Terminology & Concepts from Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 3

This collection is gathered from a work of much greater proportions, The Secret Doctrine, set like a gem in the more than 14 volumes of H.P. Blavatsky's Collected Writings.   The Secret Doctrine is meant to be unlocked with at least seven terminological and classificational keys — not to speak of dimensions opened up by conceptual or intuitive insight.   It should be kept in mind that these quotes are wrested from longer passages treating the same or similar topic;   they are not intentionally wrenched out of context.
Feel free to read the original.

All references to The Esoteric Writings of H.P. Blavatsky are to the Theosophical Publishing House's 1980 ed.   All emphases (underlined) are the compiler's, as are comments (sometimes correlating A.A. Bailey's terminology) found in standard ([...]) brackets.

This compilation is part of a series available to members of the Theosophical Society in Boston (Besant Lodge), Inc., meant for the use of our weekly study groups, and representing both the insights and limitations of its compiler.   If it is used outside these immediate groups, he requests that you please exercise discernment.   Thank you for this consideration.


... The monad, then, viewed as ONE, is above the seventh principle (in Kosmos and man)... [SDI.574]

... For the Monad, or Jīva, per se, cannot be called even Spirit: it is a Ray, a Breath of the Absolute, or the ABSOLUTENESS rather; and the Absolute Homogeneity, having no relations with the conditioned and relative finiteness, is unconscious on our plane.... [SDI.246-7]


Some years ago we remarked* that "the Esoteric Doctrine may well be called the 'thread-doctrine,' since, like Sutrātman, in the Vedanta philosophy,† it passes through and strings together all the ancient philosophical religious systems, and reconciles and explains them all."   * "The Septenary Principle," art. in "Five Years of Theosophy," p. 197.
  † The Atman or Spirit (the Spiritual SELF) passing like a thread through the five subtle bodies (or principles, Koshas) is called "thread-soul," or Sutrātman in Vedantic philosophy. [SDI.610]

... Thus in man alone the Jiva is complete.   As to his seventh principle, it is but one of the Beams of the Universal Sun. [SDI.224]

... the Monad of every living being, ... is an individual Dhyan Chohan, distinct from others, a kind of spiritual individuality of its own, during one special Manvantara.   Its Primary, the Spirit (Atman) is one, of course, with Paramātma (the one Universal Spirit), but the vehicle (Vahan) it is enchrined in, the Buddhi, is part and parcel of that Dyhan-Chohanic Essence;... [SDI.265]

... Thus, though the seventh "principle" reaches man through all the phases of Being, pure as an indiscrete element and an impersonal unity, it passes through ... the Central Spiritual Sun [Monad-Atom?] and Group the Second, the Polar Sun [Ray-Soul?], which two radiate on man his Ātmā.   Group Three, the Equatorial Sun, cements the Buddhi to Ātman and the higher attributes of Manas; while Group Four, the Spirit of our visible Sun, endows him with his Manas and its vehicle, the Kāma Rūpa, or body of passions and desires — the two elements of Ahamkāra which evolve individualized consciousness, the personal Ego.   Finally, it is the Spirit of the Earth, in its triple unity, that builds the Physical Body, attracting to it the Spirits of Life and forming his Linga Sharīra. [SDII.251]

... The Formless ("Arupa") Radiations, existing in the harmony of Universal Will, and being what we term the collective or the aggregate of Cosmic Will on the plane of the subjective Universe, unite together an infinitude of monads — each the mirror of its own Universe — and thus individualize for the time being an independent mind, omniscient and universal; and by the same process of magnetic aggregation they create for themselves objective, visible bodies, out of the interstellar atoms.   For atoms and Monads, associated or dissociated, simple or complex, are, from the moment of the first differentiation, but the principles, corporeal, psychic and Spiritual, of the "Gods," — themselves the Radiations of primordial nature. [SDI.632-3]

In the Catechism, the Master is made to ask the pupil:   "Lift thy head, O Lanoo; dost thou see one, or countless lights above thee, burning in the dark midnight sky?"   "I sense one Flame, O Gurudeva, I see countless undetached sparks shining in it." [SDI.120]

STANZA VII.7   "This is thy present Wheel" — said the Flame to the Spark.
(a)   The Day when the Spark will re-become the Flame, when Man will merge into his Dhyan Chohan [both an individual unit and a group;   not a Dhyani-Buddha per se — P.K.].... [SDI.265]

... There are seven chief groups of such Dhyan Chohans, which groups will be found and recognised in every religion, for they are the primeval SEVEN Rays.   Humanity, occultism teaches us, is divided into seven distinct groups and their sub-divisions, mental, spiritual, and physical.*   (* Hence the seven chief planets, the spheres of the indwelling seven spirits, under each of which is born one of the human groups which is guided and influenced thereby....)   The monad, then, viewed as ONE, is above the seventh principle (in Kosmos and man), and as a triad, it is the direct radiant progeny of the said compound UNIT, not the breath (and special creation out of nihil) of "God," as that unit is called;   for such an idea is quite unphilosophical, and degrades Deity, dragging it down to a finite, attributive condition.   As well expressed by the translator of the "Crest-Jewel of Wisdom" — though Iswara [the Brahmā Aspect only — SDI.451] is "God" "unchanged in the profoundest depths of pralayas and in the intensest activity of the manvantaras"..., still "beyond (him) is `ATMA,' round whose pavilion is the darkness of eternal MAYA." [SDI.572-4]

Esoteric cosmogony in general, and the evolution of the human Monad especially, differ so essentially in these two books (Esoteric Buddhism;   Man), and in other Theosophical works written independently by beginners, that it becomes impossible to proceed with the present work without special mention of these two earlier volumes....

... the first perplexities and misconceptions.   One of such has reference to the "Fifth-" and even "Sixth-Rounders."...   ... [Some] could not understand the "fallacy" of talking about "Fifth and Sixth-Rounders" in our Fourth Round....   ... But they [the Masters] were simply allowing the speculations to go on, in order to teach a lesson which the Western mind sorely needs.   In their conceit and arrogance, and in their habit of materializing every metaphysical conception and term, without allowing any margin for Eastern metaphor and allegory, the Orientalists had made a jumble of the Hindū exoteric philosophy, and the Theosophists were now doing the same with regard to Esoteric teachings.   To this day it is evident that the latter have utterly failed to understand the meaning of the term "Fifth and Sixth-Rounders."   But it is simply this:   every Round brings about a new development, and even an entire change, in the mental, psychic, spiritual and physical constitution of man;   all these principles evolving on an ever ascending scale.   Hence it follows that those persons who, like Confucius and Plato, belonged psychically, mentally and spiritually to the higher planes of evolution, were in our Fourth Round as the average man will be in the Fifth Round, whose mankind is destined to find itself, on this scale of evolution, immensely higher than is our present humanity.... [SDI.161-2]

Then, again, another [5th Vidyā] great perplexity was created in the minds of students by the incomplete exposition of the doctrine of the evolution of the Monads.   To be fully realized, both this process and that of the birth of the Globes must be examined far more from their metaphysical aspect, than from what one might call a statistical standpoint... [SDI.168-9]

[Note:]   ... Metaphysically speaking, it is of course an absurdity to talk of the "development" of a Monad, or to say that it becomes "man."   But any attempt to preserve metaphysical accuracy of language, in the use of such a tongue as the English, would necessitate at least three extra volumes of this work...   [it took 5 or 6 of AAB's!]   ... It stands to reason that a Monad cannot either progress or develop, or even be affected by the changes of state it passes through.   It is not of this world or plane, and may only be compared to an indestructible star of divine light and fire, thrown down on to our Earth, as a plank of salvation for the Personalities in which it indwells.   It is for the latter to cling to it; and thus partaking of its divine nature, obtain immortality.   Left to itself the Monad will cling to no one;   but, like the plank, be drifted away to another incarnation, by the unresting current of evolution. [SDI.174-5]


Atma (our seventh principle) being identical with the universal Spirit, and man being one with it in his essence, what is then the Monad proper?   It is that homogeneous spark which radiates in millions of rays from the primeval "Seven;" — of which seven further on.   It is the EMANATING spark from the UNCREATED Ray — a mystery.   In the esoteric, and even exoteric Buddhism of the North, Adi Buddha (Chogi dangpoi sangye), the One unknown, without beginning or end, identical with Parabrahm and Ain-Soph, emits a bright ray from its darkness. [SDI.570-1]

... "Oh, wise man, remove the conception that not-Spirit is Spirit," says Sankarāchārya.   Atma is not-Spirit in its final Parabrahmic state, Iswara or Logos is Spirit;   or ... it is a compound unity of manifested living Spirits, the parent-source and nursery of all the mundane and terrestrial monads, ... [SDI.573]

It now becomes plain that there exists in Nature a triple evolutionary scheme, for the formation of the three periodical Upādhis;   or rather three separate schemes of evolution, which in our system are inextricably interwoven and interblended at every point.   These are the Monadic (or spiritual), the intellectual, and the physical evolutions.   These three are the finite aspects, or the reflections on the field of Cosmic Illusion, of ATMA, the seventh, the ONE REALITY.   1.   The Monadic is, as the name implies, concerned with the growth and development into still higher phases of activity of the Monads, in conjunction with: —   2.   The Intellectual, represented by the Manasa-Dhyanis (the Solar Devas, or the Agnishwatta Pitris), the "givers of intelligence and consciousness" to man, and:   3.   The Physical, represented by the Chhayas of the Lunar Pitris, round which Nature has concreted the present physical body.   This body serves as the vehicle for the "growth," to use a misleading word, and the transformations through Manas and — owing to the accumulation of experiences — of the finite into the INFINITE, of the transient into the Eternal and Absolute. [SDI.181]


III.5.b, note:   ... Whatever meaning various schools may give the term, Sattva is the name given among Occult students of the Aryasanga School to the dual Monad or Atma-buddhi, and Atma-buddhi on this plane corresponds to Parabrahm and Mulaprakriti on the higher plane.

... In the Northern Buddhist system, or the popular exoteric religion, it is taught that every Buddha, while preaching the good law on earth, manifests himself simultaneously in three worlds:   in the formless, as Dhyani Buddha, in the World of forms, as a Bodhisattva, and in the world of desire, the lowest (or our world) as a man.   Esoterically the teaching differs: The divine, purely Adi-Buddhic monad manifests as the universal Buddhi (the Mahā-buddhi or Mahat in Hindu philosophies) the spiritual, omniscient and omnipotent root of divine intelligence, the highest anima mundi [cosmic psychic, or Vishnu, Aspect] or the Logos.   This descends "like a flame spreading from the eternal Fire, immoveable, without increase or decrease, ever the same to the end" of the cycle of existence, and becomes universal life on the Mundane Plane.   From this Plane of conscious Life shoot out, like seven fiery tongues, the Sons of Light, still themselves, to whom may be applied the Brahmanical mystic phrase:   "Thou art `THAT' — Brahm."   It is from these Dhyani-Buddhas that emanate their chhayas (Shadows) the Bodhisattvas of the celestial realms, the prototypes of the super-terrestrial Bodhisattvas, and of the terrestrial Buddhas, and finally of men.   The "Seven Sons of Light" are also called "Stars.
... It is "the same and the other," as the great Initiate-Philosopher [Plato] once said;   for the Ego — the "Higher Self" when merged with and in the Divine Monad — is Man, and yet the same as the "other";   the Angel in him incarnated is the same with the Universal Mahat. [SDII.88]


The Monad emerges from its state of spiritual and intellectual unconsciousness;   and, skipping the first two planes — too near the Absolute to permit of any correlation with anything on a lower plane — it gets directly into the plane of Mentality.   [Is this HPB's use of "Higher Manas" for Ātmā on the 3rd plane?]   But there is no plane in the whole universe with a broader margin, or a wider field of action, in its almost endless gradations of perceptive and apperceptive qualities, than this plane, which has in its turn an appropriate smaller plane for every "form," from the Mineral Monad up to the time when that Monad blossoms forth by evolution into the Divine Monad.   But all the time it is still one and the same Monad, differing only in its incarnations, throughout its ever succeeding cycles of partial or total obscuration of spirit, or partial or total obscuration of matter — two polar antitheses — as it ascends into the realms of mental spirituality, or descends into the depths of materiality. [SDI.174-5]

What is that "Spark" which "hangs from the flame?"   It is JIVA, the MONAD in conjunction with MANAS, or rather its aroma — that which remains from each personality, when worthy, and hangs from Atma-Buddhi, the Flame, by the thread of life.   In whatever way interpreted, and into whatever number of principles the human being is divided, it may easily be shown that this doctrine is supported by all the ancient religions... [SDI.238]

The monad — a truly "indivisible thing," ... — is here rendered as the Atma in conjunction with Buddhi and the higher Manas.   This trinity is one and eternal, the latter being absorbed in the former at the termination of all conditioned and illusive life.   The monad, then, can be traced through the course of its pilgrimage and its changes of transitory vehicles only from the incipient stage of the manifested Universe.   In Pralaya, or the intermediate period between two manvantaras, it loses its name, as it loses it when the real ONE self of man merges into Brahm in cases of high Samadhi....   Atma alone is the one real and eternal substratum of all....   It is called in the Esoteric philosophy "the One Witness," and, while it rests in Devachan, is referred to as "the Three Witnesses to Karma." [SDI.570-1]

IV.     This Stanza [IV.16] we shall see is very suggestive.   It explains the mystery of, and fills the gap between, the Informing Principle in man — the Higher Self or Human Monad — and the Animal Monad, both one and the same, although the former is endowed with divine intelligence, the latter with instinctual faculty alone.... [SDII.102-3]

V.   1.   The First Race, the "Self-born," which are the (astral) shadows of their Progenitors.   The body was devoid of all understanding (mind, intelligence, and will).   The inner being (the higher self, or Monad), though within the earthly frame, was unconnected with it.   The link, the Manas, was not there as yet. [SDII.164]




Source:   H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine Vol. 3, or The Esoteric Writings of H.P. Blavatsky.   Theosophical Publishing House, 1896, 1907, 1980.

AWE @ TS in Boston 1992,   Compilation Draft 12/92.