It is said in the ageless wisdom that appreciation of the cycles, recognition of their duration and consideration of their antithesis is needed for one to be considered a true occultist.1 Thus shall here the cycles as thematized in the Secret Wisdom Teaching be contemplated. The main goal is however to give a short overview and not to elucidate every tiny detail which we may come across. Doing this the Law of Correspondences and the occult method shall be applied. The first dictates that everything in the universe follows analogy and that the principles of the greater are repeated in the smaller.2 And in the second the regarded subject is approached from the greater towards to smaller and from the cosmic towards the individual.3 Thus we shall start with touching upon the Law of Cycles itself first to indicate this law afterwards as it asserts itself on different levels.
The Law of Cycles is also known as 'the Law of Periodicity'.4 It is a law governing all manifestation, be it a solar logos manifesting through a solar system or a human monad manifesting through a human body.5 It governs basically the appearing and the disappearing of energies in and out of manifestation.6 For this manifestation in general the term 'manvantara' is used.7 Literally this term means 'between manus'8 and it indicates a period of activity (and as said of manifestation). This period of activity and manifestation is opposed to a period of rest and dissolution. For this period the term 'pralaya' is used.9 A pralaya follows a manvantara as a manvantara follows a pralaya. This law is for instance seen demonstrating man re-incarnating.10 But it not only demonstrates in tiny man but also up to a grand heavenly man or solar logos.11
Besides by the dual concepts of manvantara and pralaya may the Law of Cycles also be contemplated by the triple concepts of involution, evolution and obscuration.12 In this regards involution the manvantaric movement from pralaya towards concrete manifestation, evolution the manvantaric movement from concrete manifestation towards pralaya,13 whereby 'obscuration' is used synonymously with 'pralaya'.14 To symbolize such cycles often a (turning) wheel is used.15
Following the occult method and the Law of Correspondences we shall start out with pointing out the Law of Cycles in the manifesting solar logos (an even larger perspective is not made exoteric in the Ageless Wisdom). A solar logos follows the rhythm of manvantara and pralaya like everything else in manifestation. The manifesting cycle of the solar logos is thematized in the ageless wisdom under different terms, such as 'mahakalpa',16 'great age',17 Brahma's age',18 'solar cycle', 'greater mahamanvantara'19 but also 'mahamanvantara' without the attributing 'greater'20. Confusingly are many of these terms also used to indicate smaller (though still great from our perspective) cycles. To avoid misconceptions then we shall in this contemplation solely use the term 'solar manvantara' to refer to the manifesting cycle of the solar logos. In the ageless wisdom itself often contextual reading shall be needed to find the correct referent. The opposite of the above mentioned solar manvantara then regards the solar pralaya.
As already stated in the previous paragraph does a solar logos manifest through a solar system, and our solar logos knows in his course of evolution (as a solar logos) three of such manifestations.21 At present our solar logos is in his second incarnation, cycle of manifestation or solar manvantara.22 Of this incarnation he is about halfway, at his point of most concrete manifestation.23
We left the previous paragraph with the mentioning of the second solar system being the present vehicle of manifestation for our solar logos. Now in this solar system a certain number of planetary schemes are found functioning as force centres (or chakras)24 in the body of the solar logos.25 During the whole of a solar manvantara the number of these schemes may vary. On the involutionary arc (from pralaya towards the most concrete manifestation) the numbers involve from three to seven to ten and on the evolutionary arc (from the most concrete manifestation towards pralaya) the numbers evolve from ten to seven to three.26 At present the solar logos is at its deepest point of involution27 and a manifested number of ten schemes should be expected.28 Three of these ten however are synthesising schemes29 which is probably why often reference is being made to seven schemes.30 Our Earth scheme belongs to these seven and not to the three.31
Now every such a scheme is the body of manifestation of a planetary logos (also termed 'Heavenly Man' as the solar logos is also termed 'Grand Heavenly Man').32, 33 And like the seven plus three schemes are centres of force in the body of a solar logos so does a planetary logos have seven plus three centres of force in his body also, being called 'chains'.34, 35 We are on the fourth chain through which our planetary logos manifests himself.36
The septenary differentiation continues as every chain consists of seven globes which again regard its centres of force.37 These seven globes differ in density corresponding to the seven principles in man.38 Of these globes the densest one regards the physical globe39 and our Earth as we know it is such a globe.40 Note here that although 'our planet' in the ageless wisdom may refer to the present physical Earth globe41 the term may also refer to our chain or even our entire scheme.42 Again contextual reading of the Ageless Wisdom is needed to find the right referent of the term 'planet'.
Now the aforementioned globes are in the ageless wisdom arranged according to the earlier mentioned triple concepts of involution, evolution and obscuration. Figure 1 shows this. From pralaya on the involutionary arc is first placed a subtle globe 1, then a lesser subtle globe 2 and a lesser dense globe 3. Then a dense globe 4 follows, being the most concrete manifestation, and then on the evolutionary arc follows again a lesser dense globe 5, again a lesser subtle globe 6 and finally before pralaya again a subtle globe 7.43 (These globes are often also enumerated as globes A, B, C, D, E, F and G or Z).44
The cycle in which the planetary logos in- and evolves through the seven globes of a chain is being called a 'planetary round' or 'chain round'.45, 46 As there are seven chains of globes in a planetary scheme47 there are also seven planetary rounds in a scheme.48 At present we are in the fourth round which takes place in the fourth chain.49
The previous paragraph was left with the mentioning of a planetary round. This is however not the only round being thematized in the Ageless Wisdom. For there are globe rounds too.50 A globe round is again a cycle of in- and evolution but now related to one globe.51 Every such a globe round, being also called 'world period', consists of seven human root races.52 In the Ageless Wisdom the distinction between a planetary and a globe round is not always explicated in terminology. Usually just the term 'round' is used and in these cases a reading of the context in which the word appears is needed for correct reference.
So every globe round consists of seven human root races and so does our fourth globe round. At present we are in the fifth root race and in the first half of the ascending line of spiritual development.53 The deepest point of involution was reached at the half of the third root race.54 The goal for humanity at those times was development of the physical body, the previous root race, the fourth, had the goal to develop the astral body (or emotional nature) and the goal of our fifth root race is to develop the concrete mental faculty.55 Figure 2 shows a general sketch of the development of root races in our fourth globe round. In the ageless wisdom the third race is named 'Lemurian', the fourth 'Atlantean' and the fifth 'Aryan'.56 For the first two and the last two races no real terminological names are used.
Note that every root race can in its turn be divided into seven sub races and every sub race again has seven branch races, consisting again of many offshoots.57 At present we are in the fifth sub race,58 but in this contemplation we shall not go further in our thematization than the root races.
In the above paragraphs the different cycles from the solar system to the root races were sketched. What is understandable but not yet mentioned is that every cycle covers a certain time span. And in this paragraph the different time spans shall be thematized. These time spans are initially given in time units of Brahma which then are calculated in the time units known to us.59, 60 Taking notice of these numbers it must be taken in consideration that the given numbers are exoteric and not esoteric61 which means that they both indicate as veil.62
Let us again apply the occult method and start with the cycle of a solar manvantara. This is mentioned to last one hundred years of Brahma63 and is calculated to last for 311,040,000,000,000 of our years.64 This same period of time is designated to a solar pralaya.65
Taking one step down we come to a scheme cycle. Now with a scheme consisting of seven chains and the period of duration of seven chains being mentioned as one year of Brahma does it seem reasonable to apply the latter directly to the duration of a scheme.66 One such a year lasts for 3,110,400,000,000 of our year.67 The calculation '100 years of Brahma / 1 year of Brahma = 311,040,000,000,000 / 3,110,400,000,000' is correct. When the number of schemes is considered calculations of course do no hold. For with ten schemes being present in our solar system would one scheme period be calculated to last for 10 years of Brahma and 31,104,000,000,000 of our years. Despite logical calculations must the statements of the ageless wisdom however be considered more trustworthy as we have no, or very limited, access to the sources of these teachings. And after all was our calculation based on data given in the ageless wisdom.
Again some confusion may arise when it is stated in the ageless wisdom that one week of Brahma has reference to seven chain rounds.68 Now with seven chain rounds being considered as equal in time length as the duration of seven chains would one week of Brahma equal one year of Brahma. The most likely answer to the question of how to reconcile both statements is found in the context in which these Brahmic times are given. The one year of Brahma for the duration of seven chains is given from the higher perspective of a scheme and the one week of Brahma for the duration of seven chain rounds is given from the lower perspective of a chain.69
The above answer becomes more clear when a day of Brahma is considered. For one day of Brahma, lasting 4,320,000,000 of our years,70 regards the period of one chain round.71 Since there are seven chain rounds and since a week has seven days does one week of Brahma indeed consist of seven days of Brahma.
From a day of Brahma can however also be calculated towards a year of Brahma as the number of Brahmic days in a Brahmic year is given to regard three hundred and sixty.72 First the number of 4,320,000,000 has to be doubled as nights of Brahma (being of equal length as a day) have to be considered too. This brings us to 8,640,000,000 of our years. This number multiplied by 360 then brings us to the 3,110,400,000,000 of our years, making out one year of Brahma.
Minor time units of Brahma are mentioned too. We find 'one hour of Brahma', 'one minute of Brahma' and 'one moment of Brahma'.73 These however are not concretely related to any of the minor cycles thematized in this contemplation such as a globe round or a root race period.
There are also certain given time units calculated in our years. They can be deduced from the one day of Brahma of 4,320,000,000 years. This time period is also called a 'kalpa' and consists of a thousand mahayugas (which is a time indication which we shall thematize a bit later) and is the reign spans plus interregnums of fourteen manus.74 A manu can be understood as the archetypal man for a certain root race.75 More than one manu can reign over one root race and the reign of different manus may also overlap, thus a total of fourteen manus for seven root races is well possible.76, 77 Our present manu is called 'Vaivasvata'.78
So fourteen manus reign over one day of Brahma, one kalpa or one thousand mahayugas. These thousand mahayugas consist of nine hundred ninety-four mahayugas (fourteen manu reigns) plus six mahayugas (interregnums). This means that there are seventy-one mahayugas (994 / 14 = 71) in the reign period of one manu.79
Now one such a mahayuga, lasting for 4,320,000 years, consists of four yugas, namely Krita yuga (lasting for 1,728,000 years and better known as 'Satya yuga'80), Treta yuga (1,296,000 years), Dwapara yuga (864,000 years) and Kali yuga (432,000 years).81 At present we are in Kali yuga.82
To be considered a true occultist according to the ageless wisdom one must have appreciation of the cycles, recognition of their duration and consideration of their antithesis. Therefore were in this contemplation the cycles thematized. A start was made with a general explanation of the Law of Cycles and the concepts of manvantara and pralaya. In line with the occult method was first the solar logos put in the light of the cycles. Our solar logos is halfway of his second of three incarnations. In his body we find seven or ten centres of force, called 'schemes', which regard bodies of manifestation of planetary logoi. These schemes consist of seven or ten chains, consisting again of seven globes. One round through all globes was mentioned to regard a chain or planetary round. A globe round then was mentioned to be a cycle of seven root races on one globe. At present we are in the fourth planetary round, the fourth globe round and in the first half of the fifth root race. Then time units of Brahma and of our own were, where possible, attached to the cycles. A solar manvantara regards one hundred years of Brahma. A scheme manvantara regards one year of Brahma from scheme and higher perspective and one week of Brahma from chain and lower perspective. One planetary round regards one day of Brahma. And as a closure minor cycles and concepts such as the yugas en manus were thematized. The manu of our present root race is called 'Vaivasvata' and we are at present in Kali yuga.
To close down this contemplation shall the whole of the above information about the cycles in the ageless wisdom be given an overview in figure 3. May its study help us in becoming true occultists.
|Inert motion||activity||rhythmic motion.|
|Tamasic life||rajasic life||sattvic life."|
EVOLUTION IN THE UNIVERSE
|The Unknown||7 constellations||Cosmic Logos.||5 cosmic planes|
|A cosmic Logos||7 solar systems||solar Logos||4 cosmic planes|
|A solar Logos||7 planetary schemes||Heavenly Man||3 cosmic planes||Period of three solar systems|
|A Heavenly Man||7 planetary chains||Chohans and groups||2 cosmic planes||Period of one solar system|
|A Man||7 etheric centres||A Principle||1 cosmic plane||Period of one planetary scheme."|
|"4. The fourth globe||Our planet."|
|a.||100 years of Brahma||An occult century. The period of a solar system.|
|b.||One year of Brahma||The period of seven chains, where the seven planetary schemes are concerned.|
|c.||One week of Brahma||The period of seven rounds in one scheme. It has a chain significance.|
|d.||One day of Brahma||The occult period of a round.|
|e.||One hour of Brahma||Concerns interchain affairs.|
|f.||One Brahmic minute||Concerns the planetary centres, and therefore egoic groups.|
|g.||One Brahmic moment||Concerns an egoic group, and its relation to the whole."|
|360 days of mortals make a year||1|
|Krita Yuga contains||1,728,000|
|Treta Yuga contains||1,296,000|
|Dwapara Yuga contains||864,000|
|Kali Yuga contains||432,000|
|The total of the said four Yugas constitute a Maha Yuga||4,320,000|
|Seventy-one of such Maha-Yugas form the period of the reign of one Manu||306,720,000|
|994 Maha- Yugas, which is equal to||4,294,080,000|
|Add Sandhis, i.e. intervals between the reign of each Manu, which amount to six Maha-Yugas, equal to||25,920,000|
|The total of these reigns and interregnums of 14 Manus is 1,000 Maha-Yugas, which constitute a Kalpa,i.e., one day of Brahmâ||4,320,000,000|
|As Brahma's Night is of equal duration, one Day and Night of Brahmâ would contain||8,640,000,000|
|360 of such days and nights make one year of Brahmâ make||3,110,400,000,000|
|100 such years constitute the whole period of Brahma's age, i.e., Mahâ-Kalpa||311,040,000,000,000"|
To example from Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume I, in: Theosophical Classics, (CD ROM), Theosophical Publishing House, Manilla, 2002, p. 153.
To example from Helena P. Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, Volume II, in: Theosophical Classics, (CD ROM), Theosophical Publishing House, Manilla, 2002, p. 300.
|Cycle||Brahmic Time||Our Time||Supradivision||Our Position||Subdivision|
|Solar manvantara||100 years||311,040,000,000,000 years||3 solar systems||Halfway the 2nd solar system||7 (or 10) scheme manvantaras|
|Planetary or scheme manvantara||1 year||3,110,400,000,000 years||7 (or 10) schemes||Earth scheme||7 (or 10) chain rounds|
|Chain round||1 day||4,320,000,000 years||7 (or 10) chain rounds||4th chain round||7 globe rounds or 14 manu reigns plus interregnums|
|Globe round||7 globe rounds||4th globe round||7 root races|
|Root race||7 root races||5th root race||7 sub races|
|Sub race||7 sub races||5th sub race||7 branche races|
|Manu reign||306,720,000 years||14 manu reigns plus interregnums||Vaivasvata||71 mahayugas|
|Manu interregnum||6 mahayugas|
|Mahayuga||4,320,000 years||71 mahayugas and 6 mahayugas||Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali yuga|
|Krita, Treta, Dwapara or Kali yuga||1,728,000, 1,296,000, 864,000 or 432,000 years||Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali yuga||Kali yuga|
|1 year||360 days|
|1 day||360 days|