Theosophical University Press Online Edition
What are the Sishtas?
Differences in the Second Round
The 777 Imbodiments
The Building of the Globes
Devachan and the Seven Principles
Reference: Letter XV, pp. 93-97
What are the sishtas? Sishta is a Sanskrit word meaning 'remainder' or 'remnant.' It is a technical term which means those most evolved beings of any life-wave — or if you like of any human kingdom or the beast kingdom or the plant kingdom or the stone kingdom. It means the most evolved representatives when the monads of the greater part of the beings of that kingdom move on to the succeeding globe, to enter into that globe and undergo their experiences there.
Take the human kingdom. When our human kingdom or life-wave shall reach its Seventh Root-Race and end it, that is the last Root-Race that we shall have on this globe during this present round. In other words when the kingdom shall have reached the end of its evolution on this Globe D, then the majority of humans will take their way like birds winging their way through space and migrating as the ducks and geese and other birds do, over to the next globe of our chain. But those humans left behind on our earth, the remnants or sishtas of our human life-wave, will be the most evolved representatives of our human life-wave. There are two reasons for this. First: when the life-wave shall return after having made its round in the globes to this globe earth again, having gained all that intermediate vast fund of experience, it is obviously the most evolved representatives of our life-wave which are the only ones fit to receive the monads or souls of the incoming life-wave during the next round to follow us. Inferior bodies would be but inferior. It must be the finest of humans to be the Fifth Round humans on Globe D.
Now why is it that these humans to be the sishtas of the life-wave have become so much more evolved than the majority of humans? Because through individual effort and aspiration and self-control and desire to evolve and to be more and to become more, in other words through the dominance of the upsurging spirit of beauty and holiness, this urging fire within them has made them the avant coureurs, the forerunners of our life-wave. They have run ahead of the majority of the life-wave and have come back and are therefore now what we call Fifth Rounders. There is no attraction in them or for them to belong to the bulk of the human life-wave, to have to go through all the globes up the ascending arc and down the descending arc until they reach our globe again, because they have already done it as individuals. They are already Fifth Rounders. They have been through the Fifth Round, but not completely. They have been through the Fifth Round as far as our earth. Then they are caught here on our earth so to speak. They have preceded the human life-wave up to the end during the Fourth Round and down the globes during the beginning of the Fifth, until they have reached our earth where the human life-wave still is. They have far outrun the bulk of the life-wave; so when they reach our earth here, they stay until during the Fifth Round the majority of the human kingdom or life-wave, having gone through the globes, reaches our Globe D, the earth again. Here are the human forms still living on Globe D all these hundreds of millions of years, but as a Fifth Round race, as sishtas. They have been evolving, but evolving very slowly. They are here in a sense as a sacrifice, because instead of trying to keep ahead of the human life-wave and make their Sixth Round, at least a part of it, they resign that so that they can remain until the less progressed members of the human life-wave return to Globe D during the Fifth Round, and thus provide the bodies, and the teachers, and the guides. Do you remember what all the great religions of the human race have taught? That in the very infancy of our humankind, we were taught by great beings, initiates, adept-kings, who were human, who taught the early races and implanted into their minds the fundamental ideas of truth, of law, all the sciences? It is wonderful how uniform all these great ancient systems of thought are; and this is what is alluded to. When the monads of the life-wave — going back now in this our Fourth Round — reached this earth, they found their sishtas from the Third Round, human sishtas, the most evolved at the end of the Third Round; and it was these human sishtas who received the incoming monads, furnished them bodies to begin their evolution and so forth.
And one further thought. It is something I have explained before, but you seem to have forgotten it. In this chapter where the Master gives the seven principles of our globe earth, this has always been misread to mean the principles of our sevenfold globe, and this is wrong. The Master is giving only the seven principles of the sthula-sarira or physical body of our Globe D; just as I might give you what I would call, and properly, the seven principles of my physical body. The physical aspect has seven principles or sub-aspects, and that is what the Master was giving. Now mark you the contrast: Our Globe D, the globe, I am not speaking of a chain, our Globe D is septenary. It has its seven principles just as every entity in nature has, and every one of these seven principles, including the earth's physical body, is in its turn septenary. So that our Globe D has its atman, not merely a diffuse ether around the earth which is the atman of the sthula-sarira of our globe, but its own divine monad or atman, its buddhi, its manas, its kama, its linga-sarira (its astral light), its prana, which is what we call electricity, its sthula-sarira which is the gross physical body of the earth that we see around us. So the Master here when describing the seven principles of the earth was describing the seven phases or aspects, call them principles if you wish, of the globe's sthula-sarira.
REFERENCE: Letters XXIIIA, XXIIIB, pp. 147-9, 174-8
You know that the building of a planetary chain, which means the building of every globe of a planetary chain — take any globe, take Globe D of our own chain — is exactly parallel, in the way the thing is worked, to the descent of a human ego from devachan into imbodiment among the human race. You have the logos, the planetary spirit of our globe, finding its time has come and leaving its nirvana and descending through the lower realms, dropping into matter in order to build its body, its globe; exactly as the ego in the devachan, when the devachanic period is ended, feels the impact of the tanhic pull, feeling the impact of these old elementals of thought and desire of the last life beginning to impinge on its consciousness. The ego in the devachan is attracted to the old scenes, it descends as we say, it drops; and finally, still by attraction, enters the human womb to which karman impels it, impels it and attracts it.
In precisely identical fashion does the logos of the planetary globe descend from its nirvana to build this globe, as the ego in the womb builds its body. First the germ, which we can call the elemental kingdoms, then solidification and hardening, which we can call the mineral kingdom. Then the growing embryo passes through the vegetable phases, which might be called the vegetable kingdom; then it passes through the animal phase and might be called the human animal, as indeed it is. And then it is born. But its recapitulation of all past evolutionary experience or karman in the womb has taken place by the ego in connexion with the tanhic elementals. They are the first to appear on the scene.
So with the building of the globe: it is the Dhyan-Chohans from the previous planetary chain-imbodiment, the moon in our case, which combine with the elementals of that globe, build the outline during the First Round, make the molds of what the globe is to be. Naturally once the molds have been made, the house built, the rooms divided off, the windows put in — after that the builder, even though he may have been the carpenter himself during the construction-period, finally enters into his home and begins his life of habit: this room my bedroom, this room my office, this room my kitchen, and so forth.
These are the things that are done during the First Round which may correspond to the womb-life of the reimbodying ego before it is born as a child. Once it is born as a child, it is a child thenceforth; it does not pass any more through the elemental, mineral, vegetable, animal, reaching the human kingdom. It simply grows, it is already human. This is what we call recapitulation in biology, embryology, and similar things; and that is exactly what the planetary spirit of our globe with the attending elementals does during the First Round — recapitulates all the past evolutionary earth-history, from aeons in the past, runs through the past history very quickly.
Keep in thought the word recapitulation. That is what the First Round is, recapitulating rapidly all the past history; and this is why it is that the ten classes of monads, of which the human family is one class, during that First Round must go through every one of the kingdoms of nature to contribute its construction-part in the building of the globe; just as the ego and elementals do in the human womb. They work together to build the body of the child, recapitulating its evolutionary history during the nine months. This should be very clear and simple enough. During the First Round, all the past history of the planetary spirit and of the attendant elementals and the beings, classes of monads, all their past history is recapitulated. Everyone of them must pass through the first elemental kingdom, building it up through the second elemental kingdom, building it up through the third elemental kingdom, then through the mineral kingdom, then through the vegetable kingdom, then through the animal kingdom, then through the human; and the three kingdoms of the Dhyan-Chohans; so that when the First Round is ended, this period of recapitulatory history has produced the globe.
All further history will be the consolidation, development, and final glorification. It is very simple. How true the statement that the master-key to understanding nature, including man, is analogy. Remember the old axiom of Hermes: What is above is as what is below. What is below mirrors what is above. If you wish to discern the secrets of the laws in the kingdoms invisible, open wide your eyes, not merely the vision of habit and of use and of education, but open wide your eyes of vision upon what is around us and read the mysteries of nature everywhere, in stone and tree, and in the plant and in the celestial bodies, even in the repertory in the human heart. Everything copies everything else, for nature has one fundamental law to which everything in the universe forms one pattern on whatever plane.
Remember then that the highest and the lowest begin the work of evolution, the highest giving the plan of the architects, the lowest being the builders, the masons under the architectural plan, impressed upon the builders as instinct, automatic reactions to stimuli; and thus nature is builded, not only globes but suns, universes, galaxies, throughout life, all on one cosmic fundamental pattern.
Now, I have never at any time said that beginning with the Second Round it is the human life-wave that precedes all the other life-waves. Whatever I may have said or written, certainly it is not that thought. Mark you: all the life-waves — which means groups of monads or living beings so much alike that they form a family, like us humans, like the beasts, like the plants, or like the gods, each of which is what we call a life-wave — all the life-waves follow each other around the seven or twelve globes in the serial order that they always retain. Therefore it would be impossible for the human life-wave to precede all the other life-waves at the beginning of the Second Round, or great period of manifestation. The Second Round opens with the elemental kingdoms coming in, followed by the mineral kingdom, followed by the vegetable kingdom, followed by the animal kingdom, followed by the human kingdom, and the human followed by the three dhyan-chohanic kingdoms.
What it means when it is said that beginning with the Second Round the procedure followed in the First Round is changed is simply this: The First Round is taken up by building the foundations of the seven or twelve globes forming our planetary chain. The superstructure comes with the later six rounds. The superstructure rises to become a temple of intelligence and life, inhabited by families of beings, of which the human hierarchy is one family. This means therefore that every one of the life-waves must contribute its quota during that First Round to make the work of the First Round complete in a sevenfold way or a twelvefold way, there being seven life-waves or classes of souls, or twelve according to the way you count them.
Therefore during the First Round every one of these classes of monads or groups of souls or life-waves must contribute its own swabhavic or characteristic quota to building the foundations. Once that foundation has been laid, then the architects who are the highest part of the different life-waves no longer have all to go down into the grossest of matter to build the foundation. They begin with the Second Round to build the superstructure.
REFERENCE: Letter XIV, pp. 82-3
Sometimes a little confusion was caused in the minds of earlier readers of The Mahatma Letters through lack of knowing all the facts. For instance they did not know that the two Mahatmans, M. and K. H., took, each one, a different side of the teaching of the rounds and the globes. I think it was K. H. who took care of the instruction to be conveyed in what we call the Inner Rounds; and M., as I recollect, took charge of the teaching concerning the Outer Rounds. As analogy rules throughout the universe, the greater teaching contains the smaller teaching in miniature; and the smaller teaching contains within its heart the reflexion of the greater. Thus what either Master gave could, by making appropriate changes, apply to what the other Master taught, but there are certain things you have to know about this in order to discern just where the reference is to Outer Rounds and where to Inner Rounds.
Now with regard to the matter of the 777 or the 777 imbodiments, I would like to point this out: The number 777 does not refer to the actual number of incarnations that souls have. Unfortunately in the days when The Mahatma Letters were written, there was no clearly defined terminology as we now have evolved it, and they used 'incarnations' in the way we all did when we were boys, say thirty or forty years ago. We talked about an incarnation of the mineral kingdom, and an incarnation of the sun; which of course is a ridiculous way of speaking, because incarnation means infleshing. The proper word would have been imbodiment.
Now here is my point. The references here are not to what we now call incarnations of the human ego, but refer to the monads; and this was hinted at by more than a few of the speakers tonight. It refers to the imbodiments, or passings if you wish, of the families of monads through the kingdoms of nature on this earth, Globe D, and during the seven root-races. Try to figure that out. You will find it as difficult as the other conception, in a way, but there is the key.
Thus, one incarnation in every root-race. You see, you have the key right there. Every root-race demonstrates a power and a substance in cosmic planes, not fully but relatively. So, so far as our own Globe is concerned — and our Master was speaking of our Globe and the monads of our Globe now — the reference is, as I have just stated, to the passings or traversings, of the different families of monads through the different kingdoms of nature, or if you like, through the different cosmic planes.
Now what does this mean? It means that for every kingdom of nature, or for every cosmic plane, such a monad has to build for itself a general subtil vehicle which will be permanent for that kingdom or for that cosmic plane. Do you follow that? When that kingdom or that cosmic plane is abandoned or left, and the monad passes on through the next succeeding kingdom or cosmic plane, that particular integument or vehicle builded for that cosmic plane or world is shed or dropped because no longer adequate for the monad; and an integument is built up fitted to allow the monad to express itself in the succeeding cosmic plane or world or kingdom. So there is an assuming of such an integument for every cosmic plane, one for every root-race, one for every great sub-race, and one such integument for every sub-sub-race; and so on down, if you wish, to a single imbodiment.
Now, counting these integuments — well, I am saying too much! But there is your key; and you will find it as a teaching identical with the teaching of the medieval Fire Philosophers when they spoke of souls manifesting as salamanders, as sylphs, as undines, as gnomes; because in those days they openly or publicly spoke of only four. You can add the three more that we teach.
REFERENCE: Letter XV, pp. 94-5
To ask for a brief answer to the whole complex subject of the evolution of the ten classes of monads, and the development of the Planetary Chain — for this is what it amounts to — is to ask for a tremendous lot! The subject if properly treated would require one hundred books, each one devoted to one aspect.
Nevertheless, everything can be boiled down or generalized to a statement, and I will try to do it as follows: There are ten or even twelve classes of monads, which means reimbodying entities in different evolutionary grades; and evolution, remember, means growth from within outwards, not the Darwinian theory of haphazard, chancy addings upon addings.
Now then: During the First Round, all the ten or twelve kingdoms combined to build the globes of a chain, or rather rebuild them from their past imbodiments. This is the First Round; and while of course there is distinct order amongst them in their work of doing this, it is extremely complicated. But get the main idea, that all the classes of monads, ten or twelve or seven, however you choose to count them, all co-operate during the First Round. It is like the picture of a wealthy man going to build a house. He and his architects and his contractors, and his foreman, all get together and lay the plans, and then they collect the workers and all the materials, and all co-operate together to build the house. Once the house is builded, then everything falls into regular order of day-to-day life, as soon as the owner and his family — and to carry on our analogy we will have to say the architects and contractors belonging to the family — all come in together and live in this huge house.
Beginning with the Second Round the different classes of monads sort themselves out, because now the lines have been laid, the different houses or globes of the chain have been constructed in at least elementary fashion, and, sorting themselves out, the different classes of monads thereafter come in serially one after the other, each class following its own path of evolutionary karman or karmic evolution.
But it is always the more evolved which set the pace and give the plan and make the pathways for the least evolved to follow on after. Thus it is that man, not counting now the dhyan-chohanic monadic classes above the human, but counting only the human and the other six classes below the human — the human, I say, sets the pace and lays the pathways for the other monadic classes beneath the human; and thus it is that the human is really the repository or evolutionary and originating storehouse of the other classes of monads seeking imbodiment, I mean those under the human monadic class; and this is the meaning of the statement which is very true, that from the beginning of the Second Round, continuing during the Third, and even up to the Fourth Round where now we are, the human monads or the human stock were the storehouse out of which the animals sprang during the Third Round, out of which the vegetables sprang during the Second Round, and out of which the minerals sprang even during the First Round, when they all were co-operating together. There is the whole thing on your thumb-nail, if you get it.
To recapitulate: During the First Round, when everything is still in the elementary stage, all the classes of monads co-operate to lay the foundations of the globes, and build them up to the point where the classes, beginning with the Second Round can, each class, follow its own line of evolution upon this groundwork laid by all the classes during the First Round.
The First Round therefore is like the embryonic stage in human birth in the womb of nature. The Second Round so to speak begins with the birth of the child, or the birth of the animal, or the birth of the plant or the seed; and thereafter each class of monads, or family or kingdom, having been separated out, follows its own special destiny along the lines laid down by the higher classes: the human for all classes beneath the human; the dhyan-chohanic monads or classes for all beneath them, including the human of course.
The seven classes or ten may be reckoned as follows: three classes of elementals or three kingdoms of elementals; the mineral class or kingdom; the vegetable class or kingdom; the animal class or kingdom; the human class or kingdom; and then above the human, three dhyan-chohanic classes or kingdoms, of which the highest is, according to the rule just laid down, the chiefest and the main repository or originating storehouse or governing group of minds of all the lower classes.
Just as we humans follow in the footsteps of the Dhyan-Chohans who help us and from whom we sprang in a sense, so the animals and the vegetables and the minerals, each slowly follows in the footsteps of the kingdom above itself. Thus it is that the animal kingdom actually sprang mainly during the Third Round from the human stock, not according to the Darwinian sense; but the human stock threw off germs or monads — not human germs or monads, but animal germs or monads carried by the human as sleeping monads. But when these were thrown off, and no longer under the human control, then they formed a class of their own called the animal class of monads, and thereafter began to evolve each along its own line; and the specializations in evolution since the Third Round, which were repeated during this Fourth Round — these specializations have been enormous: such as the quadrupeds developing four legs, or the fishes developing fins, or the birds developing wings and legs; or again the whale, which is distinctly an animal mammal, and not a fish, taking to the water and looking like a fish; or the bat which is a mammal and not a bird, nevertheless taking to the air and looking like a bird. All these are what are called specializations, and they have greatly confused the evolutionist-scientists who cannot make head or tail out of the immensely complex problem because they have not the esoteric keys. Yet all these monads were originally thrown off as germs, life-germs, from the human kingdom; and once thrown off, no longer under human control, as stated above, they began to evolve on their own and to specialize.
Thus the highest class of dhyan-chohanic monads guides and helps the second or lower class of dhyan-chohanic monads. The second or lower class of dhyan-chohanic monads guides or helps the third or still lower class of dhyan-chohanic monads. These last guide or help the human monads. The human monads guide and help the animal monads. The animal monads unconsciously guide and help the vegetable monads. The vegetable monads unconsciously guide and help the mineral monads; and these last help the three kingdoms of elemental monads, in the same order.
REFERENCE: Letter XVI, pp. 102-6
I realize tonight, my dear Companions, while listening to the study of the evening, that more earnest study will be needed by all of you before you can come to a more uniform understanding of so simple a teaching as that of the Devachan. I will not say that any speaker has been wrong. I will say that my mind found a difficulty in weaving together the different statements from different people about different aspects of the devachanic doctrine, difficulty in weaving a coherent web of understanding. This is not always so. Very often I have inspiration from the speakers from the floor. I have not had that tonight, and I am inclined to believe that some of us are flying before we have learned to crawl. That may sound like a strange thing to us, but it actually occurs. I have known of university graduates who are perfect marvels in abstract, disputatious arguments about things that interest nobody except themselves, and yet were exceedingly feeble on things taught in the primary schools. Now we must try to avoid this. Some of the things I have heard from the floor tonight have been admirably correct, I thought, perfectly accurate.
I will try to give you a few of my own ideas which I believe to be correct. First, then, we turn to the so-called seven principles in a man. These principles are not separate entities added unto a human being to make him sevenfold. Each one is born from the principle which is higher than it; and therefore all come from the atman. Picture to yourselves the atman as the fount-self of every septenary entity, whether this be a universe or a sun or a planet or a god or a demi-god or a man, or some other entity less evolved than these, such as a beast or a plant or a stone.
Thus the atman at the beginning of manifestation clothes itself in its first garment of manifestation, of emanation, of evolution. This we call the buddhi. It bears the same relation to the atman that mulaprakriti does to parabrahman, or that pradhana does to brahman. In other words the Self, as its first emanational clothing, brings forth from within itself the buddhi; and the essence of the buddhi is all the higher parts of the entity, let us say a human being, such as intuition, discrimination, instant knowledge, instinctive wisdom, plus all the garnered experiences from all former lives which have been gathered up into the buddhi and treasured there since the beginning of cosmic manvantara.
Actually the monad is atma-buddhi. When we add the manas to it, as is commonly done and correctly done, it merely means all the manasic gleanings or harvest from former lives which I have just spoken of. All these harvests are intellectual or individualized experiences become parts of the character of the individual.
Therefore neither the atman nor the buddhi goes into the devachan dreams, because both are infinitely almost beyond the devachan. Their proper consciousness-state or conditions are the nirvanas, the various grades of the nirvana, which means cognisance of self-identification with utter Reality. Therefore you see that any neophyte who has raised his ego, the human ego, to become at one and indeed one with the monad, enjoys omniscience, since the atman is universal, and its buddhi is its first veiling of divine individuality, because as just stated it is the treasure house of all the collected, reaped experiences of former lives anywhere, in this solar system or any others in other cosmic manvantaras.
Thus it is rightly said by the Orientals of the true Buddhas of Compassion that they are omniscient. This does not mean infinitely omniscient; it means omniscient for our own universe. There could be no such thing as a unit, a monad, (which already means finitized, however vast, because from the All it has already shrunken to become a one) — there could be no infinite anything for even such a lofty monad. Don't you catch these subtil distinctions? We can, if you please, ascend in the scale of monads until we finally reach what Pythagoras called the Monas Monadum, or the monad of monads, which merely means the supreme monadic hierarch of any one universe; and yet we see by this very descriptive explanation that we are speaking of one universe, and therefore of a limited entity, however vast. Once it is a universe, one universe, it is no longer frontierless, boundless infinitude and eternity.
These simple propositions of philosophy should be clear to any one of you. But such a Buddha is omniscient for all within his universe, whether that universe be our solar system or our galaxy; yet would not be omniscient, if it is a Buddha of our solar system, for the galaxy which is an aggregate of billions of solar systems. If he is a Buddha of a Galaxy, he would be omniscient for that galaxy, but not over a still vaster collection, let us say a collection of galaxies.
So all these terms are relative. The Lord Buddha Gautama, the Buddha after he attained nirvana for instance, was omniscient for all things on our earth; and indeed in my judgment over most of the things of our own planetary chain, for he was a Chain Buddha appearing on this globe. I would not say that Gautama the Buddha, having attained Buddhahood, would be omniscient over everything even within our solar system, although his knowledge was so vast, and because he had reached as high as he had, one could say by exaggeration perhaps that his knowledge was omniscient even for the solar system. But that perhaps would be stretching the thing.
Now then, atman emanates the buddhi. This is a word meaning the state of pure waking, spiritually and intellectually, in other words Reality, in other words still the Christ condition, or more accurately the Bodhisattva condition. Bodhisattva means the essence of wisdom and love. Obviously such an entity living in the atma-buddhi needs no devachan. From the buddhi, from the very holiest of intellectual experiences garnered from former lives on this earth and perhaps of other earths or globes, is born or is emanated or flows forth the manasic principle, the principle of rising cogitation, ratiocinative thinking; not direct, instant intuition which is that of the buddhi. The manasic principle is that of reason, a most valuable principle in man, obviously. This is the center of the human ego, and it is the human ego which experiences devachan. It is not the buddhi, as already explained. The human ego, the manasic principle, experiences this devachan, although asleep in the bosom of the monad, as already stated hundreds and hundreds of times.
For this reason and others, the manas has always been spoken of as being dual in character, higher and low. As a matter of fact all the principles are, but the human ego is really the higher manas, and it is this higher manas, the human ego, which is separated from the lower manas at what we call the second death in the kama-loka after the man dies. That frees the higher manas which thereupon rises by magnetism if you wish, spiritual magnetism, into the bosom of its parent, its Father in Heaven, the Buddhi, and therein experiences its devachan.
In future ages this higher part of the human ego will no longer need the devachan because by then it will have evolved beyond the necessity of getting its intellectual rest in the devachan. It then will have become a bodhisattva. It will have become not merely occasionally attracted up to sleep in the bosom of its parent the buddhi principle, but will perennially thereafter abide therein. As Jesus said, I and my Father are one. All Bodhisattvas, all Christs, speak thus, for it is not a question of a single individual human being here. It is a question of archaic pneumatology and psychology, in other words that every man has a spiritual principle within him which is the parent or father of the lower part of him; and when the lower part of him has become so evolved that it raises itself into becoming at one with the higher part of himself, then the Son is raised to the Father. The Son and the Father are one. They conjoin into one entity. In the same way, the Bodhisattva becomes the Buddha still higher — but I don't want to go off into that.
From the manasic principle is unfolded or is emanated the kama-principle. As the principles develop one after the other like the unrolling of a scroll, each turn of the scroll unrolls it a little more, and shows some more of an unwinding picture. This is a favorite simile, the wound up scroll or the unwound scroll, in the Christian scriptures. The heavens shall roll together like a scroll, which merely means that the lower will be slowly caught up into the higher, and the higher into the still higher, and so forth until they are all for the time being sleeping in the bosom of the cosmic monad.
Now the kama, which is now unrolled from the manasic principle, in its turn emanates from itself the vital part of us, the pranas which in their turn emanate the linga-sarira or astral body, which in its turn develops the physical body, so that we have the atman in heaven, the flesh on earth. And when the atmic ray can reach the man of flesh, the Logos or Son of God, to follow the Christian scripture, descends into body, and enlightens it. This is the old Oriental teaching expressed in the Christian way, an old Theosophical doctrine.
Now then, when death comes, the body is cast off. This does not mean that the septenary entity loses one of its seven principles. It merely means that the flesh, which is a compact or compost or compound of cosmic and other atoms, temporarily united to form a flesh body, is dropped. The entity no longer wants it. It has become a nuisance, it is in the way. There remain then six bodies. The linga-sarira disintegrates very soon thereafter, and off with it what we call the lower pranas. That makes three principles dropped. But out of each one of these three thus dropped, all the essence and the magnetic or vital essences, the aroma as H. P. B. called it, all that was best in it and spiritual, has already been gathered up or caught up by the higher principles attracting it, and they are attracted upwards because this higher part yearns for it. By and by the kama in the kama-loka, grows tired. Its body is no longer there to exhaust it and give it an avenue for excitements and exciting adventures, and it simply becomes somnolent and sleeping, as the kama-rupa; and this is the time of the second death, spoken of before.
So you see the inverse process proceeds. The spiritual parts, the aethers of every principle which can go up are caught up so that even in the entity sleeping in the devachan there are above it the monad, the atma-buddhi in their own nirvanic planes; the human ego, the intellectual part of the ego in its devachanic sleep and dream; and all the other lower principles below: kama, prana, and linga-sarira and sthula-sarira or body held as it were crystallized or frozen or somnolent or asleep in the bosom of the devachani, as the devachani is held in the bosom of the spiritual monad. H. P. B. calls these lower things thus gathered up, the tanhic elementals, which, when the ego comes back to reimbodiment after its devachan, begin their work and begin to build downwards, thus unfolding the lower quaternary; and then you have the new body, the new man in the new birth.
So man never loses any principles. All his principles beneath the buddhi take unto themselves the life-atoms of the circumambient world; just as in our own gross way we eat and drink and ingest nutriment in this way, quite forgetting that our bodies continuously are absorbing life-atoms from the circumambient atmosphere and throwing them off again. It is these temporary guests to whom we are the hosts that help to build our bodies which we cast off as we cast off a coat as it were. We no longer need them, and leave the present house or body or whatever we may choose to call it.