THE SECRET DOCTRINE:
SEVEN STANZAS FROM THE BOOK OF DZYAN
SEVEN STANZAS TRANSLATED WITH COMMENTARIES
SECRET BOOK OF DZYAN.
“Nor Aught nor Nought existed; yon bright sky
Was not, nor heaven’s broad roof outstretched above.
What covered all? what sheltered? what concealed?
Was it the water’s fathomless abyss?
There was not death—yet there was nought immortal,
There was no confine betwixt day and night;
The only One breathed breathless by itself,
Other than It there nothing since has been.
Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled
In gloom profound—an ocean without light—
The germ that still lay covered in the husk
Burst forth, one nature, from the fervent heat.
. . . . . . . .
Who knows the secret? who proclaimed it here?
Whence, whence this manifold creation sprang?
The Gods themselves came later into being—
Who knows from whence this great creation sprang?
That, whence all this great creation came,
Whether Its will created or was mute,
The Most High Seer that is in highest heaven,
He knows it—or perchance even He knows not.”
“Gazing into eternity . . .
Ere the foundations of the earth were laid,
. . . . .
Thou wert. And when the subterranean flame
Shall burst its prison and devour the frame . . .
Thou shalt be still as Thou wert before
And knew no change, when time shall be no more.
Oh! endless thought, divine Eternity.”
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In Seven Stanzas translated from the Book of Dzyan.
1. The eternal parent wrapped in her ever invisible robes had slumbered once again for seven eternities.
2. Time was not, for it lay asleep in the infinite bosom of duration.
3. Universal mind was not, for there were no Ah-hi to contain it.
4. The seven ways to bliss were not. The great causes of misery were not, for there was no one to produce and get ensnared by them.
5. Darkness alone filled the boundless all, for father, mother and son were once more one, and the son had not awakened yet for the new wheel, and his pilgrimage thereon.
6. The seven sublime lords and the seven truths had ceased to be, and the Universe, the son of Necessity, was immersed in Paranishpanna, to be outbreathed by that which is and yet is not. Naught was.
7. The causes of existence had been done away with ; the visible that was, and the invisible that is, rested in eternal non-being—the one being.
8. Alone the one form of existence stretched boundless, infinite, causeless, in dreamless sleep; and life pulsated uncon- scious in universal space, throughout that all-presence which is sensed by the opened eye of the Dangma.
9. But where was the Dangma when the Alaya of the universe was in Paramartha and the great wheel was Anupadaka?
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1. . . . Where were the builders, the luminous sons of Manvantaric dawn? . . . In the unknown darkness in their Ah-hi Paranishpanna. The producers of form from no-form—the root of the world—the Devamatri and Svâbhâvat, rested in the bliss of non-being.
2. . . . Where was silence? Where the ears to sense it? No, there was neither silence nor sound; naught save ceaseless eternal breath, which knows itself not.
3. The hour had not yet struck; the ray had not yet flashed into the Germ; the Matripadma had not yet swollen.
4. Her heart had not yet opened for the one ray to enter, thence to fall, as three into four, into the lap of Maya.
5. The seven sons were not yet born from the web of light. Darkness alone was father-mother, Svâbhâvat; and Svâbhâvat was in darkness.
6. These two are the Germ, and the Germ is one. The Universe was still concealed in the Divine thought and the Divine bosom. . . .
1. . . . The last vibration of the seventh eternity thrills through infinitude. The mother swells, expanding from within without, like the bud of the lotus.
2. The vibration sweeps along, touching with its swift wing the whole universe and the germ that dwelleth in darkness: the darkness that breathes 0over the slumbering waters of life. . .
3. Darkness radiates light, and light drops one solitary ray into the mother-deep. The ray shoots through the virgin egg the ray causes the eternal egg to thrill, and drop the non- eternal germ, which condenses into the world-egg.
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4. Then the three fall into the four. The radiant essence becomes seven inside, seven outside. The luminous egg, which in itself is three, curdles and spreads in milk-white curds throughout the depths of mother, the root that grows in the depths of the ocean of life.
5. The root remains, the light remains, the curds remain, and still Oeaohoo is one.
6. The root of life was in every drop of the ocean of immor- tality, and the ocean was radiant light, which was fire, and heat, and motion. Darkness vanished and was no more ; it dis- appeared in its own essence, the body of fire and water, or father and mother.
7. Behold, oh Lanoo! The radiant child of the two, the unparalleled refulgent glory: Bright Space Son of Dark Space, which emerges from the depths of the great dark waters. It is Oeaohoo the younger, the * * * He shines forth as the son; he is the blazing Divine Dragon of Wisdom ; the One is Four, and Four takes to itself Three,† and the Union produces the Sapta, in whom are the seven which become the Tridasa (or the hosts and the multitudes). Behold him lifting the veil and unfurling it from east to west. He shuts out the above, and leaves the below to be seen as the great illusion. He marks the places for the shining ones, and turns the upper into a shoreless sea of fire, and the one manifested into the great waters.
8. Where was the germ and where was now darkness? Where is the spirit of the flame that burns in thy lamp, oh Lanoo? The germ is that, and that is light, the white brilliant son of the dark hidden father.
9. Light is cold flame, and flame is fire, and fire produces heat, which yields water: the water of life in the great mother.
10. Father-Mother spin a web whose upper end is fastened to spirit—the light of the one darkness—and the lower one to its shadowy end, matter; and this web is the universe spun out of the two substances made in one, which is Svâbhâvat.
† In the English translation from the Sanskrit the numbers are given in that language, Eka, Chatur, etc., etc. It was thought best to give them in English.
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11. It expands when the breath of fire is upon it; it contracts when the breath of the mother touches it. Then the sons dissociate and scatter, to return into their mother’s bosom at the end of the great day, and re-become one with her; when it is cooling it becomes radiant, and the sons expand and contract through their own selves and hearts; they embrace infinitude.
12. Then Svâbhâvat sends Fohat to harden the atoms. Each is a part of the web. Reflecting the “Self-Existent Lord” like a mirror, each becomes in turn a world.
1. . . . Listen, ye Sons of the Earth, to your instructors—the Sons of the Fire. Learn, there is neither first nor last, for all is one : number issued from no number.
2. Learn what we who descend from the Primordial Seven, we who are born from the Primordial Flame, have learnt from our fathers. . . .
3. From the effulgency of light—the ray of the ever-darkness—sprung in space the re-awakened energies ; the one from the egg, the six, and the five. Then the three, the one, the four, the one, the five—the twice seven the sum total. And these are the essences, the flames, the elements, the builders, the numbers, the arupa, the rupa, and the force of Divine Man—the sum total. And from the Divine Man emanated the forms, the sparks, the sacred animals, and the messengers of the sacred fathers within the holy four.
4. This was the army of the voice—the divine mother of the seven. The sparks of the seven are subject to, and the servants of, the first, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh of the seven. These “sparks” are called spheres, triangles, cubes, lines, and modellers; for thus stands the Eternal Nidana—the Oeaohoo, which is:
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5. “Darkness” the boundless, or the no-number, Adi-Nidana Svâbhâvat:—
I. The Adi-Sanat, the number, for he is one.
II. The voice of the Lord Svâbhâvat, the numbers, for he is one and nine.
III. The “ formless square.”And these three enclosed within the are the sacred four; and the ten are the arupa universe. Then come the “ sons,” the seven fighters, the one, the eighth left out, and his breath which is the light-maker.
6. Then the second seven, who are the Lipika, produced by the three. The rejected son is one. The “Son-suns” are countless.
1. The Primordial Seven, the First Seven Breaths of the Dragon of Wisdom, produce in their turn from their Holy Circumgyrating Breaths the Fiery Whirlwind.
2. They make of him the messenger of their will. The Dzyu becomes Fohat, the swift son of the Divine sons whose sons are the Lipika, runs circular errands. Fohat is the steed and the thought is the rider. He passes like lightning through the fiery clouds ; takes three, and five, and seven strides through the seven regions above, and the seven below. He lifts his voice, and calls the innumerable sparks, and joins them.
3. He is their guiding spirit and leader. When he commences work, he separates the sparks of the Lower Kingdom that float and thrill with joy in their radiant dwellings, and forms there- with the germs of wheels. He places them in the six directions of space, and one in the middle—the central wheel.
4. Fohat traces spiral lines to unite the sixth to the seventh—the crown ; an army of the Sons of Light stands at each angle, and the Lipika in the middle wheel. They say: This is good, the
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first Divine world is ready, the first is now the second. Then the “Divine Arupa” reflects itself in Chhaya Loka, the first garment of the Anupadaka.
5. Fohat takes five strides and builds a winged wheel at each corner of the square, for the four holy ones and their armies.
6. The Lipika circumscribe the triangle, the first one, the cube, the second one, and the pentacle within the egg. It is the ring called “ Pass Not ” for those who descend and ascend. Also for those who during the Kalpa are progressing towards the great day “ Be with us.” Thus were formed the Rupa and the Arupa : from one light seven lights ; from each of the seven, seven times seven lights. The wheels watch the ring. . . . .
1. By the power of the Mother of Mercy and Knowledge—Kwan- Yin—the “ triple ” of Kwan-shai-Yin, residing in Kwan-yin-Tien, Fohat, the Breath of their Progeny, the Son of the Sons, having called forth, from the lower abyss, the illusive form of Sien- Tchang and the Seven Elements:*
2. The Swift and Radiant One produces the Seven Laya Centres, against which none will prevail to the great day “ Be-with-Us,” and seats the Universe on these Eternal Foundations surrounding Tsien-Tchan with the Elementary Germs.
3. Of the Seven—first one manifested, six concealed, two manifested, five concealed ; three manifested, four concealed ; four produced, three hidden ; four and one tsan revealed, two and one half concealed ; six to be manifested, one laid aside. Lastly, seven small wheels revolving ; one giving birth to the other.
* Verse 1 of Stanza VI. is of a far later date than the other Stanzas, though still very ancient. The old text of this verse, having names entirely unknown to the Orientalists would give no clue to the student.
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4. He builds them in the likeness of older wheels, placing them on the Imperishable Centres.
How does Fohat build them? he collects the fiery dust. He makes balls of fire, runs through them, and round them, infusing life thereinto, then sets them into motion ; some one way, some the other way. They are cold, he makes them hot. They are dry, he makes them moist. They shine, he fans and cools them. Thus acts Fohat from one twilight to the other, during Seven Eternities.
5. At the fourth, the sons are told to create their images. One third refuses—two obey.
The curse is pronounced; they will be born on the fourth, suffer and cause suffering; this is the first war.
6. The older wheels rotated downwards and upwards. . . . The mother’s spawn filled the whole. There were battles fought between the Creators and the Destroyers, and battles fought for space ; the seed appearing and re-appearing continuously.
7. Make thy calculations, Lanoo, if thou wouldest learn the correct age of thy small wheel. Its fourth spoke is our mother. Reach the fourth “fruit” of the fourth path of knowledge that leads to Nirvana, and thou shalt comprehend, for thou shalt see . . . . .
1. Behold the beginning of sentient formless life.
First the Divine, the one from the Mother-Spirit; then the Spiritual; the three from the one, the four from the one, and the five from which the three, the five, and the seven. These are the three-fold, the four-fold downward; the “mind-born” sons of the first Lord; the shining seven.
It is they who are thou, me, him, oh Lanoo. They, who watch over thee, and thy mother earth.
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2. The one ray multiplies the smaller rays. Life precedes form, and life survives the last atom of form. Through the countless rays proceeds the life-ray, the one, like a thread through many jewels.
3. When the one becomes two, the threefold appears, and the three are one; and it is our thread, oh Lanoo, the heart of the man-plant called Saptasarma.
4. It is the root that never dies ; the three-tongued flame of the four wicks. The wicks are the sparks, that draw from the three-tongued flame shot out by the seven—their flame—the beams and sparks of one moon reflected in the running waves of all the rivers of earth.
5. The spark hangs from the flame by the finest thread of Fohat. It journeys through the Seven Worlds of Maya. It stops in the first, and is a metal and a stone; it passes into the second and behold—a plant; the plant whirls through seven changes and becomes a sacred animal. From the combined attributes of these, Manu, the thinker is formed. Who forms him? the seven lives, and the one life. Who completes him? The five-fold Lha. And who perfects the last body? Fish, sin, and soma. . . . .
6. From the first-born the thread between the Silent Watcher and his Shadow becomes more strong and radiant with every change. The morning sun-light has changed into noon-day glory. . . . .
7. This is thy present wheel, said the Flame to the Spark. Thou art myself, my image, and my shadow. I have clothed myself in thee, and thou art my Vahan to the day, “Be with us,” when thou shalt re-become myself and others, thyself and me. Then the builders, having donned their first clothing, descend on radiant earth and reign over men—who are themselves. . . .
Thus ends this portion of the archaic narrative, dark, confused, almost incomprehensible. An attempt will now be made to throw light into this darkness, to make sense out of this apparent NON-SENSE.
NEXT: STANZA I.—THE NIGHT OF THE UNIVERSE