Theosophical University Press Online Edition
Elementals and Elementaries, etc.
Kama-Rupas — Their Future
The Death of a Sun
Heat and Cold on Jupiter, etc.
Comets and Meteors
REFERENCE: Letter XV, pp. 97-9
I would like to make a comment upon the statement quoted from The Mahatma Letters concerning the Teacher's observation that there are elementals which never become men. This tells us two things: (1) that elementals become men, and (2), that there is a certain class of elementals in our manvantara which will not have the time to become men during the remainder of the course of this manvantara. They won't have the time to run up the ladder of evolution through the different kingdoms until the human kingdom is reached. They will become men in the next manvantara or perhaps in the manvantara after that. Sometime they will be men. All elementals become men. Man as a kingdom is a goal which all kingdoms below the human look up to and aspire toward; and during the course of evolution every monad beneath the human stage is aspiring to evolve, is unfolding itself finally to become a human.
In connexion with this I want to issue a word of warning; it may have struck most of you, perhaps not all. It is with regard to the word elementary and the apparent almost identity of meaning which H. P. B. or the Masters occasionally give to the two words 'elemental' and 'elementary.' The reason was this: in the early days — and remember we are going back now to the very early days of the Theosophical Society — our vocabulary had not yet been sufficiently defined nor was it sufficiently extensive. During those early days words were used which were later dropped, such as the word 'rings' in connexion with the rounds and races. The word 'rings' finally passed out of theosophical use.
Now the word 'elementary' was taken in those early days by our theosophical writers, the Masters and H. P. B. pre-eminently, from the writings of the Qabbalists and also from the imperfect writings of Eliphas Levi, the French Abbe and Qabbalist. These Qabbalists meant by 'elementary' several things, but generally what we Theosophists now today call 'elemental.' An elemental soul they called an elementary soul, or simply elementary for short. So therefore you will sometimes find the two words used indiscriminately. Words which were then used almost synonymously we nowadays do not use in that way.
Later on, I think it was mainly due to H. P. B.'s work, 'elementary' was set aside and given a specific technical meaning of its own which we now all understand. There is a peculiar meaning which we could even yet use in the word elementary — and by the way, in H. P. B.'s Theosophical Glossary if you will look under this word you will see what she has to say about just this point — there is a certain deeply significant and occult meaning which we could give to 'elementary' quite apart from its technical meaning that we now give to it as a rule. We have to go back to the early Fire Philosophers who said that the elements of nature were filled with inhabitants. In other words, to phrase it as we would today, every cosmic plane has its own inhabitants fit for that cosmic plane, utterly unfit for any other cosmic plane; precisely as we men could not live under water as the fishes do or as the whale does. We are not fit for that milieu, that medium, that cosmic plane so to say.
So by going back to this original meaning of the Fire Philosophers, which is quite a true meaning, we still today could say that an elementary in this other sense means an elemental soul, thus specifically described because defining it as climbing up the rungs of the ladder of life step by step upwards. At every step upwards it is a master, relatively at least, of what it has left below it, an elementary as to what is above it. That was really the way the Qabbalists and Eliphas Levi and the original Fire Philosophers spoke of what we now call the elementals or the beings or creatures or inhabitants of the seven fundamental cosmic elements, all of them on their way to become men, on their way as we are now to become super-men, and then gods, and then higher still. In this sense we are elementaries so far as the gods are concerned. They are elementaries so far as the super-gods are concerned.
A great deal of confusion has arisen, I think, in the minds of some readers of this wonderful book that we are studying here, from not remembering these little facts of history, and that in those days the distinctions we now give to those words, 'elementals' and 'elementaries,' had not yet been established.
If you contrast the kama-rupa, which is our astral body after death, with our physical body, which is our physical body during this earth-life, you will realize that both are vehicles, both are enlivened by monads, or a center of consciousness, both disintegrate shortly after death. But the group of qualities which make my body, my physical me, are my physical skandhas. So my skandhas physically are my physical body as that body is. Just so with regard to the skandhas of the kama-rupa. The kama-rupa is its own skandhas. Subtract those skandhas, which means qualities, attributes, the life-atoms thereof, and what have you? You have not anything. It is the grouping together of these skandhas and the life-atoms through which they work, which form on the one hand the physical body in life or the corpse after death; and similarly the astral skandhas and others which inhere in the kama-rupa after death, form the kama-rupa.
Now then, is it not obvious that just as the life-atoms which made our physical bodies in a former life will return to us when we return to physical imbodiment, similarly and perhaps exactly is it with the kama-rupa. The Dweller on the Threshold is a kama-rupa so dense and heavy with matter that it lasts from one death over to the next rebirth of the entity coming back, and haunts the new, new-old man, the ego coming back to earth. That is an extreme case. But outside of extreme cases the life-atoms which form the kama-rupa are picked up by the human ego or monad as it approaches our earth, and the family into which it is to be born; and those kama-rupa life-atoms are gradually ingathered by the attraction of the ego over them, and them over it, until finally at some indefinite time, it may be in boyhood, it may not be until the boy becomes a man, it may not be even until quite late in life, the old kama-rupa life-atoms, and therefore the skandhas, have been reabsorbed by the new body, the new kama-rupa of the ego after it has come back after death.
If you will reflect, you must realize that even our physical body and the same goes for the kama-rupa — could not hold together as a unit, in other words it could not be an entity, unless there were some holding power there. In other words there is even a monad of the physical body, and exactly so there is a monad of the kama-rupa. Remember, the kama-rupa is not a shell until it becomes a shell. Very shortly after death, the kama-rupa which has been built up during the life-time of the man, separates from the dead physical, and thereafter it begins its course in the astral light or in the kama-loka. And the monad is in that kama-rupa until the second death. Then the kama-rupa begins to fall apart because the soul so to speak has withdrawn itself, as the physical body begins to decay from the moment of physical death. And as long as the monad is in the physical body the latter is not a corpse.
The Sun, or rather the period of its life referred to by the speaker quoting from the book, refers to the end of a solar manvantara, or the opening drama of the solar pralaya or dissolution time. After premonitory symptoms of decay which the Sun and those planets still surviving will experience, symptoms which it would be easy enough to describe to a certain extent if it were worth while — after certain premonitory symptoms of decay which may last for millions of years, the time will come when the Sun has reached its last instant of life. And then, like a shadow passing over the wall, like a flick of an eye-lid, the extinction of an electric light, the Sun is dead.
In exactly the same way a man dies. He may be slowly dying for years before he actually dies, but the moment of death is instant, quick as a snap of the fingers. The man may be on a sick bed for forty years, he may be dying during the last two or three years. Premonitory symptoms are there that any capable doctor can recognise. But when death comes — gone! It is the same with the globe, or in fact anything as far as I know. It is a very wise and pitiful provision of our great Parent, because dying is a very solemn thing, and by solemn I do not mean anything arousing a sense of the lugubrious in us. It is a very important thing, so important that a weighty warning is issued by one of the Masters somewhere, I do not remember just at the moment where he tells us: [The Mahatma Letters, p. 171.] in a chamber of death to be as quiet as possible, for the mind of the dying man is collecting its consciousness, is passing inwards from all over the body, the brain and the heart and other organs, and that process should not be interrupted by noise. No weeping, no moving if possible, the utmost reverence and quiet. Death itself is peaceful. But of an evil person one cannot say the same; death can be hard to one whose whole affection, interest, love and yearning have been knitted into the physical life. And it is hard then simply because the snapping of the psychic bonds of attachment takes time and causes psychic and mental pain. But even then, death comes quickly when it does come.
So it is with the Sun, although the premonitory symptoms may last for millions of years. Furthermore in this same wonderful book, [Op. cit., pp. 148, 176.] the Master K. H. also answers in reply to the same question: Do the planets enter the Sun at the end of the Solar manvantara? He side-steps a bit because that is an esoteric doctrine which cannot be told openly, but says this: Yes, you may call the Sun the vertex of all the planets if you wish. The meaning is very clear.
The point is here that the Sun, being as it is not only the heart but the mind of the solar system as long as this solar system remains a coherent unity, is therefore the governor of all the life-forces in that solar system — governor and controller, as well as source and final focus. Now as long as the solar system lasts, the various planetary chains in the solar system live and die, and are disimbodied and have their nirvanic rest and then come back again for a new term, and do this several times; but their dead bodies remain for a while as moons in the solar spaces, each moon really following its former orbit, although a dead chain; but when the Sun reaches its final term in the Saurya or solar manvantara, then the Sun draws into itself all the members of the solar system, i.e., the various planetary chains, which however, before they enter the Sun, have died. The process is an analog of the manner in which a dying man for instance gathers together all the vital forces inwards and upwards before the moment of physical death supervenes and it is this ingathering of all the vital forces which brings about the phenomenon which we may call the death of our bodies.
REFERENCE: Letter XXIIIA
Questions 11 and 12, p. 146; and the Comments on pp. 167-8
Unfortunately this question about Jupiter and the Raja-Sun is not one that can be answered outside of esoteric teachings, and I am being perfectly frank about it. I think it would be a shame to deceive any honest and thoughtful student by side-stepping. The explanation of this matter is esoteric and wholly so. Therefore it cannot be touched upon in a gathering of this kind.
Let us continue then to the subject of heat and cold on Jupiter. If our dear people would use the vast Theosophical learning which they have — and I am not speaking sarcastically — and apply it to this matter of planetary heat and cold, there would be no question or difficulty about it. They would not question, for instance, whether Jupiter is hotter than the earth or colder. Actually it is enormously hotter than our earth, and the modern scientific theory of its being a thousand or several thousand miles of block ice is simply based on the theory that, being so much farther from the sun than the earth is, it gets a great deal less heat from the sun and therefore de facto must be in a state of arctic chill. But you see our teaching is that the planets do not get their heat from the sun, or very little indeed.
The sun is the great beating heart and brain of our system, the ultimate fountain and source of all the energy in the solar system as a whole. But with regard to this particular matter of heat and cold, it is the planets which keep themselves warm by their own vitality just as the human body does. It is not the sun which gives me my vital heat. The body creates its own vital heat. Of course if I go out in the sun and I feel the sun's rays pouring on my bare head, my head will be heated just as a plant will or a stone or anything else that is exposed to the sun's rays. But this is not heat coming from the sun, or very little in any case, perhaps twenty-five percent.
What is actually taking place is that an enormous efflux of electric and magnetic power flows from the sun and sets in vibration whatever this electric power falls upon. It is just exactly as every electrician knows: if you pass an electric current through a length of wire filament you encounter a resistance, which makes the particles in the wire through which the electric current passes, and which possesses this high resisting power, to glow with heat. It is not the electricity which carries heat and deposits it there. Electricity is neither hot nor cold. It is the power of the electricity meeting this resistance, which throws the molecules and atoms of this resisting medium into intense vibration, more rapid than that of billions and quadrillions of vibrations in a human second, and therefore heats it. Electricity is not itself hot. Just so with the sun. The sun is neither hot nor cold as we understand heat and cold. It is an enormous body of force, forces, which include electricity and magnetism and consciousness and life and intelligence and other things.
No, what makes Jupiter so hot is its own vital power. What produces this vital power in a heated body? You could ask the same question about our earth. What makes the earth warm or cold? The vital power of the earth — call it magnetism if you wish — interacting and reacting with the magnetic continent above our heads: give and take, electric, electromagnetic or magnetic action and interaction. Just so does my own vital heat make my own body warm. If we had to trust to exterior heat to keep us alive and had no interior natural native vital heat of our own, if we went twenty feet from a fire we would freeze up in half an hour or in quarter of an hour. But such things do not occur.
So it is with Jupiter. When planets are young, very young, they are enormously hotter than when they grow old. So it is even with the human being in a small degree. The hottest little dynamo that I have ever known is a baby. When boyhood is reached, your heat diminishes. When you reach manhood it grows still less: you are not then burning up in a constant fevered heat as a baby is. The teaching in the book shows us clearly. The Master says: Imagine if all our oceans were turned into ice and all our atmospheric fluids were turned into liquids; then, he says, just imagine the reverse process, and you will have some idea of what it is like on Jupiter, which means, so hot there that what would be our oceans are turned to gases and what we call metals, stones and such things are turned to fluids. Just the reverse process. And it is strange enough that that was originally the idea of science.
The part played by the meteoric veils over every continent which is not in obscuration, as Mars is in obscuration — the part played by these meteoric continents is enormous. Some people don't like to accept this idea, although it is true, because they think it diminishes the dignity of our glorious Father Sun. It does not diminish his dignity. Because I have some vital heat of my own, that does not diminish the dignity of my teacher. Why should he be blamed or praised because I was born with vital heat? It is not a derogation of the dignity of the sun to say that the planets are living bodies also, living organisms.
Now Mars is in obscuration, consequently the meteoric veil surrounding Globe D of the Mars-chain is very thin. When the life-waves begin to come into Mars again, as they will before many millions of years have passed, Mars also will begin again to be re-covered with what scientists call heavy clouds, which are really veils of meteoric dust. Attracted psycho-vital-magnetically by the tremendously vital power of the planets which they surround, these meteoric continents perform somewhat the same function with regard to the planets that the human aura does for us. The meteoric veils are composed of dust, the effluvia rising up from the earth partly, but mainly and more largely from interplanetary and interstellar cosmic dust: the refuse, the sweat, the detritus, of other manvantaras, karmically drawn back, as life-atoms are drawn back to the reincarnating man.
Then there is the matter of the sun's north and south poles spoken of in this letter. Now there is one point here that needs clearing. I do not remember the Master's exact words, but it is much to the effect that the sun does not take anything from anything else, nor does it give away anything of its own. A perfectly true statement when it is understood. But do not forget this other perfectly true statement, infinitely more important: that nothing exists unto itself alone. Everything helps everything else. Everything lives for everything else. No accident anywhere. And this is a cosmic statement of what we Theosophists call our beautiful doctrine of Universal Brotherhood. The Master means this: that the sun is not vampirized — in the sense that the word vampirize has. Nor is it a spendthrift, wasting and dissipating its vital power by pouring it out needlessly through ages, as our modern science teaches it does, to be wasted in the abysmal deeps of pluperfectly frigid spaces.
The solar system is a closed system in the sense that a human body is a closed system. Agreed that every human body is builded by life-atoms from all other human bodies; but so far as itself goes it is an entity, an individual with its own vital power, feeding itself, having naught to spare to give of vital power to other bodies unless given as a gift. And likewise not vampirizing, in the normal cases, other bodies. Vampirizing and giving of gifts happen, but these are not the normal state of things. Every atom is a closed system in that sense. Yet every atom is connected with every other atom in infinite space, feeding infinite space and infinite space feeding it.
So then, the sun does not vampirize other suns, nor has it any vitality to spare for other suns. It has all it can do to feed its own orbs, the planets and other bodies within its kingdom. Just so my heart feeds my body and its organs and its molecules. It has nothing to spare for feeding other bodies — unless giving as a gift. Nor does my body vampirize other bodies. It does not steal vitality from other bodies, although in abnormal cases any human body can become vampirized; but we are not talking of exceptions and special cases; we are talking of the norm, the rule.
Therefore, what happens is this: the sun follows the same cosmic law that every planet does. It is the heart of its kingdom and likewise the brain of its kingdom. If you look upon it as the heart for an instant, it receives the influxes of the rivers of lives, the circulations of the solar system, in its north pole. They pass through the heart of the sun, are cleansed and washed and leave at the south pole of the sun. Precisely as our earth and every other planet have each its receptor at the north pole, and its ejector or vent at the south pole.
Why, even the ancient Greeks taught this. Do you remember Eolus and the cave of the winds? The cave of the winds was the earth, and the winds were the winds of the spirit, the circulations of the universe figurated as winds: a cave of which the north gate was made of horn through which the gods descend — and through which they ascend also, but mainly descend. And the south gate of the earth, or of the cave of the winds, was made of ivory, signifying the elephants of the south, as the horn does the tusks of the animals of the north. And out of the south gate go the hordes of men. So said the ancients. Why, the occult teaching is simply expressed here without a veil.
In other words, the earth feeds itself physically, magnetically, psychically, spiritually, through the north pole. The currents sweep through the earth — every word here is worth a volume — and leave by the south pole. So it is with the sun. That is the way the sun feeds its family: just as the heart feeds the body. It sends out its blood through the south pole, as it were, and after the circulation around the body has taken place, it receives it in again at the north-pole. Fascinating subject!
So be careful how you read and construe. Don't let a single statement given by the Master as an answer to a very limited and specific question cover all the horizon of your thought regarding other things. In other words use your common sense.
So now, Companions, let me close my own remarks on an expression of pleasure that I always feel after hearkening to the words of those who make really wonderful addresses from the platform and the equally wonderful contributions from the auditorium. It just warms every cockle of my heart to see the progress that you dear fellow-students have made. I think it is beautiful, and it fills me with reverence. I think you deserve to know what I feel about these things.
Remember this, and then I go: All the laws of nature, so called, are but the play of conscious and semi-conscious forces. Therefore by their utter consistency and invariability they are called by us the laws of nature. These forces of nature are fluids emanating from great cosmic hearts beating, hearts sending the life blood, each one of its own especial and particular essence, force, spirit, to the farthest reaches that it can contain. We live not only in the presence of divinities, but are in very truth their children. We are builded of them and from them. Human parents are away, far away and distant when compared with the utterly infinite, infinitely intimate because identical relations and ties that exist between these great parents and us their children. Electricity, or magnetism, its alter ego, for instance, is but the fluid efflux from a cosmic entity, a being — of our own solar system in our case, because we are in this solar system. Heat likewise; all the real forces of nature are such. What is gravity? Just the same. We call it love. Some day when science will have learned that gravity is bi-polar as electricity and magnetism are, we may perhaps see returning the wisdom of the old Greek Empedocles who taught in his day that the universe is held in its courses and in its plans of beauty and harmony because of the two great cosmic powers, love and hate as they translate it. It is not a good translation. Attraction and repulsion: better but not good. You might perhaps say love and repulsion; hate is not a good word. Marvelous thoughts!
REFERENCE: Letter XXIIIB, pp. 161-2
I would never state that meteorites are fragments of disintegrated comets, nor indeed that they are cometary material at all. When you reflect that comets or cometary material are but one stage or degree less ethereal than is a nebula, you will realize that the fundamental idea here is wrong. It is perfectly true, however, that comets gather unto themselves in their peregrinations through cosmic and solar space, the waste-material of the universe. They accrete these to themselves by attraction, and often lose them because when they pass by a sun, the solar attraction for such material things is heavy, much stronger than the very weak attraction that the comets exercise.
Reflect that any comet, even the largest known comets, are composed of material so exceedingly fine, so ethereal, that Halley's comet, for instance, one of the largest ever known perhaps, could be packed in a hand-bag and the hand-bag would not be filled; and yet some of these comets stretch for millions and millions and millions of miles, if you include the head and the tail.
Returning to meteorites: what then are these bodies? They are the waste-material, the ejecta, of former suns; and hereby hangs another wonderful tale which would take me several hours even to sketch if it were only to make that statement fully comprehensible. Perhaps I should remark that while a sun in its life-time is extremely ethereal, at its heart even spiritual, as it approaches its end, it becomes much more concrete, thick, heavy, dense, and as we Theosophists say, material, until, just before the last flicker of solar life passes out, and the sun dies or becomes extinct, all that remains is a relatively heavy body. Then with the last flicker of the solar life it passes like a shadow over a sunlighted wall, and the living center is dead: "The Sun is dead. Long live the Sun!" At death it leaves behind a body which immediately bursts into innumerable fragments, some atomic and some much larger; and these ejecta are scattered through solar and stellar space to be swept up in later aeons not only by the reimbodiment of the sun which has just died, but by other suns, and even other planets, as well as occasionally by comets. These meteorites contain many materials found also in our earth: iron, nickel, traces of copper, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and what not.
You will remember that H. P. B. has a passage not only in her beautiful Voice of the Silence, but in one of her wonderful articles, stating that every planet was once a glorious sun which became a planet in due course of time; and that before it dies this planet once a sun will become a sun again. You have a key here to a wonderful teaching. I wish I could say more about this, but I have neither the time nor is this the place — except indeed to add that every planetary nebula becoming a planetary comet passes through a sun-phase before becoming sufficiently materialized to be a planet or planetary chain. In other words I mean to say that every planet is for a time a small sun when, just before leaving the cometary stage, it passes through a temporary sun-phase before materialized enough or concreted or gross enough to be a planet. Again, I may add that each reimbodiment of a planet or rather of a planetary chain passes again or anew through these various phases, to wit: planetary nebula, planetary comet, planetary sun, and planet.
What we call the Milky Way is already prepared world-stuff, both the luminous nebulae as well as the dark: different phases of already prepared world-stuff . You have an analogy in the human body, but of course this is not a lecture-hall on physiology, so I cannot go into that very easily.
Now then, when the time comes for a solar system to reimbody itself in the same way as a man reincarnates, a certain portion of this world-stuff which has ended its pralaya, or rather the pralaya of the former sun, detaches itself from the Milky Way and begins to pursue at first a slow and later a rapid peregrination as a comet into many portions of the galaxy, finally to reach its own destined home in space. Always keep in mind that it does this because drawn by attractions, which is really gravitation: psychic, spiritual, intellectual attractions. This nebula moves slowly at first, but gathers speed. It picks up material as it wanders through the galaxy, traversing the different solar systems: and if it is fortunate and escapes being drawn into the stomach of one or another of the always very hungry suns (strange way to speak of imbodied divinities!) then it finds its place in space, and its movement of translation stops. It has other movements in common with all galactic bodies; but its cometary wanderings, the cometary wanderings of the 'long-haired radical' as H. P. B. calls the comet, stop because it has found its home, its locus. It then settles and is now much more concrete, much less spiritual, much less astral, as we say, than it was as a nebula, because time has passed, ages have passed during which it was a comet: and furthermore it has been gathering material, the 'refuse of the mother,' the detritus of the cosmic dust, her breath, her refuse, which it has been feeding on and taking into itself. Strange paradox that in all the rupa-worlds entities feed — not so in the arupa. There their food is intellectual ambrosia or nectar, as the Greeks said of their Olympian divinities.
Now when it has thus settled in the place which is the locus of the solar system reimbodied, the solar system that was, and more or less in that same place (karman you see), the nebula or comet has become a vast lens or disk-shaped body of astral stuff — call it nebular matter, call it cometary matter if you will — with laya-centers here and there scattered through it, like organs in a body. We may call these laya-centers by the more common name in science and say that they are the nuclei. In the center is the largest such nucleus which grows or develops or evolves into becoming a sun. The smaller nuclei around it in this nebular comet or cometary nebula grow to be the beginnings of the planets, and this is the beginning of the solar system. In the commencement of its beginning, as it were, the sun is voracious and attempts to swallow his younger brothers the planets, until the laws of nature come into operation, and attraction and repulsion come into play, of which science today knows only one: attraction, and calls it gravity or gravitation, although it seems to me repulsion is just as active in the universe as gravity. To me this gravity-theory is one-sided. If you will consider the behavior of the comets which come into the solar system, and how the tail of the comet always points away from the sun, you will see repulsion at work. Scientists think the repulsion is due to the action of light on the very small particles of molecules in the cometary tail. If you like. It is repulsion. As the comet approaches the sun, the head goes first, and tail afterwards; then as it sweeps around, the tail is always heading away from the sun, and when it leaves the sun after circling it, the tail precedes and the head follows.
Now the solar system is thus brought into being and finally becomes that solar system as we see it with our eyes. That means a lot, that phrase, with our eyes; and soon the solar system begins its career as a now formed entity. The planets slowly become more material and less ethereal. The divine laws of the celestial mechanism we call the solar system are established as now we see them working.
Now we pass over ages and we come to the ending of the life of the sun, which means the ending of the life of the solar system, for the sun is King in his kingdom. The sun feeds on the refuse of inter-planetary and inter-solar stuffs which it sucks in with its immense force and rejects as we humans do. This is the body of the sun I am talking about. This refuse, this matter in cosmic space, is the detritus of former dead suns, as you will see in a moment. Now we are approaching the end of the life of the sun. The sun's powers begin to weaken. Actually what is happening is that his manvantara is ending, his pralaya is almost beginning. His life on inner planes is opening, and that takes vitality from this plane. Therefore we say the sun is weakening in his power. That is all it means, and that is all death is: the transference from this plane to interior planes of a large part of the vitality existing on this plane when the body is at full strength.
Finally the sun dies. But long before this all the planets have died and have disappeared. I cannot tell you where here, it would take too long. Sufficient to say that the sun knows. The sun when the moment of its death comes bursts, explodes, into simply innumerable fragments of various sizes, sun-stuff, which originally were almost as ethereal as spirit; but as the sun grew older became more and more compacted, more and more materialized, concreted, until when the sun is dying, practically dead, it is not a solid body yet but on the way to becoming solid. But it explodes; there is a tremendous — words just lack to explain this — not flash, a tremendous volume or outburst of light and power spreading throughout our solar system, and far beyond its confines. Every now and then astronomers today will discover what they call novae, a Latin word meaning "new stars." But what they see is just the opposite: a death of a star; and they will see some of these novae expand and then actually dim, some very quickly, some requiring years and years.
Now then, all these fragments which were once sun-stuff grow constantly more material. Finally they become the meteors and meteorites of interstellar spaces. Originally spirit-stuff, mulaprakriti, they are now some of the most solid portions of prakriti, iron, nickel, carbon, and all the other things that our scientists have found in the meteorites which have reached this earth. These meteorites wander through space for ages and ages until the imbodiment of the solar system comes again. Thus the cometary nebula picks up uncounted numbers of these meteorites, thus bringing back as it were its life-atoms of the former body of the solar system into its new body, just as we humans do. But it takes ages and ages for the solar system to gather up all these meteorites; and as a matter of fact all the meteorites that traverse our solar system are not due to the explosion of our former sun. Multitudes and multitudes of them are, but multitudes are not, but are the explosions of other suns in interstellar space which have wandered far and have become caught by our sun in its former state, or by our planets in their former state.
And one final thing: We have thus seen what a sun-comet is, or a comet which becomes a sun in the solar system. But a comet may be the pre-birth state either of a sun or of a planet. During the lifetime of a solar system, every one of our planetary chains has its periods of manvantara and pralaya, in other words every planetary chain dies and is imbodied again, and dies and is imbodied again in our system before the solar system and the sun in that system reach the time of their pralaya. In other words, our planetary chains reimbody themselves many many times during the lifetime or manvantara of our solar system. How is this done? The chains die, their inner principles begin their peregrinations along the circulations of the universe, exactly as a man's ego dies and returns. Remember I am just giving the barest outline, just a touch here and a touch there, leaving out 99 percent of what should and could be said. How does each such planetary chain-ego, as it were, come back to our solar system? By detaching itself where it was resting as part of the already prepared world-stuff of the Milky Way exactly as the sun-comet or cometary sun did when the solar system was reimbodying. In this instance the comet is a planetary comet which wanders through space, comes back to our solar system, is attracted here, becomes a small sun, and dying out of this state because of materializing, becomes a full planetary chain, settles in life as what we call the planet and begins its new Day of Brahma.