[Notes on “Who are the Aryas and the Buddhists”]
Theosophist, October, 1881
Article Selections from the Journal of the Hindu Sabha| Notes by H.P.B
We find in the “Journal of the Hindu Sabha,” edited by our highly-valued Brother and ally, M. R. Ry. A. Sankaria, B. A., President-Founder of the Sabha, the following lines throwing a valuable light upon the ancient initiation in India and the question who were the Initiates. We are only sorry the learned Editor has made the article so brief. This is a subject worthy of being treated most elaborately, and one which interests most deeply student of ancient mysteries.
“We have said that the Hindus are divided into the Dwijas, or the Initiated and the Shudras or the uninitiated. Manu calls all those not owing allegiance to the Shruti and the Smriti Mlecchas. There is not a word in Manu of the Aryas or the Buddhists as a people. The Aryas were antecedent to his Legislative action, and the Bouddhas subsequent. . . . The Initiated held the Transcedental and Ceremonial parts of the Vyasiyam to be Sacred, and the uninitiated the Sanskrit language itself as Devabhasha or the language of the Gods. The country of the gods is called by Manu Brahmāvartam, and of the Rishis Brahmarishidesam. The Aryas, the gods, and the Rishis, owned the Sanskrit in common; the gods were fully Emancipated Theosophists,1 and the Rishis, the semi-emancipated among the Aryas.
1. Or the highest adepts. To this day in Tibet, the “perfect Lamas or Bodhisattvas” are called gods and Spirits—Lhas.—Ed. Theos. [H.P.B.]
The gods have Vedic prayers and temples, but the Rishis have not. The Aryas and the Hindus with to contemplate the gods and to be educated by the Rishis. We hold the ancient land of the Aryas with their gods and their Rishis to have been the Himalayan station which is even now Sacred to Hindu Theosophists and where Theosophical merit2 and learning still flourishes and whence the Brahmaputra still flows.3 . . .
2. We italicize these lines as they have a direct reference to our first Section, doubted and ridiculed by blind scoffers—a reality nevertheless. We can only repeat with Galileo his historical and immortal words: Eppur si muove! [“And yet it moves!”] Other scoffers and bigots as blind as our modern skeptics would not allow the earth to move, and yet it moved, moves and will move unto the last hour of the Pralaya.—Ed. Theos. [H.P.B.]
3. And the Brahmaputra flows from Tibet. “There is no reasonable doubt that the Tsampu of great Tibet and the Brahmaputra of the plains are one and the same river,” says Markham in his recent work “Tibet” . . . “Great Tibet embraces the region between the Northern and Southern chains of the Himalaya, the towns and principal monasteries . . . are chiefly in the valley of the Brahmaputra.”—Ed. Theos. [H.P.B.]
. . . It has been pointed out that the Initiator or at least the Original Initiator must be an Achariar who is defined in 2:140 of Manu as one who initiates a candidate into the Vedic mysteries and teaches the concealed or esoteric meaning besides the conventional. . . . There are four seats of Achariyas at present for the whole body of Hindus . . . but the occupants have yet to display the concealed meaning . . . a knowledge of which is tested by the display of Superhuman powers. . . . The priests of Jesus, Mahomet and Gautama have also lost much of the spirit of true Theosophy by making too much of the dead-letter and the form. All mankind is looking forward then to the advent of genuine Achariars. The Founders of the Theosophical Society say that they are in communion with Yogis, the Editor of the Saddarshana Chintanika that his Yogi will reveal himself in time, and the Hindu Sabha exhorts everyone to invoke the Yogi within himself.”
Editor’s Note [H.P.B.]—And the Hindu Sabha is quite right, if, by “Yogi,” it means Atma, the highest Spiritual Soul. But the writer uses an incorrect expression when saying that the Founders of the Theosophical Society claim communion with Yogis; Yogis can be but Hindus and in the Fraternity—with which we claim to have some acquaintance—the Hindus are in a minority. Even these cannot be strictly called “Yogis” since their modes of life, habits, religious worship and form of Initiation differ entirely from those of the Hindu Yogis as known to the general public. In one respect only are the adepts we know, like Yogis; namely, in their great purity of life, self-abnegation, and the practice of Dhyan and Samadhi.