MANUAL OF COMPUTER SLIDES
THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY :: ADYAR
Working at the Adyar Library and Research Center, we have developed a number of PowerPoint slides explaining the whole range of the Theosophical Teachings. Lecturers can use these slides by presenting on a PC for a small group. For large gatherings a LCD projector becomes necessary.
These have been created under eight themes:
“Evolution through Chains and Rounds,” “Man, God and the Cosmos,” “The Mystery of Death and Re-incarnation,” “One Life–One Planet,” “Prâna and the Chakras,” “The Secret of Thought Power,” “The Super-physical Bodies” and “The Vanguard of Humanity.”
English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, Kannada and Telugu language versions are available. We are now sharing these slides with a view to promote the dissemination of the Teachings. We have saved these files on the Internet at:
This Manual is intended to give some helpful Notes to the prospective user of these presentations. Using the ‘Insert’ feature of the PowerPoint software the slides can be re-grouped to suit your requirements.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SLIDE THEMES
The Ancient Wisdom teaches us
- That there is the Law of Periodicity—cyclical forthcoming and return, and the ceaseless alternation of Activity and Quiescence,
- The existence of the Septenary System, and
- The Duality of evolution, which affects both Consciousness and the vehicles it uses.
In some strange way the number 7 seems to be deeply laid in the architecture of the Universe. Therefore Man follows the same pattern throughout his life cycle. The Earth on which he lives, as well as all the planets of the Solar System, follow the same Law, with a period of activity technically called Manvantara, followed by a period of rest, Pralaya.
Human life on Earth is divided into seven Root Races, each developing a particular Principle in the constitution of Man. Each Root Race, in turn is sub-divided into seven sub-races with different shades of evolutionary emphasis.
This series of slides depicts the Evolution of Life through the Planets, Rounds and Chains of Planets and beyond; passing from the three Elemental Kingdoms, the Mineral, the Plant, the Animal, the Human Kingdoms to the lofty Dhyâni-Chohanic Kingdoms.
Modern developments in technology have brought great comforts to mankind, relieving us from drudgery and the vagaries of the environment. They enhanced both the scope and the variety of our sensory enjoyment. Above all, they have afforded us an increasing amount of leisure time. In the wake of all these, however, the human being seems to have somehow lost the quality of depth, and meaning to his existence. Those of us who are serious enough have been wondering whether there is any significance, purpose to this universe, to life—or is it just ‘make merry while you live!’
From time immemorial arcane knowledge about the Universe and Man has existed in the custody of a Hierarchy of advanced Beings, Rishis and was termed Gupta Vidya or Ancient Wisdom. The esoteric Teachings of all religions down the ages reflect this great knowledge. This knowledge reveals that there is a Great Plan—the Plan of evolution of Consciousness. Doubtless, the scope of the Plan is so vast, utterly transcending the ambits of human experience. But the advantage of knowing the whole Plan is that it immediately helps us in understanding our own place and role in the Divine Scheme—and more importantly and practically, it helps us regain the direction which we have lost in the welter of the ceaseless materialistic pursuits.
We, therefore, trace out in this Theme a panoramic view of the entire Manifestation of the Universe, the Elemental Kingdoms of Nature and the idea of Group-souls, the appearance of Man, his constitutive ‘Principles,’ the process of Death and Rebirth, Karma and its operation, the goal and direction of the Human Consciousness, and glimpses of the super-human stages.
Death is a phenomenon that is of the deepest interest to every one of us, since the one thing which is absolutely certain in everyone's life is that one day one must die. Even so, there seems to be no other subject which is full of misconceptions that are serious. Mankind has suffered vast amount of utterly unnecessary sorrow, misery and terror simply from its ignorance and superstition with regard to this important question.
People are sometimes inclined to think that after all, it does not matter much if our ideas about death are distorted: one will find out the facts, they say, when one dies any way. This opinion ignores the fact of the unnecessary sorrow and anxiety of the survivors, and secondly, they don't realize that the departed could easily have saved lot of trouble by having a previous knowledge of the after death conditions.
Considerable information on the process of death and the after-death states is available in the Ancient Teachings. An understanding of these, will therefore, deprive death of its terror, anxiety and sorrow.
The four lower Principles, which constitute the perishable Personality (Dêhâtma), are renewed every incarnation. The real Individual, the Self (Jîvâtma) continues in the Causal Body, lasts throughout the Human stage.
Death is a process of successive withdrawal from the physical Plane 'upwards.' The discarded Astral and Mental bodies linger as Shells and gradually disintegrate. The respective Permanent Atoms become dormant. All the gains from the experiences are stored in the Causal body.
After a time of recluse in the Causal, when time comes for the next incarnation, the Mental, Astral and the physical Permanent Atoms get re-activated successively, in that order, each acquiring matter of their respective Planes, conducive to the new incarnation and gradually building them into bodies.
A class of Devas, the Recorders or the Lords of Karma (Lîpikas), assist the individual in the process of coming into a new incarnation by deciding the various parameters, with the objective to enable one to grow steadily towards the Archetype, the Ideal set by the God of the System. There is a Cause-and-Effect Law behind the evolution of the human individual.
It is necessary to focus attention on the maladies threatening the human security—the maladies caused by some other members of the same species, Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Before we can hope to free the human society from these insecurities caused by its own members, it becomes imperative to understand why human beings behave this way—why the truly human qualities like self-sacrifice, sympathy and love, do not yet manifest universally.
Scientific knowledge of the psycho-spiritual PRINCIPLES constituting the Human Being is a necessary pre-requisite to usher the age of emerging globalisation phenomenon through non-violence, tolerance and cooperation. These PRINCIPLES have been delineated in the Ancient Wisdom of humanity for ages. It is necessary to introduce these important Truths in the light of modern scholarship.
In fact, Theosophy reveals that the real Human Self is triple in nature, transcends the ‘personality’ localized in time and space, and has a program and goal of His own, which is to reach back to the Divinity in fully-awakened consciousness. The personality, which is the psycho-emotional structure in us, might fancy goals of his own, which may not be identical to the goals of the real Human Self.
It also teaches that there is not only the evolution of Form, but also a concomitant unfolding of the potentialities of Consciousness, and that there is a Hierarchy of levels of Consciousness in the Universe. At any level, not only there is certain autonomy but also a necessity to transcend that in order to meet the requirements of a Greater Whole of which it is a part.
Any amount of planning aimed at bettering the human society, however adroitly engineered, cannot be operationally successful without an understanding and appreciation of these underlying governing PRINCIPLES. It would merely tinker at the symptoms, not eliminating the maladies.
It is not difficult trace the origin of all the human misery to the phenomenon of the ‘I’ in the human individual. That is where all mischief begins. Wars, violence and exploitation have their ultimate origin there. So the problem of the world reconstruction is the problem of the regeneration of the individual. What is more difficult to realize to is that whatever action that emanates from the I-consciousness does only serve to augment the structure of that center, either grossly or subtly. If the ending of the self in the individual is the beginning of the world reconstruction, and no action or process emanating from the self can end the self, we are caught up in a vicious circle.
Can the human consciousness, without going blank, enter at all a new dimension: a dimension that is free from the limitations of space, time and causation!
A rational appraisal of the LAWS of nature pertaining to the psycho-spiritual realms is an urgent necessity because it brings home the logical imperative of ETHICS in the modern context, at the individual, corporate, national as well as international levels.
The Etheric Double is the vehicle of Prâna, the Life Force emanating from the Sun. How the sevenfold Prâna from the Sun constitutes what are called the Vitality Globules is depicted. The Etheric Double forms the first link in the bridge between the physical or brain consciousness and the higher states of consciousness. Therefore a knowledge of its structure and functioning, especially of the Chakras or Force-centers located in it, should be of vital interest to the student of the Ancient Wisdom.
An account of how the Chakras specialize the five Prânas (vital airs) and distribute through out the body is given. The seven principal Chakras are illustrated and described. The Health Aura is introduced. The modifications that take place in the Prânic flow, in the case of a person who has made progress on the spiritual path, are shown.
The physical body is the grossest vehicle the human being possesses. The Etheric Double, though made up of subtle matter, is still physical. Man also possesses an organized vehicle, the Astral Body, which enables him to experience desires, passions and emotions. Especially, how the various human emotions show up in the Astral vehicle is illustrated.
The Mental Body, with which man thinks is made up of the matter of the four Rûpa sub-levels of the Mental Plane, and the Causal Body, of the three Arûpa sub-levels. Causal body is the seat of the re-incarnating Ego or Soul. The developments that take place, in the case of spiritually advanced Beings, are shown.
The physical body is the grossest vehicle the human being possesses. The subtler bodies, namely, the Astral, the Mental and the Causal bodies of man, appear as shimmering and iridescent ovoids to clairvoyant sight. The various human emotions show up as distinct colors and dynamic structures in the Astral vehicle. At the present stage of human evolution thoughts are, to a great extent, intricately interwoven with feelings and emotions. Thoughts are real and concrete things on their Plane. They not only produce vibrations in the surrounding matter of the Mental Plane, which traverse long distances and act on sympathetically oriented Mental bodies of other individuals, they also create exquisite and varied FORMS of distinct shape, color and with a life of their own.
Thought-forms, being discrete, act on other persons’ minds with great power and efficacy. We all continually people the Mental Plane with these Thought-forms. These could be of good as well as evil type. Therefore, every one of us is responsible for the world of Thought-forms, and the subsequent mental impulses discharged by these on all Humanity. An understanding of the nature of the Thought-forms will greatly facilitate the cultivating and culturing of the power of thought for helping others and uplifting Mankind.
The Ancient Wisdom contains seven Teachings concerning MAN.
- That man in his spiritual nature is a divine, immortal, imperishable being: for him there is no death;
- The purpose of his existence is spiritual evolution to the stature of the Perfect Man. This knowledge can give direction to his whole life;
- That human perfection is achieved by means of successive lives on Earth;
- That the whole process is governed by Law;
- That attainment is utterly certain for all;
- That men and women have already attained perfection. Perfect Men actually exist on this planet. Perpetually They help Humanity, both individually and as a Race; and
- Discipleship of a Master is a practical possibility for modern man.
The Monad (Turîyâtma), existing on the Anupâdaka Plane, puts forth a reflection of itself and acquires vehicles on the lower Planes for the sake of gaining experience. The Permanent Atoms and Principles get attached to the Monad with the help of the seven Creative Hierarchies (Pitri Devas). These are Great Hierarchies of Beings, Who attained to high levels of Spirituality in earlier Evolutionary Schemes and assist the Human Monads in acquiring the various Permanent Atoms and Principles.
The Fraternity of Initiates and Adepts on this planet is sometimes referred to as The Inner Government of the World. This Great Brotherhood is a reflection on Earth of the Supreme Deity as Emanator, Preserver and Regenerator of the Universe. That One Alone becomes manifest first as a Trinity, next as a Septenary, and then as all the exuberant variety. There are Great Beings Who guide the entire evolution—human as well as non-human. They are the Watchers, the Lords, the Dhyânîs, the Manus, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas.