Theosophical University Press Online Edition

The Theosophist

H. P. Blavatsky, editor

VOL. I., No. 5 - FEBRUARY, 1880


Contents

Section 1 (pp. 107-119)
Special Notices
[Short Editorial Notices]
The Brethren of the Rosy Cross
Our Duty to India
Sonnets
Lo! The "Poor Missionary"
An Indian Patriot's Prayer
English Ghost Stories
East Indian Materia Medica
The Baron du Potet, Hon. F. T. S.
Hassan Khan "Djinni "
Zoroastrianism and Theosophy
Section 2 (pp. 120-132)
An Indian Aethrobat
Indra
The Nature and Office of Buddha's Religion
A Case of Genuine Hindu Mediumship
A Great Light under a Bushel
Magnetic Prescience
A Musalman Abdal (Yogi.)
The Mystic Syllable Onkara: its Meaning, Antiquity, and Universal Application
[Miscellaneous Short Items]
Return to Theosophist Homepage

SPECIAL NOTICES.

It is evident that the THEOSOPHIST will offer to advertisers unusual advantages in circulation. We have already subscribers in every part of India, in Ceylon, Burmah, and on the Persian Gulf. Our paper also goes to Great Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Constantinople, Egypt, Australia, and North and South America. The following very moderate rates have been adopted: —

ADVERTISING RATES.

First insertion . . . . . 16 lines and under . . . . . 1 Rupee.

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Space is charged for at the rate of l2 lines to the inch. Special arrangements can be made for large advertisements, and for longer and fixed periods. For further information and contracts for advertising, apply to MESSRS. COOPER & Co., Advertising Agents, Booksellers and Publishers, Meadow Street, Fort, Bombay.


To SUBSCRIBERS.

The Subscription price at which the THEOSOPHIST is published barely covers cost — the design in establishing the journal having been rather to reach a very wide circle of readers, than to make a profit. We cannot afford, therefore, to send specimen copies free, nor to supply libraries, societies, or individuals gratuitously. For the same reason we are obliged to adopt the plan, now universal in America, of requiring subscribers to pay in advance, and of stopping the paper at the end of the term paid for. Many years of practical experience has convinced Western publishers that this system of cash payment is the best and most satisfactory to both parties; and all respectable journals are now conducted on this plan.

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The THEOSOPHIST will appear each month. The rates, — for twelve numbers of not less than 40 columns Royal 4to each, of reading matter, or 480 columns, in all, are as follows: — To Subscribers in any part of India, Rs. 6 per annum; in Ceylon, Rs. 7; in the Straits Settlements, China, Japan, and Australia, Rs. 8; in Africa, Europe, and the United States, 1 Pound. Half year (India) Rs. 1; Single copies, annas 12. Remittances in postal stamps must be at the rate of annas 17 to the Rupee to cover discount. The above rates include postage. [No name will be entered on the books or paper sent until the money is remitted; and invariably the paper will be discontinued at the expiration of the term subscribed for.] Remittances should be made in Money-orders, Hundis, Bill cheques, (or Treasury bills, if in registered letters), and made payable to the PROPRIETORS OF THE THEOSOPHIST, 108, Girgaum Back Road, Bombay, India.

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AGENTS: New York, S. R. Wells & Co., 787, Broadway; Boston, Mass., Colby and Rich, 9, Montgomery Place; Chicago, Ill. J. C. Bundy, 92, La Salle St. American subscribers may also order their papers through W. Q. Judge, Esq., 71, Broadway, New York.

Ceylon: Isaac Weeresooriya, Deputy Coroner, Dodanduwa.


THETHEOSOPHIST.

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 BOMBAY, FEBRUARY 1st, 1880.


The Editors disclaim responsibility for opinions expressed by contributors in their articles. Great latitude is allowed correspondents, and they alone are accountable for what they write. Rejected MSS. are not returned.

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A respectable Anglo-Indian journal, reviewing our January number, hinted that the feast of good things spread for our readers would not be quite complete until contributions from Parsi and Musalman writers were secured. The present number, at least, must satisfy our critic, since it will be found to contain articles of merit from able representatives of those two faiths. Did any magazine ever before exhibit a more perfect and fraternal "Evangelical Alliance" than this?

The work we have to do in India might be so much impeded by foolish misconceptions that we heartily welcome any additional evidence showing that the public authorities are now alive to the true character of our undertaking. It has already been announced in these columns that the Political Department of the Government of India, from which the order to place our party under Police surveillance first originated, some time ago rescinded that order and announced that the Theosophists were no longer to be molested. This was all the amende honorable that could be made in a matter which pertained to the confidential branch of the service and had never found a place in the Gazette. It is pleasant to feel that the groundless, and in view of our antecedents absurd, notion that some political designs lay hidden under our intimacy with the natives and our desire to give a new impulse to the study of Oriental philosophy, has already been dissipated by the progress of time. Our friends will be additionally glad to hear that without the necessity for the slightest sacrifice of self-respect on our part, the last shade of misunderstanding on the part of Government has been cleared away. Those who know us at all need not be told that there is no association in the world which builds its hope of success on Government favour, less than the Theosophical Society. Our business is with truth and philosophy, not with politics or administration. But the conditions of life in India are such that the modicum of Government favour which consists of freedom from the blighting effects of active disfavour, is essential to the success of even a purely intellectual movement. It is satisfactory to realize that we now receive — as we are certainly entitled to receive — that much support from the rulers of this country to whose spiritual interests we have devoted our lives. And now that this support has been liberally granted, we cannot be misunderstood if we add that there is no organization in this land on which the British Government in India could look kindly with better reason than our own. As an independent link between two races which the Government expresses a wish to see united in closer intimacy, as a society which is sternly intolerant of seditious efforts of any kind among its members — we have already done better service to the cause of public order in this country, than its rulers are aware of having received at our hands. But so the fact stands, and thus it is that we receive, with the full satisfaction attending a conviction that we deserve it, the kindly though cautious greeting conveyed in the following letter from the Personal Attendant of the Viceroy, in acknowledgment of the receipt of the first three numbers of the THEOSOPHIST, forwarded by the conductor of this journal for his Excellency's perusal:
Calcutta, 1st January 1880.
DEAR MADAM, I submitted to His Excellency the Viceroy the letter which you addressed to me and the numbers of the THEOSOPHIST which you were good enough to send.
His Excellency desires me to say that he is glad to find a Society of Western origin devoting itself with such zeal to the pursuit of Indian philosophy.
Yours truly,

To Mme. BLAVATSKY. (Sd.) G. H. M. BATTEN.

Our party should feel deeply grateful to the London 'Spiritualist' for the suggestion that Theosophy may be regarded as a 'subordinate branch of Spiritualism;' meaning thereby not the general antithesis of materialism, but the Western phenomenalistic movement of our days. This is extremely liberal; about as much so as for a Manchester man to concede that the British Empire is an auxiliary branch of the county of Lancashire. When it can be shown that a part of anything can contain its whole, that the tail can wag the dog, or that the ocean can be put into a gallon measure, then it will be time to seriously debate the novel proposition put forth by the respectable metropolitan organ of the Spiritualists. Especially, as it is by no means clear that it is not personal rather than public opinion which the paragraph in question reflects.

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Some months ago, an influential Burial Reform Society of an Australian city asked advice of the Theosophical Society as to the best method of disposing of the dead, the special arguments in favor of cremation being particularly called for. These were given; together with an official report upon the cremation in America of the body of the late Baron J. H. De Palm, one of our Councillors. The prejudice among Western people against cremation is not strong enough to withstand the advancement of scientific knowledge, and it will not be very many years before this mode of sepulture will be widely practised. Yet a strong prejudice does still exist. To such as entertain it, and, more especially to such as wish to bring home from the battlefield or from a distant land the bodies of friends, a recent German discovery will have great interest. Mr. Kreismann, United States Consul-General at Berlin, in a despatch to the Department of State, gives a description of this method for the preservation of dead bodies. The inventor, or discoverer, had obtained a patent for the process, but the German Government, appreciating the high importance of the invention, induced the patentee to abandon his patent. Thereupon the Government published a full description of the process, as set forth in the letters patent. It is as follows:

The dead bodies of human beings and animals by this process fully retain their form, color, and flexibility, even after a period of years. Such dead bodies may be dissected for purposes of science and criminal jurisprudence; decay, and the offensive smell of decay, are completely prevented. Upon incision, the muscular flesh shows the same appearance as in the case of a fresh dead body. Preparations made of the several parts, such as natural skeletons, lungs, entrails, &c., retain their softness and pliability. The liquid used is prepared as follows: In 3,000 grammes of boiling water are dissolved 100 grammes of alum, 25 grammes of cooking salt, 12 grammes of saltpetre, 60 grammes of potash, and 10 grammes of arsenic acid. The solution is allowed to cool and is filtered. To 10 litres of this neutral, colorless, odorless liquid 4 litres of glycerine and one litre of methylic alcohol are to be added. The process of preserving or enbalming dead bodies by means of this liquid consists, as a rule, in saturating and impregnating those bodies with it. From 1 1/2 to 5 litres of the liquid are used for a body, according to its size.

The Library of the Theosophical Society containes a rare old book entitled 'Nekrokedea, or the Art of Embalming,' in which every process known to the Egptians and other old nations is described. It will there be seen that this German process possesses very little of novelty, the nitrates and chlorides of metals, together with various antiseptic balsamic substances, having been employed at the remotest epochs.

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All the speakers at the late Anniversary festival not having sent in their MSS., the pamphlet is not yet ready for delivery.

The number of our Subscribers has been so unexpectedly large that the supply of the November issue is now entirely, and of the October almost, exhausted.


THE BRETHREN OF THE ROSY CROSS.

By Alexander Wilder, M. D., Vice-President of the Theosophical Society.

Professor of Physiology and Psychological Medicine in the United States Medical College, Secretary of the National Eclectic Medical Association of the United States, Honorary Member of the Eclectic Medical Societies of Illinois, Michigan, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, etc., Honorary Fellow of the, Anthropological Society of Liverpool, Eng., etc.

Were there Rosicrucians or were there not? This question agitated Europe two centuries ago, as Luther before that, and Savanarola, and Markion had each in his own time and way shaken the Church to its very foundations. All this was because a little book had appeared in the country of Wurtemburg purporting to unfold the existence of a secret fraternity possessing arcane and scientific knowledge, and devoted to the amelioration of human suffering, and the enlightenment of mankind.

The religionists of the seventeenth century could see only blasphemy and iniquity in such a proposition. They invoked fire from heaven upon the Brotherhood, and threatened them with death by breaking on the wheel. A few years before, Bruno had been burned at the stake by order of the Holy Office for teaching the Copernican system and the Pythagorean philosophy; and now Lutherans were emulating Romanists in their frenzy to get human blood to shed. A few years later these vultures were sated to the full. In 1618 began the thirty years' war between Catholic and Protestant Germany, which sucked all Europe into its bloody vortex, and continued till whole districts were depopulated, and the wild beasts of the forest succeeded to the abodes of more ferocious humankind. After the war came pestilence. Small-pox broke out spontaneously, and the Black Death accompanied. Europe was a prodigious charnel.

The tale of the Brotherhood was modest enough. Christian Rosenkrenz had been a traveller in the East, where he had received instruction into the profoundest lore, — magian, rabbinic, theurgic, and alchemic. Among other acquirements, were the knowledge of the philosopher's stone, the art of transmuting metals, and the elixir of life. Returning to Germany, he established a little fraternity of eight disciples, obligating them to keep the doctrine secret for the space of one hundred and twenty years after his death. This occurred in 1484; and accordingly in 1604 there appeared The Discovery of the Brotherhood of the Honorable Order of the Rosy Cross. It appealed to all who desired to co-operate with them to make public their names. The Rosicrusians, it declared, were genuine Protestants. They were engaged in no movement or conspiracy against the ruling powers. Their aim was the diminishing of human wretchedness, the spread of education, the advancement of learning, science, universal enlightenment, and love. They possessed profound and occult knowledge, such as the alchemists, Arabian thaumaturgists, Egyptian and Chaldean wise men had brought forth; but all that was of little account. Their one high purpose was to benefit their fellow-creatures, body and soul.

A fire-brand of more destructive nature could not have been hurled into the combustible pyre of Europe. The Pope, the Emperor, the Christian and Catholic kings, the Protestant monarchs of the Baltic and North seas, exploded with terrible concussion. Not till thirty years of war and massacre had passed by, could the boiling caldron become quiet. Universal love and enlightenment, even now, if duly proclaimed, would imperil every throne in Europe from that of Alexander to the royal seat of Victoria; and even the political factions of the United States, blatant in their professions of freedom and democracy, would crumble to their primeval atoms.

Nevertheless, they tell us that there were no Rosicrucians. The Brotherhood was all a fond dream, written out by a Lutheran mystic divine named Andreae, on purpose to rouse the philanthropic minds of oppressed Europe to concerted action. A confederacy of such men, he believed, would renovate the world. But no great convention was held for the purpose. The reporters and daily newspapers of the time had no sensational articles unfolding the plans of the Grand Alliance for the Amelioration of Human Calamity. It may be added that there was no country in Europe where such a convention could have met, except in secret. They would have needed that extraordinary Temple of the Holy Ghost under ground, if they had ventured upon their World's conference. As the matter stands, nobody can intelligently declare that they did not so assemble.

Learned men have made but a very indifferent handling of the matter. Des Cartes advertised all through Germany for men who belonged to the Rosicrucian Fraternity, or knew of it. He received letters from every sort of adventurer, but nothing affording the least light upon the subject of his enquiry. It was finally his opinion that there was no such association in existence. It is plain enough that if there were Rosicrucians, the knowledge concerning them had been "hid from the wise and prudent but was revealed to babes."

Andreae declared that the Rosicrucians had symbols and occult means of communication similar to those of the Alchemists and Astrologists. Indeed the Red Cross had been the badge of the templars. That Order had been suppressed in 1307, yet Francis I. had burned four members alive, a short time previous. He had also exterminated the Albigenses of Province, a Gnostic brotherhood, with secret rites and symbols, dating from the earlier Christian centuries. The Rosicrucian Brotherhood then had usages in common with both.

Ignorance has always been the mother of unquestioning orthodoxy. Nobody is so hostile to the general dissemination of knowledge as a priest. Greater cruelty has never been perpetrated among mankind than that authorised and commanded by the ministers of religions. From Theodosius down, the record of the Christian religion has been the autobiography of the seven-headed bloody red Dragon.

The Persian conquest of Asia Minor had led to the establishment of the religion of Mithras in that country. After the destruction of the Empire of Alexandria, the kingdom of Pontus was established, having Mithraism for its ruling faith. When Pompey conquered the country, the religion was carried thence to every part of the Roman Empire. The father of Jesus it is said was a "soldier of Mithras." It flourished as a secret worship till its suppression by Theodosius; and even then, the pagani or country-people kept up the observance away down into the Mediaeval period. The Popes and Bishops denounced the rites as magic, witchcraft and commerce with the Powers of Darkness. Probably the Witchcraft of the Middle Ages was a relic of the old Magian worship.

In the seventh century, Sylvanus, a native of Samasata, established the fraternity of Paulicians, including in it the various Gnostic communes, the Manichenians of Armenicus, and the Mithraites of Pontus. Their doctrines were an amalgamation of the Pauline and the Zoroastrian but they denounced the Ebionite religionists of Judea. They were fiercely persecuted by all the Christian Emperors, Arian as well as Athanasian. For near two centuries they maintained an independent government in the Caucasus. One of the emperors colonised a part of them in France, whence they spread into Bulgaria. Being employed in the Roman armies, they were transferred to various countries of Europe; Italy and France abounded with proselytes. Among these were the Albigenses.

Other believers in the Gnosis or arcane knowledge had been removed into Persia. They were denominated Sophi or sages, the worshipers of Sophia or Heavenly wisdom. Their converts were known as Sufis, and long constituted the learned class of the country. They were expert in medicine and astronomy, and adepts in secret doctrines. They believed in a grand universal creed which could be secretly held under any profession of an outward faith; and in fact, took a similar view of religious systems to that entertained by the ancient philosophers. A mystic union with the Divinity, theurgic powers and a tendency to ascetism, characterised them.

Thus the Rosicrucian Brotherhood possessed a heritage of all the arcane systems and religions of the earlier world. Hargrave Jennings, their latest chronicler imputes to them the symbols, traditions and learning of the principal mystic fraternities. The Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the fire-theosophy of Persia, Druid-worship, Gnosticism, the Kabala, the Ancient Mysteries and Orders of Knighthood, Magic, Alchemy, Hindu beliefs, etc., all are treated by him in this connection. His style is curiously complicated; he tells little where he seems to be telling much, and with an obscurity of expression which seems to show little real knowledge or understanding of his subject. Yet he reveals the secret when to the non-expert he apparently hides it closest.

Could they change metals into gold? "Nature herself," said Mejnour to Glyndon, "is a laboratory in which metals and all elements are for ever at change. Easy to make gold — easier, more commodious, and cheaper still, to make the pearl, the diamond and the ruby." Raymond Lulli, a Franciscan monk, born in 1234, a rare expert in medicine and alchemy, is said by one writer to have supplied Edward I. with six millions of money to enable him to carry on war against the Turks in Palestine. Another writer affirms that he made gold for Edward III. in the Tower of London, for an entire coinage of gold nobles. He endeavoured to unite the European countries in a project to Christianise Asia and Africa; but failing in this, set out alone. He made several converts; but was finally stoned to death by the Moslems in 1314.

Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes) lived in the reigns of the first James and Charles, who were rather famous for persecutions of "witches."* He relates that he endeavoured once to sell 1,200 marks' worth of gold to a goldsmith. The man told him at first sight that that gold never came out of the mines, but had been produced by artificial means, not being of the standard of any known kingdom. He hurried away, leaving his gold behind.

* Which is precisely the English word for Gnostikos. The Gnostics were accused of Sorcery.

Indeed, if a single element lies at the foundation of nature, as Dr. Thomas R. Frazer of Halifax, N. S., has demonstrated, an opinion in which he is followed by S. Pancoast of Philadelphia and J. Norman Lockyer, to whom the credit is given — then the transmutation of metals is a matter perhaps in reach.

Is there an Elixir capable of prolonging life? Thomas Vaughan was born about the year 1612. A writer in 1749 remarks: "He is believed by those of his fraternity to be living even now; and a person of great credit at Nuremberg in Germany affirms that he conversed with him but a year or two ago. Nay, it is further asserted that this very individual is the president of the illuminated in Europe, and that he sits as such in all their annual meetings."

Artephius, who lived 750 years ago wrote a book entitled On the Art of Prolonging Human Life, in which he asserted that he had already attained the age of 1025 years. Several asserted that he was the personage whose life was written by Philostratus under the name of Apollonius of Tyana. He wrote a book on the philosopher's stone, which was published at Paris in 1612.

"All that we profess to do is this" said Mejnour to Glyndon; "to find out the secrets of the human frame, to know why the parts ossify and the blood stagnates, and to apply continual preventives to the effects of time. This is not magic; it is the art of Medicine rightly understood. In our order we hold most noble — first, that knowledge which elevates the intellect; secondly, that which preserves the body."

The late Major-General Ethan A. Hitchcock was like his grandfather the noted Ethan Allen of Ticonderoga fame, addicted to curious study. In his treatise Alchemy and the Alchemists, he deduces an allegorical interpretation for the philosopher's stone, the transmutation of metals, and the elixir of life. "The genuine adepts," says he, "were searchers after truth in the highest sense of this word." The philosopher's stone, he adds, "can be found in no other thing in the universe but the nature of man, made in the image of God." The Elixir, under this interpretation, would signify spirituality — "eternal life." Sallust the Neo-Platonic philosopher has instructed us that "that which in a literal sense is manifestly absurd and impossible, must be understood in some other sense."

Lord Bulwer-Lytton has forcibly depicted the careers of Zanoni and Mejnour, living through the ages from the period when the Chaldean Akkads ruled in Babylonia. He has shown that the boon of life is not desirable, though he represents it with none of the horrors which characterise the story of the Wandering Jew, forgotten by death. Mr. Jennings, following in a similar vein remarks that Rosicrucians evade the idea that they possess any extraordinary or separate knowledge, they live simply as mere spectators in the world, and they desire to make no disciples, converts nor confidants. They submit to the obligation of life, and to relationships — enjoying the fellowship of none, admiring none, following none, but themselves. They obey all codes, are excellent citizens, and only preserve silence in regard to their own private convictions, giving the world the benefit of their acquirements up to a certain point; seeking only sympathy at some angles of their multiform character, but shutting out curiosity wholly when they do not wish its imperative eyes.

This is the reason that the Rosicrucians passed through the world mostly unnoticed, and that people generally disbelieve that if there ever were such persons; or believe that if there were, their pretensions are an imposition.

It is not generally known that the Rosicrucians bound themselves to obligations of comparative poverty but absolute chastity in the world, with certain dispensations and remissions that fully answered their purpose; for they were not necessarily solitary people: on the contrary they were frequently gregarious, and mixed freely with all classes, though privately admitting no law but their own. Their notions of poverty, or comparative poverty, were different from those that usually prevail. They felt that neither monarchs nor the wealth of monarchs could endow or aggrandise those who already esteemed themselves the superiors of all men; and therefore, though declining riches, they were voluntary in the renunciation of them. They held to chastity, entertaining some very peculiar notions about the real position of the female sex in the creation, the Enlightened or Illuminated brothers held the monastic state to be infinitely more consonant with the intentions of Providence.

Mr. Jennings refuses to explain these views more at length. "We have drawn to ourselves a certain frontier of reticence," says he, "up to which margin we may freely comment; and the limit is quite extended enough for the present popular purpose — though we absolutely refuse to overpass it with too distinct explanations or to enlarge further on the strange persuasions of the Rosicrucians."

 They held that all things visible and invisible were produced by the contention of light with darkness. The grossness and denseness in matter is due to its containing little of the divine light. But every object contains also in it a possible deposit of light, which will eventually and inevitably be liberated from the dark, dead substance. Unseen and unsuspected, there is shut up there an inner magnetism, an ethereal spirit, a divine aura, a possible eager fire. All minerals, in this spark of light, have the rudimentary possibility of plants and growing organisms; all vegetables have rudimentary sensitizes which may eventually enable them to change into locomotive creatures, of meaner or nobler function.

The Rosicrucians claim to be able to pass into the next world, to work in it, and to bring back from it gold and the elixir vitae. This last was only to be won in the audacity of God-aided alchemic explorations, and was independent of those mastered elements, or nutritions, necessary to ordinary common life. The daily necessary food taken for the sustenance of the body was the means of dissolution.

Man's interior natural law is contained in God's exterior magical law. It follows that man has a secondary nature, he is a ruin, so to speak, and lives in the ruins or dregs of a higher creation. Woman entered the great scheme as its negative or obverse. She is of the natural order, and represents nature. She had therefore no part in the earliest, spiritual, supernal world; but pertains to material existence, — to the "fall into generation." The yielding to her fascination is the losing of man's place in the scheme of the Immortal World, and the receiving of Death instead. He forsakes the numina for the nomina, the noumena for the phenomena, the divine, interior life for external manifestations and delights. Yet when the Ineffable Light at the beginning entered into the embrace of the Primeval Darkness, it did a similar act.

Much has been written of the magic power of virginity. Little has been known. Creation is generation; and in generation, God is active. Virginity is therefore God's Rest, — the Sabbath of the Universe. Hence it has been always regarded as Sacred — as Holy Silence. We may note the contradiction; Virginity is the key of Heaven, yet without its infraction there could be no heaven. Solve this whoever may.

Robert Flood (or Floyd) speaks of those who cannot conceive the powers of arcane knowledge to be philosophers, unless they put their knowledge to some ordinary worldly use. It is an incomprehensible puzzle to the common worldly-wise man, that persons who live in the mental atmosphere, have so little ambition to become gold-makers and wealth-producers for the greedy. But their security is inherent in this very indifference. Wars, pauperism, and all manner of calamity, are the outcome of the policy, mode of living, the canonised and popularised greed of the world.

The existence of the Brotherhood is yet in dispute — and probably always will be. "There is scarcely one who thinks about us," Flood says, "who does not believe that our Society has no existence; because, as he truly declares, he never met any of us. And he concludes that there is no such brotherhood because, in his vanity, we seek not him to be our fellow."

Certainly, so long as men believe in no such mysterious fraternity, its members are safe from persecution, and interruption in their hallowed pursuits. They may carry their secrets with them safely, — secrets possessed during all the ages of human existence, and yet sacredly preserved from far-off time till now. De Quincey has aptly and admiringly remarked of these Mejnours and Zanonis: "To be hidden amidst crowds is sublime. To come down hidden amongst crowds from distant generations is doubly sublime."

The Magians and Chaldean theurgists were massacred and driven into exile by Darius Hystaspes. Diokletian destroyed the sacred books of Egypt. Theodosius Justinian and the fanatic Moslems extirpated all whom they could find possessed of mystical learning. The hordes of Scythian banditti who ravaged all the East — China, India, Persia, Western Asia and even Europe — destroyed every shrine and crypt of which they discovered the existence. Even the Catholic Church, King James I. of England, the Royal Council of Sweden, and the Colonial Legislatures of the United States, made the possession of occult knowledge a capital offence.

Yet they all missed the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. When Cagliostro-Balsamo was immured in a Roman dungeon, to be tortured and murdered, it was fondly imagined that the Golden Secret would be disclosed. The hope was illusory. It could be communicated to none except those who were able to comprehend it. A preparatory discipline was necessary for this purpose; and whoever accomplished that successfully, would certainly never betray it. If such a one could entertain the impossible idea of doing such a thing, the treasure would certainly be found not to be in his possession.

So the Rosicrucian philosophers have lived in every age. They have jostled others in the church or at the market place, yet without being recognised. They are numerous enough now, to constitute the salt of the earth. They always have maintained their existence, and each of the Brotherhood knows infallibly every member of the fraternity. Their existence may be a myth, yet it is not. The parable is for those who can comprehend it. "None of the wicked will understand, but the wise will understand," said the prophet Daniel.


OUR DUTY TO INDIA.

The process of denationalization, which the London Economist avers to be visible in India, is more or less inevitable whenever a strong race, full of masculine vigor, dominates the country of another race which has passed through its cycle of forceful aggressiveness and reached the stage of recuperative inertia. Indolence and interest alike contribute to bring this about, and unless the subject people possess an enormous inherent vitality, it either meets the fate of the poor Aztec and becomes extinct, or that of the primitive man of the Palaeolithic age, progenitor of the present Arctic Esquimaux, and migrates to remote, uninhabited regions where its enemy will not care to pursue it.

The Economist tells us that the evils, which England has inflicted upon India, are solely intellectual; and states its case under three heads, of which the first is as follows: —

1. The first and greatest of these has been the unintentional but inevitable suppression of intellectual progress in its natural, and therefore hopeful, grooves. The English have not been without care for their subjects' minds; but their care has been not to develop them but to wrest them violently into unnatural directions. They have insisted that the natives shall eventually cease to be Asiatics, and become Europeans. They have taught them English literature, English mechanics, and Western science; have rewarded progress in those departments exclusively; and have judged every man according to the degree in which he has made himself intellectually an Englishman. Above all nations, Indians are moved by influence from above; and consequently all intellectual power has been exerted in a direction in which nine-tenths of its force is wasted, and all originality has disappeared. Native poetry, Native philosophies, Native theologies, have all died under the cold breath of the Northern wind, and in their stead we have a generation of students, chiefly on the coast fringe, wasting powers, which are sometimes extraordinary, upon imitations, upon English poetry, English literature, English political thought — with the result that they occasionally produce things as clever as the Latin verses of Milton, and about as useful to themselves and to mankind. Fettered in a language which they understand without feeling, and in a system of thought which they only borrow, the educated Natives become mere copyists, develop no original power, and pour out whole libraries of poor, though often correct, English, for which no human being is the better. In a hundred years, among a people of rare intelligence, no original mind — except, perhaps, Rammohun Roy — has made itself fairly visible to the world; while the old learning has disappeared, and the body of the upper classes have become markedly less cultivated — culture, in fact, of any genuine kind having been superseded by an English whitewash. This is an enormous evil, and it extends to every department of thought till we never now see a great Native politician, or financier, or architect, or original artist of any kind whatever. The higher thought of the whole people in all directions lies crushed, and its originality is extinguished. That would be the result, even in this country, if the only road to fame or power lay through Latin; and the Indian, besides being far more susceptible than the Englishman, has far less mental relation to him than we have to the ancient Romans. The pivot of thought is different. It is noticed that natives in Pondicherry often become "dark Frenchmen," and they could have taken much from Arabs, but no one except a Chinese is so unlike an Englishman as the educated Native, who talks English without an accent, and writes a tongue which, except when he is in a satirical mood, is like English with the tone and the melody alike gone out of it. We are producing a generation of imitators amidst whom creative thought is dying away, till a nation of philosophers can only produce commentators; a most poetic people have given up original composition; and a race, which has covered a continent with magnificent structures, never produces a striking building.

It says many other pointed things under the remaining two heads; but these must be left to the political journals of India to discuss. Exception may fairly be taken to certain assumptions in the portion above quoted. For instance, while it is most true that intellectual power has been wasted and originality is disappearing, the fault does not wholly lie at the door of the British authorities. The influential Natives — who might, in a certain measure, have stemmed this wrong set of the current — have been supine, apathetic, unpatriotic. They have been too given up to self indulgence in low vices, too forgetful of their duty to country, race, and the honor of their glorious ancestors. Whether because their gurus have themselves lost all knowledge of the Ved, or because they are given up only to sensuality, or for some other reason, most of the Native nobles and princes sit idle and see the young generation going to spiritual death without a manful effort to save them. A wailing complaint of this state of things comes to us from all parts of the country, almost every post brings us the lamentations of those who still remember the Past and shudder over the possible Future. But let it not be supposed that all patriotic fervor is dead under the cold breath of the Northern wind. Every sentence, uttered by our President in his public addresses, here, at Meerut, Saharanpore, Benares and Allahabad, about the dead splendour of Aryan civilization and the sacred duty to revive it by reviving Aryan philosophy, religion and science, has been greeted with unmistakeable enthusiasm, and young Natives have risen to propose votes of thanks, with moistened eyes, and voices trembling with emotion. Where it is possible to so touch the innermost chords of the heart, let no one suppose that our nation is so thoroughly emasculated as the writer of the Economist would have us believe. No, even this atrophic Modern India has a heart a great throbbing heart that can be moved and can suffer — though many who should be the last to say so, call it stone. The European influence described is fatally potential only in the larger cities, where public patronage is most lavished . It is there that one sees Natives wearing European clothes, drinking European brandy, riding in European carriages, and aping foreign manners to an absurd extent. The strictures in question apply only in a limited degree to affairs among the great body of the people, where Native influences have most weight — and where the influential class are not doing their duty.

While our party were at Benares, last month, they were visited by that eminent Orientalist, Dr. Thibaut, President of Benares College, and what did he tell them? Why, that neither he nor any other European Orientalist understood the meaning of Sankhya philosophy; that he could not get it explained satisfactorily here; and that all the pandits, with whom he had conversed, had assured him that the experimenental proof of the ancient spiritual science, described in Indian works, was not obtainable in these days! What a sad commentary upon the state of affairs in India!

If patriot Natives deplore the fact that there is so much truth, on the whole, in what the Economist says, let them try to realize the duty which presses upon them. Let them aid and encourage every honest effort to revive Vedic literature, Aryan arts, the once noble Sanskrit schools of the Brahmans, the memory of Aryan deeds and greatness. Let them promote useful education — useful in the opposite sense to merely place-hunting — and cultivate in the rising generation manliness, a love of truth, a decent spirit of independence and self-effort. Let them promote temperance and virtuous living, encourage the native arts, open out new avenues of employment to meet the greater demand from an increasing population.

It is not true that no great original mind, except, Rammohun Roy, has made itself visible within the past century; for, not to mention other names, here is our contemporary, the Swami Dayamud Saraswati, to whom even his opponents will concede the character of greatness both in intellect and moral courage. Nor is it fair to say that we never see any more Native financiers or politicians when, even under the immense handicapping of an imported system of administration, such men as the Maharajahs Holkarand Scindia, and such statesmen as Sir Salar Jung and Sir T. Madhavrao, struggle to the surface and show what they might have done under the old state of affairs. There are as learned pandits now at Benares and Poona as there ever were, though they may not comprehend the true and hidden meaning of their Shastras and Paranas; and beyond doubt if the opportunity offered, as it is offered to talent in Western lands, Indian genius would still prove its competency to administer justice, rule provinces, and erect monuments that would challenge the admiration of the world.

None but the foolish would expect the foreign rulers of any country to take upon themselves the preservation of the elements of national greatness. All that can be asked in the present instance is that they shall do their best to keep productive this great Empire, and set the people an example of good living and equitable administration to pattern after. The grave of Aryan nationality, if dug at all — which we do not apprehend — will be dug by Native hands, and upon her recreant sons would be justly cast the reproach of posterity. But that eventuality is so faraway in the veiled future that it is better to concern ourselves with the duty of the day and hour; and, though we may not admit the conclusions of our critic of the Economist, at least to take to heart the danger-warning which his article certainly does convey. If every modern Arya will do what he really can for his Motherland, the Government will be none the worse served, and the sycophants and copyists of foreign fashions of dress, thought and living, will find themselves left to vapor and strut alone in their corner of the barnyard where the grains drop through the cracks in the public manger.


SONNETS.

I.
To the Author of "Isis Unveiled."
Thou dost unfold a strange and wondrous tale
Of all that was, and all that yet may be, —
And from the face of life's dark mystery
The veil is lifted. Ah! what fears assail,
Like breakers tossing on a restless sea,
The weary longing soul, as now a gale —
Blown from the spirit of thy prophecy —
With hopeful vigour fills her flapping sail?
And is it so — and will man still be free
From the embrace of putrid clay, of death?
Oh! thou hast stirr'd our spirits' passionate breath! —
Hence forth we know no doom, no destiny,
But what the Soul may fashion, may create,
True only to herself, and not to Fate!
II.
To Pandit Dayanund Saraswati Swami,
Even as the thunder rolls from hill to hill,
Till it returns unto its native sky,
The echoes of thy words and thoughts do still
From heart to heart reverberate, and fly
Back to the mighty soul, that sent them forth,
On Hope's proud mission and Truth's pilgrimage!
And as I gaze and watch, the golden age, —
Glorious as when it sparkled at its birth —
Of India's greatness, at thy magic nod
Returns. — Oh! not the Pisgah* of a dream!
The shadow of reality may seem
Unreal, but 'tis like the touch of God
On human soul. Yes, Swami! let it be
Thy boast to make the dream — a proud reality! — S. J. P.

-------

 * Note. — According to a well known Hebrew tradition, the Israelites in
the Wilderness seemed every morning on the verge of Pisgah and were
every evening as far from it as ever. — S. J. P.


LO! THE "POOR MISSIONARY."

By Melmoth, the Wanderer.

Decidedly the year A. D. 1880 begins as unpropitious and gloomy for that long-suffering, self-sacrificing class, known in Europe as Protestant Missionaries, but in India as padres — as was the now departed year 1879! The free-thinkers and infidels, like a swarm of wicked mosquitoes buzzing around, worry them worse than ever. Their Roman Catholic brothers played, and are still preparing to play, all manner of unholy tricks upon them, and though the abuse lavished upon the heads of these pious and meek Christians, was mutual — especially when brought under the public notice in the shape of pamphlets issued by the Bible Society — yet it was anything but edifying and offered some impediments to future conversions. For years they have drawn, we may say, no other converts in India but those who go more for ready cash or money's worth, than holy grace; and they feel, do these good men of God, that for the average Christian to stand by and see these "heathen brands plucked from the burning," flying from the Catholic sanctuary unto the tabernacle of the Protestant Lord, and vice versa, according to the fluctuations of the market, was as good as a game of shuttlecock and battledore.

And now the rumblings of 1880 are beginning to be heard. Amanda Smith, the mother pilgrim from the land of the Pilgrim Fathers, proved, outside the small community of the true believers — a failure. Even their best, and, as I believe, their only undeteriorated specimen of native preacher, the hitherto indefatigable Parsee convert, begins to show unmistakable signs of weariness and the blackest melancholy. This illustrious Zoroastrian, who used, with the punctuality of a time-piece and — as if in derision of his former god — just before sunset, to daily squeeze himself among the bas-reliefs of the Dhobi Talav fountain, was missed at his usual place for several afternoons. The spot from which he lifted up his voice — as one conscious of crying in the wilderness — was actually deserted for several days! Wicked tongues report him becoming hoarse; he looks ill, they say, hence, perhaps his slackening zeal. And yet, if he loses it altogether — the voice, I mean, not his zeal — perchance his always scant now absent audiences may return all the sooner. Indeed he has more chances, the ex-pious son of Zoroaster, of attracting the multitude by placing himself to be stared at and even listened to as a speechless cariatid, in all the motionless solemnity of a stone idol than ever before, when after narrating the touching story of his miraculous conversion, he drew a flood of briny tears from his black eyes and let it trickle down the steps prepared for the sweet rippling waters of the ever dry fountain. True, his fine baritone was never calculated to enhance the charm of the Methodist hymn and like a new Orpheus charm Heathen man and beast. His was not the voice to make the water-buffalo to desist from grazing or the buggy-wallah cease plying the persuasive stick. It was evidently a neglected organ and the padres might do worse than insist upon his taking a few lessons in singing — were it but from the ebony-browed nightingale newly landed from America — before further compromising their cause by allowing him to sing the average heathen to the verge of suicide.

No less inimical than the unregenerate infidels, the Roman Catholic rivals, and the unmusical convert, becomes public opinion as regards the padres. The tide recedes, and the milk of kindness, hitherto so freely drawn by them from the full udder of the nursing mother church of the "innocents at home," is evidently curdling and turning sour. Traditions are current of well-meaning, God-fearing Christians who, — with their minds full of heart-rending tales about the hardships and privations of the "poor missionary" in the land of the gentiles, and their pockets swelling with religious tracts forced upon them on board the P. and O., — were suddenly brought to a cruel disenchantment. Their first, and as yet tottering steps upon treading the shores of the land of the sacred cow and the starving bullock, were crossed by "poor" missionaries driving, in fashionable dogcarts, or reclining in elegant victorias with a red-garbed and skeleton-legged heathen sais or two hanging on behind, like two large clots of blood . . . Then came several violent raps upon the "poor missionary's" knuckles from earnest correspondents, writing in respectable orthodox London papers, besides daily attacks published by a hundred free-thinking, though not less respectable daily journals throughout Christendom as well as in Heathendom. So, for instance, there appeared some time ago a savage attack upon these inoffensive, and well meaning men, which requires notice. They were asked to first turn their attention to other and more needy directions than the lands of the "heathen." Speaking of the enormous sums annually spent on foreign missions, a writer, signing himself Pilot, in a letter addressed to the Weekly Times (London, Aug. 31st, 1879) is struck with "the anomaly which continually presents itself to the most casual observer. While the Kaffir, the Heathen Chinee, the mild Hindu, the poor African, and the Australian aboriginal" come in, every one of them, for their due share of physical and religious attention, "there comes case upon case before public tribunals, showing the lamentable ignorance of the dregs of our own population" . . We quote the rest of the letter: —

In one recent instance, a girl of fourteen was questioned by the magistrate as to the Bible, a book which she declared she had never before heard mentioned. She was in an equal condition of ignorance as to the words God and Church, which conveyed no more meaning to this denizen of London than they would to a Hottentot. A few days after, an almost exactly similar state of mental darkness was displayed before another Police-court, and yet we are engaged in sending cargoes of tracts to the uttermost parts of the earth. This condition of things is nothing less than a public disgrace to us as a country. Suppose we institute some system of home missions to remove the beam out of our own eye before we attempt to eradicate the mote of Buddhism, and other equally harmless forms of belief. With the passing of an Education Act some people fancy that such things as I have described are impossible; but it will be years before the seething mass of ignorance and vice, underlying the whited sepulchre of our social system, can be visibly affected by the efforts of the State. The metropolis is no startling exception in these matters, for the same unfortunate ignorance is prevalent in most large cities, and some parts of the black country; and the brick-making districts are even worse than the towns. How long, then, shall we go on subscribing hundreds of thousands of pounds to disseminate a civilization which is wanted at home? It is nothing less than a hypocritical farce to spend money on proselytising cannibals, when we have brother and sister heathen at our very doors. Charity should begin at home; but there evidently is not the same glory to be won rescuing an English waif in the purlieus of Ratcliff highway as there is in converting a stray nigger in the wilds of Africa.

And now, as the last coup de grace after this impertinence from home, comes in a stern rebuke in a highly respectable and strictly Orthodox organ. This once it is neither an "infidel pigmy" like the Theosophist, (the latest epithet bestowed upon it by a missionary organ, which, though famous for our great kindness, we must abstain from advertising), nor a second-class paper of London, which 'goes for' the padres, but that great authoritative organ of India and, as we are told, true barometer of the Indian press, which — to use a French expression — "makes the rain and the sunshine," and tunes the violins of all minor papers — the Pioneer, in short. The rebuke, though indirect, and aimed rather at the collective body of missions than at the Indian in particular, must be very hard to bear. We sympathise heartily with the padres; and were not the Pioneer such a Goliath of the journalistic Gath, perchance the Quixotic spirit of our suckling David, this "infidel pigmy," might even be aroused in defence of the poor missionary. As it is, we are obliged to eat the leek and we advise our friendly and esteemed padristic contemporaries to do the same. But what a fuss to be sure, for an infidel Turkish Moolah, whom the kind padres, trying to save him from eternal damnation, had bribed into translating the Bible! And such an irreverent language too. I reproduce it with the minute exactness of a sincere sympathiser. Let your readers judge, verifying our quotation by reference to the Pioneer, for Jan. 5th, 1880. The italics in the quotation are mine: —

The quarrel at Constantinople has been healed somehow or other, and England is spared the ridicule that would have attached to her government if a regular rupture of diplomatic relations had been the consequence of the absurd incident of the moollah. As far as one can understand the case yet, Sir Henry Layard's interference in that matter was altogether unwarrantable. The people, whom he might properly have interfered with, would have been the troublesome fanatics who engaged the moollha, in the first instance, to help them in their Bible translation.
Our relations with Turkey are far too delicate at present to be imperilled by the escapades of foolish missionaries. There is a time for all things; and this is not the time for letting ignorant enthusiasts bring the good faith of Great Britain into disrepute in the East, by pecking, in an absurd way, at the religious sentiment of Islam. Englishmen are not Mahomedans and they need not pretend to think Mohamedanism a nice religion; but it is an essential condition of success for Great Britain in the large political undertakings that she has in hand that she should conscientiously act up to the principles of perfect toleration she professes. It is repugnant to British sentiment to interfere with private liberty, and thus missionaries wander where they will, —bringing about some hypothetical conversions and a good deal of disturbance. None the less is it clear that missionary work ought to be under some intelligent regulation where its indiscretions are liable to compromise the peace of Europe. How Sir Henry Layard can have failed to see that the treatment of the Turkish moollah by the Turkish Government was a matter with which he had absolutely no concern, is as yet a mystery. But, at any rate, it is most important for Mahomedans all over the world to understand that the British Government is incapable of importing religious bigotry into its political action.

The pen drops from my hand in horror . . . Decidedly Sir H. Layard is here but a transparent pretext, and the Pioneer editor has become a rank infidel!


AN INDIAN PATRIOT'S PRAYER.

Oh that mine eyes might see the day when men
Of various races, creeds, complexions, views,
Who live beneath the golden light of sun
That brightly beams upon the land of Ind,
Would congregate in amity around this best,
Most glorious standard of ALL-BROTHERHOOD;
— Blessed by thee, great Power benign!
To chaos may our party feelings fly,
And with them take the darkness from our land.
May our ancestral feuds be rooted up;
May love rule in, and peace brood over, Aryan homes;
May fructifying heat, and dews, and the moist wind,
Circling from land to land and o'er the main,
Assist us sons of Ind, and Aryavart enrich;
Send forth, thou Solar King, thy magic rays
To Picture on the page of History scenes
Of glorious enterprise, and deeds heroic
Done by generations sprung from Bharat's land.
..............
The West calls to the East, 'Up, brothers,
Up, and join us.' MOTHER, awake; thine hour is come!

A Bengali friend writes "The Swami Dayanund was in error when he condemned the Tantras. He has evidently seen the black Tantra and rejected all in disgust. But the Tantras alone contain all that has been discovered regarding the mysteries of our nature. They contain more than the Veds, Patanjali, Sankhya and other ancient works on Yoga philosophy. In Tantra alone there are hundreds of essays on Yoga, black and white magic, &c., &c. Unfortunately it is written in Bengali character; or I would send it for your Library. The Dnyaneshwari referred to in the January number of your magazine is a Tantric work." And this being so, does no one in Bengal care enough for truth and science to send us English translations of this more valuable portions of this curious work?


ENGLISH GHOST STORIES.

By John Yarker, Esq., F. T. S., etc., etc.
Author of 'Notes on the Scientific and Religious Mysteries of Antiquity.'

The Young Lady's Story, at page 30/31 of the THEOSOPHIST, reminds me very much of a circumstance which occurred in my own family above 60 years ago, and which, faithfully rendered in its simple form, is as follows: —

My grandfather, to whom the relation is primarily due, was anything but a superstitious man; and prior to this was no believer in spiritual appearances. Originally our family were a Roman Catholic branch of that of the same name at Leyburn, Wensby, N. R. Yorkshire, and were in point of fact a disinherited elder branch; becoming protestants about the year 1700, from which period they probably attended Church about thrice in the course of a long life — at baptism, marriage, and death; they were therefore not very likely to be spiritually superstitious, and in my family such matters as spiritual appearances were always treated with contempt.

I have not the date at which the occurrence, which I am relating, took place; but it was a time when the English were expecting the invasion of the Great Napoleon. In the Government conscription my grandfather was drawn as a soldier, and was obliged either to serve himself or provide a substitute. Accordingly he journeyed to the neighbouring town of Penrith, Cumberland, where he met with and purchased a recruit in his own place. About twelve o'clock at night he was returning through Lowther Park, which is considered one of the finest old parks in the world, when he observed at his side a lady in an antiquated costume, which he described as a sort of sugar-loaf hat and trailing dress of silk, the rustle of which he actually heard beside him. The lady resembled a middle-aged neighbour, and his astonishment was great at beholding her at that time of the night in such an antiquated costume. She passed on and disappeared, dissolving before his eyes as he was saluting her with the remark — "It is a fine night, Miss Slea."

My grandfather was so frightened upon beholding this that being in a state of complete bewilderment he hurried home, and went to bed leaving the door unlocked. After relating the occurrence to his wife he remembered that he had left the door unfastened, but neither of them were valiant enough to remedy the oversight.

My father usually added that probably the relator had had a few glasses at the Penrith Inn when he sought his recruit; but my grandfather was a very abstemious man, and totally devoid of what is usually called superstition. My father himself had a boon companion who never dared pass a particular gate. He was always perfectly comfortable until he arrived at a certain field-gate when he became struck with terror at certain appearances and would say: "They are there, see, see!" And it was with the greatest difficulty he could be got past the stile. Perhaps the spot may have been the scene of some crime; but this story has a more near affinity to delirium.

My grandmother had also an anecdote in regard to a daughter whom they lost at 14 years of age. She was for a long time overwhelmed with grief, until, upon one occasion, whilst she lay abed fretting and perfectly awake, her daughter appeared to her, laid a cold hand upon her brow, and said "Do not grieve for me, mother, as I am very happy;" and so struck was she with the reality of the vision that she never renewed her lamentations.

In the village where I resided, when a boy, there was one old Weslyan woman who used to make a similar statement. She was considered very truthful and invariably related her tale in the same way. She too had lost a daughter and grieved much for her. On one particular occasion she fell upon her knees in the middle of the floor and earnestly prayed that the Lord, if it were possible, would allow her once again to behold her darling child. While in the midst of her prayer, her daughter suddenly appeared before her in great radiance and beauty; and the mother from that day became reconciled to her loss.

Although these are simple things and scarcely worthy of a place in your monthly, yet the relation thereof by truthful people in my childhood formed in after years a little oasis in my desert of unbelief in the supernatural — and their permanent record would be welcome to me now. And as the Simla anecdotes have called up my recollections, so perchance my narrative may in turn evoke family tales illustrative of psychological experience.
Manchester, (Eng.) Dec. 1879.


[continued from the December Number.]

EAST INDIA MATERIA MEDICA.

By Pandurang Gopal, G.G.M.C., F.T.S.

Before taking up the classification of drug remedies as arranged by Sushruta, it is desirable to furnish our readers with a clear notion of the terminology of which he seems to have been the first originator in Aryan Medicine.

This terminology is entirely based on the assumption that disease is nothing more or less than either a vitiation or corruption of a ternary or triple force (tridosha) which pervades the fluids of the body and influences their circulation, absorption or secretion, under external conditions of heat or cold, changes of weather, differences of food; or the inordinate exercise of natural appetites and feelings. This corruption may be exhibited either by an exaltation or diminution and depression of one, two, or all of those manifestations which are included under the terms vata (air) pitta (bile or heat-producing agent) or kapha (the cold-producing agent); and a combination of two of these may determine changes in the fluids or solids of the body in proportion to the latent action of tangible forces or the imperceptible operation of conditions in the internal structures of the body. Vata, for instance, which is the most active manifestation, may by itself cause increased action, increased sensibility amounting to pain, and even swelling by distension of the invaded vessels or tubes. But when it acts in concert with pitta or heat, it produces a sensation of internal heat or the feeling of burning redness, which may be visible externally, and a corruption of blood contained in the affected parts with a tendency to resolve into pus and similarly putrid and irritating fluids. It will then give rise to abscesses internal or external, or if not excessive, become tempered and modified into the harder material of tumours and thickenings, by its combination with the colder manifestation or fluid, called kapha.

These terms, used by Sushruta to denote the internal changes going on in the circulating materials of the body, were very widely applied, and appear to have been used to designate the processes of diseased action from a careful observation of the progress of disease or of unhealthy symptoms in a numerous selection of individuals placed under similar conditions. And though they cannot now be revived for any purpose whatever, their significance is as fixed and accurate as it could be before the dissection of bodies was largely practised and followed as the ne plus ultra of the profession of a physician.

The terminology itself has no recommendation to the student of the medicine at the present day, for it can never help the understanding of those other phenomena of life, which are ascertained and proved as either the proximate or ultimate effects of causes interposed by accident, or the intended operation of artificial stimuli brought to bear on them, as a means of experiment or of questioning their nature. And where we can accept as proved the latent properties of organised matter under the influence of artificial irritation or of the partial application of those forces which we can intercept from nature, we may not be disposed to take for granted a grosser interpretation of those properties, however consonant they may be to the first or primitive ideas of their application in practice.

We, therefore, must be prepared to note simply the record of genuine observations which were in accord with nature and then test them by our own observations of the present day. We have no doubt we shall meet with much that will merit or command our acceptance, and there will be little which cannot be explained away as errors or defects of generalization which all early experience in the study of nature has been known to be fraught with.

Sushruta's terminology has a constant relation to fixed ideas of the properties of medicinal substances, and as it is important, in the interest of science, that his descriptions must be tested by experience, we shall attempt to interpret them in the language of modern pathology and therapeutics.

Sushruta, in his definition of matter or of the ultimate properties of matter, avers that matter being the matrix of organic nature, the properties of juices residing in the vegetable kingdom are the result of certain transformations which they undergo during the process of organic development. They are therefore unstable and readily prone to organic changes.

But there is one fixed law which determines and rules over these transformations. It is this: that all the forms of vitalised matter are constant; they never exchange their typical form, the heavier elements, forming the solids, being never subject to transformation into aqueous fluids and vice versa.*

* This, however, is an error, which is clearly disproved by the researches of modern science.

Organized matter, as Sushruta taught, is the receptacle and generator of vegetable juices, and is the only medium through which vegetable juices or those quintessences of force which act on the different parts of the human economy operate. Sushruta, therefore, enjoined a special direction to the student to pay strict regard to the fact that substances derived from the various parts of living or fresh vegetables cannot be exactly replaced in their action or potency by the juices or ingredients forming such matter. This, to a great extent, is absolutely true, and the difference lies in those changes occurring in the physiological functions of vegetables, which are, as we have now come to understand, determined by the same conditions of light, heat, electricity or other unknown forces which determine the growth and progress of animal beings on earth.

 In the experience of Sushruta, one species of a vegetable cannot be replaced by another, effectually and with the same result. Combination of one with another may augment action; but it cannot produce identity of action under any circumstances whatsoever; and he, therefore, restricts the application of the term "medicinal matter" or the Materia Medica to those substances only which combine, in their form, sensible properties and tangible effects on the human system for good or for bad.

These are clear, indisputable truths, which remain unshaken to the present day.

Sushruta's classification of medicinal agents, derived from vegetable nature, has a specific significance and accords with the more elaborate and precise experience of the present day. His explanations of the properties of these substances may not be generally accepted, for they are so difficult to reconcile
with our new conceptions of their remote effects as tested by the frequency of pulse, respiration, heat and the quantity and quality of excretions, that their mode or modes of operation on the various internal organs of the body or the aggregate result of their active constituents on the human economy, may well remain an open question for scientific inquiry and of clinical experience.

Origanized matter, as all students of modern chemical science are aware, evinces in its fresh state, or as the various structural parts of vegetables evince after their severance from their parent stem, a greater energy of action under all circumstances than when it is exposed to the devitalising and decomposing influence of air and moisture (which Leibig termed eremacausis) or when it is subjected to the artificial agency and operations of heat, communition or precipitation even under the precise and skilled manipulations of the analytical chemist; and though our attempts to separate the constituents may each give us renewed evidence of the actions of each individual constituent in apparently different forms, their combination may, to a large extent, represent the effects which are noticed, by the unaided senses, when exhibited in man. Our experience of the effects of active principles in drugs has not yet furnished us with evidence of an identity of action between their principles and secondary constituents, and the aggregate effects produced either by fresh juices or by the constituent principles dissolved by water and other menstrua, and we can therefore affirm that drugs used by themselves must exert an action peculiar in itself and differing practically from the actions of artificially separated constituents which are highly useful in their own way.

The cause of this difference, it may be observed, is not far to seek. It is deduced from the results of experimental physiology, and may be considered to reside or rest in the organic or vital (call it, molecular, if you choose) combination of the active principle or principles with other less valuable constituents in a drug, and is expressed by the affinity which each of them is known to exert for a given component tissue or organ of the animal frame. One may act energetically on a soft tissue in such a manner as instantly to create a chemical change; another may simply mechanically irritate the muscular fibre and produce a gentle wave, as subtle as electricity itself, in its contractility, which will fade away with the application. A third may shock or convulse a nerve-fibre and make itself felt at the very centres of the sympathetic system causing a temporary paralysis of local circulation, to be followed by reaction and return to its static condition; whereas a fourth may become gently absorbed en masse through the circulation and select for stimulation or depression the trophic (nutrition carrying) nerves or the unstripped muscular fibre of distant organs, thus influencing their absorption or their secretions, and finally tending to obstruct their secretions or relieve them more quickly than the ordinary nature and course of their special functions would require.

 The potency and kind of action of each drug, therefore, will depend, as may be seen in a larger measure than is ordinarily imagined, on the media in which the active principles or the secondary compounds of that drug may be combined with each other, and will also vary in quantity as well as quality on the seat and state of combination in which they may be found at certain stages of vegetable growth and perfection. These conditions, again, may be modified by the soil, altitude and climate, temperature and light of certain regions of the earth where plants will naturally grow, and until these are studied, and the combinations in which they are found in nature more successfully imitated in pharmacy, our knowledge of drugs, as derived from the conflicting observations of individuals viewing each from a different standpoint as regards their properties, must remain lamentably deficient and confused.

On these above grounds, therefore, we clearly perceive the absolute necessity of attaching greater value to the study of fresh drugs and their trial in controlling disease as pointed out by Sushruta, and we may confidently look to new provings guided by Sushruta's descriptions of their nature, so far as Indian drugs are concerned, for valuable aid in our therapeutics of disease.

Sushruta divided all vegetable drugs into two large classes of remedies, in view and recognition of their ultimate effects on the human economy during the progress of disease, and these he terms Sanshodhaneeeya [image]or those which evacuate morbid humours, and Sanshomaneeya ([image]) or those which regulate or moderate the excessive action of morbid humours,

This classification is based on the assumption that disease consists in nothing more or less than either an increase or diminution of certain liquids of the body, occasioned by changes in the outer media of animal existence, such, for instance, as air, food, and the subtler forms of stimuli, e. g. light, heat and electricity which sustain the functions and structure of bodily organs in a normal state of health and vigor. Sushruta lived in a time when the elements of the earth were not apparently studied beyond their sensible influence on human existence, and whatever phenomena struck him and his contemporaries with wonder and awe were attributed to the operation of inscrutable forces which were personified and held to emanate from a higher, creative force, which was assumed to exercise functions similar to man but in a more transcendent form. He and his contemporaries, including Charaka, who gives us more practical descriptions of the properties of vegetables, had not apparently studied the minute changes of structure which are caused by disease and revealed after death, and having assumed that the human body was a microcosm of all the forces exhibited by nature, felt perhaps little necessity to inquire into the more proximate nature of those forces which govern the mechanism of the body.

Sushruta has shown in his treatise on the Materia Medica of India a most extensive acquaintance with the properties of a wide range of vegetables, and in reference to the two large classes of therapeutic remedies, has divided them into two large groups, in one of which he specifies the parts used, and in the other gives a catalogue of groups which influence each so-called humour in preference to their action on others.

We shall take up in this number and consider the first class only, specifying the parts used in the treatment of disease.

They were all supposed to be evacuants of bile, but some of them act indirectly on increasing the sweat or perspiration also. They are as follows: —

EVACUANTS OF BILE AND MUCUS.

[image]

[image]

* This plant was not hitherto identified, and neither Dr. Oodya Chunda, nor the writer on this article in Waring's Indian Pharmacopoeia, seem to be certain on this point. The plant is however named similarly both in the Sanskrit and in the modern Latinised name after the character of its flowers.

THE BARON du POTET, Hon. F. T. S.

By H. S. Olcott, President of the Theosophical Society.

At the foundation of the Theosophical Society, its membership was divided into the three classes of Active, Corresponding and Honorary Fellows. The diploma of Honorary Fellow was to be conferred only upon such persons as had contributed in an eminent degree to the advancement of Psychological science. Since that rule was adopted this diploma has been voted but twice — once to a certain mystic of Western birth but long Eastern association, whose name it is not permissible to divulge but whose occult knowledge and personal characteristics can only be compared with those of that marvel of the 18th Century, the Count de St. Germain, and now upon an illustrious Frenchman — the Baron Jules Dinis du Potet. In accepting from us this mark of homage, Baron du Potet confers distinction upon the Theosophical Society. The expression of his sympathy in our work and approval of our designs, when couched in such terms as he employs in the letter to the Society's Corresponding Secretary, gives a definite value to the diploma of every Active and Corresponding fellow. For, foremost among the great Western psychologists of this century stands this Apostle of Magnetic Science. He, more than any other European experimentalist, has sounded the depths of human nature, and made easy the comprehension of the secret thought of the Indian sages. For the mysteries of man and of nature can only be seen, studied and understood, by the developed faculties of the soul; and Mesmerism, or Animal Magnetism, is the science of that part of us which we Western people clumsily call the Soul. In attempting to teach our young Indian members the meaning of Indian philosophers, we have begun by showing theoretically and experimentally what Magnetism is. And the Baron du Potet has done more than any living man of the past century to show what are the possibilities of human magnetism. The scientific world has honored him in degree, though far less than his deserts, while still alive; after his death, monuments will be raised to him, which will bear the tardy eulogiums withheld until then through envy or moral cowardice. So is it always, and Saintine expressed a real truth when he wrote, 'The penalty of greatness is isolation.'

Our new colleague, who recently celebrated his eighty-fourth birthday, has been practising therapeutic magnetism for about sixty years, and during this time has healed more sick persons and achieved more marvellous cures, than perhaps any physician of our days. His benevolent spirit has made him devote his noble powers to this object rather than figure as a mere wonder-worker, although in this respect he stands without a peer. Those who would satisfy their curiosity upon this point and who can read French, should consult an 8vo. work of his, published in 1821 at Paris, entitled 'Expos des experiences publiques sur le Magnetism, faitesal'" Hotel-Dieu en 1820.' It may be found in any European public library.

Baron du Potet is descended from the Dukes of Burgundy, that is to say from one of the greatest and most illustrious families of France; but his own eminence as a man of science, and especially as a benefactor of suffering humanity, confers a lustre upon his name which no quartered shield or family escutcheon can add to. May he see yet many more natal days dawn upon him, before he pays that tribute to death which is exacted from us all at our appointed times. The age can better spare many a younger man.

Following, is a translation of the text of his letter accepting the diploma of our Society: —

PLACE DES PLATANES,
MAISON DES BAINS,
Nice (Alpes Maritimes),
12th December, 1879.
MADAME,
It is with extreme gratification that I have learnt of the existence of your Society.
To seek after the truth in that cradle-land where it was once honoured, to cultivate it for the happiness of all, to bring out in full splendour this ray of the divine power, — this is to labour for humanity, and to remind the world that a Divine Power exists, and that man possesses in himself a ray of this Power, by means of which he can remount to the very source. Some day all men, by perfecting their inner selves, will become seers.
Thanks, an hundredfold, for the honour which your Society has done me. I accept with a great joy the diploma of Honorary Fellow of the Theosophical Society.
Receive me then as one closely identified with your labors, and rest assured that the remainder of my life will be consecrated to the researches that your great Indian sages have opened out for us.
Accept, dear Madame, the record of my pledges and my hopes.
(Sd.) BARON du POTET.

HASSAN KHAN "DJINNI."

There died, some three or four years ago, in a jail in the N. W. P., a man whose performances as a juggler, or, as some claim, a sorcerer, must have outdone all that is ascribed to our modern spiritualistic mediums. He was a Mohammedan by faith, and a patan or warrior by social rank; about 30 or 35 years of age, thin, dark complexion, moderately stout, and of medium stature. From an older man of his faith he had at some time learnt, or is supposed to have learnt, the secret of power over the djinni, or elemental spirits or goblins, as Aladdin, of romantic memory, did before him. At many different places in the presence of many witnesses, his wonders were performed. He required neither darkness, nor 'cabinets', nor the singing of hymns. He would go to any stranger's house, and do his feats in broad daylight; without apparatus or confederates. At a recent conference at Allahabad between Col. Olcott and certain learned natives, this man was the subject of conversation and the following facts were elicited: —

Statement of Sri Angudram Shastri of Rohilcund.

I met Hassan Khan at Alighur some 8 years ago. He was a man of depraved habits, a drunkard and debauchee, and at the time of my meeting him he was living with some nautch girls. The performances I witnessed were at the private house of Rajah Jai Kishendass, C. S. I., now Deputy Collector at Cawnpore. It was in day-light. Among other feats, I remember that he ordered a third party, a gentleman and not an acquaintance of his, to collect from several persons present their finger rings, he himself not touching them. Three were given. The gentleman was then instructed to throw them into the house-well. He did so. Hassan then walked to an orange tree, plucked a large fruit, and calling for a knife, cut it open, and from the inside took out the three rings, which until that moment had not been in his hands.

Statement of Babu Girdharilal, Assistant Superintendent of Police, N. W. P.

This same experiment I saw performed at my own house at Bareilly. Hassan was then confined in the lunatic asylum; but the power was apparently not impaired. I obtained permission from the medical officer in charge of the asylum, and Hassan was brought to my house, direct from the asylum, by the chuprassies or keepers who watched him. It was perhaps 2 o'clock P. M. and I had gathered a number of friends to witness the performance. Nothing specially strange could be noticed in his face, nor did he make any ceremonies, but when we told him we were ready for him to begin, he crossed the 'hall'* and standing on the threshold of a side room, raised his hands backwards above his head so as to conceal them temporarily from our view, and the next minute, bringing them down again, showed us a large, pomolo.** In the same way he produced a number of other fruits, some, as I remember, out of season, and some from a distance, as, for instance, grapes that grow in Cabul. He then in like manner produced for us toys for the children, and last of all did the feat with the rings. In this instance he himself collected the rings, but when we expressed some apprehension lest our property should go to Patal, or the Christian hell, he laughingly told me to take them into my own hand and throw them into my well. I looked wistfully at my own costly ring which was among the number, but finally concluded to see the thing through at all hazards. So I went out to the well and cast the jewels in and saw them sink in the water. Coming back into the hall, I reported to Hassan what I had done. Thereupon he again placed himself in the doorway, raised his hands as before, muttering his charm or mantram — which I omitted mentioning before — and in an instant held out for our inspection an orange. It was cut open, and — there were our rings packed snugly inside and quite uninjured.

* The 'hall' is the large central apartment in every East Indian house in which the family life is passed. Small rooms give into it from the sides.
** A fruit as large as a large musk-melon.

 ZOROASTRIANISM AND THEOSOPHY.

By Kharsedji N. Seervai,
Recording Secretary, Theosophical Society [Eastern Division].

Just as the oldest religious teachings of the Hindus are contained in the Vedas, so the most ancient religious teachings of the Zoroastrians are embodied in the Zend Avasta or, more properly, those portions of the Avasta which are distinguished as the Gathas. These portions are ascribed directly to Zarathustra or Zoroaster, as the Greeks called him, while the other parts of the Avasta were the writings of his disciples and followers. "The relationship," says Dr. Martin Hang, "of the Avasta language to the most ancient Sanskrit, the so-called Vedic dialect, is as close as that of the different dialects of the Greek language (AEolic, Ionic, Doric, or Attic) to each other. The languages of the sacred hymns of the Brahmans, and of those of the Parsis, are only the two dialects of the two separate tribes of one and the same nation. As the Ionians, Dorians, AEolians, &c., were different tribes of the Greek nation, whose general name was Hellenes, so the ancient Brahmans and Parsis were two tribes of the nation which is called Aryas, both in the Veda and Zend Avasta."

The close relationship thus seen in language and nationality also existed in respect of religious truths. Pure Vadeism and pure Zoroastrianism are one. Zoroastrianism sprang up as a reformatory revolution against the corruptions and superstitions which had obscured the primitive Vedic truths, and which stood in the place of the pure old religion to serve the purposes of priestcraft and despotism. Zoroaster did in the far off antiquity what the great and saintly Buddha did after him, and what the heroic Swami Dayanand Saraswati does in our own times. Zoroaster was called "the famous in Airyana Vaejo," i. e., "the famous in the Aryan home." Exiles from the old Aryan home, ignorant of the old Aryan wisdom, forgetful of the closest relationship, these two branches in course of ages grew more and more separated and estranged from one another. The comparative study of languages and of religions has had to a certain extent the effect of bringing them together. But it is necessary to dive deeper. To the investigation and expounding of the hidden and occult truths which assuredly are treasured in the sacred writings of the Hindus and the Parsis, is left the lot of uniting, into permanent religious concord, the present direct descendants of the oldest human family; and this great work the Theosophical Society has prescribed to itself, and to a very good extent already accomplished.

The European nations first became acquainted with the contents of the Zoroastrian Scriptures through the French translation of Anquetil Duperron. Sir William Jones could not persuade himself to believe that the writings as represented by the French translation could belong to "the celebrated Zoroaster." Kant was disappointed to find there was no philosophy traceable in these writings. And yet the most learned of the ancient Greeks and the Romans held Zoroaster and his teachings in the highest veneration. Zoroaster as spoken of by them appears as a demi-god, most profound in learning, — the 'bright star' among men, one to whom nature had revealed all her secrets, master of the deepest mystic lore, the head of the Magi — the great magicians. "The great fame," says Dr. Haug, "which Zoroaster enjoyed, even with the ancient Greeks and Romans who were, so proud of their own learning and wisdom, is a sufficient proof of the high and pre-eminent position he must once have occupied in the history of the progress of the human mind." The translation of Anquetil Duperron was, however, imperfect and inaccurate. We are now in possession of translations by Burnouf, Speigel, and Haug, which are pronounced to be sufficiently accurate and scientific. But even in these we can hardly find things which could have deserved the high panegyrics bestowed by the Greek and Roman philosophers. What inference then do these facts suggest? Either that men like Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Hermippos, Plutarch and Pliny, who lived nearer the time of Zoroaster than ourselves, and who studied and wrote so much about the Zoroastrian writings when those writings were almost wholly preserved and well understood in Persia, formed a wrong estimate of Zoroaster and Zoroastrian writings, or that the meaning we at present make of these writings is not correct, The latter seems to be the more reasonable conclusion.

It is said of Plato's writings that there are many parts, the real meaning of which is different from what appears to be. In the Academy he taught the mysteries, the knowledge of which could only be imparted to the initiates. When he had to write about these mysteries he wrote so as to convey to the vulgar a different and often absurd meaning the real meaning being intelligible only to the initiates who possessed the key to the reading. The Egyptian Hierophants hid their mysteries under the hieroglyphics. The Rosicrucians and other mystic philosophers of the middle ages adopted similar device to keep away from the vulgar and the undeserving the great occult and mystic truths of which they were the masters. May not the same be the case with regard to the Zoroastrian writings?

The following passage from Dr. Haug's learned essay is highly suggestive on this point: —

"Zoroaster exhorts his party to respect and revere the Angra, i. e., the Angiras of the Vedic hymns, who formed one of the most ancient and celebrated priestly families of the ancient Aryans, and who seem to have been more closely connected with the ante-Zoroastrian form of the Parsi religion than any other of the later Brahmanical families. These Angiras are often mentioned together with the Atharvans or fire-priests (which word, in the form athrava, is the general name given to the priest caste in the Zend-Avesta), and both are regarded in the Vedic literature as the authors of the Athervangiras which is called the Veda of the Athervangiras, or the Atharvana, or Angirasa Veda, i. e., the Veda of the Atharvana or Angiras. This work was for a long time not acknowledged as a proper Veda by the Brahmans, because its contents, which consist chiefly of spells, charms, curses, mantras for killing enemies, &c., were mostly foreign to the three other Vedas, which alone were originally required for sacrifices. On comparing its contents with some passages in the Yashts and Vendidad, we discover a great similarity. Although a close connection between the ante-Zoroastrian and the Atharvana and Angirasa religion can hardly be doubted, yet this relationship refers only to the Magical part, which was believed by the ancient Greeks to be the very substance and nature of the Zoroastrian religion."

And a closer view of the rites and ceremonies of the Zoroastrian religions e. g., the Afringan and more especially the Ijashne ceremonies, go to confirm that what the ancient Greeks believed was the truth. It is not possible within the space of the present article to describe in detail these ceremonies. A full account of them is given in Dr. Haug's Essays, pages 394 et seq. Unless these ceremonies can be accounted for as being for some spiritual or occult purpose, their performance seems to be quite a farce. We know on the authority of the author of the 'Dabistan' that Akbar the Great, the celebrated Mogal Emperor of India, was a great enquirer of religious truths. He had assembled in his court the learned men of all the different faiths, — Mahomedans of all sects, Hindus, Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. There were frequent public discussions between these doctors, each striving to uphold the superiority of his own faith. And as the result of all these discussions and researches, he formed a new religious sect called Ilahi, introduced a new era called Ilahi, and, says Anthony Troyer in his synopsis of the Dabistan, "the months were regulated according to the mode of Iran, and fourteen festivals established in concordance with those of Zoroaster's religion. It was to this ancient Persian creed, that he gave the preference, having been instructed in its sacred tenets and practices by a learned fire-worshiper who had joined him, and from books which were sent to him from Persia and Kirman. He received the sacred fire, and committed it to the faithful hands of Abulfazil, his confidential minister: the holy flames of Zardusht blazed again upon the altars of Aria, and after a separation of many centuries, Persians and Indians were reunited in a common worship."

Is it possible that a sovereign so wise, and one who had taken such pains to inform himself carefully of the merits of the different faiths, and who had before him each faith mercilessly criticised and analysed by its opponents, could have given his preference to the Zoroastrian religion, if its rites and ceremonies were a farce, or at best were unintelligible, and if its writings had no more meaning than we at present understand, — meaning that the merest school-boy can now-a-days well afford to sneer at? No; Zoroastrian religion is a mystery. How shall the veil be lifted up to show us what is behind? We believed not in mysteries, we believed not in occult and spiritual potencies. The era of this disbelief is past. That marvellous work of this century, 'Isis Unveiled,' establishes beyond a doubt for every unbiased and unprejudiced thinker that there is a universe with vast powers beyond what we know as the physical. Truths regarding this universe and powers, as men in different times and places came to know, they locked up in mysteries, in order to save them from falling into the hands of the impure and the selfish. Happily what these mysteries guard is not yet lost to the knowledge of men. These truths are known to some mighty few, the great initiates and adepts in India and elsewhere. The Theosophical studies have for their aim and object the acquisition of these truths, and the special interest that a Zoroastrian has in these studies and investigations is that they will throw light upon the mystery which enshrouds his own glorious faith, and reveal the teachings of the great Bactrian sage in their true essence.

As an instance illustrating in some small way what is thus possible, we may quote the following verse from gatha Ustavaiti:

* "12. And when Thou camest to instruct me, and taughtest me righteousness; then Thou gavest me Thy command not to appear without having received a revelation, before the angel Srosha, endowed with the sublime righteousness which may impart your righteous things to the two friction woods (by means of which the holiest fire, the source of all good things in the creation, is produced) for the benefit (of all things), shall have come to me."

* Essays on the Sacred Language, Writings, and Religion of the Parsis, by Martin Haug, Ph. D., page 157.

Like almost all the passages in the Gathas this passage is very unintelligible, and the portion in italics is especially so. Zoroaster seems to say that he was forbidden to appear on his mission in the public till he had received inspiration and was visited by Sroash, whose sublime righteousness was to impart righteous things "to the two friction woods." As Dr. Haug explains by the parenthetical clause which he interposes in this verse, the phrase "the two friction woods" is specially mentioned as denoting the means by which fire — the most sacred element in Zoroastrian worship — is produced. But Zoroaster's was not the age in which fire was first discovered by the accidental friction of two pieces of wood, as is supposed to have been the way in which it became known to the savages. The prominence, therefore, with which this mode of producing fire is mentioned, needs some explanation. Besides, how can righteous things be imparted to two pieces of wood by the friction of which fire is produced? And again how can the imparting of righteous things to the two pieces of wood furnish Zoroaster with the necessary qualifications to go on his mission? We fail to see our way through these difficulties. Let us see now if the hints given in the article headed "Cross and Fire," in the THEOSOPHIST for Nov. last, do not throw a ray of light on these difficulties. Let us ponder carefully these passages in the article: —

"Perhaps the most widespread and universal among the symbols in the old astronomical systems — which have passed down the stream of time to our century, and have left traces everywhere, in the Christian religion as elsewhere — are the Cross and Fire — the latter, the emblem of the sun. The ancient Aryans had them both as the symbols of Agni. Whenever the ancient Hindu devotee desired to worship Agni — says E. Burnouf — he arranged two pieces of wood in the form of a cross, and, by a peculiar whirling and friction obtained fire for his sacrifice. As a symbol, it is called Swastica, and as an instrument manufactured out of a sacred tree and in possession of every Brahmin, it is known as Arani."
"If then, we find these two — the Cross and the Fire — so closely associated in the esoteric symbolism of nearly every nation, it is because on the combined powers of the two rests the whole plan of the universal laws. In astronomy, physics, chemistry, in the whole range of natural philosophy in short, they always come out as the invisible cause and the visible result; and only metaphysics and alchemy (metachemistry) can fully and conclusively solve the mysterious meaning."
"The central point, or the great central sun of the Cosmos, as the Kabalists call it, is the Deity. It is the point of intersection between the two great convicting powers, — the centripetal and centrifugal forces."
"Plato calls the universe a 'blessed god,' which was made in a circle and decussated in the form of the letter X."
 "In Masonry the Royal Arch degree retains the cross as the triple Egytian Tau."

May we not after reading these passages conclude that what is meant by "the two friction woods" is the same as that meant by the Hindu Swastica or Arani, or the Cross of the Kabalists, or the Egyptian Tau? As among the Hindus, "the two friction woods" were used to obtain fire for certain ceremonies, and the cross made of "the two woods" was with Zoroaster what Arani was with the Brahmin, and as such possessed the efficacies of what may be called a magic wand in the hand of Zoroaster. Understood in this light, it becomes intelligible how the virtues of "the two friction woods" could have furnished Zoroaster with qualifications to go on his mission of a prophet. This reminds us of the analogous case of Moses with his magic rod. The above interpretation — i.e., that the instrument indicated by "the two friction woods" is the same as the Arani, in the hand of the Brahmin — comes to be most happily confirmed when we find out the word in Zend Avasta which Dr.Haug translates as the "two friction woods." That word is Rana, the dative dual of which is Ranoibia: Rana in Zend Avasta, and Arani in Sanscrit.

Just as Rana resembles Arani, may we be permitted to suppose that Tai in the Zoroastrian rites resembles the Tau? Tai are the twigs of a particular sacred tree (now not known) which the Zoroastrian Mobad is required to keep in his hand when performing the most sacred ceremonies of Ijasne and Darun. And may we say that Rana in the hand of Zoroaster, Arani in the hand of the Brahmin, and Tau among the Egyptians, is preserved in the Tai that the Mobad at the present day holds in his hand when performing the sacred ceremonies of his faith. But the wand in the hand of the Mobad of the present day has lost its virtues, because the key to the mysteries of the Zoroastrian faith is lost. Perhaps there are some even now to whom Zoroastrianism is not a dumb mystery: unknown to the world, they hold in their faithful keeping the sacred trust. We know with better certainty that there are men to whom the Brahminical, Egyptian, and Kabalistic mysteries have given up their secrets. The knowledge of the one elucidates the other, and viewed from this stand-point, what new and sublime meaning the sacred words of the Zend Avasta may not unfold. The Gathas, which are understood to be Zoroaster's own composition or that of his immediate disciples, have hitherto completely baffled the attempts of all scholars to make any consistent meaning out of them. This may no longer be the case if we see help towards their interpretation, in the right quarters, which have hitherto been sadly neglected.


THE EMIGRATION RETURNS. — The emigration returns for October show a remarkable increase in the number of emigrants from Liverpool. The total number of emigrants sailing from the Mersey to the United States, British North America, Australia, South America., East and West Indies, China and the West Coast of Africa, was no fewer than 15,062 emigrants, being 7,258 above the figures of the corresponding month of 1878. Of the number, 8,628 were English, 1,751 Irish, 200 Scotch, 4,045 foreigners, and 446 whose nationality was not known. The emigrants to the United States were 11,729 in number, being more than double all the others put together. Another bad season in Great Britain would enormously increase this exodus to the fertile and the West.


Section 2

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