The Theosophical Forum – April 1938


The Secret Doctrine of Gautama the Buddha (1)

The present study will be an attempt to elaborate the thesis that essential Buddhism, in common with the essential or fundamental teaching of all the other great world-religions or indeed world-philosophies, contains as its substance or core the identic Esoteric Tradition that is found universally elsewhere. It is no attempt at a complete and inclusive proof of the foregoing statement, because obviously the limits of this article would themselves be too small to imbody a complete and formal statement of the facts. We shall here treat the matter more as a sketch and as an outline.


There are two ways of reaching Truth, two methods of penetrating into the arcana of the mysteries of the Universe, from its spiritual parts down to its physical; and these two ways or methods are, first, by means of Man's spiritual-intellectual nature itself which is rooted in the very substance of the spiritual world, and indeed is an integral part thereof. For any normal human being whose constitution has not been undermined by vice, nor weakened by some wasting disease, can, if he will lead the life proper thereto, come into sympathetic unity or oneness with spiritual Nature through his own inner being's cognising its essential unity with the Universe, and thus becoming the recipient, as a channel or canal, through which the higher energies of the Universe may flow and become manifest as thoughts, intuitions, intimations of truth, in the chela's or disciple's mind.

The other way or method is that of training and initiation, which is not different from the former method, but is the former method elaborated into systematic procedures; because such initiatory training and final success are but a quickening of or hastening over the evolutionary progress that all human beings undergo through the cycling ages. In other words, initiation is but quickened evolution.

These Great World-Teachers combine both these ways or methods during a brief period of lives on earth. Beginning as chelas or disciples of some teacher selected by each individual of them, with which teacher such chela finds intuitive and instinctive links of sympathy and understanding, he undergoes training, i. e., quickened evolution, under the watchful eye of the teacher chosen by him; and bending every energy and all the faculties of his being towards success, he passes from life to life through this brief period of reincarnations, advancing steadily higher in each such life, until finally he himself blossoms out as a Master, a Mahatman, in his turn now ready to carry his portion of the labor, pitiful, compassionate, of the Great Brotherhood. Then his turn comes to be sent forth among his fellow-men of less evolutionary degree of advancement, to become unto them a Teacher, a Guide, an Inspirer, delivering unto them in ideas and language appropriate to the age the new instalment of universal truth which it thus becomes his sublime destiny to give. Thus a new great Religion is founded, a new and possibly world-shaking Philosophy of Life is inaugurated; yet, mark it well, each and every one of this long line of Sages and Seers, each one of the World-Teachers, imbodies in his new instalment of teaching the same fundamental verities, the identic truths, albeit delivered in new garments, which all his Predecessors had given, each one in his turn. It is thus that the Esoteric Tradition is carried on and renewed from age to age, and given to man in those periods of spiritual and intellectual somnolence, which Plato called epochs of spiritual barrenness.

Such a one in the long line of Successors was Sakyamuni, the Buddha-Gautama. It is true that in his case, and because of a certain Mystery which it would be improper openly to set forth even by sketch in a published work, he was of a spiritual and intellectual stature exceeding many, possibly most, of those who had preceded him in the same World-Order in recorded human history; but even in his case the rule of successorship was the same as in that of all his Predecessors, and he but exemplifies, more brilliantly than most, the natural Law of Periodicity which governs the cyclical unveiling or revealing of the Esoteric Tradition to the human species.


Let us now turn to the more particular topic of our present study:

Buddham saranam gachchhami;
dharmam saranam gachchhami;
samgham saranam gachchhami:

"I take my refuge in the Buddha; I take my refuge in the Light of his teachings (or Law); I take my refuge in the company of the Holy Ones." This slight paraphrase of the Sanskrit three-stanzaed "Confession of Faith" so called, contains the substantial core of what the modern Buddhist, equally with the ancient Buddhist, considers to be the true Buddhist's outlook as a believer in the teachings of the Tathagata, i. e., he who came as his forerunners came, as his Predecessors came, in order to bring salvation into the world — salvation to gods and men, salvation to the greatest and to the humblest; and this "salvation," as the Lord Buddha taught, was not salvation from any outside power, not something entering into human minds and hearts from outside, and thus "saving" them, as is the vain belief of so many Occidentals: but was an interior change, a true reformation, in the very spiritual, intellectual, and psychical, structure of the man himself. (2) For, as the mystical Buddhism of the North taught, and still teaches with fervid devotion: There is in every entity, not only in man but in the gods and in the beings beneath man, a threefold essence — or perhaps more accurately three interblending essences, nevertheless having a common identic substance, which they describe as, (a) a Celestial or Dhyani-Buddha; (b) a Bodhisattva, "son" of the Celestial or Dhyani-Buddha; and (c) a Manushya-Buddha or human Buddha; and it was in order to awaken this living threefold Buddhic consciousness in the constitution of every human being, that the Buddha taught his noble Law, his majestic Philosophy, which perhaps has held, during the course of its existence, more human minds in fealty and devotion than any other religio-philosophic system known to the human race.


Buddhism has always been greatly misunderstood in the Occident. It has at times been called a religion of pessimism, simply because Occidentals have not understood its profound intellectual reaches nor its proper placing of the values of the material side of life. In the Occidental view, to teach that a man is an impermanent composite of elements of varying ethereality, and that when he dies this composite is dissolved, and that its component parts then enter into their respective realms or kingdoms or spheres of Nature: all this signifies to the Occidental mind that such a doctrine teaches utter annihilation of the compounded entity as an entity; for, consciously or unconsciously, such Occidental critics ignore the unifying and binding root of being of every such entity which brings at periodical intervals this compound together again out of the identic life-atoms that composed it in former existences.

Occidental scholars so think, or they think that they so think, because they do not understand that this very "root," or element, or subtil bond — call it what you like — i. e., the individualizing energy which brought these samskaras (3) or compounds or composites together, is, when all is said and done in argument, a unifying and therefore individualizing force; and that this unifying or individualizing force, no matter what we may call it, remains after the dissolution of the compound, and likewise has its own cosmic reservoir or kingdom or realm to which it returns; nor do they understand that this unifying or individualizing force the Lord Gautama in his great wisdom called the "Buddha," the inner originant, for which an equivalent term in the Mahayana of Northern Asia is Dhyani-Buddha.

It is quite true that from certain Occidental philosophical standpoints, the teaching of Gautama the Buddha may formally be considered "pessimistic"; but only so if one judge it by Occidental philosophical standards alone, and ignore the intrinsic meaning of the Buddha himself; and is this either wise or fair? Ignoring a factor in a problem is not solving the problem properly. Can it, one asks, then be rightly done? How can we judge something which arose in the Orient and became the Law of the more civilized Oriental world for its own time-period, and successfully passed the examination of the keenest minds and the most astute intellects of ages, by the changing and therefore biased standards of Occidental scientific speculations, with a vague background of European philosophy, which speculations themselves are only some three hundred or more years old in their origin, and probably not more than seventy-five years old, or less, in their present form?

There was a time, not so long ago, when one teaching of the Buddha, that of the Nirvana, was considered by Occidental scholars to mean that the Lord Gautama taught that annihilation, utter, complete, was the end of every living conscious being, when that being had attained unto the stage of inner growth where it entered into this nirvanic state; and they pointed, naturally enough, to the Sanskrit meaning of this compound word: (nir), "out" or "off," and (vana), the past participle passive of the root (va), "to blow": hence "to blow out." As they sagely and logically enough said: "Nirvana means "blown out," as a candle-flame is "blown out" by the breath!" Ay, so it does. But what is it that is "blown out"? What is it that ceases to exist? Is it the unifying spiritual force which brings this compound entity into being anew in a serial line of succession which has no known beginning, and which the Buddhist teaching itself shows to be something which reproduces itself in this series of illusory, because compounded, vehicles? This is impossible, because if this individualizing or unifying energy were "blown out," i. e., annihilated, it obviously could not continue to reproduce itself as the inspiriting energy of newly compounded bodies due to its own working. Therefore obviously enough what is blown out is the samskaras, the compounds, resulting from, i. e., born or produced by, the karman of the individual. This karman, therefore, and speaking with strict logical sequence of thought, which the doctrine imbodies, is the individual himself or itself; because the Buddhist teaching is that what is reproduced is the karman of the preceding individual, i. e., that any composite entity changes from instant to instant, and that at each new instant, the change is the resultant or effect or consequence of the preceding instant of change. Thus, then, the individual is his own karman at any instant in time, because that karman is the totality of what he is himself. When a man's composite parts are "blown out," i. e., "enter Nirvana," i. e., are "extinguished," rendered extinct, as the just previously existing compound, then all the rest of the being, that deathless center of unifying and individualizing spiritual force around which these composites or samskaras periodically gather — lives as a Buddha.

This is exactly and as far as it goes (because there is much more that might be said), the teaching of Esoteric Theosophy, of the Esoteric Tradition. All the evil and lower part of us must be wiped out, extinguished, "annihilated" if you like; in other words the karman that produced these illusory composites must be caused to cease; and new composites, nobler ones — the products or effects or resultants of the preceding composites — those henceforth joined to the Buddhic essence of the being, that spiritual force which is the inner Buddha, will then continue and on its own high plane live, because no longer controlled by the veils of the world of Maya, Illusion — the worlds of impermanent structural composites. The being thus become a Buddha because of its delivery from enshrouding veils, has now reached the state and condition of passing out of the impermanence of all manifested existence into the utter permanence of cosmic Reality.

The matter of the real meaning of the Nirvana has thus been elaborated, albeit in somewhat sketchy fashion, in order to show that the supposition of many Westerners that the teaching of the Nirvana is a pessimistic doctrine because meaning utter extinction into the abyss of non-entity, is baseless. Hence, far from being pessimistic, the doctrine of the Nirvana is one of extraordinary hope. The word "optimism" is not here used, because it is as subject to adverse critical comment as is its antonym "pessimism."

Far from being a religion of pessimism, when properly understood the religion of the Buddha is a religion — not of optimism indeed, but of wisdom. These words are used advisedly, because it is certain that unthinking optimism is as foolish in its way as is unthinking pessimism. Neither is wise, because each is an extreme. The teaching of the Buddha was so wisely given by that Great Sage that it showed to men a pathway which went neither to the right — to one extreme — nor to the left — to the other extreme; but chose the Middle Way, the way of Truth, avoiding the falling into the extremes of either side. All extremes are unreal, no matter what they may be, because unphilosophical; and it is the great subtilty of the Tathagata's teaching which has rendered it so difficult for Occidentals to understand. One often reads essays printed in the Occident by Westerners who have become Buddhists; and one may admire them for the courage with which they work in their new field; but, with no wish to hurt anyone's feelings, it is difficult to avoid being grieved by their usual lack of understanding of what is after all the heart, the core, of the great Buddha's teaching. The letter indeed of the Buddhist scriptures has been grasped — more or less; but the spirit, i. e., the Buddha's "heart" is rarely or never understood. The Eye-Doctrine, in other words, is comprehended to a certain extent; but the Heart-Doctrine, the hid part, the esoteric part, is not seized, or only grasped intuitively and to a certain extent only at the rarest intervals.


Ay, there is such a thing as esoteric Buddhism, (4) despite the denials of this fact by very eminent Occidental Buddhist scholars. After all, what value is there in following the more or less unconsciously biased deductions of our Occidental scholars in Buddhistic lore, who, taking merely the letter of that great religious and philosophical Law, translate, and, in combination with their own more or less biased reflexions, thereby render, as they think, the truth of the doctrine? What value, indeed, when studies with the background of illumination furnished by the teachings of the Esoteric Tradition show to the Theosophical student that there is verily an esoteric teaching or foundation of both a philosophical and a religious character which the Buddha evidently must have taught to his Arhats, or disciples most favored for their spiritual and intellectual abilities to understand his meaning. When these skeptical Occidental scholars are asked: Did the Buddha have an Esoteric School, or does his Law contain an esoteric teaching? they almost invariably say Nay, and point with emphatic finger to a statement by the Buddha himself, which they believe proves their allegation that he himself denied it This statement is found in the teaching of the Maha-Parinibbdna-Sutta, or the teaching of the "Great and Ultimate Nirvana"; which title we may perhaps otherwise render as meaning the "Great Passing " Before going on farther with the present argument, it may be useful to examine just what this supposedly conclusive statement of the Lord Buddha really was:

Now very soon after the Blessed One began to recover, when he had quite got rid of the sickness he went out from the monastery, and sat down behind the monastery on a seat spread out there And the venerable Ananda (5) went to the place where the Blessed One was, and saluted him, and took a seat respectfully on one side, and addressed the Blessed One, and said "I have beheld, Lord, how the Blessed One was in health, and I have beheld how the Blessed One had to suffer And though at the sight of the sickness of the Blessed One my body became weak as a creeper, and the horizon became dim to me, and my faculties were no longer clear, yet notwithstanding I took some little comfort from the thought that the Blessed One would not pass away from existence until at least he had left instructions as touching the order "

"What, then, Ananda? Does the order expect that of me? I have preached the truth without making any distinction between exoteric and esoteric doctrine for in respect of the truths, Ananda, the Tathagata has no such thing as the closed fist of a teacher, who keeps some things back. Surely, Ananda, should there be any one who harbours the thought, 'It is I who will lead the brotherhood,' or, 'The order is dependent upon me,' it is he who should lay down instructions in any matter concerning the order. Now the Tathagata, Ananda, thinks not that it is he who should lead the brotherhood, or that the order is dependent upon him Why then should he leave instructions in any matter concerning the order? I too, O Ananda, am now grown old, and full of years, my journey is drawing to its close, I have reached my sum of days, I am turning eighty years of age, and just as a worn out cart, Ananda, can only with much additional care be made to move along, so, methinks, the body of the Tathagata can only be kept going with much additional care. . . .

"Therefore, O Ananda, be ye lamps unto yourselves. Be ye a refuge to yourselves. Betake yourselves to no external refuge. Hold fast to the truth as a lamp. Hold fast as a refuge to the truth. . . . " (6)

— i. e., to the Celestial Buddha abiding in secret within every human heart, in the core or spiritual center of every human being, "the inner god".

Lest this citation be taken to mean that the Buddha taught no need of any teachers following him in his Brotherhood or Association, it is well to look even at the pragmatical Buddhism of the South, and more particularly to consider that of the mystical School of the North, where there were during later ages millions of human beings who, without any exception whatsoever, as far as one recollects at the moment, followed the different schools, each one of them founded by a more or less great man whose rights to teach were scarcely ever challenged, simply because of the greatness of these individual teachers each in his own especial line of pragmatical or of mystical Buddhism. In all these cases, whether of the South or of the North, the existence of legitimate successors of the Buddha following each other in century after century was universally recognised, although obviously none was ever considered to be equal to the great Master himself. His unique standing as Teacher is indeed one of the fundamental teachings of Buddhism, which states that Buddhas appear only at long intervals and in periods governed by cyclic time, thus re-echoing the Brahmanical teaching of a succession of Doctors of the Law which Krishna alludes to in the Bhagavad-Gita in the words: "Whenever there is a decline of righteousness in the world, etc., then I reproduce myself." (7)

This succession or serial line of teachers is technically called the Guru-parampara in Brahmanism. It is a good phrase or title for the Teachers coming in serial order, because it is both descriptive and exact. It has had of course varied and different meanings in different ages, but the substantial idea inherent in the thought is the same everywhere; and whether certain Buddhist scholars like to admit it or not, the fact remains that historical Buddhism shows to us teacher succeeding teacher in the annals of the great Buddhist faith: these teachers sometimes separated by fairly long periods of time, and in other cases of more mystical and restricted schools, teacher succeeding teacher when the predecessor dies and the successor assumes his office.

Even the simplest examination of the historical facts will show the student that minor sages and seers have sprung up from time to time in the Buddhism of history, such as Nagarjuna and Aryasamgha, founding schools, or taking them over from their predecessors; teaching, if you like, each one a new version of the Ancient Buddhist Wisdom, yet all faithful followers of the Lord Buddha; and whatever their differences as individuals may have been, all these various schools look to the great Master as the fountain-head of their respective and more or less differing wisdoms.

It would be preposterous to attempt to aver that so enlightened a spirit, so profound an intellect, so wise and far-reaching a mind, as found in the Buddha, could have been ignorant of one of the elementary facts of human psychology in religious matters, to wit, that it was a foregone conclusion, human nature being what it is, that teachers would arise in the Order after his death; nor can one for an instant agree with those who would attempt to show that most, if not all, of these later teachers in Buddhistic philosophy were more or less ambitious upstarts, craving personal prominence and seeking a personal following. This opinion, which seems to be so widespread in the Occident, as regards religious matters, discovers to public view what is really a deplorably pessimistic opinion of human nature. Indeed, the view of the present writer runs directly counter to this opinion, for he looks upon most, if not all, of the great men who succeeded the Buddha as heads of the different Buddhist Schools, as being genuine initiates, profound, thoughtful, and high-minded men, who, because of their own spiritual and intellectual and psychical degree of evolution, developed in their respective logical fields the teachings of the Buddha-Gautama dealing with different parts of the widely inclusive range of Buddhist philosophy.

To return to the quotation cited above: At first reading, it does indeed sound as if the Lord Buddha declared to his disciples that he had no esoteric doctrine, reserved of necessity for the more spiritually and intellectually advanced of his chelas or disciples. Is this, however, what he actually said? It most certainly is not. Ananda's plea was: "Leave us instructions, Lord, as to the conduct of the Order, before thou passest on"; and the Buddha refused, saying: "I have told you all that is necessary for the conduct of the Order, and I have kept naught back. I am not like a teacher who tells you some things as to your own conduct and the conduct of the Brotherhood, and secretly hides other things in his "closed fist." I have told you all that is necessary for the conduct of the Order that will bring you success in the saving of man; but should there be anyone who arises in the Order and who points out what is required for its proper care and leading, then it is he who should lay down instructions in any such emergency concerning the Order. You will soon find out in such case whether he be a true teacher or a false; for the rules that I myself have given unto you are the fundamental rules for guidance and conduct both of yourselves and of the Order, and they are sufficient. I have spoken."

There is no small number of passages in the different Buddhist Scriptures of both the two great Schools, which, both by direct statement or by indirection in statement, declare plainly that the Buddha had not revealed, nor would he reveal, all the truths that he knew.

Two instances briefly designated should suffice in illustration, both of the Hinayana School. The first states that Sakyamuni took a handful of the leaves of the Sinsapa, and pointing to them, explained that just as this bunch of leaves in his hand, so few in number, were not all the leaves of the tree from which they were taken, just so in exactly similar fashion the truths that he himself as Teacher had announced were not by any means all that he knew. (8) The figure is both graphic and strong, and highly significant.

The other instance, also in a Scripture belonging to the Hinayana-system, is one in which the Great Teacher explains his refusal to describe whether a Buddha lives after death or not. (9) Both illustrations are declarations of the fact of the reserve in teaching, and reticence in delivery thereof, which are so universally characteristic of the transmitters of the Esoteric Tradition.


1. By request The Forum reprints these important chapters on the Secret Doctrine of Gautama the Buddha, slightly condensed, from The Esoteric Tradition. They will appear in three installments. (return to text)

2. This threefold Buddhist formula is likewise known under the title Tri-ratna, or "Three Gems"; or Tri-saranam, or "Three Refuges." As stated in the text of this chapter, this formula of devotion or allegiance, accepted by both the Northern and the Southern Schools of Buddhism, is universally taken, or nearly so, by the entire Buddhist world in a rather pragmatical or matter-of-fact manner, following the literal meaning of the words, to wit: "I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma or Law; I take refuge in the Company or Congregation" — the "Company" or "Congregation" thus signifying the Buddhist priesthood, or in a still larger sense, the entire body of professing and faithful Buddhists.

Yet this literal meaning, in the opinion of the present writer, is but an exoteric form of what was originally intended by the esoteric Initiates who drew up this formula or composed it. In other words, the formula suffered the same deterioration in meaning that has happened in all similar cases in all great religions: the words originally having a highly mystical and philosophical significance finally lose it and are accepted or taken at their mere face-meaning.

The original sense of this formula was extremely profound and beautiful, and conveyed a threefold teaching — or a teaching referring to three aspects of the Esoteric Philosophy — somewhat as follows: The "Buddha" has reference to Adi-Buddha, which we may call the First or Unmanifest Logos, or Primeval Spirit in the Universe, manifesting throughout the Universe in a sublime Hierarchy of spiritual beings emanating from itself. These spiritual beings extend from the highest even to the human spheres, and frequently are called in the Esoteric Philosophy, the Hierarchy of Compassion, or sometimes the Sons of Light. It is the Hierarchy of Compassion, or the Sons of Light, composing it, and ranging from the Dhyani-Buddhas downwards through intermediate grades to the Manushya-Buddhas, which form the Saingha or Company, or Congregation, this being the Third of the Refuges. The Wisdom that is taught by them on the different planes of the Universe and to the different ranges of world-spheres, and mystically and traditionally handed down from the highest Dhyani-Buddhas to human disciples is the second Refuge, called in this formula, the Dharma.

We have thus, when this formula is properly understood, an outline, albeit briefly sketched, of the structural framework of all the teaching of the Wisdom of the Gods, today in its public delivery called Theosophy. In other words, and summarizing briefly, we have under the one term "Buddha" the entire line of spiritual beings, reaching from the Cosmic Spirit through all intermediate ranges of the Universe down to the Manushya-Buddhas or human Buddhas and their human disciples, who in their aggregate form the so-called "Congregation"; and all teaching the Divine Wisdom sprung forth in its origin from the highest gods themselves, and of which every Buddha on earth is an exponent.

Corresponding to the same threefold division of the "Buddhas," their "Law," and their "Hierarchy," we have the three forms of Vestures or Appearances in which this Hierarchy of Beings express themselves, to wit: first and highest, the Dharmakaya, that of the highest cosmic spirits or Dhyani-Buddhas; second, the Sambhogakaya, the vestures, thus summarized, of the intermediate grades of spiritual beings in this Hierarchy; and finally, the Nirmanakayas, the vesture of those spiritual beings and Great Adepts who are closest to and therefore, de facto, are the Guardians of, mankind and all beings on Earth.

Corresponding with these three Vestures again, we have the third general division above alluded to: the Arupa-dhatu, or so-called "Formless" World or Worlds, the mystical abode of the Dhyani-Buddhas or Chohans, etc.; second, the Rupa-dhatu, or so-called Manifested or Form-World or Worlds, the abode of the beings living in the Sambhogakaya Vesture or condition; and third, the Kama-dhatu, or so-called "World of Desire," or Worlds wherein reside beings still heavily involved in the attractions and conditions of material existence.

The matter is so important in its immense bearing on the esoteric heart of the Buddha's teaching that it was felt both useful and needed to explain it, however briefly, in the present footnote, for those who can understand it. (return to text)

3. Psycho-mental attributes forming a portion of the intermediate constitution of man. (return to text)

4. With regard to the statement in the text above, that the great Hindu Reformer and Initiate, known to the world as Gautama the Buddha, had indeed a Secret Doctrine, or Esoteric Tradition, which he himself had received from and in initiation, and which he kept for those worthy and qualified to receive it among his own chelas or disciples, and quite outside of a conviction to that effect born in the minds of students who have given the matter sufficient study to understand it, the reader is referred to certain statements made by H. P. Blavatsky, the Great Theosophist, in her The Secret Doctrine and elsewhere, pointing to the same fact. As an example, she writes in her The Secret Doctrine, "Introductory," Volume I, pages xx-xxi, as follows:

"Indeed, the secret portions of the "Dan" or "Jan-na" ('Dhyan') of Gautama's metaphysics — grand as they appear to one unacquainted with the tenets of the Wisdom Religion of antiquity — are but a very small portion of the whole. The Hindu Reformer limited his public teachings to the purely moral and physiological aspect of the Wisdom-Religion, to Ethics and man alone. Things "unseen and incorporeal," the mystery of Being outside our terrestrial sphere, the great Teacher left entirely untouched in his public lectures, reserving the hidden Truths for a select circle of his Arhats. The latter received their Initiation at the famous Saptaparna cave. . . .

"Thus the reader is asked to bear in mind the very important difference between orthodox Buddhism — i. e., the public teachings of Gautama the Buddha, and his esoteric Budhism. His Secret Doctrine, however, differed in no wise from that of the initiated Brahmins of his day. . . . His teachings, therefore, could not be different from their doctrines, for the whole Buddhist reform merely consisted in giving out a portion of that which had been kept secret from every man outside of the "enchanted" circle of Temple-Initiates and ascetics. Unable to teach all that had been imparted to him — owing to his pledges — though he taught a philosophy built upon the ground-work of the true esoteric knowledge, the Buddha gave to the world only its outward material body and kept its soul for his Elect. . . . Many Chinese scholars among Orientalists have heard of the "Soul Doctrine." None seem to have understood its real meaning and importance." (return to text)

5. 4 Ananda was the god-son of the Lord, and his favorite disciple, somewhat it may be as legend says John was the favorite disciple of Jesus the Syrian Avatara. (return to text)

6. The Maha-Parinibbana-Sutta, chapter u, verses 31, 32, 33 as translated by T. W. Rhys Davids, the well-known Pali scholar (The Sacred Books of the East series, Vol XI ). (return to text)

7. Ch. iv, sl. 7. (return to text)

8. Samyutta-Nikaya, vi, 31. (return to text)

9. Chula-Malunkyaputta-Sutta, i, 426. (return to text)

Theosophical University Press Online Edition