~ THEOSOPHY TRUST ~
MEMORIAL LIBRARY
 
To SEARCH for a word or phrase on this page, press CTRL+F and enter  the text

Fires of Creation

THE FIRES OF CREATION


After the changeless (avikara) immutable nature (Essence, sadaikarupa) had awakened and changed (differentiated) into (a state of) causality (avayakta), and from cause (Karana) had become its own discrete effect (vyakta), from invisible it became visible. The smallest of the small (the most atomic of atoms, or aniyamsam aniyasam) became one and the many (ekanekarupa); and producing the Universe produced also the Fourth Loka (our Earth) in the garland of the seven lotuses. The Achyuta then became the Chyuta.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 46-47

 The archetypal evolutionary process, moving from the arupa planes of the unmanifest into the sevenfold worlds of form, enshrines the sacred mystery of creativity, divine and human. Creation is the ceaseless action of concentrated will acting upon cosmic matter, calling forth the primordial Divine Light and Eternal Fire latent within it. The noumenal quality of the outcome depends upon the degree of abstraction of volition and visualization and the corresponding depth of potential energy that is released. Beginning with the incognizable and imperishable Brahman, the Punda-Rikaksha, Hindu cosmogony depicts the gestation by Brahmâ of four bodies – Ratri (night), Ahan (day), Sandhya (evening twilight) and Jyotsna (dawn). Through Dhyana Yoga, the supreme absorption of thought into its inmost self, Brahmâ proceeds to construct the manifold orders of beings ranging from the highest Asuras to the varied denizens of the differentiated worlds – Gods, Pitris and Mankind. These four orders of beings are essentially correlated with the seven Hierarchies, each of which has its own creative role and distinct modality in the invisible and visible worlds, and all of which are integrally present in the sevenfold constitution of man.

 The oldest Aryan philosophy associates the three highest arupa groups with the Agnishwatha, the Solar Pitris or divine ancestors of humanity, and assigns their potency to the purely formless and invisible Fire of the Central Spiritual Sun. This primordial Fire, one and threefold, is metaphysically prior to the septenary fire of the manifested universe, just as pre-cosmic Fohat is but a potential creative power in the unmanifested universe, preceding the differentiation of the triple One into the many and the awakening of the active seven creative forces of Nature. Similarly, Kamadeva is the first conscious and all-embracing desire for universal good, as well as the primordial feeling of infinite tender compassion, love and mercy that arose in the consciousness of the creative One Force when it came into life and being as a Ray from the Absolute. According to the Vedic Sages, it is the sacred bond between entity and non-entity, pellucid Manas and pure Atma-Buddhi, before it is transformed into the magnetic attraction between forms. Thus the creative powers of the Agnishwatha arupa Hosts are already implicit in Daiviprakriti, the Light of the unmanifest Logos, itself the product of the purely noumenal impress of Divine Thought upon pre-cosmic root substance.

 The Sons of Fire and Wisdom are the hidden root of spiritual humanity and endow Man with the sovereign afflatus of Atma-Buddhi-Manas. They originate every Fohatic potency in the human principles, each of which seems to act as a living force summoned by will and desire, through which the relatively subjective continuously affects the relatively objective. The Gupta Vidya teaches that these Fire-devas, engendered through the body of Ratri or Night, and known variously as Agni-Rudras, Kumaras, Gandharvas and Adityas, are at once the entire host of perfected Rishis, Munis and Nirmanakayas from previous manvantaras, as well as the personified sacred fires of the most occult powers of Nature. They are Agni, the first son of Brahmâ, his three descendants and their forty-five sons by Aditi-Daksha's daughters, forty-nine fires in all. As the Kumara-Makaras they are linked to Kamadeva, Aja and Atma-bhu, unborn and self-existent, and one with Agni. As virgin ascetics they direct the six shaktis of Mahamaya, synthesized by the seventh, Daiviprakriti, in the work of cyclic evolution, and endow nascent humanity with Manas, which is capable of reflecting the forty-nine fires through Kriyasakti. Through this magical power of concentrated imagination and will, capable of producing perceptible results out of the inherent energy of ideas, the Kumaras created, during the Third Root Race, the Sons of Will and Yoga. Creating first the Seed of Divine Knowledge and then the Host of ancestors of all the Arhats and Mahatmas of the succeeding Races, the self-conscious Monads of the Nirmanakayas of past manvantaras entered the sheaths they themselves had formed by Kriyasakti.

 Although reduced to a distant echo and dim reflection by the corruptions of anthropomorphic religion, a classic example of Kriyasakti in exoteric scripture is the Fiat Lux of Genesis in the Old Testament. In the East there is a beautiful tradition, whereby as soon as anyone puts on a light in the evening, all inwardly salute that light and the privilege of being able to perceive and to use it. Even though many levels of reflection removed from the pristine Light of the Logos, which defies every effort to capture it in any equation, visible light inevitably inspires gratitude in human beings in need. No wonder great universities adopted as their motto mantramic affirmations like May we be illuminated, echoing the ancient invocation of the Katha Upanishad. Any person privileged to enter the sacred soil of any place wherein lies the possibility of preparing for some level of illumination in the sciences and arts is thrice-blessed, for all of these may be traced to the original instruction of infant humanity by its Divine Teachers. Nevertheless, what is true of horses is even more true of men and women: you may take them to water but you can neither make them drink nor can you drink for them. To drink of the waters of wisdom requires even more willingness, cheerfulness and concentrated self-training than that evidently required to learn a musical instrument, to learn to paint or sculpt, or to learn to fashion out of the resources of nature foods and artifacts for the nourishment and benefit of others. All arts involve the essential ingredients of concentration and imagination, combined with care and precision to enable one person to do something worthwhile for others. They all intimate a central logic to creativity, whether in literature, thought or human relationships and communication. When this numinous ordering is absent or obscured, there is a wasteful production of deformed shadows which only serve to separate and estrange human beings from each other through misunderstanding, instead of assisting the communion of minds, the understanding of hearts and the cooperation of wills in the realm of constructive action.

 The divine gift of Kriyasakti is potentially present in the will of every human being, but it lies latent and even, alas, atrophied owing to the neglect, misuse and abuse of creative faculties in past lives, all of which prevent the tapping of its energy and power. Nor can this condition be abruptly changed. Just as it would be irresponsible in the extreme to allow a child or a fool to play with explosives or to come near high voltage equipment, it would be indefensible to give an unready human being easy access to spiritual wisdom and divine theurgy. The sad consequence could only be moral and mental harm to self and others, damage to future incarnations or, at worst, the tragedy of soul-destruction. Yet, in the realm of spiritual knowledge there is a natural protection rather like that in the complex code languages of modern science where, as Einstein remarked, fewer people than can be counted on one "s fingers will truly understand the fundamental equations of the most advanced theories. If this is fortunate in such areas as nuclear physics, laser technology and genetics, how much more so in regard to spiritual knowledge. Even so, there is a wealth of teaching in the Stanzas of Dzyan concerning the hidden logic of birth and growth, especially in the accounts of the development of the seven Races, which is relevant to understanding the complex mystery of creativity locked in the principles of man. The vastitude of suggestions, clues, hints and bare intimations will suggest to the slightest spark of the intuition that these overlapping and shifting frameworks can guide the aroused imagination towards the archetypal logic of Nature which reflects the primordial germ of thought in the Divine Mind. Initially, creativity seems to the enquirer to be a temporal sequence of successive stages and distinct interactions between beings only because the enquirer's state of awareness is almost wholly conditioned by differentiation in space and time.

 It is helpful to recognize three archetypal phases in abstract creativity. The first is represented as a changeless potentiality in bare space, the avikara condition of the immutable nature, or sadaikarupa. The second phase is represented as the awakening out of the first, through an initial imperceptible differentiation, of a state of potential causality, the avayakta stage. The third phase involves the interconnection of cause, or karana, with discrete effects – vyakta. This must not be understood in terms of typical sense-bound notions of visible causes and separate results since it has to do with the origination of the visible within the invisible. Yet it is that invisible, indiscrete and eternal potentiality which, in a sense, becomes its own discrete effect, the purely spiritual atom becoming the One and the many and producing thereby the manifested worlds, including the globes of our earth. Like Solomon's temple, the temple of truth is built by invisible hands; from the visible effects alone nothing significant can be inferred in reference to true creativity. Those who either do not use their eyes sufficiently to see the sky, or merely employ visual images as the sole basis for inferences about results, will involuntarily incarnate again and again, trapped in the maya of visible phenomena.

 Progress in human thought and the advent of true creativity in human affairs require the powers of philosophic abstraction, prolonged concentration and noetic meditation. It is essential to enter the invisible realm of germinating seed ideas and, like the good gardener, to learn to work with and through Nature. Disinterested in visible results, which are but the flowers of yesterday, one must learn to wait patiently for the cyclic harvest, sustaining a lightness of heart, an ardent love for the soil and a joyous gratitude for the generosity of Nature. The good gardener is the paradigm of the wise man or woman confirmed in a perception of invisible reality, in which there is always both a boundless potential and the germinating seeds. Beginning on the noumenal plane, the series of causes has its representation on the invisible plane of abstract mathematical form, and also in the secret core of the orderly if gradual progression in the realm of the visible. This hidden logic of creativity, birth and growth from invisible seeds is mirrored in the wisdom of natural forms, such as in the ever-increasing concentric rings of trees. Anyone who has contemplated the rings of an ancient pine or mighty oak, and seen how the steady growth of Nature follows her own seasons without reference to the vagaries of human emotion, can begin to appreciate how the smallest of the small, the aniyamsam aniyasam, becomes the One and the many, ekanekarupa. There is an immediate connection between the Atman in and beyond all, and the most minute of the myriads of invisible atoms within every single living form.

 The highest sees through the eyes of the lowest. Hence the Kriyasaktic power of creative imagination lies waiting to be aroused in every Manasic being, but this requires the uttermost refinement of faith, will and desire through Buddhi Yoga. In conveying the process whereby Brahmâ constructs his four bodies by concentrating his mind into itself, and then "thinks of himself" as the progenitor of the world, H.P. Blavatsky refers to this as Kriyasakti.

 This thinking of oneself as this, that, or the other, is the chief factor in the production of every kind of psychic or even physical phenomena. The words "whosoever shall say to this mountain be thou removed and cast into the sea, and shall not doubt...that thing will come to pass," are no vain words. Only the word "faith" ought to be translated by WILL. Faith without Will is like a wind-mill without wind – barren of results.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 59

True faith and spiritual will have nothing to do with blind acceptance or petty wilfulness bound by likes and dislikes. They point instead to mental control, concentrated determination and unbounded effortless confidence which can be brought together in a mystic marriage or fusion of the higher faculties. One must gain an intuitive understanding of why Kamadeva-Agni, the primordial fiery spirit of compassion, allegorically the son of Dharma (sacred moral duty and justice) and Shraddha (faith), carries the sign of Makara on his banner. Apart from the sublime motive of universal compassion, the faculties of the Higher Triad in man cannot awaken to self-conscious creativity. But once the current is touched, then, out of noetic love for universal good, out of deep feeling and intense thought upon a firm basis that is impersonal, controlled and calm, one can release a current of ideation that can heal and help, bless and guide, any human being receptive and responsive to the power of that current.

 Once this point is reached, one is prepared to pursue the exacting theoretical and practical discipline of occult science. The classifications of the principles of man and nature into septenary sets take on a living immediacy beyond any merely intellectual notions regarding rainbows, musical scales, days of the week, or any of the other septenates known to the casual observer. As the factor number of the manvantaras, 7 is critical to the whole of manifestation and to all human progress. Divided into the 3 and the 4, it is representative of both the Hierarchies and the various Pitris from which the human principles are derived through the Logos or Word. Proceeding from the Circle of Divine Thought to its Diameter, the Word containing p and the inmost logic of the Hierarchies in its ineffable nature, indiscrete fire becomes liquid fire, giving rise to the myriad centres of life – the union of Thought and the Word. As 7 is the number of Union, 3 is that of Light and 4 that of Life. In the human principles the higher three are born from the arupa fiery Agnishwatha Pitris, the Asuras born from Ratri, the body of Night of Brahmâ. The fourfold human body of illusion is formed by the inferior rupa hosts of Bharishad Pitris, born from Sandhya, the body of Twilight of Brahmâ Until the Fire-devas incarnate into the prepared forms of the mindless Third Root Race, the Atma-Buddhic Monads of incipient humanity cannot attain self-consciousness. As the Stanzas explain:

It is from the material Worlds that descend they, who fashion physical man at the new Manvantaras. They are inferior Lha (Spirits), possessed of a dual body (an astral within an ethereal form). They are the fashioners and creators of our body of illusion....
 Into the forms projected by the Lha
(Pitris) the two letters (the Monad, called also "the Double Dragon") descend from the spheres of expectation. But they are like a roof with no walls, nor pillars to rest upon.
 Man needs four flames and three fires to become one on Earth, and he requires the essence of the forty-nine fires to he perfect. It is those who have deserted the Superior Spheres, the Gods of Will, who complete the Manu of illusion. For the "Double Dragon" has no hold upon the mere form. It is like the breeze where there is no tree or branch to receive and harbour it. It cannot affect the form where there is no agent of transmission
(Manas, "Mind") and the form knows it not.
 In the highest worlds, the three are one, on Earth (at first) the one becomes two. They are like the two
(side) lines of a triangle that has lost its bottom line which is the third fire.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 57

 Human perfection requires the self-conscious mastery of the forty-nine fires, that is, the full alchemical union of Manas, which reflects the forty-nine fires, with Atma-Buddhi. Beyond the simple spectrum and septenary scale, with its division between three primary and four secondary colours and tones, there is a far more intricate and intertwined matrix of light and sound. Just so, the full complexity of the fiery hebdomadic Heart of the Dhyan Chohanic body, the Agnishwathas, is mirrored in the human principles, and even in the physical heart with its three higher divisions and four lower cavities. Every effort to gain continuity of consciousness in thought, dispassionate strength of will and deeper compassion in feeling, when pursued over seven days, seven years or seven lives, has a direct bearing upon the inward awakening of the creative fires of the Higher Triad. Similarly, all fragmentation of consciousness, personal wilfulness and selfish motivation is a form of mental and spiritual illness requiring the self-administered medicine of conscience and contemplation. In fact, every therapeutic measure of health, such as temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate is but a visible analogue of inner conditions, just as the art of physical medicine is the transference to the visible plane, by invisible Adepts, of the therapeutics of spiritual wisdom, for the sake of relieving humanity of some of its mental and physical pain.

 The restoration of the spiritual health of humanity requires a renewal of the integrity of the body of the four flames and three fires. Essentially, every person is an indivisible unitary being. Though it is possible to distinguish thought, will and feeling (or head, hands and heart, at another level) for the sake of understanding, these are not separable in fact, any more than the circulations of blood, plasma and spinal fluid can be severed from each other in the living body without producing a corpse. Similarly, without the highest faculties or fires that are mirrored in the simplest aspects of human life and being, one cannot have an integrated unitary human nature. This is why The Voice of the Silence calls those who are not yet awakened to the integrity of creative spiritual consciousness the "living dead". Nevertheless, one may make an initial approach to the teaching of the correlation between Atman, Buddhi and Manas, Spirit, Soul and Mind in man, and the three modes of fire connected with the Hierarchies. According to the veiled parables of the Puranas:

 The "Three Fires," Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi, who had forty-five sons, who, with their three fathers and their Father Agni, constitute the 49 fires. Pavamana (fire produced by friction) is the parent of the fire of the Asuras; Suchi (Solar fire) is the parent of the fire of the gods; and Pavaka (electric fire) is the father of the fire of the Pitris. But this is an explanation on the material and the terrestrial plane. The flames are evanescent and only periodical; the fires – eternal in their triple unity. They correspond to the four lower, and the three higher human principles.

The Secret Doctrine, ii 57

Pavamana, the fire produced by friction, or Nirmathya fire, is fire that involves a differentiation of substance, implying knowledge of complementarity and polarity in reference to the substances involved, as well as persistence. On the physical plane, friction represents that without which engines will not run, but also that because of which they will not run forever. In theogony, friction is produced by Visvakarman using the pramantha, or fire drill, and the swastika to produce Agni amidst maya. Cosmically, the Pavamana fire is correlated with soul, and is the parent of the Sabaraksha fire of the Asuras. Metaphysically, it means union between Buddhi and Manas, the latter merging partially into and becoming part of the Atma-Buddhic Monad. Physically, it relates to the creative spark or germ that fructifies and generates the human being. Psychologically, it points to the possibility through meditation of betrothing idea and feeling, consecrating and invoking them together, and using their offspring of thoughts, volitions and feelings in daily life. Through repeated attempts one may refine this union of idea and feeling, deepening it by abstraction, meditation and imagination, until it acquires a mystical depth, breadth and continuity. Mystically, the Tretagni is obtained by the attrition of fire-sticks made of Ashwatha wood, whose lengths equal the metre of the Gayatri.

Suchi, the solar or Saura fire, is "the drinker of waters". Cosmically, it corresponds to Spirit, and it is the parent of the Havyavabana fire of the gods. Typically, human beings are only able to touch this solar fire in sushupti, which accounts for the serene beauty, purity and defencelessness reflected in the face of someone in deep sleep. It is the source of the ineffable and elusive radiance which mothers and midwives sense at the overwhelming and unique moment of birth of every baby, each of whom sounds the Word in some form. In theogony the Gandharvas are the aggregate powers of the solar fire and constitute its forces, and under their leader, Narada, they teach the secrets of heaven to mortals. Mystically connected with soma, and psychically with the sushumna solar ray prized by yogis, they are spiritually and physically the noumenal and phenomenal causes of sound. By making one's entire life revolve around one's most noble ideals and aspirations on behalf of all humanity, maintaining the impulse with a continuity that transforms consciousness, one may make the higher aspects of the Suchi fire a living reality. Filled with secret joy and happiness, and exempt from the lunar waxing and waning of passion and animal instinct, one can constantly show compassion to others not so privileged as to be at all times eternally young and cheerful. Once it is aroused as a spark in the core of the invisible heart, the Anahata or indestructible centre, the solar fire will then burn as the constant steady flame of an entire life, making it into a poem, a song, even a symphony.

 The Pavaka electric or Vaiduta fire is connected with the latent intelligence in every elemental atom. The eternal motion of the Atman is mirrored at the level of maximum differentiation in the unerring, instinctual motion and power of life in every single atomic constituent of all forms, organisms, constructs and kingdoms. Cosmically, electric fire correlates with the body, and is the parent of the Kavyavahana fire of the Bharishad Pitris. It is called electric fire because it can only work through a positive and negative pole, such as the head and feet of a human being or the north and south poles of the earth. These two centres act as the storehouse, receptacle and liberators of cosmic and terrestrial vital electricity. In the solar-selenic radiance of the aurora borealis and australis, the Fohatic forces working at the poles display characteristic qualities of Akasha, air and fire, that is, sound, touch and light or colour. The mysterious magnetosphere of the earth, with equatorial, ecliptic and tropical circles, contains a mystical key to the primeval revelation of the Vedas to those Rishis who first saw, then heard, the songs of their Fathers. Through the influence of alchemical writers like Boehme, much was learnt during the nineteenth century regarding electricity on the physical plane, but as contemporary theories readily acknowledge, there are many hidden aspects of what is called electricity, the essential nature of which is sensed but largely unknown. The ancients gave great importance to electricity in its relation to self-purification through self-magnetization. This has to do not merely with physical hygiene, but with all modes of pollution and cleanliness affecting the body, brain and heart. Many people instinctively feel a wish to bathe after various kinds of debasing encounters, but one cannot produce a metaphysically and karmically purifying result through physical means alone. Nevertheless, if the abstract is made the basis of the external, through meditation, then spiritual knowledge and devotion can purify one's nature from within without, from above below.

 These sacred fires are the priceless inheritance of every human being but this inheritance must be claimed by each individually. The integrity of the universe and the evolutionary logic of creativity, birth and growth must be accepted and examined in each avenue of one's life before they can be discovered within one's higher nature. As the dual progeny of the Solar and Lunar Pitris, man must discover how to incarnate the solar in the lunar, raise Agni in maya, thus aiding the forward impulse of Manasic evolution. The lunar realm is not wholly and inherently inimical to man. Indeed, this could not be so except in some absurd Manichean scheme which totally divorces the sun from the moon. The new and full moons, the eclipses regulated by Rahu and Ketu, and the twenty-eight days of the lunar month, associated in one sense with the twenty-eight nakshatrams and in another with the twenty-eight stars of Makara, contain keys crucial to making the solar relevant to the lower lunar light. Without penetrating these mysteries to the core, enlightenment understood as the total consummation of wisdom in action remains inaccessible to a human being. In essence, this means disengaging the sense of self from Indu, the psycho-physical moon, and discovering the occult nature of Soma, the spiritual regent of the invisible moon, and the father, by Tara, of Budha – Wisdom.

 According to the ancient allegory of the war in heaven, this mystical marriage symbolizes the rejection of anthropomorphic religion in favour of the pursuit of inner wisdom. From the exoteric standpoint, this rebellion implies a fall from divine grace, but esoterically it is the revolt of Manas against bondage to the lower, albeit ethereal, creative hosts born from the rupa bodies of Brahmâ. The original and metaphysical "fall", by which the Achyuta become Chyuta, refers to the initial and inevitable differentiation of the universal spiritual light of cosmic ideation. This is the Mahatic light incarnated by the Sons of Wisdom into humanity through the power of Kriyasakti. It is this same power, the spirit of Divine Wisdom in man, the Manasic spirit, which taught man the secret of creation on the Kriyasaktic plane and procreation on the earthly plane, which led him on the path towards self-conscious immortality. That this provoked the wrath and envy of those polluted by anthropomorphic self-worship can scarcely be blamed upon the Kumaras and Agnishwathas, the spiritual benefactors of intellectual humanity. Hence the so-called fall of Adam and Eve, the rebellion of spiritual intelligence against the inertia of matter, marks the turning point in the movement from consciousness to self-consciousness and then towards universal self-consciousness. The cloying dogmas of original sin and demonology are nothing but the sorry legacy of self-mutilation, self-murder and perverse ingratitude perpetrated by those who live as if they matter more than universal good. Atlantean sorcerers who inverted and misused spiritual knowledge and power, they have proliferated excuses and sought to shed their karmic debts on others; in the end, however, they will be wholly eclipsed in their own ever-lengthening shadows as they walk away from the sun.

 Spiritual growth depends upon the daily, hourly and constant practice of walking towards the sun. No matter how heavy and footsore the pilgrim through self-imposed karmic burdens from the past, it is always possible to take gentle steps towards the light, to thrill at the thought that others are doing the same, and to learn from them and love them as companions on the Path. As understood by philosophers like Kant and sages like the Buddha, no one can force another to reverse the tendency towards inertia. Hence the Buddha regarded the production of a permanent change in the life of an individual human being as the highest magic. But this magical ignition of Bodhichitta involves the consent, cooperation and gratitude, the questioning and intensity, as well as the love, devotion and compassion of that human being in wanting to pass on and transcend the separative sense of self. Without a spark of these spiritual qualities, it is not possible to realize the justice and magnificence of human life. It is central to the entire teaching of the Gupta Vidya that whilst metaphysical differentiation through consciousness is indispensable for there even to be self-consciousness, this is fundamentally different from the difficulty for a ray of spirit, when encased in matter, to rebel against inertia. There are many modes of inertia – spiritual inertia which is the refusal to climb, mental inertia which is the refusal to think, moral inertia which is the refusal to take a vow or make a resolve, psychic inertia which is a refusal to be awake and responsive to the rhythms of nature and the extraordinary gifts of human life. None of these can be blamed upon the metaphysical differentiation of consciousness, and the purported second fall itself marks the awakening of that questioning spirit which is the signature of humanity's divine origin and is essential to overcoming all inertia. The ancients were masters of the art of self-questioning and interrogating Nature. They knew, as does every great scientist or artist, that if one knows how to ask, and how to wait, Nature will never refuse to speak. This is above all true in the realms of philosophic religion and spiritual enlightenment. From the start, the pilgrim who enters a period of probation must see the whole of human existence as a profound process of learning, loving and living. From that initial stance, maintained through a lifetime of suffering and growth, one can come to the greater beatitudes of the mystery of self-enlightenment, whereby one is prepared to enter the antechamber of the temple of spiritual initiation into the primordial and eternal Wisdom of the Mahatmas and the Bodhisattvas, the Teachers and Friends of the human race.

Hermes, September 1981
by Raghavan Iyer

Normal View