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The Secret Doctrine

By Helena P. Blavatsky

Book II-Part II- The Septenary Element In The Vedas


We have to go to the very source of historical information, if we would bring our best evidence to testify to the facts enunciated. For, though entirely allegorical, the Rig-Vedic hymns are none the less suggestive. The seven rays of Surya (the Sun) are made therein parallel to the Seven Worlds (of every planetary chain), to the seven rivers of heaven and earth, the former being the seven creative Hosts, and the latter the Seven men, or primitive human groups. The Seven ancient Rishis -- the progenitors of all that lives and breathes on earth -- are the seven friends of Agni, his seven "horses," or seven "HEADS." The human race has sprung from fire and water, it is allegorically stated; fashioned by the FATHERS, or the ancestor-sacrificers, from Agni; for Agni, the Aswins, the Adityas (Rig-Veda III., 54, 16, II., 29, 3, 4), are all synonymous with that "sacrificer," or the fathers, variously called Pitar (Pitris, fathers), Angirases** (Ibid, 1, 31, 17, 139, et seq.), the Sadhyas, "divine sacrificers," the most occult of all. They are all called deva putra rishayah or "the Sons of God" (X., 62; 1, 4). The "sacrificers," moreover, are collectively the ONE sacrificer, the father of the gods, Visvakarman, who performed the great Sarva-Medha ceremony, and ended by sacrificing himself. (See Rig-Vedic Hymns.) In these Hymns the "Heavenly Man" is called purusha, "the Man," (X. 90, 1) from whom Viraj was born (X. 90, 5); and from Viraj, the (mortal) man. It is Varuna (now drawn from his sublime position to be the chief of the lords-Dhyanis or Devas) who regulates all natural phenomena, who "makes a path for the Sun, for him to follow." The seven rivers of the sky (the descending creative gods) and the seven rivers of the earth (the seven primitive mankinds) are under his control, as will be seen. For he who breaks Varuna's laws (Vratani, "courses of natural action," active laws) is punished by Indra (X. 113, 5), the Vedic powerful god, whose Vrata (law or power) is greater than the Vratani of any other god.

Thus, the Rig Veda, the oldest of all the known ancient records, may be shown to corroborate the occult teachings in almost every respect. Its hymns -- the records written by the earliest Initiates of the Fifth (our race) concerning the primordial teachings -- speak of the Seven Races (two still to come) allegorising them by the "seven streams" (1, 35, 8); and of the Five Races ("panca krishtayah") which have already inhabited this world (ibid) on the five regions "panca pradicah" (IX, 86, 29), as also of the three continents that were.*

It is those scholars only who will master the secret meaning of the Purushasukta (in which the intuition of the modern Orientalist has chosen to see "one of the very latest hymns of the Rig-Veda"), who may hope to understand how harmonious are its teachings and how corroborative of the Esoteric doctrines. One must study in all the abstruseness of their metaphysical meaning the relations in it between the (Heavenly) man "Purusha," SACRIFICED for the production of the Universe and all in it (See Visvakarman), and the terrestrial mortal man (Hymn X. 20, 1, 16), before one realizes the hidden philosophy of this verse: --

"15. He ("Man," purusha, or Visvakarman) had seven enclosing logs of fuel, and thrice seven layers of fuel; when the gods performed the sacrifice, they bound the Man as victim" . . . . This relates to the three Septenary primeval Races, and shows the antiquity of the Vedas, who knew of no other, probably in this earliest oral teachings; and also to the seven primeval groups of mankind, as Visvakarman represents divine humanity collectively.*

The same doctrine is found reflected in the other old religions. It may, and must have come down to us disfigured and misinterpreted, as in the case of the Parsis, who read it in their Vendidad and elsewhere, without understanding the allusions they contain any better than the Orientalists do; yet the doctrine is plainly mentioned in their old works. (See the enumeration of the seven spheres --not the "Karshvare of the earth," as believed -- in Fargard XIX., 30). But see further on.

Comparing the esoteric teaching with the interpretations by James Darmesteter (the Vendidad, edited by Prof. Max Muller), one may see at a glance where the mistake is made, and the cause that produced it. The passage runs thus: --

"The Indo-Iranian Asura (Ahura) was often conceived as seven-fold; by the play of certain mythical (?) formulae and the strength of certain mythical (?) numbers, the ancestors of the Indo-Iranians had been led to speak of seven worlds,** and the Supreme God was often made seven-fold, as well as the worlds over which he ruled." (Vide the foot note). "The seven worlds became in Persia the seven Karshvare of the earth: the earth is divided into seven Karshvare, only one of which is known and accessible to man, the one on which we live, namely, Hvaniratha; which amounts to saying that there are seven earths.*** Parsi mythology knows also of seven heavens. Hvaniratha itself is divided into seven climes. (Orm. Ahr. § 72. "Vendidad Introd. p. Lx.,)" and the same division and doctrine is to be found in the oldest and most revered of the Hindu scriptures -- the Rig-veda. Mention is made therein of six worlds, besides our earth: the six rajamsi above prithivi -- the earth, -- or "this" (idam) as opposed to that which is yonder (i.e., the six globes on the three other planes or worlds). (See Rig-veda I. 34, III. 56; VII 10, 411, and V., 60. 6).

The italics are ours to point out the identity of the tenets with those of the esoteric doctrine, and the mistake made. The Magi or Mazdeans only believed in what other people believed in; namely, in seven "worlds" or globes of our planetary chain, of which only one is accessible to man (at the present time), our Earth; and in the successive appearance and destruction of seven continents or earths on this our globe, each continent being divided, in commemoration of the seven globes (one visible, six invisible), into seven islands or continents, "seven climes," etc., etc. This was a common belief in those days when the now Secret Doctrine was open to all. It is this multiplicity of localities under Septenary division, that made the Orientalists (led astray, moreover, by the oblivion of both the uninitiated Hindus and Parsis of their primitive doctrines) feel so puzzled by this ever-recurring seven-fold number, as to regard it as "mythical." It is that oblivion of the first principles which has led the Orientalists off the right track and made them commit the greatest blunders. The same failure is found in the definition of the Gods. Those who are ignorant of the esoteric doctrine of the earliest Aryans, can never assimilate or understand correctly the metaphysical meaning contained in these BEINGS.

Ahura Mazda (Ormazd) was the head and synthesis of the seven Amesha Spentas (or Amshaspends), and, therefore, an Amesha Spenta himself. Just as "Jehovah-Binah Arelim" was the head and synthesis of the Elohim and no more; so Agni-Vishnu-Surya was the synthesis and head, or the focus whence emanated in physics as in metaphysics, from the Spiritual as from the physical Sun, the Seven Rays, the seven fiery tongues, the seven planets or gods. All these became supreme gods and the ONE GOD, but only after the loss of the primeval secrets, the sinking of Atlantis, or "the Flood," and the occupation of India by the Brahmans, who sought safety on the summits of the Himalayas, when even the high table-lands of what is now Tibet became submerged for a time. Ahura Mazda is addressed only as "the Most Blissful Spirit, Creator of the corporeal World" in the Vendidad. "Ahura Mazda" in its literal translation means the "Wise Lord" (Ahura "lord," and Mazda "wise"). Moreover, this name of Ahura, in Sanskrit Asura, connects him with the Manasaputras, the Sons of Wisdom who informed the mindless man, and endowed him with his mind (manas). Ahura (asura) may be derived from the root ah "to be," but in its primal signification it is what the Secret Teaching shows it to be.

When geology shall have found out how many thousands of years ago the disturbed waters of the Indian Ocean reached the highest plateaux of Central Asia, when the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf made one with it, then only will they know the age of the Aryan Brahminical nation, and the time of its descent into the plains of Hindostan, which it did millenniums later.

Yima, the so-called "first man" in the Vendidad, as much as his twin-brother Yama, the Son of Vaivasvata Manu, belongs to two epochs of the Universal History. He is the "Progenitor" of the Second human Race, hence the personification of the shadows of the Pitris, and the father of the postdiluvian Humanity. The Magi said "Yima," as we say "man" when speaking of mankind. The "fair Yima," the first mortal who converses with Ahura Mazda, is the first "man" who dies or disappears, not the first who is born. The "Son of Vixanghat," was, like the Son of Vaivasvata, the symbolical man, who stood in esotericism as the representative of the first three races and the collective Progenitor thereof. Of these races the first two never died* but only vanished, absorbed in their progeny, and the third knew death only towards its close, after the separation of the sexes and its "Fall" into generation. This is plainly alluded to in the II. Fargard of the Vendidad. Yima refuses to become the bearer of the law of Ahura Mazda, saying "I was not born, I was not taught to be the preacher and the bearer of thy law." And then Ahura Mazda asks him to make his men increase and "watch over his world" (3 and 4).

He refuses to become the priest of Ahura Mazda, because he is his own priest and sacrificer, but he accepts the second proposal. He is made to answer: --

"Yes! . . . yes, I will rule and watch over thy world. There shall be, while I am King, neither cold wind nor hot wind, neither disease nor death."
Then Ahura Mazda brings him a golden ring and a poniard, the emblems of sovereignty, and under the sway of Yima --

"Three hundred winters passed away, and the earth was replenished with flocks and herds, with men, and dogs, and birds, and with red blazing fires," etc. (300 winters mean 300 periods or cycles.)
"Replenished," mark well, that is to say, all this had been on it before; and thus is proven the knowledge of the doctrine about the successive destructions of the world and its life cycles. Once the "300 winters" were over, Ahura Mazda warns Yima that the earth is becoming too full, and men have nowhere to live. Then Yima steps forward, and with the help of Spenta Armaita (the female genius, or Spirit of the Earth) makes that earth stretch out and become larger by one-third, after which "new herds and flocks and men" appear upon it. Ahura Mazda warns him again, and Yima makes the earth by the same magic power to become larger by two-thirds. "Nine hundred winters" pass away, and Yima has to perform the ceremony for the third time. The whole of this is allegorical. The three processes of stretching the earth, refer to the three successive continents and races issuing one after and from the other, as explained more fully elsewhere. After the third time, Ahura Mazda warns Yima in an assembly of "celestial gods and excellent mortals" that upon the material world the fatal winters are going to fall, and all life will perish. This is the old Mazdean symbolism for the "flood," and the coming cataclysm to Atlantis, which sweeps away every race in its turn. Like Vaivasvata Manu and Noah, Yima makes a vara (an enclosure, an ark) under the God's direction, and brings thither the seed of every living creature, animals and "fires."

It is of this "earth" or new continent that Zarathustra became the law-giver and ruler. This was the Fourth Race in its beginning, after the men of the Third began to die out. Till then, as said (vide supra, foot note) there had been no regular death, but only a transformation, for men had no personality as yet. They had monads -- breaths of the ONE Breath, and as impersonal as the source from which they proceeded. They had bodies, or rather shadows of bodies, which were sinless, hence Karmaless. Therefore, as there was no Kamaloka -- least of all Nirvana or even Devachan -- for the "souls" of men who had no personal Egos, there could be no intermediate periods between the incarnations. Like the Phoenix, primordial man resurrected out of his old into a new body. Each time, and with each new generation, he became more solid, more physically perfect, agreeably with the evolutionary law, which is the Law of Nature. Death came with the complete physical organism, and with it -- moral decay.

This explanation shows one more old religion agreeing in its symbology with the universal Doctrine.

Elsewhere the oldest Persian traditions, the relics of Mazdeism of the still older Magians, are given, and some of them explained. Mankind did not issue from one solitary couple. Nor was there ever a first man -- whether Adam or Yima -- but a first mankind.

It may, or may not be, "mitigated polygenism." Once that both creation ex-nihilo -- an absurdity -- and a superhuman Creator or creators -- a fact -- are made away with by science, polygenism presents no more difficulties or inconveniences (rather fewer from a scientific point of view) than monogenism does.

Nevertheless, it is as scientific as any other claim. For in his Introduction to Nott's and Gliddon's "Types of Mankind," Agassiz declares his belief in an indefinite number of "primordial races of men created separately"; and remarks that, "whilst in every zoological province animals are of different species, man, in spite of the diversity of his races, always forms one and the same human being."

Occultism defines and limits the number of primordial races to seven, because of the "seven progenitors," or prajapatis, the evolvers of beings. These are neither gods, nor supernatural Beings, but advanced Spirits from another and lower planet, reborn on this one, and giving birth in their turn in the present Round to present Humanity. This doctrine is again corroborated by one of its echoes -- the Gnostic. In their Anthropology and Genesis of man they taught that "a certain company of Seven angels," formed the first men, who were no better than senseless, gigantic, shadowy forms -- "a mere wriggling worm" (!) writes Irenaeus (I., 24, 1), who takes, as usual, the metaphor for reality.

We may now examine other ancient Scriptures and see whether they contain the septenary classification, and, if so, to what degree.

As much, if not much more, even than in the Jewish Bible, scattered about in the thousands of Sanskrit texts, some still unopened, others yet unknown, as well as in all the Puranas, the numbers seven and forty-nine (7 x 7) play a most prominent part. They are found from the Seven creations in Chapter I., down to the seven rays of the Sun at the final Pralaya, which expand into Seven Suns and absorb the material of the whole Universe. Thus the Matsya Purana has: "For the sake of promulgating the Vedas, Vishnu, in the beginning of a Kalpa, related to Manu the story of Narasimha and the events of seven Kalpas." Then again the same Purana shows that "in all the Manvantaras, classes of Rishis* appear by seven and seven, and having established a code of law and morality depart to felicity" -- the Rishis representing many other things besides living Sages.

In Hymn xix., 53, of Atharva Veda (Dr. Muir's translation) one reads: -- " 1. Time carries (us) forward, a steed, with seven rays, a thousand eyes, undecaying, full of fecundity. On him intelligent sages mount; his wheels are all the worlds."

"2. Thus Time moves on seven wheels; he has seven naves; immortality is his axle. He is at present all these worlds. Time hastens onward the first God."

"3. A full jar is contained in Time. We behold him existing in many forms. He is all these worlds in the future. They call him 'Time in the highest Heaven' " . . . .

Now add to this the following verse from the Esoteric volumes: --

"Space and Time are one. Space and Time are nameless, for they are the incognizable THAT, which can be sensed only through its seven rays -- which are the Seven Creations, the Seven Worlds, the Seven Laws," etc., etc., etc. . . .

Remembering that the Puranas insist on the identity of Vishnu with Time and Space*; and that even the Rabbinical symbol for God is MAQOM, "Space," it becomes clear why, for purposes of a manifesting Deity -- Space, Matter, and Spirit -- the one central point became the Triangle and Quaternary (the perfect Cube), hence Seven. Even the Pravaha wind (the mystic and occult Force that gives the impulse to, and regulates the course of the stars and planets) is septenary. The Kurma and Linga Puranas enumerate seven principal winds of that name, which winds are the principles of Cosmic Space. They are intimately connected with Dhruva** (now Alpha), the Pole-Star, which is connected in its turn with the production of various phenomena through cosmic forces.

Thus, from the Seven Creations, seven Rishis, Zones, Continents, Principles, etc., etc. in the Aryan Scriptures, the number has passed through Indian, Egyptian, Chaldaic, Greek, Jewish, Roman, and finally Christian mystic thought, until it landed in and remained impressed indelibly on every exoteric theology. The seven old books stolen out of Noah's ark by Ham, and given to Cush, his son, and the seven Brazen columns of Ham and Cheiron, are a reflection and a remembrance of the Seven primordial mysteries instituted according to the "Seven secret emanations," the "Seven Sounds," and seven rays -- the spiritual and sidereal models of the seven thousand times seven copies of them in later aeons.

The mysterious number is once more prominent in the no less mysterious Maruts. The Vayu Purana shows, and Harivansa corroborates, that the Maruts -- the oldest as the most incomprehensible of all the secondary or lower gods in the Rig Veda -- "are born in every manvantara (Round) seven times seven (or 49); that in each Manvantara, four times seven (or twenty-eight) they obtain emancipation, but their places are filled up by persons reborn in that character." What are the Maruts in their esoteric meaning, and who those persons "reborn in that character"? In the Rig and other Vedas, the Maruts are represented as the storm gods and the friends and allies of Indra; they are the "Sons of heaven and of earth." This led to an allegory that makes them the children of Siva, the great patron of the Yogis, "the MAHA-YOGI, the great ascetic, in whom is centred the highest perfection of austere penance and abstract meditation, by which the most unlimited powers are obtained, marvels and miracles are worked, the highest spiritual knowledge is acquired, and union with the great spirit of the universe is eventually gained." In the Rig Veda the name Siva is unknown, but the god is called Rudra, which is a word used for Agni, the fire god, the Maruts being called therein his sons. In the Ramayana and the Puranas, their mother, Diti -- the sister, or complement of, and a form of Aditi -- anxious to obtain a son who would destroy Indra, is told by Kasyapa the Sage, that "if, with thoughts wholly pious and person entirely pure, she carrys the babe in her womb for a hundred years" she will get such a son. But Indra foils her in the design. With his thunderbolt he divides the embryo in her womb into seven portions, and then divides every such portion into seven pieces again, which become the swift-moving deities, the Maruts.* These deities are only another aspect, or a development of the Kumaras, who are Rudras in their patronymic, like many others.**

Diti, being Aditi, unless the contrary is proven to us, Aditi, we say, or Akasa in her highest form, is the Egyptian seven-fold heaven. Every true Occultist will understand what this means. Diti, we repeat, is the sixth principle of metaphysical nature, the Buddhi of Akasa. Diti, the mother of the Maruts, is one of her terrestrial forms, made to represent, at one and the same time, the divine Soul in the ascetic, and the divine aspirations of mystic Humanity toward deliverance from the webs of Maya, and final bliss in consequence. Indra, now degraded, because of the Kali Yuga, when such aspirations are no more general but have become abnormal through a general spread of Ahamkara (the feeling of Egotism, Self, or I-AM-NESS) and ignorance -- was, in the beginning, one of the greatest gods of the Hindu Pantheon, as the Rig Veda shows. Sura-dhipa, "the chief of the gods," has fallen down from Jishnu, "the leader of the celestial host," -- the Hindu St. Michael -- to an opponent of asceticism, the enemy of every holy aspiration. He is shown married to Aindri (Indrani), the personification of Aindri-yaka, the evolution of the element of senses, whom he married "because of her voluptuous attractions"; after which he began sending celestial female demons to excite the passions of holy men, Yogis, and "to beguile them from the potent penances which he dreaded." Therefore, Indra, now characterized as "the god of the firmament, the personified atmosphere" -- is in reality the cosmic principle Mahat, and the fifth human -- Manas in its dual aspect: as connected with Buddhi; and as allowing himself to be dragged down by his Kama-principle (the body of passions and desires). This is demonstrated by Brahma telling the conquered god that his frequent defeats were due to Karma, and were a punishment for his licentiousness, and the seduction of various nymphs. It is in this latter character that he seeks, to save himself from destruction, to destroy the coming "babe" destined to conquer him: -- the babe, of course, allegorizing the divine and steady will of the Yogi -- determined to resist all such temptations, and thus destroy the passions within his earthly personality. Indra succeeds again, because flesh conquers spirit -- (Diti is shown frustrated in the Dvapara Yug, during that period when the Fourth Race was flourishing). He divides the "Embryo" (of new divine adeptship, begotten once more by the Ascetics of the Aryan Fifth Race), into seven portions -- a reference not alone to the seven sub-races of the new Root-Race, in each of which there will be a "Manu,"* but also to the seven degrees of adeptship -- and then each portion into seven pieces -- alluding to the Manu-Rishis of each Root-Race, and even sub-race.

It does not seem difficult to perceive what is meant by the Maruts obtaining "four times seven" emancipations in every "manvantara," and by those persons who, being reborn in that character (of the Maruts in their esoteric meaning), "fill up their places." The Maruts represent (a) the passions that storm and rage within every candidate's breast, when preparing for an ascetic life -- this mystically; (b) the occult potencies concealed in the manifold aspects of Akasa's lower principles -- her body, or sthula sarira, representing the terrestrial, lower, atmosphere of every inhabited globe -- this mystically and sidereally; (c) actual conscious Existences, Beings of a cosmic and psychic nature.

At the same time "Maruts" is, in occult parlance, one of the names given to those EGOS of great Adepts who have passed away, and who are known also as Nirmanakayas; of those Egos for whom -- since they are beyond illusion -- there is no Devachan, and who, having either voluntarily renounced it for the good of mankind, or not yet reached Nirvana, remain invisible on earth. Therefore are the Maruts* shown firstly -- as the sons of Siva-Rudra -- the "Patron Yogi," whose "third eye," mystically, must be acquired by the ascetic before he becomes an adept; then, in their cosmic character, as the subordinates of Indra and his opponents -- variously. The "four times seven" emancipations have a reference to the four Rounds, and the four Races that preceded ours, in each of which Marut-Jivas (monads) have been re-born, and have obtained final liberation, if they have only availed themselves of it. Instead of which, preferring the good of mankind, which would struggle still more hopelessly in the meshes of ignorance and misery, were it not for this extraneous help -- they are re-born over and over again "in that character," and thus "fill up their own places." Who they are, "on earth" -- every student of Occult science knows. And he also knows that the Maruts are Rudras, among whom also the family of Twashtri, a synonym of Visvakarman -- the great patron of the Initiates -- is included. This gives us an ample knowledge of their true nature.

The same for the Septenary Division of Kosmos and human principles. The Puranas, along with other sacred texts, teem with allusions to this. First of all, the mundane Egg which contained Brahma, or the Universe, "was externally invested with seven natural elements, at first loosely enumerated as Water, Air, Fire, Ether, and three secret elements" (Book I.); then the "World" is said to be "encompassed on every side" by seven elements, also within the egg -- as explained, "the universe is encompassed on every side, above and below by the Andakat'aha -- the shell of the egg of Brahma." . . . Around the shell flows water, which is surrounded with fire; fire by air; air by ether; ether by the origin of the elements (Ahamkara); the latter by Universal Mind ("Intellect" in the Texts) (Book II., ch. VII. Vishnu Purana). It relates to spheres of being as much as to principles. Prithivi is not our Earth, but the World, the Solar system, and means the broad, the Wide. In the Vedas -- the greatest of all authorities, though needing the key to read it correctly -- three terrestrial and three celestial earths are mentioned as having been called into existence simultaneously with Bhumi -- our earth. We have often been told that six, not seven, appears to be the number of spheres, principles, etc. We answer that there are, in fact, only six principles in man; since his body is no principle, but the covering, the shell thereof. So with the planetary chain; speaking of which, esoterically, the Earth (as well as the seventh, or rather fourth plane, one that stands as the seventh if we count from the first triple kingdom of the Elementals that begin the formation) may be left out of consideration, being (to us) the only distinct body of the seven. The language of occultism is varied. But supposing that three earths only, instead of seven, are meant in the Vedas, what are those three, since we still know of but one? Evidently there must be an occult meaning in the statement under consideration. Let us see. The "Earth that floats" on the Universal Ocean (of Space), which Brahma divides in the Puranas into seven zones, is Prithivi, the world divided into seven principles; a cosmic division looking metaphysical enough, but, in reality, physical in its occult effects. Many Kalpas later, our Earth is mentioned, and, in its turn, is divided into seven zones* on that same law of analogy that guided ancient philosophers. After which one finds on it seven continents, seven isles, seven oceans, seven seas and rivers, seven mountains, and seven climates, etc., etc., etc.**

Furthermore, it is not only in the Hindu Scriptures and philosophy that one finds references to the Seven Earths, but in the Persian, Phoenician, Chaldean, and Egyptian Cosmogonies, and even in Rabbinical literature. The Phoenix* -- called by the Hebrews Onech [Heb char] (from Phenoch, Enoch, symbol of a secret cycle and initiation), and by the Turks, Kerkes -- lives a thousand years, after which, kindling a flame, it is self-consumed; and then, reborn from itself -- it lives another thousand years, up to seven times seven: (See "Book of Ali" -- Russian transl.), when comes the day of Judgment. The "seven times seven," 49, are a transparent allegory, and an allusion to the forty-nine "Manus," the Seven Rounds, and the seven times seven human cycles in each Round on each globe. The Kerkes and the Onech stand for a race cycle, and the mystical tree Ababel -- the "Father Tree" in the Kuran -- shoots out new branches and vegetation at every resurrection of the Kerkes or Phoenix; the "Day of judgment" meaning a "minor Pralaya" (See "Esoteric Buddhism"). The author of the "Book of God" and the "Apocalypse" believes that "the Phoenix is very plainly the same as the Simorgh, the Persian roc, and the account which is given us of this last bird, yet more decisively establishes the opinion that the death and revival of the Phoenix exhibit the successive destruction and reproduction of the world, which many believed to be effected by the agency of a fiery deluge" -- (p. 175); and a watery one in turn. "When the Simorgh was asked her age, she informed Caherman that this world is very ancient, for it has been already seven times replenished with beings different from men, and seven times depopulated;** that the age of the human race, in which we now are, is to endure seven thousand numbers, and that she herself had seen twelve of these revolutions, and knew not how many more she had to see." (Oriental Collections, ii., 119.)

The above, however, is no new statement. From Bailly, in the last century, down to Dr. Kenealy, in this one, these facts have been noticed by several writers, but now a connection can be established between the Persian oracle and the Nazarene prophet. Says the author of the "Book of God": --

"The Simorgh is in reality the same as the winged Singh of the Hindus, and the Sphinx of the Egyptians. It is said that the former will appear at the end of the world . . . . as a monstrous lion-bird. From these the Rabbins have borrowed their mythos of an enormous Bird, sometimes standing on the Earth, sometimes walking in the ocean . . . while its head props the sky; and with the symbol, they have also adopted the doctrine to which it relates. They teach that there are to be seven successive renewals of the globe, that each reproduced system will last seven thousand years; (?) and that the total duration of the universe will be 49,000 years. This opinion, which involves the doctrine of the pre-existence of each renewed creature, they may either have learned during their Babylonian captivity, or it may have been part of the primeval religion which their priests had preserved from remote times" (p. 176). It shows rather that the initiated Jews borrowed, and their non-initiated successors, the Talmudists, lost the sense, and applied the Seven Rounds, and the forty-nine races, etc., to the wrong end.

Not only "their priests," but those of every other country. The Gnostics, whose various teachings are the many echoes of the one primitive and universal doctrine, put the same numbers, under another form, in the mouth of Jesus in the very occult Pistis Sophia. We say more: even the Christian editor or author of Revelation has preserved this tradition and speaks of the Seven RACES, four of which, with part of the fifth, are gone, and two have to come. It is stated as plainly as could be stated in chapter xvii., verses 9 and 10. Thus saith the angel: "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are SEVEN Kings, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come . . . . " Who, acquainted in the least with the symbolical language of old, will fail to discern in the five Kings that have fallen, the four Root-Races that were, and part of the fifth, the one that is; and in the other, that "is not yet come," the sixth and seventh coming root races, as also the sub-races of this, our present race? Another still more forcible allusion to the Seven Rounds and the forty-nine root-races in Leviticus, will be found elsewhere in the Addenda, Part III.


Again, number seven is closely connected with the occult significance of the Pleiades, those seven daughters of Atlas, "the six present, the seventh hidden." In India they are connected with their nursling, the war god, Karttikeya. It is the Pleiades (in Sanskrit, Krittika) who gave the god their name, for Karttikeya is the planet Mars, astronomically. As a god he is the son of Rudra, born without the intervention of a woman. He is a Kumara, a "virgin youth" again, generated in the fire from the Seed of Siva -- the holy spirit -- hence called Agni-bhu. The late Dr. Kenealy believed that, in India, Karttikeya is the secret symbol of the cycle of Naros, composed of 600, 666, and 777 years, according to whether it is solar or lunar, divine or mortal, years that are counted; and the six visible, or the seven actual sisters, the Pleiades, are needed for the completion of this most secret and mysterious of all the astronomical and religious symbols. Therefore, when made to commemorate one particular event, Karttikeya appeared, of old, as a Kumara, an ascetic, with six heads -- one for each century of the Naros. When the symbolism was needed for another event, then, in conjunction with the seven sidereal sisters, Karttikeya is seen accompanied by Kaumara (or Sena) his female aspect. He is then riding on a peacock -- the bird of Wisdom and Occult Knowledge, and the Hindu Phoenix, whose Greek relation with the 600 years of Naros is well-known. A six-rayed star (double triangle) a Swastica, a six and occasionally seven-pointed crown is on his brow; the peacock's tail represents the sidereal heavens; and the twelve signs of the Zodiac are hidden on his body; for which he is also called Dwadasa Kara," ("the twelve-handed"), and Dwadasaksha, "twelve-eyed." It is as Sakti-dhara, however, the "Spear-holder," and the conqueror of Taraka, "Taraka-jit," that he is shown most famous.

The years of the Naros, being (in India) counted in two ways -- either "100 years of the gods," (divine years) -- or 100 mortal years -- one can see the tremendous difficulty for the non-initiated in comprehending correctly this cycle, which plays such an important part in St. John's Revelation. It is the truly apocalyptic Cycle; yet in none of the numerous speculations about it have we found anything but a few approximate truths, because of its being of various lengths and relating to various pre-historic events.

It has been urged against the duration claimed by the Babylonians for their divine ages, that Suidas shows the ancients counting, in their chronological computations, days for years. Dr. Sepp in his ingenious plagiarism -- exposed elsewhere -- of the Hindu 432 in thousands and millions of years (the duration of the Yugas) which he dwarfed to 4,320 lunar years before the "birth of Christ" -- as "foreordained" in the sidereal (besides the invisible) heavens, and proved "by the apparition of the Star of Bethlehem" -- appeals to Suidas and his authority. But Suidas had no other warrant for it than his own speculations, and he was no Initiate. He cites, as a proof, Vulcan, in showing him as having, according to chronological claim, reigned 4,477 years, i.e., 4,477 days, as he thinks, or rendered in years, 12 years, 3 months, and 7 days; he has 5 days in his original -- thus committing an error even in such an easy calculation. (See Suidas, art. [[Heelios]].) True, there are other ancient writers guilty of like fallacious speculations -- Calisthenes, for instance, who assigns to the astronomical observations of the Chaldeans only 1,903 years, whereas Epigenes recognises 720,000 years (Pliny. Histor. Natur. Lib. VII. c. 56.) The whole of these hypotheses made by profane writers are based upon and due to a misunderstanding. The chronology of all the Western peoples, ancient Greeks and Romans, was borrowed from India. Now, it is said in the Tamil edition of Bagavadam that 15 solar days make a Paccham; two paccham (or 30 days) are a month of the mortals, adding that such a month is only one day of the Pitar Devata (Pitris). Again, two of these months constitute a roodoo, three roodoo make an ayanam, and two ayanams a year -- which year of the mortals is but a day of the gods. It is on such misunderstood teachings that some Greeks have imagined that all the initiated priests had transformed days into years!

This mistake of the ancient Greek and Latin writers became pregnant with results in Europe. At the close of the past and the beginning of this century, relying upon the purposely mutilated accounts of Hindu chronology, brought from India by certain too zealous and as unscrupulous missionaries, Bailly, Dupuis, and others built quite a fantastic theory upon the subject. Because the Hindus had made half a revolution of the moon, a measure of time; and because a month composed of only fifteen days -- of which Quint. Curtius speaks (Menses in quinos dies descriperunt dies. Quint. Curt. LVIII., c. 9) -- is found mentioned in Hindu literature, therefore, it is a verified fact that their year was only half a year, when it was not called a day. The Chinese, too, divided their Zodiac into twenty-four parts, hence their year into twenty-four fortnights, but such computation did not, nor does it prevent their having an astronomical year just the same as ours. And they have a period of sixty days -- the Southern Indian Roodoo, to this day in some provinces. Moreover, Diodorus Siculus (Lib. I. § 26, p. 30) calls "thirty days an Egyptian year," or that period during which the moon performs a complete revolution. Pliny and Plutarch both speak of it (Hist. Nat. Lib. VII., c. 48, Vol. III., p. 185, and Life of Numa, § 16); but does it stand to reason that the Egyptians, who knew astronomy as well as any other people did, made the lunar month consist of thirty days, when it is only twenty-eight days with fractions? This lunary period had an occult meaning surely as much as the Ayanam and the roodoo of the Hindus had. The year of two months' duration, and the period of sixty days also, was a universal measure of time in antiquity, as Bailly himself shows in his Traite de l'Astronomie Orientale. The Chinamen, according to their own books, divided their year into two parts, from one equinox to the other (Mem. Acad. Ins. T. XVI., c. 48, Tom. III., p. 183); the Arabs anciently divided the year into six seasons, each composed of two months; in the Chinese astronomical work called Kioo-tche, it is said that two moons make a measure of time, and six measures a year; and to this day the aborigines of Kamschatka have their years of six months, as they had when visited by Abbe Chappe (Voyage to Siberia, Vol. III., p. 19). But is all this a reason to say that when the Hindu Puranas say "a solar year" they mean one solar day! It is the knowledge of the natural laws that make of seven the root nature-number, so to say, in the manifested world -- at any rate in our present terrestrial life-cycle -- and the wonderful comprehension of its workings, that unveiled to the ancients so many of the mysteries of nature. It is these laws, again, and their processes on the sidereal, terrestrial, and moral planes, which enabled the old astronomers to calculate correctly the duration of the cycles and their respective effects on the march of events; to record beforehand (prophecy, it is called) the influence which they will have on the course and development of the human races. The Sun, Moon, and planets being the never-erring time measurers, whose potency and periodicity were well known, became thus the great Ruler and rulers of our little system in all its seven domains, or "spheres of action."*

This has been so evident and remarkable, that even many of the modern men of Science, Materialists as well as Mystics, had their attention called to this law. Physicians and theologians, mathematicians and psychologists have drawn the attention of the world repeatedly to this fact of periodicity in the behaviour of "Nature." These numbers are explained in the "Commentaries" in these words.



IN THE SECOND [of the three "Rajamsi" (tritiye), or the three "Worlds"] THE ONE BECOMES TWO [male and female]; AND THREE [add the Son or logos]; AND THE SACRED FOUR ["tetractis," or the "Tetragrammaton."]


When the Western Orientalists have mastered the real meaning of the Rig Vedic divisions of the World -- the two-fold, three-fold, six and seven-fold, and especially the nine-fold division, the mystery of the cyclic divisions applied to heaven and earth, gods and men, will become clearer to them than it is now. For --

"THERE IS A HARMONY OF NUMBERS IN ALL NATURE; in the force of gravity, in the planetary movements, in the laws of heat, light, electricity, and chemical affinity, in the forms of animals and plants, in the perception of the mind. The direction, indeed, of modern natural and physical science, is towards a generalization which shall express the fundamental laws of all, by one simple numerical ratio. We would refer to Professor Whewell's 'Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences,' and to Mr. Hay's researches into the laws of harmonious colouring and form. From these it appears that the number seven is distinguished in the laws regulating the harmonious Perception of forms, colours, and sounds, and probably of taste also, if we could analyse our sensations of this kind with mathematical accuracy." ("Medical Review," July, 1844).
So much so, indeed, that more than one physician has stood aghast at the periodical septenary return of the cycles in the rise and fall of various complaints, and naturalists have felt themselves at an utter loss to explain this law. "The birth, growth, maturity, vital functions . . . . change, diseases, decay and death, of insects, reptiles, fishes, birds, mammals, and even of man, are more or less controlled by a law of completion in weeks," or seven days.** Dr. Laycock (Lancet, 1842-3), writing on the Periodicity of Vital Phenomena, records a "most remarkable illustration and confirmation of the law in insects."***

To all of which Mr. Grattan Guinness, the author of "The Approaching End of the Age," says very pertinently, as he defends Biblical Chronology, "And man's life . . . is a week, a week of decades. 'The days of our years are threescore years and ten.' Combining the testimony of all these facts, we are bound to admit that there prevails in organic mature a law of septiform periodicity, a law of completion in weeks" (p. 269). Without accepting the conclusions, and especially the premises of the learned Founder of "the East London Institute for Home and Foreign Missions," the writer accepts and welcomes his researches in the occult chronology of the Bible. Just as, while rejecting the theories and hypotheses of modern Science and its generalizations, we bow before its great achievements in the world of the physical, or in all the minor details of material nature.

There is most assuredly an occult "chronological system in Hebrew Scripture" -- the Kabala being its warrant; there is in it "a system of weeks" -- which is based on the archaic Indian system, which may still be found in the old Jyotisha.* And there are in it cycles of "the week of days," of the "week of months," of years, of centuries, and even of millenniums, decamillenniums, and more, or "the week of years of years."** But all this can be found in the archaic doctrine. And if this common source of the chronology in every Scripture, however veiled, is denied in the case of the Bible, then the six days, and a Sabbath, the seventh, can hardly disconnect Genesis from the Puranic Cosmogonies. For the first "Week of Creation" shows the septiformity of its chronology and thus connects it with Brahma's "Seven Creations." The able volume from the pen of Mr. Grattan Guinness, in which he has collected on some 760 pages every proof of that septiform calculation, is good evidence. For if the Bible chronology is, as he says, "regulated by the law of weeks," and if it is septenary, whatever the measures of the creation week and the length of its days; and if, finally, "the Bible system includes weeks on a great variety of scales," then this system is shown to be identical with all the pagan systems. Moreover, the attempt to show that 4,320 years (in lunar months) elapsed between "Creation" and the Nativity, is a clear and unmistakable connection with the 4,320,000 of the Hindu Yugas. Otherwise, why make such efforts to prove that these figures, which are pre-eminently Chaldean and Indo-Aryan, play such a part in the New Testament? We shall prove it now still more forcibly.

Let the impartial critic compare the two accounts -- the Vishnu Purana and the Bible -- and he will find that the "seven creations" of Brahma are at the foundation of the "week" of creation in Genesis i. The two allegories are different, but the systems are all built on the same foundation-stone. The Bible can be understood only by the light of the Kabala. Take the Zohar, the "Book of Concealed Mystery," however now disfigured, and compare. The seven Rishis and the fourteen Manus of the seven Manvantaras -- issue from Brahma's head; they are his "mind-born sons," and it is with them that begins the division of mankind and its races from the Heavenly man, "the Logos" (the manifested), who is Brahma Prajapati. Says (V. 70 in) the "Ha Idra Rabba Qadisha" (the Greater Holy Assembly) of the skull (head) of Macroprosopus, the ancient One* (Sanat, an appellation of Brahma), that in every one of his hairs is a "hidden fountain issuing from the concealed brain." "And it shineth and goeth forth through that hair unto the hair of Microprosopus, and from it (which is the manifest QUATERNARY, the Tetragrammaton) his brain is formed; and thence that brain goeth into THIRTY and TWO paths" (or the triad and the duad, or again 432). And again: (V. 80) "Thirteen curls of hair exist on the one side and on the other of the skull" -- i.e., six on one and six on the other, the thirteenth being also the fourteenth, as it is male-female, "and through them commenceth the division of the hair" (the division of things, Mankind and Races).

"We six are lights which shine forth from a seventh (light)," saith Rabbi Abba; "thou art the seventh light" (the synthesis of us all, he adds, speaking of Tetragrammaton and his seven "companions," whom he calls "the eyes of Tetragrammaton.")

TETRAGRAMMATON is Brahma Prajapati, who assumed four forms, in order to create four kinds of supernal creatures, i.e., made himself fourfold, or the manifest Quaternary (see Vishnu Purana, Book I. ch. V.); and who, after that, is re-born in the seven Rishis, his Manasaputras, "mind-born sons," who became later, 9, 21 and so on, who are all said to be born from various parts of Brahma**

There are two Tetragrammatons: the Macro and the Microprosopus. The first is the absolute perfect Square, or the TETRACTIS within the Circle, both abstract conceptions, and is therefore called AIN -- the Non-being, i.e., illimitable or absolute Be-ness. But when viewed as Microprosopus, or the "Heavenly man," the manifested Logos, he is the triangle in the square -- the sevenfold cube not the fourfold, or the plane Square. For it is written in the same "Greater Holy Assembly" -- (83): "And concerning this, the children of Israel wished to know in their minds, like as it is written (Exod. xvii. 7.): 'Is the Tetragrammaton in the midst of us, or the Negatively Existent One?'* (Where did they distinguish between Microprosopus, who is called Tetragrammaton, and between Macroprosopus, who is called AIN, Ain the negatively existent?) "**

Therefore, Tetragrammaton is the THREE made four and the FOUR made three, and is represented on this Earth by his seven "companions," or "Eyes" -- the "Seven eyes of the Lord." Microprosopus is, at best, only a secondary manifested Deity. For, verse 1,152 of the "Greater Holy Assembly" (Kabala) says --

"We have learned that there were ten (companions) who entered into the Sod, ('mysterious assembly or mystery'), and that seven only came forth"*** (i.e., 10 for the unmanifested, 7 for the manifested Universe.)

1,158. "And when Rabbi Shimeon revealed the Arcana there were found none present there save those (seven companions) . . . . 1,159. And Rabbi Shimeon called them the seven eyes of Tetragrammaton, like as it is written, Zach. iii., 9, 'These are the seven eyes (or principles) of Tetragrammaton," ' -- i.e., the four-fold Heavenly man, or pure spirit, is resolved into Septenary man, pure matter and Spirit.

Thus the Tetrad is Microprosopus, and the latter is the male-female Chochmah-Binah, the 2d and 3d Sephiroth. The Tetragrammaton is the very essence of number Seven, in its terrestrial significance. Seven stands between four and nine -- the basis and foundation (astrally) of our physical world and man, in the kingdom of Malkuth.

For Christians and believers, this reference to Zaccharias and especially to the Epistle of Peter (I P. ii. 2-5) ought to be conclusive. In the old symbolism, man, chiefly the inner Spiritual man is called "a stone." Christ is the corner-stone, and Peter refers to all men as "lively" (living) stones. Therefore a "stone with seven eyes" on it can only mean what we say, i.e., a man whose constitution or ("principles,") is septenary.

To demonstrate more clearly the seven in Nature, it may be added that not only does the number seven govern the periodicity of the phenomena of life, but that it is also found dominating the series of chemical elements, and equally paramount in the world of sound and in that of colour as revealed to us by the spectroscope. This number is the factor, sine qua non, in the production of occult astral phenomena.

Thus, if the chemical elements are arranged in groups according to their atomic weights, they will be found to constitute a series of groups of seven; the first, second, etc., members of each group bearing a close analogy in all their properties to the corresponding members of the next group. The following table, copied from Hellenbach's Magie der Zahlen, exhibits this law and fully warrants the conclusion he draws in the following words: "We thus see that chemical variety, so far as we can grasp its inner nature, depends upon numerical relations, and we have further found in this variety a ruling law for which we can assign no cause; we find a law of periodicity governed by the number seven."

The eighth column in this list is, as it were, the octave of the first, containing elements almost identical in chemical and other properties with those in the first; a phenomenon which accentuates the septenary law of periodicity. For further details the reader is referred to Hellenbach's work, where it is also shown that this classification is confirmed by the spectroscopic peculiarities of the elements.

It is needless to refer in detail to the number of vibrations constituting the notes of the musical scale; they are strictly analogous to the scale of chemical elements, and also to the scale of colour as unfolded by the spectroscope, although in the latter case we deal with only one octave, while both in music and chemistry we find a series of seven octaves represented theoretically, of which six are fairly complete and in ordinary use in both sciences. Thus, to quote Hellenbach: --

"It has been established that, from the standpoint of phenomenal law, upon which all our knowledge rests, the vibrations of sound and light increase regularly, that they divide themselves into seven columns, and that the successive numbers in each column are closely allied; i.e., that they exhibit a close relationship which not only is expressed in the figures themselves, but also is practically confirmed in chemistry as in music, in the latter of which the ear confirms the verdict of the figures. . . . . . The fact that this periodicity and variety is governed by the number seven is undeniable, and it far surpasses the limits of mere chance, and must be assumed to have an adequate cause, which cause must be discovered."
Verily, then, as Rabbi Abbas said: "We are six lights which shine forth from a seventh (light); thou (Tetragrammaton) art the seventh light (the origin) of us all;" (V. 1,160) and -- "For assuredly there is no stability in those six, save what they derive from the seventh. For ALL THINGS DEPEND FROM THE SEVENTH." (V. 1,161. Kabala, "The Greater Holy Assembly.")

The (ancient and modern) Western American Zuni Indians seem to have entertained similar views. Their present-day customs, their traditions and records, all point to the fact that, from time immemorial, their institutions -- political, social and religious -- were (and still are) shaped according to the septenary principle. Thus all their ancient towns and villages were built in clusters of six, around a seventh. It is always a group of seven, or of thirteen, and always the six surround the seventh. Again, their sacerdotal hierarchy is composed of six "Priests of the House" seemingly synthesized in the seventh, who is a woman, the "PRIESTESS MOTHER." Compare this with the "seven great officiating priests" spoken of in Anugita, the name given to the "seven senses," exoterically, and to the seven human principles, esoterically. Whence this identity of symbolism? Shall we still doubt the fact of Arjuna going over to Patala (the Antipodes, America) and there marrying Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga (or rather Nargal) King? But to the Zuni priests.

These receive an annual tribute, to this day, of corn of seven colours. Undistinguished from other Indians during the whole year, on a certain day, they come out (the six priests and one priestess) arrayed in their priestly robes, each of a colour sacred to the particular God whom the priest serves and personifies; each of them representing one of the seven regions, and each receiving corn of the colour corresponding to that region. Thus, the white represents the East, because from the East comes the first Sun-light; the yellow, corresponds to the North, from the colour of the flames produced by the aurora borealis; the red, the South, as from that quarter comes the heat; the blue stands for the West, the colour of the Pacific Ocean, which lies to the West; black is the colour of the nether underground region -- darkness; corn with grains of all colours on one ear represents the colours of the upper region -- of the firmament, with its rosy and yellow clouds, shining stars, etc. The "speckled" corn -- each grain containing all the colours -- is that of the "Priestess-Mother": woman containing in herself the seeds of all races past, present and future; Eve being the mother of all living.

Apart from these was the Sun -- the Great Deity -- whose priest was the spiritual head of the nation. These facts were ascertained by Mr. F. Hamilton Cushing, who, as many are aware, became an Indian Zuni, lived with them, was initiated into their religious mysteries, and has learned more about them than any other man now living.

Seven is also the great magic number. In the occult records the weapon mentioned in the Puranas and the Mahabharata -- the Agneyastra or "fiery weapon" bestowed by Aurva upon his chela Sagara -- is said to be built of seven elements. This weapon -- supposed by some ingenious Orientalists to have been a "rocket" (!) -- is one of the many thorns in the side of our modern Sanskritists. Wilson exercises his penetration over it, on several pages in his Specimens of the Hindu Theatre, and finally fails to explain it. He can make nothing out of the Agneyastra.

"These weapons," he argues, "are of a very unintelligible character. Some of them are wielded as missiles; but, in general, they appear to be mystical powers exercised by the individual -- such as those of paralysing an enemy, or locking his senses fast in sleep, or bringing down storm, and rain, and fire, from heaven. (Vide supra, pp. 427 and 428.) . . . . They assume celestial shapes, endowed with human faculties. . . . . The Ramayana calls them the Sons of Krisaswa" (p. 297).

The Sastra-devatas, "gods of the divine weapons," are no more Agneyastra, the weapon, than the gunners of modern artillery are the cannon they direct. But this simple solution did not seem to strike the eminent Sanskritist. Nevertheless, as he himself says of the armiform progeny of Krisaswa, "the allegorical origin of the (Agneyastra) weapons is, undoubtedly, the more ancient."* It is the fiery javelin of Brahma.

[[Footnote(s)]] -------------------------------------------------
* It is. But Agneyastra are fiery "missile weapons," not "edged" weapons, as there is some difference between Sastra and Astra in Sanskrit.

[[Vol. 2, Page]] 630 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
The seven-fold Agneyastra, like the seven senses and the "seven principles," symbolized by the seven priests, are of untold antiquity. How old is the doctrine believed in by Theosophists, the following section will tell.




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