LAMAS AND DRUSES
[The Theosophist, Vol. II, No. 9, June, 1881, pp. 193-196]
Mr. L. Oliphant’s new work Land of Gilead attracts considerable attention. Reviews appeared some time since, but we had to lay the subject aside until now for lack of space. We will now have something to say, not of the work itself—though justice can hardly be sufficiently done to the writings of that clever author—but of what he tells us respecting the
Druses—those mystics of Mount Lebanon of whom so little is known. We may, perchance, shed some new light on the subject.
The Druse [Mr. Oliphant thinks] has a firm conviction that the end of the world is at hand. Recent events have so far tallied with the enigmatical prophecies of his sacred books, that he looks forward to the speedy resurrection of al-Hakim, the founder and divine personage of the sect. In order to comprehend this, the connection between China and Druse theology has to be remembered. The souls of all pious Druses are supposed to be occupying in large numbers certain cities in the west of China. The end of the world will be signalized by the approach of a mighty army from the East against the contending powers of Islam and Christianity. This army will be under the command of the Universal Mind, and will consist of millions of Chinese Unitarians. To it Christians and Mohammedans will surrender and march before it to Mecca. Al-Hakim will then appear, at his command the Kaaba will be demolished by fire from Heaven, and the resurrection of the dead will take place. Now that Russia has come into collision with China, the Druses see the fulfilment of their sacred prophecies, and are eagerly waiting for an Armageddon in which they believe themselves destined to play a prominent part.—The Pioneer
Mr. Lawrence Oliphant is, in our opinion, one of England’s best writers. He is also more deeply acquainted with the inner life of the East than most of the authors and travellers who have written upon the subject—not even excepting Captain and Mrs. Burton. But even his acute and observing intellect could hardly fathom the secret of the profoundly mystical beliefs of the Druses. To begin with al-Hakim is not the founder of their sect. Their ritual and dogmas were never made known, but to those who have been admitted into their brotherhood. Their origin is next to unknown. As to their external religion, or rather what has transpired of it, that can be told in a few words. The Druses are believed to be a mixture of Kurds, Mardi-Arabs, and other semi-civilized tribes. We humbly maintain that they are the descendants of, and a mixture of, mystics of all nations—mystics, who, in the face of cruel and unrelenting persecution by the orthodox Christian Church and orthodox Islamism, have ever since the first centuries of the Mohammedan propaganda, been gathered together, and who gradually made a permanent settlement in the fastnesses of
Syria and Mount Lebanon, where they had from the first found refuge. Since then, they have preserved the strictest silence upon their beliefs and truly occult rites. Later on, their warlike character, great bravery, and unity of purpose which made their foes, whether Mussulmans or Christians, equally fear them, helped them toward forming an independent community, or, as we may term it, an imperium in imperio. They are the Sikhs of Asia Minor, and their polity offers many points of similarity with the late “common wealth” of the followers of Guru Nanak—even extending to their mysticism and indomitable bravery. But the two are still more closely related to a third and still more mysterious Community of religionists, of which nothing, or next to nothing, is known by outsiders: we mean that fraternity of Tibetan Lamaists, known as the Brotherhood of Khelang,* who mix but little with the rest. Even Csoma de Körös, who passed several years with the Lamas, learned hardly more of the religion of these Chakravartins (wheel-turners) than what they chose to let him know of their exoteric rites; and of the Khelangs he learned positively nothing.
The mystery that hangs over the scriptures and religion of the Druses is far more impenetrable than that connected with the Amritsar and Lahore “Disciples,” whose Granth is well known, and has been translated into European languages more than once. Of the alleged forty-five sacred books† of the Lebanon mystics, none were ever seen, let
* [This Brotherhood has not been identified, in spite of considerable research. It is not definitely known what H.P.B. meant by this term, which she uses in several places, among them in Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 618.—Compiler.]
† The work presented by Nasr-Allah to the French King as a portion of the Druse Scriptures, and translated by Pétis de la Croix in 1701—is pronounced a forgery. Not one of the copies now in the possession of the Bodleian, Vienna, or Vatican Libraries is genuine, and besides, each of them is a copy from the other. Great was always the curiosity of the travellers and greater yet the efforts of the indomitable and ever-prying missionary, to penetrate behind the veil of Druse worship, but all have resulted in failure. The strictest secrecy as to the nature of their beliefs, the peculiar rites practiced in their subterranean Khalwehs, and the contents of their canonical books was enjoined upon their followers by H’amza and Boha-eddin, the chief and first disciple of the former.
alone examined, by any European scholar. Many manuscripts have never left the underground Khalwehs (place of religious meeting) invariably built under the meeting-room on the ground floor, and the public Thursday assemblies of the Druses are simply blinds intended for overcurious travellers and neighbours.
Verily a strange sect are the “Disciples of H’amza,” as they call themselves. Their ‘Uqqâls or spiritual teachers besides having, like the Sikh Akâli, the duty of defending the visible place of worship, which is merely a large, unfurnished room, are also the guardians of the Mystical Temple, and the “wise men,” or the initiates of their mysteries, as their name of ‘Uqqâl implies; Aql being in Arabic” intelligence” or “wisdom.” It is improper to call them Druses, as they regard it as an insult; nor are they in reality the followers of Darazi, a heretical pupil of H’amza, but the true disciples of the latter. The origin of that personage who appeared among them in the eleventh century, coming from Central Asia, and whose secret or “mystery” name is “al-Hamma,” is quite unknown to our European scholars. His spiritual titles are “Universal Source, or Mind,” “Ocean of Light,” and “Absolute or Divine Intelligence.” They are, in short, repetitions of those of the Tibetan Taley-Lama, whose appellation “Path to the Ocean,”* means, Path or “Way to the Ocean of Light” (Intelligence) or Divine Wisdom—both titles being identically the same. It is curious that the Hebrew word Lamad should also mean “the God-taught.”
* “Lama” means path or road in the vulgar Tibetan language, but in that figurative sense it conveys the meaning of way; as the “way to wisdom or salvation.” Strangely enough it also means “cross.” It is the Roman figure X or ten, the emblem of perfection or perfect number, and stood for ten with the Egyptians, Chinese, Phoenicians, Romans, etc. It is also found in the Mexican secular calendars. The Tatars call it lama from the Scytho-Turanian word lamh, hand (from the number of fingers on both hands), and it is synonymous with the Yod of the Chaldees, “and thus it became the name of a cross and of the high priest of the Tatars, and of the Lamaic Messenger of God,” says the author [E.V.H. Kenealy] of The Book of God: An Introduction to the Apocalypse [p. 458]. With the Irish, luam signifies the head of the Church, a spiritual chief.
An English Orientalist recently found that the religion of Nanak had a good deal of Buddhism in it. (Art. “Diwali” in Calcutta Review.) This would be only natural since the Empire of Hindostan is the land of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. But that the religion of the Druses, between whose geographical and ethnological position and that of the Hindus there is an abyss, should be so, is far more incomprehensible and strange. Yet it is a fact. They are more Lamaists in their beliefs and certain rites, than any other people upon the face of the globe. The fact may be contradicted, but it will be only because Europe knows next to nothing of either. Their system of government is set down as feudal and patriarchal, while it is as theocratic as that of the Lamaists—or as that of the Sikhs—as it used to be. The mysterious representation of the Deity appears in H’amza, whose spirit is said to guide them, and periodically reincarnate itself in the person of the chief ‘Uqqâl of the Druses, as it does in the Guru-Kings of the Sikhs, some of whom, like Guru Govind, claimed to be the reincarnations of Nanak, while the Taley-Lamas of Tibet claim to be those of Buddha. The latter, by the way, are loosely called Shaberons and Hubilgans (both in various degrees reincarnations, not of Buddha, the MAN, but of his Buddha-like divine spirit) by Abbé Huc and others without any regard to the difference in the appellation: al-Hamma or H’amza came from the “Land of the Word of God.” Where was that land? Swedenborg, the Northern seer, advised his followers to search for the LOST WORD, among the hierophants of Tartary, Tibet and China. To this we may add a few explanatory and corroborative facts. Lhasa, the theocratic metropolis of Tibet, is commonly translated as “God-land,” that is to say, this is the only English equivalent that we can find.* Though
* And a most unsatisfactory term it is, as the Lamaists have no conception of the anthropomorphic deity which the English word “God” represents. Fo or Buddha (the latter name being quite unknown to the common people) is their equivalent expression for that All-embracing, Superior Good, or Wisdom from which all proceeds, as does the light from the sun, the cause being nothing personal, but simply an Abstract Principle. And it is this that in all our theosophical writing, for the want of a better word, we have to term “God-like” and “Divine.”
separated by the Karakorum range and little Tibet, the great Tibet is on the same Asiatic plateau in which our Biblical scholars designate the tableland of Pamir* as the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of the mythical Adam. Tibet or Ti-Boutta, will yield, etymologically, the words Ti, which is the equivalent for God in Chinese, and Buddha, or wisdom: the land, then, of the Wisdom-Deity, or of the incarnations of Wisdom. It is also called “Bod-Yid.” Now “Yid” and “Yod” are synonymous apocalyptic and phallic names for the Deity—YOD being the Hebrew name for God. G. Higgins shows in his Celtic Druids the Welsh Druids altering the name of Bod-Yid into Budd-ud which with them meant the “wisdom of Yid” or what people now call “god.”†
The religion of the Druses is said to be a compound of Judaism, Mohammedanism and Christianity, strongly tinged with Gnosticism and the Magian system of Persia. Were people to call things by their right names, sacrificing all self-conceit to truth, they might confess things otherwise. They could say, for instance, that Mohammedanism, being a compound of Chaldeism, Christianity and Judaism; Christianity, a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism and Paganism; and Judaism a wholesale Egypto-Chaldean Kabalism, masquerading under invented names and fables, made to fit the bits and scraps of the real history of the Israelite tribes—the religious system of the Druses would then be found one of the last survivals of the archaic Wisdom-Religion. It is entirely based on that element of practical mysticism of which
* There are several Pamirs in Central Asia. There is the Alichur Pamir which lies more north than either—the Great Pamir with Victoria Lake in its vicinity, Taghdumbash Pamir and the Little Pamir, more south; and eastward another chain of Pamir dividing Muztagh Pass and Little Guhjal. We would like to know on which of these we have to look for the garden of Eden?
† The name in Hebrew for sanctuary is Thebah, which also means a “vessel,” the “ark” of Noah and the floating cradle of Moses.
[As to the derivation of the term Tibet, it should be borne in mind that the land is known to the natives as Bod or Bod-yul. In colloquial pronunciation the word is aspirated into Bhöd or Bhöt. The term Tö-bhöt means “high plateau-land.—Compiler.]
branches have from time to time sprung into existence. They pass under the unpopular names of Kabalism, Theosophy and Occultism. Except Christianity which, owing to the importance it gives to the principal prop of its doctrine of Salvation (we mean the dogma of Satan), had to anathematize the practice of theurgy—every religion, including Judaism and Mohammedanism, credits these above-named branches. Civilization having touched with its materialistic, all-levelling, and all-destroying hand even India and Turkey, amid the din and chaos of crumbling faiths and old sciences, the reminiscence of archaic truths is now fast dying out. It has become popular and fashionable to denounce “the old and mouldy superstitions of our forefathers”; verily even among the most natural allies of the students of theurgy or occultism—the Spiritualists. Among the many creeds and faiths striving to follow the cyclic tide, and helping it themselves to sweep away the knowledge of old, strangely blind to the fact, that the same powerful wave of materialism and modern science also sweeps away their own foundations—the only religions which have remained as alive as ever to these forgotten truths of old, are those which from the first have kept strictly aloof from the rest. The Druses, while outwardly mixing with Moslems and Christians alike, ever ready to read the Koran as well as the Gospels in their Thursday public meetings, have never allowed an uninitiated stranger to penetrate the mysteries of their own doctrines. Intelligence* alone communicates to the soul (which with them is mortal, though it survives the body) the enlivening and divine spark of the Supreme Wisdom or al-Tamîmî—they say—but it must be screened from all non-believers in H’amza. The work of the soul is to seek wisdom, and the substance of earthly wisdom is to know Universal Wisdom, or “God,” as other religionists call that principle. This is the doctrine of the Buddhists and Lamaists who say “Buddha” where the Druses say “Wisdom”—one word
* The Druses divide man into three principles: body, soul and intelligence—the “Divine Spark,” which Theosophists call “spirit.”
being the translation of the other.* “In spite of their external adoption of the religious customs of the Moslems, of their readiness to educate their children in Christian schools, their use of the Arabic language, and of their free intercourse with strangers, the Druses remain even more than the Jews a peculiar people”—says a writer. They are very rarely if ever converted; they marry within their own race; and adhere most tenaciously to their traditions, baffling all efforts to discover their cherished secrets. Yet they are neither fanatical, nor do they covet proselytes.
In his Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China, Huc speaks with great surprise of the extreme tolerance and even outward respect shown by the Tibetans to other religions. A grand Lama, or a “Living Buddha,” as he calls him, whom the two missionaries met at Choang-Long, near Kumbum, certainly had the best of them in good breeding as well as tact and deference to their feelings. The two Frenchmen, however, neither understood nor appreciated the act, since they seemed quite proud of the insult offered by them to the Hubilgan. “We were waiting for him . . . seated on the kang . . . and purposely did not rise to receive him, but merely made him a slight salutation”—boasts Huc (Vol. I ch. xii). The Grand Lama “did not appear disconcerted” though; upon seeing that they as “purposely” withheld from him “an invitation to sit down,” he only looked at them “surprised,” as well he might. A breviary of theirs having attracted his attention, he demanded “permission to examine it”; and then, carrying it “solemnly to his brow,” he said: “It is your book of prayer; we must always honour and reverence other people’s prayers.” It was a good lesson, yet they understood it not. We would like to see that Christian missionary who would reverently carry to his brow the Vedas, the Tripitaka, or the Granth, and publicly honour
* [This statement is apt to lead to some confusion. The verbal root budh means to enlighten, to know; Budha means a wise man. Buddha the past participle-form of budh, means “enlightened.” The term bodha means innate understanding and intelligence, the capacity of spiritual perception, and is derived from the verb-root budh which also means “to awaken.” It is the term bodhi, derived from the same root, which means “illumination” or “perfect wisdom.”—Compiler.]
other people’s prayers! While the Tibetan “savage,” the heathen Hubilgan, was all affability and politeness, the two French “Lamas of Jehovah,” as Abbé Huc called his companion and himself, behaved like two uneducated bullies. And to think that they even boast of it in print!
No more than the Druses do the Lamaists seek to make proselytes. Both people have their “schools of magic”—those Tibet being attached to some la-khang (lamasery), and those among the Druses in the closely guarded crypts of initiation, no stranger being even allowed inside the buildings. As the Tibetan Hubilgans are the incarnations of Buddha’s spirit, so the Druse ‘Uqqâls—erroneously called “Spiritualists” by some writers—are the incarnations of H’amza. Both peoples have a regular system of passwords and signs of recognition among the neophytes, and we know them to be nearly identical since they are partially those of the Theosophists.
In the mystical system of the Druses there are five “messengers” or interpreters of the “Word of the Supreme Wisdom,” who occupy the same position as the five chief Bodhisattvas, or Hubilgans of Tibet, each of whom is the bodily temple of the spirit of one of the five Buddhas. Let us see what can be made known of both classes. The names of the five principal Druse “messengers,” or rather their titles—as
these names are generic, in both the Druse and Tibetan hierarchies, and the title passes at the death of each to his successor—are:
(1) H’amza,* or al-Hamma,” (spiritual wisdom) considered
* Very curiously the Druses identify their H’amza with Hemsa, the Prophet Mohammed’s uncle, who, they say, tired of the world and its deceitful temptations, simulated death at the battle of Ohod, A.D. 625, and retired to the fastnesses of a great mountain in Central Asia where he became a saint. He never died in spirit. When several centuries after that he appeared among them it was in his second spiritual body, and when their Messiah had, after founding the brotherhood, disappeared, Salâma and Boha-eddin were the only ones to know the retreat of their Master. They alone knew the bodies into which he went on, successively reincarnating himself—as he is not permitted to die until the return of the Highest Messenger, the last one of the ten avataras. He alone—the now invisible but expected one—stands higher than H’amza But, it is not, as erroneously believed, “al-Hakim,” the Fatimite Khalif of bad name.
as the Messiah, through whom speaks Incarnate Wisdom.
(2) Ismail—al-Tamîmî—(the universal soul). He prepares the Druses before their initiation to receive “wisdom.”
(3) Mohammed—(the Word). His duty is to watch over the behaviour and necessities of the brethren—a kind of Bishop.
(4) Salâma, (the “Preceding”) called the “Right Wing”
(5) Mokshatana Boha-eddin, (the “Following”) named the “Left Wing.”
These last are both messengers between H’amza and the Brotherhood. Above these living mediators who remain ever unknown to all but the chief ‘Uqqâls stand the ten Incarnates of the “Supreme Wisdom,” the last of whom is to return at the end of the cycle, which is fast approaching—though no one but al-Hamma knows the day—that last “messenger” in accordance with the cyclic recurrences of events being also the first who came with H’amza, hence Boha-eddin. The names of the Druse Incarnations are Ali A-llal who appeared in India (Kabir we believe); Albar in Persia; Alya in Yemen; Moill and Kahim, in Eastern Africa; Moessa and Had-di in Central Asia; Albou and Manssour in China; and Buddea, that is, Boha-eddin* in Tartary, whence he came and whither he returned. This last one, some say, was dual-sexed on earth. Having entered into al-Hakim—the Khalif, a monster of wickedness—he brought him to be assassinated, and then sent H’amza to preach and to found the Brotherhood of Lebanon. Al-Hakim then is but a mask. It is Buddea, i.e., Boha-eddin they expect.†
* One of the names of Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom, was Budea.
† In the Druse system there is no room for a personal deity, unless a portion of the divine impersonal and abstract wisdom incarnates itself in a mortal man. The deific principle with them is the essence of Life, the All, and as impersonal as the Parabrahm of the Vedântins or the Nirvana State of the Buddhists, ever invisible, all-pervading and incomprehensible, to be known but through occasional incarnations of its spirit in human form. These ten incarnations or human avataras, as above specified, are called the “Temples of al-Tamîmî” (Universal Spirit).
And now for the Lamaic hierarchy. Of the living or incarnate Buddhas there are five also, the chief of whom is Taley-Lama—from Tale, “Ocean” or Sea; he being called the “Ocean of Wisdom.” Above him, as above H’amza, there is but the “SUPREME WISDOM”—the abstract principle from which emanated the five Buddhas—Maïtreya Buddha (the last Bodhisattva, or Vishnu in the Kalki avatara), the tenth “messenger” expected on earth—included. But this will be the One Wisdom and will incarnate itself into the whole humanity collectively, not in a single individual. But of this mystery—no more at present.
These five “Hubilgans” are distributed in the following order:
(1) Taley-Lama, of Lhasa, the incarnation of the “Spiritual passive wisdom,”—which proceeds from Gautama or Siddhartha Buddha, or Fo.
(2) Ban-dhe-chan Rim-po-che, at Tashi Lhünpo. He is “the active earthly wisdom.”
(3) Sa-Dcha-Fo, or the “Mouthpiece of Buddha,” otherwise the “word” at Ssamboo.
(4) Guison-Tamba—the “Precursor” (of Budda) at the Grand Kuren.
(5 ) Tchang-Zya-Fo-Lang, in the Altai mountains. He is called the “Successor” (of Buddha).
The “Shaberons” are one degree lower. They, like the chief ‘Uqqâls of the Druses, are the initiates of the great wisdom or Bodhi, esoteric religion. This double list of the “Five” shows great similarity at least between the polity of the two systems. The reader must bear in mind that they have sprung into their present visible conditions nearly at the same time. It was from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries that modern Lamaism evolved its ritual and popular religion, which serves the Hubilgans and Shaberons as a blind, even against the curiosity of the average Chinaman and Tibetan. It was in the eleventh century that H’amza founded the Brotherhood of Lebanon; and till now no one has acquired its secrets!
It is supremely strange that both the Lamas and Druses should have the same mystical statistics. They reckon the
bulk of the human race at 1,332 millions. When good and evil, they say, shall come to an equilibrium in the scales of human actions (now evil is far the heavier), then the breath of “Wisdom” will annihilate in a wink of the eye just 666 millions of men. The surviving 666 millions will have “Supreme Wisdom” incarnated in them.* This may have, and probably has, an allegorical meaning. But what relation might it possibly bear to the number of the “great Beast” of John’s Revelation?
If more were known than really is of the religions of Tibet and the Druses, then would scholars see that there is more affinity, between Turanian Lamaists and the Semitic “al-Hammites,” or Druses, than was ever suspected. But all is darkness, conjecture, and mere guesswork whenever the writers speak of either the one or the other. The little that has transpired of their beliefs is generally so disfigured by prejudice and ignorance that no learned Lama or Druse would ever recognize a glimpse of likeness to his faith in these speculative fantasies. Even the profoundly suggestive conclusion to which came Godfrey Higgins (Celtic Druids, Part I, 101), however true, is but half so. “It is evident,” he writes, “that there was a secret science possessed somewhere (by the ancients) which must have been guarded by the most solemn oaths . . . and I cannot help suspecting that there is still a secret doctrine known only in the deep recesses of the crypts of Tibet. . . .”
To conclude with the Druses: As Salâma and Boha-eddin—two names more than suggestive of the words “Lama” and “Buddha”—are the only ones entrusted with the secret
* The Hindus have the same belief. In the “Deva-Yuga” they will all be devas or gods. See Lam-rim-chin-po, or “Great Road to perfection”; a work of the fifteenth century. The author of this book is the Great Reformer of Lamaism, the famous Tsong-Kha-pa, from whose hair sprang up the famous Kumbum letter tree—a tree whose leaves all bear sacred Tibetan inscriptions, according to the tradition. This tree was seen by Abbé Huc some forty years ago, and was seen last year by the Hungarian traveller Count Széchenyi; who, however, begging his pardon, could not, under its physical surroundings, have carried away a branch of it, as he pretends to have done.
H. P. BLAVATSKY AROUND 1877-78
Photo by Sarony, New York.
DÂMODAR K. MÂVALANKAR
of H’amza’s retreat; and having the means of consulting with their master, they produce from time to time his directions and commands to the Brotherhood, so, even to this day do the ‘Uqqâls of that name travel every seventh year through Bussora and Persia into Tartary and Tibet to the very west of China and return at the expiration of the eleventh year, bringing them fresh orders from al-Hamma.” Owing to the expectation of war between China and Russia, only last year a Druse messenger passed through Bombay on his way to Tibet and Tartary. This would explain the “superstitious” belief that “the souls of all pious Druses are supposed to be occupying in large numbers certain cities in China.” It is around the plateau of the Pamirs—they say with the Biblical scholars—that the cradle of the true race must be located: but the cradle of initiated humanity only; of those who have for the first time tasted of the fruit of knowledge, and these are in Tibet, Mongolia, Tartary, China and India, where also the souls of their pious and initiated brethren transmigrate, and re-become “sons of God.” What this language means every Theosophist ought to know. They discredit the fable of Adam and Eve, and say that they who ate first of he forbidden fruit and thus became “Elohim” were Enoch or Hermes (the supposed father of Masonry), and Seth or Sat-an, the father of secret wisdom and learning, whose abode, they say, is now in the planet Mercury,* and whom the Christians were kind enough to convert into a chief devil, the “fallen Angel.” Their evil one is an abstract principle, and called the “Rival.”
* Buddha is son of Maya; and (according to Brahmanic notion) of Vishnu; “Maia” is mother of Mercury by Jupiter. Budha means the “wise” and Mercury is God of Wisdom (Hermes); and the planet sacred to Gautama Buddha is Mercury. Venus and Isis presided over navigation, as Mary or Maria, the Madonna, presides now. Is not the latter hymned to this day by the Church:
“Ave Maris Stella. . . .
Dei Mater Alma,”
or “Hail. Star of the Sea, Mother of God,” thus identified with Venus?
The “millions of Chinese Unitarians” may mean Tibetan Lamas, Hindus, and others of the East, as well as Chinamen. It is true that the Druses believe in and expect their resurrection day in Armageddon, which, however, they pronounce otherwise. As the phrase occurs in the Apocalypse it may seem to some that they got the idea in St. John’s Revelation. It is nothing of the kind. That day which, according to the Druse teaching “will consummate the great spiritual plan—the bodies of the wise and faithful will be absorbed into the absolute essence, and transformed from the many, into the ONE.” This is pre-eminently the Buddhist idea of Nirvana, and that of the Vedantin final absorption into Parabrahm. Their “Persian Magianism and Gnosticism” make them regard St. John as Oannes, the Chaldean Man-Fish, hence connect their belief at once with the Indian Vishnu and the Lamaic Symbology. Their “Armageddon” is simply “Ramdagon,”* and this is how it is explained.
* Rama, of the Solar race, is an incarnation of Vishnu—a Sun-God. In “Matsya,” or the first Avatara, in order to save humanity from final destruction (see Vishnu-Purana), that God appears to King Satyavrata and the seven saints who accompany him on the vessel to escape Universal Deluge, as an enormous fish with one stupendous horn. To this horn the King is commanded by Hari to tie the ship with a serpent (the emblem of eternity) instead of a cable. The Taley-Lama, besides his name of “Ocean,” is also called Sha-ru, which in Tibetan means the “unicorn,” or one-horned. He wears on his headgear a prominent horn, set over a Yung-dang, or mystic cross; which is the Jaina and Hindu Swastika. The “fish” and the sea, or water, are the most archaic emblems of the Messiahs, or incarnations of divine wisdom, among all the ancient people. Fishes play prominently a figure on old Christian medals; and in the catacombs of Rome the “Mystic Cross” or “Anchor” stands between two fishes as supporters. “Daghdae”—the name of Zarathushtra’s mother, means the “Divine Fish” or Holy Wisdom. The “Mover on the Waters,” whether we call him “Narayan” or Abathur (the Kabalistic Superior Father and “Ancient of the World”), or “Holy Spirit,” is all one. According to the Codex Nazaraeus, Kabalah and Genesis, the Holy Spirit when moving on the waters mirrored himself—and “Adam Kadmon was born.” Mare in Latin is the sea. Water is associated with every creed. Mary and Venus are both patronesses of the sea and of sailors—and both mothers of Gods of Love, whether Divine or Earthly. The mother of Jesus is called Mary or Mariah—the word meaning in Hebrew mirror, that in which
The sentence in Revelation is no better interpreted than many other things by Christians, while even the non-Kabalistic Jews know nothing of its real meaning. Armageddon is mistaken for a geographical locality, viz., the elevated tableland of Esdraelon or Armageddon, “the mountain of Megiddo,” where Gideon triumphed over the Medianites.* It is an erroneous notion, for the name in the Revelation refers to a mythical place mentioned in one of the most archaic traditions of the heathen East, especially among the Turanian and Semitic races. It is simply a kind of purgatorial Elysium, in which departed spirits are collected, to await the day of final judgment. That it is so is proved by the verse in Revelation. “And he gathered them together into a place called. . . . Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air” (xvi, 16-17). The Druses pronounce the name of that mystical locality “Ramdagon.” It is, then, highly probable that the word is an anagram, as shown by the author [E.V.H. Kenealy] of An Introduction to the Apocalypse. It means “Rama-Dagon,”† the first signifying [the] Sun-God of that name, and the second, “Dagon” or the Chaldean Holy Wisdom incarnated in their “Messenger,” Oannes—the Man-Fish, and descending on the “Sons of God” or the Initiates of whatever country; those, in short, through whom Deific Wisdom occasionally reveals itself to the world.
we find but the reflection instead of a reality, and 600 years before Christianity there was Maya, Buddha’s mother, whose name means illusion—identically the same. Another curious “coincidence” is found in the selections of new Taley-Lamas in Tibet. The new incarnation of Buddha is ascertained by a curious ichthyomancy with three goldfishes. Shutting themselves up in the Buddha-La (Temple), the Hubilgans place three goldfishes in an urn, and on one of these ancient emblems of Supreme Wisdom shortly appears the name of the child into whom the soul of the late Taley-Lama is supposed to have transmigrated.
* It is not the “Valley of Megiddo,” for there is no such valley known. Dr. Robinson’s topographical and Biblical notions being no better than hypotheses.
† Ram is also womb, and valley; and in Tibetan “goat.” “Dag” is fish; from Dagon, the man-fish, or perfect wisdom.