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The Secret Doctrine

By Helena P. Blavatsky

Book II-Part I- Western Speculations Founded On The Greek And Puranic Traditions

Thus it becomes natural to find that, on even such meagre data as have reached the profane historian, Rudbeck, a Swedish scientist, tried to prove about two centuries ago that Sweden was the Atlantis of Plato. He thought, even, that he had found in the configuration of ancient Upsala, the situation and measurements given by the Greek sage of the capital of "Atlantis." As Bailly proved, Rudbeck was mistaken; but so was Bailly likewise, and still more. For Sweden and Norway had formed part and parcel of ancient Lemuria, and also of Atlantis on the European side, just as Eastern and Western Siberia and Kamschatka had belonged to it, on the Asiatic. Only, once more, when was it? We can find it out approximately only by studying the Puranas, if we will have nought to do with the Secret teachings.

Three quarters of a century have already elapsed since Captain (now Colonel) Wilford brought forward his fanciful theories about the British islands being the "White Island," the Atala of the Puranas. This was sheer nonsense, as the Atala is one of the seven dwipas, or islands, belonging to the nether lokas, one of the seven regions of Patala (the antipodes). Moreover, as Wilford* shows, the Puranas place it "on the seventh zone or seventh climate," -- rather, on the seventh measure of heat: which thus locates it between the latitudes of 24 and 28 degrees north. It is then to be sought on the same degree as the Tropic of Cancer, whereas England is between the 50th and 60th degrees of latitude. Wilford speaks of it as Atala, Atlantis, the white island. And in vol. viii. of Journal of Asiatic Researches, p. 280, its enemy is called the "White Devil," the demon of terror. For he says: "In their (the Hindu and Mahomedan) romances, we see Kai-caus going to the mountain of 'As-burj, at the foot of which the Sun sets,' to fight the Dev-Sefid, or white devil, the Taradaitya of the Puranas, whose abode was on the seventh stage of the world, answering to the seventh zone of the Buddhists, or the White Island."

Now here the Orientalists have been, and are still, facing the Sphinx's riddle, the wrong solution of which will ever destroy their authority, if not their persons, in the eyes of every Hindu scholar, even those who are not initiates. For there is not a statement in the Puranas -- on the conflicting details of which Wilford based his speculations -- which has not several meanings, and does not apply to both the physical and the metaphysical worlds. If the old Hindus divided the face of the globe geographically into seven zones, climates, dwipas, and into seven hells and seven heavens, allegorically, that measure of seven did not apply in both cases to the same localities. It is the north pole, the country of "Meru," which is the seventh division, as it answers to the Seventh principle (or fourth metaphysically), of the occult calculation, for it represents the region of Atma, of pure soul, and Spirituality. Hence Pushkara is shown as the seventh zone, or dwipa, which encompasses the Kshira Ocean, or Ocean of milk (the ever-frozen white region) in the Vishnu (and other) Puranas (Book II ch. iv.). And Pushkara, with its two Varshas, lies directly at the foot of Meru. For it is said that "the two countries north and south of Meru are shaped like a bow," . . and that "one half of the surface of the earth is on the south of Meru and the other half on the north of Meru -- beyond which is half of Pushkara" (Vishnu Purana, Asiatic Researches, etc.). Geographically, then, Pushkara is America, Northern and Southern; and allegorically it is the prolongation of Jambu-dwipa* in the middle of which stands Meru, for it is the country inhabited by beings who live ten thousand years, who are free from sickness or failing; where there is neither virtue nor vice, caste or laws, for these men are "of the same nature as the Gods," (Vishnu Purana, Book II. ch. iv.). Wilford is inclined to see Meru in Mount Atlas, and locates there also the Loka-lokas. Now Meru, we are told, which is the Swar-loka, the abode of Brahma, of Vishnu, and the Olympus of Indian exoteric religions, is described geographically as "passing through the middle of the earth-globe, and protruding on either side" (Surya Siddhanta, v. 5, Whitney's trans.). On its upper station are the gods, on the nether (or South pole) is the abode of demons (hells). How can then Meru be Mount Atlas? Besides which, Taradaitya, a demon, cannot be placed on the seventh zone if the latter is identified with the "white" Island, which is Sveta-dwipa, for reasons given in the foot-note. (Vide infra.)

Wilford accuses the modern Brahmans "of having jumbled them (islands and countries) all together" (A.R. III. 300); but he jumbled them still more. He believes that as the Brahmanda and Vayu Puranas divide the old continent into seven dwipas, said to be surrounded by a vast ocean, beyond which lie the regions and mountains of Atala (ibid), hence "most probably the Greeks divided the nation of Atlantis, which, as it could not be found after having once been discovered, they conceived to have been destroyed by some shock of nature."

Finding certain difficulties in believing that the Egyptian priests, Plato, and even Homer, had all built their notions of Atlantis on Atala -- a nether region located at the Southern pole -- we prefer holding to the statements given in the secret books. We believe in the seven "continents," four of which have already lived their day, the fifth still exists, and two are to appear in the future. We believe that each of these is not strictly a continent in the modern sense of the word, but that each name, from Jambu down to Pushkara,* refers to the geographical names given (i.) to the dry lands covering the face of the whole earth during the period of a Root-Race, in general; and (ii.) to what remained of these after a geological (race) Pralaya -- as "Jambu," for instance: and (iii.) to those localities which will enter, after the future cataclysms, into the formation of new universal "continents," peninsulas, or dwipas** -- each continent being, in one sense, a greater or smaller region of dry land surrounded with water. Thus, that whatever "jumble" the nomenclature of these may represent to the profane, there is none, in fact, to him who has the key.

Thus, we believe we know that, though two of the Puranic "islands" -- the sixth and seventh "continents" -- are yet to come, nevertheless there were, or there are, lands which will enter into the composition of the future dry lands, of new earths whose geographical faces will be entirely changed, as were those of the past. Therefore we find in the Puranas that Saka-dwipa is (or will be) a continent, and that Sankha-dwipa, as shown in the Vayu Purana, is only "a minor island," one of the nine divisions (to which Vayu adds six more) of Bharata Varsha. Because Sankha-dwipa was peopled by "Mlechchhas (unclean foreigners), who worshipped Hindu divinities," therefore they were connected with India.* This accounts for Sankhasura, a King of a portion of Sankha-dwipa, who was killed by Krishna; that King who resided in the palace "which was an ocean shell, and whose subjects lived in shells also," says Wilford.

"On the banks of the Nile** (?) there were frequent contests between the Devatas (divine beings, demi-gods) and the Daityas (giants); but the latter tribe having prevailed, their King, Sankhasura, who resided in the Ocean, made frequent incursions in the night" (As. Res., Vol. III. 225.)

It is not on the banks of the Nile, but on the coasts of Western Africa, south of where now lies Morocco, that these battles took place. There was a time when the whole of the Sahara desert was a sea, then a continent as fertile as the Delta, and then, only after another temporary submersion, it became a desert similar to that other wilderness, the desert of Shamo or Gobi. This is shown in Puranic tradition, for on the same page as above cited, it is said: "The people were between two fires; for, while Sankhasura was ravaging one side of the continent, Krauncha (or Cracacha), King of Kraunch, used to desolate the other; both armies . . . thus changed the most fertile regions into a savage desert."

That not only the last island of Atlantis, spoken of by Plato, but a large continent, first divided, and then broken later on into seven peninsulas and islands (called dwipas), preceded Europe, is sure. It covered the whole of the North and South Atlantic regions, as well as portions of the North and South Pacific, and had islands even in the Indian Ocean (relics of Lemuria). The claim is corroborated by Indian Puranas, Greek writers, and Asiatic, Persian, and Mohammedan traditions. Wilford, who confuses sorely the Hindu and the Mussulman legends, shows this, however, clearly. (See Vol. VIII., X. and XI. of Asiatic Researches.) And his facts and quotations from the Puranas give direct and conclusive evidence that the Aryan Hindus and other ancient nations were earlier navigators than the Phoenicians, who are now credited with having been the first seamen that appeared in the post-diluvian times. This is what is given in the Journal of the Asiatic Society, III., pp. 325, et seq.: --

"In their distress the few nations who survived (in the war between Devatas and Daityas) raised their hands to Bhagavan, 'Let him who can deliver us . . . be our King'; using the word I'T (a magic term not understood by Wilford, evidently) which re-echoed through the whole country."

Then comes a violent storm, the waters of the Kali are strangely agitated, "when there appeared from the waves . . a man, afterwards called I'T, at the head of a numerous army, saying abhayan, no fear" . . . and scattered the enemy. "The King I'T," explains Wilford, "is a subordinate incarnation of M'rira" (Mrida, a form of Rudra, probably?) who "re-established peace and prosperity throughout all Sankha-dwipa, through Barbaradesa, Hissast'han and Awasthan or Arabia . . " etc., etc.

Surely, if the Hindu Puranas give a description of wars on continents and islands situated beyond Western Africa in the Atlantic Ocean; if their writers speak of Barbaras and other people such as Arabs -- they who were never known to navigate, or cross the Kala pani (the black waters of the Ocean) in the days of Phoenician navigation -- then their Puranas must be older than those Phoenicians (placed at from 2,000 to 3,000 years B.C.). At any rate those traditions must have been older;* as --

"In the above accounts," writes an adept, "the Hindus speak of this island as existing and in great power; it must, therefore, have been more than eleven thousand years ago."

But another calculation and proof may be adduced of the great antiquity of these Hindu Aryans who knew of (because they had once dwelt in it) and described the last surviving island of Atlantis -- or rather of that remnant of the Eastern portion of that continent which had perished soon after the upheaval of the two Americas* -- the two Varshas of Pushkara. This may be demonstrated, moreover, on an astronomical calculation by an adept who criticises Wilford. For recalling what the Orientalist had brought forward concerning the Mount Ashburj "at the foot of which the sun sets," where was the war between the Devatas and the Daityas,** he says: --

"We will consider, then, the latitude and longitude of the lost island, and of the remaining Mount Ashburj. It was on the seventh stage of the world, i.e., in the seventh climate (which is between the latitude of 24 degrees and latitude 28 degrees north) . . . This island, the daughter of the Ocean, is frequently described as lying in the West; and the sun is represented as setting at the foot of its mountain (Ashburj, Atlas, Teneriffe or Nila, no matter the name), and fighting the white Devil of the 'White Island.' "

Now, considering this statement from its astronomical aspect, and knowing that Krishna is the incarnated Sun (Vishnu), a solar God; and that he is said to have killed Dev-Sefid, the white giant -- a possible personification of the ancient inhabitants at the foot of the Atlas -- perchance Krishna may be only a representation of the vertical beams of the Sun? Those inhabitants (the Atlantides) are, we have seen, accused by Diodorus of daily cursing the Sun, and ever fighting his influence. This is an astronomical interpretation of course. But it will now be proved that Sankhasura, and Sancha dwipa, and all their history, is also geographically and ethnologically Plato's "Atlantis" in Hindu dress.

It was just remarked that since, in the Puranic accounts, the island is still existing, then those accounts must be older than the 11,000 years elapsed since Sancha dwipa, or the Poseidonis of Atlantis, disappeared. Is it not barely possible that Hindus should have known the island still earlier? Let us turn again to astronomical demonstrations, which make this quite plain if one assumes, according to the said adept, that "at the time when the summer tropical 'colure' passed through the Pleiades, when cor-Leonis would be upon the equator; and when Leo was vertical to Ceylon at sunset, then would Taurus be vertical to the island of Atlantis at noon."

This explains, perhaps, why the Singhalese, the heirs of the Rakshasas and Giants of Lanka, and the direct descendants of Singha, or Leo, became connected with Sancha dwipa or Poseidonis (Plato's Atlantis). Only, as shown by Mackey's "Sphinxiad," this must have occurred about 23,000 years ago, astronomically; at which time the obliquity of the ecliptic must have been rather more than 27 degrees, and consequently Taurus must have passed over "Atlantis" or "Sancha dwipa." And that it was so is clearly demonstrated.

"The sacred bull Nandi was brought from Bharata to Sancha to meet Rishabha (Taurus) every Kalpa. But when those of the White Island (who descended originally from Sveta dwipa),* who had mixed with the Daityas (giants) of the land of iniquity, had become black with Sin, then Nandi remained for ever in the "White Island" (or Sveta dwipa.) "Those of the Fourth World (race) lost AUM" -- say the Commentaries.

Asburj (or Azburj), whether the peak of Teneriffe or not, was a volcano, when the sinking of the "western Atala" (or hell) began, and those who were saved told the tale to their children. Plato's Atlantis perished between water below and fire above; the great mountain vomiting flames all the while. "The 'fire-vomiting Monster' survived alone out of the ruins of the unfortunate island."

Do the Greeks, accused of borrowing a Hindu fiction (Atala), and inventing from it another (Atlantis), stand also accused of getting their geographical notions and the number seven from them? (Vide in Part II. the several sections on the SEPTENATE in nature.)

"The famous Atlantis exists no longer, but we can hardly doubt that it did once," says Proclus, "for Marcellus, who wrote a history of Ethiopian affairs, says that such, and so great an island once existed, and this is evidenced by those who composed histories relative to the external sea. For they relate that in this time there were seven islands in the Atlantic sea sacred to Proserpine; and besides these, three of immense magnitude, sacred to Pluto . . . Jupiter . . . and Neptune. And, besides this, the inhabitants of the last island (Poseidonis) preserved the memory of the prodigious magnitude of the Atlantic island as related by their ancestors, and of its governing for many periods all the islands in the Atlantic sea. From this isle one may pass to other large islands beyond, which are not far from the firm land, near which is the true sea."

"These seven dwipas (inaccurately rendered islands) constitute, according to Marcellus, the body of the famous Atlantis," writes Wilford himself. . . . . This evidently shows that Atlantis is the old continent. . . . The Atlantis was destroyed after a violent storm (?): this is well known to the Puranics, some of whom assert that in consequence of this dreadful convulsion of nature, six of the dwipas disappeared" . . . (xi., 27).

Enough proofs have now been given to satisfy the greatest sceptic. Nevertheless, direct proofs based on exact science are also added. Volumes might be written, however, to no purpose for those who will neither see nor hear, except through the eyes and ears of their respective authorities.

Hence the teaching of the Roman Catholic scholiasts, namely, that Hermon, the mount in the land of Mizpeth -- meaning "anathema," "destruction" -- is the same as Mount Armon. As a proof of this, Josephus is often quoted, as affirming that still in his own day enormous bones of giants were daily discovered on it. But it was the land of Balaam the prophet, whom the "Lord loved well"; and so mixed up are facts and personages in the said scholiasts' brains, that, when the Zohar explains the "birds" which inspired Balaam to mean "Serpents," to wit, the wise men and adepts at whose school he had learnt the mysteries of prophecy -- the opportunity is again taken of showing Mount Hermon inhabited by the "winged dragons of Evil, whose chief is Samael" (the Jewish Satan).

"It is to those unclean spirits chained on Mount Hermon of the Desert, that the scapegoat of Israel, who assumed the name of one of them (Azaz(y)el), was sent" (Spencer).

We say it is not so. The Zohar has the following explanation on the practice of magic which is called in Hebrew Nehhaschim, or the "Serpents' Works." It says (Part III. col. 302): -- "It is called nehhaschim, because the magicians (practical Kabalists) work surrounded by the light of the primordial serpent, which they perceive in heaven as a luminous zone composed of myriads of small stars" . . . which means simply the astral light, so called by the Martinists, by Eliphas Levi, and now by all the modern Occultists. (Vide Sections about.)



The foregoing teachings of the SECRET DOCTRINE, supplemented by universal traditions, must now have demonstrated that the Brahmanas and Puranas, the Yathas and other Mazdean Scriptures, down to the Egyptian, Greek, and Roman, and finally to the Jewish Sacred records, all have the same origin. None are meaningless and baseless stories, invented to entrap the unwary profane: all are allegories intended to convey, under a more or less fantastic veil, the great truths gathered in the same field of pre-historic tradition. Space forbids us from entering, in these two volumes, into further and more minute details with respect to the four Races which preceded our own. But before offering to the student the history of the psychic and spiritual evolution of the direct antediluvian fathers of our Fifth (Aryan) humanity, and before demonstrating its bearing upon all the other side branches grown from the same trunk, we have to elucidate a few more facts. It has been shown, on the evidence of the whole ancient literary world, and the intuitional speculations of more than one philosopher and scientist of the later ages, that the tenets of our Esoteric Doctrine are corroborated by inferential as well as by direct proof in almost every case. That neither the "legendary" giants, nor the lost continents, nor yet the evolution of the preceding races, are quite baseless tales. In the Addenda which close this volume, science will find itself more than once unable to reply; they will, it is hoped, finally dispose of every sceptical remark with regard to the sacred number in nature, and our figures in general. (Vide §§ on the Septenaries.)

Meanwhile, one task is left incomplete: that of disposing of that most pernicious of all the theological dogmas -- the CURSE under which mankind is alleged to have suffered ever since the supposed disobedience of Adam and Eve in the bower of Eden.

Creative powers in man were the gift of divine wisdom, not the result of sin. This is clearly instanced in the paradoxical behaviour of Jehovah, who first curses Adam and Eve (or Humanity) for the supposed committed crime, and then blesses his "chosen people" by saying "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. ix. 1). The curse was not brought on mankind by the Fourth Race, for the comparatively sinless Third Race, the still more gigantic Antediluvians, had perished in the same way; hence the Deluge was no punishment, but simply a result of a periodical and geological law. Nor was the curse of KARMA called down upon them for seeking natural union, as all the mindless animal-world does in its proper seasons; but, for abusing the creative power, for desecrating the divine gift, and wasting the life-essence for no purpose except bestial personal gratification. When understood, the third chapter of Genesis will be found to refer to the Adam and Eve of the closing Third and the commencing Fourth Races. In the beginning, conception was as easy for woman as it was for all animal creation. Nature had never intended that woman should bring forth her young ones "in sorrow." Since that period, however, during the evolution of the Fourth Race, there came enmity between its seed, and the "Serpent's" seed, the seed or product of Karma and divine wisdom. For the seed of woman or lust, bruised the head of the seed of the fruit of wisdom and knowledge, by turning the holy mystery of procreation into animal gratification; hence the law of Karma "bruised the heel" of the Atlantean race, by gradually changing physiologically, morally, physically, and mentally, the whole nature of the Fourth Race of mankind,* until, from the healthy King of animal creation of the Third Race, man became in the Fifth, our race, a helpless, scrofulous being, and has now become the wealthiest heir on the globe to constitutional and hereditary diseases, the most consciously and intelligently bestial of all animals!**

This is the real CURSE from the physiological standpoint, almost the only one touched upon in the Kabalistic esotericism. Viewed from this aspect, the curse is undeniable, for it is evident. The intellectual evolution, in its progress hand-in-hand with the physical, has certainly been a curse instead of a blessing -- a gift quickened by the "Lords of Wisdom," who have poured on the human manas the fresh dew of their own spirit and essence. The divine Titan has then suffered in vain; and one feels inclined to regret his benefaction to mankind, and sigh for those days so graphically depicted by AEschylus, in his "Prometheus Bound," when, at the close of the first Titanic age (the age that followed that of ethereal man, of the pious Kandu and Pramlocha), nascent, physical mankind, still mindless and (physiologically) senseless, is described as --

"Seeing, they saw in vain;
Hearing, they heard not; but like shapes in dreams,
Through the long time all things at random mixed."
Our Saviours, the Agnishwatta and other divine "Sons of the Flame of Wisdom" (personified by the Greeks in Prometheus***), may well, in the injustice of the human heart, be left unrecognized and unthanked. They may, in our ignorance of the truth, be indirectly cursed for Pandora's gift: but to find themselves proclaimed and declared by the mouth of the clergy, the EVIL ONES, is too heavy a Karma for "Him" "who dared alone "-- when Zeus "ardently desired" to quench the entire human race -- to save "that mortal race" from perdition, or, as the suffering Titan is made to say: --

"From sinking blasted down to Hades' gloom.
For this by the dire tortures I am bent,
Grievous to suffer, piteous to behold,
I who did mortals pity! . . . . "
The chorus remarking very pertinently: --

"Vast boon was this thou gavest unto mortals . . . ."
Prometheus answers: --

"Yea, and besides 'twas I that gave them fire.
CHORUS: Have now these short-lived creatures flame-eyed fire?
PROM.: Ay, and by it full many arts will learn. . . . . "
But, with the arts, the fire received has turned into the greatest curse: the animal element, and consciousness of its possession, has changed periodical instinct into chronic animalism and sensuality.* It is this which hangs over humanity like a heavy funereal pall. Thus arises the responsibility of free-will; the Titanic passions which represent humanity in its darkest aspect; "the restless insatiability of the lower passions and desires, when, with self-asserting insolence, they bid defiance to the restraints of law."**

Prometheus having endowed man, according to Plato's "Protagoras," with that "wisdom which ministers to physical well-being," but the lower aspect of manas of the animal (Kama) having remained unchanged, instead of "an untainted mind, heaven's first gift" (AEschylus), there was created the eternal vulture of the ever unsatisfied desire, of regret and despair coupled with "the dreamlike feebleness that fetters the blind race of mortals" (p. 556), unto the day when Prometheus is released by his heaven-appointed deliverer, Herakles.

Now Christians -- Roman Catholics especially -- have tried to prophetically connect this drama with the coming of Christ. No greater mistake could be made. The true theosophist, the pursuer of divine wisdom and worshipper of ABSOLUTE perfection -- the unknown deity which is neither Zeus nor Jehovah -- will demur to such an idea. Pointing to antiquity he will prove that there never was an original sin, but only an abuse of physical intelligence -- the psychic being guided by the animal, and both putting out the light of the spiritual. He will say, "All ye who can read between the lines, study ancient wisdom in the old dramas -- the Indian and the Greek; read carefully the one just mentioned, one enacted on the theatres of Athens 2,400 years ago, namely 'Prometheus Bound' " The myth belongs to neither Hesiod nor AEschylus; but, as Bunsen says, it "is older than the Hellenes themselves," for it belongs, in truth, to the dawn of human consciousness. The Crucified Titan is the personified symbol of the collective Logos, the "Host," and of the "Lords of Wisdom" or the HEAVENLY MAN, who incarnated in Humanity. Moreover, as his name Pro-me-theus, meaning "he who sees before him" or futurity, shows* -- in the arts he devised and taught to humanity, psychological insight was not the least. For as he complains to the daughters of Oceanos: --

"Of prophecies the various modes I fixed,
And among dreams did first discriminate
The truthful vision . . . and mortals guided
To a mysterious art. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
All arts to mortals from Prometheus came. . ."

Leaving for a few pages the main subject, let us pause and see what may be the hidden meaning of this, the most ancient as it is the most suggestive of traditional allegories. As it relates directly to the early races, this will be no real digression.

The subject of AEschylus' drama (the trilogy is lost) is known to all cultured readers. The demi-god robs the gods (the Elohim) of their secret -- the mystery of the creative fire. For this sacrilegious attempt he is struck down by KRONOS* and delivered unto Zeus, the FATHER and creator of a mankind which he would wish to have blind intellectually, and animal-like; a personal deity, which will not see MAN "like one of us." Hence Prometheus, "the fire and light-giver," is chained on Mount Caucasus and condemned to suffer torture. But the triform Fates (Karma), whose decrees, as the Titan says, even Zeus: --

"E'en he the fore-ordained cannot escape. . . "
-- ordain that those sufferings will last only to that day when a son of Zeus --

"Ay, a son bearing stronger than his sire" (787)
. . . . . . . . . .
"One of thine (Io's) own descendants it must be. ."(791)
-- is born. This "Son" will deliver Prometheus (the suffering Humanity) from his own fatal gift. His name is, "He who has to come. . . . "

On the authority, then, of these few lines, which, like any other allegorical sentence, may be twisted into almost any meaning; namely, on the words pronounced by Prometheus and addressed to Io, the daughter of Inachos, persecuted by Zeus -- a whole prophecy is constructed by some Catholic writers. Says the crucified Titan: --

"And, portent past belief, the speaking oaks
By which full clearly, in no riddling phrase
Wast hailed as the illustrious spouse of Zeus
. . . . . . . . . (v. 853).
. . . . stroking thee
With touch alone of unalarming hand;
Then thou dark Epaphos shalt bear, whose name
Records his sacred gendering . . . . " (870)
This was construed by several fanatics -- des Mousseaux and de Mir-ville amongst others -- into a clear prophecy. Io -- "is the mother of God," we are told, and "dark Epaphos" -- Christ. But, the latter has not dethroned his father, except metaphorically, if one has to regard Jehovah as that "Father"; nor has the Christian Saviour hurled his Father down into Hades. Prometheus says, in verse 930, that Zeus will be humbled yet; as for himself: --

" . . . . such marriage he prepares
Which from his throne of power to nothingness
Shall hurl him down; so shall be all fulfilled
His father Kronos' curse . . . .
. . . . Then let him sit
Confiding in his lofty thunder-peals,
And wielding with both hands the fiery bolt;
For these shall not avail, but fail he shall,
A fall disgraceful, not to be endured . . . . " (v. 980).
"Dark Epaphos" was the Dionysos-Sabazius, the son of Zeus and of Demeter in the Sabasian Mysteries, during which the "father of the gods," assuming the shape of a Serpent, begot on Demeter, Dionysos, or the solar Bacchus. Io is the moon, and at the same time the EVE of a new race, and so is Demeter -- in the present case. The Promethean myth is a prophecy indeed; but it does not relate to any of the cyclic Saviours who have appeared periodically in various countries and among various nations, in their transitionary conditions of evolution. It points to the last of the mysteries of cyclic transformations, in the series of which mankind, having passed from the ethereal to the solid physical state, from spiritual to physiological procreation, is now carried onward on the opposite arc of the cycle, toward that second phase of its primitive state, when woman knew no man, and human progeny was created, not begotten.

That state will return to it and to the world at large, when the latter shall discover and really appreciate the truths which underlie this vast problem of sex. It will be like "the light that never shone on sea or land," and has to come to men through the Theosophical Society. That light will lead on and up to the true spiritual intuition. Then (as expressed once in a letter to a theosophist), "the world will have a race of Buddhas and Christs, for the world will have discovered that individuals have it in their own powers to procreate Buddha-like children -- or demons." "When that knowledge comes, all dogmatic religions, and with these the demons, will die out."

If we reflect upon the serial development of the allegory, and the character of the heroes, the mystery may be unriddled. KRONOS is of course "time" in its cyclic course. He swallows his children -- the personal gods of exoteric dogmas included. He has swallowed instead of Zeus, his stone idol; but the symbol has grown, and has only developed in human fancy as mankind was cycling down toward only its physical and intellectual -- not spiritual -- perfection. When it is as far advanced in its spiritual evolution Kronos will be no longer deceived. Instead of the stone image he will have swallowed the anthropomorphic fiction itself. Because, the serpent of wisdom, represented in the Sabasian mysteries by the anthropomorphised Logos, the unity of spiritual and physical Powers, will have begotten in Time (Kronos) a progeny -- Dionysos-Bacchus or the "dark Epaphos," the "mighty one" -- the race that will overthrow him. Where will he be born? Prometheus traces him to his origin and birth-place in his prophecy to Io. Io is the moon-goddess of generation -- for she is Isis and she is Eve, the great mother.* He traces the path of the (racial) wanderings as plainly as words can express it. She has to quit Europe and go to Asia's continent, reaching there the highest of the mountains of Caucasus (737), the Titan telling her: --

"When thou hast crossed the flood, limit betwixt
Two continents, fronting the burning East." (810)
that she must travel eastward, after passing the "Kimmerian Bosphorus," and cross what is evidently the Volga and now Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea. After this she will encounter "fierce northern blasts" and cross thither to the land of the "Arimaspian host" (east of Herodotus' Scythia) to --

"Pluto's gold-abounding flood. . . ."(825)
Which is rightly conjectured by Professor Newman to have meant the Ural, the Arimaspi of Herodotus being "the recognised inhabitants of this golden region."

And here comes, between verses 825 and 835, a puzzle to all the European interpreters. Says the Titan: --

"To these (Arimaspi and Grypes) approach not; a far border land
Thou next wilt reach, where dwells a swarthy race
Near the Sun's founts, where is the AEthiop "river";
Along its banks proceed till thou attain
The mighty rapids, where from Bybline heights
Pure draughts of sacred water Neilos sends . . . "
There Io was ordained to found a colony for herself and sons. Now we must see how the passage is interpreted. As Io is told that she has to travel eastward till she comes to the river Ethiops, which she is to follow till it falls into the Nile -- hence the perplexity. "According to the geographical theories of the earliest Greeks" we are informed by the author of the version on "Prometheus Bound" --

"This condition was fulfilled by the river Indus. Arrian (vi. i.) mentions that Alexander the Great, when preparing to sail down the Indus (having seen crocodiles in the river Indus, and in no other river except the Nile . . . ), seemed to himself to have discovered the sources of the Nile, as though the Nile, rising from some place in India, and flowing through much desert land, and thereby losing its name Indus, next . . . flowed through inhabited land, being now called the Nile by the Ethiopians of those parts and afterwards by the Egyptians. Virgil in the 4th Georgic echoes the absolute error" (p. 197, Vol. II.).
Both Alexander and Virgil may have erred considerably in their geographical notions; but the prophecy of Prometheus has not so sinned, in the least -- not, at any rate, in its esoteric spirit. When a certain race is symbolised, and events pertaining to its history are rendered allegorically, no topographical accuracy ought to be expected in the itinerary traced for its personification. Yet it so happens, that the river "Ethiops" is certainly the Indus, and it is also the Nil or Nila. It is the river born on the Kailas (heaven) mountain, the mansion of the gods -- 22,000 feet above the level of the sea. It was the Ethiops river -- and was so called by the Greeks, long before the days of Alexander, because its banks, from Attock down to Sind, were peopled by tribes generally referred to as the Eastern Ethiopians. India and Egypt were two kindred nations, and the Eastern Ethiopians -- the mighty builders -- have come from India, as is pretty well proved, it is hoped, in "ISIS UNVEILED." (Vol. I. p. 569-70).

Then why could not Alexander, and even the learned Virgil have used the word Nile or Neilos when speaking of the Indus, since it is one of its names? To this day that river is called, in the regions around Kala-Bagh, nil (blue), and Nilah, "the blue river." The water here is of such dark blue colour that the name given to it from time immemorial led to a small town on its banks being called by the same name. It exists to this day. Evidently Arrian -- who wrote far later than the day of Alexander, and who was ignorant of the old name of the Indus -- has unconsciously slandered the Greek conqueror. Nor are our modern historians much wiser, in judging as they do. For they often make the most sweeping declarations on mere appearances, as much as their ancient colleagues ever did in days of old, when no Encyclopaedias were yet ready for them.

The race of IO, "the cow-horned maid" is then simply the first pioneer race of the AEthiopians brought by her from the Indus to the Nile (which received its name in memory of the mother river of the colonists from India*). For does not Prometheus say to Io** that the sacred Neilos (the god, not the river) --

. . . "He to the land, three-cornered, thee shall guide," -- namely, to the Delta, where her sons are foreordained to found -- . . . . . "that far-off colony . . ." (v. 830 et seq.).

It is there that a new race (the Egyptians) will begin, and a "female race" (873) which, "fifth in descent" from dark Epaphos --

"Fifty in number shall return to Argos."
. . . . . . . .
Then one of the fifty virgins will fail through love and shall -- . . .

A kingly race in Argos bear
. . . . . . . .
But from this seed shall dauntless heroes spring,
Bow-famous, who shall free me from these ills."
When this hero shall arise, the Titan does not reveal; for as he remarks: --

"This, to set forth at large needs lengthy speech." But "Argos" is Arghya Varsha, the land of libation of the old Hierophants, whence the deliverer of Humanity will appear, a name which became ages later that of its neighbour, India -- the Arya-varta of old.

That the subject formed part of the Sabasian mysteries is made known by several ancient writers: by Cicero (in Tuscul. Quaest. I, ii. No. 20) and by Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. I, ii., oper. tom. 1, p. 467 -- Ed. Potter's). The latter writers are the only ones who attribute the fact that AEschylus was charged by the Athenians with sacrilege and condemned to be stoned to death, to its true cause. They say that having been himself uninitiated, AEschylus had profaned the Mysteries by exposing them in his trilogies on a public stage.* But he would have incurred the same condemnation had he been initiated -- which must have been the case, as otherwise he must, like Socrates, have had a daimon to reveal to him the secret and sacred allegorical drama of initiation. At all events, it is not the "father of the Greek tragedy" who invented the prophecy of Prometheus; for he only repeated in dramatic form that which was revealed by the priests during the MYSTERIA of the Sabasia.** The latter, however, is one of the oldest sacred festivals, whose origin is to this day unknown to history. Mythologists connect it through Mithras (the Sun, called Sabasius on some old monuments) with Jupiter and Bacchus. But it was never the property of the Greeks, but dates from days immemorial.

The translators of the drama wonder how AEschylus could become guilty of such "discrepancy between the character of Zeus as portrayed in the 'Prometheus Bound' and that depicted in the remaining dramas." (Mrs. A. Swanwick.) This is just because AEschylus, like Shakespeare, was and will ever remain the intellectual "Sphinx" of the ages. Between Zeus, the abstract deity of Grecian thought, and the Olympic Zeus, there was an abyss. The latter represented during the mysteries no higher a principle than the lower aspect of human physical intelligence -- Manas wedded to Kama; Prometheus -- its divine aspect merging into and aspiring to Buddhi -- the divine Soul. Zeus was the human soul and nothing more, whenever shown yielding to his lower passions, -- the jealous God, revengeful and cruel in its egotism or I-AM-NESS. Hence, Zeus is represented as a serpent -- the intellectual tempter of man -- which, nevertheless, begets in the course of

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* Herodotus and Pausanias supposed that the cause of the condemnation was that AEschylus, adopting the theogony of the Egyptians, made Diana, the daughter of Ceres, and not of Latona. (See AElian Var. Hist. I, v. c. xviii., tom. 1, p. 433 Edition Gronov.) But AEschyIus was initiated.

** Sabasia was a periodical festival with mysteries enacted in honour of some gods, a variant on the Mithraic Mysteries. The whole evolution of the races was performed in them. cyclic evolution the "Man-Saviour," the solar Bacchus or "Dionysos," more than a man.

Dionysos is one with Osiris, with Krishna, and with Buddha (the heavenly wise), and with the coming (tenth) Avatar, the glorified Spiritual Christos, who will deliver the suffering Christos (mankind, or Prometheus, on its trial). This, say Brahminical and Buddhistic legends, echoed by the Zoroastrian and now by the Christian teachings (the latter only occasionally), will happen at the end of Kaliyuga. It is only after the appearance of Kalki-Avatar, or Sosiosh, that man will be born from woman without sin. Then will Brahma, the Hindu deity; Ahura-Mazda (Ormazd), the Zoroastrian; Zeus, the Greco-Olympian Don Juan; Jehovah, the jealous, repenting, cruel, tribal God of the Israelites, and all their likes in the universal Pantheon of human fancy -- vanish and disappear in thin air. And along with these will vanish their shadows, the dark aspects of all those deities, ever represented as their "twin brothers" and creatures, in exoteric legend, their own reflection on earth -- in esoteric philosophy. The Ahrimans and Typhons, the Samaels and Satans, must be all dethroned on that day, when every dark evil passion will be subdued.

There is one eternal Law in nature, one that always tends to adjust contraries and to produce final harmony. It is owing to this law of spiritual development superseding the physical and purely intellectual, that mankind will become freed from its false gods, and find itself finally -- SELF-REDEEMED.

In its final revelation, the old myth of Prometheus -- his proto- and anti-types being found in every ancient theogony -- stands in each of them at the very origin of physical evil, because at the threshold of human physical life. KRONOS is "Time," whose first law is that the order of the successive and harmonious phases in the process of evolution during cyclic development should be strictly preserved -- under the severe penalty of abnormal growth with all its ensuing results. It was not in the programme of natural development that man -- higher animal though he may be -- should become at once -- intellectually, spiritually, and psychically -- the demi-god he is on earth, while his physical frame remains weaker and more helpless and ephemeral than that of almost any huge mammal. The contrast is too grotesque and violent; the tabernacle much too unworthy of its indwelling god. The gift of Prometheus thus became a CURSE -- though foreknown and foreseen by the HOST personified in that personage, as his name well shows.* It is in this that rests, at one and the same time, its sin and its redemption. For the Host that incarnated in a portion of humanity, though led to it by Karma or Nemesis, preferred free-will to passive slavery, intellectual self-conscious pain and even torture "while myriad time shall flow" -- to inane, imbecile, instinctual beatitude. Knowing such an incarnation was premature and not in the programme of nature, the heavenly host, "Prometheus," still sacrificed itself to benefit thereby, at least, one portion of mankind.* But while saving man from mental darkness, they inflicted upon him the tortures of the self-consciousness of his responsibility -- the result of his free will -- besides every ill to which mortal man and flesh are heir to. This torture Prometheus accepted for himself, since the Host became henceforward blended with the tabernacle prepared for them, which was still unachieved at that period of formation.

Spiritual evolution being incapable of keeping pace with the physical, once its homogeneity was broken by the admixture, the gift thus became the chief cause, if not the sole origin of Evil.** The allegory which shows KRONOS cursing Zeus for dethroning him (in the primitive "golden" age of Saturn, when all men were demi-gods), and for creating a physical race of men weak and helpless in comparison; and then as delivering to his (Zeus') revenge the culprit, who despoiled the gods of their prerogative of creation and who thereby raised man to their level, intellectually and spiritually -- is highly philosophical. In the case of Prometheus, Zeus represents the Host of the primeval progenitors, of the PITAR, the "Fathers" who created man senseless

"Oh! holy Ether, swiftly-winged gales . . . .
Behold what I, a god, from gods endure
. . . . . . . . .
And yet what say I? Clearly I foreknew
All that must happen . . . .
. . . . The Destined it behoves,
As best I may, to bear, for well I wot
How incontestable the strength of Fate . . . . (88-105)
"Fate" stands here for KARMA, or Nemesis.

* Mankind is obviously divided into god-informed men and lower human creatures. The intellectual difference between the Aryan and other civilized nations and such savages as the South Sea Islanders, is inexplicable on any other grounds. No amount of culture, nor generations of training amid civilization, could raise such human specimens as the Bushmen, the Veddhas of Ceylon, and some African tribes, to the same intellectual level as the Aryans, the Semites, and the Turanians so called. The "sacred spark" is missing in them and it is they who are the only inferior races on the globe, now happily -- owing to the wise adjustment of nature which ever works in that direction -- fast dying out. Verily mankind is "of one blood," but not of the same essence. We are the hot-house, artificially quickened plants in nature, having in us a spark, which in them is latent.

** The philosophical view of Indian metaphysics places the Root of Evil in the differentiation of the Homogeneous into the Heterogeneous, of the unit into plurality.

and without any mind; while the divine Titan stands for the Spiritual creators, the devas who "fell" into generation. The former are spiritually lower, but physically stronger, than the "Prometheans": therefore, the latter are shown conquered. "The lower Host, whose work the Titan spoiled and thus defeated the plans of Zeus," was on this earth in its own sphere and plane of action; whereas, the superior Host was an exile from Heaven, who had got entangled in the meshes of matter. They (the inferior "Host") were masters of all the Cosmic and lower titanic forces; the higher Titan possessed only the intellectual and spiritual fire. This drama of the struggle of Prometheus with the Olympic tyrant and despot, sensual Zeus, one sees enacted daily within our actual mankind: the lower passions chain the higher aspirations to the rock of matter, to generate in many a case the vulture of sorrow, pain, and repentance. In every such case one sees once more --

"A god . . . in fetters, anguish fraught;
The foe of Zeus, in hatred held by all. . . . "
A god, bereft even of that supreme consolation of Prometheus, who suffered in self-sacrifice --

"For that to men he bare too fond a mind. . ."
as the divine Titan is moved by altruism, but the mortal man by Selfishness and Egoism in every instance.

The modern Prometheus has now become Epi-metheus, "he who sees only after the event"; because the universal philanthropy of the former has long ago degenerated into selfishness and self-adoration. Man will rebecome the free Titan of old, but not before cyclic evolution has re-established the broken harmony between the two natures -- the terrestrial and the divine; after which he becomes impermeable to the lower titanic forces, invulnerable in his personality, and immortal in his individuality, which cannot happen before every animal element is eliminated from his nature. When man understands that "Deus non fecit mortem" (Sap. I., 13), but that man has created it himself, he will re-become the Prometheus before his Fall.

For the full symbolism of Prometheus and the origin of this mythos in Greece, the reader is referred to Part II. of this Volume, chapter "A Second Key to Prometheus," etc. In the said Part -- a kind of supplement to the present portion -- every additional information is given upon those tenets that will be the most controverted and questioned. This work is so heterodox, when confronted with the acknowledged standards of theology and modern science, that no proof which tends to show that these standards often usurp an illegal authority should be neglected.



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