THEOSOPHY, Vol. 43, No. 1, November, 1954
(Pages 30-36; Size: 20K)

WISDOM IN SOLAR REVERENCE(1)

It is a well known fact that the pyramids stand square with the points of the compass, and therefore face sunrise at the time of the equinox. It has been found that many of the older solar temples of Egypt faced the sunrise or sunset at the time of the summer solstice. The medieval cathedrals of Europe were also oriented to the sunrise. The old basilica of St. Peter's was so exactly aligned to the east, that when the doors were opened on the vernal equinox, the sun's rays penetrated through the nave, illuminating the high altar. 

--The Stars in Song and Legend
THE ancient sun-worshippers regarded the Great Spirit as a nature god, identical with nature, and the sun as the deity "in whom the Lord of Life dwells." "The Vedas contain hymns to the sky, the dawn, the sun, forming a kind of ritual, which was chanted by the priests at sunrise and sunset. The rising sun of Egypt was Horus, the child-god; Amen Ra, the sun in his noontide strength; and Osiris, the setting sun. The sun's representative in the Greek pantheon was Helios, afterwards identified with Phoebus Apollo. The Phoenician sun was Baal." Agni, the divine fire of the Hindus is the sun, for the fire and sun are the same. Ormazd is light, the Zoroastrian sun-god, or the Life-giver. None of the ancients, the sun-worshippers included, regarded our visible sun otherwise than as an emblem of their metaphysical central Sun-God.

The belief of all genuine occultists from the earliest times to the present day, is that there is a true Sun, and that the sun we see is a secondary one. There is a true center of which the sun in heaven is a symbol and partial reflection. That which we examine is not a sun at all but is only an appearance, a mere reflection to us of part of the true one. Moreover, the ancients did not believe what our modern science teaches us, namely, that light and heat proceed from our sun. The sun has no more heat in it than the moon or the space-crowding hosts of sparkling stars. It is but one of the myriad magnets disseminated throughout space -- a reflector. Considering how little is known of the sun of this system, it is not to be wondered at that still more is this the case respecting the true Sun.

The orb of day guards and sustains the animal economy; the true Sun shines into us through its medium within our nature. In the true Sun there is spiritual energy and help, just as our own beloved luminary contains the springs of our physical life and motion. Or, to put it in plainer language, there is an influence or power in the sun which may be used, if obtained by the mystic, for beneficent purposes and which, if not guarded, hidden, or obscured by a cover, would work destruction to those who might succeed in drawing it out. Were the "robes," the dazzling drapery which now envelopes the whole of the sun's globe, withdrawn or removed so as to allow one trifling rent, our whole universe would be reduced to ashes. "Jupiter Fulminator revealing himself to his beloved would incinerate her instantly." But this can never be. The protecting shell is of a thickness and at a distance from the universal HEART that can hardly be ever calculated by western mathematicians. And while there is one man left on the globe, the sun will not be extinguished.

The true Sun is the heart of the solar system, and its brain is hidden behind the visible sun. Occult philosophy defines the visible sun simply as a glowing sphere, the real Sun being hidden behind. The invisible Sun is the storehouse of our little Kosmos, self-generating its vital fluid, and ever receiving as much as it gives out. From thence, sensation is radiated into every nerve-centre of the great body, and the waves of the life-essence flow into each artery and vein. ... The planets are its limbs and pulses. There is a regular circulation of the vital fluid throughout our system of which the Sun is the heart -- the same as the circulation of the blood in the human body -- during the manvantaric solar period, or life; the sun contracting as rhythmically at every return of it, as the human heart does. Only, instead of performing the round in a second or so, it takes the solar blood ten of its years, and a whole year to pass through its auricles and ventricles before it washes the lungs and passes thence to the great veins and arteries of the system. "Sunspots" are the reservoirs of vital energy, the vital electricity that feeds the whole system. Could the human heart be made luminous, and the living and throbbing organ be made visible, so as to have it reflected upon a screen, then would every one see the sunspot phenomena repeated every second -- due to its contraction and the rushing of the blood.

The Sun is said to give forth seven rays. These seven rays are the entire gamut of the seven occult forces (or gods) of nature, as their respective names well prove. Sushumna, the first of the solar rays, transmits sunlight to the moon. Svaraj, the seventh (synthetical) ray, is the same as Brahma. As each ray stands for one of the creative gods or Forces, it is easy to see how important were the functions of the sun in the eyes of antiquity, and why it was deified by the profane. In the Rig Veda Aditi (primordial substance) is the equivalent of "Mother-Space," coeval with "Darkness" -- the root of Nature. Aditi is very properly called, in Vedic language, "the Mother of the Gods" (Deva-Matri), as it is from her cosmic matrix that all the heavenly bodies of our system are born -- sun and planets. Thus it is said allegorically: "Eight sons were born from the body of Aditi; she approached the gods with seven, but cast away the eighth -- Marttanda" -- our sun. These seven sons -- called the Aditya -- are, cosmically and astronomically, the seven planets. But these seven were not reckoned according to the enumeration devised later by people who had forgotten, or who had an inadequate notion of the real Mysteries, and included neither the sun, moon, nor the earth.

The occult doctrine rejects the hypothesis that the seven great planets have evolved from the sun's central mass -- not of this our visible sun, at any rate. The first condensation of cosmic matter of course took place about a central nucleus, its parent Sun; but our sun, in its totality, merely detached itself earlier than all the others, as the rotating mass contracted, and is the elder, bigger brother therefore, of the seven planets, not their father. For the planets were all comets and suns in their origin. They evolve into manvantaric life from primeval Chaos, by aggregation and accumulation of the primary differentiations of the eternal matter, according to the beautiful expression in the Commentary: "Thus the Sons of Light clothed themselves with the fabric of Darkness." Surya, himself a reflection of the central spiritual Sun, is the prototype of all those bodies that evolved after him. In the Vedas he is depicted as drawn by seven horses, and by one horse with seven heads; the former referring to his seven planets, the latter to their one common origin from the one cosmic Element.

Seven planets only were held as sacred, as being ruled by the highest regents or gods, and not at all because the ancients knew nothing of the others. Many more planets are enumerated in the Secret Books than in modern astronomical works. The planets are the domains of various beings having a mysterious unbroken and powerful connection with man and the globes. Every heavenly body is the temple of a god, these gods themselves are the temples of GOD, the Unknown, "Not-Spirit." Every world has its parent star and sister planet. Thus Earth is the adopted child and younger brother of Venus; but its inhabitants are of their own kind. Our planet, like all those we see, is adapted to the peculiar state of its human stock, that state which enables us to see with our naked eye the sidereal bodies which are co-essential with our terrene plane and substance, just as their respective inhabitants, the Jovians, Martians, and others can perceive our little world; because our planes of consciousness, differing as they do in degree but being the same in kind, are on the same layer of differentiated matter. The whole of antiquity believed in the universality of life. But no really initiated seer of any civilized nation ever taught that life on other stars could be judged by the standards of terrestrial life.

The informing Intelligences, which animate these various centers of Being, are referred to indiscriminately beyond the Great Range as the Manus, the Rishis, the Pitris (Progenitors), and so on; and as Dhyani-Buddhas, the Chohans, Melhas (Fire-gods), Bodhisattvas, and others, on this side. There are seven chief groups of such Dhyan Chohans, which groups will be found and recognized in every religion, for they are the primeval SEVEN rays. Humanity, Occultism teaches us, is divided into seven distinct groups and their sub-divisions, mental, spiritual and physical. Like each of the seven regions of the Earth, each of the seven primordial human groups receives its light and life from its own special Dhyani -- spiritually, and from the palace (house, the planet) of that Dhyani, physically. So with the seven great races to be born on it. The first race is born under the Sun, the second under Jupiter, the third under Venus, the fourth under the Moon and Saturn (the dark), the fifth under Mercury (Budha). The seven planets were held as sacred because ruled by the highest regents or gods. They are called "the Heavenly Snails," on account of their (to us) formless Intelligences inhabiting their starry and planetary homes, and so to speak, carrying them as the snails do along with themselves in their revolution. "The seven allow the mortals to see their dwellings, but show themselves only to the Arhats," says an old proverb, the "dwellings" standing here for planets.

According to The Secret Doctrine, Fohat is the representative of the entire collectivity of the Dhyan Chohans of sentient life on the objective plane, and the Manasaputras on the subjective. Thus it is said, "Fohat, the constructive Force of cosmic Electricity ... has seven sons who are his brothers." It is Fohat, the collective Dhyan Chohanic hosts, who guides the transfer of the principles from one planet to the other, from one star to another -- child star. When a planet dies, its informing principles are transferred to a laya or sleeping centre, with potential but latent energy in it, which is thus awakened into life and begins to form itself into a new distinct body. The "seven sons" are again spoken of in connection with "the invisible Logos, with its seven hierarchies forming one POWER, the inner and the invisible; which in the world of Forms becomes the sun and the seven chief planets constituting the visible active potency." The esoteric meaning of the word Logos (speech or word, Verbum) is to render into objective expression, as in a photograph, the concealed thought. As the Logos reflects all in the universe of Pleroma, so man reflects in himself all that he sees and finds in his universe, the earth. Every universe (world or planet) has its own Logos, says the doctrine. It is explained that the hosts of the Dhyan Chohans, who are the divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of the Kosmos, "form the manifested Verbum of the Unmanifested Logos (Word), and constitute at one and the same time the Mind of the universe and its Immutable Law."

"The Lord of Wisdom is Mercury, or Budha." It is a well known astronomical fact that Mercury receives seven times more light and heat from the Sun than does Earth, or even the beautiful Venus, which receives but twice that amount more than our insignificant globe. Mercury is, as an astrological planet, the perpetual companion of the "Sun of Wisdom." Light comes through Venus who receives a triple supply, and gives one-third of it to Earth. Therefore the two are called "twin-sisters," but "the Spirit of the Earth is subservient to the 'Lord' of Sukra (Venus)." This has an occult as well as an astronomical meaning. The Ego, made one with Atma-Buddhi, is the "inner god in the temple" -- man. Lucifer-Venus as a planet corresponds to the Ego. Lucifer is the Daitya Guru, i.e., the spiritual guide and instructor of mankind.

Our earth was never numbered among the seven sacred planets of the ancients, though in exoteric popular astrology it stood as a substitute for a secret planet now lost to astronomy, yet well known to initiated specialists. Nor were the sun and moon in the number, though accepted in our day by modern astrology; for the sun is a central Star, and the moon a dead planet. The planet for which the sun is substitute is an intra-Mercurial planet, which is supposed to have been discovered, and named by anticipation Vulcan. The other, for which the moon substitutes, is a planet with a retrograde motion, sometimes visible at a certain hour of night and apparently near the moon. The occult influence of this planet is transmitted by the moon. That which makes these planets sacred is their occult influence. Saturn, Jupiter, Mercury and Venus, the four exoteric planets, and the others which must remain unnamed, were the heavenly bodies in direct astral and psychic communication with the earth, its Gods and Watchers -- morally and physically. The visible orbs furnish our humanity with its outward and inward characteristics, the "Regents" or Rectores with our monads and spiritual faculties. The three secret orbs (or star-angels) ... are the gods and guardians of other septenary chains of globes within our system.

It is maintained that the myths and allegories -- if once correctly and thoroughly interpreted -- will dovetail with the most exact astronomical notions of our day. There is hardly a scientific law which pertains to physical astronomy or physical geography that could not be easily pointed out in the ingenious combinations of their fables. The ancients allegorized the most important as the most trifling causes of celestial motions; the nature of every phenomenon was personified.

The Moon, mother of our earth chain, has a more intimate connection with the mysteries of our globe than even Venus-Lucifer, the occult sister and alter-ego of the Earth. Lunar magnetism generates life, preserves and destroys it, psychically as well as physically. The moon is dead only so far as regards her inner principles, i.e., psychically and spiritually. Physically she is only as a semi-paralyzed body may be. She is aptly referred to in Occultism as the "insane mother," the great sidereal lunatic. No symbol, the sun included, was more complex in its manifold functions than the lunar symbol. The sex was, of course, dual. With the Hindus the moon was "King Soma," with other nations it was female, the beauteous goddesses Diana-Luna, I'lythia, Lucina. The whole riddle of the solar and lunar worship, as now traced in the churches, hangs on the old-world mystery of lunar phenomena. The correlative forces in the "Queen of Night," that lie latent for modern science but are active to the knowledge of Eastern adepts, explain well the thousand and one images under which the moon was represented by the ancients. In every religious system the gods were made to merge their functions as Father, Son and Husband, into one, and the goddesses were identified as Wife, Mother and Sister of the male God. The former synthesized the attributes of the "Sun, the giver of life," the latter merged all the other titles in the grand synthesis known as Maia, Maya, Maria, etc., a generic name.

Not only is the bulk of the Hindu mythology and history based upon and interblended with these two worships; but so also is the Christian religion itself. The difference between the Aryan Hindu and the Aryan European faiths is very small, if only the fundamental ideas of both are taken into consideration. In India the Suryavansa were the solar race, the Chandravansa the lunar race. Rama belonged to the Ayodhya Dynasty of the Suryavansa. Krishna and Gautama Buddha belonged to the line of Yadu and the lunar race. These two celestial lines of descent were by the ancients well understood in all their manifold relationships. In Occultism man is called a solar-lunar being, solar in his higher triad, lunar in his quaternary. The sun imparts light to the moon in the same way as the human triad sheds its divine light on the mortal shell of sinful man. Life celestial quickens life terrestrial.

Ancient worship was never a primitive growth. In the common acceptation of the term neither the Lemurians (Third Race), nor yet their progeny, the Atlanto-Lemurians, had any religion. They knew no dogma, nor had they to believe on faith. No sooner had the mental eye of man been opened to understanding, than the Third Race felt itself one with the ever-present as the ever to be unknown All, the One central spiritual SUN of Life. It was the Atlanteans ... who became the first sacrificers to the god of matter. The first Atlantean races, born on the Lemurian Continent, separated from their earliest tribes into the righteous and the unrighteous; into those who worshipped the one unseen Spirit of Nature, the ray of which man feels within himself -- or the Pantheists, and those who offered fanatical worship to the Spirits of the Earth, the dark Cosmic, anthropomorphic Powers, with whom they made alliance. ... Such was the secret and mysterious origin of all the subsequent and modern religions.


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(1) Collated chiefly from Theosophical sources.
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