The Buddhic Cycles


The study of technical theosophy is one of the most rigorous intellectual aspects of theosophical exploration. At the same time, it is also one of the most intuitional exercises of logic. The two main expressions of technical theosophy are found in the writings of H.P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker, but their works—though inspiring many—have largely remained an abiding mystery of esoteric thought on the monads and their cycles through the cosmic planes with their respective humanities. This is because the study of technical theosophy was never intended as a means to an end, but rather as a never-ending means to understanding the ever-present process of mind evolving. As such, both writers seemingly veiled the cycles in cryptic numbers and apparent contradictions while revealing just enough of the light to draw us deeper into their world and remind us that there is a sacred context to every moment of experience. Technical theosophy, when understood in this light, serves as the vector along which mind evolves towards deeper spiritual significances in which we are directly participatory. Each one of us as human beings directly participates in the life cycle of the Buddhas—those human buddhas like Gautama who come to us twice in every major cycle, or the Root-Races of each Round, to provide the keynote for that cycle and to sow the seeds for the next; it is this life cycle that technical theosophy helps one to understand. The following is an exploration into technical theosophy and the Buddhic cycles.

In G. de Purucker’s Fountainsource of Occultism, he explained that two main Buddhas appear in every Root-Race, “one towards the beginning and the other towards the middle or the end, depending upon circumstances.”(FS 520) Elsewhere, in his Dialogues, he asserted that Gautama was the “first Buddha of the two” for the 5th Root-Race. (DIA 2-211) If one takes these statements at face value, he immediately confronts an apparent contradiction. As humanity is currently in its “4th Sub-Race” of the 5th Root-Race (having already traversed through the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sub-Races), it seems problematic that the first Buddha, the one at the beginning, would appear near the middle of the Root-Race trending towards its great mid-point Racial catastrophe that splits it in two. With a 5th Root-Race that is 4 to 7 million years old with another 4 to 5 million years to go, it clearly is not in its beginning stages. (FU 239, ST 639, FS 166). Precisely here is the veil thrown over his own teaching by G. de Purucker.

The solution to the problem is to recognize that he has either thrown a blind over the numbers or over one of the words relating to the numbers in the cycle. In regard to this technique, G. de Purucker stated that one of the commonest blinds used “when writing on esoteric matters in a public work is using the same word in varying senses.”(FU 239) In the example provided above, what word did he use in a varying sense?  In this case, G. de Purucker used the word “beginning” in his explanation in Fountainsource in a varying sense. He used it in the sense later confirmed by him in Dialogues when clarifying that the “first Buddha of the two of any Root-Race comes at about the middle point of his Root-Race.” (DIA, 2- 216) Therefore, rather than there being a first Buddha at the “beginning” and a second Buddha “towards the middle or end” as described in Fountainsource, the first Buddha actually comes at about the middle and the second Buddha actually comes near the middle or the end, depending on the circumstances. Those circumstances are even more complicated because they deal with the Sub-Race cycle in relation to the Root-Race cycle—but they will be explained shortly. The key to remember, however, is that there is no beginning Buddha for a Root-Race in the traditional, chronological sense of the word; there is middle and a middle/end Buddha. Thus, the middle Buddha (or Gautama) is referred to, quite accurately, as the first Buddha of the 5th Root-Race. This is a part of technical theosophy.

The first middle point of the Root-Race is rather stationary in that it occurs in the 4th Sub-Race of its respective Root-Race and signifies a coming of age for that Root-Race. The seeds of the subsequent Root-Race are sown in this period. As for the Buddha that corresponds to this first middle point of the 5th Root-Race, it is the Root Buddha or Gautama Buddha, described by G. de Purucker as the “noblest and most complete and the fullest since the beginning of our 5th Root-Race.” (ST 612) The second middle point of the Root-Race is rather fluid in that it can occur anytime from the middle to the end of the Root-Race (although there is an exception to this rule for the 1st and 2nd Root-Races) so long as the number of the Sub-Race of the current Root-Race matches the number of the succeeding Root-Race. The Buddha for this period as the Seed Buddha—or Maitreya for the 5th Root-Race—watches over those seeds that were dropped earlier by the first Buddha as they sprout into a new, self-sufficient, sui generis, Root-Race. This is considered a second middle point because the new sui generis Root-Race is quite distinct from the previous Root-Race in type and character. Therefore, there are two middle points for each Root-Race—one stationary and one fluid—that correspond to the times when the Buddhas incarnate for the benefit of humanity. (DIA 1-56, 86, 87)

To demonstrate how this worked in practice leading up to Gautama as the first 5th Root-Race Buddha, let us start with the 4th Root-Race and carry the process theoretically through the 7th Root-Race. In the 4th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race about 4.5 million years ago, the first Buddha of the cycle came and sowed the seeds for the 5th Root-Race. In the 5th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race about 1 million years ago, the second Buddha of the cycle came as a psychological bridge to link the two fully sui generis 4th and 5th Root-Races together. In the 4th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race around 560 B.C., the first Buddha of the new cycle, or Gautama, came and sowed the seeds for the 6th Root-Race. In the 6th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race, the second Buddha of the new cycle, or Maitreya who will come “millions of years hence,” will bridge the 5th and the 6th Root-Races. (FS 521) In the 4th Sub-Race of the 6th Root-Race, the first Buddha of the next cycle will arrive and in the 7th Sub-Race of the 6th Root-Race the second Buddha of that cycle will usher in the 7th Root-Race.

This process of double middle-points for the Buddhic cycle is confirmed by reading the writings of H.P. Blavatsky. For example, she wrote in her letters to A.P. Sinnett that Gautama corresponded to the end of the 4th Root-Race “between the 4th and the 5th.”(BL 242) As the 4th Root-Race is currently in its 7th Sub-Race and at the same time the 5th Root-Race is in its 4th Sub-Race, this places the current evolutionary state of humanity in accord with H.P. Blavatsky’s statement. (ML 154, DIA 1-88) Further, in her Collected Writings elucidating the technical theosophy in A.P. Sinnett’s book, Esoteric Buddhism, she clarified that Gautama was the “fifth spiritual teacher,” thereby equating him with the 5th Root-Race Buddha. (CW 6-267) For her, as with G. de Purucker, Maitreya would come “after the partial destruction of the 5th [Ed. That is, near or after the first middle point or the 4th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race] and when the 6th Race will be established [Ed. That is, near or after the second middle point or the 6th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race] already for some hundred thousands of years on earth…and therefore he is called the fifth Budha.” (BL 242) As with G. de Purucker, these two, Gautama and Maitreya, are the 5th Root-Race Buddhas. H.P. Blavatsky went on to clarify that the 6th Buddha “will be at the beginning of the 7th Race,” thereby referring to the Root Buddha in the 4th Sub-Race of the 6th Root-Race who initiates the seeds of the 7th Root-Race. (BL 242)

As humanity progresses through these successive Buddhic cycles, each one of us has the opportunity to directly participate in the work of Nature’s cycles. The imprint that each Buddha makes on the fabric of humanity has to be carried forward by us until the next Buddha sounds its keynote for the subsequent cycle. And so it is that each one of us as a pioneer builds the momentum in unison with one another until the crescendo of the sounding of that future keynote brings with it a figurative new earth and new heaven—the new sub-planes of a new cycle that the Buddha fearlessly guides us into as the earth’s orbit, ever led on by an even higher Dhyani-Buddha overlooking the Rounds in which the humanities of the Root-Races participate, takes us into ever deeper parts of an inner cosmos yet to be explored.


Universal Brotherhood and Ancient Cycles

The present discourse on the intricacies of technical theosophy reminds us that technical theosophy serves a larger purpose by helping us open-endedly evolve towards deeper spiritual significances in which we are directly participatory. One of the significances that a study into the Buddhic cycles provides is how the Racial Buddhas blend the Root-Races together and how we are to follow the key note of their example. The first 4th Root-Race Buddha sowed the seeds of the 5th Root-Race—and therefore this Buddhic entity, as much as his Sub-Race offshoots, was intimately entangled with it. The second 4th Root-Race Buddha enabled those seeds to blossom into a unique and distinct people, but he did so by thoroughly mixing the later Sub-Races of the 4th Root-Race with the earliest Sub-Races of the 5th Root-Race. In regard to this constant mixing of Atlantean (4th Root-Race) and Aryan (5th Root-Race) generations, G. de Purucker emphasized that there is “no such thing as a pure race on the face of the globe. We are all mixed.” (ST 18) Previously, William Judge had pointed out that we are all “Atlantean monads.” (EC 21) In continuing this exploration into technical theosophy, our attention turns to Universal Brotherhood and Ancient Cycles—how the fusion of the 4th and 5th Root-Races, who were we ourselves in earlier incarnations millions of years ago, proceeded apace under the guidance of the Buddhas.

In H.P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, she wrote about the “commingling of the 4th and 5th sub-races” that corresponded to “the Mongolo-Turanian and the Indo-European, so-called, after the sinking of the great Continent” that ultimately produced the “smallest branchlets” of the “Semitic tribe”—or the Jewish people. (SD 1-319) If one tries to take this statement at face value, one immediately confronts enormous difficulties. First, the Root-Race to which the 4th and 5th Sub-Races belonged is never identified. Second, the terms Mongolo-Turanian and Indo-European could refer to numerous historical periods as wave after wave of migration left Central Asia over long periods of time. Third, there is a separation of millions and millions of years since the sinking of the great Continent of Atlantis some 4.5 million years ago and the emergence of the Jewish people as one of the last waves of migration out of Central Asia some 8,000 to 10,000 years ago after having initially retreated into the surrounding mountains with the flooding of the Gobi Desert (as a result of the climactic sinking of the final Atlantean outpost at Poseidonis in the Atlantic Ocean some 11,000 to 13,000 years ago) and then the subsequent migration across Iran to the Holy Land in Israel. (SD 2-5, ST 137, CW 3-452, 14-270) Precisely here is the veil thrown over her own teaching by H.P. Blavatsky.

One possible solution to the enormous difficulty presented by H.P. Blavatsky’s statement is to recognize that she elucidates the process of an entire Buddhic cycle—the 4th Root-Race Buddhic cycle with its two middle point Buddhas. In the 4th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race, Atlantean civilization enjoyed its heyday. It reigned vibrant and strong but soon began to crumble due to its errant ways. And so in this 4th Sub-Race the Buddha dropped the seeds of the 5th Root-Race. These seeds of future humanities remained unnoticeable at first as they lived side-by-side with the Atlanteans. When the 4th Sub-Race fled to Central Asia to escape the sinking of the great Continent, it carried these 5th Root-Race seeds. In Central Asia these two groups mixed and married—and loved and laughed together—until the time when their descendants left the homeland to spread out across the world. The combination of the 4th Sub-Race with its 5th Root-Race seeds was the Mongolo-Turanian. In regard to the Turanians, H.P. Blavatsky commented, “neither are they themselves a pure, primitive race, as it is a mixture of the white and yellow races, and the people who belong to it offer an infinite gradation of hues and types, a gradual descent from the pure European down to the Chinese type.” (CW 13-329) While the Turanians technically belonged to the 5th Root-Race (though with “ample reservations” due to their great age and amalgamation), they clung to the “Mongolo” 4th Root-Race like moss clinging to a stone. (SD 2-200) They salvaged what they could in the thousands and thousands of years after the great Cataclysm; they grew up together, produced children together, mirrored each other, and learned from each other through the common heritage and experience of this 4th Sub-Race. All the while, the first Buddha of the 4th Root-Race watched over his progeny.

The 4th Sub-Race continued for a very long time since it was the main cycle within the 4th Root-Race, but the 5th Sub-Race began to develop within it as a single “nascent Aryan race” in Central Asia that eventually divided from its “parent stock” and rushed “asunder to scatter over Europe and Asia in search of new homes” some one million years ago. (CW 5-206)  H.P. Blavatsky referred to this 5th Sub-Race as the “so-called” Indo-European because portions of the 4th Root-Race had now become distinct, or fully Aryanised, in contrast to the Atlanteans. (SD 2-435) These portions of distinct 5th Sub-Race, 4th Root-Race people were the earliest Sub-Races of the Aryan 5th Root-Race. The Mahatma K.H. spoke of them as belonging to the “first sub-race” of the 5th Root-Race. (ML 154) H.P. Blavatsky classified them “as the last offshoot of the first sub-race” of the 5th Root-Race. (CW 12-382) G. de Purucker connected them with “one of the very first sub-races” of the 5th Root-Race. (FS 163) But there were portions of the 5th Root-Race such as the Turanian seeds from the 4th Sub-Race that were heavily mixed and, in some cases, continued heavily mixed until “11,000 years ago.” (SD 2-444) In regard to this developing distinction between the Mongolo-Turanian and the Indo-European, H.P. Blavatsky clarified, “A strong percentage of the Mongoloid or 4th Root-Race was, of course, to be found in the Aryans of the 5th. But this did not prevent in the least the presence at the same time of unalloyed, pure Aryan races in it.” (CW 5-216) To make it even clearer, the 4th Sub-Race and the 5th Sub-Race belonged both to the 4th and 5th Root-Races. Even as portions of the 5th Sub-Race separated into a distinct sui generis people and thereby earned the epithet of 5th Root-Race, they still functioned as a sub-set of the 4th Root-Race chronology and karma at the same time. To help guide them through this transition of belonging to both Root-Races, the second Buddha of the 4th Root-Race—along with other Dhyani-Chohans—descended to help and carry them through to the first middle point of the 5th Root-Race. (SD 2-436)

In the many millions of years of the 4th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race, the early Sub-Races of the 5th Root-Race developed from the Mongolo-Turanian seeds. The 1st and 2nd Sub-Races of the 5th Root-Race overlapped this dominant 4th Sub-Race. Shortly before the sinking of the Pacific Island Ruta about 850,000 years ago, a number of 5th Root-Race groups prepared for independence. These groups belonged to the 2nd and 3rd Sub-Races who descended from the highlands of Central Asia to spread across Eurasia. (SD 2-436, 750) By the 3rd Sub-Race there were portions of the 5th Root-Race that were fully Aryanised; these peoples chronologically and culturally overlapped with the 5th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race, or their Indo-European roots. As the 3rd Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race evolved into its 4th Sub-Race and as the 5th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race evolved into its 6th and 7th Sub-Races over the last million years, portions of both groups interbred with each other so much that even though many different peoples belonged to the 5th Root-Race—and were “generally called Aryan”—it was “not entirely so” as the 5th Root-Race was “largely mixed up with races to which Ethnology gives other names.” (SD 2-429) In her own way, H.P. Blavatsky hinted at this intermingling where the Turanians, the Egyptians, the Chinese, and the Chaldeans belonged to both the 4th and 5th Root-Races. (SD 1-113)  The categorization of the Turanians has already been explained. As for the Egyptians, they were one of the Atlanto-Aryan peoples on the doomed island of Ruta. (SD 2-436) Although younger than the Indo-Europeans, both the “ancestors of Egypt” and the “Brahmin Aryans” sprang “once upon a time from the same stock”—the seeds of the 5th Root-Race or the Mongolo-Turanian. (SD 1-387, CW 11-338) After fleeing the sinking of Ruta, the ancestral Egyptians gradually separated out from their Atlantean and Aryan predecessors. This separation accelerated with the demise of Daitya, an Indian Ocean island, around 270,000 B.C. when multiple chains of islands around Sri Lanka sunk over tens of thousands of years. (SD 1-651, 2-141, ST 24) Their inhabitants fled in multiple waves to India as well as Northern and Eastern Africa. The migrants who colonized Egypt and built the pyramids did not belong to the 4th Root-Race even though they were “Atlanteans.” (CW 5-286) As for the Chinese, their language is a little less “ancient than the Egyptian alphabet of Thoth.” (SD 1-307) Considering that the Chinese belong to the last families of the 7th Sub-Race of the 4th Root-Race, this makes perfect sense because the Egyptians, even though technically the 5th Root-Race, preceded them from various Sub-Race mixings. (ML 154) But even the Chinese, as G. de Purucker noted, are not true Atlanteans. Rather, they are mixed—a combination of Mongolo-Aryan—and they belong “to our Aryan race in time and karman.” (ST 19, DIA 1-92) H.P. Blavatsky agreed, placing the Chinese as “one of the oldest nations of our Fifth Race.” (SD 2-364) As for the Chaldeans, their own records showed that, in their earliest Persian origins, they represented a combination of Atlantean and Aryan. (SD 2-429)  In looking back at these four groups and their intersections between the 4th and 5th Root-Races, it is helpful to keep in mind H.P. Blavatsky’s statement that the Races and Sub-Races “down to their smallest ramifications overlap and are entangled with each other until it is nearly impossible to separate them.” (SD 2-434)

The reason that H.P. Blavatsky mentioned the small branchlet of the Semitic tribe, or Jewish people, as an offshoot from this 4th and 5th Root-Race is because their emigration out of Central Asia—their primeval homeland being “Upper India, or Turkestan”—some 10,000 years ago corresponded to the close of the Atlantean Root-Race with the sinking of Poseidonis. (IS 1-135) As G. de Purucker pointed out, a Root-Race, such as the Atlantean, continues until the succeeding Root-Race, such as the Aryan, reaches its own Kali-Yuga. (ST 43) The 5th Root-Race reached its Kali-Yuga some 5,000 years ago and therefore the true Atlanteans have finally disappeared. (CW 5-58) But, as H.P. Blavatsky suggested, Root-Races (and their minor sub-cycles) linger on beyond this point into subsequent Root-Races. (CW 14-81) Actually, all the Root-Races and their Sub-Races are with us perpetually and perennially since the “auric shades and gradations of colour in the inner man” (corresponding to the Solar Rays of these various groups) continually circulate throughout the inner life of the Earth globe in a spiral motion from north to south and east to west that breaks through into the outer life of mankind as well. (CW 5-213, DIA 2-158, ST 434) Human life is coiled within these spirals and released as a manifestation of the seven-fold “Divine mind” that flows through all the planets. (IS 2-293) But the south-westward migration of the Jewish people—as well as the eastward migration of the Aeolian, Dorian and Ionian peoples out of the Atlantic with the sinking of Poseidonis to establish the more recent Celtic, Mediterranean, and Germanic cultures as part of minor cyclic Family, National and Tribal Races within the 4th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race—symbolized the end of Atlantis. (CW 5-215) With this end, the second Buddha of the 4th Root-Race stepped away—a job well done—and the first Buddha of the 5th Root-Race took charge of these new civilizations that stretched across India, Arabia, Europe, Northern Africa and, more generally, all across the globe.

In closing, the 4th Root-Race Buddhas propelled the ancient cycles forward through the brotherhood that they shared with the upcoming generations of the 5th Root-Race. When a younger generation in ever-progressing cycles comes into its own, it does not come in at the feet of the previous generation but on its shoulders. But this is in part because of the loving outstretched arms that put it there. The progression of cycles comes from one generation helping the next generation. It comes from the loving outstretched arms of the Buddhas—and those who work for them—who view every human being as eternal and who teach that every single one of us draws from his source of experience on that “Atlantean monad” that we all have in common stretching back millions of years. As the 6th Root-Race begins to come into its own, we must greet the future generations with the same internal eternalness that greeted us.


The Shared Responsibility of Overlapping Cycles

Gautama Buddha took over the shared responsibility for the 5th Root-Race from his 4th Root-Race predecessor. The 4th Root-Race Buddha passed the torch of brotherhood to his successor near the middle point of the 4th Sub-Race in the 5th Root-Race. As successor, Gautama Buddha assumed leadership of the civilizations of his time. These civilizations included Family, National and Tribal Races that were smaller subdivisions within the 4th Sub-Race. For example, each Sub-Race is divided into seven Family Races. Each Family Race is divided into seven National Races and each National Race is divided into seven Tribal Races.  The length of each of these minor cycles varies dramatically based on its particular relation to the larger cycle and due to the fact that the Universe is vibrantly alive as opposed to purely mechanistic. Using G. de Purucker’s extremely generalized seven-fold division, a Tribal Race lasts approximately 3,700 years, a National Race lasts approximately 25,920 years, a Family Race lasts approximately 181,500 years, and a Sub-Race lasts approximately 1,270,000 years.  (ST 38, FU 252) G. de Purucker provided this generalized outline because he recognized that H.P. Blavatsky’s teachings on the sub-cycles of the Root-Races as given in The Secret Doctrine had “not been in all respects properly understood.”  (ST 484) The present exploration into technical theosophy seeks to further understand these smaller overlapping cycles of the 3rd and 4th Sub-Races within the 5th Root-Race leading up to the transfer of shared responsibility from the 4th Root-Race Buddha to Gautama Buddha as the first 5th Root-Race Buddha around 560 B.C.

In examining H.P. Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine, theosophical students have expressed uncertainty about the meaning of her passage, “Now our Fifth Root-Race has already been in existence—as a race sui generis and quite free from its parent stem—about 1,000,000 years.” (SD 2-435) The confusion around this passage has arisen because of the assumption that its timescale applies to an entire Root-Race. (FU 302) On closer examination, the passage may well apply to a single Sub-Race within the 5th Root-Race as opposed to the Root-Race itself. It is in the 3rd Sub-Race that the 5th Root-Race became sui generis and quite free from its parent stem about 1,000,000 years ago. In her Collected Writings, H.P. Blavatsky stated that the “Aryan Hindu is the last offshoot of the first sub-race of the fifth Root-race which is now the dominant one.” (CW 12-382) Since each Sub-Race consists of seven Family Races, the last offshoot of the 1st Sub-Race was its 7th Family Race. But this 7th Family Race actually thrived, based on H.P. Blavatsky’s explanation for the closing of cycles, at the beginning of the 3rd Sub-Race. (CW 14-81) Therefore, the Aryan Hindu is a 3rd Sub-Race people but heavily mixed with the 1st and 2nd Sub-Races. H.P. Blavatsky felt uncomfortable labelling the entire 5th Root-Race as Aryan since the first two Sub-Races were predominantly Mongolo-Turanian, but she did so because it was in this 3rd Sub-Race that the 5th Root-Race became distinct from the 4th Root-Race. (SD 2-434) When the Dhyani-Chohans descended to assist the fledgling Aryan Sub-Race, they matured the 3rd Sub-Race to the point where it could settle and harden into the 4th Sub-Race. (SD 1-159, 2-436)

In this passage from The Secret Doctrine on the Aryan Hindus of the 5th Root-Race, H.P. Blavatsky, for simplicity’s sake, enumerated each one of the five Family Races of the 3rd Sub-Race—during these past 1,000,000 years—as lasting approximately 210,000 years each. This meant that its 5th Family Race was about 160,000 years old and its 6th Family Race was just beginning.  As such, it was in this early 6th Family Race of the 3rd Sub-Race—living alongside the up and coming 4th Sub-Race—when Gautama Buddha dropped the seeds of the 6th Root-Race.  In her communication with A.P. Sinnett, she remarked that the Hindus were “almost ready for the evolution of their sixth race units” while the Europeans had “yet to whistle for them” and “must thank her stars for evoluting even occasionally Hindu like spiritual and beautiful characters.” (BL 238) H.P. Blavatsky’s comments to Mohini Chatterji on his book, Man: Fragments of Forgotten History, expressed this evolutionary phase as the “fifth Sub-race of the first Root-race in this our World period.” (BL 258) Clearly not one anxious to tell the whole story her explanation served as an appropriate blind for the time: 1) “our World period” corresponded to the last one million years of the 5th Root-Race 2) “first Root-race” corresponded to the last Family Race of the 1st Sub-Race from which the 3rd Sub-Race became quite free of its parent stem 3) “fifth Sub-race” corresponded to the 5th Family Race of the 3rd Sub-Race.

When the 3rd Sub-Race reached its greatest “physical point of evolution” some 270,000 to 100,000 years ago (more or less, perhaps) spanning its two middle points of the 4th Family Race during the many stages of the Daitya island sinkings, the 4th Sub-Race distinctly arrived on the world stage. (BL 238) H.P. Blavatsky, in her veiled way, outlined its arrival over the “last three family races of the fourth Sub-race of the Fifth Root-race.” (SD 2-433) While the 2nd and 3rd Sub-Races were the builders of dolmens and menhirs as they migrated across Eurasia, the 4th Sub-Race, nearing the “acme of materiality” of the 5th Root-Race, engaged in massive pyramid building as they migrated, in part, from the Indian Ocean to Africa, Egypt and Europe. (SD 1-610, 2-750) G. de Purucker described the successive waves of migration of these early Family Races of the 4th Sub-Race—often referred to as Eastern Aethiopians—that culminated in the construction of the Egyptian pyramids between 150,000 and 75,000 years ago. (ST 540-541, IS 1-525) As for H.P. Blavatsky, she summed up this evolutionary transformation from the 3rd Sub-Race to the 4th Sub-Race—in all its sui generis pyramid building glory—in the various “Glacial Periods and subsequent Deluges” from 850,000 to 100,000 years ago. (SD 2-141) When she drew the distinction between the “Western Aryans”—some of who had migrated out of the Atlanto-Aryan Daitya islands—and their “Eastern brethren of the Fifth Race,” she hinted at the growing independence of the 4th Sub-Race and its ultimate split from the 3rd Sub-Race. (SD 1-644, CW 5-170) Mahatma K.H. had previously alluded to this split by distinguishing between the “first sub-race of the fifth root Race” who were the “Aryan Asiatics” and the “last sub-race of the fifth—yourselves the white conquerors.” (ML 154) It must be noted, however, that these so-called “white conquerors” of the 4th Sub-Race started out as a “colony of dark-skinned Aryans” from Southern India who headed northwards through Egypt into Europe while more “fair Brahmins” migrated southwards to meet them. (IS 2-435, SD 2-768, CW 13-331)

In regard to the 4th Sub-Race, G. de Purucker explained that we are “nearing” its middle point; we have “almost reached” the middle point of the “great Fourth or Primary Sub-Race of the Fifth Root-Race. (TF 4-83) Since the initial middle point is the 4th Family Race, this indicates that we are currently in the 3rd and 4th Family Races. As for the 3rd Family Race, it seems we have already reached the 4th European National Race in its 5th Germanic Tribal Race. (ST 38-39) This means we have passed the first middle point of the 4th European National Race in its 4th Tribal Race and are currently at the second middle point in its sui generis 5th Tribal Race that produces the 6th Tribal Race as well as the grander 5th National Race concentrated in the Americas. (SD 2-444) H.P. Blavatsky wrote on this upward arc in the 5th Tribal Race when she described the Europeans as “just emerging from the very bottom of a new cycle and progressing upwards.” (CW 2-312) When G. de Purucker spoke of this 4th European National Race and 5th Tribal Race, he could not have been addressing the 4th Family Race because we have not passed the middle point of the 4th Sub-Race. Actually, we have just reached the 4th Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race. As for the 4th Family Race, it is already in its beginning stages because the seeds of the 5th Sub-Race have been sown. (DIA 2-134) In addition, the seeds of the 6th Root-Race—which are dropped during the 4th Sub-Race—have flourished into “millions of scattered individuals, beginning feebly to differentiate into the Sixth Root-Race qualities.” (ST 639) Joseph Fussell, the Secretary-General to G. de Purucker, confirmed, “We are not yet at the mid-point of the Fifth sub-race, but only of our sub-race which, as clearly shown elsewhere by H.P.B in The Secret Doctrine, is the mid-point of a family race.” (TF 10-368) In The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky had written, “We are in the midpoint of our sub-race of the Fifth Root Race.” (SD 1-610) To clarify, the “midpoint of our sub-race” meant the 4th Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race. For her, this 4th Family Race (referred to by her as the “fourth sub-race”) witnessed “the destruction of the last remnant of the Atlanteans—the Aryo-Atlanteans in the last island of Atlantis, namely, some 11,000 years ago.” (SD 2-433)

This 4th Family Race flowered from the first and second middle points of the 3rd Family Race in its 4th European National Race.  When did this take place? G. de Purucker affirmed that the 4th National Race became sui generis from the previous 3rd National Race about 9,000 years ago and therefore the first middle point was prior to that date—thereby confirming that the 4th Family Race as well as the 4th National Race of the 3rd Family Race witnessed the destruction of the Atlanteans several thousand years earlier. (ST 36) This is why H.P. Blavatsky used the term “fourth sub-race” in The Secret Doctrine in reference to the sinking of Poseidonis; two different sub-cycles of significantly different lengths were both in their fourth stage of development. In Isis Unveiled, H.P. Blavatsky delineated this progression from the 3rd National Race to the 4th National Race by drawing attention to Baron Bunsen’s 21,000 year cycle from Egypt’s Place in Universal History. (IS 2-366) She had previously asserted in Isis Unveiled “the beds of the ocean are displaced” at the “end of every decimillennium and about one neros [Ed. approximately 10,500 years]” when there is a “semi-universal deluge.” (IS 1-31) Therefore, using Bunsen’s model, the high point of the cycle began 19,760 B.C. and the low point of the cycle occurred in 9,260 B.C. This low point broadly corresponded to the small kali-yuga, or the 4th Tribal Race in this case, of the 3rd National Race that gave birth to the 4th National Race. Several thousand years later the 4th National Race became sui generis, but the Poseidonis disaster some 11,000 to 13,000 years ago took place slightly before since old lands must sink and new ones appear before the new race can migrate. (SD 2-445)

Thus, the time was ripe—in the 4th Family Race of the 4th Sub-Race—for Gautama Buddha to assume the shared responsibility for the 5th Root-Race from the 4th Root-Race Buddha. But one final monumental evolutionary shift had to occur first. The 5th Root-Race had to enter its larger Kali-Yuga. It entered its Kali-Yuga on the “18th of February, 3,102 years before the Christian era, at midnight, on the meridian of Ujjaini at the death of Krishna.” (CW 5-58) With the 4th Sub-Race and the 5th Root-Race beginning the descent into their respective times of trial, the appearance of Gautama Buddha as the first 5th Root-Race Buddha was timely in initiating the much-needed beginning of the 6th Root-Race. (FS 163, SD 1-377, CW 2-312) On the one hand, those 6th Root-Race seeds were dropped into the 6th Family Race of the 3rd Sub-Race. On the other hand, those seeds were dropped into an even smaller cycle of the 6th Tribal Race that had just emerged from the 5th Tribal Race—being near its end—of the 4th European National Race in the 4th Sub-Race. (ST 39) Since a Tribal Race is such a small cycle, this is why H.P. Blavatsky had written to A.P. Sinnett—in an effort to quell his sense of nineteenth-century English superiority—that the Europeans had to “thank her stars” for even occasionally evoluting a “sixth race” unit. (BL 238) Joined hand in hand, all of us, as generational offshoots or karmic participants in the overlapping cycles of the 3rd and 4th Sub-Races in the 5th Root-Race, share the responsibility of successfully giving birth to the 6th Root-Race.


Recent Cycles and the New Age

When the wave of the distinct sui generis 4th National Race washed into the Eurasian continent from many directions some 9,000 years ago, it carried in its bosom the buddhic force from the highlands of Central Asia. The time of the descent of the Buddha neared. In 3,102 B.C., the cycle of Krishna ended—his 126-year lifespan approximating the 1,270,000 years of a Sub-Race. The 8th Avatar of Vishnu who had ruled over the five Family Races of the 3rd Sub-Race was figuratively dead; the 9th Avatar of Vishnu, or Gautama Buddha, was about to assume power. (IS 2-274) The buddhic force rolled out from Central Asia into “India and towards Europe and Northern Africa” as the 4th National Race dropped into its own kali-yuga around 500 B.C. (CW 14-270) Just at the moment that the buddhic force changed directions “backward to its old home and birthplace,” the Buddha incarnated to imprint his own 6th Round nature as the seed of the 6th Root-Race within the fabric of 5th Root-Race humanity. (CW 14-270)  In closing this exploration into technical theosophy and cycles, it is necessary to bring the current investigation up to the present date by investigating the recent cycles leading into the New Age overseen by the Buddha.

The birth of the Buddha was presaged by a minor cataclysm around 1600 B.C., approximately 10,500 years after the sinking of Poseidonis. The explosion of Thera (the Aegean Sea volcano on the Cyclades islands) did not just devastate the island of Santorini but completely altered the course of European culture and migration. Thera was the largest volcanic eruption on record in the last 10,000 years and it signalled a close—though not fully effected until 1240 A.D. according to Baron Bunsen’s model—to those 3rd National Race civilizations that had previously sought refuge in the Mediterranean. (IS 2-366) It also signalled the impending split of the 4th National Race in its 4th Tribal Race. The 5th Tribal Race, a Germanic continental people as opposed to an island nation, spread across Europe and dominated the new landscape. (DIA 2-218) Soon after, many of these 5th Tribal Race peoples left Europe to further establish the 5th National Race in the Americas—truly a geographical as well as a cultural split.

As the 5th Germanic Tribal Race rose to prominence, the early history of the 3rd and 4th National Races faded into the background as Celtic and Mediterranean folklore. G. de Purucker confessed that “only the last of these minor sub-races of the Root-Race is known to us, the Germanic.” (ST 21) H.P. Blavatsky alluded to this 5th Germanic Tribal Race in The Secret Doctrine when she confided that “History—or what is called history—does not go back further than the fantastic origins of our fifth sub-race, a ‘few thousands’ of years.” (SD 2-351) This 5th Tribal Race possessed its own cyclical history, most probably originating sometime around the collapse of Santorini and progressing towards its own middle point with the eruption of Vesuvius and the burying of Pomeii in 79 A.D. The Dark Ages followed with a “cycle of spiritual barrenness” that “began to come to pass about the time of the beginning of the Christian era.” (QU 15) The 5th Tribal Race had reached its first middle point and entered its own short kali-yuga. The 4th National Race had previously entered its much longer kali-yuga with the destruction of Santorini, but with the close of the 3rd National Race around 1240 A.D. it began its rise in the higher aspects of its 5th Tribal Race. G. de Purucker wrote about the bottom points of the 5th Tribal Race and the 4th National Race in slightly different ways but, in general, the “lowest point” was “reached about the time when Christopher Columbus is stated to have made his Atlantic journey.” (DIA 2-134, FS 164, ST 702) For him, the cycle we “are now entering upon, or have been entering upon, is a rising one.” (DIA 2-135) With the conclusion of downward descent some “three or four hundred years ago,” the 4th National Race began its ascent into the 5th National Race and the 5th Tribal Race began its ascent into the 6th Tribal Race. (QU 15) H.P. Blavatsky held the same position, “the same law of descent into materiality and re-ascent into spirituality asserted itself during the Christian era, the reaction having stopped only just now, in our own special sub-race.” (SD 1-417) For her, an “era of disenchantment and rebuilding” had already begun. (IS 1-38) Mahatma K.H. explained to A.P. Sinnett that the “Western sub-race” as a “small cycle” was “running on to its apex” while the greater cycle was “beginning on its downward course”—an obvious reference to the 4th European National Race in its ascent through the 5th and 6th Tribal Races within the broader descent of the 5th Root-Race. (ML 149) Like H.P. Blavatsky and G. de Purucker, Mahatma K.H. described the “curious rush” running to its apex in the recent Tribal Races in terms of a few “dozens of centuries.” (ML 149, 150)

With the so-called discovery of America by Christopher Columbus in 1492 A.D., it became the responsibility of the “mankind” of the New World to “sow the seeds for a forthcoming, grander, and far more glorious Race than any of those we know of at present.” (SD 2-446) While this “glorious Race” as the 6th Root-Race is still far off in the future, William Judge could not help noticing that it seemed “as if some power, deliberately planning, had selected North and South America for the place where a new primary root-race should be begun.” (ECH 2- 21) On a small scale leading up to this larger event, a portion of the 6th Tribal Race of the 4th National Race split off from its European counterpart and planted the 6th Root-Race seeds in the soil of the New World. At the same time, these 6th Tribal Race seeds were imbedded in the vaster 5th National Race cycle that was nearing its own sui generis point as it grew out of the closing 5th Tribal Race of the 4th National Race. It was the combination of these two cycles that H.P. Blavatsky wrote about in her passage on American exceptionalism: “Thus the Americans have become in only three centuries a ‘primary race,’ pro tem., before becoming a race apart, and strongly separated from all other now existing races. They are, in short, the germs of the Sixth sub-race, and in some few hundred years more, will become most decidedly the pioneers of that race which must succeed to the present European, or fifth sub-race, in all its new characteristics.” (SD 2-444, 445) H.P. Blavatsky’s use of the term “Sixth sub-race” applied to many different cycles, not just one. First, the 6th Tribal Race will succeed the present 5th Germanic Tribal Race; therefore, the “Sixth sub-race” corresponds to this small cyclical counterpart. Second, the 6th Tribal Race is the germ of the 6th Sub-Race and the 6th Root-Race; therefore, the “Sixth sub-race” can in a very loose way refer to these two bigger cycles—especially in the Americas. (FS 165) Third, as an intermediate approach, the “Sixth sub-race” can also refer to those seeds of the 6th National Race in the earliest forerunners of the 5th National Race. While G. de Purucker emphasized this third case, H.P. Blavatsky’s comment on the “germs of the Sixth sub-race” can refer to a Tribal Race, a National Race, a Sub-Race, and even a Root-Race. (ST 39) She elucidated this method of explanation by acknowledging that a “Yuga” may refer to a “Root-Race, and often a Sub-Race.” (SD 2-147) By the italicized term “Sub-Race,” she implied that all the Family Races, National Races and Tribal Races that blended together in overlapping cycles could be spoken of interchangeably. Gautama Buddha generated the impulse to carry us into the 6th Root-Race in all these minor sub-cycles that intersected with the influence of his birth in the 4th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race.

As to the future, it is Gautama Buddha’s responsibility to support the races in these minor sub-cycles as they undergo a successive series of cataclysms leading up to the massive cataclysm that splits the 5th Root-Race.  H.P. Blavatsky hinted at the next major cataclysm—a more “terrible and universal geological convulsion” as opposed to the minor cataclysm of Thera—around 16,000 years from now when large portions of Europe will disappear under the waves of the ocean. (SD 2-330, CW 3-150) Although G. de Purucker’s language is veiled on the timeline, the 4th European National Race will have evoluted its 6th and 7th Tribal Races and the 5th National Race will have descended into its kali-yuga to begin the 6th National Race. (FS 164) While this first series of cataclysms will destroy Europe, these National and Tribal Races will survive and prosper in the Americas. But as the 4th Sub-Race drops fully into its 4th Family Race, there will be a second series of cataclysms that will “still later” destroy “the whole Aryan race (and thus affect both Americas).” (SD 2-445, ECH 2-21) Opinion differs as to how closely this first series and second series of cataclysms overlap. G. de Purucker’s enigmatic statement that it will be “between sixteen thousand and twenty thousand years yet before the Racial Cataclysm will ensue which will cut our Fifth Root-Race in two” leaves room for interpretation. (FU 239) The word “ensue” simply means, “to follow in sequential order.” It does not imply that the two series of cataclysms will happen concurrently. Whether the cutting of the 5th Root-Race is in 16,000 years or 160,000 years, what is clear is that the 6th Root-Race under the initial guidance of Gautama Buddha “will be said to be definitely born” in “some three hundred thousand years” while the Aryan 5th Root-Race will be ending its Kali-Yuga. (ST 640) H.P. Blavatsky described it this way: “The Fifth will overlap the Sixth Race for many hundreds of millenniums, changing with it slower than its new successor, still changing in stature, general physique, and mentality, just as the Fourth overlapped our Aryan race, and the Third had overlapped the Atlanteans.” (SD 2-445)

Gautama Buddha’s tenure over the 5th Root-Race will continue until the 6th Sub-Race of the 5th Root-Race. Then it will be time for the 9th Avatar of Vishnu to pass the reins of shared responsibility to the 10th Avatar, the Kalki-Avatar, or Maitreya Buddha. (ST 650) This transition will happen millions of years hence, “When Maitree Buddha comes, then our present world will be destroyed; and a new and a better one will replace it.” (IS 2-275) In The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky added, “Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha, and the Kalki Avatar of the Brahmins—the last Messiah who will come at the culmination of the Great Cycle.” (SD 1-384) In the Jewish tradition of Kabbalah, this Kalki-Avatar, or the second Buddha of the 5th Root-Race, is the “King Messiah” or the “fifth emanation” in the Talmud. (IS 2-256) Viewing the cycles on the large scale, this is why both “Jesus and St. John the Baptist preached the end of the Age.” (IS 2-144) But there were new ages in all sorts of different cycles to which they preached as well. Jesus, as an Avatara and a Messenger in the smaller 5th Tribal Race that transitioned into the sign of Pisces in 255 B.C. within the 25,920 year Sidereal cycle, was assigned the symbol of “the Fish”—a symbol that identified him with the two Buddhas in the larger 5th Root-Race cycle as well.  (CW 8-174, IS 2-256, FU 274) Gautama Buddha gave his “human soul” to the “boy-child” in Palestine to directly impress the 5th Tribal Race with an ennobling 6th Root-Race influence. (DIA 2-211)  H.P. Blavatsky enumerated these cycles in relation to technical theosophy in her elaborate Commentary on the Pistis Sophia, a main text from the Gnostic tradition of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. (CW 13-1) But as for the closing of our “present cycle” in the 5th Tribal Race with the “great Sidereal year” transitioning from Pisces to Aquarius “between the years 1897 and 1898”—a shift that was accompanied by its own Avataric Messenger infilled with the “Buddhic Splendor” of her “Master”—H.P. Blavatsky reminded us that the success or failure of the New Age depends on the “few Theosophists” who, “true to their colours,” still “fight the battle.” (CW 8-174, 11-202, TP 40-475, 476, OC 136, 142) What are we fighting for? Ironically, we are fighting for the New Age to “silently come into existence” unnoticed until one day this New Age, having been formed and shaped gradually by the thoughts of all those humanities in the smallest sub-cycles of the Tribal Races that widen to influence the National Races and to include the Family Races and finally the Sub-Races, will usher in the mankind of a new Root-Race that “will awake to find themselves in a majority.” (SD 2-445)

In review, this presentation of technical theosophy has been offered as a response to G. de Purucker’s challenge to raise “honest objections” in “our own” minds that we ourselves “must solve” in relation to the very complicated subject of cycles. (FU 289) For example, H.P. Blavatsky often subdivided a Sidereal cycle of 25,920 years by 12 instead of 7. Therefore, the general length of a Tribal Race can be given as 2,160 years as opposed to G. de Purucker’s 3,700 years. Both are correct, but the presentation varies depending on which subdivision is used. In addition, H.P. Blavatsky preferred to explain a Sidereal cycle in terms of its core 21,000 years (per Baron Bunsen’s model) without its dawn and twilight. When the dawn and twilight is added, a re-examination of the subdivisions of a Sidereal cycle must be proffered. But these are issues for another time. What has been presented here are some new ways to think about the cycles in a manner that opens up options that were not previously part of the theosophical dialogue.




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