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The Origins of the Stanzas of Dzyan - A Project
This is the new home of the discussion started in September of 2010. Moving to a group gives much greater flexibility and allows the segmenting of the discussion into different aspects.
Undoubtedly the most mysterious piece of writing in the Theosophical tradition, the Stanzas of Dzyan are an extremely beautiful and complex work of art. Without the commentaries provided by HP Blavatsky they would stand as a modern sphinx, clothed in poetic beauty and vivid imagery. With the various axioms and commentaries, they are the outline for a complex cosmology and a spiritual anthropology as fantastic as it is intuitively insightful.
But what are the Stanzas? What do we know about them? What can we truly say for certain?
The goal of this exercise is extremely ambitious. Various individuals, most notably David Riegle, have spent their entire lives at this question. Others, including Gershon Scholem have posited their origin/inspiration as being from other than Tibet.
The discussions that were part of this Blog are now archived in two files:
The work is being continued at:
NOTE: complete list of stanzas
STANZAS OF DYZAN
The Secret of the Fire lieth hid in the second letter of the Sacred Word. The mystery of life is
concealed within the heart. When the lower point vibrates, when the sacred triangle glows, when the
point, the middle center, and the apex, connect and circulate the Fire, when the threefold apex likewise
burns, then the two triangles—the greater and the lesser—merge into one flame, which burneth up the
"AUM," said the Mighty One, and sounded forth the Word. The sevenfold waves of matter resolved
themselves, and varied forms appeared. Each took its place, each in the sphere ordained. They waited
for the sacred flood to enter and to fill.
The Builders responded to the sacred sound. In musical collaboration they attended to the work. They
built in many spheres, beginning with the third. Upon this plane their work commenced. They built
the sheath of atma and strung it to its Primary.
"AUM," said the Mighty One. "Let now the work proceed. Let the Builders of the air continue with
The Deva-Lord and Builders upon the plane of air worked with the forms within that sphere which is
reckoned mainly theirs. They wrought for union, each in his group assigned. The moulds grew fast
beneath their hands.
The sacred plane of juncture, the fourth great plane, became the sphere within the greater circle which
marked the goal for man.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, He breathed forth to the fifth, the plane which is the burning-ground, the
meeting place for fire. This time a cosmic note is heard beneath the sound systemic. The fire within,
the fire without, meet with the fire ascending. The guardians of the cosmic fire, the devas of fohatic
heat, watched o'er the forms that formless stood, waiting a point in time.
The builders of a lesser grade, devas who work with matter, wrought at the forms. They stood in
fourfold order. Upon the threefold levels in empty silence stood the forms. They vibrated, they
responded to the key, yet useless stood and uninhabited.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, "let the waters too bring forth." The builders of the watery sphere, the
denizens of moisture, produced the forms that move within the kingdom of Varuna. They grew and
multiplied. In constant flux they swayed. Each ebb of cosmic motion increased the endless flow. The
ripple of the forms was seen.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, "let the Builders deal with matter." The molten solidified. The solid
forms were built. The crust cooled. The rocks congealed. The builders wrought in tumult to produce
the forms of maya. When the rocky strata were completed the work stood in completion. The builders
of the lowest grade announced the work was finished.
Forth from the rocky strata emerged the covering next. The builders of the second agreed the work was
done. The first and second on the upward way stood forth in fourfold form. The inner five was
somewhat seen by those whose sight was keen.
"AUM," said the Mighty One, and gathered in His Breath. The spark within the peopling third
impelled to further growth. The builders of the lowest forms, manipulating densest maya, merged their
production with the forms built by the watery ones. Matter and water merged produced the third in
time. Ascension thus progressed. The builders worked in union. They called the guardians of the fiery
zone. Matter and water mixed with fire, the inner spark within the form were blended all together.
The Mighty One looked down. The forms met His approval. Forth came the cry for further light.
Again He gathered in the sound. He drew to higher levels the feeble spark of light. Another tone was
heard, the sound of cosmic fire, hid in the Sons of Manas. They called to their Primaries. The lower
four, the higher three, and the cosmic fifth met at the great inbreathing. Another sheath was formed.
The great Wheel turned upon itself. The seven lesser wheels rushed into being. They revolve like their
Mother, around, within and forward. All that existeth was.
The wheels were diverse, and in unification, one. As evolved the great Wheel, the inner fire burst
forth. It touched into life wheel the first. It circulated. A million fires rose up. The quality of matter
densified, but form was not. The Sons of God arose, scanned the depth of Flame, took from its heart
the sacred Stone of Fire, and proceeded to the next.
In turning next the Great Wheel launched the second. Again the flame burst forth, took to its heart the
Stone and proceeded in revolution. The Sons of God again arose, and sought within the flame. "The
form sufficeth not," they said, "remove from without the fire."
Faster revolved the greater Wheel, blue white emerged the flame. The Sons of God again came down
and a lesser wheel revolved. Seven times the revolution, and seven times great the heat. More solid
grew the formless mass, and deeper sank the Stone. To the heart of inmost fire the sacred Stone went
down. This time the work was better done, and the product more perfected. At the seventh revolution,
the third wheel rendered back the Stone. Triple the form, rosy the light, and sevenfold the eternal
From out the greater Wheel, down from the vault of heaven, came into light the lesser wheel that
counted as the fourth. The eternal Lhas looked down, and the Sons of God reached forth. Down to the
inmost point of death They flung the sacred Stone. The plaudits of the Chohans rose. The work had
turned a point. From the pit of outer darkness, They gathered forth the Stone, translucent now and
unalloyed, of colour rose and blue.
The turning of the fifth wheel and its action on the Stone rendered it still more fit. Yellow the blending
tint, orange the inner fire, till yellow, rose and blue mingled their subtle tones. The four wheels with
the greater worked thus upon the Stone till all the Sons of God acclaimed, and said: "The work is
In revolution fifth of the great Wheel the period set was reached. The lesser wheel, that responded to
that fifth great turn, passed through the cycle and entered into peace.
The lesser wheels come forth and likewise do their work. The great Wheel gathers back the emanating
sparks. The Five dealt with the work, the lesser two but wrought with detail. The Stone had gathered
fire, lambent with flame it shone. The outer sheath met not the need till the sixth wheel and the seventh
had passed it through their fires.
The Sons of God emerged from out their source, gazed on the sevenfold work, and stated it was good.
The Stone was set alone. In dual revolution moved the greater Wheel. The fourth Lord of the greater
Twelve handled the work of sevenfold fire. "It is not fit," He said, "merge thou this Stone within the
wheel which started revolution."
The lords of the greater seven plunged the Stone within the moving wheel. The lords of the greater
fifth and sixth likewise plunged their Stone.
Within the fire, deep at the inmost sphere, as whirled through space the greater Wheel, bearing the
lesser seven, the two were fused. The fourth, the fifth, the sixth blended, merged and intermingled.
The aeon closed, the work was done. The stars stood still. The eternal Ones cried to inmost heaven:
"Display the work. Draw forth the Stones." And lo, the Stones were one.
The moment manvantaric, for which had waited all the Triads, the hour that marked the solemn point
of juncture, arrived within the scope of time, and lo, the work was done.
The hour for which the seven groups purushic, each vibrant to the sounding of the Word, seeking the
adding of the power, had waited for millennia, passed in a flash of time, and lo, the work was done.
The First Degree in mighty acclamation deeming the hour propitious, sounded the triple note in
threefold reverberation. The echo reached the goal. They three times sent it forth. Restless the sphere
of blue felt the vibration and answering, roused herself and hastened to the call.
The Second, with wise insistence, hearing the First sound forth, knowing the hour had likewise come,
echoed the sound or note quadruple. This fourfold reverberation circled the gamut of the spheres.
Again it was sent forth. Three times the note was sounded, pealing across the heavens. At the third
intoning came the answer to the call. Vibrant as a key attuned, the eternal Primary replied. The blue to
the dense one answered and responded to the need.
Quivering the sphere heard the third take up the note, pealing it forth, a full-toned chord smote on the
ears of the Watchers of the Flame.
The Lords of Flame arose and prepared Themselves. It was decision's hour. The seven Lords of the
seven spheres watched breathless the result. The great Lord of sphere the fourth awaited the oncoming.
The lower was prepared. The upper was resigned. The great Five waited for the point of equidistant
merging. The foundation note ascended. Deep answered unto deep. The fivefold chord awaited the
response from Those Whose hour had come.
Dark grew the space between the spheres. Radiant two balls became. The threefold thirty-five, finding
the distance just, flashed like a sheet of intermittent flame, and lo, the work was done. The great Five
met the Three and Four. The point intermediate was achieved. The hour of sacrifice, the sacrifice of
Flame, arrived, and for aeons hath endured. The timeless Ones entered into time. The Watchers began
Their task, and lo, the work proceeds.
Within the cavern dark the fourfold one groped for expansion and for further light. No light above, and
all around the gloom enveloped. Pitchy the darkness that surrounded it. To the innermost centre of the
heart, throbbing without the Warming Light, crept in the icy cold of uttermost darkness.
Above the cavern dark shone all the light of day; yet the fourfold one saw it not, nor did the light
The rending of the cavern precedes the light of day. Great, then, must be the shattering. No help is
found within the cave, nor any hidden light. Around the fourfold one lieth the vault of stone; beneath
him menaceth the root of blackness, of utter denseness; beside him and above, naught but the same is
The threefold Watchers know and see. The fourfold is now ready; the work of denseness is completed;
the vehicle prepared.
Soundeth the trump of shattering. Blinding the power of the oncoming flame. The mystic earthquake
rocks the cavern; the burning Flames disintegrate the maya, and lo, the work is done.
Gone is the gloom and the blackness; rent is the cavern's roof. The light of life shines in; the warmth
inspires. The Lords on-looking see the work commence. The fourfold one becomes the seven. The
chant of those who flame rises to all creation. The moment of achievement is attained.
Proceedeth the work anew. Creation moveth on its way, while waxeth the light within the cavern.
Riseth the cave of beauty rare, of colour iridescent. Shineth the walls with azure tint, bathed in the
light of rose. The blending shade of blue irradiates the whole and all is merged in gleaming.
Within the cave of iridescent colour, within its arching circle, standeth the fivefold One demanding
further light. He struggleth for expansion, he wrestleth towards the day. The Five demand the greater
Sixth and Seventh. The surrounding beauty meeteth not the need. The inner warmth sufficeth but to
feed the urge for FIRE.
The Lords of Flame look on; they chant aloud: "The time is come, that time for which We wait. Let
the Flame become the FIRE and let the light shine forth."
The effort of the Flame within the crystal cave becometh ever greater. The cry goes forth for other aid
from other Flaming Souls. The response comes.
The Lord of Flame, the Ancient One, the Mighty Lord of Fire, the Point of Blue within the hidden
diamond, the Youth of Timeless Aeons, assisteth in the work. The inner burning light and the outer
waiting fire,—together with the ROD,—meet on the sphere of crystal, and lo, the work is done. The
crystal rends and quivers.
Seven times the work proceeds. Seven the efforts made. Seven the applications of the Rod, held by a
Lord of Flame. Three are the lesser touches; four the divine assistance. At the final fourth the work is
done and the whole cave disrupts. The lighted flame within spreads through the rending walls. It
mounteth to its Source. Another fire is merged; another point of blue findeth its place within the
The greater Three, each with their seven lesser wheels, in spiral evolution, rotate within the timeless
Now, and move as one. The cosmic Lords from Their high place, view the past, control the Now, and
ponder on the Day be with us.
The Lhas of the eternal Sound, the product of the time that was, surmount the sevenfold display.
Within the Ring-pass-not the Word of Love sounds forth.
The sevenfold Lords proceed with just vibration to carry out the work. They sound forth each a note of
the deep logoic chord. Each to His greater Lord makes record due. In the solemn breathing forth the
forms are built, the colour just apportioned, and the flame within reveals itself with ever growing light.
Blue to the green is added and completion quick is seen. The vibration of the third is added to the one.
Blue to the orange blends, and in their wise admixture is seen the stable scheme. To the yellow and the
red, to the purple and the ultimate is the vibration of the seventh adjusted as the Primary.
Each of the seven Lords, within Their seven schemes, adjusted to the second karmic circle, merge
Their migrating spheres and blend Their myriad atoms.
The forms through which They work, the lesser million spheres, the cause of separation and the curse
of the Asuras, shatter when sounds the Sacred Word within a point in time.
The life logoic surges out. The streams of colour melt together. The forms are left behind, and
Parabrahm stands complete. The Lord of the cosmic Third utters a Word unknown. The sevenfold
lesser Word forms part of the vaster chord.
The Now becomes the time that was. The aeon mergeth into space. The Word of Motion hath been
heard. The Word of Love succeedeth. The Past controlled the form. The Now evolves the life. The
Day that is to be sounds forth the Word of Power.
The form perfected and the life evolved hold the third secret of the greater Wheel. It is the hidden
mystery of living motion. The mystery, lost in the Now but known to the Lord of Cosmic Will.
The thirty thousand million Watchers refused to heed the call. "We enter not the forms," they said,
"until the seventh aeon." The twice thirty thousand million hearkened to the call and took the forms
The rebellious ones laughed within themselves, and sought pralayic peace until the seventh aeon. But
the seven great Lords called to the greater Chohans, and with the eternal Lhas of the third cosmic
heaven entered into debate.
The dictum then went forth. The laggards in the highest sphere heard it echo through the scheme. "Not
till the seventh aeon, but at the fourteenth seventh will the chance again come round. The first shall be
the last and time be lost for aeons."
The obedient Sons of Mind connected with the Sons of Heart, and evolution spiralled on its way. The
Sons of Power stayed in their appointed place, though cosmic karma forced a handful to join the Sons
At the fourteenth seventh aeon, the Sons of Mind and Heart, absorbed by endless flame, will join the
Sons of Will, in manvantaric manifestation. Three times the wheel will turn.
At the centre stand the buddhas of activity, helped by the lords of love, and following their twofold
work will come the radiant lords of power.
The buddhas of creation from out the past have come. The buddhas of love are gathering now. The
buddhas of will at the final turn of the third major wheel will flash into being. The end will then be
The Fifth progresseth and from the remnants of the Fourth multiplied and reproduced. The waters
arose. All sank and was submerged. The sacred remnant, in the place appointed, emerged at later date
from out the zone of safety.
The waters dissipated. The solid ground emerged in certain destined places. The Fifth o'er-ran the
Sacred Land, and in their fivefold groups developed the lower Fifth.
They passed from stage to stage. The watching Lords, recognising the rupas formed, gave a sign to the
circulating Fourth and it speeded faster on its way. When the lesser Fifth had midway passed and all
the lesser four were peopling the land, the Lords of Dark Intent arose. They said: "Not so shall go the
force. The forms and rupas of the third and fourth, within the corresponding Fifth, approach too close
the archetype. The work is far too good."
They constructed other forms. They called for cosmic fire. The seven deep pits of hell belched forth
the animating shades. The incoming seventh reduced to order all the forms,—the white, the dark, the
red, and shaded brown.
The period of destruction extended far on either hand. The work was sadly marred. The Chohans of
the highest plane gazed in silence on the work. The Asuras and the Chaitans, the Sons of Cosmic Evil,
and the Rishis of the darkest constellations, gathered their lesser hosts, the darkest spawn of hell. They
darkened all the space.
* * * * *
From the coming of the heaven-sent One peace passed upon the earth. The planet staggered and
belched forth fire. Part rose. Part fell. The form was changed. Millions took other forms or ascended
to the appointed place of waiting. They tarried till the hour of progress should again sound forth for
* * * * *
The early Third produced the monsters, great beasts and evil forms. They prowled upon the surface of
The watery Fourth produced within the watery sphere, reptiles and spawn of evil fame, the product of
their karma. The waters came and swept away the progenitors of the fluidic spawn.
The separating Fifth built in the rupa sphere the concrete forms of thought. They cast them forth. They
peopled the lower four, and like a black and evil cloud shut out the light of day. The higher three were
* * * * *
The war upon the planet had been waged. Both sides descended into hell. Then came the Conqueror
of form. He drew on the Sacred Fire, and purified the rupa levels. The fire destroyed the lands in the
days of the lesser Sixth.
When the Sixth appeared the land was changed. The surface of the globe circled through another
cycle. Men of the higher Fifth mastered the lower three. The work was shifted to the plane whereon
the Pilgrim stood. The lesser triangle within the lower auric egg became the centre of cosmic
The wheel of life turns within the wheel of outer form.
The matter of Fohat circulateth, and its fire hardeneth all the forms. The wheel that is not glimpsed
moveth in rapid revolution within the slower outer case, till it weareth out the form.
The forty-nine fires burn at the inner centre. The thirty-five circulating fiery vortices extend along the
circle of the periphery. Between the two passeth in ordered sequence the various coloured flames.
The great Triangles in their just arrangement hold hid the secret of the wheel of life. The cosmic fire
radiates as directed from the second sphere, controlled by the Ruler of the merging ray. The cohorts of
the third encircling sphere in varied ranks mark out the lesser threes.
The wheel of life still moves within the form. The devas of the fourth connect the thirty-five, and
blend them with the central forty-nine. Above they work, seeking to merge the whole. Upward they
strive, who in their myriad forms revolve within the wheels of lesser magnitude. The whole is one, yet
on the lower spheres only the forms appear. They seem in their divisions more than can be grasped or
The many circulate. The forms are built, become too firm, are broken by the life, and circulate again.
The few revolve, holding the many in the heat of motion. The one embraces all, and carries all from
great activity into the heart of cosmic peace.
The Blessed Ones hide Their threefold nature but reveal Their triple essence by means of the three
great groups of atoms. Three are the atoms and threefold the radiation.
The inner core of Fire hides itself and is known only through radiation and that which radiates. Only
after the blaze dies out and the heat is no longer felt can the fire be known.
Through the band of violet that encircleth the Heavens passeth the globe of purple dark. It passeth and
returneth not. It becometh enrapt in the blue. Three times the blue enfoldeth, and when the cycle is
completed the purple fadeth and is merged into the rose, and the path again is traversed.
Three the great colours in the cycle that counteth as the fourth, violet, blue and rose, with the basic
purple in revolution.
Four are the colours secondary in the cycle of discrimination in which the revolution taketh place. It is
circled to the midmost point and somewhat passed. Yellow the band that cometh, orange the cloud that
hideth, and green for vivification. Yet the time is not yet.
Many the circling fires; many the revolving rounds, but only when the complementary colours
recognise their source, and the whole adjusteth itself to the seven will be seen completion. Then will
be seen each colour in adjustment right, and the cessation of revolution.
(Copyright 1998 Lucis Trust)
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