ORIGINS AND UNFOLDMENT OF HUMANITY
Madame H P Blavatsky, the chief exponent of the theosophical philosophy, has given to the world “The Secret Doctrine,” which is a granary of ideas. The purpose of the book in her terms is:
Annie Besant, her pupil and successor as exponent of the same philosophy, has delivered lectures on various topics dealt with in Blavatsky’s thought. Her lectures were made into books later for helping the discerning readers and seekers of Truth. The students of theosophy have derived much benefit by study of such books. Of these, the following books deal with the Origins and Unfoldment of Humanity:
These books are treasure-mines. They contain facts and suggestions for further thought. We have to use books as ‘spring board’ for ideas for inquiry. Without clarity of thought, books and facts supplied therein become muddles of confusion.
Data in the books must be taken as hypothesis till we come to a total understanding of the Laws of Nature. Understanding, however, is never complete and one has to improve upon itself gradually.
Annie Besant’s Preface to the ideas presented :
The current study is upon the second book viz. The Pedigree of Man. Before entering into the study of the text, it would be pertinent to see some sentences of Besant provided in the Preface to the book.
They (these lectures) have no pretension to be an “authoritative” statement, any more than has any other book, which has come from my pen, ---- I have filled up gaps on the series of facts given us by HPB; hence they are the unverified observations of a single student, made with such poor powers as I possess, and made amid the turmoil of a busy and crowded life. The things I have observed have been very illuminative to me. And have proved interesting and helpful to the many good students in whose presence the lectures were delivered. They have cleared up many puzzles, and rendered intelligible many detached and confusing statements. but even this is consistent with many errors in detail, although it seems to indicate that the main newly observed facts are true.
Annie Besant deals with these topics in her other books “Ancient Wisdom” and “A Study in Consciousness,” too, but we find these lectures in the present book are richly analytical and highly informative.
To know the ‘real/true nature of man’ is essential if one intends probing into the matters of ‘evolution.’
Three Lines of Evolution:
H P B suggests three lines of evolution:
By way of preliminary understanding, we must first familiarize ourselves with certain terms used such as Monad, Logos etc.
Monad is the true/real Man. It is sometimes considered synonymous with the Indian term ‘Atma.’ But the terms being generic, they have various meanings and connotations that are to be seen in the contextual measure. The student has to be vigilant in the use and meaning of these terms.
Monad is ‘a unit of consciousness’ arising within the consciousness of the Logos, which term again is equated to ‘Ishwara.’ We must remember that there are many ‘Logoi’ in the bosom of the ‘Absolute’ (Brahman). Logos, each of the many Logoi, is a particular force generated and coming out from the Absolute; and it ever remains within the Absolute consciousness. Each monad has inseparable/unbroken link with his Logos.
Monad sends forth into the world of Matter and Form its Ray. The purpose of such sending is that it might become complete/full in its expression. Each monad thus becomes full and complete and enables the Logos similarly become full and complete.
Heavenly Man is yet another term used by HPB for the ‘real man.’
Monadic evolution again is of two distinct stages:
In Pedigree of Man, Besant deals the text in two streams:
In modern parlance, we can say, she is dealing with the characters (actors) and the situations of the Karyakshetra (field of activity) of the Drama/Story of Human Evolution.
Some general points of note are necessary here:
The Solar System is composed of 7 Planetary Schemes. Each is under the control and direction of a Planetary Logoi.
Each Planetary system is composed of 7 Planetary Chains.
Each Planetary Chain is composed of 7 Planets/Globes.
The Life of Planetary Logoi circles 7 times round the 7 Globes, thus making 7 rounds of the Chain. In the 7 rounds and chains, there is a marked/distinct order of development; in the descent of Spirit into denser grades of matter and its reascent. Descent implies an added power to utilize the energies that the spirit puts into the matter while it descends.
Study of pre-human stages:
Before coming into grips with human evolution, it is necessary to have a grasp of the pre-human stages of evolution – however confusing and complicating that study is.
Seven rounds make the firmament of Kingdoms at each level.
1st round, the Highest Elemental Kingdom is completed; the other 6 are in embryo state.
2nd Second E K 5
3rd Third E K 4
4th round Mineral Kingdom is completed.
5th round Vegetable Kingdom is completed
6th round Animal kingdom is Completed
7th round Human Kingdom is completed
It is only in the 7th planetary chain, that the Matter and energy reach the highest possible perfection that is possible for that planetary system.
We see our birth in God, the groups of mighty ones that nurtured us, the stages of growth. We also see the coming of the Sons of Night, the Sons of Dark Wisdom (those who bring Ahamkara).
Spirit is obscured, it must mature in silence. The Intellect must lay its spoils at the feet of Spirit, and man, becoming divine, shall reign on earth.
That is the Agenda before us.
Levels of Great Spiritual Hierarchies
I. Three in One Mountain of Light appearing to be illuminating the Darkness
2. Seven Rays/ Planetary logoi
They completed their evolution in previous universes.
They are in charge of the Field of Evolution in the previous universes.
[ Seven Sons of Aditi ]
3. Twelve Great Hierarchies.
Creative Orders of the universe
12 are symbolized by the signs of Zodiac.
5 of them are beyond our ken of understanding.
7 others are connected with our Evolution. Their detailed working is as below:
This awakening is the First step in Evolution. It causes Monad to send forth his first Ray.
Unless we have a thorough understanding of the field of Evolution, we cannot understand the functional operation of the , Hierarchies, their Lords etc.
Now, let us consider the descriptive statement of Annie Besant on the status of MAN:
MAN is that being in the universe,
in whatever part of the universe he may be,
in whom highest Spirit and lowest Matter are joined together by intelligence,
thus ultimately making a manifested God, who will then go forth, conquering and to conquer, through the illimitable future that stretches before.
Man is not necessarily of just the form that you may now see. He may have a million forms: Man means that being in whom Spirit and Matter have joined hands, in whom they have become or are becoming, balanced, in whom ultimately, Spirit has conquered or will conquer, Matter.
Physical Evolution, the meeting of 3 lines:
This line of evolution is directed by Barhishad or Lunar Pitris. Pitris means ancestors. There is some sort of confusion in the use of the term, the Hindu way and the theosophical way. There are 4 types of Barhishads. Hindu system uses the term for ‘one type’ only sometimes and for the ‘whole lot’ the other time.
These Pitris come from the Moon chain and they are the ‘flower’ of that chain. There are ex-lunar pitris, who however have lived in that chain but have not attained the final end of the chain. They cannot be called Pitris. This is the theosophical stand.
The matter of the Lunar Chain is highly evolved compared to the Earth chain. The Lunar chain has only 4 fold division whereas the earth has 7 fold division. The ex-monads or the pitris, for that matter, did not know the structure of the earth chain, when they came first. So they had to familiar to know and assimilate that. The first thing they did was 1. to gather the different kinds of matter in the Chain around themselves.2. to build their own bodies of it and 3. to dwell in it. Besides understanding its ‘nature’ they fused their own line of thinking, pushed their own life into it, making the forms more ‘plastic’ and ‘responsive’.` they were made ‘user friendly’ for the less developed Monads who were to continue their evolution on the earth.
The Barhishad pitris have developed the mind but not yet conquered it. They still identified themselves with it but not transcended it. That is why they could not help the intellectual evolution of humanity here. They said: “Only when we transcend we can give.while we still identify ourselves with anything, it remains in our possession. We cannot part with it for another.” All they could do is “give to the man his etheric double, animal kama, animal germ of mind. Beyond this they could not go, but this sufficed for the shaping of physical evolution, for the building of animal man and all lower forms.”
The four classes of Pitris differ as to the vehicle or Upadhi they use:
It is obvious that all cannot do anything and everything connected to the work of evolution of the earth; their capacities are limited to the vehicles they possess and the training they gave earlier to them. The first class was connected with the first chain, the second to the second chain and thus till the fourth round. These Pitris are assisted by hosts of nature-spirits or Devas. The work done in the rounds 1 to 3 is very carefully and great detail given out by Besant in her study. We do not go into all that now.
Suffice for us to note that there was spiritual evolution in the first three rounds, and in the middle of the third Race, a time which was about 18 million years ago, the Monad has been brooding over the forms rather than dwelling in them. It was his secondary Ray, the reflection of himself in the matter of the lower planes, the lower center of consciousness that had been dwelling in the forms. It had been up to this point, the life, the soul, of the forms.
During the third race, both sensation and desire developed very rapidly and became very powerful. This was a crisis which the humanity had to pass.
The study of Intellectual pedigree, demands a close understanding of 2 tems: Manasaputras; Asuras.
Manasaputras: 4 classes
I Solar Pitris: These are more advanced Monads from Moon. They join the earth chain in the 3rd and 4th Races.
II. Asuras: They are product of the First Chain. They join the Earth Chain in 4th Race.
III. Agnishattva Pitris: They are product of the 2nd chain. They join Earth Chain about the middle of Third Race.
a) Some awakened only the ‘spark of mind’ and withdrew.
b) Some are highly awaked, they incarnated here and became Arhats.
c) Some awaked the spark of the mind, also incarnated to be the Divine Kings of the earlier dynasties.
d) The less advanced were the pupils and ministers of the Divine Kings; some of them also evolved into Arhats during the middle of the 3rd Race.
IV. Sons of Venus: They came from Venus Chain, to help and teach Humanity; they are the first Adepts on this Earth.
Asuras play a very active part in the ‘early story of the world.’
Asu= breath or life; asura= a living being (Rigveda calls Varuna Indra etc. as asuras).It designates spiritual beings, by no means who were evil.
Asuras and Suras are put in oppositeition to each other, for their functions in evolution are different.
Suras are moved by a sense of “Unity: and they embody “Order.”
Asuras have a sense of ‘progress’ and are embodied by Ahamkara, the will to be separate. This is their overmastering force to them. This is the characteristic mark, an identification mark for them. They are ever the rebels.
Relationship among Venus and Earth plant:
Venus is in her seventh round while we(earth) are only in the fourth.
The Instructors of humanity, the lords of Venus, came in the 3rd Race period. The first of Them is spoken of as ROOT-BASE OF THE OCCULT HIERARCHY, the spreading Banyan-tree, in the words of Madame Blavatsky. He is called the Virgin, the Kumara, the One above all others.
STANZA IV of THE SECRET DOCTRINE, SLOKAS 14-17 HAVE DIRECT BEARING ON THE STUDY WE ARE ENGAGED IN :
14. CREATION OF MEN: The moon-lords(will-born) propelled by the spirit of life-giving, separate men from themselves, each one on his own zone.Seperation means, making of the shadows, the astral and etheric double in each case, so that men can inhabit them.
15. Seven times seven means that each Race has its own seven sub-races, each of its own colour and kind. Each is inferior to its father. The fathers, the boneless, could give no life to beings with bones. Their progeny were phantoms, with neither form nor mind. Therefore they are called the shadow race.
The creators were perplexed: How to create a thinking man?
16. How are the Human born? The thinkers with minds, how are they made? The fathers called to their help their own fire(electric fire); which is the fire that burns earth. The spirit of the earth called to his help the solar fire(the spirit of the sun). These three (sun, moon, earth or the father and the two fires)produced in their joint efforts a good form (a perfect animal). It could stand, walk, run, recline, or fly. Yet it was still but a shadow with no sense(without the mind).
What is it that is needed for the formation of a Perfect Man.
17. The breath(The human monad) needed a form; the fathers gave it. The breath needed a gross body; the earth moulded it. The breath needed the spirit of life; the solar spirits breathed it into its form. The breath needed a mirror(astral shadow, etheric double) of its body: “We give it our own!” –said the spiritual intelligences. The breath needed a vehicle of desires: “It has it!” --- said the drainer of waters(the fire of passion and animal instinct). But the breath needs a mind to embrace the universe: “We cannot give that!” ---said the fathers. “I Never had it!” – said the spirit of the earth. “The forms would be consumed were I to give it mind!” --- said the great fire(solar fire). Man (nascent man)remained an empty senseless phantom. Thus have the boneless men with bones in the third(race, bisexual)
[First race: Sons of Yoga, Theis sons were the children of Sun and Moon.
Second Race is produced by budding and expansion.(Swetha-ja) and sexless.
Second race creates the 3rd and perishes.
Third race became the vehicle of the lords of the wisdom. It created the ‘sons of will and yoga.’ By magic power, it created them, the holy fathers, ancestors of the Arhats.]
In the First Round it is only the four lower kingdoms, the three elemental and the mineral, that evolve; hence it is the forms of these kingdoms that are built by the first class of Lunar Pitrs. But, at the same time, preparations are made in this Round for the evolution of the succeeding Rounds, and the other classes of Pitrs are busy in the atmosphere of the Globe, shaping the embryos of the archetypal form of the vegetable, animal and human kingdoms.
From Globe A the Pitrs pass on to Globe B, where they build the forms of denser matter than on Globe A, the matter of the Globe being itself denser. Also, in place of the few archetypal forms, they build the many varied forms which can be derived fro them. The archetypal forms on levels of our mental plane, tha arupa levels; those on Globe B are of the matter corresponding to the lower levels of our mental plane. There is thus the same relationship between the archetypal forms of Globe A and the mental forms of Globe B, as between the abstract idea and the concrete thought-forms; as, for example, between triangularity, the idea of a triangle, and the many mental images of triangles that we form when we try to picture triangularity in the mind. On Globe C the forms are built of yet denser matter, corresponding to our astral plane, and on Globe D of the densest available during the Round, corresponding to our physical matter. But it must be remembered that all these forms are very tenuous and filmy as compared with those with which we are familiar; it is almost impossible, indeed, for us to form any idea of what they were like. The Globes of the Chain themselves are also very filmy, quite different from anything we think of as matter. Mrs.Besant describes how the Chain would appear during this Round if we could see it with our inner v ision, for there is nothing that could be perceived by our physical vision, it is far too tenuous for that. “Behold a vast mass of heaving, tossing whirling, fiery matter, flashing, rolling, changing, in billowing masses, slowly aggregating itself according to three varying densities, into seven filmy forms. Scarce forms indeed can we call them, for even when we descend to the fourth, the most material of the forms, we can only catch a dim glimpse of Earth’s first rupa, a mere film of Akasa, tenuous, radiant, luminous, fiery. There is nothing visible save embodied fire in this Round. Seven of these forms we dimly see, of which this fourth, that is to be our Earth, is the most perceptible. Above it, on the descending are, vague and vaguer shadows loom through the fiery mists. Above it, on the ascending are, three other shadows, fiery, scarce perceptible. A vast panorama of flames, that take and lose again the form of globes, huge, wondrous, awe-inspiring, in resistless force and over whelming energy.” (Pedigree pp. 49,50.)\
On Globe E we find again the astrol form, on Globe F those of the lower mental matter, and on Globe G the archetypal forms; but all of these are more complex and more fully organized than the corresponding forms on Globes A,B,C, and they are far more responsive to the consciousness; they have, in fact, been transformed from sheaths that imprison into upadhis that serve as vehicles of consciousness. This is the regular order of development which prevails in all our sets of seven globes, and illustrates the seven stages of the descent of spirit into matter and its re-ascent,already referred to.
As we have already seen, the pitrs, during this Round, first build the form around themselves, and dwell in them for a time. They then withdraw from them, and the ex-lunar monads pass into them and use them; it seems that in the earlier Rounds the forms do not die, as they do now, but when one monad has used a form as much as he wishes, or as he can, he leaves it and another monad slips into it. This conception may help us to realizemore fully that our bodies are only instruments used by the individuality; one can hardly identify oneself with a body that is used first by one and then by another. The monads thus continue the work of preparing the forms which was begun by the Pitrs, and at the same time add to their own experience. The first class of monads come first and enter the forms of the first elemental kingdom. They pass rapidly through these, and then enter the second elemental kingdom; the forms they leaves behind them are entered and used by the monads of the second class, and as these leave them and pass on, the monads of the third class come in, so that there is a continuous stream of monads passing into and through the forms left by the Pitrs. But the more advanced monads progress far more rapidly than the less advanced; they have had more experience in the past, their faculties are more developed, and they are therefore far better able to deal with the forms, and gather experience through them. So at the close of the First Round the monads of the first class have passed through all the kingdoms, those of the second class have “only completed the animal and touched the border of the human,” those of the third class have completed the vegetable, the fourth class the mineral, and so on, the seventh having passed only through the first elemental kingdom.
In the Second Round, the second class of Barhishad Pitrs do the main part of the work. The process is essentially the same as during the First Round, exept that the Pitrs no longer build the forms around themselves or dwell in them; but they acarry the development of the forms of the elemental and mineral kingdoms to a higher stage, building them in somewhat denser matter than in the preceding Round. The vegetable forms, too, are no longer merely in the atmosphere; the Pitrs “bring down the archetypes of the vegetable kingdom of Globe A, work them into concrete forms on Globe B, densify them on Globe C, and they touch the physical on Globe D; the animal and human remaining in the atmosphere, and all progressing.” But, as we have seen, the monads of the first class do not pass again through the lower kingdoms, they enter only the human; while the other classes of monads repeat the stages which they passed through during the previous Round, and add one kingdom thereto.
In the Third Round the process is repeated, but the matter is denser than before, and it is the third class of Pitrs who take charge of the work. The animal forms are brought down to the Globes and pass through the various stages proper to each Globe. The first and second classes of monads enter only the human kingdom, and the others repeat the stages of the previous Round, and again add one kingdom.
In the Fourth Round the fourth class of Pitrs guide the work. They bring down the human forms on Globe A, the archetypes of man showing what he will be in the future. “Wondrous archetypes and beautiful are they, showing what man will be as well as what man is, for the archetypes of the seven Races are there. The sixth and the seventh stand out radiant in the splendour of their beauty, and hint at what the developed types will be in the Races and the Rounds that lie in front.” The forms are then built on Globes B and C, similarly to the previous Rounds, but when Globe D is reached there is a change in the process. For it is here that man has to enter on the great conflict, which shall end in the conquest of matter by spirit, and he therefore needs more complex and more highly developed forms.
A vivid description is given in the Peigree of the condition of our earth at this stage, a world of “such terrible turmoil, of such gigantic convulsions of nature that you can hear nothing but the crash of falling mountain summits, the roar of volcanoes as they throw up the burning lava, the dash of giant waves loaded with rocks, with avalanches of lava, which they have picked up as they rushed in mighty billows, and toss up as though in play, masses that are almost mountains; fire breaking out everywhere, storm, whirlwind and tornado-one vast turmoil and turbulence where you would think that life could not exist”. But even in the midst of this turmoil the nature-spirits begin building up forms, rude, clumsy forms, not fit for the use of man, forms which are swept away before the real work of the Pitra begins, For after many millions of years of this tumult and turmoil, the earth becomes more quiet and still, more ready for the appearance of man. Then it appears as a “vast ocean of heaving, tepid water, emptied of inhabitants, solid hard ground beneath the watery desert.” After a time the land appears above the surface of the water, and the First Continent is formed, the imperishable Sacred Land of which we read so much in the Secret Doctrine, and which is referred to under different names in the various great Scriptures of the world. It is sometimes called Shvetadvipa, and the first point to appear in it was Mount Meru. This continent is said to spread around the North Pole, its climate an eternal spring, for the axis of the earth was then at a different angle with relation to the sun from what it is now. It is also said to be the birthplace of every human race in turn, for we are told that, amid all the changes that take place on the earth, this land alone never dies. To it the Pitrs come, and, as a more highly developed form is needed, they no longer merely gather the matter and build it into forms, but they give an actual portion of their own bodies; “they separate off from their own ethereal bodies a chhaya, a ‘shadow,’ a seed of life, which contains within it the potentialities of developing into the human form. It is huge, filamentous, sexless, and empty Bhuta, floating about in the dense atmosphere and in the seething seas.”
The first flour classes of ex-lunar monads are now ready to enter these human forms, all being at varying stages of development, and therefore needing forms of varying degrees of complexity. The Fourth Class of Lunar Pitras themselves are also at various stages of growth, and thus the Chhayas thrown off from their bodies will supply the required variety. Into these Chhayas, then, the monads enter, thus constituting the First Race of humanity.
It is difficult for us to form any idea of what these beings were like, they were so different from anything that we think of as human. Huge, indefinite forms they were, “more like a piece of slimy ooze…..than a human being”; with no organs, no definite limbs, drifting about with apparently little purpose, with very little consciousness, no senses yet developed except a very dim sense of hearing; little indeed was there to mark them as human. They did not die, so there was no reincarnation as we understand the term; and as new forms were needed for the monads who were pressing on, multiplication took place by fission or budding. “They grew, expanding in size, and then divided at first into two equal halves, and in their later stages into unequal portions, budding off progeny smaller than themselves, that grew in their turn, and again budded off their young.” These forms do not die; but “when the time is ripe for the second Root Race to appear, the nature spirits build round the Chhaya denser particles of matter forming a kind of stiffer shell on the outside, and ……..thus imperceptibly the first Race vanished into, merged in, became the second, and the Chhaya, which was all the body of the first, became the etheric double of the second.”
Kosmos: The Universe, as distinguished from the World, which may mean our globe or earth.
Cosmos: The Universe.
The terms Globes, Chains and Rounds, very often occurring in these studies, need not have to confuse our minds.
The basic point to be comprehended is that the Life-waves travel from place to place, incessantly and they form these distinctions. This goes under a general term ‘manifestation’; we must also note that the manifestation is on several layers or planes of Nature. The wide ‘map’ showing the Plans of Evolution clearly tell us which globe is on a particular plane of nature. The schemes of evolution are 10. The life-waves move from one globe to another within the scheme, globes in chains and in rounds. The travel of Life-waves is guided by certain laws, from globe to globe and from chain to chain; and in a sequence of rounds.
The ‘periodicity’ of the coming out of globes and their disappearance is hinted in the 2nd Fundamental Proposition. “The Eternity of the Universe in toto as a boundless plane; periodically, “the playground of numberless Universes incessantly manifesting and disappearing,” called “manifesting stars,” and the “sparks of Eternity.” The Eternity of the Pilgrim” (Monad) is like a wink of the Eye of Self-Existence. The appearance and disappearance of Worlds is like a regular tidal ebb of flux and reflux.”
We can also look to the whole matter in a new perspective. The Globes, chains and rounds are simple and just ‘externalization’ of what is happening in each man. Man is the Universe(cosmos) in miniature.
Dr N. C Ramanujachary.