EDITORIAL APPENDIX TO THE ABOVE
In this connection it will be well to draw the reader’s attention, to the fact that the country called “Si-dzang” by the Chinese, and Tibet by Western geographers, is mentioned in the oldest books preserved in the province of Fokien (the chief headquarters of the aborigines of China)—as the great seat of occult learning in the archaic ages. According to these records, it was inhabited by the “Teachers of Light,” the “Sons of Wisdom” and the “Brothers of the Sun.” The Emperor Yu the “Great” (2207 B.C.), a pious mystic, is credited with having obtained his occult wisdom and the system of theocracy established by him—for he was the first one in China to unite ecclesiastical power with temporal authority—from Si-dzang. That system was the same as with the old Egyptians and the Chaldees; that which we know to have existed in the Brahmanical period in India, and to exist now in Tibet: namely, all the learning, power, the temporal as well as the secret wisdom were concentrated within the hierarchy of the priests and limited to their caste. Who were the
aborigines of Tibet is a question which no ethnographer is able to answer correctly at present. They practice the Bön religion, their sect is a pre- and anti-Buddhistic one, and they are to be found mostly in the province of Kham—that is all that is known of them. But even that would justify the supposition that they are the greatly degenerated descendents of mighty and wise forefathers. Their ethnical type shows that they are not pure Turanians, and their rites—now those of sorcery, incantations, and nature worship, remind one far more of the popular rites of the Babylonians, as found in the records preserved on the excavated cylinders, than of the religious practices of the Chinese sect of Tao-sse—(a religion based upon pure reason and spirituality)—as alleged by some. Generally, little or no difference is made even by the Khelang missionaries who mix greatly with these people on the borders of British Lahul—and ought to know better—between the Böns and the two rival Buddhist sects, the Yellow Caps and the Red Caps. The latter of these have opposed the reform of Tsong-Kha-pa from the first and have always adhered to old Buddhism so greatly mixed up now with the practices of the Böns. Were our Orientalists to know more of them, and compare the ancient Babylonian Bel or Baal worship with the rites of the Böns, they would find an undeniable connection between the two. To begin an argument here, proving the origin of the aborigines of Tibet as connected with one of the three great races which superseded each other in Babylonia, whether we call them the Akkadians (invented by F. Lenormant), or the primitive Turanians, Chaldees and Assyrians—is out of the question. Be it as it may, there is reason to call the trans-Himalayan esoteric doctrine, Chaldeo-Tibetan. And, when we remember that the Vedas came—agreeably to all traditions—from the Manasarowara Lake in Tibet, and the Brahmins themselves from the far North, we are justified in looking on the esoteric doctrines of every people who once had or still have it—as having proceeded from one and the same source; and, to thus call it the “Aryan-Chaldeo-Tibetan” doctrine, or Universal WISDOM—Religion. “Seek for the
LOST WORD among the hierophants of Tartary, China and Tibet,” was the advice of Swedenborg, the seer.
Not necessarily—we say. The Vedas, Brahmanism, and along with these, Sanskrit, were importations into what we now regard as India. They were never indigenous to its soil. There was a time when the ancient nations of the West included under the generic name of India many of the countries of Asia now classified under other names. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, even during the comparatively late period of Alexander; and Persia-Iran is called Western India in some ancient classics. The countries now named Tibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary were considered by them as forming part of India. When we say, therefore, that India has civilized the world and was the Alma Mater of the civilizations, arts and sciences of all other nations (Babylonia, and perhaps even Egypt, included) we mean archaic, pre-historic India, India of the time when the great Gobi was a sea, and the lost “Atlantis” formed part of an unbroken continent which began at the Himalayas and ran down over Southern India, Ceylon, Java, to faraway Tasmania.
To ascertain such disputed questions, one has to look into and study well the Chinese sacred and historical records—a people whose era begins nearly 4,600 years back (2697 B.C.). A people so accurate and by whom some of the most important inventions of modern Europe and its so much boasted modern science were anticipated—such as the compass, gunpowder, porcelain, paper, printing, etc., known, and practiced thousands of years before these were re-discovered by the Europeans—ought to receive some trust for their records. And from Lao-tze down to Hiuen-Tsang their literature is filled with allusions and references to that island and the wisdom of the Himalayan adepts. In A Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese, by the
Rev. Samuel Beal, there is a chapter “On the Tian-Ta’i School of Buddhism” (pp. 244-258) which our opponents ought to read. Translating the rules of that most celebrated and holy school and sect in China founded by Chinche-K’hae, called Che-chay (the wise one) in the year 575 of our era, when coming to the sentence which reads: “That which relates to the one garment [seamless] worn by the GREAT TEACHERS OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS (the school of the Haimavatas)” (p. 256) the European translator places after the last sentence a sign of interrogation, as well he may. The statistics of the school of the “Haimavatas” or of our Himalayan Brotherhood, are not to be found in the General Census Records of India. Further, Mr. Beal translates a Rule relating to “the great professors of the higher order, who live in mountain depths remote from men,” the Aranyakas, or hermits.
So, with respect to the traditions concerning this island, and apart from the (to them) historical records of this preserved in the Chinese and Tibetan Sacred Books: the legend is alive to this day among the people of Tibet. The fair Island is no more, but the country where it once bloomed remains there still, and the spot is well known to some of the “great teachers of the snowy mountains,” however much convulsed and changed its topography by the awful cataclysm. Every seventh year, these teachers are believed to assemble in Sambhala, the “happy land.” According to the general belief it is situated in the North-West of Tibet. Some place it within the unexplored central regions, inaccessible even to the fearless nomadic tribes; others hem it in between the range of the Gangdisri Mountains and the northern edge of the Gobi Desert, South and North, and the more populated regions of Kunduz and Kashmir, of the Gya-Pheling (British India), and China, West and East, which affords to the curious mind a pretty large latitude to locate it in. Others still place it between Namur-Nor and the Kuen-Lun Mountains—but one and all firmly believe in Sambhala, and speak of it as a fertile, fairylike land, once an island, now an oasis of incomparable beauty, the place of meeting of the inheritors of the
esoteric wisdom of the godlike inhabitants of the legendary Island.*
In connection with the archaic legend of the Asian Sea and the Atlantic Continent, is it not profitable to note a fact known to all modern geologists—that the Himalayan slopes afford geological proof, that the substance of those lofty peaks was once a part of an ocean floor?
We have already pointed out that, in our opinion, the whole difference between Buddhistic and Vedantic philosophies was that the former was a kind of rationalistic Vedantism, while the latter might be regarded as transcendental Buddhism. If the Aryan esotericism applies the term jivatma to the seventh principle, the pure and per se unconscious spirit—it is because the Vedanta postulating three kinds of existence—(1) the pâramârthika (the true, the only real one), (2) the vyâvahârika (the practical), and (3) the pratibhâsika (the apparent or illusory life)—makes the first life or jiva, the only truly existent one. Brahma or the ONE SELF is its only representative in the universe, as it is the universal life in toto while the other two are but its “phenomenal appearances,” imagined and created by ignorance, and complete illusions suggested to us by our blind senses. The Buddhists, on the other hand,
* [The Gangdisri Range is also known as Tisse-Gangrî and Kailas Range. It runs parallel to, and to the North of, the Himâlayas, and in its Eastern part blends into the Nyenchentanglha Range. Towards its Western portion, not far from the sources of the Indus River, rises the majestic pyramidal massif of Kailas (22,000 feet), called by the Tibetans Tisse. Some geographers consider this range to be merely the prolongation of the Karakorum Mountains. Kailas is not far from the sacred Lake of Manasa-sarovara.
Namur-Nor is a lake in the Northern part of the province of Gnari-Khorsum, at approximately the 34th degree of Northern Latitude.
It is obvious that H. P. B., in speaking of the geographical location of the land of Sambhala, hides more than she reveals, as the area which she mentions extends over enormous distances in all directions.—Compiler.]
deny either subjective or objective reality even to that one Self-Existence. Buddha declares that there is neither Creator nor an ABSOLUTE Being. Buddhist rationalism was ever too alive to the insuperable difficulty of admitting one absolute consciousness, as in the words of Flint—”wherever there is consciousness there is relation, and wherever there is relation there is dualism.” The ONE LIFE is either “MUKTA” (absolute and unconditioned) and can have no relation to anything nor to any one; or it is “BADDHA” (bound and conditioned), and then it cannot be called the ABSOLUTE; the limitation, moreover, necessitating another deity as powerful as the first to account for all the evil in this world. Hence, the Arahat secret doctrine on cosmogony admits but of one absolute, indestructible, eternal, and uncreated UNCONSCIOUSNESS (so to translate), of an element (the word being used for want of a better term) absolutely independent of everything else in the universe; a something ever present or ubiquitous, a Presence which ever was, is, and will be, whether there is a God, gods or none; whether there is a universe or no universe; existing during the eternal cycles of Maha Yugas, during the Pralayas as during the periods of Manvantara: and this is SPACE, the field for the operation of the eternal Forces and natural Law, the basis (as our correspondent rightly calls it) upon which take place the eternal intercorrelations of Akâśa-Prakriti, guided by the unconscious regular pulsations of Sakti—the breath or power of a conscious deity, the theists would say—the eternal energy of an eternal, unconscious Law, say the Buddhists. Space then, or Fan, Bar-nang (Mahâ-Sûnyatâ) or, as it is called by Lao-tze, the “Emptiness” is the nature of the Buddhist Absolute. (See Confucius’ “Praise of the Abyss.”) The word jiva then, could never be applied by the Arahats to the Seventh Principle, since it is only through its correlation or contact with matter that Fo-hat (the Buddhist active energy) can develop active conscious life; and that to the question “how can Unconsciousness generate consciousness?” the answer would be: “Was the seed which generated a Bacon or a Newton self-conscious?”
To our European readers: Deceived by the phonetic similarity, it must not be thought that the name “Brahman” is identical in this connection with Brahmâ or Iśwara—the personal God. The Upanishads the Vedanta Scriptures—mention no such God and, one would vainly seek in them any allusions to a conscious deity. The Brahman, or Parabrahm, the ABSOLUTE of the Vedantins, is neuter and unconscious, and has no connection with the masculine Brahma of the Hindu Triad, or Trimûrti. Some Orientalists rightly believe the name derived from the verb “brih,” to grow or increase, and to be, in this sense, the universal expansive force of nature, the vivifying and spiritual principle, or power, spread throughout the universe and which in its collectivity is the one Absoluteness, the one Life and the only Reality.