A correspondent of the Indian Mirror, an influential daily paper at Calcutta, writing under the heading of “Proper Education for our Ladies,” says:—
Your editorial on the above subject in your issue of the 22nd instant, raises one of the most important questions:—“What constitutes real education?” The true aim of education, philosophically considered, should be the enlightenment of the mind. It should expand the mind, the breadth of vision and perception, and not limit it to a narrow circle. On the ordinary physical plane, reading and writing are no doubt, a great help for education, for they place before one various ideas to be taken cognisance of. At the same time, however, it must not be forgotten that they are but means to the end. One should, moreover, remember that there are other necessary means to the same end. One of these, and the most important, is the continued attention to the phenomenal side of nature in such a manner as to enable one to arrive at its noumenal side, by viewing it in all its aspects. Our ancient Rishis have placed within our reach, if we would but have them, the means whereby we can study the relation of the manifested to the unmanifested, and trace the effect to its primal cause. It is such a broad and comprehensive education that we want, and not the present mockery of the same. If, in ancient days, the Aryans learnt at the feet of their mothers, and if their character and destiny “were formed even in gestation and with the sucking of the mother’s milk”—it must have been due to the fact that the education of those days was of a cosmopolitan nature. We have undoubtedly to elevate the woman, but we have to elevate ourselves too. We have to endeavour to hasten the approach of the day when the scientific aspect of the “immaculate conception” will be realised. It would not be unprofitable here to quote the sentiments of an Eminent Occultist, published in the Paradoxes of the Highest Science:––
“. . . Woman must not be looked upon as only an appanage of man, since she was not made for his mere benefit or pleasure any more than he for hers; but the two must be realized as equal powers though unlike individualities.
“. . . Woman’s mission is to become the mother of future occultists—of those who will be born without sin. On the elevation of woman the world’s redemption and salvation hinge. And not till woman bursts the bonds of her sexual slavery, to which she has ever been subjected, will the world obtain an inkling of what she really is and of her proper place in the economy of nature . . .1
“. . . Then the world will have a race of Buddhas and Christs, for the world will have discovered that individuals have it in their own powers to procreate Buddha-like children or demons. When that knowledge comes, all dogmatic religions and with these the demons, will die out.” (Page 115.)
In short, one may say that what mankind has first to get rid of, are the base passions and desires which appeal to their sensual appetites. The woman has to cease to be a slave; so has the man to become free; both have to break loose from the bondage of animal tendencies. Then will their natures be elevated; then will the woman be able to put herself en rapport with Prakriti, and man with Purush; the union of these two will produce a race of Buddhas, the children of the Virgin “without sin.” These are our ideal men and women, but philosophy recognises that “the imagination realizes what it invents,” a paradoxical truth beautifully put forth by Éliphas Lévi. And if those Hindus, who blindly worship their sacred books as also those who sneer at these latter without realising the meaning of what they contain, were but to turn to them with an enlightened eye, and comprehend their teachings by reading them between the lines, they will take the right step in the cause of progress, which should be the real scope of education.
26th March, 1884.
The above letter raises certain important questions. Some enquire how the world is to go on if all were to become occultists, one of the vital conditions of that order being celibacy. Others say that the ancient Rishis married, quoting some of the names mentioned in the Hindu religious books; and argue therefrom that celibacy is not an essential condition for progress in practical occultism. Generally, they put a literal interpretation upon what is beautifully conveyed by means of an allegory and insist upon the dead-letter sense being correct, whenever such a course is profitable in their narrow interests. They find it difficult to control the lower animal desires; and, in order to justify their conduct of persistence in hankering after sensual pleasures, they resort to these books as their authority, interpreting them in a manner most convenient to themselves. Of course, when any passages, even in their exoteric sense, conflict with the dictates of their “lower self,” then others are quoted, which esoterically convey the same sense, although exoterically supporting their peculiar views. The question of the marriage of the Rishis is one of such disputed points. The readers of The Theosophist may recall here, with advantage, a passage occurring in the article under the heading of “Magicon,” where one of the occultists is said to have rejected the hand of a beautiful young lady, on the ground of his having taken the vow of celibacy, although he himself confesses further on to be courting a virgin whose name was “Sophia.” Now, it is explained there that “Sophia” is wisdom or the Buddhi—the spiritual soul (our sixth principle). This principle is everywhere represented as a “female,” because it is passive inasmuch as it is merely the vehicle of the seventh principle. This latter—which is called Atma when spoken of in connection with an individual and Purush when applied in its relation to the Universe—is the active male, for it is the Center of Energy acting through and upon its female vehicle, the sixth principle.
The occultist, when he has identified himself thoroughly with his Atma, acts upon the Buddhi, for, according to the laws of Cosmic Evolution, the Purusha—the universal seventh principle––is perpetually acting upon and manifesting itself through Prakriti—the universal sixth principle. Thus the Mahatma, who has become one with his seventh principle—which is identical with Purusha, since there is no isolation in the spiritual monad—is practically a creator, for he has identified himself with the evoluting and the manifesting energy of nature. It was in this sense that the Rishis are said to have married. And the union of Śiva and Śakti represents the same allegory. Śiva is the Logos, the Vach, manifested through the Śakti; and the union of the two produces the phenomenal creation, for until the Son is born, the Father and the Mother are non-existent. Now Śakti being a female principle, it is fully manifested through a woman, although, properly speaking, the inner man is neither male, nor female. It is only the preponderance of either of the two principles (positive and negative) which determines the sex. Now, this preponderance is determined by the Law of Affinity; and hence in a woman is manifested abnormally the occult power represented by Śakti. She is moreover gifted with a wonderfully vivid imagination—stronger than man’s. And as the phenomenal is the realization or rather the manifestation of the Ideal, which can be properly and strongly conceived only by a powerful Imagination—a Woman-adept can produce high occultists—a race of “Buddhas and Christs,” born “without sin.” The more and the sooner the animal sexual affinities are given up, the stronger and the sooner will be the manifestation of the higher occult powers which alone can produce the “immaculate conception.” And this art is practically taught to the occultists at a very high stage of initiation. The “Adept,” whether the Sthula Sarira be male or female, is then able to bring a new being into existence by the manipulation of cosmic forces. Anasûyâ, a female adept of the ancient times, is thus said to have conceived immaculately Durvasa, Dattatreya and Chandra—the three distinct types of Adeptship. Thus it will be seen that the marriage of the occultist (who is, as already explained, neither male nor female) is a “holy union,” devoid of sin, in the same manner as Krishna’s union with thousands of Gopîs. Sensual-minded men have taken this fact up too literally; and, out of a wrong interpretation of the text, has arisen a sect which indulges in the most degrading practices. But, in fact, Krishna represents the seventh principle, while the Gopîs indicate the innumerable powers of that principle manifested through its “vehicle.” Its union “without sin,” or rather the action or manifestation of each of these powers through the “female principle” gives rise to the phenomenal appearances. In such a union the occultist is happy and “without sin” for the “conception” of his other-half—the female principle—is “immaculate.” The very fact, that this stage pertains to one of the very highest initiations, shows that the time—when ordinary humanity, during the course of cosmic evolution, will, in this manner, be able to produce a race of “Buddhas,” etc., born “without sin”—is yet very, very far off—perhaps attainable in the sixth or the seventh “round.” But when once this possibility and the actuality of this fact is recognized, the course of living and education may be so moulded as to hasten the approach of that eventful day when on this earth will descend “the Kingdom of Heaven.”
1. The writer in the Indian Mirror has omitted the most important passage from the remarks of the “Eminent Occultist.” The passage reads:—“Old India, the India of the Rishis, made the first sounding with her plummet line in this ocean of Truth, but the post-Mahabharatean India, with all her profundity of learning, has neglected and forgotten it.” This remark will show that the present article treats of a practical reality and not of a fanciful theory.