FOOTNOTES TO “THE LIFE OF SANKARACHARYA, PHILOSOPHER AND MYSTIC”
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 4, January, 1880, p. 89; No. 8, May, 1880, p. 203]
[In the second installment of this article, the writer, Kashinath Trimbak Telang, M.A., LL.B., recounted how on a certain occasion the sage “caused his soul to enter the corpse” of King Amâraka. The following is a footnote appended by H.P.B.]
This incident is too important to pass by without editorial comment. The power of the Yogi to quit his own body and enter and animate that of another person, though affirmed by Patañjali and included among the Siddhis of Krishna, is discredited by Europeanized young Indians. Naturally enough, since, as Western biologists deny a soul to man, it is an unthinkable proposition to them that the Yogi’s soul should be able to enter another’s body. That such an unreasoning infidelity should prevail among the pupils of European schools, is quite reason enough why an effort should be made to revive in India those schools of Psychology in which the Aryan youth were theoretically and practically taught the occult laws of Man and Nature. We, who have at least some trifling acquaintance with modern science, do not hesitate to affirm our belief that this temporary transmigration of souls is possible. We may even go so far as to say that the phenomenon has been experimentally proven to us in New York, among other places. And, since we would be among the last to require so marvelous a statement to be accepted upon any one’s unsupported testimony, we urge our readers to first study Aryan literature, and then get from personal experience the corroborative evidence. The result must inevitably be to satisfy every honest inquirer that Patañjali and
Sankaracharya did, and Tyndall, Carpenter and Huxley do not, know the secrets of our being.
[Further on, K. T. Telang says that “Sankara, learning in some supernatural way of his mother’s being at the point of death, hastened to her side, and at her request for spiritual counsel, instructed her, or rather attempted to instruct her, in the formless Brahma.” To this H.P.B. remarks:]
We must take issue with our distinguished contributor upon this point. We do not believe in “supernatural ways,” and we do believe and know that it was not at all difficult for an initiate like Sankara to learn by his interior faculties, of his mother’s state. We have seen too many proofs of this faculty to doubt it.
[In the third installment of the same article, K. T. Telang writes: “Sankara suddenly caught the disease, called Bhagandara, which had been sent upon him by the necromantic spells of Abhinavagupta, who had performed a special sacrifice to accomplish his malicious plot. The greatest physicians attended on Sankara, but in vain. Meanwhile the patient himself behaved stoically . . . but at last, when the disease could not be cured, he prayed to Mahadeva . . . the anger of Padmapada once more came to the relief of the Vedantism of Sankara. For, though dissuaded by Sankara himself, he muttered some mystic incantations which transferred the disease to Abhinavagupta himself, who died of it.” On this, H.P.B. comments as follows:]
[Bhagandara]—a terrible form of ulcerated sore, or fistula.
An important point for the student of occult science is here made and should not be overlooked. The law of physics that action and reaction tend to equilibrate each other holds in the realm of the occult. This has been fully explained in Isis Unveiled* and other works of the kind. A current of Akasa directed by a sorcerer at a given object with an evil intent, must either be propelled by such intensity of will as to break through every obstacle and overpower the resistant will of the selected victim, or it will rebound against the sender, and afflict him or her in the same way as it was intended the other should be hurt. So
* [For instance in Vol. I, pp. 142-45.—Compiler.]
well is this law understood that it has been preserved to us in many popular proverbs, such as the English ones, “curses come home to roost,” “the biter’s bit,” etc., the Italian one, “la bestemia gira e gira e gira e torna adosso a chi la tira,” etc. This reversal of a maleficent current upon the sender may be greatly facilitated by the friendly interference of another person who knows the secret of controlling the Akashic currents—if it is permissible for us to coin a new word that will soon be wanted in the Western parlance.