The Path – July 1886


"Yesterday I went with Kunala to look at the vast and curious temples left here by our forefathers. Some are in ruins, and others only showing the waste of time. What a difference between my appreciation of these buildings now, with Kunala to point out meanings I never saw, and that which I had when I saw them upon my first pilgrimage, made so many years ago with my father. * * * * * *

A large portion of the MS. here, although written in the same characters as the rest, has evidently been altered in some way by the writer, so as to furnish clues meant for himself. It might be deciphered by a little effort, but I must respect his desire to keep those parts of it which are thus changed, inviolate. It seems that some matters are here jotted down relating to secret things, or at least, to things that he desired should not be understood at a glance. So I will write out what small portion of it as might be easily told without breaking any confidences.

It is apparent that he had often been before to the holy city of Benares, and had merely seen it as a place of pilgrimage for the religious. Then, in his sight, those famous temples were only temples. But now he found, under the instruction of Kunala, that every really ancient building in the whole collection had been constructed with the view to putting into imperishable stone, the symbols of a very ancient religion. Kunala, he says, told him, that although the temples were made when no supposition of the ordinary people of those eras leaned toward the idea that nations could ever arise who would be ignorant of the truths then universally known, or that darkness would envelop the intellect of men, there were many Adepts then well known to the rulers and to the people. They were not yet driven by inexorable fate to places remote from civilization, but lived in the temples and while not holding temporal power, they exercised a moral sway which was far greater than any sovereignty of earth. (1) And they knew that the time would come when the heavy influence of the dark age would make men to have long forgotten even that such beings had existed, or that any doctrines other than the doctrine based on the material rights of mine and thine had ever been held. If the teachings were left simply to either paper or papyrus or parchment, they would be easily lost, because of that decay which is natural to vegetable or animal membrane. But stone lasts, in an easy climate, for ages. So these Adepts, some of them here and there being really themselves Maha Rajahs, (2) caused the temples to be built in forms, and with such symbolic ornaments, that future races might decipher doctrines from them. In this, great wisdom, he says, is apparent, for to have carved them with sentences in the prevailing language would have defeated the object since languages also change, and as great a muddle would have resulted as in the case of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, unless a key stone had also been prepared; but that itself might be lost, or in its own turn be unintelligible. The ideas underneath symbols do not alter, no matter what might be the language, and symbols are clear immortally, because they are founded in nature itself, in respect to this part of the matter, he writes down that Kunala informed him that the language used then was not Sanskrit, but a far older one now altogether unknown in the world.

From a detached sentence in the MS., it is shadowed out that Kunala referred to a curious building put up many years ago in another part of India and now visible, by which he illustrated the difference between an intelligent construction and unintelligent one. This building was the product of the brain of a Chandala, (3) who had been enriched through a curious freak. The Rajah had been told upon some event occurring, by his astrologers, that he must give an immense sum of money to the first person he saw next day, they intending to present themselves at an early hour. Next day, at an usually early season, the Rajah, arose, looked out of the window, and beheld this Chandala. Calling his astrologers and council together and the poor sweeper into his presence, he presented him with lacs upon lacs of rupees, and with the money the Chandala built a granite building having immense monolithic chains hanging down from its four corners. Its only symbology was, the change of the chains of fate; from poor low caste to high rich low caste. Without the story the building tells us nothing.

But the symbols of the temple, not only those carved on them, but also their conjuncture, need no story nor knowledge of any historical events. Such is the substance of what he writes down as told him by Kunala. He says also that this symbology extends not only to doctrines and cosmology, but also to laws of the human constitution, spiritual and material. The explanation of this portion is contained in the altered and cryptic parts of the MS. He then goes on:

* * * "Yesterday, just after sunset, while Kunala and X were talking, Kunala suddenly seemed to go into an unusual condition, and about ten minutes afterwards a large quantity of malwa flowers fell upon us from the ceiling.

"I must now go to —— and do that piece of business which he ordered done. My duty is clear enough, but how am I to know if I shall perform it properly. * * * When I was there and after I had finished my work and was preparing to return here, a wandering fakir met me and asked if he could find from me the proper road to Karli. I directed him, and he then put to me some questions that looked as if he knew what had been my business: he also had a very significant look upon his face, and several of his questions were apparently directed to getting me to tell him a few things Kunala had told me just before leaving Benares with an injunction of secrecy. The questions did not on the face show that, but were in the nature of inquiries regarding such matters, that if I had not been careful, I would have violated the injunction. He then left me saying: "You do not know me but we may see each other." * * * I got back last night and saw only X, to whom I related the incident with the fakir, and he said that, 'it was none other than Kunala himself using that fakir's body who had said those things, and if you were to see that fakir again he would not remember you and would not be able to repeat his questions, as he was for the time being taken possession of for the purpose, by Kunala, who often performs such things.' I then asked him if in that case Kunala had really entered the fakir's body, as I have a strange reluctance toward asking Kunala such questions, and X replied that if I meant to ask if he had really and in fact entered the fakir's person, the answer was no, but that if I meant to ask if Kunala had overcome that fakir's senses, substituting his own, the answer was, yes; leaving me to make my own conclusions. * * * I was fortunate enough yesterday to be shown the process pursued in either entering an empty body, or in using one which has its own occupant. I found that in both cases it was the same, and the information was also conveyed that a Bhut (4) goes through just the same road in taking command of the body or senses of those unfortunate women of my country who sometimes are possessed by them. And the Bhut also sometimes gets into possession of a part only of the obsessed person's body, such as an arm or a hand, and this they do by influencing that part of the brain that has relation with that arm or hand; in the same way with the tongue and other organs of speech. With any person but Kunala I would not have allowed my own body to be made use of for the experiment. But I felt perfectly safe, that he would not only let me in again, but also that he would not permit any stranger, man or gandharba, (5) to come in after him. We went to ____ and he * *. The feeling was that I had suddenly stepped out into freedom. He was beside me and at first I thought he had but begun. But he directed me to look, and there on the mat I saw my body, apparently unconscious. As I looked * * * the body of myself, opened its eyes and arose. It was then superior to me, for Kunala's informing power moved and directed it. It seemed to even speak to me. Around it, attracted to it by those magnetic influences, wavered and moved astral shapes that vainly tried to whisper in the ear or to enter by the same road. In vain! They seemed to be pressed away by the air or surroundings of Kunala. Turning to look at him, and expecting to see him in a state of samadhi, he was smiling as if nothing, or at the very most, but a part, of his power had been taken away * * * another instant and I was again myself, the mat felt cool to my touch, the bhuts were gone, and Kunala bade me rise.

He has told me to go to the mountains of —— where —— and —— usually live, and that even if I were not to see any body the first time, the magnetized air in which they live would do me much good. They do not generally stop in one place, but always shift from one place to another. They, however, all meet together on certain days of the year in a certain place near Bhadrinath, in the northern part of India. He reminded me that as India's sons are becoming more and more wicked, those adepts have gradually been retiring more and more toward the north, to the Himalaya mountains. * * * Of what a great consequence is it for me to be always with Kunala. And now X tells me this same thing that I have always felt. All along I have felt and do still feel strongly that I have been once his most obedient and humble disciple in a former existence. All my hopes and future plans are therefore centred in him. My journey therefore to up country has done me one good, that of strengthening my belief, which is the chief foundation on which the grand structure is to be built. * * * As I was walking past the end of Ramalinga's compound holding a small lamp of European make, and while there was no wind, the light three several times fell low. I could not account for it. Both Kunala and X were far away. But in another moment, the light suddenly went out altogether, and as I stopped, the voice of revered Kunala, who I supposed was many miles away, spoke to me, and I found him standing there. For one hour we talked; and he gave me good advice, although I had not asked it — thus it is always that when I go fearlessly forward and ask for nothing I get help at an actual critical moment — he then blessed me and went away. Nor could I dare to look in what direction. In that conversation, I spoke of the light going down and wanted an explanation, but he said I had nothing to do with it. I then said I wanted to know, as I could explain it in two ways, viz: 1st, that he did it himself, or 2nd, that some one else did it for him. He replied, that even if it were done by somebody else, no Yogee will do a thing unless he sees the desire in another Yogee's mind. (6) The significance of this drove out of my mind all wish to know who did it, whether himself, or an elemental or another person, for it is of more importance for me to know even a part of the laws governing such a thing, than it is to know who puts those laws into operation. Even some blind concatenation of nature might put such natural forces in effect in accordance with the same laws, so that a knowledge that nature did it would be no knowledge of any consequence.

(To be continued)


1. In the ancient Aztec civilization in Mexico, the sacredotal order was very numerous. At the head of the whole establishment were two high priests, elected from the order, solely for their qualifications, as shown by their previous conduct in a subordinate station. They were equal in dignity and inferior only to the sovereign, who rarely acted without their advice in weighty matters of private concerns. Sahagun Hist. de Nueva Espana, lib. 2; lib. 3 cap. 9- Torq. Mon. Ind. lib. 8 cap 20; lib. 9, cap. 3, 56; cited by Prescott in vol. 1, Conq. Mex. p. 66). – [Ed.] (return to text)

2. King or Ruler. (return to text)

3. A low caste man, e.g. a sweeper. Such a building can now be seen at Bijapur, India. — [Ed.]. (return to text)

4. An obsessing astral shell. The Hindus consider them to be the reliquae of deceased persons. — [Ed.] (return to text)

5. Nature spirit or elemental. — [Ed.] (return to text)

6. This sentence is of great importance. The Occidental mind delights much more in effects, personalities and authority, than in seeking for causes, just as many Theosophists have with persistency sought to know when and where Madame Blavataky did some feat in magic, rather than in looking lor causes or laws governing the production of phenomena. In this italicized sentence is the clue to many things, for those who can see. — [Ed.] (return to text)

The Path