[THE ORIGIN OF THE PYTHAGOREAN SYSTEM]
[This fragment in H.P.B.’s handwriting exists in the Adyar Archives and is reproduced here from a faithful transcript of the original.—Compiler. ]
. . . Asiatics say, that owing to the Zodiac, used for thousands of years in our temples, and leaving psychological claims entirely out of question—we have the means of seeing in, and of thoroughly penetrating through that Cymmerian darkness that stretches back for the Westerners in an indefinite and impenetrable series of prehistoric ages. And this, the Asiatics say fearlessly, and to the face of Prof. Weber who would persuade on his scientific authority the credulous public that the Aryan Brahmins had no knowledge of the Zodiac before the first century of his era; and that the Hindus are “in any case indebted for the Zodiacal signs and the names of the planets to Greek influence.” For if he can show that Varâha-Mihira (in Pulisa) “employed a great mass of Greek words in his writings,” the Hindus can prove on as good authority, that while Varâha-Mihira lived in the sixth century of the Christian era, Pythagoras who flourished in precisely the same century (570 B.C.) eleven centuries earlier, got his astronomical and astrological education (including the knowledge of the Zodiac), his system of chelaship and religious brotherhood, for which he translated the Sanskrit terms of esoteric and exoteric into Greek, and even his knowledge of the heliocentrical system from the initiated Brahmins. His prohibition of animal food and certain vegetables and his doctrine of the transmigration of souls comes from India; as also it is from
the Sramans that he got his System of inculcating unbounded reverence on the part of the disciple for their master or Guru, and for the matter of that even his doctrine of Numbers in their relation to the musical scale, and of the Universe as one harmonious whole. Our zodiacal signs have a common origin with those of the Egyptians, and for a good cause as may be one day proved. And to their Zodiac even European Egyptologists assign an antiquity of 4000 years before our era.
Moreover, some of the greatest lights of philology go so far as to affirm that before the supposed conquest of Alexander the Indian Aryans had no idea of the art of reading and writing. And while boasting that a small . . . .