Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Blavatsky & the Vivekachudamani

Blavatsky herself noticed Mohini Chatterji's pioneering 1886 translation in her Secret Doctrine, in the section "On the Elements and Atoms". She gives some admirably subtle metaphysical interpretations of some passages and makes a rather intricate comparison with a passage from the Gospel of John:

”The monad — a truly “indivisible thing,” as defined by Good, who did not give it the sense we now do — is here rendered as the Atma in conjunction with Buddhi and the higher Manas. This trinity is one and eternal, the latter being absorbed in the former at the termination of all conditioned and illusive life. The monad, then, can be traced through the course of its pilgrimage and its changes of transitory vehicles only from the incipient stage of the manifested Universe. In Pralaya, or the intermediate period between two manvantaras, it loses its name, as it loses it when the real one self of man merges into Brahm in cases of high Samadhi (the Turiya state) or final Nirvana; “when the disciple” in the words of Sankara, “having attained that primeval consciousness, absolute bliss, of which the nature is truth, which is without form and action, abandons this illusive body that has been assumed by the atma just as an actor (abandons) the dress (put on).” For Buddhi (the Anandamaya sheath) is but a mirror which reflects absolute bliss; and, moreover, that reflection itself is yet not free from ignorance, and is not the Supreme Spirit, being subject to conditions, being a spiritual modification of Prakriti, and an effect; Atma alone is the one real and eternal substratum of all — the essence and absolute knowledge — the Kshetragna.† It is called in the Esoteric philosophy “the One Witness,”and, while it rests in Devachan, is referred to as “the Three Witnesses to Karma.”(SD1, XI, p. 570)

PS. The section "On the Elements and Atoms" can be considered one of the more essential sections, and a good place to start reading the Secret Doctrine.