Newsletter of the Theosophical Society (Pasadena) Australasian Section

No: 102 December 2010


Katherine River Gorges – Northern Territory




Humility and the Horizon of Heaven – Andrew Rooke.

Australian News.

The Doctrine of Swabhava – Don Shepherd.

International News.

Instructions for the Journey – John Doré.

Book Reviews: Morality Without God? by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong.

                          Theosophy in the Qabbalah by Grace F. Knoche.

Fireflies – Emma and James Rooke.

Are the Gods Real? – Koshish Karunga.

Leave the World a Better Place – Andrew Rooke.

I Wish You ‘Enough’.





Andrew Rooke


Looming triumphantly above the smog and traffic din of modern Cairo, the Great Pyramid of Gizeh stands majestically, a silent witness to the thousands of year’s history it has seen in Egypt. The mysterious Great Sphinx at its feet, the Pyramid, with its near perfect engineering and enigmatic orientations to the stars, has puzzled scientists and mystics alike as to its purpose. Modern archaeology tells us that it was the burial place of the Pharaoh Khufu approximately 4,500 years ago, yet there is much evidence to show that this Pharaoh merely renovated an existing structure buried in the sands, and that the Great Pyramid was already ancient when he found it. (see: Manuel Oderberg: Gateway to the ‘Horizon of Heaven’ at: The clue lies in the ancient Egyptian writing above the entrance to the Great Pyramid which says simply: ‘Horizon of Heaven’.


What can this mean? Many people don’t realize that the Great Pyramid encloses a maze of tunnels and rooms fanning away from the main entrance and serviced by airshafts to the surface which were obviously meant for living men. The diagram below gives an idea of those passages we know, but there may be many more awaiting discovery. According to the Theosophy, the purpose of the Great Pyramid was to provide an environment where suitable candidates could undergo spiritual initiation into higher states of consciousness. Therefore, from a mystical point of view, it was aptly called ‘The Horizon of Heaven’, ie. a place where one could literally enter the other dimensions of reality we call ‘heavens’ and ‘hells’. To achieve this spiritual awakening, candidates for initiation had to undergo a variety of tests of character, encounter some of the other dimensions or ‘worlds’, and to face aspects of themselves before achieving ‘enlightenment’ for a few in what we now call the ‘Kings Chamber’ at the very centre of the Pyramid. These tests offered a vastly accelerated Path to enlightenment for those strong souls suitable for such an ennobling experience. This accelerated opportunity for a higher state of consciousness was called by the ancient Egyptians in their Book of the Two Ways, ‘The Path of Horus’. This quick path contrasts with the slow journey for the majority of people to the same state of enlightenment but through the experiences of everyday life called by them, ‘The Path of Osiris’. Osiris was the King of the Afterlife amongst the Gods of ancient Egypt, and the Great Pyramid was also known as the ‘Temple of Osiris’.





Imagine yourself now as one of those candidates for initiation, standing in the ‘Grand Gallery’ (passage ‘h’ in the diagram above). You have overcome the dread tests of the downward passage into the ‘underworld’ of dimensions ‘below’ our everyday world (room ‘c’ above) and ascended through many challenges and terrors to the point where you stand now. Further tests of character and instructions in cosmology follow from the assembly of initiates gathered to greet you in the magnificent Grand Gallery. Later, in the ‘Queen’s Chamber’ (room ‘f’ above), the ‘choice’ is made as to the level of enlightenment we are capable of withstanding. To return once again to the Grand Gallery, we now stand at the entrance to the ‘Kings Camber’ (‘j’ above) where, if we enter, we lie in the stone sarcophagus at the centre of this small room. Body entranced, our soul wanders the spaces of consciousness, both within ourselves, and outside into the cosmos at large. If victorious, we overcome the last shape assumed by the ego, and win free to wisdom, joining the company of the ‘Aakhui’ – the initiates or ‘Masters of Wisdom’, literally “The Creatures of Light”, or sometimes known as ‘Sons of the Sun’. During these trials we have given willingly of ourselves to the denizens of each place we visited. The now 'Osirified' initiate is not content to remain exultant as a 'Son of the Sun'; but sets about his return to the commonality of men, the new initiate’s 'table of offerings' for humanity before him being the faculties and qualities he has perfected within himself and now offered to help uplift Humanity’s consciousness level.

If you stand at the entrance to the Kings Chamber where these final initiations took place, you will notice that you have a very difficult entry indeed that requires you to bow down low to enter the Kings Chamber. The granite floor-stones and walls of this entrance are worn down with the footsteps of generations of initiatory candidates and, in more recent times, tourists visiting the Great Pyramid – see the picture of the entrance opposite. This entrance forces you to proceed in a crouched position symbolizing to me that only those who are humble in body, soul, and spirit, have the right to enter the inner camber of spiritual enlightenment. Surely, if the quality of Humility was an absolute requirement of the ancient mysteries, then there must be a lesson here for us all following the path of daily-life initiations in the everyday world – the ‘Path of Osiris’ as the ancient Egyptians would say.


Most of us would instinctively recognize that a spiritually advanced person is not absorbed in their own ego fulfilment, and such a person becomes increasingly less personal as spiritual awareness grows. A kind, gentle individual is most likely the one that people will turn to in a personal crisis. Such a person is directing the energies of their mind ‘upwards’ towards compassion, rather than ‘downwards’ towards desire for personal benefit. The desire mind is very personal and even as the mind grows more keenly aware with intellectual learning, it becomes highly critical of how others think and act. In fact, much of our education system and entertainment these days is directed to developing such a keen critical faculty which at a deeper level fortifies the ego-centre and its sense of superiority.


We of course, need to be critical in our Path of spiritual development, in the sense of determining what is right from what is wrong free of the personal element. In Hinduism this is known as the quality of rightful discrimination or ‘Viveka’. This is the quality of discrimination allied to humility in that the non-personal attitude gives birth to kindly feelings and understanding of the struggles others go through. We have the opportunity everyday in our interactions with other people to develop such a kindly attitude of humility free of egotism that will make sure we keep to the ‘Path of Compassion’ in our spiritual journey into the future.


More information on the qualities Theosophy encourages us to develop on the path of compassion can be found in G de Purucker’s ‘The Path of Compassion’ available at: or in print from our Melbourne bookshop and library.




“Who humbles himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?” (Psalms 113:6)  


“And whoever exalts himself will be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).


“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5).









Meetings Program in Melbourne: January to June 2011


Meetings are all held at the Theosophical Society (Pasadena) Centre, 664 Glenhuntly Rd., South Caulfield, Melbourne (Tel: 0400942613) on Saturdays commencing at 2.30pm. The Centre is open by 2pm the day of the meeting.

Sat. January 22nd, 2.30pm: New Evidence for Reincarnation – Paul Rooke.

Sat. February 5th, 2.30pm: Lost Christianities: Early Christian Faiths and Gospels Lost to History – David Miller.


Sat. March 5th, 2.30pm: Journey to the Stars: film and lecture on the scientific and spiritual significance of our Sun – Andrew Rooke.


Sat. April 2nd, 2.30pm: HP Blavatsky’s Diagram of Meditation – Brian Parry.


Sat. May 7th, 2.30pm: Dealing with Difficult Spiritual Customers - Tony Downey.


Sat. June 4th, 2.30pm: The Real ‘Avatar’: Avatars, Tulkus and other high spiritual teachers – lecture written by Clive Bellgrove.


Also at the Theosophical Society (Pasadena) Centre: University of the Third Age (U3A) classes: concentrating on comparative study of the religions and philosophies of India and Asia; and basic concepts of the Ancient Wisdom. Wednesday mornings from 10.30 till 12.30. Check for dates, times and topics from Tony Downey on 0400942613.


New on Theosophy Downunder website: New lectures added to the Theosophy Downunder library section of our website at include: ‘Spirituality and its place in Counselling: Part 2’ by Heathclyff St James Deville; and ‘The Basics of Islam’ by Nasirah Cavaney; The Doctrine of Swabhava by Don Shepherd.


Contributing to Theosophy Downunder newsletter: remember that our newsletter is here for you – not only to read, but we welcome your contributions – prose, poetry, art work, or even musical as you can see from this issue! Just contact the editor and we are more than happy to have your thoughts on Theosophy and related subjects at any time.





Don Shepherd


Swabhava is the Sanskrit word for “self-becoming.” Swa means “self” and bhava means “becoming.” Swabhava can also be defined as “the nature of a thing.” Everything possesses a dominant characteristic, quality, or attribute. The beauty of this definition is that it brings the idea of “self-becoming” full-circle. In order for something to possess a particular “nature,” it must have evolved that dominant attribute over time. Likewise, this implies that “the nature of a thing” will once again be transformed from its current state as a new characteristic or quality

rises to prominence.


The doctrine of swabhava can be understood more fully in relation to the concept of the monads. The monads, derived from the Greek term monas, are units of consciousness infilling every point of space in the universe. The consciousness of the Divine Monad oversees the galaxy. The consciousness of the Spiritual Monad, pouring through the sun, oversees the solar system. The consciousness of the Planetary Monad oversees a planet. The consciousness of the Physical Monad oversees an atom. As the consciousness of each monad splinters and fragments as it streams into its respective field of activity, each class of beings in the universe, including the mineral, plant, animal, human and three god-classes, receives a swabhavic impress from each of the monads. A being possesses a speck from each of the monads but, as it evolves, its dominant nature corresponds to one of them. Thus, the human being is a marvellous composite of major and minor swabhavas. In a way, his Physical Monad, with all its attendant energies, passions, and desires, is the carrier of the Planetary, Spiritual, and Divine Monads. The Planetary Monad is his dominant swabhava, giving to man his human quality or mind. The Spiritual Monad gives to man his most noble aspirations and the Divine Monad provides its universal character. From a simplified structural standpoint, the Divine, Spiritual, and Planetary Monads are a man’s higher triad and the Physical Monad with its attendant energies are the lower quaternary.

The modern expression of swabhava and the theosophical monads is found in earlier, age-old traditions such as Hinduism. Brahman, as the Eternal, corresponds to the Divine Monad. Brahma, as the sun, corresponds to the Spiritual Monad. Prajapti, as Lord of the Earth, corresponds to the Planetary Monad. Jiva as the energy of the atom corresponds to the Physical Monad. Hindu texts, such as the Satapatha Brahmana and the Mahabharata, introduce the notion of amsa whereby a portion of one of these four universal classes overshadows a human being as his dominant swabhava.


In closing, it has been the mission of the Theosophical Society to aid mankind in focusing his will in successively higher swabhavic states of consciousness. The human being possesses a series of mystic selves that ultimately culminate in a mystic self at the heart of our being. It is our duty to exercise the swabhavic nature of this inner being in our daily lives so as to alleviate the war and violence in this world. This is the meaning behind the symbol of the Hindu Krishna. Each one of us is Krishna to the extent that he or she exercises a portion of Brahman or the Divine Monad.





England: the latest issue of ‘Compass’ features a new look and many interesting articles including one on Don Ritchie who has lived opposite The Gap in Sydney for 50 years. Over the years Don has saved an estimated 160 people from committing suicide at the notorious suicide cliff. Simply by smiling and offering these desperate people a cup of tea and a chance to talk has saved so many people who have thus had the opportunity to come through their crises, and go on to live productive lives. There certainly are a lot of lessons to be learned from his example in terms of our own duty currently in the Theosophical Society of working with individuals ‘one face at a time’. A print copy of ‘Compass’ newsletter is in our Melbourne library, or computer copies can be sent to you on request.

Greece: Blavatsky Studies Forum: a 1-day-meeting was held on May 29 in Athens on the subject of “The mystery of death” concerning the after death states of human consciousness. Dr. Gene Jennings of NY United Lodge of Theosophists (ULT) shared his knowledge and, by his coming all the way to Greece, fastened the bonds of brotherhood. Athens ULT will restart its activities next October with weekly and monthly study-meetings, and visitors from Australia are always welcome – report from Aspasia Papadomichelaki, Athens, Greece.

News from South Africa: The South African newsletter ‘Contact’ contains many interesting articles, the latest on ‘Our Duty to Live Right’. Photocopies can be sent out to you on request. For those traveling to South Africa there are meetings held in the Guateng, Greater Durban, and Western Cape area. Details are available by contacting the National Secretary, Alice Yetman, at:


New Book by HP Blavatsky: At the International Theosophy Conference (ITC) 2010 in The Hague held in August this year, a new and unique book was presented: 'The Secret Doctrine Commentaries, The Unpublished 1889 Instructions' by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. For the first time for many years, an original text from H.P.Blavatsky has become available. The book contains the never before published transcription of 22 out of 24 of the Blavatsky Lodge meetings in 1889, in which H.P.Blavatsky answers questions about the Stanza's of Dzyan in The Secret Doctrine. The hand-written transcription of this text has been conscientiously transcribed and annotated by Michael Gomes, well known for many theosophical publications. Reviews of the book can be found online at: Blavatsky News, Blavatsky Archives, and Theosophy Online. We will have a copy of this book available in our library shortly.

Old Theosophical Magazines now available online: There is a gold mine of theosophical information hidden away in old theosophical magazines. Articles from early Theosophical Magazines from 1886 to 1935 are now available free online at the Theosophical University Press (TUP) online site at: This is an ongoing project of TUP, but so far the following magazines are available:



John Doré

The following is the text of a talk presented to the Melbourne Welsh Church on Sunday 27th June 2010.

Welcome, kindred spirits. Now let’s see – ah yes, you are about to leave for planet Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s a beautiful planet. As you approach you will observe it shimmering blue in space with its satellite Moon – a joy to behold. It is populated with lush vegetation and creatures of every kind.

Most of you will have had a similar experience before – except to a different destination in our beloved Creator’s created realm. But let me outline again the way it works. You have been chosen to temporarily leave Life Central – the All That Is – where we are all one with our Creator, to be separated into individual entities, much like a large picture can be cut with a jigsaw into small interconnecting parts of that picture. You will; from this preparation chamber, be dispatched into humans some weeks prior to their birth and will dwell within that person until they cease to exist – no average, a period of 70 Earth years.

There are about 6.8 billion humans on that planet at present and they are adding to their number at the rate of 2.5 million per week. Procreation seems to be a popular activity there, but I think they’re somewhat overdoing it! Now, as I said, you will inhabit a human for the length of their life. What is your task, you ask?

You will inhabit your human body primarily in a recording and observing function as you each experience life in that physical realm, which our Creator has brought into being. Your participation in this life on Earth will enrich the data banks of Life Central. Many of the humans you inhabit will be unaware of your presence – except perhaps for a vague feeling of an ‘inner voice.’

Occasionally, and usually only when they reach their lowest ebb – in the depths of despair, will they call upon their Creator to help them. This will give you an opportunity to assist by connecting them to the Source of Life – the result will often be seen by them as miraculous. In fact, for those who do become aware and nurture your involvement in their lives, it will be a life-enhancing experience, where their human body and mind will be informed by the unfathomable richness of all you can bring to their existence.

They are a primitive species – given to constant conflict. In fact, there have been very few periods of time where there has been no fighting between groups somewhere on the planet. They have a veneer of civilization, but it isn’t very thick. I would advise you not to get between a human and wealth, or stand in the way of one in pursuit of power!

So, you will arrive as a newborn infant, either male or female. You will be greeted with joy or despair, depending upon the circumstance. You will be equipped with five senses – and a sixth if you’re a female! Your parents, or in some cases just a mother, plus a wider family will nurture you until you are able to operate independently. Much will depend on where you are born. There is a wide diversity of cultures – and issues of wealth and poverty still exist on that planet. 50% of you will find yourselves occupying and Asian body. However, wherever you find yourself living on planet Earth, there are some things in common to all human experience:                                                                           

·         The friends and acquaintances you choose to accompany you on your human journey will have an enormous bearing on the success of that journey – choose wisely!

·         Humans are tribal by nature. They will belong to ethnic groupings, national groups, political groups, religious groups and associations of various kinds.

·         Humans long for good leadership – and very often do not find it. Many are mis-led.

·         Their relationship with their Creator is often based on fear. Our beloved Creator is surely the most misunderstood entity on Earth. Human beliefs about the creation they are placed within, have changed markedly over the last thousand years or so there – yet there are still religious leaders who would keep large numbers of humans in the dark – for their own dubious purposes.


Which leads me to tell you about something you need to approach with caution – Religion. There are many and varied religions on Earth. Four of them command about 5 billion nominal adherents between them. Whilst three of them set out to seek their God, one alone tells of a God seeking them. That one is an offshoot of an ancient God seeking religion, which spawned an enlightened breakaway group (with a little help from Life Central). I don’t think our beloved Creator intended that it should become just another religion – more a way of life for humans to follow, which would bring them closer to each other and their Creator.

Many religious leaders on Earth should know by now that the Creator is not at all interested in overt religious behaviour – instead earthlings would do well to recognize the divine Spirit in each other and treat each individual as part of the greater creation – a small part of Life, containing an imperishable Spirit – you! If they did that, there would be less likelihood that they would want to control, use, even kill each other – and start to achieve something closer to the joy and perfection of Life Central. It would be a start if those religious leaders would even talk meaningfully with each other and get to grips with the real issues of human existence – but don’t hold your breath waiting!

Now the human brain is one of the crowning achievements of this other reality. It is capable of immense activity in thought, emotion, and calculation. A wonderful asset when utilized for good purposes, but frightfully dangerous when used for selfish, evil pursuits. One of Earth’s writers penned a wry observation about the existence of evil in that world when he wrote:

“In Italy for 30 years under the Borgia’s they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The Cuckoo Clock!’

There is a strange phenomenon that evil events will often cause humans to rally together to defend the good and worthwhile, but it is a destructive way of operating. Whilst on the subject of evildoing, let me caution you about the consequences of human actions. Most behaviour on Earth will incur consequences – good and bad. And similar exists in Life Central, as you well know.

I mentioned the recording function that is yours. Upon return here, you will review the life you experienced in your human body, you will be able to live again those delightful moments you experienced – as well as experience them from the perspective of the other human’s involved. For instance, you might collect and package small gifts to be sent to needy children in a part of the planet you will never go. You will though, by virtually enter the memory of the child receiving the gift, experience the joy of your gift as it was presented. All the other unseen kindnesses you did will also be manifest.

On the other hand, whatever unkind, mean, and cruel things your human did to his fellow humans will also be experienced by you – from the perspective of the victims. This is a necessary, but difficult part of the experience. It has caused some Spirits, who were occupied in humans of a wantonly destructive and sadistic nature, to require special treatment before they are integrated back into the All That Is.

There is the story of a group of Quaker folk sitting in silent meditation in their little wooden building on the frontier of the American Wild West. After about 20 minutes of such quiet contemplation, they opened their eyes and discovered to their surprise and consternation, that 30 American native Indians had silently entered the building and sat amongst them. The leader of the Indians addressed the frightened Quaker and said: “You listen to the Great Spirit as we do. We now call you our brothers and sisters.”

Don’t forget, the importance of Good Humour. Humour is a wonderful healing force. Where it exists, good human behaviour usually follows. So, where possible, steer your human to choose friends and acquaintances possessing a good sense of humour – it will make your journey smoother and more enjoyable. Humour is an attribute of life on Earth that is a reflection of life with our Creator, whose love of fun and play is legendary. There’s never a dull moment in Life Central as you well know!

One of the humanity’s biggest problems is noise. They have noise from industry and noise from the machines that transport them and their goods around the planet. Some of them, especially the younger ones, appear to thrive on it. They confuse it with music, which is something I’ll mention later. Excessive noise is disruptive to human energy flow and general wellbeing. If they will seek silence – you, the Spirit within, may just get through to them.

Animals are there for you to tend to – and are good therapy for the human mind and body. They are less complicated beings and are perhaps more in tune with the planet on which they live than are many of their human counterparts.

Humans have a peculiar tendency to enslave and imprison themselves. If they would only realise that life is a journey of the Spirit and not a treasure hunt, they would enjoy it a great deal more than they do. But alas, they insist upon creating lavish lifestyles that take so much energy to maintain that they become slaves to it and miss life’s simple pleasures. Raising children should be a delight – a chance to relive your own childhood, but is seen by some as an interference with their lifestyle and often contracted out to others.

I promised to say a word about music. It is something you will associate with Life Central as some of it originates from here. Certain composers on Earth, attuned to this realm, have the ability to channel harmonious melodies and rhythms. Listen to some of Mozart’s works when you can and you’ll see what I mean. Value good music, it will bring body, mind and Spirit into closer harmony.

And talking of harmony, some of the most beautiful experiences you will have will be done in collaboration with other humans – choral singing, group dancing, work teams, family and any group with a common purpose for good. Our Creator never intended for us to be alone – either here or on your Earth journey. You cannot be human alone, it is a cooperative venture. Generally humans need to be loved and have a sense of purpose – something to live for. You take with you the source of infinite love, but it is up to your human to accept and utilize it. Should you end up in a human that has any influence at all, try; if you can, to persuade humanity to see their lives as an experience – and to take that journey with integrity. If you happen to be placed in a human being who has access to the teachings of a Jewish carpenter, look at his life and teachings closely. He set a pattern well worth following. He saw everyone as they truly are. He refused to accept appearances, he saw humans for what they could be – expressions of the Creator’s wonderful power and love. They do well to act upon his simple, life-enhancing message.

You have great knowledge and power, as well as the resources of Life Central behind you. If your human is wise enough to stand still long enough and listen or meditate, they may well embrace you within them, magnifying their possibilities beyond their imaginings.



Morality Without God? by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009; 172 pages, ISBN 978-0-19-533763-1, hardback.

By the title's unusual typography, the author wants to stress that morality is most definitely not dependent on God or belief in God.  An atheist who has been subject to ad hominem arguments, such as being attacked in public debates by theists as immoral, he argues effectively that atheists aren't inherently immoral, focusing on debunking the oft-quoted statement in Dostoyevsky's Brothers Karamazov that "If God is dead, everything is permitted." Other views he successfully argues against include that societies will sink into moral chaos if they are too secular, that people have no reason to be moral except fear of divine retribution, and that without religion people can't know right from wrong. He presents a harm-based morality as a workable, more consistent alternative to religious moral codes, while pointing out the many logical flaws in tying ethics to the existence of God or revelation.

The book's tone is very conciliatory. Sinnott-Armstrong, a professor of philosophy and legal studies, bends over backwards to be fair minded and to criticize more aggressive presentations of atheism that he feels alienate non-atheists. His objective is to decrease hostility toward atheists in his target audience, Evangelical Christians, by reassuring them that atheists aren't scary, threatening, immoral, untrustworthy people. Ultimately he would like it to be socially acceptable and respectable to be an atheist publicly, which is not now the case in the United States. Given that many theists do indeed believe that there can be no meaningful or robust morality unless it rests on Divine revelation and that atheists are by definition bad people, this is a worthwhile project. – reviewed by Sarah B. Dougherty.


Theosophy in the Qabbalah by Grace F. Knoche. Theosophical University Press, 2007.

What are the essential teachings of Qabbalah, the Jewish esoteric wisdom passed on for millennia from teacher to pupil? In this clear presentation, Grace F. Knoche concentrates on principal Qabbalistic themes: the emanation of the universe, the Sefirothal Tree of Life and its cosmic and human symbology, the Four Worlds of creation, the Four Adams or Heavenly Archetypes, and the composite structure of our being and its bearing on sleep, death, and initiation. To elucidate their meaning, the author compares Qabbalistic concepts and symbols with equivalents in modern theosophy, particularly in the works of H. P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker, revealing Qabbalah as one stream of the universal wisdom tradition of mankind  from the Theosophical University Press Catalog 2010.




Emma and James Rooke


Emma (vocals) and James Rooke (guitar and vocals) have made a ‘You Tube’ video of a song by popular music band, ‘Owl City’, with some nice pictures of animals, and thoughts on life including the chorus below! Just click on the link (for internet readers):


“I’d like to make myself believe,

That planet Earth moves slowly,

It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay,

Awake when I’m asleep,

Because my dreams are bursting at the seams.”


- ‘Fireflies’ by Adam Young - Owl City (2009).







Koshish Karunga


India has literally thousands of Gods, and all Hindus, from professors in universities to beggars outside on the streets, avidly believe in them. But are they real? Let’s take the case of the most famous Hindu God, Ganesha, the elephant God, beloved of all Hindus. Most Hindus would daily say the prayer to the elephant-headed god: ‘OM Sri Ganeshaya namah’, "Hail Lord Ganesha!" This is the mantra to Ganesha repeated by devotees at the commencement of any important undertaking or spiritual gathering, for the removal of obstacles and the attainment of success. With his ungainly form, comically riding a mouse or rat as his steed, Ganesha is the most popular deity among Hindus. Millions of devotees celebrate his Chathurti Festival in August/September each year, when decorated statues of Ganesha are carried through the streets of every town and village and cast into rivers and oceans in a spectacular closing of the Festival. Most Hindu homes and businesses have a statue of Ganesha at their doorway, and a picture of his humorous but compassionate form in their family shrine.


Does Ganesha, or any of the Hindu gods, symbolize a real being or class of entities rather than simply a flight of artistic fantasy? A hint lies in Ganesha's name, Ganapati or Vinayaka, indicating his function as the leader of the celestial hordes (Ganas), an honour bestowed on him by his father, Siva. The Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary gives us a clue to Ganesha's role in the hierarchy of more advanced spiritual entities who play an active and self-conscious role in the management of the cosmos. In some respects he is "the chief or head of multitudes of subordinate spiritual entities -- a necessity if as the god of wisdom he accomplishes his cosmic labours through subordinate hierarchies of intelligent and semi-intelligent beings, acting as their director or guide in forming and guiding nature."


Perhaps the real Ganesha, and the thousands of other Hindu Gods, are more like forces of nature, like the sunlight that nourishes life, the air we breathe, or lofty thoughts that inspire us. He is part of the great chain of being stretching from the spiritual sun down to humanity and beyond. This hierarchy of compassion sustains life for us lesser beings, though we remain unaware of the constant efforts or call them, as modern science often does, unconscious forces of nature. Ganesha and his celestial hordes work consciously and untiringly so that we may learn and grow spiritually to one day join them in their cosmic labours.


More information on the Hindu gods is available at:





Andrew Rooke


As we approach the close of another year and the promise of a new one, we have the opportunity to pause in reflection, and to make resolutions for the future. What better hope can we cherish than to do as the great teachers have done and to contribute our efforts to leave the world a better place at the end of each day, each year, each life.


Jesus, in the three short years of his ministry 2010 years ago, lighted the fire of compassionate thought in the Western world that still has us trying to love one another, to forgive, and to do unto others as we would that they should do unto us. Likewise Gautama the Buddha in the eighty years of his long life set men thinking to this day about the transitory nature of all visible things, and he inspired millions of people to search to search for more permanent spiritual realities. For hundreds of years, the followers of Zoroaster have kept alive the sacred fire as the sage taught them this represents the symbol of divinity and of the divine spark in men, kept alight only by love, faith, and a “willing obedience of an understanding mind.”


How can we resolve to follow their example and leave a positive legacy to this suffering world? Simply, in my view, to try and live as much as possible in the ‘Higher’ and finer aspects of our nature as we pass through the tests each day presents to us. All of us are individually aware (or maybe others are more aware than we are!!) of certain aspects of our nature which act as roadblocks to more enlightened behaviour. We can resolve to leave such personal ‘garbage’ of our lives behind at the close of each life by making the effort to live in the pure atmosphere of our Higher Selves.


This may be as simple as pausing to tackle everyday problems in a different and more positive way, and not go flying off into anger, or some other form of behaviour which gives reign to our Lower Nature. It may be as complex as pursuing a course of instruction or meditation allowing the Inner God greater scope for work in this world. Theosophical teachers speak of this process in many ways, encouraging us onwards and upwards on the Path of spiritual evolution. Dr de Purucker, former Leader of our Society, put it this way:


“… When a human being centres or focuses his consciousness in the higher aspects of his constitution, then obviously the elements of his constitution which in the average man attract him to these lower spheres, are inactive in the sense of no longer dominating him. They lie asleep, at least relatively so; and consequently he then is in the bliss and enjoys the illuminated vision of the higher part of his being…”  





In a world where everyone is struggling for ‘More’, it is a pleasant surprise to come across someone who is satisfied with ‘Enough’.


An old friend used always to say when parting “I wish you ‘Enough’”. I asked what that meant, and how come she always said this when saying goodbye to me?


“That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone". She paused a moment and looked up as if trying to remember it in detail and she smiled!  "When we said, 'I wish you enough', we wanted the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them". Then turning toward me, she shared the following as if she were reciting it from memory.


“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.


I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.


I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.


I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.


I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.


I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.


I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.” - kindly sent to us by Sotiria Galanopoulou.



All of us here at Theosophy Downunder wish our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the Blessings of the Sacred Season continue to guide you throughout 2011 and beyond.  Until the next issue:  We wish you ‘Enough’.


Theosophy Downunder is issued three times per year in April, August, and December and is edited by Andrew Rooke. We can be contacted at the Theosophical Society (Pasadena), Australasian Section, 664 Glenhuntly Rd., South Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria 3162, AUSTRALIA. Tel : 0400942613 Email : World Wide Web homepage at: 

Our International Leader is Randell C. Grubb