THEOSOPHY, Vol. 17, No. 10, August, 1929

from Blavatsky Website



The history of cosmic evolution, as traced in the Stanzas, is, so to say, the abstract algebraical formula of that Evolution.


The seven Stanzas given represent the seven terms of this abstract formula. Stanza IV shows the differentiation of the "Germ" of the Universe into the septenary hierarchy of conscious Divine Powers, who are the active manifestations of the One Supreme Energy.


They are the framers, shapers, and ultimately the creators of all the manifested Universe, in the only sense in which the name "Creator" is intelligible; they inform and guide it; they are the intelligent Beings who adjust and control evolution, embodying in themselves those manifestations of the ONE LAW, which we know as "The Laws of Nature."

Generically, they are known as the Dhyan Chohans, and are the collective hosts of spiritual beings - the Angelic Hosts of christianity - who are the vehicle for the manifestation of the divine or universal thought and will.


They are the Intelligent Forces that give to and enact in Nature her "laws," while themselves acting according to laws imposed upon them in a similar manner by still higher Powers.


A Dhyan Chohan has to become one; he cannot be born or appear suddenly on the plane of life as a full-blown angel.


Gods, created as such, would evince no personal merit in being gods. Being is an endless cycle within the one absolute eternity, wherein move numberless inner cycles finite and conditioned.


The Celestial Hierarchy of the present Manvantara will find itself transferred in the next cycle of life into higher, superior worlds, and will make room for a new hierarchy, composed of the elect ones of our mankind.

This hierarchy of spiritual Beings, through which the Universal Mind comes into action, is like an army - a "Host," truly - by means of which the fighting power of a nation manifests itself, and which is composed of army corps, divisions, brigades, regiments, and so forth, each with its separate individuality or life, and its limited freedom of action and limited responsibilities; each contained in a larger individuality, to which its own interests are subservient, and each containing lesser individualities in itself.

According to the Orientalists, there are five Dhyanis who are the "celestial" Buddhas. Esoterically, however, the Dhyani-Buddhas are seven. They are the "Buddhas of Contemplation," and all are Anupadaka.


The term Anupadaka "parentless," or without progenitors, is a mystical designation having several meanings in the philosophy. By this name celestial beings, Dhyan-Chohans or Dhyani-Buddhas, are generally meant.

The Pitris are lunar deities and our ancestors, because they created the physical man.


The Agnishwatha, the Kumara (the seven mystic sages), are solar deities, though the former are Pitris also. It is on the Hierarchies and correct numbers of these Beings invisible (to us) except upon very rare occasions, that the mystery of the whole Universe is built.


To the Hierarchies of the Dhyan-Chohans, called Devas (gods) in India, or the conscious intelligent powers in Nature, correspond the actual types into which humanity may be divided.

  • the Devas, Pitris, Rishis

  • the Suras and the Asuras

  • the Daityas and the Adityas

  • the Danavas and Gandharvas, etc.,

...have all their synonyms in our Secret Doctrine, as well as in the Kabala and the Hebrew Angelology.


But it is useless to give their ancient names, as it would only create confusion. Many of these may be also found now, even in the Christian hierarchy of divine and celestial powers.

The Doctrine teaches that, in order to become a divine fully conscious god, the Spiritual primeval INTELLIGENCES must pass through the human stage. And when we say human, this does not apply merely to our terrestrial humanity, but to the mortals that inhabit any world.


Each Entity must have won for itself the right of becoming divine, through self-experience.


The Mind-born Sons, the Rishis, the Builders, etc., were all men - of whatever forms and shapes - in other worlds and the preceding Manvantaras. The Lipika project into objectivity from the passive Universal Mind the ideal plan of the universe, upon which the "Builders" reconstruct the Kosmos after every Pralaya.

There are three chief groups of Builders and as many of the Planetary Spirits and the Lipika, each group being again divided into Seven sub-groups.


The "Builders" are the representatives of the first "Mind-Born" Entities, therefore of the primeval Rishi-Prajapati. The Spirits referred to therefore, as those who "ascend and descend" are the "Hosts" of what we loosely call "celestial Beings."


But they are, in fact, nothing of the kind. They are Entities of the higher worlds in the hierarchy of Being, so immeasurably high that, to us, they must appear as Gods, and collectively - GOD.


"Going up and down" means an untrammeled communication and intercourse between the two worlds.

As the "coats of skin" of men thickened, and they fell more and more into physical sin, the intercourse between physical and ethereal divine man was stopped. The veil of matter between the two planes became too dense for even the inner man to penetrate.


The mysteries of Heaven and Earth, revealed to the Third Race by their celestial teachers in the days of their purity, became a great focus of light, the rays from which became necessarily weakened as they were diffused and shed upon an uncongenial, because too material soil.


With the masses they degenerated into Sorcery, taking later on the shape of exoteric religions.


Alone a handful of primitive men - in whom the spark of divine Wisdom burnt bright, and only strengthened in its intensity as it got dimmer and dimmer with every age in those who turned it to bad purposes - remained the elect custodians of the Mysteries revealed to mankind by the divine Teachers.


There were those among them, who remained in their Kumaric condition from the beginning; and tradition whispers, what the secret teachings affirm, namely, that those Elect were the germ of a Hierarchy which never died since that period.

The Rishis are the Creators. They are sometimes seven, sometimes ten, when they become prajap‚ti, the "Lord of Beings."


The secret doctrine gives a long genealogy of Rishis, but separates them into many classes. Like the Gods of the Egyptians, who were divided into seven, and even twelve, classes, so are the Indian Rishis in the Hierarchies.


The first three groups are:

  • the Divine

  • the Cosmical

  • the Sub-lunary

We are only concerned with the pre-cosmic, divine gods, the Praj‚pati or the "Seven Builders," the seven creative Rishis now connected with the constellation of the Great Bear.


It is said by Krishna in the Bhagavat-gita,

"The seven great Rishis, the four preceding Manus, partaking of my nature, were born from my mind: from them sprang (emanated or was born) the human race and the world."

Here, by the seven great Rishis, the seven great rupa hierarchies or classes of Dhyan Chohans, are meant.


The Saptarshi (the seven Rishis) are the regents of the seven stars of the Great Bear, therefore, of the same nature as the angels of the planets, or the seven great Planetary Spirits.

The hierarchy of Creative Powers is divided into seven (or 4 and 3) esoteric, within the twelve great Orders, recorded in the twelve signs of the Zodiac. All this is subdivided into numberless groups of divine Spiritual, semi-Spiritual, and ethereal Beings.


The Chief Hierarchies among these are hinted at in the great Quaternary, or the "four bodies and the three faculties" of Brahm‚ exoterically, and the Panch‚syam, the five Brahm‚s, or the five Dhyani-Buddhas in the Buddhist system.


The highest group is composed of the divine Flames, so-called, also spoken of as the "Lions of Life." It is the nucleole of the superior divine World. They are the formless Fiery Breaths. The same hierarchy, with the same numbers, is found in the Japanese system, in the "Beginnings" as taught by both the Shinto and the Buddhist sects.


The more one studies their Hierarchies and finds out their identity, the more proofs one acquires that there is not one of the past and present personal gods, known to us from the earliest days, that does not belong to the third stage of Cosmic manifestation.

The whole Kosmos is guided, controlled, and animated by almost endless series of Hierarchies of sentient Beings, each having a mission to perform, and who - whether we give to them one name or another, and call them Dhyan-Chohans or Angels - are "messengers" in the sense only that they are the agents of Karmic and Cosmic Laws.


For each of these Beings either was, or prepares to become, a man, if not in the present, then in a past or coming cycle.

Each class of Creators endows man with what it has to give: the one builds his external form; the other gives him its essence, which later on becomes the Human Higher Self owing to the personal exertion of the individual. Subservient to eternal law, the pure gods could only project out of themselves shadowy men, a little less ethereal and spiritual, less divine and perfect than themselves - shadows still.


The first humanity, therefore, was a pale copy of its progenitors:

  • too material, even in its ethereality, to be a hierarchy of gods

  • too spiritual and pure to be MEN, endowed as it is with every negative perfection

The evolution of Spirit into matter could never have been achieved; nor would it have received its first impulse, had not the bright Spirits sacrificed their own respective super-ethereal essences to animate the man of clay, by endowing each of his inner principles with a portion, or rather, a reflection of that essence.

The Secret Doctrine points out, as a self-evident fact, that Mankind, collectively and individually, is, with all manifested nature, the vehicle,

  1. of the breath of One Universal Principle, in its primal differentiation

  2. of the countless "breaths" proceeding from that One BREATH in its secondary and further differentiations, as Nature with its many mankinds proceeds downwards toward the planes that are ever increasing in materiality

The primary Breath informs the higher Hierarchies; the secondary - the lower, on the constantly descending planes.