Who is not thrilled at sight of Venus, the morning star, or of Saturn with his rings, or of Jupiter with his moons? Who fails to respond to the colors at sunrise? And yet these are but physical phenomena, veiling, it is true, deep mysteries. Had we the vision of the seer, and could we behold these mysteries, we should see not eight or nine planets wheeling around Father Sun, but myriads of planets. We should see not one Sun, but a dozen, perhaps, with their planets, all confined within the limits of our Solar System.
Now, we have to introduce a technical term here, the Universal Solar System, and its meaning should be clearly understood. It signifies all the planets and worlds, visible or invisible, that comprise the Egg of Brahma. Thus, except that our Egg of Brahma is a part of the Galaxy, as are the billions of other "Eggs," the term does not relate to our Galaxy, or universe. It is a term used to distinguish between the solar system that we see, to wit: composed of one sun, and the nine visible planets, and the greater Solar System the greater part of which we do not see, our visible solar system being but a very small part of it.
The teachings about the Universal Solar System are part of a greater teaching under the general heading of the Doctrine of the Spheres. All aspects of this Doctrine are very sacred indeed, and belong to the teachings of the Mystery-Schools, and some of the phases of the teachings are not divulged to the uninitiated under any conditions. Briefly the Doctrine of the Spheres is divided into four parts which go by these names:
The Universal Solar System
The Globe Chains
The Seven Sacred Planets
The Occult relationship existing between the Earth and the Sacred Planets.
This last phase of the teaching is the most secretly guarded, and as said in The Secret Doctrine, Vol. I, p. 163-4:
As to Mars, Mercury and "the four other planets," they bear a relation to Earth of which no Master or High Occultist will ever speak, much less explain the nature.
Then there is a twin doctrine, and one which is the most sacred of all, known as the Circulations of the Kosmos. This deals with the ceaseless flowing of the rivers of lives between planet and planet and between planet and sun and back again. This doctrine bears intimately upon the mysteries of death and of Initiation, for in our cosmic journeyings we sail these great rivers of space.
Now, the purpose of this article is to explain to a degree at least, the nature of the Universal Solar System, and we can approach it from two aspects. One, the vehicular, will be the first we shall embark upon, and the second, that relating to the consciousness working through the worlds comprising the Universal Solar System will be taken up afterwards as it presents a more complete picture.
It is interesting that for a time the analogy between an atom and the solar system was stressed by modern science, but the tendency seems to swing away from that at present because the electrons and the protons (the nuclei) are no longer considered to be solid particles, but rather they are considered to be units of electrical energy. Thus, the atom has come to be virtually a mathematical concept, rather than a physical actuality, and in this, a great advance has been made. The tendency away from the Solar System analogy is to be explained on the grounds that in the case of the atom, we have broken away from a purely physical concept, whereas in our observations of the solar system, we are still confined to physical phenomena studied with the aid of physical instruments.
A significant step in the direction pointed out by the Ancient Wisdom has been taken by Mr. Cornelius O'Connor of Burlingame, California, and his findings have been very favorably received by astronomers. He has demonstrated that the planetary distances, periods of rotation, and times of revolution around the sun, are in strict accord with electromagnetic laws. In The Theosophical Forum for March, 1939, there appeared an article by Mr. O'Connor in which he discusses the concentric electromagnetic "shells" surrounding a wire carrying an electric current, and the concentric electromagnetic "shells" around the sun in which the planets are moving in their correct positions according to these electromagnetic phenomena. It may be safe to say that in the orbital concept of the structure of the atom, these orbits are really electromagnetic "shells" in which the electrons are whirling at great speed. Thus we may find that just as the Solar System once provided a good analogy for explaining the nature of the atom, the latter may now serve as an excellent analogy for studying the true nature of the Solar System. We can do this, however, only when we are willing to accept the doctrine of the Ancient Wisdom which teaches that the physical globes that we can see are but the outer veils enshrouding invisible beings which are the worlds themselves, though they have donned mayavic robes which render them visible.
Following this preamble, let us now set before you the teachings concerning the Universal Solar System. Think first of our Sun with its family of planets as being representative of the manner in which all suns and planets function, and that they simply provide an instance of cosmic family life. We may study the universe as a sevenfold or a ten-fold or a twelve-fold organism. For many reasons it is easiest to study the twelve-fold plan, and let us do so now. A study of Fundamentals of the Esoteric Philosophy by G. de Purucker will reveal that the planetary chains are composed of twelve globes each, of which seven are manifested, and five, unmanifested or formless. Their true nature can be understood by trained initiates only, yet we are assured that they are as real as is the visible planet that we see. They are inhabited, and in our age-long peregrinations we shall traverse them in proper order. Now, just as every planet is really twelve-fold, so is the sun composed of twelve solar globes. Suppose then that we were endowed with the vision of a seer, we should behold not one Mars, but twelve; not one Venus, but twelve, not one Saturn, but twelve, and in the daytime, not one sun, but twelve bright shining orbs. What a magnificent sight that would be! Yet even if that were so, we should not have stepped outside the realm of our own family, the sun and the well-known planets. In order to comprehend the Universal Solar System our vision should have to extend even farther, and then we should behold not one solar chain, but twelve solar chains; not nine planetary chains, but myriads of planetary chains, each group circling around its own central luminary. Our first vision of the globes would then pale into insignificance, for instead of apparently twelve suns, we should see what would seem to be one hundred and forty-four suns, for there are actually twelve solar chains, each with its twelve solar globes!
We have now to undertake a study of the Universal Solar System as a living, evolving entity, a God. Imagine the vastness of its thoughts and life! Imagine the stupendous growth and development that causes it to embody itself as a great cluster of suns and worlds! Think of that Divine Being as focusing its energies throughout the entire Universal Solar System, from its highest Spiritual-Divine reaches, down to its most physical planes. This God, hierarchically constructed, sends forth twelve rays, parts of itself, which are Divine Beings in their own right, though of a somewhat less lofty caliber. These Divine Rays are the Gods that manifest through the twelve Solar Chains within our Universal Solar System. Eleven of these suns are invisible to us, the twelfth — our own — being visible; and of its Chain of globes one globe only can we see, the lowest; that which corresponds to our own Globe D of Earth.
Now, each of these Solar Rays, or Solar Logoi as they are also called, sends forth its own particular family of twelve rays, which again are Gods in their own right, though of still lesser grade than the Solar Logoi. These Lesser Gods are the Adi-Buddhas, the beings that embody themselves as the several planetary chains comprising the families of the twelve Suns. In our own case, we see many of the planets belonging to our Sun, though there are indeed a few that we do not see, yet they belong to our own little Solar System. With one or two exceptions, all the planetary chains that belong to other Suns in our Universal Solar System are invisible to us.
Now, each of these Adi-Buddhas, or Planetary Spirits sends forth its own family of Spiritual-Divine Rays, and these are the Dhyani-Buddhas who watch over the rounds of the several planetary chains. These again send forth their rays, who are the Dhyani-Bodhisattvas, who watch over the globes of the chain during the particular round that is watched over by their "sire." And these in their turn send forth their rays, who are the Manushya-Buddhas, who watch over the root-races on the various globes of the chain. So the Lord Gautama Buddha is the Manushya Buddha who watches over this fifth root-race. He is a child or ray of the Dhyani-Bodhisattva who watches over our fourth globe during this fourth Round. Therefore, this Dhyani-Bodhisattva is a ray or child of the fourth Round Dhyani-Buddha, and he in turn is the ray or child of the Adi-Buddha who watches over this entire planetary chain during all seven rounds, and this last Divine Being is a ray of the Solar Logos who manifests to us through our Sun. This Solar Logos is a ray of the supreme Divinity who embodies itself as our entire Universal Solar System.
Thus we have set before you very briefly and without elaboration the hierarchical structure of our Universal Solar System. It is not unlike the House that Jack Built, wherein "This is the priest all shaven and shorn who married the man all tattered and torn who kissed the maiden all forlorn who milked the cow with the crumpled horn that tossed the dog that worried the cat that killed the rat that ate the malt that lay in the house that Jack built." Sometimes there is great wisdom concealed within the nonsense rhymes!