Brahminism

Of the prayers used in India's greatest religion, Brahmin-ism, there is the following invocation for sacrifice contained in the Rig Veda: (2)

" O Gods who are eleven in number in the heavens; who are eleven in number on the earth; and, who, eleven in number, dwell with glory in the midst of the airs, May our sacrifice find favour with you."

Here is the number eleven taken three times, making thirty-three in all: that is, the hendekaglyph in its triple and most perfect form. See Plates IVa and IVb.

Using the esoteric numbering, 0-10, one finds that the thirty-three gods of the invocation fall into the following arrangement. In the first realm, that of the heavens, we have : 0. Brahm the Infinite, the Limitless. The word "Brahm" is derived from the Sanskrit word for " being," " existence." Brahm is Existence and also Non-Existence.

In the Bhagavadgita (ch. ix.), it says : " I am Immortality and also Death; and I, O Arguna, am that which is and that which is not "—(or, " which exists negatively ")

Brahm is the divine substance everywhere present: " And, O descendant of Bharata, see wonders in numbers, unseen before. (3) Within my body, O Gudakesa, see to-day the whole universe, including everything movable and immovable, all in one." Arguna said :

" O Infinite Lord of the Gods, O Thou who pervadest

(1) Cf. L. Meurin, La Franc-Maconnerie (Paris, 1893).

(3) Note the stress on numbers.

the universe. Thou art the Indestructible, that which is, that which is not, and what is beyond them. Thou art the Primal God, the Ancient One; Thou art the highest support of this universe. By Thee is this universe pervaded, O thou of the infinite forms . . . Thou art of infinite power, of unmeasured glory; Thou pervadest all, and therefore Thou art all."

Then comes the first triangle or trinity, corresponding to the Intellectual World :

1. Brahma the Lord. Formed from the root "Brahm," Brahma signifies the Being par excellence, the great " I AM." (Compare the universal ego.) He is the first emanation of Brahm the Infinite: the first person in the trinity; the Lord or Creator of the universe. He is Brahma Vach, both male and female, viz. hermaphrodite. He is Brahma Viraj, and is imagined separating his body into two parts (male and female) and creating vach and viraj.

2. Vishnu the Preserver is begotten of Brahma; the second person of the trinity, he is forethought or wisdom.

3. Shiva, third person of the trinity, is the Fire-God. He is the Destroyer or Transformer.

After the trinity and emanating from it, are the seven archangels or Adityas. This second triad corresponds to the Moral World :

4. Varuna, God of Night and of Water.

5. Mithra, God of Day and of Light. (Compare "Strength," Plate III.)

5. Aryaman, the Heart's Friend. This number falls over the "heart" (viz. abdomen or solar plexus). In the third triad (sexual organs), corresponding to the Material World, are found : 7. Bhaga, and 8. Ansa. 9. Daksha, Male Energy.

Below is shown the point : 10. Dhatri the Shaper or Form-Giver.

According to the doctrine of the Vedanta, from the head of Brahma are sprung the Brahmins, the caste of priests and seers; from his shoulders, the Kshatriyas, the caste of kings and warriors; from his stomach, the Vaissyas, the caste of merchants; and from his feet, the Sutras, the caste of labourers and tillers of the soil.

This doctrine shows that (in the hendekaglyph) there are not eleven distinct gods, but one (the phallic god) and his various attributes. The first triad is the head, etc.

In the second realm (B), Earth, the corresponding parts are : 0. Marttanda, the Sun, the Eighth Aditya or archangel. The trinity:

1. Pratyusha, the Light.

3. Dhruva, the Pole Star.

As frequently happens in esoteric figures, some of the parts appear here to have been intentionally transposed, to deceive the profane. The logical order would be :

0. Light the Limitless.

1. Sun, the Creator of the solar system.

2. Moon, offspring of the sun.

In fact, this is nearly identical with the order shown in Plate IXb. The second triad is composed of : 4 and 5. Aswini Kumaras, the two stars we call the

Dioskouroi, fore-runners of the dawn. 6. Prabhasa, the Dawn. (Compare " Beauty " in Plate III : dawn is the symbol of beauty.)

The third triad has: 7. Apa, Water, and 8. Anita, Air. 9. Anala, Fire (of sexual passions).

The point below is : 10. Dhara, the Earth (soil), source of all wealth. (Compare No. 10 in Plate I.)

0. Shiva Rudra, the Howler. He is called also Maha Deva, the Great Divinity. Shiva the Fire-God is thus both the third person in the trinity (A), and the god of the infernal regions.

His Ten Sons (emanations or incarnations) are

1. Adjaikapada.

2. Ahivradhna.

3. Virupaksha.

4. Sureswara.

5. Djayanta.

9. Tryambaka.

6. Vahurupa.

7. Aparadjita.

8. Savitra.

In passing, it may be mentioned that the Devas inhabit the Three Worlds (above described), which are the three planes above the physical. There are thirty-three groups of devas, each group composed of ten million devas, making 330 million devas in all. These numbers are merely an extension of the hendekaglyph. One can see why the layman felt so utterly dependent on the priesthood. What man would care to face 330 million devas single-handed! It shows the extent to which demonology was carried in India.

Following Brahminic doctrine further, one finds another triple hendekaglyph, shown in Plate V. In this, the third section is incomplete : one trinity is missing. This is not infrequent in magical symbolism : the missing part is thought of as present but concealed or invisible.

Each of the trinity shown in Hendekaglyph A, Plate IVa, viz. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, becomes the source 0 (zero) of a hendekaglyph in Plate V.

We have Brahma and his Ten Rishis. The word "Rishi" has the meaning of " seer," but here the Rishis are supposed to be devas of some kind.

0. Brahma Prajapati, Brahma the Creator or Progenitor.

1. Marichi, the Eternal Reason. Brahmins regard him as the personification of Light, parent of Surya the Sun. Northern Buddhists and the School of Yogacharya, regard Marichi as a Boddhisattva (next stage before Nirvana, 0); while Chinese Buddhists and Taoists take Marichi as standing for the Queen of Heaven, the Goddess of Light, Mistress of the Sun and Moon. In all these systems, Marichi occupies the place corresponding to 1.

3. Angiras, Intelligence.

4. Pulastya, Goodness.

5. Pulaha, Power.

6. Kratu, Majesty.

7. Prachetas, Agent of Preservation.

8. Bhrigu, Agent of Transformation.

9. Vasishtha, Agent of Creation.

10. Narada, representing the union of all Prajapatis in the self-existing deity and the never-ending production.

In the second section, Vishnu is shown as:

0. Hari Bhagavat, the Lord.

His Ten Avataras or Incarnations are :

1. Matsya, the Fish.

2. Kurma, the Tortoise.

3. Varaha, the Wild Boar.

4. Nara-Sinha, the Man-Lion.

5. Vamana, the Dwarf.

6. Parasu Rama, Rama with the Axe.

7. Krishna, the Black or Dark.

8. Buddha, the Enlightened.

9. Rama Chandra, Rama the Moon or the Moonstruck. (Chandra is synonymous with Soma, the Moon.)

10. Kalki, the White Horse.

The third section is devoted to Shiva Rudra and his Seven Hells (Sapt-Patal) :

0. Shiva Rudra, the Howler.

1. Atala, the Horrible Abyss, also called, Mahamaya, the Great Illusion.

2. Vitala, the Terrible Abyss, also called Katakeshvar, God of Gold.

3. Sutala, the Enormous Abyss, also called Mahabali, Formidable Giant.

4. Talatala, Abyss of Abysses, also called Maya, Illusion.

5. Mahatala, the Great Abyss, also called Nagas, Great Serpents.

6. Rasatala, Disgusting Abyss, also called Daityas-va-Dang-cas, Giants and Titans.

7. Patala, the Profound Abyss, also called Vasauki, King of Serpents.

The trinity, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, are sometimes represented as three heads with one body. In the Island of Elephanta, in Bombay Harbour, is an underground temple which contains a gigantic statue of Brahma with three heads (Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva) : it is known as "Trimurti" or the Trinity.

Thus, in Plate V, are represented the different aspects or incarnations of the same god, classed according to his three principal attributes.

As Shiva the Destroyer, this god revels in cruelty and bloodshed. " Although this deity is sometimes represented in the human form in his images, it is not thus that he is most frequently adored. The most popular representation of him is unquestionably the Linga; a smooth stone rising out of another stone of finer texture, simulacrum membri virilis, et pudendum muliebre. This emblem is identical with Shiva in his capacity of ' Lord of all." (4) The phallic god.

" It is not only the votaries of Shiva who adore their god under the symbolic form of the Linga; the Vaishnavas, or followers of Vishnu, use the same medium." (5)

In the sacerdotal cast of the Brahmins, there are seven degrees of initiation. The esoteric 7 is frequently substituted for the esoteric 10. These degrees are: (6)

1. Grihasta, or House-Master.

2. Pourohita, or Priest of Popular Evocations.

3. Fakir, Performing.

4. Sanyassis or Naked Cenobites, Superior Exorcists.

5. Nirvanys, Naked Evocators.

6. Yogys, Contemplative.

7. Brahmatma, Supreme Chief.

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