Following the example of the Parsi Gentleman whose letter you published in the Theosophist of
January, 1882, I am induced to enquire if there are Hindu Mahatmas among
the Himalayan BROTHERS. By the term Hindu, I mean a believer in Vedas and
the Gods they describe. If there are none, will any Brother of the 1st Section1 be so kind as to enlighten the Hindu Community
in general and the Hindu Theosophists in particular whether any Hindu Rishis
of old still exist in flesh and blood? The adept Himalayan BROTHERS having
explored the unseen universe must necessarily know the Rishis if they exist
now. Tradition says that particularly the following seven are immortal,
at least for the present kalpa.
Ashwathama, Bali, Vyasa, Hanuman, Vibhisana, Kripa, Parasurama.
Editor's Note: In reply to the first question we
are happy to inform our correspondent that there are Mahatmas among the
Himalayan Brothers who are Hindus i.e., born of Hindu
and Brahmin parents and who recognize the esoteric meaning of the
Vedas and the Upanishads. They agree with Krishna, Buddha, Vyasa, Suka,
Goudapatha and Sankaracharya in considering that the Karma kanda of
the Vedas is of no importance whatsoever so far as man's spiritual progress
is concerned. Our questioner will do well to remember in this connection
Krishna's celebrated advice to Arjuna. "The subject matter of the Vedas
is related to the three Gunas; oh Arjuna, divest thyself of these gunas."
Sankaracharya's uncompromising attitude towards Purwamimansa is too well
known to require any special mention here.
Although the Himalayan Brothers admit the esoteric meaning of the Vedas
and the Upanishads, they refuse to recognize as Gods, the powers and other
spiritual entities mentioned in the Vedas. The language used in the Vedas
is allegorical and this fact has been fully recognized by some of the greatest
Indian Philosophers. Our correspondent will have to prove that the Vedas
really "describe Gods" as they exist, before he
can fairly ask us to declare whether our Masters believe in such gods. We
very much doubt if our correspondent is really prepared to contend seriously,
that Agni has four horns, three legs, two heads, five hands and seven
tongues as he is stated to possess in the Vedas; or that Indra committed
adultery with Goutama's wife. We beg to refer our learned correspondent
to Kulluka Bhatta's explanation of the latter myth (and it is a mere myth
in his opinion) and Patanjali's remarks on the profound esoteric significance
of the four horns of Agni, in support of our assertion that the Vedas do
not in reality describe any gods as our questioner has supposed.
In reply to the second question we are not prepared to say that "any
Hindu Rishis of old still exist in flesh and blood" although we have
our own reasons to believe that some of the great Hindu Adepts of ancient
times have been and are reincarnating themselves occasionally in Tibet and
Tartary; nor is it at all easy for us to understand how it can ever reasonably
be expected that our Himalayan Brothers should discover Hindu Rishis "in
flesh and blood" in their explorations in the "Unseen Universe,"
since "astral" bodies are not usually made up of those earthly
The tradition alluded to by our correspondent is not literally true;
then, what connection is there between the seven personages named and the
Hindu Rishis? Though we are not called upon to give an explanation of the
tradition in question from our own standpoint, we shall give a few hints
which may enable our readers to ascertain its real significance from what
is contained in Ramayana and Maha Charata.
Asvathama has gained an immortality of infamy.
Parasurama's cruelty made him immortal but he is not supposed
to live in flesh and blood now; he is generally stated to have some sort
of existence in fire though not necessarily in what a Christian would call
Bali is not an individual properly speaking. The principle de
noted by the name will be known when the esoteric meaning of Thrivikrama
Avatar is better comprehended.
Vyasa is immortal in his incarnations. Let our respected
Brother count how many Vyasas there have been from first to last.
Hanuman was neither a human being nor a monkey: it is one of the
powers of the 7th principle of man (Rama).
Vibhisana. Not a Rakshasa really but the personification
of Satwaguna which is immortal.
Kripa's association with Aswathama will explain the nature
of his immortality.
Theosophist, March, 1883
H. P. Blavatsky
1 No chela need answer this, except the editor. A.H.T. back to text