There was neither day nor night, nor sky nor earth, nor darkness nor light, nor any other thing save only One, unapprehensive by intellect, or That which is Brahma and Pums (Spirit) and Pradhâna ([crude] Matter).723
Vishnu Purâna (I. ii.)
In Vishnu Purâna, Parâshara says to Maitreya, his pupil:
I have thus explained to you, excellent Muni, six creations ... the creation of the Arvâksrotas beings was the seventh, and was that of man.724
Then he proceeds to speak of two additional and very mysterious creations, variously interpreted by the commentators.
Origen, commenting upon the books written by Celsus, his Gnostic opponent—books which were all destroyed by the prudent Church Fathers—evidently answers the objections of his contradictor and reveals his system at the same time. This was clearly septenary. But the theogony of Celsus, the genesis of the stars or planets, and of sound and colour, found as an answer satire, and no more. Celsus, you see, “desiring to exhibit his learning,” speaks of a ladder of creation with seven gates, and on the top of it the eighth, ever closed. The mysteries of the Persian Mithras are explained and “musical reasons, moreover, are added.” And to these again he strives “to add a second explanation connected also with musical considerations,”725 that is to say with the seven notes of the scale, the seven Spirits of the Stars, etc.
Valentinus expatiates upon the power of the great Seven, who were summoned to bring forth this universe after Ar(r)hetos, or the Ineffable, whose name is composed of seven letters, had represented the first Hebdomad. The name Ar(r)hetos indicates the sevenfold nature of the One, the Logos. “The Goddess Rhea,” says Proclus, “is a Monad, Duad, and Heptad,” comprehending in herself all the Titanidæ, “who are seven.”726
The Seven Creations are found in almost every Purâna. They are all preceded by what Wilson translates as the “Indiscrete Principle,” Absolute Spirit, independent of any relation with objects of sense.
They are: (1) Mahattattva, the Universal Soul, Infinite Intellect, or Divine Mind; (2) Tanmâtras, Bhûta or Bhûtasarga, Elemental Creation the first differentiation of Universal Indiscrete Substance; (3) Indriya or Aindriyaka, Organic Evolution. “These three were the Prâkrita Creations, the developments of indiscrete nature, preceded by the Indiscrete Principle”; (4) Mukhya, “the Fundamental Creation (of perceptible things) was that of inanimate bodies”;727 (5) Tairyagyonya or Tiryaksrotas, was that of animals; (6) Ûrdhvasrotas, or that of divinities(?);728 (7) Arvâksrotas, was that of man.729
This is the order given in the exoteric texts. According to esoteric teaching there are seven Primary, and seven Secondary “Creations”; the former being the Forces self-evolving from the one causeless Force; the latter showing the manifested Universe emanating from the already differentiated divine Elements.
Esoterically, as well as exoterically, all the above enumerated Creations stand for the seven periods of Evolution, whether after an Age or a Day of Brahmâ. This is the teaching par excellence of Occult Philosophy, which, however, never uses the term “creation,” nor even that of evolution, with regard to Primary “Creation”; but calls all such Forces the “aspects of the Causeless Force.” In the Bible, the seven periods are dwarfed into the six Days of Creation and the seventh Day of Rest, and the Westerns adhere to the letter. In the Hindû Philosophy, when the active Creator has produced the World of Gods, the Germs of all the undifferentiated Elements, and the Rudiments of future Senses—the World of Noumena, in short—the Universe remains unaltered for a Day of Brahmâ, a period of 4,320,000,000 years. This is the seventh passive Period, or the “Sabbath” of Eastern Philosophy, following six periods of active evolution. In the Shatapatha Brâhmana, Brahma (neuter), the Absolute Cause of all Causes, radiates the Gods. Having radiated the Gods, through its inherent nature, the work is interrupted. In the First Book of Manu it is said:
At the expiration of each Night (Pralaya), Brahma, having been asleep, awakes, and, through the sole energy of the motion, causes to emanate from itself the Spirit [or mind], which in its essence is, and yet is not.
In the Sepher Yetzirah, the Kabalistic “Book of Creation,” the author has evidently reëchoed the words of Manu. In it the Divine Substance is represented as having alone existed from the eternity, boundless and absolute; and as having emitted from itself the Spirit.
One is the Spirit of the living God, blessed be his Name, who liveth for ever! Voice, Spirit, and Word, this is the Holy Spirit.730
And this is the Kabalistic abstract Trinity, so unceremoniously anthropomorphized by the Fathers. From this triple One emanated the whole Kosmos. First from One emanated number Two, or Air, the creative element; and then number Three, Water, proceeded from the Air; Ether or Fire completes the mystic Four, the Arba-il. In the Eastern doctrine, Fire is the first Element—Ether, synthesizing the whole, since it contains all of them.
In the Vishnu Purâna, the whole seven periods are given; and the progressive Evolution of the “Spirit-Soul,” and of the seven Forms of Matter, or Principles, is shown. It is impossible to enumerate them in this work. The reader is asked to peruse one of the Purânas.
R. Yehudah began, it is written: “Elohim said: Let there be a firmament, in the midst of waters.” Come, see! At the time that the Holy ... created the world, He [they] created 7 heavens Above. He created 7 earths Below, 7 seas, 7 days, 7 rivers, 7 weeks, 7 years, 7 times, and 7,000 years that the world has been, ... the seventh of all (the millennium).... So here are 7 earths Below, they are all inhabited except those which are above, and those which are below. And ... between each earth, a heaven (firmament) is spread out between each other.... And there are in them [these earths] creatures who look different one from the other; ... but if you object and say that all the children of the world came out from Adam, it is not so.... And the lower earths, where do they come from? They are from the chain of the earth, and from the Heaven above.731
Irenæus also is our witness—and a very unwilling one—that the Gnostics taught the same system, veiling very carefully the true esoteric meaning. This “veiling,” however, is identical with that of the Vishnu Purâna and others. Thus Irenæus writes of the Marcosians:
They maintain that first of all the four elements, fire, water, earth and air, were produced after the image of the primary Tetrad above, and that then if we add their operations, namely, heat, cold, moisture and dryness, an exact likeness of the Ogdoad is presented.732
Only this “likeness” and the Ogdoad itself is a blind, just as in the seven creations of the Vishnu Purâna, to which two more are added, of which the eighth, termed Anugraha, “possesses both the qualities of goodness and darkness,” a Sânkhyan more than a Purânic idea. For Irenæus says again, that:
They [the Gnostics] had a like eighth creation which was good and bad, divine and human. They affirm that man was formed on the eighth day. Sometimes they affirm that he was made on the sixth day, and at others on the eighth; unless, perchance, they mean that his earthly part was formed on the sixth day and his fleshly part [?] on the eighth day; these two being distinguished by them.733
They were so “distinguished,” but not as Irenæus gives it. The Gnostics had a superior, and an inferior Hebdomad in Heaven; and a third terrestrial Hebdomad, on the plane of matter. Iaô, the Mystery God and the Regent of the Moon, as given in Origen's Chart, was the chief of these superior “Seven Heavens,”734 hence identical with the chief of the Lunar Pitris, that name being given by them to the Lunar Dhyân Chohans. “They affirm that these seven heavens are intelligent, and speak of them as being angels,” writes the same Irenæus; and adds that on this account they termed Iaô Hebdomas, while his mother was called Ogdoas, because, as he explains, “she preserved the number of the first begotten and primary Ogdoad of the Plerôma.”735
This “first begotten Ogdoad” was in Theogony the Second Logos, the Manifested, because it was born of the Seven-fold First Logos, hence it is the eighth on this manifested plane; and in Astrolatry, it was the Sun, Mârttânda, the eighth Son of Aditi, whom she rejects while preserving her Seven Sons, the planets. For the Ancients have never regarded the Sun as a planet, but as a central and fixed Star. This, then, is the second Hebdomad born of the Seven-rayed One, Agni, the Sun and what not, only not the seven planets, which are Sûrya's Brothers, not his Sons. With the Gnostics, these Astral Gods were the Sons of Ialdabaoth736 (from ilda, child, and baoth egg), the Son of Sophia Achamôth, the daughter of Sophia or Wisdom, whose region is the Plerôma. Ialdabaoth produces from himself these six stellar Spirits: Iaô (Jehovah), Sabaôth, Adoneus, Eloæus, Oreus, Astaphæus,737 and it is they who are the second, or inferior Hebdomad. As to the third, it is composed of the seven primeval men, the shadows of the Lunar Gods, projected by the first Hebdomad. In this the Gnostics did not, as seen, differ much from the Esoteric Doctrine, except that they veiled it. As to the charge made by Irenæus, who was evidently ignorant of the true tenets of the “Heretics,” with regard to man being created on the sixth day, and man being created on the eighth, this relates to the mysteries of the inner man. It will become comprehensible to the reader only after he has read Volume II, and understood well the Anthropogenesis of the Esoteric Doctrine.
Ialdabaoth is a copy of Manu, who boasts:
O best of twice-born men! Know that I (Manu) am he, the creator of all this world, whom that male Virâj ... spontaneously produced.738
He first creates the ten Lords of Being, the Prajâpatis, who, as verse 36 tells us, “produce seven other Manus.” Ialdabaoth boasts likewise: “I am Father and God, and there is no one above me,” he exclaims. For which his Mother coolly puts him down by saying: “Do not lie, Ialdabaoth, for the Father of all, the First Man (Anthrôpos) is above thee, and so is Anthrôpos, the Son of Anthrôpos.”739 This is a good proof that there were three Logoi—besides the Seven born of the First—one of these being the Solar Logos. And, again, who was that Anthrôpos himself, so much higher than Ialdabaoth? The Gnostic records alone can solve this riddle. In Pistis-Sophia the four-vowelled name Ieou is generally accompanied by the epithet of “the Primal, or First Man.” This shows again that the Gnôsis was but an echo of our Archaic Doctrine. The names answering to Parabrahman, to Brahmâ, and Manu, the first thinking Man, are composed of one-vowelled, three-vowelled and seven-vowelled sounds. Marcus, whose philosophy was certainly more Pythagorean than anything else, speaks of a revelation to him of the seven Heavens sounding each one vowel, as they pronounced the seven names of the seven Angelic Hierarchies.
When Spirit has permeated every minutest atom of the Seven Principles of Kosmos, then the Secondary Creation, after the above-mentioned period of rest, begins.
“The Creators [Elohim] outline in the second ‘Hour’ the shape of man,” says Rabbi Simeon in The Nuchthemeron of the Hebrews. “There are twelve hours in the day,” says the Mishna, “and it is during these that creation is accomplished.” The “twelve hours of the day” are again the dwarfed copy, the faint, yet faithful, echo of primitive Wisdom. They are like the 12,000 Divine Years of the Gods, a cyclic blind. Every Day of Brahmâ has 14 Manus, which the Hebrew Kabalists, following, however, in this the Chaldeans, have disguised into 12 “Hours.”740 The Nuchthemeron of Apollonius of Tyana is the same thing. “The Dodecahedron lies concealed in the perfect Cube,” say the Kabalists. The mystic meaning of this is, that the twelve great transformations of Spirit into Matter—the 12,000 Divine Years—take place during the four great Ages, or the first Mahâyuga. Beginning with the metaphysical and the supra-human, it ends in the physical and purely human natures of Kosmos and Man. Eastern Philosophy can give the number of mortal years that run along the line of spiritual and physical evolutions of the seen and the unseen, if Western Science fails to do so.
Primary Creation is called the Creation of Light (Spirit); and the Secondary, that of Darkness (Matter).741 Both are found in Genesis.742 The first is the emanation of self-born Gods (Elohim); the second of physical Nature.
This is why it is said in the Zohar:
Oh, companions, companions, man as emanation was both man and woman; as well on the side of the Father as on the side of the Mother. And this is the sense of the words: And Elohim spake: “Let there be Light and it was Light!” ... And this is the “two-fold Man”!
Light, however, on our plane, is Darkness in the higher spheres.
“Man and woman ... on the side of the Father” (Spirit) refers to Primary Creation; and on the side of the Mother (Matter), to the Secondary. The two-fold Man is Adam Kadmon, the male and female abstract prototype and the differentiated Elohim. Man proceeds from the Dhyân Chohan, and is a “Fallen Angel,” a God in exile, as will be shown.
In India these creations were described as follows:743
(I) The First Creation: Mahattattva Creation, so-called because it was the primordial self-evolution of that which had to become Mahat, the “Divine Mind, conscious and intelligent”; esoterically, the “Spirit of the Universal Soul.”
Worthiest of ascetics, through its potency (the potency of that cause), every producedcause comes by its proper nature.
Seeing that the potencies of all beings are understood only through the knowledge of That (Brahma), which is beyond reasoning, creation, and the like, such potencies are referable to Brahma.
That, then precedes the manifestation. “The first was Mahat,” says Linga Purâna; for the One (the That) is neither first nor last, but all. Exoterically, however, this manifestation is the work of the “Supreme One”—a natural effect, rather, of an Eternal Cause; or, as the Commentator says, it might have been understood to mean that Brahmâ was then created (?), being identified with Mahat, active intelligence, or the operating will of the Supreme. Esoteric Philosophy renders it the “operating Law.”
It is on the right comprehension of this tenet in the Brâhmanas and Purânas that hangs, we believe, the apple of discord between the three Vedântin Sects: the Advaita, Dvaita, and the Vishishthâdvaita. The first argues rightly that Parabrahman, having no relation, as the absolute All, to the manifested World, the Infinite having no connection with the Finite, can neither will nor create; that, therefore, Brahmâ, Mahat, Îshvara, or whatever name the Creative Power may be known by, Creative Gods and all, are simply an illusive aspect of Parabrahman in the conception of the conceivers; while the other sects identify the Impersonal Cause with the Creator, or Îshvara.
Mahat, or Mahâ-Buddhi, is, with the Vaishnavas, however, Divine Mind, in active operation, or, as Anaxagoras has it, “an ordering and disposing Mind, which was the cause of all things”—Νο?ς ? διακοσμ?ν τε κα? π?ντων ??τιος.
Wilson saw at a glance the suggestive connection between Mahat and the Phœnician Môt, or Mut, who was female with the Egyptians, the Goddess Moot, the Mother, “which, like Mahat,” he says, “was the first product of the mixture(?) of Spirit and Matter, and the first rudiment of Creation.” “Ex connexione autem ejus Spiritus prodidit Môt.... Hinc ... seminium omnis creaturæ et omnium rerum creatio,” says Brucker,744 giving it a still more materialistic and anthropomorphic colouring.
Nevertheless, the esoteric sense of the doctrine is seen, through every exoteric sentence, on the very face of the old Sanskrit texts that treat of primordial Creation.
The Supreme Soul, the All-permeant (Sarvaga) Substance of the World, having entered [been drawn] into Matter [Prakriti] and Spirit [Purusha], agitated the mutable and the immutable principles, the season of Creation [Manvantara] being arrived.
The Nous of the Greeks, which is (spiritual or divine) Mind, or Mens, Mahat, operates upon Matter in the same way; it “enters into” and “agitates” it:
Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus,
Mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet.
In the Phœnician Cosmogony also, “Spirit mixing with its own principles gives rise to creation”;745 the Orphic Triad shows an identical doctrine; for there Phanes, or Erôs, Chaos, containing crude undifferentiated Cosmic Matter, and Chronos, Time, are the three co-operating principles, emanating from the Concealed and Unknowable Point, which produce the work of “Creation.” And they are the Hindû Purusha (Phanes), Pradhâna (Chaos) and Kâla (Chronos). The good Professor Wilson does not like the idea, as no Christian clergyman, however liberal, would. He remarks that: “the mixture [of the Supreme Spirit or Soul with its own principles] is not mechanical; it is an influence or effect exerted upon intermediate agents which produce effects.” The sentence in Vishnu Purâna, “as fragrance affects the mind from its proximity merely, and not from any immediate operation upon mind itself, so the Supreme influenced the elements of creation,” the reverend and erudite Sanskritist correctly explains by: “as perfumes do not delight the mind by actual contact, but by the impression they make upon the sense of smelling, which communicates it to the mind”; adding, “the entrance of the Supreme ... into Spirit, as well as Matter, is less intelligible than the view elsewhere taken of it, as the infusion of Spirit, identified with the Supreme, into Prakriti or Matter alone.” He prefers the verse in Pâdma Purâna: “He who is called the male (spirit) of Prakriti ... that same divine Vishnu entered into Prakriti.” This view is certainly more akin to the plastic character of certain verses in the Bible concerning the Patriarchs, such as Lot and even Adam,746 and others of a still more anthropomorphic nature. But it is just that which led Humanity to Phallicism; the Christian religion being honeycombed with it, from the first chapter of Genesis down to the Revelation.
The Esoteric Doctrine teaches that the Dhyân Chohans are the collective aggregate of Divine Intelligence or Primordial Mind, and that the first Manus, the seven “mind-born” Spiritual Intelligences, are identical with the former. Hence the Kwan-Shi-Yin, the “Golden Dragon in whom are the Seven,” of Stanza III, is the Primordial Logos, or Brahmâ, the first manifested Creative Power; and the Dhyânic Energies are the Manus, or Manu Svâyambhuva collectively. The direct connection, moreover, between the Manus and Mahat is easy to see. Manu is from the root man, to think; and thinking proceeds from the mind. It is, in Cosmogony, the Pre-nebular Period.
(II) The Second Creation, Bhûta, was of the Rudimental Principles or Tanmâtras; thence termed the Elemental Creation or Bhûtasarga. It is the period of the first breath of the differentiation of the Pre-cosmic Elements, or Matter. Bhûtâdi means the “origin of the Elements,” and precedes Bhûtasarga, the “creation,” or differentiation, of those Elements in Primordial kâsha, Chaos or Vacuity.747 In the Vishnu Purâna it is said to proceed along, and belong to, the triple aspect of Ahankâra, translated Egotism, but meaning rather that untranslatable term “I-am-ness,” that which first issues from Mahat, or Divine Mind; the first shadowy outline of Self-hood, for “pure” Ahankâra becomes “passionate” and finally “rudimental” or initial: it is “the origin of conscious as of all unconscious being,” though the Esoteric school rejects the idea of anything being “unconscious,” save on our plane of illusion and ignorance. At this stage of the Second Creation, the Second Hierarchy of the Manus appear, the Dhyân Chohans or Devas, who are the origin of Form (Rûpa), the Chitrashikhandinas, “Bright-crested,” or Rikshas; those Rishis who have become the informing Souls of the Seven Stars (of the Great Bear).748 In astronomical and cosmogonical language, this Creation relates to the Fire-Mist Period, the first stage of Cosmic Life, after its Chaotic state,749 when Atoms issue from Laya.
(III) The Third Creation: the Third or Indriya Creation was the modified form of Ahankâra, the conception of “I” (from Aham, “I”), termed the Organic Creation, or Creation of the Senses, Aindriyaka. “These three were the Prâkrita Creation, the [discrete] developments of indiscrete nature preceded by the indiscrete principle.” “Preceded by,” ought to be replaced here with “beginning with Buddhi”; for the latter is neither a discrete nor an indiscrete quantity, but partakes of the nature of both, in man as in Kosmos. A unit or human Monad on the plane of illusion, when once freed from the three forms of Ahankâra and liberated from its terrestrial Manas, Buddhi indeed becomes a continued quantity, both in duration and extension, for it is eternal and immortal. Earlier it is stated, that the Third Creation “abounding with the quality of goodness,” is termed Ûrdhvasrotas; and a page or two further the Ûrdhvasrotas Creation is referred to as “the sixth creation ... or that of the divinities.” This shows plainly that earlier as well as later Manvantaras have been purposely confused, to prevent the profane from perceiving the truth. This is called “incongruity” and “contradictions” by the Orientalists. “The three creations beginning with Intelligence are elemental, but the six creations which proceed from the series of which Intellect is the first, are the work of Brahmâ.”750 Here “creations” mean everywhere stages of evolution. Mahat, “Intellect” or Mind, which corresponds with Manas, the former being on the cosmic, and the latter on the human plane, stands here, too, lower than Buddhi or supra-divine Intelligence. Therefore, when we read in Linga Purâna that “the first Creation was that of Mahat, Intellect being the first in manifestation,” we must refer that (specified) creation to the first evolution of our System or even our Earth, none of the preceding ones being discussed in the Purânas, but only occasionally hinted at.
This Creation of the first Immortals, or Devasarga, is the last of the series, and has a universal meaning; it refers, namely, to Evolution in general, and not specifically to our Manvantara, which begins with the same over and over again, thus showing that it refers to several distinct Kalpas. For it is said “at the close of the past [Pâdma] Kalpa the divine Brahmâ awoke from his night of sleep and beheld the Universe void.” Then Brahmâ is shown going once more over the “Seven Creations,” in the secondary stage of evolution, repeating the first three on the objective plane.
(IV) The Fourth Creation: the Mukhya or Primary, as it begins the series of four. Neither the term “inanimate” bodies nor “immovable things,” as translated by Wilson, gives a correct idea of the Sanskrit words used. Esoteric Philosophy is not alone in rejecting the idea of any atom being “inorganic,” for it is found also in orthodox Hindûism. Moreover, Wilson himself says: “All the Hindû systems consider vegetable bodies as endowed with life.”751 Charâchara, or the synonymous sthâvara and jangama, is, therefore, inaccurately rendered by “animate and inanimate,” “sentient beings” and “unconscious,” or “conscious and unconscious beings,” etc. “Locomotive and fixed” would be better, “since trees are considered to possess souls.” The Mukhya is the “creation,” or rather organic evolution, of the vegetable kingdom. In this Secondary Period, the three degrees of the elemental or rudimental kingdoms are evolved in this World, corresponding, inversely in order, to the three Prâkritic Creations, during the Primary Period of Brahmâ's activity. As in that Period, in the words of Vishnu Purâna, “the first creation was that of Mahat or Intellect.... The second was that of the Rudimental Principles (Tanmâtras).... The third was ... the creation of the senses (Aindriyaka)”; so in this one, the order of the Elemental Forces stands thus: (1) the nascent Centres of Force, intellectual and physical; (2) the Rudimentary Principles, nerve force, so to say; and (3) nascent Apperception, which is the Mahat of the lower kingdoms, and is especially developed in the third order of Elementals; these are succeeded by the objective kingdom of minerals, in which this “apperception” is entirely latent, to re-develop only in the plants. The Mukhya Creation, then, is the middle point between the three lower and the three higher kingdoms, which represent the seven esoteric kingdoms of Kosmos, and of Earth.
(V) The Fifth Creation: the Tiryaksrotas or Tairyagyonya Creation,752 that of the “(sacred) animals,” corresponding on Earth only to the dumb animal creation. That which is meant by “animals,” in the Primary Creation, is the germ of awakening consciousness, or of “apperception,” that which is faintly traceable in some sensitive plants on Earth and more distinctly in the protistic Monera.753 On our Globe, during the First Round, animal “creation” precedes that of man, while the mammalian animals evolve from man in our Fourth Round, on the physical plane. In the First Round, the animal atoms are drawn into a cohesion of human physical form; while in the Fourth, the reverse occurs according to magnetic conditions developed during life. And this is “metempsychosis.”754 This fifth Stage of Evolution, called exoterically “Creation,” may be viewed in both the Primary and Secondary Periods, one as the spiritual and cosmic, the other as the material and terrestrial. It is archebiosis, or life-origination; “origination,” so far, of course, as the manifestation of life on all the seven planes is concerned. It is at this period of evolution that the absolutely eternal universal motion, or vibration, that which is called in Esoteric language the “Great Breath,” differentiates into the primordial, first manifested Atom. More and more, as chemical and physical sciences progress, does this Occult axiom find its corroboration in the world of knowledge; the scientific hypothesis, that even the simplest elements of matter are identical in their nature, and differ from each other only in consequence of the various distributions of atoms in the molecule or speck of substance, or of the modes of its atomic vibration, gains more ground every day.
Thus, as the differentiation of the primordial germ of life has to precede the evolution of the Dhyân Chohan of the Third Group or Hierarchy of Being in Primary Creation, before those Gods can become embodied in their first ethereal form (rûpa), so animal creation has for the same reason to precede “divine man” on Earth. And this is why we find in the Purânas, “the fifth, the Tairyagyonya Creation, was that of animals.”
(VI) The Sixth Creation: the Ûrdhvasrotas Creation, or that of Divinities. But these Divinities are simply the Prototypes of the First Race, the Fathers of their “mind-born” progeny with the “soft bones.” It is these who became the Evolvers of the “Sweat-born”—an expression explained in Volume II.
“Created beings,” explains the Vishnu Purâna, “although they are destroyed [in their individual forms] at the periods of dissolution, yet being affected by the good or evil acts of former existences, are never exempted from their consequences. And when Brahmâ produces the world anew, they are the progeny of his will.”
“Collecting his mind into itself [yoga-willing], Brahmâ creates the four Orders of Beings, termed Gods, Demons, Progenitors, and Men”; Progenitors here meaning the Prototypes and Evolvers of the first Root-Race of men. The Progenitors are the Pitris, and are of Seven Classes. They are said, in exoteric mythology, to be born of “Brahmâ's side,” like Eve from the rib of Adam.
Finally, the Sixth Creation is followed, and “Creation” in general closed by:
(VII) The Seventh Creation: the evolution of the Arvâksrotas Beings, “which was ... that of man.”
The “Eighth Creation” mentioned is no Creation at all: it is a “blind,” for it refers to a purely mental process, the cognition of the “Ninth Creation,” which, in its turn, is an effect, manifesting in the Secondary, of that which was a “Creation” in the Primary (Prâkrita) Creation.755 The Eighth, then, called Anugraha, the Pratyayasarga or Intellectual Creation of the Sânkhyas,756 is “the creation of which we have a notion [in its esoteric aspect], or to which we give intellectual assent (Anugraha), in contradistinction to organic creation.” It is the correct perception of our relations to the whole range of “Gods,” and especially of those we bear to the Kumâras, the so-called “Ninth Creation,” which is in reality an aspect, or reflection, of the Sixth in our Manvantara (the Vaivasvata). “There is a ninth, the Kaumâra Creation, which is both primary and secondary,” says the Vishnu Purâna, the oldest of such texts.757 As an Esoteric text explains:
The Kumâras, are the Dhyânis, derived immediately from the Supreme Principle, who reäppear in the Vaivasvata Manu period, for the progress of mankind.758
The translator of the Vishnu Purâna corroborates it, by remarking that “these sages ... live as long as Brahmâ; and they are only created by him in the First Kalpa, although their generation is very commonly, but inconsistently, introduced in the [Secondary] Vârâha, or Pâdma Kalpa.” Thus, the Kumâras are, exoterically, “the creation of Rudra or Nîlalohita, a form of Shiva, by Brahmâ ... and of certain other mind-born sons of Brahmâ.” But, in the Esoteric teaching, they are the Progenitors of the true spiritual Self in the physical man, the higher Prajâpatis, while the Pitris, or lower Prajâpatis, are no more than the Fathers of the model, or type of his physical form, made “in their image.” Four (and occasionally five) are mentioned freely in the exoteric texts, three of the Kumâras being secret.
“The four Kumâras [are] the mind-born Sons of Brahmâ. Some specify seven.”759 All these seven Vaidhâtra, the patronymic of the Kumâras, the “Maker's Sons,” are mentioned and described in Îshvara Krishna's Sânkhya Kârikâ with the Commentary of Gaudapâdâchârya (Shankarâchvrya's Paraguru) attached to it. It discusses the nature of the Kumâras, though it refrains from mentioning by name all the seven Kumâras, but calls them instead the “seven sons of Brahmâ,” which they are, as they are created by Brahmâ in Rudra. The list of names it gives us is: Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanâtana, Kapila, Ribhu, and Panchashikha. But these again are all aliases.
The exoteric four are Sanatkumâra, Sananda, Sanaka, and Sanâtana; and the esoteric three Sana, Kapila, and Sanatsujâta. Special attention is once more drawn to this class of Dhyân Chohans, for herein lies the mystery of generation and heredity hinted at in the Commentary on Stanza VII, in treating of the Four Orders of Angelic Beings. Volume II explains their position in the Divine Hierarchy. Meanwhile, let us see what the exoteric texts say about them.
They say little; and to him who fails to read between the lines—nothing. “We must have recourse, here, to other Purânas for the elucidation of this term,” remarks Wilson, who does not suspect for one moment that he is in the presence of the “Angels of Darkness,” the mythical “great enemy” of his Church. Therefore, he contrives to “elucidate” no more than that “these [Divinities] declining to create progeny, [and thus rebelling against Brahmâ], remained, as the name of the first [Sanatkumâra] implies, ever boys, Kumâras; that is, ever pure and innocent, whence their creation is called the Kaumâra.” The Purânas, however, may afford a little more light. “Being ever as he was born, he is here called a youth; and hence his name is well known as Sanatkumâra.”760 In the Shaiva Purânas, the Kumâras are always described as Yogins. The Kurma Purâna, after enumerating them, says: “These five, O Brâhmans, were Yogins, who acquired entire exemption from passion.” They are five, because two of the Kumâras fell.
So untrustworthy are some translations of the Orientalists that in the French translation of the Hari Vamsha, it is said: “The seven Prajâpati, Rudra, Skanda (his son) and Sanatkumâra proceeded to create beings.” Whereas, as Wilson shows, the original is: “These seven ... created progeny; and so did Rudra, but Skanda and Sanatkumâra, restraining their power, abstained (from creation).” The “four orders of beings” are referred to sometimes as Ambhâmsi, which Wilson renders as “literally Waters” and believes it “a mystic term.” It is one, no doubt; but he evidently failed to catch the real Esoteric meaning. “Waters” and “Water” stand as the symbol for kâsha, the “Primordial Ocean of Space,” on which Nârâyana, the self-born Spirit, moves, reclining on that which is its progeny.761 “Water is the body of Nara; thus we have heard the name of Water explained. Since Brahmâ rests on the Water, therefore he is termed Nârâyana.”762 “Pure, Purusha created the Waters pure.” At the same time Water is the Third Principle in material Kosmos, and the third in the realm of the Spiritual: Spirit of Fire, Flame, kâsha, Ether, Water, Air, Earth, are the cosmic, sidereal, psychic, spiritual and mystic principles, preëminently occult, on every plane of being. “Gods, Demons, Pitris and Men,” are the four orders of beings to whom the term Ambhâmsi is applied, because they are all the product of Waters (mystically), of the kâshic Ocean, and of the Third principle in Nature. In the Vedas it is a synonym of Gods. Pitris and Men on Earth are the transformations or rebirths of Gods and Demons (Spirits) on a higher plane. Water is, in another sense, the feminine principle. Venus Aphrodite is the personified Sea, and the Mother of the God of Love, the Generatrix of all the Gods, as much as the Christian Virgin Mary is Mare, the Sea, the Mother of the Western God of Love, Mercy and Charity. If the student of Esoteric Philosophy thinks deeply over the subject, he is sure to find out all the suggestiveness of the term Ambhâmsi, in its manifold relations to the Virgin in Heaven, to the Celestial Virgin of the Alchemists, and even to the “Waters of Grace” of the modern Baptist.
Of all the seven great divisions of Dhyân Chohans, or Devas, there is none with which humanity is more concerned than with the Kumâras. Imprudent are the Christian Theologians who have degraded them into Fallen Angels, and now call them Satan and Demons; as among these heavenly denizens who “refuse to create,” the Archangel Michael, the greatest patron Saint of the Western and Eastern Churches, under his double name of St. Michael and his supposed copy on earth, St. George conquering the Dragon, has to be given one of the most prominent places.
The Kumâras, the Mind-born Sons of Brahmâ-Rudra, or Shiva, mystically the howling and terrific destroyer of human passions and physical senses, which are ever in the way of the development of the higher spiritual perceptions and the growth of the inner eternal man, are the progeny of Shiva, the Mahâyogî, the great patron of all the Yogîs and Mystics of India.
Shiva-Rudra is the Destroyer, as Vishnu is the Preserver; and both are the Regenerators of spiritual as well as of physical Nature. To live as a plant, the seed must die. To live as a conscious entity in the Eternity, the passions and senses of man must die before his body does. “That to live is to die and to die is to live,” has been too little understood in the West. Shiva, the Destroyer, is the Creator and the Saviour of Spiritual Man, as he is the good gardener of Nature. He weeds out the plants, human and cosmic, and kills the passions of the physical, to call to life the perceptions of the spiritual, man.
The Kumâras, themselves then, being the “virgin ascetics,” refuse to create the material being Man. Well may they be suspected of a direct connection with the Christian Archangel Michael, the “virgin combatant” of the Dragon Apophis, whose victim is every Soul united too loosely to its immortal Spirit, the Angel who, as shown by the Gnostics, refused to create just as the Kumâras did. Does not that patron Angel of the Jews preside over Saturn (Shiva or Rudra), and the Sabbath, the day of Saturn? Is he not shown of the same essence with his Father (Saturn), and called the Son of Time, Cronus, or Kâla, a form of Brahmâ (Vishnu and Shiva)? And is not Old Time of the Greeks, with its scythe and sand-glass, identical with the Ancient of Days of the Kabalists; the latter “Ancient” being one with the Hindû Ancient of Days, Brahmâ, in his triune form, whose name is also Sanat, the Ancient? Every Kumâra bears the prefix of Sanat and Sana. And Shanaishchara is Saturn, the planet Shani, the King Saturn, whose Secretary in Egypt was Thot-Hermes the first. They are thus identified both with the planet and the God (Shiva), who are, in their turn, shown to be the prototypes of Saturn, who is the same as Bel, Baal, Shiva, and Jehovah Sabbaoth, the Angel of the Face of whom is Mikael—?????, “who [is] as God.” He is the patron, and guardian Angel of the Jews, as Daniel tells us; and, before the Kumâras were degraded, by those who were ignorant of their very name, into Demons and Fallen Angels, the Greek Ophites, the occultly inclined predecessors and precursors of the Roman Catholic Church after its secession and separation from the primitive Greek Church, had identified Michael with their Ophiomorphos, the rebellious and opposing spirit. This means nothing more than the reverse aspect, symbolically, of Ophis, the Divine Wisdom or Christos. In the Talmud, Mikael is “Prince of Water” and the chief of the Seven Spirits, for the same reason that one of his many prototypes, Sanatsujâta, the chief of the Kumâras, is called Ambhâmsi, “Waters,” according to the commentary on Vishnu Purâna. Why? Because the Waters is another name of the Great Deep, the Primordial Waters of Space, or Chaos, and also means Mother, Ambâ, meaning Aditi and Akâsha, the Celestial Virgin-Mother of the visible Universe. Furthermore, the “Waters of the Flood” are also called the “Great Dragon,” or Ophis, Ophiomorphos.
The Rudras will be noticed in their septenary character of “Fire-Spirits” in the “Symbolism” attached to the Stanzas in Volume II. There we shall also consider the Cross (3 + 4) under its primeval and later forms, and shall use for purposes of comparison the Pythagorean numbers side by side with Hebrew metrology. The immense importance of the number seven will thus become evident, as the root number of Nature. We shall examine it from the standpoint of the Vedas and the Chaldean Scriptures; as it existed in Egypt thousands of years b.c., and as treated in the Gnostic records; we shall show how its importance as a basic number has gained recognition in Physical Science; and we shall endeavour to prove that the importance attached to the number seven throughout all antiquity was due to no fanciful imaginings of uneducated priests, but to a profound knowledge of Natural Law.
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