The Theosophical Forum – March 1949


[At a meeting of the Headquarters Lodge at Point Loma, April 14, 1940, G. de P. gave an exposition of the particular aspect of involution and evolution dealing with the synchronous progress of the spiritual and material elements in perfecting the sevenfold MAN. This address, printed in Studies in Occult Philosophy, has provoked much thought in the minds of members and earnest students of the philosophy Observations submitted independently from Melbourne and London are printed here as being of interest to FORUM readers. A brief explanation of Sanskrit words used herein appears at the end of the article. — Eds.]

Man, like the planets and the stars, is also a sevenfold entity composed of seven principles. These principles, however, are not separate parts added to him to make him sevenfold, but one complete unit, each part emanating from the one higher to it and all linked together in an indissoluble tie which is temporarily dispersed at death but reassembled with each new imbodiment.

From the Divine spark Atman is born its sheath Buddhi which in its turn produces its sheath Manas, and so on down to the dense physical body which is the material expression of the atman or god-spark. Thus man ranges from the divine to the physical, a potential god encased in a material vehicle, so that the full gamut of the evolution of spirit into matter and back again into spirit may be traversed by the pilgrim monads: unself-conscious monads thrown off from some distant parent star in order that these their children shall one day return from their eternal wanderings to self-conscious knowledge of those who gave them birth.

This pilgrimage of the development of the principles into self-conscious knowledge of their own nature takes the monad of each individual far afield, from solar system to solar system and from planet to planet and back again on its journeyings in the Outer Rounds, evolving always on its travels.

In particular, however, the principles evolve during the Inner Rounds, that is, the planetary and global rounds of this particular Earth Chain or the seven planetary Rounds and the Seven Root-races manifested forth on each of the seven globes.

It is an important point to remember that each one of these seven principles is itself sevenfold. There is a sthula-sarira of atman and so on even as there is an atman of sthula-sarira. One may say that each principle always contains all the others to a certain degree while still maintaining its own swabhavic qualities in particular.


Now when a planetary chain, this Earth chain for instance, commenced building its seven lower globes, the life-waves of all the kingdoms, including the human, first appeared on Globe A in what is termed the First Round. At this time, owing to the work of the three elemental kingdoms, the seven globes are just commencing formation, and when the human life-wave first appears on Globe A it is manifesting the sthula-sarira of atman. Because of the pull of matter during this Arc of Descent, atman, buddhi, manas, etc., of atman manifest in rapid succession, racing on until the sthula-sarira is reached. The life-wave then leaves the body of atman as it were on Globe A and the surplus of life then overflows downwards to Globe B. Here the descent of the principles goes down as far as the sthula-sarira of buddhi. This descent of the seven principles is of course the manifestation of all the seven root-races on each of the seven globes. The same process is repeated on each globe in serial order from A to G, leaving behind the most evolved of the monads comprising the human life-wave on each globe. This is the First Round, the formative one, and may be termed the atman Round. However, atman has not been fully developed during this round, only the lowest part of atman having become manifest.

During the Second Round, the buddhi is emanated forth, but not in its entirety. It is the linga-sarira or astral mould of buddhi which is brought out in this round on all the seven globes. So that in evoluting forth the sevenfold seven principles, it is the sthula-sarira of atman which is brought forth in the First Round, the linga-sarira of buddhi during the Second Round, the prana of manas during the Third Round, the kama of kama in the Fourth Round, the manas of prana in the Fifth, the buddhi of linga-sarira during the Sixth Round, and the atman of sthula-sarira in the Seventh and final Round.

During the seven rounds the human life-wave on each of the seven globes manifests forth a little more completely each of the principles with each successive round until at the end of the planetary or Inner Round, the seven principles are evolved forth in all their sevenfold completeness. The Monads comprising the human life-wave shall then have become fully developed seven-principled beings, that is to say they shall have become Dhyan-chohans or Manasa-putras, gods possessing bodies of light, radiant like the sun. The linga-sarira will then be enabled to catch every vibration like a sounding-board, while the prana will be under the control of the mind, so that such a being may work all manner of magic, smashing rocks or trees merely by the electrical power of his prana controlled by his will.

Man is at present in the Fourth Round and during this Fifth Root-Race is but an imperfectly developed being, now engaged upon manifesting forth the kama of kama on all the globes in this Round. With the passage of the root-races however, is further brought forth one of these sevenfold seven principles on a minor scale to the rounds. So that during the Fifth Root-Race the manas of prana is being developed on this Globe D at present. It is during the Fifth Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race that Man is consciously learning to control the forces and energies of nature, such as the harnessing of electricity and atomic energy.

Also may be seen the reason why the Atlantean or preceding Root-Race was the turning point in the history of the development of humanity not only upon this Globe D but of the entire seven globes. It was the mid-point of the rounds and of the root-races on this middle or lowest of the globes — definitely a very critical period. The desire principle was very much in evidence and on this most material globe matter had its strongest pull on mankind. The Arc of Descent had reached its densest point and materially speaking, physical matter was at its most compact, the very atoms being hungry for each other at this period of time.

Since then we have passed on, just commencing upwards towards the Arc of Ascent so that gradually matter will become less compacted and more ethereal. Man's physical vehicle will undergo many wondrous changes during the future Root-Races Six and Seven, one of them being the development of two backbones; and at last his Fourth Round body will become more and more ethereal and shine with radiance.

During the Third Root-Race, there occurred on this globe the Descent of the Manasaputras, who, it has been hinted, came from the planetary chain Venus. This may possibly be connected with the fact that formerly, during the Outer Round, the collective hosts of monads comprising the Earth's planetary chain were evolving forth upon the Venus chain. These Manasaputras came to give a spark of mind, to awaken manas in the then undeveloped human vehicles, which at this period had only manifested — so far as the root-races were concerned — the prana of manas. Thus the manas of manas which is now much in evidence at the present time, was not then fully evolved. There was not then the proper vehicle for these Manasaputras, and this is a possible reason why some of these Manasaputras at first refused to imbody themselves in these inadequate vehicles. Thus the Manasaputras awakened the manasic principle or the minds of the humanity of that time during the Third or Manasic Root-Race. For as the principles develop during the rounds on each of the different globes so also they follow the same general pattern in each of the seven root-races on the globes in each round.

It may be seen that there are two main lines of evolution, the spiritual and the material; the one the consciousness side, the other the vehicular side; and these commence at opposite poles, converge and diverge again, the monads involuting into matter, so that they may evolve forth the appropriate vehicles in which they may manifest as self-conscious gods. During the seven rounds these monads comprising the human life-wave build for themselves fit vehicles in which to manifest as the Dhyan-Chohans they shall eventually become.

So that the Fourth Round and the Fourth Race finds the two converged together much as we are at present, having only just turned the Arc of Ascent. This is the reason why on this Globe D in this particular round, matter is the dense, gross thing we recognize it as being today, because the kamic or fourth principle, being the middle one, is the densest and furthest from the spiritual. In future rounds, and on other globes, and even in future root-races on this globe, physical matter will not be the gross dense kind we know today, but of a far more etherealized and refined quality, just as in the earlier rounds and also in earlier races on this globe such was the case, as the spiritual side had not then become so intensely imbedded in the matter side or the two had not so closely converged together.

The seven principles, however, are not to be thought of as mere abstractions in Man but as a constant chain of monads ranging from the highest to the lowest. They are actual beings, consciousness-centers, each living on its own appropriate level, but all strung together with a thread-self and in their totality they make up Man in all his complex constitution. Thus on the manasic level Man is one being, on the buddhic another, and at the divine level still another. It has been stated by G. de Purucker that "all of our principles are in transit all the time and pass from Sun to Moon and from Moon to Sun and from planet to planet, but under different conditions for each set of principles." This of course has reference to the Outer Rounds, but is worth mentioning as being an example of the vast scale on which Man lives and moves and has his being.

When the Manasaputras came down, and, as it were, manasaputrized humanity or helped to evolve forth the manasic principle, they did not actually descend, but extended a ray from themselves down to the evolving human vehicles. But humanity by the time it reaches its Seventh Round on the globes of this chain shall then have evolved forth the manasic principle fully, and thus from each Manasaputra springs forth its child which is a ray from itself. When however, we, their children, shall have evolved to their present level they shall have evolved still further again in the chain of endless becoming. Nevertheless, they are ourselves at one level, even as we are ourselves at our present level. We are rays from them even as they are rays from beings still more highly advanced.

These seven principles are in reality ten principles, but as with the globes of a planetary chain, only the lower seven are manifest. These higher three principles are Man at an even grander scale of evolution than his divine atman, and this fact brings home the injunction: "Man Know Thyself."

These upper principles have been termed "the link by which Man hangs from the heart of the Universe," and they bear the same relation to him that the upper unmanifest globes bear to a planetary chain, even as the lower seven globes correspond to his lower seven principles. They are exoterically generalized under the one term of Atman — the Essential Self. Man, at present, is involved in his four lower principles and will in future rounds evolve forth his three higher ones in their entirety.

It is during the Fifth Round, which evolves forth the manas of prana or the vehicle of manas, that will occur the period of the great choice before humanity — whether they shall continue to evolve forth their higher principles and become Dhyan-Chohans or fall back to wait for the next manvantara.

Thus may be pictured the whole purpose of evolution: that it ever brings forth the core of each entity, continually drawing out what was latent, and evolving and manifesting more completely the
innate powers of all entities. Self-unfoldment and Self-knowledge go hand in hand in the unraveling of the greatest of all mysteries — Man himself. — Ronnie Beach, Melbourne, Australia

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I am still pondering over G. de P.'s article "Development of Man's Principles in the Rounds." It is a lovely picture, fully manifested Man, which comes out of his article.

Forgetting for a moment the origin of the Monads and the Tattvas, and "astral moulds," one comes across a wealth of references for study. As G. de P. says, the diagrams are intended to show the importance of the 4th — then forget the diagram.

Now is this what happens? — In the beginning the Human Monad awakes in Adi-Tattva and clothes itself therein (sthula-sarira). It proceeds to do so through all the tattvas. Having accomplished this the impulse (supplied in the first round by the experience of meeting Anupapadaka) necessitates a second journey and it clothes itself in its second outer garment (the vehicle of the next inmost), linga-sarira. Then the third round.

Now in the fourth round one can feel the position better than describe it. It is strained to the uttermost by the inertia of its position (like trying to separate two liquids almost identical in every respect). There is the immense "stilling" power of Vayu-tattva opposed to the karmic or spiritual memory of the Monad whose very principle is of the same nature as Vayu-tattva! (I well remember something very similar in dreams when, by an enormous, it seemed to me, exertion of will, I succeeded in maintaining my own individuality.) See how profound are the depths of karman in operation!

At this moment pause and see the push-pull of spirit-matter in present-day life. See the terrific pull of the Vayu-tattva towards (the lower principles in) the higher tattvas already involuted by the Monad within its first three principles. See the spiritual power of the Monad "holding" its kama-principle and penetrating the cosmic elements! Observe also the sublime act of compassion of the Manasaputras!

For a moment longer, look at the wonder of full materialization. Vayu-tattva is called spirit (not in the sense of degree-of-spirituality, but the animating source of physical life), because the fully evolving kama of Vayu can work relatively quickly down through the imperfectly held lower three principles in fully defined physical form. Likewise (by means of the human animal monad?) the animal kingdom leaps into physical form — as the wind stirs the waves, carries the seed, and fills the nostrils.

With each succeeding round, down into the fourth, physical forms appear a little sooner and are more clearly defined.

Now see this wonderful panorama, and pass on. . . .

There is the spiritual impulse of the monad, acting through the strengthening lower principles in the higher tattvas, brightening the face of kama as it yearns more strongly to answer the "passive call" through the higher principles held in the lower tattvas. The manas of prana is evolved (manas: thinker and builder, prana: the instrument of manipulation). The Buddhi of linga-sarira: universal, sustaining, malleable. Atman of prithivi-tattva is evolved: the direct image or thatness of the Human Monad fully made Man.

Thus is the Human Monad as Manas a Cosmic being operating on four cosmic planes: his task to guard the Rupa planes during the coming manvantara for all the kingdoms up to, and including, the Human Kingdom — just as it was his task during the passing manvantara to rise through kama-vayu and to purify the spirit-base of the physical world; and just as the wise aspirant purifies his blood and circulation (not only as an end in itself, but incidentally to his self-purifying aspirations to chelaship or illumination).

Thus is the Human Monad, as a fully manifested Divine-Human Being, a seven-principled Being with each principle manifesting in its rupa aspect, and with each principle having the other 6 principles recessively as harmonics blending with those of each of the other six dominant principles. And again you see his duality on four planes, suggestively pointing to a vaster scheme of evolution. There are even the great attributes reflected: Courage, Individuality, Understanding, Wisdom, Love. Out of these come the ethical teachings. — John Peck, London, England

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A brief definition of the various Sanskrit terms used in the above two studies: Atman, buddhi, manas, prana, kama, linga-sarira, sthula-sarira: the principles as manifesting in man, respectively: Universal Spirit, the highest principle; enlightened discriminating faculty; mind; vitality; desire; astral body; and physical body. They exist correspondingly in every living entity. Dhyan-Chohans: lit. "Lords of Meditation" — beings in the next stage of evolution above the human. Manasaputras: lit. "sons of mind" — evolved beings from a former cycle of evolution who sponsored the awakening of mind in the Third Race. Manvantara: an evolutionary cycle. Tattwas: the seven (or ten) fundamental Element-Principles or Element-Substances in Universal Nature, also represented in the human constitution. Adi-tattwa: the highest, original, universal principle, corresponding to atman. Anupapadaka-tattwa: the second, or spiritual principle, corresponding to buddhi. Vayu-tattwa: the fifth principle, the principle of air, corresponding to kama-prana. Prithivi-tattwa: the 7th, or earth-principle, corresponding to sthula-sarira. Rupa planes: the manifested (material) planes (rupa, body, form).

The Theosophical Forum