At the bottom of this page, note my Israelite sources text reference to “.. the most important work available on Israelite religion”. (quote from the Text review by Richard S. Hess Professor of Old TestamentDenver Seminary)
For those of you who are not familiar with my resea rch in the interdiciplinary sources, this is a good introduction to the kind of materials that I have studied for over 40 years. I do not depend on the summary studies of others, but go as far back and as deep into the actual sources as possible in my research. Thus I have studied Afro-Heleno-Semitc ‘Jewish’ miniatures (coins, seals etc.) for decades.
Below I have pasted-in an old web letter of mine to saragrahi.org, in which I have excerpted some questions and my answers from a long internet exchange that I had with a group of Theosophical Society scholars. As part of this exchange I included some very important reference works that I still recommend to anyone who is seriously interested in my work. These are not easy reading, and will not make much sense to people who are not well-studied in the Judeo-cCatholic Tradition, but if you do have the background and interest, these references will be well worth studying. Please note that some of the sections below written by me, but quoted by a Theosophist, are in-set and have a bar along the left side.
This is Google’s cache ofhttp://www.saragrahi.org/Header%20Links/Articles%20By%20Author/Bhakti%20Anand%20Goswami/973%20What%20Were%20They%20Masters%20Of%20Part%205.htm. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Jul 27, 2010 09:32:15 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more
These search terms are highlighted: tarot tomberg These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: caitanya
<span>What Were They Masters Of? Examining the Claims of the Theosophical Masters Part Five</span>By Bhakti Ananda Goswami
Editor’s note: The following is in the form of Bhakti Ananda Goswami’s reply to one of the postings on the theos-talk discussion list. The Theosophist’s remarks are prefaced by >>>
>>> Your essay is quite interesting and contains much food for thought.
Even the best of friends, in fact the very best of friends, continually try to stimulate each other’s growth with thought-provoking communication. The phrase ‘food for thought’ is so apt, because thought is actually nourished by new, difficult and challenging ideas and stimuli. Whether one has a monistic or dualistic world-view, the Socratic Dialogue method of teaching and learning is very valuable. You and I, and the other contributors here, have raised questions that merit investigation, and this is a good thing, not a negative thing. Even if some people have been a little impolite, I am glad to have heard from them all, and consider that there are some sincerely kind and compassionate thinkers on this forum as well, who have made the visit here even more worthwhile. If I had the physical strength, I would like to correspond with each of them individually. However, due to my disabilities, I can’t possibly do it. So I offer my respectful obeisances to you all as I conclude my Theos Talk correspondence with the following responses.
>>> Unfortunately, you have asserted many things but have not given the evidence and documentation that would allow your readers to judge whether your generalizations are valid or not. Hopefully at some point, you will provide some detailed examples of the documentation behind some of your generalized statements.
Since the advent of the Internet in my life, I have taken to choosing key search-word terms in my writing, so that when I am painting large historical pictures with very broad strokes, anyone questioning my grasp or presentation of the facts / details can quite easily go online and using any good search engine, usually find relevant supporting information about my assertions in a few mouse clicks. On my saragrahi.org column “One Faith,” I have given many more details relative to some of the assertions I have made here, and I invite you and any of the readers on this e-group to go there and take a look. Remember that if you search the names and terms in my writings there, you can often easily find voluminous proofs on the Internet to back-up my assertions. These will not be from such spurious authorities as Eliaphas Levi, Nicholas Notovitch, Louis Jacolliot, Spencer Lewis, Edgar Cayce, Alice Bailey or other such out-right concoctors or ‘akashic record’ readers. I use only the best of reliable sources in my work, and do not consider mediums and channelers, who do not even have their facts of mundane history straight, to be any kind of authorities on anything. I have already suggested that serious students of theosophy (small t) read the actual source works, even if in authorized translations, of the ‘Mahatmas’ ‘Hindu’ and Buddhist thought. I have given a publisher (BBT) for authentic Vaishnava translations of the Vaishnava Shastras. I have even recommended an Advaitan source (Fr. Raimundo Panikkar’s “…Mantra Manjari…”) for the Vedic Hymns in English, despite the fact that an Advaiti interpretation of the Hymns is a denial of their plain and obvious theism and an imposition of a modern view on them. Below I will provide some texts as examples of the useful source works in English that I have employed in my research.
For a very general overview of my perspective on how my own adopted religious tradition of Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnavism relates to the ancient mysteries, I would especially like to recommend two books for theosophists.Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism by Anonymous, Robert Powell (Translator), Hans Urs Von Balthasar (Afterword). The author of this amazing work was the well-known esoteric Master Valentin Tomberg. This book was written in his final phase of Catholic Christian maturity, when all of his previous studies resolved into his worship of the Jesus Christ of Faith. In this text, he clearly describes the differences between the monist and non-dualist views of the Advaitans and the transcendental personalism of the ‘dualists’ like Madhva and the qualified non-dualists like Chaitanya. He concludes that the highest most all-embracing experience of the absolute is the experience of the transcendental Personal God of the Bible and Bhagavad-Gita, of Abraham, Isaac and John, of Madhva, Ramanuja and Chaitanya! I believe that he even makes a summary statement of this on page 167, however I don’t have a copy of the book anymore, so can’t be sure. (Try page 157 as well.) Thus this unrivaled esoteric Master / Adept, at the end of his life, in his greatest wisdom and maturity SPECIFICALLY identifies the highest experience of the absolute with the Judeo-Catholic Mystical Tradition that my own Vaishnava lineage is historically related to. The texts that I have stated (in my essay here), that HPB / the Mahatmas borrowed from, are those of the Madhva-Chaitanya Lineage of Vaishnavism that Tomberg specifically mentions in his conclusive statement about self and God realization. Somehow in his own inquiries into truth, he went beyond the historically late speculations of the Advaitans and Theravadin Buddhists, R. Steiner / the Anthroposophists and Theosophists, and studied into the ancient Judeo-Catholic and Vaishnava source-works themselves. There he found the full unabridged truth about the ancient Mysteries, and became reconciled to the God of exoteric faith, organized Guru Shastra Sadhu religion, and real incarnate world history.
In his multi- volume series on the History of Indian Philosophy Sir Surendranath Das Gupta states that the greatest accomplishment of Indian thought was not in the mayavic teachings on illusion and monism in the Advaita Vedanta of the Tradition of Shankaracharya, but in the Advaitic system’s REALISTIC refutation, and in the assertion of a TRANSCENDENTAL PERSONALISM by Madhvacharya and his brilliant followers like Jayatirtha and Vyasatirtha. In his volume that treats the Tradition of Madhva, he also mentions the achievement of the followers of Chaitanya (in Gaudiya Vaishnavism), which is related to the Madhvite Lineage. The reason I chose to specialize in the study of Gaudiya Chaitanyaite Vaishnavism 30 plus years ago, was that this is the lineage that most intensively focuses on the inner Bridal Mysticism of Radha-Krishna-centric Vaishnavism, and the Purusha-Sukta related salvific tradition of the transcendent Baladeva-Sankarshana in His multi-form as the Rig Vedic Purusha Yupa-Dhvaja (Self-Sacrificed Macro-Cosmic Deity) Vishnu (the Pure Land Buddhist Lokeshvara) Who descends from age to age to save the world. My earlier studies in Old Testament related Egyptian and Greek (Afro-Helleno-Semitic) connections had led me directly to Vaishnavism and from there to the sattvic forms of Mahayana Buddhism and Shiva-Shakti worship. The Madhvaite and Chaitanyaite Traditions are the vehicles of transmission, which have conveyed the most ancient traditions of Vedic-Vaishnava Transcendental Personalism and Bridal Mysticism to the present as living traditions. This Madhva-Gaudiya Lineage of Vaishnavism is therefore an inexhaustible treasure-trove of information and inspiration for someone such as myself (or Tomberg and Das Gupta) who wants to understand both the oldest historical (Vedic) stratum, and most rarified heights of human thought and mystical experience / realization. This series on the history of Indian Philosophy is old, but provides a good over-view for anyone wanting to compare the Advaitic teachings of the Shankarites, and the Dvaita (and later qualified non-dualistic) teachings of Madhva and Chaitanya.
It should be kept in mind that the Vedic-Vaishnava sources themselves are centuries to thousands of years older than the commentaries of either Shankara or Madhva. These source works, like the Vedic Hymns, are without doubt the testimony of worshipers of the Giving (Masculine) PERSONAL DEITY PURUSHA or VISHNU and His Receiving (Feminine) PRAKRITI SHAKTI / SHEKINAH. They clearly promote YOGA, which means NOT to merge two into one, but to YOKE two together, TO MOVE AS ONE as in a pair / yoke of oxen! The word CONJUGAL tells the entire tale about what real, authentic YOGA was all about…hence BRIDAL MYSTICISM. The root JUG in CONJUGAL, like YOKE, means to join TWO AS ONE, but not to obliterate their diversity in that unity. Think YOGA-YOKE-CONJUGAL. The Advaitans ignored the clear distinction in the earlier Vedic-Vaishnava source works between the Giving (YANG / PURUSHA) Supreme Self Paramatman and the Receiving (YIN / PRAKRITI) finite self, the jivatma. Thus they missed the Upanishadic Bridal Mysticism of the TWO Love Birds on the mystical TREE of LIFE, and failed to grasp the clear reference to this in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. In Genesis and the Upanishadic LOVE BIRDS Tradition, the Lord and the finite soul are lovers in transcendence, but when the jiva (hEVE, the “Mother of All Living”) becomes distracted by the fruits on the mystical tree of life, she momentarily forgets Her Lord / Lover, and tries to enjoy the fruit independently of Him, the Original Giver. This separating forgetfulness is her (maha — material) MAYA or enthrallment, and constitutes the “fall” of the jivas / EVE into the saha world of material birth, death, disease and old age. The jivas, who are expansions through the Receiving (YIN) potency of SHAKTI / SHEKINAH are not separated without hope of recovery within the saha world, because God their Lover as PURUSHA and PARAMATMAN ‘descends’ to experience the saha world with them AS ADON-YAHU / ATUM / ATEN / PARAM ATMAN / ADAM / ATOMOS / AUTOS / ONTOS etc. Out of His PLENUM / PURNAM of Self-effusive love, He INCARNATES to rescue them from eternal lovelessness in the multi-universes and cyclic worlds of REAL but TEMPORARY MATTER. This Bridal Mysticism drama of divine rescue is at the core/HEART of Judeo-Catholic, Greek, Egyptian, Eastern and numerous related ancient Bridal Mysticism spiritualities.
The second book that I consider ‘must’ reading for t/Theosophists in relationship to this subject is called Sophia-Maria: A Holistic Vision of Creation by Thomas Schipflinger (Samuel Weiser, 02/98 Paperback, ISBN 1-57863-022-3). Again this book actually zeros-in on the thea-logical connections between the Judeo-Catholic SHEKINAH (CHOKMAH) MARY-SOPHIA, the Pure Land Buddhist TARA and the Vaishnava RADHA. Like Tomberg, Fr. Schipflinger has seen through the veil of history to the single SHAKTI / SHEKINAH at the core of all the Bridal Mysticism Divine Love Traditions. What my own work brings to this truth is the actual solid interdisciplinary evidence of historical connections between these Traditions. At the dawn of history in the Minoan Era in the Mediterranean Sea, HERU-ASU / HELI-US / ELI-YAHU was already worshiped there on the sacred Isle of Rhodes by Africans, Europeans and Semites as KOUROS (KRISHA KESHAVA) the Divine Lover of the Soul. On Rhodes, the monotheistic Transcendent, Incarnating and Immanent Godhead of Heliopolitan Civilization in Egypt, the Levant and Europe, HELIOS KOUROS, was worshiped with His Feminine Sekhet / Shekinah (SHAKTI) RHODA-ASTARIA-NYMPHIA. This is the tradition of Mary the Mystical Rose (RHODA / RADHA), Stella Maris (TARA MARINA NARAYANI) and the mystical Lily or LOTUS / PADME (SRI or LAKSHMI). If one does not suffer from Euro-centric, Afro-centric or Indo-centric prejudice, or atheism, then these profoundly important connections are easy to discover studying real-world religious history.
>>> For example, let us take just one small section of your essay. Let me quote it first:
“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 unjustifiably 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 mouthpieces. 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.”
>>> You cover a lot of material in this one quoted extract but what inquiring readers need are detailed examples that would illustrate and document what you are asserting as being true.
>>> For example, consider the very first sentence above which reads:
“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.”
>>> What do you mean by “not properly credited by her”?
In the above statement I am referring to these other scholars’ work and opinions. You have cited your own apologetic Theosophical sources below, which attempt to discredit the opinions of the scholars who have dealt with HPB’s use of other writers’ material in her work. I have specifically stated that my personal interest is in the use or misuse that HPB or the Mahatmas made of literatures from my own Vaishnava Tradition. In the case of this use and abuse of Vedic-Vaishnava sources, there is clearly a lack of ‘genealogical association’ or historical honesty. Furthermore, the appropriated parts of Vaishnava thought incorporated into the Theosophical pseudo-Buddhist thought system have been purged of their theistic content and removed from their theistic context to produce an atheistic impression. Whether one interprets HPB’s use of non-‘Hindu’ sources as ‘plagiarism’ or not, her / the ‘Mahatmas’ use of Hindu sources was fraught with serious problems. Arguing over the term ‘plagiarism’ is a dodge that does not address these problems. In the last part of my “What Were They Masters Of?” paper, I have cited the readily available edition (BBT) of the Roman transliterations, comparative English translations, and Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavata Purana (Srimad Bhagavatam). In this Sanskrit Vedic-Vaishnava source work, I have given the specific Cantos and Chapters where detailed information can be found on the YUGAS, MANVANTARAS, KALPAS, DAYS AND NIGHTS OF BRAHMA, THE MANUS and other Theosophical-related teachings. Any English reader can now examine these texts comparatively for themselves. That is all I want, for people to do what Valentin Tomberg and Fr. Schipflinger had the fearless open-mindedness to do–to go to the ancient Eastern sources and face the testimony of the ancients there, instead of settling for a mere interpretation of ancient Eastern sources through Western esoteric traditions [like Theosophy or Anthroposophy and/or any other kind of Esoteric/Occult Aryanism].
Regarding the ‘science’ of Theosophical race ‘theory,’ much of this idea seems to be a Darwinism-based pseudo-scientific corruption of the Vedic conception of varna (natural divisions of giftedness in humanity) and the concept of different Manus (progenitors) of the ONE HUMAN RACE in various cosmic cycles, MANVANTARAS or YUGAS. The varnas originally had NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE, and recognized only that within EVERY CIVILIZED SOCIETY there ideally are cooperative natural divisions of labor, with a healthy balance-in-trade of goods and services between these labor-organs of the social body. The organizing Brahmin-heads, protective Kshatriya-arms, productive Vaishya-agriculturalists and merchants as the body, and the industrious laborers and crafts people as the supportive legs, were all essential parts of the sacred sacramental social body of Purusha [Polieus]. Nowhere in the early Vedic-Vaishnava sources is this social system associated with ‘aryanist’ racism or even birth caste-ism. As for the ‘scientific’ ideas about ‘race’ in Theosophy, later interpretations which attempt to re-present the original Theosophical Society teachings as devoid of racism are transparently full of sophistry and word-jugglery. However, I salute those theosophists and Theosophists who repudiate all forms of subtle and gross racism, and truly seek the equal brotherhood of all mankind. If these theosophists re-interpret and over-write the writings of HBP and the ‘Mahatmas’ and later Theosophists, purging them of racism, so much the better for mankind. In the same way one must try to grasp and preserve and to perpetuate the best of everything that we as humans have inherited. This means fearlessly facing our inheritance and identifying those pathological things that should no longer be perpetuated.
About the pathological esoteric racial theory afflicting the world today, I would like to ask one question and supply the answer: Which is the gene for race ? The answer is that there is none.
There are individual genes for hair texture and color, skin color, bone structure, height, individual facial features, neuro-organization (different KINDS of giftedness and intelligence) and every other SPECIFIC human feature. Every human body is made up of these INDIVIDUAL GENES. There is NO SINGLE RACE GENE ANYWHERE. There is one Human Race with a wide variety of individual features. When isolation causes restricted gene pooling, the result is the emergence of a ‘racial’ type, because of a preponderance of these individual features. Still this is only a statistical increase in certain individual FEATURES, and the individuals are still all members of the SAME ONE HUMAN RACE. Anyone with the most basic grasp of biology can understand this. In the Victorian Era, with the rise of Darwinian species evolutionary ideas, before genetics was well understood, it was easy for racists to think of multiple races, not grasping that we are all the reproductively compatible members of a same biological family. The early evolutionists like HBP formed their racial ideas without any understanding of genetics. Today, we know that there is no race gene, no existence of separate races AS SUCH in the human family. There are only separate genes for individual characteristics like hair, skin tone, stature, etc. No matter how hard today’s Theosophists might try to redeem HPB and the ‘Mahatmas’ teachings on race, these still stand as obvious relics of 19th century pseudo-scientific speculation. There was no race gene then, and there is none now.
I am very behind on my other writing, including a paper I need to write for the World Council of Elders of the Ancient Traditions and Cultures, which is holding their big mela in Mumbai India in 2003. I am an invited member of this Council, and have only a few more days to send in my paper for the conference. I will not be able to go due to my health, but would like for my paper to be in the conference souvenir, so I would like to get it in. Thus I bid farewell to you all, and wish you the very best in you continued quests. Below I suggest some reading which I think you will find stimulating regarding ancient East-West connections.
Study the Vaishnava Ayur Vedic Medical Tradition of Baladeva as Charaka, and then read Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies, Volumes I and II in One by Emma J. Edelstein, Ludwig Edelstein (Contributor), Gary Ferngren (Introduction), 1998, from Johns Hopkins University Press. Then consider the cult of the Medical Buddha at YAKUSHIJI in Nara, Japan. The Deity IASAS / JESUS Asclepius, Son of Helios / ELI-YAHU / HERI-ASU, NOT the Homeric hero preferred by the Edelsteins, is the Alexandrian Great Physician Serapis and the Jesus Christ of Catholic Guru Shastra Sadhu faith.
To understand that the Supreme God of the Semites, Afro-Egyptians and Greeks (Indo-Europeans) was the Supreme Deity of Heliopolitan Monotheism, please consider the evidence from Jewish Miniatures now available in the text reviewed below. All of the evidence in this volume supports my thesis regarding the connections between the Nilo-Saharan Supreme Deity Heri-Asu (HORUS THE ELDER, HELIOS), the Semitic Deity ELI-YAHU and the Vaishnava, Shaivite and Pure Land Buddhist HARI, HARA and HARIH.
Best wishes to you all,
Pax and Prema,Bhakti Ananda Gowami
BELOW IS PROFESSOR HESS’S REVIEW OF KEEL AND UEHLINGER’S IMPORTANT TEXT.
Volume 3 – 2000Keel, Othmar and Christoph Uehlinger1998, Gods, Goddesses and Images of God in Ancient Israel. Translated by Thomas H. Trapp. Philadelphia: Fortress. Hardback, xiii + 466 pp. ISBN 0-8006-2789-X.
The German original of this work, when it appeared in 1992, was hailed as the most important work available on Israelite religion. Since then the publication of R. Albertz’s History of Israelite Religion has provided an alternative standard for a critical reconstruction of the religious beliefs and practices of the people of the Old Testament. Meanwhile, the work of Keel and Uehlinger has lost none of its importance in translation. The vast number of drawings are reproduced as in the original. The value of this work can be found in its summary of all the extrabiblical evidence available to the authors in terms of ancient Palestinian cultic practices. The inscriptions and cult centers are included and the whole is placed in a chronological sequence according to established nomenclature, from Middle Bronze II B (c. 1700-1550 B.C.), through the Late Bronze Age, the Iron I (1200-1000), the Iron II A (1000-925), II B (925-722), II C (722-586), and Iron III periods.
In addition, there is a thorough analysis of the pictorial art that reflects religious beliefs and practices. This comes primarily from the art of seals and seal impressions, of which the collection created by Keel includes some 8,500. In fact, it is in this pictorial presentation that the authors make their distinctive contribution. No other publication has catalogued and produced a century-by-century survey of the representational art of ancient Palestine with a full awareness of the dominant forms and motifs, and how these develop and change. Thus while the Middle Bronze Age (the patriarchal period) emphasizes images of naked goddesses and eroticism, this is replaced in the Late Bronze Age (though never entirely) by portrayals of deities and princes as warriors. This is the period of the exodus and the beginnings of the conquest. Iron I, the period of the Judges, reveals dominant masculine imagery in the art while the female deities retreat to the arena of private worship and devotion. The tenth century, the period of the United Monarchy, saw the gradual disappearance of anthropomorphic representations of deities, an Egyptian trait, and an orientation toward the North where deities were represented with their symbols. The Iron II B period (c. 925 – c. 722 B.C.) finds Judah with few pictorial representations, except symbols of royalty adapted from Egypt and some local motifs. The Northern Kingdom adapted and contributed to the flourishing Phoenician artistic and religious traditions. When Judah remained alone independent (Iron II C) the images in the country decreased significantly (contrast, however, pillar based figurines and horse-and-rider figurines). Elsewhere in Palestine Assyrian-influenced art and religion predominated.
The close correlation of these artistic and religious developments with the biblical accounts of each period are treated broadly and sympathetically by the authors but not developed in any detail. This is probably for the best because it avoids the scholarly tendency to opt for one or another critical theory and superimpose it on the biblical period in a way unacceptable to everyone else. By focusing on the evidence and avoiding extensive biblical interpretations and correlations, Keel and Uehlinger succeed in providing a useful volume for everyone interested in the subject.
Of course, issues can be raised. The imagery of the naked goddesses and human couples, so popular in the Middle Bronze Age, may well have as much to do with fertility as with eroticism. The Late Bronze Age recounting of Palestinian religion must address the Mt. Ebal installation. It is probably a sanctuary. Finally, the distinction between Asherah (Asherata) and Astarte in the Iron Age is difficult to identify and arguments that depersonify Yahweh’s “asherah” and reduce it to a cult symbol are not persuasive.
Nevertheless, the methodology of the overall presentation is useful. As long as one remembers that all art without text is somewhat speculative in terms of interpretation, there is much here that will help to recreate the religion, life, and culture of the Old Testament world of ancient Israel.
Richard S. Hess Professor of Old TestamentDenver Seminary