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It had been till that time entirely unknown; these explanations indicate beyond dispute the identity of the Pythagorean and Brahmanical systems. In both, the esoteric significance is derived from the number: in the former, from the mystic relation of every number to everything intelligible to the human mind; in the latter, from the number of syllables of which each verse in the Mantras consists.
Plato, the ardent disciple of Pythagoras, realized it so fully as to maintain that the Dodecahedron was the geometrical figure employed by the Demiurgus in constructing the universe. Some of these figures had a peculiarly solemn significance.
For instance four, of which the Dodecahedron is the trine, was held sacred by the Pythagoreans. It is the perfect square, and neither of the bounding lines exceeds the other in length, by a single point. It is the emblem of moral justice and divine equity geometrically expressed. All the powers and great symphonies of physical and spiritual nature lie inscribed within the perfect square; and the ineffable name of Him, which name otherwise, would remain unutterable, was replaced by this sacred number 4 the most binding and solemn oath with the ancient mystics — the Tetractys.
If the Pythagorean metempsychosis should be thoroughly explained and compared with the modern theory of evolution, it would be found to supply every "missing link" in the chain of the latter. But who of our scientists would consent to lose his precious time over the vagaries of the ancients. Notwithstanding proofs to the contrary, they not only deny that the nations of the archaic periods, but even the ancient philosophers had any positive knowledge of the Heliocentric system. The "Venerable Bedes," the Augustines and Lactantii appear to have smothered, with their dogmatic ignorance, all faith in the more ancient theologists of the pre-Christian centuries.
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But now philology and a closer acquaintance with Sanskrit literature have partially enabled us to vindicate them from these unmerited imputations. In the Vedas, for instance, we find positive proof that so long ago as B. Hence, Pythagoras and Plato knew well this astronomical truth; for Pythagoras obtained his knowledge. We will quote two passages from the Aitareya Brahmana:. In the beginning she the earth was but one head round , without hair bald , i. She then perceived this Mantra which confers upon him who knows it, the power of assuming any form which he might desire.
She "pronounced the Mantra, " i. This Mantra begins with the words: " Ayam gauh pris'nir akramit " x.
The description of the earth in the shape of a round and bald head, which was soft at first, and became hard only from being breathed upon by the god Vayu, the lord of the air, forcibly suggests the idea that the authors of the sacred Vedic books knew the earth to be round or spherical; moreover, that it had been a gelatinous mass at first, which gradually cooled off under the influence of the air and time. So much for their knowledge about our globe's sphericity; and now we will present the testimony upon which we base our assertion, that the Hindus were perfectly acquainted with the Heliocentric system, at least years B.
In the same treatise the Hotar, priest , is taught how the Shastras should be repeated, and how the phenomena of sunrise and sunset are to be explained. It says: "The Agnishtoma is that one that god who burns. The sun never sets nor rises. When people think the sun is setting, it is not so; they are mistaken. For after having arrived at the end of the day, it produces two opposite effects, making night to what is below, and day to what is on the other side. When they the people believe it rises in the morning, the sun only does thus: having reached the end of the night, it makes itself produce two opposite effects, making day to what is below, and night to what is on the other side.
In fact the sun never sets; nor does it set for him who has such a knowledge. This sentence is so conclusive, that even the translator of the Rig-Veda, Dr. Haug, was forced to remark it. He says this passage contains "the denial of the existence of sunrise and sunset," and that the author supposes the sun "to remain always in its high position. In one of the earliest Nivids, Rishi Kutsa, a Hindu sage of the remotest antiquity, explains the allegory of the first laws given to the celestial bodies. For doing "what she ought not to do," Anahit Anaitis or Nana, the Persian Venus , representing the earth in the legend, is sentenced to turn round the sun.
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The Sattras lasted one year, and were "nothing but an imitation of the sun's yearly course. They were divided, says Haug, into two distinct parts, each consisting of six months of thirty days each; in the midst of both was the Vishuvan equator or central day , cutting the whole Sattras into two halves, etc.
He finds no reason for considering the Vedas less ancient than the sacred books of the Chinese. At all events, there are facts which prove that certain astronomical calculations were as correct with the Chaldeans in the days of Julius Caesar as they are now. When the calendar was reformed by the Conqueror, the civil year was found to correspond so little with the seasons, that summer had merged into the autumn months, and the autumn months into full winter. It was Sosigenes, the Chaldean astronomer, who restored order into the confusion, by putting back the 25th of March ninety days, thus making it correspond with the vernal equinox; and it was Sosigenes, again, who fixed the lengths of the months as they now remain.
In America, it was found by the Montezuman army, that the calendar of the Aztecs gave an equal number of days and weeks to each month. The extreme accuracy of their astronomical calculations was so great, that no error has been discovered in their reckoning by subsequent verifications; while the Europeans, who landed in Mexico in , were, by the Julian calendar, nearly eleven days in advance of the exact time. It is to the priceless and accurate translations of the Vedic Books, and to the personal researches of Dr. Haug, that we are indebted for the.
That the period of Zarathustra Spitama Zoroaster was of untold antiquity, can be easily proved. The Brahmanas, to which Haug ascribes four thousand years, describe the religious contest between the ancient Hindus, who lived in the pre-Vedic period, and the Iranians. The battles between the Devas and the Asuras — the former representing the Hindus and the latter the Iranians — are described at length in the sacred books.
As the Iranian prophet was the first to raise himself against what he called the "idolatry" of the Brahmans, and to designate them as the Devas devils , how far back must then have been this religious crisis? Haug, "must have appeared to the authors of the Brahmanas as old as the feats of King Arthur appear to English writers of the nineteenth century.
There was not a philosopher of any notoriety who did not hold to this doctrine of metempsychosis, as taught by the Brahmans, Buddhists, and later by the Pythagoreans, in its esoteric sense, whether he expressed it more or less intelligibly. Socrates entertained opinions identical with those of Pythagoras; and both, as the penalty of their divine philosophy, were put to a violent death.
The rabble has been the same in all ages. Materialism has been, and will ever be blind to spiritual truths.
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These philosophers held, with the Hindus, that God had infused into matter a portion of his own Divine Spirit, which animates and moves every particle. They taught that men have two souls, of separate and quite different natures: the one perishable — the Astral Soul, or the inner, fluidic body — the other incorruptible and immortal — the Augoeides, or portion of the Divine Spirit; that the mortal or Astral Soul perishes at each gradual change at the threshold of every new sphere, becoming with every transmigration more purified. The astral man, intangible and invisible as he might be to our mortal, earthly senses, is still constituted of matter, though sublimated.
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Aristotle, notwithstanding that for political reasons of his own he maintained a prudent silence as to certain esoteric matters, expressed very clearly his opinion on the subject. It was his belief that human souls are emanations of God, that are finally re-absorbed into Divinity. Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, taught that there are "two eternal qualities throughout nature: the one active, or male; the other passive, or female: that the. That the Divine Spirit acting upon matter produced fire, water, earth, and air; and that it is the sole efficient principle by which all nature is moved.
The Stoics, like the Hindu sages, believed in the final absorption.
Justin believed in the emanation of these souls from Divinity, and Tatian, the Assyrian, his disciple, declared that "man was as immortal as God himself. That profoundly significant verse of the Genesis, "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, I gave a living soul,.
From the first to the last chapters, the translators of the Jewish Sacred Books misconstrued this meaning. They have even changed the spelling of the name of God, as Sir W. Drummond proves. Thus El , if written correctly, would read Al , for it stands in the original — Al, and, according to Higgins, this word means the god Mithra, the Sun, the preserver and savior.