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

RE: [bn-study] Re: anonymity - correction

Sep 20, 2003 12:14 PM
by W. Dallas TenBroeck

Sept 20 2003

Dear Friends:

But -- may I make an Interjection ?

We are bon with a Kama-rupa. It is part of the 5 skandhas, and is a
"carry forward" from previous lives. It is that aspect which is also
called the Passions and Desires."

See below for a fuller explanation






Theosophy is that ocean of knowledge which spreads from shore to shore
of the evolution of sentient beings; unfathomable in its deepest parts,
it gives the greatest minds their fullest scope, yet, shallow enough at
its shores, it will not overwhelm the understanding of a child.

It is not a belief or dogma formulated or invented by man, but is a
knowledge of the laws which govern the evolution of the physical,
astral, psychical, and intellectual constituents of nature and of man. 


That man possesses an immortal soul is the common belief of humanity; to
this Theosophy adds that he is a soul; and further that all nature is
sentient, that the vast array of objects and men are not mere
collections of atoms fortuitously thrown together and thus without law
evolving law, but down to the smallest atom all is soul and spirit ever
evolving under the rule of law which is inherent in the whole.


We are therefore not appearing for the first time when we come upon this
planet, but have pursued a long, an immeasurable course of activity and
intelligent perception on other systems of globes, some of which were
destroyed ages before the solar system condensed. This immense reach of
the evolutionary system means, that this planet on which we now are is
the result of the activity and the evolution of some other one that died
long ago, leaving its energy to be used in the bringing into existence
of the earth, and that the inhabitants of the latter in their turn came
from some older world to proceed here with the destined work in matter.




Theosophy places the old doctrine before western civilization 

1.	1.	The Body, or Rupa. 
2.	2.	Vitality, or Prana-Jiva. 
3.	3.	Astral Body, or Linga-Sarira. 
4.	4.	Animal Soul, or Kama-Rupa 
5.	5.	Human Soul, or Manas. 
6.	6.	Spiritual Soul, or Buddhi. 
7.	7.	Spirit, or Atma, (This Principle synthesizes the
other 6.)

The words in the 4th column (italics), are equivalents in the Sanskrit
language adopted for the English terms. This classification stands to
this day for all practical purposes, a later arrangement places the
Astral body second instead of third in the category. It at once gives
an idea of what man is, very different from the vague description by the
words "body and soul," and also boldly challenges the materialistic
conception that mind is the product of brain, a portion of the body. 

This immortal trinity is that called Atma-Buddhi-Manas in Sanskrit,
difficult terms to render in English. ATMA is Spirit, BUDDHI is the
highest power of intellection, that which discerns and judges, and MANAS
is Mind. 

This threefold collection is the Real Man. 

Atma,	or Spirit, [this is neither yours nor mine, but is a
"ray" of the Universal Spirit],	
Buddhi, or Discernment, Discrimination, Wisdom,
[accumulated experience over eternity],
Manas, or Mind. [thought, imagination, memory, fancy, choice,

The four lower instruments or vehicles are shown in this table: 

.	Kama,	or The Passions and Desires, [selfishness,
ignorance, isolation, etc.]
.	Prana,	or The Life Principle, [a portion of the
Universal LIFE: Jiva]
.	Linga Sarira,	or The Astral Body, [atoms and sub-atoms --
fields of force]
.	Sthula Sarira,	or The Physical Body. [molecules, cells,
structure, etc.]


When the hour arrives for their separation to begin, the combination can
no longer be kept up, the physical body dies, the atoms of which each of
the four is composed begin to separate from each other, and the whole
collection being disjointed is no longer fit for one as an instrument
for the real man. This is what is called "death" among us mortals, but
it is not death for the real man because he is deathless, persistent,
immortal. He is therefore called the Triad, or indestructible trinity. 

The Physical man is known as the Quaternary or Mortal Four. 

.	The visible physical man is: 
.	Brain, Nerves, Blood, Bones, Lymph, Muscles, Organs of Sensation
and Action, Skin. 
.	The unseen physical man is: 
.	Astral Body, Passions and Desires, Life Principle (called prana
or jiva). 
It will be seen that the physical part of our nature is thus extended to
a second department which, though invisible to the physical eye, is
nevertheless material and subject to decay. Because people in general
have been in the habit of admitting to be real only what they can see
with the physical eye, they have at last come to suppose that the unseen
is neither real nor material. 


Kama, Desire and Passion is the fourth, the balance principle of the
whole seven. It stands in the middle, and from it the ways go up or
down. It is the basis of action, and the mover of the will. As the old
Hermetists say: "Behind will stands desire." For whether we wish to do
well or ill, we have to first arouse within us the desire for either
course. Then "We" choose.


The "good" man who at last becomes a sage, had at one time in his many
lives to arouse the desire for the company of holy men and to keep his
desire for progress alive in order to continue on his way. Even a Buddha
or a Jesus had first to make a vow, which is a desire, in some life,
that he would save the world or some part of it, and to persevere with
the desire alive in his heart through countless lives. The high desires
come from the influence of and aspiration to the trinity above, of Mind,
Buddhi, and Spirit. The "God" within each of us, begins with Manas or
Mind, and it is the struggle between this "God" and the "brute" below,
which Theosophy speaks of and warns about. 


On the other hand, the "bad" man life after life took unto himself low,
selfish, wicked desires, thus debasing instead of purifying this
principle. The low passion and desire is that shown by the constant
placing of the consciousness entirely below in the body and the astral
body. It is selfish and isolates the man from others and his
environment. It is an impossible, a false condition, and cannot be
sustained indefinitely.


The fifth principle is MANAS, and is usually translated Mind. Other
names have been given to it, but it is the Knower, the Perceiver, the
Thinker. The sixth is BUDDHI, or spiritual discernment; the seventh is
ATMA, or SPIRIT, the ray from the Absolute Being. The course of
evolution developed the lower principles and produced at last the form
of man with a brain of better and deeper capacity than that of any other

But this man in form was not man in mind, and needed the fifth
principle, the thinking, perceiving one, to differentiate him from the
animal kingdom and to confer the power of becoming self-conscious. The
Immortal Monad, composed of Atma and Buddhi, was imprisoned in these
forms, for without the presence of the monad, evolution could not go


Going back for a moment to the time when the races of mankind were
devoid of mind, the question arises, "Who gave the MIND, Where did it
come from, and What is it ?" 

It is the link between ATMA, the "Spirit of God above" and the
"personality" below. It was given to the mindless monads by others who
had gone through this process ages upon ages before in earlier worlds
and systems of worlds, and it came from other evolutionary periods which
were completed long before our solar system had begun. The manner in
which this light of mind was given to the Mindless Men can be understood
from the illustration of one candle lighting many. The Sons of Wisdom,
who are the Elder Brothers of every family of men on any Globe, have the
light, derived by them from others who reach back, and yet farther back,
in endless procession with no beginning or end. They set fire to the
combined lower principles and the Monad, thus lighting up Manas in the
"new men" and preparing another great race for final initiation. 


Manas, or the Thinker, is the reincarnating being. It is the Immortal
who carries the results and values of all the different lives lived on
earth or elsewhere. Its nature becomes dual as soon as it is attached to
a body. For the human brain is a superior organism and Manas [Mind] uses
it to reason from premises to conclusions. This is the lower aspect of
the Thinker or Manas, and not, as some have supposed, the highest and
best gift belonging to man. 

Its higher aspect, is the intuitional, which knows, and does not depend
on reason. The lower, and purely intellectual, is nearest to the
principle of Desire, and is thus distinguished from its other side,
which has affinity for the spiritual principles above. If the Thinker,
becomes wholly intellectual, the entire nature begins to tend downward;
for intellect alone is cold, heartless, selfish, since it is not lighted
up by the two spiritually superior principles of Buddhi and Atma. 

In Manas the thoughts of all lives are stored. The total quantity of
life thoughts makes up the stream or thread of a life's meditation --
"that upon which the heart was set" -- and that is stored in Manas, to
be brought out again at any time. 


It is this lower Manas which retains all the impressions of this
life-time, and sometimes strangely exhibits them in trances or dreams,
delirium, induced states, here and there in normal conditions, and very
often at the time of physical death. 

It interferes with the action of Higher Manas because at the present
point of evolution, Desire and all corresponding powers, faculties, and
senses are the most highly developed. This obscures, as it were, the
white light of the spiritual side of Manas. It is tinted by each object
presented to it, whether it be a thought-object or a material one, and
memory continually presents pictures to Lower Manas, with the result
that the Higher is obscured.


Memory of a prior life is not needed to prove that we passed through
that existence, nor is the fact of not remembering a good objection. We
forget the greater part of the occurrences of the years and days of this
life, but no one would say for that reason we did not go through these
years. We are all subject to the limitations imposed upon the Ego by
the new brain in each life. This is why we are not able to keep the
pictures of the past. The brain is the instrument for the memory of the
soul, and, being new in each life, has only a certain capacity. That
capacity will be fully availed of just according to the Ego's own desire
and prior conduct, because past living will have increased or diminished
its power.

By living according to the dictates of the Soul, the brain may at least
be made porous to the Soul's recollections; as the brain-matter had no
part in the life last lived, it is in general unable to remember. And
this is a wise law, for we should be very miserable if the deeds of our
former lives were not hidden from our view until by discipline we become
able to bear a knowledge of them. 


Higher Manas, if able to act, becomes what we sometimes call Genius. If
Genius is completely master, then one may become a "God." Along the
pathway of life, we do see occasionally the marks of men who are
geniuses, or great seers and prophets. In these the Higher powers of
MANAS are active and the person is "illuminated." Such were the great
Sages of the past, men in whom Higher Manas was active. Presently, now
and then, we may see MANAS shed a bright ray on the man below, to be
soon obscured, however, by the effect of dogmatic religious education
which has always prevented Manas from gaining full activity. 


In Man the higher Trinity, is the "God" above. This is ATMA, and may be
called the HIGHER SELF. Next is the spiritual part of the soul called
BUDDHI [Wisdom and Discrimination]; when thoroughly united with MANAS
this may be called the Divine Ego [Higher Manas]. And when we either
wholly or now and then become consciously united with Buddhi, the
Spiritual Soul, we behold "God," as it were.

They are the immortal part of us; they, in fact, and no other are we.
This should be firmly grasped by the mind, for upon its clear
understanding depends the comprehension of the entire doctrine.

The inner Ego who reincarnates, taking on body after body, storing up
the impressions of life after life, gaining experience and adding it to
the divine Ego, suffering and enjoying through an immense period of
years, is the fifth principle -- MANAS -- not united to Buddhi. 


The permanent individuality gives to every man the feeling of being
himself and not some other; it bridges the gap made by sleep; in like
manner it bridges the gap made by the sleep of death. It is this, and
not our brain, that lifts us above the animal.  

The forces of thought are generated by Manas, that is, by the thinking
of the life time. Each thought makes a physical as well as mental link
with the desire in which it is rooted. 

All life is filled with such thoughts, and when the period of rest after
death is ended, Manas is bound by innumerable electrical magnetic
threads to earth by reason of the thoughts of the last life, and
therefore by desire. 


The Permanent Individuality [Manas] has been through every sort of
experience, for Theosophy insists on its permanence -- as an Immortal --
and in the necessity for its continuing to take part in evolution. It
has a duty to perform, consisting in raising up to a higher state of
consciousness and intelligence, all the matter concerned in the chain of
globes to which the earth belongs. 

We have all lived and taken part in civilization after civilization,
race after race, on earth, and will so continue throughout all the
rounds and races until the seventh is complete.  


Although reincarnation is the law of nature, the complete trinity of
Atma-Buddhi-Manas does not yet fully incarnate in this race. They use
and occupy the body by means of the entrance of Manas, the lowest of the
three, and the other two shine upon it from above, constituting the "God
in Heaven." For that reason man is not yet fully conscious, and
reincarnations are needed to at last complete the incarnation of the
whole Godlike trinity in the body. 

When that has been accomplished the race will have become as gods, and
the divine trinity being in full possession the entire mass of matter,
will be perfected and raised up for the next step. 

Reincarnation does not mean that we go into animal forms after death.
"Once a man always a man" is the saying in the Great Lodge. Evolution
having brought Manas the Thinker and Immortal Person on to this plane,
cannot send him back to the brute which has not Manas. 


Memory of a prior life is not needed to prove that we passed through
that existence, nor is the fact of not remembering a good objection. We
forget the greater part of the occurrences of the years and days of this
life, but no one would say for that reason we did not go through these
years. We are all subject to the limitations imposed upon the Ego by
the new brain in each life. This is why we are not able to keep the
pictures of the past. The brain is the instrument for the memory of the
soul, and, being new in each life, has only a certain capacity. That
capacity will be fully availed of just according to the Ego's own desire
and prior conduct, because past living will have increased or diminished
its power.

By living according to the dictates of the Soul, the brain may at least
be made porous to the Soul's recollections; as the brain-matter had no
part in the life last lived, it is in general unable to remember. And
this is a wise law, for we should be very miserable if the deeds of our
former lives were not hidden from our view until by discipline we become
able to bear a knowledge of them. 


Theosophy applies to the self -- the Thinker -- the same laws which are
seen everywhere in operation throughout nature, and those are all
varieties of the great law that effects follow causes and no effect is
without a cause.

Viewing life and its probable object, with all the varied experience
possible for man, one must be forced to the conclusion that a single
life is not enough for carrying out all that is intended by Nature, to
say nothing of what man himself desires to do. The scale of variety in
experience is enormous. 

There is a vast range of powers latent in man which we see may be
developed if opportunity be given. Knowledge infinite in scope and
diversity lies before us, and especially in these days when special
investigation is the rule. 

We perceive that we have high aspirations with no time to reach up to
their measure, while the great troop of passions and desires, selfish
motives and ambitions, war with us and among themselves, pursuing us
even to the door of death. All these have to be tried, conquered, used,
subdued. One life is not enough for all this.

We come back to earth because on it and with the beings upon it our
deeds were performed; because it is the only proper place where
punishment and reward can be justly meted out; because here is the only
natural spot in which to continue the struggle toward perfection, toward
the development of the faculties we have and the destruction of the
wickedness we created, and which is attached to us. 

Justice to ourselves and to all other beings demands it, for we cannot
live for ourselves, and it would be unjust to permit some of us to
escape, leaving those who were participants with us to remain or to be
plunged into a hell where the victim receives no compensation. 

And lastly, the fact that certain Inherent Ideas are common to the whole
race is explained by the Sages as due to recollection of such ideas
which were implanted in the human mind, by those Brothers and Sages who
learned their lessons and were perfected in former ages, long before the
development of this globe began. These Inherent Ideas -- virtues and
brotherhood -- will always be recollected as they accompany the Ego
through the long pilgrimage to Perfection. 


In chronological order we go into kama-loka -- or the plane of desire --
first on the demise of the body, and then, the higher principles, the
Real Man, falls into the state of Devachan.  

The breath leaves the body and we say the man is dead, but that is only
the beginning of death; it proceeds on other planes. When the frame is
cold and eyes closed, all the forces of the body and mind rush through
the brain, and by a series of pictures the whole life just ended is
imprinted indelibly on the Inner Man, not only in a general outline, but
down to the smallest detail of even the most minute and fleeting

At this moment, the real man is busy in the brain, and not until his
work there is ended is the person gone. When this solemn work is over
the astral body detaches itself from the physical, and, life energy
having departed, the remaining five principles are in the plane of kama
loka. This process takes about half an hour.

The natural separation of the principles brought about by death divides
the total man into three parts: 

.	First, the visible body with all its elements left to further
disintegration on the earth plane, where all that it is composed of is
in time resolved into the different physical departments of nature. 
.	Second, the kama rupa made up of the astral body and the
passions and desires, which also begins at once to go to pieces on the
astral plane; 
.	Third, the real man, the upper triad of Atma-Buddhi-Manas,
deathless but now out of earth conditions, devoid of body, begins in
devachan to function solely as mind clothed in a very ethereal vesture
which it will shake off when the time comes for it to return to earth. 
Kama loka -- or the place of desire -- is the astral region penetrating
and surrounding the earth. As a place it is on and in and about the
earth. Its extent is to a measurable distance from the earth, but the
ordinary laws obtaining here do not obtain there, and entities therein
are not under the same conditions as to space and time as we are. 


It is called the plane of desire because it relates to the fourth
principle, and in it the ruling force is desire devoid of and divorced
from intelligence. It is an astral sphere intermediate between earthly
and heavenly life. The fact underlying this is that the soul may be
detained in kama loka by the enormous force of some unsatisfied desire,
and cannot get rid of the astral and kamic clothing until that desire is
satisfied by some one on earth or by the soul itself. 

But if the person was pure minded and of high aspirations, the
separation of the principles on that plane is soon completed, permitting
the Higher Triad to go into Devachan. 

Being the purely astral sphere, it partakes of the nature of the astral
matter which is essentially earthly and devilish, and in it all the
forces work undirected by soul or conscience. It is the slag-pit, as it
were, of the great furnace of life. In kama loka all the hidden
desires and passions are let loose in consequence of the absence of
body, and for that reason the state is vastly more diversified than the
life plane. 

It is generally supposed that the desires and passions are inherent
tendencies in the individual, and they have an altogether unreal and
misty appearance for the ordinary student. While the man is living in
the world, the desires and passions -- the principle kama -- have no
separate life apart from the astral and inner man, being diffused
throughout his being. 

During mortal life the desires and passions are guided by the mind and
soul; after death they work without guidance from the former master;
while we live we are responsible for them and their effects, and when we
have left this life we are still responsible, although they go on
working and making effects on others and without our direct guidance. In
this is seen the continuance of responsibility. 

In kama are the really active and important tendencies and Skandhas are
being made from day to day under the law that every thought combines
instantly with one of the elemental forces of nature, becoming to that
extent an entity which will endure in accordance with the strength of
the thought as it leaves the brain, and all of these are inseparably
connected with the being who evolved them. There is no way of escaping;
all we can do is to have thoughts of good quality, for the highest of
the Masters themselves are not exempt from this law, but they "people
their current in space" with entities powerful for good alone. 

Now in kama loka this mass of desire and thought exists very definitely.
Hence it is said to remain until the being comes out of devachan, and
then at once by the law of attraction it is drawn to the being, who from
it as basis builds up a new set of skandhas for the new life. Every atom
going to make up the man has a memory of its own which is capable of
lasting a length of time in proportion to the force given it. 

In the case of a very material and gross or selfish person the force
lasts longer than in any other. Its purely astral portion contains and
carries the record of all that ever passed before the person when
living, for one of the qualities of the astral substance is to absorb
all scenes and pictures and the impressions of all thoughts, to keep
them, and to throw them forth by reflection when the conditions permit. 


Struggling out of the body Atma-Buddhi-Manas, begins to think in a
manner different from that which the body and brain permitted in life.
This is the state of Devachan, Sanskrit : "the place of the gods." The
Self in Devachan is devoid of a mortal body. The stay in Devachan is
proportionate to the merit earned by the being in its last life [from a
few year to as much as 100 centuries -- the average being about 1500
years] and when the mental forces peculiar to the state are exhausted,
"the being is drawn down again to be reborn in the world of mortals." 

Devachan is therefore an interlude between births in the world. The law
of karma which forces us all to enter the world, being ceaseless in its
operation and also universal in scope, acts also on the being in
devachan, for only by the force or operation of Karma are we taken out
of devachan. 

The last series of powerful and deeply imprinted thoughts are those
which give color and trend to the whole life in devachan. The last
moment will color each subsequent moment. On those the soul and mind fix
themselves and weave of them a whole set of events and experiences,
expanding them to their highest limit, carrying out all that was not
possible in life. 


The necessity for this state after death is one of the necessities of
evolution growing out of the nature of Mind and Soul. The very nature of
manas requires a devachanic state as soon as the body is lost, and it is
simply the effect of loosening the bonds placed upon the mind by its
physical and astral encasement. In life we can but to a fractional
extent act out the thoughts we have each moment; and still less can we
exhaust the psychic energies engendered by each day's aspirations and
dreams. The energy thus engendered is not lost or annihilated, but is
stored in Manas, but the body, brain, and astral body permit no full
development of the force. Hence, held latent until death, it bursts then
from the weakened bonds and plunges Manas, the thinker, into the
expansion, use, and development of the thought-force set up in life. 

The whole process is remedial, restful, and beneficial. For if the
average man returned at once to another body in the same civilization he
had just quitted, his soul would be completely tired out and deprived of
the needed opportunity for the development of the higher part of his

Existence in Devachan is an actual stage in the life of man, and when we
are there this present life is a dream. It is not in any sense
monotonous. Contrasted with the continuous strain of earth life, Nature,
always kind, leads us soon again into "heaven" for a rest, for the
flowering of the best and highest in our natures. 

Devachan is then neither meaningless nor useless. "In it we are rested;
that part of us which could not bloom under the chilling skies of
earth-life bursts forth into flower and goes back with us to earth-life
stronger and more a part of our nature than before. Why should we repine
that Nature kindly aids us in the interminable struggle, why keep the
mind revolving about the present petty personality and its good and evil
fortunes? " (Letter from Mahatma K. H. See PATH, p. 191, Vol. 5.) 

The whole period allotted by the soul's forces being ended in devachan,
the magnetic threads which bind it to earth begin to assert their power.
The Self wakes from the dream, it is borne swiftly off to a new body,
and then, just before birth, it sees for a moment all the causes that
led it to devachan and back to the life it is about to begin, and
knowing it to be all just, to be the result of its own past life, it
repines not but takes up the cross again -- and another soul has come
back to earth.

(extracts from The OCEAN OF THEOSOPHY (Judge)



-----Original Message-----
From: p. m 
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2003 3:33 PM
Subject: [bn-study] Re: Kama-Rupa and Kama-Loka

"I don't think we are born with a kama-rupa, it is what we create over
lifetime and it is what lingers in Kama-loka after death. As you know,
sure better than me, this form gradually disintegrates Kama-loka."

The last phrase should say, "this form gradually disintegrates *in*


visit our store at
You are currently subscribed to bn-study as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to

[Back to Top]

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