Chapter XIII is entitled "The Seven Creations," but H.P. Blavatsky's agenda in the chapter was to illuminate the 8th and 9th stages of the "inner man" in relation to these seven Creations.
(Chapter XIII). THE SEVEN CREATIONS: In continuing her discussion of the Ogdoad or the 7+1 = 8, H.P. Blavatsky referenced the 2nd-century Greek philosopher Celsus who spoke of a "septenary" which was crowned "on the top" with an "eighth--ever closed." Sealed shut, Aditi was the Celestial Virgin over the seven Creations. To understand these seven Creations, H.P. Blavatsky turned to Indian philosophy with its seven stages of consciousness. But she was really interested in showing her reader the 8th and 9th stages of consciousness, which were the "fashioners of the Inner Man," per The Secret Doctrine 1:87.
The first stage is "Mahat." When H.P. Blavatsky described Mahat as the synthesis of the seven, she was often referring to this placement of Mahat as the first stage of consciousness. As already demonstrated, Mahat can be viewed from many perspectives; it can just as easily be considered as superior or inferior to this first stage. Esoteric philosophy defines Mahat as the "operating LAW" because it functions as the "will of the Supreme" of the "divine mind in active operation." Utpaladeva's 10th-century Shaivite work, Isvarapratyabhijnakarika, can be used to apprehend some of these stages of consciousness. In 1:5.7, Mahat, as the first light, can be said to bring about "external manifestation of objective reality" through his "volition alone without resorting to causes such as clay." He "renders externally manifest the multitude of objects that reside within Him."
The second stage is "Bhuta." Bhuta is "elemental creation" in its "rudimentary principles." There is an "I-AM-NESS" of "Self-hood" at this stage, but it is no more developed than is Mulaprakriti's "bare subjectivity" in The Secret Doctrine 1:14. This is the "first stage of Cosmic life" in the "Fire Mist." In the Isvarapratyabhijnakarika 1:8.7, these elements are "essentially constituted by consciousness" and therefore possess a permanent internal life. Due to the illusion of Maya, they also "exist externally."
The third stage is "Indriya." It is a Buddhi-Manas combination of consciousness. On the "plane of illusion" it is the "human MONAD." In reality, it is neither "discrete" nor "indiscreet," meaning it is neither entirely independent (active) nor dependent (resting). Therefore, Buddhi-Manas is usually discussed as a two-fold compound. As a Monad emanating from the bosom of Buddhi, it naturally has a "modified" conception of self-hood. In the Isvarapratyabhijnakarika 1:5.10, these Monads "shine resting on the self of the Lord," which allows the volition in Mahat to manifest as "reflexive awareness" in the Monads. These Monads as specks of life awaken with their own partial vision drawn from the consciousness of Mahat but now with an independent imagination since there is something to see--the floating pearl of Mahat in the ocean of Bhuta. The specks of life--shards of light illuminating the darkness in their own right--strain to see into the darkness and, with that effort, the consciousness of resting (dependently) ends, and the consciousness of active independence begins. A speck of life, in its straining, activates itself; the tendency of an individual light (the Monad must be light to be an object and to see other objects, according to Isvarapratyabhijnakarika 1:5.3) to view the otherness of Space is motion. The Monad becomes the "I" while Mahat becomes the "otherness." As Space is directionless but necessarily viewed from the individual perspective of a shard of light in its trajectory away from the first light, the viewing of Space by that shard tends to all directions equally. With each turn of a degree of seeing in a 360-degree directionless expanse, the shard of light rotates. As it rotates, it further separates from Mahat but, as it separates and distances itself, its viewing of Mahat unites them; the shard recognizes the first light as itself despite its incessant retreat. Therefore, separation and union are simultaneous functions of the partial seeing of a shard of light as the human Monad. As a result, Buddhi is both discrete and indiscrete.
The fourth stage is "Mukhya." H.P Blavatsky defined it as the "organic evolution of the vegetable kingdom." It is vegetative substance, neither fully formed nor unformed, neither animate nor quite inanimate. Fabre d' Olivet's translation of "ha-aretz" or "the Earth" in Genesis 1:2 in The Hebraic Tongue Restored 2:27 captured her idea the best: "contingent potentiality in a potentiality of being." To be contingent is to be dependent on something else while also depending on chance, like a bug landing on the petals of a Venus flytrap. It is a primitive form of "apperception," a junior expression of Mahat.
The fifth stage is "Tiryaksrotas." This is animal life-force, pure and simple. It is the life-atom that infuses energy into the astral mold of all physical creatures. As H.P. Blavatsky stated, it had to exist before the "gods" could become "rupa" or embodied. In the Isvarapratyabhijnakarika 1:6.4-5, consciousness (the reflexive awareness of self) is built to address mayavic "realities that are manifested as separate." This is the function of consciousness. And, as Aristotle taught, every evolving entity at some point consists of a function and a form. For the function of consciousness to operate, the Dhyani-Chohans has to be provided with the outline of a form.
The sixth stage is "Urdhvasrotas." This stage represents the simple consciousness of the "prototypes" of the First Root-Race men in the Fourth Round.
The seventh stage is "Arvaksrotas" which is contemporary fallen man in the Fourth Round.
The eighth stage is "Anugraha." It is a "purely mental process" of seeing. H.P. Blavatsky stated that it is "'that creation of which we have a perception'--in its esoteric aspect--and 'to which we give intellectual assent (Anugraha) in contradistinction to organic creation.'" She continued, "it is the correct perception of our relations to the whole range of 'gods' and especially of those we bear to the Kumaras--the so-called 'Ninth Creation.'" The Kumaras are the virgin youths in the Celestial Virgin, Aditi. Some of them incarnated in the First, Second, and Third Root-Races of the Fourth Round. They are our sacred ancestors. Others refused to have anything further to do with the material realms. Those Kumaras who repeatedly dropped from the womb of Aditi were "sweetened" in their descent through the solar fire and became Agnishvattas, the deeper spiritual consciousness of the eighth stage (see G.de Purucker's Occult Glossary on page 2). Continuing to develop a personal relationship with contemporary fallen man, these Agnishvattas transformed into the Manasaputras in our planetary sphere and represent our intellectual consciousness. In the preliminary Initiatory trials, it is the Manasaputra "of which we have a perception" and to which we give "intellectual assent." When we visually see it, we obtain a "correct perception" of our relation to the "gods." In The Nature of the Gods on pages 36-39, Marcus Tullius Cicero made fun of such theosophical visions. He mocked, "How much better are the notions of the ignorant vulgar, who not only believe the Deities have members like ours, but that they make use of them; and therefore they assign them a bow and arrow, a spear, a shield, a trident, and lightning; and though they do not behold the actions of the Gods, yet they cannot entertain a thought of a Deity doing nothing." Further, "It is certain, that without virtue there can be no happiness; but virtue consists in action: now your Deity does nothing; therefore he is void of virtue, and consequently cannot be happy." No, Cicero is wrong. The "gods" do not do nothing. Through the stage of Tiryaksrotas, they have developed an outline form and it is in constant motion. It is this outlined form in motion that becomes perceptible to the inner vision. As Apuleius wrote in The Golden Ass in Book 2:23, "I approached the gods below and the gods above face to face and worshipped them in their actual presence."
The ninth stage is "Kumara." This stage is "primary and secondary" because it is both outside and inside the seven Creations. As the virgin youth, they originate in the womb of the Celestial Virgin, Aditi. From this perspective, Aditi is the tenth stage. Therefore, H.P. Blavatsky could refer to Aditi as the first Sephirah, the female aspect of Kether, the head of the complete ten Sephiroth.
Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. E.J. Kenney (London: Penguin Books, 2004).
H.P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 2019).
Marcus Tullius Cicero, The Nature of the Gods and On Divination, trans. C.D. Yonge (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 1997).
Fabre d' Olivet, The Hebraic Tongue Restored, trans. Nayan Louise Redfield (York Beach Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1991).
G. de Purucker, Occult Glossary (Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1996).
Raffaele Torella, trans., The Isvarapratyabhijnakarika of Utpaladeva (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Limited, 2002).
(Photo by Row Dimor on Unsplash)