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What Were They The Masters Of ? Parts III and IV together

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  • Bhakti Ananda Goswami
    Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 2:52 AM Subject: WHAT WERE THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY MAHATMAS THE MASTERS OF ? PART 2 EDITED (PREVIOUS III AND IV TOGETHER) What
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 25, 2002
      Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 2:52 AM
      Subject: WHAT WERE THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY MAHATMAS THE MASTERS OF ?
      PART 2 EDITED (PREVIOUS III AND IV TOGETHER)




      What Were They Masters Of?
      Examining the Claims of the Theosophical Masters
      Part Two
      By H H Bhakti Ananda Goswami

      An Historical Perspective

      Whether or not God or gods exist, their worship certainly does, and
      such worship can be studied rigorously in an interdisciplinary way in
      history, the same as any other real-world phenomenon. In the same
      way, the 19th century innovation and diffusion of Madame H.P.
      Blavatsky's Theosophy can be studied. Thoughts, theistic, atheistic
      and agnostic, etc., and the symbols, words and actions which express
      them have history. While people of equal intelligence and integrity
      may dispute the existence of God, gods, or the Theosophical Masters,
      the existence of religions and the Theosophical Society is not
      debated. While theosophy classically defined did not come into
      being with H. P. Blavatsky (HPB), her 19th century presentation of
      the 'theosophy' of the Mahatmas and the Stanzas of Dzyan brought into
      being the existence of the Theosophical Society. Despite the fact
      that this Society is such a recent historical development, there are
      some impediments to understanding the genealogy of its ideas. It
      began as an esoteric study group of sorts, and even as the more
      public Society was developing, at the core of it remained HPB and her
      esoteric section of the exoteric Theosophical Society. It is easier
      to trace the course through time and territory of the popular
      exoteric `Great Religions' than it is to trace the innovations and
      diffusions of the elitist esoteric traditions. Nevertheless, the
      esoteric or occult traditions have real-world history too, and with
      some additional effort, much can be learned about these as well. Paul
      Johnson has noted the sui generis problem (see below).

      Where authenticity comes in, IMO, is in the frank acknowledgment of
      the synthetic nature of the teaching. Cayceites who insist that the
      Readings are direct transcriptions of the Akashic Record; Baha'is who
      insist that Baha'u'llah's writings are direct words of God;
      Christians who insist that Jesus is the one and only Son of God whose
      words are the absolute and ultimate truth; Theosophists who insist
      that HPB's Theosophy is the ancient wisdom tradition from which
      everything else devolved; ad nauseum are engaged in what David Lane
      calls genealogical dissociation. That is, denying the actual, always-
      complex genealogy of the belief system and pretending that it is sui
      generis, direct truth straight from The Source. I don't think
      Hinduism or Buddhism are exempt from this behavior pattern, although
      they do tend to a bit more self-honesty about the history of ideas.


      The historical and scientific approach to the study of a religion
      (or `spirituality,' I might add) is often experienced as threatening
      by the faithful, which is another problem encountered when
      researchists attempt to objectively trace-out the genealogy,
      innovation and diffusion of thought systems. Thus the resistance of
      the faithful to those attempting to objectively study their tradition
      may result in purposeful non-cooperation in such endeavors, and maybe
      even in the denial of, hiding, distortion, or other obscuration of
      evidence. In even worse cases, the investigators work may be
      suppressed or censured, the investigators personally vilified or
      threatened, their writings and even their careers or lives destroyed
      for daring to attempt to part the veil, and behold the real-world
      genealogy of a 'spirituality' or religion. This ongoing attempt in a
      tradition, to deny the genealogy of its teachings, may create a body
      of apologetic and polemical literatures designed to defend the faith
      from its own origins, and anyone attempting to discover them. Thus
      a considerable barrier may be constructed over time, to the
      understanding of the history of certain ideas.

      Above Paul Johnson used the phrase "...self-honesty about the history
      of ideas." This immediately caught my attention, because as a
      spiritual director, I use the term "self-honesty" on a daily basis
      with those I counsel. I use this term because I define HUMILITY as
      self-honesty or honesty about, and with one's self. This humility is
      the basis of all other virtues and necessary for self-
      'realization'. In fact, such humility is in a sense self-
      realization. Truth and Honesty are inseparable, and must be held-to
      by persons of integrity, as the foundation of everything knowable and
      worth knowing. Theosophists like to talk about recognizing what is
      mayavic / illusory, but their entire mystical Theosophical Society
      history has apparently been fabricated by persons with no apparent
      self-honesty, who purposely obscured the true sources of their
      information. Thus the faithful of the Theosophical Society bear a
      great burden in having to defend against all evidence and reason, the
      claims of the Society Founders to "...direct truth straight from the
      source" as Mr. Johnson has said. Mr. Johnson also raises the
      question "self-honesty" in Hinduism and Buddhism.

      As someone who has studied the history of ideas in Hinduism, Buddhism
      and other religio-cultural complexes for over 30 years, I have some
      insight into how various esoteric and exoteric traditions have coped
      with, or failed to cope with the fundamental issues of their
      genealogy and self-honesty. There is a rather universal way that
      organized religious traditions, exoteric or esoteric, preserve and
      perpetuate their authentic teachings. In fact, that "...self-honesty
      about the history of ideas." is exactly what the system of sampradaya
      or parampara and GURU, SHASTRA and SADHU (GSS) is all about in the
      authentic teaching lineages of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shakti-ism,
      Buddhism, Catholicism, etc. These exoteric traditions all attempt to
      preserve their sacred heritage, by systems of initiation and
      apostolic succession. For example, one cannot just claim to be a
      Madhvite or Ramanujite Vaishnava master, any more than one could
      claim to be a Coptic Catholic bishop without the authority of the
      Coptic Rite Patriarch. No one can serve as a bishop in the Roman Rite
      Catholic Church, without the proper elevation by the Pope. No one can
      just claim to be the next Dalai Lama or Patriarch of any of the
      Vaishnava, Shaivite, Shankarite Advaitan, Hasidic Jewish, and
      traditional Sufi or Catholic Rite lineages. All of these `Apostolic'
      traditions zealously guard their teaching authority, which preserves
      the guru, shastra and sadhu history of their ideas and practices. The
      real-world checks and balances system of guru (living teacher in
      union with the magisterium), shastra (scripture, canonical body of
      writings) and sadhu (the tradition of the saints, mystics,
      theologians and commentators), provides exoteric religions with a way
      to try to safeguard the historical integrity and continuity of their
      traditions. Thus the legitimate lineages of Vaishnavism, Shaivism and
      Buddhism, etc., are extremely strict about properly identifying their
      history of ideas and practices. No one can speak from the
      Vyasasana `ex cathedra' without proper lineage credentials.
      While rejecting the teaching authority of Catholicism for example,
      and these other major exoteric organized religions,
      the 'spiritualities' of the esoteric or occult or Gnostic lineages
      also employ systems of GSS. Thus they speak of initiations,
      hierarchies, masters, chelas, have sacred or revered literatures and
      exemplars (saints) just like the exoteric 'organized' religions they
      oppose. So the esoteric schools of thought have not really
      dispensed with religious authority and the necessary social
      organization to preserve and promote their teachings, they have just
      replaced a more exoteric, popular and widely-accepted religious
      authority with their own esoteric and less known, more elite
      authority.


      The historical outcome of the GSS system of preservation and
      transmission, in practice, means that for example, I can trace
      certain ideas in my specific lineage back thousands of years, because
      each generation in my lineage has identified its accepted sources,
      heroes and associations with those of previous generations. I can
      also trace some of the major and minor branching-out of ideas and
      practices from the main `trunk' of my lineage, and identify some
      groups that are proximately or remotely related to my own today.
      Because there is such a high value placed on such parampara or
      sampradaya lineage affiliations in the main Indic traditions,
      studying these has enormous value for an historian of religion. It is
      because of this "...self honesty of the history..." of their ideas,
      that India and Tibet etc., have any recorded history to be studied at
      all. It has been said that Indians wrote no history of India.
      However, this cannot be said if one is considering the histories of
      the great religious traditions of India, whose vast libraries were
      full of detailed accounts of the lives and thought of the generations
      transmitting their sacred traditions. One of the great tragedies of
      the Muslim invasion of India was the vast destruction of Indian
      religious center monastery-university cities and all their
      libraries. Still, there is an enormous corpus of authentically
      ancient religious literatures extant in India. After India won her
      independence, with Government support, the Bharata Vidya Bhavan went
      on a campaign to rescue, publish and translate the classical
      literatures of Bharata / India, which had been neglected and even
      suppressed under the British Raj. One of my own Vaishnava Mentors
      was the head of the Sanskrit Department of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan,
      and More recently some of my Vaishnava godbrothers were funded by the
      Smithsonian Institute to create the Matsya Project to find and
      microfilm the essential texts of the Vedic-Vaishnava Tradition for
      posterity. This Matsya Project is now at the Oxford Centre for
      Vaishnava and Hindu Studies. In addition, the modern leaders of
      various branches of Vaishnavism, including my own branch, have made
      great efforts to begin to translate the canon of their ancient
      scriptures, and more recent but very important traditional
      commentaries, into English and other languages. This means that many
      classic Sanskrit and other Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras (scriptures),
      litanies, hymns, rites, commentaries etc. can now be studied in
      authoritative translations for the first time. This new general
      availability of the ancient Vedic-Vaishnava Sanskrit source-works,
      from their related authentic GSS traditions, means that non-native
      and non-Vaishnava scholars now have the textual resources to analyze
      the relationship of these traditions to Tibetan Pure Land and Tantric
      Buddhism, and other traditions. What must be accomplished therefore
      is a comparative study of the Mahatma Letters and the ancient
      Vaishnava literatures that the Mahatmas' teachings seem to have been
      acquired from. In addition to this, the Letters contain some
      Shaivite and Devi tradition elements, and these should be explored in
      relationship to the Agamic and Tantric literatures of important
      lineages. With regard to the South Indian Shaivite and Devi / Shakti
      Traditions which may have influenced the Mahatmas or their
      Theosophical Society chelas, the sources in Sri Lanka are rapidly
      disappearing.

      Just as the followers of Mohammed destroyed vast libraries of Bhakti
      Shastra in India, unfortunately in our time such destruction of
      temples and libraries is still going on, but this time it is not just
      fanatical Muslims doing it. In Sri Lanka, the center of Theravadin
      Buddhism, the Sinhalese Buddhist `Aryans' (whose historical
      relationship to the Theosophical Society is well known) have recently
      occupied hundreds of Tamil (principally Shaivite and Devi) temples,
      and have destroyed about a hundred thousand volumes of priceless
      Tamil literatures in the last ten years. This campaign for the
      cultural annihilation of the Dravidian Tamils by the so-
      called `Aryan' Sinhalese is one reason that scholars of religion,
      such as myself, are concerned about the perpetuation of the `Aryan'
      race-myth. However, despite such barbarism, and in consideration of
      the amazing amount of information still available from ancient texts,
      archeology and the intact living GSS traditions of Hinduism and
      Buddhism, there is ample evidence now available for the study of
      the "Mahatma Letters" in the historical context of their "...complex
      genealogy...". At the time of the first presentations of the
      Mahatma Letters and subsequent foundational writings of HBP and
      friends, their English readers had no general access to the Vedic-
      Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras. As a result, it was easy to present
      Buddhist-redacted teachings from those literatures as the sui generis
      teachings of the Theosophical Society Masters. Now with the ready
      availability of the Mahayana Buddhist-related Sanskrit Bhakti
      Scriptures, comparisons can finally be made. Such comparisons will
      go a long way towards establishing the ideological genealogy of HPB's
      Theosophy, and establishing what the Mahatmas were actually the
      masters of.
      Suggestions For an Initial Survey of the Literature
      Because we have the Theosophical University Library Edition of
      the "Mahatma Letters" in a searchable format online, one way to
      approach an understanding of the Mahatmas' mastery from the
      perspective of the Tibetan Buddhist-related Hindu and Buddhist GSS
      traditions, is to search the Letters for key terms associated with
      those GSS traditions. Completing such a search can establish the
      initial evidentiary parameters of our textual investigation. In
      assessing what the Mahatmas were the masters of, we can learn much
      from what is NOT INCLUDED IN THE LETTERS.

      So let us begin with some of these key terms. The Mahatmas claimed an
      identity with and love for India, which they significantly DID NOT
      CALL 'BHARATA'. The continual use of European terms, instead of the
      ones like `Bharata', which real ancient Indian Mahatmas would be
      expected to use, is one of the most striking things about the Mahatma
      Letters. The letters are also full of errors which can be easily
      detected by anyone knowledgeable about Vedic-Vaishnava Sanskrit. In
      addition, while seeming to deny that they had anything to do with the
      scriptures / "shasters" (see below) the Mahatmas seemed to have
      derived their entire cosmic mega-myth from a corruption of the
      Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras.

      Mahatma Letter # 134 http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/mahatma/ml-
      134.htm

      [Letter from H.P. Blavatsky to A.P. Sinnett. This letter includes a
      message from Master Morya.]

      "… What have WE, the DISCIPLE of the true arhats, of esoteric
      Buddhism and of sang-gyas to do with the SHASTERS and orthodox
      Brahmanism? There are 100's of thousands of fakirs, sannyasis and
      sadhus leading the most pure lives, and yet being as they are, ON THE
      PATH OF ERROR, never having had an opportunity to meet, see or even
      hear of us. THEIR FOREFATHERS HAVE DRIVEN AWAY THE FOLLOWERS OF THE
      ONLY TRUE PHILOSOPHY UPON EARTH AWAY FROM INDIA and now, it is not
      for the latter to come to them but for them to come to us if they
      want us. Which of them is ready to BECOME A BUDDHIST, a nastika as
      they call
      us? None."


      Below I will give a few examples of this obvious derivation of the
      Mahatmas' redacted mega-myth from the Cantos and Chapters of some
      authentic Vaishnava Bhakti Shastras, but first here are some of the
      Sanskrit Shastric terms I have already searched in the over
      100 "Mahatma Letters," and the results, which are quite revealing. In
      my search, I used several variant spellings, and the singular and
      plural forms of the word. However for brevity below, only the main
      search term or name is given with the totals below. Next to the word
      is the total number of references in the Mahatma Letters, pulled up
      by the Theosophical University search program. There seems to be no
      reference to authentic Agamic or Dravidian Vedic spirituality in the
      Mahatma Letters, however there are references to Buddhist Tantrism.

      Places / States

      goloka 0
      bhuloka 0
      bhumi 0
      vrindavan 0
      bharata 0
      kailasa 1
      vaikuntha 0
      sukhavati 1
      lokas 6
      loka 8
      swarga 0
      vyuha 0
      bardo 1
      nirvana 17
      mahatattva 0
      garbha 0
      sunyata 0
      turiya 0
      karuna 0


      Giver (masculine) Deity Names

      Vaishnava

      chrishna 2
      vishnu 4
      hari 0
      purusha 4
      narayana 0
      avatar 3
      devadeva 0
      surya 2
      indra 0
      chandra 1
      kama 12
      vishvakarman 0
      brahma 6
      mithra 0
      ananta 0
      sesha 0
      varuna 0
      yama 0
      deva(s) 21
      shankarshan 0
      pradumya 0
      vasudeva 0
      aniruddha 0
      sunya, sunyata 0 (as Name of Vishnu from Sri Vishnu Sahashranama,
      Gita Upanishad)

      nirvana 0 (as Name of Vishnu from Sri Vishnu Shahasranama, Gita
      Upanishad)


      Shaivite

      rudra 0
      shiva 2
      kala 0
      hara 0
      muruga(n) 0
      kartikeya 0
      skanda 0
      ganesha 0
      ganapati 0


      Related Receiver (Feminine) Divine Names

      Vaishnava

      radha 0
      sakti 2
      prakriti 3
      ganga 0
      ma 2
      sarasvati 0
      lakshmi 0
      sri 1
      padma 1
      narayani 0
      tara 0
      gayatri 0
      tulasi 0
      yogamaya 0

      Shaivite

      kali 1
      uma 0
      parvati 0
      durga 0
      maya 16
      devi 0
      mahamaya 0


      The Tradition of Sita-Rama

      ramayana 0
      valmiki 0
      tulsidas 0
      rama 1
      ramachandra 0
      sita 0
      janaki 0
      hanuman 0
      ravana 0


      Some Shastra Titles, Important Names and Terms


      purana 0
      vyasa 1
      vyasadeva 0
      mahabharata 0
      veda 1
      upanishads 0
      agama 0
      tantra 0
      shastra 0 (correct spelling)
      shasters 1
      samhita 0
      sutra (s) 3
      sama 0
      rig 0
      yajur 0
      ayurveda 0
      saddharma pundarika 0
      bhagavadgita 0
      bhagavat 1
      bhagavatam 0
      gita 1
      jataka 0
      hitopedesha 0
      pancatantra 0
      srimad bhagavatam 0
      bhagavat purana 0


      Mahatmas Identified Themselves as / with Buddhists

      buddha 18
      buddhism 24
      buddhist 13
      bodhisattva 0


      Aryan and Race Term Search

      arya 1
      aryan 9
      aryans 4
      race 31
      races 16
      varna 0
      dravidian 0


      Material Modes of Nature

      sattva 0
      raja 3
      tama 0
      guna 0


      Some Additional Important Terms


      bhakti 0
      buddhi 6
      gopis, gopas 0
      gandharvas 0
      apsarasas 0
      kinnaras 0
      bhutas 0
      manas 5
      kama 12
      jnana 0
      vidya 4
      dharma 0
      karma 38
      ahankara 0
      tilaka 0
      nyasa 0
      amrita 0
      ananda 3
      reincarnation 8
      reincarnating 4
      amrita 2
      elementaries 8
      planetaries 5
      akasa 13
      yamaduttas 0
      dasyas 0
      yakshasas 0
      rakshasas 0



      Ages and Cycles and Related Names / Terms


      mahavishnu 0
      manvantara(s) 11
      vivisvatamanu 0
      manu(s) 0
      praylaya 9
      kalpa 1
      yuga (s)1
      sattya
      treta 0
      dvarpara 0
      kaliyuga 0
      yuga avataras 0


      Worship and Sacrifice Related Terms

      yagna 0
      mantra 0
      japa 0
      puja 3
      pujari 0
      purohita 0
      murti 0
      soma 0
      agni 0
      yupa 0
      nama 0
      rupa 9
      yoga 4
      arati 0
      tilaka 0
      nyasa 0


      Some Great Masters Accepted by the Vaishnavas


      nityananda 0
      caitanya 0
      madhva 0
      jayatirtha 0
      vyasatirtha 0
      ramanuja 0
      vallabha 0
      vishnuswami 0
      nimbarka 0
      jayadeva goswami 0
      caraka 0
      shankara 0


      Some Master Titles and Lineage Words


      rishis 3
      dhyan chohans 21
      acharya 0
      goswami 0
      alvars 0
      sadhu 0
      saddhus 1
      sampradaya 0
      parampara 0
      diksha 0
      siksha 0
      sannyasi 0

      Finite and Supreme Spirit Words

      atma 5
      atman 2
      jiva 2
      jivatma 4
      paramatma 0
      parabrahmn 6
      brahman 1
      brahma 6
      monad (s) 18




      Of the above, the more significant number of references ranks as so,
      with the Vaishnava Sanskrit-related Shastra names and terms marked
      with an asterix *...

      *karma 38
      race 31
      *buddhism 24
      dhyan chohans 21 (identified with the Theravadin Buddhist
      term "Tatagathas")

      *deva(s) 21 (not used as a name of Krishna-Vishnu)
      *buddha 18 (not used as an Avatara name of Sri Vishnu)
      monad(s) 18
      *nirvana 17 (not used as a name of Sri Krishna)
      *maya 16 (never referring to either Mahamaya Devi or Yoga Maya Devi)
      races 16
      *devachan 15 (identified with the Sukhavati )
      *deva chan 13 (identified with the Sukhavati)
      *akasa 13
      *arya, aryan(s) 14 (often used inauthentically to refer to a 'race')
      *loka(s) 14 ( worlds, transcendental lokas or even the
      Sukhavati 'Pure Land' Vaikunthalokas of Vaishnavism are described in
      the Deva Chan of the Theosophical System, and called in some
      places 'imaginary'. )

      *buddhist 13
      *kama 12 (not used as a Name of Sri Krishna, or for the late
      Kamadeva / Eros, generally used as mayavic force of desire)

      reincarnation / ing 12
      *manvantaras 11
      *pralaya 9
      *rupa 9 (associated with the rupa-loka or world of form)
      elementaries 8 (associated with 'angel guides')

      *parabrahmn 6 (not identified as the form of Vishnu Para-brahman,
      related to the doctrines of His Brahma-jyoti and omnipresent
      Paramatman)

      *brahma 6 (not identified as the Guna Avatara of Vishnu in the mode
      of raja guna)

      planetaries 5 (what monads may become)



      Of the above Vedic-Vaishnava Sanskrit names and terms, their
      corresponding subjects can be found treated elaborately in the
      ancient Vaishnava Scriptures / Shastras, such as the Srimad
      Bhagavatam (also called the Bhagavat Purana BP ). This text is
      readily available now with the Sanskrit Devagnagari Text, Roman
      transliteration, English Translation and elaborate traditional Madhva-
      Gaudiya lineage commentary by HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, through
      the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT). Sections regarding the
      structure of a material universe, the kalpas, yugas, manvantaras and
      various manus of a single material universe are spread throughout the
      Cantos of the Bhagavat Purana, one of the principle Scriptures of
      Krishna-centric Vishnu worship (Vaishnavism). For example, Canto 2
      describes the Universal Form of Vishnu as Purusha, His omnipresence
      as the Supersoul / Paramatman, the process of creation, including
      Purusha Sukta, the Yugas and Yuga Avataras of Vishnu. Canto 3
      Chapter 6 describes the creation of the varnas from the self-
      sacrifice of Purusha, Chapter 8 the manifestation of Brahma from
      Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, Chapter ten the divisions of a cosmic creation
      and its planetary systems, demigods etc., and Chapter 11 Brahma's
      days and nights. Canto 4 Chapter 1 describes the daughters of
      Manu. Canto 5 chapters 20-26 describe the lokas and how they are
      sustained by Vishnu as Ananta Deva. Canto 8 Chapter 1 again
      describes the Manu Prajapatis. Canto 9 Chapter 2 describes the sons
      of Manu. Throughout this literature, all of the above marked Sanskrit
      names, words and terms are found in their authentic ancient THEISTIC
      context. Akasa, karma, kama, reincarnation, the devas and devis as
      expansions and incarnations of Deva Deva (Krishna the God of gods)
      and Shakti-Devi are all described in elaborate detail. Much of what
      is used by the Mahatmas that is SANSKRIT seems to come from this
      Vaishnava text. However, the corpus of Vaishnava scriptures is so
      vast, and treats these subjects from so many different angles, that
      it is possible that the Mahatmas formed their ideas from more than
      one of these related Vishnu-centric literatures. The Mahabharata is
      another ancient Vaishnava literature treating all these subjects. The
      familiar Bhagavad-Gita- or Gitopanishad, is a small part of the
      enormous Epic, the Mahabharata.

      Although it is obvious from reading these Vaishnava 'Shasters' that
      many of the Mahatmas' ideas come from them, one thing is certain
      though, the THEISTIC CONTEXT AND CONTENT WAS SELECTIVELY EDITED OUT
      of these sources in the Mahatma's version of it all. This editing-
      out-God from His own revelatory tradition has precedence before the
      Mahatmas in Indian religious traditions, because the extreme mayavadi
      (atheistic) 'Advaitis', Jains, Theravadin Buddhists and others have
      been doing it for centuries. The most ancient stratum of Vedic
      literature in Sanskrit is clearly devoted to Vishnu (see the Purusha
      Sacrifice of Vishnu in the Purusha Sukta), as the origin of the
      cosmos and the gods. Each attempt to remove Vishnu Purusha from the
      core of His revelatory tradition has resulted in the innovation and
      diffusion of a 'new' Indic religious tradition that denies its
      genealogy of ideas. These later traditions go on using the language
      and categories etc. of Vaishnavism, but without crediting their
      source. So, the Mahatmas are doing nothing new. They wanted the
      creation, or kingdom of God without God, and like all the other later
      corrupting traditions before, them they just took what they wanted
      from the GSS of Vaishnavism, without any historical self-honesty at
      all. Hind sight is 20-20, so from our vantage point now, with the
      literatures available, we can trace-out the history of the Mahatmas'
      ideas, both directly from Vaishnava sources and indirectly through
      Mahayana Buddhism and Sikhism.

      Finally I want to emphasize that when a tradition develops some part
      of its inheritance in keeping with the GSS principle, that there is
      no creation of a new religion with historical amnesia ! Instead the
      parent tradition and its new off-spring have an acknowledged and
      friendly relationship. There is a positive relationship between the
      older and younger faith traditions, who mutually acknowledge each
      other. Thus among Nepalese Mahayana Buddhists and Vaishnavas who are
      not in denial about the identity of Vishnu as Lokesvara, the faithful
      often attend both Buddhist Stupas like Syambhunatha and Bodhinatha
      and Vishnu temples in the same day. They observe both Buddhist and
      Vaishnava holy days, and keep the same Vaishnava-Jewish related
      Saturday (Sanivara) Sabbath. They worship the same forms of Vishnu
      and Lokesvara with the same Sanskrit mantrams and mandalas. They
      perform closely related rites. All this is directly related to
      Tibetan Buddhism in the most intimate way. Thus in "The Cult of Tara
      Magic and Ritual in Tibet" by Stephan Beyer, (1978, University of
      California Press, Berkeley, California ,USA (ISBN # 0-520-03635-2 ),
      where the Sanskrit of the Tibetan Buddhist prayers and rituals is
      given, these are obviously directly related to the Vaishnavism of the
      Nepalese region.

      While studying these connections in Nepal, I viewed thousands of
      Nepalese and Tibetan Buddhist tangkas, temple murtis, yantras /
      mandalas and other sacred art. The principle forms of Amitabha-
      Lokevara were forms of Krishna-Vishnu. The wrathful forms of Kalah
      Bairab were those of Kalah Bairava Shiva, who significantly was
      considered an emanation or manifestation of Lokesvara. All of the
      beneficent and wrathful Rupas of Amitabha-Amitayus manifest through
      the Sambhogya Kaya or Nirmanya Kaya of Avalokitesvara were clearly
      associated with earlier Vaishnava traditions of Krishna-Vishnu. Thus
      the Vedic Purusha Sukta Deva forms were all there, as were many of
      the Puranic Lila Avatara Forms. For example, the Lila Forms of
      Vishnu, described in the above text Bhagavat Purana, like Narasimha,
      Varaha, Hayagriva, and Matsya, are worshiped BY BUDDHISTS in Nepal
      and Tibet as the leontocephalous Nrsigha-Lokevara (Yahweh Tzbaoth),
      the boar-headed Baraha-Lokesvar, horse headed Hayagriva-Lokesvara,
      and the form of Lokesvara associated with the great Flood Story of
      Manu and Manu's ark landing on the sacred Himalayan peak of Macchu
      Pucchara (Matsya's Fin).

      In conclusion, The Theosophical Mahatmas / Masters did not
      acknowledge their historical debt to Vaishnavism in any way. They
      may not have even known enough about the orthodox Bhakti Traditions
      of India to even understand what they were dealing with. If Subbha
      Rowe (27 references found to this name in the Mahatma Letters) was an
      Advaiti, as claimed in the Letters, and he was a major contributor to
      the Mahatmas' thought-system, then this would explain the use of
      Vaishnava terms etc. outside of their original context and in an
      atheistic system that stops short of the revelation of the
      transcendental realm, Being and being. Like the Hindu Theravadin
      Buddhist-related Advaitis, the Mahatmas misrepresented ideas from
      Vaishnavism, and several other traditions of Buddhist and Hindu
      thought by taking these out of their historical context and changing
      their content. The result was a masterful work of confusion, in
      which enormous effort was spent to synthesize a system of thought
      created from numerous 'plagiarized', appropriated and often not well
      understood sources. Scholars of the Western Esoteric Traditions and
      sciences, and non-Indian Languages have shown that the Theosophical
      Society writings of HPB contained enormous amounts of material from
      other sources, that were not properly credited by her. In the case
      of the Sanskrit Content of the Mahatma Letters, this is again what
      was obviously done. Ideas and language were appropriated principally
      from classic Vaishnava Source-works in Sanskrit, and these were used
      unjustifyably out of context and often with corrupted meaning to
      create a world-view filled with a pathological obsession about race
      in a Darwinist-related new evolutionary model. The challenging and
      valuable ideas, which ARE THERE in the Mahatma Letters and other
      Theosophical Society Writings, are not sui generis from the claimed
      mystical Mahatmas, who were constructed as their mouth pieces. These
      ideas were clearly collected piece-meal from much earlier Vaishnava
      Sanskrit writings, with nothing new or original added. In fact, much
      of the authentic value of the appropriated sources has been lost in
      the rough handling of their ideas by the Theosophical Masters, who
      were actually neophytes when compared to the real living masters of
      those orthodox "shasters" traditions.

      Furthermore, if the Mahatmas were really masters with such a high
      time-free vantage-point, why did they not ever reveal the astounding
      historical connections of Pure Land Buddhism to Krishna-Centric
      Vaishnavism, and through Vaishnavism to the Mediterranean Proto-
      Catholic Jewish-related Heliopolitan Asyla Federations ? Did the
      Mahatmas, who claimed to know about Egyptian and related western
      esoteric traditions, simply forget to mention that the Lion Headed
      form of Lokesvara-Vishnu is the Wrathful form of Krishna Kalah as
      Haryeh / Aryeh (Yahu-Tzabaoth) in both the Bhagavad-Gita and Exodus
      story? Did they forget to say that He was worshiped by the Persians
      as Zervan, the Greeks as Zeus Chronus, the Romans as Jupiter
      Saturnus, the Egyptians as Amun and the Kushites as Apademak ? Did
      they just forget to tell us that the Flood-related form of Vishnu-
      Lokesvara is the Dagon, Atargatis, Nereus and Helios Delphinos
      related form of Yahu who saved Noah-Manu-Deucalion etc.? Did they
      forget to say that the Jewel in the Lotus is the Brahma-Samhita Hymn
      related form of Krishna and His Adi Shakti Radha-Padme, who were
      worshiped as RHODOS and RHODA or NYMPHOS and NYMPHIA (Kouros Helios
      and Kore), on the pre-Minoan Era Isle of Rhodes in the Eastern
      Mediterranean ? From their high vantage point overlooking history,
      why did the Mahatmas' not tell divided mankind that Lokesvara, Vishnu
      and the God of the Judeo-Catholic Tradition are the same historical
      Deity ?

      In a short 100 plus years anyone can now learn vastly more important
      connections between the Eastern and Western Wisdom Traditions, than
      what the Mahatmas taught, just by studying the current scientific
      research literature in each field. The Mahatmas' knowledge was bound
      by their mere mortal, time and circumstance frame of reference. They
      were very intelligent and well-read. They exhibited familiarity with
      certain forms of Buddhist and Hindu Advaiti teachings. They had an
      obviously 'classical' western education, as well as a familiarity
      with western occult / esoteric traditions. The Mahatmas were
      clearly a collective effort of HPB and some of her friends. If they
      had just had some self-honesty and presented their synthesis with
      integrity under their own names, admitting its 'genealogy', it would
      have stood on its own merit as a unique contribution to human
      thought. However, the deception and hocus-pocus associated with the
      Letters has cast an unfortunate pall over their whole project,
      generally discrediting it. To finally assess the real contribution
      of HPB's Theosophy, this pall must be removed for readers and truth-
      seekers to appreciate the genealogy of her / The Mahatmas thought,
      and understand what they were the actual Masters of.

      I look forward to the work of other Vaishnava and Buddhist Sanskrit
      Scholars who will surely one day realize the importance of examining
      ideas from their respective traditions found in the Mahatma Letters,
      Stanzas of Dzyan and other Theosophical Society writings.
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