The Last Will of the Great Ancestor
- THE GREAT INITIATES
A Study of the Secret History of Religions
BY ÉDOUARD SCHURÉRAMA
4The Last Willof the Great AncestorThrough his strength, genius and kindness, say the sacred books of the Orient, Rama became master of India and spiritual king of the earth. Priests, kings and people bowed down before him as before a heavenly benefactor. Under the sign of the ram his missionaries spread afar the Aryan law which proclaimed equality of conquerors and conquered, the abolition of human sacrifice and slavery, respect for the woman in the home, the worship of ancestors and the institution of the sacred fire, visible symbol of the nameless God.
Rama had grown old. His beard had become white, but the strength had not left his body and the majesty of the pontiffs of truth reposed on his forehead. The kings and the representatives of the people offered him absolute authority. He requested one year to think it over, and again had a dream. The genius who inspired him, spoke to him in his sleep.
He saw himself once more in the forests of his youth. He had become young again, and was wearing the linen robe of the Druids. The moon was shining. It was the holy night, the Night-Mother, when people await the rebirth of the sun and the year. Rama was walking under the oak trees, listening to the voices of the forest. A beautiful woman came to him. She was wearing a magnificent crown. Her hair was the color of gold, her skin the whiteness of snow, and her eyes had the deep luster of the sky after a storm. She said to him, "I was the savage Druidess; through you I have become the radiant wife. And now my name is Sita. I am the woman glorified by you. I am the white race; I am your wife. O, my master and my king, is it not for my sake that you crossed rivers, charmed peoples and deposed kings? This is the reward. Take this crown in your hand, put it on your head and rule the world with me." She knelt humbly and submissively, offering him the crown of the earth. Its precious stones radiated a thousand lights, the rapture of love smiled in the woman's eyes and the soul of the great Rama, shepherd of the peoples, was touched. But, above the forests, Deva Nahusha, his genius, appeared and said to him, "If you place that crown upon your head, divine Intelligence will leave you; you will see me no longer. If you clasp this woman in your arms, she will die of your happiness. But if you refuse to possess her she will live happy and free on earth, and your invisible spirit will reign over her. Choose! Either listen to her or follow me." Sita, still kneeling, looked at her master, her eyes overflowing with love, pleadingly awaiting his answer. Rama remained silent for a moment. He looked deep into Sita's eyes, considering the gulf which separates complete possession from an everlasting farewell. But feeling that supreme love is supreme abnegation, he placed his liberating hand on the white woman's forehead, blessed her, and said, "Farewell! You are free. Do not forget me!"
Immediately the woman disappeared like a lunar phantom. Young Aurora raised her magic wand above the ancient forest. The king became old again. A shower of tears bathed his white beard, and from the depths of the woods a mournful voice called "Rama, Rama!"
But Deva Nahusha, the genius shining with light, exclaimed, "Come to me!" And the divine spirit carried Rama off to a mountain in the north of Himavat.
After this dream which showed him the fulfilment of his mission, Rama assembled the kings and representatives of the people, saying to them, "I do not desire the supreme power you offer me. Keep your crowns and observe my law. My task is finished. I am retiring forever with my fellow initiates to a mountain of Airyana-Vaeia. From there I shall watch over you. Guard the sacred fire! If it should happen to die out, I shall reappear among you as a judge and terrible avenger!" After this he withdrew with his intimate followers to Mount Albori between Balk and Bamyan, and entered into a retreat known to the initiates alone. There he taught his disciples what he knew of the earth and the Great Being. Then they went out to carry into Egypt and as far as Occitania the sacred fire, symbol of the divine unity of things, and the horns of the ram, emblem of the Aryan religion. These horns became the insignia of initiation and later of priestly and royal power.8 From a distance Rama continued to watch over his people and over his beloved white race. The last years of his life were spent in arranging the calendar of the Aryans. We owe the signs of the zodiac to him. It is the last work of the patriarch of the initiates, a strange book, written with stars in heavenly hieroglyphics in the immeasurable, boundless firmament, by the Ancient of Days of our race. In establishing the twelve signs of the zodiac, Ram attributed a triple meaning to them. The first referred to the powers of the sun during the twelve months of the year; the second, to a certain extent told his own story; the third indicated the secret means he had used to attain his goal. This is why the signs, read in reverse order, later became the secret emblems of progressive initiation.9 He ordered his friends to keep his death secret and to continue his work by perpetuating their brotherhood. For centuries people believed that Rama, wearing the tiara of ram's horns, was still alive on the holy mountain. In Vedic times the Great Ancestor became Yama, the judge of the dead, the psychopomp Hermes of the Hindus.
Notes for this chapter:
8. The horns of the ram are found on the heads of many human figures carved on Egyptian monuments. This headgear of kings and high priests is the mark of priestly and royal initiation. The two horns of the papal tiara are derived from it.
9. This is how the signs of the Zodiac represent Ram's life, according to Fabre d'Olivet, that thinker and genius who knew how to interpret the symbols of the past according to esoteric tradition: 1. Aries, The Ram which is fleeing with head turned backward, indicates Ram's position when leaving his country, his eye fixed on the land behind him. 2. The Raging Bull (Taurus) stands in the way of his march, but half of his body, held fast in the mud prevents him from executing his plan; he falls upon his knees. These are the Celts, represented by their own symbol, who in spite of their efforts, finally yield. 3. Gemini express the alliance of Ram with the Turanians. 4. Cancer, Ram's meditations and inner reflections. 5. The Lion, his battles against his enemies. 6. The Winged Virgin, victory. 7. The Scales, the equality of conquerors and conquered. 8. The Scorpion, rebellion and treason. 9. Sagittarius, the revenge he takes. 10. Capricorn. 11. Aquarius, the Waterman. 12. The sign of Pisces refers to the moral side of his story.
One may find this explanation of the Zodiac both daring and strange. However, never has any astronomer or mythologist explained to us the origin or meaning of these mysterious signs of the heavenly map, adopted and revered by humanity since the beginning of our Aryan cycle. Fabre d'Olivet's hypothesis at least has the merit of opening new and broad perspectives. I have said that these signs, when read in reverse order in the Orient and in Greece, later marked the ascending steps necessary to reach supreme initiation. Let us remember only the most famous of these emblems: The Winged Virgin meant the purity which gives victory; The Lion, moral strength; The Twins, the union of man and a divine spirit, together forming two invincible fighters; The subdued Bull, mastery over nature; The Ram, the constellation of Fire or of the universal Spirit, giving supreme initiation through the knowledge of Truth.
- Happy, merry, jolly Christmas day to you, Frank -- and to everybody else here. Yes, the Pythagoras chapter is the best in this book by Schuré, I think too.
Incidentally, the original files (ms word docs and tif images) are up until James has downloaded them for the RS Archive after the holidays:
--- In email@example.com, "Frank Thomas Smith" <fts.trasla@...> wrote:
> Ok, thanks Tarjei. I may include the Pythagoras chapter in the next - or future - Southern Cross Review.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@> wrote:
> > This volume is now on the web and therefore available, but the upload is a rush-job with poor navigation (use the Contents page if you need to) and no anchor-links yet for the footnotes. (Anchors are laborious and time-consuming; they'll have to be done later.) The index has also been skipped for the time being because it requires anchors as well.
> > http://uncletaz.com/great_initiates/
> > Tarjei