisattva), in his Sambhogakâya "robe of absolute
completeness", and in Dhyâna, or a state which must cut him off from
the world and all its connections; and finally and lastly he is,
besides being a Nirmânakâya and a Sambhogakâya, also a Dharmakâya "of
absolute purity", a Vairotchana or Dhyâni-Buddha in full Nirvâna! (See
Eitel's Sanskrit-Chinese Dictionary.) This is the jumble of
contradictions, impossible to reconcile, which is given out by
missionaries and certain Orientalists as the philosophical dogmas of
Northern Buddhism. If not an intentional confusion of a philosophy
dreaded by the upholders of a religion based on inextricable
contradictions and guarded "mysteries", then it is the product of
ignorance. As the Trailokya, the Trikâya, and the Triratna are the
three aspects of the same conceptions, and have to be, so to say,
blended in one, the subject is further explained under each of these
terms. (See also in this relation the term " Trisharana".) Glos

SAKTI (Sk.). The active female energy of the gods; in popular
Hinduism, their wives and goddesses; in Occultism, the crown of the
astral light. Force and the six forces of nature synthesized.
Universal Energy. Glos 285

SKANDHA or Skhanda (Sk.). Lit., "bundles", or groups of attributes;
everything finite, inapplicable to the eternal and the absolute. There
are five-esoterically, seven-attributes in every human living being,
which are known as the Pancha Skandhas. These are (1) form, rűpa; (2)
perception, vidâna; (3) consciousness, sanjnâ; (4) action, sanskâra;
(5) knowledge, vidyâna. These unite at the birth of man and constitute
his personality. After the maturity of these Skandhas, they begin to
separate and weaken, and this is followed by jarâmarana, or
decrepitude and death. Glos 301-2

SAMSKÂRA (Sk.). Lit., from Sam and Krî, to improve, refine, impress.
In Hindu philosophy the term is used to denote the impressions left
upon the mind by individual actions or external circumstances, and
capable of being developed on any future favourable occasion-even in a
future birth. The Samskâra denotes, therefore, the germs of
propensities and impulses from previous births to be developed in
this, or the coming janmâs or reincarnations. In Tibet, Samskâra is
called Doodyed, and in China is defined as, or at least connected
with, action or Karma. It is, strictly speaking, a metaphysical term,
which in exoteric philosophies is variously defined; e.g., in Nepaul
as illusion, in Tibet as notion, and in Ceylon as discrimination. The
true meaning is as given above, and as such is connected with Karma
and its working. Glos 287-8

BUDDHA (Sk.). Lit., "The Enlightened". The highest degree of
knowledge. To become a Buddha one has to break through the bondage of
sense and personality; to acquire a complete perception of the REAL
SELF and learn not to separate it from all other selves; to learn by
experience the utter unreality of all phenomena of the visible Kosmos
foremost of all; to reach a complete detachment from all that is
evanescent and finite, and live while yet on Earth in the immortal and
the everlasting alone, in a supreme state of holiness. Glos 65

BUDDHISM. Buddhism is now split into two distinct Churches : the
Southern and the Northern Church. The former is said to be the purer
form, as having preserved more religiously the original teachings of
the Lord Buddha. It is the religion of Ceylon, Siam, Burmah and other
places, while Northern Buddhism is confined to Tibet, China and
Nepaul. Such a distinction, however, is incorrect. If the Southern
Church is nearer, in that it has not departed, except perhaps in some
trifling dogmas due to the many councils held after the death of the
Master, from the public or exoteric teachings of Sâkyamuni-the
Northern Church is the outcome of Siddhârta Buddha's esoteric
teachings which he confined to his elect Bhikshus and Arhats. In fact,
Buddhism in the present age, cannot he justly judged either by one or
the other of its exoteric popular forms.
Real Buddhism can be appreciated only by blending the philosophy of
the Southern Church and the metaphysics of the Northern Schools. If
one seems too iconoclastic and stern, and the other too metaphysical
and transcendental, even to being overgrown with the weeds of Indian
exotericism-many of the gods of its Pantheon having been transplanted
under new names to Tibetan soil-it is entirely due to the popular
expression of Buddhism in both Churches. Correspondentially they stand
in their relation to each other as Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.
Both err by an excess of zeal and erroneous interpretations, though
neither the Southern nor the Northern Buddhist clergy have ever
departed from truth consciously, still less have they acted under the
dictates of priestocracy, ambition, or with an eye to personal gain
and power, as the two Christian Churches have. Glos 67-8

BODHISATTVA (Sk). Lit., "he, whose essence (sattva) has become
intelligence (bodhi)"; those who need but one more incarnation to
become perfect Buddhas, i.e., to be entitled to Nirvâna. This, as
applied to Manushi (terrestrial) Buddhas. In the metaphysical sense,
Bodhisattva is a title given to the sons of the celestial Dhyâni
Buddhas. Glos 59


<<<In Esoteric philosophy, on the other hand, this means that only
five out of the "Seven Dhyani-Buddhas"-or, rather, the Seven
Hierarchies of these Dhyanis, who, in Buddhist mysticism, are
identical with the higher incarnating Intelligences, or the Kumaras of
the Hindus-five only have hitherto appeared on earth in regular
succession of incarnations, the last two having to come during the
sixth and seventh Root-Races.>>>

Actually, this is pure exotericism. Esoterically they personify our
purified skandhas and thus serve as goals to be obtained.

<<<In the esoteric, and even exoteric Buddhism of the North, Adi
Buddha (Chogi dangpoi sangye), the One unknown, without beginning or
end, identical with Parabrahm and Ain-Soph, emits a bright ray from
its darkness. This is the Logos (the first), or VAJRADHARA, the
Supreme Buddha (also called DORJECHANG). As the Lord of all Mysteries
he cannot manifest, but sends into the world of manifestation his
heart -- the "diamond heart," VAJRASATTVA (Dorjesempa). This is the
second logos of creation, from whom emanate the seven (in the exoteric
blind the five) Dhyani Buddhas, called the Anupadaka, "the

Here Blavatsky is apparently trying to force Buddhism into a Hindu
mold. I have never read anywhere in Buddhist literature of Buddhas
being connected to creationism, and Logos is a Christian concept of
creationism that is not found anywhere in Buddhism that I am aware of.

<<<These Buddhas are the primeval monads from the world of incorporeal
being, the Arupa world, wherein the Intelligences (on that plane only)
have neither shape nor name, in the exoteric system, but have their
distinct seven names in esoteric philosophy.>>>

Here she uses "monads" in the compounded sense, and does not mean
indivisible units because the arupa realm is part of manifestation and
is not nonduality or Beness. According to Buddhism, even Buddhas are

<<<VAJRASATTVA (Sk.). The name of the sixth Dhyani-Buddha (of whom
there are but five in the popular Northern Buddhism)-in the
Yogâchârya school, the latter counting seven Dhyâni-Buddhas and as
many Bodhisattvas-the "mind-sons" of the former. Hence, the
Orientalists refer to Vajrasattva as "a fictitious Bodhisattva". T
Glos. p. 360>>>

I have never come across any reference to a "sixth Dhyani-Buddha" in
any Buddhist text.

Jerry S.

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