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The Inner Government of the World 

Lectures delivered at the North Indian Convention, T.S.,

BY 

Annie Besant

THE THEOSOPHICAL PUBLISHING HOUSE
ADYAR, MADRAS 600020, INDIA

CONTENTS

 

LECTURE I

Ishvara; the Builders of a Cosmos; The Hier­archy of our World; the Rulers; the Teachers; the Forces

LECTURE II

The Method of Evolution; The Building of  Man; The Building of Races and Sub-Races;  The Manus

LECTURE III

The Divine Plan; Its Sections; Religions and  Civilisations; The Present Part of the Plan

 LECTURE I 

Ishvara; the Builders of a Cosmos; Hierarchy of our World;

the Rulers; Teachers; the Forces 

  1. FRIENDS:
  2. I want to put before you, if I can in these three lectures, a certain view of the world, and of the way in which that world is guided and directed. As this meeting is a public meeting, there is one state­ment I think that I ought to make, which it would not be necessary to make, if it were composed of members of the Theosophical Society. It is important to remember that in the Theosophical Society we have no authority on matters of opinion. Every member is free to work out his own theory of life, to choose his own line of thought, and no one has the smallest right to dictate to any member what he should choose or what he should think. In the Theosophical Society there is only one condition which binds a member, namely, the recognition of Universal Brotherhood. Outside that every member is absolutely free. He may belong to any religion, or he may belong to no religion at all. If he belongs to a religion, he is never asked to leave it, to change it, but only to try to live up to its teachings of spiritual life, recognising the unity of all, to live in harmony with people of his own faith and people of other faiths. When we speak of Theosophy, we may take the word in one of two senses. The first, what it should be to the individual. In that sense there is no difference between Theosophy and the ancient Brahmavidya of India, the Para Vidya, and the Gnosis of the Greek - no difference at all. It is the recognition that man can realise God. It is called, in the Upanishad “the knowledge of Him by whom all things are known”. It is a difficulty rather of our language that we speak in that sense of “knowledge”, because knowledge implies a duality, or indeed a triplicity - the Knower, the Known, and the Relation between them - whereas when the Spirit of man, who comes forth from Ishvara, realises his own nature, it is no longer a case of thinking or of knowing. It is a case of realising that identity. You know it is written again in the Upanishad: “He who says ‘I know’, he knows not,” because the very word knowledge is an error in this realisation. In that, we do not say, “I know”; we say, “I am”. This gives the primary meaning of the word “Theosophy”. Then it is also used in a secondary sense: a certain body of teachings. No one of these particular teachings is binding on any member. The whole of these teachings together are the teachings the Society is formed to put forward in the world, but it does not make them binding on its members. That policy rests on a very sure foundation. The foundation is that no man can really believe a truth, until he has grown to the extent which enables him to see it as truth for himself. A teaching is not really a part of your spiritual life; it comes within the mental life, into that part of your nature which is said to be knowledge, the intellect; and that is able to see that which is akin to itself. The truth in you recognises the truth outside you, when once the inner vision is open. Hence, in the Society, the study of the great fundamental truths of all religions is one of its objects. Members are not asked whether they believe in them or not. They are left to study them, in the full conviction that just as when the eyes are open the man who is not blind sees by the light of the sun, he is not asked to believe in the light, so is truth in the mental world. As soon as the eyes of the inner nature, the eyes of the intellect, are open, it is not a question of argument, but a question of sight. You recognise the truth because the faculty of truth in your own nature shows that it exists. You see by it, as you see by the light of the sun. As long as a man is blind, the sun to him as light is nothing. When the eyes are opened then no argument is necessary as to the existence of the light by which he sees. Truth is regarded in that way, and hence the student is left to study until for himself he knows the truth of any doc­trine. The teachings which are spread by the Society are those which you find in every great religion. If, for instance, you take a book published by the Central Hindu College as a text-book for Hindu boys, and an Advanced Text-book for Hindu young men in the College, you will find in them certain truths. They are given in the Hindi form. If you take the Theosophical text-book, used for teaching in schools where all religions are taught, where there are boys whose parents hold particular religions, you have those truths given which are common to all religions. The only difference is that in the Theosophical text-book, the various Scriptures of the world in different religions are quoted in support of them, while in the Hindu text-book only the Hindu Scriptures are quoted. That is the only difference so far as the great ideas are con­cerned; the ideas are identical.
  3. You will understand that in all that I say now, I am dealing with things as they appear to me. They are not binding upon any particular member, for the duty of each is to think for himself. They do not commit the Society as a Society, because that only puts forward acceptance of Universal Brotherhood as a condition of admission. That which I say, I am responsible for. What I say is the result of my own study. It is for every one of you, Theosophists or non-Theosophists, member or non-member, to use your own intellect, your own judgment, your own conscience, in weighing every statement that I make. You ought not to take them ready-made as truth for you. Everyone must use his own thought, and not simply go by that of another. Especially is that so, because I am going to deal with abstruse subjects. Speaking of them as truths, I am speaking largely on my own knowledge and also, in addition to that, taking certain statements congruous with what I know, but applied to a much larger area of facts then I myself am yet able to reach. For I am going to say a few things about the larger Kosmos of the solar systems, which I am not able to examine for myself. I am only dealing with the subject before you as a whole, and will deal with that part briefly. But it is necessary, in order to give you as it were a fairly complete view, because there are many other solar systems about which I know nothing. Most of us speak about many facts of science which we have not been able to verify; for instance, I am unable in astronomy to verify the statements of great astronomers as regards the situation and the relations of our vast solar system. I have not studied astronomy. If I had studied, I could not have attained to the knowl­edge of great experts in that particular science. But if I find them teaching on the solar system the facts that they have observed and collected by telescope and by the many other ways, like the spectroscope, that they have of examining the composition of planets other than our own, I should take this from them, if their new facts were, generally speaking, congruous with what we know as regards our own constitution, its relationship to certain other bodies mathematically worked out, and so on. We are exactly in a similar position in dealing with what are called occult state­ments; namely, statements of facts as regards a partic­ular order of existence, with some of which we can come into contact in our own world, the existence of which to some extent we can find out from the history of our own world; there are others as to which we  find ourselves unable to make discoveries, to gain first-hand knowledge; as to them, a large number of statements have been made about them by far more  highly developed persons than ourselves. It is as true of occult science as it is true of astronomy, that a large part of it is taken on trust from experts. Certain parts of it may be found out by ourselves, by our own study; other parts cannot. The conditions are similar to those in astronomy, or in any other science. We must give to the study a large amount of time. We must study along certain lines which have been verified over and over again. We must go on to first-hand knowledge, which is the best but the most laborious way of acquiring knowledge. This, however, demands, to begin with, a certain amount of faculty for the particular science. You may find, for instance, a man who could never become a great astronomer - no matter how long he studied; a man who is deficient in mathematical power could never become a really great astronomer, because the higher mathematics are wanted in much of the astro­nomical study. If a man is by nature very stupid in that science, he could never become a great astro­nomer. So it is also with occult study. There are a number of persons who have not got the faculty to begin with. It depends upon their past, upon the line of evolution along which they have come. Pro­gress depends upon whether they have the faculty, how much time they are ready to give to the study, how far they are conforming to the rules laid down by experts for beginners in the study, and so on. But admitting that there is a great difference between the reception given to occult science and the reception given to astronomical statements made by experts, everybody, practically every educated person, is willing to receive the testimony of the greatest astronomers to facts which they are themselves unable to observe or to verify. It is not a matter of life and death if they are wrong. But when you come to deal with statements of occult science, some of which you find in the great Scriptures of the world, some of which you find in the ancient histories of the world, there is much unfair scepticism in modern thinkers. Histories are thrown aside as legendary and mythical. Scriptures are thrown aside as superstition, though they contain the ideas of ancient peoples, much more learned than ourselves. Hence the difficulty of Occultism in justi­fying itself; a man must take it just on the lines I have put to you as to astronomical science. But the man of the day is ready to receive science which are based on apparatus. Where people make very elaborate apparatus, such as telescopes, spectroscopes, all kinds of things of extraordinary fineness and delicacy, they appeal to the mind of the day, especially in the West; they for the moment are most advanced, it is said, in ordinary sciences. That is the way the mind works. It looks out to the objects and builds up its theories by observation, comparison, classification, and so on. Anything that goes along that line easily justifies itself to the ordinary modern mind. They do not challenge. Occultism works in a different way. It works by the development of new organs which are within the man, instead of by the manufacture of apparatus which is outside the man. Now the development of the inner senses, the inner powers of observation, can only be done under certain rules, rules which affect the body and the conduct of the man. It is much easier to buy a telescope and look at the moon through it, than it is to develop your own nature along lines to which evolution has not as yet accustomed us. There lies the difficulty of occult study. A person will be willing to submit to a discipline, will not resent it, if it is carried on in the laboratory of science, but he does resent it if it comes to him with the authority of the great Knowers of the past. It is along the line of facts thus obtained that I am going to speak to you. Therefore you must take them from that standpoint, and understand that I am not asking you to believe a thing because I say it. I am only putting before you a theory of the Government of the World which has many facts to recommend it in his­tory and in religion, but which may be challenged by those who do not accept ancient history, who do not accept the great Scriptures of the world of religion­ - and some which I am going to add from my own study, I will begin with that which I am unable definitely to verify. I can only put to you certain reasons for accepting it. Now broadly stated they are these. We have a solar system consisting of certain planetary bodies revolving round the central sun. These bodies are studied, and said by ordinary science to be moving under certain definite forces, under certain definite laws of nature, as we call them, which by observation have been established and re-verified over and over again. According to that scientific view, our solar system is to a certain extent a self-contained body. The central sun in a sense controls the movements of the planetary bodies which circle round it. And outside the solar system you have space, practically empty space. But science tells us there are a great many solar systems. We are only one out of a group. It tells us that the solar systems are in groups; and that we belong to a group - the whole group circling round another sun far, far, far off in the depths of space; so that we are not wholly self-contained. We are under other influences and are moving in obedience, as a whole group system, to other laws. We do not trouble much about that because we have little opportunity of observation. Any part of the argument of science there is practically an induction from certain ascertained facts. You make a theory that if there were a body exercising certain powers of attraction and repulsion, if your partic­ular part moves in a way which is not accounted for by anything you can discover, then there must be something as yet unknown to you causing these other move­ments which you cannot trace to any force existing within our own solar system. I know very little about that, and do not want to say anything more about it.
  4. I come down to our own solar system; which is quite difficult enough for us. We find there the sun and the planets. We know, so far, that the sun and these planets are composed of certain kinds of matter. It has been found out by science that the constitution of the matter of every planet contains substances which we find in our own. But they are in very different conditions. One or two may be man-bearing, may have humanity developing upon them. Others obviously cannot have anything like humanity such as we know it here. These vague statements are made as all that experts are able to give even about our own solar system. When we come to the great Scriptures of the world, we find a very definite assertion that all  these forms of matter, the globes in the planetary system, are emanated from a Mighty Being who goes by the name, among Hindus, of Ishvara, as we should say in English, the Lord, the Ruler. Indeed the Being, the existence of that Being, cannot be definitely proved except along the way that I have mentioned in the beginning - the gaining of knowledge of Him by finding Him in yourselves. Religion tells us that all things around us, visible and invisible, are forms in which One Life is found. As far as our own world is concerned, the proof of that becomes more and more accessible and valuable to us. We may almost guess, looking at other human beings, that the life in each is very much the same as the life in ourselves. We all think, we all feel, we all act, we have similar passions, similar emotions, similar divisions of thought, similar faculties and capacities of the mind, and so on, differing in degree but not differing in essentials. Now science begins to tell us that there is One Life in all things that science has recognised as being alive. That has been shown very largely in our own time. Science has long recognised that the nature of life in the animal is the same as the nature of life in the man. It has been recognised in the West only very lately that the life in the vegetable again differs in degree, but not in kind. That wonderful discovery is due, as you know, to an Indian, Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, once a professor in the Calcutta University, groping after truth, and guided in his research by the Scriptures of the Hindus. Never forget that Jagadish Chandra Bose asserted this in his first great lecture in London on the life in plants, that it was identical with the life in animals and in man-he asserted it there in the face of the Royal Society; in the face of all the materialistic thinkers of England and through them of Europe, and he concluded that famous lecture with the sentence that he was only proving what his ancestors had sung on the banks of Ganga. That is literally true. There is One Life and people call it by many names. Over and over again in the Upanishads and in all that great literature of India, that profound truth is stated without hesitancy, without doubt, without questioning. It is so. Such is the language of the books. One great com­mentator on the Vedas, Sayana, as you know, put this very thing about the One Life; he said: the One Life  manifests in the mineral as sat, existence, and the mineral shows out that much of the One Life. The same One Life manifests in the vegetable, and there it manifests as ichchha, desire. In the animal the  same One Life shows out much more strongly as ichchha and also as chit, thought; but the whole shows itself forth in man, who sees before and after and becomes self conscious. That has been there for hundreds of years, for centuries, for millennia, but not put in the scientific form that suits scientists of the twentieth century. Based on that, following that direction, accepting that great truth from the past Rshis, Jagadish Chandra Bose went to work and proved it on the physical plane, showed it by physical apparatus, showed experiments that demonstrated it beyond the possibility of doubt. It was not accepted at first; he was not believed. The world of science of the West was not prepared to say that an Indian scientist, moving on the lines of his own great Scriptures, had proved a thing that none of them had discovered, much less proved. But the day of his triumph arrived. His facts were accepted. His conclusions were shown to be true. As you know he is now a Fellow of the Royal Society - the highest recognition of scientific genius, that England has to give. That grew out of the Scriptures. These facts we may now take as scientifically proved, but it is not yet sufficiently worked out in minerals. Only a beginning of truth is there indicated. In the minerals, fatigue is found. When the mineral rests; the fatigue disappears. Your machine gets tired. The workman will tell you so. It does not want mending, it only wants rest. Then it recovers its elasticity and goes on again. The proof that it has life, and not only what they would call lifeless reaction, is not yet complete. Personally I am prepared to take it from the old teachings, and also from my own knowledge of the evolution of mineral life.
  5. So far you are dealing with very large questions. As to the sun there is much discussion going on. Does the sun lose or gain energy? Does it lose it, by giving out continual heat to other things, or is that recuperated by things that fall upon the sun, and so build it up faster than it decays? We are ready to accept tem­porarily the theory adopted by the astronomers on that. I believe the sun is the garment of a Great Being, is a centre of Life, a mighty Self-Conscious Life. So do Hindus. Generally Narayana is spoken of as the great Being in the Sun. The Sun in that sense is the manifestation, the body, of the Ishvara of the system. You find in Theosophical teachings, which go along the lines of these ancient faiths, the term Logos (Word) is used for the Deity, the Ishvara of the system. Many Theosophists, who have studied, accept this view regarding the Sun of our system as the body of our Logos, Ishvara, but no stress is laid on it, nor is it often mentioned. We speak sometimes of the Solar Logos, making that distinction, because we believe, as the Hindus believe, that there are many Ishvaras of higher and higher rank, culminating in One. Remember how the Bhagavata speaks about that, of the great ranks of Ishvaras rising one above the other. We confine ourselves for all practical purposes to the Ishvara of our own system, and, as you know, the great mantra of Gayatri is an appeal to God in the Sun. That is the reason, of course, why, in so many religions, people turn to the East in their prayers. It is not at all peculiar to the Hindus, the turning to the rising sun, worshipping, not the outer body as a sun, but God in the Sun. Everything in our solar system depends upon the Sun’s Life, heat and light. It is the fount of all the energy by which the solar system exists, and has in it the unfathomable energy of the Divine.
  6. When you come to ask how the solar system originated, you will find that the occult teaching goes somewhat beyond the verbal teaching of the sacred books. Some of these use the word which signifies Ichchha, Desire. Sometimes you find the word Breath, Prana, which is a very accurate term. The Highest Ishvara emanates the root of matter. The Ishvara of our solar system working on what science calls that which is before the nebula, Ether, the Ether of Space, isolates a portion of that by a Ring He makes round it, and within that Ring-enclosed space our solar system is formed, His Breath going into this Ether forms the primary bubbles - there are no better words to express the action - and out of these the atoms of the solar system are formed by aggregation. I am only stating that fact because it has to some extent been verified by observation; that aggregations, which are pre-atomic aggregations, of these bubbles exist. We need not go further into it.
  7. Who is it who, gathering up the material brought into existence by the Life-Breath of the Logos, the Life-Breath of Ishvara, builds it into aggregations? Primarily again the action of Ishvara Himself, in the Aspect of Brahma.
  8. Now we come to the division of the divine Life into three great forms of manifestation, and it is Brahma who, taking this rough material, shapes it by several stages, which we call sub-planes, into what ultimately become chemical atoms. We come now quite down to our own world. After an immense amount of formed material is thus brought into existence by the thought of Brahma, we say that the Creative Activity is at work. Then there comes another great wave of Life which shapes the atoms into forms, not merely molecular forms, but forms like minerals, like vegetables, like animals, like savage, mindless men. All that goes on through ages, that building of the planes and their inhabitants by Those mentioned in the rough outline printed on the first page of this lecture, who are called the Builders of a Cosmos. Now these Builders of the system are the mighty Beings who come out of another, a previous Cosmos, and have been united to Ishvara, have gained moksha of the highest description, have entered as it were into the body of the Ishvara Himself, and become one with Him. All the first Builders of a Cosmos are those great and mighty Devas, who are brought over by the Ishvara of the Cosmos as Builders of His worlds. Here again we speak on the authority of the great Scriptures, and on other occult teachings.
  9. I am for the moment concerned with our own solar system. Now, in the highest sense of the word, the Occult Hierarchy of the Cosmos would mean Ishvara and the great Builders of the whole system, the great Beings who rule and guide and sustain and direct the whole of our solar system. We cannot reach Them at all. We have to come down much lower. We have to come down to our own world. As soon as we come to our own world, we come to a manageable sphere of knowledge given in outline in the great books, and this is largely verifiable, by study, by those of us who have a turn of mind that way - just as we speak of a turn of mind in mathematics or geology - and who are willing to undergo the discipline which makes it possible to obtain first-hand information. So we come to the Occult Hierarchy of our own world, composed of the Rulers, the Teachers, and the Forces. You notice those triple divisions. They are related to the triple nature of Ishvara, which, in all the things which come forth from Him, appears in the life-side which animates the forms. You must always be on the look-out for that triplicity. You have it in yourself, in your own consciousness. You know very well it has three ways of working, no more, no less. You have Jnanam, Ichchha and Kriya. You have Aware­ness, which recognises things outside itself, and evolves into Jnanam, Knowledge. Then Ichchha, Desire in the lower form, and Will, Power, in the higher. Then, Kriya, Activity. And only when these three are developed, do you find the self-conscious being. Thus he analyses his own consciousness. He finds in himself the triplicity which shows the presence of Ishvara in his own nature. That triplicity is recognised everywhere. Western science recognises it in its analysis of the mind. No one who has studied the subject can possibly deny it, whether in the ancient books or in the modern books of psychology. The West is rather more vague, because the western languages are not as adapted to the subtler forms of study as the Samskrt. You must remember that a language is built up by the thoughts of the people who use it. In the West, in dealing with the subtler side of science, they have to fall back upon other languages, and create new words for the new things they find out in psychology. So you get a long list of words which the psychologist who keeps himself level with the science of the day must know and understand. So the English language is becoming enriched. Many of the words in it are words adopted from Samskrt, and also from Greek and Latin, which are the classical languages of Europe. Let us then take what has been definitely proved ­that there are three aspects, of life, that they exist in Ishvara or the Logos. Sat-Chit-Ananda they are called in the highest form. And in the Ishvara of a Cosmos they come out as Jnanam, Ichchha and Kriya. So also in man in a very much lower stage.
  10. We thus come; down to our own world. Only one other point we have to notice in passing, because I spoke of only two great waves of Life - the one working on the material given by the Breath of the Logos, and the second which forms that material into the shapes of the forms which we find in our own world. The third great Life wave is that which in man, and in man alone; brings the higher and the lower together, the Spirit which is brought into direct contact with the matter of the lower sub-planes; this is the result of the third great impulse from Ishvara, in which the Spirit, which is a fragment of Himself, takes definite possession of the body through which it has to work, not only on the physical but on all the lower planes, the larger worlds within which our world exists. These are, as you know, the physical plane, the astral plane - I call it the emotional - and half of the mental plane, the worlds of the lower bodies. Then the higher mental world, or the world of the Intellect, the world of Buddhi, of self-realisation, of intuition, and that of Atma, the reproduction of the divine Spirit in ourselves, are the higher of the fivefold universe. That is the man in the perfection of his parts, the stages of his consciousness and the bodies in which they work. I need not dwell on this, but merely recall to you the well-known facts. You know the various categories of the bodies - the Sthula Sharira and the Sukshma Sharira, and then the Koshas, given in the Vedanta, the subdivisions of the bodies.
  11. We are not concerned today with that organism of man, though you must bear it in mind, but with the existence on our globe of an Occult Hierarchy, showing out the three great groups. That Hierarchy came to us from elsewhere.
  12. Here as I speak, I hesitate for a moment. I was going to say that I spoke from my own knowledge. But I had better explain. It is perfectly possible to develop a faculty of “looking backwards”, and to read what are called the “Occult Records” of the world far beyond ordinary history; going back to those, to that which science is beginning to call the “memory of the world”, it is beginning to recognise it as a reality that all events remain in that memory  of the world; science makes what seems at first the rather startling statement that if you could go out to a certain distance from our world to some other globe; you might there see the events which happened in our world thousands of years ago. It sounds a little startling if you happen to hear it for the first time. Sight depends on the travelling of light. But vision, as we know it, could not cross the huge spaces required. But if it could, a person on a distant globe would see events which had happened here long after they had happened. Why do you hear the sound of gun-fire an appreciable time after you see the flash, since flash and sound are simultaneous? Because sound travels more slowly than light. Light travels so swiftly that we do not appreciate the time between the gun-fire and its flash a mile or so away. Still light travels at a certain definite rate. A “light-year” is the distance in miles over which light travels during a year. Astronomical distances are so great that they are measured in light-years. Suppose you took a thousand light-years, and that you were able to see from the huge distance traversed into the state of the globe a thousand years ago, when the light left it, then looking at our world you would see what was happening a thousand years ago. To understand this you only want a little thought, a little imagination. It is quite plain and simple, if you think. The events are all there all the way along. But to see them at any point there must be an organ of vision. If you can only get that, then you can see the history of the world by, as it were, travelling back towards the world along the light-ray looking at the records in this light. That is, in effect, exactly what the Occultist does although it is not done in that way, but from a point by which the records pass like a cinematographic film. It is a clumsy analogy, but it will serve. The Occultist calls it the Akashic Record. Science groping after it says it must be there, but it cannot deal with it. Naturally. It can be dealt with only by the develop­ment of certain faculties in man. In that way I speak of what I have “seen”. In that way I said that I knew that the Hierarchy came from elsewhere, because I have seen the coming to our world of those great Lords of Light; I am told They came from Shukra, Venus, which gave to our world the beginnings of its Occult Hierarchy. That is beyond my powers of research I saw only the arrival. There are certain traditions in some of your books which speak about the com­ing of the great Lords. You read in them, for instance, of the four Kumaras. Where did They come from? Who were They? They came to the world from some­where. The Occult Records and Hindu books say of the great Ones that. They came from Shukra. They came to our world because our world was ready, was at a stage of the evolution of men capable of receiving that great wave of Life which made the intellect of man possible. And They came because, without guidance from higher Beings, the intellect would have gone wrong, plunged amid a world of passion and animal nature, with which it was filled, to the great destruction of the forward evolution of human beings.
  13. Now in the Theosophical books that period of the Coming is called the middle of the Third Race. We are now in the Fifth Race, your own Root-Race. The Fourth Race, as you know, includes the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mongolians, and so on. Those belong to the Fourth Race, which exceeds the Third and Fifth in numbers. The Third Race people are dying out, save where they have intermarried with later Races. In ordinary ethnology they are spoken of as Lemurian. We use that word in the Theosophical books also. The Lemurians, the Third Race, went through the subdivisions, or sub-races, and in the middle of the evolution of that Race came the Sons of the Light, the Sons of the Fire, as They are called in some of the books. They founded the Occult Hierarchy of our world. The greatest of your Rshis belong to that Body. I just spoke of the Four Kumaras. They were of Those who originally came to our world for its helping, and who are still with us. Of Them it is that you read as living in the White Island, spoken of in your Puranas. That White Island is part of Central Asia, very carefully guarded from intrusion, but still existing. That is not the original cradle of our Race, but the nursery, as it were, in which it grew up. You remember that remarkable book of Mr. Tilak on The Arctic Home of the Aryan Race, where he came very, very near to the occult truth. The land, where the germs of the great Fifth Race were chosen for its evolution, was even before that. They were chosen by the Lord Vaivaswata Manu. On that we shall have to speak tomorrow. I only want to put before you now the great triple divisions seen in the Hierarchy. You have at first the Group of Rulers, the four Kumaras at the head of them, the Rulers of the world. They have to do with Nations, They have to do with Races, they have, to do, through the high Devas, with the configuration of the world as regards land and water, and the tremendous ca­tastrophes and cataclysms, earthquakes and tidal waves, which change the whole surface of our world in the distribution of land and water. The times of those are their work. Therefore we give them the name Rulers. They are the true inner Rulers of our world.
  14. Then we come to the great Group of the Teachers of mankind. In that you find all the Founders of the great religions, the Buddhas Religious, as you find the Manus in the first. We shall go more fully into that­ - the Buddhas, the Founders of world-faiths, the Teachers. They all belong to that great Group. Then there comes the third Group which I have called here the Forces. The reason why I use that word is that each of these Groups uses a particular kind of force for its work. The Rulers use a particular kind of force, the Teachers use a particular kind of force, and the others comprise all, the remaining forces that carry on the activities of the world. The first great group of Rulers act by Will-Power. This, as I said, in the lower form is Ichchha, in the higher form, Will. Will or Power is the natural characteristic of the Rulers. It is that force, the force of the Will, by which the Rulers, the Occult Rulers, of the world work. Then when you come to the great teaching Group, there you find that they work by Jnanam, Knowledge. They, as Teachers, have the detailed knowledge of our world, so that just when a new religion is to begin, then we shall see a new type of man has been formed. When the new type is formed by the Rulers, the Teachers step in to teach that new type, and to help it to evolve. The third great Group, the Group of Kriya, Activity, which I shall simply call here the, Forces - for want of a better word perhaps - these bring about all the activities of our world, and they again are directed by a Group of great Beings, so that you may think of this Occult Government of the World as divided into three Groups according to the qualities, or the Aspects, of Ishvara Himself. The Groups are the same in their nature as you will see, or as you may see, in your Shastras; so that if you look at the names in the Hindu Shastras, you will see Mahadeva, in whom the characteristic is Ichchha (Will); then Vishnu, whose great characteristic is Jnanam (Wisdom); and then Brahma, whose great characteristic is Kriya (Action). You see how orderly the whole thing is - Ishvara at the centre of all with his triple manifestation; the copy of Saguna Brahman, the Sachchidananda Brahman, manifested in the totality of the universe. Then you come by a long descent, as it were, to the Ishvaras of systems, and there the great triplicity comes in of what you may call specialised forms, the Ishvaras there showing out the three Aspects in the three corresponding Gunas. It is the Government of a World in the system. Coming down much lower, there you will find these three again, separated for the work that is to be done. Thus we have the Rulers characterised by Will, the Teachers characterised by Wisdom, the Forces charac­terised by Activity - all in perfect order of sequence, so that if you learn the arrangement of the inner world, you will be able to ascend step by step, and realise that the arrangement that you find in the great Scriptures of the world is the highest. There is then that in the lower, the lower being fashioned after the like­ness of the higher, the Supreme reflecting Himself downwards and downwards, till you come to the single globe. The analogy is perfect. So it is written: “As above, so below”. We come thus to our own Occult Hierarchy, whom you think of as Rshis, the mighty Ones who appear from time to time in your Puranas and Itihasas, in the early days walking among men, consoling men, helping men, when each Race is being founded. Of course the lecture of tonight is one as to which, for most of you, verification is impos­sible, but the sketch of these things is necessary in order that you may have a big picture, and then come down through that picture to our own little spot of world - quite an insignificant place in the enormous universe. Here we should be able to study more closely. Here we should be able to find out really what is going on, the Forces behind those who are apparently the rulers, the teachers and the actor in our world, the true Inner Government of the World, by Power, by Wisdom, by Activity, as manifested in the Occult Hierarchy of our world, with the Four Kumaras at its head. ­
     
  15. LECTURE II

 

  1. The Method of Evolution; The Building of Man;
  2. The Build­ing of Races and Sub-Races; The Manus.

 

 

  1. FRIENDS:
  2. You will remember that last night we left off, at the point where we were considering the especial Government of our own world, the Occult Hier­archy as it is called, the Beings composing that having come to our earth in the middle of the third human Race from the planet Shukra (Venus). I pointed out to you that you will find in the Hierarchy the threefold division which is the reflexion of Ishvara Himself in the three aspects in which He reveals Him­self. Thinking for a moment of the Supreme Brahman, the Brahman with qualities, the Saguna Brahman, we notice that there we had this triple division that reap­pears all the way down on the Life-side, the Conscious­ness-side, of beings in the Kosmos, so far as we know anything about it, and presumably it would be found outside our Cosmos in the same way, as the inevitable result of the Unity of the Supreme with His three Aspects, neither more nor less. Then thinking of the Ishvara of a single system, a single solar system like our own, we recognise the same triplicity, and then speaking of the Occult Hierarchy itself, we find that in that Hierarchy also we find the same triplicity. Looking at it for a moment from the outside standpoint, as we sometimes call the personifications, the anthro­pomorphic Deity, we have in all the Trinities of the religions, just as in the Trimurti here, the recognition of the three Aspects in One. We think of the Brahma, Who creates the universe. We think of the Vishnu, who supports and maintains it. We think of the Mahadeva, the Mighty Being who gives to man that immortal spark of Divinity, which is the source of all evolution in the human race as in the sub-human. So we come to see that it was a natural thing that in the Hierarchy itself - the direct Governors of our world, embodying in that Inner Government of the World the divine qualities - it was natural that we should  find this same triple division as we had found it in the larger Cosmos outside. And so I put it to you, that we found in that the Rulers, that we found the Teachers, that we found all the Activities which I summarised under the name of the Forces, remembering that in that word “Forces” we have the spring of all the activ­ities in the Cosmos outside the ruling and the teaching; so that we may think for a moment of a great picture, as it were, in which as the head of the Rulers there stands the Mahadeva, the One Ruler behind all who exercise the function of rule. So again we may think of the Teachers as distributing to the world the Wis­dom Aspect, which is incarnate, as it were, in Vishnu, that Wisdom that the Hebrew Scriptures speaks of as “mightily and sweetly ordering all things”. And then in Brahma, Activity, the Third Aspect, activity carried on by all the forces distributed under their own heads, we have the expression of the Love of the Supreme shown in His own manifestation in the emanation of the world. Among the legends and tales in sacred books we find one answer to the question so often heard and so seldom answered: “Why did God emanate, or create, the world?” We find the answer given: “Because the Supreme Love, God, desired to be loved”, and as the lives that came forth from Him were the fragments of His own Life, by that very unity of origin, there was the love to Him from whom they came of the intelligent beings thus emanated. That is only one of the many answers, a beautiful and poetical one, containing a profound truth, that the great mark of the Love of the Deity is shown in His Activity. You will find in the different religions of the world that they all recognise this Activity and Power and Wisdom on the part of the Supreme Lord of the Universe; but some, with regard to the Activity, prefer to call it Love, creation being the great sign of love, looking at it from the standpoint of our­selves; then the Aspects are called Power, Wisdom and Love. You will find in other religions, as for instance the Greek, the idea that one of the three great qualities of the Deity is Beauty rather than Love. To the Greek Beauty most appealed, so that it struck him as the characteristic of the divine manifestation. And that view of Divinity has been repeated and reiterated by modern science. The more science investigates into the innumerable beings that are the embodiments of the divine Love in our world, the more does science find that Beauty is their inevitable sign of manifesta­tion. You may go beyond the power of human sight. You may call upon the microscope to help you in study­ing that which is too minute for the unassisted human eye to see. The higher the power of the microscope the more wondrous is the detail in the manifestation of the Beauty. So that in these invisible objects which no eye of man can see without this mechanical magni­fying power, you wilt find beautiful forms traced on the surface of the body, living creatures with wonderful forms of curves, angles and lines delicately arranged in admirable perfection, so that when the Greek tells us that “God manifests as Beauty”, we find that manifesta­tion in His universe bears out well the old Greek idea. It is right that we should not forget that, because in the more modern religion of Christianity, there was a great revolt against this idea of the loveliness of the universe and the beauty of the human body, which was part of the inspiring thought of the Greek world. We find in that view that beauty is a thing that leads man away from God, instead of being the manifestation of His innermost nature. We know that the Puritan idea in the Protestant side of Christianity disliked objects of beauty as temptations, instead of accepting them as the manifestation of the supreme Beauty. On account of this idea of beauty, men lost that side of Divinity characterising all the activities of the Supreme.
  3. Coming to our Hierarchy, divided in this triple  fashion, let us pause for a moment on this grouping in order to take it up a little more closely; let us take it up in two words that I have used in speaking of today’s lecture at the end of the subjects that will be treated - the Manus and the Buddhas. The Manus come under the line of Rulers.[1] I want to pause for a moment on this great manifestation of Power or Will. There is very much in your Puranas that throws great light on these more obscure subjects, and because the phrases used have not been always understood, much that was given for the helping and teaching of men has slipped out of the minds of those to whom these great Scriptures were given as a treasure for the helping of the world. There are in all religions, in fact in all the organisations, whether called exactly religions or not, which grew out of the impulse of the Hierarchy, a certain number of symbols, of names and anal­ogies, which seem to have been utilised by the great Knowers of the past, so that, putting them into the teach­ing for the helping of the world, that might remain, even when their meaning was forgotten owing to the efflux of time: so that they might remain as witnesses to the depth and the fullness of the original teaching given to the great Aryan Race; so that in the later days there might be one more witness of the ancient knowledge. Thus they might see that all through the millennia of their history, that knowledge was really imbedded in their sacred books, and that they had their witnesses ever ready to come forward into the light, when the evolution of that Race, having gone forward from the time when as children it learnt from its teachers, as in its youth and young maturity it threw away much of the knowledge, as then, growing into maturer manhood, it should regain the knowledge of the past, and realise that there was the whole trend of its evolution, that throughout the whole of it that teaching remained from its early days. We find, then, in the Puranas that name that I mentioned yesterday as connected with this first great group of Rulers, the name of the four Kumaras. There is not very much said about Them. Not many explanations are given. But they are spoken of as “the Four”, the “One and the Three”. He who is spoken of as the Eldest among Those - as to whom time may be said only to be a name, for They are beyond its illusions - He is called Sanat Kumara, the Eternal, the Ancient; in later days He is thought of as the Eldest, but it is better to think of Him as the Eternal, to whom and in whom time is not.
  4. Time is but one of the ways in which the limited con­sciousness tries to measure by itself, in order to gain more clarity in its thought, tries to measure out intervals by which and in which it is able to think; for the order in time is only a succession of the true measure of time in moods of consciousness, not the movement of the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. These are only adopted by the human mind in order that they may have a fixed measure, but one to which the truth does not correspond. And so we have this idea of the Eternal, who is beyond time, and to whom all succession is simultaneity, who is sometimes spoken of as the “Eternal Now”. Their conception is one. We have to try, however feebly, to grasp it with this limited consciousness of ours, which speaks of a past, a present and a future. It is not real­ised that there is a possibility of the whole three being really simultaneous, and mutually affecting each other, the future affecting the past, as the past is said also to influence the future. But that is a thing more for us to think out for ourselves in contemplation than to try to explain to each other. Our language, which has been founded on the very idea of succession, cannot express in any intelligible fashion that where succession is not. And the Eternal is the only word we have practically, which conveys, however dimly, however poorly, that great thought of “Now”. So that that word Eternal is never to be confused with everlasting, Remember that word is the word rightly given to that great Being beyond our knowing, who is spoken of in the Puranas as the Eldest Kumara, the great Being we call Sanat Kumara, The Eternal. Then the Three who are with Him, dwellers in that mystic City of Sham­balla, the White Island Youth, are the remaining  Kumaras, called the Pupils of Him who is the Head of the Inner Government of our World.
  5. H.P.B. speaks of the Three, and of Their name derived from Buddhism, which speaks of Them as the Pratyeka Buddhas, the “Solitary Buddhas”. It is not at all a good name; it is a name which has been given a con­notation wholly inapplicable to that great height of super-human existence. But They are given the name, be­cause the word Buddha has been applied specially to the Supreme Teacher. And because They did not teach, Their work being that of the Rulers and not of the Teachers, men in their blindness, dimly groping after the fact of this great existence, spoken of Them as solitary Buddhas - alone, isolated, and even went so far as to apply to them the monstrous adjective “selfish”. So foolish, so childish, are human beings in trying to judge of Lives so far exalted beyond their own. The Secret Doctrine uses the phrase: “Higher than the Three is only One, in Heaven and in Earth”. Many students wonder what the phrase means. H.P.B. often took her words from statements made by Hindu and Buddhist friends. It was simple enough in reading of the Four Kumaras, that They were the Heads of all power and Rulers in our world, to realise that we were really face to face with the Mighty Four at the head of the Group of Rulers, and the Three and One is only the obvious division between the Head and the Three who come next to Him in the Inner Government of the World.
  6. Leaving those Four and coming, as it were, down­wards, we then come to the great sub-group of the Manus. They come nearer to our possibility of under­standing. Their work is very clearly laid down. They are specially related to the evolution of Races. Wherever a great Race is to be born into the world - Root-Race we call it because so many sub-races spring from it - ­then we see a Manu at work. The two with whom we are chiefly concerned at the present stage of the evolution of our globe, are the Manu of the Fourth Race and the Manu of the Fifth Race. There is only one Manu to a Race. We have to remember that from the beginning. There are certain great Beings marked out in the Occult Hierarchy who are to be the Fathers of the Races. As I said, the two with whom we are now most concerned are the Manu of the Fifth and Fourth Races. Vaivasvata Manu, as you know, is the Manu of the Fifth, or the great Aryan Root-Race, that Race which is sometimes spoken of as the “Sons of Manu”. You have for instance the stotras which specially speak of the sons of Manu because there is this peculiarity about the work of a Manu, that the whole of the Root­-Race takes origin in him. He is literally the Father of His Race. About the very early days of the fourth Root-Race we do not know as much as we do about the early days of the Fifth. We only know of a great Being spoken of generally as the Manu of the Fourth Race, and as still charged with the care of the larger part of the population of the globe. He looks after those hundreds of millions of Asiatic peoples, of whom the chief are the Chinese and the Japanese, the Japanese comparatively small in number, but great in develop­ment and in power. The Japanese caught hold of western ideas, sucked them dry, and then threw them away again, having utilised all that was useful for them­selves in those ideas, and every one that they accepted they stamped with their own mark, just as you might stamp coin made of gold from any mint. If you want to coin it, you send it to the mint, and have it stamped with the image of your own Nation. So the Japanese have done with western thought and organisation.  They, under the direction of their Manu, the impulse that He sent to them through their earthly ruler sent all over the western world numbers of their cleverest men, sent them on a great mission to the West, to learn how they managed their affairs, how they organised, and how they worked. They travelled far and wide in the world, looked into the ways of all Nations, their industry, their education, their political institutions, and all other things that make up the outer life of a Nation, and they came back to Japan, just as they picked up the outer things, such as the European clothes; instead of their own beautiful garments. I remember talking to Mr. Swinburne one day, the great poet in England. He has a quaint way of speaking - slow and drawling. He said in this kind of dreamy drawling way: “There is only one thing that God on the Day of Judgment will never forgive the Japanese”. I said in answer: “What is that, Mr. Swinburne?” because I knew he did not believe in the Day of Judgment. I rather wondered what he was driving at. He half shut his eyes in the queer dreamy way that I have just mentioned, and spoke of the Japanese adoption of the western dress. Swinburne was a great lover of beauty. The thing that disgusted him in the new Japanese civilisa­tion was this phase of it. They put aside their own beautiful men’s and women’s dress, and dressed in the fashion of Paris, which made them ugly instead of beautiful. He was very much disgusted with them. There was a truth in his quaint remark, because persis­tence in that would have denationalised the Japanese, and they would have no longer struck their own note in the chord of the music of the world. But they soon threw aside all that outside folly, and utilised what they had learnt in the West. The Chinese having learnt less, being a people too self-contained, too shut off from the rest of the world, were not ready for the work which was then wanted, which was the saving of the eastern ideals. This was assigned to Japan, because India - which was the heart and home of eastern ideals, from whom the Japanese had learnt their eastern thought, their eastern beauty - because India was then at the moment of her greatest peril, which now, thank God, has passed away, when there was the danger that she would become westernised, taking the outer appearance instead of anything which was valuable in western thought and culture. Then her young graduates were more proud of their knowledge of Spencer and Huxley than of the knowledge of their own maturer philosophers and scientists; then there was the danger that Indian religion, that sublime faith of Hinduism, given to the Root-stock of the Aryan Race for the help­ing of the whole world, that that should be looked on as childish babblings; when that moment came, it was the only moment that really threatened her true life. It was not menaced by the dangers through which she has passed. She has had many invasions, she has had partial conquests, she has had many foreigners coming within her borders; but she has conquered and assimilated them all, no matter how they came, or she cast them aside. You all know that the Greeks came and went away, but they have left India richer for the traces of the art that they had imprinted on hers. The Musal­mans came and conquered parts of India, but they were assimilated, and today are Indians by right of a thousand years of residence. None of these was a danger to India, for India was stronger than they. It was only when she began to be really westernised that the moment of her peril came; in the other cases she had taken advantage of her conquerors, had remained herself and added something from them to her own great National wealth. But in this case she was trying, as it were, unconsciously, to change her very life, to take western ideals instead of eastern, to follow western customs instead of eastern, to look to western teachings instead of to eastern, in a word to denationalise herself, losing her hold on the treasures for which she was the trustee for humanity, instead of only taking whatever was valuable and incorporating it into her own system. In that hour of peril her Manu came to save her from that which would have made her cease to be a Nation, she, eldest but one of all  living Nations. Just then Theosophy was sent to her, sent to make Hindus realise that they had a treasure, and that it was from the Hindus that the rest had learnt, There was resentment in many quarters about this and especially one writer, Sir Valentine Chirol, said that Indians were being taught by western people that their religion was the greatest in the world, and that they were the teachers of religion, and not learners of religion from the West. Then it was that, in that moment of peril, our Manu could not find in the Indian people a people who could guard their own ideals from being submerged under the flowing tide of western civilisation. So he turned to his Brother Manu, who had the Chinese and the Japanese in His charge, and - ­because China was not ready for the work, China was isolated, China was untrained, China was lacking in power and adaptability - He turned to that smaller Nation, the Japanese, inspired them with His Life, stimulated them with His Power, and then flung them  against the western Russian people and made them conquerors, in order that eastern ideals might be saved through them, and preserved for the future helping of the world. You do not look on wars as you should, as you would do if you read your own Puranas. You look on them as due to one Nation coveting the land of another, one Nation desiring to dominate over another. I am asking you to look behind the outer governors to the Inner Governors of the World, the Rulers who balance the various developments in the world one against the other, in order that nothing that is precious shall be lost, in order that every gain shall be preserved,  and gradually, East and West, North and South, shall all contribute to the perfect humanity of the days that are yet unborn, and make that mighty Federation of the World, of which the poor League of Nations is a beginning in the ideal world, which shall yet be realised in the world of men, and become the Great Peace with the blessing of the Supreme upon it. So the Fourth Race Manu did that piece of work for the Fifth Race.
  7. There is one thing which you may as well remember, which is a very interesting sidelight which shows that all the planets of our solar system are linked together in successive evolutions. They are not all of the same age, they are all evolving, but one is behind the other, one is younger, one older than the other. And so from the great Kosmic Hierarchy which sends forth the Guides for the whole system, as on the first planet humanity grew up to the stage where the Inner Government of the world was wanted, that originally had to be supplied from the reservoir, and that reservoir was Ishvara Himself. From planet to planet an Heir to the Crown of the Ruler is handed on, and as an older planet develops more and more, and its humanity grows higher and higher, some of that humanity pass on into the Occult Hierarchy, and there are evolved and disciplined; and thus some are always ready, in every step of the rank of that Hierarchy, to pass over to another planet when that other planet is evolving its humanity, just as the Sons of the Fire came to us in the middle of the Third Root-Race. So also in our turn our world has sent the Heads of another Hierarchy to the next planet in the order of evolving human­kind. And Those who came in that wonderful wave, Themselves to be the Rulers of our planet, are not to be thought of as though They were Themselves Gods, mighty as They are. A passage was mentioned to me today by our General Secretary, in a commentary written by Goswami, a disciple of Chaitanya of Bengal one of the minor avataras. He speaks of these Kumaras as not being Ishvaras, but Aishvarik, not Themselves Gods, but divine in Their nature, not yet Kings, but of the blood royal, as one might say. But in the evolu­tion of human-kind, the Elders, as we hereafter shall come to be, as we climb up that long, long ladder of evolution, become a glorified humanity, a Divine Humanity, into whose hands may safely be trusted the governing of a world.
  8. Just as we find the group of Manus Themselves looking after the Races by which mankind evolves, so do we find that all the great catastrophes, the seismic catastrophes in our globe, are under the rule of these Four Highest, who appoint the time and the seasons when these tremendous changes shall take place. So with every new Root-Race there comes a change in the configuration of the globe, of the disposition of land and water. Our Third Race began in what the scientists call Lemuria. That was a great continent stretching through what we now call the island of Ceylon southwards to the Pacific, when the Hima­layas were washed by the great waves of Pacific seas, and the Indian Peninsula had not emerged. Then Lemuria was stretching where the Pacific now is, and Australia is the end of the land before you come to the southern Pole. Australia and New Zealand both belong to this ancient continent, destroyed by earthquake, by fire and by flood. And then the Third Race gradually dwindled and dwindled, although some remains are still left. Another great continent arose as Lemuria was broken up, right over in the West, where the Atlantic is. That is called the continent of Atlantis, where the Atlantic is now rolling. On that continent was the great city, the capital of a mighty Empire, the City of the Golden Gate, men­tioned in the Chinese Classic of Purity. That City was the centre of Atlantean power, and there grew up the Atlantean Toltec Empire. They spread as far as Northern Africa to ancient Egypt. Turning westward we find an Empire where Mexico now is and the North and South American Indians belong to that ancient Race. You may still read in Plato how the remains of that continent were submerged, and the great civilisation which he mentions, that was on the last fragment of Atlantis itself. Now when they sound the depths of the Atlantic, they find hill­tops and valleys; some islands are left, some of the highest peaks are now islands, like the Canary Islands, just as you have here, where the great stretch of the Lemurian continent existed, Java, the East Indies Islands, the Spice Islands and so on, that are dotted over the Pacific. Atlantis was the land of the Fourth Race. Myriads upon myriads of that Race perished in the mighty cataclysm and went down beneath the flood. But one part in Asia was left. North of the Himalayas a large stretch of land formed part of the ancient Atlantis. The sacred City of Shamballa, the imperishable, is there.
  9. Now disturbances are beginning to take place in the Pacific again, where the next great continent is to arise. There you find the “earthquake ring” that science talks about as a source of danger to the present world. From the submarine volcanos there are flung, through the mass of the water above them, great eruptions of earth and minerals of all kinds, piling up great peaks as they force their way. Then an island appears. Where there was no island before an island appears, and the charts that the captains have do not show those islands. Sometimes ships are wrecked for lack of that knowledge. Not very long ago the British Association in its Geographical Section discussed this building up of a new land, spoke of the dangers that would come, of the possibility of one tremendous eruption that should dash the ocean into great tidal waves, sweeping across the United States, drowning all the people. They spoke of a world catastrophe in which humanity might perish. When they talked in that panic-stricken way, well-read Hindus and well-read Theosophists smiled to them­selves; for they said: “Continents have been destroyed before, and humanity did not perish. This new continent we now hear about is mentioned in the Puranas. Its name is given to it, and the race that will live upon it is a race unborn. Why should we be afraid? Humanity has survived these catastrophes before and will survive them again. And a seventh continent will come, the last continent of this phase of the evolution of our globe. There are hundreds of thousands of years before that will happen, pro­bably hundreds of thousands of years before the sixth continent will be ready for its children, and those tremendous catastrophes that change the whole surface of the world in its configuration, those are the work of the Great Kumaras, the Supreme Rulers in the Inner Government of our World. Under Their direction the Manus work.” I shall try to put before you tomorrow how the plan of all these changes is known to the Head of the Occult Hierarchy, and how sections of it are distributed among those who have to carry them out in detail. Into that I will not go today.
  10. The Manus, then, are those who build up Races, and the plan of evolution is to build up successive Races, Root-Races, characterised by particular qualities that are wanted in humanity. If you look at the constitution of your own body you have a picture of the evolution of the Races. You have a physical body. That was the first to be gradually evolved through the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms into savage mind-less men. Then you know that that physical body shows out two subdivisions, sthula, dense, and sukshma, etheric. The first two Races evolved these, and the Third built the human form; with lower astral and germinal mental by its middle stage. These were linked to the higher three, and man was embryonically complete. You find all this in your own teachings. You ought to know it better than I do. Those, how­ever, were only known to the learned and slipped out of the minds of the people. There is a very simple reason for this. That is, that the old way of teaching was very different from the modern. When we begin to teach a subject, we try to get a grasp of the whole subject, and we try to present it to those we are teaching in a clear form. That is the modern way of teaching. It makes people rather lazy, because too much is done for them, and the result is that the memory is very much more, and the reasoning much less exercised than they ought .severally to be. The teachers take all the trouble, and present an already cooked and digested teaching to save the pupils from the trouble of exercising their mental faculties. So that they have quite a large amount of second-hand knowledge and very little first-hand knowledge.
  11. The old ways were different. The teacher came along, threw one great truth to his pupils and said: “Go and think about it”. The result is that in the eastern books you do not get a clear presentment of a doctrine as a whole. It is scattered over the books. A careful student can gather the whole teachings. But he has not now the patience and industry required for the task. In the old days men had to work out results; so they grew into great thinkers, because they exercised their minds. Hence it is very difficult for the Hindu to find out the details of the teachings of his religion in this enormous library, this immense encyclopaedia of the Shastras. Hence the convenience of Theosophy, which gives way to human weakness in modern days and which presents all those teachings in a form which is very easy to grasp. Theosophy accommodates itself to the ways of the present day. It gives you in a more scientific form those great teachings given to the Root­stock. When you read the Puranas after studying the Theosophical books, you will find them full of informa­tion, crowded with information, and the opinion that you held that they were all childish vapourings dis­appears. You will find they give the most valuable teachings. That is almost the only outer use of Theo­sophy to the instructed Hindus.
  12. Under these conditions, then, you find how your Manu works. You find named in the Puranas the seven different continents and the Races that inhabit them. We are now on the fifth continent. Do not think of continents in the way geographical people use the word, because it here means the whole land surface of the globe as distinct from the water. So you have your Fifth Race continent, and the sixth continent is beginning to come up in the Pacific. Now there is one interesting point we come to. The Manu is not only busy in developing a great Race, but He picked the families of His Race ages ago out of the fifth sub-race of the Atlantean people. Every Root-Race sends out sub-races like branches of a tree. He picked his people out of the fifth sub-race of the Fourth Root­-Race. He led them by the Sahara, then a sea, to Egypt and on into Arabia. After a long stay, He took them across Mesopotamia up into Northern Asia, and then a little again downwards, and settled them near the White Island. Later, after many troubles and massacres, He settled them round the White Island in the City of the Bridge. A long journey, because all the time He was working to improve the type that He had selected. Now taking the Fourth and Fifth Races you will find the Fourth Race predominantly emotional and passional. If you take the fourth and the fifth sub-races you will be able to see exactly what is meant by that. Your Root-Stock sent out west­wards four great groups of emigrants, each of a some­what different type. Your own Root-Stock had ultimately to come down from Central Asia to India, and is spoken of as the first sub-race. Before that the second sub-race, the first emigration, went along the borders of Mesopotamia into ancient Egypt, and along Northern Africa and the Islands of the Mediterranean. They left a very fine civilisation behind them, which decayed away, but in Egypt and in the Island of Crete you find traces of it. The remains in Crete, the story of which was regarded as mythical, showed traces of a greatness which was regarded with wonder by the white people of the nineteenth century. The third sub-race, or second emigration, went to Persia and founded the great Persian Empire. The fourth sub-­race, or third emigration, went westward over the Caucasus into Europe, and they are represented by the Greeks, Romans, Spaniards, the French and the Irish. Kelt is their general name. The fifth sub-race, or fourth emigration, went more to the north, and originated Slavs and Germans, with many sub-divisions. Taking the two last, you will see the difference between the sub-races. All those that I have mentioned to you as belonging to the fourth sub-race are emotional people. The reason why England and Ireland cannot get on together is because England belongs to the Teutonic sub-race, in which the concrete mind is most developed, while the Kelts (the Irish are Kelts) belong to the fourth sub-race and emotion is strong in them. Neither of them is to be blamed for the fact that they cannot pull on together, because the Irish are a Keltic people, except those in the North who were emigrants, and they are moved by their emotions. If you want to move the Irish, you have to appeal to their higher emotions, and then you can do anything in the world with the Irish race. If you appeal to them with cold logic, it leaves them cold and uninfluenced, and very often they get very angry. Because the English are not imaginative enough to understand them, because in them the concrete scientific mind is the dominant thing, they can never understand an emotional impulsive people. So they try to keep them by force. There is the explana­tion of the endless feuds. They have not the common sense to rule people according to their own type, and not according to a different type. The fifth sub-race people have strength of mind and high intellect. You have in the Root-Stock, the germs of all the various qualities of Fifth Race mankind, embodied and balanced in your Root-Race, and these had to be developed one after another - those great qualities and capacities; and so the sub-races were dominated by one of these chiefly, and had to develop that very strongly for the final enriching of humanity as a whole. Thus you have the capacity to develop along those lines and assi­milate them together. That is one part of India’s great mission towards humanity in the world. The germs of all these sub-races are in her, as the child is in the womb of the mother, and the sub-race comes forth, develops that as a new sub-race and then reacts upon the Mother. And so your children, spread over the whole western world, are developing their qualities, especially the quality that dominates each. And the fourth is there with its mission of beauty, and the fifth is there with its mission of mind, and both can find their key in you from whom they spring, and to whom many of them come back in order to help in the  building up of the type of the whole Fifth Race. I cannot go far into that. The whole subject is of profound interest. If you realise that evolution in the  sub-races is for the enriching of the typical Fifth Race Man, then you will understand a little more of the way in which migrations go out and some of each come back to the Motherland, and how India is the common  Motherland of the whole Aryan, or Fifth, Race. The sixth sub-race is only now being born. And the seventh is still on the far, far-off horizon of the future. The sixth sub-race will give birth to the Sixth Root-Race in the future. It will develop some of the qualities of Buddhi, that spiritual intuition which illuminates the intellect. That will be the characteristic of the sub-race, and, in fuller development, of the Sixth Root-­Race; for which the continent is to prepare itself through thousands of years yet unborn. Evolution goes on in this regular way: a Race embodying the germs of several special qualities; a sub-race developing specially one of these, dominating the other qualities, which are also necessary in the man, as I said, separated for that purpose. And so you gradually come to realise how mankind evolves, how all these Races and sub-races are needed, and how every one of them has its place in the ultimate perfect humanity which shall evolve on our globe; how all these antagonisms are to be outgrown, all these prejudices are to be eliminated, and when sub-races are thrown together in anta­gonism or in friendship, they are thrown together by the Inner Government of the world, in order that they may begin to assimilate each other. Every antipathy grows out of ignorance, and the less you know of a people the more you are prejudiced against them, when you come across them. They are develop­ing one side of a quality, while you are developing another side. You are thrown together to get rid of prejudice and narrowness, and the Motherland has been the melting pot of all these sub-races. They all keep coming here, some go away again and some remain. You have the fourth sub-race people here, the Portu­guese, the French. You have had in the old days the Greeks. You had the fifth sub-race people, the Dutch and the English. They have come and will go, each giving something and having made a little tie between the Nations, which gradually will grow stronger and stronger, if we follow the impulse of the Inner Rulers, and do not fling against each the racial hatred that destroys.
  13. It is a very practical subject. The more you know it, the more you realise how practical it is.
  14. The whole unrest and trouble of the world today are the marks of the transition period through which we are passing, where one civilisation is beginning to pass away, where another civilisation is getting ready to be born, and where you, the Heart of the World, the Mother of the great Aryan Race, whose children are scattered everywhere, have its immediate fate in your hands; you will decide whether evolution shall go onwards and upwards, or be thrown backwards for centuries to come. The Great Work cannot stop. The evolution of humanity must inevitably proceed; but it can proceed either by destruction of what is already existing and beginning again at the very beginning of civilisation; or, for the first time in the history of our Races, it may begin by gradual transition into a higher and nobler condition, if the Sons of the Fire can gain full Victory over the Brothers of the Shadow.
     
  15. LECTURE III

 

  1. The Divine Plan; Its Sections; Religions and Civilisations;
  2. The Present Part of the Plan; The Choice of the Nations.

 

 

  1. FRIENDS:
  2. In speaking yesterday, I had to leave out the last word of my original programme of the second lecture. I said nothing about the Buddhas. I must pause for a moment on that, for the Buddha-to-be, or the Bodhi­sattva, is the Head of the Teaching Group. You re­member how in the first lecture we had Rulers, Teachers and the Forces, the Activity. Now the Buddha-to-be holds to the great group of Teachers the same position that the Manu holds to the great group of Rulers. Just as the whole of the Inner Government of the world dealing with the evolution of Races, the configuration of continents, etc., of which I spoke yesterday, as the whole of that, is worked out by the great group of Rulers, of whom the Manu is the representative in every Root-Race, so we find in connection with the group of Teachers that one great figure stands out, the Buddha-to-be. Now He is not the Teacher of a Race, as the Manu is the Ruler of a Race. The last Buddha-­to-be, for instance, the Lord Gautama, who became the Buddha in that incarnation, came to the world, as you know, in the fifth century before the Christian era, and that did not coincide with either a Race or a sub-race. He came in the middle, as it were, of a great Race period, for the finishing up. of His teacher­-hood upon earth, and His position as Teacher - as the Bodhisattva - as the Buddhist call Him, as the Jagatguru as he would be called among the Hindus - His positions as Jagatguru stretches back right into the civilisation of the Fourth Root-Race. In this way then the Manus and Buddhas-to-be do not wholly coincide in time. The one specially deals with His own Race evolution of the type of men, and the other with the inner evo­lution, the unfolding of the Spirit in man through the founding of some great faith. Now looking back over the previous life of the One who became a Buddha in His last earthly incarnation, we see Him appearing as a great Teacher right back, as I say, to the Fourth Race. I have no time to go into the incarnations. It is enough for me here just to remind you that He appeared here, as the Teacher of the Root-Stock, where the religion of the Hindus reigned, in the form known as that of the great Rishi Vyasa. It was His work, the division of the Vedas; His work the compiling of the Puranas and so on. And He is the one who outlined the religious side of Hinduism, just as the Lord Manu outlined the social and political side, the work, as you see, corresponding to the Group to  which each belonged. Now the Bodhisattva comes not at regular intervals, if you measure by years, but at certain periods in the evolution of the Race; whenever a sub-race appears in the Race, the Jagatguru, the Bodhisattva, appears in the very early days of that sub-race. Vyasa then came to the Hindus for the outlining of their great religious polity, and then retiring into the Himalayas, to the great Brother­hood of the Rishis. He came out publicly again in Egypt, as the Founder of that great scientific religion which made Egypt for some time the Light of the then world. He gave that religion of science which, like that of Hinduism, centred as it were in the Sun, but not so much in the Sun as the Life-giver as the Sun as the Light-bringer. So you find the central imagery in that religion turning round the divine Light. It is Ra, or Osiris - names of the Sun-God - that is thought of as the indweller in the hearts of men. He is “the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world”, to quote the phrase which is found in the “fourth gospel”, and is found there because that Gospel is Graeco-Egyptian, belonging to that great stock of Mystics who united, under the name of the neo-Platonic School, the wisdom of Egypt and the wisdom of Greece. He was known among the Egyptians as Thoth. But he is better known in the Greek form Hermes, Hermes Trismegistos, the Thrice-­Greatest, as He is named. In that capacity, embodied as that great Egyptian, He became the Founder of the magnificent Egyptian religion, whose remains are still being unburied, full of Occultism, written on the papyrus of Egypt, and found in fragments in the swathings of the mummies, and put together as the Book of the Dead. That great scientific and occult wisdom of Egypt came from Him who was Thoth, the Messenger, Graecised into Hermes, the Messenger. Then He came again to Persia as Zarathushtra, angli­cised into Zoroaster, the Founder of the splendid Zoroastrian Religion, the Religion of the Fire. As  regards the antiquity of this religion, it is rather interest­ing that lately among the Parsis there arose a Parsi historian, who studied the history of his ancient religion and the polity that grew out of that religion, and he put the date of the Empire of Persia as about twenty thousand years before the Christian era - a date which is regarded as accurate in the Occult Record, which had been given by some of our own students before, on a historical basis, it was worked out by this Bombay Parsi. Then He came again as Orpheus to Greece, the founder of the Orphic Mysteries, whence the later Mysteries were derived; always the founding of Mysteries comes out in connection with the Jagatguru. In giving a religion, He always gives the inner hidden life, which is His Life, which keeps it in touch with the invisible world, which in the early days at least is the heart and strength of the religion. That was His last appearance as Jagatguru, until He has born in India to finish His great life of service on earth. You know He was born as the young Prince Siddhartha, who became Gautama the Buddha, and after He attained Illumination at Gaya, He taught for forty years up and down the land of India, doing the great work of a Buddha, turning, as they call it, the Wheel of the Law, proclaiming the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and the Triple Gem. Strangely enough, it may seem, this religion was not intended chiefly for the land of His birth. For there was no reason why a new form of religion should be given here in India; and it appears that it was intended to spread chiefly among other Nations, who would not take up the metaphysics and philosophy of Hinduism, which need the peculiar subtlety of brain which belongs to the first sub-race, or the Root­stock of the Aryans. Buddhism has also a splendid metaphysical and philosophical side, not studied by many of the Nations dwelling in Asia, for that was not the form best suited to carry on the great treasure of moral knowledge to those who belonged to the earlier Race, the Fourth. So His practical religion is specially based on and intended to spread the great laws of moral­ity, and the Right Thinking on which He laid such stress; hence you find His teaching spreading over Ceylon, over Burma, over Siam, and then northward to Tibet, China and Japan, carrying the fundamental moral truths of religion in a form in which they appeal to the Fourth Race brain, rather than to the subtle Fifth Race brain of the Hindu. The Hindu did not need any new religion. He had everything in his own. It must not be forgotten that the Lord Buddha was a Hindu, the glory of Hinduism, verily the Light of Asia, as He is called, but even more truly the Light of the World. So He lived spreading his exquisite teachings among the people, with many a simile and illustration drawn from their daily life, and after forty years He passed away. But He has never quite left our world as former Buddhas had done, perchance because He was the first of all the Buddhas who was born of our humanity; and that seems to have made closer and tenderer the tie between Him and the earth that He loved and taught. And so we find that even still at the time of His great festival, what the Buddhists call the “Shadow of Buddha” appears for the blessing of the world; up in the far north, up near the Chinese frontier in Northern Tibet beyond the Himalayas, there, still once a year, the Buddhists tell us, the Shadow of Lord Buddha is yet seen. It is during the time of the great Vaishakha Festival, and many, many bodies of people travel to the place, in order that they may take part in that festival at that particular spot. And other incidents less well known, show that the Lord Buddha is still interested in the evolution of this globe.
  3. Then there followed him as Jagatguru a great Rishi of India, the Rishi Maitreya. You may read about Him in your own books, appearing from time to time, ever endeavouring to keep peace, ever work­ing through love. Then you have Him coming to the earth for the founding of a great religion, and he came to Palestine and there took the body of a disciple named Jeshua or Jesus, in order to give to the races of Europe a religion which suited their evolution, for that is the great work of the World­-Teacher. He continually helps and blesses all the great religions of the world, and His love is all-embracing. But to each sub-race He comes visibly, to give it a religion best suited to its evolution. The sub-races are not as widely different from each other as are the Root-Races. If you take for instance a Chinaman belonging to the Fourth Root-Race and a Kashmiri Brahmana belonging to the Fifth Root-Race, you will at once see the very great difference of human type. You could not confuse the two. You would at once realise that in the latter, the Kashmiri Brahmana, you had a new type of humanity as compared with the Chinese, the Japanese, the Mongol and the Tartar of Central Asia. They are all different from the Aryan type. You have not in the Aryans the high cheek-bones of the Tartar or the Mongol; nor the setting of the eyes that you see in the Asian sub-races of the Fourth Root-Race. You do not have the same shape of the nose, nor the same shape of the head, nor the same type of the figure. These outer differences go hand in hand with the most important inner differ­ences. And when you come to deal with the nervous system, it is there that you come across the most marked and the most important difference; for the nervous system of the Aryan is very, very much finer, is very much more delicately balanced than the nervous system of the Chinaman or the Japanese. You must have noticed that yourselves, if you have read the history of China, the extraordinary tortures through which a Chinaman can pass without dying, which, applied in the same way to the Aryan, leave him dead by mere nervous shock. That is a characteristic difference of the two. If you take the Russo-Japanese war and compare the death-rate of the Japanese soldiers who were wounded with those of the Russians, you will find that an enormous proportion of the Japanese recovered; that was not mainly due to the fact that they were better looked after and cared for. Rather, the point that I wish to lay stress upon is this, that what you would call a desperate wound, causing great laceration, would give a tremendous nervous shock and kill the Russian, whereas a similar wound inflicted on a Japanese would give him a far lesser shock and he might recover. The Red Indians of North America are of that type, and they can undergo a wound that would lay an Aryan prostrate and helpless and doomed to certain death; and yet two or three days after, they will be able to go into the battle-field again. This is very strongly marked in several sub-races of the Fourth, and some regard it as a great racial superiority. It is on that nervous difference that the special evolution of the Fifth Race depends. The inner texture of the brain, as it were, the capacity of the brain to receive impressions, and then of the mental forces to work on and carry them out in all directions, to argue upon them, make inductions and deductions, all these things are characteristic of the Fifth Race; it has a highly developed and unstable nervous system, and it has immense power in the concrete mind. All these differences necessarily govern the form of religion which is given by the Jagatguru, and hence the differ­ence of religions. Sometimes people say: “Why should there not be one religion for all?” The answer is because of the great variety of the human types, because of these fundamental differences between man and man, because in the evolution of mankind you have to evolve together the physical, the emotional and the mental nature of the man, and then, corresponding with that and largely depending upon it, the spiritual unfolding of each Race in turn.
  4. And so looking at the great religions founded within the whole sweep of the Aryan Race, you find in your Hinduism what you may fairly call an all-embracing religion, although it has been, by its methods, practically confined to Hindus. But the peculiarities of all later religions are found in Hinduism. The same ideas that are brought out prominently in them are found also in Hinduism, less prominently. In every religion you have some special characteristic that is brought out by the World-Teacher, in order that on that a civilisation may be founded suitable for the evolution of the particular qualities which that sub-race is to contribute to the coming perfection of human-kind. You remember what I said yesterday about the different qualities which must be developed in different human types, if they are to be developed to the full, just as in the difference of sex. You recognise that in the two types of body, the masculine and the feminine, you find physical bases for different emotional and intellectual developments. So is this, in this question of Races and sub-races. If you ask physiologists what is the fundamental difference between the masculine and feminine bodies, they will tell you that the feminine body has a much larger development of the glandular system, while in the man there is a much greater development of the muscular system. And these fundamental physiological differences between man and woman are necessary, in order that the qualities corresponding to these may be developed in the Race. Remember the words of the Manu: “For fathers were men created, as for mothers women”. That is the mark of difference which governs the body of each. When you come to the emotional development, that goes with the glandular system, which nourishes; you find it greater than the corresponding system in man. Hence the great modern mistake of trying to make women into men, to carry her along exactly the same lines, to forget the difference and the value of the difference. You cannot make the man a woman, nor the woman a man at present. The effeminate man is no more attractive than the masculine woman. Now what are those differences? How do they show? In what you may call Motherhood and Fatherhood, the  fundamental difference there of type; the woman the nourishing, the protecting, the helping, that is the special quality of the Mother - tender, gentle, patient and enduring - so that even if you take the masculine quality, the quality of courage, woman’s courage is very different from the courage of man. The courage of a man is the great impulse of his nature to assert himself as against opposition. The courage of woman springs from love, devotion, and she will be as brave, braver sometimes, than the bravest man; but it will be in defence of some one or some thing which she loves, and not with the mere desire of self-assertion, rivalry against an opponent. That runs all through. It is quite true that gradually those qualities will blend. It is quite true that sometimes you will find some of the opposite qualities developed in each - in the noblest man you will find much compassion, and you will find in the noblest woman great strength and courage. But still it is a blending of the opposites, where they are come together in order that the perfect human being, in whom all the qualities are developed, may gradually appear on our earth. But no premature attempt to force that is desirable. We have not yet reached the perfection of qualities. That awaits further evolution. Similarly, then, every sub-race has its own quality dominant in it. I have often pointed out in dealing with religions, how the religion of each sub-race brings out a particular tendency that is woven into the civilisation, and the qualities brought out by religion are the qualities that are wanted in the civil polity of the people. It is fairly familiar to most of you. Take your own great root-religion and you will find in it two ideas, which are really one, which stand out above all others. One of these is the Immanence of God. “I established this universe with one fragment of Myself” - so spake Shri Krsna. God in everything, one life pulsing in every form, one life at the back of every object. I used the western phrase, “Immanence of God”. That is gradually coming back to the West. They have had there a form of Pantheism, God in every­thing, which has never attracted any except the highest thinkers of the West, like Spinoza; he was only half western, for he was a Jew. There was no room for worship, no room for devotion, no room for enthusiasm; because the presence of God in everything, God im­manent in the world, that can only become real when the Inner God is realised. So it is with the devotee, that he is not worshipping the Inner God, Brahman, but he worships some divine manifestation. It may be Vishnu, it may be Shiva, Mahadeva, or it may be Shri Krsna. Always a form is necessary for the growth of devotion. Hence it is necessary that, in order to realise that idea of the immanence of God, He must be worshipped in many forms, loved in many forms, and it is that which gives the warmth of devotion to Hinduism, because not alone for the philosopher but for the devotee God is manifest through that sublime religion, and God shows Himself in many forms, so that He may attract the varying natures of men. So I must finish the shloka of the Gita, which I half-quoted: “I established this universe with one fragment of Myself, and I remain.”
  5. He remains “transcendent”, as the philosophy of the West would say, not only as the life in every form, but Himself a Life transcending the whole universe; He, the higher Object of devotion, the Ishvara of the worlds. So you find in this religion that idea predo­minant, the unity of life, the Immanence of Deity, and as the other side of that, the Solidarity, the Brotherhood, of Man. That is not a different doctrine, but another phase of the same. The Will aspect of man is only the other side of the Immanence of God, and it is expressed in the characteristic word of Hinduism, the charac­teristic idea of Dharma. You cannot translate that word. No western language can translate it. You may call it, as you do, sometimes religion, sometimes duty, sometimes obligation, but no one word of a foreign tongue can convey everything that that word conveys to the Hindu. It is that great idea which it is the work of Hinduism to preach and to establish in the whole world, the binding nature of Duty; and that for a reason which you will see in a few minutes.
  6. Leaving Hinduism and coming to the religion of Egypt there you had a religion of science, a religion of deep study of the outer world, of the phenomena of nature, and the “magic” of Egypt, based on that scientific study, was the wonder of its day. Egypt has passed away, and her remains must be sought in her sepulchres. No one now worships Thoth, or Hermes, the Greek name of that mighty Jagatguru. The civilisa­tion of Egypt is dead and buried, and is only unburied by being brought out by the investigations of archaeo­logists and mythologists. I ask you to mark that dis­appearance, for it is vital for the appreciation of our subject. If you go to Persia, there you will find another note, that of Knowledge and Purity. That has come down to our own day - pure thought, pure word pure deed. You must not defile the elements of nature. You must not defile the Earth, the Water, or the Fire. So the
  7. Zoroastrian will not bury or burn or drown his dead, because it will be polluting one of the elements. So he leaves his dead to be torn into pieces and be carried away by the birds. It also has perished save for the modern Parsis. The old Persia has disappeared. The modern Persia is feeble compared with that mighty kingdom which spread over large parts of Asia in the far-off days of its glory. When you come to the fourth sub-race, where is Greece? Gone. Greece gave such wonderful Beauty to the world, beauty of music, beauty of form, beauty of colour,  beauty of language, all embodied in the civil polity of the Nation. Humanity to the Greek consisted of the Greeks and the barbarians, and everything outside Greece was to him savage. To him the supreme duty was his duty to the State. His religion sacrifices to the State, his civil polity was his all. Then came Christendom, with Christianity as its creed, the religion of the concrete mind and the individual. It was with the fifth sub-race that the value of the individual was imprinted on the mind of humanity. That was the work given to Christendom, to develop the concrete mind, and show the value of the individual, the worth of the individual. Therefore from Christianity was gradually withdrawn the key-doctrine of reincarnation, because reincarnation lessens the value of the individual - the individual life, how small a part of the long, long, series that stretches behind us and stretches in front of us; one life seems so little, so small, so insignificant; what does it matter what happens to it? So that key-doctrine was withdrawn from Christendom and hidden away for a time, and all stress was laid on the value of the one life. Has it ever struck you how extraordinarily exaggerated it is that so much stress should be laid upon one little life, and the ever­lasting future of man be made to depend on that one life? If in that life he believed in Christ, it was well, everlasting Heaven was his reward; and if in that life he was an unbeliever, then everlasting hell was his doom - the most irrational doctrine ever heard. For so many centuries people believed it; people seem able to believe in an absurdity, when, so to speak, the Spirit of the Time forces it upon them. They lose their reason and sense of proportion. All Christendom believed quite comfortably in it. Such things are not rational, and can never recommend themselves to the keen intellect of thinkers. So educated men gradually slipped out of Christianity and the word Agnostic became the favourite word of the scientists and thinkers. But Christianity had an enormous value. It developed the vigour and strength of the individual which are necessary for the further progress of the human race. It also developed competition and strife everywhere, strife between Nation and Nation, strife between class and class, the struggle between the rich and the poor, between the learned and the ignorant - one great story of struggle is the history of Europe. It thus developed strength, developed vigour and strength of mind as well as strength of body, and progress in scientific thought. It has done its work and its share in human evolution. It has had its natural consummation in a world-war. And slowly has been arising the second great teaching of Christianity - forgotten at that earlier period. “He that is strong should bear the infirmities of the weak.” “Let him that is greatest be as he that doth serve; behold, I am among you as he that serveth.” That is the second great inspiration of Christianity, the yoking of the strong to the service of others; that is beginning to show itself amid all the struggles. You will find in Christendom that what is called public spirit is much stronger than here: the willingness to help others, altruism as they call it. The duty of service has been recognised there, however partially.
  8. Now the point that I want to bring out of all this is that, up to the present time, every religion and every civilisation born of religion has perished; until now, except Hinduism, the root-stock, everything has disappeared. Contemporary with Babylon and Egypt, it is contemporary today with England, France and America. Take the civilisations that existed. Where is Egypt? Where is the civilisation of Egypt? Dead. The civilisation of Persia? Dead. The civilisations of Greece and Rome? Dead. Nothing remains but their ruins, and their literature and their art. And Christendom had a thousand years of ignorance behind it before it took up the discoveries of Greece and Egypt, and carried them on afresh. That is what has happened through all the past. The question is: “Is it going to happen over again? Is this fifth sub-race civilisa­tion to be swept away as the other civilisations have been?” Why did they perish? Because they had exhausted all their strength, and were confined to the old forms instead of passing to the new. They were destroyed, and ignorance followed. Is that to be the same in Europe? That is the, as yet, unanswered problem of today.
  9. Now in the great Plan, the Plan of Ishvara for His solar system, its seven sections are divided among the Rulers of the system. Those are sometimes spoken of as the “Seven Spirits before the Throne”, or the “Planetary Logoi”. Each of these superintends the evolution of seven successive Chains, in each of which the component parts, the seven globes, evolve, the wave going round them in order seven times, or making seven Rounds. The Ishvara is like a great Architect. He gives a section of His Plan to each of His Overseers the Planetary Logoi. Each Logos subdivides His section into seven successive stages or Chains, and each globe in the Chain has its own part of the Plan to work out. Thus a subdivision comes down to the Lord of a world, the Head of the Ruler Group, for His particular phase of the world-story, and that given to Him He divides up among the Manus, so that every Manu shall carry out His own Race in consonance with the general Plan, which is the evolution of humanity as a whole in the solar system. The Lord Vaivasvata Manu has His section to work out in the Fifth Root­-Race. In that Plan there has been empire after empire, which has risen, flourished and fallen, has been destroyed and brought to an end. Is the present to follow that Plan, which has been worked out all through by destruction, before a new step forward could be taken? That has been the problem of our own day and the problem of the War. Why did that world-shaking war break out in our own day, breaking out about so small a thing and yet entailing principles and changes so vast? Some of you must have wondered when you saw in the news coming from Europe all the thrones of Europe crumbling one after another in a brief space of time, except the throne of Britain. They all broke down one after another. There was a regular breaking and falling down of Kingdoms and kings. The German Emperor, where is he? The Austrian Emperor died, and then all those small kingdoms in Europe which had him as a crowned head over them - all fell. We could not open a newspaper without seeing some King becoming an exile. It is an extraordinary thing when you see it day after day. It may not even strike you as a big picture of destruction. Now we find the outcome of it, the destruction of that form of Government characteristic of the fifth sub-race, but the form whose work is over. So it is to be broken to pieces. War was the easiest way to do it. It broke into pieces before a higher form of Government, a Government where freedom was the ideal. And so you have had at intervals the Republic of France, the free United Italy, the limited Monarchy of the Italian Kingdom, Great Britain with its constitutional King, a King hedged in on every side with restrictions, and a people growing stronger and stronger every day; so you have The United States, the great Republic of the West, and everywhere in the world Freedom, Liberty, is the breath of the New Era and the death-stroke of the old. So far as the war went, the question is over. There auto­cracy is slain. The new sub-race, which is coming to birth and being born, received an immense rein­forcement in the war by that great slaughter of the young that took place, those that were willing to give even their lives in order that the people of the world might live - a magnificent spectacle, if you think of it from that standpoint, the youth of all Nations going to death, and to mutilation worse than death, for the sake of a splendid ideal. And among these, Lord Vaivasvata Manu found the souls that He needed for  His sixth sub-race-those who cared for an ideal more than for self, those who cared for the liberty of the people more than for the triumph of individual rulers. That splendid vision of the war has been very much blurred in the later struggle. Much of the spirit that has been destroyed in Germany seems to have come over to the victors, and they have been contaminated by the military spirit which is at present very high in the West. The present part of the Plan that is working out is the passage towards what men call Democracy, the rule of the people, to pass on later not into the Socialism of Hate that was preached by Karl Marx, but into the Socialism of Love, which expressed itself in that famous maxim in which the State was again seen as founded on the family, of which the rule is, “From everyone according to his capacity, to every one according to his needs”. That is the rule of the higher Socialism. It is only the family extended to the Nation. Part of the work of India, and her  mission to the rest of the world, will be to bring back to the world the ideal of the Nation as the family, enlarged civic virtues as the virtues of the family, made general and permanent. In that remarkable book of Babu Bhagavan Das Sahab, The Science of the Emotions, he dealt, practically for the first time, with the two great root emotions of Love and Hate, and showed how the love in the family, which grows out of kinship and blood, turns in the State into virtues and the State becomes a great family. That is the right idea, the old Indian idea that the family is the unit, and not the individual. This is one of the parts of the work which India has to preach to the whole world. The stage of the Plan at the moment is practically this: You have the European countries in a state of wild unrest; wherever there has been tyranny there has been revolution, and the revolution of the ignorant and angry people can only work out in a dictatorship, which takes the place of the autocracy which they destroyed. Looking over the Nations of Europe, there is one Nation which is in a peculiar position of advan­tage, and that Nation is Britain. The Plan which has been marked out may, or may not, be at once carried out, because it is always subject to the changes in human beings and the wills of men. Though ultimately it is carried out, it has sometimes to be carried out by widespread destruction, and after much delay.
  10. When I was last in Britain a new phase had come up there. I was accustomed to the old Trade Unionism, that had taught so much discipline to the masses that they were able to carry out even widespread strikes without riots, or disturbance, or trouble of any sort. There was a wonderful sight in London when the Railway strike took place - thousands of men walking in procession out of work. There was no rioting, no trouble, no fear for anybody, the whole State going on its way. The spectre of starvation stared at the Government. You had the strange sight of all the railway people walking in the streets with nothing to do, and a number of nobles and people of gentle birth working in the stations, some of them rolling the milk­-cans, some of them driving the engines, and so on, until the strike was over. Another thing talked about was “Direct Action”. What it means is this: One single trade or a combination of trades, who have in their hands the lives of the people, what they call the key-industries, like coal and transport, and those that supply the necessaries of life in great towns, like water, electricity and so on, these organisations combine and strike for some common purpose, outside trade and industry, and then they say: “If you don’t yield to our views, we will starve you into submission”. The old plan of the employer is now being used by the employed, a section of the people tyrannising over the whole people, over a people represented in the House of Commons, and over members elected by the people. Direct Action comes from a class or section of the people claiming to impose their own will upon the Nation by threat of starvation. It is valuable in one sense. It teaches the higher classes how dependent they are upon the workers, and how badly they have used them in the past. But it would be fatal, if successful. The one country in Europe which is capable of making the transition to democracy possible, and that without revolution - ­though she has had in earlier days revolutions of a minor kind - is Great Britain. She has won practically universal suffrage, suffrage for the whole of her popula­tion. The way is open before her, if she can keep her head, and she may make the transition to a mighty British Commonwealth with India, a great Indo-British Commonwealth of free Nations, self-ruling, self-governing, but linked together by bonds of mutual service. That is the Plan that the Manu is striving to work out.

 


[1] The Buddhas are treated in Lecture III.

 

 

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