Copyright © 1997 by Theosophical University Press. All rights Reserved.
| Ten Families of Monads | Life Waves and Sishtas | Why Animals Suffer | Sishtas Open the Drama of Human Life | Cycling Life Waves |
G. de P. — Speaking of the dhyani-chohans and of the three classes of them existing beyond man in the hierarchical system of evolving monads on this chain: can anyone here tell me how many kingdoms or classes of monads there are evolving on the globes of our chain, and just what these kingdoms are? I submit that there is a world of suggestive thought in these matters. In addition, one more question: It has been stated in our literature, both by HPB and by myself, that there are different families of monads evolving on the globes of the chain, and following each other in serial order around the globes. Can anyone give us some suggestive thought on this point? Where are these different families or classes of evolving beings? We humans, for instance, form one such class.
The reason for my asking these questions is somewhat as follows: if you get the right answer to these questions, you will then understand what obscurations are. You will have some idea of how long a globe-obscuration lasts. You will see that all the globes of the planetary chain are not asleep or dormant in any obscuration of one globe, and that they do not remain dormant or asleep for the tremendously long time that it takes the human life-wave, for instance, to make a round around the globes of the chain. It would be absurd to suppose that our human stock is the only evolving family on all the twelve globes of the planetary chain, and that all the other eleven globes, except our globe D, remain thus ages upon ages in useless sleep or dormancy until the human life-wave again reaches these globes in evolving order. I rephrase my first question: can anyone give us an idea where these other evolving families of monads are?
[The answers given by various students for lack of space cannot be reproduced here. Their omission, however, does not destroy the clarity of G. de P.'s remarks.]
G. de P. — This is indeed a very complex theme, nevertheless it is simple if you get the fundamental idea of ten, or indeed twelve — but let us say ten — different families or life-waves following each other in serial order around all the globes of the planetary chain. Obscuration does not mean that a globe, when a life-wave leaves it, remains in obscuration or dormancy until that same life-wave returns to it after having passed around all the other eleven globes of the chain. Not at all. Obscuration means the time between the leaving of one life-wave and the appearance on the same globe of the succeeding life-wave.
Thus, then, answering a part of my own question, the ten different families of monads are on the different globes of the chain more or less at the same time; nevertheless they are all represented on this globe likewise, and similarly are all represented on each of the other eleven globes of the chain. How? By their sishtas. You see here the immense compass as well as the compassion of this arrangement: how the divine intelligence of the great planetary, who is the god of our chain, has by its own life and composite constitution infilled the whole procedure or process of the evolving of the lower creatures with both wisdom and love. As an example on this earth, in addition to the sishtas of the other kingdoms, and in addition to the life-wave now specially evolving here, which is principally our human kingdom, we have the sishtas of the three dhyani-chohan classes also with us.
Think what this fact means! That even above our Masters there are the representatives, the sishtas, of the three dhyani-chohan classes awaiting their awakening on this globe when we as a life-wave shall have left this globe D, and when the first or succeeding dhyani-chohan life-wave reaches this globe.
We have likewise amongst us our younger brothers, the beasts to whom we humans are dhyani-chohans. The plant kingdom has its superior aids in the beast kingdom; and thus it runs on down the scale. Every kingdom leads, or helps by leading, the next lower kingdom forwards and upwards. Thus the plants guide upwards the minerals. The beasts guide upwards the plants. The humans guide upwards the beasts. The lowest of the dhyani-chohan kingdoms guides us humans upwards, and the next higher dhyani-chohan kingdom guides upwards the first or lowest of the three dhyani-chohan kingdoms; and the highest dhyani-chohan kingdom guides up the intermediate dhyani-chohan life-wave.
Do you catch the picture? Thus then, around all the globes contemporaneously, there is a constant turning of the wheel of life, every spoke of the wheel being a life-wave, comprising a constant movement of rotation or of revolution, so that no globe of the planetary chain at any time during the chain-manvantara, or Day of Brahma, is for very long asleep.
The only time when a life-wave is not on one or on another of the globes of our chain is during those relatively short intervals between globe and globe, when it is undergoing its relatively short interglobal period of transitional rest. But these interglobal periods are much shorter in every case than are the active periods that the life-waves have on the respective globes. -------
Take the case of the life-waves. I really do not see why there should be any confusion about this. Life-waves is but a synonymous phrase or term for kingdoms, for classes of monads. Each kingdom is a life-wave. Now each kingdom or each life-wave during the course of its evolution on a globe, ours for instance, undergoes certain revolvings or evolutionary turnings or phases of experience. These we call root-races, especially when we speak of the human life-wave or kingdom. Each life-wave has seven turnings or whirlings or phases or evolutionary portions of development in its manvantara on a globe. These are the different parts of the life-wave. In the case of the human stock we call them root-races, seven or ten root-races to the evolutionary development of the human kingdom or life-wave on this globe D. A virtually identic process takes place with the other life-waves or kingdoms or classes of monads.
Now these kingdoms or classes of monads or life-waves follow each other in serial order around the chain of globes; and by serial order is meant that in the normal course first comes the less developed, the first kingdom of elementals. It has its seven turnings or whirlings or rings or revolvings. Call them root-races. It leaves the globe. Its sishtas remain behind and after a short obscuration or period of rest there appear the forerunners of the second elemental kingdom, which does exactly what the first elemental kingdom or life-wave does: has seven evolutionary turnings or whirlings or root-races, and then leaves the globe which undergoes a short period of obscuration. Then appear the forerunners of the third elemental kingdom which works in precisely the same way as the two preceding elemental kingdoms. After these come the forerunners of the mineral kingdom which runs through its seven whirlings or turnings or phases. When the minerals have finished on the globe, they leave. The globe has its obscuration period, and then come the forerunners of the plants and these do the same. Then come the forerunners of the animals; and finally the animals appear; and then comes the human kingdom or life-wave which runs through its seven root-races. Each root-race is in turn divided into subraces. Then the human life-wave or kingdom leaves the globe, which undergoes a short obscuration period; and then comes the first kingdom of the dhyani-chohans; and so forth and so on, until the seven classes of monads, alias the seven kingdoms, each one with its seven root-races, have run through each its own course.
Thus we see the reason why a globe becomes inhabited or filled with living creatures — the sishtas of the particular kingdom that may at any time be in manvantara upon the globe undergoing its life-wave experience there, as our human kingdom is now, plus all the other previous kingdoms existing on such a globe in their various representations. The life-waves of the dhyani-chohans, who are following us and are a superior kingdom to our human kingdom or life-wave, are descending along the preceding globes — globes C, B, and A — and will reach the earth in due course of time. Then of course we shall have passed on, leaving our sishtas here, and shall be ascending along globes E, F, and G. When I say we, I mean all the kingdoms preceding the dhyani-chohanic kingdoms. The principle is very simple. The complication comes because there are so many of these kingdoms and they intermingle in a sense.
Now I want to turn to the matter of the lower kingdoms or life-waves, their sufferings and pleasures, and so forth. Please hearken carefully to what I am going to say. Take any one such life-wave or kingdom as an illustration, and once you understand the thought you can make the application to the other life-waves or kingdoms. Take the fishes: they are a subordinate kingdom in the greater kingdom of the animals. Nevertheless, they represent a certain class of monads. The monads of this particular class or subordinate life-wave are all under the general direction of a supreme dhyani-chohan after which they are trailing along behind, this particular dhyani-chohan having under its especial guidance or protection the fishes. This is applicable also to the other beasts, each subkingdom of which has its own particular or leading dhyani-chohan. This fish dhyani-chohan is the Silent Watcher of the fish subkingdom or sub-life-wave. In precisely identic fashion the Silent Watcher of our own human life-wave is that sublime spiritual being after whom we are trailing along the evolutionary path.
Now take the life-atoms of my present body, I mean those which have been born from my spiritual substance as my own spiritual offspring, or children-sparks of my own spiritual fire, life-atoms of my own particular monadic swabhava. These elemental beings in far distant future ages will be trailing along after me. I shall be their silent watcher, although naturally far, far ahead of them, and myself evolving in my own particular pathways of destiny. These life-atoms then will no longer be as they are now, simply life-atoms in my body. But they, since they are learning entities, evolving beings, will be undergoing those particular phases of their unfolding individuality which they shall have reached at any particular time in the future.
Thus what are now the fishes of that particular subkingdom were formerly the life-atoms in the body of a self-conscious being like a man. Now they happen to be fishes. This same class of monads in other ages in the future will become beings or inhabit bodies higher than their present fish bodies; and finally they will blossom forth into the human stage. I do not mean that the fish bodies will actually refine themselves until they take human shape as bodies. That is not the idea. The fish bodies, when they can no longer be useful for the monads using them, will simply die out. Like a worn-out garment they will become useless because the monads will have passed out of the fish state. They will have entered a state superior to the fish state. All the other classes of beings in the animal kingdom — horses, dogs, cats, worms, whatever you wish — represent, each such order or class or family of beings, a certain sub-order, sub-life-wave, subkingdom, of monads which happen to be passing through their present phase of evolution.
I may add that this was the thought in the minds of the ancients when they spoke of such things as fish gods, wolf gods, man gods, plant divinities, and so forth. The hamadryads or dryads, the nymphs and naiads, were simply names given by the Greeks and Romans to the then existent monads in their then or present form. Thus the dryad was the evolving being expressing itself as a tree — not the monad, but the tree itself.
Student — What is the difference between the monad and the hamadryad?
G. de P. — The same relative difference that there is between the monad which is your inner god and you who are the human being we know.
Student — That is manasic.
G. de P.. — It is kama-manasic, but the monad within you is your inner god. Now when you become your inner god, you will no longer be C---- R----. Exactly so with the case of the tree. It is not yet the divine monad. It is simply the dryadic or the hamadryadic entity. Just as you are a human being inspired by a spiritual monad expressing yourself in a body of flesh, so is a tree faintly inspired by a spiritual monad, and the hamadryad expresses itself in a tree body.
Now there is one more thought. It is to me, Companions, always a matter of some pain to see people salve their consciences about the sufferings of the lower creatures by saying: "Well, they don't suffer really very much. Their nerves are not as sensitive as our human nerves are, and anyway, they are not self-conscious, and they will be rewarded in the future." Well, I never liked the idea that I am going to heaven, and because I may have a chance to go to heaven, I simply have got to drink the skimmed milk here on earth!
There is a reason for these things. The lower creatures do suffer, and suffer perhaps more because they are dumb. Dumb suffering, unvocal suffering, even as we human beings can understand, is perhaps more painful than the case of the man who can yell and shout and make a fuss about his pains — and some of us certainly do it! I make no reflection on anybody except upon those selfish humans, for instance, who try to still our hearts and dull our nerves of sympathy by saying, as we so often hear, that the animals do not suffer, they are well taken care of, the gods will take care of them! Now that is not true, or at least only half true. The facts are these: karma is rigidly just, unceasingly merciful, but its mercy is cosmic in magnitude. If even a beast puts its foot in a springe or trap, it will be caught and injured, and may die. The laws of karma, in this case represented by a cruel steel trap, are not going to stand aside because the beast in its ignorance walks into the trap put there by human cruelty. Not at all. The animal learns from the suffering, that is true. But why should it suffer?
It is futile, it is wicked, to blind our eyes to what goes on around us. Now this is the reason. I have spoken vaguely of it, I admit, at other times, but I speak with extreme reluctance because it is playing with fire. However, the animals suffer from two causes: first, because they prey on each other, karma. He who takes up the sword will perish by the sword is an old saying and a true. He who chases others will in his turn be chased. Obviously. The other reason is that because of evil karma sown in a former cosmic manvantara by these very creatures, evil karma then unbalanced, unpaid for, not yet wiped out, they entered the present cosmic manvantara in the lowest stage, and are now working their way upwards.
I will try to illustrate the matter by the case of the birth of a human child. Its karma brings it into certain surroundings, let us call these X. Another human child is born into other surroundings which let us call Y. The surroundings X are such as would seem to give to that unfortunate infant no decent chances in life. The surroundings Y in the case of the other infant are such as to provide every possible human advantage. The former child's surroundings, we say, unless it has enough decency within it to enlighten its path and to guide its feet straight, will infallibly bring it, when grown, into the penitentiary. Now why is one child born in circumstances X, and the other child in circumstances Y? It is karma, its own previous actions.
Now that former life to the present newly born human infant is comparable to the former cosmic manvantaric existences of these present monads inferior to the human.
A further thought: in that former cosmic manvantara all the different classes of monads to reach their paranirvana, when the former cosmic manvantara closed, entered all of them into their nirvana. They exist in different classes; but when the new cosmic manvantara opens all these various classes of monads, from the most evolved to the least, have to begin that manvantara at the beginning. They cannot begin it at the middle, nor at the end. They all have to play their part in the drama on the stage of the new cosmic manvantara. Those whose karma has been high, lofty, beautiful, pass through the lower kingdoms, the lower stages, without realizing it; just exactly as the human monad passes through preliminary uterine phases of its growth without self-consciousness. But those monads which were karmically evil in the last life, or imperfectly developed, have a more or less awakening consciousness when the new cosmic manvantara opens in the lowest phases through which they have to pass. We call them the elemental kingdoms, the mineral kingdom, the plant kingdom, the beast kingdom. There you have the key.
So the suffering of the lower creatures depends from unexpended karma not previously atoned for in the former cosmic manvantara, which they now have to pay for, work out; plus their present bestial, gross, animal instincts. It is so obvious. If you study the lower creatures, you will see them all preying on each other; all chasing each other, trying to kill each other. No wonder this earth is called a Myalba, a hell. Men should have learned better than this; and yet to how large an extent do not we humans live on the same low plane in our own gross and bestial instincts and ways of doing! Look at the way men use and misuse, mistreat each other, sometimes by cunning, sometimes by violence, sometimes even by prostituting the noblest faculties of the human being himself, such as love and sympathy and kindness, to base and evil ends. Do you think these things will go unrecorded by the lipika? No indeed. In either the present cosmic manvantara or in the one to come, we shall have to pay to the uttermost farthing not only collectively as humans, but as individuals. All nature's purposes are to bring harmony out of disharmony, and injustice itself is turned to divine ends. There is occult compensation for the suffering that the lower beings undergo, and it is the way by which their bestiality is burned out of them. They learn the lesson, a hard lesson indeed, but we are dealing with hard things.
And now, just let me point out here a suggestion such as the dugpas would like to insinuate into our minds. They might say: "True, therefore it is a kindness to a human being to treat him as he has treated you. He learns by it." I tell you that this is a prostitution of wisdom to diabolism. You are simply perpetuating the hellish work. You are remaining in the pit instead of rising out of it and setting an example of harmony, self-restraint, self-control, justice, compassion. Return good for evil every time; ally the good with justice, which means avoid mere sentimentalism.
We have wandered wide and far afield from the original passage read. We have discussed sishtas, and manasaputras, and monads from the moon, and the development of manas in children, and rounds and races, etc., etc.! Yet if we come back to the passage read was it not something to do with the sishtas and the manasaputras?
Do not confuse the sishtas with the manasaputras, although of course the sishtas were imbodied manasaputras, just as in a sense we are. What are the sishtas? Among other things, they are the cream of each and every life-wave left on a globe when that life-wave leaves the globe for the next globe. These sishtas in their aggregate are called seed-manus. These same sishtas when the life-wave again reaches the globe on which they are — in this case our earth, globe D — HPB has called the root-manus, the seeds now having become the root or roots of the human races, the human tree being the succeeding seven root-races.
The evolving monads that pass from globe to globe in a round around a chain are manasic monads, therefore they are manasaputras. This answers the question of the manasaputras coming over from the third round into the fourth round, running through the globes until they reach our earth, globe D. Meanwhile on this globe D there have been the sishtas, the chosen, the select, the elect, the flower of the race, as it was on globe D during the last round. They are always the highest, really the forerunners of a race, so that they will be ready to provide the bodies for the monads when they come in the next round. They are the roots, the parents, of the human stock. Therefore they are for our live-wave imbodied human beings, ranging in evolutionary degree according to the round in which they are sishtas.
There are various classes of these sishtas. They are not all like identic peas in one pod, no more so than human parents are identic individuals. The sishtas open the drama of human life on a globe. The sishtas opened the drama of human life on this globe at the beginning of this fourth round. As compared with the hundreds of millions that the human stock later became, at the beginning of the fourth round on this globe they were relatively few. But they felt the incoming impulses of the round reaching our globe in their different classes — let us say seven classes from the highest humans down to what we now would call barbarian humans, but sishtas in all cases, because each class represents the highest of its own class.
Now then, feeling the incoming waves of the round, they began to increase their number, and this kept going on, the individuals thus increasing in number evolving in the lower classes of them were more or less in a senseless, quasi-unself-conscious condition, not exactly brainless, but like little children in mind capacity, intuitive in a way, quick, alert, very much alive, but not yet intellectualized. Imagine races of them not yet awakened as true human beings, except the highest, and perhaps the next to the highest, classes of the sishtas, and possibly the third highest class. These were the spiritual gods, intellectual gods on earth, keeping the flame of spirituality and intellectuality alight as a brotherhood.
But the other sishtas were what we may call the as yet undeveloped classes mentally, the seeds or the roots of the future human stock. Thus evolution went on after the life-wave definitely impulsed into our earth. The numbers of what were at first the sishtas increased greatly so that there were millions upon millions of these individuals in a dreaming state of consciousness, intellectually speaking. First there were the astral pudding-bags, and then the second race, and then there came the third race. Now mark you: these manasaputras from the preceding round, which were simply the human monads of the preceding round, were already waiting. They would not incarnate into the first race. "No fit vehicles for us." They would not incarnate in the second root-race. Except a few. From even in the first race there were some of the monads, the most developed, a very few, who for karmic reasons actually did lighten as best they could with the fires of mind the imperfect "human" vehicles, and thus produced human beings; and they joined the higher classes of the sishtas. In the second root-race more did so; but it was only in the third root-race that the human vehicles were then sufficiently evolved. No longer pudding-bags, no longer floating astral forms, they were more or less ape-like human beings, so far as bodies go, ape-like. But the monads were waiting; and when they found that the brain tissues, the nervous system of the bodies, and the interior psychological apparatus had been more or less stimulated by the preceding two and a half races of evolving growth, then the monads as a class began to enter the bodies and to awaken within them the fires of mind.
Remember analogy, the master key. Consider the incarnation of a monad today. There are millions and millions of human monads in the post-devachanic condition, awaiting incarnation at this moment. It has always been so. Those who are attracted to their particular family, and who find the proper body, incarnate. So was it with the waiting manasaputras, the monads from the preceding round, the former humans. Now then, when a monad incarnates among us today it does not enlighten the unborn child in the womb with the fires of mind, nor the child just born, nor the child one year old or two or three years old, or five or six. It is a progressive thing, a process which takes time. But as soon as it can, the ray from the monad within more and more enlightens the mind of the child. Incarnation is steadily progressive.
Growth proceeds spiritually, intellectually and physically by impulses, impulse succeeding impulse, like waves breaking on the shore. Then suddenly we awaken and realize that something new has come to us, but there have been periods preparatory of each recognized impulse. The day finally arrives when we are relatively fully human; and we realize, if we reflect, that to become human we have had to traverse the space of past years.
The sishtas would correspond today to parents. The parent is a highly evolved being as compared with the child in the womb. The parents furnish the body; and the incarnating ego does its best to do the rest, combined with the forces of nature which mold the child's body and build it and cause it to grow and to develop, to form and to expand in faculty and power. Little by little, day by day, month by month, year by year, the mind enters the growing child more and more, until finally we see a thinker. Just so precisely was it with the classes of monads awaiting the time until the immature first and second and second and a half races became ready to receive in larger measure the fire of mind. There is no magic about this. All you have to do is to make the analogical applications from the incarnation of egos amongst us today back into the past where the egos were the classes of manasaputras and the bodies were races one, two, and three.
You can make the same picture amongst us today. There are on earth today highly evolved human races, most civilized. There are those in obscuration. There are the barbarian peoples, tribes, races, amongst us today. A human monad which by karmic destiny is drawn to incarnate in a body born in a highly civilized family, as for instance a European or American, would not be drawn to the body of a low-grade savage, a Hottentot or an Andaman Islander. Now I, a thinking man, would not choose to limit my spiritual vision and my intellectual capacity to incarnate and try to live in a human embryo. I would refuse: "no fit vehicle for my faculties. I will wait." The statement "no fit vehicles for us," which HPB used in The Secret Doctrine, was simply a quaint way of phrasing the fact that the waiting manasaputras, the waiting monads, were not drawn, because there was no psychomagnetic attraction, to the first race or the second race, or the first half of the third race. The vehicles were neither appropriate nor ready; they could not express the manasic qualities or attributes. So what happened? The manasaputras were simply in the invisible realms, as they are indeed with us today, doing their best all the time, each one, to project its ray into this or that or some other human, as the humans then were, pudding-bags or second race humans, or third race humans. But they could not do it. They were not successful. The vehicles were not ready. So they just remained waiting, precisely as the reincarnating ego remains waiting, as it cannot infill the mind of a three-year old child with its own intellectual fire, with its own spirituality or as much of it as it can transfer to this plane. But when the child is ready, when it has reached eight, ten, twelve years, according to the individual, possibly six years, the manasaputra is enabled to make more or less contact with this plane, and we say: that child is beginning to think, to understand and to have a sense of responsibility. It is taking cognizance of things around us.
These facts are very accurate, and if you have not understood, it is simply because I have not been able to find the words to transfer the picture to your minds. The manasaputras were simply the egos which had gone the round through the globes, had come down to this globe earth, and were waiting and ready to incarnate, but could not because the interior psychological apparatus had not yet been formed by nature's powers and forces. But when the brain and nervous system and the interior psychological apparatus is more or less ready to receive the intellectual and spiritual ray, then it happens. The ray descends, tendril by tendril it links itself into the psychological apparatus, and the psychological apparatus thus affected by the fire of mind begins to affect the body, and finally what we call incarnation is more or less complete.
The key, then, is just precisely what takes place among us today when the reincarnating ego makes its link with the unborn child and watches until the child is born and grows and develops and becomes ready to receive its fire. Just so did the manasaputras make the link with the unthinking vehicles, the unready humans; and through the ages doing their best to make entrance and finally succeeding when the vehicles were more or less ready, which happened for the majority at the middle point of the third root-race.
But — here is something interesting. There were the sishtas from the very beginning of the round on this globe. Let us say the three highest classes of these sishtas; and these, because of being so high, could produce bodies, children, more or less ready for the most advanced waiting manasaputras to use, so that from the very beginning of the round on this globe, during this fourth round, incarnation of the manasaputras began in a few; and these few, as the ages passed, grew more numerous. When the second race was ready there were still more, but still few as compared with the millions upon millions of the second race individuals. When the third root-race was ready, practically all of the beings of the human stock were ready to receive the entrance of the manasaputras. There is the whole picture.
When the present human life-wave on this globe shall have reached its term, and shall go to globe E on the ascending arc, the sishtas that then will remain upon this our earth, will be the highest humans of the seventh root-race. They will live in a state of happiness, even the lowest of the sishta classes. It will be a Saturnian Age, an age of peace, of quiet, not exactly sloth, but of a happy, dreamlike period lasting for ages upon ages until their own life-wave returns. Why? Because the throbbing impulse of the body of the life-wave has gone on and left them behind as seeds. Now while this is a sacrifice, nevertheless they will have their reward, and a great one. Why? Because after the earth shall have ended its obscuration period or rest, when we shall have left it, the dhyani-chohanic life-wave now on globe C will soon thereafter reach here, and the human sishtas will then be living in the neighborhood and with the companionship, as far as they can grasp it, of a quasi-godlike race then inhabiting the earth, this globe, as we now inhabit it. It is as if some of us were left behind on an abandoned land, or continent, living there in a state of innocence and quiet happiness and dreamy peace, to find ourselves after a certain period of time the companions and cherished and loved wards of a godlike race which will teach us who remain. So while it is an immense sacrifice, there is likewise a recompense, a reward, that could be gained in no other way.
The dhyani-chohanic race at present on globe C, when it reaches this earth will be as far superior to us present humans, or even the humans of the seventh root-race of this round, as we are higher than the anthropoid apes. Think what that will mean: to live on an earth inhabited by demigods. This is a picture which shows a different side from what I painted of the sishtas in the pamphlet No. 32. As I hear it read, I realize the picture is a little gloomy, probably the result of the original questions which brought out from me the answers which appear in the Instruction.
Although the sishtas more generally may be briefly described as those remaining on a globe in order to fulfil their karmic destiny thereon, and to provide the seeds of future races of their own kind when the respective life-waves reach the respective sishtas again, I feel impelled to add that there are two manners of viewing the sishtas of any one life-wave: (a) to look upon them solely as seeds; and (b) to look upon each one of the various classes of sishtas as individuals comprising the different serial stages or grades of unfolding and expressing the complete septenary aggregate of life-waves. This last manner of viewing the sishtas has been explained by me with some clarity in my Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy, when elaborating the manner in which, during the first round, the globes are builded and the different life-waves succeed each other in serial order by passing from globe to globe. This second manner of viewing the sishtas is otherwise called the surpluses of lives, passing from globe to globe, each surplus of life being really a life-wave which finds its characteristic evolution or expression when it reaches its own plane or globe during the first round.
The same principle prevails in the manner in which the cosmic planes or the cosmic hierarchies unroll or unfold from each other, so that as the aggregate or septenary life-wave descends from spirit into matter, each unfolding stage or evolving degree becomes a cosmic plane or a hierarchy, according to the scale, and the surplus of life passes on downwards, unrolling from itself the remaining stages of the septenary aggregate, thus producing a complete universe or solar system or planetary chain.
Now each such unfolded stage or plane or degree is technically likewise a sishta, because it is that which is left behind or which remains while the remainder of the aggregate septenary life-wave, otherwise called the surplus of lives, passes on, dropping or unfolding a new sishta at each stage.
Thus it is that while the doctrine of the sishtas is clear enough in principle, it becomes extremely difficult and complicate clearly to express or to elucidate the doctrine when we begin to study particulars or details.
Our lengthy discussion of the sishtas has been exceedingly instructive. I have learned things tonight. I think we can all say the same. We have learned how deep the subject is, how many sides it has. If there has been diversity of opinion, it is my considered judgment that these diversities — different minds looking at the doctrine from different angles — when welded together into a unity, will give you a comprehensive view of the doctrine concerning the sishtas.
Take Brother W----'s idea, for instance. While he labored as we all do under the difficulty of putting into our ordinary, matter-of-fact language a most difficult and subtle thought, he nevertheless at bottom had a distinctly occult conception of one aspect of the sishtas. As for Brother W----'s idea of leaving personalities behind, which we as individuals reassume when we come back in the live-wave, the only objection I would make to this would be to the unfortunate choice of the word personality, which by convention in modern theosophical phraseology has come to mean bodies or brain-minds, in other words the lower part of an incarnated human being. Nevertheless his thought of picking up what formerly belonged to that individual each time an individual member of a life-wave reaches a globe on its rounds, is solidly true. As I think was read from the Instruction, the illustration there given of the human life-germ just illustrates that point. It would, however, be wrong to call that human life-germ a personality, but it grows into one. There is always a life-germ which becomes the beginning of the seed of the tip of the ray from the reincarnating ego, and which grows into the personality.
Furthermore, his idea brought forth a thought which is not often expressed in our gatherings; and it is that the life-wave in its roundings through the globes is simply a collection of monads. It is like a flock of birds winging their way from north to south, or returning again to northern regions in the spring. The life-wave consists of individual monads passing from globe to globe around the chain. Therefore on every globe that the life-wave visits or passes through, it leaves sishtas behind; so that Brother W----'s fundamental idea is a genuinely occult one. The manner of expression of course could be criticized, but that same thing might be said of any of us. We feel that we have not succeeded in accurately stating everything that we wanted to state; and the difficulty lies partly in language, and partly in the attempt to express one's thoughts in such fashion that all other minds will grasp them clearly.
I do not know that there is a more difficult doctrine in all our philosophy than is the doctrine of the sishtas, except perhaps the doctrine of karma which of course is closely involved with this. Every life-wave leaves its sishtas. There are many life-waves, different families of monads, passing around the globes in serial order, one after the other. So that on our earth at the present time there are life-waves on all the globes of our chain. We are the human life-wave; and when I say we, I do not mean merely we who are now imbodied on earth, because there are about one hundred times as many human egos out of body as in body in any one year. In other words, if the present humans incarnated in human bodies on earth are two thousand millions, multiply that by one hundred, and you have a fair estimate of the total number of monads in our life-wave; two hundred thousand million. Of this very large number of human egos, a certain number, the most advanced who really are fifth rounders — omitting for the moment sixth rounders who are exceedingly rare and are exceptional — the most advanced will be the sishtas when our human life-wave leaves this globe at the end of the seventh root-race. And as they thus will have already been through their fifth round, they are not missing anything. I would not say that they are selected or chosen to remain as sishtas, because that would mean there is some body or some thing which selects them or chooses them. Nature so arranges it that they become the appropriate, the natural, individuals to be sishtas. They become sishtas by right as it were, by the laws of nature.
The other life-waves which are weaker than they, who are merely fourth rounders, and who therefore are the vast majority of our human life-wave, must make their fifth round. They have not yet made it, and therefore they become the flock of human egos, the life-wave, going to the next globe, E, and then to globes F and G, and so forth around the chain. Then when this flock of egos or life-wave comes down our chain again, and reaches the earth, they will then be in their fifth round; and being fifth rounders, they will meet fifth round bodies which will, preceding their advent, begin to multiply rapidly in order to receive the incoming flock of egos ready to welcome them. As a matter of fact, this multiplication of bodies simply means that the flock of incoming egos, the life-wave reaching this globe again, is already sending forerunners ahead incarnating in the bodies which are increasing in accordance, one by one, as the egos come along during this opening of the fifth round on this globe. This is what is meant when we speak of the fertility of a race, or its lack of fertility. When a race is fertile, produces many individuals, it means that there are many egos of that type which need just those bodies to incarnate in. When a race is infertile or is dying out, it means there are very few egos that take such bodies, and the egos not incarnating consequently, the women become nonproductive, barren, and the race slowly vanishes, its course is run, it dies out. That is the reason of the increase in the numbers of what formerly were sishtas, but are now the beginnings of the first root-race on this globe during the fifth round, or indeed any round, as the incoming life-wave reaches it.
Now here is another intricate and difficult thing; and really I don't know whether I ought to mention it, because it may be almost a cruelty to add more difficulties to what is already an exceedingly difficult topic! Take the first race on this globe in this fourth round. HPB called them pudding-bags, which is a jocular expression but descriptive, because they had not two legs and two arms and a head and organs, and skin and hair and bones, as we now understand human bodies to be. But they were rounded, globular bodies, with a very faint resemblance, prophetic, to the present human shape, but of simply enormous size. They were astral beings, or semi-astral. They were the sishtas left over from the highest representatives on this earth of our human life-wave during the third round.
Nevertheless, the highest beings during the third round on this globe were monkey-like. They were not pudding-bags. Right there you are faced with a problem, because this shows us that even the sishtas are slowly evolving and changing. The sishtas are formed of egos which keep continually incarnating and reincarnating and reincarnating through the long millions of years in order to keep the sishta bodies going. We are now speaking mostly of bodies. Although I have spoken of the sishtas as being in a static condition, this word static must not be taken to signify absolute immobility in evolution, for this would be wrong. I mean that the great impulses which take place when the life-wave is in full flower have passed on and their evolution is exceedingly slow. But it is just enough to make the bodies of the sishtas, when the incoming human life-wave reaches this earth in the next round, most accordant with the psychical and astral and physical needs of the incoming flock of egos during the first root-race on this earth in that next round.
So that the monkey-like bodies of the highest human representatives on this earth in the third round slowly changed and became like auric eggs, physical auric eggs, a globular kind of creatures, like the auric egg surrounding the human being. Then when the incoming egos reached our globe, they did not all come in one vast mass, but they had their forerunners; first one came, and then a couple came, and then three or four came, and then twenty came, as the years passed. So the bodies ready for them were the pudding-bags, as HPB called them, and the individual egos overshadowed them. They were senseless, they were not yet thinking human beings; because according to another law of nature, they were merely in their first or elemental stages.
Is it not so even with a human child today? In the womb it is not a thinking, cogitating, planning, purposeful entity. It is in its first condition or state, what you might call its first round, the embryo. During the second race the child is born. It is still not a thinking entity; it thinks in a vague sort of way, somewhat as animals do. It is a human animal. The third race we can say is like the human child during its teens, the early teens. The fourth race is in the full flower and heyday of the youth, awakening, but not yet knowing itself or fully understanding itself, committing all the preposterous follies and often unconscious sins that young people are often addicted to, because they are not yet fully awake. When the fifth race comes, we can call it the man, as beginning maturity, and so forth.
We cannot carry the analogy farther, because we have not yet reached the sixth and seventh root-races, when old age will be the finest time of human life, when every faculty will be at its maximum from physical to spiritual. But so far as the analogy allows us, it is exact enough. That is why the first race, the second race, and the first half of the third, were unself-conscious — the first race completely so, very dimly self-conscious in the second race, beginning to awake to self-consciousness in the third root-race, which is what we call the incarnation of the manasaputras. The manasic faculties were then beginning to function, because it was in the manasic cycle.
There is a vast deal of teaching about the sishtas that has never been touched upon. They are the remnants, the remainder men or remainder beings, left on a globe when each life-wave or class of monads ends its seven root-races on that globe and wings its way to the next globe. But it leaves behind as the root-manu the best part of itself to furnish the seed bodies — not seeds in the sense of grains, vegetable seeds, or human seeds — but seeds in the sense of bodies, the seeds of the new seven races in the next round.
There is a very strict analogy between a human incarnation from physical death to physical rebirth, and the rounds. But the analogy is so strict and therefore so subtle, that I adduce it only as a suggestion. I am afraid you would have more difficulty in finding analogies here than you would find help, but I point it out because it may help some minds of a particular bent. Every kingdom, which means the three elemental kingdoms, the mineral, the plant, the beast, and the human kingdom, and the three dhyani-chohanic kingdoms, in turn, as it reaches our globe, leaves its sishtas behind it when it leaves our globe, just as we are going to do after the seventh race. Then again, remember that these human sishtas which we shall leave behind are not in an absolutely immovable state or condition. They die, children are born to them in whatever way may then be nature's way. It certainly will not be as men and women, because sex will have gone out of the fashion of nature before we reach the end of the seventh race. Children will be born by kriyasakti through the ages and ages while the sishtas remain. They will be excarnating and incarnating just as we now do. But they will be as it were fastened to this earth as a body of monads, although slowly progressing. That is why they are sishtas, and their function will be to provide the bodies beginning the new cycle of human evolution on this globe when the fifth round opens with the incomings of the monads of the human life-wave.
Remember that there are many other sides of the teaching that could be adduced. So in the future, should you hear a new aspect of the teaching, please do not think it is a contradiction. It may simply be that the time has come to throw a little more light on this theme. Meanwhile, our study tonight has been helpful. It has given us all different thoughts from different minds, and if we can weld all these together, because as far as I know I do not think a single wrong thought has been expressed, then we shall obtain a pretty clear picture of the sishtas: what they are, what their functions are, and what they do. Let us try to weld these different ideas into this picture.