Two Lost Keys
THE BHAVAGAD-GITA—THE ZODIAC
The Path, August, 1890
It has never been admitted by orientalists that there existed a key to the Bhagavad-Gita, other than a knowledge of the Sanskrit language in which it is written. Hence our European translators of the poem have given but its philosophical aspect.
But it is believed by many students of theosophy—among them such an authority as H. P. Blavatsky—that there are several keys to the noble poem, and that they have been for the time lost to the world. There has been no loss of them in the absolute sense, since they are preserved intact in many rolls and books made of polished stones hidden and guarded in certain underground temples in the East, the location of which would not be divulged by those who know. No search has been made by the profane for these wonderful books, because there is no belief in their existence; and for the sincere student who can project his mental sight in the right direction, there is no need for such discovery of the mere outward form in which those keys are kept.
There is also a key for the Zodiac. The modern astrologers and astronomers have lifted up their puny voices to declare regarding the probable origin of the Zodiac, giving a very commonplace explanation, and some going so far as to speak of the supposed author of it, not that they have named him or given him a distinct place in history, but only referred to the unknown individual. It is very much to be doubted if these modern star-gazers would have been able to construct anything whatever in the way of a Zodiac, had they not had this immemorial arrangement of signs ready to hand.
The Bhagavad-Gita and the Zodiac, while differing so much from each other in that the one is a book and the other the sun’s path in the heavens, are two great storehouses of knowledge which may be construed after the same method. It is very true that the former is now in book shape, but that is only because the necessities of study under conditions which have prevailed for some thousands of years require it, but it exists in the ideal world imbedded in the evolutionary history of the human race. Were all copies of it destroyed tomorrow, the materials for their reconstruction are near at hand and could be regathered by those sages who know the realities underlying all appearances. And in the same way the Zodiac could be regathered by those sages who know the realities underlying all appearances. And in the same way the Zodiac could be made over again by the same sages—not, however, by our modern astronomers. The latter no doubt would be able to construct a path of the sun with certain classifications of stars thereon, but it would not be the Zodiac; it would bear but little relation to the great cosmic and microcosmic periods and events which that path really has. They would not apply it as it is found used in old and new almanacs to the individual human being, for they do not know that it can in any way be so connected, since their system hardly admits any actual sympathy between man and the Zodiac, not yet having come to know that man is himself a zodiacal highway through which his own particular sun makes a circuit.
Considering how laughable in the eyes of the highly-educated scientific person of today the singular figures and arrangement of the Zodiac are, it is strange that they have not long ago abolished it all. But they seem unable to do so. For some mysterious reason the almanacs still contain the old signs, and the moon’s periods continue to be referred to these ancient figures. Indeed, modern astronomers still use the old symbology, and give to each new asteroid a symbol precisely in line with the ancient zodiacal marks so familiar to us. They could not abolish them, were the effort to be made.
The student of the Bhagavad-Gita soon begins to feel that there is somewhere a key to the poem, something that will open up clearly the vague thoughts of greater meanings which constantly rise in his mind. After a while he is able to see that in a philosophical and devotional sense the verses are full of meaning, but under it all there runs a deep suggestiveness of some other and grander sweep for its words. This is what the lost key will reveal.
But who has that key or where it is hidden is not yet revealed, for it is said by those who know the Brotherhood that man is not yet in the mass ready for the full explanation to be put into his hands. For the present it is enough for the student to study the path to devotion, which, when found, will lead to that belonging to knowledge.
And so of the Zodiac. As our acquaintance, through devotion and endeavor, with the journey of our own sun through our own human zodiac grows better, we will learn the meaning of the great pilgrimage of the earthly luminary. For it is impossible in this study to learn a little of ourselves without knowing more of the great system of which we are a copy.
For Atmân is the sun,
The moon also it is;
And the whole collection of stars
Is contained within it.