[On the Brahma Garbha of Agastya Bhagavan]
Theosophist, December, 1883
Article selections by Samar Pungava Sastri | Notes by H.P.B.
We fully appreciate the kindly feeling in which we are referred to in the following article. But there should be a limit even to sincerely-felt expressions. We have no desire of following in the steps of Babu Keshub C. Sen and never have or will lay claims to being classed with Sadhus or Gurus, “who have attained the whole truth,” least of all with “gods.” We warn our kind Brother: too much of enthusiasm degenerates generally into fanaticism.—Ed. [H.P.B.]
To Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott and other Sadhus who have attained the truth and are Jivan Muktas this letter is addressed. I come neither to teach nor to expound, but appeal to you, my good brothers, as one would to one’s guru or the gods. . . .
It will be admitted on all hands that this our body is the principal medium in the accomplishment of our ends, namely—the attainment of the Siddhis; and that the prevention of death is an essential condition of success therein. Various are the ways pointed out for securing this immunity from death . . . Some hold that by a careful and systematic regulation of the organs of respiration and the adoption of particular kinds of diet death may be avoided for a long time. Others believe that the administration of certain Kalpas or of particular preparation or compounds of them will give one the power to sustain his body, through all eternity, without destruction or decay.1
1. This, the Mahatmas deny most emphatically. To make one and the same body last eternally, i.e., to prevent the tissues from wearing out is as impossible as the communication of perpetual motion to any finite object in nature. Though per se perpetual motion is a fact, the eternal duration of the materials to which it may be imparted is unthinkable.
. . . Respiration and diet, however well regulated, cannot, though capable of prolonging life to wonderfully long periods, give body that eternal immortality which, I believe, is an essential requisite of Yogic success, and which Agastya Bhagavan says, can be secured only by Kalpa administration accompanied by Raja Yoga. In his unusual mystical language, he says:—
“The man’s love is directed toward the woman; the woman’s love is towards the man: When these two join together, the issue is a lotus-faced child. This sweet child will give everything. The way to adeptship will lie in this wise. O, pretenders who roam about the jungles, hear the ages of the man and the woman.”2
There can be no difficulty in understanding what the child here stands for, when it is borne in mind that the man and the woman are intended to signify respectively Yoga and Kalpa. By the reciprocity of affection, Agastya seems to me to declare the indispensableness and union of both for the production of the desired result—namely the Siddhis.
2. What Agastya Bhagavan meant was not the eternal duration of any physical body, but of the inner, divine man in his individuality; and thus by avoiding reincarnations in other personalities, the unbroken preservation of one’s own higher personality. This may be reached only by such great adepts as he was himself.
. . . The designation adopted by him to denote this combination is “Brahma Garbha,” . . . The advantages of resorting to Brahma Garbha are thus described by this Mahatma:—
One may live on, exacting servitude from Yama himself . . . There will be an end of births and deaths: the body will look like the most previous of metals: respiration will stand still: the body will acquire very great strength: all bad nature will be turned to good: and one may thus live crores of Yugas.3 . . .
3. Not quite so. “Crores of Yugas” in one’s self-conscious “inner self,” not in one and the same physical body.
What Brahma Garbha is, is described by him in a series of stanzas of which the following are among the foremost. . . .
“The seven times born Brahma Garbha, the stone chunam that descends from the sky, and the Sarai serpent which is the elixir of the gods, can be discovered only by those who have seen the light of lights.” The “seven births” or transformations referred to are then explained but in words as obscure as an enigma:4
4. When Mr. Sinnett’s Esoteric Buddhism, and Fragments of Occult Truth are read and comprehended, it will be easy to understand that the “seven births” or transformations refer to the seven births in the seven root races. Every such birth being the key-note struck for other and subsequent births in sub-races, each key-note resounding in a higher key than the preceding one on the scale of tones; or, in other words, every new root-birth carrying the individuality higher and higher until it reaches the seventh root-race, which will bring man finally to the highest, eternal Buddhaship or “Brahma Garbha” in a degree corresponding to that he will have acquired by his enlightenment during his lives on earth.
“In the beginning it was light. In its fiery next birth it became blue. In its mysterious third, it became red. In the fourth it got heated and became white. Springing then, it became yellow. In its next birth its color was that of the feathery peacock. In its seventh and last, it became, indeed, an egg-colored crystal.”5
5. The meaning of this is simple enough to him who has studied the theory of rebirths in the Esoteric doctrine. This gradation and change of colours refers to our physical and moral constitution on (a) the various seven planets and (b) in the seven root races. Planet A, corresponds to pure light—the essence of man’s primeval body when he is all spiritual; on planet B man becomes objective—assumes definite colour; on C, he becomes still more physical—hence red, the red-earth or Adam Kadmon, being the material acquired by the monad in the preceding world prior to being developed as man—on this Earth; on planet D, white, the colour containing an equal proportion of spirit and matter; on E, he is yellow—(relating to the Yogi’s robe) more spiritual; on F, he is fast approaching “the peacock” colour, that bird being the emblem and vahana of Saraswati, the goddess of universal occult wisdom; while in the seventh and last birth man’s aura is compared to that of an egg-coloured crystal—pure crystalline, purity being the attribute of God-Man.
“It is this crystal globe that is known as Brahma Garbha, the seed of the Akasa Brahma.”
Not Agastya alone, but all the Siddhas speak of the extraordinary powers of this Bindu. The same idea is expressed in the Chandogya Upanishad by Jaivali, when in answer to Salavatya he said that “Akasa”6 is the ultimate course of this world.
6. “What is the ultimate end of this Loka (cosmos)?—it is Akas.”
I am therefore in earnest search of instruction regarding Agastya’s mysterious teachings about the Brahma Garbha, and as it has pleased Paramatma to place the key to the secret way in the hands of worthy people like you, Mumukshus, who have renounced everything worldly for the sake of Truth, I have deemed it my duty to appeal to you for that instruction which, I hope, you will, after consultation with the Mahatmas, if necessary, be gracious enough to give me, together with any further advice you may consider necessary for my guidance. I am sanguine that you will not disregard my humble solicitations, but will count me as one of ‘your own,’ and that, with your aid, I shall one day be brought face to face with the Mahatmas themselves.
Samar Pungava Sastri
Editor’s Note. [H.P.B.]—This does not depend on us, but on the writer himself. We can help him in the esoteric interpretation of that which he seems to understand quite exoterically as far as we ourselves know. But we can give no promise on behalf of our Mahatmas.